Garry Kasparov is considered by many to be the greatest chess Grand Master of all time.
Of course, we Cubans prefer to assign that distinction to our own José Raúl Capablanca.
Kasparov is now involved in politics and the defense of human rights, and has penned an essay for Time magazine that should be required reading for anyone who can read.
As Kasparov sees it, we are all skating on very thin ice. The so-called “free world” is ignoring Putin in ways that call to mind the late 1930’s.
As we all know, ignoring the obvious back then had dire consequences for millions of people.
What does this have to do with Cuba? If you have to ask, then you haven’t been paying attention to Putin’s outreach to Latrine America, or to the total collapse of the U.S.A. on the world stage.
Face it, the U.S.A. is now as much of a world power as Bolivia or Lithuania…. Or Ukraine.
The party is over. We are done for. Get ready to be ruled by one of these three: China, Russia, or the Islamic State. Or maybe a lethal combination of the three. And get ready for the entire globe to resemble Castrogonia.
As Russian troops and armored columns advance in Eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian government begs for aid from the free world it hoped would receive it and protect it as one of its own. The leaders of the free world, meanwhile, are struggling to find the right terminology to free themselves from the moral responsibility to provide that protection. Putin’s bloody invasion of a sovereign European nation is an incursion, much like Crimea — remember Crimea? — was an “uncontested arrival” instead of Anschluss. A civilian airliner was blown out of the sky just six weeks ago –—remember MH17? — and with more than 100 victims still unidentified the outrage has already dissipated into polite discussions about whether it should be investigated as a crime, a war crime, or neither.
This vocabulary of cowardice emanating from Berlin and Washington today is as disgraceful as the black-is-white propaganda produced by Putin’s regime, and even more dangerous. Moscow’s smokescreens are hardly necessary in the face of so much willful blindness. Putin’s lies are obvious and expected. European leaders and the White House are even more eager than the Kremlin to pretend this conflict is local and so requires nothing more than vague promises from a very safe distance. As George Orwell wrote in his 1946 essay on language right before starting work on his novel 1984 (surely not a coincidence): “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” The Western rhetoric of appeasement creates a self-reinforcing loop of mental and moral corruption. Speaking the truth now would mean confessing to many months of lies, just as it took years for Western leaders to finally admit Putin didn’t belong in the G-7 club of industrialized democracies….
….I feel the irony in how it has quickly gone from scandal to cliché to compare Putin to Hitler, for better and for worse. Certainly Putin’s arrogance and language remind us more and more of Hitler’s, as does how well he has been rewarded for them. For this he can thank the overabundance of Chamberlains in the halls of power today — and there is no Churchill in sight.
As long as it is easy, as long as Putin moves from victory to victory without resistance, he gains more support. He took Crimea with barely a shot fired. He flooded Eastern Ukraine with agents and weaponry while Europe dithered. The oligarchs who might have pressured Putin at the start of his Ukrainian adventure are now war criminals with no way back. The pressure points now are harder to reach.
Read the whole essay HERE.