Monday, February 24, 2014

Amazing video footage from Kiev

Protesters in Ukraine seized the country's capital Saturday, and took full control over central Kiev’s government buildings and President Viktor Yanukovych’s mansion which is outside the city.  Reports indicated that Yanukovych flew late Friday to the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. His whereabouts remain unknown.

Thanks the Internet, it was possible to watch the events in Ukraine almost as they happened. Some of the videos that were posted from the scene are absolutely amazing.  This one, especially.

I watched that video in astonishment.  What are those insurgents trying to do?  What could they hope to accomplish?

But one thing was clear to me; they weren't in retreat. At about the 28m mark, you see them advancing behind barricades, in large numbers.  Unarmed and advancing into deadly sniper fire.

It's absolutely incomprehensible to me that their first concern was not getting themselves the hell out of there.

But that's basically how every insurgency on the planet is being fought, and won, against overwhelming odds.

They didn't win the battle of Kiev with paving stones.  They won with the most timeless; the most effective; weapons of all:  courage, patience, and determination.  Particularly, note how they placed their own lives at great personal risk to remove their wounded.  Courage.

Like the insurgent populations everywhere, and those yet to come.  It is greatly inspiring.  Share that video with others.

This one is a lot more gory; and I don't encourage you to watch it if that bothers you:   It is the unedited reality, though, and I think that makes it worth looking at, even if it is uncomfortable. It's what replaced field journalism a few years ago.

Yanukovych may have lost his political power when Ukraine's Parliament voted unanimously for his removal, but this revolution was won when the Ukranian army stood down.  Last week, after the first bloody day in Kiev, Yanukovych fired  the army chief of staff because he refused to send troops to put down the protests. Even after that firing, though, the troops stayed in their barracks.  Yanukovych used the police, especially his supporters’ militias, to attack the protesters.

What kind of men were the last to defend Yanukovych?  What type of men shot civilians from a safe distance with rifles?

I'm surprised little has been said about those snipers.  Look, killing unarmed people from a safe distance is fucking gutless.  It's murder.  And it disgusts me when I hear that the victims "brought it on themselves" (either by their own actions or by being where they weren't supposed to be).  That very statement is cowardly. Never excuse your own actions by pointing to someone else and saying "they made me do it."

And it doesn't matter if it's a rifle, a missile, or an unmanned aerial drone; the act is the same; and it can't be made honorable by the sanction of the State.  I remember a guy telling me once, years ago, "I was trained as an Army sniper."  I looked at him in disbelief that he would say that to a decent human being ... he was a paid coward, and proud of it?  Did his mother know what he'd become?

The types of people who choose to become gutless killers like that need to be rendered helpless.  Those snipers need to be dealt with.  So do the pilots of America's drones; their identities revealed. It won't happen of course, that that's a real problem.  Americans are undergoing a crisis of courage, and of character. And, I might add, although I don't intend to exclude women, manhood.

For what it's worth (and that's very little) the Obama Administration has opened an "internal investigation" into a drone strike which took place in Yemen on December 12 of last year.  Supposedly it targeted an Al-Qaeda militant, but locals claim it killed 12 people and injured 14 others in a wedding party, none of who mere "turrists."  The investigation, of course, is a whitewash like all the others.