Why I think Putin is in the Right: Ukraine Crisis By Tecola W. Hagos
I. Introduction: General Background
I have been following the escalating crisis in Ukraine for some time now. Some six years ago, I wrote my first article supporting Putin in his effort to save and preserve the asset of the Russian people that was being gutted by carpetbaggers from the West using local corrupt Russian officials and newly minted Russian businessmen in all kinds of scheme buying up Russian assets for pennies. Even the venerable Harvard participated, without its corporate knowledge, but through its unscrupulous functionaries (in one of its international institutions) in a corrupt scheme that would have transferred the controlling interest in a banking franchise worth billions of dollars to such foreigners.
Even though history should not put anyone in a straightjacket, one must heed some of the lessons of the past. I have no sympathy to the leadership of the old Soviet Union, especially Josef Stalin, despite the fact that I greatly admire the monumental technological achievement and the building a world class Soviet Military and space technology. Mikhail S. Gorbachev and Boris N. Yeltsin were the two unpatriotic Russians who betrayed the people of the then Soviet Union with their immature and jaded view of the West. Gorbachev’s book Perestroika [Mikhail S. Gorbachev, Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World, 1991] clearly shows a rustic politician trying to play the role of a statesman. The book is full of cliché and poor understanding of history.
Soon after the destructive process of the dismantling of the Soviet Union was underway, it was followed with “free for all type” looting of the great wealth of the People of the Soviet Union in the guise of economic reform and introduction of a free enterprise economic system. In reality, the denationalization of the main mining and energy interests, for example, was a process that was manipulated by a handful of corrupt Soviet citizens financed by outsiders (who had in turn accumulated their wealth taking advantage of local conditions around the world through exploitation.
II. The Role of Great Powers
The important role played by great empires and great powers is often eclipsed by one aspect of the dynamics of the building process of such great powers, namely the destruction they left in the wake of their dynamic evolution. Without the bulldozing march of such great powers through history, it is unlikely if mankind would have reached this level of wealth and hygiene, and productivity that we have now. There is no way around the uncomfortable fact that all of human achievement is, to a great extent, a result of great empires and powers. I am not saying that life with a degree of technological advancement will not be possible without empires, but that it would have been very minor with some neat, orderly, and highly predictable advancement like toy-set of villages with trains and busses et cetera.
It is extremely disturbing to me to see the members of the leadership of the United States in a political sinkhole where they end up supporting street thugs, neo-Nazis, ultra racist nationalists, and fascists in the current Ukraine crisis. President Obama, Secretary Kerry, Senator McCain, Ambassador Power, even former Secretary Clinton have made statements either accusing Russia of aggression or crudely threatening Russia with sanctions or some unspecified harm. I just wonder, who do these people think Russia is? Some small country in the Middle East that they are used to bomb routinely with drones? Here are the historical and current facts for Russia: Russia defeated Napoleon; Russia defeated Hitler: Russia is armed to the teeth with nuclear weapon; Russians are a great People with long and proud history. Russians never have been conquered by anybody. Some modesty by such leaders from the United States and Europe is a must. They ought to treat Russia and its leaders with respect.
The type of language, attitude, and bravado that is displayed in the media by such Western leaders talking down to Russia and placing sanctions against important Russian personalities is utterly childish and moronic. Do these leaders in the West understand that is how World wars are started? No matter how superior the collective power of the West might be, if push comes to shoving Russia is capable of hitting with nuclear bombs every single Western nation resulting in the destruction of millions of people and incalculable destruction of historic cities with their museums and irreplaceable history. How is one insignificant country like Ukraine, especially now that it is run by some out of control neo-Nazis and fascists, determine the fate of millions and threaten World Peace. If Russia retakes its old territories such as Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, et cetera, is it nobody’s business in the West? In considering the last thirty years, whether it is NATO or AU, the Western countries should never have continued their hostile manipulation to destroy the Russian people once the Soviet Union imploded by its own inertia in the 1980s.
The leadership of the United States does not seem to understand the role to be played by a super-power in the life of the peoples of the world. It seems the United States has never out grown its revolutionary beginnings—a mental state of being of an oppressed group fighting against an established power. I see that same mentality of a rebel in every leader of the United States, be it civilian or military, who happen to confront some world crises. To my dismay what I have witnessed over thirty years in my life here in the United States is the fact that the United States politicians talk and act as if they are still fighting the British Empire of the 1770s. They do not seem to internalize the fact that the United States is now the super-power and must shade the mental shackle of a rebel. What is tragic is that such political leaders allow such Super Power to be manipulated by some members of the fringes of societies in the rest of the world, such as the neo-Nazis and fascists of Ukraine. The fact is that the United States is being manipulated and pulled into the power struggle of local groups in Ukraine. Rather than setting the agenda for the world in cooperation with other World powers, such as Russia, the United States is dictated to by minor local events on the ground in Ukraine’s local fracas. Here is where the United States should have shown statesmanship by dealing directly with the legitimate national political leaders of Ukraine rather than siding with such destructive fringes of that society now in power.
I find it truly puzzling, in fact bizarre, that the President of the United States would stoop so low hosting the leader of such violent groups of individuals from Ukraine who have violently overthrown an elected Government and leadership. In fact, it is tragic that President Obama, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, a vociferous advocate of law and order, would end up in such unstatesmanship situation. Maybe he as well ought to have invited the leaders of the KKK and the Aryan Nation to join them at that horrifying meeting. The President keeps referring to a “peaceful demonstration” that drove out the legitimate Ukraine Government, whereas it is absolutely clear that the so called “peaceful” demonstrators were armed and did violently attack the Government Police with Molotov bottle bombs, axes, knives, clubs even guns. This form of association with Ukrainian neo-Nazis, fascists, racist nationalists et cetera is not becoming of a Super Power lead by a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. How I wish the Founding Fathers’ presence of mind in a crises like this.
I believe President Obama should have sent high level delegation or even should have traveled himself to meet with Putin to talk face to face to resolve the problem and not use the crises as a media event to shore-up his own sagging domestic political items. Russia’s interest in securing its border for both economic and military reasons is a legitimate one. The national security concern of Russia must be recognized by the West as such, and the West should pull back the incursion of the AU and NATO into Russia’s former East-Block or federated territories. The West after twittering the whiskers of a sleeping bear right in its own den is now complaining that the bear has become aggressive after all such numerous provocations. The Bear is fully awake and defending its interest.
III. Vladimir Putin
It is quite remarkable that Putin has not lost his direction despite the fact that he might have amassed great fortune for himself in the process of protecting the asset of the Russian people. I have no evidence that he did such a thing except that I have read in numerous articles about his fabulous wealth. Even if that is true, it does not bother me at all—better a Russian than some carpetbagger who would suck the wealth of Russia and remove it all to the West, as was the case with the activities of the Oligarchs who absconded with billions of dollars into the West.
I believe the Ukrainian current leaders and their supporters are mainly from Western Ukrainian with German and Teutonic decent, and in all probability mostly children or grandchildren of Nazi collaborators who murdered Jews, Russian Slaves, and Tartars et cetera in tens of thousands during World War II. What the current leaders of Ukraine call nationalism is fascism and Nazism raising all over again its ugly face. As ex-President Clinton put it in a recent speech, Putin is a great Russian patriot, who loves his country and people and fights courageously to preserve some respect and dignity for the Russian People. Putin is vilified daily by the Western press and by the leaders of the United States, Britain, France and even by Germany. This type of rudeness and bullish behavior is unbecoming for any leader let alone for leaders of the most powerful nations in the World. I see greatness in any genuine concern for ones people, and that is what I have observed in Vladimir Putin now and in the past.
I wrote a few years back:”Go for it, Putin. You are doing the right thing in protecting the vital interest of the People of Russia. You have done the right thing by standing up for the economic interest of the People of Russia. You have done the right thing by blocking the carpetbaggers from looting the wealth of the People of Russia.” Now, move in and take back all the old territories of the Soviet Union, now states, ceded by traitors. That scheme of ceding territories and creating puppet states did not help alleviate any of the political or the economic problems facing the ordinary citizens of such regions. The people of the old Soviet Union, including Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, et cetera have a far better future being integrated with the new Russia; otherwise, ordinary citizens of such ceded territories (now states) will be simply used and abused by the Western Corporations and their corrupt often dictatorial local surrogates.
IV. Where Would Ethiopia Figure out in the Ukraine Crisis
My fellow Ethiopians, just because Ethiopia is not in a public way in the sphere of influence of Russia or the Balkan countries, it does not mean that Ethiopian interest is not affected by the crisis in Ukraine. Ethiopia is a client-state for Ukraine buying mechanized weapon systems especially armored vehicles and tanks for some time now. It might even have Ukrainian technicians and experts in its weapon industry. I am speculating here, and have no first-hand knowledge about the presence of Ukrainians in Ethiopia’s military industry. At any rate, Ethiopia might be asked by the United States and the EU countries to support the United States lead campaign against Russia. The issue might be brought up in the United Nations General Assembly if it had not been already put in the General Assembly’s emergency procedure for consideration.
My suggestion for the leaders of the Ethiopian Government is to adopt the Chinese model of response (in the Security Council) by abstaining but informing both the United States and Russia that Ethiopia’s interest is to act as an intermediary to defuse the current standoff between the West and Russia from getting out of hand leading to World War III. In fact, to justify the non-partisan position Ethiopia is adopting, the Ethiopian Government immediately should form with African countries and others from the region and South America a mediating group. Since Prime Minister Haile Mariam is the Chairperson of IGAD, he could use that Office to form quickly a mediating group between the West and Russia.
If this Ukrainian crisis is not defused quickly we are heading into a situation where major war is unavoidable. The Western Leaders must stop this nonsense of sanction and also talking to the media with threats against Russia. I urge President Obama to listen to Prof Stephen Cohen’s well-thought out and balanced views on the crisis. He should remove Ambassador Power for her appalling incompetence and undiplomatic provocative language. All parties to the crisis ought to focus on the problem by acknowledging the security interest of Russia and the right of self-determination of the Crimean people. If not done in quick succession, we are heading down to World War III. And we will all be losers. Maybe Ethiopia would survive the nuclear holocaust.
Tecola W. Hagos
March 18, 2014