Archives for posts with tag: Ukraine

An embassy is a conduit.
It brings information back and forth between the ‘host’ and the ‘sender’.

A spy ring is (intended to be) a ‘one way pipe’. It gathers information about the ‘host’ and transports it to the sender.

They have in common the fact that the bulk of the information is gathered from ‘open’ sources. From the media, that is. Newspapers, TV, radio, internet…

Imagine now the following situation.
There is this planet. Let’s say ours. Inhabited by us, the human people.
And you have some other people. One or more species capable of interplanetary travel. Who have found out about this planet and want to learn more about us before making contact.
Since they haven’t yet conquered us – as per our knowledge, and since there’s no evidence of any galaxy wide conflict raging on we may presume the aliens are fundamentally peaceful. Either naturally ’empathic’ – hence in no need whatsoever of being governed, or having such a ‘natural’ form of government that they’re very happy with it.
In their attempt to learn about us and to understand our situation before engaging in any way with us, the aliens have sent an ‘undercover’ fact-finding mission on Earth.

Right now!
When a country capable of yielding almost half the (self) destructing power available on Earth ‘happens to be’ at loggerheads with a coalition of countries which controls most of the other half of the destruction power already mentioned above.

The local agent employed by the fact-finding mission compiles two news articles which, in his opinion, summarize perfectly what’s going on on the planet.

“Medvedev alleged that some in the West would like to “take advantage of the military conflict in Ukraine to push our country to a new twist of disintegration, do everything to paralyze Russia’s state institutions and deprive the country of efficient controls, as happened in 1991.” “

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ‘planetary divide’,

Among those in the audience was Melissa Sauder, who drove nearly 350 miles from the small western Nebraska town of Grant with her 13-year-old daughter. After years of combing internet sites, listening to podcasts and reading conservative media reports, Sauder wanted to learn more about what she believes are serious problems with the integrity of U.S. elections.
She can’t shake the belief that voting machines are being manipulated even in her home county, where then-President Donald Trump won 85% of the vote in 2020.
“I just don’t know the truth because it’s not open and apparent, and it’s not transparent to us,” said Sauder, 38. “We are trusting people who are trusting the wrong people.”
It’s a sentiment now shared by millions of people in the United States after relentless attacks on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election by Trump and his allies. Nearly two years after that election, no evidence has emerged to suggest widespread fraud or manipulation while reviews in state after state have upheld the results showing President Joe Biden won.
Even so, the attacks and falsehoods have made an impact: An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll from 2021 found that about two-thirds of Republicans say they do not think Biden was legitimately elected.

So.
Forget, if you can, about the war in Ukraine and about the US mid-term elections.
Let’s pretend you’re the head of the alien fact-finding mission.
What recommendation would you send back to those calling the shots in your organization after reading the two articles I mentioned above?

I’m going to discuss four things in this post.

The difference between a scientific paper and a piece of ‘mere’ literature.
And what can be learned by analyzing a message.

I’ll start with the second.

A message has two layers of meaning.
The ‘prima facie’ and the ‘deeper levels’.

When somebody asks ‘What time is it, please!’, the first thing you do is to check your watch.
Most of the time, it’s the proper way to react in this situation.
But not always! Sometimes, the guy only wants to find out what kind of watch you’re wearing. To determine if it’s worth the effort. To steal it from you!

If looked at from the proper angle, most messages speak volumes.
The first volume is always about what the ‘speaker’ wants to convey to their audience.
The next ones are about the speaker. About their ability to speak, about their manner of thinking… and so on.
When speaking, the speaker wants to convey a limited amount of information. The intended message. When listening, an attentive listener may learn more about the speaker than about the issue at hand!

A scientific paper starts by stating a conclusion.
And continues by listing the arguments.
An ‘ordinary’ piece of literature builds a ‘scaffolding’. Introduces a series of ‘things’ and leads the reader towards a conclusion. Which is more likely suggested rather than imposed.

Should I continue?
About what I learned by reading the Amnesty International report?

The most important issue here – for Amnesty International, being the fact that “Ukrainian fighting tactics endanger civilians”.
As if Ukraine was the big bully. Who had enough resources to carefully select ‘tactics’!

“Attacks launched from populated civilian areas”.
Hello!!! Ukraine itself is a populated country! Mostly by civilians…
This is not a joust. Which may be organized ‘out there’, on an open field. If both sides agree…
This war, like almost all others, is about conquering, and defending, populated areas!

Such violations in no way justify Russia’s indiscriminate attacks, which have killed and injured countless civilians
Finally!

But shouldn’t this be the ‘main course’ of the Amnesty International report?!?
After all, it was Putin who had ordered the Russian army to invade Ukraine…
It had been his orders which had started this mayhem!

I will wrap up this post by introducing the third concept.
The phrase useful idiot designates a naive or credulous person who can be manipulated or exploited to advance a cause or political agenda.

Instead of any conclusions, I’ll be asking you a question.
What is the real importance of studying ‘humanities’?

Formally, availability of education for children has increased around the world over the last decades. However, despite having a successful formal education career, adults can become functional illiterates. Functional illiteracy means that a person cannot use reading, writing, and calculation skills for his/her own and the community’s development. Functional illiteracy has considerable negative effects not only on personal development, but also in economic and social terms.

People are dying in Ukraine.

And what takes place there has consequences all over the planet.

The first two world wars had been fought by soldiers from almost every corner of the Earth.
Almost all countries have declared war on each other, even though not all of them have participated in military operations.
The third world war – the Cold One, had been fought ‘virtually’. And was the first to divide the world into three.
The ‘liberal-democratic’ camp, the ‘popular democracy’ camp and the non-aligned camp. As always, World War III had been lost by the least flexible among the combatants. By the more dictatorially run camp. By the camp, which, precisely because of the authoritarian manner in which its decisions were adopted, had failed to mobilize all the resources it had, potentially, at its disposal.

I’ll make a parenthesis.
Any act of aggression is an idiocy.
Regardless of the short-term, medium-term and long-term outcome, the aggressor has more to lose than the victim. This does not need to be demonstrated. The most perfunctory glance at history is eloquent enough.
Here I’m concerned about war as an ‘ongoing phenomenon’, I am not trying to integrate it into the narrative. Any war, any act of aggression, is initiated under certain conditions determined by the history spent until then and will be, at some point, integrated into the history written afterwards. And the way it will be integrated into history will determine the conditions under which the next war will be initiated. Or not…

Let’s go back to the present moment.
This, the fourth one, is the first mixed world war. The first ‘lukewarm’ war.
The consequences are felt around the globe, almost all states take part in it – also divided into three camps, while the act of ‘actual’ aggression is somewhat limited.
The reactions to this act of aggression – the way in which those who have to bear its consequences relate to the conflict, constitute the beginning of the way in which this episode of physical aggression will be integrated into history.
The liberal-democratic camp is helping the victim as much as it can – this could be the subject of a very long discussion.
The authoritarian-populist camp helps the aggressor. As far as it can, lest it shows its true colours…
The self declared ‘non-aligned’ camp claims it is one of the victims and urges negotiations.

Here’s the place where I need to make another parenthesis.
The aggressor is ‘Putin’. A collective character that has at its center the current Kremlin ‘gate-keeper’.
The fact that the collective character known as ‘Putin’ is currently leading Russia’s destinies is a matter of history. It has to do with Russia and the Russian people indeed, but placing all the responsibility for the atrocities which are taking place in Ukraine on Russia’s shoulders would be a mistake. A mis-diagnosis which would lead to a ‘counterproductive’ treatment.
Many of the analysts and commentators who write on this subject are ‘mesmerized’ by the ‘master of disaster’. By Putin. Some ‘highlight’ his actions and others want to distract us from what Putin is doing by trying to argue that Putin was forced to do what he had done because the ‘others’ had acted as they had done. As if the mistakes already committed could provide any justification for future atrocities…

Back to the subject.
The main idea which emerges from the ‘messages’ we are bombarded with – regardless of the motivations attributed to Putin, is that any surrender to the aggressor’s claims will be eventually ‘underwritten’ by all those involved.
For the simple reason that Putin will interpret the smallest crumble ceded by the victim of the aggression as a personal victory. Victory that will be attempted again, sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile, all the other Putins in this world, all those animated by authoritarian whims, will feel encouraged by any shred of victory which Putin will have enjoyed.

‘Are we stupid?!? He pulled it through, didn’t he?
We should try it too!’

Well, so far, so simple.
Putin is not the first dictator to be scrutinized by psychologists. Or by political scientists.
‘Nothing new under the sun’ and no original contribution.
Almost everything Putin had ever ‘accomplished’ has already been analyzed and can be explained away with the help of quotes pulled from more or less famous authors. Sun Tzu, Clausewitz, Marx, Ivan Ilyin.
Unfortunately – or fortunately? – Putin is ‘transparent’.
He becomes more than ‘obvious’ after the briefest analysis. And, in fact, dictators – all dictators, are very ‘simple’. Single minded individuals effectively enslaved by a single thought. Concentrated exclusively on how to obtain and preserve absolute power. Everything else about them is bullshit. Make belief and propaganda.

Personally, I’m interested in something else than ‘what drives Putin to…’
Putin does what he does because he has the opportunity. Because he ‘enjoys’ a set of circumstances in which he can act his ‘fantasies’. And Putin got into this situation because those around him – those who could have done something about ‘this thing’, did not understand at the time what was going on before their eyes.
I can understand that! ‘Temporary blindness’ is not an ‘exceptional’ thing. But still. From a certain point onward – after ‘the milk spilled over’ and after reality had slapped you over your face, to continue with your head buried in sand… to remain ‘temporary blind’ only because you ‘enjoy’ your current position and/or your current paycheck… without realizing that you are being led to the abyss…

‘Putin’ doesn’t take prisoners.
Even if you considered yourself his ally, or his faithful servant, and no matter how many promises he has made to you, when he no longer needs you…. you’re toast!
When he no longer needs you, you become a cost. And in their world, in the world of dictators, costs must be cut! No other arguments will ever be considered.
Aside from the fact that you have a good chance of getting sacked as Putin becomes more and more powerful/callous, associating yourself with this kind of people is dangerous by definition. No matter how strong they seem to be at any given point, all ‘things Putin’ end up badly. The more powerful the Putin becomes, and the higher they get, the worse they fall. They along with those who ‘waited’ on him!….

Does anyone know a dictator who ended up on the throne?
Lenin?Stalin? Khrushchev? Brezhnev? Andropov?
Is this what we want?!?

The conclusion drawn by some observers, “In the end the outcome has only two valences: Putin loses or Putin wins” is valid only for the short term. Very short! In the long run, Putin loses. In the longer run Putin has always lost.
And it was us who had to endure! The ‘excesses’ committed while the dictator was at the helm and the ‘vagaries’ of the ‘transition period’ which followed. The point being that the more we endure ‘it’ – for the sake of momentary comfort or out of fear for what might happen, the more we will have to pull. In the near future!

As for the five dictators enumerated above, yes, four of them did die on their throne. Khrushchev had been deposed and lived for a while under ‘close supervising’. But after each of them had ‘transitioned’, their ‘close associates’ had been thoroughly ‘epurated’.

What happened to Russia during their ‘tenure’?

Whence my question.
Do we really want to take part, any part, in anything even remotely similar?

These people no longer communicate.
As in no longer care to understand what the other has to say…
Mind you, not ‘agree with’, just understand. Just develop a ‘mere’ understanding of what the other feels/thinks/has to say about a subject.

The consequence?

Both sides have become so focused on contradicting each-other on no matter what subject that both of them have lost the ability/exercise to look for the real issue.

The Ukrainians have enough AK-47s. They don’t have any use for any AR-15s. What they need is howitzers. And HIMARSs!
As for the 2nd amendment…

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”

Given the Ukrainian experience, should we read the 2nd Amendment in such a manner that ordinary people would be able to keep and bear howitzers? Or HIMARSs?

Or should we focus our attention on the notion of ‘a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State’…?
Meaning that without a well kept and well trained Army, the State, any state, would soon loose its sovereignty?

After all, the Ukrainians fight, together, against an invader. They cooperate in order to defend their State.
Meanwhile, many of those clamoring about the 2nd Amendment are more preoccupied about using their guns to defend their individual freedom against the State than about cooperating with their fellow citizens towards defending the State against any aggression.

Counter-protesters Kenya Stevens, left, of District Heights, Md., Steve Tidwell, of Arlington, Va., and a protester who asked not to be named, shout their support for gun rights across from a protest of gun control advocates next to Realco Gun Shop in District Heights, Md., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2007. The protest of gun control advocates was part of the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr.’s National Day of Protest. The gun store, located very near the border with Washington, is a large source of guns used in crimes in the nation’s capital, according to District officials. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)


In these circumstances, am I allowed to remind you that Putin – the guy who had initiated/ordered the invasion of Ukraine, is a “genius”?!? According to Trump…

After Putin ordered the Russian army to invade Ukraine, the rest of the world ‘took sides’.

Some sided with Putin, many extended a helping hand to Ukraine – for various reasons, and others felt their lives have been ‘disturbed’.

This morning I almost blew my top.
I was listening to the radio. A usually decent station. Usually decent and, like all of us, imperfect.

The news anchor was interviewing an ‘expert’. An Ivy League Professor of International Relations and other blah-blahs. I’m not giving their names because I want them forgotten, not even more famous than they already are.

‘Is there any chance for this conflict to end in a negotiated manner?’
‘Yes, if/when both sides will find a mutually acceptable solution.
For example, if the Ukrainian side would accept a referendum in Donbass – and in Crimea, and if the Russian side would accept UN inspectors to validate the process. This would be in line with the general accepted policy of self-determination and ….’

OK, and where’s the difference between what Putin keeps saying and what I’ve just heard?!?

Two non-Ukrainians telling Ukraine what to do…

I’m going to set aside, for now, what these two – wait, three! – people are saying.
That Ukraine, the Ukrainian People, should give up a piece of their land.
My immediate interest lies in ‘who these three guys think they are’?!?

OK, only those who don’t want to see haven’t yet found out that Putin is a dictator.
But for a renowned Ivy League Professor to elaborate a scenario according to which the UN would supervise a referendum where an occupied population would have the opportunity to vote whether they want ‘their’ aggressor to maintain its control over the already occupied territory….

Would that distinguished Professor be comfortable with a referendum – equally supervised by the UN, taking place in California? Which California had already been occupied by Mexico? For which referendum, the Californians were asked where they want to live? Whether Mexico should continue its occupation or should the Mexican army retreat behind the internationally recognized border?

No, I don’t think the Professor has been paid by Putin. Or ‘compensated’ in any other way by the ‘red Satan’.
I just consider he was not paying real attention to what he was saying.
He had just opened his mouth and verbalized what his mind was churning.
The current ‘events’ have disturbed his pleasant existence to such a degree that he really needs this ‘fly in the ointment’ to ‘fly away’.

He is so ‘driven’ by his ‘need’ that he is no longer ‘patient’. He just can’t ‘stop talking’ for long enough to realize how fast Putin’s propaganda machine will make ‘good’ use of his ‘verbalizations’…

‘See, the good Professor confirms what our Beloved Leader has already done.
It’s the Ukrainians who are not reasonable!
They should first change their leadership then come back into Mother Russia’s arms.’

When are we going to understand?

Don’t tell others what to do unless you are prepared to ‘take advice’ yourself…
And, for your own good, don’t trade your future freedom for your present comfort!

After reading this interview for a second time, I asked myself: ‘Why are you paying so much attention to this guy?!? After all, he doesn’t say anything new…’

Then it hit me!

“Russia” and “we” are two different things.

Russia, the country, cannot indeed afford to “lose”. To ‘lose it’, to be more precise.
Russia will survive, no matter how many more ‘mistakes’ the morons currently running it will commit.

“We”, on the other hand, are the ones who can. And eventually will. Lose. Everything.

And the longer those “we” are allowed by Russia itself to run the Kremlin, the worse it will be.
For everybody. Us – the rest of the world, included.

‘But when will this nightmare end?’

That I don’t know.
All I know is that it will eventually do that. End.

Look at the picture above.
When have you seen anything more British than that?
OK, fake British. Make-believe British. But British nonetheless.

That was which hit me.
That during its entire history, Russia had tried to emulate Britain.
The Russian elite has for ever tried to rise itself to ‘British standards’. From Peter the Great to Putin.
All the while convincing the Russian People that the road they were trundling on was unique…

The sooner the ordinary Russians will figure out that they have been misled – and enough of the elite will understand that British-ness is good only for the Brits, they will make peace.
Among themselves.
With the their Ukrainian cousins.
And with the rest of the world!

Homo Sapiens Sapiens is a species of cultured animals simultaneously capable to place a highly sophisticated IR telescope on an orbit around their native planet, the Earth, and to reduce a country to a pile of rubble.

Interestingly enough, the technology used to accomplish both, the rocket, has been imagined a little more than a century ago.
By, among others, Herman Oberth.

He had built his first rocket as a school project, when he was 14. About then he also came up with the concept of a multistaged rocket.
Lack of resources convinced him to study medicine. After only two years he was drafted into the German Imperial Army to serve during WWI. Initially as a foot soldier and then moved to a medical unit. In that period he found enough “spare time” to conduct experiments which had later enabled him to present “designs of a missile using liquid propellant with a range of 290 km to Hermann von Stein, the Prussian Minister of War.
During WWII he had worked at Peenemunde, were he was awarded a decoration for bravery during an aerial attack, and then at the German WASAG organization developing solid fueled anti-aircraft rockets.

Between the wars he had contributed to a series of experiments in Germany. For one of which he was helped by an 18 years student. Werner von Braun.

After WWII, Oberth moved to Italy to continue, for the Italian Navy, some of the work he had started at WASAG. Then returned to Germany to publish “Mankind into Space, in which he described his ideas for space-based reflecting telescopes, space stations, electric-powered spaceships, and space suits.”

Oberth eventually came to work for his former student, Wernher von Braun, who was developing space rockets for NASA in Huntsville, Alabama.

He retired in 1962 and had a brief stint in far right politics (the National Democratic Party of Germany).
He was invited to the US in 1969 to witness the Apollo 11 crew being sent towards the Moon and in October 1985 to view the Space Shuttle Challenger being launched carrying the D-1 Spacelab mission – “the first with German mission management and controlled from the German Space Operations Center
However, his primary interest during his retirement years was to turn to more abstract philosophical questions. Most notable among his several books from this period is Primer For Those Who Would Govern.

Humans, as a species, have harbored the same ‘amount’ of brain for the last 200 000 years. That was when the Homo Sapiens had arrived. But that brain had produced something only about 70 000 years ago. That’s why the second Sapiens was added, by us, to the name of those living since that time. To underline the fact that humans had become ‘fully’ conscious only ‘recently’. That having a big brain was not enough. That becoming fully human also implied self awareness. Wisdom…

Apparently that’s not enough.
After experiencing, first hand, the horrors of WWI such a creative mind as Herman Oberth’s was still capable of building offensive weapons for Hitler.
After experiencing, first hand, the horrors of WWII such a creative mind as Herman Oberth’s was still able of joining an extreme right political party…

After experiencing, first hand, the horrors of WWII at the hands of the nazi, the modern day, post communist, Russia is capable of inflicting the same kind of horrors to their close cousins, the Ukrainians.

When are we going to become Sapiens enough to stop this insanity?
To concentrate our creativity exclusively towards ‘elevating’ purposes?

When I was six, my father took me to a German kinder-garden.

He was learning German, at 35, and thought I should start earlier.
In the end, I didn’t exactly learn the language but during the process I met a lot of nice German speaking people.

At 16 I read

The Death Factory, a book about the Auschwitz concentration camp

Well, actually it was translated in Romanian but the original cover is far more suggestive for non-Romanians.

That was when I learned to distinguish between a people as a whole and the atrocities committed by a minority.

As I grew up, under communist rule, I noticed the ‘little compromises’ my parents had to make in order to provide a better life for me. The small bribes offered whenever ‘necessary’, not speaking up their minds in ‘official settings’, allowing stupid, but powerful, individuals to boss them around…
As a young adult, I understood how those small compromises, made by almost all of us, added up and eventually caused the entire regime to collapse. Eaten up, from inside, by institutionalized corruption.

As a no longer young adult, after the regime change, I noticed that ‘compromise’ was so entrenched in our habit that it had been carried over into the new regime. As if the new found liberty had been interpreted as the freedom to accept ‘un-earned benefits’ from whoever offered them. In exchange for things which were not ours to give…
The same was happening in other ex-communist countries. The closer to Moscow, the more intense the phenomenon.

That was when I learned to dissociate corruption from any particular political regimen.

Soon after that I learned the international dimension of the whole thing.

BONN, Germany (AP) _ Germany is set to outlaw tax deductions for bribes paid to foreign officials, falling in line with a U.S.-led drive to fight corruption and promote fair competition.
The change is part of proposed tax reforms presented Monday by the new center-left government of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. Parliament is expected to approve the measure before the end of the year.
Currently, kickbacks paid by German companies abroad or at home to win contracts are tax deductible as legitimate business expenses unless the person who made the payout is found out and convicted of bribery. In practice, that rarely happens
.”

AP NEWS, November 10, 1998

Gerhard Schroeder, who had called „the Russian president a “flawless democrat””, „has been tapped to join the Gazprom supervisory board”.

That was when I realized how many of those living inside a country have no effing idea about what some of their compatriots do when ‘working’ abroad.

A few short years later, a Romanian president had the audacity to shout ‘the emperor is naked’.

Corruption belongs to both the public and private sectors, and the president has said he does not shift responsibility to anyone, but that it must be “shared and assumed.”
An official cannot be corrupted if there is no one to pay a bribe, just as a ministry cannot pay 50% more for a contract if there is no consultant to do an expertise in this regard, Basescu explained.
“Let’s get out of the hypocrisy. If there is corruption, the state alone cannot be corrupted, it has a partner. The state cannot be alone. It has a partner and this is the private economy.”
Basescu was present yesterday at the launch of the Romanian Competitiveness Report prepared by AmCham.

Claudiu Medrega, Ziarul Financiar, 15/12/2011

That was when I learned that democracy alone is not enough to cure corruption. That democracy can also be eaten from the inside by this worm. If ‘the people’ do not pay enough attention!

This morning, on top of the already ‘normal’ news from the Ukrainian front, I learned that

“Last week, Boris Romanchenko, a 96-year-old Holocaust survivor, was killed when shelling hit his ordinary flat in the war-ravaged Ukrainian city of Kharkiv”
“The multi-storey apartment building where Romanchenko lived was shelled and caught on fire,” said the statement.
Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, has been under heavy fire from Russian artillery throughout the invasion, which Russian President Vladimir Putin calls a “special military operation” necessary to disarm and “denazify” its neighbour.”

Reuters, March 22, 2022

That was when I understood that ‘what goes around, comes around’ is driven by our bad choices.
By our unwillingness to make good what we have already learned from past mistakes.

Should have learned from past mistakes…

Really guys?
The Red Army had spilled its blood to free the people herded to be killed at Auschwitz and a survivor from Auschwitz is killed by a Russian bomb attempting to ‘denazify’ Ukraine?!?
Which Ukraine wanted nothing but to join the EU and NATO?
But couldn’t! Crimea was occupied while Donetsk and Luhansk have rebelled against the central government… and NATO – like all other clear headed alliances do not admit new members which are already involved in ‘border disputes’.

Putin says Russia’s concerns expressed over three decades about NATO’s expansion were dismissed by the West, and post-Soviet Russia was humiliated after the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.”
He says NATO, as an instrument of the United States, was building up its military on Ukraine’s territory in a way that threatened Russia.
On March 11, Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told Putin the West was beefing up military forces close to Russia’s Western borders. Putin asked Shoigu to prepare a report on how to respond
.”

For almost 25 years, the West believed Russia could be tamed by diplomacy and trade to maintain stability and security in Europe. In 1997, NATO and Russia signed a “founding act” that was designed to build trust and limit both sides’ force presence in eastern Europe.
The alliance also sought to build a partnership with Russia, which took part in NATO exercises in the Baltic as recently as 2012, according to retired U.S. Admiral James Foggo, who commanded U.S. and NATO fleets in Europe for almost a decade until 2020.

After Russia annexed Crimea in 2014… NATO created small, multinational combat units in Poland and the three Baltic states, which serve as a forward presence to deter Moscow. But the force numbers are designed not to violate the “founding act,” which has hindered NATO’s ability to move troops into the Baltics and Poland on a permanent basis.

So. Putin, spooked by a NATO who doesn’t dare to violate the ‘founding act’ – not even after Russia had occupied Crimea, orders the Russian Army to demilitarize and denazify a country whose independence and integrity was guaranteed by the Budapest Memorandum.

And, caught in the middle, a man whose life had been saved – some 75 years ago, by the Red Army ends up being killed by the Russian one…

Simply because we didn’t pay attention.
And allowed what went around to come back!

Boris Romantschenko of Ukraine, along with five other former prisoners, renews the oath of Buchenwald, from April 19, 1945, at the Buchenwald Concentration Camp Memorial, in Weimar, Germany, April 12, 2015. Picture taken April 12, 2015. Michael Reichel – Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

I grew up in a communist country, Romania.

Russian films were ‘readily’ available.
Some of them were good. Really good.

Besides going to the movies, I was an avid reader.
I must confess that the ‘great Russian classics’ didn’t impress me. No special reason.
But I did read a lot of Russian literature. About the partizans fighting the Nazis during WWII, about the communists fighting for freedom – for their version of freedom, in the early ‘920-ies, some Sci-Fi novels about the happy lives the Russians were going to live in the next millennium.

This morning I was listening to the radio.
The news bulletin was, of course, about what’s going on in Ukraine.

A refugee, a woman who had fled accompanied by her young daughter – her husband and her son remained at home to fight, was speaking in her native language.
I know that Ukrainian is different from Russian. But for my ears they sound very much the same.

Imagine what I felt.

I grew up associating the Russian language with the struggle for freedom. With the promise of a better world.

As I learned things… my understanding of history had become more ‘nuanced’.
The Soviet Union had collapsed after Afghanistan. The regime finally got what was coming to it.
As Putin crushed Chechnya, killed Litvinenko, ‘peacefully’ occupied Crimea … things were no longer ‘nuanced’…

But this!

They say that an image is worth a thousand words… I’m no longer sure about that!

There is so much violence paraded in front of our yes that our ‘retina’ has become calloused.

Hearing that brave woman trying to convey her tragedy in a language I associated in my childhood with the promise of liberty really did it for me.

This time the oppressor itself was speaking Russian.
Russian soldiers were doing the very same thing the Russian people had experienced during the WWII. And they were doing it to their ‘brothers’.

Russian soldiers were turning Kyiv into rubble!
Kyiv, the birth place of the Rus-ian people…

All this conveyed in a language which, for me, sounds very much the same as the language I had associated in my childhood with the quest for freedom.

I wept.

Hoping the Kremlin will learn to understand tears.
Maybe not the present ruler but at least the stony walls…

Cineva tocmai a făcut un inventar. Chestii care umblă ‘folcloric’ – adică din gură-n gură, pe internet.
Omul acela, destul de destupat la minte de felul lui, a ajuns să se îndoiască de propria sa capacitate analitică.

Există câteva narațiuni pe care nu le pricep sub nici un chip…

N-am citez inventarul cu pricina. Până citiți voi postarea asta, oricum va fi caduc.
Dacă vă interesează, sau dacă vreți să vedeți cât de bine le demontează „omul acela”, click pe citatul de mai sus și gata. Sunteți în pâine.

Dar o explicație mică…

Propaganda lui Putin funcționează mult mai bine decât armata pe care a trimis-o să-i învețe minte pe Ucraineni!
Pentru că e mult mai ușor să stai la calculator, la căldurică, și să vii cu metode cât se poate de creative prin care să zăpăcești de cap oameni care au un interes secundar cu privire la problemă. Oameni pe care nu-i aleargă nimeni dar care au deja un bagaj de sentimente și prejudecăți. Sentimente și prejudecăți numai bune de exploatat!
Pe ‘câmp’, în schimb, când și ceilalți trag în tine… iar tu știi, în adâncul sufletului tău, că ei sunt cei care au, de fapt, dreptate…

Și, poate chiar mai important, pe internet ajunge o măciucă la un car de oale!
E destul ca cineva priceput la băgat limba-n ureche să vină cu o chestie suficient de credibilă… că Gică Contra care să răspândească jumătățile de minciună… se găsesc gârlă!

Uite-așa, o jumătate de minciună ici… o jumătate colea… te trezești cu cozi la benzină și cu o frumusețe de criză de ulei.

Chiar mai important, te trezești cu o masă captivă de oameni dispuși să creadă aproape orice.

‘Rusia nu a atacat Ucraina, doar vrea să protejeze niște Ruși nevinovați de abuzurile săvârșite de Ucraineni’.
Spitalul era dezafectat iar cei din poze erau actori…

“After the bombing of the hospital, Twitter removed two posts by the Russian embassy in London which claimed the attack had been faked.
The embassy’s tweets made unfounded claims that the hospital was not operational at the time and that injured women pictured at the scene were actors.”

Și, ca să nu rămâneți cu impresia că am explicații pentru toate cele, hop și eu cu o nedumerire proprie.

Ăia care se pricep la băgat limba-n ureche, cei care vin cu toate ‘trăsnăile’ astea, cum pot să doarmă noaptea? Să-și sărute copiii pe frunte? Să facă dragoste?
Oameni inteligenții fiind – mult peste medie, nu-și dau seama unde duc eforturile lor?

Lasă că mor oameni… poate că stau prost cu empatia!
Dar nici măcar la pielea lor nu se gândesc?
Cât o să mai stea ‘Putin’ la putere?

Pe veci?!?
Iar ei, cei care sunt acum în grațiile lui ‘Putin’, vor rămâne tot acolo… Pe întreaga durată a domniei lui!
Păi da, dictatorii sunt cei mai fideli oameni din lume…
Se duc la următorul?
Și cât o să mai țină povestea asta?

Sper să nu mă luați acuma cu libertatea cuvântului!!!

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