Mar. 7th, 2017

Russia

Mar. 7th, 2017 11:27 am
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
As I mentioned yesterday, I watched a 60 Minutes interview of French nationalist politician Marine Le Pen. In it, she was asked if she was upset at or worried about Russia. She said no, and said that being hostile to Russia would "drive them into the arms of China." This surprising love of Russia (a love not shared by her closer neighbors - Sweden brought back the draft) is a feature of the "alt-right."

Here's the thing - in the long run, Le Pen is right. Russia will want / need allies against China and possibly India, the two emerging powers that share a continent with Russia.

In the short term, she's wrong. Putin is an autocrat, playing a short-term game to make himself look good. He's doing this by bullying his European neighbors. Putin is the Napoleon III of Russia - a man attempting to reclaim a fraction of the old regime's greatness. Any deal with Putin will backfire, at least in Europe.

Le Pen's nationalism is also short-minded. The European Union is desperately undemocratic, but if Europe wants to play on the world stage, they will need greater unification, not less.

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