Thursday, August 21, 2008

Russia sends a warning to the west

The west has rushed to condemn what it regards as Russian bullying of Georgia. I refer to the recent hostilities between Russia and Georgia over Georgia's province of Ossetia which harbours a large Russian population. Russia will not accept Georgia trying to ride roughshed over the province and thinks it has every right to protect the interests of Russians there.

The west is outraged. But, as Kishore Mahbubani points out in the FT, not the rest of the world, including India and China. Mahbubani is dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, a former minister in the Singapore government and a well regarded commentator on international affairs.

Indeed, most of the world is bemused by western moralising on Georgia. America would not tolerate Russia intruding into its geopolitical sphere in Latin America. Hence Latin Americans see American double standards clearly. So do all the Muslim commentaries that note that the US invaded Iraq illegally, too. Neither India nor China is moved to protest against Russia. It shows how isolated is the western view on Georgia: that the world should support the underdog, Georgia, against Russia. In reality, most support Russia against the bullying west. The gap between the western narrative and the rest of the world could not be greater.

The lesson from the Russian intervention, Mahbubani says, is that the world is not going to watch while the west tries to lord it over. Moreover, the west must make up its mind where the primarily challenge to the west lies- is it Islamic militancy or China?

Western thinkers must decide where the real long-term challenge is. If it is the Islamic world, the US should stop intruding into Russia’s geopolitical space and work out a long-term engagement with China. If it is China, the US must win over Russia and the Islamic world and resolve the Israel-Palestine issue. This will enable Islamic governments to work more closely with the west in the battle against al-Qaeda.

3 comments:

mu91t said...

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Can you please give me some good tips to crack CAT and get the IIM call converted...
I'll be really glad....
THANKS A LOT

kc said...

I couldn't agree more. Being Chinese, we constantly see America interfering with the affairs of Taiwan. People shouldn't forget there's always two sides to a story.

KrRahul said...

Very good analysis...