Security Policy and the Western Demonization of Russia and its Citizens – NachDenkSeiten

This article originally appeared on NachDenkSeiten.de

Unfortunately, how the war in Ukraine is to be ended and how peace and a stable security structure are to be designed afterwards is still not on the agenda of the warring parties and, above all, not on the current agenda of the western states that support Ukraine. How do Western politicians, organizations and the media now deal with the Russian people and how, in view of this, is Western security to be guaranteed in the future?

God’s Own Country, the Chosen Nation and American Self Righteousness

The biographer of US President Abraham Lincoln and Republican Senator from Indiana, Albert J. Beveridge, said in a speech on January 9, 1900:

“God has made us the master organizers of the world to put system in place of chaos. And of all our race, He has lifted the American people apart as His chosen nation to finally open the way to world salvation.”

With this basic understanding, US President George W. Bush waged the illegal war against Iraq in 2003 in order to overthrow the then President Saddam Hussein. At a White House press conference on March 7, 2003, George W. Bush stated:

“When it comes to our security, we don’t need anyone’s permission, including UN Security Council approval. My faith carries me because I pray every day…”

When Bush was asked in an interview by American journalist Bob Woodward what he thought and felt before he gave the order to attack his troops on March 19, 2003, President Bush replied as follows:

“It was very emotional for me; I prayed. I prayed that our troops would be safe, protected by the Almighty. I prayed for strength to do the Lord’s will. I have prayed that I may be the best possible ambassador of His will. And of course I prayed for personal strength and for forgiveness.”

To avoid any misunderstanding, I would add that this is in no way a question of hypocrisy on the part of the US President, but that he is convinced that he is fulfilling a mission. Elsewhere he called himself “the chosen one” in this context.

At the end of this war, the last US combat troops left Iraq at night via the Kuwaiti border. What remains is a largely destroyed country, which is currently once again trying not to let the Iranian influence grow even stronger. No one cares that Fallujah, west of Baghdad, has the most malformed children in the world because US troops used massive amounts of uranium-containing ammunition. Forgotten and unpunished are the tortures of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers in Abu Ghraib. To date, no Western politician has called for George W. Bush and his administration to be held accountable before the International Court of Justice for this war of aggression, or called the President a war criminal or even a butcher. The only US politician to speak publicly about the war after the fact was the late US Secretary of State Colin Powell, who described his lying to the UN Security Council and the world community as justification for the war against Iraq as an “eyesore” in his career. Former US President Barack Obama assessed the illegal war in Libya in a similarly succinct manner, describing it as the “biggest political mistake of his presidency”.

The Western community of states has come to terms with these wrong decisions in order to avoid the word “crime”, imposed no sanctions, demanded no punishment and, above all, no US citizens were as punishment for the behaviour of their political leaders excluded at any international events and encounters.

President Putin and the Russian people

US behavior and the wars for which the US is responsible does not in any way justify the Russian President’s current war against Ukraine, because one cannot offset one wrong against another. No, it is just to show how differently the West reacts to events that are quite comparable. I do not presume to judge whether this different reaction from our politicians and also from the media is due to the fact that the American wars are the actions of a democratically legitimized government acting against dictatorial systems, while in the case of Ukraine, a president who, from a Western point of view, did not have democratic legitimacy attacked a country that the West is convinced is a democracy, and in any case an ally.

The examples shown appear identical under international law. This different assessment of comparable facts is one thing, but the involvement of a people in sanctions and personal ostracism of citizens is another. The Russian people must not be held jointly responsible for the actions of their president, let alone taken hostage.

Measures taken by the western community of states against Russian citizens

Since the beginning of the war, politicians, governmental and non-governmental organizations have outdone themselves in their sanctions and punitive measures against Russian citizens who live in western countries or want to take part in events outside of Russia. Somehow, the Russian people all seem to be equated with Putin, although they may not have voted for him or shared responsibility for his behaviour in any way.

Just a few particularly glaring examples: Russian athletes were not allowed to take part in the “Paraolympics”, for which they had been preparing for years, not to represent the Russian state, but because they are enthusiastic athletes within the scope of their possibilities. Belarusian and Russian athletes were also excluded from the Wimbledon tennis tournament because of the war against Ukraine.

Russian conductors are no longer allowed to perform in Germany because they are accused of having a close relationship with the Russian president. Therefore, they should officially distance themselves from Putin. How unworldly do you have to be to demand such a statement from artists abroad who certainly have family members in Russia who would have to bear the consequences. Here, people are practically taken hostage for political decisions that they are not responsible for and could not have changed. One begins to get the impression that citizens of western countries are trying to appease their own consciences by distancing themselves from anything that could be connected in any way with Putin.

It’s bad enough to do this to living Russians, but now the dead Russians are being drawn into this rush as well, as Russian soldiers can no longer work alongside their German comrades to identify those killed in a German-Russian WWII encirclement and to provide them with a dignified final resting place. Discrimination and ostracism when dealing with the dead, there seem to be no limits.

The essence of western security policy

Security not only has political and military aspects, but also encompasses economic, social and cultural areas. It is based on knowledge from the past and the present in order to create a secure future on this basis. In this specific case, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the West failed to create a new European security structure in cooperation with Russia. A major reason for this was American disinterest in a strong Europe without a division between East and West. We’re seeing the result today, but don’t seem to have learned anything. Otherwise the main concern would not be that Russia loses this war and Ukraine wins it, but how it can be ended and how a subsequent European security structure can be created.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen, and Western politicians don’t seem to realize either that every war ends at some point and that states and peoples have to somehow live together again afterwards. The more emotions instead of facts, personal defamation of the opponent and ostracism of its citizens determine the development of the situation, the more difficult it will be to find a solution acceptable to all those affected.

In the USA and also in Germany, only elder statesmen who have a realistic idea of war and, above all, know that there will always be an aftermath, seem to get it. For Germany, this means in concrete terms that Russia will remain a part of Europe even after this war, at least as far as the Urals, while “missionary Washington” can retreat behind 6,000 km of ocean if necessary. The American exit from Iraq and also from Afghanistan should be more than a warning to Europe.

Jürgen Hübschen

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