Saturday, March 8, 2014

The End of the Politics of Mindless ?

        It seems pretty clear by now that no one of any political weight in Washington or  Ottawa reads my blog. Which I would say is sad given that I offer an essential point of view that describes me, as the Soviet dissidents under Brezhnev used to say, inakomyslayuschiy.  Curiously, the Mainstream Media in the West, is now the official POV of the nachalniki (ie. the big cheeses), and no-one pays any attention to those "thinking differently" except for the Department of Homeland Security analyzing the NSA intercepts of their smart phones. 

        Of course, in the eyes of the average Joe and Jane, as in the Eastern Europe of my youth,  the mainstream media are professional liars, starting with their describing themselves as "mainstream".  The only difference is that the average anglo today does not have access to intelligent, consistent political viewpoint to shed light on the two official versions of the same political drool. If, for example, I do not believe in equating homosexual partnerships with traditional institution marriage, it instantly disqualifies me in one camp as a pervert who would deny gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered folks their civil rights. In the other version naturally I would be a closet fairy who would give them every civil right except the rights of parenthood if they are not parents.  Strange as it may seem, on a certain level these two political stances are equivalent - in being vacuous.  Like in the former USSR, the different personal creeds and obsessions, do not obstruct the party line (though sometimes they were at variance with it).  Dick Cheney may be a supporter of gay marriage, but his view of the Maidan putsch in Kiev coincides with that of Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton and president Obama. It was not a putsch: it was a revolution of Ukrainian people in revolt of Putin's henchmen who would deny them the pearly gate of EU.  All of them deplore the thugs in Crimea who deny the OSCE observers (the verb derived from the Czech word obsírati - to 'pooh around') access. None of them would so much as peep for an investigation into the identity of the Maidan snipers who apparently were picking their targets equally among the rioters and the riot police !  Imagine the scandal if they were to be linked to the legitimate government of Ukraine which put out an international arrest warrant on the former president Yanukovich for mass murder.

       Henry Kissinger may have difficulty reading some aspects of the current conflict, but I don't.  The happenings in the Ukraine were prefigured by the Western posture in Libya and Syria, and had I been asked, I would have predicted that Putin would react forcefully if confronted by the meddling and bungling US-led shit-disturbers in his back yard.    Kissinger's reading of course is right on many points, and his viewpoint stands in stark contrast to the bluster and bleating heard everywhere west of Dnieper. He understands the importance of Ukraine to Russia and that it far exceeds any political gambits that Putin may have had in mind.  Above all,  good old Henry understands that this issue far surpasses whoever might be sitting in the Kremlin. Had some strongman (like the late general Lebed') been in power, Russian tanks would have been in Kiev before the Sochi Olympics' closing ceremonies.  The former player of the China-card (which somehow ended in Putin's hand too)  is also sharply critical of the EU's handling of Ukraine, anabashedly accusing its 'bureaucratic dilatoriness' with turning negotiations into a crisis. All good !  Kissinger, in my view,  however does not quite grasp the Crimea power play by Putin.  It is a carefully chosen piece of strategy, which I believe is calculated to extract a price for the West's repeated unprovoked harrassment of Russia and to dissuade Washington and Brussels from trying the heavy-handed tactics again. It is also a revanche for the ugly assault of the West on Russia's traditional Balkan's ally, Serbia, and the forceful separation from its cultural cradle, Kosovo. It happened under Yeltsin who was the friendliest Russian leader to the West since Catherine. The unilateral proclamation of Kosovo independence in 2008, on Putin's watch, left the Russians slighted and humiliated but also resolved.  It might have happened to the Serbian holy land around Kosovo Polje; it will not happen to Russia's holy land of Kievan Rus. There are powerful motivators for Putin to make the West eat the humble pie. 
       The US policy makers would do well to take the another look. Hillary's sophomoric parallels won't do.  Is it possible that she is so out of touch she does not know the type of argument she deploys has been a staple of ridicule known as the Godwin's Law ? Incidentally, also someone apparently forgot to tell Madam Secretary that the United Kingdom still holds Munich to be a valid agreement, based on the unalienable right of a people to self-determination. In the unapologetic view of Whitehall, it was Hitler who abrogated the treaty when he took over Bohemia and Moravia in 1939. 

   Putin is an exceptionally shrewd politician who knows how far he can go. I don't think it was his plan to annex Crimea outright, but to hold it as a bargaining chip to make the US and EU more amenable to his point of view.  When he was snubbed, he opted for plan B.  The referendum may still be an open-ended play. If Russia gets what it wants : most importantly the implementation of the accord signed by Yanukovich with the West (Putin has already indicated he does not expect him to return),  recall of the new "governors" in the East, repeal of the despicable language edict, and the absurd "lustration" laws which in effect bar Russian speakers from political office, the plebiscite may be postponed and the region will eventually settle for quasi-independent status with no political satraps from Kiev and Ukrainian military on the peninsula.  But Russians will not de-escalate since from their point of view it was not they who escalated the situation in the first place.  I think secretary Kerry has some leg-work to do.  Let's hope someone at the State Department can decipher the riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. Preferably someone who knows the correct Russian word if you want to be friendly with them. 

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