According to George Will, Lev Davidovich Bronstein supposedly said this while living in The Bronx. Mr. Bronstein aka Leon Trotsky was a Russian Marxist, intellectual, and revolutionary. In the early Soviet Union, he founded the Politburo, served as People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs, and created and led the Red Army. After Lenin’s death, Trotsky was exiled for his opposition to Joseph Stalin‘s policies. His 1940 assassination in Mexico was allegedly carried out by a Soviet agent at Stalin’s behest.
I will recall once more Russia’s most recent history. Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century. As for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and compatriots found themselves outside Russian territory. Moreover, the epidemic of disintegration infected Russia itself. Individual savings were depreciated, and old ideals destroyed. Many institutions were disbanded or reformed carelessly. Terrorist intervention and the Khasavyurt capitulation that followed damaged the country’s integrity. Oligarchic groups — possessing absolute control over information channels — served exclusively their own corporate interests. Mass poverty began to be seen as the norm. And all this was happening against the backdrop of a dramatic economic downturn, unstable finances, and the paralysis of the social sphere. Many thought or seemed to think at the time that our young democracy was not a continuation of Russian statehood, but its ultimate collapse, the prolonged agony of the Soviet system. But they were mistaken. That was precisely the period when the significant developments took place in Russia. Our society was generating not only the energy of self-preservation, but also the will for a new and free life.
Thus we have in this corner, a little man wielding a big military to compensate for his hatred of homosexuals. And in the other corner we have the craven countries of Europe who would prefer to give Crimea to Russia than to fight another war on their soil. And to complete the trifecta we have Barack Obama, John Kerry and many Republicans and Democrats, using words and economic threats to try to force the Red Army to take steps back into the lands they barely control.
The UN Charter endorses the right of self-determination of all. This self-determination of course is being influenced by all sides interested in creating conflict.
And I watch the scenes from the comfort of my well heated home in the United States of America, from oil bought from foreign lands. My naive hope is that they all shake hands and exchange wives and concubines with each other. There’s nothing uglier than watching relatives fight each other. Since 1949, I’ve been waiting for a solution to a tricky problem created by the English and other nations in the Middle East.