Monday, July 11, 2016

Consider the Source

The Russians may well believe that weakening the European Union (with Britain's planned exit from the EU) benefits Russia. But the Russians are proving to be a paranoid and self-destructive people, so consider the source.

I love this analysis of Brexit from Russia:

The consensus view was that the British people would exercise their famous common sense and vote for stability and order.

Last Thursday, 52 percent of those who voted in Britain chose to defy that assumption.

If may be so bold, the British people had barely enough of that common sense to vote for stability and order under British democracy rather than remote EU autocracy. The assumption that only the nascent EU empire can ensure stability and order when Britain as a sovereign and free nation has done that for many centuries is what is wrong in that analysis.

And this is funny, too:

There are two chief complaints about the EU among Russian diplomats and foreign policy professionals. First, they argue that it is not an entirely independent political entity or sovereign body because the United States dictates its most important decisions.

Second, they argue that the EU has changed for the worse in recent times. Enlargement to the east means that Brussels now heeds too much the small Eastern European countries, which have a generally hostile attitude toward Russia.

America dictates the important EU decisions? What are the Russians smoking? EU elites clearly loathe America.

As for the latter complaint, if America dictates (under the first complaint) why would the opinions of the smaller east European states even matter to the EU?

And in fact, the weight of EU numbers will absorb the hostile attitudes of small eastern European EU members and muffle it within the common EU policy. Note that NATO is the entity that is coming to eastern European countries' defense in the face of Russian threats and not "Europe."

Face it, Russia would benefit from a stronger EU that resists America just out of principle and spite; weakens European defenses with an EU defense capacity that weakens NATO; that weakens Ukraine-related sanctions on Russia as a professional courtesy from one autocratic empire to another; and because Russian spies probably like open borders within Europe as much as ISIL does.

Russian glee over the weakening of the proto-empire's faltering because of Bresxit may represent some schadenfreude directed at the EU after Russia's own actual empire collapsed inward under pressure during the Cold War, but it in no way reflects reality which the Russian leaders have an obvious problem recognizing. Which affects the West, obviously.

Don't bank on Russian short-term joy over Brexit to defend your conclusion that this is a mistake for Britain and the West.

Given enough time, the Russians will peddle the notion that Brexit is just one more clever American ploy to weaken Holy Mother Russia.