It seems the global turmoil continues. The recent downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 has opened yet another chapter in the Russian – Ukraine, and by extension the Russian – American, conflict.
Of course, neither side is assuming responsibility for this act, but, in usual fashion, most of the world is pointing the finger at Vladimir Putin. I suppose here in the west, we’ve been conditioned not to trust the former Soviet Union. After all, they were / are the root of all evil and Putin is perceived as an anarchist and dictator who is obsessed with reuniting the previous Warsaw pact nations to their former glory.
Assuming this is true, can one really blame him? American foreign policy has for many years attempted to spread western ideology and culture throughout the world. America has involved itself in numerous conflicts as self proclaimed saviors of peace and global policing advocates, sometimes to the chagrin of those they are trying to defend.
In recent years, they’ve been involved in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other conflicts all of which had questionable outcomes and cost American tax payers trillions of dollars not to mention the toll on human life.
Having secured alliances with former republics Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, America now has its sights on Ukraine. Until recently, Putin has remained quiet and hasn’t spoken outlandishly over America’s ambitions; however, a line must be drawn in the sand.
Allowing Ukraine to ally with the west would be the equivalent of allowing Canada to ally with Russia. Just as America would never stand for such an event to happen right on their doorstep, what makes the rest of the world think Russia would idly stand by and allow it to happen to them? Everyone is still sore about the annexation of Crimea, but, do they realize that if it fell into American hands, Russia would lose it’s only warm water naval base leaving it effectively defenseless against attack?
Given the ambitious campaigns of the west and backed into a corner, does Putin really have any choice? It’s no wonder he’s quietly trying to keep what little is left of his former republic for the sake of his own welfare and security?
One may argue that the cold war is long over, but, is it? There are clearly conflicting agendas and differing views around the world and if we can’t accept and respect these differences, we are doomed to ongoing conflict and a cold war that will never thaw.
It needs to start with a change in attitudes and American foreign policy. With so much on its plate, America would be wise to concentrate on their enormous internal problems and leave the rest of the world to fend for itself. It comes as no surprise that Americans are selective of their conflicts and chose those that will yield great economic or tactical advantage. Despite their rhetoric, peace or the loss of life is a secondary concern thereby creating a double standard.
Consider the harsh stance the western world is taking against Russia for their support of the separatists and their alleged downing of MH17. Even the UN passed a resolution condemning the act. However, most of the world is conveniently quiet and slow to criticize Israel’s constant barrage of Palestine whose death toll is double that of flight 17. While both events are tragic, clearly there is a bias.