David Cameron's moral sickness
It says much about his desperation to forestall a growing tide of popular support within Britain for the country’s exit from the EU that its Prime Minister should talk up the threat of a “newly belligerent Russia” as the countdown to the country’s June referendum on EU membership continues. However, desperation gives way to disgrace when we consider the quote in full: “We see a newly belligerent Russia, the rise of the Daesh (ISIS) network to our east and to our south the migration crisis," Cameron said during a speech in London on behalf of the Remain campaign.
Making Cameron’s outrageous and deeply insulting comparison between Russia and ISIS even more significant is that it came just as Russia was marking its annual Victory Day commemoration, when the nation stops to remember the epic struggle the country and its people waged against the Nazi onslaught. It was a struggle won at huge, almost unbearable cost, attested to by the 27 million who lost their lives and the countless villages, towns, and cities left decimated.
One world leader who understood the enormity of the Russian and Soviet peoples’ sacrifice and role in defeating the Nazis was Winston Churchill, Britain’s Prime Minister during the Second World War. In a speech to the House of Commons in August 1944, Churchill reminded the British people that “it is the Russian armies who have done the main work in tearing the guts out of the German army. In the air and on the oceans we could maintain our place, but there was no force in the world which could have been called into being, except after several more years, that would have been able to maul and break the German army unless it had been subjected to the terrible slaughter and manhandling that has fallen to it through the strength of the Russian Soviet Armies.”
Wind the clock forward seventy years and we find Russia engaged in fighting the very ISIS terrorists that Cameron sees fit to equate with it. Just to remind the Prime Minister and others who view the situation as he does, Russia is an advanced industrialized nation of 145 million people with a history stretching back centuries, whose contribution to art, literature, science, and world civilization goes before it. ISIS on the other hand is a latter day death cult of medieval head choppers, currently embarked on a campaign of human and cultural genocide across Syria and Iraq. Without Russia’s “belligerence” it is a campaign which by now would have be well on the way to victory, rather than headed for defeat.
David Cameron and his team would benefit from spending just five minutes on the internet looking up the name Aleksandr Prokhorenko. Having done so, if there is any decency in him at all, Cameron should then get on the first flight to Russia and kneel at the feet of Prokhorenko’s family, begging their forgiveness for daring to insult a man whose heroism shames the British Prime Minister, along with the life of comfort and privilege he has only ever known.
Describing a country as “newly belligerent” for being willing to defend its borders is absurd. Victory Day in Russia is a stark reminder of the consequences the last time an invader came calling. It is a lesson the Russian people learned not in history books or in classrooms but in the crucible of total war. And failing to learn from history, as every sentient being knows, is to be doomed to repeat it.
Speaking of which, Russia’s recent history includes the demise of the former Soviet Union. The economic, societal, and cultural shock its people experienced as a result of its demise was bad enough. The attempt by the West to exploit this turmoil by reducing Russia to a neo-colony of Western financial capital turned bad into criminal. The ideological and triumphalist mendacity driving this effort is perfectly encapsulated in the words of Harvard University historian and Cold War security advisor, Richard Pipes, during the period. In response to the crisis that had engulfed Russian society, Pipes stated that it would be desirable “for Russia to keep on disintegrating until nothing remains of its institutional structures.”
Reading those words today confirms the Carthaginian fate that US neocons and their European allies had in store for Russia and its people in the early 1990s.
This is why when David Cameron criticizes Russia’s “new belligerency”, what he really means is “new recovery”. And when he seeks to equate Russia with ISIS, what he is really doing is projecting his own government’s inadequacy in failing to halt the march of this death cult onto the only country outside the Middle East that has.
Nobody knows how the British people will vote when they go to the polls in the country’s referendum on the EU in June. What we can say without any fear of contradiction, however, is that whatever the result – whether it is exit or remain – David Cameron is certain to go down in history as one of the most dishonorable prime ministers Britain has ever had.
Given the field of candidates in this category, it is no mean achievement.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.