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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pressed by Putin, Is This How Yanukovych Feels Right Now?

When the West left on their Christmas vacation, they forgot one small thing.

Problem is, he won't last long, will he?

In case he won’t, here's a requiem for U.S. foreign policy. To its noble cause of “containing Russia” and its attempts to "re-Sovietize the region." After the “reset button” and the “lowly enriched iranium” deal, that is. Did I miss something? Oh yeah...and after all those Clinton-friendly borscht parties organized by one of our oligarchs (whose well-being largely depends on doing business with...Eurasia.)

Ladies and gentlemen, “Goodbye America” by the Russian/Soviet band Nautilus Pompilius!


Its deeply philosophical, if not prophetic, lyrics defy translation. 

Ironically, it came out in 1985, at the dawn of perestroika. At that time, the American Way of Life was seeping through the cracks of a stagnant sausage-starved society.

Soon, it would start driving the Soviet psyche crazy. In just five years, the Cold War would be over. A year later, the Soviet Union itself would end up in the dustbin of history.

In the West, you guys relished in the “end of history.” Here in the post-Soviet world, it was more like the beginning of hell. Economically and psychologically.  

No wonder pro-Western sentiment cooled considerably, after a decade of klepto-capitalism. (Which wasn’t exactly the super-sexy consumer paradise that the average Ivan had envisaged in 1988.) So in 2000, when the back-to-Mother Russia-themed Brother 2 blockbuster hit the screen, “Goodbye America” reincarnated as something of a de-Westoxication anthem.


And now it kind of echoes the West's failure to fully engage “one small thing” called Ukraine.

Hope I’m wrong on this. That would save me the trouble of doing a blog entry entitled How the Clintons Denuclearized Ukraine Back Into the USSR.

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