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Watching the events unfold in the Crimea and the Ukraine has answered many questions that I have carried around for quite a long time. Since World history in high school and even before that, I always wondered how a 1st World nation, with a high degree of civilization and achievement in the arts and sciences could fall to barbarism and acts of extreme cruelty and genocide. Of course, I'm talking about Germany.
When I was in Germany in the late 70's and early 80's, I asked people that I had come to know well how it all happened. The answer I received was very vague and unsatisfying. To a person, the people told me that "It just happened". They told me that by the time they understood that Adolph Hitler was mad and leading them into a catastrophe, it was impossible to do anything about the situation they found themselves in.
I didn't believe them. I still don't believe them. Today I understand all too well the feeling of being powerless, but as far as not understanding what was happening, I believe that the German people knew all too well what was going on. Maybe the common laborer with a limited education or those that weren't too bright didn't have a clue, but the signs were all there. I can see the same thing happening in the United States.
There is a difference between not knowing what is going on and not wanting to know what's going on. When one does not want to see the reality of what is happening, that is a conscious decision. This is a decision that I see my fellow citizens making every day.
With all the knowledge we have literally at our fingertips in the form of the world-wide web and access to all kinds of information, it is inconceivable that anyone in this day and age can feign ignorance. To claim ignorance in the 21st Century is laying a claim to a condition worse than ignorance: laziness. It seems that the most lazy amongst us are the very people we trust to give us the news of the world. The same people we trust to help us sort through the ever increasing bits of information we receive daily, are not really lazy. They know only too well what they are lying about or just omitting facts that would make those in power uncomfortable with their job performance.
It doesn't take an exceptional person to understand that what is taking place in the Crimea is very similar to what took place in the Balkans after the break-up of Yugoslavia. During that incident, we supported the people of Kosovo when they voted to form an independent state. Why is it that not a single "journalist" in the mass media asks any of our so-called "leaders" why it was all right to support the will of the people in Kosovo to self-determination, yet the people in the Crimea shouldn't have that right? If I'm missing something here please enlighten me because I have the same question in regard to Libya. Why is it OK for some people to self-determination but not OK for others?
I have another question that these "reporters" should be asking. Why was it acceptable to secretly support the uprising in Western Ukraine with funding and technical assistance to overthrow their elected government in violation of their Constitution but in the Crimea it is against "International Law" when they want out of a country that has just undergone a coup? Meanwhile we are supporting the rebels in Ukraine while screaming bloody murder when Russia cries foul. I see a double standard here that has not been addressed by anyone save those that write for an audience on the internet. There seems to be two worlds that are light years apart, the world according to the mainstream media, and the other world that exists in the history books and on the internet.
We are consistently reminded that we are the "indispensible nation" and that Americans are an "exceptional" people. The incursion into Libya was in response to a mandate that President Obama called a "responsibility to protect" (R2P). Unlike Russia that has no R2P in the Crimea, they are not allowed to bomb the hell out of the country, overthrow the government and turn it into a lawless group of Salafi fiefdoms. It must be a great thing to have the right to intervene in any nation that needs an intervention. Maybe if Secretary of State Kerry explained how this all works to President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov, the Russians would see things our way.
If Kerry would only explain to the Russians that we are deeply concerned about the Ukraine because of our deep humanitarian nature and not because we want to put missile bases there in order to take out any chance of a Russian retaliatory strike in the event we launch a first strike nuclear attack. The concern we have for the future of Ukraine is only about the concern that we have for the people that live there. I'm sure that Senator McCain has always been deeply concerned about the people there even before we helped bring along the coup in Kiev.
The view I have on the events taking place in the world today is that we have been creeping inexorably towards a type of government similar to the kind they had in Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and in Communist Cambodia under Pol Pot. I'm not talking about a fascist or communist system; I'm talking about a delusional one. I call it Governance under Delusion (GUD). The truth is, and this is only for the people that really want the truth, we engineered the overthrow of the government in Ukraine and it went horribly wrong. We never expected Russia to react in this way and it has taken us off guard.
The reality is that short of a nuclear war, there is not really much we can do about the situation. Two things that are just not done with any hope of a positive outcome; starting a land war in Asia and provoking the Russian bear. Napoleon and Hitler invaded Russia and we can see how well that turned out for them. Still, it is probably not out of the question as both of those governments also operated under the GUD system. We can trust in all of our technological expertise and the fact that over 50% of our discretionary spending for the last 50 years has been spent on the military (more than all other nations on Earth combined) and cross our fingers or we can take it on the chin and learn how to mind our own business. Any bets?
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Tim Gatto is Ret. US Army and has been writing against the Duopoly for the last decade. He has two books on Amazon, Kimchee Days or Stoned Colds Warriors and Complicity to Contempt.