Saturday, June 7, 2014
Can Poroshenko be Ukraine's Churchill?
Although it was their first meeting since the Russian puppet government was overthrown in the spring, and lasted less than half an hour, it brought hope that talks would replace bullets.
But time after time Putin has not kept his word, and chocolate king Petro Poroshenko made it clear he was not Willy Wonka and was not willing to hand over parts of his country to the Kremlin. In his speech to the nation Saturday night, Poroshenko promised that peace, prosperity and freedom were not “Pure Imagination.” He spoke in both Ukrainian and Russian.
Of course he could not match the words of , when Britain stood alone during the Blitz. For Churchill, as for , a phenomenon called “asyndeton” was a key factor. Among other things it omits conjunctions.
A Churchill example: “We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. . ."
Poroshenko said: "A real war, planned and unleashed in the Ukrainian Donbas, became an obstacle for enormous opportunities that opened for the European modernization of Ukraine after the fall of tyranny.” He said he was prepared to offer amnesties and ready to talk to real representatives of the eastern Ukraine.
'Today, we need a legitimate partner for the dialogue. We will not speak to bandits. Acting local deputies do not represent anyone there already. We are ready to declare early local elections in the Donbas.” He warned his countrywomen and countrymen not to count on NATO or the US to rescue it from Moscow’s grip.
“Our most reliable allies and the best guarantors of peace are our army, fleet, the National Guard and professional special forces!” Nobody will protect us until we learn to defend ourselves."
Most importantly, he said, “Russia occupied Crimea, which was, is and will be Ukrainian soil.”
Turning an underfunded and ill-trained army into a fight force overnight may be as difficult a job as faced in another Hollywood movie, “Toys,” when he had to learned how to use toys as weapons.