SCENE: Mitch BERG is sitting at a stoplight when his car is jolted from behind.
Wearily, BERG gets out of his car and walks to the car that has bumped his rear bumper. Avery LIBRELLE sits at the driver’s seat, still furiously typing on a mobile device.
BERG: (Recognizes LIBRELLE): Oh, jeez. You know you slid into my…
LIBRELLE: Wait! (furiously finishes typing comment onto news website). OK. What now?
BERG: Well, you sorta slid into my back bumper. (Checks bumper). Not much damage, but still…
LIBRELLE: Yeah, well, I had to comment on this Ukraine thing. The Administration is doing a heck of a job.
BERG: The Administration is doing nothing at all.
LIBRELLE: Well, we only have so much we can do. We have no credibility.
BERG: I’ll say. Obama has pretty much…
LIBRELLE: No, you racist, it’s not Obama. It’s the US. We have no credibility on human rights issues.
BERG: What now?
LIBRELLE: Look at slavery! Look at what we did with the Indians.
BERG: Wait. Slavery – which we fought a civil war to abolish 150 years ago – and the wars against the Native Americans, which ended 120 years ago, destroy our credibility today?
LIBRELLE: Absolutely. And the people of the Crimea just voted, 93% of them, to rejoin Russia.
BERG: In an election in which they were surrounded by Russian troops.
LIBRELLE: So that invalidates the elections in Afghanistan and Iraq, then?
BERG: (slowly shakes head). You do realize that justifying a larger, aggressive nation swallowing up parts of smaller nations based purely on ethnicity is how the west rationalized Germany taking the Sudetenland, don’t you?
LIBRELLE: Bla bla bla. Russia is liberating Crimea from the Ukrainitarians, who unlawfully stole it from them.
BERG: OK, about that. Let’s run, for sake of argument, with the idea that slavery and the conquest of the American Indians invalidates America’s claim to being a moral player.
LIBRELLE: It does.
BERG: Even though it happened over 110 years ago, and our society has spent the better part of the past 40-50 years atoning for both, which is something no other society on earth haseverdone for societies they previously conquered and enslaved.
LIBRELLE: Bla bla bla. Do you have a point?
BERG: I always have a point. You do realize that the reason the Crimea is ethnically Russian is that the Russians murdered, starved and deported the vast majority of the non-Russian natives of the region back in the twenties through the forties, and shipped in ethnic Russians to replace them, don’t you? That is to say, within the past seventy to ninety years, they either murdered the people who lived there at the time – the Tatars, the Turks, the German-Russians and all other other ethnic groups that used to live there – in an ethnic cleansing no less brutal than Wounded Knee and the Trail of Tears, but within living memory, as they were also starving Ukraine into submission - or shipped them off to the steppes and a fate not one iota less horrible than slavery?
LIBRELLE: Your point?
BERG: You deny the US has any moral weight, but ignore vastly worse and more recent crimes to fit your narrative.
LIBRELLE: Bla bla bla. Hey, you have insurance, right? Could you get this one?