28 April, 2014


It’s like one of those Hollywood movie scenes. The protagonist and antagonist, locked in death, falling off a highrise. Neither one will let go, and neither one is going to survive the crash.

I’m talking of the USA and Russia. They both appear to be in free fall, economically. Each time an American publication reports gleefully that Russia’s foreign investors have fled, another sober news item comes out saying that Standard and Poor’s, Dow Jones and Nasdaq are not doing so well either. Tech stocks have crashed. Amazon is down. Visa and Mastercard have lost out once the Russians started to use other methods to transfer money. And so on.

In an interlinked world, a conflict hurts all parties involves. We saw that in the Nepal civil conflict—everybody was hurt, especially economically. Nobody wins a war in these days, they just “manage” the conflict and get out of it with great bruises that they try to nurse over the next few decades.

As for the Ukraine, it should read up on a little known conflict in the Himalayas, since it reflects on their current situation in rather prescient ways. The Khampas were (and are) a warlike Tibetan people who lived in Mustang, in the Nepalese border between Tibet and Nepal. The CIA started to train them to fight the Chinese. This operation was codenamed “ST Circus”. Then there was an abrupt about face, and the CIA dropped the fighters like hot coals. Here’s the quotes from www.friendsoftibet.org: 

Then, in early 1969, the agency abruptly cut off all support. The CIA explained that one of the main conditions the Chinese had set for establishing diplomatic relations with the US was to stop all connections and all assistance to the Tibetans. Says Roger McCarthy, an ex-CIA man, 'It still smarts that we pulled out in the manner we did.' 

Thinley Paljor, a surviving resistance fighter, was among the thousands shattered by this volte-face. 'We felt deceived, we felt our usefulness to the CIA is finished. They were only thinking short-term for their own personal gain, not for the long-term interests of the Tibetan people.'

The USA has become engaged in a covert proxy war against Russia via the Ukraine, it’s clear. It is also clear it was started by the USA, and natural gas, and the need to control the supply of energy to Europe, appears to be a key reason for starting this war. But as with all its conflicts, it’s clear the USA will be spending enormous amounts of money fighting a war it can’t win. Russia can only delay and obstruct, at this point. And its never going to give up its ground advantage on its home territory.  

The Ukraine, caught in the middle, is going to be hardest hit. The Europeans will make appropriate noises but in the end, it is beneficial to them to remain friends with all sides. They don’t want to lose their cheap gas and they don’t want to destabilize Europe. Which means the Ukraine’s going to end up at some point realizing its economy has been shattered, it’s relationship with its neighbor is destroyed, and its benefactor USA has fled when its time to drop a messy conflict. Possibly that moment will come right around the USA’s next elections.

As for the Ukraine becoming part of Europe, clearly whoever’s making that call is wearing rose-colored glasses. Culturally the Ukraine is part of Russia. All one needs to observe are the beautiful Russian/Ukrainian/Lithuanian beauties, who all look like tall and gorgeous models, desperately in love with short and balding Italian/French lovers who treat them with unstinting suspicions, to realize this is one relationship where never the twain shall meet.

The Ukraine needs to take a deep breath and go back to the negotiating table, keeping open the possibility that the enemy might be a friend, and the friend could turn out to be an enemy. (See, you all knew this was just a disguised Buddhist lecture posturing as a blog post on the Ukraine.)

PS: I do have to add that while I would love to have Russians and Ukrainians read my "Global and Local" blog, they seem to prefer reading my literary works. So here's the link to "The Fiction of Truth, The Truth of Fiction", in case someone wants to read it:

No comments: