One might have thought that the West might have learned its lesson by now, but no. Even after the disastrous attempt to saddle a couple of cows in Iraq and Afghanistan – for that, read “install a democratic government in a country that neither desires no cares for such a system unless it happens to benefit a gangster political elite” – they are still at it.
There has been intervention in Libya that has seen the end of a long-established dictator and an emergence of what could best be described as a wobby political blamange, proposed meddling in Syria, constant wittering about Iran, and while there is clearly no hope of things going any further than the talking table, ceaseless bleating about Vladimir Putin’s recent election victory in Russia.
I have said it before and will say it again: some countries are just not suited to democracy. Whether this is a simple case of civic maturity – in the case of many Islamic countries – or a historical and cultural attraction to dictatorial leaders – as in the case of Russia. One can hope that these countries will one day mirror the West, but to demand it of them is bordering on cheek. To try and enforce it on them by “liberating” them – oh, the irony – is bordering on the criminal.
The biggest problem of course is that those making these decisions – decisions that ultimately affect us ordinary people living in Western countries – are continually unable to see beyond their own noses, let alone their rhetoric. Western politicians are happy to welcome foreign political leaders into their own homes one week and brand them as “tyrants” the next, and someone who might have been a happy dinner guest is suddenly persona non grata and a “major obstacle to freedom and democracy”.
I would simple ask this: what makes someone seen as acceptable one day a “tyrant” the next? Are the bellicose bleatings of some discontented student “rebel” activist on Twitter too much to resist, or is it the simple result of a sycophantic desire to seemingly “do the right thing” in between long spells of navel-gazing? Further, there is little thought of what might happen next.
Iraq under Saddam Hussein may not have been the world’s most pleasant place, but now the country is a hell-hole with almost daily car-bombings and outrages perpetrated by Islamic extremists that hate the West far more than Saddam ever did.
Libya under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi at least offered us some comedy moments, but now the country is being led by people nobody really knows anything about. Tribalists, gangsters, separatists, Islamists… OK, there may be some genuine democracts floating about, but these are voices that will no doubt disappear as the country inevitable starts to stifle in its own offal.
Surely the democracy-mongers considered these things beforehand… Or was the tempting lure of the black gold just too much? In Saddam’s Iraq, your ordinary Iraqi could go to school and get a decent secular education. While in our friendly ally (for the moment) Saudi Arabia women are flogged for getting behind the wheel of a car, in pre-invasion Iraq they could get an education and reach the highest levels of political office. But not now.
The same could be said of Libya of course; while under Gaddafi things were kept in order – from Islamic extremists through to the armies of sub-Saharan Africans wanting to make their way across the Mediterranean in search of the gold-paved streets of Western Europe – the place has now turned into a veritable free-for-all. Gaddafi’s graphic and brutal death has done little to pave the way to democracy; instead it has allowed a new disease to take hold, one that results in the destruction and desecration of wartime British cemeteries that had been lovingly maintained for decades by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission with the helpful cooperation of the previous the oh-so-awfully-terrible ancient régime.
So much for Britain being one of those countries that threw its weight behind the campaign to oust Gaddafi: at least we now have a slightly clearer picture of the cave-dwelling creatures that have benefited most from this pointless regime change. The less that is said about the lack of a firm official response to this outrage, the better; as is always the case, this politically correct posturing is often accompanied by a peculiar brand of spinelessness. Nobody wants to piss off the Qu’ran-botherers now, do they – and I’m guessing nobody is going to bat an eyelid when armies of Libyan refugees start lining up for free housing in Kensington and Chelsea.
Next on the list is Syria – a potential powderkeg that has been kept in check for decades first by Hafez al-Assad and now by his son, the British-educated opthalmologist Bashar. Like every other country in the region democracy in Syria is an alien concept, and also like every other country in the region there are reports of human rights abuses. In the wider scheme of things however, things have not been that bad – well at least they haven’t for the ordinary Syrian citizen who has been willing to bite his tongue and get on with things. Despite not being a major exporter Syria has remained fairly stable both politically and economically – and remains one of the few countries in the region where fundamental rights are recognised, such as those for women and religious minorities.
As the old adage goes, you cannot make an omelette without breaking some eggs.
The problem now of course is that the disease of revolution – facilitated by foolish Western politicians and fanned by the self-serving Western media – that started in North Africa has made its way to the Levant, and all manner of ne’er-do-wells and uneducated religious basket cases are waiting in the wings to fill the vacuum should Assad be forced out of power. If I was a woman or a Christian in Syria right now, I would be very, very worried indeed.
Then there is Russia and the matter of the recent presidential election, which has got Western commentators hopping about frantically. “Fraud!” they shout, and “thief!” is the current mantra levelled against Vladimir Putin, who made the most of the assistance of the state media and some supposedly irregular voting behaviour to sweep back into power. Erm, no shit Sherlockski – this is Russia, the home of the fraudster, the criminal, the gangster and the thief. A country ruled by oligarchs – for this, read crooks – and a president who has a list of dodgy friends as long as my arm. Nothing new here, move along.
So yes, Putin won another term through manipulation and skullduggery – but who would the Western media want instead? The man who finished a distant second, Communist Gennady Zyuganov? At least we know Putin, and while he may be Russian – he can’t help that, after all – he is at least not a raving lunatic.
To put things in perspective, let’s have a look at the four other presidential candidates:
Gennady Zyuganov. The Communist Party candidate, and a former apparatchik in the party’s propaganda department. Enough said.
Mikhail Prokhorov. Standing as an independent, Prokhorov is one of Russia’s many oligarchs. Again, enough said.
Sergei Mironov, standing for the promising-sounding A Just Russia. Until one hears that he once said “we all want Vladimir Putin to be the next president” during a previous campaign. One might as well have just voted for Putin anyway.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, standing for the curiously named Liberal Democratic Party, which may just about be a party but is neither liberal nor democratic. Apart from this, Zhirinovsky is a pan-Russian fundamentalist with serious mental and anger management issues.
So there we have it. A communist, a crook, a puppet, and a mentalist. It goes without saying that anyone with a brain would have voted for Russia’s most famous balding, piano-playing Karate Kid, glitzy television campaigns or not.
That said, it might have been something had Zyuganov done the impossible and won the election. We would have seen Russia embrace the lovely Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus, and prepare the ground for the return of the Cold War. To think what fun we’d have… We’d have a new Rambo film, Iron Eagle XVIII and a remake of Rocky IV. The armies of dodgy Russian shysters and their horrifically peroxide wives would be sent on the first Aeroflot flight out of Heathrow, and Chelsea would find itself thrown into the third division.
Oh, and I could go back to studying Russian aircraft as I did back in the 1980s (yes, I was one of those sad geeks who could tell his Foxbats from his Fishbeds and this Flogger-Bs from his Flogger-Ds).