The Ukraine - A Present Day Powder Keg
"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."
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The failure of U.S. foreign policy (if there actually is one) is playing out on the international stage. Ukraine seems to be a kettle about to boil over.

*First - reported earlier this week that:

“Ukraine may have to arm itself with nuclear weapons if the United States and other world powers refuse to enforce a security pact that obligates them to reverse the Moscow-backed takeover of Crimea, a member of the Ukraine parliament told USA TODAY.

The United States, Great Britain and Russia agreed in a pact "to assure Ukraine's territorial integrity" in return for Ukraine giving up a nuclear arsenal it inherited from the Soviet Union after declaring independence in 1991, said Pavlo Rizanenko, a member of the Ukrainian parliament.

"We gave up nuclear weapons because of this agreement," said Rizanenko, a member of the Udar Party headed by Vitali Klitschko, a candidate for president. "Now there's a strong sentiment in Ukraine that we made a big mistake."”


(Is the United States actually RENEGING on a signed security pact with a foreign county? Could that even be possible?)

*Then - The New York Times reported yesterday that Russian troops are actually MASSING on three locations around the Ukrainian border. This action had the predictable results of “alarming the interim Ukraine government about a possible invasion and significantly escalating tensions in the crisis between the Kremlin and the West.” See:

Peggy Noonan puts it all in perspective in an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal posted online last evening. Her analysis of the situation in the Ukraine is – as usual – both insightful and incisive. Noonan dissects the situation and shares her opinion on what U.S. world leadership in 2014 has become in the context of historical and current events. Above all, Noonan questions the basic purpose, scope, and goals of U.S. foreign policy in 2014. While essentially asking “What IS our foreign policy?”, she defines what U.S. foreign policy is not and should not be:

“Not being George W. Bush is not a foreign policy. Not invading countries is not a foreign policy. Wishing to demonstrate your sophistication by announcing you are unencumbered by the false historical narratives of the past is not a foreign policy. Assuming the world will be nice if we're not militarist is not a foreign policy.”


From MY “historical perspective” as a student of history and 63 years of life, the current situation in the Ukraine reminds me of the assassination of Austria's Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie in 1914, and Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939. Both events unexpectedly (from the average citizen’s standpoint) triggered world wars.

I hope history doesn’t repeat itself this time.

Latest Activity: Mar 14, 2014 at 6:52 PM

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sebekm commented on Friday, Mar 14, 2014 at 19:18 PM

....and when you read this one, substitute Russia, Crimea, and Putin with Germany, Poland, and Hitler. The similarities are chilling:

JimmyMack commented on Saturday, Mar 15, 2014 at 06:20 AM

WEll then, if the scenario that Noonan paints is correct, and the Nukes comeback to the Ukraine, it will all then play out under a bright shining light.

sebekm commented on Monday, Mar 17, 2014 at 13:32 PM

Yes it will (maybe). This is what happens when an administration emasculates the country's foreign policy. It's one thing to withdraw from foreign conflicts which have run their course. It's another to abrogate treaty responsibilities and ignore history and reality.

I have for the most part supported Obama and his foreign policy, but since the 2012 election we have seen what he meant by having more "flexibility" in dealing with the Russians. They took this to mean capitulation and they are MOVING FORWARD on all fronts with HOPE for CHANGE that seemed impossible only 10 years ago.

Once again, I fear that it will take a Republican president to restore American strength and resolve in the international community, 'cause a Democratic president hasn't done that since JFK.

JimmyMack commented on Monday, Mar 17, 2014 at 15:23 PM

I believe you may be right here Sebe. I have no G-2 knowledge. But I do know that Putin was a soldier in the Cold War days and that is a tremendous understatement of him a he was in fact the LEADER of the KGB. He also is on record of making melancholic statements regarding his longings for those good old days and there coming to an end with the collapse of the USSR.

He knows we cannot blockade Crimea. He knows nukes are off the table and sanctions schmankins. I believe he sees this whole thing as a serendipitous opportunity presented unto him to re-again showcase Russia's power in the world.

I believe he ever so pleasingly sees a Russian checkmate.

I think "Happy Days Are Here Again" does not capture the totality of his present political euphoria.

sebekm commented on Monday, Mar 17, 2014 at 16:13 PM

Yes, they are literally bouncing up and down over their "opportunity" in Ukraine. I really do think that Putin has - as a personal goal - to reestablish the Soviet Union. How far along he gets toward that goal depends on what we - THE UNITED STATES - do to limit Russian expansionism. It has been an extremely bitter pill for the Russians over the past 20 years to constantly hear that "Ronald Reagan won the Cold War," yada yada yada.... I have no doubt that Putin would love to shove those words right down our throats with a vengeance. The signs are everywhere. First, they are expanding their sphere of influence - especially militarily - into the western hemisphere:

Then - they are characterizing their engagement with the us in the Ukraine as U.S. EXPANSIONISM:

which requires them to "ride to the rescue" and save the poor Ukrainians from the clutches of democracy. (This is exactly how Hitler rationalized annexing Austria and Czechoslovakia pre-WWII.)

Couple this with the usual Russian threats and bluster ala Nikita Kruschev (i.e., "We Will Bury You"):

And you can see where this is heading. The latest is that we have frozen the "assets" of prominent Russians we have identified as contributing to the Ukraine/Crimea situation:

I guess to freeze their assets means we put a brick on their investments and bank accounts either in the U.S. or in locations of our allies. I guess this is just a "first step," but to me it seems tantamount to taking a stick and whacking a bee's nest.

Hopefully the end result won't be that we get stung more than they are.

JimmyMack commented on Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Europe and the world needs to be afraid, very afraid. If Putin annexes the Ukraine next and nobody stops him, then we will repeat history except this one will have even greater consequences.

China needs to see this for what it is. Naked aggression and not abstain at the next UN Security Council vote. But even that may not stop him.

And if Putin is in lebensraum mode, then we the world is in deep ka-ka.

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