It’s the EU, stupid, the EU!
The use and abuse of the pretended image of Russian/Soviet tanks rolling through the German forests to the heart of Western Europe is a revival of those Cold War B films.
In what has been a classical strategy of deceiving propaganda, much has been said about the pretended causes behind the increasing brawl between the West and Russia around Ukraine. With an overcharged and sometimes hysteric rhetoric, the West has identified Russia as the one and only responsible for the crisis. Taking advantage of the fact that many Cold War ghosts are still well alive in the minds of the audiences, the Western propaganda machine has recurred to the “Russian bear” simplistic but effective slogan, as it did before with the “Soviet bear” or the “Red threat” catchphrases.
The use and abuse of the pretended image of Russian/Soviet tanks rolling through the German forests to the heart of Western Europe is a revival of those Cold War B films. Those low-cost movies were functional to generate a unanimous response to “the threat that came from the cold”, “the devil at the other side of the iron curtain,” and other simplistic, but precise, effective means to demonize the old enemy. Needless to say that all this has reinforced the long-rooted Russian sense of being misunderstood by other Europeans which seems will never ever consider it as one of them. Even worse, the impasse ratifies that the West simply doesn’t get Moscow’s policy-making process, as professor Andrei Tsygankov made clear in his book "Russia and the West from Alexander to Putin: Honor in International Relations."
Moscow’s logic considers a purely pragmatic approach but also Russia’s deep sense of honor. Such a well-established feeling of not being understood or respected fuels Russian internal persuasive messages and, above all, discourages its efforts to reach a global audience that remains ignorant about Russia’s security concerns vis-à-vis NATO. Moscow’s worries are no more, yet not less important, than the ones of any other power with strategic territorial depth, something to say economically, a long history behind, and last, but not least, a duty to fulfill on behalf of the international society. Some seem to forget that Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council with voice, vote, and veto, the same as the US, France, the UK, and China. Although all those are matters of fact, they insist to treat Russia as if it was Ukraine. It’s not just a cynic, but a totally unrealistic behavior, although useful to move the propaganda wheel that in this occasion dangerously pushes the crisis forward.
From day one, it was clear that neither Russia nor the US was interested in a real confrontation beyond military exercises, deployments that were part of what is called armed propaganda, and limited actions by proxy forces in Eastern Ukraine. Russia is just looking for assurances that NATO will not invade its security buffer -namely Ukraine- and that Kiev wouldn’t escalate tensions to a point of no return in the eastern Russian-speaking areas of the country. As in one way or the other that finally happened, Russia recognized the popular republics of Lugansk and Donestk. As president Putin recalled but Western media censored, long before that the US and its allies had recognized the illegal separation of Croatia, Bosnia and other Yugoslavian republics and especially Kosovo, a Serbian province without any constitutional or international right to negotiate a secession. What Putin didn’t mention is how the US and its Western allies have allowed "Israel" to consummate the illegal annexation of occupied Jerusalem, vast chunks of the West Bank and how it has occupied the Syrian Golan, from where the Zionists take water and other vital Syrian resources.
Despite all the dramatic reactions following Russia’s decision, it seems that the US will not move from the road map set after last summer's fiasco in Afghanistan. Back then, Washington made clear that it’s already time to concentrate on what the US establishment considers a real existential threat: China. That’s why not long after the last aircraft fled Kabul’s airport, the AUKUS alliance was announced, a military and security pact formed by Australia, the UK, and the US to counterbalance China in what Henry Kissinger identified soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall as the new axis of international society. That new board is the Pacific Ocean already replacing the Atlantic as the most strategic area to exercise worldwide dominion. It’s more than significant that Canada was not invited to AUKUS. Even though it’s a Pacific Rim country, Canada’s soul has always been more Atlantic/European-oriented.
All these unfolding events sounded the alarm in a European Union losing strategic value every day since the end of the Cold War. After decades of outsourcing its defense and security to the US, Brussels is coming to terms with reality. That means that sooner rather than later, they will have to assume in their own hands their own security and all what it represents. For starting, raising the spending in defense, which in relation to GDP is less than half of what Russia or the US spend, and if compared to total public expenditures, it is also half or less than what China invests. To increase the defense bill, EU member states will have to slash the budget devoted to the European generous social welfare state: pensions, education, health, public transport, or free-toll state of the art motorways. Automatically, that will provoke social unrest and internal political troubles. All that without mentioning that in assuming their own defense, European governments must also consider an even more costly bill: the casualty’s one. Considering that since Vietnam onward, the US has been incapable to sustain a long conflict because of public opinion resistance to affording casualties, what can be expected from a hedonistic European society for so long living in a bubble?
All that calculation has been made by European politicians, starting with the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Spaniard Josep Borrell. With inflammatory firebrand rhetoric, he has resurfaced the language of the Cold War to the extreme that – gas supplies dependency on Russia aside – Germany and France’s positions can be considered moderate beside Borell's. even after imposing more sanctions on Russia and the new republics and blocking the construction of a new gas pipeline, something which in the end will mainly harm Germany itself and central Europe. In the same Borell's radical line, the president of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen is always ready to keep the fire alive when some kind of understanding between the US and Russia around Ukraine appears to take ground.
As it did before with the Mediterranean Basin, and especially regarding Syria, the EU seems determined to keep Ukraine and its people as eternal hostages of a cynical destabilization policy whose only real aim is to keep the US tied up to Europe at any cost. All this despite Washington’s clear signs to the EU that security concerns are no longer shared ones. That means that the US is not going to fight to the end vis-à-vis Russia to keep spheres of influence in the Middle East or even Europe if that supposes to distract resources from its real goal, which is none other than counterbalancing China... even less now that the EU's selfishness is drawing Russia closer to China by the day. Brussels' irresponsible and self-centered stand is becoming increasingly risky and unbearable for global security. Maybe time has finally come for real powers to end the abduction of the international community by those with such a great consideration of themselves but so little about the pernicious consequences that their bombastic but empty policies have on others.