There are lessons to be gleaned from Kanukovich’s fall from power, and chief among them is: Don’t convince your country you’ve sold your foreign policy to the highest bidder. Foreign policy=sovereignty, and if you’ve sold that, well, you’re little more than governor of the Ukraine, not the Ukraine’s President. Mr. Yanukovich’s political career now is pretty much finished–unless, of course, Moscow invades the western half, and is need of a puppet legitimizer.
That happens, and the douche for the job is quite apparent.
Another lesson is that the West wins in the long by being more than military force, but also a set of values that endures a legion of reversals. Kanukovich made a rational choice between the disinterested maid astride her languid bull and the aggressively pursuant bear, but outrage came because it was a choice out of duress, not genuine appeal.
Ever wonder how the wind blows, friends? It blows from high pressure to low pressure, and the West’s tolerance for upheaval gives it a distinct advantage over places that aren’t–say the whole Eastern World.
Europe’s always been written off as a spent force, you know? Back when Rome was collapsing and Europe was absorbing all those barbarian Germans pushed their way by the burgeoning Han Chinese, it seemed that all those immigrants were the coup de grace to the Western Way, when in fact they’d in time prove an extension.
Ukraine, in the end, hasn’t turned West out of love, but necessity, out of self-preservation, and an urge to maintain the breath of sovereignty that the Kremlin so widely espouses. Putin sensed a breeze blowing Ukraine towards the EU, and tried to counter it, but couldn’t seem to fathom that his own decisions were causing it.
And thus the breeze became a whirlwind, losing him a (very) loyal ally.
Europe, a spent force? Ha. After Rome’s fall, Europe was a spent force. During the Bubonic Plague, Europe was a spent force. If Europe was a spent force back then Europe’s in great shape, now–isn’t she?
If Europe was such a spent force during the Eurozone crisis, why didn’t it break up as a result? If the notion of Europe is so weak,then why didn’t the crisis dissuade any nation seeking membership from doing so? And why, pray tell, why did Putin need to overtly bribe Yanukovich from following the crowd?
Ah…and why, if Europe’s weak, does Mr Putin fear the West moving East?
Because tyrannies fear good governance and rule of law like a witch water, that’s why. If not a full tyrant himself, Yanukovich could be bought because he was at least authoritarian, and at least sympathetic to Putin’s fear’s, leading to a literal buy-in.
Ukraine, on the other hand was not sympathetic, and when it discovered its leader was, both in his joining the Customs Union and shooting protesters, they rejected him, root-and-branch.
To his credit, Yanukovich showed his people the way forward, and it wasn’t East.