American corporate press has firmly established its second identity in the Internet: its twin, or its alias, one might say. It does apply, although perhaps not as vividly, in much of Western Europe, this time to the beating of war drums . . . where the only common sound in the cacophony is the current displeasure for that daring devil: Vladimir Putin.
In a few months, Russia’s leader, and patriotic showoff at the Sochi Winter Olympics, has become an ogre-villain whose antumbra-image magnifies his average physical frame, and brings his mind to a mirror reflection of that of Darth Vader. Ironically, in our religious US, the evangelical community has now been provided a choice between Vatican’s Francis and Kremlin’s Putin as leading contenders for anti-Christ.
Why are we in the West so intent in making Mr. Putin the world’s new villain; a step-brother of North Korea’s Kim Jong-un; the man we are told destiny has ordained to bring about World War III?
Perhaps it isn’t so much the West intent in demonizing the Russian mandatary as it is the United States, since all NATO nations’ leaders are trained to dance to Washington’s choreography. Lacking cojones by male NATO leaders, or gumption in Merkel’s case, the European squires insist on tying their nations’ futures to that of the US, and the belligerent policies coming out of Washington—policies by the US State Department and the Pentagon which are counter to those expressed and implied by understandings of a quarter of a century ago, as the Soviet Union capitulated to capitalism, and new geopolitical lines of influence were jointly redrawn to ensure long-lasting peace.
Now the US wants those lines redrawn once again, keeping Ukraine away from Russia’s influence, or even allowing it to be a détente buffer zone. But there is this adventurous Putin standing in the way . . . damned! And as weird and unpalatable as we Americans want to make him, the Russian people refuse to cooperate, giving him an 85 percent acceptability rating . . . which dwarfs the current popularity of Western leaders. (Except for Germany’s Merkel approval rating of 59 percent, Western leaders—Cameron, Hollande and Obama at the head—barely muster acceptability figures in the 20 to 45 percent.) Yet, the Russian leader continues to be portrayed by most of the Western media as a scoundrel ex-KGB agent who aims to revive the Soviet Union, take it out of its sepulcher, and launch a Samson last-ditch effort in bringing down Temple-West and all the Western philistines . . . if he doesn’t get his Eurasian common market dream—the Eurasian Economic Union.
For the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) to arrive as a major world economic power in the next decade, it will require more than just a few former Soviet republics to join in. Likely, it will take three nations to embrace in order to achieve not only reasonable economic synergy but geopolitical common ground. Russia would need to ally both Iran and Turkey, Islamic countries—one fundamentalist in its religion (Iran) but not the other, something which may pose a problem for a harmonious association, but certainly doable as commonality of interests by the three nations becomes obvious.
Membership by Iran and Turkey in the EEU would not only add almost 2.5 million square kilometers of area, but double the population in that common market, making it comparable to that of the US, and nearing that of the European Union. And although the combined annual GDP would initially not surpass the US$3.3 trillion mark, the synergy that could come about from the combined natural and human resources, could make the EEU the world’s fourth largest economy (soon passing Japan), and co-leader with the US and China in political-military strength.
And, of course, there would be a high probability the rest of the Middle East would join the EEU if Russia is allowed to have a mediating hand helping attain peace in the region . . . and it’s successful. But the idea may seem too Pollyannaish, and totally out of reach, when the US government and the American corporate media point an accusatory finger and burn in effigy that wicked wizard of the East, Vladimir Putin. When this Land of Oz, the United States of America, continues to promote sanctions, embargoes and ill-will against those who stand in the way of what Washington proclaims to be in US’ national interests; interests impossible to mask as being other than world hegemony.
For now, dealing with Vladimir Putin soothes the strain of bellicosity in us; and, in our visionless short term approach, we prefer not to worry about Xi Jinping, or China’s possible aspirations in Asia.
But eventually we will . . . what then?
© 2014 Ben Tanosborn
Ben Tanosborn, columnist, poet and writer, resides in Vancouver, Washington (USA), where he is principal of a business consulting firm. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.