The Russia of 2014 isn’t really a whole lot different than the USSR of 1964. In some ways, it’s worse.
In the bad old days, the Communist Party leaders had to concern themselves about keeping the party elite happy, and there was always the chance of getting a sickle in the back, literally or figuratively. Today, however, Vladamir Putin, the World’s Most Evil Man, answers only to himself. Russia, a country that seemingly cannot operate without a strongman to guide it, still adores this cold-hearted bastard. He has silenced opposition, and the media is dominated by the Kremlin, just as it was in the old Pravda days. His enemies are jailed on trumped-up charges, and more than a few have expired under mysterious circumstances. Just like the good ol’ days.
Putin is at his most diabolical in the current Ukrainian crisis, which was pretty much written and produced by Putin. No, didn’t aim the missile that brought down the Malaysian Airline plane, but he has the blood of 298 people is on his hands. Incredibly, he has denied any Russian culpability in this atrocity. He’s like a guy caught standing over a corpse, hands dripping with blood, who tells the police “It was like this when I got here.”
The European Union’s reaction to the Malaysian catastrophe has been, once again, muted. The Dutch, of course, are enraged. The rest of the world is furious as well, but so far the sanctions against Russia have amounted to little more than a stern finger wag, and a “Listen, you’ve REALLY got to stop this, or next time, we’re REALLY going to get angry.” The French, always the leaders in courageous leadership, are still going ahead with the sale of an ultra-high tech warship to Russia.
Something has to be done about Putin, and since Russia is still in his corner (Russian media is filled with conspiracy theories about the Malaysian Airlines horror, including that that posits that the plane was loaded with corpses), and Europe in particular seems timid in its response, it’s time We the People did something about this.
Therefore, I am launching the Boycott Russian Vodka movement.
Russia and vodka are as synonymous as Canada and maple syrup, or American and guns. Russia produces a lot of vodka; along with cartoonish villains for the movies, it’s probably their biggest non-mineral export. So, I’m asking all of you vodka drinkers to boycott Russian vodka. I think every province in Canada should jack up the price of Russian vodka by $10 a bottle as a symbolic retaliation for the Ukrainian crisis. If you agree, pass this blog onto a friend who drinks vodka. Once they sober up, maybe they’ll agree.
I, however, do not drink vodka. So you may be saying, “Hey, jerk” (that was uncalled for, by the way), “what are YOU going to do to put the pressure on Russia?”
I have an answer, and I’m hoping others will join me.
I am now boycotting Russian caviar. I spread the last of my Russian caviar on a Cheese Ritz this morning, and now I’m done. No more caviar for me. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. Won’t you join me?