Monday, March 27, 2006

Havel and Ukrainian elections

Vaclav Havel, the former president of the Czech Republic, wrote an article in a German newspaper Die Welt on the hot topic of Ukrainian parliamentary elections. Among other things he contemplates on the positive side of Ukraine joining NATO and then pronounces:

Dar?ber m?ssen die Ukrainer selbst entscheiden. Nur so k?nnen sie ihre postrevolution?re Ern?chterung ?berwinden.
Ukrainians should decide themselves about this . Only this way they can overcome their disappointment.

The funny thing – the German word’s Ern?chterung main meaning is sobriety or sobering up. It is used in the meaning ‘disappointment’ figuratively. Well, I think the best way to overcome sobriety is getting drunk.

Mr. Havel might be a good guy but it doesn’t excuse lying. He writes:

Vor kurzem nannte Putin den Zerfall der Sowjetunion gar einen tragischen Fehler.
Not long ago Putin called the disintegration of the Soviet Union a tragic mistake.

This is a lie. First, Putin said not ‘tragic mistake’ but ‘geo-political catastrophe’. Second, by this he meant – and he said about it right after these words (they are ALWAYS omitted when Western corporate media cites the quote) – millions and millions of refuges, destroyed economy all over pose-Soviet Union, wars, massacres, genocide, poverty. What is it if not a catastrophe?

Again, like 15 months ago, Western corporate media is painting all Ukrainian parties in ‘pro-Western’ (good guys) and ‘pro-Russian’ (bad guys). This way it seems as if the forces of Evil Empire are counter-attacking. I think that painting Ukrainian politics in black and white is a very grave mistake. Before labeling someone pro-Russian one should think about some simple and obvious things. First, a huge share of Ukrainian citizens is ethnic Russians. Second, even a bigger share of ethnic Ukrainians consider Russian their native language. Exactly, like ethnic Irish or Scots consider their native language English. One can be 100% Irish without any knowledge of the Celtic language. Third, ‘pro-Western’ course didn’t bring root – grass any tangible benefits but a lot of blah-blah about ‘democratic values’ or such cynical stuff as ‘Ukraine without Russian is better than Ukraine with Russia’. The fact that so many Ukrainians don’t want to join US/EU cordon sanitaire around Russia shows that Ern?chterung is really coming.


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