Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Lithuania Gears Up for War With Russia

Donald Trump may admire Vladimir Putin, but Russia’s neighbors are readying for war. Over the past few years, the government of Lithuania has ramped up defense spending, begged NATO for troops, proposed building a fence along its border, and distributed detailed manuals briefing its three million citizens on what to do if Russia invades. The country has also reinstated military conscription, which was abolished in 2008. Men between the ages of 19 and 26 must now complete nine months of compulsory military service. So far, though, the move has proven premature: So many citizens have volunteered for duty that the government hasn’t needed to implement the draft.

Lithuania has a long history with Russian aggression. After Soviet tanks rolled into Vilnius in 1944, resistance fighters battled the Red Army for nearly a decade from rickety hideaways in the country’s vast forests. Twenty thousand died, and Lithuania remained under Soviet control for nearly half a century. Today, Putin is stoking fears of another invasion: In 2014, he dispatched 9,000 soldiers and 55 ships for war games in Kaliningrad, a small Russian territory on the Lithuanian border.

As Lithuania gears up for war, Italian photographer Mattia Vacca traveled to the Rukla forest to document basic training exercises for the country’s new recruits. Lithuania’s swelling military ranks, Vacca says, reflect the upsurge in patriotic fervor stoked by Russian hostility. “We are ready to fight for our freedom,” Defense Minister Juozas Olekas declared recently, “for every centimeter of our land.”

Original Article
Author: The New Republic Staff

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