Dance of the oligarchs

First, the quote of the day:

“…will parties in the USA (including Obama camp “progressives”) stop cheerleading for a showdown over this hapless doormat of a faraway nation (Ukraine) whose destiny is not entwined with the people of Ohio, Nebraska, Rhode Island, or any of the other fifty states? We have enough to do in our own country to adjust to the new realities of the unraveling turbo-industrial global economy — and, by the way, we are not doing a damn thing to address any of it. Our domestic political conversation at all levels is juvenile and idiotic.”

This plea is all the more appropriate because the call for resurrecting the Cold War over whether or not those who identify themselves as Russian can live as part of Russia has absolutely nothing to do with vital principles. It is all about two groups of uber-rich, dynastic oligarchs vying for power on the world stage, using their less fortunate countrymen as cannon fodder. Americans don’t like to think of their nation as being politically on a par with Russia, but perhaps it’s time to face some facts.

* It’s easy to agree that Vladimir Putin and his inner circle have empowered and enriched himself through cronyism. So what makes them different from, say, Harry Reid, who is amazingly wealthy despite a life allegedly spent in ‘public service?”

* Russia’s internal security forces, descendants of the Cheka and KGB, are often highlighted for failing to protect basic human rights. So what makes their stereotypical “midnight knock on the door” different from the thousands of “no-knock raids” conducted by America’s trigger-happy SWAT teams?

* Russia is decried for using the leverage of its natural gas wealth to achieve favorable concessions and relations from other countries. I suppose this kind of subtlty looks diabolical when your own nation prefers to engineer “regime changes,” sometimes via outright invasion.

Sting once sang “the only hope for me and you, is if the Russians love their children, too.” It works both ways. Parents in neither country should be willing to send their children off to war simply to play ‘a game of thrones’ between the Pampered Princes of the Potomac and the Kings of the Kremlin. War has ever been ‘the health of the State,’ and the last thing we need are more manufactured crises that feed Leviathan. Rather than let these elites divide us with the ploy of “let’s you and him fight,” we’d be better served using whatever outrage we have to set our own houses in order.

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