The reason for Russo-phobia is different from antisemitism, though.
Jews suffered for centuries due to two reasons: Their religion stood in competition to the other ones, Christianity and Islam – this is the motive.
The Jews were expelled from their country two thousand years ago, which would have given them protection from pogroms and Holocaust.
With Russia it’s differently – Russia is besides the US the only country in the world which has it all: Huge territory, resources, energy, industry and the nuclear triad, which guaranties it’s sovereignty – that’s what the West, especially the US, doesn’t like.
It likes rather to nurture countries which have a limited assembly of goodies – either industry, but no own energy, or vice verse – resources, but no industry. Understandable from their point of view, but in terms of world wide security and freedom its actually better if there is no one hegemony in the world, like the US it wants to be.
We, human beings, learned to like balances of power, so our Snowdens and Soljhenicinscan find a safe haven, for our own sake. …
Myths about Russia: does Moscow ‘help dictator’?
Few countries have more negative myths associated with them than Russia. There are old myths about Russia being inherently authoritarian. There are new myths about Russia helping dictators or suppressing the gays. You can fight myths the long way – by finding gay bars in Moscow or by fishing out facts about Russia’s foreign policy in biased Western media. Or you can do it the easy way – by tuning in to the program “Myths About Russia” by Radio VoR’s political analyst Dmitry Babich.
For the last two years, the Western media have been presenting Russia’s alliance with the Syrian president Bashar al Assad as an axiom, usually adding that Assad was a “dictator.” The years 2013 in that respect did not differ from the previous one. The subtext of these media reports was that Assad has been staying in power since the beginning of the civil war in 2011 only thanks to Russia’s support. Sometimes this kind of allegations was made in the open, thus adding to the already huge heap of lies and miscalculations associated with the Syrian conflict.
Here is what Fyodor Lukyanov, the editor-in-chief of the magazine “Russia in Global Affairs”, disagrees with this “axiom”: “This is one of the strangest situations in the history of diplomats’ relations with the media: the more Russian foreign minister and other Russian diplomats repeat that they don’t support Assad personally, the more commonplace it becomes for the Western press that Russia “stands firmly” behind Assad. In fact, Russia supports the principle of non-interference into the affairs of sovereign states, including Syria.”
Why was the Western press so keen to find any trace of Russia’s military involvement in the Syrian conflict? There was a lot of non-events in this sphere, whose importance the Western press tried to blow out of all proportion. In the middle of 2013 there was a brief media frenzy around the basically illegal action of the Turkish authorities, which forced a Syrian civilian plane on a flight from Moscow to Damascus to land in Istanbul because they suspected the aircraft of carrying weapons. The plane was forced to land and was searched. No weapons were found. The same story happened to several Russian vessels which were prevented from entering Syria’s territorial waters by the United Kingdom and several other EU powers. In each case there was no proof found of any illegal shipments of Russian weapons to Syria. But in each case there was a lot of allegations in the media about Russia’s support for Damascus. London’s daily The Independent even wrote that Russia supplied Damascus with several billion dollars in cash. Which was of course a lie, based on a quote from some shady American Internet site.
So, why did we have all of these attempts to exaggerate Russia’s role in the events? Because presenting Russia as a prop for the Assad regime allowed the Western leaders to deflect public attention from their own miscalculations. And these miscalculations were truly monstrous in the case of Syria. The Western powers expected Assad’s government to be toppled back in 2011. Assad’s political longevity and the atrocities committed by the Syrian opposition, which had been presented as a bunch of democrats by the Western media, put Mrs. Clinton, Obama, Cameron and Hollande in a rather awkward situation. So, they clung to Russia’s role as the only possible explanation of Assad’s continued survival in power. The actual battlefield, contrary to the Western expectations, fell into the condition of “bloody balance,” the term coined by the head of the Russian Duma’s international committee, Alexei Pushkov:
“The situation we have in Syria reminds one of a dead end swamped in blood. You don’t have to be an expert to see that Assad is unable to reestablish control over the country, while the opposition is unable to topple Assad. The opposition is not getting anywhere near toppling Assad, there is no positive dynamic of expanding the territories that the opposition already controls. And this situation will persist, whatever the wishes of the enemies of Assad, which call themselves “friends of Syria.” It is this feeling of powerlessness that pushes Western leaders and their media to put more and more blame on Russia. How else can they explain the stalemate which continues for several months, when temporary successes of the opposition are followed by no less temporary push-backs of the opposition? None of the sides can claim real success. What they have is a balance soaked in blood.”
The situation at the frontline has not been changing for several months. Assad’s forces keep pushing back the rebels’ attacks. The rebels are not helped even by military supplies from the US, which, unlike the Russian supplies to Assad, are indeed large-scale and are reported in international press with pictures, interviews and video images. But it is not just the weapons that win wars.
Little by little, the US, the EU and other self-appointed “friends of Syria” start to realize that their mantra “Assad must go” does not work. In May 2013, the US accepted Russia’s offer to hold the Geneva-2 talks, which are supposed to bring the two warring sides in Syria together. So much for the myth about Russia always being “on the wrong side of history” in Syria. The Western media does not like to remember it, but the initial Geneva talks in summer 2012 were proposed and touted by Russia, with the US and the EU being skeptical about any kind of a compromise involving Bashar al-Assad’s government. However, the date of the Geneva-2 talks has been continuously receding into the future, because the supposedly peace-loving Western-supported opposition refused to attend them. The latest postponement was to the date of January 22, 2014.
The reason why Washington changed its mind has little to do with the “weakness” which the Republican leaders accused Obama of. In fact, even the initially pro-opposition US mainstream media could not help noticing that, as the New York Times put it in early 2013, MOST OF THE OPPOSITION COMBAT UNITS were made up of jihadists. So, when in autumn the Republican hawks nearly managed to push Obama into a war with Syria, it was, among other factors, the information about the true nature of the Syrian opposition that ultimately made an American strike against Syria impossible. When newspapers now report kidnappings of their correspondents in Syria nearly daily, and all of the kidnapped journalists vanish on the territory controlled by the presumably “pro-democracy” anti-Assad forces, one can’t help asking oneself a certain question. This question was first asked – albeit, rhetorically – by Hillary Clinton back in 2011. Having heard about the jihadist allies of the Syrian opposition Clinton asked herself in public: “Are we helping al-Qaeda?” In the opinion of Vyacheslav Matuzov, an expert on Middle East who currently chairs the Society for Arab-Russian Friendship, the answer is “yes”:
“The responsibility for the further development of the situation in Syria lies squarely with the United States’ government. In autumn, the country was in a difficult situation, the government shutdown loomed, so there was a temptation to improve politicians’ ratings by solving the Syrian problem with the use of force. The strike never took place, but there are still extremist circles in the US which have not abandoned the idea to achieve the desired result by military means. Now these forces ask Obama to give weapons to certain Islamist groups fighting the Syrian government. These circles in the United States are not discouraged by the fact that these groups are connected to terrorists and pose a serious threat not only to Syrians, but also to whole mankind, including Americans.”
So, the American policy in Syria backfired. Initially, the US accused Russia of supporting Assad militarily and expected this to become an embarrassment to Russia. In fact, now the US is more and more embarassed by its own support to rebel groups which end up taking journalists hostage and demanding ransoms. New disclosures by the award -winning American journalist Seymour Hersh about possible use of chemical weapons in Syria by the opposition jihadists, and not by the Syrian government forces, – these disclosures throw totally new light on the Syrian tragedy.
If indeed Mr. Hersh’s revelations are true, then accusations against Russia for presumably arming the Syrian army become ever more preposterous. Then Russia’s right to supply help to the Syrian government becomes not only quite legal (all previous shipments were made according to internationally recognized legal contracts). They become morally necessary: it is a duty of every civilized state to help the government that defends itself from an attack by terrorists using chemical weapons.