While it is good that the Russian narrative is reproduced in leading news outlets, the arms-length approach implies confusion in the editorial offices over how to handle these developments which do not match the image of Russia as the West’s enemy…
“Mr. Putin had to go into Syria not out of strength but out of weakness because his client Mr. Assad was crumbling.” President Obama, Friday, 2 October 2015
“I will tell you that, in terms of leadership, [Putin] is getting an ‘A’ and our president is not doing so well…They did not look good together.” Donald Trump, 29 September 2015
Sexual Orientations in European Politics and the Crisis in Ukraine
by Gilbert Doctorow, Ph.D.
Over the past three decades, we have become used to sexual minorities dominating the arts, dance in particular, to the point where performances cease to be art and are instead political statements on behalf of the LGBT cause. Viewing this unmistakable shift of modern art to political posturing, there is no reason to be surprised by a reverse phenomenon: international politics is now becoming high drama driven by the sexual (dis)orientation of our leaders.
Political Correctness or no, a lot of sniggering goes on in the broad, largely straight public over rumored gender preferences of our political elites. Since the issue at hand is the crisis in and over Ukraine, I limit our list of confirmed and alleged gays and lesbians in the spotlight to those who have gotten us into the present serious confrontation with Russia. They include Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Ukraine’s acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany Guido Westerwelle and.....let's hazard the guess, Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Some came out of the closet long ago and flaunt it. Others are quiet about their sexual orientations. Proof that they are gay is not available and would, in the nature of things, never be available except to 'special services.' But among the chattering classes in Western Europe, everyone knows the score and the fact that one or another in my list is married and/or has children changes nothing.
All of this has bearing on the European policy of sanctions against Russia in several key respects. First, there is the unbalanced, at times hysterical turn of mind that shows through the policy. Mental balance is all the more relevant to our discussion given the way the Russophobe Western media have cast doubt on the rationality of Vladimir Putin’s behavior, citing Angela Merkel’s remark that the Russian President has lost touch with reality. I insist that the cool, Judo black belt master in the Kremlin has no problems upstairs whereas the bitchiness, the vitriolic side of Western policy should set off alarm bells.
Bitchiness translates into an utterly impractical, non-results oriented prosecution of punishment. As opposed to a virile, male military option, we get here a kind of sadistic escalation of pin pricks directed against Russia which in the end can amount to a full blown economic war that is just one step short of all-out war.
The gender problem of our Western leaders finds expression in their visceral dislike, indeed contempt of Putin as an alpha type male or macho. I have seen and heard this firsthand when LGBT freedom fighters spoke about Putin and the Pussy Riot in what were nominally academic conferences. And in the same context I witnessed the complicity among all participants, a kind of 21st century Masonic bond that insulated the sanctions advocates from unfriendly questions and serious argumentation.
Given that so many influential, top positions in European politics are held by the sexual minorities, Russia’s passage of its ‘anti-gay propaganda law’ a year ago could not fail to stir up a hornet’s nest of criticism. And Vladimir Putin’s State of the Nation address to the Federal Assembly last December threw more oil on the flames by rolling out a conservative values based ideology for the Russian Federation which puts family life and religion among the top priorities of the state. The stage was well set for the spasm of Russophobia that we seetoday in Western Europe ostensibly over Ukraine’s civilizational future.
Finally, the issue of sexual orientation is relevant because of the way it exposes the deviants to blackmail. And the way that Chancellor Merkel has taken the lead in sanctions within the EU can only be understood in terms of blackmail. After all, she is not merely overturning the decades long Ostpolitik of her predecessors in office, but she is going directly against the vital interests of Germany’s business community, the essential supporters of her right-of-center party. Who would be better placed to blackmail her than those who have been eavesdropping on her personal mobile phone for the past decade?
Although there has been a high level of bitchiness in American policy towards Russia over the Ukrainian crisis, I leave it to others to identify who is who in the gender game within the Obama administration and its friendly advisers in the foreign policy community.
©Gilbert Doctorow, 2014
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G. Doctorow is an occasional guest lecturer at St. Petersburg State University. His latest book, Stepping Out of Line: Collected (Nonconformist) Essays on Russian-American Relations, 2008-12, is available in paperback and e-book from Amazon.com and affiliated websites worldwide. Also on sale in Sterling and Waterstone’s booksellers, Brussels.