Democracy in the Donetsk People’s Republic
Reporting on the lack of any serious opposition to separatist leader Aleksandr Zakharchenko in the current eastern Ukrainian election, Andrew Kramer provided the following commentary from a Russian newspaper editor:
Aleksandr A. Prokhanov, the editor in chief of the Russian nationalist newspaper Zavtra, who has advised separatist field commanders including Mr. Zakharchenko on ideological questions, said in an interview over the weekend that the Donetsk People’s Republic would not be bound by rigid Western ideas of democracy.
“There are elections when you choose between A and B, and then there are the more difficult ones when you choose between A and A,” he said. “You are a liberal, so you do not understand this. In the Russian consciousness, you can choose between A and A and A, and choosing between an infinite number of A’s is true freedom.”
– Andrew Kramer, Rebel-Backed Elections to Cement Status Quo in Ukraine, New York Times, 11/3/2014
Insanity in Mexico
Those who have not paid attention to the story of the disappearance of 43 students from the Escuela Normal Rural Raúl Isidro Burgos teachers’ college in southern Mexico will find a good overview in today’s New York Times article by Paulina Villegas and Randal Archibold. Given the breakdown of order reported in this part of Mexico, one wonders if America’s neighbor could collapse into chaos like Syria or Libya. Here’s an excerpt:
The small teachers’ college in southern Mexico has been at the center of a national crisis since 43 of its students disappeared in September after a violent confrontation with the local police force, which has been infiltrated by a drug gang.
…Israel, one of the students missing since Sept. 26… was part of a large group of students who went to the industrial city of Iguala, about two hours away and 120 miles south of Mexico City, to collect money for school activities and to steal two buses to help transport them to demonstrations on Oct. 2 commemorating a 1968 student massacre in Mexico City.
The appropriation of the buses [was] routine and temporary, students here say….
They have routinely blocked highways and these days have regularly taken over tollbooths on superhighways in southern Mexico, asking for donations while federal police officers sit nearby, apparently unwilling to risk a confrontation.
… In the search for the students, the authorities have uncovered several mass graves containing a total of 38 bodies, though initial tests indicate that none are the missing students.
… The authorities now believe that the mayor of Iguala had close ties to the drug gang and ordered the police to round up the students before they interrupted a speech his wife, a social services official in town, was giving.
– Paulina Villegas and Randal Archibold, Keeping the Revolutionary Fires Alive, New York Times, 11/3/2014