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Low season… War

Low season… War

by Taras Voznyak

Like a thief at night…

Summer of 1914

Serbia and Russia used ways and wiles to provoke Austria-Hungary into war for the division of Europe. A reason was needed. Events culminated in June 28 when the heir to the throne and Commander-in-Chief Archduke Franz Ferdinand von Habsburg d’Este and his wife were killed in Sarajevo. An international scandal broke out, and on August 1, at the start of the fateful low season, the First World War erupted in the middle of Europe.

Summer of 1939


The Nazi Third Reich sought reasons to attack Poland. The German SS and SD organized “Operation Canned Goods”, whereby Nazi operatives dressed in Polish uniforms attacked a radio station situated on German territory. The false flag operation was directed against the German radio station Sender Gleiwitz situated in Gleiwitz, Upper Silesia (now part of Poland). On August 31, following a cryptic command – “Grandma has just died”, Reinach Heidrich’s Nazi troops occupied the station. On September 1, Hitler declared war on Poland.

Summer of 2008

While all the institutions of the EU, the US, NATO, OSCE,etc. were reiterating a month-long litany of mañanas (mañana – never-ending “not now”, never-ending “tomorrow”) and fiestas (fiesta – never-ending “celebration of life”), KGB Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Putin decided that it was time to attack unruly Georgia. It was extremely easy for him to shell Georgian villages and another unrecognized “people’s republic” (South Ossetia). On the night of August 8, after Russian troops shelled Georgian villages in that area, Georgia reacted to the provocation; the Armed Forces of Georgia declared that “constitutional order would be restored” in the breakaway republic and proceeded to occupy most of Tskhinvali. Putin and his armies, of course, were waiting just around the corner. On the same day, Russia joined the conflict on the side of South Ossetian separatists, brought troops, including armoured tank brigades, into Georgia, and bombed Georgian cities, ports and military installations. Military operations spread far beyond South Ossetia to other cities in Georgia and Abkhazia, where Abkhaz troops united with Russian “volunteers” in their attacks of Georgian military positions.

Summer of 2014

While all the institutions of the EU, the US, NATO, OSCE, etc. were reiterating their endless “deep concern” and “very deep concern” about the annexation of Crimea and then fell into a month of lethargy – after all, it was tourist season on the Canaries – the sleepless KGB Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Putin decided that it was time to repeat the Georgia scenario and bite off a chunk of Ukraine. I was not the only one left with a feeling of déjà vu.

Everything seemed wonderful. MANPADS (man-portable air defense systems) were distributed among willing local drug addicts. Russia’s “brothers” received tanks, armoured vehicles, howitzers, BM-21 Grad multiple launch rocket systems and Buk surface-to-air missile systems. Russian military aviation took control of the skies. Russian troops openly began entering the Donbas region… all according to plan. Only tactical nuclear weapons were missing…

Everything went like clockwork… all the more so as the outside world continued to express and lament its “serious concern”. But, somehow it was only an anti-terrorist operation, and not a full-blown military offensive.

Then confusion set in. The missiles did not hit the “Ukes”, (after all, no one would have noticed), but a Malaysian aircraft… carrying Dutch nationals, Australians, Germans, Belgians, etc. And, let’s not forget Malaysians, too.

Today, the whole world is in deep shock. Of course, only those who are not “professional” killers dealing in poison and stiletto knives are overcome by shock.
The shock will pass. Mañana is never-ending…

I believe it is not necessary to convince people that a savage massacre is no great shock for Putin. Recall all those buildings and apartment complexes destroyed by “nameless strangers” in Moscow, Beslan and Nord-Ost , terrorist attacks that make headlines when the nation needs to be “drawn together” – never mind bringing in operations in Chechnya!

So, the question remains: will it be this year or next?

But, let’s not focus only on the mystical month of August.

Back in 1979, while the world was enjoying Christmas spirit, the Kremlin gerontocracy made use of Christmas cheer and “joy to the world” to intervene in Afghanistan.

Putin also started the 2005 and 2009 gas wars with Ukraine just before New Year’s… so that holidaymakers in their winter chalets would not have time to react, even if they wanted to.

Even the 1999 “inside court coup”, when Putin came to power, was orchestrated on New Year’s Eve, December 31, when Yeltsin was forced to abdicate the throne of the Tsar of All-Russia.
What is important to note in the fore-mentioned cases – the world’s weakness and apathy, no new formation of the European Commission, loss of any pain sensations… I will not even mention the hushed-up voice of conscience.

But now, the threshold of pain has been breached and overcome. For the second time in the past year, Putin has invaded Ukraine. As the victims of the airline crash lie in the Donetsk fields, Russian military equipment continues to pour into Ukraine. Fortunately for them, the Russian people, as always, pretend to be ignorant fools, not seeming to understand who did what and where all this is heading. Do not kid yourselves by imagining that his conscience will get the better of him. Boris Nemtsov correctly repeated Shukshin’s remark (deceased Russian actor, writer and movie producer-Ed.) – “people have banded together in evil and depravity”. This is no time to drop our guards…

In conclusion, I would not ignore the upcoming month of August 2014 – déjà vu – the hundredth anniversary of the First World War that never wants to end.

2cbb8-voz60.jpg.pagespeed.ce.7AoGeQxtBt Taras Voznyak, Chief Editor of the independent cultural and political magazine Ji (for Ukrainska Pravda)

Translated by Christine Chraibi



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