Category Archives: Europe

Tiny Steps To War

A hundred years ago in June, 1914, a man shot and killed the son of the Emperor of a nation called Austria-Hungary. The story was reported on page 12 of The New York Times, and in Europe there were some sad comments, but the son was not particularly liked by the Austrian nobility so his death was not greatly mourned. Days went by with some notes of protest sent by the Emperor to the kingdom of Serbia from whence the shooter came. Most Europeans went about their daily business without any concern regarding the shooting. Serbia was a tiny country and Austria-Hungary was a large empire so it was clear that Serbia needed friends. To make a long story short, nations in Europe took up sides with their allies and without anyone realizing by August, World War I had begun. This war changed the lives of all on this planet and led to World War II.

Vladimir Putin has initiated a process of attempting to proof that he is one tough dude. Ukranians really do not have an army, but they are organizing some volunteers as the Russian army gathers on its borders. An accidental shot, a plane shot down, who knows, just the wrong tiny step and we could have a shooting war. Putin is the bully who runs Russia and he can readily believe the entire world is afraid of him. All it takes is one man firing at the wrong time at the wrong person.

Broken Treaties Broken

One thing that must be said about Vladimir Putin is that when it comes to breaking treaties he deserves the Nobel Prize for the most treaties broken in a single calendar year. Just about every day, he breaks another one, and this is all done with no shirt on his back and a rifle in his hands in order to kill some tiger who is heading in his direction. Ukraine President Arsenij Yatsenyuk is in Washington D.C. to confer with the president of the United States about what to do or what not to do regarding the situation in the Crimea. In theory, the Crimea is part of the Ukraine although a large number of people are of Russian heritage, not Ukrainian. As a good Russian, let me make clear being confused with one of those Ukrainians is a crime where I come from. Anyway, the president and the president made a list of broken treaties:

1. The United Nations Charter.

2. Russia’s commitment under the Helsinki Final Act

3. Russia’s 1997 Treaty of Friendship with the Ukraine

4. The Russian-Nazi Non-Aggresion Pact of 1939

5. The Lend Lease agreement with the US in 1941.

If you have nothing better to do, just list any and all treaties.

On The Death Of Humanity

The madness of the human race raises the question as to whether or not at some distant point we humans will make some drastic mistake that results in the end of being able to continue the human race. What would occur if at some point, we humans could not create new life and thus at some distant moment in history, the race we know as “human” would simply disappear, not only from this planet but from the universe? How would we think, feel, conduct our lives if there was no human race that continues to exist. Suppose, as we die along with other human deaths we reach a point in time when there are no children, just a increasingly declining group of elderly people who inhabit a world without youth and without a human destiny? What is we are today, and at some moment in time, we humans just disappear from the planet and the universe?

I believe that it is our faith in the inevitability of tomorrow that enables us to confront today. If there was no tomorrow then we would crumble into passivity and simply give up use of our mind. We need the existence of a collective tomorrow that spurs our efforts today to become creative thinking life forms. We humans without any thought constantly destroy life forms and end their existence on this planet. Just remember, that possibility also exists for we humans!

Putin Moves From Sochi To Ukraine

The Winter Olympic Committee lost a wonderful opportunity to not only protect the rights of gays and lesbians in Russia, but to assist the people of the Ukraine in their fight to create a modern effective government. If the Olympic Committee had informed President Putin that games would be cancelled unless he voided the anti-gay laws, President Putin would have felt himself to be weak and might have hesitated to get involved in the Ukraine controversy. US Secretary of State John Kerry informed the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, that reports of Russian troops conducting maneuvers on the border of Ukraine posing a threat of violence. “We believe that everybody now needs to step back, and avoid any kind of provocation.” His words appeared just as gunmen in the Çrimea seized government buildings and hoisted Russian flags signifying a desire by some in eastern Ukraine to split away and join Mother Russia.

There is slight doubt of violence in eastern Ukraine as pro-Russian, many of whom are even Russian speaking Ukrainians, seek to split away and once again become part of Russia. Putin is ready to provide money for such an effort, the unanswered question is whether he is willing to offer soldiers for such an effort.

There is something ironic in Russia arguing for its right to assist people in eastern Ukraine. This from a government that rants and raves against outside forces interfering in the civil war raging in Syria!

From 1914 To 2014

We are gradually working our way to the anniversary of the beginning of World War I back in 1914. The actual conflict began when the son of the Emperor of Austria Hungary was murdered by a young man named, Princip who believed the Slavic people were being persecuted and had to stand up for their rights. The actual scenario resulting in war took about eight weeks to unfold as nations warned one another about getting their armies ready for war. No one actually believed the road being taken was the road to war since diplomats were talking with one another and the thought that the end result would be war appeared too crazy to even consider. British Foreign Secretary William Hague warned the Russian government it had to end the attempt to make the Crimea part of Russia. Even as he spoke, thousands of Russians were cheering in the streets about the need to aid their Slavic brothers in the Crimea against oppression by Western Fascists. Most probably the Russian people support actions by their president.

Putin feels powerful sending troops into the Crimea knowing he has control over atomic weapons of destruction and he just wants to dare the West to oppose him. He also has control over oil and gas supplies that are needed by Western European nations. In the summer of 1914, the Russian government did not believe Germany would actually go to war over someone getting shot. The road to war just seemed to get shorter and shorter as nations threatened the use of force. William Hague warned of “the real danger of a shooting conflict.”

Is this a repeat scenario??

Poland To the Fore?

Historically Poland, was an area in Europe which continually for the past two hundred years was divided up by its neighbors and only gained a sense of having its own government in post Word War I. Even that nation was divided between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia in 1939. After WWII, a new Poland was created and soon fell under the control of the Soviet Union. It was not until the end of communism in Russia that Poland became a “nation” able to conduct its own affairs. Entering the European Union during the 1990s enabled Poland to become a nation that had power and voice in foreign affairs. The current Ukraine crisis has allowed Poland to become a leader. It has strongly supported the Ukranian rebels who thew out former President Yanukovych and now provides political and economic aid to Ukraine. Poland has also brought together nations that formerly were under control of Communist Russia–Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic into the Visegrad Group.

The Visegrad Group has been the most aggressive force within the European Union demanding a strong response to Vladimir Putin. It has made clear that unless Putin enters negotiations with Ukraine “within a limited time frame work” then additional punitive action will be taken against Russia such as freezing assets or bans on travel or other economic sanctions. Poles have not forgotten how Russia bullied them for years and now they are prepared to give the Russians a taste of their own medicine!!

The Putin Story Continues

Western nations sent their best athletes to Sochi and they performed wonderfully and thus provided President Putin an opportunity to come across as a man of vision. OK, so it cost $50 billion, which is equivalent to what was spent on the past five winter Olympics, but it did enable his gang of crooked businessmen to come away with a few billion in profits. No one is surprised that once Sochi ended Vladimir Putin swung into action and sent troops into the Crimea to protect “his compatriots.” The Crimea parliament has voted, unanimously, to secede from the Ukraine and join their beloved Russian Motherland. Oh, there will be a referendum to confirm what was done. Most probably, at least 40% of the population has no desire to become Russian. Muslims understand what being a Russian citizen entails for those of their faith.

The United States and the European Union are swinging into action by extending credits to the Ukraine government and placing bans on travel by Russian officials as well as seizing their assets in the United States. The EU is slightly slower in moving in this direction, but shortly will go along with travel bans and economic sanctions.

PROBLEM: Russia controls gas and oil that is needed in Europe.

SOLUTION: The United States should immediately become the provider of oil and gas to Europe and switch their dependance on Russian sources of energy. Act swiftly and with intent to end Russian domination of energy sources!

Secret Thoughts Of Comrade Sarkozy

Once upon a time, a long,long time ago before iPads and cell phones, a president like John F. Kennedy hired historians to help keep track of what happened. Of course, the assumption was the historian would double check before taking notes in order to ensure the president chose his words with care and consideration. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France hired former historian Patrick ?Buisson to be the official note taker. Little did he realize the historian wanted a verbal record of all that transpired during his residency with the president. HUndreds of hours of tape are now available in which Sarkozy discusses the world as well as lets the world know what he thought of this or that member of his Cabinet.

Buisson has shown parts of these tapes to the magazine, Le Carnard Enchaine and this journal of satire has shared with the world thoughts and observations from the head of state. He apparently did not think too much about some key advisors and makes rather nasty comments regarding their abilities. As one noted today, “It’s a betrayal. For us the experience is akin to rape.” Unfortunately, for the Sarkozy family, there are tapes in which ministers wonder what the hell is Carla Bruni, the First Lady, doing at their meetings.

Nothing much surprising about these tapes.

Will Putin Join The Dance?

It has become increasingly clear that President Vladimir Putin is painting himself into a corner and getting our of his mess is not very easy. Putin assumed, after Sochi, that he was among the world leaders and no one dared to challenge his authority. After all, no one in Russia can contradict the man who fights tigers with bare chest. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is in Paris engaged in talks with European Union diplomats on how to gain control of the Crimea without provoking an economic disaster for both Europe and Russia. Lavrov insists military forces in the Crimea are from self defense groups in that area and are not under Russian direction. President Obama is demanding withdrawal and talking about sanctions and freezing assets. As one EU diplomat noted, “I don’t think the United States should necessarily be taking the lead on behalf of G7 nations.”

Obama has become so accustomed to being told how to conduct foreign policy by Republicans that he now seeks to be the one in charge even though other nations have not yet given him that authority. Most Europeans want to bring Putin to the negotiating table.

Step One: Provide sufficient funding for the new Ukrainian government so it can survive.

Step Two: Develop a plan of action that goes beyond the six o’clock news.

Putin Is For Peace And Love With All!

I understand there are people in the world who do not believe that Vladimir Putin is a man of peace and love. I have been told the American president and Secretary of State actually do not believe that President Putin has held back from sending Russian troops into the Crimea despite the threat to the lives of Russians living in that area. I gather there are some men dressed in some sort of uniform who speak Russian and carry weapons in the Crimea, but they are simply concerned citizens of Russia who seek to protect the innocent from bandits and criminals. In fact, President Putin has assured the people of Ukraine that he “will not go to war with the Ukranian people.” See, he even said this publicly which proves, beyond a shadow of doubt that he is a man of peace. The wonder of the world is how come this man has not been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize!!

President Obama has been working with Secretary of State John Kerry to organize a world wide boycott of Russia unless it withdraws from the Crimea and ceases to threaten the people of Ukraine. Kerry almost burst out in laughter when told that Putin denies the presence of Russian soldiers in the Crimea. “Did he really deny the presence of troops in the Crimea?” I find it shocking that Kerry has charged the Man Of Peace with being a man of war. Next, I expect Kerry to charge that Putin is a gay man.

How to defuse the Ukrainian situation?

1. Award Vladimir Putin the Nobel Peace Prize.

2. Return former President Yanukovych to power.

3. Allow Russia to host the 2016 Olympic Games with Putin the Grand Marshall

See how easy peace is?