Ukraine, Where is Jack Ryan When We Need Him?
With all the hubbub going on in the international news media about the events in Ukraine, I somehow have this feeling deep in my heart that somewhere in this world there’s a Jack Ryan type running around going “WAIT A MINUTE! YOU’VE GOT TO LISTEN TO ME!”
I keep pretty good tabs on the news and the whole thing where the former Ukrainian president fled just seemed to explode out of nowhere the past few weeks. Then came video and virtual tours of the ornate presidential palaces. Then came supposed movements by Russian troops into Crimea. Then came responses from the US that this was a violation of international law. There have been talk of economic sanctions. Now there are even stories about how ExxonMobil would be very negatively effected by sanctions because of massive plans they have to drill in Siberia. Russia is threatening that if sanctions are put in place, US assets will be seized. Today there a more talks about kicking Russia out of an alliance of European nations, and more.
It all very much sounds like the beginning of a Tom Clancy movie. And maybe I’ve seen too many of them, but it also sounds like there should be a Clancy character, an analyst for the CIA, running around the halls at Langley saying, “Something’s just not right.”
I went to breakfast this morning and talked to a woman I’ve known for about four years now who still is very much from Ukraine. She says she has nothing left back in that country now except two friends. Family is gone. She loves her old country, but says brain drain has been going on there for many years now, along with corruption. “The people left there now are trash,” she said. I think she was referring more to supposed leaders, either legitimate ones or not–and I think right now it sounds like more of them are not legitimate than are.
And it sounds like corruption is a big, operative word there. Makes me nervous about why we’re about to drop ONE BILLION US dollars there if there’s such rampant corruption.
It’s no secret that we’re mad at Putin and would like to do nothing but give him a big middle finger–think of Edward Snowden as a primary reason. But again, there seems to be something missing here.
For years I’d thought that the people of Ukraine didn’t like Russians. To that my friend said with heavy accent, “We are same blood. We have Russian blood.” She then told me one of her parents moved to Ukraine from Russia with “just suitcase.”
Yesterday CNN ran a piece from a former Kremlin officer entitled Why Putin’s Move Is No Surprise. And I’ve wondered since all this began what we would do if a Mexican state just south of the US border were to have such an uprising. (Most likely this president would do nothing, but consider there was a threat of that pandaemonium falling over into the streets of the US.) Wouldn’t we want a beefed up presence of authority in the area to keep the peace? How is that any different than Putin activating troops in the area to keep things peaceful? The CNN trolls had fun with that post, but I have to admit, from that perspective, it’s completely different than what we’re saying here in the West.
The video over the past few weeks show the lavish palaces that were built for the Ukrainian president. CNN kept calling them “his home.” My Ukrainian friend said, “American TV,” and rolled her eyes. “Those palaces belonged to the state. Not the president.” And it made me wonder then if somehow we had a horrific overthrow of the US government and all of a sudden we all could take more extended tours of the White House with it’s fancy technology rooms and spy stuff. Would European media portray what they found here the same way American TV news did of the Ukrainian palaces? I don’t know the answer to that. The Ukrainian palaces sure seemed a lot nicer than the White House, but consider the point, not the technicalities of it. (Needless to say, I’m not advocating for such to happen here in America in case anyone wants to try and twist that.)
I keep reading the news accounts from multiple venues several times a day because I honestly don’t feel like we have been told the whole story about what happened in Ukraine or that we ever really will. We know historically to not trust the Russians. But we also have an ever-lengthening list of times this president hasn’t been honest with us either.
Like the face of Putin, always stoic and ever ready for a game of poker, there’s more going on in this story than we know about right now. And the question to ponder as more and more information and twists come along is will we ever really know the truth?