What Rights Should a Country Have When Another Country is Trying To Defend Itself and its Allies?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
August 29, 2008
Missile Flight Test

The United States and Poland agreed to station a U.S. missile defense shield in Poland. Russia is vehemently opposed to this action. The United States has said the missile defense system is not targeted at Russia but is designed to protect itself and Europe against missile launches from the Middle East.

What rights should a country have when another country is trying to defend itself and its allies?



Kentucky, USA
September 5, 2008

Kirk in Kentucky writes:

"Russian nationalist advocates Eurasian alliance against the U.S."


Intelligence without wisdom should be called cunning. Cunningness is the what smart animals have but is the low form of human strategy. It's also the American strategy. To be cunning one has many tools in the box, deception, misdirection, power plays, turning the enemies allies against them, ect. It is short term and myopic, grabbing immediate gains or securing a short term advantage that is only a few steps ahead rather than eyeing the end game.

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."

The US long-term plan, judging from it's current actions, is really only a series of short term tactics, regardless of how varied they might be, rather than a conceptual long term strategy. We have moved our pieces on the board to a more advantageous position (maybe) but we have failed to see (or more foolish -- didn't care) how the others would move in relation to them. The US has put many things into effect, two pre-emptive wars, imposed US authority over the UN, an aggressive foreign trade program, expanded NATO, and increased our spending in the military. All of which have obvious, immediate, and short term gains. Our policy makers' strengths are putting things into effect, but their weakness is their lack foresight into the resulting counter-effects (plus the inability to alter their plans to fit the changing circumstances). It is the classic wishful-thinking trap; to want something so bad that they blind themselves to, or at least underestimate, the consequences. In the beginning the current administration had a plan, expanding US might- laudable enough, but they persisted in implementing it at every opportunity no matter the cost or repercussions, when a more deft player would use a more interactive method, and a wise player would drop a plan, no matter how precious, and create new ones when it becomes apparent that the original plans had become a liability. We may be quickly scaling the ladder but is it propped against the right wall?

Whether intentional or not (and I suppose a lot of it is considering how we have traditionally used wars to bolster our economy) we are the ones escalating our own problems. We are creating our own enemies, no one else. When we drop a bomb to kill one enemy, we create five more from the grieving relatives of the victims of the collateral damage. If we are supposed to be eliminating our enemies, we are running a deficit.

Russia's increasingly hardening stance against the US is a perfect example of our lack of foresight. We court and arm Georgia to gain control of the pipeline, and, of course, to "spread democracy," Georgia immediately shells and takes S. Ossetia, Russia counter attacks, and our knee-jerk response is to condemn Russia for attacking our "ally" (or, more accurately, our buying partner), as a result Russia's resolve is hardened and is now actively seeking to create a union against us. Had we suspected the results of the last several months, would we still have followed the path we did?

In one's struggle to retain their freedoms, and help friends gain theirs, you are lucky if you come away having only stepped on a few toes, because sometimes you have to break necks, and sometimes you have to take the unpopular stance, BUT, why create more enemies when you don't have to? When I consider the actions of our current government and see how we have soured the sentiments of the world against us, I wonder how rational it is to follow a policy that consistently creates enemies from neutrals and turns allies away. However, and I don't know much but I do know this, when another person or state is doing something that seems irrational, it only means that they are working from a view point different from my own- that there are variables in effect that are not being considered.

States, like people, may act in many ways, stubbornly, greedily, impulsively, hysterically, but never irrationally. And so here is one of the factors that was previously missing from my assessment of the government but now seems pertinent:

"When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies
by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing more
to fear from them, then he is always stirring up
some war or other, in order that the people may
require a leader." (and gain profit)

~ Plato

United States
September 5, 2008

Jason in U.S.A. writes:

The west wants one thing, to disable Russia and exploit her resources, the same as we did with Africa.

The best approach is to divide the Slavs and Orthodox Christians along nationalist lines, this will ensure that Russia will have no allies at all. The way to do this is to funnel huge sums of money to western leaning regimes, whether the popualtion likes the regime or not, and to sponsor overthrows of Russian leaning regimes.

We leave Central Asia alone because they are autocratic governments and their leaders are very easy to pay off, plus they are not in the sphere of European Russia. Kyrgyzstan had a Russian leaning president who was overthrown of course, and seems the new one is not western leaning enough so soon we will see the same thing.

Any overthrow or election that oust a western backed government will be immediatly reported as a Russian sponsored event or election fraud, no matter what. This is the only way the West can ever justify itself and the popualtion in the west are so brainwashed, they could never comprehend that other people would not want to live or think like us.

So I will say it again, my opinion is that the west wants Russia weak to exploit its resources. Of course the question is; why work against Russia and not with Russia? The answer is simple, Russia is more then an ethnicity, its a way of life, a culture, and most importantly, it is considered to be the heir to the Byzantines. The Vatican has historically hated the Eastern orthodox and have through the centuries sought to destroy it.

Since 2000, record numbers of Orthodox christians have fled the middle east, a direct result of western propoganda and war mongering that resulting in inciting hatred for any and all Christians. This has followed a constant tred by the Vatican and the nations that follow the vaticans ideaology, whether knowingly or not.

The disection of the Orthodox religion and way of life is the goal of the Vatican and its western followers. It has merged into political lines now, but, one must ask; why still, with all the nations in the world, does the west constantly harp on Russia about every little thing it does all the while all but ignoring every other nation?

New Mexico, USA
September 5, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Well Kirk, on this particular issue I stand not just with US policy, but the majority of nations who find Russian agression unacceptable.

I suppose you could ask the Dipnote editors for their opinion, and they'd probably tell you I tend to challenge US Foreign Policy in a constructive manner with creative political solutions to "impossible" obstacles, and a few solutions to create a safe and pleasant living environment, globally.

Whoever said, "There are no Philosophers in Foreign Affairs.", I'd like to thank, for inspiring me to become one....(chuckle).

Why? Because there's always room for improvement.

That's a lot different than parroting baseless accusations of nations that don't have an excuse for their actions, try to affect political process in US elections, and are questionable partners in the international community.

That's a pretty clear difference between my style of participation, and Zharkov's.

And if you need to see further proof, there's always the archives.

Having been in the construction industry much of my life, I can assure you all that we are in fact a nation of "nation builders" on many levels. Politically speaking, since WW2, it has been through "on the job training". The mistakes made in the past, and the correctness of present, or future policy must share one thing, a willingness to look at truth over viewpoint (or party affiliation).

The world community needs from us a comprehensive national foreign policy that is not subject to a lobbyist's lunch or the whim of elected officials, in my opinion, nothing short of a declaration of international policy and conduct in affairs associated will serve to replace the mistrust for consistency, and intentions, something that will endure through time as well as the Constitution.

And that is every nation's task if we are to see peace on Earth and good will among peoples.

The UN Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights is insufficiant, violated by many nations, and needs to be enforced among member states for starters.

Unlike a lot of people who simply offer complaint with no solution attached, I have a few ideas that might just make a difference.

Doesn't suprise me that those who think America is the root of all the world's ills thinks ill of me as a result.

But I do make them think about it.

And now I got to get a cup of coffee, because I'm writing this with a toothpick propping up an eyelid a long night's worth of research, in addition to my day job. So if you'll excuse me....

P.S. The dicipline to have the ability to look at all aspects of an issue and discern and sift the facts from spin is an objective process that comes partly from having Buddhism as practice in my life for over 20 years.

When you learn to quiet the internal conversation within you, things become extrodinarily clear. It isn't easy, but it can be done. It takes grinding dicipline and exhaustive investigation. It works for me.

New Mexico, USA
September 5, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Jason, nothing could be further from the truth than your "opinion".

If the US wanted a "weak" Russia, why bother to help them integrate with the international system, partner with them to resolve proliferation issues in North Korea, Iran, the Nunn-Lugar process, or offer them a role in conflict resolution via the "quartet" , US economic investment in Russia that has helped build their economic base, inclusion in the G8, WTO membership, and engagement on human rights and democracy building. ???

Your statement flies in the face of reality.

Sorry, but that's a fact, not my opinion.

District Of Columbia, USA
September 5, 2008

Anna in Washington, DC writes:

I tend to agree with Eric in NM on this one. The United States and others have consistently made efforts to integrate Russia into the international system and to include Russia in discussions on issues at the G-8 and the Six Party Talks. In the last two decades, the United States has consistently offered cooperation to Russia.

I can see why Russians might want to believe otherwise; it is always easy to blame the United States. I can understand why Russians might perceive, whether rightly or wrongly, the expansion of NATO as a threat to their interests. I'd certainly prefer to see discussion among the United States, Europe and Russia than saber-rattling on this issue. It might even be in the Russian's own interest to talk. If their actions continue, they are only going (to continue) to push their neighbors westward.

Russia can only weaken itself by the choices it makes. The end of the Cold War afforded Russians with an opportunity for a brighter future: religious freedom, open markets, political voice, a free press, and freedom of fear from a secret police. When I hear about the rollback of freedoms in Russia, I am disheartened. Doing away with these freedoms is how Russia will truly weaken itself.

After the Cold War, the United States may have pushed Russia to privatize too fast, without providing sufficient safeguards against corruption. Perhaps we did not know the Russians players as well as we should have, too. But, what we saw in Russia was the law of unintended consequences. We did not see the United States -- maybe individuals, but not the United States, not official policy -- intentionally weakening Russia.



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