Blame Russia for Russian aggression
Some denounce the United States for Russia's reversion to brutal expansionism into its “Near Abroad” because we encouraged certain Central and Eastern European countries to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The argument is that NATO's expansion led “Holy Russia” to fear that it was being “encircled.”
In other words, it's all our fault. If we had just kept the aforementioned victims of past Russian and Soviet expansionism out of the Western Alliance, Russia wouldn't have, for example, attacked Georgia and Ukraine.
If only everyone had looked into Vladimir Putin's eyes and decided to trust him.
Russia has had authoritarian or totalitarian expansionist regimes for hundreds of years, with only a few years' break. How could we have necessarily done anything to end this tradition for all time after the collapse of the Soviet iteration of Russian imperialism?
And should we blame Russia's closest European neighbors for trying to protect themselves from being menaced again by their gigantic and traditionally aggressive neighbor to the east?
Russia, an oriental despotism, is the author of current Russian imperialism.
Some of the Blame America rhetoric in the United States in the Ukraine crisis can be attributed to U.S. narcissism — the idea that everything that happens in the world is because of us.
With the fall of the Soviet Empire, there was wishful thinking that the Russian Empire (of which the Soviet Empire was a version with more globalist aims) would not reappear. But Russian xenophobia, autocracy, anger and aggressiveness never went away.
Other than occupying Russia, as we did Japan and Western Germany after World War II, there wasn't much we could do to make Russia overcome its worst impulses.
The empire ruled from the Kremlin is too big, too old, too culturally reactionary and too insular to be changed quickly into a peaceable and permanent democracy.
Robert Whitcomb is a former Providence Journal editorial page editor and a former International Herald Tribune finance editor.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ferguson protesters march on Pittsburgh streets
- Florida high school prostitution ring busted
- Woman sought in robbery in Unity
- Oil prices continue descent, dragging market indexes lower
- Penguins notebook: Bennett status remains fluid
- So Many Questions: Health-food diva Lizanne Falsetto says we have the power to change
- Bars bulge at the seams night before Thanksgiving
- A la carte: Turkey rescue and tips
- NFL notebook: Bills will play at home Sunday
- Household debt on the rise after 5-year decline
- Steelers notebook: Defense tasked with stopping Graham