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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Do we really care about the Ukraine?

Hello dear readers,

Now, as many know, I generally stay away from geopolitics in my blog, concerning myself with the more day-to-day foibles of life, but given the amount of discussion this Russian 'invasion'* of the Ukraine has generated, I feel compelled to weigh in with my unbiased perspective.

*I don't believe a slow meander with frequent stops for tea breaks is an invasion

Frankly, I'm surprised that so many people are outraged by the Russian move into the Crimea, seeing as a few mere weeks ago most people barely registered the Ukraine, and those who did generally viewed it as a corrupt, anti-Semitic, homophobic, sexist backwater prone to violence. In the 20th century, the Ukrainians were best known for: a) starving their Kulaks with the assistance of Stalin, and b) manning the Nazi extermination camps. Quite an impressive CV.

And yet now, suddenly, the nation has become the Lost Children to Putin's Captain Hook, with US Secretary of State John Kerry attempting to look Peter Pan-ish by lecturing Moscow about 21st century diplomacy and the fact that a country can't simply stage an illegal invasion on false pretenses. (Saddam who?).

As for the 'invasion with scones and jam', one should note that Crimea was part of Russia for 150 years prior to the implosion of the USSR. Yes, Khrushchev 'gave' it to the Ukraine in 1954, but seeing as the Ukraine was part of the USSR, that there was an extremely large naval base at Sevastopol and most of the citizens were ethnic Russians, this was not exactly moving the Heavens. It's kind of like giving the Channel Islands to East Anglia.

The cynic in me can't help but feel the outrage in government and the media in the West is closely tied to the fact that there is a lot of money to be made from the Ukraine and 'we' want it instead of those underhanded, evil Russians.

As for this side of the pond, no doubt as soon as he's through advising Rupert Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks on ethics and Labour socialism, Tony the red Blair will get his mug on as many television screens as possible, while making certain to mention his foundation and autobiography.

I feel sorry for anyone caught up in real politiks, and I'm certain there are many very nice, kind, non-anti-Semitic Ukrainians and Crimeanites, but I'm not sure the general public of Western democratic countries should be feeling righteous or up-in-arms about the situation. It really only serves moneyed interests (as per usual).

stay well,

Nate

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