Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Dumb Da-Dumb Dumb

(Cartoon by Lee Judge/Kansas City Star (3/4/14) and featured at McClatchy DC. Click on image to enlarge.)

Vladimir Putin's sudden move into Crimea took most of the world by surprise.  Since the tanks and troops moved in to take over the airport, world leaders and their governments have sat on the edge of their seats, waiting for the next move.  So far, no shots have been fired and those troops and tanks have remained at the airport, neither moving into the western areas of the Ukraine nor giving any indication of returning to Russia itself.

President Putin's excuse for this rather precipitous move was that with the turmoil in the Ukraine and a new government taking power in Kiev under what he considered to be suspicious circumstances he wanted to ensure the safety of Russians in the Ukraine and wanted to protect the Russian fort which was allowed to accompany access to the Crimean Sea.  Some analysts suggest that the real reason for the move was to show the world and the Russian people that Russia was still a world power.

Although some foolish people in this country have suggested some kind of serious sabre rattling in response to President Putin's actions, up to this point wiser heads have prevailed.  David Horsey's March 4, 2014 column suggests that economic sanctions would be a much better and a more effective course.

Russia’s current autocrat, Vladimir Putin, may be thinking his easy capture of Crimea from the fledgling government of Ukraine is a bold and clever move. Under the pretext of protecting Russians, he may have plans to snatch Ukraine’s Russian-speaking eastern industrial region. And he can act with the certain knowledge that, unlike the 1850s, Western powers have no stomach for war.

But that only proves Western leaders have learned the lessons of history. In the intertwined world of the 21st century, the power that really counts is economic power. Sure, the United States and the European Union have no inclination to send troops to defend Ukraine, but they have economic weapons that could severely undermine Russia’s tottering economy.  [Emphasis added]

Of course, the United States could simply sit back and do nothing, allowing the Ukraine's European neighbors to respond in some fashion.  I doubt, however, that either our European allies or our Congress will give President Obama that luxury.

The next few weeks are going to be interesting.

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Blogger John Gardner said...

yeah, but in the case of iraq we didn't have any agreements in place for them to disarm and we'd protect them.

We (and the UK, and Russia) had agreements like that in place with Ukraine for them to dismantle their nuclear capability and essentially remove their military entirely, and that we'd support them and ensure their borders and sovereignty were maintained. (1994, 2009). we even paid to help them destroy stuff.

So basically, we financed the destruction of their military so Russia could invade.

I don't think we had any agreements like that in place with Iraq, did we?

11:50 AM  

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