The Minister of foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Halbe Zijlstra resigned — the day before the visit to Russia. This was preceded by his confession that he made up the story with a visit to the country of President Putin.
So, Vladimir Putin was caught red-handed by loosening the foreigners their secret plans of world conquest. On Wednesday in Moscow was supposed to be the Minister of foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Halbe Zijlstra — man, which describes itself as an “honest liar.”
For several years, this politician of the right and left talked about how in 2006 he was at the dacha of Putin and overheard the boastful statements of the Russian leader about his plans to enter Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic States.
But before his visit to Moscow in the brain of a Minister, something clicked — like, who knows, these Russian? Suddenly I was with a bag on my head will take to the basement that most of Putin’s dacha?! and he confessed to everything. It was not is nor overheard Putin’s replica, or even visit the future head of the Dutch diplomacy in the presidential residence. Was only “absolutely true” story about a similar statement GDP, which Halbe Zijlstra allegedly heard from the mouth of a third person.
In the history of world diplomacy was, of course, the Ministers of foreign Affairs, who fell in a stupid situation. For example, in 1974, Elizabeth Bagaya was dismissed from the post of Minister for foreign Affairs of Uganda for what she is, according to the official version, had sex in the toilet of the Paris Orly airport.
You can still remember, and the Minister of foreign Affairs of great Britain George brown, the man who during the official talks with his legendary Soviet counterpart Andrei Gromyko called him Andrushko and regularly entertained the audience, arranging drunken fights.
Against the background of these scandals, the Dutch figure may seem rather boring character who did nothing special. But actually respects themselves and their country the foreign Ministers do not behave. It is recognized by all, including, by the way, Have Zeilstra.
As is evident from the reports “Reuters”, the Minister had called himself a jerk and called his behavior unacceptable. The end of the story? Unfortunately, no. The tale is just beginning or, to be more precise, continues. In a farcical episode with the hapless Dutch Minister is one of the most serious problems in current relations between Russia and the West.
My friend, the British scientist Joseph Dobbs recently published an analytical report on role of mutual stereotypes play in the current confrontation between Moscow and Western capitals. Here is one of his main theses: the longer the crisis lasts, the more primitive stereotypes and hyperbole replace “effective and filled with nuanced analysis.” The behavior of the Dutch Minister — this is an extreme example of this trend. Halbe Zijlstra was (and apparently still is) in thrall to the stereotype that Putin is eager to expand Russia to the borders of the former USSR. So he didn’t see nothing wrong to brag a little and a little pristinity.
Other leaders of Western diplomacy are much smarter. They do not come up with fairy tales about how they managed to overhear evil plans of Putin. They simply declare that the thesis about the aggressive intentions of Russia, it is an axiom that cannot be questioned or even discussed. Putin is aggressive because it is known to all. Point. To say nothing more about how we can confront these monstrous plans. If you look at the situation from this angle of view, the Dutch Minister no longer seems to be the hapless fool, isn’t it? It is worse than the British defense Minister Gavin Williamson, who said recently that Moscow’s desire to destroy British infrastructure? It is worse than those who seriously talks about the Kremlin’s attempts to interfere in the elections of the President of Mexico?
Minister Zijlstra framed, received his deserved share of ridicule, lost his post (he explained his resignation by saying “I made the wrong choice”) and perhaps in the future will behave more cautiously and prudently. But that’s about Western foreign policy elite as a whole that, unfortunately, we cannot say. They continue to pursue a foreign policy based not on a real understanding of the situation, and on false axioms. And that’s really scary. Scary because to base their policies on stereotypes — means to doom itself to a monstrous error.
Here, for instance, Joseph Dobbs wrote about the impact of stereotypes on British foreign policy in the 30-ies of the last century: “Many in London believed that in 1914 unnecessarily harsh actions of Britain forced Germany to enter the war, which could well be avoided. Did more persuasive the arguments of those who believed that Hitler could be appeased.
Along with the belief that Germany was treated unfairly, here the role played by several stereotypes. The most unreasonable of them were of the opinion that Hitler is ultimately rational and reasonable politician who will appreciate the concessions made to it and will keep the fragile peace. To some extent it is a simplified perception of Germany and its leader forced Britain to make a mistake which determined the history of the rest of the twentieth century.”
In short, closer to the end of this writing, the now former Minister Halbe Zijlstra became I even like it. Ah, if all the other Western leaders were as naive simpletons, which is fairly easy to expose! But as they say, dreaming is not bad!
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