Ukrainian genocide is not enough for Putin. Now… he wishes to starve millions globally, again.
Why exactly does Kevin McCarthy and the MAGA dominated GOP... support Putin, a genocidal maniac?
Happy Friday everyone,
So sorry, but as we head into the weekend, I must leave everyone with sobering and haunting thoughts about the fate of not only Ukraine, but millions with absolutely no connection to his genocidal invasion. Putin, once again has put a target on the back of millions who are already under severe threat of starvation. Yes, today we discuss Putin’s renewed assault on Ukraine’s grain production that feeds so much of the world.
As a spoiler alert, my bottom line is that Putin must go. As a matter of fact, so must all of the immoral thugs around the world such as Xi, Modi, Orban’, etc. In regard to cruel coercion, let’s include the MAGA crowd too.
First, what prompted today’s article?
As credible media like BBC News, Reuters, the Associated Press etc. have been reporting accurately, Putin has backed out of the grain deal that was devised to keep grain flowing out of Ukraine to the outside world. In the same breath, he’s also threatened shipping in the Black Sea that would challenge his dictate. The UN brokered a deal in July of 2022 to restart the halted grain shipments from Ukraine that were halted after Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. About half of the post-deal shipments, went to developing countries, where food insecurity ranges from significant to severe. Putin’s actions to deprive millions, are quite literally a death sentence.
Putin is no stranger to the callous and inhumane starvation of millions. He is well aware of how Stalin intentionally starved millions of Ukrainians to death in the early 1930s, during the Holodomor. He is no stranger to the Russian way of war where, losing millions of his own countrymen via the incompetency of Russian military operations, is the norm. He and his Russian and Soviet predecessors have historically, imposed wanton death and destruction on civilian populations too, both Russian and others. It’s part of Russian leadership identity.
To be blunt, they simply don’t give a damn about anyone’s life other than their own. This is difficult to understand in much of the world, but like Xi in China, history is informative about what to expect. Putin is just being Putin. We should expect nothing different. The only question is; What will we and the civilized world do about it?
Democide or Genocide… it doesn’t matter which and Russia, including the Soviet era, has a historical track record that is beyond horrendous.
The figures in the graphic below are from a preeminent scholar of mass atrocities of different types and formerly of the University of Hawaii, Indiana University and Yale University.
Soviet atrocities, post 1917 is horrendous as well. Graphic and data from the same source as above.
The point regarding the data above is that anyone expecting Putin to adhere to any but his nation’s historical norms, is detached from reality. This also means that peace negotiations, even if they reached a temporarily satisfactory agreement, would be only temporary while Putin or similar, reconsolidated power.
Despite Putin’s ridiculous claim that Ukraine was always part of Russia, is distorted to say the least. If his claim were valid, it would also mean that all non-native Americans would now be living under the rule of differing tribes, with separate identities from all of the Americas. When the Rus (not Russia) came into being, it was far more Viking/ Scandinavian than anything else. Does that mean that Sweden or Finland have claims on Russia? All of this nonsense actually lays the basis for Putin’s genocidal invasion.
Putin’s genocidal actions include actual genocide and more insidiously, cultural genocide. Stalin attempted this during his attempts to obliterate all cultures living within the Soviet realm. Ukraine, a nation with enormous commercial value was always a critical target of Russian and Soviet, cultural genocide. Nazi Germany, Mao, Pol Pot, half of Africa, the religious wars common to the Middle East and Europe, or even the nations of the Americas regarding native populations, have all employed similar strategies. Their intent was/ is, to homogenize their native populations into one identity that can be “reflexively controlled,” due to an imposed common identity, if the oppressive regimes can control their audiences long enough.
Russia nor the Soviets have ever deleted liberty from the souls of Ukrainians and never will. Throughout Ukraine’s long history, there has always been a strong identity layer of autonomy or outright freedom for their wildly diverse populace. In modern times, it has been Nazi Germany, Tsarist Russia, the Soviets and now the oligarchy of Putin, that have visited extraordinary horrors upon the people of Ukraine. Ironically, the Mongol, “Golden Hordes” that conquered great expanses from the Pacific to Eastern Europe, allowed autonomy to Ukrainians after their conquest. They would just ride into their Khanates yearly, collect taxes and tribute and if all was paid, leave the locals alone. Even in the time of Ivan IV, “The Terrible”, the Grand Prince of Moscow, Ukrainian Hetmanates were permitted autonomy with limited overseeing. Neither Tsarist Russia not the Soviets ever eradicated the gene of liberty from the indigenous inhabitants of what is today, Ukraine.
In an odd but even more horrific perspective, not only are Putin and his war criminals attempting to eradicate Ukrainian identity, but also of other specific but diverse elements of Ukrainian society. With the horrors that Russia and the Soviet Union have visited upon Ukraine, no one wants to be part of Putin’s plan. Operating with full knowledge of Russian/ Soviet massacres in their history, Ukrainians have zero options but to fight. Like the old proverb, “never corner a wounded foe. They have no choice but to fight, in order to survive.”
Here in the States, even within the halls of congress, it seems that the current version of the GOP, are most closely aligned with the Duma, rather than leading the US House of Representatives. Their crusade (word intentionally used considering the far-right, Christain Nationalism they wield as a tool of oppression) is more comparable to Putin’s use of the Russian Orthodox Church’s version. Their loud and persistent calls to defund Ukrainian aid, utilization of the most extreme versions of Christian Nationalism and even public support for Putin disgust me on the deepest levels of my American identity. They are traitorous to American values. The overwhelming majority of Americans, left, right and otherwise wholly reject GOP extremism and Christian Nationalism. To put it indelicately, these GOP extremists support Putin and his genocidal behavior.
Yes, my friends, Putin is wielding hunger as a weapon of war, a war crime to force nations to forgo their support to Ukraine and defund Ukraine’s commercial sector. Ukraine’s agricultural contributions to multiple markets, the livelihoods of millions and the difference between life and death for nations under perpetual threat of starvation, is significant.
“The agreement’s collapse could have disastrous consequences for the nations most dependent on Ukrainian grain at a time when climate change, conflict, and other factors have already caused rising levels of food insecurity. Russia blamed its exit on war-related Western sanctions that it says impede the country’s own exports of food and fertilizer. Talks are reportedly ongoing to get the deal back on track.”
-By Kali Robinson
-CFR/ Council on Foreign Relations
-July 19, 2023 1:04 pm (EST)
Putin’s deadly embargo of Ukrainian food supplies is far reaching and will if it continues, impact a world, slowly coming out of COVID related supply issues, including inflation and recession in multiple negative ways. Investors and starving people should beware.
In my youth, no one and I mean not a single American that I ever encountered would have supported the Soviets. Few understand Russian psychology and I am perpetually puzzled at how so many Americans and other Europeans have aligned their thinking with Putin’s Russia. Have they sold their souls? Have they abandoned US and Western Liberal democratic thinking? Are they under the spell of evil, highly paid influencers like Brad Parscale and the Mercer family who built an evil influence empire to support oligarchy? These questions deserve a resounding, “yes.” This is a national problem though. What matters to most moral Americans and other global citizens, is keeping the innocent alive in the face of fascists, despots and worse. This is the moral code that my family identifies with. I firmly believe that most Americans identify with this code, it is the “American Way.”
Once Ukraine has won, Russia, China, the far-right MAGA crowd and India, to name a few of the primary Putin supporters, must figure out if they wish to seek readmittance into the world of the civilized or remain on the side of fascism, genocide, oligarchy etc. They cannot remain on the side of US patriotism or global morality if they choose Putin. The world can no longer afford nuclear armed states with an aversion to morality. Whatever Russia looks like after Ukraine wins, it must not include Putin or any other thug embracing the historical inclination in Russia towards brutal authoritarianism. There must be commonly agreed upon actions, that are enforceable by international law entities. A couple of examples:
Enforceable sanctions that deny offender states like India the opportunity to remain part of equitable global commerce.
Enforceable sanctions on oligarchs that profit from fascism, American, European or otherwise.
Tiered diplomatic status that ranges from full compliance to layered levels of tolerance
Tiered tariff systems that punish offenders
When we say “never again” to genocide, we must mean it
An all-out assault on “fake news” globally
Expanded security cooperation entities that will enforce international law when authoritarians employ their law enforcement and military assaults on innocent global citizens
Law enforcement that demonstrates to oligarchs that they are NOT above the law. This includes elected politicians who enable oligarchy.
This my friends… is the short list. The UN whose original dictates were to provide such oversight, was never impowered to enforce such. Either we give the UN teeth or find other effective, supporting mechanisms to keep our world stable, devoid of genocidal maniacs like Xi and Putin and begin collectively working on solving the problems that affect us all, like AI, climate change, food insecurity etc. Treating thugs like Putin as legitimate national leaders, only empowers them. They use the levers of diplomatic, economic (oligarchy), legal and military oppression against us all. This is how we have arrived at this phase of history.
It’s time to use Putin’s genocidal invasion of Ukraine as an inflection point where ethical nations put their collective foot down and begin rebuilding a better world. The only thing that Putin has done for the world, is to provide the opportunity to change things for the better, and while we are still unified. In many ways, the post-Ukraine War era will be the most important since the end of WW II. The only question… “will the world take advantage of our opportunity?”
Best for your weekend,