The busload of officers only began to feel safe when they entered the Crimean peninsula. Through the night on Friday, they drove the length of Ukraine from north to south, having abandoned the capital city of Kiev to the revolution. Along the way the protesters in several towns pelted their bus with eggs, rocks and, at one point, what looked to be blood before the retreating officers realized it was only ketchup. “People were screaming, cursing at us,” recalls one of the policemen, Vlad Roditelev.
Finally, on Saturday morning, the bus reached the refuge of Crimea, the only chunk of Ukraine where the revolution has failed to take hold. Connected to the mainland by two narrow passes, this huge peninsula on the Black Sea has long been a land apart, an island of Russian nationalism in a nation drifting toward Europe. One of its biggest cities, Sevastopol, is home to a Russian naval base that houses around 25,000 troops, and most Crimean residents identify themselves as Russians, not Ukrainians.
Let me put it to you bluntly: Russia is going to use military force to annex the Crimea, and neither Europe nor the US will do a damned thing to stop them.
This is the short term goal that Vladimir Putin has been moving towards for years, and within a month or two he will achieve it – sooner, rather than later, would be my prediction.
The fate of Ukraine as a whole is a longer-term project for him, but that’s all right – he doesn’t expect to fully establish the Fascist Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for another decade or so.
The Bush and Obama administrations have created a vast power vacuum in the world, and our enemies in Islam, China, and Russia are rushing to fill it. Bush’s failure was to refuse to recognize, attack and defeat the true causes of Islamic militance, and Obama’s has been to simply abdicate any role for America in the larger world.
As for Americans themselves, they’ve become gormless boobs more interested in lusting after whatever toys they can find under the socialist Christmas tree than in the future facing their own country.
I am not at the moment terribly hopeful about what tomorrow will bring us. Unexpectedly, of course.