The United States is fast falling out of favour internationally. This week witnessed a declaration of war against the West by North Korea as the Korean War heats up to boiling point for the first time since the 1950’s Armistice. This followed President Vladimir Putin’s dire warning in June – to international journalists – that the world is heading to war because of American actions.
“It’s only you that [they] tells these fables and you buy it and spread it to the citizens of your countries. Your people do not feel a sense of the impending danger, this is what worries me. How do you not understand that the world is being pulled in an irreversible direction? That is the problem. But they pretend like nothing’s going on…ah, I don’t even know how to get through to you people anymore,” Putin stated at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, 2016.
These words should be front page news…
Putin, accusing the U.S. of destabilising the world by disrupting the balance of power – considered in academic circles as essential to preventing war – lists compelling argument after argument against the United States.
Putin is warning amply, that we are moving towards war, yet it is not in the Mainstream news. Russia is warning the West: Stop the offensive attacks, stop the build-up in Romania and Poland…we have no choice but to protect our people.
According to Putin’s explanation, in 2002, both the U.S. and Russia agreed to do what they needed to do to survive with offensive strategy and reactionary measures, assuring the other that it was not aimed at them.
He assures the journalists that even though the U.S. “assumed that which was left over from the Soviet Union would eventually deteriorate,” this is no longer the case out of need for Russian survival.
Hesitantly, I mention Alex Jones and his analysis of the warning, bluntly questioning the need for so many military bases outside of the U.S., saying “Russia has 3 military bases [outside its nation]. The United States has hundreds.” But it begs the question – the real question – why? Is this truly beneficial to the world, or is this simply a form of aggression? The Russians, the Koreans with the THAAD deployment and (let’s admit it) the Chinese are a little ticked off, that the United States continually stomps its feet in an ocean that will see Australia and the Philippines drawn into war before America ever is. They’ve specifically asked for the U.S. to “support the efforts of China and ASEAN to maintain regional peace and stability.”
While the media are busily condemning Russia for the DNC hacks (by no means proven with no evidence presented) that may cost Clinton an election, they lead the masses towards another act of “Russian aggression,” side-stepping the real issues.
NATO alliances are currently building their forces in the Baltic states. Romania, Poland, Estonia among others have U.S. troops and anti-missile weaponry prepared for the “just in case” scenario. Meanwhile, it is Russia working with Syria to open three safe passages for those wanting to escape war-torn Aleppo.
Putin argues it was the U.S. who facilitated the ISIS rise. Yes, or no, it doesn’t matter about the schoolyard tactics. The fact is, the world is terribly unstable at this moment. For those ignorant of history, Russia didn’t instigate war in the past. Russia’s Stalin helped defend borders against Nazi Germany, and played a massive role in the Japanese surrender in World War II with their ground support. When Napoleon Bonaparte – as the aggressor – decided to war with Russia in the eighteenth century, he failed dismally. Yes, the Cold War occurred, but it took two to tango in that one.
It is bemusing that Russia is held up as this violent, authoritarian dictatorship that would leap at the chance to power grab, when they really have no historical record of invasion or creating wars in far away countries. Compared to the United States, the Russian track record isn’t great, but in the current climate, they’re fairing much better. As a Westerner, I find it very difficult to argue otherwise.
It really is time for the West to peer into the looking glass; let’s not heed Obama’s claim in 2014 that the world is ‘less violent’ than ever. Will Obama claim this a decade from now, given the 2014 content is now unavailable? Hindsight is a wonderful thing…without the nukes, that is…isn’t it?
Historical Resources (real books) used for background research and for your perusal (most can be ordered online):
- Ham, Paul. ‘Why’ in Hiroshima Nagasaki, Sydney, HarperCollins, pp. 459-487.
- Reynolds, David. ‘One World Divisible: A Global History since 1945,’ London, Penguin Books, 2000.
- Compton, Karl, T. ‘If the Atomic Bomb had Not Been Used,’ Atlantic Monthly, December 1946
- Bullock, Alan. ‘Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives,’ London, Fontana Press, 1993.Bullock, Alan. ‘Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives,’ London, Fontana Press, 1993
- Howarth, Tony, ‘Stalin and the Modernisation of Russia’ in Twentieth Century History: The World Since 1900, Josh Brooman (2nd eds), Longman Group, 1991, pp 128-136.
- Harrison, Mark. ‘Stalinist Industrialisation and the Test of War,’ History Workshop, Issue 29, (Apr 1990), p65-84. 20p.
- Kondrashin, Viktor. ‘Hunger in 1932-1933 – A tragedy of the peoples of the USSR,’ Holodomor Studies, Vol. 1 Issue 2, (2009), p16-21
- Payne, Matthew J. ‘Stalin’s railroad: Turksib and the building of Socialism,’ Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, c2001. 1 online resource (x, 384 p.,  p. of plates).
- Pavlova, I.V.; Brandenberger, David; Braithwaite, Kim. ‘Contemporary Western Historians on Stalin’s Russia in the 1930s,’ Social Science Review, Vol. 42 Issue 6, (2001).
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