Great Graphic: A Divided World before Crimea

Many observers speak of Russia's aggressive action, including the annexation of Crimea, as creating a new division in the world. Such hysterics prevent a more sober view.   

Did not Putin's actions in Georgia, parts of which Russia still occupies demonstrate its commitment to the Medvedev Doctrine? Did not Putin seek, in vain, to create a coalition of the willing during the financial crisis to end the privileged role of US Treasuries and the US dollar? Does not Putin maintain that the collapse of the Soviet Union was the political tragedy of the 20th century?  Has there been any doubt that the US and Western Europe see the future of the western peninsula of the large Eurasian landmass fundamentally different than Russia?  

In this context, this Great Graphic is particularly noteworthy.  This map from Amazing Maps shows a divided world.  One of the principles of the post-WWII order is that new countries cannot be created by force.  Yet there are examples of precisely that taking place. This map looks at how countries respond to two such occurrences:  Kosovo and Palestine.  Most countries recognize one (blue for Kosovo) or the other (red for Palestine).  Those that recognize neither, like Mexico and Spain, or both, like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, for example, are few and far between, almost like non-aligned movement.  

One ought not press the case too hard as it leads to a simplistic view of the world:  "You are either for us or against us".  It is difficult to say that all those countries that recognize Palestine, but not Kosovo, are against the US or Western Europe.     Nor is helpful to think that those countries are somehow being pressured by Russia or a foreign power for their decision.  It is, however, true that there may be some countries who will do the opposite of what the US/Western Europe may propose, not on some principle other than wanting to frustrate and weaken the status quo.  

Great Graphic: A Divided World before Crimea Great Graphic:  A Divided World before Crimea Reviewed by Marc Chandler on March 25, 2014 Rating: 5
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