Wild fires still raged around Moscow in mid-August and the smoke clouds above Red Square hung heavily over the brown marble block that sits below the ominous red walls of the Kremlin. This is the final resting place of the leader of the October revolution, the event that changed the world in 1917. Here lies Vladimir Ilyich Lenin looking as fresh as a daisy.
Lenin died in 1924 but his body has been kept intact ever since and on display in the polished Red Square crypt. The guide books tell us that his brain has been sliced into thousands of pieces and is preserved for scientific purposes. Was it perhaps to decode and bottle the revolutionary spirit? The rest of him is kept from deteriorating by various treatments and is, in effect, mummified.
It's difficult to know which is the more disturbing aspect of the crisis in the Ukraine -- the deliberate obfuscation of the truth by Western leaders like Stephen Harper (and their complicit media) or the truth itself: the casual acceptance by the West of an illegal, coup-installed regime in Kiev populated by neo-Nazis and anti-Semites. But you don't have to choose between them -- you should be very concerned about both. Democracy is impossible without an informed citizenry and given the effective collusion between the Harper government, the Canadian media and the geo-political interests of NATO we seem doomed to remain uniformed.