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In response to Russia's seizure of Crimea, Our Dear Leader announced sanctions--against 11 oligarchs (7 Russians and 4 Ukrainians) that "undermined Ukrainian sovereignty."
Are you kidding me?
We can't even sanction an even-dozen Ruskie mob bosses?
By the way, here's what The Diplomad had to say about sanctions
some time ago and he's proved correct.
It's not like the word "sanction" means the same as it does in the movie The Eiger Sanction
. In fact, the sanctions are so wimpy one of the sanctioned openly mocked Obama's "consequences" on Twitter
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Now that Putin's moved closer to the Winner's Bracket in this Foreign Affairs March Madness, what's Putin's next move?
True, this is all speculation but no one bothered to stop Hitler from taking over all of Czechoslovakia in 1938. And we all know how that turned out.
But short of war, what can we do if the situation escalates?
Comrade Karla Senior, wondered why we should bother:
Aside from pondering the logic of how Russia might be guilty of annexation of a territory traditionally Russian, I must confess to significant embarrassment. I refer to a speech I just listened to by a representative of the U.S. government on the same subject. What right has the U.S. Government to threaten a foreign government with nasty comments about anything?
Which another friend responded and led to the following discussion...
The U.S. and Russia (and others) signed an agreement recognizing and guaranteeing the rights of Ukraine's borders as they stood in 1994, in exchange for Ukraine denuclearization. Russia's invasion is a complete violation of that agreement; a U.S. and European response is both legal and morally correct. It's as simple as that.
I certainly don't advocate a war over Crimea. However, we need to nip this sort of activity in the bud by imposing a cost, or we'll end up seeing the ChiComs in Taiwan and the Senkakus, Iran spreading around the Middle East, and Russia encroaching (or worse) into places where we have an actual legal obligation to fight (like Poland, Rumania and the Baltic states).
Obama's policies and lead from behind stupidity did not make Russia invade Ukraine. It did, however, not prevent it. It was crystal clear his abject failure in Syria would have repercussions, I just did not dream we'd see them so quickly.
You’ve explained the reason for my chagrin. I heard Obama’s speech. For a variety of reasons I don’t advocate war over the Crimea but sometimes I wonder if there is not something he can do, rather than merely issue notes about displeasure, and explain. Even if we were strong enough, I would not advocate a ‘warlike’ move over the Crimea, not even the threat of war. There’s too much more to that situation than with the Ukraine. But if Ukraine’s independence is not to be guaranteed, what use is there in just ‘talking about’ it? What about an immediate move to establish that ‘nuclear’ shield with Poland – and the three reestablished Baltic states?
Something concrete. Maybe it wouldn’t get Russia’s attention, but it would be better than doing nothing, as ‘the West’ did in ’38. There may well have been no guarantee that the Austrian with the Chaplin mustache would have been intimidated even if Europe had tried to resist back then, but we’ll never know for certain. Even if it only might have delayed him for a bit.
I just can’t avoid the impression we are living through the beginning of something that has happened before, and with very similar results.
You mention a couple of really good steps we could take - strong, harsh steps that would get Putin's attention and make his move seem like strategic overreach. Going back to the missile defense stations in Eastern Europe is a good step. Other military moves to reinforce our commitment to NATO would be good. These are things that are defensive in nature (not that Russia would see it that way). Longer term, massive energy expansion in this country and elsewhere will only hurt countries like Russia, Iran and the Saudis and help our friends.
The bottom line is that we can't continue to posture but not back it up (like we did so terribly in Syria). This is not 1938 -- Russia too weak, though it should be pointed out that so is NATO (except for the U.S.). We may not be the world's policeman, but it is incumbent on the U.S. to lead this and get the Germans and others to follow.
Oh, one other thing bugging me. All the State Dept and leftie weenies talking on the news keep talking about deescalation. Wow, they picked up one word in Diplomacy 101. They miss the point that this is not just about deescalation, but about escalation control. We need to be able to not only lower tension, but RAISE it when there is a reason to do so, which I believe there is right now. Being constantly in one mindframe is foolish. Right now, we need to ratchet tensions up to get Putin to reconsider his actions (past and future) and make him realize there will be costs to his aggression. Unfortunately, as John Bolton said of Kerry's meeting with Lavrov, it was like sending a cupcake to negotiate with a steak knife.
Comrade Karla and a cohort joined in and finished the discussion...
The problem is, bottom line, that this administration has already decided what they won't do-- a fairly idiotic way of conducting foreign policy, but one that has been the hallmark of Obama's worldview from day one. I feel like we can only watch it unravel.
Agree on the parallels. Your thought that Obama won't lift a finger is sadly true or seems to be. Russia is not going to execute the Schlieffen Plan any time soon, but they ARE a menace to Easter and Central Europe. We could stop this on a dime if we wanted to.
Everyone's chalked the Crimea up as lost, so here's a few suggestions
. Of course we probably wouldn't be in this foreign policy mess if Our Dear Leader was tough on real adversaries, instead of political opponents...
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