Friday, December 30, 2016

Conflicts that are nothing to do with us

Guardian writer Owen Jones appeared on Sky News Press Preview and made a comparison between the old fear of Soviet Russia exerting an undue influence on left-wing movements in the West, and the new Russia of Putin exerting a supposedly equal influence on right-wing movements today.

This is a false reading of history.

Soviet Russia had a communist ideology that it was determined to export to the rest of the world.  It was a direct threat to Western nations.  It had to be confronted, and the useful idiots that supported it needed to be negated.

There is no such necessity today.

Putinism is not an ideology that has any relevance or appeal outside Russia.

Russian foreign policy may be expansionist, but it would have to expand a long way before it began to touch us in the United Kingdom.  Let them keep the Crimea.  Let them take the Baltic states (look how insultingly rude the leaders of those states were to the United Kingdom during the Brexit referendum).

There are already signs that imperial-overreach is beginning to curb Russian expansionism.  Imperial overreach is a self-correcting mechanism in international affairs.  As we only too well know, empires might deliver prestige, but are extremely expensive to maintain.

We need to be careful about Russian expansionism, but not get involved in conflicts that are nothing to do with us.

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