02 November 2022

The global struggle

The struggle for freedom and democracy against tyranny is a truly global one.  The various conflicts and alliances around the world are increasingly aligning themselves to reflect this.  Ultimately it's all one fight.

It started with the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, when the democracies of the West supported Ukraine far more strongly than Putin had expected, and reacted to his threats with defiance, as when Germany radically raised its defense spending and Sweden and Finland moved to join NATO.  While other democracies have not joined in the fighting -- direct NATO-Russia combat would pose too much risk of nuclear escalation, so both sides have carefully avoided it -- they have provided the weapons Ukraine needs to push back the invaders and liberate ever more of its territory.

The solidarity of democracies defies distances both geographical and cultural.  South Korea is now emerging as a major arms supplier to European countries whose own stocks of weapons have been depleted by sending help to Ukraine.

Evil cleaves to evil, as well.  The Iranian theocracy, despite being busy brutalizing and killing its people for demanding basic freedoms, has been supplying military drones to Putin's regime, and now promises to send more powerful weapons.  The two gangster-states are becoming close and explicit allies.  The equally theocratic and oppressive Saudi regime's recent cut in oil production, a blatant move to help Putin and harm the West, similarly befits its status as an enemy of freedom and democracy aligned with Russia and China.

The Iranian theocracy's arrogance reached a crescendo on Saturday, when it delivered an ultimatum to its people to cease their rebellion, as though they needed its permission.  Nevertheless, the revolt continues, though the regime's thugs have now killed more than 250 people.

The Iranians are fighting for freedom and the end of the regime, not just for incremental change, and the Western democracies should recognize this, as they have done with Ukraine.  Already the US and Germany have imposed some sanctions on the regime, and other free countries should follow suit, especially since the theocracy is actively helping Putin against Ukraine.

Democracy scored an important win in Brazil over the weekend, as the presidential election there produced a close but clear result and looks headed for a peaceful transfer of power in a country where Bolsonaro's authoritarian tendencies had placed the future of democracy in some doubt.  Although Bolsonaro has been foot-dragging about a formal concession, he has begun the process of transition.  Die-hard thugs who refuse to accept the result have been blocking traffic all over the country, but Brazil's supreme court has yielded no ground to anarchy and insurrection, ordering the police to clear the roads immediately.  Latin America's largest nation has affirmed that legitimate authority stems from votes, not force.

Next week it will be our turn.


Anonymous Reaganite Independent said...

It is indeed all one fight, and how is the situation in the world today any different than 1980, really? Outside of the reduction in Russian power and the growth of China’s, it’s déjà vu all over again.

Also goes to prove the so-called philosophical/political battle of the Cold War was all a fraud, at least on the totalitarians’ side. From what I’ve read nobody really believed in communism anywhere, not the Kremlin, not Beijing. Just an excuse for why they needed to be oppressing their own people while dominating/conquering others, provides domestically useful outside enemies, etc.

Perhaps mullahs in Tehran think they’re on some kind of mission, but the people don’t seem to be with it.

Yet the US & West are today fighting for basically the same values globally as we were in the Reagan era

That’s why we’re now still trying to contain both these countries’ expansionist urges even though China has become some weird hyper-capitalist personality cult as Putin/Russian Orthodox Church proclaim a phony global moral crusade that justifies blowing up apartment buildings in Ukraine.

Hardly a trace of communism to be found in either country today, yet they’re both at our throat

Hard to establish a middle ground with zero-sum totalitarians. They just want what they want, so you have to deter/stop them.

02 November, 2022 02:42  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

I hope you're correct about our election next week. I'm more pessimistic, and that may be because several critical races are too close to call, which astounds me.

For example, in Arizona, Kari Lake, who's running for governor in a close race, declaimed at a recent rally that Joe Biden did NOT win the 2020 election with 81 million popular votes, and that anyone who believes that is a conspiracist spreading lies.

As long as that sort of deliberate and vicious lie has traction with people and influences their votes, I can't believe we'll continue as a representative democracy.

02 November, 2022 03:52  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Reaganite: If anything, the commonality with the Soviet era shows how little the issue of communism really matters. Both Russia and China have transitioned from communist to de facto fascist, and in practical terms -- internal repression and external aggression -- it hardly makes any difference. Iran's theocratic Islamic system is theoretically miles apart from the ideological roots of the Russian or Chinese regimes, yet its totalitarianism and thuggery look very similar in practice, and it has no trouble making common cause with Putin and Xi. The real divide is between free/democratic and authoritarian, and what flavor the authoritarianism comes in hardly seems to matter.

Among the many asymmetries is that democracy by definition makes governments responsive to their peoples, and information flows fairly freely, while the totalitarian regimes censor information and require their subjects to simply obey. Hence the people themselves are potentially the deadliest enemies of the regime, if they ever awaken to the reality of their situation. The people of Iran are already fully awakened. The Ukraine war is, at least, nudging the Russian people awake, or some of them. The situation in China is harder to assess.

Shaw: We shall see -- I view it rather differently. I'll be writing about the US election later this week.

02 November, 2022 04:40  
Anonymous NickM said...

We've always been fighting this war - at least since - I dunno - The Renaissance (maybe The Enlightenment) but it's been going on for a long time and it probs always will need to be fought forever. The intenisty of the threat will vary over time but it ain't going away.

02 November, 2022 09:06  
Anonymous spirilis said...

Yes this is just a battle. The war will not end no matter what Tuesday's result. There does seem to be quite a lot of activity in the does not usually vote community though. They see something that has gotten them off their butts.

02 November, 2022 11:22  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

NickM: Recall the motto I've often used on this blog. "Leaders come and go -- political parties come and go -- nations come and go -- the essential struggle continues."

Spirilis: And don't over-focus on what happens in just one country, even if it's a large one like ours. The US is only 4% of the world. What I'm doing in this post is trying to provide a more global perspective. Again, I'll have a post about the US election later this week.

02 November, 2022 12:12  
Anonymous spirilis said...

"No reason to get excited"
The thief, he kindly spoke
"There are many here among us
Who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we've been through that
And this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now
The hour is getting late"
I am very interested in the thoughts of others and I think yours have merit. We all have beliefs but I have sadly realized that ALL of mine could be wrong. We touched on this before. You believe in rules. There are others who don't.

03 November, 2022 08:23  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

When those who don't believe in rules manage to get rid of them, they tend to find out -- too late -- why we need them.

03 November, 2022 22:22  

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