Friday, February 28, 2014

The Ukrainian revolution

So a mob has overthrown the elected government in the Ukraine, a move at least passively supported by the U.S., whose media talking heads are cheering for the rebels. The U.S. wants to weaken Russia by taking the Ukraine away from it and putting it in the EU. As LRC's Michael Rozeff says, neither Russia nor the Ukraine are threats to America; they're not Communist anymore, remember? Anyway, as happens with American-driven coups, the results might not be what the U.S. government wants. Good. It seems these are anti-Soviet right-wing nationalists, culturally conservative Slavs like the Russians.

American opinion from those who care seems to be that liberals, neocons, and well-meaning conservative Catholics support the rebels, remembering the Cold War and the heroic Ukrainian Catholic Church surviving underground for 40 years. Real conservatives like Putin's Russia, non-Communist and anti-liberal. I like Russia too for those reasons, but really this calls for common sense. The eastern and southern Ukraine are historic parts of the Russian heartland; let them go back. I would have counted Kiev as Russian too but apparently they want independence. That's their business. I fear for the Ukrainian Catholic Church, whose home is the far west that Stalin stole during World War II, as they're outnumbered in a secular country with a big Orthodox minority; not sure if they'd fare best in one independent Ukraine or in their own country with Lvov as the capital.

Also, there's the Catholic big picture of corporate reunion with Russian Orthodoxy, even though they want next to nothing to do with us for the foreseeable future. They are obviously an estranged part of us. Going after Russia to try to help the Ukrainian Catholics works against that.

I'm a legitimist — Putin and Yanukovych are the authorities — and born Orthodox get the benefit of the doubt, so for the Russian homeland, Orthodoxy.

The Kyiv Patriarchate schism from Orthodoxy is jockeying to be the state or at least the national church. They're friendly with the Ukrainian Catholic Church for their nationalism vs. Russia but I wonder if that would last if they got their way. They might not; most of the Ukraine, like Russia, is secular with a lot of very nominal Orthodox. The U.S.-backed former president Yushchenko belongs to the KP. The legitimate Orthodox church there is Russian.

And if a mob can take over the government in Kiev, reason the Russian majority in the Crimea who never wanted to be in the Ukraine, why can’t they in Simferopol? There's a patriotic song in Russia about the Black Sea fleet choosing to remain Russian after Ukrainian independence: that day the ships flew the Russian navy flag with St. Andrew's cross. Let them go back.

Dreher writes that, considering all the pipelines running through the Ukraine, Putin is a rational actor. (Right. He’s not stupid.)

Anyway, not our fight. Pat Buchanan, a historic American conservative for peace since the Cold War ended, is right: we should cut it out.


  1. I'll be curious to see your thoughts on the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurance, vis. this developing situation.

  2. Good post which I mostly agree with.

  3. actually crimea historically belongs to the turks therefore they should have it. i pray for the day when the hispanics in the american southwest decided they have had enough and Mexico sends in it's military overnight to texas, california, new mexico and arizona to liberate it for la raza... the "native" anglo-saxons are just going to have to accept and live with it. i suppose out of convenience the anglo-saxons can have northern california even though it should belong to mexico

    the ukrainian revolution has to do with the people sick of being in a state of utter poverty while the politicians are corrupt millionaire capitalists who siphon and steal tax revenue (either directly or through phony contracts) so they can live like czars - the ex-felon currently cowering behind putin had numerous mansions funded with money stolen from the people on former park land "sold" to him by his underling cronies in the government for practically nothing. they make american politicians like harry reid and pelosi look like model citizens

    1. Mexico doesn't want the American Southwest. They just want their excess peasantry in the American Southwest.

      Also, your history is rather abbreviated. The US took the sparsely-populated southwest from the Mexicans, who had previously declared independence from their Spanish emperor, who originally took it from the Indigenous, who periodically fought vicious battles over territory. (Which is why the terrified Pueblos carved out holes in the rock high above the ground.)

  4. I just hope that Putin and the rest of Eastern Europe's politicians have enough sense to apply Hanlon's Razor when they try to understand the motivations of the US State department.

    "[N]ot sure if they'd fare best in one independent Ukraine or in their own country with Lvov as the capital."

    I'm not sure what the proper ethnoreligious border would be, but I imagine that would probably turn out to be a landlocked country? History generally isn't kind to small countries with no access to the sea, particularly flat and open ones with few natural defenses (why Switzerland hasn't been invaded since Napoleon, but much of Eastern Europe has been invaded by practically everybody).

    The most logical solution seems to be some kind of alliance of non-Russian Eastern European states that can counterbalance Russian power while avoiding overdependence on the feckless and unreliable West, but it's hard to see a politically palatable way to cobble one together- the last attempt was Pilsudski's proposed Międzymorze federation (basically just a resurrection of the old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth as it had existed before the Swedes invaded and killed everybody). It flopped because all the neighbors saw it (probably correctly) as a Polish power grab. Still, in retrospect, playing second fiddle to pushy Polish nationalists would probably have been a better fate than being invaded by the Germans and subsequently conquered by the Bolsheviks.

    1. yes exactly! miedzymorze would of been a much better alternative, though of course not perfect like you said. even if it had been created i doubt it would of lasted long as a state. the national democrats in poland, who were pilsudski's enemies and usually were the ones to form government thanks to infighting on the left, would have either (probably both) screwed it up completely thanks to their economics causing it to collapse or systematically enacted polonization causing it to collapse from ethnic tensions (national democrats were hardcore ultranationalists based out of the western polish areas that before 1918 had been the german empire and the austrian south. their policies were responsible for the polonisation campaigns against the polish east slavs living in what is today west belarus and western ukraine. my grandmother mentioned to me several times the jesuits would park themselves outside of her greek catholic church trying to convert them to the latin rite)

      an east european version of the eu to counter both the decadent west and the neo-imperialist russians would of been ideal. at the end of the cold war there was talk among polish and ukrainian intelligentsia of forming a new "miedzymorze" or loose commonwealth unfortunately russia made several errors in the handling of the dismemberment of the ussr that freaked the polish to lean hard towards west germany and thatcher made a critical mistake of wanting ex communist bloc countries in the eu thinking it would counter the "united states of europe" statist types

  5. There's a highway running from Kiev to Odessa. I think the Russians should do a deal with Belarus and enter from the north, do a blitzkreig down that highway and declare it the border. Anyone who wants to live in the new West Ukraine could go there and have their property bought by the state. Anyone wanting to live in Ukraine itself should be allowed to come in. Immediate elections for a new Ukrainian government. Present Ukrainian forces should be allowed to choose a place to be. West Ukraine could have access to the sea west of Odessa guaranteed by Russia.

  6. "I'm a legitimist — Putin and Yanukovych are the authorities"

    No. If you're a legitimist, Empress Maria Vladimirovna and Emperor Karl II (in the West--Lviv/Lemberg is a Habsburg city) are the authorities.

  7. Anonymous5:28 pm

    I think your knowledge of Ukrainian history is skewed. How, pray tell, can you classify Eastern and Southern Ukraine as historically Russian regions? No legitimate Eastern European historian would agree with you on that one, that is, unless you believe that such rights are conferred by means of forces occupation.

  8. My take on it here Some observations on the Ukraine crisis | Notes from underground for what it's worth -- perhaps not that much different from yours.


Leave comment