Beyond the Cusp

April 20, 2014

Ukraine Slowly Devolving Into Revolution

The eastern Ukraine continues to churn and twist between its two polar opposite camps, one centered in Kiev and the other centered in Moscow. The Russian influence appears to be the favored side but this could simply be the result of the people being too afraid to be visibly seen to take a stand opposing the thugs who are violently taking control of government buildings and demanding there be a referendum which they are assured will reflect the desire of the majority wishing independence from Kiev and possibly becoming part of Russia answering to Moscow. The likelihood of having a fair election on any referendum is virtually nil as those wishing to remain loyal to Kiev and remain a part of the Ukraine would doubtlessly fear expressing such views in the presence of the thuggish pro-Russian militia being present. How to resolve this dilemma to honestly represent the people residing in the eastern provinces of the Ukraine is behind the debate in the Western nations. None of the NATO or other Western nations appears willing to implement any viable alternative to the fifty-thousand plus Russian troops currently sitting on the borders of the Ukraine, this being up from the mere thirty-thousand reported just a week ago.

 

Between the inactivity and fecklessness of the Western powers and the apparent resolve of Russian President Putin to force a bad situation further making it worse and worse until Russian intervention is recognized as a preferable and stabilizing necessity thus making any solution other than the eastern half of the Ukraine being annexed by Russia impossible one can realistically expect this to end in a Russian invasion. Realists watching the situation are basically taking pot shots at guessing the exact date when the Russians pull the trigger and march across the eastern Ukraine under the guise of liberators freeing and caring for the Russian speaking population living there, whether they actually desired being swallowed up by Russia or not. Then comes the question that everybody is hoping beyond hope will never need to be asked, will the Russian intervention take just half the Ukraine now or swallow up the entirety of the country right up front. It is becoming untenable to continue to believe that the Russian designs on the Ukraine will be satiated by anything less than annexing the entirety of the nation bringing it once again under Russian rule.

 

We are among those who believe that once the Russian troops enter the Ukraine their goal will be total annexation of the Ukraine and that they will meet an immediate response from those in power in Kiev. The final outcome of such a war is not really in doubt but the numbers of casualties should be unacceptable to those who Kiev has begged for assistance in defending their country. Europe will claim they had no idea the situation had gotten so dire and act totally surprised when the Russians make their move. They will gnash their teeth and rub their hands expressing great sympathy and regret and will resolve to emotionally support those Ukrainians desiring their nation freedom and borders be restored but that will be the full extent of the European resolve. Their warm wishes will afford the Ukrainians no relief whatsoever. What is really sad is that the Europeans will show more regret and emotion than will come out of the White House. Anybody expecting even the tiniest squeak from President Obama have greatly overestimated is ability to feel sympathy, at least anything resembling honest sympathy. Expect that President Obama will be far too busy making arrangements to meet and greet the recent winners of the college basketball championships with special mention of the women’s team which just finished a perfect season. After all, a President has to have his priorities straight and recognizing important and life-changing events such as the college basketball championship is at least far more fun than it is being the leader of the free world. After all, which would any normal person rather do, face down a former KGB colonel and verifiable megalomaniac itching for a confrontation or meet and greet some college basketball players and their coaches, including the women’s team, and share in their victories pretending that some of their accomplishment will rub off on you and thinking of all the good press and photo-ops one can generate by such an event on the White House lawns. I did mention that there was also the attendance of the women’s team, right? That is important as it makes the invitation to former President Clinton more likely to be accepted and of course Obama’s former Secretary of State will be unable to avoid being in front of the press cameras in a favorable and happy event such as this, even if she will need to keep one eye on Bill. So, Europe is deathly afraid of any necessity to stand up for anybody against Putin and the Russian military and United States President Obama has absolutely no clue how to stand up to any real threat and also needs to keep his word to Vladimir, aka Vlad the Invader, that he would be able to be more flexible after his reelection. After all, promises are promises and especially if doing nothing is all that is required from Obama as nothing appears to be his strongest character trait.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 22, 2013

Rumors in All the Wrong Places

The horrific bombing of the Boston Marathon finishing line was timed to detonate at four hours after the start of the race which was expected and did coincide with numerous amateur runners completing the race and their friends and families waiting to congratulate them. The bombers’ plan to injure and possibly murder as many average people in order to maximize terror was successful in targeting average people and getting huge amounts of coverage by television and news cameras. The one failure was the striking terror in the hearts of the people at the scene of the terrorist strike. Instead what was witnessed was Americans at their best with people who were uninjured not running from the scene but running into the heart of the disaster area tending to the injured applying first aid and even using pieces of their clothing to apply pressure bandages and even using belts as makeshift tourniquets. What was exemplified was the best of Americans and humanity in a crisis situation with these brave people almost immediately assisting each other and not waiting for the first responders giving the world a taste of how not to be cowed by a terror threat and showing disregard for anything other than helping people who were for the most part total strangers. We witnessed people literally giving the shirt off their backs and the belts from their trousers. This is not meant to take anything away from the first responders who also arrived quickly and wasted no time rushing into the heart of the confusion and establishing a frenetic order and began transport of the injured to waiting hospital personnel who had prepared the necessary extra trauma and emergency supplies and beds to accommodate the disaster.

Unfortunately, the same praises cannot be lauded on either the mainstream media or social media both of which were full of conjecture, conspiracies and the entire host of misinformation. The number of people espousing their own hatreds blaming the government, secret clandestine organizations, or any group of people imaginable in Tweets or on Facebook were disgusting and gave examples of the worst in people. The only redeeming facts were those who derided those posting such conspiracies or assigning blame as a venue to castigate their own bigotries. Where the hatreds appearing on social media in not something new but the mere extent of these postings is what was somewhat alarming. The misinformation spread by the mainstream media prior to any actual facts is an entirely different animal. The race by the different new networks and departments to form theories and postulations as to who was behind the bombing was revealing to their prejudices and biases. The number of times there were claims of breaking news only to be followed later by more breaking news each one contradicting the previous startling statement. News reporting, especially by the news agencies that people and the public depend on for facts, should act with more restraint and discipline instead of acting in such an uncontrolled and amateurish fashion. While it is understandable that each news department has a desire to be the first to get the news right, but shouldn’t getting the news right be the first principle? What good is being first to be wrong? Apparently, the news sources placed more emphasis on making conjecture as representing news as long as it was first and might even be the first to finally get it correct. Between reporting every rumor with breathless excitement and expressing their personal biases as honest news the mainstream media managed to further destroy any semblance of trust which had possibly remained. It was my personal experience that the most trustworthy news sources ended up being some select foreign press and media sources which I have previously found to have the patience to wait for facts before jumping onto a story, any story, as long as it is a new story. Maybe they will take a lesson from this fiasco and will learn to actually verify the facts before running before the cameras only to have to retract reports as the truth eventually emerges. And may they please learn that personal conjecture is never good news and only makes them appear more amateurish than the average poster on social media. We should and do expect more from our media and hopefully they will grow and learn that actual facts are news and opinions and guessing is not doing anybody any favors, especially in an emergency situation when so many are seeking answers and expecting the plain and simple truth from their news reporting. As the old Dragnet theme stated, “The facts, just the facts.”

Beyond the Cusp

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