Note and update 5/22/2017: BackChannels has trusted UA Position but hasn’t seen second source corroboration on the Crimea story. Source seems to be Crimean Tatar via
Related by Euromaidan Press and published in April 2017:
An alarmist announcement in one publication associated with the justifiable want of sympathy in the maw of an invading force encourages doubt; however, as noted immediately below and in patched-in sections, open source headlines and reports suggest Russia has been revitalizing once abandoned Cold War Era assets in Crimea.
Within the past year:
November 2016: http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/727788/Russia-Vladimir-Putin-Crimea-missile-bunkers-Soviet-Cold-War-global-attack-Nato-Ukraine – “Putin renovates Cold War Missile Bunkers in Crimea as Russia prepares for global assault.”
Again: has Moscow really planted nuclear missiles in Crimea?
This note comes from the Federation of American Scientists and comments on similar web claims dating back to 2014:
The news media and private web sites are full of rumors that Russia has deployed nuclear weapons to Crimea after it invaded the region earlier this year. Many of these rumors are dubious and overly alarmist and ignore that a nuclear-capable weapon is not the same as a nuclear warhead.
Several U.S. lawmakers who oppose nuclear arms control use the Crimean deployment to argue against further reductions of nuclear weapons. NATO’s top commander, U.S. General Philip Breedlove, has confirmed that Russian forces “capable of being nuclear” are being moved to the Crimean Peninsula, but also acknowledged that NATO doesn’t know if nuclear warheads are actually in place.
Nuclear arms agreements may have comfort the public of an earlier day, but ambiguity would seem to bedevil the field.
From BackChannels’ open source perspective, there are no authoritative or official sources or statements. What appears in the chronologically ordered headlines, however, suggests a course in the redevelopment of Cold War Era military facilities.
A few twists and turns further and the driver pulled over to the side of the road. He was saying something about a monastery, and pointing to a series of blue roofs that rose up above the trees ahead of us. Presumably, it was the only viable tourist destination that he could think of in this vicinity. He seemed friendly enough, so I risked blowing our cover – leaning forward to say, “Objekt Dva-Dva-Adin.”
Our driver laughed, repeated the name of the colossal ruin, once a well kept military secret, and turned the car around.
It is a functioning military base with an anti-ship missile system,” the villager told a Reuters reporter who visited the area in July.
The bunkers are just one small part of a new Russian programme to militarise the Crimean peninsula. Based on recent site observations by Reuters, accounts from locals, media reports and official Russian data, Moscow has reanimated multiple Soviet-built facilities in the region, built new bases and stationed soldiers there
I had started this separate post last night, but as things may move fast in Crimea and Syria — readers may wish also to take a look at Russia’s cash position as regards funding its aggression and barbarism against the autonomous, democratic, or western-leaning states of its surrounding world — this brief referencing may as well ride along on the same because, essentially, the material is about the same thing: Moscow’s brandishing its biggest gun, i.e., the threat of nuclear exchange and all that may follow it.
Chess pieces, demonstrations, exercises, sales, and threats — there’s a mix of prudence and evil that seeps down into the economies of all Big Defense Production states, but Moscow has placed itself in the desperate position of wanting to produce a primary defense industry even while Russians suffer from the funds siphoned away for its foreign ambitions and apparently natural kleptocratic tendencies.
Putin is allocating unprecedented amounts of secret funds to accelerate Russia’s largest military buildup since the Cold War, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The part of the federal budget that is so-called black — authorized but not itemized — has doubled since 2010 to 21 percent and now totals 3.2 trillion rubles ($60 billion), the Gaidar Institute, an independent think tank in Moscow, estimates.
Stung by sanctions over Ukraine and oil’s plunge, Putin is turning to defense spending to revive a shrinking economy. The outlays on new tanks, missiles and uniforms highlight the growing militarization that is swelling the deficit and crowding out services such as health care. Thousands of army conscripts will be moved into commercial enterprises for the first time to aid in the rearmament effort.
The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), Illinois Division, joins our fellow Americans, our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, and friends of Ukraine throughout the world, in condemning Putin’s military aggression in Ukraine. October 14 has been designated as a day of protest, calling upon the world community to “Stop Putin – Stop the War in Ukraine.”
Russian military formations and their surrogates, including advanced weapons systems, continue to pour into the Donbas region, in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian defense forces and the civilian population along the war zone are subjected to incessant shelling – over 10,000 have died, thousands more wounded and over 1.8 million have been driven from their homes.
Therefore, we appeal to President Obama and to the international community to force Putin to stop the killing.
There are many look-ups cogent to looking over “Crimea, Ukraine, Russia,” starting with “hybrid warfare” and perhaps ending with “frozen conflicts”.
NATO appears so far reactive as regards the Russian investment in low-level fighting with artillery (and observation drones) in Crimea. It has met the Russian presence with its own presence, but it has left to Ukrainian forces the mounting of resistance to Russian aggression.
So far, so good.
However, as Bashar al-Assad continues his destruction of Syria — in that immense piece of political theater this blog has referred to as “Assad vs The Terrorists” — pressure may mount in Moscow to “prove” through force its cooked-up narrative for Ukraine while Russia herself continues descending into economic misery — and as regards that misery –
What follows is simply the morning’s compilation of background source material in reverse chronological order.
Ukrainian news website Liga, citing sources from the Ukrainian delegation, reported that during the meeting in Berlin, Poroshenko grew tired of Putin’s insistence on elections and raised his voice, declaring, “No, you should just stop shooting.”
Posted to YouTube by Vice News, October 5, 2016.
They are creeping across all of Europe; for the time being, they wear suits and, instead of sinking of boats, they use propaganda and espionage, money and servants who help them destroy democracy and freedom. Yet we don’t want them here; we are returning the green men back. It is not possible to overlook the dangers and ignore the crimes committed by Putin. It is not possible to forget the thousands of dead Chechnyans and Georgians, the theft of Crimea and the thousands of dead Ukrainians; it is not possible to ignore the war crimes committed in Syria. It isn’t possible to ignore the despotism exercised against the political prisoners in Russia, be they committed against Russian citizens or against abducted foreigners, such as Nadezhda Savchenko and Oleg Sentscov. Hundreds of thousands of dead, with some – like Nemtsov or Litvinenko – known by their name, but others just grey dead faces on photographs documenting the crimes of Putin, Kadyrov and al-Assad. Putin, take your little green men back, stop waging wars and occupying territories, supporting other dictators and oppressing your own nation.
Posted to YouTube by oMen oMen, March 15, 2016.
Posted to YouTube by Caspian Report Aug. 17, 2016.
For Moscow, perhaps more than ever, image drives perception and perception is reality.
As Putin flexes Russia’s renewed international political and military presence, a brief look at the character of the same seems in order.
Baghdadi’s organization has provided Assad with the excuse wanted for depopulating and leveling his state; it has given Putin something ugly to throw westward; and it serves now as a hornet’s nest somewhat defined in space and useful for demonstrating Moscow’s latest in military prowess and technology.
Russia’s stand in Syria — now that Iraq’s no longer a Russian client state and Libya has similarly disappeared in that regard — has become remarkable for the hardware, technology, and troops allocated to “The Terrorists” (while apparently hitting also hospitals —
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/22/three-syrian-hospitals-bombed-since-russian-airstrikes-began-doctors-say – 10/22/2015 | http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/31/wave-of-russian-air-strikes-on-syrian-hospitals-leaves-60-dead/ – 5/31/2016 | http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-civil-war-assad-russia-air-strikes-deaths-bombing-hospitals-idlib-maternity-clinic-babies-a7163691.html – 7/30/2016 | https://www.amnesty.org/en/press-releases/2016/03/syrian-and-russian-forces-targeting-hospitals-as-a-strategy-of-war/ – 3/3/2016
Russophiles “rescued” by Russia’s incursions in Crimea appear to be learning about their true status as “protected” subjects: prices are soaring while their rubles lose value and their earnings remain flat.
Russia, having also and apparently won over Erdogan into fulfilling his destiny as Turkey’s next presumptive sultan and guardian of the Moscow-enabled “Turkish Stream” Gas-to-Europe energy delivery system, has also demonstrated the chutzpah of asking permission to use the airbase at Incirlik — as NATO forces now do — for running sorties against ISIL targets in Syria. President Erdogan assented, not that Putin needs those runways at this moment.
It should be clear by now that every “Allahu Akbar Attack” prods a reflexive nationalism.
Add the refugees pouring out of Syria and flowing into Europe and other potential hosting space, and the backlash forms around a new xenophobia.
The gates and fences go up, first in the form of “defense leagues” and later in potential policy. BackChannels credits the Soviet / post-Soviet style incubation and later “deployment” of ISIL with goading a brief majority of Brits into separating the island state from the main traffic in commerce and politics associated with the continent.
This excerpt comes from the Free Beacon article published last week and cited in the “Links” section of this post:
Russia is engaged in a major buildup of strategic nuclear forces, building new missiles, submarines, and bombers. A State Department report on Russian activities under the New START arms treaty stated in the spring that Moscow added 153 strategic nuclear warheads to its arsenal under the treaty.
The increase in warheads is said to be the result of the deployment of new SS-27 Mod 2 intercontinental ballistic missiles with multiple warheads and SS-N-32 submarine-launched missiles.
We might haggle about missile defenses in Poland and Romania, but Russian efforts in the field may be focused on defeating NATO’s nuclear defenses, and that according to Putin’s own statements about related nuclear balance of power.
For all such statements made — fighting the terrorists in Syria; co-opting Turkey against its European and NATO interests; spooking the Brits out of the EU; and redeveloping the nuclear-obsessed Cold War mentality, Putin may nonetheless be working with a low stack of financial chips. Even though he may offset that with appeals to blood-and-soil nationalism and related sacrifice, one wonders how much room for play he has with the oligarchs who may be expected to pay either for ambitions now or their aftermath later.
A glance at posts like this one and its sources also suggests that while Putin has indeed brought Russia to its feet with the immense theatrical prowess that produces both the Winter Olympics at Sochi and the spectacle of a ruined Syria, it’s the latter on which Russians, poor or wealthy, connected or well outside the system of patronage, and “Russophones” in the “Russian near abroad” may wish to dwell.
Related: https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/experts-proclaim-lost-decade-for-russias-stagnating-economy-55039 & http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/21/russian-stocks-boosted-by-stabilizing-economy-may-surprise-analysts.html
MOSCOW — Russia flexed its muscles again over Syria on Friday, for the first time launching cruise missiles at targets from warships in the Mediterranean Sea days after beginning bombing runs from a base in Iran.
Taken together, the new military moves appeared to be a demonstration that Russia has the ability to strike from virtually all directions in a region where it has been reasserting its power — from Iran, from warships in the Caspian Sea, from its base in the Syrian coastal province of Latakia and now from the Mediterranean.
“Russian doctrine states that tactical nuclear weapons may be used in a conventional response scenario,” Scaparrotti said on July 27. “This is alarming and it underscores why our country’s nuclear forces and NATO’s continues to be a vital component of our deterrence.”
Mark Schneider, a former Pentagon nuclear policy official, said Russia’s new national security strategy, which was made public in December, discusses increasing civil defenses against nuclear attack, an indication Moscow is preparing for nuclear war.
Ankara has given Russia the go-ahead to use its Incirlik air base for operations in Syria, though no official request from Moscow to use the strategic military facility has been made, Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday.
More than two years after Russia annexed Crimea and promised its 2 million people a better life, residents say prices have soared, wages and pensions have stagnated and tourists have fled.
The sunny and mountainous Black Sea peninsula is back in the news, with Russian President Vladimir Putin accusing Kiev of sending infiltrators across the border to wreck its industry. But locals say the damage has already been done by Moscow’s neglect.
Over the last week, the number of heavy weapons deployed near the front lines in eastern Ukraine has doubled, part of a pattern of Russia ramping up its military presence in the region throughout the summer. An estimated 40,000 soldiers have been stationed there, on top of aircraft and the anti-missile defense system.
All of this has been stoking fears Russia could be planning another invasion, two years after it formally annexed Crimea, as peace talks crumble. It’s Putin’s first visit to the territory since March.
The Russian military has test fired the short-range nuclear-capable 9K720 Iskander-M (NATO reporting name SS-26 Stone) ballistic missile during a large-scale military exercise in Russia’s Far East this week, according to local media reports.
September and October — flak jackets on and hunker down: We’ll have the election in November; Putin will have more assembled in Syria and Crimea and, in general, who knows what on behalf of the world’s other dictators; Erdogan will have sorted out Turkey HIS way with NATO at this moment deeply compromised by dissolving or near dissolving of the Turkish military (accompanied by the rise of a Turkish police state). As weakness invites war, expect “fireworks” this fall.
I don’t want to shout “the sky is falling too often”, but just this once, take a look at the total state of foreign affairs. American appears to be between presidents and the politics are hardly bringing us together.
These “rigs” in relationships have survived the Obama Administration: Putin-Assad-Khamenei; Putin-Orban; Putin-Erdogan.
The Russian Army claiming retreat in Syria has instead ramped up its basing and technology there; in Crimea, it still has Ukrainians fighting one another while Russian Orthodox Christians in the state march on Kiev. In the west, its “investment” in ISIS has paid off handsomely as goading populations toward or into defensive nationalist postures themselves. “BREXIT” was not a win for the UK or Europe: it was helpful to Russia in its efforts to destabilize the region, i.e., weaken its enemies. Or, taken this other way, because it thinks so much of itself — superior Russian soul and culture and all that — the manipulation proves to itself its own mastery over the world.
Russia’s message has changed with revolution and dissolution, but perhaps its medieval essentials have not: secret police, an all powerful head of state, a patronized aristocracy: they are all there on this day. And those who might take advantage of heightened east-west, medieval-modern, despotic-democratic tensions breaking out into conflict, they’re getting into position.
Even sitting at a desktop with few distractions (from political chatter, at last), once cannot “cover it all” — not China in the South China Sea, not North Korea, which has effectively updated its war footing with Washington, not Syria, not Crimea. Overviewed, however, an image seems to emerge. For BackChannels, it has been that of accentuation or amplification along Red, Brown, and Green — Old Communists, New Nationalists, and Islamists — lines sufficient to weaken the west and make way for the greater establishment of authoritarian / despotic governance and all that may be implied by that.
Crimean Tatars had just ended their Friday prayers and were rounded up en masse. With no suggestion that anybody was suspected of an offence, the raid, by men with machine guns, can only be called an overt attempt to terrorize Crimean Muslims. This is not the first such act of primitive intimidation, with at least one of the previous occasions making it quite clear that the Russian occupation regime is targeting Crimean Tatars in general.
Source: Russia steps up terror offensive with armed raid on mosque in Occupied Crimea :: khpg.org – Reported May 7, 2016.
The above cited article will go on to note the following: “Attacks on people who have just left Friday prayers is both intimidation and part of the mounting campaign by Russia as occupying force to treat Crimean Tatars as ‘extremists’. / 10 Crimean Muslims are currently in detention facing ‘terrorism’ charges for alleged involvement in an organization – Hizb ut-Tahrir – which only Russia and Uzbekistan have banned.”
From the top, Wikipedia’s description: “Hizb ut-Tahrir (Arabic: حزب التحرير Ḥizb at-Taḥrīr; Party of Liberation) is a radical, international, pan-Islamic political organisation, which describes its “ideology as Islam”, and its aim as the re-establishment of “the Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate)” or Islamic state. The new caliphate would unify the Muslim community (Ummah) in a unitary (not federal) “superstate” of unified Muslim-majority countries spanning from Morocco in West Africa to the southern Philippines in East Asia.
From the military perspective promulgated by Global Security: “The group claims to be a political party that proceeds with nonviolent means and whose ideology is Islam. Its objectives are strictly political, and its main goal is to topple an existing regime to resurrect the caliphate with structures and conditions similar to the ones of early 7th century Islam. The proposed Islamic state will be responsible for transforming society in a united Ummah, and for spreading the word of Islam throughout the world. Hizb ut-Tahrir rejects modern, secular state structures and democracy as things that are ‘man-made, humanly derived, and un-Islamic,’ and, therefore, it does not participate in any secular electoral processes. However, Hizb ut- Tahrir does not reject modern technology and its advantages.”
Russia and Crimean Tatars share a brutal history, much of it condensed in an article by Eric Lohr in the Religion and Politics blog (May 28, 2014):
If Russia and the Tatars are to get along, they will have to overcome not only the bitter legacy of the 1944 deportations, but also centuries of conflict. Russian Tsar Catherine the Great’s conquest of the Crimean Khanate in 1774 led to a mass emigration of Tatars to the Ottoman Empire that was encouraged by the new Russian authorities. Catherine then proceeded to distribute vast lands that had been used by Tatars for grazing to Russian, Ukrainian, German, and foreign nobles and farming communities. The Crimean war of 1853-56 spurred another mass emigration of Crimean Tatars. Memories of historical injustices run the other way too. During the three centuries when the Crimean Tatar Khanate was part of the Ottoman Empire (1478-1774), one of its primary activities was seizing captives from Russia, Ukraine, and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and selling them as slaves in the Ottoman Empire and Middle East.
In the present, Putin’s Era, labeling Russia’s overt investigation of the Crimean Tatar community and the brushing away of the Islamist taint linked to Hizb ut-Tahrir perhaps signals that disingenuous writing that would promote chaos, at least, if not evil outright under the guise of concern with liberation and human rights.
Suspicion of within-mosque association with Hizb ut-Tahrir might rightly call any number of authorities, Ukrainian no less than Russian, to alert and to action. The same may not condone The Bear’s hamfisted and often suspect methods, but it may excuse them in the interest of further explicating political drifts and their strength within so many conflicted and conflict-creating communities within Russia and within the Russian “sphere of challenge” — defined by annexations, frozen conflicts, infiltrations, information warfare, etc. — redeveloped KGB-style by Vladimir Putin.
As regards the Russia-in-Crimea act of fascist assertion and intimidation in surrounding with police a presumably peaceful mosque (“Shimmer” always applies): where is and where was the crime?
Ukrainians (a lot more than Russians) will need to know who is modern, i.e., who has become accustomed to and positively willing to embrace a world adjusted beneath the umbrella of compassionate, practical, and tolerant secular law?
Ukrainians also may wish to know who is not modern, i.e., who would embrace and reconstruct the medieval world and worldview, the same that has been on bloody display in Syria since 2011?
Midway down the left sidebar of this blog comes a bit of Jewish advice to those who would for kindness or naivete abet the designs of those inclined toward intolerance, sadism, and willfulness:
Talmud 7:16 as Quoted by Rishon Rishon in 2004
Qohelet Raba, 7:16
אכזרי סוף שנעשה אכזרי במקום רחמן
Kol mi shena`asa rahaman bimqom akhzari Sof shena`asa akhzari bimqom rahaman
All who are made to be compassionate in the place of the cruel In the end are made to be cruel in the place of the compassionate.
More colloquially translated: “Those who are kind to the cruel, in the end will be cruel to the kind.”
Online Source: http://www.rishon-rishon.com/archives/044412.php
As Halya Coynash’s writing makes the rounds, the example of that with which this post was started and titled, one may wish to keep in mind post-Soviet Russia’s deeply feudal revanch under Putin’s guidance. The “mafia state” — the same that supported the rightly deposed thug Yanukovych — has also a nationalist drive and a revived Russian Orthodox Church attached: for the want of its own greater aggrandizement and not a little criminality, Russia appears to believe it has cause to induce extremism — or more extreme response — in the path of its own habitual imperialism.
As with the delinquent fireman who sets the fire that he can put out, Russia’s state game appears to involve creating the problem (as with the incubating of ISIS in Syria) that its own “heroic” self might solve — an evil design, for sure, but if it has worked so far, and for Russia, so well, lol, in Syria, may God let it not take off in Crimea.
If the symbolic attributes of Mejlis are banned, uncertainty will prevail concerning the use of the flag of Crimean Tatars. The latter is not a symbol of Mejlis, but of all Crimean Tatars. It is used by Mejlis to represent the community’s identity.
“The decision to ban Mejlis for alleged “extremist activities” may open the way to a massive wave of prosecution of Crimean Tatars for whom Mejlis is a symbol of struggle against century long repressions,” – said Karim Lahidji, FIDH President.
*FNS: “Fast News Share” — BackChannels may be using the WordPress application “Press This” to swiftly share items of interest to its readers.
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The dueling narratives in Crimea appear to pit ethnic security against western freedom, i.e., Crimea’s Russians belong with Russia and Ukraine, so far, can go to hell.
— Russia for Russians and Russian Security in Crimea —
However, the apparent basis for Ukraine’s recent revolution appears to have been resistance to Russian domination associated with Putin’s kleptocracy, which was then signaled in the person of Viktor Yanukovych by way of his excessively self-aggrandizing spending — or, alternatively, by his setting the example of the “new nobility” assembled by “men of respect”, but, perhaps, for himself either rejecting what he might have had to do to hold his position or simply not having the power to hold it.
— Russia for Russians and Russian Security in Crimea —
— Putin’s Russia and Piratical Government in Ukraine —
Discussion of the recent Russian annexing of Crimea often seem to revolve around the legality and propriety of Putin’s initiative and not around Putin’s character. However, the imbroglio, from the intimations of revolution forward, has been about the character projected by Russia’s president’s leadership. From the new Russian Security State, one that features FSB staffing at a higher level per capita than ever achieved by the KGB to state-controlled media, from cooperation and support of the Assad-Khamenei axis, which support appears to have transformed legitimate “Arab Spring” challenge into a blood bath, to the $52 billion development effort to produce the Olympic Games at Sochi, the tone set has been that of piratical control.
If one has wished for Russia to attend to Syria as within its sphere of influence and to do so in the most aboveboard and humanitarian way, that wish may be dismissed with the chain of dictatorship having by now been made appallingly clear (and so I have made “Putin-Assad-Khamenei” a BackChannels trope).
In the Russian projection, Crimea has been made to look like its about simmering ethnic animus and divided loyalties across a large constituency.
Look again at the mansions and hunting lands acquired by Viktor Yanukovych: Crimea, by extension, turns out an argument about the validity of dictatorship, and not necessarily Putin’s dictatorship alone.
Yesterday, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen noted of President Putin the following:
Russian nationalism is an indigenous force, and Russian grievance is somewhat the same. But another leader may not have fanned either one. A non-Putin, in fact, may not have felt either emotion so intensely. Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian president and now the prime minister, probably would not have seized Crimea. Nothing about him suggests otherwise. He is no Putin.
But Putin is. The tautology has become plain. The reformer has become the uber nationalist and expansionist.
If there’s a basis for arguing the assertion untrue, one wonders what it might me. In fact, I’d go further and suggest that Cohen’s “uber nationalist and expansionist” is more than that: Putin would seem to be the dictators’ dictator, the standard bearer of a class.
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With the annexing of Crimea, Great-Leader-for-Long-Time Putin has driven himself closer to the wall that stands beneath the banner, “No Farther.” From Syria to Ukraine, the Statesman of Respect, the same that continued arms deliveries to the brutal dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad, thereby sustaining also the projection of influence paid for by the Islamic Revolution in Iran, has enjoyed and employed power at egregious cost to the humanity of the states concerned.
What have Russians gotten out of Syria other than the identification of their state with a monster?
While Crimea’s Russian contingent has obtained some measure of Slavic assurance and validation, one might ask whether as much was at all needed, and then, given former President Yanukovych’s kleptocratic display, whether ethnic vanity has not been served much at the expense of an improved economic future and peninsula-wide political stability.
The peninsula’s native population, the minority Crimean Tatars, boycotted the vote wholesale, as did many ethnic Ukrainians. Authorities have already begun asking Crimean Tatars to vacate their property; one Tatar man, who opposed the Russian takeover, has turned up dead, his body bearing marks of torture.
* * *
. . . the main thrust will be to attack Russia’s ambitions to be increasingly influential and respected in the world by freezing it out of bodies such as the G8, and projecting it as a gangster state. Russia longs for respectability and to become a super-power once more, but the Crimean adventure has scuppered that.
* * *
This bland description of what happened to the Tatars is appalling. In May 1944 the whole Tatar population of Crimea was rounded up in days and transported to gulag-style slave labour in the eastern USSR: ethnic cleansing and genocide perpetrated by Stalin against fellow Soviet citizens.
The conflicts I’ve looked over, so far, are loaded with disingenuous speech, for there is no other way to sustain a dictatorship that barrel bombs children except by lying about every facet of it, nor for that matter, is there any good way of maintaining one’s warm water naval station and kleptocracy with absolute certainty and control except by promoting and establishing the pretext for stealing it.
This blog has now a small assembly of nifty concept widgets addressing the mentality that abets and drives dictatorships.
Start with “malignant narcissism“.
It does not yet have an off button for them.
However, there is an “off button” in global political reality, and it is simply insistence on integrity in governance and related speech.
As much may be enforced by a free press, presuming the mass of it has some integrity itself, the many peccadillos of scribblers notwithstanding.
For various internal reasons — reasons known only to themselves — dictators fear honesty, starting with themselves. In their own heads, they must be great beyond imagining, and then in their social surrounds, that greatness wants its equal in validation.
Remember: the (malignant) narcissist is never wrong.
While one may wonder what enables a man to deploy — or maintain the deployment of — snipers intent on crippling children, one may go on to question the ethics and humanity of any anomic enough to keep the same interminably propped.
Comrades in crime?
But oh what crimes!
A little bribery, corruption, graft?
Those things: apologize to the public, perhaps; do some time, maybe; retire to the marina; hang out at the mansion; mix with the beautiful people until the sun sets.
To do what the Great Bad Boys do — start by making an unmistakable statement!
Arrest children at the local people’s protest; move on to murder and torture (see, for example, “Children of the Syrian Revolution” ).
Initiate an indiscriminate bombing campaign against communities primarily up in arms about jobs and local services.
Set loose one’s hired thugs and laconic snipers, the kind who shoot to kill their “enemies” while still in the womb.
Take it up a notch: while claiming to be fighting “the terrorists”, drag in the real McCoy — and work with them!
Get to a place from which one cannot retreat or recover, the scope and viciousness of the criminal misjudgment — or criminal assertion of a sadistic bent — being too great.
And bond with like-minded others, the kind that like Yanukovych my write their reflections — also their blackmails, bribes, loans at high interest, perhaps — in diaries and memos.
The enormity of the crimes political and the blood spilled with them may be what bonds Putin-Assad-Khamenei and Putin-Yanukovych and Chinese political elites with Nicolas Maduro and his new hires who seem to know how to shoot while rolling on two wheels.
Thugocrats love Vesparados.
Once firmly on that track, the only “off switch” is what others may do to derail that black locomotive of a personality in its every facet.
And afterward, should the good prevail, God willing, the good may demand integrity from the next empowered politician arriving at “reset”.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2557696/3-killed-Venezuelan-protests-turn-violent.html; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2587944/French-official-shot-dead-car-motorbike-riding-assassins-shortly-backing-daughter-local-politician.html; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/25/venezuela-motorcycle-gangs-vidoes-colectivos_n_4855640.html.
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