Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Unresolved Unrest in the Ukraine

(Image by Michael Ramirez)

Over the weekend the President Yanukovych of the Ukraine became Former President Yanukovych and high-tailed it out of the country.  The Obama Administration supposedly warned Czar Putin to keep his military out of the Ukraine.

However, despite this apparent happy ending, the Ukrainian Crisis remains for a couple of reasons.  First, the US and EU appear weak in Russia's eyes.

One friend sparked a discussion with his Nightmare Scenario:

Russian military intervention in the Ukraine is not what I'd call a likely scenario.  Then again, it's also not beyond the realm of possibility.  At the end of the day, what would the U.S. and the EU do if they did?  Write angry letters telling them how angry we are?  We would not intervene and the EU can't intervene.  Russia certainly has a strong desire to maintain at least local hegemony over the former Soviet states, and Ukraine is not dancing to their tune (it's also the biggest prize of the lot).  I could see a Russian incursion to "protect" ethnic Russians being "mistreated" by a new regime.  If fracking can break Russia's stranglehold on Ukrainian energy needs, then this scenario becomes ever more plausible. 

I’m not sure what the Russian army can accomplish on its own, these days.  The 1968 days of “restoring brotherly fraternal socialism” or whatever are over.
 That said, you could easily see a devil’s bargain between forces in Eastern Ukraine and the Russians—but so far the Ukrainians don’t seem very keen on any Russian intervention.
 We’re pretty much out of it—but this is yet another example of the fruits of not really having a foreign policy that extends beyond incompetence and platitudes.

I agree there is a very real possibility of the Russians and pro-Russian Ukrainians “doing something.” 

Dudes! Chill! Uncle Joe has a reset button, remember? All they do is hit it, and the mainstream media, the lefty intelligentsia, the Euro trash Union, and a sizeable portion of the voting population of our troubled republic just blink a few times and go back to talking about climate change. 

We still have Hillary's old reset button as well.  Word on the street is that Russia, having lost Ukraine, will now understand that cooperating with the U.S. is better than confronting us, which makes this an ideal time to reset our relations with them.  It only didn't work before because the Russians didn't understand the benefits of the reset.  But, now that they do, it should actually work this time.  Same old, same old.

The second issue is that some of the Ukrainian Svoboda (Freedom) Party isn't so svoboda after all.  Neo-Nazis and Third Reich admirers make up an indeterminate number of the party's rank and file.  Two such members were just appointed to the Prosecutor General and Security Chief positions.

Regarding the Svoboda Party leader's anti-Semitic statements, one friend chimed-in with this comment:

On the plus side, there aren't many Jews left in that part of the world to torment.
 I'd rather have a sketchy, pro-Western government in Ukraine than a pro-Russian one.  Of course, once Russia annexes Crimea to protect its "citizens," said pro-Western government will be in big trouble because the EU and the US aren't going to do more than write angry letters saying how angry they are. 

(Image by Jerry Holbert) 

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