Friday, March 7, 2014

After the putsch

I wish I could get away from Ukraine, but that seems unlikely at the moment.  Granted, Yanukovych was a moron, a kleptocrat, and an ineptocrat (I just made that up) as well.  Just the same, it seems pretty obvious that the ouster of Yanukovych was not especially constitutional.

I'm calling the uprising a putsch because "coup d'etat" seems a little too Latinized to me.  I do not think all the "nationalists" are, as Putin would have it, fascists, but I can't be sure of the actual proportion.  Europe is full of fascists these days, so who knows?

The West supports the new government in Ukraine because the friend of my (kind of) friend is (kind of) my friend — and the alternative is (Cold Warriors may gasp now) Russia.  Whatever.  If the Crimeans are dumb enough to want to return to Russian control, I'm inclined to let them have self-determination.  Would they do better as a somewhat more autonomous region of Ukraine?  Given the crappy economic situation Ukraine is in these days, Russia might be the better choice.  Ukraine's current "leaders" already are discussing the kinds of austerity measures they'll be taking to satisfy the IMF.  (Think Greece.)

Clearly, Obama doesn't want to look any more like a wimp than he already does, and the more traditional Republicans want to cast him in that light and find ways to puff out their chests like robins in the springtime — but for all concerned, the best bet is just to let Russia re-absorb Crimea.  Russia already controls Crimea with their military/naval bases, so what's the big difference?

There is no way to know if a new Ukrainian government will be any less inept nor any less corrupt than the Yanukovych regime — nor any less inept nor any less corrupt than the Putin regime — but I think it's for Crimeans to decide which is the lesser of two evils.

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