Above is a bit of a rogue’s gallery of major players, at those front and centre, in the disputes taking place in the Ukraine, which came to mind because of this piece on The Real News Network. Of course, some of the same players would be in an analogous gallery relating to Syria and the Iraq redux (re-redux? re-re-redux?), or Libya, Egypt, take your pick, as there seems to be no end of selection for trouble in the current state of statesmanship. Our little graphic is also missing the IMF and World Bank, but their faces coincide with this lot, except Putin, perhaps, and perhaps only in this instance. The lead-in to the piece in question reads:
Political economist Aleksandr Buzgalin says the Russian state is pursuing geopolitical interests in Syria and Ukraine for its elite – to the detriment of ordinary citizens.
The implication is that ordinary Russians are taking a beating over Ukraine and its discontents, a likely scenario, and one would have to think that perhaps Petroshenko represents the same routine when it comes to the general populace of the Ukraine. A lot of this came to mind while reading the current post on Northern Reflections in which Owen muses on the foolishness of Stephen Harper’s adventures in trying to emulate Winston Churchill’s war prime minister persona. I left the following comment:
This is all pretty Alice in Wonderland stuff, though actually, it reeks of people who used Catch-22 as a user’s manual. It also reminds me of reading Barbara Tuchman’s March of Folly and finally discerning that the case studies, while about nations acting contrary to their national interests, were actually cases of nations working for the narrow self-interest of the forces behind the governments in question.
This surely describes the great preponderance of world leaders, people who consistently lead away from any manner of society that would smooth our the edges of conflict, provide a decent living for all citizens and encourage broad participation in the moulding of public policy. Our parliament is right in the middle of a debate on the current mission proposal, a debate mooted before its start by the very fact of a Con majority, and by the tepid nature of the opposition. The Libs want a humanitarian mission, and while the NDP makes noises about diplomacy in this case, they fall flat on a laundry list of environmental and some social issues. Elizabeth May, the only elected Green (Hayer being a refugee from the NDP), often makes complete sense, but the party itself often goes wide of the mark on social and economic issues. In effect, none of the choices in Canadian politics will be able to get us to a nation that will be preparing actively for the survival of humanity a century from now. The same situation exists at the provincial level and in a lot of municipal governance. It is encouraging to see, in our little neck of the woods, the emergence of a broad spectrum of candidates for city council and mayor’s chair, some of whom stand steadfastly for the status quo (though they may not entirely own up to it), some of whom are feeling their way toward a new path, and a few who already understand the engagement necessary to move our community toward being a vibrant and inclusive place to live.