Friday, March 9, 2012

Putin is re-elected, Europe debates how to deal with it!

And yes, he did it again; (everlasting) Russian President Mr Vladimir Putin is elected once more to be the country's President for yet another term! And while we in the rest of Europe do not quite understand Russian politics, somehow the Russians (or the majority of them at least) seem quite content with what is going on in their country. And I do mention the majority of them, because lately we have seen strong opposition and many protests in the streets of Moscow and other large Russian cities, calling for Putin to leave the Russian political scene for good.

Europe of course and "the West" in general are trying to figure a way of dealing with the Russians, Putin and their kind of "democracy." No, having the same President re-elected the Putin way is not democratic at all, that is one thing for sure. But why do we have to understand them or even make them change in order to do business with them? Why do we have to make everyone that is trading with us or is near to us behave the way we do, or spread our version of "democracy" to every country in the World?

As if Democracy in Europe and America are perfect! I won't even go to the American version of "democracy", a "gift" from America that is being forced to some unfortunate nations with invasions and bombings! Either you are going to have "democracy"  or else we are going to force it upon you. Excuse me, isn't democracy by its definition deriving straight from the will and actions of the people, the citizens and not by foreign powers? In my opinion "democracy" for the Americans means one thing: Capitalism! Unless you are free to consume and spend money on buying things that you do not need, then you are not democratic enough for their liking! And they are going to convert you to it.

And what about Europe? Recently the German Minister of Finance Mr. Wolfgang Schauble, virtually threatened the Greeks to vote again for either the PASOK or the New Democracy Party in the upcoming election in the country, in order to secure the second bail-out loan. To remind you, those two parties run Greece since the '70s and they are responsible for the current economic mess in Greece but also in the eurozone! The same people that we want to get rid off so badly, our European partners now are threaten us that we have to keep them or else! But then how will Greece change? Why insist on keeping in power those people who are guilty of bringing their country to its knees? Is it because they are the ones who signed the sell out of the country to our "partners" in Europe and America and if we get rid off them, the deals they signed will perhaps be cancelled by any new political establishment?

Of course this makes me wonder how democratic are Greece and Europe itself, when they allow such things to take place! It also makes me wonder if the corrupt political elite who was supported by Europe for decades, was only placed in the lead of the country to do just that; drive the country bankrupt and bringing it to the mercy of the bankers, the marketers and the capitalists. And I won't even go to the democratic deficit within EU, or examine the case of other countries, like Italy for example; they had someone very similar to Putin, he is called Berlusconi and he dominated the country's media, public opinion and politics for years, yet Europe tolerated him until things reached a dead end! No one was asking the question he ask about the Russian case: how to deal with Italy?

Russia is a major trade partner for Europe for its oil and natural gas, among other things. We should not try to change their politics; it could be dangerous! Russia is not Iran. And even with Iran what have we achieved so far? We banned their oil into Europe, it is the weak European economies like Greece that suffer because they can not import oil from there! The Iranians simply sell it on to the Chinese; there are other markets you know apart from Europe. We can not afford to do the same with Russia, can we. Russia had never had the type of democracy we have in the rest of Europe and perhaps they will never do; or even if they will eventually it will take much more time and it must come from within the country, from the Russians themselves.

Why try to force it or why shall we make everybody conform with our way of doing politics in order to do business with them? Besides who tells us that our way is the best? There are a lot of skeletons in Europe's closet and if we get involved in other people's politics, be sure that they will get involved in ours in return; why go back to the Cold War days?

Personally I am more concerned about what is unfair and undemocratic in Europe/EU right now. We can not change or interfere in Russian internal affairs, not without consequences. Putin must go but we can only watch, or perhaps assist the groups that call for our help; but they have to reach out to us first. We should try to sort our problems in Europe before we criticize Russia, because right now we are not in much better place. Democracy in Europe is fading and we have unelected "technocrats" put in our governments, while bankers, the markets and the capitalists rule our countries.  And we dare criticize Russia for its elections? Sort your own back garden Europe, before you dare to criticize others!!

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