Class Warfare Blog

April 18, 2014

Russia’s Long Game

Filed under: History — Steve Ruis @ 7:28 am
Tags: , , ,

During the current crisis in Ukraine (fomented by the west or not) history should not be forgotten. As the Iranians don’t forget our role in the overthrow of their elected government in 1953, Russia has not forgotten that a coalition of western powers invaded Russia after the revolution. Japan and the U.S. invaded from the east, European powers from the west. (Yes, we had troops on Russian soil.) Also, you need to know that when Russia took so many countries into its embrace after World War 2, it did everything it could do to “Russianize” those “satellites.” It made Russia the national language of those states and the only language to be taught in schools. And it moved a very large number of ethnic Russians into those states as they had earlier moved large numbers of other ethnicities out of them. Because of this, Russia always had a sizeable minority, at the very least, of ethnic Russians “on tap” in those states, to oppose internal revolutions or external invasions.

Anyone shocked by Russia’s current tactics of smuggling in its own troops to blend with the ethnic Russians already in Ukraine or Russia’s honoring plebiscites in areas dominated by ethic Russians miss the point that they prepared those strategies a long time ago.

March 7, 2014

Hypocrisy 101

La Rochefoucault said “Hypocrisy is the compliment vice pays to virtue.” This is embodied by the current debate here in the U.S. surrounding the Russian incursion into Crimea. Basically American politicians are running around saying something along the lines of “American good, Russia bad,” except, well, the Fox (sic) News crowd who have a man crush on President Vladimir Putin, a man’s dictator if there ever was one.

Hello?

The U.S. is the country that came up with the Monroe Doctrine, a principle first espoused in 1823 (unilaterally, of course) that basically said “Hands off our hemisphere” to the then European world powers. In practice, according to Noam Chomsky, “the Monroe Doctrine has functioned as a declaration of hegemony and a right of unilateral intervention over the Americas.”

So for 150 years or so we used this spurious doctrine to justify our intervening, overtly and covertly, any damn where we wanted in our hemisphere for any damn reason.

Russia is exerting that same right regarding countries contiguous to itself . . . and in their hemisphere. Outrage! Outrage! They can’t do that!

Only we can do that.

Can you spell hypocrisy, boys and girls?

February 23, 2014

Self-Determination, Anyone?

I believe in self-determination.

The overthrow of the president of Ukraine has revealed a life of personal opulence, supportable only by bribes and corruption. Anyone surprised? Anyone? Please note that all of this occurred with much handwringing by actors outside of Ukraine: Russia, the U.S., the E.U., possibly more. But while there was a diplomatic scurry, there doesn’t seem to have been overt actions taken to support either side in the dispute.

I believe in self-determination. I believe that the citizens of Ukraine have a right to settle their own hash: peacefully would be nice but violently also.

But what about North Korea, where the government oppresses the people in unspeakable ways? We should intervene there, no?

I believe in self-determination. The people of Egypt had been oppressed by it’s own President and secret police and army for decades. They rose up and defeated an entrenched tyrant. When the people of Korea do likewise, they may find that their army may support them like Egypt’s army supported its rebellion. Or maybe not.

I believe in self-determination.

I believe that each state in the United States has the right to make their own decisions and that out-of-state political money should be barred. (It is called influence peddling and it is illegal.) I believe that each city in the United States has the right to make their own decisions and that out-of-city political money should be barred. (It is called influence peddling and it is illegal.) I believe that each voting district in the United States has the right to make their own decisions and that out-of-district political money should be barred. (It is called influence peddling and it is illegal.)

I believe in self-determination. Interference from outside of any group can only be to counter the activities of the people inside the group.

Until we clean up our foreign policy so that it is non-interventionist and we clean up campaign finance laws to eliminate outsider influence, we will be living in something other than the democracy we want.

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