2008: Russia has proclaimed five strategic operating principles for how it will
operate in the future. First, Russia observes international law. Second, it
rejects U.S. dominance of world affairs in what it calls a unipolar world.
Next, it seeks friendly relations with other nations. Fourth, it will defend
Russian citizens and business interests abroad. And fifth, it claims its own
sphere of influence in the world.
The idea of
obeying international law would be commendable if Russia hadn't just invaded
Georgia in August and asserted it was going to annex the Georgian separatist
regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Its cloak for the Georgian operation was
to prevent "genocide" in the two regions. This shifted any blame of
international law violation to the Georgian government.
doublespeak continued with its insistence that it seeks friendly relations with
other nations. Such Russian platitudes reminds one of the constitution of the
former Soviet Union. To a reader who didn't know about Soviet terror against
its citizens, it might look just like the American Constitution wrapped in
extra flowers of freedom.
Soviet Constitution guaranteed freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom
of assembly and the right to religious belief and worship. In addition, the
constitution provided for freedom of artistic work, protection of the family,
inviolability of the person and home, and the right to privacy. The document
also granted the rights to work, rest and leisure, health protection, care in
old age and sickness, housing, education, and cultural benefits. Of course it
was all a sham. And it sprang from the same source as Russia's twenty-first
century operating principles -- the Russian capital of Moscow.
might accept Russia's right to defend its citizens and business interests if
the Russian policy wasn't coupled with a direct threat against American
dominance on the world scene, and a statement by the Russian president that
Russia reserves the right of privileged interests in nations within its sphere
of influence, which it does not restrict to border states.
that can be said about Russia's five points is that at least the West has been
1, the leaders of the 27 European Union (EU) nations ended a three-hour special
summit, and declared that relations with Moscow were at a crossroads because of
Russia's invasion of Georgia. Despite pressure from Poland and other former
Soviet bloc nations, the EU countries made no mention of diplomatic or economic
sanctions against Russia. NATO also has dithered from the beginning. And the
current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have left America's armed forces too
extended to move combat troops into Georgia. Because the United States and the
world bodies are speaking in whimpers, the past is peeking over our shoulders
and breathing heavily into our ears. It is reminding us of 1938 when the UK
Prime Minister announced "peace for our time," while the Nazi army
was carrying out his own strategic operating principles by overrunning Europe.
-- Fred Edwards