Good and evil do exist, just not in the realm of political conversation — in America, that is.
Thursday, Crimean parliament member Refat Chubarov posted his outrage over the vote of 78 out of 100 of his fellow parliamentarians to secede from Ukraine and reunify with Russia. Even the failures of Google Translate can’t bungle the shocking truth out of his statement:
Those of my colleagues – Deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of the ARC who voted just crazy!
clear that they do the will of others …
Mind left them!
Only an expert intelligence agent, like Vladimir Putin, could have staged such a successful political takeover. First, he sends in armed, masked gunmen, then follows them with Russian troops who supposedly arrive to save the day. As a result, “Crimean lawmakers unseated the provincial government Feb. 28 under the eye of armed Russian soldiers and appointed pro-Russian politician Sergei Aksyonov, whose party got four percent of the vote at the last election in 2010, prime minister.”
True to his KGB roots, Putin’s disinformation campaign is well underfoot on both sides of the Atlantic thanks to Kremlin-backed Russian news media. Too bad for the dictator, not all of his subjects are loyal. In a bold move that took the Internet by storm, Russia Today news anchor Liz Wahl submitted her resignation from the state-controlled news show live on air, stating: ”I am proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth and that is why after this newscast I’m resigning.”
The best the American president can do, however, is paint a picture of moral equivalency while calling on the UN to mediate Putin’s illegal land grab. In a statement that included an acknowledgement of Russia retaining its “basing rights in Crimea,” President Obama placed the new Ukranian government on the same level as Putin’s Russia, urging, “Let international monitors into all of Ukraine, including Crimea, to ensure the rights of all Ukrainians are being respected, including ethnic Russians.”
Obama’s tepid response towards a Ukraine on the brink of war seems to be contagious among D.C. politicians wondering how their careers may benefit from the latest international crisis. Busying themselves with yet more financial sanctions against Russia, politicians populate bureaucratic panels, tossing out rhetorical questions focusing on why Russia’s invasion took the Obama administration by surprise. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell observed:
I’m hard-pressed to think of any single place in the world where we’re better off. And it takes you back to the speech that the president made in Cairo in 2009, where he seemed to be questioning American exceptionalism, and the uniqueness of our own country. And he’s acted in such a way, almost amounting to passivity in many instances.
…We seem to be pulling back everywhere. And so it’s no wonder that Putin looks at the United States, and sort of concludes that no matter what he does, he doesn’t pay a price for it.
“Almost” and “sort of.” That’s tough stuff. Must be a midterm year!
At a private fundraiser on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton drew a historical comparison between Hitler and the Russian autocrat. Not ironically, the comparison was quickly condemned by many U.S.-Russian policy experts, including those who worked under her husband’s administration. Responding in true Hillary fashion, the former secretary of State proffered a milquetoast defense as softly suggestive as Mitch McConnell’s gentlemanly insults.
She said she was merely noting parallels between Putin’s claim that he was protecting Russian-speaking minorities in Crimea and Hitler’s moves into Poland, Czechoslovakia and other parts of Europe to protect German minorities.
“I just want people to have a little historic perspective,” Clinton said during a question-and-answer session at UCLA. “I’m not making a comparison certainly, but I am recommending that we perhaps can learn from this tactic that has been used before.”
America’s lack of “moral coherency” is effectively masking the sad, hard truth that Clinton wasn’t off-base in her Nazi/Putin comparison. In a recent conversation with Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, the ex-KGB agent commented to me:
Is it too far-fetched to suggest that this new Russia calls up the hypothetical image of a postwar Germany being run by former Gestapo officers, who reinstate Hitler’s “Deutschland Über Alles” as national anthem, call the demise of Nazi Germany a “national tragedy on an enormous scale,” and invade a neighboring country, perhaps Poland, the way Hitler set off World War II?
In an environment that doesn’t permit the bad guy to be called bad, perhaps Americans should celebrate the fact that we’re even able to put economic sanctions on the table. With Russia’s economy already in free fall, the sanctions should appear to be a viable threat. However, the truth is that living poor is already a way of life for the majority of Russians. According to the Jewish Policy Center (JPC):
This systemic and ongoing waste of financial resources contributes directly to the low quality of life endured by millions of average Russian citizens, to the growing emigration from Russia, and to the increasingly radicalization of Russia’s Muslim population.
The New York Times corroborated the observation last week:
Crimea’s Tatars have no record of extremism, but armed intervention by Moscow could strengthen the hand of tiny militant Islamic groups that have long tried, but failed, to rally Tatars for jihad.
The JPC policy paper asserts that Putin will remain in power as long as Russia’s economy remains intact. If economic analysts are correct, and American economic sanctions against Russia do disarm Putin, we may be facing an entirely different enemy altogether.
Oh, sorry, I forgot; “enemy” is a term best relegated to alternative media. It is not intended for political conversation.