Sunday, March 9, 2014

Reality Mirrors Movies in Ukraine

In 1997, New Line Cinema released the movie "Wag the Dog".   The movie begins with scandal as an unnamed American president gets caught in a compromising situation 11 days before the next presidential election.  One of the president's advisers calls in a spin doctor, who arranges for a fake war on television to keep everyone attention off the real world scandal and focused on fantasy nonsense.  The movie title comes from this joke:
      Why does the dog wag its tail?
      Because the dog is smarter than the tail.
      If the tail were smarter, it would wag the dog.

I couldn't help but compare the situation with Russia, Ukraine, and Crimea to this movie.  Ukraine wants to join NATO in an effort to better their economy and get all the benefits of a better economy (such as more stability).  But Russia doesn't want to lose an ally, so Putin sends troops into Crimea under the false pretense of hostility towards Russian nationals.  Putin thinks he's smarter than the rest of the world, so he is attempting to wag the dog.

As a result, Russian soldiers are being separated from the families and put into an awkward situation of not being at war and yet not being at peace.  Residents of Crimea are now fearful of the future.  Russian residents worry that Putin might be truthful and non-Russians will become violent towards them.  The Tatars worry that Russian will deport them from their homes again, if not worse.  Local media have been told to be quiet, stop reporting news.

Everyone in Crimea is now paying the price for Putin trying to wag the dog to keep Ukraine out of NATO.

How do we get Putin to pay instead?

I think we need to figuratively hit him where it hurts - his wallet.  We have the means to lower fuel prices and replace some of the fuel that Europe buys from Russia.  We also have the means to develop more technologies not reliant on fossil fuels.  We can work on LIFTR reactors to generate energy, then produce more electric cars to use said energy.  All we need to do is drop our prejudice against non-fossil fuel answers, act smarter than the tail, and reduce Putin's economic power.

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