We are regularly reminded that those unwilling to study history are condemned to repeat it. It is no secret that American public education these days, not only fails to study history but fails to study much at all, falling into the middle of international rankings where it used to be on top. So we must excuse younger Americans who do not see what is occurring around them, for lack of references.
Russian history for instance, records the repeated invasion and acquisition of Russia’s neighbors. That has no little to do with the collapse of the Soviet Union into a number of independent states of which one is Ukraine. Few know that Ukrainians welcomed invading Nazi Germans as deliverers in WWII. Since then, we’ve been told of but ignored the Russian invasion of little Georgia and the amalgamation of a piece of its territory into Russia.
We were told rather quietly of Russia’s covert invasion of Crimea and the following amalgamation into Russia. We hear much more of ISIS than of the covert invasion of eastern Ukraine. We are not reminded that all these continue the patterns established by the Czars and continued by the Communists, of which President Putin was one.
We are told of U.S. military activities proceeding in Poland at that country’s invitation; we remain uninformed of numerous past Russian invasions of that country … or of the invasions of Russia by the Poles.
Today, this ancient and recent history is magnified by the dependence of Russia on its oil and gas export revenue and European dependence upon it as affected by the Arab oil price war against U.S. and Canadian fracking.
In the past, the French, British and Germans have been content to let Russia throw its weight around Eastern Europe so long as the West was left alone. We are seeing that again in the European ennui over Ukraine. Our species tends to repeat its history until its nose is rubbed in change that obviates the past, usually bloodily.
Now, the communication and travel available have shrunk the world; the geopolitical assumptions of yesteryear no longer obtain. President Obama seems set to hand Iran its nukes on the assumption that the destruction of Israel is an affordable price to pay for rapprochement with Iran. That is blindness to everything that has happened since say, 1944. Americas’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate is triggering the next nuclear arms race. (Applause!)
Russia too is brandishing its nukes in public threats; at some point, it will have to use them or Putin will lose all credibility. That dour ex KGB factotum does not seem ready to blink. If our President has a response to his expansionism, it remains a secret.
So in sum; Russia and Iran (ancient Persia) are doing what they have always done when they could; President Obama seems flummoxed. His bitter GOP critics do not seem to offer credible alternatives, either; just criticism. America needs a leader and can come up only with politicians.
We are hell-bent upon a new version of the Great Depression; must we replay WWII also? With nukes at the beginning instead of at the ens?