vs. McCain: Is Russia an Enemy?
February 28, 2017 "Information
- The founding fathers of the Munich
Security Conference, said John McCain, would
be "be alarmed by the turning away from
universal values and toward old ties of
blood, and race, and sectarianism."
McCain was followed by Foreign Minister
Sergey Lavrov who called for a "post-West
world order." Russia has "immense potential"
for that said Lavrov, "we’re open for that
inasmuch as the U.S. is open."
McCain is not wrong. Nationalism is an idea
whose time has come again. Those "old ties
of blood, and race, and sectarianism" do
seem everywhere ascendant. But that is a
reality we must recognize and deal with.
Deploring it will not make it go away.
what are these "universal values" McCain is
Democracy? The free elections in India gave
power to Hindu nationalists. In Palestine,
Hamas. In Lebanon, Hezbollah. In Egypt, the
Muslim Brotherhood, then overthrown in a
military coup welcomed by the world’s oldest
and greatest democracy. Have we forgotten it
was a democratically elected government we
helped to overthrow in Kiev?
Democracy is a bus you get off when it
reaches your stop, says Turkish President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, autocrat of Ankara, a
freedom of religion a "universal value"?
Preach or proselytize for Christianity in
much of the Islamic world and you are a
candidate for martyrdom. Practice freedom of
speech in Xi Jinping’s China and you can
wind up in a cell.
for the Western belief in the equality of
all voluntary sexual relations, in some
African and Muslim countries, homosexuals
are beheaded and adulterers stoned to death.
Nuristan Province in U.S.-liberated
Afghanistan this month, an armed mob of 300
besieged a jail, shot three cops and dragged
out an 18-year-old woman who had eloped with
her lover to escape an arranged marriage.
Beaten by relatives, the girl was shot by an
older brother with a hunting rifle and by a
younger brother with his AK-47.
Afghan family values.
lover was turned over to the husband. An
"honor killing," and, like suicide bombings,
not uncommon in a world where many see such
actions as commendable in the sight of
McCain calls himself an "unapologetic
believer in the West" who refuses "to accept
that our values are morally equivalent to
those of our adversaries."
Lavrov seemed to be saying this:
Reality requires us here in Munich to
recognize that, in the new struggle for the
world, Russia and the U.S. are natural
allies not natural enemies. Though we may
quarrel over Crimea and the Donbass, we are
in the same boat. Either we sail together,
or sink together.
Does the foreign minister not have a point?
Unlike the Cold War, Moscow does not command
a world empire. Though a nuclear superpower
still, she is a nation whose GDP is that of
Spain and whose population of fewer than 150
million is shrinking. And Russia threatens
no U.S. vital interest.
Where America is besieged by millions of
illegal immigrants crossing from Mexico,
Russia faces to her south 1.3 billion
Chinese looking hungrily at resource-rich
Siberia and Russia’s Far East.
China that is pushing America and its allies
out of the East and South China Seas is also
building a new Silk Road through former
Russian and Soviet provinces in Central
Asia. With an estimated 16 million Muslims,
Russia is threatened by the same terrorists,
and is far closer to the Middle East, the
source of Sunni terror.
Putin’s Russia an enemy, as McCain seems to
Before we can answer that question, we need
to know what the new world struggle is
about, who the antagonists are, and what the
threats are to us.
we believe the struggle is for "global
democracy" and "human rights," then that may
put Putin on the other side. But how then
can we be allies of President el-Sissi of
Egypt and Erdogan of Turkey, and the kings,
emirs and sultans of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain,
Kuwait and Oman?
if the new world struggle is about defending
ourselves and our civilization, Russia would
appear to be not only a natural ally, but a
more critical and powerful one than that
crowd in Kiev.
August 1914, Europe plunged into a 50-month
bloodbath over an assassinated archduke. In
1939, Britain and France declared war to
keep Poland from having to give up a
Prussian port, Danzig, taken from Germany
under the duress of a starvation blockade in
1919 and in clear violation of Woodrow
Wilson’s Fourteen Points and the Danzigers’
right of self-determination. In the two
wars, 50 million to 100 million died.
Today, the United States is confronting
Russia, a huge and natural ally, over a
peninsula that had belonged to her since the
18th century and is 5,000 miles from the
have immense potential that has yet to be
tapped into," volunteered Lavrov. But to
deal, we must have "mutual respect."
Hopefully, President Trump will sound out
the Russians, and tune out the Beltway