Saturday, 1 March 2014

BUDAPEST AND PRAGUE AGAIN

The USSR has a history of crushing dissent, in the spring.  One need only think of Prague.  And, tanks sent from Moscow rolled into Budapest too.  In both cities, in both countries, proud rebels opposed the moves.  But the tanks crushed in the end.  Russia is not the USSR, as I have been arguing, but since its Winter Games it has been playing a very aggressive sort of game with geo-politics.  I think the reason is the Black Sea Fleet, and the emotive, and real, linguistic and ethnic ties between Russia proper and Crimea.  President Putin, playing to the home crowd, would become a great iron man if he took back the Crimea.  I fear he may just try.  I am not sure what could or would stop him, short of thermo-nuclear threat, or severe economic sanctions.  This is the closest the world has been on the brink of world war since before 1989 - in a quarter century.  I don't think it is time to duck and dive just yet.  But this is serious.
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