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The return of Russia [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2014-4-11 17:21:14 |Display all floors
By Iftikhar A Khan

Fleeting moments

The western media is crying hoarse over Russia’s annexation of Crimea, which the western powers consider a blatant violation of international laws. The UN, which is always quick to pass resolutions that suit the western agenda, condemned Russia’s actions and won the approval of every Security Council member except China.

Russia has amassed 40,000 troops on the eastern borders of Ukraine; this, according to analysts, has reignited the cold war.       

The United States has raised the issue of violation of international laws against Russia; does the superpower itself adhere to the same laws in the first place? If there’s one power whose hubris and arrogance is unbounded, it’s the US of A. The majority of the people would simply smirk over American claims of respecting international law.       

Nevertheless, the last cold war ended when the Russian forces withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989 and mother Russia disintegrated. Pakistan was then in the western camp and supported the imperialist proxy war to rid Afghanistan of Russian occupation. The Russians vacated Afghanistan and the Taliban, with Pakistan’s help and American designs, were installed in power.

When the red army marched into Afghanistan in 1979, Pakistan opposed the occupation of the neighbouring country. And when on the pretext of 9/11, the US-led Nato forces came hunting the Taliban more than a decade later, we supported the invaders in occupying Afghanistan. We failed to foresee that the decision to support western invasion against Afghanistan would draw a wedge in the nation’s unity whose lingering effects we would suffer for a long time.       

After Afghanistan the coalition forces invaded Iraq on the pretence that it possessed ‘weapons of mass destruction’. No such weapons were found but the western powers acquired total control of the cheap Iraqi oil, which was the sole purpose of attacking a sovereign country.

Libya’s turn came next. Rulers of both countries, Saddam Hussain and Moammar Gaddafi, were executed after much humiliation. The then French president Sarkozy had warned the Arab leaders of meeting the same fate if they entertained any smart ideas.       

Nevertheless, the powerful military alliance of western powers faced no resistance from any country until the Syrian imbroglio developed. Russia had thus far remained unconcerned about the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq by the Nato forces. It woke up only when the western powers instigated an insurgency in Syria to topple Bashar al-Assad.       

The insurgents call themselves the Free Syrian Army and use Turkey’s land to operate from. Removing Assad from power and installing a Karzai-Maliki type proxy in Syria would achieve two main objectives: 1) weaken Iran and 2) deprive Russia of its naval base at Tartus – Russia’s only port in the Mediterranean. Therefore, Russia decided to intervene and because of its diplomatic offensive the western pressure over the issue of Syria’s chemical weapons abated.       

Similarly, the Russian naval base at Sevastopol in Crimea has a strategic importance for Russia. And it’s not the first time that Russia and the western powers have faced each other over Crimea. About 160 years ago, Britain – then the superpower – declared war on Russia. Britain tried to lay siege to Sevastopal, the Russian naval base in the Black Sea, where the famous charge of the light brigade took place.       

President Putin has termed the annexation of Crimea as “an accomplished fact”, meaning thereby that it wouldn’t be undone. Even though the Ukrainian government considered the referendum illegal under its laws the reality is that the referendum represented the will of the majority of the people to reunify with Russia.

The smaller countries are watching in awe how the superpower that intimidated them reacts against a powerful adversary – Russia and its popular president, Vladimir Putin.

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Post time 2014-4-11 17:34:59 |Display all floors
something is changing, like the tides, in world politics and power play. it will not be a smooth change, but there seems to be a long-term trend towards a change in the paradigm of international politics. There is definite trend towards multipolarity and new power centers. Things that have been building and lying just below the surface are starting to come out in the open. it will be interesting times in the 'near future', from a historical perspective.
My friend the Black Swan

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Post time 2014-4-11 18:08:22 |Display all floors
KIyer Post time: 2014-4-11 17:34
something is changing, like the tides, in world politics and power play. it will not be a smooth cha ...

Even if US wants peace its difficult with it having side kicks like England, France and Japan. These second tier powers have their own agendas and US needs to obligate. Libya was one good example for those from the Atlantic side, with US probably sweating until Russia saved it at the Syrian table and from the Pacific side things ain't any better with Grand Island Imperial Cornerstone stirring up storm!

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Post time 2014-4-12 20:10:50 |Display all floors
Russia's population is only 140 million. Its GDP is just slightly greater than Canada's (31 million population). Only its nukes make it a power - and to use them would destroy it (and lots of others). The annexation of Crimea was justified because of 1. Its defensive needs for the bases 2. The population is 60% ethnic Russian 3. It was (unwisely) given to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954 when Ukraine was not a sovereign state. NATO could easily defeat Russia in a non-nuclear war. It is not a "great power". There are only two "great powers" now - China and the US (with the US far stronger). The EU is a potential third "great power" but chooses not to become one currently. So The Russians will not make much more trouble (invade the rest of Ukraine) unless they are suicidal. The "West" has been stupid not to have absorbed Russia into the EU and NATO immediately after the end of the USSR. Hopefully, this error will be corrected in about 10 years.
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