Pine Nuts: How are Scotland and Ukraine alike?
May 12, 2014
Scotland will vote for her independence on September 18. She boasts 5.3 million Scots in a United Kingdom of about 63 million, comprising about 8 percent of the population, yet its landmass encompasses one third of the UK.
British Prime Minister David Cameron's argument against secession is straightforward, "We matter more in the world together."
Ukraine will vote for a president on the 25th of this month. Ukraine boasts a population of about 46 million, with Russia weighing in at about 144 million. Ukraine comprises about 32 percent of Russia's population, and about 4 percent of Russia's landmass.
Vladimir Putin must be thinking exactly what David Cameron is thinking, "We matter more in the world together."
The difference being, Putin is backing his belief with a migraine-inducing army (have they pulled back yet?).
Cameron, on the other hand, is not threatening to protect English-speaking Scots (few as they are) with military might.
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One Scot was quick to put forward an idea that Putin and Cameron would do well to examine. "Countries can exercise influence through the scale of their ambition and the strength of their ideas rather than the size of their armies."
Once Putin and Cameron have finished examining and ruminating this novel idea, they could in turn, pass it around to North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jun-un, Iran President Hassan Rouhani, Syria President Bashar al-Assad, and Sudan President Omar Al-Bashir for starters.
We common folk are pretty much the same at bottom. We love our kids and try to make it possible for them to lead a little better life than we have led, and thanks to social media we are starting to identify with this common bond.
Western Ukraine envisions more opportunity for their kids with a closer tie to the European Union. Putin sees more opportunity for Russian speaking kids in the Ukraine if Ukraine aligns itself with Russia.
We have a law in this country against interstate transportation of loaded firearms. This law reveals that we are all still children. We have to pass a law that says, "You can have your gun, but you can't take it next door."
My question is, why can we not put this law into effect for all of God's children. "You can have your gun, but you can't take it next door."
So how do we diffuse the powder kegs that endanger our world today? Well, we could start by printing the words of that Scot on a banner, as a masthead across the morning news, on the airwaves and in the social media, and keep it there: "Countries can exercise influence through the scale of their ambition and the strength of their ideas rather than the size of their armies."
Eventually, even Vladimir Putin might see the worth in such a weighty idea. Then again, I suspect what Lord Acton told us back in the 19th century is as true today: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Putin, alas, might be the last to see the worth in such a weighty idea.
Learn more about McAvoy Layne at http://www.ghostoftwain.com.
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