By: Arun Gandhi
Are you as frustrated and angry by the arrogant American media and politicians as I am? Well, you should be. For a week before the beginning of the Winter Games in Sochi the media hyped up the terrorist angle. According to the US media no one in the world can be as ready as we are to tackle terrorism. Yet every time an Arab farts somewhere we are made to run for shelter. Now, since the beginning of the games we are constantly shown images of the Russian military surrounding the games venue and the mountains to show how scared they are.
Now they are bashing Putin and indirectly the Russians for their Gay policy, implying that we were always accepting and respectful of the Gay community here. As if we don’t have any discrimination against gays, color, race or gender in our country. They seem to forget that it is only in the last two years that the Gays have been getting some recognition in this country. We still have a long way to go. I am not in favor of Putin’s policy but I recognize that our own house needs a lot of cleaning too.
It is this kind of arrogance that gave rise to Hitler after World War I. We imposed such harsh demands for reparations on the German people, and France even invaded the industrial Ruhr land when Germany could not pay, that it ground the dignity of German people into dust.
Victory went to our collective heads and we were determined to make the Germans pay for starting the war. Hitler rose up and told the Germans he was going to give back some dignity and pride and the people who were reduced to hopelessness followed him.
What happened after that is now history from which we don’t seem to have learned much. We are now rubbing the Russians nose into dust because we emerged victorious in the Cold War and broke up the Soviet Union. Mercifully we are not seeking reparations but we are nevertheless taking every opportunity to show the Russians that they amount to nothing. Dignity does not depend on military power.
Just because we are the only surviving super-power and possess the ability to destroy the world several times over should not make us the international street bullies. Russians overwhelmingly support Putin today not so much because they like his policies but because he, in some ways like Hitler, has promised them their dignity and pride. Putin will not go as far as Hitler went but he has shown the world that they can put up a magnificent show just as the US can. If he has done it at the expense of the people, we did the same.
We too have millions who are homeless and millions who go to bed hungry. So let us show some humility and give the Russians some pride and dignity for their efforts. What the world needs to see is not that we are the only super-power because of our military strength but that we can be a super-power in terms of our moral strength. That we are willing to be a part of the world family and learn to do what is right for the world and not just what is right for the United States.