Saturday, March 15, 2014

On the Eve of Russia's Enforced Annexation of Crimea

EuroMayden image
It's the eve of the Russian-imposed "referendum" in Crimea.  Beautiful, wonderful, fantastic Crimea. I feel like a character in Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot," like Vladimir and Estrogon, waiting without end, in vain, for God knows what. But an axe is about to drop, a bomb is about to explode, a tragedy is unfolding, and there's nothing we can do.  

Russia's language, action, and posturing about its take-over of Crimea, Ukraine, evokes anger and fear, memories of the mass Crimean Tatar deportation in the dead of one dark and terrifying night, and shades of surreal Cold War propaganda.   

So we have Vladimir Putin and his cronies talking about "self-determination" while sending some 30,000 troops to Crimea.  Russia has taken over Crimea's parliament, government buildings, army bases, towns, and neighborhoods; it has physically blocked Black Sea access, as well as communications and transportation into and out of the pennisula.  It is doing all of this in the name of freedom.  
"Strongman Putin Playing a "short game on Ukraine," AFP article by
Luc Perrot; photo of mural in SImferopol by Flippo Monteforte, 15 March 2014.

Russia is "allowing" Crimeans the option of voting yes or yes to join Russia.  It continues to block international monitors; meddle with the media; stifle dissent by force; and claim it is offering free elections, freedom of choice.  Putin is shamelessly using the language of democracy to justify invasion, occupation, and annexation.  

It's the Theatre of the Absurd but not on a stage, in real life. Playing with language, in a Joseph Heller "Catch 22"  and George Orwell "1984" sort of way. It turns the truth on its head, and calls it lies. It tells lies, and calls it truth.  It's "Newspeak."  It's ironic, sarcastic, ludicrous, outrageous.

The West of course is not immune to the same antics: Fighting wars for democracy when in reality we are fighting for oil, to take one example.  Putin is shoving it in our faces, rubbing it in, I think with glee.  I didn't realize how much he hated America and our current president, or how deep his vision of a Russian economic union. He's long had his eyes on Ukraine, his eyes on the prize.  And the opportunity presented itself, as it were. Putin's calculated invasion, his cold indifference to American and European opinion, his bold occupation, are having the effect he wants. He is not going to back down.   He is a master conductor. 
yahoo image.  Putin is not going to STOP.
He has brilliantly, one might say, created a situation in which violating the territorial integriy of Ukraine is justified. He invaded Ukraine in order to save it. Save it? Yes, save it from the "neo-Nazis" overunning Kyiv after Yanukovich fled to Russia. Putin the superhero is not invading anything or breaking international laws. He is saving Crimea and helping Ukraine. He doesn't say it, but Yanukovich made a mess of it.  On the other hand, Yanukovich also created the setting for Putin's latest absurdity.  Putin walked right into it, and made it his own.

Most nations, and of course most Ukrainians and Russians themselves, see right through this.  They say they won't recognize the results of a "referendum" Putin has orchestrated in Crimea, ensuring and enforcing its outcome at the point of many guns.  But Putin is playing this card for all it's worth.  And for him, it's a win. 

Crimea will turn itself over to him, in this scenario, and he will embrace it.  The consequences be damned.  
Jud's Ukrainian Sunflower made sadder.

Join this people power v. Putin campaign now! 

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