Friday, February 28, 2014

Into the Crimea again...

I've been fascinated and sort of apalled watching the southeastern Ukraine delaminate and the Russian Federation do...well...something. With marines. Or soldiers. Or both. Somewhere.

The whole thing reminds me of the sorts of bizarre wars the South American countries used to fight, where armies would just disappear into the Atacama or the Chaco or some other damn place and the New York Times would print some sort of vague description two months later full of errors and guesses and the whole business would eventually be described in histories as something completely different.


I honestly have no idea what the hell is going on in the Crimea, but whatever it is it does not appear to be a Good Thing. Another reminder of the immense pile of clusterfuck that was Russia and then the Soviet Union and then Russia again. Whatever else the place has or is - and it has been and is many wonderful and admirable human things - what is has never had and does not have now is a decent form of government. Neither does Ukraine, for that matter. Or a hell of a lot of the rest of the world. My country is no prize, but, fuck, we're better off at the moment that these poor bastards.

Mind you, Teabaggery could still change that.

Still. Troops are matching through the Crimea. Again. Some places seem to attract history like a pretty girl on a barstool late on Friday night.


Crimea seems to be one of them.

8 comments:

Ael said...

Frankly I am scared spitless by these events.

FDChief said...

I'm not nearly as scared as I am baffled. It seems to gain the Russians nothing to seize the Crimea at the cost of making a deadly enemy of Kiev. That's one of those "if you're going to insult him you can't stop short of killing him" sorts of things; enough to infuriate the Ukrainians but not enough to intimidate them.

I honestly don't see this as coming to open warfare. But I also don't see how Russia - and for all that Putin is a genuine sonofabitch - gets a long gain out of this in return for the short-term seizure of the Black Sea naval base...

Just strange.

Syrbal/Labrys said...

I think this somehow plays into Putin's desire to be a 21st century tsar of "all the Russias"… not sure how, precisely. But it sure seems purely a political move to show Russia that he is protecting them from "dangerous" Ukraine.

Of course, Ukraine is no more dangerous to Russia than a bunch of pissed off sheep herders in Afghanistan are a real threat to America. But the "spin" will be spun.

rangeragainstwar said...

AEL,
Do you ever stop to think that the gov't /news media want to keep you scared to death so that your attention is diverted from your hometown deficiencies that are neglected by our leaders?
jim hruska

Ael said...

Ranger,

I try to add in the natural "squirrel!" factor of the chattering classes.

However, this case feels different to me. Direct confrontation between nuclear armed power blocs! Even a return to Cold War II would be disastrous. The world needs a functioning global system to deal with issues such as climate change.

Finally, I have relatives who live more or less at ground zero in Urkaine.

FDChief said...

At this point I think what happens next depends on Ukraine.

If I'm Ukraine I sit back and let this slowly slide out of the news. I work out a deal with Russia to let them have de facto control over the Crimea that eventually becomes de jure when the Russian puppet government there organizes a vote to reunite with Russia.

The bottom line is that Ukraine has to think like Finand here; forcing a shooting war on your much larger neighbor means you lose, even before a shot gets fired.

The unpredictable part, though, is what of some Ukrainian colonel in Crimea gets pissed off and orders his boys to start shooting? Russian troops pound the shit out of them and Ukraine almost HAS to up the ante or face their own people's fury. That's how things like WW1 get started; stupidity, anger, misunderstanding, and arrogance. All still working perfectly circe 2014.

And I'm not sure that more than 5% of the U.S. electorate either knows or gives a shit about this. If this is some sort of maskirova to keep the sheeple from worrying about the hollowing out of the U.S. economy and the growing oligarchization of U.S. politics? It'd have to be a hell of a lot more sexy than this; both of those have been going on for 30 years now and the U.S. public never showed any signs of giving a shit before last week.

There's no real reason to pay for bread and circuses if the proles are already asleep...

Big Daddy said...

I doubt the Ukrainians will welcome Putin with open arms since Stalin killed almost as many Ukrainians as Hitler see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor which has some modern political ramifications since in 2003 Ukraine passed a law declaring the Holodomor an act of genocide and in 2010 Putin's running dog Yanukovych tried to walk that back by claiming it was not genocide.
FWIW I doubt any of my relatives in the Ukraine made it past 1945 so I have no personal stake, but my visceral dislike of Putin's neo-Stalinism makes me want this to turn out badly for Russia.

While this is more appropriate to an earlier post, on the subject of teabaggery and invasions, I'd like to go on record as predicting that if a Teatard wins in 2016 and Maduro is still in power we will invade Venezuela because they have oil fields and a leader who insults the Bush family.

FDChief said...

Sadly, I don't see how Russia doesn't "win" this (in the sense of getting all or most of what it wants). And I don't particularly like Putin's bizarre blend of Stalin Lite and Neo-Rasputinism, either, but it's hard to see how Ukraine escapes the Russian "shpere of influence". NATO and the EU moved into eastern Europe whilst Russia was still a shitshow after 1991, but Putin - regardless of how well moored he is intellectually - is a fully-functional modern autocrat very different from the idiots of the Yeltsin years.

I just wish the usual Teatard idiots would STFU about "toughness". How the hell does the U.S. show enough "toughness" to kick the Russians out of their own borderlands short of nuclear war?

Fucking numbskulls...