Lenin comes back to life & Obama faces a storm of criticism
Developments in the last week have been heated, and some have been odd and exciting. In Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, the great statue of Lenin was toppled by people. A leader from the National Party claimed responsibility and stated that toppling Lenin’s statue implies the end of Soviet colonization in Ukraine. Some people have likened the event to the fall of the Berlin Wall, but the events had opposite upshots: while the two Germanies were unified, the events in Ukraine have breathed new life into the history of imperialism and Lenin’s annexing of Ukraine to strengthen the Soviet Union. The fall of the Berlin wall helped the Germans forget the differences between the two Berlins; the toppling of Lenin in Ukraine has brought the catastrophes and differences sharply back into focus.
Germany is facing financial crises today, as the whole Europe has to deal with economic problems and the eruption of radical and racist movements. Ukraine, too, is under pressure from Russia and Putin not to move towards the European Union.
Just three years ago, Obama turned his back on his trustworthy and powerful ally, Hosni Mubarak, leaving Egypt to sink into a maelstrom of revolution and counter-revolution. In contrast, the Geneva agreement allows Bashar Assad to remain in power in order to avoid a clash between Russia, the West and America. And we should not forget that the Egyptian dictator stepped down at the start of events, before rivers of blood were shed, before the uprising turned into a revolution. But in Syria, thousands of civilians have been killed and children and women abused without international humanitarian lines being drawn between black and white, oppressed and oppressor. Which is why British newspapers routinely state that President Obama has turned his back on his close and powerful allies in the Middle East. At this important juncture, the Russian president Vladimir Putin has moved quickly to promote Russian interests. That is why Britain should hasten to fill the vacuum the US has left in the region. Because Russia wants the Soviet Union to prosper, new life is breathed into the history of Lenin and then his statue is toppled. Perhaps Britain wants to revisit its own history in the Middle East?
British and American newspapers have given extensive coverage to the photo Cameron and Obama took with the Danish Prime Minister. Amidst a storm of Internet criticism, Cameron has also been criticized by British MPs who would not accept his argument that when someone asks to take a photo with you, you should not refuse their request. The critics do not consider the photo ordinary: firstly, it was taken at the grand funeral ceremony of Nelson Mandela; secondly, these three personalities (Cameron, Obama and the Danish Prime Minister) took their photo using a phone. Obama laughing with the Danish PM and taking photos and shaking hands with President Castro sparked the anger of Michelle Obama, who seemed upset at what her husband did. In addition, his handshake with Rafael Castro forced the White House to spring into action and say this was not something planned in advance--the handshaking was an accident!
Nelson Mandela lived his long march to freedom and passed away a great, global and peaceful man. However, the attendance of world leaders—the British Prime Minister and American president among them--at his funeral ceremony has led to storms of criticism from the media, parliament, Congress and their families.
Anyway, there is only half a month to go before the end of 2013, and the Middle East if full of issues. Revolutions are underway, with one revolution taking place within another. Sectarian violence is threatening Iraq, fighting between Shiites and Sunnis is at its peak, and radical Islamist groups and Al-Qaida are extending their terrorist attacks into Syria and bolstering their power. The Saudi are concerned about Obama’s policies, which means a lot in relation to America’s position and future in the region. Turkey and the Kurdistan Region are moving toward greater joint political and economic projects, and the Kurdish-Turkish peace process is being seriously discussed—in short, the Kurdish question is no longer a secret. The world media described Barzani’s visit to Amed as a historic event, while his speaking overtly about the Kurdish question was a step towards its peaceful solution. Every New Year, people all over the world wish for a better future, hoping against hope that the world’s political interests will allow their wishes to nudge the world to move in the right direction.