Russia, Sudan and China

An AP story today reads, "Russia Might Send Peacekeepers to Sudan." This is, in and of itself, a pretty good thing - any peacekeepers in Sudan is a good thing, and long, long overdue (I'm talking way back even before the current horrors of Darfur overdue). The story itself is very short, and short on specifics, but is more informative in the light of two other facts.
Fascinatingly, the detail of the Chinese troops didn't make it into the otherwise lengthy and excellent WaPo account (though its immense military aid and supplies were mentioned - just not the boots on the ground), and seems to only have made much of a splash in the right-wing media and blogosphere (NewsMax, WorldNetDaily, WaTimes, etc.). Their knee-jerk anti-China paranoia, in this case, serves them well. Indeed, I think increasingly that libruls have a lot to learn in terms of informing their feelings about China from a lot of people with whom they would otherwise find no common ground.

RE: fact one above - the Beeb continues, reporting:
The Kremlin said on Tuesday that the $6bn which Russian state bank VEB lent state-owned Rosneft to help buy Yugansk in turn came from Chinese banks.

The revelation came as the Russian government said Rosneft had signed a long-term oil supply deal with China....

The deal between Rosneft and CNPC is seen as part of China's desire to secure long-term oil supplies to feed its booming economy.

China's thirst for products such as crude oil, copper and steel has helped pushed global commodity prices to record levels.

"Clearly the Chinese are trying to get some leverage [in Russia]," said Dmitry Lukashov, an analyst at brokerage Aton.

"They understand property rights in Russia are not the most important rights, and they are more interested in guaranteeing supplies."

Add all of these to the fact that Chinese and Russian troops are training together, and a pretty clear picture emerges: these countries have a very basic mutual understanding of the importance of access to, and control of, energy and other natural resources by national governments in an increasingly unstable world. Further, their understanding is one which explicity ignores the rule of law when it becomes inconvenient - see the whole sorry Yukos debacle, or any one of many examples of Chinese banks' and factories' corruption - and just generally laughs at the whole idea of free elections, open society or human rights.

And all of these things, taken together, get back to the central point of why it's so heartbreaking that the United States is daily destroying its moral (not to mention financial) credibility as a world leader. Namely - the United States has always been something of a hypocrite, an idealistic child who spouts great notions while also violating them. But we have, through history, three steps forward, two back, one forward, one back, progressed, and been, as recently as four years ago, a model of what a nation and people can be, and a recipient of the good wishes and sympathy of the world.

Russia and China represent an opposite vision - a crass, heartless grab for resources, control and power. Unfortunately, over the past four years, this has also widely - and not incorrectly - been the view of the rest of the world about the United States as an international actor.

It is important that we all realize the world and potential worlds that are taking shape around us, for many reasons, not the least of which is to remind us why we are fighting to make the United States into the kind of country that can set an example for a better world.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?