By VennerRoad, 19th Jun 2016
The Soviet Union may be long gone, but there are those who are trying to make an enemy of its successor.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Those old enough to remember the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall will also remember a time when it was, or when we were told it was. The evidence for this was that the Berlin Wall was not there to keep us Westerners out but to keep the prisoners of the Soviet Bloc in. There was other evidence too. Capitalism and the free enterprise system were taboo in the Soviet Union. Not only the press but the entire media was controlled, and there were spies everywhere.
The Soviet Union is now dead and buried. Good riddance to it. For a short time there was, or at least appeared to be, a new spirit of cooperation between West and East, us and them. Now what is happening? Leaving aside whatever is happening in the Ukraine and the ongoing disaster known as the Middle East, we see Russia being vilified over what we are told is state-backed cheating in the field of athletics; we see Russia being accused of engaging in espionage like in days of yore; and we see Russia being told it must bow to Western so-called liberal values, especially where homosexuals are concerned. Are the Russians really the bad guys though?
Remember that old Biblical saying about removing the plank from your own eye first? In some respects, freedom and dissent in the West are illusory, and we are faced with the same kind of repression that once existed in the Soviet Union. The KGB may have been feared, but our own intelligence services have been spying on us since before any of us was born. And this extends not simply to those protecting us from terrorists. The relevations of the repentant undercover police officer Mark Kennedy and the subsequent fall out from his change of heart have shown us the lengths to which our political police will go to spy on and subvert activists who could by no conceivable stretch of the imagination be described as terrorists.
The revelations of Edward Snowden have shown that we are literally all being watched all of the time, without warrant, and just in case you forgot, Snowden applied for and was given political asylum in Russia. Again, those revelations were not entirely new, back in the 1970s, the state moved against Duncan Campbell and Mark Hosenball for publishing an article about the Evesdroppers, even though it was researched entirely from the public domain.
The 9/11 attacks were used as the pretext for drastically expanding such surveillance, to justify imprisonment without trial, and even to rationalise murder. And that’s before we get onto subjects like the curtailment of free speech, politically motivated prosecutions, and the erosion of due process. However bad the old Soviet Union looked, we don’t look much better. So let us not reignite the Cold War; Russia may do things differently from us, but neither the nation, nor its leaders, nor least of all its people, are our enemies.
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