Ukraine: Get Ready for Ultra-Violence
May 5, 2014 § 1 Comment
“But, brothers, this biting of their toe-nails over what is the CAUSE of badness is what turns me into a fine laughing malchick. They don’t go into what is the cause of GOODNESS, so why of the other shop?”
– Anthony Burgess, “A Clockwork Orange”
The fundamental difference between Putin’s Russia and the West in Ukraine – or Syria, or anywhere in the world – is the tolerance for extreme violence.
Putin has shown that he will not refrain from using ANY measure of violence to attain his goal. We have seen kidnapping of journalists, abductions, torture, murder, snipers galore, beatings, arson, hostage taking, the use of human shields and outright military intimidation. This, however, is just the beginning.
In recent news, we’ve heard about poisoned food being distributed by locals to Ukrainian troops (an old WWI Western Front tale revived) and attempts to smuggle in radioactive material, possibly to be used in a ”dirty bomb” or as planted support for any particular lie that Putin wishes to promote. Another report tells of a water reservoir being bombed. This too is just the beginning.
Getting used to violence. Or not.
We are becoming inured to horror stories from Ukraine. This is part of the game plan. Putin wants people to become bored with violence and tales of Ukraine under siege. Western indifference to Syria’s three-year long plight is proof positive that the strategy works.
The civilized western mind abhors violence. The Russian mind pays it no attention. Violence is just a means to an end. It is natural.
In Sloviansk today, ”volunteer” Chechen fighters, most likely provided by Putin’s close ally Ramzan Kadyrov, have been seen in strength. A few of them have been present since the beginning. Now hundreds more are filtering in through the sieve-like border, maybe thousands. These fellows are rotten to the core and capable of nightmarish violence. If in doubt, spend a few minutes on YouTube with Dagestan and Chechnya as your search words. You will soon avert your eyes and pray you will never have to witness such horror again. Syria is much the same thing. Ukraine may well be too.
Putin is ready to ratchet up to ultra-violence.
More violence: civilian dead, military dead, executions, poisoning, shot, shell or fire – the cause matters little, only the bodies do. He will not attempt to hide the deaths, to the contrary. They will be extensively displayed. The killers will be plausibly deniable as “locals” or “volunteers” or “private contractors” – although it will be hard to identify them we will know that they are Russians, or sponsored by Russia, but that too will matter little. Only the dead and the horror and the ultra-violence will matter.
The ultra-violence serves several purposes: as pretext for a peace-keeping insertion of Russian forces; to force the civilized mind away from Ukraine; to build popular aversion in the west against NATO, UN or EU support for Ukraine. The oft-repeated sentence that Russia cannot be an arsonist acting as fireman will hold little water: they are ready and waiting to go in, and the west will waver for weeks while the corpses keep piling up. Russia, already covertly in Ukraine, will go in overtly “to save lives” with full if reluctant consent.
“Don’t send our boys in to THAT!”
If Ukraine appears to be a sinkhole of ultra-violence to the western democracies – weakling parliamentarians the lot of them, in Putin’s eyes – western governments will have a hard time sending troops there against the voice of popular abhorrence, regardless if it is advertised as a peace-keeping mission or as a response to Russian aggression. If the West appears ready to go in, Putin will only ratchet up the atrocities a notch further – until western voters and western investors cry uncle. Ukraine will be seen as a lost cause, just like Syria.
Thus far Putin’s moves have been exceptionally predictable. He has advertised his every action well in advance. Despite this knowledge, Ukraine and the western powers have expressed profound surprise that he did what he actually said he would do. How extraordinary, no? The increase in violence here prophesized should come as no surprise either – it’s a no-brainer, it has precedent, everything is working up to it. Yet the world will be surprised when it occurs, and will be racking its brains for someone to blame, and for a solution.
So, how can the west combat this strategy? More on that topic, tomorrow.