We live in the information age which gives currency to the view he who controls information controls the world. In response to the explosion of information governments in the name of protecting national interest have been aggressively encroaching on the civil liberties of its citizens. How far is too far when national interest is at stake?
BU has been observing events playing out in Eastern Europe and predictably positions will be drawn based for the most part where individuals were born, educated and socialized. No better place to observe a delineation in perspectives – Russia or the USA, Putin or Obama – than to compare US media reports to African, Eastern and other non US sources. Any desire to be informed requires a methodical ferretting out of information to reach a fair conclusion. To retreat to dogmatic positions is to admit ignorance. A balanced view therefore requires operating on the premise both Russia and the USA have geopolitical interest to protect.
Barbados and the Caribbean are insignificant players on the world stage. However we should be concerned and react to how global conflicts continue to affect small island economies. This is even more critical in the current protracted and volatile global economic condition. Ironically the USA and Russia, two key players in the Ukraine conflict, makeup two of five five permanent members of the United Nation Security Council charged with policing the globe.
The Russia Ukraine conflict smells a lot like the Israel PLO never ending Middle East saga. There will be no easy solution given the level of pro-Russian sentiment which exist in the former Soviet countries. Least likely to broker a long lasting pact is the USA given its diminished global status with a weakened economy. Some may even argue Putin sees himself as ‘superior’ to Obama and this will be acted out as both leaders give weight to the business of legacy building.
The real issue for ‘small fry’ states in this neck of the woods is how are we reading the tea leaves with the view of shaping the most efficient national policy. The exogenous nature of our global space is a given but how we mitigate and counter what confronts us will determine the quality of life small island states like Barbados will be able to support. BU notes that global food prices have hit a 10 month high because of weather and tensions in Crimea earlier this month – Global food prices hit 10 month high due to weather, Crimea tensions..
The project to win the information battle continues. The US State Department released images on Monday of soldiers in eastern Ukraine that it says are Russian forces, showing people wearing similar uniforms and brandishing Russian weapons – US and Russia trade blame on faltering accord. And the United Nations has expressed concern about the need to established facts on the ground – UN rights office urges halt to propaganda, incitement to hatred.
A layman interpretation of events playing out in the Russia Ukraine conflict is Putin wants to bring the family together and send a big no thank you to NATO. Who wants a fox so closed to the hen house anyway.