The former editor of the Tribune de Genève, [Guy Mettan-RI] visited Moscow and presented his new book Russia and the West: A Thousand Year War, which reviews the phenomenon of Russophobia: its roots, historical evolution and modern incarnations. Izvestia had a chance to interview him.
What inspired you to write about this?
There are two reasons why I began this work. The first is a personal, family reason. In 1994, my wife and I adopted a Russian girl, who now is now 25. Her name is Oksana, and she is from the Vladimir region. After we adopted her, I became interested in learning as much as possible about Russia and becoming familiar with this large country. In the 1990’s, one could obtain Russian citizenship after adopting a Russian child. So we did that: my wife and I are citizens of Russia and Switzerland, and Russia became part of our family’s life and history. I am a citizen of Russia, but I pay taxes in Switzerland.
The second reason why I started this work is professional. My trips to Russia gave me an opportunity to learn what this country was all about. I understood how big the difference was between the Russia presented in the Western media and the one I saw myself. I just couldn’t bear to watch this situation, and decided to investigate the reasons.
What made me actually start this project was the events in Ukraine in 2014. I saw the Western press systematically supporting one side, expressing only one point of view – that of the government that usurped power in Kiev. And I decided to figure out why this happened.
It’s important to understand that I wasn’t trying to answer the question of who was to blame for the events in Ukraine. I was interested in why the Western media presented this story in their own way. What was at the root of such a heightened negative relation to Russia?
Could you tell us a little about the main thrust of your book?
I looked at history and concluded that all this Russophobia started when Charlemagne created the Western Empire 1,200 years ago, laying the foundation for the Great Religious Split in 1054. Charlemagne created his empire in opposition to the existing situation, when the center of the civilized world was Byzantium.
The most shocking thing I realized was that everything they taught us in school was wrong. They claimed that the dissidents belonged to the Eastern Church, who split from Rome. Now I know that what happened was just the opposite: it was the Western Catholic Church that dissented from the universal church, while the Eastern Church remained and still is Orthodox.
In order to shift the blame from themselves, Western theologians of that time launched a campaign to justify putting the onus on the Eastern Church. They used arguments that returned again and again as part of the confrontation between the West and Russia. Back then, in the Middle Ages, they began referring to the Greek world, i.e. Byzantium, as a “territory of tyranny and barbarism” in order to disavow responsibility for the schism.
After the fall of Constantinople, when Byzantium ended, and Russia took the place of Byzantium as the Third Rome, all those superstitions, all those lies about the desacralization of the Hellenic World, were automatically transferred to Russia.
It’s strange to see the notes of Western travelers through Russia starting in the 15th century: they all describe Russia in the same terms they had used to describe Byzantium. These fabrications, this criticism considerably increased after the reforms of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great, when Russia became powerful on the European political scene. And by the end of the 18th century, it had become Russophobia.
Born in France under Louis XV, it was used for a while by Napoleon to justify animosity toward Russia, which stood in the way of France’s expansionist policy. The “Will of Peter the Great” was used by Napoleon as a justification for his Russian campaign.
We can compare this with modern times, when in order to achieve their goals, Americans invented the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Russophobia existed in France as a political ideology up until the 19th century, when after losing the Franco-Prussian War, France realized that its main enemy was no longer Russia but Germany, becoming Russia’s ally.
As for England, Russophobia appeared there around 1815, when Great Britain, in alliance with Russia, beat Napoleon. Once the common enemy defeated, England reversed course and made Russia its enemy, feeding Russophobia. Since the 1820’s, London has used an anti-Russian ideology to mask its expansionist policies, both in the Mediterranean and in other regions – Egypt, India and China.
In Germany, the situation didn’t change until the end of the 19th century, when the German Empire was created. It had no colonies, and there was no place to get any from, since England, France, Spain and Portugal had got a head start. All the colonies having been allocated without Russia, a political movement appeared in Germany that sought “‘expansion toward the East”, i.e., modern Ukraine and Russia. This attempt failed during the First World War, and later, Hitler used the same ideology.
It’s no accident that German historians were at the origin of what is known as “revisionism”, the tendency to understate the USSR’s contribution to the victory over the Third Reich, overestimating the contribution of the US and Britain.
The third type of Russophobia is American, and it began in 1945. As soon as they defeated Germany through joint efforts with the USSR, at the cost of millions of Soviet lives, the same story born after the victory over Napoleon in 1815 was disseminated. The US reversed course and yesterday’s ally became its major enemy. This is how the Cold War started.
The Americans used the same arguments as the English in 1815, claiming that they “fought against communism, tyranny, expansionism”, their arguments hardly differing, except for the so-called fight against communism. This turned out to be a gimmick, because when the Soviet Union collapsed, the confrontation between the West and Russia didn’t end.
The nineteenth century story is repeating itself: the US keeps talking about a “threat” supposedly emanating from Russia, in order to achieve its own goals, promote its own interests, and pursue its own expansion. Today it demonizes Russia in order to place NATO missiles in Poland, using the same words and arguments that Napoleon used 200 years ago.
Once at an international conference in the mid 1990s, I spoke to a journalist from Denmark. He told me why Europe was so afraid of Russia: “See how big Russia is, and how small Denmark is. We were always afraid of you. We are still afraid of your aggression”
If you look at the map, you will see that the territory of Russia dominates all of Europe. So when Europeans look at the map, they feel anxious and concerned, because “such a huge country cannot be anything other than a threat.” Besides, European maps deliberately depict Russia as even bigger than it really is, increasing Russophobia. Its immense size is great for European cartoonists, who traditionally draw Russia as a huge bear standing over a tiny Europe.
Recently, I read the following statement by a French author: “Europe is a peninsula in Eurasia.” What would you say to that?
Today Europe is frustrated. As a colonial power, it dominated the world for two and a half centuries. Today the situation is totally different, and Europe is uneasy. It’s used to playing a different role. That’s why it’s anxious. On the one hand, the European ego finds itself in this uncomfortable situation; on the other, the European Union has reached the limits of its development and has internal problems. That’s why it’s easy to blame Russia for everything.
Originally appeared at Izvestia – Russian daily news. Translated by Julia Rakhmetova.
Source: Russia Insider
Join the debate on our Twitter Timeline!
A Unified Europe: Born In the USA
While Brexit versus the continuation of the European Union is a hot news topic, few know the secret who and why of the EU’s creation.
The lead financial writer at the Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, wrote in 2000:
Declassified American government documents show that the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe.
The head of the Ford Foundation, ex-OSS officer Paul Hoffman, doubled as head of ACUE [below, we’ll explain who these players are] in the late Fifties. The State Department also played a role. A memo ...
Long live the European court, the most humane court in the world!
That is why seven times as many Croat and more than ten times as many (Kosovar) Albanian war crimes suspects, in percentage terms relative to Serbs, were acquitted by the Hague Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, with Radovan Karadzic being just its latest victim. (Source via this recent infographic from Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda).
No matter that well before Srebrenica you had Sisak, where 595 Serb civilians of which 120 were women were disappeared by Croatian paramilitaries in 1991-1992. Everyone has heard of Srebrenica; almost nobody has heard heard of Sisak. The largest ethnic cleansing ...
The 2017 Global Peace Index has declared Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and South Sudan to be among the “least peaceful” countries in the world. Incidentally, all four have been targets of U.S.-led destabilization efforts that were used to pursue economic interests that suit the U.S.
MINNEAPOLIS– The annual Global Peace Index, recently released for June 2017, has found that while the world is more peaceful now than last year, violence has increased significantly overall in the past decade.
Although the situation has improved in many countries, the ten lowest-ranking nations – known as the world’s “least peaceful” countries – have shown little change ...
The media is currently in the midst of an anti-Russian hysteria that many have dubbed Cold War 2.0. Of course the first cold war never really ended as the wars in Yugoslavia, Chechnya, and even Afghanistan were aimed at Russia as was the relentless NATO expansion. This manufactured panic is a form of psychological warfare that went into high gear during the Sochi Olympics in 2014 as the US was working to launch a fascist coup in Ukraine.
Since most ordinary people would be shocked to discover that Nazis had been installed in power in Ukraine an anti-Russian hysteria was ...
After the catastrophic attacks of September 11 2001 monumental sorrow and a feeling of desperate and understandable anger began to permeate the American psyche. A few people at that time attempted to promote a balanced perspective by pointing out that the United States had also been responsible for causing those same feelings in people in other nations, but they produced hardly a ripple. Although Americans understand in the abstract the wisdom of people around the world empathizing with the suffering of one another, such a reminder of wrongs committed by our nation got little hearing and was soon overshadowed by ...
My refusal to believe ongoing Western media reports of “Russian aggression” makes me a “Kremlin troll”. My punishment for not towing the “party line” – simple, effective “shunning” by Western media – has not, however, diminished my ongoing commitment to seeing the other side.
Having previously investigated the Crimean reunification with Russia, this May I turned my attention to the birth of two new government formations in Eastern Ukraine, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR). Americans only hear either what Kiev “reports”, or the US propaganda machine puts out – these are puppet regimes born of ...
History has repeatedly demonstrated the need to view with the greatest skepticism U.S. imperialism’s justifications for its endless wars and interventions.
Need we mention the 1964 U.S.-manufactured Tonkin Bay incident, wherein a virtually non-existent Vietnamese navy was accused of attacking a U.S. destroyer? That false flag pretext was employed to launch the Vietnam War, during which four million Vietnamese were slaughtered in a 10-year U.S. conflagration verging on genocide. Or the more recent Iraq “weapons of mass destruction” lie that resulted in the U.S. murder of 1.5 million Iraqis?
Even if the latest sarin gas accusations against Syrian President Bashar Assad should ...
This article was first published in November 2014.
Recent developments confirm what is known and documented: Washington is behind the Islamic State (ISIS) and at the same time it is behind the moderate Al Qaeda terrorists, which the Obama administration is supporting as part of America’s campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS). And they expect us to believe that they are committed to waging a campaign against terrorists.
The Islamic State (ISIS) was until 2014 called al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).
Al Nusra is an al Qaeda affiliate which has committed countless atrocities in Syria. It is now considered by the Obama ...
Global hedge fund tycoon and political provocateur George Soros is leading a war of symbols, namely flags and banners either resurrected or conjured up by his myriad non-profit groups, to stir religious, racial, and ethnic tensions the world over. From the Serbian OTPOR! movement and its clenched-fist symbol adopted by protests groups around the world to the menacing black and white flag of the Islamic State, which first appeared during the Soros-backed «Arab Spring» rebellions, Soros’s «false flag» factories have been running at break-neck production speeds.
Soros and his acolytes saw the importance of symbology in the writings of Gene Sharp ...
Editor's note: This article was written and originally published in March 2014
This article deals with the question of political and human/minority rights in the region of Kosovo & Metohija ten years after the „March Pogrom 2004“ and fifteen years after the NATO’s military aggression on Serbia and Montenegro and occupation of the region. An importance of this research topic is in a fact that for the first time in the European history a terrorist-style and mafia-ruled (quasi)independent state was created by a full diplomatic, political, economic, military and financial sponsorship by the West under the umbrella of the NATO’s ...
As defections continue from the Rome Statute the Netherlands-based group says Washington may have engaged in torture
A recent article published in the New York Times appears to suggest that the United States will be investigated by the Netherlands-based International Criminal Court (ICC) for committing torture against captives in Afghanistan.
Surprisingly enough the ICC has almost exclusively focused its attention on alleged war crimes and acts of genocide taking place in Africa. Many of the cases have in effect served the interests of U.S. imperialism where governments which are targets for destabilization and regime-change are indicted by the prosecutorial institution in order ...
According to the prevailing wisdom in the West, the Ukraine crisis can be blamed almost entirely on Russian aggression. Russian President Vladimir Putin, the argument goes, annexed Crimea out of a long-standing desire to resuscitate the Soviet empire, and he may eventually go after the rest of Ukraine, as well as other countries in eastern Europe. In this view, the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 merely provided a pretext for Putin’s decision to order Russian forces to seize part of Ukraine.
But this account is wrong: the United States and its European allies share most of the ...
When most people think of Sweden, they think of IKEA furniture, depressing murder mysteries and a foreign policy of strict neutrality.
Yet 400 years ago, Sweden was a major military power. Indeed, it was even an empire, a fact that must make today's Swedish leftists cringe.
Under young King Gustavus Adolphus, a brilliant and innovative military commander, Sweden in the early 1600s became a sort of Nordic Israel (which must also make Swedish leftists cringe). Sweden was a poor, thinly populated nation that couldn't match the resources of larger rivals such as France and Russia.
So, Gustavus Adolphus had to devise a more flexible, mobile ...
© “Free Media Group” 2017
In recent years, both the Western as well as the liberal Russian press have had a lot to say about Russian “barbarianism,” as if to contrast it with European “civilization.” But a closer inspection – through the prism of the heroic pages of Russian history – of the two groups’ moral ideals and actual lives presents us with quite a different picture.
For example, in pagan times, ancient Russians never worshipped a god of war, although their contemporaries in Europe were transfixed by their own martial deity, constructing an entire epic narrative around the concepts of war and conquest.
After defeating the ...
The Supreme Court’s acceptance of a case about the allocation of voting districts will have consequences far beyond the millions of U.S. taxpayers its ruling may deprive of representation. A decision that only counts voters, rather than all persons, will undermine the very foundation of the Republic.
The American Revolution was fought over “taxation without representation,” and those who wrote the Constitution carefully apportioned taxation and representation among the states “according to their respective Numbers . . . of free Persons . . . and . . . three-fifths of all other Persons.” The authors clearly equated We, the People with ...
US foreign policy has nurtured Al Qaeda, a creation of the CIA for more than 35 years, with the support of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and Saudi Arabia’s infamous General Intelligence Presidency (GIP). Lest we forget Osama bin Laden was recruited in 1979 by the CIA at the outset of the Soviet- Afghan war.
A complex network of Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist organizations overseen by US and allied intelligence agencies has unfolded, extending across the Middle East, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, Western China, South and South East Asia.
Rand Corporation Report 2012
While mainstream analysis regarding CIA covert support of “jihadist” terrorist entities is ...
The U.N. Organization was established in 1945 for the very security reason – to preserve the peace in the world. We believe that the governmental bodies and administrative structures of the U.N. have to be composed by the proved democratically oriented politicians and magistrates but above all this requirement has to be applied to the post and function of the U.N. Secretary-General. Nevertheless, in the history of the U.N. there is at least one (extremely) problematic appointment to the post of the U.N. Secretary-General: Kurt Waldheim from Austria.
On the official website of the U.N. about its fourth Secretary-General one can ...
Brexit: A Challenge to America’s Domination of Europe
The Hague Tribunal: Only The Serbs Are Prosecuted – KLA And Croatian War Crimes Ignored
Edward S. Herman (ed.), The Srebrenica Massacre: Evidence, Context, Politics (PDF Book)
9 of The World’s 10 Least Peaceful Nations Were all Targeted by U.S. Intervention
The Cold War and Its Origins: The Inception of the Soviet Union (1917-1950)
Study: U.S. Regime Has Killed 20-30 Million People Since World War Two
Donetsk People’s Republic – Story Untold by Western Media
Donald Trumpenstein: Self-Proclaimned “Cop of the World”
Twenty-Six Things About The Islamic State (ISIL) That Obama Does Not Want You To Know About
George Soros’s False Flag Factories
Ethnic Cleansing In Kosovo And The Rights Of The Serbian Minority: Ten Years After The “March Pogrom 2004″
Africa, Russia, United States Imperialism And The Bankruptcy Of The International Criminal Court
Why the Ukraine crisis is the West’s fault
Sweden Was a Military Giant – Until It Invaded Russia
A Contribution to Biography (C.V.) of Philanthropist George Soros
The Russian World and European Civilization
Voting Discrimination In America
When Terrorism becomes Counter-terrorism: The State Sponsors of Terrorism are “Going After the Terrorists”
A Biography of Kurt Waldheim (Austria)