Friday, February 21, 2014


It occurs to me that I don't know the first thing about those young men bouncing paving blocks off the heads of Ukrainian policemen.  Are they the same protestors who started the peaceful demonstrations months ago, upset by Viktor Yanakovych's backing away from closer ties with the rest of Europe; or are they, as Vladimir Putin suggested, "right-wing elements" — to wit, Nazis.

It wouldn't be the first time Ukraine had Nazis — and all of Europe is developing ultra-right parties who might  be described as Nazis.  There's the Front National in France, Golden Dawn in Greece, Geert Wilders' Freedom Party in the Netherlands and that other Freedom Party in Austria, the Northern League in Italy, the NPD in Germany, and more, even in socially liberal Scandinavia.  Just because Putin said it doesn't automatically make it a lie.

Okay, Putin is a truly terrible person.  So is Yanokovych, I suspect.  That doesn't mean the cop killers aren't truly terrible persons as well, escalating the violence.  They have guns, Molotov cocktails and, probably, too much testosterone.  The American media should not be carried away in a gush of hero worship.

As for the United States doing something about what's happening in Ukraine, I don't see the likelihood as any better than the United States doing something in Syria.  It's time to accept the fact that we can't just walk in someplace and do something.  The last time that worked was World War II.

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