Even secular observers have noted that Russia is not part of the “new European western civilization.” True, Russia is largely white and Christian, though of a different kind, but it is not the same as “western Civilization.” Even when Western Europe was Christian, Russia was different. At the same time, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia is not in the same league as the nihilistic West is today (cf Samuel Huntingdon’s The Clash of Civilizations).
From those fairly obvious points, the Eurasian school posits a new geo-political alliance that will counter the EU-NATO alliance. Russia, China, Iran, Syria, India, etc would form economic ties that would shift the balance of power from Western Europe to Eastern Europe and central Asia. Among other things this included Russia heavily investing in Iran’s nuclear program and in previously blocking sanctions against Iran.
Recently, however, Russia has appeared to reverse its relationship with Iran. It has agreed to sanctions against Iran (though not with the same myopia suggested by the United States), refused the sale of S-300 missiles (which would destroy any Israeli plane in Iranian sky), and expressed alarm at Iran’s nuclear program. So what gives? I have several following suggestions:
- As I understand it, the NPT says you can’t build new nuclear weapons. Russia opposing Iran on this point isn’t that remarkable. It’s simply upholding international law. Of course, countries like the USA have never given a damn about international law, but there it is.
- A strong if mentally-unbalanced Iran on Russia’s southern borders could easily destabilize that area, something Russia does not want to see. This also explains why Russia, even given the sanctions, still does not want to see a pre-emptive strike on Iran. That, too, would destabilize the entire region.
- NATO has surrounded Russia with missile sites and military bases (some suggest that a tangential reason for the “War on Terror” is to surround Russia with American troops; it’s certainly happened that way). Obama’s advisor Zbignew Brereznski and Bush’s adviser Paul Wolfowitz have openly called for the destruction of Russia. Russia must make all of her decisions with that uncomfortable fact in mind.
- While I do like the idea of a counter-alliance against NATO-EU, the fact remains that Iran has always been an enemy of European Christians, more particularly Eastern European Christians.
However, some other conclusions on Iran:
- I follow Stephen Walt’s analysis on Iran: it really doesn’t make sense for them to acquire nuclear weapons. The moment they launch one, the West (and Israel, with its illegal arsenal of hundreds of nukes) would immediately bury Tehran in radiation–and Iran knows this. Iran would be more successful sponsoring groups like Hezbollah than risking it’s existence acquiring nuclear weapons.
- I don’t buy the propaganda that most of Iran’s populace are secretly wanting to overthrow their regime. If that isn’t CIA propaganda, nothing is. Others have already refuted that.
- That said, I really don’t see a happy way out of this scenario. It looks like Israel will strike Iran soon. (Interestingly, while I knew that Georgia and Azeribaijan were Israeli allies, I never counted on Israel using those two countries as bases from which to launch their attack. I had expected Israel to fly over Iraq, something America would not allow. This makes perfect sense).