This blog first appeared in DelawareLiberal on April 26, by ProgressivePopulist
Ok, Vladimir. Enough of the belligerence. Crimea was an outrage and
eastern Ukraine doubly so. So was Georgia. Speaking for myself and
possibly millions of my fellow Americans, we don't want a renewal of one
of our worst mutual eras, the Cold War.
Many of us admire and
envy your history and culture. In particular, your nation's
demonstrated willingness to change and try to improve. Take your 20th
century revolution, for example. You set aside many centuries of brutal
oppression by your Tsars, turned them out and tried a grand experiment.
so communism didn't serve its intended purpose and became oppressive in
its own right. But one of my hero's, Mikhail Gorbachev, had the
courage to admit it wasn't working and instituted in the same century a
second major reform, Glasnost and Perestroika. We're still waiting here
for needed reforms to the failures of our economic system, capitalism.
The world and many American's hailed his guts and balls. And many
members of your Union appreciated the autonomy Mikhail and his team gave
them, though it has been a rough transition for many. You can be
admired like that too. Through fear? Not so much.
Yes, a few
mistakes were made along that path, including bringing over American's
best and brightest consultants from such institutions as Wharton and
Harvard to result in privatization moves that created a Russian
oligarchy of insiders that has become the envy of our own oligarchs.
now, your mimicry of our own history of imperialistic overreach stuns
the imagination. For that matter, the mimicry of your own overreach in
the closing days of our grand partnership in WWII in eastern Europe
causes one to wonder about why we both fail to learn the lessons of
history which have so much to teach us both. That imperialism doesn't
work for anybody.
Let's not do this. We shouldn't make your feel
hemmed in and caught in a vise with our NATO alliance. You shouldn't
begin recreating your Union in response to that vise. Let's get
together and loosen the vise and work out mutually autonomous
partnerships in that region and grow the economic pie for everyone's
Look, there's alot of admiration over here for your huge
contributions to humanity and culture. Your ballet and classical music
has made the world a better place. As have your brilliant
contributions to science, architecture and art. And your willingness to
end our nuclear campaigns of mutual terror.
We should have
learned from your admission that Afghanistan was unfixable. And many of
us here are grateful for your strategic brokerage in Syria to retire
their chemical stockpile without blasting an already ruined populace off
the face of the earth.
Vladimir, cut Pussy Riot and the gay
community there some slack. There's much creative energy for building
your democracy pent up with these folks, just waiting to be unleashed
for good. Just as I, as an atheist admire your country's willingness to
allow the Orthodox Church to surface from the underground and serve
some of your people who seem to need them, Russia will not be harmed by
political dissidents and those with lifestyles which you might not
understand. You're better than that. Hopefully, we are too.
I have an idea. Let's put all this crap aside and form a partnership
to address the imminent catastrophe of climate change. Let's together
lead a new Union of enlightened countries possessing passionate
survival instincts and use our scientific resources to redirect our huge
energy interests toward limiting carbon dependence and assure our
planet of clean air and water.