Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

For "a human being, the question 'to be or not to be,' is the question 'to think or not to think.'" Ayn Rand

28 February 2022

Great Russians Explain Ukraine Invasion as Need to Make them Little Russians

The following statement occurred in several Russian state media as justification for the Invasion of Ukraine:

Russia is restoring its unity – the tragedy of 1991, this terrible catastrophe in our history, its unnatural dislocation, has been overcome. Yes, at a great cost, yes, through the tragic events of a virtual civil war, because now brothers, separated by belonging to the Russian and Ukrainian armies, are still shooting at each other, but there will be no more Ukraine as anti-Russia. Russia is restoring its historical fullness, gathering the Russian world, the Russian people together – in its entirety of Great Russians, Belarusians and Little Russians. If we had abandoned this, if we had allowed the temporary division to take hold for centuries, then we would not only betray the memory of our ancestors, but would also be cursed by our descendants for allowing the disintegration of the Russian land.

So Russia believes it is justified in using force to unite its superior Great Russians with the inferior Little Russians.  Did it never occur to those idiot Great Russians that the Ukrainians might not find the idea of being their subservient Little Russians a very appealing idea?  Those Little Russians sure are looking stout in their courageous rejection of Great Russian enslavement as their serfs.  They are acting like Ukrainians, not Little Russians.

I Condemn Russia and Red China as an Axis of Evil

The Russian Federation, signatory with the USA and the United Kingdom of a guarantee of independent Ukraine's borders in 1994, has invaded Ukraine.  These guarantees were a critical reason Ukraine gave up the world's third largest number of nuclear weapons on its soil after the dissolution of the USSR.  Yes, Ukraine is not a member of NATO, so NATO is not obligated by treaty to defend Ukraine, but the USA and the United Kingdom are obligated by their 1994 treaty.  Both are defaulting on that obligation now as they did in 2014 when Russia took the Crimea.  To be sure, the treaty was perhaps an ill-considered one by the Clinton administration, but that administration was also very concerned, with justification, about the many nuclear weapons then in Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan as a result of the dissolution of the USSR.  To uphold our treaty, we would have had to provide more military aid and training to Ukraine, which might have stimulated Russia to an earlier invasion.  This was a very knotty problem.

Putin claims that Ukrainians are Russians or at least their close brothers.  He says that historically, Ukraine was part of Russia.  He claims they are both Orthodox by religion and share a language.  This being the case, Ukraine must be re-united with the Russians.

Actually, the Kievan Rus was a separate country with its own court, language, large capital city Kiev, now Kyiv, and distinct farming economy when the Duchy of Muscovy was a small fur-trading town.  The Kievan Rus was the largest country in Europe.  It had extensive interactions with the French court and its court was one of the most advanced in Europe for a couple hundred years (1000 - 1200 AD approximately), which was a status Moscow never achieved.  Present day Ukraine consists of an eastern part that Russia conquered and was largely brought under Russian control by Catherine the Great.  The eastern Ukraine generally became Orthodox in religion and the Russians worked hard to force the Ukrainians to speak Russian.  The western part of Ukraine was united with Lithuania and Poland in various combinations for hundreds of years, then was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from the late 1700s until after WW1, when it became part of Poland.  The western Ukraine is largely Catholic.  There is also a large Jewish population in Ukraine, including the present President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, whom Putin claims is a Nazi.

How have the Russians treated their Ukrainian brothers?  In Czarist times, the authoritarian Czars were constantly suppressing the more freedom-loving Ukrainians.  They discriminated against them for government posts, for education, and tended to call them denigrating names, such as Little Russians.  Then eastern Ukraine, which had briefly won independence when the Czarist government fell in 1917, was brought under brutal Russian Communist control in stages in the early 1920s.  When the Russian Communists implemented the collective farm programs and stole the farmland of the Kulaks, the richer farmers, Ukraine was hit harder than the rest of the USSR.  By about 1900, Ukraine had become known as the Breadbasket of Europe.  Many of its farmers were comparatively well off.  These hardworking people had their land stolen and the professional class of people in the many well-developed cities of Ukraine also lost their property.  Then in 1932 - 1933, the Russians took all the food the Ukrainians had grown and left millions of them to starve.  Once again, Ukrainians were discriminated against for government jobs and all jobs in the USSR were government jobs.  They were also discriminated against in education.  They were thought of by Russians as though they were hillbillies, the actual word a Russian Jewish scientist told me they were.

Putin was a KGB agent and a member of the Russian Mafia.  He climbed to power over the bodies of many Russians, let alone many Ukrainians.  Neither he nor the general Russian are someone any rational Ukrainian would want as a brother.  A brother does not steal the land of his brothers, yet Russians did this to Ukrainians.  A brother does not use brutal force to steal all the food grown by another brother and leave him to starve.  A brother does not prevent another brother from having a good job or a good education.  All around, the Putin claim that Ukrainians are Russian brothers is absurd.  He has managed to heighten that absurdity with his claim upon experiencing considerable Ukrainian resistance to his occupation of Ukraine by stating that he needed to set his nuclear forces at a high level of readiness because he cannot image in world without Russia.  Does he really think that Ukrainian resistance to invasion is a threat to the existence of Russia?  Well, perhaps it is a threat to his rule of Russia and he is a much a megalomaniac as Hitler, who could see no use in the continuation of the Third Reich without himself at its head.  Putin, as is the case with many long term dictators, has become mentally unstable and quite divorced from reality.

Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe, if you count Russia as a European country.  It is larger or about the size of France, and larger than Spain, Sweden, Germany, and Finland.  Kyiv, pronounced Kay-eve, contrary to what you hear on the news, is Europe's seventh largest city.  It is not an Appalachian hollow hamlet.  Lviv, of the western Ukraine and very near Poland, is known as the Cultural Center of Ukraine.  

Lviv is about 60 miles west of the small town from which my wife's family came.  Her older brother and sister were born in that town.  Her father, John Palka, was the village mayor and owned a wealthy enough farm of less than 40 acres, that he was a Kulak.  He also had a history of fighting the Communists, when as a 16 year-old he fought in the Ukrainian Army trying to resist the Communist takeover of Ukraine in the early 1920s.  When the Soviets took over the western Ukraine at the start of WWII upon the heinous partition of Poland between Germany and the USSR, he had to flee his home.  When the Germans attacked the USSR and soon took the western Ukraine, he returned and resumed his duties as mayor.  When the Soviets again returned in the closing period of WWII, Anna's family fled Ukraine and wound up in West Germany in the American sector at the end of the war.  They emigrated to the USA in late 1947 and arrived when Anna, my wife, was about 8 months old.  They settled in Cleveland, Ohio and became part of the large Ukrainian community of Cleveland.  The Palka family was active in the Ukrainian Catholic Church and Ukrainian Scouts.  Anna proudly became a U.S. citizen when she was a student at Case Western Reserve University.

I met Anna when I set up a dinner group to meet at the CWRU Hospital cafeteria of people interested in the works and philosophy of Ayn Rand.  I was working on my Ph.D. in Physics at Case Western Reserve University and Anna was working as a microbiologist at the Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital of CWRU.  We married in December 1973 and I became an adjunct member of her Ukrainian family, though with my deficient skills in learning languages, I never learned to speak Ukrainian.  This and my lack of dancing skills required some tolerance on their part.  Still worse, was my lack of belief in God and Catholicism.  Nonetheless, these good people were quite welcoming.

Some will dismiss my moral and  strategic analysis of the role of the Russian Federation as overly influenced by family bias now, but my family experience is also rich in the lessons of history, about which too few Americans have knowledge. 

The United States have contributed to Putin's ability to invade Ukraine by restraining its own oil, gas, and coal production since the start of the Biden administration.  This has caused the cost of oil and natural gas to rise and 40% of the Russian economy is due to its energy resources.  This was crucial to Russia since its total GDP is smaller than that of either Italy, Canada, or South Korea and barely larger than that of Brazil or Australia.  This is a direct result of the lack of freedom, property rights, and individual initiative in Russia.  Not only have we removed American oil, gas, and coal from the global economy, but we have taken to actually importing Russian oil!  We have been providing Russia with the money to pay its military, provide it with arms, and to assemble for the attack on Ukraine.  We aided Putin in building up a $600 billion war-chest so he can weather the relatively weak economic sanctions being applied to Russia.  We have crippled our own energy production at the urging of radical environmentalists who have received considerable Russian funding to achieve that purpose.  Both Russia and China have long promoted false claims of catastrophic man-made global warming in America to scare us into destroying our own great energy advantages to our economy and to global strategic policy.

Putin and the execrable Xi of Red China have entered into some sort of mutually supportive pact to aid their aggressions against their neighbors and to diminish the effects of any economic sanctions by moral indignant countries.  Just as Putin can cause many European nations great harm by cutting off the supply of natural gas and oil to them through a web of pipelines, so can Red China cause tremendous economic harm now that it was cornered so much of the world's manufacturing capacity.  With its cheap and often slave labor, its lack of concern for the environment, its currency manipulations, and its extensive use of coal-fired power plants, China has managed to become the world's largest manufacturer.  In 2018, the value of its manufacturing output was one and two-thirds that of the USA.  China is the dominant supplier of solar panels, rare earth metals for powerful magnets used in wind generators and other electric motors, chemicals for pharmaceutical production and for the Mexican drug cartels, and LEDs.  They are a huge beneficiary of the wrongheaded goal to establish solar and wind generation as the primary sources of electricity in the developed countries.  China's biggest trade partner is the European Union, closely followed by the USA.  The West is assiduously investing gigantic sums of capital in building manufacturing operations in China.  We are truly providing this evil country the rope to hang us with, just as the early Communists assured one another that the Capitalists would do.

Red China is a totalitarian country whose people outside of the annexed and suppressed Hong Kong have never known freedom.  People who have never or only long ago enjoyed freedom are not a moral people.  Morality only thrives among a free people.  Our Founders were fond of saying that a people could be and remain free only if they behaved morally.  The inverse is also true.  A nation which has long lacked freedom, lacks morality.  This applies to Russia as well as to Red China.

Biden has stated that Ukraine should not be admitted to NATO because corruption was widespread in Ukraine.  Rather than encouraging Ukraine to become less corrupt, the Biden family business actively took part in the corruption in Ukraine.  The Biden family business has also been extremely active in business operations in Red China which are controlled by the intelligence and military agencies of the Chinese Communist Party, including acquiring US company defense intellectual property.  It is not a wonder at all that Biden has worked hard to disassemble the American carbon-based fuel industries.  It is not a wonder that the Biden administration has proven such a weak ally to Ukraine.

Americans should become much more reluctant to purchase goods made in China.  They should encourage our government to allow the US carbon-based industries to greatly increase their production of these plenteous and reliable energy sources.  Americans should strongly condemn the ubiquitous violations of individual rights in the Russian Federation and in Red China.

The U.N. Security Council vote on a resolution to "deplore" the Russian invasion of Ukraine was approved by the USA, France, Britain, Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, and Norway.  China, India, and the United Arab Emirates abstained on the vote, which the Russian Federation vetoed.  We should remember the immoral choices that China, India, and the United Arab Emirates made on this resolution.