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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Predictable, and Predicted

The crisis in Ukraine has now become a tragedy. It probably will get worse. It is not too early to begin to examine the wisdom of the actions and policies of the country’s self-proclaimed allies.

The diplomacy of the EU and its 'Eastern Partnership' now appears to have been too little, and both too early and too late, not least according to the Americans, whose own contribution, leaked rhetoric aside, rates even less, and even later. If you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna. Statesmen nowadays rely on something called 'people power' to do that. They have been, and will keep on, encouraging this, evidently, down to the last Ukrainian.

This is not the time or the place to denounce geopolitics; Talleyrand believes in little else, in fact, even when a concept like solidarity is tossed into the mix. The EU has been criticised therein for failing to put its money where its mouth is. So too have the Americans. It’s all very well to pass out cakes in the Maidan in a sad, singlehanded imitation of the Berlin airlift. But if solidarity really matters, where were the American do-gooders when so many uprooted Greeks, Irish, Portuguese, Spanish and other Europeans took to the streets in desperation during the past couple of years? 'F*** the EU' might have been taken more seriously there. Now it’s immaterial. The people of Kiev have begun to learn self-reliance the hard way.

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