ㄥ & 7 = Z
2022-1945 = 77 (years)
Zapad -> West.
As with that other now infamous symbol, “9/11”, Putin’s world appears to delight in rich metonymy: “911” emergency call number in the United States; “9/11/1877”–Felix Dzerzhinsky’s birth date. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, we have had yet another cruel symbolic ‘joke’ from Moscow’s most criminal mind: “Z”.
So far, KGB Putin has driven his “Z” into ideologically westward Ukraine only to see armored columns destroyed time and again while sending into battle ill-trained poorly equipped troops who may rightfully consider themselves “cannon fodder”. The rest is numbers.
Putin’s goal in his malign narcissistic fashion: the imprint in Russian popular memory of his courageous-heroic image–a projection covering fear of his own humiliation, which, ironically, he is now handily creating himself with the useful idiots one might call his enablers; also and still related to his narcissism and all the more criminal for it, his own restoration but viewed in the reflection of restored empire starting with the Soviet “Near Abroad”.
The Damaged West
In the 9/11 narrative, the Russian side has Zawahiri “detained” over the winter of 1996/7. Whatever the American story might be, i.e., hapless blundering while the crews got themselves through jet flying school or the “9/11 Truth” argument, the event put Radical Islam on America’s collective cognitive map–or let’s just call into its “enhanced political perception”–and created a patriotic wake-up that headed full throttle toward the “New Nationalism” that would help along the autocratic, narcissistic, xenophobic campaign that would boost Donald Trump’s ascent to power in 2016. In foreign affairs, the same and similar Muslim-identified terror attacks would ease the way for Erdogan’s archaic autocratic consolidation, Le Pen’s prominence in France (with Putin’s approval and possibly his assistance as well), and Orban’s methodical retrograde reactionary degrading of democracy in Hungary. Even though Russia’s invasion of Ukraine–and the perhaps unintended elevation of Volodymyr Zelensky as a Churchillian world-class leader in time of war–brought the Atlantic Alliance to its feet with its hands reaching for the check books, the most familiar indices of nation strength, i.e., political cohesion and coherence, have been altered.
Toward Western Political Repair and Russia’s Liberation From Tyranny
At this time, a year of war in Europe, mass displacements and migration, and the confrontation with Moscow’s evil have strengthened western resolve, and if the Russian Mafia State is not to drain patience and treasuries by drawing out its war, which might be for Putin & Nefarious Company just another “Frozen Conflict”, the whole will have to methodically degrade and hollow out from within Tsar Nobody’s domain with hope that more noble forces presently intimidated and suffocated by Putin’s manipulations will find their way back to daylight and embark on a path of their own toward greater integrity and responsibility in modern governance.
While NATO works up its own broad-spectrum defense capability-in-response, EU/NATO constituencies may wish to revisit Russian Political Absolutism and secret police state history from the Imperial to Bolshevik to Putin eras and ask how so much power could possibly be wrapped into such myopic and small nut balls. Perhaps where force has worked in relation to domestic order in the past it now primarily inspires contempt and resentment (as it should).
Today’s West should have no place for Tsar Nobody or anyone like him.
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