Sunday, 23 February 2014

the dead of Independence Square: does Ukraine have lessons for both patriots and security forces?

Ukraine, for the present at least, seems to be a free country. The security forces have evaporated from Kiev and protesters can finally mourn the dead of Independence Square, killed – we must assume – by aforesaid security forces.

Is there a degree to which the security forces were doing their job? That job was to protect their country, and their superior officers told them it was under attack; by people who are now being hailed internationally as freedom-fighters.

I ask this because patriots throughout the world look with increasing discomfort at their countries’ security services. In Great Britain peers have just blocked the police from being given powers to prevent "conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person". Note the phrase "capable of" – thought crime, anybody? In the US, a big story is the huge amount of ammunition bought by security forces that is banned from being used in theatres of war, firing concerns that it’s intended for use against perceived internal enemies.

So again I return to the Ukranian services – why did they stop? The full story might not come out for some time, but it looks as though a lot of them have decided – individually or en masse, or a combination thereof – that killing patriots, which is how many might see themselves, wasn’t their job.

Will US security forces personnel come to such a decision-point if they are called upon to shoot at their countryfolk? Will there come a point at which their British counterparts decide it’s not their job to suffocate social and cultural concerns which they share?

As the dead of Independence Square are mourned, perhaps it’s time for reflection on the price of freedom, on the part of both those who might be called to pay that price and those who might be called to exact it.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

In Ukraine, Mourning Amid Political Drama - Al Pessin, Voice of America

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