By Žikica Milošević
By rewinding all the way to the year 1991, it is amazing to see how the West has managed to create enemies instead of friends out of many global and regional powers, including Iran, Turkey, but foremost, Russia and China. It was a „clear shot“ to make it right in 1991, but nevertheless, the combination of utmost incompetence and a bit of malevolence made it so.
Back in 1991, I was a young and naive boy, and it seemed to me that the future could be very bright, no matter where nationalism reared its ugly head. Europe from Iceland to Vladivostok, USSR included as a whole or in parts, democracy and the free market, Maastricht looming in 1992! What could possibly go wrong? Everything! In 2018, the West has alienated the two superpowers, like in Orwell’s 1984 (Eurasia and Eastasia), while Oceania is alone. Russia has established itself as a new-old power, while China has proven that the Western multi-party democracy does not necessarily go hand- in-hand with economic liberties and reforms. So, the West has failed in both cases – they thought that Russia would take “the seat by the toilet” (Putin) and that China would peacefully dissolve its Communist Party, Gorbachev-style. Well, ladies and gentlemen (and those who feel in-between, as Brian Molko says), you got it all wrong!
RUSSIA AS A POLITICAL POWER
After disastrous Yeltsin, who lasted 9 years in power, the „EuroRemont“ was over. Who, on earth, would think that after the Russian Empire and USSR, the independent Russia would settle for being a small power? In the case of Turkey, it took a bit longer, some 90 years of Atatürk–driven reforms, but now clearly Turkey is getting back to what it knows best – being (at least a local) superpower. In both cases, it happened only after many years of humiliation. Turkey waited for so long to start the EU accession process, finally lost its nerves and created the neo-Ottoman zone of influence. Initially, it was an economic zone, with Turkish companies operating from Africa to China, and from the Arab Peninsula to Russia and Europe. Russia was not as daring, and after the initial will to become European, it was forcefully pushed towards Eurasia, creating its own zone of influence. If you think Russia is in Eurasia, there must be some border between Europe and Eurasia, right? If we assume Europe stretches from Iceland to the ex-Soviet borders with Iran, China, Japan and Korea, then all is clear. But where is the border now? The solution to this problem requires the existence of „battlefield of influence“, stretching from Finland to Greece, over misfortunate no-man’s lands like Ukraine, Serbia, Georgia, Moldova… And if Russia is not in Europe, then alliances with non-European countries like China, Iran or Turkey make sense. Russia was pushed towards Asia and this is continuing. Just look at the infamous Skripal Case. Russia had no motive to do that, and frankly, it was a sloppy job. And, if anything, the KGB (sorry, it’s the FSB now) is not known for doing a sloppy job. It all looks like a part of a hybrid war against Russia. Since it was impossible to stop its growing influence, there are now attempts to demonise Putin, blame Russia for meddling in elections, throwing shade at athletes with suspicious doping scandals and WADA and MOC acting terribly with banning the use of Russia’s name and flags. It all happened during the Beijing Olympics (the Georgian War), the Olympics in Sochi (Maidan), and now just before the World Cup. It smells like the 1980 spirit again! Regardless, none of that has harmed Putin, since young people in Russia, called „Puteenagers“ are even more supportive of him than the older population. It is the final stage of alienation of Russia from Europe, and it will be interesting to see how the Maidan Snipers Case will develop after the Ukrainian hero Nadezhda Savchenko stated that it was all Saakashvili and Parubiy’s idea, not Yanukovych’s (she got immediately arrested afterwards).
CHINA AS A WEIMIN, NOT DEMOCRACY
When the Westerners claim that the Chinese need more democracy, the Chinese reply with “we don’t actually get the concept“. Maybe you, guys, need more Weimin – which is something like common interest and harmony, not freely expressing individual opinions. China showcased that you could be fully technologically advanced and economically open, yet lacking the Western-style democracy. Xi is possibly a lifelong leader for the future who is incorporated into the doctrine and the Constitution. China is also implementing a new system that is shocking to the West – it has personal scoring systems that are not completely economy-related, but also take into account a person’ behaviour. This is not a democracy, it is a Weimin. China has started heavily investing from Eurasia to Africa, and if the West does not board that same train for ideological reasons, it will be superseded by China very soon, while wondering what the hell happened?
The West thought that Russia would take the backseat (Putin) and that China would peacefully dissolve its Communist Party, Gorbachev-style, and become democratic with a higher living standard. Wishful thinking! And you got it all wrong, guys, all wrong!