World View: Russia Contemplates Military Action in Ukraine After Sochi

This morning's key headlines from
  • Russia contemplates Ukraine military action after Sochi
  • Pakistan government mediators talk to Taliban mediators

Russia contemplates Ukraine military action after Sochi

Some Russian nationalists in Moscow are discussing a possible military annexation of Ukraine once the Sochi Olympics games have ended. It's becoming increasingly common to refer to the anti-government protesters as "fascists" or "Nazis." In the case of some groups, this characterization is not far from the truth. One anti-government activist, Dmitry Yarosh, is a follower of Stepan Bandera, who helped Hitler's army evict the Red Army from Ukraine during the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. 

The question of military intervention is being actively discussed during prime time on Russian state TV channels. A former adviser to Russian president Vladimir Putin, political scientist Andrey Illarionov, is frequently heard discussing preparations for a military invasion:

Ukraine is a failed state, and the historic chance for reunification of all the Russian lands can be lost in the next couple of weeks, so we mustn’t put off the solution to the Ukrainian Question.

The phrase "the solution to the Ukrainian Question" is not an accident, but is an echo of Hitler's "the solution to the Jewish question," and is accompanied by threats to send Ukrainian protesters to a "frosty minus-60 degree resort" in Siberia. The 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia, followed by the annexation of two Georgian provinces, is being discussed as a model. The scenarios being considered for Ukraine range from annexation of the entire country, which is considered to be unrealistic, to full control of Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine, especially the Crimea and Sevastopol. Voice of Russia and Daily Beast and Voice of Russia

Pakistan government mediators talk to Taliban mediators

The "historic" negotiations to end the terrorist attacks in Pakistan finally began on Thursday. The Pakistani Taliban (Tehrik-e-Taliban - TTP) sent three negotiators, and the government sent four negotiators to a meeting in Islamabad to talk. Nothing that's decided would be binding on anyone. Even if something were decided, the TTP is merely an umbrella group under which some 40-50 autonomous extremist organizations operate.

The TTP has said that terrorist attacks will continue during the "peace talks." TTP has already killed more than 50,000 Pakistanis in the last few years, so I guess they believe that a few hundred or thousand more won't matter.

The TTP is demanding that Pakistan adopt "Sharia law," which has very different meanings to different Muslim groups. The jihadists say that want the strictest Wahhabi form, which they believe apparently gives them the right to inflict suicide bombings on Shia Muslim mosques and schools, as well as Sufis.

So, the "Pakistan peace process," like the "Israeli-Palestinian peace process" and the "Syria peace process," is just another game for show. Daily Times (Pakistan) and Business Recorder (Pakistan)

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