Archive | March, 2014

Crimea, Russia, Western Media & The War on Terror

20 Mar

A couple of days ago I came across these 2 articles

http://www.newsweek.com/american-who-dared-make-putins-case-231388

http://www.thenation.com/article/178344/distorting-russia

& I began wondering about the ‘Crisis in Ukraine’ & the constant ‘pro-freedom, pro-democracy anti-Russian’ rhetoric which has characterised pretty much all of the media coverage (certainly here in Ireland & from the little I’ve seen the same is true of the allegedly impartial BBC).

I am old enough to have had grandparents who fought in WW2 & know as a matter of historical fact that The Russians (with much material aid from the US & UK via the Arctic Convoys) saved Western Europe & the UK from the Nazis. Whether the US saved us from the Russians & threat of a Communist Europe is more debatable but probably has some basis in political/social realities of the early post-war era.

However once WW2 was over Communism was a very real threat to the Western Capitalist lifestyle & was therefore to be resisted by all means possible including outright war (Korea & Vietnam), overthrow of democratically elected governments (Chile & Argentina) economic boycotts (Cuba) & support for dictators & regimes whose treatment of their own populations were actual abuses of human rights (Iran,Greece, Spain, Portugal & South Africa) & support for terrorist insurgencies (El Salvador) coupled with media biases & active economic destablisation  culminating in the Fall of the Wall & the collapse of the Soviet system.

The fall of the Soviet system was, in my opinion, a real positive. However the fallout was destabilising for global security & bad news for believers in Western EUROPEAN believers in Democracy as a political & social system.

The fall of the Russian Bear has led to a resurgence in an Imperial America & the unfettered & unreflexive expansion of their brand of corporate capitalism (backed up by American military & financial might) around the globe. This has led to some extremely nasty events which reflect very badly on ‘Western Values’ & our concept of Democracy as a whole. (It has always been the case that the more powerful empires have played fast & loose with notions of sovereignty, International Laws & use of force. However in this era of ‘instant news’ coverage & powerful propaganda such behaviour should be less tolerable NOT more as seems to be the case)

I fail to see how the EU’s meddling (or in ligua franca ‘stirring the shit’) in Eastern Europe has made the situation better for Ukraininas in the foreseeable future or improved the financial & trading prospects of the EU as a whole as we try to address the current ‘Austerity Crisis’ – mass emigration, levels of youth unemployment in the high 20s%, aging population & crumbling infrastructure. Professor Cohen (see above articles) claims that ‘The West’ agreed that Berlin was as far as they would go. So it would appear that we have yet again acted in bad faith diplomatically.

Furthermore Russia is a devoutly CHRISTIAN country (indeed one could argue that their strand of Christianity predates ours) & has legitimate security concerns along its borders which it demonstrated in Georgia & in Chechnya. Indeed Russia has much the same security concerns regarding Muslim extremism as do we in the West & have facilitated the US/Nato in their ‘adventures’ in ‘Democracy & Freedom’ in Afghanistan, Iraq & not least Syria. So why are we provoking instability on their borders & how did we expect them to react?

On the subject of Muslim extremism as far as I am aware it is either Shia  or Sunni. If the terrorists are Shia then our media ALWAYS mentions Iran (or Hezbollah) in its reporting. In the case of Sunni terrorism they are usually termed Jihadists & Al Qaeda are the terms used. However Al Qaeda was set up, financed & headed by a Saudi prince (one Osama Bin Laden) & was a completely Gulf funded organisation. Indeed Saudi Arabia finances & arms most Sunni terrorist, sorry Jihadist, groups. Yet our media NEVER makes or investigates such links.

The War on Terror is therefore deeply flawed & in fact deliberately uni-directional.

So my question for our independent, unbiased, truth-to-power media is this Saudi Arabia & its Gulf allies are un/anti-democratic, have worse views on women’s & Gay rights than Russia, actively support terrorism across the globe so why are you demonising Russia & Putin rather than Saudi & the House of Saud?