Policy Expert: Talk of 'Arab Spring' in Russia Reveals Washington's Misguided Agenda

February 7th, 2012
in econ_news

Econintersect:  WASHINGTON, February 3, 2012/PRNewswire/ -- In light of recent protests in Russia, James George Jatras, a policy arab-springSMALLanalyst from America, and expert in foreign politics and international security, has said that calls for an Arab Spring in Russia are "misplaced".

Jatras said: "President Obama, his administration and many U.S. Republicans have hailed the so-called "Arab Spring" as a triumph of American policy and the march of human freedom. Washington acquiesced in (and perhaps aided) the removal of our longtime clients in Tunisia, Yemen, and even Egypt, where Mubarak represented America's best guarantee for Israel's security. Now, in concert with Turkey's Islamist and neo-Ottoman leader Recep Erdoğan, we are witnessing the region-wide rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood as the "moderate" alternative to even more radical Salafist elements.

Follow up:

"Islamic extremism has been the tool and beneficiary of American policies for decades, not only in our recent support for supposed Arab "democratization" but in a series of armed interventions supposedly on behalf of Muslim peoples. First, in Afghanistan in the 1980s, in alliance with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan we supported the anti-Soviet jihad of Osama bin Laden and played midwife to al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Later, in the Balkans, we sponsored al-Qaeda's and Iran's proteges in Bosnia and Kosovo. Then came Afghanistan (again) and Iraq, followed recently by NATO's armed intervention in Libya.

"Old habits die hard. Notwithstanding the al-Qaeda boomerang that hit America in 2001, Washington is still certain it can control the jihadist genie and direct it on a selective basis. As the region to Russia's south becomes increasingly radicalized, so will the internal danger in the Caucasus. (And, it should be noted, to Ukraine in Crimea.)

"Whether intended by Washington or not, the result of each intervention has been the same: Sharia law, anti-Christian violence, and diminution of the status of women. Most of Iraq's million-strong Christian community, which was relatively secure under the secular socialist Saddam Hussein, has been terrorized into emigration. Egypt's 10 million Copts now face the same fate, as will Christians in Syria if Washington can overcome Moscow's resistance to a Libya-type operation against the government of Bashar Al-Assad. (Meanwhile, no unsightly democracy breaks out to inconvenience our jihad-funding friends in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies.)

"Calls for an Arab Spring in Russia are doubly misplaced. First, they have nothing to do with any genuine U.S. desire for democracy, in Russia or anywhere else. "Democracy" is a codeword for geopolitical subservience to Washington, plain and simple. However valid Putin's reelection to the presidency will be, western capitals are ready to denounce it as illegitimate and to cheer on a mobilization in the streets. This will have nothing to do with how democratic the vote is, just the fact that Putin believes that Russia has legitimate interests and is prepared to defend them. Contrast that to Washington's approval of Boris Yeltsin's "democratic" theft of the 1996 elections. Or of our oh-so-legitimate Saudi friends, who tolerate no elections at all.

"Second, it doesn't seem to have occurred to anyone in Washington that Russia is not a Middle Eastern country. Yes, there likely will be controversy over the conduct of the elections and perhaps their results. Yes, some people may take to the streets to protest claimed violations of legal process, and there may be some merit to their charges. As Russia continues to find her own way after the agony of the 20th century, this is to be expected.

"But no matter how much money and effort western governments and NGOs put into it, what we won't see is a religious ideology seizing power under the guise of democracy, as we see in the Arab countries. Anyone in Washington who thinks so has yet to learn the first thing about Russia."

James George Jatras is a policy analyst from America and expert in foreign politics and international security.

Source: Russia Insights

Note: PRNewswire provides news feeds to all Econintersect global newspaper pages.

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