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Ukraine Folly

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US Provokes Russia, Acts Surprised to Get a Nasty Reaction

By William Boardman -- Reader Supported News


Ukraine in play by [education randmcnally,edu]

How crazy will Americans get over Ukraine? 

If too many people get sucked in by the current, distorted media coverage of events unfolding now in Ukraine, then there's a good chance life will get very ugly for a lot of innocent people, since one of the logical end points is the use of nuclear weapons. Everyone in power knows that's a potential reality, but the urge to demagogue the Russians is presently overwhelming honesty and caution. 

Ukraine is NOT a real place. Ukraine has never been a real place, not in the sense that Madascar or Cuba are both undeniably real places with real edges.  Ukraine has no real edges, just lines on a map imposed by some treaty or army over the past several thousand years. To speak, as the more pompous do, of Ukraine's "territorial integrity" is to speak of an imaginary construct, useful for blurring people's minds for political purposes. 

Ukraine in recent years has been what the power brokers of the disintegrating Soviet Union decided to let it be in 1991. Ukraine has no coherent history as a nation. First inhabited some 44,000 years ago, most of the region's history is as occupied territory. 

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Russia's history of maintaining a military presence in Crimea is older than United States history. The Russian Black Sea Fleet has been based in Sevastopol in Crimea continuously since 1783. For the Russians, this is a crucial warm water port, currently leased from Ukraine till 2042. 

To understand what this means to the Russians, it probably matters more to them than the United States would care if the Cubans decided to threaten the Naval Base at Guantanamo, and we know that wouldn't have a happy ending. 

Is anyone involved in Ukraine NOT to blame for something? 

In spite of its history as a subjugated non-state, Ukraine has managed something like a functioning democratic government from time to time in recent years. Now is not one of those times. The elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, was by all accounts corrupt, but he was elected. Although the process was somewhat messy, he was duly elected in 2010 with almost 49% of the vote, concentrated in Russian-populated eastern Ukraine and Crimea. 

Now Yanukovych has been deposed, perhaps justly, but by an unjust process spearheaded by a street mob and a disenthralled parliament. The parliament has appointed an acting president and Yanukovych is in asylum in Russia. It's not clear that Ukraine now has a legitimate government of any sort. 

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The Ukrainian presidential crisis, which is ongoing, is surely the result of longstanding, internal Ukrainian faultlines, ethnic, political, and economic. And the crisis is even more surely the result of deliberate, years-long interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine by the United States, the European Union, NATO, and other western forces, as Robert Parry has described. Ukraine appears to be the latest victim of those New American Century conspirators who brought the world such success in Afghanistan, Iraq, Honduras, and Syria (home to another Russian warm water port and only Mediterranean base). 


That front page headline in the Times is, perhaps, less inflammatory than others elsewhere, but it was five columns wide and deploying "Kremlin" that way is pure Cold War journalism. As for accuracy, it's close -- even if it doesn't acknowledge that Russian troops have long been based in Crimea and "seize" is a hyperbolic rendering of an unopposed deployment which may even have been welcomed by most of the population. 

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Vermonter living in Woodstock: elected to five terms (served 20 years) as side judge (sitting in Superior, Family, and Small Claims Courts); public radio producer, "The Panther Program" -- nationally distributed, three albums (at CD Baby), some (more...)

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Bloodlust seems capable of corrupting even normall... by John Rachel on Wednesday, Mar 5, 2014 at 8:00:25 PM
Absolutely RIGHT  agreed 100% ... by jean labrek on Thursday, Mar 6, 2014 at 5:31:23 PM
Well, John Rachel may be a little too admiring of... by William Boardman on Thursday, Mar 6, 2014 at 7:15:49 PM
How convenient that this situation blew up right a... by intotheabyss on Thursday, Mar 6, 2014 at 4:21:18 PM
Sorry but: "Ukraine   is NOT a real place.... by BFalcon on Thursday, Mar 6, 2014 at 8:27:10 PM
BFalcon is right about other countries being ... by William Boardman on Friday, Mar 7, 2014 at 12:56:46 PM
Thanks, I believe that Ukraine is a great place ... by BFalcon on Friday, Mar 7, 2014 at 1:47:50 PM
Seems like we're in fundamental agreement  a... by William Boardman on Friday, Mar 7, 2014 at 2:59:41 PM
Thanks, I do believe that we agree. ... by BFalcon on Saturday, Mar 8, 2014 at 4:56:22 AM
america tends to believe the idea that what is min... by zon moy on Sunday, Mar 9, 2014 at 10:03:29 PM
People everywhere tend to believe that. ... by BFalcon on Sunday, Mar 9, 2014 at 10:49:25 PM
Yes, but it's worse if you're corrupted by the lon... by Patrick Walker on Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 8:32:38 AM
You are incorrect. Ukraine has a long history of s... by TJ TJ on Monday, Mar 10, 2014 at 3:24:22 PM
TJ TJ, you are right, I would have been wrong if&... by William Boardman on Monday, Mar 10, 2014 at 4:45:01 PM
Nicely balanced, convincing article--convincing b... by Patrick Walker on Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 8:08:01 AM
For what it's worth, my view of the Times is simi... by William Boardman on Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 10:22:52 AM
Thanks for replying. As I greatly liked your arti... by Patrick Walker on Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 11:43:40 AM