The founding fathers of the Munich Security Conference, said John McCain, would be “be alarmed by the turning away from universal values and toward old ties of blood, and race, and sectarianism.” …
Now McCain is not wrong. Nationalism is an idea whose time has come again. Those “old ties of blood, and race, and sectarianism” do seem everywhere ascendant. But that is a reality we must recognize and deal with. Deploring it will not make it go away.
But what are these “universal values” McCain is talking about?
Democracy? The free elections in India gave power to Hindu nationalists. In Palestine, Hamas. In Lebanon, Hezbollah. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, then overthrown in a military coup welcomed by the world’s oldest and greatest democracy. Have we forgotten it was a democratically elected government we helped to overthrow in Kiev?
Democracy is a bus you get off when it reaches your stop, says Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, autocrat of Ankara, a NATO ally.
Is freedom of religion a “universal value”?
Preach or proselytize for Christianity in much of the Islamic world and you are a candidate for martyrdom. Practice freedom of speech in Xi Jinping’s China and you can wind up in a cell.
As for the Western belief in the equality of all voluntary sexual relations, in some African and Muslim countries, homosexuals are beheaded and adulterers stoned to death. …
Russia and the US are now cultural allies:
Reality requires us here in Munich to recognize that, in the new struggle for the world, Russia and the U.S. are natural allies not natural enemies. Though we may quarrel over Crimea and the Donbass, we are in the same boat. Either we sail together, or sink together. …
Where America is besieged by millions of illegal immigrants crossing from Mexico, Russia faces to her south 1.3 billion Chinese looking hungrily at resource-rich Siberia and Russia’s Far East. …
If we believe the struggle is for “global democracy” and “human rights,” then that may put Putin on the other side. But how then can we be allies of President el-Sissi of Egypt and Erdogan of Turkey, and the kings, emirs and sultans of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman?
But if the new world struggle is about defending ourselves and our civilization, Russia would appear to be not only a natural ally, but a more critical and powerful one than that crowd in Kiev.
hat-tip Stephen Neil