Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Russia is a threat, alright – to US imperial aspirations

I've been more than a little surprised at the rehashed Cold War propaganda that's been circulated in the mainstream media ... and totally shocked at some of the people I know who've bought into that "Putin is the new Stalin" bullshit.

As though the Crimea re-annexation represents anything like a threat to Europe or, even more ridiculous, to the United States.  For what it's worth, Crimea became part of the Russian Empire in 1783, well before the US used force to annex territories that belonged to Mexico and attempted to do the same in Canada (what do you think was meant by Fifty-four Forty or Fight! ?)

After World War II, the government of Canada (under Prime Minister Mackenzie King) viewed Stalin's government of Russia as a very unpleasant regime; but not directly dangerous to anyone else; particularly not to Canada.  Canadian diplomats argued that Stalin's primary interest was the preservation of Communist rule in Russia and the reconstruction of a shattered economy and a society devastated by war.  Russia lost twenty million people in World War II, a death toll far higher than any other country, allied or axis.

Russia wasn't focused on expanding ... but the West needed a new enemy; a new monster to slay; and the commies were it.

The Russian Empire was greatly expanded during World War II, not by conquest, but when Soviet control of Eastern Europe was signed, sealed, and delivered into Moscow’s hands by Franklin Roosevelt at Yalta.  The fact is, a broken Russia did not exit World War II with plans for increasing its territorial control; Russia's focus was on trying to rebuild its economy (and, of course, to demonstrate the superiority of communism over western-style capitalism). That is why, in our lifetimes, since their great victory over German military aggression in World War II, the Soviets have been quite conservative in their military policy. That policy has been predominately defensive. Russia's only use of military power has been to defend their territory in the Communist bloc, or to defend their allies against foreign invaders; not to extend their territory.

Contrast that with the military policy of the United States.  How many sovereign countries have been attacked by the US since 1945?  Hell, I would count the number just since 2001 as seven: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and Uganda.  That is four more countries, under President Obama, I believe, than under his predecessor ... so the number effectively doubled after Americans elected a "peace president."

Pay attention. The threat isn't an expansionist Russia ... it's a Russia that blocks American expansionism.  Vladimir Putin is the enemy because he's the only world leader with the gonads to speak against a US foreign policy of aggression, invasion, and conquest.