3/6/14

Crimea . . .

While you were busy obsessing over Ellen's selfie, Oscar snubs, and the weather patterns of these United States, a sovereign state was invaded half way around the world. Sorry to take the needle off the record, kiddo but you should probably at least know a little something about this because it is sorta a big deal.

Why? Because the Cold War is not over. Countries are still invading and just taking over (parts of) other countries. Oh and the world, as a whole, is still shrugging its shoulders until it involves them directly.

Here is your primer on Crimea (I'll keep it short and simple)

  • The landmass known as Crimea (a peninsula that juts of Ukraine and that can also see Russia from its back porch) provides shore line for the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov
  • It is NOT the only place Ukraine and Russia "meet" (the share a long, long border above the Sea of Azov
  • Crimea - because of its access to two seas and its unique land mass has been hotly contested and has "changed hands" many times in the last 2500 years or so
  • Crimea was once its own satellite of the USSR
  • The place is currently horribly, horribly anti-Semitic (specifically anti-Jewish) so Putin's claims there - while a lame excuse - have some validity. and yet is also has a rich Jewish history (you knew I was going to insert the Jewish angle here - accept it)
  • Crimea, Russia, and the Ukraine have danced their dance for a long, long time
  • The United States does not "have" to get involved in Crimea
  • The United States probably should get involved as this has been our role in the world for a long, long, time - but as we are a democracy and we have a complicated power system for our government/military, and given our economy, etc. the fact that we can't (like Russia) just snap our fingers and invade another land is probably a GOOD thing
  • Russia gives exactly ZERO f*cks about sanctions. There is pretty much nothing Russia needs that Russia doesn't have or make on its own and there are always going to be other nations to help them out
  • Vladimir Putin is not a good man or person or leader. He was a high-up in the KGB. He came to power politically and has danced from role to role to keep that power for a long time. He has a bad human rights record. He has not done much for the Russian economy or world standing. He should not have been given the Olympic games. He should not be tolerated in this act (it will probably get worse if it is allowed)

  • I don't think Americans should "do" anything about Crimea. We do not want to escalate tensions or send our soldiers in to a situation that is between Russia and the Ukraine and is a European issue (let Angela Merkel - the essential leader of Europe based on her German leadership tenure and Germany's leadership in European affairs handle it politically and otherwise) but I think Americans should be aware that we still live in a world where this stuff happens
  • This will not just take care of itself and this is not something that does not matter
  • Let's not politicize this issue. Bush "would not have invited Putin to his ranch if he were not a good guy" (I'm paraphrasing but not by much) and Obama has been clear in his disinterest in putting our military to work so this is not a weak, Democrat, President afraid of Russia vs. a strong, let's fight all the world, Republican, President. This is the world we live in in 2014 - diplomacy SHOULD be a real thing
That is it. A primer and my two cents on Crimea. I am not an expert (I am a somewhat-embarrassed Xenophobe/ethnocentrist when it comes to my politics and knowledge of world affairs) but I hate how little attention we are paying to this as a country and as a people. 

By the way - Gravity was not snubbed. It was pretty and dazzling with the special effects but not was in NO WAY the best film of 2013 (or any other year). What was? THIS! Now . . . get back to your obsession with Scarlett Johansson's pregnant belly.