Litvinenko, Russia, and the West

Mark Pettifor has sent the text of the following open letter:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

National Review more or less has asked the question recently “What has happened to the conservative movement?” American Spectator has yet to mention (to my knowledge) anything of the Litvinenko murder, which could play out to be a far-reaching event regarding our policy toward Russia. I mention these two magazines because they are probably viewed by most as central publications of the modern conservative movement. (I am sending this to many who work at each of those magazines.)

While domestic policy and politics is covered in these magazines with the same degree of detail as can be seen on the latest HDTV screen, discussions of foreign policy and geopolitical analysis of what is going on in places other than the Middle East is somewhat lacking. Arguably, events in Russia and China and other “non-Western” regions will have more profound effects on America and the West in the near future than anything coming from Islam, Al Qaeda, or even Iran (who would not have legs to stand on were it not for Russia).  These effects will not be good ones.

One reason why the conservative movement ignores such things is that it has its own “utopian vision” of the world, which does not make it conservative in the sense that Russell Kirk and others like him defined it. It has become an ideology – one of spreading democracy and free market capitalism everywhere, in the hopes that peace and security will follow, and that all future wars will be won or lost on the battlefield of ideas, and not on real battlefields of blood and guns and sacrifice.

Almost all conservatives believe that Communism has already lost on the battlefield of ideas, and that freedom and capitalism have won. While that is obviously not true (just look at Central and South America for starters), even worse is the assumption that because of this supposed victory, a real war on a real battlefield with those who still cling to such “outdated” and “discredited” ideas will never again happen. This is starting to become an indefensible position, as not only are countries still dropping like dominoes to Communism and Marxism, but ones thought “immunized” from such ideas are seemingly rising from the dead and going back to their old ways (Russia).

To see the trouble ahead (which conservatives are obligated to do, if trouble does indeed exist), we must admit some errors of judgment. I am hoping that the following two articles will help you ponder what those errors of judgment may be. Here are the links:

Why Poisoned Kremlin Can’t Be Trusted – by Caspar Weinberger

A New Methodology For Wet Affairs – by J. R. Nyquist

It’s time for conservatives to take a hard look at their presumptions regarding the Cold War and the “End of History.” If we keep going on as if the only enemy is Islamism, and that past enemies are dead and gone, we will be ill-prepared to defend the West against what may possibly be the greatest onslaught it has ever faced.

With highest regards,

Mark Pettifor

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