I’m confused

Can anyone explain to me why Britain is taking such a hard line with regard to Russia right now, while it’s taking the weakest approach possible in the face of rising and real Islamist violence?

14 Responses

  1. Because there aren’t any Russian constituencies in Britain that would cause a stink about it if they did go hardcore against Russia?

  2. Sounds like displacement. We’ll go and be angry at this other threat, that just happens to kill its own people but currently leaves ours alone. As opposed to dealing with the greater unreachable threat, that’ll kill anyone they deem in need of deading.

  3. They want to look tough without any real risk.

  4. As an extension of the honorable Ymarsakar’s point, the Muslim community would be pleased with a hard line against Russia since Russia takes a hard line against Chechnya.

    So both policies (passive societal suicide at home, muscular self defense abroad) are extensions of the same policy of appeasement.

  5. With the greatest respect to yrmasakar, I think Litvinenko was a naturalised UK citizen.

    Moreover, just as in the USA, the situation is more confused than you might think. On the subject of militant Islamism the political response is mixed, public opinion is increasingly polarised and (just as in the USA) many (but by no means all) believe it’s all Bush’s fault. The BBC pushes out a lot of propaganda about how stupid he is and this does make many people feel that they are being lead by a know-nothing idiot and are powerless to do anything about it.
    Result-confusion and resentment on the part of many.

    Then there are a lot of us who don’t feel like that…

    On the subject of Russia, it may help to recall that radioactive materials were used (liberally). I don’t know about citizens of the USA (and yes,if you’re wondering about the mouthful “citizens of the USA”,I am being careful, having been lectured at length about my errors by a citizen of The United States of Mexico), but for many here that carries a real emotional charge.
    Many are complaining that the ambassador wasn’t expelled!

  6. With the greatest respect to yrmasakar, I think Litvinenko was a naturalised UK citizen.

    When I say “themselves” I mean the politicians and deal makers. Litvinenko wasn’t one of Them, and therein lies the difference. If the government of Britain saw their own people as well… their own people, they wouldn’t have disarmed them the way they did. You don’t make your own people weaker, unless of course you think they aren’t yours and thus not worthy of trust.

    The concept of people and tribes, were covered by Bill Whittle quite well in my view in his Tribes post.

    Many are complaining that the ambassador wasn’t expelled!

    Small Dead Animals reported four expelled Russian diplomats. I only glanced over it so I missed the details.

    Oops, it was Sweetness and Light. Those two aren’t as different as you may think.

    http://sweetness-light.com/archive/uk-expels-4-russian-spies-over-extradition-refusal

    I think the basic psychology still applies here. Especially concerning radioactives. It’s okay so long as the peons are dying in droves and being under constant terror in Britain. But when foreigners start using radioactive substances that could affect anyone, including politicians and the luxuries they rely upon, then it is on.

  7. I don’t know with precision – and neither do any of the other commenters – but I’m generally speaking in favor of it. Putin is, in the words of a Russian friend on the day he was elected: “a very bad man, NOT a good person.” He is in fact an ex-KGB thug with demonstrably little understanding or interest in the concept of democracy, except as it might benefit him or his pals.

    A little comeuppance for him is a good thing. He has been blackmailing northern Europe for years with natural gas suppplies – having first re-nationalized Gaszprom to the benefit of a pal – and isn’t really above much of any sort of behavior. He will do – and has done – what he can to screw us up in Iran or anywhere else in the Middle East he might be able to exercise some influence.

    A thug in short, and if the Brits are becoming sick of him, then that can only be a good thing.

  8. The British government is angry because another government (Russia) disrespected British sovereignty and committed an assassination on British soil. It is not an issue of right or wrong, it is an issue of government involvement.

  9. It is an issue of reciprocity. Kill one of ours, 500 of yours die. For America, the ratio should be “kill 4 Americans in Kerbala”, Iran loses 5000 of their agents. Total end tally should be aggregated upon a decade based statue of limitations, so they don’t try to rack up the kill count in one year.

    The basic problem with Putin and Iran is that they cannot take what they dish out. Not even close, not even on an equal hit for hit basis. That lesson should be impressed upon them, very hard. However, Britain isn’t up to the task.Although perhaps they feel entitled to an attempt; a half hearted attempt perhaps.

  10. I have to largely agree with Yrmasakar (with slight modifications below).
    Can I point you to a slightly wider description of the `privileged group’ available from a post of my own?

    The British `elite’, for want of a better word (`elect’ in the religious sense might be closer), do care about the peons, or certainly about their image of the peons. It’s just they don’t trust them to look after themselves in any way at all. This all started with the ghastly Fabians and has never stopped since. They don’t trust the common man to do the right thing (ever) therefore they must take all power away from the common man for his own good. Most of them really believe this (not that they’d put it in quite those terms). When I put it like this they sound like an awful lot of the Democratic Party to me.

  11. I’m not convinced by any of the arguments above, yet. I too am surprised by the sudden reappearance of British will – when it comes to this issue with Russia. I’m wondering: is this expanding disagreement with Russia really caused by a series of underlying events that we haven’t been paying attention to, and the extradition of the murder suspect is just the flashpoint, the line in the sand, at which the entire simmering conflict becomes visible? If so, what is the nature of the longer-term conflict?

    And how might Great Britain reach a similar flashpoint point concerning Islamofascism? 😉

  12. Britain will back off once they cool off or Russia starts playing hardball. The underlying foundation is still weak, and their new leadership isn’t helping.

  13. Completely off the point: Holy cow – somebody reads Munro? VERY good…

  14. This interesting article shows an overview of the situation I haven’t found elsewhere:
    http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=11764

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