Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Crimean Specimen

As a history buff, I couldn't help but find traces if not evidence of what is apparently a lingering 20th-century Russian political mindset of intervention under the principled justifications of being the Big Slav Brother to the Soviet region. This belief is practically what carried Russian foreign policy through World Wars I and II, perhaps too conveniently in an ironic twist in my view of what appears to be right-wing zeal amid the backdrop of left-wing glory that was the USSR.

As Putin had put it in a 2005 speech,

the fall of the USSR was "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe" of the 20th century. 

Perhaps, and I really am merely speculating, there lies the appeal among the Russian people as well, if not of the Slavic race, that strength begets respect in all aspects of society.

*Image from http://cimsec.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/vladimir-putin-4-horseback.png

Well, at least it seems the Kremlin, if not Putin's, publicist thinks so.

While it might be difficult to outright assume that this mindset of affinity to strength is inherent in the culture, I suppose a peek at how their society's history had shaped their psyche (before and through the Khazars, the Mongols, the Tzars) might give us some insights:

Given the political crisis that had taken hold of Ukraine, it was an absolutely convenient and opportune time for Russia to take the reins of the situation, in what seems to me to be a military circumvention to the threat of a political quagmire, if not already a usurpation of Russian influence on Ukraine.

Of course in the orchestration of these decisions, it would help to put context into what we are seeing:

And so it seems the Big Slav Brother has come to rescue its people, ethnic-Russians who in my view are conveniently embedded in a region that's rife with potential intervention given the former USSR's territorial expanse. It's a goldmine, I think, for somebody like Putin who romanticizes about the glory days of the Soviet Union.

It's extremely interesting to note, that there has been a Ukrainization happening to counter the centuries old Russification of Ukraine's people, which to me, again only bolsters my view that Russian interests have been embedded all over through the injection of "Russians" or the assimilation of people OR communities into becoming Russians through Russification, as a convenient way to justify political and even military maneuvers in the region as deemed fit by the Kremlin.

Crimea, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimea, has seen its share of change in governance through the centuries. It is of course in the context of the current times that I find it interesting to see that,

According to the 2001 Ukrainian population census 58% of the population of Crimea are ethnic Russians and 24% are ethnic Ukrainians.[9] The region has the highest proportion of Muslims in Ukraine.[11]

The majority are of Russian ethnicity and there are Muslims there as well. If the Crimean region eventually gets assimilated by Russia, how comfortable would the people there be? As there are Chechen separatists, does it follow that it is inevitable to contend with Crimean separatists as well?

In any case, the events that have been unfolding are merely a prime example, a specimen, for principles that I've given weight to under an economic regime in the structure of Capitalism. I've already posed some questions in this regard in my entry,

Albeit, regarding the US and questions on what it would do (WWUSAD), the idea is similar and fairly applicable to those who are capable of doing so. Is militarism really an acceptable solution in an era where free trade, financial markets, and money should be dictating what is acceptable to people, across borders and among those who wield power (i.e., the money moved around by money managers, hedge funds, traders, people with savings who want to earn more money) on behalf of humanity? Well, in ways though, the impact has already been apparent, the Russian Central Bank just raised its key interest rate by 150 basis points and the Russian stock market plunged following the recent developments.

Economically influential nations have deemed Russia's military ventures as outright wrong and have thus voiced their intentions of  imposing non-military sanctions by way of financial markets.

It is, after all, as I've mentioned in my entry, The Churn, a system that has been established to promote the "humane" distribution and allocation of "scarce" resources to those who are deserving of such resources. Such is the hamster wheel that most of the global economies with humane civilizations have submitted themselves to. It is in this regard that Russia's boldness to use military presence and force poses an undesirable act that goes against what is generally acceptable to human civilization, especially today, as we live the information and financial market age.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry dismissed Russia's excuses regarding its "moral obligations" to do something to "protect" ethnic Russians in Crimea and Ukraine as merely a witch hunt, if I may so put it, as the Kremlin looks to establish a pretext that will give the convenient backdrop and justification to its invasion.

"It is clear that Russia has been working hard to create a pretext for being able to invade further," he said. "Russia has talked about Russian-speaking ordinary citizens that are under siege. They are not. And in fact this government has acted remarkably responsibly."

I suppose since we're discussing something that's already in the context of conspiracy theories, there might be no one more familiar with the idea of fabricating (as theorized by some historians) "moral obligations" than the U.S., especially when looking back at the events and circumstances that surrounded the Lusitania (for World War I) and Pearl Harbor (for World War II). These are of course in hindsight, and as the world has moved on, there are certainly varying factors to consider in rallying people to ideals that are acceptable, humane, and morally upright, despite the irony of crying for a cause and movement to arms and war.

And as Ukraine appropriately reacts,

it will be interesting how things will end and how the wounds will be mended. Will Russia step back and contemplate on its decisions and will the world ever forget that there was once a USSR that once held a glorious threat, an existence, that had always kept the believers of democratic capitalism on the edge of their seats.

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2014. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

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