Ukraine May Be Last Straw For Color Revolutions
Ukranian Violence Is Signal To West That Color Revolutions Are Dead
Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum says the ongoing violence in Ukraine should lead the world “to abandon immediately some of the illusions we have long held about this part of the world,” including the belief that the “color revolutions” will produce our desired result.
“The recent history of Ukraine should lead us to abandon another myth as well: the belief that some kind of post-Cold War order still prevails in Europe and the United States is an important part of it. It is true that European Union leaders have engaged with Ukraine for several years at many levels — presidential, ministerial, bureaucratic — in an effort to create a broader relationship. It is true that their effort failed, following a concerted Russian campaign of targeted trade boycotts, veiled military threats, big bribes (a lower gas price), many smaller bribes and a massive propaganda effort designed to make Ukrainians believe “Europe” would be bad for them,” Applebaum writes.
Having abandoned the illusions, Applebaum says the West needs to be realistic about the need to impart consequences for bad behavior.
“We must start to take serious threats seriously. A trade boycott must be met with a trade boycott. Dishonest propaganda must be answered. If we want to use sanctions, we should use real economic sanctions, and we should direct them at the real perpetrators, in Moscow as well as in Kiev. But before doing anything else, we need to be honest about the scale of this setback, the regional nature of the problem and the profound weakness of our past policy. Slogans just aren’t good enough anymore. It’s time to get back on the ice.”
In response to days of violent protests, Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovich held out an olive branch by offering his political foes government positions, but most saw through this attempt and demanded even more concessions.
The Christian Science Monitor provides an overview of the opposition forces in the Ukraine.
Unrest In Thailand May Be Sign Of Broader Failure Of Democracy Movement
Echoing Applebaum’s lament about the failure of revolutions to lead to democratic governance, Sean Thomas argues in the pages of London’s Telegraph that turmoil in Thailand might be an ominous sign that democracy doomsayers might be right.
“Because Thailand might just be one symptom of a worldwide phenomenon: a march away from western-style liberal democracy, towards new styles of politics: especially one-party Asian autocracy, with state-directed capitalism. The reasons are obvious. As a brand, western democracy is damaged. When developing nations look to the democratic West, they see a dwindling and weakened superpower in America. Meanwhile, Europe has economically imploded, and anyway seems determined to abandon national liberties in favour of a feeble, mincing Federation, run, ineffectively, by bankers and bureaucrats,” he argues.
Former British Prime Minister: Religion Will Be At Root Of Coming Conflicts
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair acknowledges there will be differences between individual conflicts, the root of many future conflicts will be religious in nature.
“The fact is that, though of course there are individual grievances or reasons for the violence in each country, there is one thing self-evidently in common: the acts of terrorism are perpetrated by people motivated by an abuse of religion. It is a perversion of faith. But there is no doubt that those who commit the violence often do so by reference to their faith and the sectarian nature of the conflict is a sectarianism based on religion. There is no doubt either that this phenomenon is growing, not abating,” Blair contends.
The threat to religious radicalism is not limited to Islam, so requires an affirmative response among all populations to “promote views that are open-minded and tolerant towards those who are different, and to fight the formal, informal and internet propagation of closed-minded intolerance,” Blair says adding that “in the 21st century, education is a security issue.”