Features

It’s Nato that’s empire-building, not Putin

Two sides are required for a New Cold War — and there is no obvious need for an adversarial system in post-Soviet Europe

7 March 2015

9:00 AM

7 March 2015

9:00 AM

Just for once, let us try this argument with an open mind, employing arithmetic and geography and going easy on the adjectives. Two great land powers face each other. One of these powers, Russia, has given up control over 700,000 square miles of valuable territory. The other, the European Union, has gained control over 400,000 of those square miles. Which of these powers is expanding?

There remain 300,000 neutral square miles between the two, mostly in Ukraine. From Moscow’s point of view, this is already a grievous, irretrievable loss. As Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of the canniest of the old Cold Warriors, wrote back in 1997, ‘Ukraine… is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire.’

This diminished Russia feels the spread of the EU and its armed wing, Nato, like a blow on an unhealed bruise. In February 2007, for instance, Vladimir Putin asked sulkily, ‘Against whom is this expansion intended?’

I have never heard a clear answer to that question. The USSR, which Nato was founded to fight, expired in August 1991. So what is Nato’s purpose now? Why does it even still exist?

There is no obvious need for an adversarial system in post-Soviet Europe. Even if Russia wanted to reconquer its lost empire, as some believe (a belief for which there is no serious evidence), it is too weak and too poor to do this. So why not invite Russia to join the great western alliances? Alas, it is obvious to everyone, but never stated, that Russia cannot ever join either Nato or the EU, for if it did so it would unbalance them both by its sheer size. There are many possible ways of dealing with this. One would be an adult recognition of the limits of human power, combined with an understanding of Russia’s repeated experience of invasions and its lack of defensible borders.

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But we do not do this. Instead we have a noisy pseudo-moral crusade, which would not withstand five minutes of serious consideration. Mr Putin’s state is, beyond doubt, a sinister tyranny. But so is Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey, which locks up far more journalists than does Russia. Turkey is an officially respectable Nato member, 40 years after seizing northern Cyprus, which it still occupies, in an almost exact precedent for Russia’s seizure of Crimea. If Putin disgusts us so much, then why are we and the USA happy to do business with Erdogan, and also to fawn upon Saudi Arabia and China?

Contrary to myth, the expansion of the EU into the former communist world has not magically brought universal peace, love and prosperity. Croatia’s economy has actually gone backwards since it joined. Corruption still exists in large parts of the EU’s new south-eastern territories, and I am not sure that the rule of law could be said to have been properly established there. So the idea that the recruitment of Ukraine to the ‘West’ will magically turn that troubled nation into a sunny paradise of freedom, probity and wealth is perhaps a little idealistic, not to say mistaken.

It is all so much clearer if we realise that this quarrel is about power and land, not virtue. In truth, much of the eastward expansion of Nato was caused by the EU’s initial unwillingness to take in backward, bankrupt and corrupt refugee states from the old Warsaw Pact. The policy could be summed up as ‘We won’t buy your tomatoes, but if it makes you happy you can shelter under our nuclear umbrella’. The promise was an empty assurance against a nonexistent threat. But an accidental arrangement hardened into a real confrontation. The less supine Russia was, the more its actions were interpreted as aggression in the West. Boris Yeltsin permitted western interests to rape his country, and did little to assert Russian power. So though he bombarded his own parliament, conducted a grisly war in Chechnya, raised corruption to Olympic levels and shamelessly rigged his own re-election, he yet remained a popular guest in western capitals and summits. Vladimir Putin’s similar sins, by contrast, provide a pretext for ostracism and historically illiterate comparisons between him and Hitler.

This is because of his increasing avowal of Russian sovereignty, and of an independent foreign policy. There have been many East-West squabbles and scrimmages, not all of them Russia’s fault. But the New Cold War really began in 2011, after Mr Putin dared to frustrate western — and Saudi — policy in Syria. George Friedman, the noted US intelligence and security expert, thinks Russia badly underestimated the level of American fury this would provoke. As Mr Friedman recently told the Moscow newspaper Kommersant, ‘It was in this situation that the United States took a look at Russia and thought about what it [Russia] wants to see happen least of all: instability in Ukraine.’

Mr Friedman (no Putin stooge) also rather engagingly agrees with Moscow that overthrow last February of Viktor Yanukovych was ‘the most blatant coup in history’. He is of course correct, as anyone unclouded by passion can see. The test of any action by your own side is to ask what you would think of it if the other side did it.

If Russia didn’t grasp how angry Washington would get over Syria, did the West realise how furiously Russia would respond to the EU Association Agreement and to the fall of Yanukovych? Perhaps not. Fearing above all the irrecoverable loss to Nato of its treasured naval station in Sevastopol, Russia reacted. After 23 years of sullenly appeasing the West, Moscow finally said ‘enough’. Since we’re all supposed to be against appeasement, shouldn’t we find this action understandable in a sovereign nation, even if we cannot actually praise it? And can anyone explain to me precisely why Britain, of all countries, should be siding with the expansion of the European Union and Nato into this dangerous and unstable part of the world?


The era of stable governments is over

lpJoin us on 23 March for a Spectator discussion on whether the era of stable government is over with Matthew Parris, James Forsyth, Jeremy Browne MP, Vernon Bogdanor and Matthew Goodwin. The event will be chaired by Andrew Neil. In association with Seven Investment Management. For tickets and further information click here.

Peter Hitchens is a columnist for the Mail on Sunday.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
  • Reluctant Mlungu

    Well said, Mr Hitchens. Another reason I believe the EU and the ridiculous ‘brains’ at the State Department are going down this foolish road – as loudly as they can – is to deflect attention from their looming economic melt-down at home.

    • T_H_E_R_I_O_N

      Well said Mlungo!

  • Joe Pope

    Good article, thank you for this. Refreshing to read it amongst all the DT, Guardian and other senseless propaganda being dished out recently.

  • dan

    One of these powers, Russia, has given up control over 700,000 square miles of valuable territory. The other, the European Union, has gained control over 400,000 of those square miles. Which of these powers is expanding?

    I always thought it was the USSR that gave up all the territory. Russia seems to have expanded – into Ukraine, Georgia & all those little ‘countries’ only Russia recognises that start trans this or south that…

    • Host8

      On the territory of Georgia were two republics that had its autonomy. I understand that these republics wanted its independence when the USSR come to an end. One of them is Abchazia. I visited it many years ago. People said than we were not in Russia or Georgia. They were simply proud on their country Abchazia.

      • ambience

        According to the USSR constitution autonomies had a right to decide their destiny themselves by a referendum separately from republics. But the republics didn’t allow them. Abchazia, S.Ossetia, Crimea had all grounds to separate when the USSR come to an end.

    • Arthur Rusdell-Wilson

      You are mesmerized by the administrative divisions of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was the successor state to the Russian Empire, which included Ukraine, Byelorussia the Central Asian republics, the Transcaucasian republics and other bits and bobs.

      • jim

        By that rationale the European powers could claim their old colonies.

        • Snibbo

          That might not be such a terrible thing. A large proportion of the populace in Europe’s former colonies aspire to live in western countries. Why? Because (hard though it is to believe) they have better, less corrupt governments and their own governments have not lived up to the promises of independence. The countries whose populations are most keen to emigrate to Europe – Libyans to Italy, for example – would surely not be adverse to government by European powers, so that they no longer had to cross the seas in leaky boats in search of a better country?

          • jim

            Probably true but not going to happen.In any case ‘A better analogy might go as follows : Russia forcibly transplants it’s own citizens on foreign soil against the wishes of the locals so that generations later Russia can claim jurisdiction under the guise of protecting the rights of Russian speakers. Perhaps one day some moslem power base will make the same claim on parts of the UK or France where the moslem population have been imposed on us.Of course by then we’ll have rolled over for islam anyway and they won’t have to invade.At least the Ukranians are putting up some kind of a fight,albeit a fairly half-assed one against their tormentors.

          • Kennie

            You were never taught any history then?

          • jim

            It seems you weren’t. But judging just by the comments you’ve spattered on this article it would seem you’re another of those apologists who simply ignores inconvenient facts. If you don’t like the historical record, you change it. What a joke you people are.

          • http://www.volgatrader.com Philip Owen, Volga Trader

            Actually the Donbass Russians were put there by a Brit. John Hughes.

          • http://www.volgatrader.com Philip Owen, Volga Trader

            If you try hard enough, you can always blame the British Empire.

          • jim

            Fair enough. But Russians were transplanted all over and the natives forcibly removed and their welfare used as the excuse for present day policies.

          • Fraser Bailey

            Colonialism, at least the British and French versions, delivered order, the rule of law, education, transport, healthcare, productive work etc.

            All of this, inevitably, disappeared with the end of colonialism.

            And now the very people who wanted us to leave are desperately trying to get to Europe in order to access the rule of law, education, transport, healthcare and productive work etc.

            “Isn’t it ironic?” as someone once sang.

          • Abie Vee

            “Colonialism, at least the British and French versions, delivered order, the rule of law, education, transport, healthcare, productive work etc.”

            That’s the story. Unfortunately, it isn’t true. Colonialism was basically a slave economy. You make it sound like a charitable enterprise.

            French rule of Indochina represented colonialism in its worst form. US President Roosevelt was disgusted by colonialism and he fully intended to see it eliminated. “Indochina should not go back to France” he told Secretary of State Cordell Hull in 1943, “the case is perfectly clear. France has had the country – 30 million inhabitants – for a hundred years and the people are worse off than they were at the beginning. They are entitled to something better that that.”

            If you own horses, you pay for a vet. If you’re raping a country’s natural resources you need railways and road and docks to shift out the loot. If you need workers you educate some of them to whatever basic levels you need.

            It’s not altruism.. It’s just naked self-interest.

          • MickC

            Of course, Roosevelt had his own expanding Empire, and was keen to see that survive, so only disgusted by others’ colonialism.
            As he said about one South American dictator (I’ve forgotten which, was it Trujillo?) “he may be a bastard, but he’s our bastard”.

          • Abie Vee

            Doesn’t make him wrong.

          • MickC

            No, I didn’t say he was. But certainly a hypocrite.

          • jrdobbsjr

            Well yes…he’s a Democrat. doesn’t mean his observation was wrong, however.

          • Abie Vee

            Not true. He was vehemently opposed to colonialism. Why wouldn’t he be? The USA, as it is now, threw off colonialism via a revolution… a “Republican” revolution at that.

          • Ace

            And later took over the Philippines and Hawaii.

          • Abie Vee

            Roosevelt died in 1945. Hawaii joins the USA 14 years later. The Americans recognise Philippines independence in 1946.

            Now Roosevelt was good… but not THAT good!

          • Abie Vee

            Really. Hawaii became a US State 14 years after his death. The Philippines became an independent country in 1946.

            What else do you want to know?

          • LastmaninEurope

            So if a Violent rapist is the same ethnicity as the victim you’re ok with that?

            “and the aqueduct…”

          • Kennie

            And of course, Roosevelt had the full backing of the Native American indians, especially when he said “They are entitled to something better that that.”

          • Dogsnob

            Really? You mean French and British colonialism wasn’t designed to bring relief to the huddled masses? Gerraway!

            I think the argument would be that although altruism was not uppermost in the motivation of colonialists, it just so happened that the by-product of its operations, did raise many people of the ‘host’ communities, out of their former misery. Not glorious perhaps, but a positive.

          • Abie Vee

            As I said earlier: If you keep horses, you pay for a vet. If you’re looting a country, you build roads and railways and docks in order to get your swag out.

          • Dogsnob

            Your point in repeating yourself was what exactly?

          • Abie Vee

            My point is that, unable to view the world from outside of your colonial mindset, you historical revisionists are simply talking out of your arzes.

            Is that clear enough for you?

          • Dogsnob

            You’ve got two things wrong there:

            1. If by ‘a colonial mindset’ you are suggesting that I speak up for the process, you are wildly off beam. My ancestors’ land was, and to quite an extent remains, colonised.

            2. I’m not a historical revisionist. I have my idea of what history has to tell us, as you do yourself. We are both free to tell it how we will. How good does it get?

          • Abie Vee

            Yes you are free. Thank God. Butat some point you have to back your warblings with facts, evidence.

            So… off you go, we’re all agog.

          • Dogsnob

            Sorry, what precisely am I being asked to back up with evidence?

          • AndrewMelville

            What utter nonsense. there were appalling examples of colonialism – the Arabs everywhere, the Incas, the Belgians for example come to mind.

            But most (not all) of European, especially British colonialism was highly beneficial to the colonies, which are remarkable worse off now that they are independent.

          • Abie Vee

            You miss my point. Not by accident.

            “Beneficial” is a subjective call. We don’t really know how many “natives” we massacred, since, like the USA today, we didn’t do body counts.

            But it was certainly “beneficial” to the UK, of that there’s no doubt.

            I struggle to understand just how our colonial slaves are “worse off now that they are independent”.

            Maybe you’d enlighten me? If not, perhaps you’d care to address my previous comment?

          • AndrewMelville

            I didn’t miss your point. I just disagreed with it, since it was completely wrong.

            Take a look at almost any of the former colonies. Compare their state when we handed over independence (or before we got there) to their current state. Hyperion to a satyr, old bean. Vide Zimbabwe – hell on earth but quite a terrific spot when Smith and company struck out on their own. Not so great I’ll admit for the Black elite, but much much better for the Black masses and middle class. Most folk would plump for prosperity and the rule of law over anarchic, crony oligarchic nominally democratic government and poverty. And they’d be right.

          • Abie Vee

            And it goes without saying that, as a colonialist, you are wholly unable to imagine what it feels like to be free from Colonial bondage.

            Where is the clamour for a return to colonialism? Er, there isn’t one. Funny that eh? Ungrateful lot.

            I like to think of de Gaulle when it comes to this condescending, White-mans Burden sort of guff of yours. As he said to Eisenhower before the liberation of France: “We will stagger you with our ingratitude.”

          • AndrewMelville

            What a twit. You know nothing about me – but hey go ahead and make assumptions.

            I understand very well the desire for independence. I never said it was wrong or false. The result for the ordinary people however has been (often) a disaster.

            No clamour to return to colonialism. So what? There is no clamour to fly to the moon on winged horses either. A child could understand there is no going back. Most particularly on the part of the colonizers. No thanks.

            You really are a rude twit – it’s not a condescending white man’s burden guff, but a realistic appraisal of the facts. The fact that you would quote such a disgusting old fascist and loser as De Gaulle shows your true colours.

          • Abie Vee

            I must make myself clear. When I accused you of being a colonialist, I actually meant pro-colonialist. You are here to defend the concept, not to argue against it.

            That is all I need to know about you.

            Now then : “no clamour, so what” you say.Yet it was you who were telling us how much the natives benefited from our benign intervention, was it not? I say my “no clamour” refutes your every utterance!

            You are one tiny step away from making the case for slavery, are you not?

            Yes Muzungu !

          • AndrewMelville

            Slavery was an obscene practice. I believe it is still practiced by the Arabs who were the main worker of this satanic craft – along with their buddies the Africans. The European involvement was shameful and always wrong but always quite secondary to the Arabs and the Africans’ work. How dare you accuse me, without any evidence, of supporting such a foul institution.

            You are also quite wrong about my being a pro-colonialist. While on balance I think it benefitted the colonized masses (but not their elites) I don’t think it benefitted the colonizers (except some elites). The disadvantage it caused Britain continues to this day.

            Why no clamour today – good lord, man do you own a calendar? Most former colonies would have only a tiny proportion of folks who could remember what it was like to have a functioning economy, rule of law, public security etc. Why would you expect their clamouring for what they cannot remember and could never recover?

          • La Fold

            When it ends up with a North Korean trained Brigade 5 kicking several shades of brown stuff out of me for possibly not intending to vote for Zanu PF, Id guess, not that great?

          • http://www.volgatrader.com Philip Owen, Volga Trader

            A Putinist is at large.

          • AndrewMelville

            Is a Putinist a sort of skin disorder that you have on your face?

          • http://www.volgatrader.com Philip Owen, Volga Trader

            No. Botox isn’t me. I am at ease with my insecurities (is that possible?). I was rather reinforcing your point. Putin offers Prosperity and the Rule of Law in place of poverty stricken democratic oligarchy (another self contradiction?). He is wildly popular and has been for more than a decade.

          • AndrewMelville

            I agree. I think it is quite understandable that Putin is very popular in Russia. As usual the West judges everything by its own standards and experiences without seeking to understand. Our actions are counter productive because they reinforce a sense of Russia’s isolation and that it is threatened by the west. Folks naturally look to their leader in such moments. I’m a western partisan and Putin’s Russia does appeal to me, but that’s not enough to make me admire incompetent bullying on the part of our governments.

          • Abie Vee

            Worse off? Nonsense of the highest order.

          • AndrewMelville

            Not so. A realistic appraisal of the facts.

          • Abie Vee

            Not at all. Your “appraisal” ( I would call it reappraisal) cannot begin to put a price on freedom.

            THAT’S the bit you can’t understand.

          • AndrewMelville

            I suppose you also must think that the Iraqis should be delighted that they now have democracy and freedom from Hussein – despite the total destruction of their society and its economy.

            Most of the inhabitants of the former colonies would gladly hop on board a time machine were it possible. That’s the bit you can’t comprehend.

          • Abie Vee

            By what conceit do you allow yourself to speak on behalf of ; “Most of the inhabitants of the former colonies […]”

            Like, er, wow. Evidence please old chum.

          • AndrewMelville

            Would it help your reading comprehension if people wrote OPINION in front of statements?

            Watch how folks are voting with their feet. How many people do you think would live in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe for example if they had open access to Great Britain? The correct answer is 42; most of whom are white farmers.

          • Abie Vee

            Unlike you, I have connections with the Zimbabwean community in London.

            However bad things may be in Zimbabwe under Mugabe’s iron fist, I can assure you here and now, Mzungu, without fear of contradiction, that this loathing of everything “The Old Man” stands for does not transmute into a desire for the return of their British overlords..

          • AndrewMelville

            Please take remedial reading lessons.

            And stop calling me Mzunga. It is an assumption on your part and as patronizing and insulting as if I called you Blackie.

            Zimbabwe = racist hellhole. Rhodesia = racist well functioning society. Kinda captures the issue. I’m sure from the safety and prosperity of London the ignorant might say many silly things about that dump.

          • Abie Vee

            You are very brave. I certainly wouldn’t want to display my ignorance for the world to see. Some sixth sense would forewarn me to shut TF up.

            Mzungu, my learned friend, means someone who wanders about aimlessly (like the early explorers of The Dark Continent”). That is to say, someone who is lost. You fit the bill nicely.

            But then, you are a very ignorant fellow, are you not?

          • AndrewMelville

            It’s always the shabby faux intellects who use foreign words pointlessly when there are perfectly good English words to hand. Since I don’t speak Bantu I looked up your silly epithet. It can mean wanderer but it is also used to mean Whitey. Please don’t pretend that your sad little word play referred yo my intereste in hiking. You were caught. When that happens simply acknowledge your error or sin, Apologize and move on.

          • Abie Vee

            I’m not responsible for your translation or interpretation.

            However, in the Zimbabwean community in London with which I am familiar (unlike you) its is used in the sense of White man, or “Boss” not as a pejorative like “whitey”. It is also singular… Wazungu in the plural.

            You obviously make it all up as you go along in order to plug the gaping holes in your knowledge, you old fraud.

          • AndrewMelville

            So wanderer or boss but not a pejorative. Dear oh dear you really are clutching at straws.

            As I saud, if you make a plonked just own up, apologize and move on. It’s much easier than trying to defend racism, or so I’m told.

          • Abie Vee

            Yes dear, it can be used as a pejorative. As, I suppose, can most appellations. Is that how I mean it to be taken? Hmm… only I know that Mzungu.

            Not that it’s any of your business, but I was once long-married to a beautiful Shona lass, and I can assure you that there are also times when the world has a, ahem, rather stimulating effect. But you’ll never know that, will you my dear? Just as you know nothing at all.

            So flip, flop and flounder away on pointless semantic and sophist diversions. You old fraud.

            Huh… “whitey” indeed.

          • AndrewMelville

            What are you gittering on about? Is there a point you are trying to make by bringing in your marital affairs.

            Thank you for finally admitting the foreign word, Mzunga, is indeed a pejorative. I knew that of course but it will be helpful for your recovery to start admitting things.

            Perhaps you can even begin to acknowledge what foul places many former colonies are, and how much better off ordinary folks were in the long ago, never to return colonial era. Good luck!

          • Abie Vee

            Lets have a stocktake. I’m saying that you haven’t the remotest understanding of how exiles feel about their homelands. On that we’re agreed, yes? You don’t argue from any evidentiary standpoint, merely your subjective opinions of how you think they should feel.

            On the other hand, if you do have any evidence, any at all, you don’t disclose it.

            Whereas, I have contacts within these very communities, I have visited some of their homelands and I speak from experience. First hand. Not anecdotal, not press coverage, not historical revisionists pipe-dreams. Which are the shallow ponds wherein you swim.

            Now where are we at. ?Oh yes a semantic wriggle about the word Mzungu. You don’t like the word. Good for you. Now quite what the relevance is, I really don’t know. Or care, Mzungu. In my personal circumstances, it was friendly and endearing, Mzungu.

            How much better off they were? hahahahahahah… who is better off? the slave or the freeman? Have you asked them? I have.

            Answers on a postcard please. Your analysis is based entirely from a life of consumer fetishism and ingrained self superiority complex. Typical of most Englishmen.

            WHERE is the clamour for a return to those golden ages of your fervid mind? WHERE?

          • AndrewMelville

            I think the fever is addling your brain.

            Let me remind you, I am not talking about exiles – never was – and never claimed to have any understanding (or cared) about them – good for you that you have friends among them (do you want a gold star, Blackie?) although it is worth noting that they have already voted with their feet! I was talking about the ordinary folks who live in the these failed societies. Poor b@stards.

            The comparison is not between the slave and the freeman. The comparison is between the colonized living in prosperity under the rule of law and the citizen of a corrupt, lawless, poverty stricken dump with no future! You might be unaware of the fact, but the Brits abolished slavery starting in 1791 (before the 19th century empires got well under way) while the Africans and Arabs practice it to this day – filthy brutes, but it was always really their thing and the vast majority of slaves at any time were subject to an African or Arab overseer rather than a European or American one.

            Golden age? Again you must be drunk. Too many good Brits died bringing civilization to ungrateful brutes. Could I wave my magic wand we would never have had an empire in Africa and Asia.

            And again you have got it wrong. I am not an Englishman although unlike you, I am a gentleman.

          • Abie Vee

            A Black man is pejorative, it you want it to be that way, or if you take it that way. Otherwise, it is a description of the bleedin’ obvious.

          • AndrewMelville

            Nothing pejorative about black, old son. Insults are when folks starting slinging whitey or blackie or muzunga about. I was raised on “Black is beautiful” – great slogan – full of pride and truth.

            I loathe the sickening term, African American. Utterly meaningless. I am friends with five African Americans. One is black but the other four are blue eyed blondes. Stupid, misleading, self hating term.

          • Abie Vee

            “Nothing pejorative about black …” But of course, in the eyes of racist beholders, there most certainly is! They do not use the word as a compliment. old son.

            Mzungu is not of itself a pejorative. It is a singular term which applies to one person… i.e. a white man.

            Prattle ” whitey ” all you like, it simply shows your ignorance of the everyday East African word. It would be perfectly polite to say in conversation: “There was once a mzungu in town who gave piano lessons (or some such inanity).

            And where o where is the evidence to support your outrageous claims that the enslaved peoples were “better off” or if the had time machines they’d all leap back to those days.

            All else is mere masquerade, posture and diversion. Come on you old fraud, out with it, WHERE is your evidence.? WELL?

            The racist overtones are solely in your troubled head, old son. You protest your faux innocence and your faux outrage too much.

            You stand exposed as a fraud.

          • AndrewMelville

            I was once the guest at a dinner for a Chinese organization. To honour me the organizer sat beside the wife of one of the members. She was of the same background as me and had the same accent. During the dinner we discussed some of the difficulties they had faced as a mixed family and some the jibes her children had heard. She contrasted this with the word the Chinese used to describe people like her, which she took to be neutral – just like Mzungu. Interestingly enough the Chair overheard the conversation and at this point intervened to correct her. She was shocked to learn that the word was indeed commonly used and indeed had a pejorative sense. I am sorry to say that the revelation spoiled the rest of her evening.

            Just like the word Mzungu or whichever spelling you prefer.

            I have answered your other questions several times. Look back if you seek instruction.

          • Abie Vee

            Nonsense. You have studiously avoided the question by means of side-tracking and semantic wriggling.

            A straight question demands a straight answer.

            “Where is the evidence to support your outrageous claims that the enslaved peoples were “better off”, or if they had time machines today they’d all leap back to those days.?

            Cut n’paste will do if, as you say, you’ve already answered. I’m not fussy.

          • AndrewMelville

            Yawn. I’m not going todo your work for you.

          • Abie Vee

            It’s common in most asian vocabularies to refer to white people as Big Nose. As the owner of one myself, I found it all highly amusing.

            Be that as it may… ANSWER!

          • AndrewMelville

            So even more examples of anti White racism – what a surprise. Yawn

          • Abie Vee

            I think you’re a little too far up your own arz for your own good, “Big Nose”.

          • AndrewMelville

            More juvenile, racist jibes, “Flared Nostrils.”

          • Abie Vee

            But of course we have only A) your hazy recollection of a long-past dinner party, and B) the Chairman’s say so, to go on.

            If you’d care to be more specific I will ask my Chinese girlfriend.

            Even so. ANSWER!

          • AndrewMelville

            Yawn.

          • Abie Vee

            And answers were there none.

          • AndrewMelville

            42

          • Abie Vee

            Er, “faux”? A French word for false, if I’m not mistaken you shabby intellectual.

          • AndrewMelville

            You are so quick to spot irony, aintcha?

          • Abie Vee

            Caught what?

            Mzungu is a native word for a white man. Singular. You are a white man. I rest my case white man. Feel free to take offence at being white. It must be an awful burden.

          • AndrewMelville

            Here’s an idea. Print off each of your posts. Before making another, re-read them so that you might maintain a little internal consistency.

            “Native” – dear me what a slip. There are some occasions when that might be the word to use. But not if you’re referring to the community of Zimbabwean exiles in London as you said you were. You will note that I said Bantu rather than native, but then I’m not burdened by your racial prejudices.

            Your assumption that I am white and your nasty jibes at white men further betrays your bigotry. As indeed does your use of the foreign word, Mzunga.

            I would take no offence at being called white by someone who actually knew me. On the contrary it is a badge of pride. It is certainly not a burden.

          • Abie Vee

            More semantic wriggling , which advances your pathetic post colonial wittering not a jot.
            It’s phoney. You’re phoney.

            Allow me one last try: where is your evidence? A simple question Mzungu which you studiously avoid answering.

            In your Walter Mitty world, “saying so makes it so”. Does it not? Yet simple repetition does not prove a thing. You assert that the natives were better off. Now support your wild imaginings with evidence.

            Off you go. I’m waiting Mzungu.

          • AndrewMelville

            Oh dear, daftie. It is an opinion based on the fact that folks lives then were generally ok except they didn’t have the vote, while today they are wretched, awful and have no hope for the future.

          • Abie Vee

            I’ve a much better idea. Stay on track. Stop shifting the goalposts. Support you hilarious claim that the people were better off under the colonial lash. Off you go.

            And if they were, how would that automatically, without a shred of evidence, mutate into a wish for a return to the days of foreign subjection and exploitation. Hmm? Simple questions from a simple man. Why can’t you answer?

          • AndrewMelville

            They were better off because: they were prosperous, enjoyed the rule of law and personal security, although they did not have the vote. As I said: for elites probably bad, for the ordinary person – clear win for the old colony.

            As I have also said, no one has any memory of the old days so there is no desire or clamour to return. As you well know, my expression was a rhetorical one – and I say it again, any ordinary bloke would gladly chose then over now, if it were possible to do so.

            Again, read what you wrote, read what I wrote. It’s all there. Have you had cranial trauma that has affected your short term memory perhaps?

          • Abie Vee

            The Zimbabwean emigres in London are pining for the day when they can return to their homeland. They are not pining for the return of “Whitey” (as you put it). Of that I can assure you.

          • AndrewMelville

            You will note I hope that I have never said so. It just said, correctly, that the ordinary people were better off in colonial days.

          • Abie Vee

            “Most of the inhabitants of the former colonies would gladly hop on board a time machine were it possible.”

            Rarely, even on here, does one ever come across such brazen unadulterated claptrap… claptrap of the very highest order.

            Your evidence is, er… ???????????

          • AndrewMelville

            You are very thick and excruciatingly dull.

          • Abie Vee

            Thick and dull maybe. But you’ve had a whole day to come up with your evidence and haven’t done so. In which case it looks like thick, dull and correct. Can’t be “bovered” Mzungu?

            When it comes to being economical with the actualité, you give fellow Snakeoil Salesman Farage a good run.

          • AndrewMelville

            Blackie, I’ve checked and indeed you’re not authorized to assign me homework. Nice to see you patronizing use of the word bovered.

          • Ace

            Uganda (under Amin), Zimbabwe, S. Africa, Mauritania, Indonesia. All free.

          • SirGalahadT

            Yeah – the opium trade sure helped the Chinese

          • AndrewMelville

            Interesting. Of course China was never a colony!

          • http://maliceinwonderland-maliceinwonderland.blogspot.com/ Malice In Wonderland

            Good grief man. Have you read any history at all beyond the potted, synthesised and homogenised version of it you were taught at the age of 12?
            Do the Opium Wars sound familiar? The Boxer Revolution and what caused it? Or how about the East India Company?

            The history of the British in India, for example, is a history of the deliberate creation of famines. Such famines resulted from the policies of the East India Company. Policies which included looting through “tax farming”, usury and outright slavery of the indigenous population.

            Don’t even get me started on French Indochina!

          • Tom M

            …..and my favourite, Britain and France in the Middle East.

          • Weaver

            I’ve read history. And I’ve read economic history too. And I’m numerate in statistics

            British colonialism killed fewer subject people per subject year than the previous empires. (Did you see what the Mughal Empire did?). It certainly compared well with French, let along Belgian or German or Japanese colonies. Only the American “empire” was a statistical rival for low mortality and economic development.

            (Btw – East India Company was pre-imperial Inda. Hows that history of yours looking?)

            It may not stack up well against your modern day standards, but by the standards of the time the British Empire was one of the better places to be. Subject peoples experienced modest rises in well-being throughout, and remarkably less violence than before colonial times.

          • http://maliceinwonderland-maliceinwonderland.blogspot.com/ Malice In Wonderland

            Btw – East India Company was pre-imperial Inda(sic). Hows that history of yours looking?

            How’s it looking? lol A little more sophisticated than yours, I’m happy to say. 🙂

            The East India Company was a state sponsored monopoly and the relationship between Crown and Company was inextricably and symbiotically linked. Or weren’t you aware of that? 🙂

            One need look no further than Sir Robert Clive to see just how inextricably the two were linked. Clive of India.. does it ring a bell? An employee of the Company as well as a British officer (ding, ding, ding!!!) who’s credited not only for the military and political supremacy of the East India Company in Bengal but of securing India, and the wealth that followed, for the British crown

            The Company pioneered “the art of government by writing and government by record” (to paraphrase Burke). Its dispatches to and from India for the 15 years after 1814 fill 12,414 leather-bound volumes. It created Britain’s largest cadre of civil servants, a term it invented, by the way. 🙂

          • Weaver

            Yup, knew all that. Point holds. Pre-imperial.

          • http://www.volgatrader.com Philip Owen, Volga Trader

            “deliberate creation of famines”. No. Badly managed yes. But the planting of indigo was not an effort to cause famine. Famines were not a novelty in India. There were famines in India before the East India Company arrived. There were famines in India and Bangladesh after independence. The first Bengal famines was made worse by the planting of cash crops. The last Bengal famine was made worse by WW2. In between, there is no reason to suggest that British administration would have been worse than local and some (shipping, railways, serious anti-hoarding measures against local financial elites) to suggest that it might have been better.

    • Rintintin

      Lunatic. Russia “gave up” territories that it had occupied. Are those states previously under Russian control clamouring to be taken back? No. Do they see there future aligned with the west?Yes. Are they free to choose? At the moment yes, but if cheerleaders for resurgent Russian Nationalism/Fascim like you get their way, we can look forward to a new era of destabilisation, political assasination and double speak spewing forth from Russain. God help us all.

      • dan

        how have you jumped to that from my comments? surely ive made the opposite assertion

  • Dr. Heath

    So Moscow’s finally ‘said enough’? Enough of what, FFS? Because of Putin’s temper tantrum over Ukraine’s decision to turn her back on the Eurasian customs union that Yanukovych had expected to impose on his serfs without opposition, thousands have died needlessly in the country’s Donbas region. What, other than the criminality of the Putin regime, could possibly justify this level of cruel and barbaric slaughter? Who’s invaded the Russian Federation? No one. Who would even want to invade the massively armed but ramshackle d*ngheap that is Fortress Putin?

    The citizens of Ukraine are not, as both Putin and Mr. Hitchens and his odious fellow appeasement monkeys want us to believe, mere pawns of the US State Department, dimwits who ousted the arch-scumbag Yanukovych only because “NATO and the euronazis” tricked them into doing so. There is not a single square centimetre within all of the former territories of the USSR or, indeed, of any ex-Warsaw Pact country that was’owned’, ‘given up’ or ‘lost’ by Russia. The Russians, contrary to the arguments posited by appeasements monkeys, are not the owners of any segment of the Eurasian land mass solely by virtue of these regions having been brutally and usually criminally occupied by Stalin and the Red Army. There is only one superpower in the region and that is Mr. Putin. Putin has sized up his opponents and, rightly, concluded they are harmless milquetoasts.

    It is apologists for Putin’s kleptomania and expansionism – the as yet unexplained ability of ordinary citizens of Donetsk and Luhansk to produce rocket launchers, tanks and artillery pieces to ‘defend’ themselves – who need to explain why it is anyone would NOT see the similarities between Putin and Hitler.

    • BlackArrow

      A quick comparison of a 1980 map and one today shows Russia is *not* expansionist.

      It is instead – predictably – reacting to a threat to its inner security zone, like we rightly reacted to the pro-Soviet coup on Grenada in Oct83.

      Dr. Heath’s kind of silliness could actually get the West completely and utterly destroyed.

      • Dr. Heath

        Krembot spew.

        • BlackArrow

          (Joe) McCarthy(‘s) spawn.

        • Cyril Sneer

          Oh how original, a Kremlin bot accusation. You seem to think that anyone who has a differing view is a paid kremlin stooge. You should hook up with Scradje – you and him share the same paranoid delusion. Look out Dr Heath they’re behind you!

          • Christopher Burd

            My eye caught the phrase “odious fellow appeasement monkeys” in the second paragraph; didn’t bother to read the rest.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Indeed – it’s a case of if we don’t agree with them then we’re either fascists, paid stooges or appeasers for ‘Hitler’.

            They’re all a bit sad really.

          • Dr. Heath

            Arsehole.

      • BoiledCabbage

        Drivel – what about Poland’s “inner security zone”?

        • BlackArrow

          Russia is not on Poland’s border, if you look at a map, and the Russians have shown no intent to invade all of Ukraine to get to that. By contrast, Ukraine’s Kharkov is at Russia’s throat, if Ukraine goes NATO.

          • Ivan Ewan

            Putin thinks that East Germany is up for grabs, what’s to stop him asserting claims on Poland?

          • Cyril Sneer

            Does he? Provide proof.

          • Ivan Ewan

            My evidence would come in the form of media reports, which you will no doubt dismiss as propaganda, therefore there is no point in bothering to do so.

          • Cyril Sneer

            All very vague Ivan. Provide links. But, any article that starts with ‘Kiev reports….’ can be thrown in the propaganda bin.

          • Ivan Ewan

            Oh, you are a Putinbot. I just wanted to be sure. Bye.

          • Cyril Sneer

            No Ivan, I’m English, a kipper, a right winger. You make the accusation that I’m a bot, and yet it’s you that has failed to produce evidence when asked.

            People like you rarely go into detail or provide evidence and when faced with a differing view you resort to baseless paranoid accusations and nothing more.

            If anyone here is a bot then it’s you Ivan.

          • BlackArrow

            I’ve seen something about this, Cyril. The Russians feel threatened and are trying to counter-threaten any way they can. Violating Estonia’s NATO border to thus illegally grab the Estonian official/operative? Eston Kohver was an example of this and very foolishly helped Western mainstream media warmongering.

            However, we now have Berlin Brigade type trip-wire U.S. Cavalry units in the Baltics … and Poland … backed up by our unconditional nuclear deterrent, and Putin isn’t stupid.

            And the Germans aren’t going to go along with a Fifth … and Final … Partition of Poland … unless the Poles continue to try to stir up trouble, anyway.

            So forget it, Ivan … unless we try to start up a real direct war with Russia in Ukraine.

            The Ukrainians … and Russians there … suffered horribly in the past century. When the Soviet regime fell, they only wanted to join the West and share in our freedom and prosperity. Instead … Appendix B of the Rambouillet Treaty with which we forced our Kosovo bombing war on their little Serb brothers … Russia’s protege Iraq … and Libya … Syria almost … and now Ukraine … we have betrayed them … and Cold Warriors like myself who won that for everyone’s sake … especially our children’s. They (and we) do not deserve this.

            Lou Coatney (whose 1940 Katyn Massacre as a Cold War issue history thesis can be read via links on my webpages)

          • Cyril Sneer

            Oh if the Russians feel sufficiently threatened then they will react or threaten to react, of course. But it’s clear they don’t want a military (no nukes) confrontation with the US, they’d lose.

          • Ivan Ewan

            What you’re saying is that Russia can’t invade mainland Europe. And I agree, it’s folly for them to try. But their point in questioning the legality of German Reunification is to muddy the waters of whether former USSR states can be legally reacquired by Russia.

            And they can use the same arguments, and the same justifications, to invade whomever is convenient on the far side of Berlin. I think they want the idea “Russia is only taking back what is legally theirs” to form in peoples’ minds. In my experience most people are generally so weak-minded that it might even eventually work.

          • BlackArrow

            They’re not going to mess with NATO … nuclear war … Ivan, unless Obama allows our nuclear deterrent credibility to erode … or unless we foolishly try to add Ukraine to NATO.

          • Ivan Ewan

            Under Obama there is no such thing as nuclear deterrent. As for the rest of NATO, we won’t use nukes until they do. If Putin wants Latvia, or Estonia, he knows he just has to wait until NATO gets bored and goes home. Meanwhile, he’ll be flooding the place with Russian-speaking immigrants.

          • itdoesntaddup

            The Russian speaking immigrants are busy establishing themselves in Moscow-on-Thames and its suburbs.

          • Weaver

            Yes, I know the Russians feel threatened. And they have some justification from their historical experience, and their incompetent military history.

            But seriously, mild paranoia seems to be in the drinking water there. No-one wants to March on Moscow, now or ever. They really shoud be able to see that. We’d all they rather grew up, evolved a stable, democratic polity, and got stupidly rich selling their oil and gas.

          • Garry

            Russia and Poland do in fact share a border, albeit a small one.

        • Cyril Sneer

          You need to resit Geography.

          • stevealbury

            no you need to resit geography – Poland does indeed share a border with the East Prussian district of Koenigsburg currently under Russian occupation as Kaliningrad but in your worldview a place perfectly within Germany’s rights to reconquer

      • Weaver

        Your security “needs” does not give you the right to invade and subvert neighbours who aren’t threatening you, or anyone else for that matter.

        • BlackArrow

          Grenada wasn’t a Soviet naval and air base threatening us … yet … when we *rightly* descended on it in Oct83.

          The Russians are reacting the same way.

        • BlackArrow

          There was no overt threat in Grenada in Oct83, either.

          The Russians are reacting EXACTLY like we did … and WE started the Ukraine War with our/Victoria Nuland’s $5 billion Kiev coup, which broke the Budapest Memorandum/treaty and overthrew Ukraine’s sovereignty – NOT the Russians.

          • Weaver

            Agree on Grenada, mostly.

            But “two wrongs don’t make right”. Distraction fallacy.

            I don’t think EU financial aid (“bribes”, if you prefer) constitute a violation of sovereignty by any current interpretation of international law, do you?

    • Arthur Rusdell-Wilson

      I think you need to look at the borders of the Russian Empire before 1917 before you go down the “criminally occupied by Stalin and the Red Army” route.

    • tolpuddle1

      Who would even want to invade the massively armed but increasingly shambolic d*ngheap that is modern Britain ? How much resistance would there be if they did ?

      Much of the “cruel and barbaric slaughter” has been committed by Kiev – where did THEIR arms come from, where did they materialise from ? And what about Dubya’s temper tantrum (with us in tow) that led to mega-death in Iraq ?

      The Ukrainians aren’t western pawns – they’re dreamers, eager to live the dream of European prosperity that is now collapsing. Eager to think that cardboard-heroes like you and Cameron will ride to their rescue. Eager to forget that the West is bankrupt, propped up by only by money from China or the Gulf.

      Your use of the word “appeasement” is, any case, the clearest demonstration of your comments’ lunacy and hypocrisy.

    • Scradje

      Right on the money Doc, as usual.

    • ambience

      Ukraine is divided, that’s why there is a civil war. Stop blaming Putin, better look to some statistics researchs. Also western politics and intelligent services had to look to the stats before playing with Ukraine. You have no idea about the country and take wrong conclusions and decisions.

  • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

    George Friedman predicted the rematch with Russia in his 2009 book, the Next 100 years. He believes Russian expansionism will dominate the agenda until 2020, but demographics will ultimately kill the Russian dreams. The crucial player here is Poland. Russia’s weakness is its borders and Russia has no natural nbarrier on the North Europe plain, so needs depth/distance. by 2030 they will have only 100 million souls and the thousands of miles of border are undefendable.
    This time round China will not be a neutral or ally of Russia. China is already encroaching into Sberia to plunder wood and other resources .Russia will collapse in the next ten years.

    • William MacDougall

      You are out of date. Russia’s population fell during the Yeltsin depression, but is now growing again.

      • BoiledCabbage

        And robots. Don’t forget robots.

      • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

        Well for the first time in 27 years Russia showed a surplus of births over deaths in 2014, by 24,000. The population rose by 1.9 million as a result of newly annexed territories.
        Remember only 80% of the populaiton of Russia is Russian, the other subject peoples have no loyalty to it.Meanwhile 200,000 Russians leave every year, usually the rich ones.

        • tolpuddle1

          Remember that an increasing proportion of the “United” Kingdom’s population isn’t British in any truthful or realistic sense of the term. Remember that many (most?) of them have no real loyalty to Britain and certainly won’t fight for it (they’ve come here for the dosh, not to die like heroes !) – and an increasing proportion of the Moslems among Britain’s population are eager to fight AGAINST it.

          Remember that the native population are increasingly decadent and criminal – so much so, that the cops are now not even bothering to record (let alone investigate !) most non-violent crimes. And that the white population are increasingly grey and old – if it weren’t for clever doctors, the native (i.e. British) population of Britain would be falling like a stone.

          Meanwhile, a vast horde of Brits emigrate every year, usually the skilled and intelligent ones.

    • tolpuddle1

      That’s one scenario. Here’s another:

      The United States, held together only by Money, will split apart in the event of another economic shock like 2008, something which is more than 50% likely to occur. The USA’s already politically, culturally and racially divided (and with severe climatic problems) and is ceasing to be the WASP country it always was in the past, so will cease to be recognisable whatever happens.

      This may all happen in the next ten years.

      The Poles aren’t going to invade Russia (they aren’t crazed, warmongering fantasists like you) even though you obviously want them to.

      I’m very amused you imagine that China (peaceful, democratic, humane China with its tiny army) is a friend of ours, and that if it expands at Russia’s expense, we’ll still have nothing to fear from China.

  • Bronco

    Excellent article, Hitchens remains a rare voice of reason amid the anti-Russia hysteria in the UK today

    • William_Brown

      Not sure its anti Russian, but it’s certainly anti-Putin.

      • http://maliceinwonderland-maliceinwonderland.blogspot.com/ Malice In Wonderland

        It’s not just anti-Putin. Washington/NATO would have the exact same attitude toward any Russian leader who refused to allow western interests rape and pillage the country.
        They want a compliant vassal at the helm of Russia, not a leader who places the interests of his country before the will of Washington.
        Any leader who, like Putin, refuses to bend to their will would invoke the same ire.
        If that isn’t anti-Russia, I don’t know what is.

        • rtj1211

          Well said. I ask that all those shrill voices be required to state identical words in a court of law under oath. It would be really great to see what percentage would back down upon fear of imprisonment due to perjury…….

          I further wish that UK MPs were required to speak under identical conditions as part of their public office. It would be really wonderful seeing half the cabinet put in prison for 5 years for committing perjury spouting the Washington party line……

        • T_H_E_R_I_O_N

          Malice in W – superbo!

      • https://storify.com/charlesfrith/is-charles-frith-a-mensch Charles Frith

        85% approval rating. It’s anti Russian propaganda.

        • William_Brown

          You believe that 85% figure? Even Saddam only managed 80%, and we all know how he ‘achieved’ that…

          • re.diez77

            Some western journalist a week ago spend a whole day on Red Square interviewing people about Putin. 95% vote “pro”. What you need to understand is this not about Ukraine only. Russians have a lo-o-ng list. Time to pay, guys!

          • zygmnt

            95% rusian”s criminalists plus you

          • http://www.volgatrader.com Philip Owen, Volga Trader

            When Putin hit 92% support, only 54% said they would vote for him as President. Maggie hit 85% after the Falklands victory. In time it eroded, even with backing for oil. When the oil price fell so did Maggie.

          • ambience

            Could you give a source of this information about 92% and 54%? I could not find it

          • http://www.volgatrader.com Philip Owen, Volga Trader

            Somewhere on the Levada site. Politicians are often more or less popular than their governments and their actions can be approved of by people who don’t intend to vote for them (the Communists and the LDPR for example).

      • spartan2600

        A lot of it has anti-slavic racism barely cloaked underneath. It is anti-Russian in the sense that the hysteria demands nothing less than a supine, supremely exploitable Russia. An independent Russia is not acceptable to the West.

  • ItinerantView

    Well said Peter Hitchens.
    The EU and NATO has been poking the bear for years and having got a predictable reaction, is now trying to blame the bear for protecting its strategic interests.
    Richard North elaborates on the massive amounts of taxpayer’s money the EU has been using to promote revolution, ironically and utterly hypocritically in the name of ‘democratisation’, against a government the EU had already recognised as democratically elected;
    “The extent of funding to the Eastern Partnership is colossal. Between 2011 and 2013, just EU spending on Ukraine was €389 million with €13,524,357 given to single beneficiaries in 2012. As much again was given to multiple recipients. But even more sinister is the way money was parcelled out to NGOs in relatively small packages, making a little go a long way.”
    http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=84781

    Ukraine is just one of 16 countries of the ENP, the others are mostly in the Middle East and North Africa; here (as just one example of the myriad projects using Billions of Europeans taxpayer’s money) the EU is “strengthening public media” from the Balkans and Ukraine to the Middle East and North Africa, as part of their “Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy”, notice the word enlargement.
    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-803_en.htm
    I hope to see you write about this wider expansionist agenda and its enormous ramifications Mr Hitchens.

  • Ivan Ewan

    The EU’s expansionists didn’t know the kind of man they were messing with. Putin, although he is practically a dictator, although he is barefacedly lying about “rebels” in Russian uniform taking over large swathes of Ukrainian territory, and although his Putinbots are paid to destabilise public opinion on the legitimacy of anything to the east of Austria – in spite of all those things, he’s at least doing something which the people of the UK, or the USA, or France or whatever, should be amazed by:

    He’s actually trying to further the interests of his own country.

    • BlackArrow

      Basically agree, but *Putin* isn’t the aggressor in Ukraine, Ivan – he’s just reacting.

      WE are the aggressors.

      • Ivan Ewan

        Are you? I’m not.

        Putin is an aggressor in the Ukraine, regardless of who started it, and the EU is already shivering in its boots.

        If Mr Putin wants things to return to normal, he has the opportunity to do that, immediately. But he’s lying about Russian presence in the Ukraine, he has authorised the breaking of ceasefires, and he’s pretending that the Crimea is legally Russian territory.

        So don’t tell me he’s “just reacting”. He’s playing by the Russian rulebook for softening and assimilating neighbour states.

        • BlackArrow

          Fantasizing a “Russian playbook” too. Very telling, IE.

          This isn’t going to be over now, thanks to us breaking the Budapest Memorandum/treaty – WE started this, not the Russians – until there is some kind of partition of Ukraine and Belgium-1940-like guarantees NATO won’t set up bases in it.

          But our neocon militarist leaders won’t settle for that, of course.

          • Ivan Ewan

            The Russians have been invading neighbour countries in more or less the same type of strategem since the 18th Century or so. If you had the sense to read a book – even Wikipedia would do at a pinch – you wouldn’t need to hint darkly about my “fantasizing” anything.

            As for Budapest. The agreement not to threaten the Ukraine politically or militarily was Russia’s obligation, and they broke it, you retard.

            Putting you in the Putinbot category, I think.

          • tolpuddle1

            The Budapest Agreement was made in 1994 – that is by Yeltsin.

            Putin would be guilty of treason against Russia and its people (as Yeltsin certainly was) if he were to honour it.

            Your comments put you in the Kievbot category, I think.

          • Weaver

            I’m glad you think that such solemn matters of treaty between nations are merely “ink on paper”.

            I’ll weigh all your future promises accordingly.

          • tolpuddle1

            Mere “ink on paper”, like the whole heap of UN resolutions telling Israel to leave the West Bank.

            If Israel can ignore (repeatedly) ink on paper, why not Russia ?

            And since when was the 2003 invasion of Iraq legal ? (let alone justly undertaken)

            People like you only wax pious about “solemn matters of treaty between nations” when it suits you.

            But don’t worry, I had no confidence in you in the first place.

          • Weaver

            “But x did y too and …”

            “Two wrongs don’t make a right” or classic fallacy of distraction.

            Sorry Tolpuddle, you obviously never took logic or headed up a debating society.

        • Cyril Sneer

          Any thoughts as to what East Ukrainians want? No? Didn’t think so…..

        • rapscallion

          Clearly you didn’t read the article did you. Did you manage to fail to read the section that said “One of these powers, Russia, has given up control over 700,000 square miles of valuable territory. The other, the European Union, has gained control over 400,000 of those square miles. Which of these powers is expanding?”

          Well ?

          You’re talking out of your backside.

          • Ivan Ewan

            No, I dispute the premise of the article. Russia didn’t give up 700,000 square miles because it wasn’t even Russia at the time. We’re talking about the Soviet Union here, which collapsed, buster – the only thing which was “given up” was Crimea to the Ukraine by the Russian administration of the USSR. We can speculate why, but ultimately, the reasons don’t matter. It’s been recognised for decades now that the Crimea is Ukrainian, but now all of a sudden the EU ruffles Putin’s feathers and he decides it was always and always shall be Russian after all, and then invades it, with Spetzatz masquerading as “rebels”.

            So you can take Putin’s propaganda, and his war crimes, and shove them up -your- backside.

          • rapscallion

            You can dispute it all you like, the fact remains the same. Hitchens did not say Russia had given up 700,000 sq miles, he said they had given up CONTROL of 700,000 sq miles. That’s 700,000 square miles that costs millions of Russian (and no doubt Ukrainian) lives only 70 years ago. We in the West might forget that. They don’t. Bear in mind also that the Russians are understandably nervous about threatening powers on their Western border. Napoleon, or Hitler anyone?

            Ukraine was ceded to Kiev by Krushchev (whose Mother was Ukrainian) in 1954 or 1955. It was purely an internal soviet bureaucratic money saving measure I’ve no doubt.

            Your history, like your grasp on reality is sadly lacking.

            The Russian Black Sea Fleet has been established in the Crimea since 1703. That is historical FACT. Trying to get Ukraine into the EU’s sphere is influence will deny the Russians access to what is rightfully theirs. No doubt you hadn’t considered this possibility in your rant.

            You need to get a few things into your rather thick skull sunshine. Firstly I spent a not inconsiderable amount of time in units actively engaged in prosecuting units of the Soviet Navy. A bit more than you I much suspect. Secondly, I have no brief for Putin, the Soviet Union or Communism. I loathe all that they stand for and still do.

            Thirdly, the EU and the US are NOT our friends and they will stoop at nothing to get what they want. Lastly, NATO (and by extension the EU agreed) with the 1994 Bucharest Memorandum, and agreed by Russia that they would not enter each other’s “sphere of influence”. By offering Association Agreement to Ukraine which stipulated amongst other things under section 3 – that would certainly have Moscow seething, particularly when one thinks about how the present Ukraine military has been developed, trained and equipped:

            “The Parties shall explore the potential of military-technological cooperation. Ukraine and the European Defence Agency (EDA) shall establish close contacts to discuss military capability improvement, including technological issues” This is one of the areas the EU plans for ‘gradual convergence’ and ‘ever-deeper involvement’, with a country aligned historically, culturally, politically and militarily with Russia and the former Soviet Union. There is only one destination when the plan is ‘gradual convergence’ and ‘ever-deeper involvement’, and that is union.

            You can view it here – http://www.scribd.com/doc/211337401/3-Ua-Title-II-Pol-Dialogue-Reform-Pol-Assoc-Coop-Convergence-in-Fsp-En

            I suggest you STFU

          • Ivan Ewan

            Wow, did you mix me up with someone else? Most of your angry ranting is directed at points of view I’ve never held.

            It wasn’t the Bucharest Memorandum, it was the Budapest Memorandum, and you’ve got the details of that document wrong anyway.

            I suggest you take a step back and check your facts before you come out with this “STFU” “thick skull” garbage, “sunshine”!

          • rapscallion

            Clearly comprehension is a problem for you. Look up the Bucharest Memorandum. I do no have the details of any of the documents wrong. The latter being lifted from an EU site.

            You check your facts shit for brains

          • Ivan Ewan

            Search results yield precious little. Did You Mean Budapest Memoranum, Transylvanian Memorandum, etc. I now see what you mean by “facts shit for brains”. If you believe that facts ARE shit for brains, it’s no wonder that you know none.

  • Marcus

    How can the EU stand up to Putin over the occupation of the Ukraine and yet they turn a blind eye to Turkey’s 40 year occupation of Northern Cyprus.

    • William_Brown

      …The same way that it can ignore the vagaries of Saudi Arabia and cry crocodile tears over the beheadings of its own people and other westerners. It’s called duplicity. Oil: The gift that keeps on giving.

    • jjk8787

      Don’t British tourists (on a budget) holiday there and stay in the erstwhile homes of northern Greek Cypriots?

  • Zed largo

    Right on the nail. What is most interesting at this particular time is that the British media is being recruited by Cameron to spread a propaganda campaign of sabre rattling, using Russia as a straw dog to heighten a sense of unity and hung oh just before an election. And while on the subject of election propaganda the establishment is making a totally cynical move against the Bank of England, doffing its cap to populism by investigating it for criminal rigging in the money market, knowing full well that nothing will come of it. Propaganda in the UK is taking on the Third Reich for its depth of lies, manipulation and poisonous brainwashing.

  • Perseus Slade

    The EU is no military threat.
    The US is trying to disengage.
    The response to the Eastern Ukraine affair has been muted.
    Is this the high-water mark for Putin or is he going to have another nibble?

    • William_Brown

      The man’s ego knows no bounds – he’ll take as many big bites as he can get away with. After all said and done, he is a politician – and a Soviet one, at that.

    • tolpuddle1

      But NATO is a military threat.

      • Perseus Slade

        Only to attackers.

        • tolpuddle1

          And to Russia.

          Fortunately, missiles apart, NATO is a paper tiger; no one’s going to die for it, not even you.

  • walkergw

    The author equates the will of the governments fleeing Russian Repressive regime to Nato pushing expansionism. The countries had their choice. They could stick with Russia or they could move west. They choose this. It is easy to see why. Look at the instuments that Russia created. CIS and EEC. Both require Russia to be the controlling power and the allies to be subordinate. Yes Nato and EU are growing and Post USSR Russian influence is waning. But Russia only has itself to blame, not the countries eagerly seeking escape from its orbit or the West for accepting them. And this is why this author is painfully misguided. Russia’s willingness to reasert itself aggressively instead of creating an environment where nations flock around it tells the whole story.

    • Cyril Sneer

      “They could stick with Russia or they could move west. They choose this”

      The East Ukraine chose East (hardly surprising considering who had been selected for the interim Kiev government) and Kiev attacked them for it. They attacked their own people, shelled their own cities and now the East is gone.

      Ukrainians should not have had to make an East West choice, Ukraine’s ideal position is as a neutral buffer state, even Putin recognises this.

  • Helen of Troy

    Ans: Because the USSR never dies. Because there is Putin. Because the Russians have never liked freedom but always thrill to authoritarianism. Grow a brain, will you!

    • tolpuddle1

      What you say of the Russians is doubtfully true – but very certainly true of 99% of Muslims.

      But please don’t worry about Islamic State ! They’re only crazed mass-murderers within a whisker of ruling the Middle East and a stone’s throw away from Europe.

      Much, much better to “take on” Russia instead !

      • Helen of Troy

        I’ve studied Russian history. It was not encouraging.

        • tolpuddle1

          I’ve read some Muslim history; it’s even less encouraging.

          And where’s the Russian equivalent of Islamic State ?

          • Helen of Troy

            I don’t know why you’re hammering at this with me. I never mentioned anything else; I was responding to the article.

          • tolpuddle1

            Try responding to the reality of Islamist advance instead.

            Or do you think that (a bankrupt) West can take on Putin AND Islamism ?

            Even if Putin was a threat, why not tackle the real threat from Islamism first ?

            The two issues are linked.

          • Helen of Troy

            I don’t disagree. But I never said we should take on Russia and nobody else. Indeed, I didn’t say anything of that kind: I was just saying that Russia is not and never has been a welcoming place for freedom.

      • Weaver

        I’d rather we didn’t have the distraction, sure. But you don’t get to pick your fights.

  • John Carins

    The truth has a clarity all of its own. Good article.

  • Diggery Whiggery

    Ahhhhh, at last, some lucidity in this world of spin, bluster and political posturing. Ukraine should have remained a more or less non-aligned state as fronting up two power blocks, with foreign policies that are immune from public opinion and military forces capable of implementing them, will only end one way.

    Trouble is, if the West takes a step back now, it’ll lose more than Ukraine.

    P.S. “The hated Peter Hitchens” is the “The much respected Peter Hitchens in our house”.

    • Weaver

      Yes, ideally, an Austrian situation would have been fine.

      But ultimately the Ukrainians have a right to chose their friends.

  • Mike Scott-Hayward
  • Mike Scott-Hayward

    Old Lessons to Remember

    Cold War II would be a much better option than WW III.

    A cold war brings stabilized tension, constant vigilance and constant caution – and with nuclear deterrence at its core – a permanent stand-off.

    We face these new choices simply because the EU’s little demagogues do not understand the innate fear of a Russian nation which was brought close to extinction by Napoleon and Hitler.

    The old “spheres of influence” have been disregarded by the EU, Merkel and the woman the Russians call “that English woman”, Baroness Ashcroft. A British Army subaltern doing War Studies would get it.

  • Damaris Tighe

    The overthrow of Yanukovych may have been a coup, but so was El Sisi’s action against the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. After his overthrow Yanukovych was exposed as corrupt & self-agrandizing. Some coups in benighted lands are for the better. Not to see that is to idolize the ballot box which works well only in countries where the electorate are truly mature & democratic.

    • Cyril Sneer

      The coup replaced one corrupt leader with another, split a country in half and started a civil war killing thousands to date.

      “Some coups in benighted lands are for the better”
      This isn’t one of them, neither was the one in Syria, neither was the one in Libya. All our fault.

  • Mc

    “There is no obvious need for an adversarial system in post-Soviet Europe”

    Tell that to the Eastern Europen countries who joined NATO and the EU.

    • Damaris Tighe

      A version of ‘blame the victim’.

      • tolpuddle1

        The Kiev neo-conservatives thought they had the West onside. If they had been correct in thinking this, it is Russia that would have been the Victim.

        But as the West is bankrupt, with the USA being kept afloat by Chinese loans and investment – and as almost no one in the West (apart from the usual rag-tag of hawks and neo-cons) wants economic or military conflict with Russia

        – Maidan were mistaken.

    • Cyril Sneer

      “The standard fallacy peddled by Russian apologists is that Ukraine and
      the West should not have cozied up to each other because they should
      have known that Russia would respond violently.”

      No, totally false, but please continue to make sh t up.

      • Mc

        Well then you’re the first Krembot who has publically disowned that rationale for the Russian meddling in Ukraine.

    • tolpuddle1

      Sovereign states also have a right to object to being encircled (with subjugation in its train).

      By the West and its pals in Kiev, for example.

      • Mc

        Could you confirm that when you say “right to object” you actually mean “right to invade any country whose policies Russia objects to” ?

        By my reckoning that means NATO is perfectly entitled to invade Greek Cyprus right now for cuddling with the Russians and mainland Greece if the Greeks became too friendly with Russia.

        • tolpuddle1

          Unless the Russians were to put armour into Greece or Greek Cyprus, there is no way such places could be a threat to us.

          Ukraine – vaster and more powerful – is a different kettle of fish. If the Western plot to bring Ukraine into the Western orbit via EU, then NATO, membership had succeeded, it would have been a real threat to Russia, which would have had to surrender to Western interests, to bend the knee to Washington and Berlin.

          How can Greek Cyprus do this to us ?

          • Mc

            More logical fallacies

      • Weaver

        Yeah, OK. I can see Russia has the total right to invade people who won’t be friends with it.

        Tell me, why is Russian diplomacy so damn bad at making friends? They’ve had 25 years since the cold war ended and their list of close friends is basically Belorus and Greek Cyprus. Say what you like about the US, it actually has a nominal alliance of people on speaking terms with it.

        • tolpuddle1

          The USA’s commercial power gives it many fair weather friends – and some sycophants (like Britaiin) eager to crawl up its rectum) – but few, if any, real friends.

          • Weaver

            Your view simply contradicts the data.

            US relations with Yeltsin were cordial, perhaps even warm. Relations only began to deteriorate notably towards the end of Putin’s first term.

            The West expended considerable resources to assist Russia with a democratic transition – why make an enemy there when you have China to worrry about? NATO’s partnership for Peace was sincere, as were the many billions of IMF and structural assistance.

            Of course, with you it’s all about the shadowy military-industrial complex….(procurement budget <1% of western GDP and falling). You know I never hear about the shadowy phone-Industrial complex despite that industry being fifty times larger than the weapon manufacturers.

          • tolpuddle1

            NATO rockets have been pointed at Russia ever since 1989, as they were before. And in view of the cordiality with Yeltsin, why wasn’t Russia welcomed on board NATO, this “Partnership for Peace” (!) that is armed with nuclear weapons ?

            The transition from Communism to democracy was achieved by the Russians themselves. It was made far more painful by the West’s insistence on Capitalism being introduced overnight, by “shock therapy.”

            Putin has been the beneficiary of the mistakes made by the Yeltsin regime (and its Western backers) in the 1990’s.

            The West was very bullish in the Nineties. It still WANTS to be, but history has moved on; history didn’t End, as we were promised back then.

          • Weaver

            US Military Procurement Budget = $ 99 B

            US telecom market (ICT) = $1,300 B

            US GDP = $ 16,000 B

            Yeah, those arms manufacturers are really powering the economy,… if you don’t understand numbers…

          • tolpuddle1

            They’re certainly powering Physics, since – directly or indirectly – they employ most physicists.

            You’d better tell our arms manufacturers how unimportant they are – by their own account, they’re vital to the UK economy, as well as its defences.

          • Weaver

            >They’re certainly powering Physics, since – directly or indirectly – they employ most physicists.

            That’s not true. Nearly everything you say just isn’t true. You have no statistical grounds for that belief. None at all. None.

            Oh look! Here’s the real data on physics grads!

            http://www.iop.org/publications/iop/2012/file_55924.pdf

            Why do you say so many things that are simply factually untrue? Are you honestly mistaken, or just lying? Don’t you realise that other people can check your claims? Don’t you think about checking them yourself before you make them?

          • tolpuddle1

            I was told (about 2007), by a trustworthy physicist, that 85% of Brit physicists are working, directly or indirectly, in defence.

            You seem to be forgetting the many tentacles of the arms industry; many things that don’t look defence-related, are.

          • Weaver

            Well, your source is simply wrong. I have data, and you have an anecdote.

            Unless you can come up with real data, and I mean numbers to support your view, then the grown-up thing to do is just admit you were misinformed and adjust your opinions accordingly.

            (I’m afraid your tentacles argument is silly. The market share stats I showed you earlier – such data would necessarily include such “tentacles”, which apart from your say-so there is no numerical evidence for. I’m sorry, but it just looks like you’re wriggling to avoid having to make a cognitive adjustment – for God’s sake; would it kill you admit you made one little mistake?)

          • Weaver

            > You’d better tell our arms manufacturers how unimportant they are – by
            their own account, they’re vital to the UK economy, as well as its
            defences.

            I simply observe the facts contradict your claims. The economic data can speak for itself.

            Seriously, have you ever looked at the economic figures on this before today? Really?

          • tolpuddle1

            So the arms industry is lying ?

          • Weaver

            All industries boast of their own importance.

            Sure, they emply a reasonable number of high-tech people in manufacture, but any economist will tell you they’re only a medium sized fish in the sea.

  • Damaris Tighe

    To argue that Russia has no imperial designs in Eastern Europe is to ignore the evidence of history. Even in pre-Czarist times the Duchy of Moscow viewed the Russian-dialect slavs living in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth as part of the motherland, though they saw themselves as separate & had a different religion.

    When Russia snatched Ruthenia & the Ukraine from Poland-Lithuania they embarked on a programme of russification of the western ‘Russians’ (Ruthenia became ‘White Russia’ or ‘Byelorussia’). When the USSR conquered Konigsburg in East Prussia in WW2 the German majority was exterminated or expelled, their city renamed Kaliningrad & re-populated with ethnic Russians.

    Russia has security in depth, evidenced by the failure of Napoleon & Operation Barbarossa, yet it wants even more depth than its own natural borders.

    I generally like your writing, Peter, but your apologism for Russia always mystifies me.

    • Cyril Sneer

      “yet it always wants even more depth than its own natural borders.”

      Very little present day to support your argument, a vast amount of evidence to counter your argument of the wests expansionism these last 30 years.

    • William_Brown

      With you on this Damaris.

    • tolpuddle1

      The USA wants “even more depth than its own natural borders.”

      Why else are they still in the UK ? To fight the USSR ?

      When the USA conquered North America in the 19th Century, the American Indians were exterminated or put into open prisons.

      A bit like Iraq 2003-8, really.

      • Weaver

        You may not like them, but the Americans are our guests, not conquerors. If we asked them to, they would leave.

        See US experience in the Phillipines and France.

      • jrdobbsjr

        Maybe if England hadn’t used various Indian tribes as proxy warriors from the Revolution until the end of the 1812 War, the fate of the Indians might have been less tragic.

  • Peter Stroud

    An excellent article. It was that useless Baroness Ashton who blatantly tried to recruit Ukraine into some loose relationship with the ever expanding EU. Of course Putin became nervous, and understandably angry. Imagine what we would fear if he tried to bring Ireland under his umbrella.

    • Mc

      Putin has done exactly that to Greek Cyprus. By your and Russia’s logic, it would be perfectly understandable if the West invaded Cyprus and installed a puppet regime, using soldiers wearing masks and unmarked uniforms.

      • tolpuddle1

        But neither has Putin done that in Greek Cyprus.

        • Mc

          You need to check your logic. Russia has negotiated berthing rights for their navy in Greek Cyprus.

          • ambience

            Has Russia organized a coup in Greece? In such case it would be an analogy, but it’s not.

          • Mc

            Funny how the Russia apologists appreciate analogies unless they’re employed by their critics. It’s also rather amusing that the West is demonised for allegedly organizing plots but Russia’s meddling is apparently always justified.

          • ambience

            Do you reject the fact that the coup was organized by the West? Let me remind you about the agreement signed by western foreign ministers on Feb 21 2014 that was ignored by them. It was a betrayal of ukrainian citizens and nothing else when western leaders have recognised the junta and didn’t insist on disarming radicals, constitutional reform, a dialog with regions.

          • Mc

            Logical fallacy

          • Mc

            Another logical fallacy

          • tolpuddle1

            So ? Ukraine is rather more significant than Greek Cyprus.

          • Mc

            You’re spouting a logical fallacy, which is the default approach for all Russia apologists.

          • tolpuddle1

            You have no arguments, so you wind on about logical fallacies.

          • Mc

            There’s no point getting into details with apologists because they only spout logical fallacies. Trying to converse in those circumstances is like trying to talk to an insane infant – something that I suspect many apologist suffer from.

  • trotters1957

    Wow, countries acting in their own interests, what a surprise.
    Plenty of right wing traitors here, as usual, mustn’t forget Mr Farage, the Putin fan.
    You seem to be allowing your hatred for the EU to get in the way of remembering which side you are on.
    I’ll pick freedom over dictatorship, yes, it is that simple, again.

    • Cyril Sneer

      So traitors are now people who have differing views? Yay for freedom of speech eh…

      You were mentioning dictatorships, seems like you want to live under one.

      “You seem to be allowing your hatred for the EU to get in the way of remembering which side you are on.”

      I’m on the side of truth and morals, what about you? If our western leaders are thrashing about the world, ruining lives and sovereign nations I will speak up against it because I am a patriot.

      You seem intent on wanting to send our men and women into yet another bloody conflict. I have enough respect for our armed forces to not want to send them into yet another needless screw up that will cost them their lives.

      P.S. the facts show that you’re wrong, we’re the aggressors I’m sorry to say. The same as in Syria, the same in Libya, the same in Iraq, the same in Afghanistan.

      “I’ll pick freedom over dictatorship, yes, it is that simple, again.”

      Do some research on the Kiev government. And, I didn’t realise this was a choice between what type of government to live under – why do stupid people like you continue to come out with crud like this? It’s child like, quite pathetic.

    • tolpuddle1

      Possibly – but not as simple as you.

      Though you’re not so simple as to have gone to Ukraine to fight the Fiend Putin.

    • ambience

      Ukraine is a dictatorship now, congratulations. People and journalists with a different opinion on EU association, mobilisation, war, Russia, government are called separatists and put in jail or just disappear.

    • rapscallion

      I should be more careful if I were you trotters Some of us spent a lot of time defending the likes of you during the long Cold War. 23 years in my case. So I suggest you STFU.

      As you love the EU so much you have a funny way of picking freedom over dictatorship.

      You must be one of those left wing scumbags!

    • Cyril Sneer

      Did you call people traitors who spoke out against the Invasion of Iraq 2003?

  • Vote UKIP

    Great article.

  • JabbaTheCat

    Hitchens minor with his ongoing cranial rectal inversion over the territorial and power ambitions of Putin and his kleptocratic mafia gangster Lubyanka Peoples Republic…

    • tolpuddle1

      You mean Putin’s Russia is almost as bad as China and Saudi ?

  • zanzamander

    Top, top, top article, Mr Hitchens.

    I have read your articles over at the other site on this matter and agree with you 100%.

    Here is another article, this time by Godfrey Bloom, that is also a must read:
    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/03/06/britain-has-no-interest-in-ukraine-lets-not-get-bogged-down-in-another-foreign-war/#disqus_thread

    US wants to keep NATO alive and it needs a bogeyman and they found one ready made in Putin. It is US/EU that is hankering for a war, not Russia.

    • William_Brown

      …Ummm…OK…

      Are you working from home today, or at the bureau?

      • zanzamander

        Just look up on your Langley computer. Oh sorry, they’re all busy hacking into North Korean ones, right.

    • pearlsandoysters

      Thanx for the link, it is a good read. It’s reassuring to know that some brave soul presents a realistic take on events & speaks in favour of realpolitik not some propaganda.

    • Kennie

      The Americans just want to boost their economy, as usual by increased armaments sales.

      • T_H_E_R_I_O_N

        Now they’re militarizing their cops their citizens are becoming the enemy… whole new market share there.

      • invention13

        FYI – not all Americans feel this way.
        I, for one, fail to see why the Ukraine is any of our business.

        • Kennie

          Thank you for replying i13. Sorry if I gave the wrong impression. When I post on blogs such as this, my comments are refering to governments and their tribes, not ‘common’ people like you or I.
          Your govt., UK govt. what’s the difference? They are all sh*te who are taking you and me for a ride. (except the uk govt is getting rid of the armed forces. I think the elite are getting frightened that a revolution may be coming)

      • Ace

        Don’t forget German armament sales. Oh, and U.K. armament sales.

        It’s so confusing.

    • J Kotze

      Zanzamander could you send the link to the “other site”, i’d like to go have a look.

  • zanzamander

    Russians (Soviets) were fighting Islamists/Fundamentalists in Afghanistan (whatever is the PC word these days to describe them) years before we in the West even knew such a thing existed.

    And what did we do, we funded and armed the Islamists to kick the Commies out of Afghanistan. And once they did that, the Islamists turned their attention immediately on us and started to kill us. Same thing in Syria, where Russians are helping Assad keep these murderers out and guess what we’re up to? That’s right, arming the Islamists, once again.

    If anything, we in the Europe should do our utmost to help Russia get back on track, instead we’re too busy taking orders from US/Saudi Arabia and are meddling in things over which we have no control.

    • 1664averygoodyear

      Great point. Remember when we bombed innocent civilians in a European capital, Belgrade? Meanwhile Blair was perfectly happy allowing the muslim scum to flourish in the UK.

      Our leaders hate us and our people.

      • evangelical

        Lol you think the prime minister has anything to do with British wars? If you were in the British military remember your oath and ask who it was your swore the oath to? Was it the UK and her people? The parliament?

        Who has sole power To decide. War?

        • alexandre1

          An entirely irrelevant comment – in none of the wars of the Blair period was war actually declared. And the idea of the Queen taking the lead rather than the Prime Minister suggests you know zero zero zero about how the UK is governed.

    • Jane Rand

      Russians through local proxy government attempted to build “socialism” in a rural archaic Muslim country and succeeded in uprooting it. In a way similar to what happened in Iran. But at least USA didn’t try to fix it with a direct military intervention.

      • evangelical

        No they didn’t total lie. Learn real history not propaganda.

      • Черный капюшон

        >rural archaic Muslim country
        Just watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPzCqCpC20M
        Before USA created Taliban to fight USSR, Afghanistan was one of the most modern countries in Middle Asia. Before 1979, women weared skirts and were not covered with niqab. These days are long lost.

        • Jane Rand

          And yet before USA created Taliban USSR invaded Afganistan.

          • Черный капюшон

            I know this is futile to argue with you, but again: USSR stepped into Afghanistan to fight islamists. That’s all.

          • Jane Rand

            And USA didn’t try it with Iran. Isn’t it what I said?

    • TTG

      EU is a lost cause…they have already cut their balls off and gave them to USA…….

      • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

        The EU is the future power in the World.It is already the one alliance all crave to join. Turkey , even most of N Africa now queueing up. It is a cultural leader. It appeals to ordinary folks aspiration of being civilised.

    • Sebastian Sander Oest

      Actually the US funded the Mujahideen in Afghanistan before the Sovietunionen invaded, to provoke the invasion. Zbigniew Brezezinski admitted this in an interview.

    • Ace

      Excellent.

  • resolutely_pig-headed

    At long last in Peter Hitchens we find a journalist who actually seems to understand that all the warmongering is coming from the Western side, and not from Russia. NATO and the EU have blundered their way into the internal politics of the Ukraine, which Russia quite understandably regards as being within its legitimate sphere of influence, and stirred up a hornets nest. Do we honestly expect the Russians to welcome such gross interference on their borders? I might point out that Britain has frequently gone to war over considerably less provocation in the past, and been right to do so.

    Like Peter Hitchens I can no longer see any purpose for NATO, and I’m probably not exaggerating to say that every action in which it has been involved since 1991 when the Cold War ended has been little short of disastrous. It has either made a bad situation even worse by its clumsy intervention or, even worse, has intervened on behalf of the wrong side who have all too frequently turned out to be West-hating terrorists. It is now nearly thirty years since Russia, or the USSR as it was then, ceased to be a serious threat to the West and it is about time that the powers that be woke up to this reality. There is only one enemy we face today, and it is not Russia but Islam.

  • Jeff Thompson

    Excellent article.

  • WFC

    And can anyone explain to me precisely why Britain, of all countries, should be siding with the expansion of the European Union and Nato into this dangerous and unstable part of the world?

    David Cameron:

    “Our vision of the EU is that it should be a large trading and co-operating organisation that effectively stretches, as it were, from the Atlantic to the Urals.”

    Remind me: who’s the expansionist?

  • developertest03

    I say GOOD!. Look at what just happened to the main opposition leader in Russia (bullet in head). Last election they had to stage a opposition candidate in Russia to run against Putin. All he did was praise Putin in the debates. Somebody has to be in charge, glad its not Russia.

    • Tatjana Dezjina

      The main opposition leader as you say, was not popular with 95% of russians. People who killed Nemtsov, should have studied this matter better.

    • pearlsandoysters

      Unfortunately, this opposition leader had very limited electoral appeal & normally pigenholed as “clown” by vast swarthes of the voters. Deplorable and horrifying assassination might be result of dubious business deals or personal feuds, something that totally escapes the majority of the commentators on the issue. It’s much easier to think along the prefabricated line suggested by myriad of mass media sources instead of thinking for oneself.

  • Nick

    This is an excellent and truthful article.

  • global city

    This more an EU interference than a NATO one.

    We have been into dangerous continental land confrontations…yet again. Why can’t we leaave them to get on with their introspective shenanigans?

  • John Mitchell

    I agree with Peter Hitchens. The narrative that is prevalent with reference to the Ukraine crisis is very one sided and in truth I think that both Russia and the west are responsible for this crisis. As others have already stated US and EU intervention in Ukraine in helping overthrow an elected government wasn’t the smartest thing to do. Why were Victoria Nuland and the staunch neoconservative John McCain in Kiev? Why did the IMF consider a multi billion dollar bailout? Not for nothing in return, that’s for sure.

    Both NATO and the EU seem determined to repeat the mistakes of the past with their expansionist thirst and the world is a more dangerous place as a result. President Putin is not without fault that is true. Ultimately though, the repeated headlines of ‘Russian Aggressors’ is exaggerated and indeed inaccurate in current circumstances.

  • JonBW

    Exactly.
    Thank you for injecting some sanity into this debate.

  • evad666

    We should ship the opposition to Ukrainian separatists, the EU Commission to the Donn Bass region.

  • Randy McDonald

    Would that Peter Hitchens understood what an empire actually was.

  • cromwell

    It is obvious to any intelligent observer than the USA via NATO is the aggressor.

  • Cheddarcakes

    100% Agree. The EU is hungry to gobble up every nation it can and Russia had no choice but to step into Ukraine after a blatant western backed power grab against a democratically elected friend. Putin is no Hitler reborn, America are the murderous aggressors fermenting war

  • Hogspace

    I don’t often agree with any religious conservative but this article is 100% on target.

  • rockylives

    Outstanding, Mr Hitchens.

  • JR

    I will never sympathise with authoritarian governments or their leaders. The whole philosophy is both dangerous and a real threat to my way of life. Having said that, the EU itself is authoritarian in the way it conducts its own business, especially when wanting to enact new Treaties. It is most certainly not democratic. I welcome this article presenting a Russian perspective, and it is important more now than ever with the rise of various threats to our freedom of speech and wider civil liberties that we are open to other perspectives and views even if we disagree. I personally do not think that NATO has been consciously empire building, but instead attempting to bring relative security to a region that has not known it for quite some time. The EU’s motives are more open to question.

  • ThG

    I agree with this article. It is absolutly right.

    Any Washington’s foreign policy is to create a big mess all over the world, under the pretext of fighting against the demonized Russia. We now see what it is in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and perhaps soon in Egypt and Jordan. Europe, including Britain, would do better to look primarily to its own problems before creating others that only serve the commercial interests of the US.
    We must stop making stupidly Russia our enemy, because we increasingly forcing it to approach the Asian countries that have a great future, such as China, Vietnam. The resources of Russia and China are highly complementary. We encourage the creation of a huge military and economic bloc that will not necessarily favorable to the West.
    For those interested:

    http://www.gurufocus.com/news/316024/jim-rogers-on-opportunities-in-russia-and-other-hated-markets

    I have great respect for Jim Rogers because he is a true realistic and sensible investor, who have courageous opinions and who dares to publish them, while many would-be analysts, economists and politicians bureaucrats always have ideas “politically correct ” but send us into crisis and war.

  • John Dubuary

    I see the Kremlin trolls are active as ever in commenting on this ill informed article. The former eastern bloc countries having freed themselves from totalitarian occupation have joined NATO voluntarily. They do so to try to ensure their new democracies survive. Ukraine is a sovereign nation and is entitled to choose its own destiny without military invasion by Russia. That this article be printed so soon after the brutal murder of one of Russia’s last hopes for democratic reform, Boris Nemtsov, is an insult to his memory and and insult to every free person in Europe.

    • Cyril Sneer

      Oh do shut up.

      “is an insult to his memory and and insult to every free person in Europe.”

      Get a grip, that is quite pathetic.

  • John Alport

    This article is excellent — a very dispassionate look at Cold War History and the present situation. I could agree with at least 20 things the author has stated. Forgive me then, if I disagree with only one.

    Author: “I have never heard a clear answer to that question. The USSR, which Nato was founded to fight, expired in August 1991. So what is Nato’s purpose now? Why does it even still exist?”

    Me: The Soviet Union may have expired, but Russia, or the Russian Federation, or whatever they choose to call their latest iteration, still has the following attributes of which everyone should take notice:
    1. a huge deliverable nuclear arsenal;
    2. a feeling that the whole world is out to get them;
    3. an old-style society of intrigue/political murder/consolidation.
    4. a largely government-controlled media capable of convincing its populace of almost anything.
    5. a populace capable of giving 87% support to a single leader
    6. a populace who largely believes that Russia has not fought a war in Ukraine, as evidenced by the fact that 68% of Russians in a latest poll “do not want Russia to go into Ukraine.”

    That’s why NATO should still exist.

  • John Andrews

    It is for the Ukrainians to decide which alliances they join,

    • cartimandua

      And they don’t fancy endless poverty under Russian command.

  • Cobbett

    Yep, the hypocrisy of US/NATO is nauseating to say the least(as is Britain’s lapdog devotion to the American Empire)

  • cartimandua

    The people of the Ukraine prefer the apparent wealth of parts of the EU to the poverty most Russians live.
    It has nothing to do with NATO.

    • Cyril Sneer

      The people in East Ukraine don’t feel that way.

  • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

    “and there is no obvious need for an adversarial system in post-Soviet Europe”

    When will the anti-Marxist editorial revolution take place at The Spectator?

    As the map makes clear in the link below, in 1990-1991 there was a controlled dismantling of statues to Lenin in the Ukraine, taking place only in the west of the nation (though not all statues of Lenin in the western Ukraine were taken down, even up until early 2014)…

    http://uk.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9B%D0%B5%D0%BD%D1%96%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%BF%D0%B0%D0%B4#cite_note-1

    When Communist officials dismantled the 1990-1991 statues of Lenin in the west of the nation, the remaining statues of Lenin in the rest of the nation were left standing, proving the removal was for show only. Western statues were chosen to be removed because they are the farthest from the Russian border, and Kiev and Moscow didn’t want Russians getting the wrong idea that they could destroy their statues of Lenin too.

    It should also be made clear that when the Ukraine 1990-1991 Lenin statues were removed, they weren’t destroyed by the Communist authorities. They still exist, hidden away.

    The destruction of Lenin statues that began in December 2013 (to date, over 600) occurred because a critical number of the Ukraine Ground Forces are in Iraq poising as Islamic State, readying to cut Iraq’s oil exports* once the United States military returns to Iraq. The Ukrainian population took advantage of the weakened security situation in the Ukraine and revolted en masse across the nation, destroying the remaining statues to Lenin (and other Communist “heroes”) that were supposed to have been destroyed back in 1991 if the “collapse” of the USSR were real and not the obvious strategic ruse it is.

    For more on this subject, see my comments to the following article…

    http://russia-insider.com/en/politics_ukraine/2014/11/04/02-09-44pm/why_ukraine_will_never_take_back_crimea

    Also see my blog…

    https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home

    —————————
    *To assist Russia’s oil based economy.

  • Frank

    Peter, this is a load of garbage. Are you in the pay of Russia? Do you seriously think that Nato lusts after the port of Sevastopol? Just where do you see Russia sullenly appeasing the West? Most people see a large number of ex-soviet vassal states suddenly and with joy managing to escape the dread embrace of Russia. As for the Russian invasion of Crimea, you see this as a reasonable response against either some horrible plot by the EU to extend its borders, or an American plot to get even after Putin had frustrated their wishes in Syria.
    Perhaps you will re-read your article when sober, and realise just how absurd you sound. Yes, you dislike the EU, so do many of us, but to see it as some kind of evil empire is ludicrous, especially when it can barely button its own shoe-laces. As for the American plot, the British vote against bombing probably frustrated America more than anything Russia did (and Russia’s port in Syria was never under threat).
    As for Putin, his actions indicate a leader trying to shore up an increasingly unstable regime, they do not indicate any kind of rational or credible foreign policy.

    • Cyril Sneer

      “Are you in the pay of Russia?”

      Gosh how dare anyone have a differing opinion that is not in line with the bullsh t EU/US narrative.

  • Dan O’Connor

    I can say this without worrying about having by career and livelihood ruined by the
    “powerless ” ones who will use their immense power in all the West’s financial. polictical, media cultural joke points to ruin me .

    The 1917 New York, Trotskyite / Zionist tribalist oligarchs , that financed and imported Bolshevism / Communism to Russia , because Czarist Russia refused to let them weedle themelves into power and loot the country and comprised 85 % of the Bolshevik goverment that exterminated 30 million Slavic Christians , is also the Neo-Con / Zionist / AIPAC/ Isreal lobby covert branch of the Republican / Democrat parties )

    They are still fuming about Stalin booting them out of power.
    These are the robber baron oligarch crimnal synicates that now control the Repulican party. that Yeltsin allowed to loot and blunder Russia’s assets for a nickel to the dollar, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and that Putin either arrested for fraud or deported . The rest fled back to the West or Zew York .

    In collaboration with the Sunni / Salafists , This is the same Geo-Political / IMF Fed / AIPAC Zinoinst/ Saudi / NeoCon / EU alliance that creates Al Queda to fight the Russians in Afghanistan, bombed Serbia and imported Al Queda radicals to fight against the Serbs, invaded Israel’s enemy in Iraq, , created the destablising Orange Revolution in the Ukraine ( George Soros / Open Society ) assainated Ghaddafi , imported and armed Muslim radicals to overthrow Russia’s ally Assad i Syria , and is rachetting up the propaganda to do the same to Iran and then Russia
    Goofle up Victoria Nuland ; = Victoria Nudelman / Kagan to see hoiw they work

    The US Christian Zinoist Evangelist NeoCons also play a part as useful idiots

    Just because we dont know everything about everything, down to the last cossed
    T and dotted i , it does not mean we cannot say anything about anything

    • jrdobbsjr

      What a crock….the true fathers of the USSR were Hindeburg and Ludendorff, good “Aryans” both. It was they who conveyed Lenin & Co into Russia…like one would inject a virus into a healthy host…to undermine and destroy Kerensky’s Provisional Republic and knock Russia out of the Great War.

      • Dan O’Connor

        And yet in a speech given to the international media , even Putin confirmed that which is finbally becoming common knowledge, which is that the first Soviet / Bolshevik goverment political hierarchy and its secret police that carried out the extermination of 20 to 30 million Christian Slavic Russians and the Holodomor genocide of 7 million Ukrainians, was staffed 85% by those of Jewish ethnic background , which considering the size of the Jewish population in Russia was as always when it comes to any ideology that is hostile to Whites , , its Jewish members are always vastly disproportionate in comparison to their % of the host population

        ” like one would inject a virus into a healthy host

        Well , at least there is something we can agree upon .

        Unfortunately the body politic of the West has been infected by the same racially selective genocidal virus using immigrants and Muslims as a biological and culiural terror weapon, but more stealthy , sophisticated, incrememntal and insidious .,and without the need for the razor wire and the death camps,. because unlike under Bolshevism/ Communism . , force is not needed , because we have been huckesteres into embracing and collaborating in our own enslavement and ethnic cleansing williingly

        • Dr. Heath

          Nazi cunt.

  • Dan O’Connor

    Yippee , our children are going to be Africanised, Arabised, Mexified, Asianised demographic minorities in North America , Australia , Europe and the UK .

    Daughter

    Mummy , why are out politicians colonising us with rival alien cultures and peoples who will dominated us ?

    Mummy

    Because the morally diseased feckers are at war with us honey

  • carl jacobs

    It’s a good question. Why does NATO still exist? To ask the question more precisely, why does the US still maintain a military presence in Europe? NATO needs to exist. The real question is “Why does it still include the Americans?”

    The short answer is “Because the Europeans want it that way.” Despite all the sneering about ‘American Empire’ Europe would lose control of its collective bowels if the US ever took its military alliance back across the Atlantic Ocean. The US is the center of mass behind European defense. If there was no American contingent, then the European nations would have to get much more serious about building a modern military and not just the glorified jobs program they currently maintain. More guns – lots and lots more guns – and less butter.

    But the problem is deeper than that. Europe is a fractured continent. The sum of the parts is not equal to the total. Twenty nations that collectively spend X Billion on defense does not equal one nation spending X billion on defense. The lack of unified political vision among the twenty will mitigate the impact of the total spent. The wrong mix of capabilities will purchased and their employment will be fractured by differences in politics. There can never be a truly unified command among the nations of Europe. And that’s why the Americans are there – to provide the gravity and unification that Europe cannot manufacture for itself.

    That’s also why nations try to get into NATO. They cannot defend themselves. Increased membership in NATO not empire-building after all. It is simply small nations trying to get access to the security of that American-centric alliance. What NATO has to realize is that it can’t push its borders eastward forever. There are natural limits to the willingness of the US to fight, and NATO has no credibility absent American willingness. So there are going to be some nations – Ukraine, for one – that must be left to fend for themselves. There isn’t any way to secure them, and it is futile to try.

  • https://storify.com/charlesfrith/is-charles-frith-a-mensch Charles Frith

    Intelligent people know NATO is out of control unlike the media which is completely controlled. Google Operation Gladio for NATO sponsoring of Terror.

  • Dan O’Connor

    Once the US/ EU Globalist MacWorld crony oligarchs and their Liberal Cultural Marxist cultural / demographic terror bomber thought police get their claws into the Ukraine , it won’t belong before the average Ukrainian male turns into a morally paralysed, multiculti desensitized, obese, beer swilling , burger eating , debt slave, who has lost total control over his own national borders , spends his time unemployed eating potato chips while watching news programs about his underage daughters being gang rape tortured in their tens of thousands by the third world invading barbarian hordes that the EU Commissariat have shipped in ,while his goverment , media, child care services and police force collaborate and introduce Soviet style politcially correct , selectively anti-White ” hate ” speech criminal legislation to stifle the screams of the Ukrainian native peoples to their impending demographic minoritisation and dispossession

    As for comparing Putin and Russia to the West , it’s the difference betwen tweedledee and tweedledum . For both the Western Repulican LIbLabCon , Democrat / Zinoist AIPAC / Saudi / EU ruling MacWorld elite and Putin / Russia, they both have at least one thing in common. Their main common enemy is perceived to come not from the Left of them , but from the Right of them
    They are all anti-White nativist , anti-nationalist .
    None of them feel any particular solidarity or empathy with their own hitorical majority populations .

    • carl jacobs

      Why do I keep hearing the Horst Wessel Lied?

      • Dan O’Connor

        Because nativism is the most universal factory default setting of mankind . That’s why Israel is deporting 66,000 Black refugees who snuck arcross the Sinai border into Israel….. to Sweden , Australia and the UK , you double standard moral hypocrite

        • carl jacobs

          It would be kind of hard for me to be a “textbook example of how Zionist Jewish organisations in the West” do anything, since I’m not Jewish. Nice try, though.

          • Dan O’Connor

            Wow , so you only started art college a week ago , and you are already a fully qualified ” smash da fash ” anti-Nazis social justice warrior hippy ?

          • carl jacobs

            Annnnd you miss again. You really aren’t doing too well at this whole discernment thing, are you. Check out my avatar, slick. I earned the right to use it.

            And one does not have to be a “social justice warrior hippy” to sniff out anti-Semitism. I only have to read what you write.

          • Dan O’Connor

            Then stop behaving like one and peddling all of their off the shelf knee jerk group think student faculty mantras
            It is a sign of intellectual sloth and a lack of philosophical sporstmanship
            You demonstrate an amazing ignorance of history
            You have in your response to me clearly demonstrated by invoking Godwin’s Law ( Reductio-ad Hitlerium, ) at me that you belleve that Hitler and Nazi Germany came about as a reaction to native Germans being threatened with being overrun by third world immigration and becoming a disempowered minority in their own homeland
            But in fact you know full well that is nothing more than semantic fakery
            You are clearly attempting to draw an equivalence between WW2 aggressive German ethnic chauvanism as being on the same moral plain as the defensive nativism of Whites who want to remain the demographic majority in their own homelands and not have their children’s heritage and lands handed over to introduing and competing third world alien peoples and cultures
            If other words , if you meet an Icelander who claims he wants Iceland to remain majority Icelandic and not majority Muslim / African / Asian –you will make pompous, sneering remarks to curse him as wanting to gas millions of non-Whites and Jews
            That is crassly oversimplistic intellectual retarded hippy adolescent reasoning
            It is disgusting

          • carl jacobs

            When you bang on about Capitalists and Communists and anti-nationalists and non-white races and Jews, what the heck am I supposed to think? Don’t you realize who you sound like? Down to the umlauts?

          • Dan O’Connor

            One of the main tactits of the Left mind is not to prove their opponents wrong , but to prove them ” evil ” , which takes far less effort . All they have to do to whistle to the attack dogs is to display their sneering smug 6th form parody of a Hollywood cartoonised Nazi
            I am over 60 years old and at the age of 16 in 1968 , I was immersed in the baby bommer fashion radical chic bohemian movement . Weren’t we all !

            You are perpetuating the Catch22 –heads you win-tails we lose, damned if we do and damned if we don’t argument that the Guardianistas have honed to a fine art
            It is unfair, it is unjust , it is dishonest

            I do not believe , that you do this intentionally or willfully . Nobody who has any shred of intellectual integrity does it knowingly or consciously ., but the rules are rigged and the fight is fixed

            Let me explain what I mean by –damned if we do or don’t

            1 ) The establishment has informed Whites that they will be minorities of dwndling numbers and influence in their own homelands , lose the numbers required to determine their own destiny and will be eventually dominated by backward and alien peoples and cultures who have no moral qualms about agitating for theiir own group interests
            Only Whites are told that they are an optical illusion and sociogical fraud that doesn’t exist , unless spoken of in the negative , in terms of being the cause of all the worlds ills and evils , in which case White do suddenly exist , because the Left have an on / off switch for the existence of the White race

            2 ) This means that Whites face an existential threat , and that we are under attack . ( I can imagine the look of incredulity on your face as you read this . But I have suprise for you . This can be backed up with a gazillion data bits of documents. news reports , quotes , essays , ect ect ect tahgt have been collected over the last hundred years

            3 ) This creates a dillema , because it is only possible ro defend and preserve that which is under attack, by assertig that which is under attack

            4 ) The circle is then completed because it makes Whites who refuse to gleefully collaborate in being the first group in all of human hsitory to hand over their lands to less advanced cultures and races without a fight —open to being smeared as ” mentally unhinged ” hate mongers, ” as ” racists ” ” facists ” ” Nazis ” who want to kill millions of people ,

            5 ) The Left at first tried for sometime to ridicule Whites who claimed we were in danger of being minoritised and disppossed . When the Left could no longer refute the demographic predictions, it went to the ” fall back ” second prepared defence of its ” anti-racist ” ( anti-White ) argument
            pro mass immigration argument , which was ….

            ” Yipee , the White man is going to be a minority ”

            You see how the Left mind set works ?
            Why did the Left spend so much time cheering on replacement level third world mass immigration while ridiculing the notion that it would result in the dispossession of Whites ., while they actually saw it as a good thing ?

            One of the disadvantages that my side suffers from that your side does not , is that your lies can have breakfast and travel all the way around the world and back again , while my truths are still trying to get their boots on.

          • carl jacobs

            People who know me would laugh – no, they would be unable to stand because of the pain caused by laughing so hard – at your assumption that I am “on the Left.” I am a Burkean Conservative. What is more, I am an American Burkean Conservative which means most people in Europe would consider me a fascist.

            This issue has nothing to do with Left/Right. It has to do with the incidental nature of race. I don’t care about race. It’s a meaningless concept. I care about character. My ancestry is principally German and Swedish. Yet I told my daughters that I didn’t care if they should chose a black man for a husband. What matters more? That he faithfully fulfill his obligations as a husband and father or that he is black? Only a fool would choose the later. If you should say “All things being equal, what would you prefer?” I would say it is none of my business. If my daughter chooses widely, then who am I to object because my grandchildren will not so closely resemble me? We all grow old and die. The image we cherish will fade. The important image to pass on is the spiritual image that is found in faith in God through Christ Jesus. In Him there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither white nor black, but we are all one.

            The measure of a man is his character and character is independent of race. So you will have to forgive my lack of concern about becoming a white minority. If I live among people of good character, that is sufficient for me.

          • Dan O’Connor

            Why have you adopted the Frankfurt School Cultural / Bolshevik Marxist pseudo.scientific ideology of the
            ” Blank Slate Theory ” ?

            i’e , That mankind is infinitely pliable, perfectible and malleable and that there is no such thing as human nature, and even if their is such an evil thing , it will soon be punished out of us

            I presume that as I believe
            ( “in my childish uneducated ignorance ” )—— that all the mountains of evidence at our dispossal , of the human sociological and group behavioural sciences, and all the evidence of human experience and history clearly confirm that the obvious perils of becoming a minority far outweigh any possible advantages, and only invite chaos, suffering and death , that you believe that this makes you intellectually , spiritually and morally superior to me .
            Please confirm ?

            Why are you opposed to human cultural, ethnic diversity ?

            Why do deny the natual law right of Africans , Asians, and others to remain demographically as they are , the ruling majority in their own homelands ?

            Why are they crypto Nazis who want to gas millions of the “Other ” just because they don’t look forwad with glee to becoming minorities ?

            What possible benefit could it be for Whites to conceed their lands to hostile , competing third world peoples who have fled here because they are incapable of creating safe,and prosperous societies and have been told that the White man is the cause of all the world’s ills and that a future
            ” pay back ” time would be morally justifiable and who have no moral qualms abouit organising along racial identity lines to agitate for their own groups’s racial interests and , have no intention of turning their backs on their own interests and identity , just because we do ?

            As the deeds to the farm itself are at stake in this great one-time-only Cultural Marxist grandoise utopian rainbow happy clappy Brotherhood of Man social engineering project,
            using White people as experimental lab rats ….

            consider this .

            What you are demanding White civilisation do to , is the equivalent of me demanding that you take yourself , your wife and children on journey on a passanger jet , when the statistics show that 9 out of 10 of that type of aircraft have a nasty habit of falling out of the sky .

            Don’t exploit and gamble the future of my people , my culture, my nation,my civilzation and race just to insasiate your insastiable greed for moral purity
            It is not men like you that built Western civilzation , but you will destroy it
            It is men like you that great civilzations produce in the last days of their terminal decline .

            I am going to challenge you to debate the issue of mass immigration / population replacement with me from a sociological perspective , but you are incapable of doing so outside the framework of Hitler and the Third Reich
            ( unless of course the issue is about non-Whites being elbowed out of their homelands

          • Zhu Bajie

            One of the main tactics of the Right mind is not to prove their
            opponents wrong , but to prove them ” evil ” , which takes far less
            effor

        • jrdobbsjr

          Carl was right…now I hear it too. I think somebody’s upset because the wrong side won the War and he’ll never get to wear one of those snappy Hugo Boss uniforms in public without being set upon by da Joooos…..

          • Dan O’Connor

            Before opening your big mouth , I would suggest you do a little research to find out what the European Jewish Congress is up to, concerning their waging and relentless campaign to persuade European goverments to impose Soviet style draconian and Orwellian speech and thought crime laws and ideological indoctrination centres throughout the EU
            So you shill for organisations, even if it has been well documented, that for the last 60 years have been at the forefront of actively pushing for third world mass immigration to the West and whose spokesman have admitted that they have employed their immense financial , media and political clout in spearheading the imposition of oppressive speech and though crime laws which are selectively enforced against any Whites who attempt to organise to prevent their demographic destruction
            And you believe that just because they are Jewish run organisations and pressure groups that this makes them beyond and immune from all scrutiny ot criticism
            An ” anti-semite ” is anyone who refers to anything to do with Jewish behaviour in anything less than glowing worshiping terms and admiration.
            This makes them a kind of Master race doesn’t it ?

      • Dan O’Connor

        Ah , I have uttered impious words against the Perfect Ones and you have uttered the coded command to the set the attack dogs upon me

        ” racist ” Nazi ” ” fascist ” ” Horst Wessel ”

        ” Seize him ! Savage him ”

        Works everytime eh ? I’m sure many of my welll trained fellow country men will obey by Pavlovian knee jerrk reflex
        And that’s why you do it . because you know it

        • carl jacobs

          See, I heard it again.

          Die Straße frei den braunen Batallionen.
          Die Straße frei dem Sturmabteilungsmann!

          Where is it coming from?

          • tom

            I’ll see you, and raise you “Der Tag der Freiheit und der Brot bricht an”. (“The day of freedom and bread is dawning”). Think about that, and consider the motives of the people who sang it.

          • Ace

            The voices in your head?

      • Zhu Bajie

        I doubt the Muslim (etc) haters know it, although they share HW’s attitudes.

    • Innit Bruv

      As I’ve said previously. Like Peter Hitchens, but without the brains.
      PS: I never got those examples you were going to provide.

      • Dan O’Connor

        I don’t think I’m going to have much chance in trying to convince a turkey to vote for Christmas …Abdul

        • Innit Bruv

          Abdul???? There you go again. Why is it so many Speccie readers think that anyone who doesn’t have the same
          simplistic, and in your case, plain bonkers view of the world
          has to be a Muslim, a Guardian reader or a lefty?
          You haven’t provided any examples because you can’t.
          Nothing but hot air and unsubstantiated bluster as the above post plainly demonstrates.

          • Dan O’Connor

            My overwhelming concern is to the security and future of my family , my relations, my culture, nation , ethnicity ,civilzation and race
            I am not negotiating with you for your permission to do so
            It is not negotiable because it is a ” GIVEN ”
            There is nothing to negotiate
            For me you are just another shouty morally degenerate twerp
            I don’t give a crap what you are , or if you are from the galatic bar room .

          • Innit Bruv

            “Negotiate”? Who said anything about negotiating?
            Your’e even more of a whack job than I first thought.

            You obviously do give a crap who I am or you wouldn’t spend so much time answering my posts.
            “Civilization,race”…. Don’t tell me!! Your’e one of that whinging self-pitying “they don’t allow us to be English brigade”.

  • carl jacobs

    Europe wants to pull Ukraine out of Russia and into Europe not so much because it wants Ukraine. It simply doesn’t want the Russians to have Ukraine. The separation of Ukraine from Russia means Russia can’t re-emerge as a Great Power. That more or less secures the Eastern flank of Europe – at Russia’s significant expense. It’s a fool’s enterprise because the Europeans don’t have the power to pull it off. All they will do is antagonize Russia.

    Wise policy: Leave Ukraine to the Russians. Not so great if you are Ukrainian, but unless Europe is willing to fight a war with Russia, Europe isn’t going to stop it. And there is no point in antagonizing Russia over something that can’t be stopped.

  • Upright Man

    ‘can anyone explain to me precisely why Britain, of all countries, should be siding with the expansion of the European Union’
    I suggest it is Stockholm Syndrome. Britain is so used and fond of being raped by the EU that we’ve not only grown to detest anyone who suggests we should stop letting them rape us but also are outraged by anyone else whom the EU wants to rape but refuses to be raped.
    Gone are the days that Britain, of all countries, stood for the sovereignty of nations – or anything else.

  • Colin Lonie

    As Major General Smedley Butler USMC said war is a racket. With regards to Russia and Ukraine as per normal in UK media the looming specter of Israel is never mentioned, they did 911 and 77 and are involved in Ukraine, which is the original homeland of the euro Jews in Israel before the colonized Palestine.

    • carl jacobs

      So … Al Qaida is a Mossad plot, and Osama bin Laden wasn’t really Osama bin Laden. He was really a guy named Murray Schwartz from Brooklyn. And he isn’t really dead. The Americans only pretended to kill him so that he could disappear back into anonymity in Tel Aviv – having completed his mission. Which would have something to do with tricking the Americans into fighting in the Middle East. So evidently the Americans were tricked into fighting … by means of their own conspiracy with the Israelis? Do I have this right?

      1. The Jews departed Europe because the European govt’s didn’t know what to do with them and thought it just fine if the Jews all went back home to destroyed communities and expropriated property there live among the populations that had just aided and abetted the Germans in trying to exterminate them. Funny, They didn’t find that option too appealing. Wonder why?

      2. Palestine in 1947 was an underpopulated underdeveloped piece of backwater land. One of the principle arguments against the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine was that the Jews would starve for lack of any economy. They didn’t colonize anything. They bought land from absentee landlords and developed it.

      And really? The Israelis are the problem behind Ukraine? You would have more credibility blaming it on the Illuminati.

      • Colin Lonie

        Yes thats about right, well done give that guy a star! Osama WAS a CIA agent and Yankie darling when he was fighting the Commies, that is verified. Bush family and Bin laden families business buddies, FACT. Pappa Bush head of CIA. Mossad created Hamas as a enemy of PLO, fact. Mossad in collaboration with Gulf arabs who love money as much as any zionist created ISIS, fact. Your Zionist propaganda and brain washing is beginning to fail.

        The Jews of Europe were sacrificed by their Zionist leaders so they could get their ‘homeland’ on someone elses land.

        • carl jacobs

          The Jews of Europe were sacrificed by their Zionist leaders so they could get their ‘homeland’ on someone elses land.

          I’ve got it now. The Nazis were a Mossad plot! Is there no end to this malignant Jewish perfidy?

          • Grouchy Jack

            *sign*

            Carl, how many times must Jack explain this?

            It is the Jesuits, Free Masons and the Jews. Jack can spot them too them because he’s gifted. Their eyes glow and their skin turns a greenish colour at sundown.

          • carl jacobs

            So.. Mossad is really a bunch of Masonic shape-shifting aliens? That explains how Mossad could launch the Nazi plot before Mossad even existed. I mean… the Jews may be sneaky and treacherous but I would never have thought they would go to those lengths.

          • Grouchy Jack

            Now you’re getting there. How do you think the Egyptian and Mesoamerican pyramids were built? This outfit go way back. They brought life to earth too – according to Dawkins. Their base is Agartha – accessed through the Temple Mount. .

  • perdix

    Hitchens hates the UK and the EU. Thus he would support the dictator Putin. At least NATO isn’t grabbing land around Russia’s border.

    • Cyril Sneer

      “Hitchens hates the UK and the EU. Thus he would support the dictator Putin”

      Um no, he’s already given his reasons why the EU and US is the aggressor. This doesn’t mean he hates the UK or EU, neither does it mean he ‘supports Putin’, he’s telling it like it is. So is it going to be like this from now on, we all have to show our solidarity with the EU and US on yet another foreign screw up otherwise we’re all traitors? You’re not an advocate of freedom of speech then?

  • licjjs

    Thank you for that. Any logical person can see that the EU expanded into the countries of Eastern Europe so that NATO (aka the USA to all intents and purposes) would have a place to put its latest toys. In fact, if we go back further, we might say that the USSR was encouraged/forced to disband in the name of ‘freedom’ for the soviet countries BECAUSE we wanted to absorb those very countries which had been ‘liberated’. Gorbachev has said that he cannot understand how the west pushed for the break-up of the Soviet Union only to replicate it as the EU. Many of us cannot understand it either. Now the EU is calling for an EU army ‘to counteract Russia’ – well we all know the real agenda.

  • rapscallion

    You have taken the words right out of my mouth Peter. I long suspected that the EU and the US were behind all this. It was all too pat, and the way that sections of the Western Press have reported this you’d have thought that Russia was the aggressor instead of the other way round. They never study history do they; these idiots in Brussels and Foggy Bottom. Have they already forgotten how many millions the old USSR lost by defending Ukraine and then recapturing it later in WWII ? Do they not realise the importance of the Black Sea Fleet – Russian since 1703. Perhaps they do which makes their actions all the more reprehensible. So this wondrous EU – created to prevent war in Europe apparently, is now the very vehicle by which, if they don’t back down, by which they will start another. Bloody idiots.

  • Hippograd

    What’s Peter Hitchens doing in the Spectator? He’s a conservative, for Sajid Javid’s sake! Couldn’t Nick Cohen or Matthew Parris have written this instead and told us the proper party line?

  • Fak_Zakaix

    I fully agree with Hitchens, we should leave immediately the EU and Nato and join the Russian Federation. Have you noticed how many Russians have blue eyes…

    • Cyril Sneer

      I don’t see the connection with that and Ukraine present day, sorry.

      • Fak_Zakaix

        The analogy is perfect. Hitler denied the right to territorial integrity or even statehood to the Poles and Putin denies the same rights to the Ukrainians.

        • Cyril Sneer

          Do you think East Ukrainians are the same people as West Ukrainians?

          What do East Ukrainians want?

          Do you think those people that have seen their cities bombed, family members killed, all by their own government, would want anything to do with that government?

          Where do refugees in East Ukraine go? East or West? Most go East.

          I’ve seen videos of shelled cities, dead civilians, in these videos they curse Poroshenko and call for Russia to help. They’re ethnic Russians, there are plenty of them in East Ukraine – what do they want? Will you be calling for them to be ethnically cleansed as what Svoboda and Right Sector want?

          • Fak_Zakaix

            It is irrelevant. Ukraine is a state recognised by the world community. In Russia many more ethnic communities live that strive for independence. What would Russia say if foreign countries would help secessionist movements in Russia?

          • Cyril Sneer

            What East Ukrainians want is very relevant. The fact that you say it’s irrelevant speaks volumes. East Ukraine belongs to these people, this is their land, and it is up to them whether they want to be independent – they have suffered enough.

            The Ukraine that you know, no longer exists, get used to it.

          • Fak_Zakaix

            You are either Russian, a bootlicker of Putin or an abject arseh0le troll.

    • Dan O’Connor

      Why does everything become ” Reductio Ad Hitlerium ” ?
      = Reduce everything to Hitler

      Because it’s a cheap and easy way to avoid the bother of having to fomulate and argument

      • Fak_Zakaix

        Maybe because many people on the Right have the personality of Hitler…? What was Hitler but a German version of a Little Englander (maybe with more talents than the average Little Englander)?

  • Mahound

    The US and Nato are crazy to pursue aggression against Russia at this point. There is absolutely nothing to gain in Ukraine, it’s more or less a failed state. The only result of this aggression against Russia is that it has pushed Russia closer to the real adversary, namely China.

    To think that the US and Russia – two Great Powers representing more or less the same civilisation – are fighting over some useless piece of land in eastern Ukraine while China is pursuing a strategy to be the global hegemon no later than 2049 (and they’re ahead of schedule) beggars belief.

    Victoria Nuland and her buddies are dragging the US closer and closer to the cliff’s edge.

  • mf

    http://www.stop-russia.org/?page_id=56
    Peter Hitchens has crossed the line into this affable category known as a useful idiot.

  • Jeff Traube

    If NATO was designed to keep the Americans in, the Germans down, and the Russians out, it is not hard to see who would oppose NATO. Which is not to say Putin’s Russia doesn’t represent a threat to the Baltics and Eastern Europe.

  • Jack Kalpakian

    Mr. Hitchens, please stop using logic, reason and common sense. The loons in DC and in the Atlanticist countries want another round of Cold Wars, and by Jingo, they will get what they want.

  • http://batman-news.com The Commentator

    The US Government wants to see the establishment of a supine, western liberal pro-Washington regime in Moscow. Let us hope they never get one.

  • danram

    Oh please … What a complete and utter load of crap. A collective defensive alliance of like-minded countries where membership is not compulsory and where members are free to leave at any time can hardly be called an “empire”.

    Russia needs to face up to the fact that they are no longer a superpower commanding a specific “sphere or influence”. The fact is that their economy is barely the size of Italy’s and not nearly as well diversified.

    Russia does NOT have the innate right to tell those countries on its borders with whom they can ally themselves. Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have freely chosen to ally themselves with the west and they have done so largely out of a fear of Russian aggression. Were it not for Putin’s thuggish interference, Ukraine would have probably been content to remain strategically neutral.

    • carl jacobs

      Nations don’t have rights. They have powers. The Russians can do what they have the power to do. Who is going to stop them?

    • Cyril Sneer

      The Kiev government has no innate right to shell its own people and then expect them to want to be part of Ukraine.

  • Michelle Kerensky

    I am so glad somebody can finally see this, and say it. Russia would not have done a thing if not provoked first. Tragically, the biggest victims, ignored by the west, are the people of the eastern part of Ukraine, who disapproved of the coup so strongly they left the country and took up arms to fight the illegal Kiev regime when it came to subjugate them. Thousands have died and suffered as the US/EU hide it from their media and twist and lie details to blame Russia. US/EU ignore that not everyone in a former Soviet republic welcomes a ‘turn to the west’, and that if true peace and stability were the issue and not financial and geopolitical greed on the part of the west, these regions would and should be allowed to decide for themselves to choose Russia or EU. Split them up! After all, didn’t all the ‘former Soviet republics’ become independent by just voting yes? But when Donbass or Crimea do it, that’s a ‘farce?’ What’s wrong here?

    • Cyril Sneer

      Well said, the thoughts and feelings of East Ukrainians are never spoken about in the western media. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if you shell your own cities daily, all recorded on video evidence too, that you will lose the support of the people that live there. But again that never enters the western narrative – the people of East Ukraine do not exist, what they want doesn’t matter, the fact that this is their homes and businesses being shelled is never given a moments thought. Neither is there any desire to call Kiev to account for killing their own people or simply a call for restraint.

  • mikewaller

    If I though Hitchen worth the effort, I have no doubt that I could find a piece by one of his conceptual forefathers explaining why Hitler’s invasion of the Sudetenland was perfectly reasonable and that as it was all the fault of the victorious Allies and the treaty of Versailles, any steps towards rearmament would be wholly inappropriate. I admit that much Western foreign policy in recent years has been founded on the mistaken belief that once liberated from horrendous regimes, the liberated countries would immediately morph into liberal democracies. However, when the Europhile elements of Ukrainian polity rebelled against the highly corrupt Moscow inclined government, it is hardly surprising that this was viewed favorably by the West. By the same token, it got some proportion of Russia’s 22,000 main battle tanks underway.

    Of course, Hitchen may think it fine to use the freedom of expression he enjoys in the West to argue that it would have been best had Western governments told those who rose against the tyrant “Don’t expect any support from us, our Mr Hitchen says that the greater good would be served by your remaining under the Russian heel”. However as part of the Russian package is massive corruption and fairly regular killing of any Russian would-be Hitchens, it comes across to me as dangerous self-serving crap. I say dangerous because, as with Hitler and the Oxford Union’s “King and Country” debates, I am sure that Hitchen’s sorry little article has already found its way into Putin’s personal scrapbook.

  • Dan O’Connor

    Listen up all those attacking Peter Hitchens and attempting to portray Putin and Russia as one the major threats to Europeans and the security and territory of its majority historical populations that we face today
    And yet it is not Putin or Russia that has been busy the last 50 years waging a relentless mean, wicked , evil cynical and pathological campaign of racial double standards, and cultural and demographic vandalism and terrorism´against all of its own majority populations in North America, Australia and Europe .
    The morally diseased ruling elite in the West , in finance, goverment , media , the civil sector and academia appear fully committed to transforming the West into an Africanised, Muslimised , Mexified, Asiansied third world crime ridden , impoverisheed multi-tribalised slum, together with the ever more draconian speech crime laws and oppressive authoritarian police state required to demonise , intimidate, hoodwink , persecute , prosecute , and cattle prod any uppity Whites who attempt tpo stray beyond the Orwellian fences lines of their ideological Stalinist gulag by protesting our own demographic ethnic cleansing .
    The Western elite represent the greatest threat to the future and biological survival of European man in recorded history . They are the only thing which has ever put a question mark over the bilological survival or European man
    This mordern day sociopathic criminal syndicate of geeks, crooks, lackies, career spivs demogogues , fanatical hacks , sophists and cringing conformists are intent on interpreting their crimes as proof of their moral supremacy .
    And they’ve duped you . All they have to do is say the words ,
    ” racist ” “fascist ” “Hitler ” and like Pavolivian reflex dogs that are trained to salivate at the sound of a bell ringing , you mindlessly obey and attack your own flesh and blood
    You are so naive and gullible , that you haven’t firgured out that the reason they have spent all of their time accusing their opponents of being ” fascists ” is becasye they know that’s all it takes to dupe you into thinking

    ” Oh , in that case this means they must be the exact opposite ”

    Grow up, man up , stop being such a useful idiot and apologetic whimp for your culture , nation, civilzation and race . Grow a spine and stop being manipulated by snake oil peddlers and petrified of being ´called a
    ” racist ”
    For them you are just livestock . tax cattle and cannon fodder

    • redpilled

      They won’t wake up until the jail door slams on them, They are building their own scaffolds and worshipping their hangmen. To wake up is to become a thought criminal. If they want to stay asleep it is their choice. A man who knows he is a slave is in a better position than a slave who believes himself to be free.

      • Dan O’Connor

        ” The fates lead him who will , him who won’t they drag ” -Seneca

        • redpilled

          You will like this:
          ‘The fate of nations is intimately bound up with their powers of reproduction. All nations and all empires first felt decadence gnawing at them when their birth rate fell off.’
          Benito Mussolini.

  • Dan O’Connor

    Neo-Liberalism is Cultural Communism . It is no more tolerant of alternative views than any other totalitarian ideology or religion . It just seduces instead of compels ., It shames , ridicules , demonises , socially ostracises , and bullies . .

    Neo-Liberalism is not a science , it is a religion , and article of faith . That’s why it acts like a religion , with mordern day taboos, blasphemies, media witch hunts, inquisitions, public show trials , and Hitler voodoo dolls to frighten the little cosmopolitan Lefty and Libertarian ” free market ” children ,and keep them in their place
    It is a moral monopoly which is totally opposed to such concepts as the free market place of ideas , and so was Communism and so is Islam
    Liberalism is a cutsey sounding name for cultural and demographic terrorism
    Neo-Liberals are cultural / demographic terror bombers .
    They are so far up themselves with their own moral invincibilty and social respectibiltiy that it staggers the bounds of the imagination
    As for Conservatism Inc , they abandoned the cultural battlefield of ideas long ago
    Now they spend their time seeking a moral permission slip from the Left Cultural Marxists and following cringingly behind in the Left’s wake , while whinging that they to have revelance
    Conservatism / Libertarianism Inc joins in the Left with accusations of ” racism ” and ” fascism ” against any Whites who object to our dispossession and destruction ,as a way to gain desperately wanted approval from the Left
    This is nothing more than intellectual and moral cowardice .
    The only difference between a Left /Liberal and a Conservative / Libertarian is that a Left / Liberal stabs you in the front , while a Conservative / Libertarian stabs you in the back

  • Jane Rand

    Contrarian view is always attractive on the surface. But can we really compare the way EU expanded after collapse of the USSR with how East Europe was decades ago “liberated” by Stalin? The author avoids posing this question. And this effectively voids all his arguments.

  • Dan O’Connor

    The current System in the West exists for no other reason than its own existence and expansion , It has no vision of a ” shining city on hill ” to which it strives, but instead generates social decay , chaos ,degeneracy and filth and has even managed to evolve an ideology that glorifies it .
    Current Western civiliization is based on a slave morality ,

    Anti-facism has become the core of the post WW2 system . So much so that hysterical anti-fasicm has become a major source of legitimacy for the system, a form of “negative legitimacy ” Fascism playing a role for the system as anti-matter does to matter. One cannot exist without the other .
    They depend on the bogey man of ” fascism ” as a magic wand to intimidate and paralyse all opposition Anyone who is not them, is ” fascist ”
    The only freedom remaining in the West today is the freedom to conform to the theology of Neo-Liberalism, , which is in reality repackaged and relabeled Cultural Marxism on steroids .
    Neo-Liberalism /Political correctness ( Freudian Cultural Marxism ) is rooted in the belief anything that is destructive to White civilization is logical , and anything that isn’t is not logical., and that if Whites don’t conceed their political power and social capital , heritage , lands and ethnic identities , it will result in the gassing of millions of non-Whites and Jews .
    There are only two possibilities

    You need only visit any mainstream media blog forum and read some of the comments to confirm this .
    We have a governing elitet hat has no stake in the perpetuation of their own historical majority populations and actually profits from its social disfunction system in place
    We have a system in place where the elite favour the unmaking of their own nations
    It is diabolical and satanic

    • redpilled

      You write very well and you describe the sickness accurately. But I can’t yet agree that the ethnic racial angle is going to appeal to whites. It evokes and reinforces all the programming of anti-racism.Might it not be better to appeal to Truth in place of Lies? Doesn’t your vision evoke a sort of defensive, sterile future? Doesn’t truth about racial differences and incompatibility lead to the same result of saving us but sanctioned by Realism and Truth and Honesty?
      What I am saying is that the very word Race is self-defeating, That an emphasis on Ethics and Morality and so forth might have the same effect of saving us as a race and shining a light on the peddlers of lies.
      It is late but your comments set me thinking. Reply tomorrow, if you wish. I am signing off. Cheers.

    • Ace

      You are correct in virtually all that you have said here. The insistence of virtually all Western governments on open borders and mass third-world immigration is proof of what you say, that “the elite favour the unmaking of their own nations.” First-world immigration would be one thing, but third-world immigration is an engrafting of third-world superstition and savagery onto Western nations. Do the Roma or the Muslims integrate? Will they ever? No, their culture forbids it. Islam cannot tolerate a system of laws superior to the shariah. Thus, the centuries-long development of the majestic common law and the doctrine of legislative supremacy are anathema to Muslims and any oaths they swear of allegiance to any Western nation are false.

      Mr. Jacobs is correct to focus on the moral worth of individuals, regardless of race, but he may not ignore the evidence of group thinking and behavior that evidences hostility to Western civilization, or inability to conform to Western civilization. Sweden faces an epidemic of rape where rape was never a problem before. France has 751 “sensitive urban zones” populated by Muslims and other minorities. And no one walked out of Pres. Obama’s prior primarily-black, “Christian” church when its “pastor” declared, “God damn, America! God damn, America!”

      Redpilled, below, is reasonable to ask if it’s necessary to focus on race but it is still legitimate to connect attitudes and behavior with race. Blacks are eight times more likely to commit crimes against whites than whites are against blacks. Can this never be acknowledged? Can no policy ever be formulated with such undeniable statistics in mind, or must we close our eyes to them to avoid being called “racists”?

  • garrett

    the paranoid viewpoint espoused here is astonishing. First of all, the West, and Wasington in particular, has had no coherent policy toward Russia since 1991. And furthermore, the West, under so many different governments,, has tried to foster an akward partnership, or at least, a modus vivendi, with the new kleptocratic, regime in Moscow, overlooking countless examples of of un-democratic and basically hostile actions by a revanchist Russia, quite unhappy with it’s shrunken borders and status.

  • garrett

    it seems that some western flagellants want to cleanse themselves of real and perceived sins of western colonialism by turning a blind eye to others aggressive , and colonial-esque activities. I recognize the arrogant and racist viewpoint of the European powers of the early 20th century should be examined, and rejected, but that does not mean we turn a blind eye to new aggression by different powers. An unwillingness to except others as equals is not solely a Western malaise

    • carl jacobs

      What exactly do you think the Western powers can do? It’s foolhardy to support Ukraine in a war that it cannot win. No western state is sending soldiers into Ukraine. So what should the Western powers do? Complain to that most useful of all institutions – the UN Security Council?

      • garrett

        You are right that the West can’t and won’t and shouldn’t intervene militarily in the Ukraine. It doesn’t follow that we should say nothing therefore, and allow Russia to gobble up chunks of her neighbors. The sanctions and bans on some people and companies seems to be a way to show Russia that there are consequences. Wether they work or not remains to be seen. At the least, it may cause Russia to think before any further ”aid” to it’s nationals in the near-abroad.

        • carl jacobs

          Russia is going to act in its self-interest. It is going to eventually re-absrorb Ukraine. Exercising sovereignty over that territory is the very definition of a Russian vital interest. So what purpose is served by imposing consequences? It seems to have no purpose other than to strike a noble pose, and it will have no impact other than to annoy the Russians. How does that further the National interest of nations in the West? Russia is better positioned as an ally than an enemy.

  • Bho Ghan-Pryde

    Excellent article. I also wonder how this can go if it turns into a big shooting match. There cannot be any real EU military opposition to Russia without Germany. How would that play out? Can you imagine Angel trying to explain to the German people they are at war with Russia – again – in the Ukraine. It went very badly for Germany last time and I do not think the Germans want to go there again.

  • Alexy flemmings

    THE LAWS OF NORTHERN CYPRUS ARE ACCEPTED IN EUROPE:
    (Northern Cyprus :=: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus)

    Not only the “TRNC Immovable Property Commission (and its related laws)” but also “ALL THE LAWS OF TURKISH REPUBLIC OF NORTHERN CYPRUS” WAS ACCEPTED ON BEHALF OF EUROPE (European Court of Human Rights; ECtHR).

    ECtHR Decision 02.07.2013, App. nos. 9130/09 and 9143/09; Pavlides v. Turkey; Georgakis v. Turkey
    http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/Pages/search.aspx#{“fulltext”:[“Pavlides”],”documentcollectionid2″:[“CASELAW”],”itemid”:[“001-122907”]}

    ECtHR: “…notwithstanding the lack of international recognition of the regime in the northern area, a de facto recognition of its acts may be rendered necessary for practical purposes. Thus, THE ADOPTION BY THE AUTHORITIES OF THE “TRNC” OF CIVIL, ADMINISTRATIVE OR CRIMINAL LAW MEASURES, AND THEIR APPLICATION OR ENFORCEMENT WITHIN THAT TERRITORY, may be regarded as having a legal basis in domestic law for the purposes of the Convention”.

    Note: In the related ECtHR’s decision above, the case application of the Greek Cypriot was IMMEDIATELY REJECTED; i.e., his application was found INADMISSABLE. That is to say, he was expelled by ECtHR just at the beginning; therefore, his case was not handled (no sessions were held) by ECtHR at all.

  • Alexy flemmings

    USA’s FEDERAL COURT: “NORTHERN CYPRUS IS A DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC”
    USA’s FEDERAL COURT and USA’s COURT OF APPEALS REJECTED GREEK CYPRIOTS

    ==1. USA’s FEDERAL COURT REJECTED GREEK CYPRIOTS: THE TOUMAZOU CASE-LAW==
    “..Greek Cypriots CANNOT CLAIM that the government in control of Northern Cyprus gave their homes to Turkish Cypriots….
    Although the United States does not recognize it as a state, the TRNC purportedly operates as a DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC with a president, prime minister, legislature and judiciary…
    TRNC is NOT VULNERABLE to a lawsuit in Washington”

    The news of the Court Decision (13.10.2014): http://www.courthousenews.com/2014/10/13/72392.htm
    Page of the Court case: http://dockets.justia.com/docket/district-of-columbia/dcdce/1:2009cv01967/139002
    Decision of the Court: http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/district-of-columbia/dcdce/1:2009cv01967/139002/53

    TOUMAZOU et al v. REPUBLIC OF TURKEY et al
    Defendant: REPUBLIC OF TURKEY and TURKISH REPUBLIC OF NORTHERN CYPRUS
    Case Filed: 19.10.2009
    Decision Date: 09.10.2014

  • Alexy flemmings

    ==2. USA’s FEDERAL COURT REJECTED GREEK CYPRIOTS: LATCHFORD DECISION ==
    LATCHFORD et al v. TURKISH REPUBLIC OF NORTHERN CYPRUS et al
    Defendant: TURKISH REPUBLIC OF NORTHERN CYPRUS, HSBC HOLDINGS PLC and HSBC BANK USA, N.A.
    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/district-of-columbia/dcdce/1:2012cv00846/154428
    http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/district-of-columbia/dcdce/1:2012cv00846/154428/22

    Case Filed: 24.05.2012
    Decision Date: 31.10.2014

    http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/district-of-columbia/dcdce/1:2012cv00846/154428/22

    MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
    On September 30, 2014, the Court dismissed Toumazou v. Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Civil Action No. 09-1967, WITH PREJUDICE, WHICH IS A RELATED CASE “INDISTINGUISHABLE BY FACTS OR LAW”. See Plaintiff’s Notice of Appeal at 1 n. 1, Toumazou v. Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, No. 09-cv-1967 (D.D.C. Oct. 29, 2014), ECF No. 55. The Court therefore ORDERED PLAINTIFF TO SHOW CAUSE IN WRITING WHY THIS CASE SHOULD NOT BE DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE TO THE COURT’S SEPTEMBER 30, 2014 Order and October 9, 2014 Opinion in Toumazou. PLAINTIFF FAILED TO RESPOND. It is hereby ORDERED THAT THE COMPLAINT is DISMISSED with prejudice. The Clerk of Court SHALL REMOVE THIS CASE FROM THE DOCKET OF THIS COURT. This is a final appealable Order.

  • Alexy flemmings

    ==3. USA’s FEDERAL COURT REJECTED GREEK CYPRIOTS: FIOURIS AND OTHER 96 GREEK CYPRIOTS DECISION ==
    Fiouris v. Turkish Cypriot Community, Civil Action No. 2010-1225 (D.C. 2014)
    Defendant: TURKISH CYPRIOT COMMUNITY, HSBC HOLDİNG, PLC ve HSBC BANK ABD, N.A.
    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/district-of-columbia/dcdce/1:2010cv01225/143132/
    http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/district-of-columbia/dcdce/1:2010cv01225/143132/22/

    Case Filed: 20.07.2010
    Decision Date: 31.10.2014

    On September 30, 2014, the Court dismissed Toumazou v. Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Civil Action No. 09-1967, with prejudice, which is a related case “indistinguishable by facts or law.” See Plaintiff’s Notice of Appeal at 1 n.1, Toumazou v. Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, No. 09-cv-1967(D.D.C. Oct.29, 2014), ECF No. 55. The Court therefore ordered plaintiff to show cause in writing why this case should not be dismissed with prejudice pursuant to the Court’s September 30,2014 Order and October 9, 2014 Opinion in Toumazou. Plaintiff failed to respond. It is hereby ORDERED that the complaint is DISMISSED with prejudice. The Clerk of Court shall remove this case from the docket of this Court. This is a final appealable Order.

    https://www.docketalarm.com/cases/District_Of_Columbia_District_Court/1–10-cv-01225/FIOURIS_et_al_v._TURKISH_CYPRIOT_COMMUNITY_et_al/22/

    http://www.law360.com/cases/4db72cb6c0ce161243000002
    https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/2747346/fiouris-v-turkish-cypriot-community/

    One can see the list of 96 Greek Cypriots who lost their cases against TURKISH CYPRIOT COMMUNITY in the following link as well:
    http://leagle.com/decision/In%20FDCO%2020141103575/FIOURIS%20v.%20TURKISH%20CYPRIOT%20COMMUNITY

  • Alexy flemmings

    == 4. USA’s COURT OF APPEALS REJECTED GREEK CYPRIOTS ==
    USA APPEALS COURT: “The TOUMAZOU decision about NORTHERN CYPRUS is valid (a case-law) NOT ONLY in USA but also in ALL COUNTRIES”
    USA Court of Appeals: Case 14-4449

    Look at page 10 below:
    http://blogs.reuters.com/alison-frankel/files/2014/12/sokolowvpa-pamotiontostay.pdf

    Toumazou v. Turkish Republic of N. Cyprus, No. 09-cv-1967, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143535, at *11 (D.D.C. Oct. 9, 2014) (holding that the TURKISH REPUBLIC OF NORTHERN CYPRUS “IS ‘AT HOME’ IN NORTHERN CYPRUS, AS ITS NAME SUGGESTS, NOT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLOMBIA”)

    The same decision can be seen on page 17 below:
    http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/PLOPAbrief.pdf

  • Wildcat

    I’ve read some spectacularly ill informed, biased, blinkered one eyed tosh from Mr Hitchens over the years but this has to take the biscuit as the worst ever. I’d be here all day if I took it apart properly, so I’ll just stick to the one part.

    Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown because he got the police to assassinate dozens of unarmed demonstrators protesting at his rampant corruption. I know blaming the horrible EU bogeyman for all the world’s problems is his stock in trade, but to invoke it here is truly risible.

    It’s hardly surprising that the usual lap dogs who fawn on this clowns every word here have also failed to spot this glaring flaw (among so many) in this utterly pathetic excuse for journalism.

    • Cyril Sneer

      “Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown because he got the police to
      assassinate dozens of unarmed demonstrators protesting at his rampant
      corruption”

      There is as much evidence for that as there is for a CIA false flag style attack.

      I don’t think you’ve properly looked at this incident, you need to go outside the MSM for that.

      You seem to feel that it’s a success when a corrupt leader in a corrupt system is replaced by another corrupt leader in a corrupt system who this time is more friends with the US than Russia (read a little background history on your Chocolate King man) and in addition started a civil war.

      Ukraine had democracy, they had a democratic system. Now they’ve lost East Ukraine. A clusterf ck of a failure.

      Your entire post is based on the premise that Yankovich himself ordered those people to be shot along with all those policemen who also got shot… like I said you haven’t done your research.

      p.s. if you don’t know who the Chocolate King is then you simply know nothing about this situation.

      • wbilct

        Here’s the audio tape – go to the 9 minute mark
        “Breaking: Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Catherine Ashton discuss Ukraine over the phone”

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEgJ0oo3OA8

        • Cyril Sneer

          Yep. Interesting to note the western media were more concerned with the ‘f ck the EU’ by Nuland than the actual context of their conversation which was far far more interesting and inflammatory.

      • Jane Rand

        Invoking conspiracy theories and bad mouthing leaves nothing for me to add. Thank you, Cyril.

        • knave27

          Says the person who buys into the conspiracy theory of the elusive “Russian invasion” and is stupid enough to never think the CIA would stage the attack when they had the means and the motivation because the CIA “never does such things”.

          • Jane Rand

            Russian invasion only eludes those who chose to close their eyes and ears to the obvious. If you pretend to believe in volunteers and vacationers going on vacation with their tanks and multiple rocket launchers I can hardly help.

          • knave27

            The obvious being conspiracy theories and NATO propaganda about an imminent Russian invasion that was about to happen every day during the last year, pretty standard procedure that always works with those who wish to skip all the thinking parts such as yourself. Even in the case Russia would actually invade it was fully justified to do so to safeguard its vital interests and overthrow an illegitimate, totalitarian, terrorist US controlled puppet regime, where doubting the false Maidan narrative is punishable with jail sentence, that came to power with a violent coup orchestrated by Victoria Nuland and that its sole purpose for existence is based on hatred towards anything Russian. If Russia should be accused of something is that it knew the annexation of Crimea would cause widespread rebellion but failed to extend the tactics deployed in Crimea in the entire Southeast and left the people there be butchered by Kiev thugs and gangs and the private armies of oligarchs instead.

          • Jane Rand

            So you no longer deny Russian invasion? At least in Crimea. It’s a positive step. As to the fantasies of Victoria Nuland raising riot in Kiev, they don’t even make a good fiction. There is no doubt that there is an illegitimate, totalitarian regime in Russia, not inUkraine. Everything else is your personal evaluative judgement which I have no interest in discussing.

          • knave27

            “So you no longer deny Russian invasion?”

            No invasion since after the coup Kiev could not claim authority over Crimea or any other part formerly of Ukraine that did not want to be part of a regime forced on them from abroad.

            “As to the fantasies of Victoria Nuland raising riot in Kiev”

            Actually it is you who is living in a fantasy, since in the real world, where the rest of us live, Nuland is on record orchestrating the coup and picking the puppets to be installed.

            “There is no doubt that there is an illegitimate, totalitarian regime in Russia, not inUkraine.”

            Another proof you have no clue what you’re talking about and rely exclusively on the US government lies and their state dept controlled propaganda media. Ukraine is a totalitarian regime ruled by the US embassy and anyone who isn’t following the anti-Russian narrative is persecuted or killed. You are whining about Russia being totalitarian simply because you don’t like the fact that Putin has ended your way of doing things, like the West unilateraly invading countries and bombing them under fabricated pretexts by forcing the US to back down on Syria, so the new plan was to destabilize Ukraine and seize Crimea for NATO, which obviously didn’t work either, but unfortunately many people were killed and the sole responsibility lies with the US and the West who created this crisis.

            “Everything else is your personal evaluative judgement which I have no interest in discussing.”

            Personal evaluative judgement requires a knowledge of facts combined with critical thinking and you lack both. Talking to you counts as charity like devoting some free time to talk to a retarded child on a weekend.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Do you think that when viewing the suffering of their kin that their own kind who live next door might want to help in some way?

            If such a situation existed in Mexico we would see American volunteers crossing the border would we not?

            And, if Russia had invested in overthrowing the Mexican government to replace it with a Pro-Russian one and then this new government proceeded to shell it’s own towns and cities we would see an influx of American and ethnic Mexican American volunteers to stop them would we not?

          • Jane Rand

            I have absolutely no inclination to discuss potential civil unrest in Mexico instead of actual events in Ukraine. Russia can invest whatever it pleases – it’s up to Mexicans to decide what government they want. Anyway if American “volunteers” had indeed started crossing Mexican border carrying heavy weapons, air defense and intelligence equipment and if USA supplied them with ammo and gasoline – I would have definitely called it an act of aggression.

        • Cyril Sneer

          Conspiracy theories?

          “Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown because he got the police to
          assassinate dozens of unarmed demonstrators protesting at his rampant
          corruption.”

          You of course have irrefutable proof that he made such an order? Please do produce it here.

          • Jane Rand

            I don’t have irrefutable proof of anything. You can blame kidnapping, torture and murder of protesters on protesters themselves, on CIA, or on aliens and I can not disprove it. Majority of Ukrainians believed it was Yanukovich, directly or through his accomplices. I have a reason to agree with them because he had enough power to stop violence if he didn’t like his people being killed. Of course for people who BELIEVE otherwise, no proof will ever change it.

  • cromwell

    “It’s Nato that’s empire-building, not Putin” That’s bleeding obvious to any observer with half a brain.

  • knave27

    “Mr Putin’s state is, beyond doubt, a sinister tyranny”

    Mr Hitchens is, beyond doubt, a moron. Russia has more freedom and has a more free and pluralistic press than any western country.

    Hitchens also is naming the “European Union” as instigator avoiding carefully to even mention the US, which is the true force behind the aggression against Russia and the agenda to remove Putin from power because he stands in their way of doing things, namely invading one country after another under outright lies and false pretexts, killing millions, causing sectarian civil wars and creating failed states and Syria would be the next in line unless it wasn’t for Putin to stop them. The EU and its US vassal states are nothing but mere extension of US power. The article is more of a veiled attempt to whitewash the US role in the crisis by shifting the blame to the EU than its supposed obvious one to denounce expansionist policy against Russia.

    • Jane Rand

      Russia has lots of freedoms – to praise Putin, to kill opponent of great Mr Putin, for example. But most importantly, to bribe and be bribed. Together with its strategical ally Zimbabwe Russia challenges corrupt and decadent West. Eventually it will prevail and establish the rule of Justice which in it’s simplest form proclaims “Putin is always right”.

      • knave27

        Still more free than Amerikwa where the only debate allowed is where they will send your kids to fight the next war and anyone challenging that isn’t even allowed air-time and seen as a traitor. In Russia opposition figures (see US embassy frequent visitors) calling openly for violent overthrow of the government are allowed more air-time and publicity than those supporting Putin. Amerikwa can keep its pitiful, bankrupt, sorry vassals like Europe and little Britain, they do not really matter, and stop messing with Russia’s strategic allies which apparently do matter, otherwise they wouldn’t go at any length to subvert them and undermine them, no?

        • La Fold

          How old are you? Putin thought he had bought a country when ” pro Russia” Yanukovych shook him down for 15 billion dollars by leading the EU down a garden path on a EU/Ukraine deal. When Yanukovych got ousted that was 15 billion down the drain. This is simply Putin protecting his investment.

          • knave27

            Putin was generous. Ukraine and the EU are worth much less than that.

          • La Fold

            Sure it is. Thats why Polands GDP has more than tripled since it joined the EU up to around 525 billion dollars per year ( 3 times that of the Ukraine.) Compare that to the Pro Russian Belarus and Lukashenko.

  • Verne Wilson

    “Mr Putin’s state is, beyond doubt, a sinister tyranny. But so is Recep
    Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey, which locks up far more journalists than does
    Russia. Turkey is an officially respectable Nato member, 40 years after
    seizing northern Cyprus, which it still occupies, in an almost exact
    precedent for Russia’s seizure of Crimea. If Putin disgusts us so much,
    then why are we and the USA happy to do business with Erdogan, and also
    to fawn upon Saudi Arabia and China?”

    Because you fight the wars/battles you can win. You’re right Mr. Hitchens, Turkey has some odious traits, but it’s still light years ahead of its Arab neighbours with their political/economic/social maturity of a 3 year old. Even Saudi Arabia despite the aformentioned political/social/economic retardation is prefferable to to the IS nightmare that would replace it. We can’t change the Middle East for the better it seems so we have to work with what we’ve got, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try and help Ukraine resist Russian aggression as we are in a position to do so.

    “Just for once, let us try this argument with an open mind, employing
    arithmetic and geography and going easy on the adjectives. Two great
    land powers face each other. One of these powers, Russia, has given up
    control over 700,000 square miles of valuable territory. The other, the
    European Union, has gained control over 400,000 of those square miles.
    Which of these powers is expanding?”

    And why did the EU expand into central and eastern Europe after ’89? It wouldn’t have anything to do with those nations desire to be part of the worlds largest and richest economic space now would it? (especially after they had just spent 50 years under the yoke of a ruinous Socialism thanks to Moscow..)
    The simple fact of the matter is countries voluntarily joining the EU is not comparable to Russia annexing sovereign territory of its neighbours unilaterally. To suggest otherwise is a crude relativisation worthy of some post modern fuckwit which we all here at the Spectator despise.

    “It is all so much clearer if we realise that this quarrel is about power
    and land, not virtue. In truth, much of the eastward expansion of Nato
    was caused by the EU’s initial unwillingness to take in backward,
    bankrupt and corrupt refugee states from the old Warsaw Pact. The policy
    could be summed up as ‘We won’t buy your tomatoes, but if it makes you
    happy you can shelter under our nuclear umbrella’. The promise was an
    empty assurance against a nonexistent threat.”

    Well firstly, you seem to be implying that the EU and NATO are one and the same which is false, as there are nations like Sweden, Finland, Austria and Ireland that are EU members but not NATO members and nations like Albania, Norway and Iceland which are the opposite.
    A non-existent threat? really? so Russians kidnapping an Estonian border guard, simulating bomber/missile attacks on Stockholm and practicing Nuclear strikes on Warsaw is non-threatening? and that’s not even addressing the wars waged against Georgia and Ukraine and the subversion of Moldovan sovereignty…

  • La Fold

    Russia gave up 700,000 square miles? You mean the Soviet Union lost them after the fall of Communism. The EU has gained control over? You mean some eastern European countries applied and jumped through hoops to become members of the EU to trade with them. I mean its more than tripled Polands GDP since it joined the EU. Why have so many former soviet countries joined Nato? Probably a few reasons but Im reckoning a fear of a resurgent Russia might be one of them. Like most of the articles I’ve read on the Ukraine conflict it seems to, very patronisingly marginalise the most important people in this conflict, the Ukrainians themselves. Lets just remember its Ukrainians, on both sides, that are fighting.

  • garrett

    The idea that the Russians”’ lost” all that territory to the EU. is preposterous. It was never theirs to lose. The Baltics, Poland and the Balkans are independent peoples whose freedom was lost to the Soviet Union 60+ years ago. As to the “”near-abroad”” as the Russians like to call their inner colonies, they seem content outside of Russia’s embrace.
    But really, there is no reason for Russia and the west to be enemies, or even adversaries, once a less paranoid,revisionist, and brutal regime thakes the place of Putin’s murderous kleptocracy.

    • carl jacobs

      All nations have interests that transcend politics. Any Russian Gov’t is going to seek to re-incorporate Ukraine.

      • garrett

        Carl, those are valid points, but what about the Ukrainians wishes? Russia has an historic link with Ukraine, and Kiev in particular, but the Ukrainians also have a long history separate from Russia, and it seems many of them aren’t too eager for closer union with Russia under any pretext.I see your point that encouraging the Ukrainians might only set them up for a disaster, but the choice is theirs, not the West’s or Russia’s. They have received very little so far from the west except verbiage and platitudes, yet they continue.
        It should not be our position that certain states are locked into certain spheres. I know,,, a bit naiive! but how else does the world change, but so slowly.
        Also, you wouldn’t want Germany trying to restore Prussia to the nation,, or Texas to Mexico, Constantinople to the greeks, etc,, The Russians may sincerely think the Ukraine is part of the Patria, but not so much the Ukrainians.

        • carl jacobs

          There is in your post a tacit assumption that people have some sort of right to self-determination. In fact, people have the right to self-determination only to the extent that they can achieve it and keep it. If Ukraine wants to be independent, it must enforce its desire against the will of the Russians. I don’t believe that Ukraine has the ability to do that. So the answer to the question “What about the Ukrainians?” is “There isn’t any hope for their aspirations.” It may not be pleasant, but it is the truth.

          Kuwait had its sovereignty protected because major powers had an interest in its existence. Europe has an interest in keeping Ukraine independent, but Europe has neither the power nor the will to do anything about it. So why encourage a doomed rebellion? Better to try to bring Russia into the fold, than keep it weak by carving out Ukraine. Russia wins in the long run.

          • garrett

            People have the right to self-determination, however, that is not the only consideration involved. Does the nascent country have a coherent civil society, is it geographically compact? Does it have external foes ?. Sometimes the combination of factors prevent a would- be nation from arising Other times it is just a matter of waiting and fighting,{ i.e. the kurds }
            The Russians may prevent the current iteration of Ukraine from maintaining it’s current borders, but I doubt they have the wherewithal to continue the fight over time. Sadly for them. the Donbass is Detroit without the U.S, and will just be another huge drain on their limited resources.
            The pathetically under-developed state of the Russian economy, with no likelyhood of improvement, combined with their top-down,{ to put it mildly}, form of autocratic government will not be able to deliver guns and butter., and the age-old trick of diverting peoples anger toward an external foe will last only so long, despite the Russian peoples well known ability to suffer through countless horrors.

  • http://www.kkaroo.co.za/ ColinDKK

    It is indeed the USA and NATO who are expansionist. Another case of the “West” doing what Goebels said: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Or try Lenin: “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”

  • RobS

    The countries that separated from Russia could certainly form their own little pseudo-Communist bloc and alienate themselves from the West if they choose. They now have that option.

    They instead chose the future with the rest of the EU. More trade, stable currency, shorter bread lines. Supply & demand, more freedom, etc. Is it a shock they wish to to enjoy the economic systems of the UK or Germany & less like the one in Russia?

  • Carl Radon

    I would only disagree on one point: It seems Mr Hitchins is implying that Putin restarted the Cold War by backing Assad. That confrontation was just another example of US meddling in the Mid-E but, this time, poking Russia in the eye too. Russia’s leased port in Tartus is its navy’s only in the Med; without it, they are hard-pressed to defend the S entrance to the Bosphorus and their only warm-water ports in the Black Sea.
    If the US really wants regime change in Syria, maybe they should convince Israel to lease a port to the Russian navy…No, I don’t believe I’m joking. Think about it.

  • knave27

    We are fast approaching the point where Putin will have to either cede Russia’s sovereignty or launch the nukes. There’s no other way out of it.

    • Jane Rand

      Pull out of Donbass and return Crimea? I don’t see how it equals ceding sovereignty.

      • knave27

        Way to miss the point.

  • http://www.volgatrader.com Philip Owen, Volga Trader

    “This diminished Russia feels the spread of the EU and its armed wing, Nato, like a blow on an unhealed bruise. ”

    Not really. The US pays 80% of the combined budgets and is the only net contributor. The EU’s interests are very distinct from NATO’s. EU bureaucrats have a future without armed confrontations. NATO’s don’t. Unfortunately, as we see it now, NATO wasn’t all that threatening to Russia. The Eastern Europeans joined politically but they did not militarize to NATO standards. The Poles still have plenty of Russian weapons. It was all gesture, not content, exaggerated by both sides.

    Anyway, the US target isn’t Russia, it’s the EU. The EU economy is bigger than the US. There is more capacity for growth (all those poor East Europeans) and potential for expansion. The EU can expect to match China in 50 years time. The US can’t. Hence TTIP (The US application to join the EU) and the efforts to keep Russia away from the EU going back to 2002. The USD and the Euro duke it out on SWIFT for top place as international settlement currencies.

    • Peter Gardner

      Very interesting contrary view. Needs thinking time before responding. In the meantime, how do you explain Cameron’s willy waving at Putin and why does the EU want a military wing to back its EEAS led expansion?

      • http://www.volgatrader.com Philip Owen, Volga Trader

        Europe had a military wing. The Western European Union, NATO’s precursor. It was dormant but not dead. When the Cold War ended, it was suggested that this was all that Europe needed and it should be melded into the EU. The US and the NATO bureaucracy crushed that idea and emasculated the WEU into an appendix of NATO. There has always been some gesture towards integration, such as the Franco-German brigade.

        The British security establishment never left the Cold War. In 1994, at a conference on security technology, I asked a very senior official, now a senior politician, among other panel members about cooperation between UK/NATO and Russia against Islamic extremism. There was complete bafflement that there should be such a question and waffle about democracy as a reply. British security officials spend too much time at conferences in grand Hotels in the USA to separate UK and US interests in their own heads. This distorted perspective is then fed to our politicians as advice. The French and Germans are better protected by language barriers.

  • Fak_Zakaix

    “No — no — don’t quote that man! he’s the fellow who thinks he must be a big man because he lives in a big country”

  • Peter Gardner

    Excellent and accurate view from Peter Hitchens. One point that is missed in most debates is that inviting poor, militarily ill-equipped countries to join NATO increases the costs to the existing members, and increases the risks of their being drawn into other countries’ conflicts. So why does NATO want to expand? Either to provoke a reaction or, perceiving such risks to be miniscule allows it s a quid pro quo to its political masters – the EU. In other words NATO has allowed itself to become the de facto military wing of the expansionist EU. It is perfectly accurate to describe the EU as expansionist since this is the raison d’etre of its External Action Service and written into the Lisbon Treaty. From Britain’s national perspective this serves no beneficial purpose whatsoever. Far better for Ukraine in this instance to remain a neutral country with a purely trade agreement with the EU – as Yanukovich at one stage said he wanted and to which Putin made clear he had no objection but which was rejected by Germany.

  • SirGalahadT

    It’s strange to read a rational article about Russia in the MSM

  • baldand

    I wouldn’t agree that Turkey’s seizure of Northern Cyprus was an almost exact precedent for Russia’s seizure of Crimea. After all, Crimea had been part of the Russian SSR until 1954. Cyprus hadn’t been part of the Ottoman Empire on a de facto basis since 1878. There was ethnic cleansing of the Greek population in Northern Cyprus. There was no ethnic cleansing when the Russians took over Crimea. Although it was hardly a fair referendum, there was at least a referendum on Crimea joining Russia. There was never any referendum asking the people who lived in Northern Cyprus at the time of the Turkish invasion if they wanted their own state. Any referendum held district by district never would have given such a large territory to the Turkish speakers. Of course, ex-community organizer Barack Hussein Obama, is probably under the delusion that there was an internationally monitored referendum on a separate state for Northern Cyprus, just as he is, or claims to be, with regard to Kosovo.

  • http://www.justicepartyusa.org/ Justice Party of Colorado

    President Franklin Roosevelt said, “The structure of world peace cannot be the work of one man, or one party, or one Nation. It cannot be just an American peace, or a British peace, or a Russian, a French, or a Chinese peace. It cannot be a peace of large Nations- or of small Nations. It must be a peace which rests on the cooperative effort of the whole world.”

    So fighting an enemy in the world is a problem for the whole world.

    I suggest that the Justice Party emphasize that under international law per the United Nations charter, the Security Council must authorize military action. Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations is “Actions with Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression”. Article 39 of Chapter VII states, “The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken… to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

    Also, for any military action our Constitution requires that the Congress declare war. We have not had a declared war since World War II.

    It is vital that we present a legal framework for just military action that builds from these two fundamental requirements for authorizing military action. A legal framework for just military action provides real leverage to break the stranglehold of the military-industrial complex. It is no exaggeration that we are on the verge of provoking a nuclear confrontation with Russia by our meddling in Ukraine. A legal framework for just military action reins in the military-industrial complex and prevents these dangerous confrontations by showing the illegal nature of unauthorized military action such as the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999 which set a horrible “might makes right” precedent and has led to the spiral of violence and chaos in the world today as others have followed suit.

    “Just military action” is necessary to stop a genocide, for example. By presenting a legal framework for just military action that has the proper authorization within the international framework for world peace and security and abides by our own Constitution, the Justice Party can show the way to address legitimate concerns about security as part of a “cooperative effort of the whole world” and rein in illegal military overreach and dangerous provocations.

    https://www.facebook.com/JusticePartyColorado/photos/pb.587059198000986.-2207520000.1426038168./882513871788849/?type=3&theater

  • Randal

    Excellent stuff from Hitchens. He shows again why he is so unwelcome amongst the elite gatekeepers of power in modern Britain – he persists in skewering their most cherished and self-serving lies, and he refuses to sit quietly in one of the authorised political boxes.

  • David Seals

    It began when Obama didn’t follow through on his threat of a “red line” in Syria’s chemical weapons, last year; and Putin outsmarted him, and outmuscled him, by supporting Syria (and, hence, Iran, and Hezbollah). That angered an inept Obama to threaten Russia with sanctions on Ukraine – escalating the confrontation and forcing Putin to annex Crimea, as a defense against the unethical expansion of NATO, and especially, the insane ‘Missile Defense Shield’.

  • goldcrown

    NATO should go the way of the USSR. The USA & its allies should cut off aid to Saudi Arabia & Gulf States like that. The USA should also shut down its bases abroad & let other nations fund their own militaries. Our wars in Afghanistan, Iraq & Libya caused ISIS to form. There should be no war against Iran. Israel mistreats its Arab population & is not a third world nation. The West should cut off aid to them.

  • Oliver Ales

    The problem? Obama. It’s that simple, really.

  • thebear81

    dear Peter Hitchens. You have no idea what You are talking about. You did not live in eastern Europe under Rusian genocide so You will never understand what is going on here. sitting in your warm office in London or where ever You are it is easy to comme up with article like this. try live here for 20-30 years and than you will understan why we hate russians a we will fight them until last man. at the other hand we dont need NATO here to do the same thinks what russian did over years. just everybody go home an leave us alone.

  • Roosty Meesty

    As usual, Hithchens, not familiar with Ukraine or its people, can’t fathom that millions of Ukrainians had enough of living under a mini-Putin thugocrat called Yanukovych who robbed Ukrainians blind, lived high-on-the-hog, and was dragging Ukraine into complete graft and corruption.

    Millions of people in Ukraine rose up; Hitchens buys into all the conspiracy myths of this being a western coup when it was the moral courage of millions of Ukrainians which brought down Yanukovych. Heck, Ukraine’s Catholic and Orthodox Churches came down on the side of the Ukrainian peoples’ rise for dignity. Unarmed kids were shot in cold blood by Putin’s protege Yanukovych in Ukraine, with Putin arguing for troops to crush the Ukrainian maidan. Hint Peter: try arguing your fantasies in Kyiv and see how far you get among its people.

    And yes Peter, these millions of Ukrainians were not waiting for some secret line to Langley in order to rise up against tyranny. Hitchens’ completely doesn’t understand Ukraine but only sees it through the prism of Russia. He is completely blind to Russian expansion, lies, and deceipt and wishes Ukrainians become sacrificial lambs for all intents and purposes. It’s astounding for someone to be making a moral equivalence argument between democracy and Russian KGB autocracy.

  • johne843

    It’s amazing that the brother of Christopher Hitchens could be such a capitulationist. Of course the Atlantic alliance is not innocent in all of this, but it’s perfectly clear that Russia continues to insist on a sphere on influence at the expense of its neighbors. Not only is Putin’s Russia systemically corrupt and superstitious, it’s dead set on gobbling up as many Russian speakers as possible to reverse the early stages of an inevitable demographic decline. The Red Army is projected to be half its current size by 2020 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtdOZEgaFIw). Russia knows that Nato is currently weak-willed, but will use it to justify their aggression anyways. What about the sovereignty of those nations that genuinely feel threatened by an increasingly expansionist Russia?

  • Trojan Horace

    First unspoken rule: US foreign policy never has anything to do with helping the EU. That which weakens the euro strengthens the flagging dollar. Conflict between the EU and Russia… what could be finer for the US. Britain needs to stop playing poodle to US foreign policy and recognise that its best economic interests lie within a robust EU… something that would be anathema to Hitchins, even though I broadly agree with him in this piece.

  • http://www.allmyrants.org ronwagn

    Putin is a would be Stalin but far out classed by the West.

    • Tess-toss-tyrone

      Yeah right. That wily fox Obama has got him guessing and confused.

      Putin does have an unfair advantage over European and American leaders however: he can think like an adult.

  • Dave Connell

    This is why Jews must be killed as they are a human cancer on planet earth. kill the jews and all the world ills will go away.

  • https://storify.com/charlesfrith/is-charles-frith-a-mensch Charles Frith

    People don’t listen to facts. They swallow the anti Russian propaganda by the New World Zionist Order.

  • Noam

    NATO is on it’s last leg, and the whole world knows it… meanwhile, the BRICS are gearing up for their new global bank and monetary fund… while looking forward to Xi’s Grand Canal as the tube for Venezuela’s oil. Should any of this spell NATO’s ‘Empire Building’… you must be CRAZY!

  • Jaria1

    Of course the idiots in the EU upset Russia by breaking their word not to influence “buffer” countries that Russia has been led to believe was in their sphere of influence.
    That however in my opinion does not allow Russia to grab Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, we now learn that this had always been on the cards by expansionist Russia and EUs naivety gave them yhe chance to make the grab.

  • bloo

    I agree with most of his article, great, watching mainstream TV news it seems this point of view is not adequately made, indeed the news is radically biased and one dimensional. Like who controls the news and why all the channels say the same thing at the same time each day!?
    Then MPs argue for armed escalation on behalf of economically interested third parties and children die on the streets

  • litesp33d

    The Ukraine situation is a manufactured crisis to provide the EU with a faux legitimate reason to stop buying gas from Russia. Which will happen about the time that the US completes its LNG terminals so it can sell Western Europe (the only viable customer) gas.

  • Dawgus

    We need a nuclear war where Russia and company comes out on top!

  • Hans

    the problem is that people always believe the media and never ask for proof and evidence for certain accusations, they accept them as a fact – like stupid sheeps.
    so its easy to demonize whole countries (like Russia), unfortunately…
    its a shame whats going on.

  • Lorna Campbell

    Just stumbled on this piece by accident today. What a cracker. I think Mr Hitchens has it in a nutshell. I could think that because it is precisely how I interpret the latest rumblings, too, but there you are. The one thing that he has not said is that Putin outmanoeuvres the West at almost every opportunity. Instead of that useless Trident, the money would be better spent on improving our intelligence and strategies – and diplomacy. Even if Putin and Russia could not be taken into the EU, and certainly not into NATO, and I accept Mr Hitchens’ argument, we could make a greater effort to understand him and Russia. It worries me greatly that the West is so obsessed with Russia’s so-called expansion, albeit I can appreciate that those countries – the Baltic States and Poland, for example – that have gained their independence from the Soviet Union might have tremors occasionally. In reality, as Mr Hitchens says, Russia, just like us, on our own and without the US to back our stupidities, is too poor and ill-equipped to start trouble, even if it wanted it, which I think it it does not, as often as we imagine.

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