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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/15/22

The Tragedy of Ukraine

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Message Arshad M Khan

When you elect a buffoon for a president, what can you expect? Buffoonery? For the tragi-comedy of Ukraine, people can make up their own minds.

A former comedian and showman who has not shirked from gross indecency to draw a crowd, Volodymyr Zelensky is still showboating despite the million plus refugees streaming into Poland and other countries in freezing weather. He also claims Putin's goal is to capture him.

Self-absorption when your cities are being bombed and the people are fleeing because of near zero air defense, or any other preparations, would probably be considered criminal negligence. When it has cost hundreds of lives and displaced so many, many more people, it becomes a tragedy unfolding.

Enough of buffoons; suffice to refer to Samuel Johnson who famously noted three centuries ago, "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel".

Meanwhile, each side is invoking moral superiority: On one side, Putin is intent on conquering Ukraine like the Nazis before him; on the other, Putin hails himself as trying to rid Ukraine of Nazis once and for all.

The latter is not as far-fetched as it might appear. Does anyone remember Victoria Nuland whose leaked phone call to the US ambassador in Ukraine caused a scandal for it showed active participation in a coup. The call named Oleh Tyahnybok, a cofounder with Andriy Parubiy of the neo-Nazi Svoboda Party, as a man the US was working with to engineer the coup.

Svoboda members and an extreme-right militia newly-armed with stolen weapons from a police armory became de facto kingmakers. At this time, for some years, the presidency had alternated between Viktor Yanukovych, who was from Donetsk in the east and was closely tied to Russia, and Viktor Yushchenko elected after the "Orange Revolution" and supported by the West.

Both leaders, heavily tainted with corruption, left a disillusioned public, who could only vote them out each time only to be replaced by the other.

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Arshad M Khan is a former Professor. Educated at King's College London, Oklahoma State University and the University of Chicago, he has a multidisciplinary background that has frequently informed his research. He was elected a Fellow of the (more...)
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