A Ukraine round-up

Russian Ukraine invasionI’ve read so many excellent articles about the Ukraine, I wanted to pass them along:

Every time a Leftist media rag has a momentary epiphany that Obama isn’t the messiah, all I can think is “Too little too late.”  Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that those epiphanies don’t make a point.  Such is the case with the WaPo’s observation that Obama’s foreign policy is built upon a fantasy of the world as it should be, rather than the world as it is.

The fact that Putin may also be living out a fantasy, as Angela Merkel surmises, is irrelevant.  Putin is living out his fantasy with guns and tanks, which makes him an extremely dangerous fantasist.

In any event, it’s not clear to me that there’s anything fantastic about Putin’s plan.  As every Russian leader has wanted since at least Catherine the Great’s time, Putin needs a warm water port, this time to export Russia’s energy reserves.  He also knows that, while his nation is in demographic and economic decline (a) selling reserves will at least offset the economic losses and (b) aiming a gun at people unwilling to fight back is a good way to offset a demographic drop.

Apropos that warm water port, a liberal asked me “Why is Putin doing this?”  My response aside from the obvious “because he can,” was “because he wants a warm water port.”  The liberal sneered at me that this isn’t the 19th century anymore.  I suspect that he hadn’t read that Lurch er . . . Kerry said exactly the same thing.  Instead, this is just a default Leftist sneer.  In fact, as I noted above, a warm water port is an excellent thing for the Russians and Putin knows it.  He is therefore following State Craft Rule 101:  act in your own self-interest.  As Tom Rogan explains, no airy-fairy theory in the world will override this number one rule of governance.

(I can’t resist an aside here, which is that Obama’s policies have not been to America’s self-interest, unless our nation’s self-interest demands bankruptcy, security weakness, and cultural collapse.  This means that because he’s clearly following a game plan, his self-interests are at odds with America’s.  He sure is some president.)

Everyone acknowledges that nobody is going to run for their guns to defend Ukraine.  David Goldman astutely points out that Ukraine has never had a history of true independence, that it lurched from one oligarchy to the next, that it’s completely bankrupt, and that no one has a real interest in engaging with Russia over it (as Putin knows).

Still, the U.S. and the world are not entirely helpless.  While it’s unlikely that America or the EU can pry Putin away from his warm water port, they can constrain him.  Timothy Snyder, who wrote the devastating Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, thinks that Europe has a lot of soft power that it can bring to bear on a nation whose leisure class loves to travel to and spend money in Europe.

I wonder, though. What Europe wants above all is cheap energy — and Putin’s Crimean takeover promises them that. I think the EU will huff and puff for a while, and then wallow in the black gold flowing its way.

That’s my two cents. Drew, at Ace of Spades, didn’t futz around with two cents worth of links and thoughts. He goes all out in an excellent post that I see, after reading it, heads in much the same direction as mine, only with much more data and analysis.

The Diplomad ties everything up in a neat package with a very important observation:  our foreign policy will continue to fail unless we, at home, create a true commitment to liberty.  As long as the weak, America-hating, internationalist, Islamophilic, socialist Obama controls the government, that’s not going to happen.  We therefore have to hope that we can weather a few more years of Obama at the helm and then hope even more that a true leader runs for the White House and that the American people have the sechel to elect him.

One more thing.  Remember the young Kerry who included in his Congressional testimony during the Vietnam War a reference to “Jen-gis Khan”?  Jen-gis Khan!  Huh!  It took  a moment for most people to realize that Kerry was speaking about a historical figure everyone else in America called (and calls) “Gen-gis Khan”?

That snotty reference to a commonly named figure warned us long ago that Kerry is a self-involved, arrogant, elitist poseur.  Knowing what we know about him, are we surprised that, while the rest of American is focused on Kiev, Kerry is focused on Kyiv?


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  • 11B40

    I hope all the progressive statists in our Department of State Department can handle the shock of these events. If only some of them had read Samuel P. Huntington’s “The Clash of Civilizations…”, published back in 1996 and available from Amazon, they might have realized that Ukraine was what the author saw as a “divided” country subject to devolution either from within or without and prepared something along the lines of a contingency plan or, at least, a “Danger, Will Robinson” sign.
    And, lest you all forget, I have some real problems with the vaunted European Union’s behavior in moving Ukrainian history along the road to crisis. From the beginning of my awareness of the situation, it seemed to me that the EU was heavily into “tax-farming” mode trying, in spite of its own serious economic and political problems, to lure the Ukrainian Ukrainians and their near bankrupt corruptocratic country into its own cabal. And believe you me those EU apparatchiks could give Putin’s puppets a run for their dachas. The EU’s concept of democracy, one might say, is subject to fits and starts in an on again off again kind of way and while political and economic shenanigan’s have been sufficient up ’til now (N.B. the EU’s recently knotted panties over the Swiss referendum to control immigration into their own country) we will shortly see if they’ll let the gal they brought to the dance go home with another guy.
    Meanwhile, I can’t help but wonder what our UN Ambassadoress Samatha Powers is thinking about the “responsibility to protect” that she worked so hard to sell to the rest of the world. I think Mr. Putin is finding it quite useful.
    As much as we all dislike Mr. Putin and his ways and means, what was fomented and allowed to proceed in Kiev was very much a coup and however much we may like its direction and proponents, it was hardly an exercise in democracy. For some almost nonsensical reason, the EU decided to help foment the overthrow of a somewhat democratically elected government via large scale street disorders, a kind of OCCUPY Wall Street on streroids, and now, finding itself and its new potential subjects in a hole of its own digging, continues its excavation.
    We are in the best of all possible hands in the best of all possible worlds..

  • Libby

    Well, Obama has been a bit distracted with his important quest to make homosexuality legal in Russia. It’s a shame Putin had the temerity to change the discussion.

  • jj

    A bullet in the face is a bullet in the face, and it kinds of limits your options whether it’s fired in 1814, 1914, or 2014, as the Head Up the Ass Gang (Obama, Kerry, & Hagel) seem not to realize.
    And if the Ukraine issue doesn’t move you, how are you feeling about China moving to exclude Japan from the oil and mineral wealth beneath their own territorial waters?  About which we are, incidentally, doing the same as we are Ukraine: decrying global warming as the ultimate weapon of mass destruction.  (Tell it to the surviving relatives of Katyn, Kerry, you halfwit, horse-faced, horse’s ass.) 
    There is a long and well established history – either unread or not understood by the Head Up the Ass Gang – that when America is in retreat the bad actors step forward and set fire to whatever they can reach.   One bad actor has been the same goddam one over and over and over again – why does humanity tolerate f***ing Russia, by whatever name?  You’d think the other six and half billion of us would be getting tired of it by now, wouldn’t you?  The Soviet Union only lasted – officially – for seventy some years, but Russian assholery is centuries old and looks set to go on forever.
    The next step is they reinforce the partnership they have with China, and they’ll all decide that the dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency – you can already buy oil in Yuan where once it was solely denominated in dollars – and presto: our backs will be broken.  Little Jug-ears will have attained his goal: we’ll be Greece.  Don’t worry about your economic future Lee: none of us have an economic future.
    And Jug-ears can’t find time in his busy schedule to attend a security briefing on the Ukraine.  (Well, given who sits on any of his panels I probably wouldn’t bother, either.  You gain more useful information perusing Curious George Uses the Potty.)
    Just amazing.  

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Every time a Leftist media rag has a momentary epiphany that Obama isn’t the messiah, all I can think is “Too little too late.”
    You act like it matters what they think. Does the opinion of an ant on whether you should cut your lawn… matter? Is that too little, too late?
    Just mow them down. Their opinions do not matter. It’s only when there is life, that there is HOPE.
    which makes him an extremely dangerous fantasist.
    A bitter Clinger. Clinging to his guns and his national flag! Jingoism! Right…
    He sure is some president.)
    He’s a messiah. Do you know what messiahs do to people that don’t obey God’s Last Judgment? You weren’t alive during the Old Testament, were ya?
    Goldman predicted Obama would lose in 2008 because he was too out of the closet Leftist. Wonder what he said about Obama in 2012. Anyways, Goldman had no clue what the hell was going on with the Leftist alliance in the US, so his clue about what’s gong on with Russia’s new brand of nationalism is about the same.

    • lee

      The reason it matters is because far TOO many people rely/beleive the Leftist media rags. Ugh. And they vote based on the information that they are fed by the LMR’s. And we get stuck with “leadership” like the Obummer administration….

      • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

        And a bunch of slaves relying on their masters to tell them how to vote, is a reason to be concerned because?
        Liberate the slaves or get rid of the masters, problem solved. It’s not something people should be worrying about to this extent. They’re only thinking about it because they are thinking of debating people.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Btw, my sources tell me that Russia’s armed official and unofficial forces have extremely high incidences of rape amongst civilian populations, occupied populations, etc.
    Unlike the Left though, I’m not talking about a not yet graduated midshipman at the Navy college having consensual sex with a boy from a party, then waking up and charging him with sexual assault, getting him expelled from the college, and then continuing her career. I’m talking about real rape.

  • Katja

    “Kiev” is the name of the city transliterated through Russian. “Kyiv” is the name of the city  transliterated through Ukrainian. (pronounced roughly ‘cave’) Undoubtedly Kerry’s making the Ukrainians happy using the latter, but lacking any type of authority to do anything about the situation, what difference does itmake?