Russia vs. The World, Pt. I

Is Russia Demonized Due to Falsehood Propaganda?

The Pro-Russian propaganda is not always spreading throughout the European countries. However, since the Russian invasion of Crimea, many medias have become more anti-fraud, while the ‘alternative’ medias have responded to it by becoming a more Russian-friendly news source. Many have debated and justified the Russian aggression for only reason: NATO has “circled” Russia with its military bases in the neighboring countries.

The reality that lies within the debate is that the military bases are built based on the request of the state members. Estonia has the equal right to say “yes” to an American military base of which Russia has to refuse. This is precisely because the Eastern European countries have as much an equal legitimacy as Russian, in which something that Russia will never accept in such a depth. Moscow still sees these countries as a “buffer zone” whose business is entitled to be intervened by it if they decide to approach the West.

I do not like anecdotal examples, but anyway, think about Tina and Ike Turner relationship. I am sure this will ease up in defining the hot and cold relationship between Russia and its former allies. Russia – under the Soviet regime – had battered, starved, and oppressed other countries for almost half of the century. Baltic states are logically afraid that this will soon be happening again and therefore, no additional choices left but to be a part of NATO as a protection against Russian aggression in the future. The fact that Russia has been behaving aggressively for the last few years apparently showing that these countries did the right thing to join the NATO.

Russia’s fans from all over the world want to point out that Russia has changed and is no longer the country it used to be. In a way, this can be true, but many signs are showing – even if you completely ignore Russia’s behaviors against Ukraine and Georgia – which indicates that Russia still has the Soviet Union’s imperialism in its DNA. The most prominent sign is how Putin has commanded the Russian schools to teach Putin’s version of Soviet Union history. You are talking about the Soviet Union in the golden age, and it is hardly mentioned at all about the severe abuse was committed to, at least, those regions which became independent later on. Russia does not acknowledge that Moscow actually occupied Eastern and Central Europe. In fact, the Russian Supreme Court has made their statement that the invasion of Poland has been a subject of ‘scientific debate.’ Russia still insisted that the former Soviet states were voluntarily joined the Union, not by military occupation.

Now, if Ike Turner – who had previously beaten his wife – makes a claim that he turned in and became a new person, and yet talked nostalgically about the time when he put Tina in her place and shut her down so that she did not dare to speak out – would Mrs. Turner trust him? Even though he is in refrain from abusing anyone for a long time, I think every Tina Turner out there must have been considering that he still has a high risk of recurrence.

Compared to Germany, there are no German politicians who defend Nazi Germany in the most cautious terms, except seemingly to some deputies of Alternative for Germany (AfD). Angela Merkel – despite all her mistakes and flaws – does not stand there and says, “yes those concentration camps were maybe has crossed the line, but we also invented the Volkswagen.”. In the German schools, you will spend an incredible amount of time learning about the Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, and learn it exactly as it was. It was the darkest period of the German history, and there are no excuses.

Are We Entering The Cold War 2.0?

Is the US not a threat anymore to Russia? So long as Russia does not threaten other countries, the US, especially under Trump, is no threat to Russia. The idea that the US would use its military action to attack Russia is entirely absurd. Russia is not Iraq. The war would cost millions of the US soldiers and probably demanding a broad mobilization of the entire community of the kind that has not taken place since the Cold War. It will cost thousands of billion dollars and not to mention it will likely cause Russia to respond to nuclear weapons. In other words, Russia is still safe.

We all know how the United States and NATO would act if Russia accidentally given a chance for them to enter the country. NATO had a golden shot to seize the Soviet Union after its fall. So, why didn’t NATO do it? The best answer to have is that when you have just achieved a longstanding aim without any bloodsheds, why in the world would you start fighting? There were many reasons to not to and no reasons to do it. The United States and the Soviet Union were not actually at war. Hence there was no justification for it. Besides, the end of the Soviet Union, unlike Nazi Germany, did not necessarily mean the end of the Red Army. NATO was established on the initiative of the European countries (No, it was not the United States idea) who wanted the US protection against the Soviet Union and as of today, it is still one of NATO’s primary purposes.

Instead of occupying Russia, the US and other Western countries responded by donating billions in aid to help rebuild the country. But today, to some Russian “friends,” they sincerely believe that the Russia’s aggression is justified when the Western world ‘betrayed’ Russia and did not help as much as it helped West Germany post-World War II. However, it goes without saying that the United States could, as well, have allowed its old enemy to be starving to death. The US thought that would be the wrong way around, not doing that has demonstrated US moral superiority to Russia.

By merely reporting the facts about Russia is not demonization, it is called news. To say that Russia is not a democracy, it is not a demonization. Putin represents his government with demophily. Democracy is a government both for the people and by the people, while demophily is only for the people. Countries like Russia and China are on a course to create a secondary form of internationally acceptable governance, where the approval rating is high, and democracy is low. You cannot have a real democracy if political ruling elites imprison the oppositions, hunt and murder journalists, and the judiciary is rigged and lacks independence from the executive. It may not be a totalitarian-ish state like North Korea, but Russia does not need to declare a dictatorship, they just have to make dangerous as possible to oppose its leaders.

 

In the next chronicle, I will deal with the myth of Putin (spoiler alert: he did not save Russia’s
economy).

 

 

Op-ed piece

Anggi Raymond Pardede

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