Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Russia’s Orthodoxy Makes It Natural Defender of Mainstream Islam

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The West’s liberal crusade is anathema to both Russian traditions and Russia’s legally stringent views on foreign policy. One can characterise the contemporary foreign policy of the Russian Federation as a pragmatic defence of self-interests along with the interests of its allies. It tends to conduct all of these policies within the framework of international law. In fact, Russia often finds herself having to define the precepts of international law to other nations who frequently violent it. Most frequently, Russia uses the UN as a forum to accomplish this. The long-serving and recently-deceased Russian Ambassador to the UN, V I Churkin was emblematic of Russia in holding others to account, at least in terms of rhetoric and voting record.

By contrast, Western foreign policy often shows a flagrant disregard for international law. Israel’s recent illegal attack on Syria, as well as the illegal presence of US, Turkish, Saudi, Qatari, British, Dutch, Belgian, German, and Jordanian soldiers, airmen, and terrorist proxies in Syria, is just one example of the West and her allies using extralegal means to paint the world map in their particular shade of blood. One could equally point to the illegal wars in Iraq, Libya, and Yugoslavia as other relatively recent examples. However, beyond the illegality of much of Western foreign policy, there’s another way in which it diverges sharply from that of Russia. Of course, a quest for profit underpins Western policy, but beyond this universal reality, it’s crucial to understand how the West attempts to sell its foreign policy. Even more important is the fact that many Western political figures actually believe what they say when promoting their policies (although some clearly don’t).

Western foreign policy is a latter-day version of a crusade. It’s an open endorsement of violence in order to attain what they define as a worthy goal. It’s war justified neither by law nor ethics but by ideology. In the case of the Roman Catholic Church, the Medieval Crusades were an attempt to conquer and pacify the lands of “non-believers”, forcing them to submit to their own view of worship and holiness. The Fourth Crusade (1202-4) demonstrated that the holy warriors targeted not only Muslims and Jews but also Christians. The Latin conquerors severely weakened the Greek Orthodox Roman Empire during the Fourth Crusade, paving the way for full Turkish conquest three centuries later and the beginning of Greek captivity to the Ottoman Empire.

Although they typically confine the concept of zealotry to debates on religious wars, the West implements a similar ideological strategy in selling the policy of “régime change, anytime, anywhere, with or without legal authority”. Nevertheless, in their zealous destruction of legitimate Arab régimes, the West did something even more insidious than their crusading forbearers did. They not only attacked peaceful Muslim nations, nations whose populations live side by side with Christians, but they made these countries dangerous places to live for moderate Sunni Muslims (the majority of the global Muslim population), all Shi’ite Muslims, and all Christians. Iraq and Libya are now hotbeds of Wahhabi/Salafi Islam and the terrorism that almost inevitably flows from it. This was never the case prior to Western wars upon these states. Currently, Syria is engaged in a life and death struggle against the same Wahhabi forces representing what many would justifiably call heretical Islam.

Although Russia doesn’t form its alliances and foreign policy strategy on a religious basis, Russia paradoxically acts as a defender of faith by omission. Because Russia refuses to engage in zealous quests for resources based on the creed of liberal imperial zeal, Russia is de facto acting to preserve the peaceful religious status quos of the modern Arab world in states where secularism is best defined as a freedom to pursue religious activities as one wishes irrespective of one’s faith or how committed one is to that faith. As an Orthodox Christian state, Russia’s religious tradition had no part in any crusading activities or the later imperial expansion of various Catholic states, the most prominent example being Spain whose interpretation of Catholicism led Conquistadors to view the pagan natives as underlings to be conquered. I don’t intend this historical reality to offend nor shame modern Catholics, whose contemporary religious practice is as peaceful as any other mainstream Christian denomination. However, liberals took the worst parts of Roman Catholic history and applied them to wars of conquest and exploitation, carrying on a tradition that’s part of Western culture.

Interestingly, one doesn’t need to be religious in order to internalise and adopt this particular feature of Western history. The humanistic/secular French the pretext of liberal revolutionary zeal for their wars on fellow European states in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Likewise, Leon Trotsky, a Marxist atheist, sought to apply the same creed to his view of world revolution. It’s little wonder that many of the born-again neoliberals in Tony Blair’s Warhawk government spent their school days as members of Trotskyist organisations.

Russia suffered a profound spiritual crisis in the 1990s at every level, both theoretically and practically. The internal stability and prosperity afforded by the Putin years gave Russia a sense of peace and allowed Russia to return to its heritage as the largest Orthodox Christian state in the world. As such, some would say Russia has a duty to defend fellow Christians. However, Russia articulates its foreign policy differently. Russia defends its allies against aggression, but the fact remains that in doing so, Russia is by default, living up to its tradition as a defender of the faith. Nevertheless, Russia it defends not just the Orthodox faith. Russia defends Muslims throughout the world at a time when Western wars of aggression target Islamic populations and when Western politicians like Geert Wilders lambaste Islam in the most disparaging terms. Russia must make it clear to a Muslim world bombarded by Western and Saudi propaganda, that it’s a more honest defender of Islam than any major power on earth. It’s able to say so because of its record of legality in foreign affairs and because of a Christian tradition that Europe (and largely, America) has entirely forsaken.

20 March 2017

Adam Garrie

The Duran

http://theduran.com/russias-christian-tradition-natural-defender-mainstream-islam/

Sunday, 7 August 2016

7 August 2016. Vladimir Putin on the West

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There is a civilisational gulf between the West and the rest of the world. The West wants to ram its potty non-culture down the throats of the rest of the world. The rest of the world isn’t buying it. If the West tries to impose its notions by force, I fear that they’d find themselves overmatched. Just sayin’…

BMD

Sunday, 22 November 2015

A Study in Contrasts: How Russia and the West Respond to Violence in Different Ways

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Confirmation that a terrorist bomb brought down the Metrojet airliner that crashed in Sinai surprised no one. However, the episode highlights the contrast between the way Russians and the West go about doing things now. Last year, following the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over the Ukraine, the West rushed out accusations within hours of the crash, which meant that, from the outset, they skewed the investigation to fit a theory. By contrast, after the crash of the Metrojet airliner, Russians refused to speculate on a cause until they did a proper investigation. Therefore, the investigation was open, in contrast to the secrecy cloaking the MH17 investigation. Importantly, the Metrojet investigation consulted the proper experts… the aircraft’s French manufacturers. On the other hand, the MH17 investigation excluded relevant evidence from Almaz Antey… who manufactured the Buk SAM that the investigation alleged shot down the aircraft… they didn’t heed the firm’s opinions nor did they even mention them in the report.

Since the investigation into the Metrojet tragedy took place openly and objectively, it produced a conclusive finding within weeks of the tragedy. By contrast, after more than a year, the MH17 investigation produced an incomplete (and in parts, contested) report. Besides this, note the astonishing contrast in the reaction to the two recent terakts… the Metrojet crash and the Paris attacks… that recently took place. In re the Metrojet crash, the Western reaction was large-scale indifference. Nevertheless, Russians rushed to show sympathy and support for the people of France following the Paris attacks, but there was no like rush from the Western public to show sympathy and support for the people of Russia following the Metrojet tragedy. There were even some appalling claims… apparently, extending to US government officials… that by supporting the Syrian government, Russia somehow brought the Metrojet tragedy down on itself.

In the case of the Paris attacks, alongside proper and legitimate feelings of grief for the victims, Western officials responded with blind fury and elements of panic, with talk of war and a stampede to impose ever-more draconian restrictions on Western society, but with no coherent plan of what to do. This contrasts with the calm and purposeful way that… amidst feelings of intense grief… the Russian authorities and people responded to the Metrojet tragedy. We should say clearly that it makes no sense to say that by supporting the Syrian government that Russia brought the Metrojet tragedy down on itself, any more than it makes sense to say that by opposing the Syrian government France brought the Paris attacks down on itself. Such rationalisations of terrorism are both wrong and immoral. However, it’s legitimate to say… as President Putin said in his recent speech to the UN General Assembly… that attempts to manipulate terrorists to achieve geopolitical objectives are both wrong and immoral… and also extremely dangerous. If Western governments want to respond properly to the Paris tragedy, then, acknowledging that is a good place to start.

19 November 2015

Alexander Mercouris

Sputnik International

http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20151119/1030414109/different-way-russia-west-respond-violence.html

Saturday, 21 November 2015

21 November 2015. Where is the Outrage Over the Terrorism in Africa? Don’t They Count?

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The above is my response to all the hype over the Paris terakt. I mourn the dead… I pray for their families… I hate the rightwing exploitation of the terakt and its all-too-real pain. Those who cynically use the terakt to advance their political agendas are WORSE than the terrorists are. Do ponder that, if you will. That is, the American Republicans and their foreign allies are WORSE than any Taliban or al-Qaeda or ISIS. Keep it focused, the times are evil, and not all is what it appears to be.

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Read this. This isn’t an isolated incident… Chad… Cameroon… Mali… Kenya… Nigeria… but there are no protests in the West… there are no vows to eradicate the terrorists. It appears that the lives of the white affluent in the West count more than the lives of black people in Africa do. The Westerns also don’t care about South Asians murdered in terrorist drone strikes nor they mourn the dead in Beirut bombings nor do they stand up for brutalised Palestinians nor do they care about Russian Orthodox people in Novorossiya killed in Uniate nationalist terrorist bombardments. Ergo, I find all the hype about Paris two-faced and hypocritical. Either all terrorism is evil… or none of it is. Note well that “conservatives” tolerate terrorism… therefore, take all their condemnations of it with considerable skepticism. Gnarly world, isn’t it… do pass the jug…

BMD

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