John Wight is a writer and commentator specializing in geopolitics, UK domestic politics, culture and sport.
Afghanistan, Arms, Conflict, EU, History, Human rights, Iraq, Libya, Mass media, Media, Middle East, Military, NATO, Putin, Russia, Social networks, UK, USA, Ukraine, Violence
The demonization of Vladimir Putin and Russia by the British political establishment and media has never been as intense as in the wake of the recent Ukraine peace talks in Minsk.
Rather than preparing British public opinion for peace and a
negotiated settlement to a conflict which thus far has cost the
lives of over 5,000 people and seen over a million displaced, the
opposite has been evident: British public opinion is being
prepared for a continuation and intensification of the conflict.
The characterization of the Russian leader has been so off the
scale it is hard to imagine anyone being naïve enough to take it
seriously. When he’s not being compared to Hitler, an especially offensive
caricature for historical reasons, he is being accused of
harboring ambitions of forging a ‘Russian Empire’.
That such accusations stem from a nation whose government has
played a key part in reducing Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya to a
state of chaos in recent years, a consequence of the UK’s
attachment to Washington’s brutal and disastrous assault on the
Arab and Muslim world, only makes them all the more hypocritical
if not downright noxious.
But then this should come as no surprise, as we’ve been here
before, haven’t we? Remember when Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez was
being similarly demonized and held up as a dictator? His crime
when he came to power and remained there on the back of numerous
democratic elections was his refusal to allow Venezuela’s wealth
to continue to be shipped out of the country, as it had been for
decades, by a small group of Western-supported oligarchs.
What the crisis and conflict in Ukraine has done is remind us
that we live in a unipolar world in which the West’s interests
and rights are the only ones deemed legitimate. This is what
drives the repeated attempts by Washington and its allies,
especially the UK, to push a hegemonic agenda. And whether in the
Middle East or in Europe, it is this agenda that has been the
root cause of instability, conflict, and human suffering across
the world that we have seen unfold in recent times. And this is
without taking into account the decades of mayhem that has ensued
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) February
The US is a global hegemony. With over 1,000 military bases
covering the planet, 11 navy battle carrier groups, and a
military budget currently exceeding that of every other major
industrialized nation combined, the challenge facing the world is
how to resist a US Empire that, to paraphrase the Roman historian
Tacitus, is intent on making a desert and calling it peace.
The British political class and its media allies have made a
virtue out of attaching themselves to the US Empire’s coattails.
It is a sordid and eminently dishonorable relationship that has
allowed the UK to parade itself as a first rate power when in
truth it hardly qualifies as third rate. While Britain may no
longer have an empire, an empire attitude towards the rest of the
world continues to poison the minds of its leaders and proponents
of the ideology of ‘democratization’, which is not to be confused
Vladimir Putin and Russia’s crime is to dare to resist this US
Empire, taking a stand against the hypocrisy, double standards,
and complete lack of respect for other countries, cultures, and
values it represents. The concerted attempt to expand NATO and an
ever more militant EU all the way up to Russia’s border has
nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with the
projection of imperial power masquerading as democracy.
An escalation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine benefits no one,
least of all Russia. But the principle at stake is one that must
be upheld – namely an end to the West dictating orders to the
rest of the world and thereby spreading destabilization rather
than peace, war instead of peace, and chaos at the expense of
At some point a viable political solution to the Ukrainian crisis
will have to be agreed. But only equals can reach such an
agreement, which will require an end to the infantile Russophobia
that has become a feature of political discourse in the UK.
Russia is not an enemy of the British people. The irresponsible
and reckless disregard for European stability based on mutual
The UK has long been the cat’s paw of Washington within Europe.
When the US sneezes it is ready with a handkerchief to blow its
nose. In fact it would be more apt to replace the word ‘alliance’
in Atlantic Alliance with ‘dependence’.
Meanwhile, when it comes to the British press, the poet Humbert
Wolfe said it best: “You cannot hope to bribe or twist, thank
God, the British journalist. But, seeing what the man will do
unbribed, there’s no occasion to.”
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.