Steve Inskeep of N.P.R. said Saturday morning that Russian invasion of Ukraine threatens to overturn the rule based political system that has existed since 1945; a complete crock of bull. In 1945 the Soviets had all of Eastern Europe and Ukraine and Russia was the largest part of the Soviet Union. The west may have had rule of a particular sort yet that did not include the Soviet sphere that had its own. The west sought since the formation of the Soviet state to undermine its existence and those efforts resulted in the downfall of the Soviet Union in 1989-91. In 1994 President Clinton took the opportunity to grab for the west select lands from the east that had been part of the Soviet and Russian sphere rather than that of the west. There is no question that the vulnerability of the transitioning former Soviet Union to the consolidated and ready for twar west influenced President Yeltsin’s decision, like Lenin in 1917, to yield Ukraine to the west, retaken by the Soviets in the second world war and so returned to Russia to yield Ukraine to President Bill Clinton, perhaps for a bottle of good Vodka at the White House where he was seen running around outside in his underpants.
In 1945 rule of international law meant rule of military victory; certainly a vote did not determine German decision to quit fascism; Adolph Hitler’s losses accomplished that along with the allied development-and especially that of the United States, in developing atomic and nuclear weapons while the former axis powers did not. Andre Sakharov developed the Soviets own nuclear bomb later during the cold war . The Soviet legal system imposed on Russia and other lands. like the legal system of the west ,was not taken up by a majority vote or plebiscite. Instead Germany’s assistance in getting the minority Bolshevik revolutionaries in power in Moscow and the popular desire to overthrow the tsar gave the communists an insider edge in consolidating power while Germany was preoccupied with battling the west in the first world war. The United States sent 2000 soldiers to help fight Russian counter-revolutionaries yet Red army victories ended up being complete over the white army of resistance.
When the Soviet state went through its period of dissolution opportunist leaders of Britain and the U.S. apparently saw that recognizing former Soviet states as independent states instead of recognizing traditional Russian lands was to their advantage; therefore the importunate levering of Ukraine entirely away from Russia occurred with an Anglo-American treaty in 1994 with poor Boris ‘last legger’ Yeltsin who did not move upwardly to the federal reserve, instead to heaven perhaps soon thereafter. If the west was going to erase the Soviet geo-political template Ukraine and Crimea should have been recognized as Russian while Poland and the Baltic states recognized as free states. Germany was allowed to reunify rather than remain two states after the Cold War ended; it is just Russia that the west sought to plunder as carpet baggers with immense power might have made Virginia part of Maryland. The former East Germany might have been joined with Britain or Arkansas if the west had been even more powerful and didn’t need Germans as allies in to pressure Russia with a unified military threat. Make no mistake; Germans like Japanese are good at war when they need to be if their leadership isn’t daft.
The idea that there is a comprehensive legal system governing international boundaries in Eurasia since 1945 is completely daft. It is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing; the reorganization of international borders at the end of the Soviet Union was one that emerged phenomenally for reasons of history, culture, luck good and bad and perhaps grace. The number of wars that have followed since the Clinton administration after the rule of law determined the boundaries of Vietnam, Syria, Libya, Korea, Kuwait, Nicaragua, etc before (or was that rule of bullets and bombs?) indicate powers other than legal have been the primary determinant of international boundaries and governments. Law follows power rather than power following law except perhaps in the case of direct rule of God, should that occur some day down the road.
It would be swell if people in the corporatist government era had democratic values yet they don’t. In the United States repression of free speech and dissent has built up to the point that even a President of the United States was censored and temporarily banned from social media sites. Those that have drank too much Kool-aid believe that everyone in the world is in agreement with American political-military power and that Democratic lawyer President scan write up nations and allocate them as they like with no trouble or dissent. The American left corporate minions may be able to censor social media declaring political dissent and independent use of language to be hate speech however the ability to define social reality is not the same as accurately interpreting history.