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Donald Trump must learn from the mistakes of Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovych

On the 21st of February, 2014, the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed a deal with his political opponents calling for early elections, a return to the previous constitution (in force from 2004-10) and a timeline to draft a new constitution. The deal was brokered by Germany, Poland and France, three countries which self-evidently did not have stability in the country as one of their goals.

President Yanukovych’s opposition clearly did not have any intention to hold up their end of the bargain, but Yanukovych was naive. On that same evening, he recalled the police of the Interior Ministry, and Maidan Square was abandoned to the hooligans, armed groups and neo-Nazi revolutionaries.

The next day Yanukovych ran for his life and members of his party who didn’t flee faced severe – often physical – consequences for not doing so.

So much for a deal which would have kept him in power at the head of a transitional authority.

None of the three European powers who brokered the deal appealed for a restoration of law and order. They seemed happy that their goons in Maidan had broken their word. This was the watershed day that caused many people to learn just why neo-liberals cannot be trusted.

The US has a long history of peaceful and not so peaceful protest. But what is going on at the moment is anything but peaceful.

Paid protesters seem to be digging in for a long season of insurrection designed to do the opposite of making “America great again”. The protests are designed to bring America to its knees. There are frightening similarities to how events in Kiev unfolded in 2014.

Of course the US is a far stronger state than Ukraine was under President Yanukovych.   However Donald Trump’s powerful enemies may indeed be able to level this playing field.

Trump cannot afford to simply sit back and dismiss the protests, leaving them in the weak and often tied hands of local police, who take orders from local officials who are often politically compromised.

Just as President George H. W. Bush did during the Los Angeles riots of 1992, it may soon be necessary for him to declare martial law.

The silent majority in America do not want this, they want law and order. They want peace and prosperity. Moreover they want Trump, they just recently voted for him.

Yanukovych ignored his own silent majority and as a result his country is now a shambles that will cease to exist in a short matter of years.

With so many powerful players stacked against him, Trump must call in support to clear the streets. He must show a zero tolerance for disruption at airports, disruptions which I might add, would be the perfect cover for a terrorist bombing.

Yanukovych had many options from calling in his own reinforcements to asking neighbouring allies like Russia or Belarus for assistance. Instead he took the ‘nice guy’s way out’ which was in actual fact tantamount to the coward’s way out.

Trump cannot make this same mistake. The US may yet be too big to fall, but no one would have thought the USSR could fall.

America could go the same way. It is a slippery slope.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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