Sunday 26 March 2023

Vox populi, vox dei: Bucharest taxi drivers talk about the Ukrainian war

My taxi driver last night (he was 28) had no doubt when I asked him who was to blame for the war in Ukraine. 'America.'

The one this morning started telling me how much he disliked Ukrainians because Zelensky stopped teaching in the Romanian language in schools where the Romanian minority live. He also notes that the Ukrainians who came here were rich, had expensive cars and stayed in the best hotels. I have heard all these points before. 

He pointed out that Ukraine is an artificial state comprising parts of Poland, Romania and Russia. His family were driven out when the Soviet Union took the Northern Bucovina from Romania. His cousins who remained were badly treated.

Who is to blame for the war? 'Russia.' 

He was the first taxi driver I asked (out of about 8 or 9) who pinned the bame entirely on Russia.

Taxi drivers know everything. I heard Michael Clarke, Director General of the Royal United Services Institute from 2007 to 2015, speaking in Cluj and saying Trump being POTUS was like having a New York cab driver as president. 

I see that as Mr Trump's superpower.

Romanians understand human nature and history much better than the English. They have not lost 'the tragic sense  of life' (Unamuno) and they know about original sin. Anglo-Saxons, though (mostly) Protestants, are naïve and idealise people and peoples.

This will change as propaganda on the internet and in schools forms the modern Western equivalent of Homo Sovieticus. This is one of the biggest threats to Romania. Another is secularisation. 

A very clever Romanian corporate financier at dinner on Friday sees America as giving up on much of the world but determined to force Europe to stop trading with Russia and China. But why do the Americans want a cold war with China, I asked. 'Empire' was his succinct reply.

A veteran American businessman, well connected with conservatives in Washington DC and who has lived and owned companies in Budapest, Prague and Moscow, told me last night that America had blundered badly again and the war was the result. 

Luckily an English friend of mine at the table didn't hear this, as he had told me he would punch anyone who blamed anyone but Putin for the war.


  1. Blundered? Who sells arms and liquefied gas? Who has crippled two competitors (Russia and Germany/the EU) with one strike, without risking one single American life? On the contrary, I think they are geniuses.

    The EU officials, the British, French, German secret services should have seen what's going on as early as the coloured revolutions and should have stood up against the Americans and, on behalf of the Russians, said "this is our backyard, back off, we don't want to wreck our continent again". But the mediocres in Brussels were just to happy to applaud "the spread of democracy", the carefully coreographed images of some Timoshenkos, Klitchkos and other angels of purity, to let themselves and our continent getting bound to American interests, against its own. Now we have what we deserve, threats of blackouts, high energy prices, inflation. Not to mention the risk that the war spills over the borders of Ukraine.

  2. Pretty much repeating the propaganda from RTV (owned by an oligarch who ran away to Serbia) or Realitatea TV, owned by another Russian agent. The Russians are quite powerful in the TV media here, though notably Antena 3, that you'd have expected to be with them, has taken a different line this time.

  3. Tell your English friend, he can take a swing at me and many of my ex pat, well travelled business associates from Holland, Spain, Germany America, Australia Israel, the Middle and Far East. Some are retired members of the Intelligence Services, the FBI and some are still serving NATO officers. Your American friend is correct, it is about "Empire" and has nothing to do with humanitarian causes. Look at the way the West reacted to lifting their sanctions against Syria after the earthquake. Our politicians do not know the meaning of the word humanity and they will make the suffering of the Ukrainian people even worse, now and in the future, by introducing depleted Uranium weaponry. Ukraine is just another Iraq, based on lies, whilst portraying Putin as the bogey man in place of Saddam. The lunatic, power crazed monsters in the West have achieved the very opposite of their desired objective in succeeding to unite Russia, China and other members of BRICS against them. To make matters worse their cosy relationship with Saudi Arabia appears to be in tatters.

  4. Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair. -- George Burns

  5. CIA pushed for this war way back in 2014 - so America is to blame - not American people - but the American "Deep State

  6. Ahh, the wisdom of the taximan. Cut from the same bolt of cloth as the members of the mob calling out for Barabbas to be freed.