Oh, Ukraine!

“War is a racket.”
US Marine General Smedley Butler, two-time Medal of Honor recipient

How much war is enough? Haven’t we had our fill? I know I have, especially in so much as we are engaged in wars of choice, you know, for, for…democracy, or terrorism, or, y’know…something.

This time, though, “we” are provoking Russia over a country in her own backyard that “we” have precisely zero historic ties to. I say “we” euphemistically because of course it isn’t a collective “we” that goes to war, although we all pay for it. No, the blood is spilled by individual soldiers, most of whom would probably rather protect the USA’s borders, which is what George Washington advised, and which is at least a Constitutional duty, but then, of course, we are no longer a republic, so really there’s nothing left to protect, save the obscene corporate profits of the defense industry and the hides of the duplicitous nations we do business with these days.

So the next time you hear someone say “we” need to intervene in Ukraine because “we” have vital interests there, just ask one question: Whose vital interests? Surely not mine, and I’ve had the privilege of living in Ukraine. And by the way, is there anywhere on earth we don’t have vital interests? Where would that be? We have bases almost all over the world. It’s outrageous. What possible need do we have to still be in Korea almost 70 years later? If they still can’t stand on their own two feet, maybe it’s time they learned how.

But Ukraine? I weep for that beautiful country. My heart goes out to my friends there. But it is not at all clear to me which side is right and wrong in Kiev, which alone is enough reason to mind our own business. What is clear to me are these facts:

The crisis was precipitated by US intervention, particularly the shrewish Victoria Nuland, she of the classy remark: “F*ck the EU”…now that’s diplomacy! But before she was handing out cookies to the “protesters” (who were armed to the teeth in an effort to destroy the democratically elected government), she was plotting with NGO’s to bring down Yanukovich.

Russia clearly has a vested interest in Ukraine, we don’t-If you doubt this, look at a map. Learn. But beyond that, understand the history. It’s too bad that the average US citizen has to invest this kind of time in an education before we kill people on the other side of the world, but it’s pretty obvious to me that I know more about this country than the State Department, which seems to think that every problem is a nail and every solution involves a hammer. Too bad Russia has a hammer too, and they will not back down on this. A good general chooses his battle wisely. Best not to corner a bear. You don’t know what it will do. As far as Russia is concerned, Ukrainians are as close as you can get to native sons. This isn’t about wheeling and dealing to them. It’s about blood and soil.

Russia has nuclear weapons. This ain’t a bunch of camel jockeys you can kill by drone from the comfort of your HQ back in California and be home in time for Happy Hour. No, I don’t think even someone like Mad Dog McCain wants to go toe-to-toe with the Russkies over Ukraine. The trouble is, war is a messy and unpredictable business, and they usually get started by the likes of empty suits like Barack Hussein Obama: through blunders and miscalculation.

Our position is hypocritical. Kerry gets all teary-eyed talking about the Maidan protesters that committed a coup and ousted the former democratically elected president. Yet now that eastern Ukraine wants to do the same thing only they want to go to Russia, why, according to the neocon talking heads, it’s all orchestrated by that sneaky bastard Putin. Well, yes, true…in the same way we orchestrated the regime change in Kiev. Pot, meet kettle.

We can’t afford this nonsense. America is failing. We have a Congress that has been bought and paid for by defense lobbyists and foreign countries. We have dual passport-holders with big conflicts of interest conducting our foreign policy. We have a bunch of elitist thugs of our own who seem to think that global American power is eternal. It isn’t. We are a waning power, and we need to learn to play our cards smarter than we have. Our economy is on its last legs, our people can’t get decent jobs, and we can’t afford to start wars willy-nilly whenever some armchair general decides he wants to be a tough guy using my money and the blood of your sons and daughters.. This “defense” business is no defense at all. It’s offensive. We think we can play God with other countries. Here’s a clue: we’re not God.

We have no business in eastern Europe, but that doesn’t stop the Neocon media from banging the war drum. So the next time some idiot tells me “we” have to do something in Ukraine, I’m going to ask them who the hell is “we”? Why don’t YOU do it? Vote with your own feet. Go to Kiev…there are regular flights. Join the militia of your choice, y’know, the one with the “good guys” in it. Give them your money, and they’ll probably give you a rifle. Now YOU start shooting at people you don’t know for reasons you can’t comprehend, but when they start shooting back don’t be surprised, and don’t come whining to me for my money or my blood to help you out. Best thing for you to do is grow up. It’s an imperfect world out there, and they don’t care much what you think. Get used to it.

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2 Responses to Oh, Ukraine!

  1. Terragone says:

    I’ve lived in Kyiv too- two blocks from the Maidan on Prorizna, the going through street. It goes through to the Golden Gate, the entrance to the Kievan Rus. Who should be invading whom here?
    The US has no need to fight in or for Ukraine, but it does have a right and maybe a duty to make some noise when crazy ex KGB guys think they can just walk across the plains once again, these sons of a motherland they never owned except by force- just like the silent ones to the West. Maps Are not the determint of what you call a “vested” interest, though that is how most aggressors use them to justify their grandiose nonsense. Your stance is not wrong; it just implies Putin has a right; he does not.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Putin is no saint, but I do see his point of view.

    We in the West promised no Eastward expansion of NATO when the old Soviet Union was ready to let go of her satellite states. This was particularly important to a Russia that has been repeatedly and disastrously invaded from Europe.

    We have done the opposite of what we promised. We have continuously expanded NATO and brought troops and weapons ever closer to a paranoid Russia that (rightly) no longer trusts us. Now we have “advisers” on the ground in Ukraine and we’ll be training with their troops in only a month or two. Do you think our Washington chicken hawks will be able to resist the temptation to station soldiers there permanently? If so, it will be the first time. Russia is rightly fearful that the buffer states that have long served as national tripwires no longer exist. In short, they were lied to.

    The trouble with Ukraine is that it has no natural borders to keep would be empires at bay. That makes the breadbasket of Europe a tempting and easy target for both the USA and Russian expansion. I wish that they did not have to make the bad choice between two evils, but, due to their own corruption, their current finances leave them little choice except to simply repudiate the debt. There would be sever consequences to that, but there will be severe consequences going with the EU or Russia.

    I will say this, however: the deal that Russia had already given Ukraine looks to me far better than what the USA/EU agreement does, and with far fewer strings attached as well. To those Ukrainians in the west who long for EU membership, I say beware. Look to Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Italy. You pay a high price for the consumer baubles that they dangle in front of a gullible populace. You lose your liberty and your cultural identity. Is that worth Everyday Low Prices, especially when you have to borrow the money to pay for it? I think not.

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