Monday, February 24, 2014

1296 The Pain in Ukraine

First let’s ask: why be concerned about this civil war in a place no one here cares about?


Then let’s answer with a question:  why be concerned about similar situations in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Afghanistan.


Well, some of those nasties in the Middle East have the potential to do us harm or supply us with oil.


Combine this with our thirst for oil and our not-so recently developed need to interfere with countries whose policies are none of our business, and we have at least the embryo of an excuse.


And as soon as there’s an embryo around here…


Ukraine will not invade the US.  They won’t bomb the Freedom Tower or the Pentagon.  They are not trying to impose religious law either there or here. They don’t have enough oil to export.  And while they’re a major supplier of cooking oils, we don’t really NEED any from them.


The US doesn’t yet have a firm policy on the fighting.  All we know is that Putin wants to dominate Kiev as the Russians had for centuries before the rise and fall of the Soviet Union.  And Obama isn’t happy with that notion, and shouldn’t be.


The Ukraine rebels themselves want closer ties with western Europe and fewer strings leading to or from Moscow.


These are people who want something close to democracy… as opposed to some countries in which we meddle and that don’t.


So what’s stopping us from getting more involved on the side of the pro-democracy forces?


Probably there are several reasons.  We feel safe from the Ukrainian menace.  We never think about that part of Europe.  And -- most of all -- we don’t want to mess up our startlingly cordial relationship with Czar Comrade Commissar KGB Putin.


Russia is the largest country in the world and one of the most populous.  It also is a third world country, once you get out of Moscow and St. Petersburg.  And for the time being from Sochi. Putin is playing “superpower catch-up.” But he realizes he can’t do it with an army, so he does it with diplomacy, a trick which we talk about but only occasionally do.


Oh… and since World War II, we have kind of pulled back involvement in countries where the people look like many of us.


Shrapnel:


--For you Long Islanders planning to move to Florida, hold on and you might not have to travel 1500 miles to get that sinkhole you crave. One opened up under a woman, Gayle Sorrentino… in her driveway in Rockville Centre… while her car was in it… and she was in her car.  Other than some scratches and dents, car and driver were okay.


--The garden shop lied.  That seven foot icicle that just fell off the side of the house was sold as an annual, not a perennial. This year, it was back and even taller and fatter than usual, and tore off an even bigger chunk of plastic siding when the bloom was off the ice.


Grapeshot:
-Missed Leno… tried Fallon… still not funny… switched to Letterman… not funny anymore… switched off the TV… read Borowitz… not funny often enough… read Robert Benchley… still funny.


I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2014





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