Thursday, 23 February 2017

Talking up the threat from Moscow is displacement activity by the West

From 28th minute

Anatol Lieven:

I don't think nuclear war is like, God knows, but I don't think a laughing matter nor quite frankly see why Russia and the USA should still have thousands of nuclear missiles pointing at each other. The attempt to keep the Cold War going when almost all of the objective bases for it have disappeared seems to me profoundly perverse. As for May's statement about compromise with Russia meaning the eclipse of West, if we brought the Cold War to an end by compromising with the Soviet Union without suffering an eclipse, how on earth does compromising with Russia over the Donbass - a palce which even four years ago not one Westerner in a thousand had ever heard of and couldn't find on a map, how on earth does that ... 

I don't know if you saw the latest news coming out of the British Army that the whole British Army would be hard put to put to produce one combat brigade. That is not going to deter a Russian invasion. If the Russians are going to invade, they are going to invade, but the point is that they're not going to invade and there is no threat to Estonia. No Russian official has even hinted at an invasion of Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania in recent years. Now you could say that British troops are a tripwire of some kind, but the point is if the only way of defending these people is through nuclear war, well, isn't that realistic grounds to try to reduce tension with Russia? If they can't be defended by conventional means, well, don't provoke the other side. 


There's a more cynical and unsympathetic or a less cynical and more sympathetic view. The less cynical and more sympathetic view is that all national national security establishments develop doctrines about who is the enemy and who are the potential enemies and over time these become simply hard-wired into their structures, their attitudes, their analysis, their recruitment and so forth and NATO and the CIA and other institutions were products of the Cold War and they have never grown out of that, even though Russia represents nothing like the competitive threat like China to US interests, nor of course does Russia pose a direct security threat to America or Western Europe. Russia self-evidently does not back international terrorism unlike various forces in the Muslim world. So, there is this doctrine which now lacks real basis in reality.

The less sympathetic view would be that these people in the Western security establishments are hanging on to their jobs for dear life. They were trained to confront Russia, they kept NATO going in the 90s after the end of the Cold War by continuing to confront Russia through the expansion of NATO, even if they said that wasn't what it was all about, and they're too lazy to learn Chinese or Arabic, and deal with the real problems facing the West. This is a wider problem amongst the Western elites in general. The real problems in the West are nothing to do with Russia are economic stagnation, the growth of gross inequality between a richer and richer 1% and the rest of the population and of course migration from the Muslim world. Now these are all issues which challenge the liberal project of the past generations at its core and require very very serious thought and reconsideration. They are acutely painful and by the way there may not be solutions to these problems and this is an even more painful thing to confront. How much easier to play the old game which everyone is so used to of talking up a threat from Moscow.

Instead of WW3, why don't we defenestrate the stinking matriarchy and make the world a better place?

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