Monday, March 31, 2014

I May Have Been Hasty

Russia doesn't have any type of transnational ideology that can easily attract fanatical loyalists abroad. But that doesn't mean that Putin doesn't have fans abroad.

God help us, but there are people today who think, as so many French before World War II thought of the Jewish socialist Blum, "better Hitler than Blum" when they look at Putin with admiration for his opposition to the West:

During his Brussels speech this week, Obama also declared that Russia leads “no bloc of nations, no global ideology.” This is true, up to a point: Russia’s “ideology” isn’t well-defined or clear. But the U.S. president was wrong to imply that the Russian president’s rhetoric, and his annexation of Crimea, has no wider echo. Of course there were the predictable supporters of Russia in the United Nations: Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, North Korea. More interesting are his new European friends. Nigel Farage, the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) — an anti-European and anti-immigrant party that is gaining momentum in Britain — declared last week that the European Union has “blood on its hands” for negotiating a free-trade agreement in Ukraine. Marine Le Pen, leader of the French far-right National Front, has also said she prefers France to “lean toward Russia” rather than “submit to the United States.” Jobbik, Hungary’s far-right party, sent a representative to the Crimean referendum and declared it “exemplary.” These are all minority parties, but they are all poised to make gains in European elections this spring.

It isn't just ethnic Russians (or Slavs, more generally) that Putin can count on.

Although I think our appeal to freedom and democracy is a superior transnational ideology, in the long run.

I don't like the European Union, either. But if the choice is the EU or Putin, don't insanely think that Putin is the superior choice. This is madness.

UPDATE: Thanks to Stones Cry Out for the link.