Western Europeans couldn’t care less about Ukraine

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 20.22.16The only thing that concerns them, says Dalrymple, is that the situation

doesn’t drive tens of millions of Ukrainians westward. Those few who have followed developments in Ukraine over the last few years have probably lost all faith in the possibility of a minimally honest and upright government there. Who wants to risk anything for one group of corrupt oligarchs rather than another?

Western European electorates

are prepared to make no sacrifices to meet such threats, least of all in economic circumstances that are already precarious. For most electorates in Europe, Ukraine is, like Czechoslovakia in 1938, a faraway country of which they know nothing; what they want, and will judge their governments by, is prosperity at home. And only more immediate threats will arouse their national passions sufficiently to resign them to the slightest economic hardship.

One of the forms of hubris, Dalrymple writes, is

the belief that the need for vigilance has been abolished because everyone now has the same worldview as ourselves, that the end of history has come, and we are it.

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