Chicago City Council to fire words at Russia

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I, Neil Steinberg, am against aggression.

Officially, and for the public record.

Particularly aggression across national borders. That’s the worst. One country should not dominate another militarily. I oppose that with my full moral authority as a columnist. It’s bad policy.

Let it be known.

Not just bad in general, but bad specifically, in regard to Russia, which should not be violating Ukrainian sovereignty. Here and now I formally demand that Vladimir Putin cease all bellicose activities in Crimea and return to the pre-March 2014 borders.

There, I’ve said it.

If that seems out of character, I’m only following the courageous example set by the Chicago City Council, which, once again, is poised to try to project its moral authority from the corner of La Salle and Randolph streets, echoing across the globe, to rattle the windows of oppression and exert what influence it can on the enormous, grinding gears of world events.

“It’s only a symbolic act,” said Ald. Ed Burke (14th), who called out of the blue with the dramatic news Friday morning. “What little we can do to put ourselves on record.”

The act he is referring to is the withdrawal from our sister city relationship with Moscow, one of 28 cities around the globe that Chicago is bound to in sororal affection through Chicago Sister Cities International.

Such a dramatic foray into international affairs could not happen unopposed, of course, and Chicago’s longest-serving alderman said there were shadowy forces at work, opposing the council’s bold action.

“My staff is telling me that some dweeb from the mayor’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs is trying to force the chairman not to have a hearing,” Burke said.

When I pressed him — after shaking off the shock of hearing Ed Burke say “dweeb,” which is like hearing Genghis Khan say “booger” — trying to find out the name of this obstructionist Putin-coddling dweeb, Burke balked. He said that, if necessary, he would bring up the matter in his own home turf, the Finance Committee.


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