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Battling the Dragon. Konstantin Vasiliev.
Battling the Dragon.
Konstantin Vasiliev.


SPIRITUAL AND GEOPOLITICAL RIVALRY AT THE BRINK OF THE XXI CENTURY

The concrete foreign policy of states and their alliances have always been the closest structure, although not always the most evident, that is linked to profound phenomena in world history involving the state of rises and falls in spiritual, and not exclusively material, driving forces of the global process. In this sense, Russia is a brilliant example. Located at the junction of world civilizations on the global island of the Eurasian continent, it has fulfilled a unique geopolitical mission during the centuries in being the bearer of global balance between the Christian and non-Christian worlds.

It is purely materialistic and atheist philosophy that can induce someone to believe that the world - our Lord's creation - moves to one civilization model. A concept of a civilization has much more of religious and ethic dimensions rather than technological ones. The present stage of our planet displays an extraordinary complexity of national interests and common responsibilities. The interdependence of the world does not allow anyone to pursue a policy of national egoism. But it is exactly the compactness of the geopolitical room that imposes strict compliance with the traditional laws of the balance of power, for a vacuum of force or even of political will (the Russian case) immediately provokes natural pressure of surrounding interests. There are still ever standing geopolitical realities veiled only for the naive by the bias interpretation of the "universal human values".

Damascus and the Baghdad have been rivals ever since the days of Umayyads and Abbasids, and if brothers - poets singing humanism - were to come to power there, nothing would change but the rhetoric. Seoul fears Tokyo while Warsaw, torn between its Slavism and Latinism, easily intrigues against Russia from which it is bound to seek protection against Teutonic spirit.

The policy of "first-class" powers - the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Japan - shows that many invariable components of the attitude and national interests of the state do not depend very heavily on the nature of the regime existing there. Geographic location - navigable rivers, access to sea, ice-free ports, a defensible configuration of frontiers - and more importantly, geopolitical position - surrounding countries and civilisations, traditional policy and tendency to enter into alliances, potential conflicts - were as important to 18th-century monarchies as they are to 20th-century republics and mean as much to tyrannical regimes as to the most advanced law-governed democratic state.

The only way to grasp Russia's national strategy and foreign policy tasks in order to bring about national rebirth and a global balance is to review the philosophical and civilizational aspects of the perceived process and driving forces of history and, above all, to have a panorama look on the role which Russia has played through centuries and must yet play in this process. The Orthodox Russia has hardly been part of West European civilization, which rests on Cartesian rationalist philosophy, the ideological stock-in-trade of the French Revolution (laissez passer - laissez faire) and the Protestant ethic of incentives for labour and the attitude to wealth. Orthodoxy explicitly rejects usury - the foundation of the West European type of market economy as a sin. Whereas Hegelian philosophy was a product of West European thinking, Dostoevsky's ethics, which shook the world, was and could not but be a product of Orthodox consciousness with its primacy of moral over rational and political categories. But this lends different contents to all moral and political categories - freedom (from what or to what end), the attitude to the balance between positive and natural law, power, statehood, etc.


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Too many in the West and ironically not in the East tend to use now the same marxist and leninist cliches about "Russian imperialism" the bolsheviks once introduced. But let exactly Europeans imagine what the map of the world would be like had not Orthodox Russia developed Siberia and the Far East, saving a much less tolerant latin Europe all the complexity of establishing modus vivendi and relations with other religious systems? What would have become Europe, seeing that the Ottoman Empire had reached the outskirts of Vienna, had not Russia "collected itself" to retrieve its rights lost in the Crimean War?

The transformation of Rus into the Russian Empire, to which European criteria hardly apply, was not determined by its establishing its sovereignty over many peoples. Unlike West European countries, Rus had been developing from the outset as a multiethnic and tolerant state. Its imperial conduct was a response to a historical challenge, for it was surrounded not by states but by different civilisations represented by the Qin dynasty in China, the Ottoman Empire and the imperial spirit of a "Latin", or non-Orthodox, Europe invariably hostile to Russia's distinctiveness.

The great Russian historian of the past Sergey Solovyev defined the main course of history as the rivalry of civilizations - "the fight of Asian and European spirit". Our Lord placed Russia in the centre of this battle, for it has always meant East for the West, and West for the East. By smoothly combining Europe and Asia in itself through a tolerant Orthodox core, Russia eased their historical confrontation. The balance found by it turned out to be a quantity of global significance. For on becoming a gigantic Eurasian power at the function of the world civilisations in the geopolitical "heartland", Russia had set out to maintain a balance between East and West.

But now Russia is tottering, the balance has been upset, civilizations as well as states and alliances representing them have begun to move. The urge for civilizational "expansionism" is conditioned not so much by one's own potential aggressiveness but by the weakness of others that provokes an urge to fill the vacuum. We see conflicts between West European liberalism and its "debillic cousin" - communism - giving way to much more serious confrontation of some awakened forces.

What the world is witnessing is hardly Russia's entry into the "civilized world community" but rather quite a real competition for the "Russian heritage". A mere year has passed since the overhasty division of the triune Orthodox core - Russians, Ukrainians and Belorussians - yet prerequisites have already been created for the Vatican's and Poland's age-old dream of embracing Kiev - Mother of Russian Cities - first spiritually and them also physically. The destruction of the historical Russian state also hit Yugoslavia, confirming the inseparability of the Orthodox slaves' plights. The hasty recognition of subjects of the Yugoslav federation, a founder of the UN and a signatory to the Helsinki Final Act, under which all other signatories guaranteed the territorial integrity of precisely the federation, not of its parts, resulted in dismemberment of the Serbian nation hardly can be taken as "new" thinking.

Over a period of three hundred years, Russia drew Central Asian peoples into its orbit. They have now been left to the mercy of fate by a Russian purely West-oriented policy lacking so much as a hint of geostrategy. These peoples are understandably casting about for a different orientation. Their reorientation to countries naturally competing for spheres of influence - Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, the latter already spreading a canopy of terror, unrest and death over the Tajiks - threatens global changes in the civilizational equilibrium, military strategic balance and geopolitical character of Eurasia and also program inevitable conflicts of interests between closely located Afganistan, Pakistan and India and China.

Turkey, usually described as pursuing an "Atlanticist line", already betrays impatience regarding Sunnite Central Asia. It appears also that the idea of a "Greater Turan" was merely dormant while there were no conditions for their revival.

It is hard to be enchanted by the grotesque regimes of Libya and Iraq, which constantly shock the world by pointedly rejecting any rules of behaviour. But it is unpardonable for a professional analyst to overlook the fact that the disappearance of the traditional Russian counterweight is merely radicalising the ways of those "exponents of the Asian spirit" trying its own in an original manner against the growing pressure of "the Western World" as embodied by the United States.

Many things in the Soviet Union and in the world's attitude to its agony are associable with the 1917 Russian tragedy. One could not help recalling American president Woodrow Wilson of the time of Revolution and Versailles. In a very similar situation where Russia seemed to have fallen apart for all time and there was no direct threat to the United States, any more than there is now, Wilson proposed his "Fourteen Points" for the restructuring of the world. Afterwards that programme, which talked a lot about democracy and freedom, was long regarded as a model of "new political thinking" whose beams completely outshone the "imperial and hence decadent" political thought of the Old World.

Yet the decoded in "the Intimate Papers of Colonel House" "democratic" Point VI insisted on withdrawing of all "foreign" troops (The Red and the White army) and recognizing all governments existing de facto (that is, without regard to whether they were legitimate) in order to have "a clean slate on which to write a policy for all the Russian peoples".

The current policy of some omnipresent interests towards Russia warrants calling it "neo-Wilsonism". As under the Wilson programme, much is being done to prevent reintegration by reorienting the historical parts of a millennium old state to new trustees - Turkey, Germany, the NATO or the Central Asian states. Now the way is being paved for the admission of Eastern Europe and even parts of historical Russian state to NATO all this leading to the departure from the configurations laid as foundation to such valuable Treaty as the CAFE Treaty. No less dangerous to the independence and sovereignty of whole world is the recent NATO's going beyond the geographical zone of the North-Atlantic Treaty under the aegis of the UN, which is becoming the World Government...

Do these neo-Wilsonists duly assess history and show enough of historical responsibility while they carelessly destroy Russia's centuries long work in Europe and in the South thus provoking civilisational impetus that they will never be able to curb and control in the century to come?

It is not only for the sake of its own interests but for the stability of the whole of the Mediterranean sub-region that we must state Russia's geopolitical interests in no uncertain terms not only in the Baltic but in the Black Sea by maintaining of the Sevastopol as base for the Russian Black sea fleet. Returning Russia to the "situation after the Crimean War" is abnormal. If this happens the world will face not only the symptoms of the XIX century "Eastern issue" (they are already there) but its unprecedented religious, interethnic and military implications together with the resurrection of some kind of pan-turkist and pan-islamist ideas in Europe bringing out the new spiral of the centuries long European-Asian contradiction.

Every new stage demands an impartial analysis of losses and gains, without which it would be impossible to develop program directives that would facilitate the fulfilment of policy by content that corresponds to the country's long-term interests and turn the bonds of Russia's involvement in world affairs into genuinely constructive relations. For this, there is a need for research on specific international situations and problems on the backdrop of a panoramic analysis centered on the condition of motive forces present in the world at the threshold of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, as well as for an indication of the main sources of potential which would allow Russia to obtain the impetus which it has lost.

In a state of a reassessing its value after the break-up of the Soviet Union and its military alliance, the Warsaw Pact Organization, the Russian Federation denied the idea of historical continuity and, consequently, the historical and post-war foundations of its foreign policy, and its traditional spheres of influence by having proclaimed a devotion to the concept of "a united world" on the basis of "values common to all mankind". This line of policy, naturally, was given a response in the form of certain policies of western governments.

International relations of this period had the following results. The historically continuous sea boundaries of Russia came under serious pressure. It is well known that the fight for an exit to the sea was the main component in world history right up until the final determination of the geographic and political appearance of the earth. Only states that have militarily and strategically ensured exits to the sea can be called powers and are system-forming elements of all that has developed up to now in the world of international relations.

Entire regions on the perimeter of Russia's historical sea borders have been declared zones of strategic interests by the USA. America and NATO have turned the Baltic region into a sphere of influence with the perspective inclusion of these states into their military and political realm of influence. There has been an urgent development of moral and military conditions for the gradual erosion of the Kaliningrad region's status as an inseparable part of Russia. (In 1994, the so-called Baltic assembly had already "demanded'' the demilitarisation of this "territory''.) While Russia in the north is almost returned to the state it was in before the Livonian War and may lose access to sea in military dimensions, then Russia's historical role as a Black Sea power is also being rapidly destroyed in the Black Sea and together with this, the balance of power in this basin, which threatens a return of the Eastern issue from the past century. In policy of the "post-Soviet'' Black Sea region, an increasingly active role is being allotted to "Atlantic" Turkey which is actively forming diplomatic and political ties with Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. But Turkey is demonstrating an independent, irrepressible effort to penetrate into the Crimea, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. The Ukraine found itself under strong pressure from Uniatist Galicia which was actively inspiring by Catholicism and Crimean Tatar activists, glimpsing the chance to slip out of Kiev's weak ties into an "association" with Istanbul, for which it is necessary to ultimately exclude Russia. But throwing Russia back to the situation of "ante" the Treaty of Yasi (1791), in which Turkey acknowledged the Crimea as belonging only to Russia, or even before this, the Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji (1774), which confirmed the Crimea's independence from Turkey, projects a fully unexpected future and if one may lay one's imagination run on this topic in regard to, say, the example of Cyprus...

These occurrences are developing on the background of a sharp change in the military and strategic situation in the Balkans, which NATO has overtly invaded. The encouragement of the potential strengthening of ties with a political and strategic partnership between the Ukraine and the Baltic states under the aegis of western military and political structures is clearly seen. This course has not of yet been realized, yet one should be aware of the danger in forming a sanitary cordon under NATO's control which would extend from the Baltic to the Black Sea, sealing off Russia up in a geopolitical sack, and also be aware of the growing role of the Dniester region as a single point of Russian support, after the Russian ships left Izmail, in the direction of the Danube and Balkans. Russia is being squeezed inward to Asia, cut from Mediterranean and Caspian. It is exactly such geopolitical disabled Russia fully corresponds both the geopolitical interests of the West and its global ideological quest: to embrace the area of the Kiev Russ - the strategic region of the Danube mouth and the straits and the ancient Slavic domain, the cradle of the Russian Orthodoxy and the symbol of the Byzantine legacy.

These occurrences are developing on the backdrop of a sharp change in the military and strategic situation in the Balkans, which NATO has overtly invaded. The encouragement of the potential strengthening of ties with a political and strategic partnership between the Ukraine and the Baltic states under the aegis of western military and political structures is clearly seen. This course has not of yet been realized, yet one should be aware of the danger in forming a sanitary cordon under NATO's control which would extend from the Baltic to the Black Sea, sealing off Russia up in a geopolitical sack, and also be aware of the growing role of the Dniester region as a single point of Russian support, after the Russian ships left Izmail, in the direction of the Danube and Balkans.

Having reviewed the borders and the sea boundaries of Russia, one may be reminded that in the Far East, Japan has already undergone one round (and it looks as if will not be the last) of an unprecedented onslaught with the purpose of revision of the territorial outcomes of the World War II in order to get back the Kuril Islands, which inevitably undermines the solidity of the post-war territorial outcomes in Europe. Russia is being squeezed inward by a ring of geopolitical interests which are plotting historical revenge; a change in positions in one matter gives legal basis for pressuring Russia in another matter creating a domino effect.

Something that is becoming a complex problem for Russian interests are the multilateral mechanisms which are slipping out from under control, and for the creation of which, at one time, immense political and material resources were spent. Large international structures, reflecting a post-war correlation of forces In international relations and regarded as their superstructure, immediately reacted to the denial of the perpetual line of foreign policy and of the subsequently Immediate weakening of Russia. The UN and CSCE allowed themselves to openly display a double standard in regard to events taking place on the territory of the USSR and later, in Yugoslavia.

Despite the propagandist rhetoric from both sides that surrounded the Conference on security and cooperation in Europe during its establishment, it, after many years of agreements on approaches, reflected definite mutual obligations. From the West, the USSR again received a sought for contemporary validation in regard to the Yalta-Potsdam system, an acknowledgment of the legality of territorial integrity in the post-war borders of European countries, first and foremost its own borders as well as the western border of Poland, i.e. the border along the Oder and Neisse rivers. This signified the acceptance by the West in the Helsinki Final Act of the restoration of historic Russia's territories which were lost (not without the help of the West) during the revolution and civil war. Out of the Final Act of the CSCE emerged the fact that the Baltic region is recognized as a part of the USSR (the USA was the only one to have reservations about this). The West received a sought for agreement from the USSR on the reduction of armed forces and armaments in Europe that was realized later in a time frame determined by the CFE Treaty. It is obvious that out of all these mutual obligations, only ours were fulfilled.

In 1991-1992, the UN and the CSCE openly disregarded the principle of universality in the norms of international law. Thus, for the hasty acknowledgment of the dismemberment of the USSR and Yugoslavia, UN founding nations and participants in the Helsinki Act (although it was namely their territorial integrity and not the one of the subjects of their federations that was guaranteed in the Final Act by all of the 35 signatories that signed it), the mandate on the peaceful alteration of borders was applied without the indication that such an alteration is possible only in coordination with constitutional procedures that ensure the rights of people. But the territory of the seceding republics, Moldavia, Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Ukraine, were declared not to be subject to change, and the multitude of peoples who reside there, including those who were divided, were deprived of the right of free will in the matter of their own choice of government. Their borders, former internal and administrative inclusive, were immediately proclaimed as international and inviolable on the basis of the very same Helsinki act, only used here were the principles of the inviolability of borders.

There is a double standard present in the interpretation of the multilateral universal criteria and obligations that are placed on themselves by the members of world society and exploited in specific state and political goals as the notorious "human rights'' under the banner of which sovereign governments are selectively blackmailed. The violation of Russians' rights in the CIS during the past years has not aroused any international protest. The UN at once reflected new correlations of forces between the USA and Russia. Since it was in the interests of the USA to use the universal international organization, all new tendencies in the work of the Security Council proceeded in namely this direction. Discussion on the decision of the Russian Supreme Soviet apropos the Russian status of Sevastopol' became alarming, although a little-observed precedent. Completely brushing aside the essence of the issue and the tight knot of an internal political struggle, one must note that the Security Council's announcement (even in an indirect form, namely, in the statement of the chairman) regarding the fact that the decision of the highest legislative organ of a sovereign state has no legal power is an unprecedented endeavour, an event that exceeds any limitation of the UN Charter and the UN's powers, and opens up a way to turning the UN into a global government which would be fraught with dangerous consequences for the whole of world society and future international relations under whoever's aegis such a mechanism was formed.

Even more dangerous is the coalescence of the UN, as a supranational organ for adopting solutions and laying claims to universalism, with NATO, which occurred during the "peacemaking" operations in the Yugoslav drama. The original cause of the tragic events in Yugoslavia was a hasty acknowledgment of individual subjects of the Yugoslav federation in defiance of the letter and spirit of the Helsinki Conclusive act, and in the case of Bosnia, in defiance of the Bosnian constitution itself (the change in status of a republic is possible only with the unanimous agreement of the other three communities when separately polled: the Serbs, the Croats, and Moslems). This led to the foregoing of the Serbs' right to self-determination, who then became a nation (like the Russians) divided by six quasi-states on their own historical territory. Bosnia and Herzegovina, an artificial creation of communist state construction, immediately exploded Just as the united Yugoslavia was breaking up. (At a stage when the US and NATO's final decision to openly enter the conflict with military action had not yet matured, NATO itself admitted the fault of previous decisions.)

As was to be expected, the US and NATO used the notorious rash decision of the UN Security Council's resolution for planned invasion of the Balkans with their military machinery. Under the pretence of peacemaking efforts, the US and NATO entered the military conflict on the territory of Yugoslavia on the side of the Croatian-Moslem forces. NATO's bombing of Serb positions in Bosnia is a violation of the North Atlantic Treaty itself, for not one of the sides in the conflict was in the state of war with a member of NATO nor did they pose a threat to a NATO member. One must name things for what they are: this is an act of international terrorism on a monstrous scale (as was the bombing of Iraq), that serves as evidence to the very serious retreat of world society from the principles of non-intervention. The readiness to cynically warp these principles and refuse them to certain nations which first undergo a "demonization", then a moral, and finally, physical destruction speaks of a moral setback by world society in an age where the idea of "universal human values'' are so propagandized.

The most dangerous and far-reaching consequence of these actions Is that the UN took upon itself a right that absolutely does not belong to it through the Charter to give a mandate to NATO, which is not a UN structure, to enact military operations which exceed the limitations on actions and geographical zones of the North Atlantic Treaty in the internal conflict of a state. The current events are testimony not only to alarming symptoms, but also to the virtual formation of a global supranational structure for making resolutions, which legalized the privileged position of the USA and other western powers in their unconcealable claims on dictating the sovereign subjects of world society. With this in mind, NATO, a military organization of countries that acted within the framework of the rights during the Cold War, may be turned into a global gendarme that acts under the convenient aegis of a supposedly "universal" international organization. The UN immediately becomes an obedient instrument of anything but Russian interests with the weakening of control on Russia's part.

On every level of the Yugoslav drama, there were obvious attempts (unfortunately, often successful) to reach a subsequent surrender of Russia's political will and the destruction of its influence in the Balkans by using Russia's involvement in western projects and in the military and political mechanism for Yugoslavia. Russian society must now show the broadest support for the foreign policy department in its notable attempts to not allow this mechanism to strengthen or legalize the infringement of the rights of the Serb nation, which was achieved with the assistance of brute military strength, for unity, for its own historical territory and for the observance of human rights. The most important area for the concentration of all state efforts is becoming the serious diplomatic campaign, which has already begun, against the expansion of NATO. The idea of 'exported or projected stability' which supposedly has become the main component of NATO's "altered'' strategy was demonstrated in its barest form in Yugoslavia. But we see that neither the dismemberment of the USSR, the disintegration of the Soviet ideological and military alliance, nor the withdrawal of Russian troops from Central Europe and the Baltic region has led to the diminishment of the Atlantic alliance. On the contrary, this bloc, having preserved its ideological, military and organizational structure, has, after a tactical pause, conducted a policy for its future expansion on account of the former allies of the USSR and even parts of historical Russia.

In NATO doctrine the "Harmel plan" and the Provision of first use of nuclear weapons have been preserved, it hasn't changed in principle. The orientation, which followed to conduct affairs only with individual nations and not with a bloc of Russian partners, continues (first the Warsaw Pact, then the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, and now the CIS), so as not to bolster the supranational level of the given union and, consequently, Moscow's influence and role among its partners. On the other hand, the USA has preserved and augmented its tactics of camouflaging its global interests with multilateral initiatives.

All these events evidence the advance to an obvious goal, which is turning East Europe, and later portions of the historical Russia state, into a sphere of influence for the USA and NATO. (East European states are rushing to NATO because of, among other things, a fear of Germany, especially on the backdrop of the undermining of stability of the territorial outcome from the Second World War. The memories of Sudety, Silesia, the Danzig corridor are still alive and this is only aggravated by the fact that in Germany they are increasingly more actively beginning to hint at the necessity of reviewing these "historical problems".)

The expansion of NATO will ultimately change the already undermined military and strategic symmetries and configurations that emerged from the Treaty on the limitation of conventional forces (the CFE treaty), for the correlation in arms alone is becoming 2:1 in favour of NATO with the entry of some East European states.

It is becoming clear that a washing away of obstacles for the entry into NATO by a part of historical Russia has been assisted by subsequent, although not externally related, programmed directives of western policy, the most important of which being:

I. The recognition of the Baltic states as not being separated parts of the Soviet Union, rather as restored pre-war states. (A violation of the Helsinki Final Act, which confirmed the legality of the territorial integrity of all post-war European states.) But according to this concept, it must be that Russia was an occupational force, the demographic situation was the result of the occupational regime, Russian troops were occupational in nature and were subject to an unconditional withdrawal. Legally, this territory from the very beginning withdrew from a unified military and strategic region of the USSR, which was inherited by Russia according to the treaties pertaining to disarmament.

2. The attempt to indirectly enable, in particular, through new initiatives in the area of nuclear disarmament (the START- I Treaty), the destruction or devaluation of the existing system of nuclear restraint and treaties on anti-missile defence (first and foremost the ABM Treaty and its applicable protocol of 1974), that link all the territories of the USSR on which Russia may fulfil its requirements. Today, Russia's geopolitical interests, in essence, are hardly being taken into account in the sense of how it is preserving its role as a power while it is still powerful; second-place after the USA in the significance of its nuclear missile potential. If the START-2 Treaty is ratified and Poland enters NATO, then from its territory, nuclear missiles can be delivered all the way to St.Petersburg using howitzers and all the way to Moscow using cruise missiles.

3. The gradual attraction of East European countries and, what is especially Important, parts of the USSR Into the sphere of NATO's control and activity under the program "Partnership for peace" is a step to converting parts of Russia's military and strategic areas into the object of multilateral regulation. Those who enter the program formulate their goals in "presentational documents" indicating which ones might conflict with the interests of others and mainly of Russia, which, after the participants have signed the agreement, is deprived of the right to adequately oppose them. Ukraine (to which there has been redirected substantial US foreign policy and financial means), Georgia, Moldavia, all of which have serious problems with Russia (the Crimea, Sevastopol', the Dniester region, Ossetia, and Abkhazia) have become members of this program. Russia's acceptance into the program, it would seem, should be expected to be (experts during the hearings in the State Duma spoke unanimously about this) no more than a manoeuvre for diversion.

Nonetheless, Russia has opportunities to hinder such a development of events if it relics on the well-composed system of legal and political bases that confirm its role and responsibility in the East European region and on its own historical territories. The international structures that were formed in the decade following the war, as well as negotiation mechanisms and treaties even in the altered situation still may and must be used for the vindication of Russian interests, first and foremost being the impediment of NATO's expansion. An important argument that Russia has begun to use, two years late it would appear, is the overturn of all military and strategic symmetries in regard to the CFE Treaty.

A conceptual judicial instrument may be the idea that all the territories of the USSR in the borders from 1975 that are confirmed in the Final Act of Helsinki are, through treaties, zones of Russian responsibility and security, its military and strategic space that was inherited by Russia from the USSR due to the passing down of rights recognized by the whole world in treaties pertaining to nuclear and conventional weapons (especially the ABM Treaty), which continue to be in effect in this geographical region. Not one state can allow the presence of armed forces from a third party on its military and strategic space or the entry of portions of this space into blocs or alliances that are hostile to that state.

Theoretically, reserves for eliminating distortions in the activity of western mechanisms and structures are available: the double standard that was accepted by the USA and European organizations is so obvious that forming a basis for a solid position is not so complicated as well as a selection of a level of the necessary solidity as well as of areas of dispute supported by real opportunities and home-front services. Perhaps this level of the celebrated "closeness" and trust in relations with Russia which the US does not feel comfortable to write off, is a convenient backdrop for correcting the course of events. However, the problem with this is that Russia is already not being considered in the matter and the reasons for this lie within Russia itself.

As a matter of fact, notable tendencies in the politics of western countries and organizations, put under their control by us ourselves, is a natural policy of large international powers trying to fill a vacuum, to expand spheres of influence and eliminate large rivals. Deductions about the invariable nature of relations are painful only when superimposed on the previous delight brought about by the naively perceived united world'. It would be intelligent to take off the rose-colored glasses forever, but not demonize one's inevitable partners in the truly united imperfect world.

What is necessary for the difficult vindication of one's positions in the military and strategic realm beyond the declared preciseness for positions is the domestic potential, stability, and durability of the state itself, otherwise the most active and intelligent foreign policy is without value. And it is here, in all of its drama, the Chechen syndrome arises. The Chechen problem is a problem of national and state will. It is namely the lack of this, and not military hopelessness that binders Russia's sovereignty and territorial integrity from being unconditionally affirmed. Time and again the loss of this factor gives up gained positions and takes all sense from the casualties sustained by soldiers who are shedding blood for the indivisibility of the Fatherland and at the same time are exposed to public dishonor by propaganda, unthinkable in any country with a healthy national spirit.

In any (especially in western law) state, the nationality of criminals would not by of any significance. One should treat a would-be criminal rebellion in the Ryazan' oblast' or in Yakutia with the same level of harshness that the USA would certainly do in wiping groups of bandits from the face of the earth with "the use of all the state's strength, including military" (Bush on the events in Los Angeles). But in Chechnya, we face the vicious implications of the Bolshevik doctrine of national-territorial organization of a multinational state which allows anyone hostile to historical Russian state to declare any criminal hot bed a 'national liberation movement". It appears that the human rights advocates from the Council of Europe would be never confused by the frightful criminal record of Dudaev's cutthroats and the fate of the population of 400,000 Russians that have been robbed and subjected to violence as well as by the fate of genuine Cossack lands.

It should be remembered that the Caucasian war with which we are for some reason being intimidated, ended with the victory of a legal Russian power. This war did not begin because of the establishment of Russian sovereignty in the region. This happened significantly earlier and mainly with voluntary agreement, but later the activity of the Russian administration came into conflict with, inter alia, the interests of some North Caucasian rulers connected with slave-trafficking in Persia and Turkey. After the war, there was a long, peaceful and constructive period (in historical comparison) in the region, which served as an inspiring example to emulate. Acknowledgment of the Chechen criminal hotbed would not only not stop the bloodshed, but, conversely, would betray Russians and other peoples in the Caucasus who, in time, have linked their fates with Russia and kept their faith in it, to the bandits thereby turning the Caucasus into a boiling cauldron of lawlessness and large scale terrorism like that, which has never been seen In the world before.

There are erroneous attempts to attribute to this rebellion a religious aspect that had never been the origin of the existed from the beginning and which supposedly threatens its "all-Caucasus" nature. The experience of Imam Shamil, a follower of the Naqshbendi brotherhood (a branch of Sufism), demonstrated the impossibility of uniting societies that have been torn apart by bloody internecine wars even under the banner of Islam. If the Mureeds (devoted followers), who refuted theft, fraud, and usury as sins, did not know how to do this, then Dudaev's gangland, - 1990's style criminals in a liberal, godless twentieth century, - of bank robbers, made-to-order murderers and rapists, currency and narcotic speculators, could hardly succeed at it either. And the idea of a stable "highlanders' federation" which would successfully emerge at the epicentre of a geopolitical rivalry ("in the face of encroaching enemies," as it was worded at the beginning of the 19th century), corresponds very little with the Caucasian reality of today or as it was one hundred or two hundred years ago. This naive project was proposed by Pavel I, who did not desire to add the North Caucasus with its ulcers, but only reflected the political and legal doctrinairism that was inherent to him, the underestimation of his neighbours' appetites, and a misunderstanding of the geopolitical situation.

But the most diverse forces, including Islam of course, quickly took advantage of the Chechen conflict, going beyond geopolitics, there was the scent of oil to which American and British interests are always sensitive. The participation of Afghani mujahadeen, the citizens of Pakistan, Jordan, Turkey, and Iran in forming bands of militants and the hysteria of extremists in several Islamic countries show with all clarity that the inability to liquidate a criminal hotbed led to the use of this hotbed by forces that surround Russia for the return of the Caucasus to the sphere of influence of Islamic politics In the most complicated of global combinations which are not controlled on the state level.

In Chechnya, the two hundred year work of Russia as a power in the South is at stake, along with its presence on the Black Sea, the military and strategic balance in the Mediterranean, the fate of the Crimea, the Transcaucasus (most of all Armenia and Georgia), the future of the Eastern Christian world and of all those with a propensity to Russia in the Caucasus and beyond its ridge.

Here we come close to a different level of international relations on which appear the global, political, and cultural efforts of the major driving forces of history. All of the specific rivalries between states in one way or another have a philosophical underlying motive. Russia, located on the junction of three worlds, the Latin, Islamic, and pantheistic, is at the center of a geopolitical rivalry Global Islam is now on an unusual rise. Its centers have continuously developed and have accumulated spiritual and intellectual potential for responding to the problems of existence in the twenty first century, its demographic and financial potential has grown in colossal proportions and is represented now by the oil giants of the Middle East. The global purposes of these forces are formed along two lines. In many Islamic states there has been a liberalization of consciousness in a western format during the post-war rivalry for the third world.

The so-called "demo-Islam" is most evidently represented by Turkey, perceived through the "Young Turks" and Kemalists the western values in combination with a nationalistic, imperial Turanian ideology. In other countries, strongest by their historical spiritual tradition, conversely, a liberal rationalist social doctrine that was too aggressively and confidently shattering age-old values, has gone bankrupt and on a surge of social protest brought to surface the radical fundamentalist forces. Islam with a strong anti-western and anti-American accent is evident in Iran, Afghanistan and in part of the Tajik Wahabist opposition.

But the common objective condition for the action of all branches of global Islam is the same: the physical (dismemberment of the Russian core), economic and military weakening, and the denial of its own national and religious identity by a large part of the non-Western world, that is, historical Russia. This opens up the possibility to turn to a sphere of influence of Islam that is as powerful as it has never been, Russia's large Moslem territories and masses of people and to affect the orientation of the Russian Federation.

Taking into account the formation of global Islam into a geopolitical arch and a huge driving force of civilization which draws the Moslem regions of historical Russia into its sphere of influence one can assume that it leads to a total change in the outlook of Eurasia and to global changes in the balance of power between civilizations. Turkey, of which earlier was thought to just be tawing the "Atlantic line" and which the West mistakingly thinks it could always control in regard to its own interests, is now demonstrating an economic and pan-Turkic interest in relation with the Sunni Central Asia and an already evident impatience in regard to the Crimea and Black Sea straits. The predicted, in case of losing positions in the Crimea and Sevastopol', violation of the Convention on the Black Sea straits (Montreux, 1936) has already become a fact. It is entirely possible that soon we will be witnesses to the outright denial of the mandates of this convention, which, in its time, put an end to the Eastern issue.

Iran still has not shown concern in the further disintegration of Russia's territory. There are audible hints that Russia would be needed as a counterbalance to America, Israel, and Turkey in Iran's ideological and state rivalry in the Middle East. Also evident is that Islam, as a global event, needs it for own strategic interests of its two branches, liberal and nationalist Turkism and Panturanism, as well as Shilte fundamentalism with its neo- pan-Islamism. Despite the cold spell that exists between Istanbul and Teheran, the creation of a Moslem state in the middle of Europe and struggle between Bosnian Moslems and the Orthodox Serbs is supported by both "guards of Islamic revolution'', in conjunction with the USA, their sworn enemy, and "pro-West" Turkey, whom they despise. And the Eurasian idea for Russia was taken up by the liberal" Istanbul and Wahabist Saudi Arabia.

What kind of global interests lay at the foundation of the battle between "liberalism" and Islam that has suddenly appeared and is reiterated in the West and in the East? Why all of a sudden has this rivalry intensified and what has suddenly become its new objective? It is obvious: an impetus for this rivalry was the destruction of historical Russia, and the object of the fight is nothing other than Russia itself and its legacy, from its historical territory to its sphere of influence and position in the Balkans.

The surge toward expansionism of some is measured for the most part by the provoking vacuum of spiritual, historical, and political will of others. For other subjects of history as it is for the liberal West, and for Islam with both of its branches, there is a unique historical chance to gain possession of the colossal potential for the future spurt which means the spiritual and other kinds of control over the strategic territories and large masses of people of the Russian empire.

The Russian nation, after almost a century of isolation from their faith and culture are being subjected to a constant spiritual and cosmopolitan rationalist plan for the development of the world. The main acting forces in this pursuit are, as it was in the 19th century. Anglo-Saxon interests represented now mainly by the USA, which is the main bearer of the liberal idea.

From a historical and philosophical point of view, obvious for those familiar with religious philosophy, a characteristic feature of American ideology is messianism based on the providentialism of that part of Protestantism which, by its type of consciousness, is most evident as a departure from the New Testament to the Old Testament. It is namely this that can explain the fact that American foreign policy is ideologized at its highest level. The degree of ideologization in various periods differs depending on the partner's weakness. It was very strong at the beginning of the Cold War, gradually weakened with the loss of nuclear monopoly, even entered a stage of pragmatism by the 70's, but has risen sharply at the present.

The European national states are much less ideologicized. The role of the bearers of the Eurocentrist and mundial ideas (similar to Marxism) of an obligatory movement of all nations to the "standard of civilization common to all man" is fulfilled by supranational structures. It appears that not all have noted that Russia's joining the European Council in the West have attempted to furnish as an test of 'civilization" to some fourth "democratic International", given the role of arbitrator In the selection of a spiritual and historical path. With this, the ceremonious capitulation of a millennium of Russian civilization to western, liberal values was thoroughly masked as a farewell to "totalitarianism". In general, the entire history of the West's relations with Russia as the Soviet Union in the twentieth century was a masquerade that imitated a fight with Bolshevism.

Conversely, the main goal in the twentieth century in the sense of the West's policy was to immortalize all that was done to Russia in 1917, that is a crucifixion of its spiritual and historical hypostasis and dismemberment into arbitrarily cut out territories. The Soviet Union was sentenced namely for the fact that, after May 1945, it ceased to be "necessary' as Anti-Russia.

The West's intelligentsia, atheist and materialist, was, in spirit, an admirer of the philosophical foundations of Marxism. It viewed the orthodox Bolsheviks in the 20's with sympathy and closed its eyes on the red terror unleashed against the original Russian estates. But it, was disappointed with the Soviet Union in the 50s and immediately began to condemn repression, but only those repressions that were enacted against the very creators of the February and October revolutions and their offspring. Why is this so? Because the liberals were disappointed in the USSR, but not with the idea of overthrowing the God given world and social hierarchy.

The disappointed "blazing'' European intellectuals again are calling for a revolution that is more uncompromising in nature. Now from the "decadent" world to the jungles are going Regi Debre, E. Che Guevara, Pol Pot, the latter a graduate of Sorbonne. The remainder of them demonstrate a splash of nihilism that characterizes of all the West in social life and culture. The student riots of the sixties were irrationally anti-etatist in nature; music, literature, and "absurd" theater, hippies, neo-Buddhism, and neo-Paganism and finally "new left" and 'new right'' are forms of the very same yearnings for planetary Utopia and revolution...

All of this signifies that only Russia is concerned with the restoration of its historical identity, and Russia will have no sympathy in this endeavor for a single proponent of its pseudo-renaissance of today. Russia, strong and deep-rooted in its national values, would become an obstacle for any influence, be it from the West or from the East.

Therefore, Russia itself must determine its constructive role in Europe and in the world. It is Russia that must offer the world the idea of unity as a harmony in diversity, and not the subjecting of all to single political standards that have grown on the basis of only one of world civilizations. The constructive cooperation of Russia and Europe, including participation in European structures, in the European Council, may actually give both Europe and Russia the powerful impulse needed before the twenty-first century.

Russia's "partners" today both in the West and in the East are all attempting to draw Russia into their spheres of influence, most of all for the purpose of leading Russia away from this own fate and using Russia as an instrument against one another. They are all proposing that the Russians forget their millennium of spiritual tradition and become "Western Europeans" or "Eurasians". For it is namely by such Europeans or Eurasians for which the title of "universal man, citizen of the world" or, conversely, the opposition to "the decadent and nihilistic West'' would be without fall more valuable that one's own national ideals and historically continuous interests such as Sevastopol' or the results of the Great Patriotic War paid for by Russian blood.

Russia's future is, in the most basic sense, not the matter of successful economic reforms, and successful international agreements. This is a problem of the Russians' ability to be the subject of global history. The weakness of the Russian form of government today is in the obvious destruction of the wholeness of national world perception, in the decline of the Russian power creating ethnos.

Today's rivalry for the "Russian legacy'' is evidence of a clear effort to take advantage of the temporary loss by Russian politics of historical reference points and to try to enact a global division of the world. At the same time, the idea of a "united world'' while infringing upon the God-given diverse world, where the path to Truth is built by its own, and not a foreign spiritual experience, is destroying all civilizations in a disastrous state of confusion on an atheistic foundation of cultures, nations, and states. This, in turn, generates radical fundamentalism in response. A confrontation in the twenty-first century will be much more dangerous for the world than was the opposition in the notorious Cold War.

The historical Russian state, which existed in its last form as the USSR, was a very important factor in the global balance of power not only of states, but of civilizations as well. It Is too great of a magnitude and a major system-forming element of global balance. The matter of its destruction is dangerous for the world. The geopolitical division win Inevitably plunge everyone into an unprecedented rivalry and into conflicts not so much between governments, but more so between the Christian and non-Christian worlds. As a result, what is possible are unpredictable correlations of force between already established traditional centers of power on the one hand, and on the other hand, Islam, which is acquiring the role of a very serious geopolitical factor and the strength of China which is modernizing, has nuclear weapons and a countless population. World must not forget that states are formed over centuries and borders are drawn with blood.

Conversely, the restoration of the historical identity of Russia and the continuation of its successive history in the forms corresponding to the modern epoch may give both Russia and the world the balance of states that is so necessary and the harmonious interactions of cultures and civilizations.


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