Russia is a threat to the national security of the UK, USA, Eastern Europe and.. Oh.. Let’s just throw in the entire globe, why not? After all, Russia is the awakened bear that is snarling it’s way through conflict after conflict. It’s human rights records are the worst second to none. Clearly. I heard it from David Cameron’s own mouth so it must be true.
Which is the odd one out? China, Russia or Saudi Arabia? No, the answer is not Saudi Arabia.
The answer is Russia. Why? Because Russia is consistently vilified in the press, consistently vilified by governments for all sorts of ills, inlcuding invading territories, it’s human rights record and it’s threat to national security. Yet neither China nor Saudi Arabia are afforded the same response. There is a reason I am including China and Saudi Arabia in this contrasting double standard and if it doesn’t convince you to question the narrative then you can have your proverbial money back.
Recently we have seen many news articles coming out of China in relation to prominent businessmen going missing for weeks on end with no word of there whereabouts and more recently we saw the news that Chinese duel-national book writers living in Hong Kong have also gone missing, believed abducted by Chinese agents.
Of course there is no evidence of this an there is no word on wether these enemies of the state are dead or alive or even just alive but tortured.
Where else have we heard about such state interference? Litvinenko. The man that UK authorities have decided was murdered by poisoning on the order of the Kremlin. In fact they go beyond that and say that President Putin ‘probably’ ordered the ‘hit’. Note the word ‘probably’. Never mind that sections of the press have called into question the allegation as shown in this article and that prominent thinkers have ridiculed the UK decision to question the findings, the UK government are so convinced of Putins guilt that they have openly condemned Russian authorities in the press and lobbed these findings into statements on the ongoing ‘threat’ that Russia poses to world stability.
Whilst this story relates to a death on UK soil it would be amiss to think that espionage doesn’t occur in foreign countries at the hands of the UK secret service, especially in regions of the world that would command less scrutiny such as Afghanistan, Syria and so forth. It would also be amiss to not question the alleged actions of Chinese officials in Hong Kong against duel-nationals including nations such as Sweden. No such condemnation by the UK authorities on China’s actions. China is also not a threat to world stability so their actions probably don’t count in the minds of the UK government.
Is China not a threat to world stability though? Their actions in the South China Sea would seem to suggest otherwise. The tensions in the region are felt across the globe including countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Japan. Even the Americans have been testing their military resolve by flying fighter planes within the claimed borders of Chinese territory at the disputed islands. It’s not just the disputed islands either, it’s the artificial islands that China have built in what is meant to be international waters.
Whilst there has been condemnation against China for its actions there has been little in the way of public media statements against the regime and certainly no ridiculing the state authorities.
The same can be said for Saudi Arabia. The clear Shia/Sunni divide is clear and present with constant allegations against Saudi Arabia of Human rights violations against the Shia minority population including recently where around 47 people were executed by the Saudi regime for acts of terrorism. One of those was a well known Shia civil rights activist and respected figure.
Far from condemning such actions the UK government appear to support the Saudi Regime in its actions as shown in this video.
Recently we have seen Saudi Arabia accused of Human Rights violations in Yemen yet no investigation is forthcoming. They are known to export terrorism to foreign nations such as Pakistan and even countries like the UK where special schools are funded to teach a specific type of Islam that certainly is not conducive to the public good. No actions from the UK government on this yet the Conservative PM, David Cameron, has the nerve to suggest the people who recognise these aspects of the Saudi reach across the world are terrorist sympathisers.
Of course Saudi Arabia is heading a coalition of regional nations and factions of around 40 all of which are supporters of Sunni Muslims, something Iran sees as a direct threat to itself and its easy to see why. The amount of power that seems to be coming from Saudi Arabia seems to be growing of late, maybe it has something to do with the fact Saudi Arabia are currently at the head of the United Nations Human Rights council. The only reason they got to that position is thanks to a deal they reached with David Cameron. A “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch ours” type of deal.
No such luxury for Russia as thanks to its involvement in Ukraine it has now been singled out as the greatest threat to world stability. This is not made up. Both the UK and US openly condemn Russia, openly criticise it’s every move and openly ridicule its leader. A leader with immense internal popularity.
Ukraine is anything but black and white. The young populous of Ukraine want change, they want rid of corruption and see allegiance to the EU as opposed to Russia as far more democratic. They experienced Russian interference in Crimea, the far right trying to impose their will during maidan, a president fleeing in what was essentially a coup and a newly reformed government beset with corruption. Ukraine is essentially as it stands a largely local issue. Certainly not one that threatens world peace. More than anything right now it needs its parliament to be rid of the corruption blocking its progress.
Russia didn’t do Its image any favours in Syria but it’s important to tell the truth, no matter how ugly that truth is. Russia were invited into Syria by an elected government. Everyone else that is in Syria was not, with the exception of Iran. Whether we like it or not, Russia had every right to assist assad against armed insurgents and jihadist groups, whom, as it happens were armed, trained and backed by the West. That is a fact admitted by politicians in the USA.
Then you have civil rights issues such as LGBT issues. So often we here condemnation from UK authorities and spokespeople and even do-gooder activists but it’s important to recognise Saudi Arabia’s treatment of the gay community, they openly behead people for these ‘crimes’, and China doesn’t exactly welcome homosexuality either. Yet we focus consistently on Russia. Why?
Russia is a deeply religious country, the church there still hold much sway in what happens in society far unlike anything here in the West. To think shaming Russia into changing its laws is fantasy land. Speaking out against it is commendable but we tend to be taransfixed with changing Russian society right down to asking for a Boycott of its Winter Olympics and its upcoming football World Cup.
Although media talks of the same issues in China and Saudi Arabia it’s not with the same regularity and we rarely see anyone focus on the LGBT rights issues in African nation’s where often they make Saudi Arabia’s discrimination towards the gay community seem tame.
Let us here in the UK also not forget our own place in all of this. Only in recent years have we allowed gay marriage. Only under Tony Blair was Section 28 repealed as installed by Margaret Thatcher in 1988.
“Section 28, which became law in 1988, banned local authorities from portraying homosexuality in a positive light. It became a totemic issue for Conservative modernisers. In 2003, when it was abolished by the Labour government, Mr Cameron voted for only the partial lifting of the ban.”
Section 28 is a very similar law to what Russia has implemented recently, which has caused the recent condemnation.
With only such a recent history of writing our wrongs how dare we act as the worlds police on Gay Rights issues and how dare we vilify Russia to such a degree at the clear expense of other far worse nations.
We move finally to trade. We sanction Russia and prevent it from trading with certain nations amongst many other minor sanctions, the effects of which has had an effect on its economy at the expense of its people.
Yet we allow China to dump steel at low prices in Europe, an illegal practice but do nothing. We offer huge UK contracts to build our railways and our new unclear power stations.
We sell billions of pounds worth in arms to Saudi Arabia who then use those weapons in places like Yemen where a humanitarian crisis is occurring and thanks to the instability ISIS is threatening to expand.
Is there not a huge glaring disparity with how we treat nations? It boils down to one thing. Trade with us, ally with us, work with us and we will never criticise you or belittle your leaders in public.
If you’re against us or just simply don’t do what we ask of you.. Think Syria.. Then you make an enemy of us. That’s all this boils down to.
There is no reasonable logic to why Russia is vilified the way it is. We may not like all that Russia does, we may criticise its actions and arguably rightly so, but when there are such glaring contradictions and the way we allow other nations to do as they please with impunity it makes it clear that the rhetoric against Russia is nothing but that, rhetoric. The government vilifies Russia to appease its allies. The US still fears the Red Commies, Saudi Arabia is an enemy of Russia and Ukraine wants to be part of Europe and we have no trade with Russia. It’s easy. Too easy to slate the Russian regime.
Of course for much of the UK public it’s a green light to agree with the government and by into the anti Russia, anti Putin ideology.
If as much pressure was applied by the public against the likes of Saudi Arabia or China it may be a more justified and righteous course of action. It’s easy to ridicule Russia, not so easy to ridicule a national ally. Try it, you might just help make a genuine difference.