Russia annexed Crimea following a Western backed coup in Ukraine. The coup overturned a democratically elected government which was strongly supported in the East of Ukraine. 80%, or more, of the population of Crimea wanted and still want, according to polling by Western polling organisations, to be part of Russia. Russia may be offering some degree of support for the rebels in the East of Ukraine. In as much as they are they are defending a Russian leaning and speaking population against, ironically, a Western backed regime which wanted to send tanks and fighter planes against them.
Russian actions can be explained by a limited rational defence of Russians and legitimate Russian interests. There has been no aggression – no falling on other countries – like Hitler on Poland.
In Syria, another bone of contention, Russia is acting, with the agreement of the government of the country to fight international terrorists. Western nations admit that they have a problem with Islamic terrorism in Syria being re-imported to their countries. Given that Russia has this problem ten times over with hundreds of fighters from its republics in the Caucuses Russian intervention in Syria is explainable, ironically, on exactly the same basis that the West justifies their actions.
In 2008 Russia fought a war with Georgia over South Ossetia. An EU fact finding mission found that this war was started by Georgia.
Recent claims about “Russian meddling” in US and EU elections are some kind of a hoax. People with serious faces denounce RT as being a propaganda station while forgetting that the US with “Radio Free Europe” does precisely what RT does. Radio Free Europe transmits negative stories about Russia in Russian into Russia. Most of the rest of the claims are no more than fuss about a few social media posts and a teenage hack, based, apparently on a simple phishing scam, of some interesting material about the democratic national convention and Clinton presidential campaign.
So – why the smokescreen about “Russian aggression”. It really is difficult to know. Here are some candidates:
1. The US economy / business
The US is a kind of business. Its brand is important. Part of its brand is that it is undefeatable. In protecting its interests Russia has shown that it is independent and that there are potential limits to US/EU power. This is simply bad for the image. Sanctions are a demonstration of power designed to reinstate the brand.
After 9/11 the US had to wipe out Iraq. Not because Iraq had anything to do with 9/11 but because the US needed to show the world that they are all-powerful. The US has to always be seen to be in charge. Crimea isn’t in itself a big deal but they don’t like that it happened without their permission. The annexation of Crimea showed that American (and EU) power has limits. This is what they don’t like.
2. The military-industrial complex
This is one of the more obvious rational explanations for the “Russian aggression” hoax. A new cold war is good business for arms manufacturers and the financiers behind them. It is also good for career officers in NATO.
2.5 The West needs war
The US in particular simply needs war. They need an enemy. This is for some kind of religious-psychological reasons. Puritans needed God and Satan. Modern Americans need Money and Russia.
3. Primitive group-think
A large part of the explanation has to be in terms of an analysis of the herd. People who outwardly may appear modern and rational in fact behave on a herd basis. It is simply safer to denounce “Russian aggression” and stick with the prevailing consensus than to offer an independent and rational analysis. (My tribe is right even when they are wrong).
Linked to this we can note the absence of any statesmen at the top of the EU or US. In the UK at least the elected government ministers appear to base their understanding of international affairs on worst-case scenario assessments by their military – with no room at all for diplomacy or conducting international relations on a rational basis. However; perhaps it has always been so.
4. Race hatred
Perhaps the Anglo-Saxons just need to push someone down. Perhaps they just can’t tolerate Slavs getting ahead. Perhaps deep down they still fear this alien culture from the East. Memories of Mongols. So; they hate them.
It is so irrational – that is at odds with any kind of clear historically informed analysis – it really is difficult to know the reasons for the fiction of Russian aggression. But then, we are dealing with people who really thought that bombing Libya would bring in – by magic and within a few weeks – a Western style parliamentary democracy. (Obvlious to the fact that it took several hundred years of complex negotiations between various power groups to arrive at this situation in England). And people who thought this after Iraq. It is a feature of the modern Western political class that they are ahistorical and apolitical. They are in effect babies. Overschooled “Uni” students who live in the eternal present where the only viable world view is their own. They are, in short, detached from reality.
The worrying thing here is that, as any psychotic can tell you, you cannot live detached from reality indefinitely. Sooner or later there will be some kind of a clash with reality.