Andrew Higgins’ August 28 New York Times article includes this excerpt:
“The beauty of ‘Russophobia’ from Russia’s perspective is that it absolves Moscow of any responsibility for the consequences of its own actions – the annexation of Crimea, its military incursions into Georgia and eastern Ukraine, the shooting down of a Malaysian passenger jet and its repeated meddling in Western elections – and has turned the country into an innocent victim of, well, John McCain.
But what to do now that, as Oleg Morozov, a member of the foreign affairs committee of the Duma, Russia’s upper house of Parliament, declared this week, ‘The enemy is dead’?<
Alexander Domrin, a Moscow academic and administrator of a Facebook page called ‘Russians for Donald Trump,’ said he was ‘not sorry’ that Mr. McCain had died, ‘because he was an enemy of my country,’ but conceded that finding a replacement hate figure will not be easy.”<
The “beauty” of the above excerpted is its biased idiocy, relative to how the sound opposition to it is regularly muted in the “free press”. That reality explains why McCain’s death doesn’t create a vacuum in the manner suggested in the above referenced piece.
Crimea has a pro-Russian majority, which was understandably aghast at the coup like circumstances that occurred in Kiev. In addition, there’re the precedents pertaining to Kosovo and northern Cyprus, which make the selective hoopla against Crimea’s changed territorial status a high point of hypocrisy.
The 2008 war in the former Georgian SSR was initiated by the then Georgian government. Before, during and after that conflict, the majority of Ossetians and Abkhaz show a preference for Russia over Georgia.
The aforementioned shooting down of a Malaysian passenger jet occurred in a war zone. At the time, some other airlines took it upon themselves to re-route their planes away from that area. It was the responsibility of the Kiev regime to inform the international aviation authority of an unsafe war zone situation on their internationally recognized territory. It remains factually unclear as to who specifically shot down that plane. To a considerable extent, the matter of so-called Russian election meddling remains a faith based claim.
John McCain’s anti-Russian biases were clearly evident before the political rise of the much despised (especially by the neocons and neolibs) Vladimir Putin. Around the time of NATO’s first wave of post-Soviet era expansion in 1999, McCain inaccurately portrayed the history of Poland and Russia in a PBS NewsHour segment.
In that particular cut, I very much recall how he described Poland’s last attack on Russia being in the early 1600s, much unlike what Russia has done to Poland since that time – described by McCain as several instances of imperial subjugation. Overlooked by him were the close to 100,000 Poles who joined Napoleon in his attack on Russia, as well as the romanticized (in some circles) Josef Pilsudski led Polish anti-Russian premised imperialism during the Russian Civil War.
In addition, Poland and Hungary followed Nazi Germany’s grab for Czechoslovak territory in 1938. Czechoslovakia at the time was on good terms with the Soviet Union. In 1934, Poland and Nazi-Germany had signed a non-aggression pact. At Munich, the West essentially appeased the dismembering of Czechoslovak territory. In contrast, the USSR offered an alliance with the West (notably France) to defend Czechoslovakia.
This proposal was rejected for several reasons. Some in the West were hoping that Hitler’s expansion would end at that point. Besides, Czechoslovakia’s positive relations with the USSR didn’t go well with those having an anti-Soviet and/or anti-Russian inclination. Some were also rooting for an eventual Nazi-Soviet conflict, with the West on the sidelines as the two dictatorships bludgeoned each other.
Stalin saw these trends and (within reason) concluded that a Soviet agreement with Nazi Germany served to hopefully delay the likelihood for a Nazi-Soviet war. He knew that the USSR needed time to further develop to better protect itself – knowing what happened when Russia fought Germany early in WWI, at a time when Russian military preparedness was lacking. Stalin might very well have hoped for a Nazi war with the West, which would see these power blocks weaken each other.
The lesson in all this is that the inability to recognize the legitimate concerns of a great power, will lead the latter to engage in activity that some others will not like. This kind of a scenario can lead to otherwise unnecessary activity, that’s across the board counterproductive. The late John McCain and his geopolitical supporters haven’t served the best interests of the US. Russia’s 2015 move in Syria, was partly initiated to prevent another flawed regime change operation, like what transpired in Iraq and Libya. Whether regarding the former USSR or otherwise, it’s quite wrongheaded to automatically side with another country in a dispute with Russia.
Michael Averko is a New York based foreign policy analyst and media critic. Under the title “US Media on McCain and ‘Russophobia’: John McCain’s Flawed Foreign Policy Advocacy”, this article initially appeared in Global Research on August 30.