Vienna, February 3 – Aleksandr Dugin, the influential Eurasian activist, says that no one should think that the events in Egypt are “isolated” or even restricted to the Arab world. Instead, he said, they are part of a broad American effort to weaken others by promoting democracy in place of authoritarianism.
But he suggests that in Egypt and quite possibly in the Russian Federation as well, this effort may backfire, bringing to power not democratic regimes deferential to Washington but rather “fundamentalist” groups hostile to the West, Islamic in the Egyptian case and “Orthodox-monarchist nationalist” ones in Russia (www.nr2.ru/moskow/318861.html).
Dugin’s argument, which appears to be more a warning to the Moscow elite than a prediction, may in fact be used by the powers that be in the Russian capital to adopt an even more authoritarian approach or to launch witch hunts against any Russians thinking of “an Egyptian scenario.” Indeed, there is some evidence that this may already be happening.
The Eurasianist commentator says that what is going on in Egypt and elsewhere reflects the ideas laid out by US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice several years ago in Ankara when she called for the replacement of “pro-American dictators and the coming to power of just as pro-American democratic forces.”
She made this proposal, Dugin says, because “the nationally sovereign subordinate to America dictators were not sufficient for the achievement of American interests and it was time to produce to the next stage of cosmopolitanism, global society, and the development of human rights ideology which would prepare for the unification of the entire planet.”
Given this agenda, he continues, “the marionette [dictators] who had served the West in the past were slated for elimination. And now this has begun,” by means of American-style “color revolutions in the arab world, with the hope and goal of bringing to power democratic regimes like those of Yushchenko [of Ukraine] or Saakashavili [of Georgia].”
“Pro-American dictators, based on corruption [and] indifference to human rights and the population’s social welfare,” Dugin says, are “incapable of carrying out the real reforms these countries and societies need.” Consequently they must be replaced by forces that can do precisely that.
“The Americans hope that in Egypt and Tunisia and in other countries will come to power democratic structures oriented toward a democraqtic society, human rights, civil freedoms, modernization and the like.” But they may be proved wrong in the Arab world, where “the real opposition” is “Islamic fundamentalism.” And it is that which may come to power.
Thus, Dugin argues, this American tactic may backfire on its authors and lead to the formation of anti-American regimes.
As far as Russia is concerned, Dugin says, “the parallels are absolutely obvious. In Russia, there exists a pro-Western, pro-American, liberal democratic corrupt regime,” which is becoming “ever more anti-people and corrupt” under Dmitry Medvedev whose approach has undercut the hopes for a better course of development that Vladimir Putin had promised.
What is happening in Moscow now, Dugin says, is “the conversion of Russia into a colonial supplier of the West” which is prepared to sign the strategic arms treaty, refuse to help Iran, and erect a monument to Yeltsin “whom almost unanimously all strata of the [Russian] population hate.”
If an Egyptian scenario is realized in Russia, then “the inglorious end of Ben Ali and Mubarak is what awaits Medvedev,” the only outcome the West permits for those who slavishly follow its will, the Russian Eurasianist says. And it will sacrifice the ruler of “a pro-Western, pro-American, liberal democratic as well as corrupt and anti-social leader” without a thought.
But there is another way in which the analogy holds: The US may not get the outcome it wants in Russia because of the growing influence of “conservative, Orthodox-monarchist nationalist circles.” And just as the Islamist fundamentalists may come to power in the Arab world, Dugin says, so these people may come to power in Russia if the US presses ahead.
According to the Eurasianist, “Russia very much recalls a post-colonial state, partially independence but partially looking over its shoulder at its master.” Dugin suggests that no one had to conquer Russia event at the end of the Cold War because there was “more betrayal and apathy” among the Russian leadership who “delegitimize” themselves just as the Arabs have.
Whether Dugin’s analogy is appropriate is certain to be a matter of debate, but there is clearly one way in which Moscow might use even the possibility of this outcome to its own advantage, invoking it to justify a crackdown generally or a witch hunt against specific opponents.
The latter possibility is suggested by Moscow coverage of a Tatar nationalist leader’s call for Tatars to “follow the example of Egypt,” something that the Kremlin could not possibly tolerate and that many in Russia might see as a reason for coming down very hard on those who propose it (www.regnum.ru/news/polit/1370965.html).