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Curious and Curiouser

Isn’t it interesting that the Crimea can organise a referendum in ten days and we can’t get one in decades? Now then, what does that say for the  democratic process?

Even more curious are the howls of condemnation from the so called Western democracies that they shouldn’t be allowed a referendum as it is against International law, (Obama quote), against Ukraine’s constitution , (EUSSR quote) and generally against the interest of the citizenry of the Crimea, (all and sundry!)

My My!  Do they ever listen to themselves?  Why on earth should people not be self determining?  If you actually look at maps of the world and the way empires were arbitrarily carved up to become independent  It is obvious that various ethnic groups who had absolutely nothing in common were lumped together and dumped in a ‘new’ country artificially made so that some bloody jobsworth could draw the new boundaries with a ruler in straight lines!  No account was taken of the natural boundaries of topography, culture, religion, language etc etc.  Most of these places have been, are and will be constant car wrecks waiting to happen.  Nearly all the civil wars, genocides and general aggravation of the post WWII 20th century can be attributed to such causes.  The Middle East, central Africa and the Balkans come to mind. And where was Kurdistan?  The Kurds are divided between five countries where they cause trouble and strife in all except in Iraq where they have a semi autonomous state whilst the rest (Shia and Sunni) busily kill each other to the South! (Care to remember who made the nation state of Iraq?)

Crimea is Russian and has been for several hundred years.  It was a total political aberration that it was ever given to the Ukraine in the first place.  To be told by the Ukrainians that their language is no longer to be recognised was an act of such stupendous idiocy as to be a firm guarantee of their scuttling back under Putin’s reassuring wing!  How would we like it if the few remaining white denizens of South Yorkshire were told that the only language recognised was henceforth Pushtu?  Wouldn’t be too impressed would they?

One only has to look at the map to see how the Dnieper divides the country.  What lies to the East is under the natural hegemony of the Eastern bloc.  Personally I think there is something seriously wrong with those that run the EU. Unobtainable, unaffordable Imperial aspirations running amok, aided and abetted by the USA that wouldn’t know a decent foreign policy from a hole in the ground!  Were I Putin, I would turn off the gas to the EU and let the buggers freeze! It really wasn’t their business in the first place.

Two final nails in the coffin.  The Paralympics are going on as usual during the faux sabre rattling and every one is attending! The other is how many of the EU members are expressing concern for the Tartar contingent of the Crimea, roughly 12%, why?  Because they are muslim!

The only lesson I can take from this debacle is do not expect democracy, consideration or representation from any Western ‘democracy’ if you are white, indigenous, Christian and want to decide for yourself!

 

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Categories: General
  1. sheona
    March 7, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    I’ve been wondering whether Kruschev didn’t deliberately “give” the Crimea to the Ukraine knowing the trouble it would cause in the future.

  2. Boadicea
    March 7, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    I really get annoyed at so-called democracies opposing other people’s right of self-determination.

    What has the Crimea got that the West does not want to go to Russia? I’m sure if it was some useless bit of land with nothing of value, no one would give a fig.

  3. christinaosborne
    March 7, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Quite possibly he was somewhat Machiavellian (when sober!) Apart from that he was Ukrainian himself whether that has any bearing on the gift?
    Never quite understood it either. The Russians always have been touchy over the Crimea ever since they appropriated it from the Turkish Empire.
    Always thought it curious that Stalin went to such lengths to expel the Tatars to the ‘stans. Presumably as a final gesture of contempt to the British that always would defend the Turks through the 19th century. Russians seem to play a very long game compared with the short termism of the West.
    I rather think this is their latest episode of the ‘Great Game’.

  4. christinaosborne
    March 7, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Bo.
    Rather good only warm water port of Russia.
    See #2. I really think this is an extension of the Russian reacquisition of their previous Imperial holdings.
    After all, this game went on long before communism was ever invented. The roots are well into Czarist Russia of the 1700s.
    To my knowledge there are no tremendously valuable mineral deposits. It is mainly agricultural unless it has something worth fracking! Haven’t heard of it, anyone else?

  5. christinaosborne
    March 7, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Second thought. It is of great strategic value re nipping out and dominating the Med, but as the Russians have had a naval fleet there for heavens knows how long I can’t see that was particularly threatened, but a good cheap excuse. I cannot believe that the Russians thought the Ukrainians would try to throw them out of there but had they come under the influence of the EU who knows? I expect the USA would like them out of there though as a matter of principle.

  6. Boadicea
    March 7, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Cheers Christina.

    I went and had a look after I wrote that. I vaguely remembered from my O Level history eons ago something about access to the sea being one of the ’causes’ of the Crimean War.

    I really wish the US would keep its nose out of things it knows nothing about. If the people there want to be with Russia, what business is it of anyone else to stop them.

  7. March 7, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    Russia has a long history of being brutalised from within and without. As a result, Russians are very careful not to let anyone wrong-foot them in geopolitical strategy. The new Ukrainian government was far more likely to make life unpleasant for the Russian naval fleet in the region and could well have been pressured from Brussels and Washington to terminate existing treaties. Considering the instability of the situation in the country and the uncertainty of its governance, Putin’s concerns are not unfounded.

    Russia’s national emblem features a double-headed eagle: one head looks east, one looks west. In the 19th century Russia went to war with Qing China in order to gain ports with year-round ice-free access to the Pacific. Russia has also not been supporting Assad because he is a kindly man or that they have much use for Syria — what they care about is the naval base.

    You mentioned in a previous post, CO, how your son said that you always know where you stand with Russians — good or bad. When I lived in San Francisco, I lived in the Russian enclave of the Central Richmond District. That is very much true. The Russians — and Chinese — kept me sane while there. You knew what they thought, what there were about and that was refreshing in an otherwise insufferable PC, banal city. Russians are also extremely interesting people once they decide to open up. By extension, Russia is far more honest and much less venal in its policies than the West. The Chinese are much the same — once one learns the rules of the game, one can do well. If the present situation is any indication of what is coming then perhaps the decline of the West might not be such a bad thing.

  8. christinaosborne
    March 8, 2014 at 12:12 am

    Very interesting Christopher. I always thought it very curious that when they rid themselves of communism they re-introduced the Russian Orthodox faith. They could have very well gone the secular route and chose not to. I suspect it was to provide a bastion against the muslims against who they have a quiet but implacable distaste that has been acquired over centuries of dealing with them on their doorstep. Getting rid of the ‘stans gave them the cheap excuse to keep them out. Evidently they keep them out of White Russia by refusing residency permits. A great pity the UK didn’t do likewise! One begins to think they have more sense than the rest of us put together!

  9. Soutie
    March 8, 2014 at 4:21 am

    Very interesting post Mrs O, thank you.

  10. March 8, 2014 at 7:15 am

    Christina, I think the EU’s flaccid stance (oxymoron?) is attributable to the fact that some EU states have little local difficulties of their own. Take the Basque country and ETA’s demands. If the Crimea can demand independence from Ukraine, why not?

    I’ve been amused too by Putin’s dismissal of the wet Kerry as ‘not involved’ in the real decisions.

    I predict the outcome will be
    a) no sanctions gainst Russia
    b) Crimea becomes Russian
    c) Ukraine becomes a quasi-EU-member.

    Was it worth all the trouble?

  11. christinaosborne
    March 8, 2014 at 7:50 am

    d) And the Dnieper will become the boundary.

    I can see the rest of the East Ukraine going that way too in due course.
    Love the flaccid stance!!

  12. March 8, 2014 at 9:18 am

    janus :

    Christina, I think the EU’s flaccid stance (oxymoron?) is attributable to the fact that some EU states have little local difficulties of their own. Take the Basque country and ETA’s demands. If the Crimea can demand independence from Ukraine, why not?

    I’ve been amused too by Putin’s dismissal of the wet Kerry as ‘not involved’ in the real decisions.

    I predict the outcome will be
    a) no sanctions gainst Russia
    b) Crimea becomes Russian
    c) Ukraine becomes a quasi-EU-member.

    Was it worth all the trouble?

    I fully agree with your prediction Janus.

  13. March 8, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Good morning Christina. I have been a bit out of it this week, in Spain, trying to plaster my garage ceiling without getting more than 50% on my head and shoulders. I failed.
    Consequently I have only seen snippets of the news through the week, but gradually began to form exactly the same opinion that you have blogged here.
    There is becoming far too much hypocrisy within the western policies. Putin is gradually taking the high ground on this event.

  14. sheona
    March 8, 2014 at 9:58 am

    I read somewhere that Russia is actually constructing a new naval base for itself on the Black Sea, at Novorossisk near Sochi. It would presumably want to hang on to Sevastopol until the new one is ready. Its Black Sea fleet is described as “modest” and “ageing”, but taking the long-term view Russia could be looking to build new ships for its new port.

  15. Four-eyed English Genius
    March 8, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Regarding the referendums (da?) it is obvious that the current “government” of Crimea think they know what the result would be and want such a result. (I am not so sure myself). Also, the UK government also know what the result of an In/Out vote would be and, most decidedly, do not want that result, hence the reluctance to hold such a referendum. Maybe, if UKIP do well enough in the upcoming EU elections, they may have to change their tune.

  16. March 8, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    Four-eyed English Genius :

    Regarding the referendums (da?) it is obvious that the current “government” of Crimea think they know what the result would be and want such a result. (I am not so sure myself). Also, the UK government also know what the result of an In/Out vote would be and, most decidedly, do not want that result, hence the reluctance to hold such a referendum. Maybe, if UKIP do well enough in the upcoming EU elections, they may have to change their tune.

    Aye weel, Feeg. Good evening and cards on the table time.

    I am at one with CO in one respect. The fact that the USSR gifted Crimea to the Ukranian SSR in 1956 does not make it Ukranian unless the majority of the denizens therein want it to be And they clearly do not.

    Anything else is a bridge too far and Russian annexation of any other part of the Ukraine should be opposed in any way we can

    Moving on and here comes the grief. However well UKIP do or do not do in May , you will have your In/Out referendum, whether or not we (the Conservatives) win the next election. We will have the referendum as promised on our part and both Labour and the Lib Dems will have to do it as well because it is an ongoing boil which has to be lanced.

    The end result will be that we will vote to stay in the EU. In my opinion.

  17. March 9, 2014 at 7:00 am

    JM, of course but by then you (Scottish Conservative) may not be part of the UK at all but an outcast in an open boat!

  18. Four-eyed English Genius
    March 9, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Hi JM. I agree about the annexation of Crimea to Ukraine by Kruschev, a stupid idea. But while many Crimeans want to return to Russia, I am not sure that a majority do, unless the BBC are being very selective in their interviews (which of course is not impossible). As regards an EU referendum, I think you underestimate the mendacity of the LibLabCon leaders. I would not trust any of them for a second.

  19. christinaosborne
    March 16, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    What a terrible shame that the Russians have descended into their traditional demagogic heavy handedness!
    They could have/would have won this without such intimidatory practices.
    There should have been the option of a third choice on the ballot, ie maintenance of status quo. As it is, too many will veto the plebiscite which leaves the result open to question.
    Shame, not the way to go.
    I can see somewhat similar tactics being employed should the UK ever get to vote on the EU. Limited options of choice and such convoluted questions as to easily register an error of choice, especially if the Conservatives get to compose the questions!

  20. March 17, 2014 at 7:15 am

    The ayes have it – 95.5%! Believe that if you like!

  21. christinaosborne
    March 17, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Actually I do.
    The Russians make up nearly 70% of the population.
    Most of the rest, Tatars 12%, and Ukrainians 20% chose to boycott the poll.
    There was no need to bother to fiddle it.
    Did you know that the Russian benefits are over double those of the Ukrainians? One of the lures thrown out by Putin. Also all official jobs are to be paid much higher wages in line with Russia.

  22. March 17, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Janus: It can happen, the short fat person was recently re-elected in North Korea (I don’t care what it is really called) with a bare 100% of the vote. Some footage here showed the polling, the voting places lined with military, each voter given one piece of paper having one name on it and told to drop it in the slot. Free and fair, Communist style.

  23. March 17, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    🙂

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