Friday, March 21, 2014

Putin, You Sneaky Thug


Putin’s thuggish tactics in seizing Crimea offer some hints regarding his planning. He knew in advance that his thinly camouflaged invasion would meet with popular support from the Russian majority in Crimea. He was not sure how the thin and light Ukrainian military units stationed there would react, so he went in masked like a Mafia gangster. In the event of serious Ukrainian resistance, he could disown the initiative and pull back.

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An idiotic excerpt from Zbigniew Brzezinski's Op-Ed in Washington Post.

Let's indulge its strange logic- Putin went into an island in Ukraine with "thuggish tactics" "masked like a Mafia gangster" and yet he knew that he would meet with popular support?

This leads to a natural question, "are people in Crimea thugs with an affinity for Mafia gangsters?"

How does this Russian thug island fit in into the the new democratic Ukraine being built with a help of a neo-Nazi party?

Typical is the linguistic double standard when it comes to the gleeful use of the term "thug;" a word that clings so snugly to Vladimir Putin's naked body in the minds of many (most?) foreign policy analysts in America.

Two people died during the course of Russia's annexation of Crimea.

The case of a Tatar opponent of annexation who vanished only to be later found dead is especially troubling. The people likely responsible for his death are Cossacks or members of a pro-Russian militia.

Unfortunately there is a slim chance of any justice served in this murder. The other man was a Ukrainian soldier who died in murky circumstances with conflicting claims.

According to Associated Press, the final body count of all lethal fatalities resulting in the aftermath of the Iraq war stands at 110,600. Some surveys put the toll at over 600,000 people. Granted that these numbers are not direct casualties of American troops and many if not most are the result of sinister Iraqi forces unleashed by the fall of Saddam. And yet a foreign policy decision made in the Bush White House made this carnage possible.

In Pakistan, an estimated 416-951 civilians died during American drone strikes that targeted Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists. 168-200 of those were children according to the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

President Obama also presided over a national security apparatus that spied on America's closest NATO allies like Germany's Angela Merkel.

The supreme irony of Merkel having been born in communist East Germany and rising to the height of power in democratic, united Germany only to have America's liberal president of Kenyan descent tap her phones.

I'm not bringing this up to show "the ugly real face of American imperialism." I am not a disgruntled leftist or a bitter Russian nationalist. I think America is a great country (flawed like all other giant societies). I don't have an anti-American bone in my body.

I simply brought this up to ask, in light of those lethal (and illegal under international law) exercises of American might, would Zbigniew Brzezinski or any other serious foreign policy expert in the west call either George W. Bush or Barack Obama a "thug"?

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