Cuban missile crisis Act 2
NATO’s pompous explanations about how NATO has the right to invite countries to join NATO and sovereign countries have the right to “choose their path” (a deliberate provocation since this is language which Lavrov sometimes uses about Russia) are no doubt echoing around Western capitals. . This all sounds like it might be about “freedom” – so long as you suspend your faculties. Consider the reverse; Russia accepts an eager Canada and Mexico as candidates members of the CSTO – starts supplying them with arms, and envisages placing nuclear missiles in these countries (which it could certainly do once they had joined the CSTO). Would Stoltenberg start pontificating about “freedom” and “sovereignty” and each nation choosing its “own path” then? No; of course not. (In fact we don’t even have to carry out a thought experiment; history confirms what would happen. American was quite prepared to bring the world to the brink of nuclear war over Soviet missiles in Cuba). The analogy is sufficient to point out the absurd one-sidedness of the US/NATO position. But it is incomplete. The situation with Russia is, like any other situation, specific. And the specifics here contain a long history of relations in this part of the world. As a result of these specifics both Georgia and Ukraine (unlike Canada and Mexico) have simmering conflicts / arguments with Russia. It would be madness to incorporate them into NATO. Almost a guarantee of a full-out NATO-Russia (and China?) war.
It just seems to weird to me to see these otherwise apparently intelligent people (Western leaders, almost the entire cast) apparently completely unable to see Russia’s point of view on this question of support for Ukraine and Georgia.
(At the same time I don’t quite understand why the Kremlin has chosen now to force the issue on these questions).
The blindness of imperialism
A court in Russia has fined Google for violations of Russian laws relating to the Internet. The penalty relates to content which is banned under Russian law.
The Guardian (using a Reuters feed) reports this as:
Russia fines Google £73m over failure to delete ‘illegal’ content
I link to this because it encapsulates a whole, imperialist, mentality. Russia has an elected legislature and a constitutional system for making laws. The system may not run as say the British system does. It may even be flawed in certain respects. But when the Guardian puts apostrophes around “illegal” they are simply denying Russia the right to make its own laws – in this case because they contradict with the business aims of Google but it could be in any case.
Russia may not make its own laws. That is without ambiguity or exaggeration – the Russians should live as Untermensch. This is the progressive Guardian.
And then they get surprised when Russia bites back. The surprising thing is that Russia has put up with this for so long.