Sunday, 9 March 2014

A comment on warmongering - Putin, the Crimea and Ukraine

President Vladimir Putin is not by western standards any kind of  democrat. The heavy-handed authoritarianism and, indeed, oligarchic corruption, of his government are well documented.
However, I can't be alone in being both worried and appalled at some of the aggressive and militaristic rhetoric coming, not from the Kremlin, but from western sources at present. The irony that 2014 sees the hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War seems lost on many politicians and commentators (on the 'liberal' left and 'neo-conservative' right alike)  in our historically insular culture. The prospect of a Europe once again sleepwalking into war is too horrific to contemplate.

Moreover, since the implosion of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc (something which was a true victory for western, democratic and Christian values, thanks to the leadership of such people as Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II) the NATO allies and the EU seem to have adopted a policy of deliberate and dangerous humiliation of the former super-power even in its own backyard. 
As for Ukraine, the politics of the region are historically notoriously complex, and there are no easily identified contemporary heroes and villains anywhere to be found; as in Syria, western interference is in danger of turning a merely oppressive situation (if Ukraine could really be described as that) into a humanitarian catastrophe.

For whatever reason (and one shouldn't rule out the possibility that he actually believes it) Russia's President has championed both the revival of the Orthodox Church in his country and become an outspoken defender of traditional family values.

As for the West's increasingly shrill denunciations of Putin himself - stoked by a irresponsible media, frankly obsessed with spurious notions of  'equality', which seems to have little perspective or balance left where modern Russia is concerned - one can't help wondering whether this is entirely provoked by his intervention in Ukraine / Crimea or whether our real concern, having first 'encouraged' the toppling of Ukraine's elected, if highly flawed, pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, is not to export free and fair elections and the rule of law to the region, but to promote a far wider and less disinterested agenda altogether....

Apologies for the lack of posts recently - a combination of busy-ness, ongoing family illness and essential preparations for Lent...


  1. Putin? New Constantine, my friend.

  2. Putin made some good points in his Crimea speech. I can see how he might view the USA as an aggressor. Certainly other nations, with the exception of Kuwait, saw us in that light when we took out Saddam.


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