Moscow Declares Change in the Global
Balance of Power
The "victory" of Russian "peacekeepers" in Georgia has fundamentally changed the "global balance of power," after Moscow defied the West and imposed its will in the small Caucasus nation, according to an official Russian broadcast.
These assertions were made by Vyacheslav Nikonov, the president of Moscow's internationally known Politika Foundation. Nikovov's remarks were monitored on the Voice of Russia World Service, one of the primary broadcast services of the Russian government.
"The victory of the Russian peacekeepers has demonstrated to the whole world that Moscow is able to determine the conditions for a peace deal, while Western leaders are opposing the idea…This will…change the global balance of power," declared Nikonov.
The most important lesson for VOR and its political analyst is not that Russia bullied and terrorized a smaller nation to enforce its will, but that Russia successfully challenged the power of the West - especially that of the United States.
Russian tanks in Georgia face public protests
The Kremlin is declaring that America's undisputed world leadership, which was acknowledged after the collapse of the Soviet Union, is dead. There are again two centers of global power, Moscow and Washington.
As Moscow sees events, the West intruded upon Russia's "near abroad," those nations bordering on Russia that were part of the Tsar's empire and the Soviet Union. Moscow believes it has a special right to dominate those states.
The United States and Western Europe interfered in this area by its support of Georgia's 2003 "Rose Revolution," which ignited similar movements to expel pro-Moscow dictators in the "near abroad," most notably in Ukraine.
Democratic government, a free press, and freedom of expression have been condemned by the Moscow political elite as dangers to the Russian nation. The long list of murdered journalists and the suppression of an independent media testifies to the threat posed by Western ideals of personal liberty to the Moscow political elite.
Moscow is in the process of reestablishing tyranny despite Western denunciations, and the Kremlin sees this as evidence of its global power.
Russia's ability to face down the advocates of freedom while engaging in naked aggression against a pro-Western government in a sense does change the "balance of power." It certainly heralds a new - and cold - reality to the nations of the world.
Not all regimes, however, will be concerned with the perceived shift in international power. As a center of world power, Moscow has its allies and clients.
The dictatorships in China, Cuba, neo-Marxist Venezuela, North Korea, Syria, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and other regimes that rule by intimidation and murder support Russia's defiance and humiliation of the West.
The cold reality is a coalition that sees invading armies as "peacekeepers," and aid to a democratic government under attack is called "aggression."
One successful act of aggression does not necessarily constitute a change in the balance of power, but it does demonstrate that the world is now a much more dangerous place, and clearly shows Moscow's global intentions.
Posted August 27, 2008
Toby Westerman publishes
International News Analysis - Today
An investigative, analytical, and uncompromising weekly analysis of the world situation
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