Russia is an Oriental Potentate

Russia threatens military response to US missile defence deal – Times Online
Russia threatened to retaliate by military means after a deal with the Czech Republic brought the US missile defence system in Europe a step closer.

The threat followed quickly on from the announcement that Condoleezza Rice signed a formal agreement with the Czech Republic to host the radar for the controversial project.

The Russian Federation is a Central Asian state, part of the Eastern Seam / New Core expanse that begins where the Near East becomes the Middle East, and extends to the China Seas. It’s somewhat unfortunate for everyone that Russia borders Europe — imagine how much more complicated the world would be if China shared a border with the European Union!

Still, the best approach is to ignore Russia when she starts making demands of Europeans, and get her to orient herself to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, an organization of energy-exporting dictatorships (and the authoritarian-capitalist state they supply) that fits Russia’s political temperament well.

16 thoughts on “Russia is an Oriental Potentate”

  1. Ambrose Bierce wrote in his Devils Dictionary that a Russian is a man of caucasian body and a Mongol soul.

    Trust the Russians to be nothing other than Russians. We may not always get along, but at least there won’t be misunderstandings.

  2. Where did you learn your geography? Europe’s borders are the Ural mountains to the east and the Caucus mountains to the south, which puts 1/3rd of Russia’s present day territorial size in Europe and 85% of it’s population in Europe.

    Russians are the direct descendants of Kieven Russ, which was a totally European empire, at it’s height stretching to encompass Romania and Bulgaria as well as eastern Poland. The oldest cities are Kiev (Ukraine), Novgorod (Russia) and Vladimir (Russia).

    You might not like it, but Russians are Europeans and over 20% of Europe’s population…live with it.

    As for your advice, it’s rather hilarious coming from a West that has known nothing but aggression of its own making for the past 17 years. Whether it is robbing Russia of her resources, expanding a military alliance to her door step, over throwing governments to replace them with “democratic” socialist dictatorships or Islamic statelets in Central Asia….the only way to meet aggression from the West is with the same, that’s the only thing the West understands…that is, while the West still exists and hasn’t yet totally become an Islamic Caliphate…the poor British are done deal already.

    Hell, if you’re really lucky Orthodox Christian Russia and the other Orthodox Nations may return Christianity to the soon to be Islamic and decivilized former West.

  3. “You might not like it, but Russians are Europeans … live with it.”

    I must agree with Stanislav.

    Russians are Europeans. Specifically, Russians are heirs of the Eastern Orthodox Byzantine tradition.

    Europe is not just the West. We Westerners are the under the patronage of St. Benedict. Our Eastern brothers are under the patronage of Sts. Cyril and Methodius. The two cultures are sisters, despite their many differences.

    “Hell, if you’re really lucky Orthodox Christian Russia and the other Orthodox Nations may return Christianity to the soon to be Islamic and decivilized former West.”

    The role of Orthodox Christianity in the years ahead is an interesting and potentially world-historic one. However, I do not yet count out the West. The deep currents may have turned, despite surface appearances. And there is also the question of the rise of Christianity in the global south.

  4. This is an excellent discussion.

    Russia certainly suffered under the tatar yoke, and inherited some of Byzantine civilization. And for that matter, Kiev was one of many cities taken by the Vikings during the dark ages.

    But I think something more fundemental inhibited Russia’s development: land without sea.

    Russia is traditionally a land power that has little access to the sea. In this she is more similar to China than Germany, Britain, or France. This encourages large estates, manoralism, absolutism, authoritarianism, and tradition, while harming the causes of capitalists, non-landed power bases, commerce, and creativity.

    Fast-forward to today, Russia’s economy is based on energy-export, and its army is fighting a domestic insurgency against Islamists with little sign of success. All this is happening while Muslims (both Russified and not) grow as a fraction of Russia’s population.

  5. Purpleslog,

    Excellent catch!

    Russia is a colder version of Iran or Saudi Arabia — it naturally exports energy to both Europe and Asia.

    Smart powers of the global core will attempt to diversify their energy sources, both by having multiple suppliers of hydrocarbons and moving to other sources of energy as well. So China is wisely also building a pipeline through Kazakhstan [1], while Germany is becoming a world leader in solar power. [2]

    Let’s hope we do our part, and mandate flex-fuel vehicles. [3]

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/10/12/that-other-pipeline.html
    [2] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/10/20/photovoltaics.html
    [3] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/10/28/mandate-flex-fuel-vehicles.html

  6. If someone were to kidnap me, send me to Europe, and somehow force me to live in Germany, Austria, Luxembourg or Liechtenstein, I would be afraid. I’d be more afraid only if they sent me instead to Russia. I take it many Russians feel the same way from all the immigrants in Washington, Florida and New York.

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