Nothing annoys me more than the way in which the war of Russia against Ukraine is described in the Western media. Here is one example:
Over the weekend, Congress passed the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014, a bill which would impose stricter sanctions on key Russian sectors like weapons and energy, and which authorizes the President to provide lethal aid to Ukraine for the first time. . . President Obama so far appears to be holding back from signing the bill immediately, despite bipartisan pressure for him to put pen to paper. With the economic situation rapidly deteriorating in Russia, however, having the bill hanging over the Kremlin’s head, maximizing uncertainty and unease may not be the worst strategy.
Are you seeing the problem with this analysis? The journalist is discussing a bill called “the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014.” Got it? Ukraine freedom support. But the analysis is all about how wonderful not signing the bill will be in the dealings with the Kremlin. How about Ukraine, though? The one whose freedom this bill is supposed to support? It’s not even mentioned in this analysis!
The idea that any of the pathetic “sanctions” introduced against Russia have had any effect is completely bizarre. The idea that the Kremlin is anything but overjoyed with news of this bill is even more bizarre. The fantasy of Putin cowering in “uncertainty and unease” is simply deluded.
It’s high-time to stop trying to impress Putin. The West has proven itself to be signally incapable of that. The only people who have managed to thwart Putin in any way recently are Ukrainians. Instead of pretending that they don’t exist, it would be much smarter to help them keep thwarting him.
The value of Ukraine Freedom Support Act is symbolic a lot more than anything else. Ukrainians need to hear that they matter to the West, that their struggle is understood and supported. They need at least a tiny gesture of goodwill in their direction. And while the American President is mumbling and fumbling, Ukrainians are dying for the Western values that they alone in the world seem to recall and cherish.