Saturday, December 24, 2016

Russo-American Paradigm Shift

It’s difficult to point to a moment in time where one could say that Christendom was united in any real sense. From the Constantinian shift1 in the 4th century up until the East-West schism of 1054,2 it could be argued that Christendom was unified in a loose sense, however the theological differences between the Latin West and the Greek East had been present since the early days of Christianity. Even then, as distinct national identities arose during the middle ages after the disintegration of the Roman Empire, it could hardly be argued that Europe had ever been united in any peaceful sense.
Fast-forward to 1949, and after the most devastating war in human history,3 Western Europe would unite under the banner of N.A.T.O. led by the United States, and later the European Economic Community in 1958. Although primarily established to consolidate opposition to the Soviet East during the Cold-War, this arrangement would continue after 1989-1991 when the Eastern Bloc collapsed and the Soviet Union disintegrated. The idea of a United States of Europe, promoted by the United States of America, had been there since the conception of the European Union.4
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States and N.A.T.O. would be deprived of an enemy. In recent years, Western diplomats have attempted to argue that post-Soviet Russia still poses a threat to the West and the world. English journalist Peter Hitchens, who lived Moscow during the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, argues differently.5 To him, the Soviet Union ceased to exist in 1991, and the collapse of the ruling Communist Party was evidence of this, noting how burnt Communist Party membership cards filled the bins of Moscow during that time. He explains how the Soviet Navy was effectively scuttled in Sevastopol, and that the border of Russia now looked similar that imposed on them by Kaiser Wilhelm in 1918.6 The key point Peter puts across is that Russia and the Soviet Union are two different things, and that after 1991, the latter ceased to exist.
In the late 1999, N.A.T.O. would expand to include Poland and in 2004 it would expand further to include Romania, Bulgaria as well as the Baltic states. Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad was now isolated. Russia’s access to the Mediterranean as well as the Baltic Sea was reduced drastically.
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