Friday, May 02, 2014

Wanted: Doves, Lots And Lots Of Doves

(Cartoon by Yaakov Kirschen and published 5/1/14 at his blog, Dry Bones.  Click on image to enlarge.)

I often disagree with Yaakov Kirschen, the Israeli cartoonist who provides today's pictorial comment, but he raises an interesting point when it comes to the situation involving the Ukraine and Russia.  For some reason, Americans always want easily identifiable good guys and bad guys whenever it comes to a dispute.  Whether it's a fight between neighbors or a fight between neighboring countries, we want to be able to pick the "right" side.  Unfortunately, in the real world, such is almost never the case, and it certainly is not in this situation.

That said, however, Mr. Putin's move into the Ukraine is certainly cause for concern throughout the world, especially in central and eastern Europe.  It is also likely that his move is a violation of several treaties and conventions, which in itself is a worrisome state of affairs.  While I understand the concern and the worry, I do not understand the rumbling coming from various conservatives here in the US suggesting that the president needs to get tough, to take a stand, and (God forbid) send in the troops.  The last thing we and the rest of the world needs is sabre rattling and the commitment of US and NATO troops to "saving" the integrity of the Ukraine.

Unfortunately, President Obama seems to be giving in a little to the conservatives' call for definite action.

From the Los Angeles Times:

In a further sign of mounting tensions between Russia and its former Soviet neighbors, the Russian military ordered a new airborne unit to begin helicopter training missions along the western borders with the now-independent Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The maneuvers were called in response to an "unprecedented" increase in NATO military activity near Russia amid the Ukrainian crisis, the RIA Novosti news agency said, attributing the comments to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization last week ordered stepped-up air patrols of its member states bordering Russia, to reassure allies once under Moscow's domination that the alliance will defend them in the event of Russian aggression.

Hopefully that will be the extent of the involvement.  Hopefully the administration will continue the talks between the Russian Defense Minister and the U.S. Secretary of Defense to defuse some of the tension that is beginning to arise between the two countries.  And, just as important, hopefully Mr. Putin will take the hint from the increasing sanctions being imposed by the president and will withdraw troops threatening to move from their current stations in the Ukraine.

Neither nation needs another Cold War. Nor does the rest of the world.

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