Now that the first smoke has cleared from the Russia/Ukraine kerfuffle, many of our leaders in the West need to take a valium and substitute some thinking for the incoherent rambling of the past few weeks.
First, Ukraine. Ukraine, unfortunately, has a very checkered past. It has been a subject state in various empires and has not had fixed borders for much of its life. After a very brief period of independence, it was subsumed in the Soviet Union after the Red Army defeated the Whites in the Russian Civil War in the early 1920s. For two hundred years prior to that, it was essentially part of Russia, with the eastern part of the country populated by ethnic Russians.
Crimea was handed over to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic in 1954 by Krushchev, allegedly in a drunken stupor. Needless to say the Russians in Crimea were never consulted.
Communism is certainly dead in Russia; it only survives in the sociology departments of some American universities. Its diseased fanaticism no longer haunts the world. But Great Power realpolitik has returned in its place. This is the domain of real men and real nations, not the playpen of weaklings “drawing red lines with pink crayons” as Ollie North said recently.
The real loser in this game will be the EU—the new state behemoth seeking to absorb Ukraine into its empire of debt slavery. Not satisfied with impoverishing Greece, Spain and Italy, among others, the eurocrats, the commissars of Brussels, seek ever greater expansion, called “integration” in EU-speak. What infuriates them is a national leader who will not kowtow to their mind-numbing drivel of “ever closer union.” For that, read “ever greater power”.
Seeing that Ukraine might fall into the hands these rapacious bandits posing as democrats and liberals, the Russians saw that Crimea, Russian for hundreds of years and home to their Black Sea fleet, might fall into the hands of the EU by means of a Ukrainian regime newly subservient to their debt masters in Brussels.
Such a situation would be a strategic disaster for Russia, or, for any other nation in a similar position. So President Putin acted. So far, the Crimea operation has proceeded very smoothly without a shot being fired. The Russians are assured of a local population that largely supports them, a Ukraine in turmoil without a functioning government, and the Western Powers caught flat-footed and without a clue as to what to do. Nice move Vlad. Notice that I haven’t even mentioned the US with the man-child in the White House.
There are several reasons for this. One, President Obama is really, I mean really, clueless about international politics. On this stage he is simply an empty suit that reads teleprompters. This only impresses his toadies in the liberal media; it does not impress anyone on the world stage.
Two, his main object is to weaken the US in the world and to degrade its ability to act forcefully and definitively. This stems from his inherent left-wing ideology that seeks to weaken and emasculate every thing to do with Western Civilization.
Three, while he is weakening sanctions against the Mullahs in Iran, the world’s leaders in supporting Islamic terrorism, and easing their way toward a nuclear bomb to destroy Israel, he is seeking sanctions against Russia, which is on our side in fighting the jihadis. Go figure.
The next pothole in the road for the Americans will be the Crimean referendum. Let’s suppose that the vote is heavily in favor of union with the Russian Federation? Then Obama will be in the position of saying that a democratic vote on self-determination is “illegal”. So the Russians will be supporting democracy and the Americans opposing it! Doubles all round at the Kremlin happy hour.
Is it any wonder that Putin’s popularity is sky high in Russia and Obama’s is pathetic in the US?
Western leaders from Berlin to Washington need to shape up fast and see the world as it is, not as they would like. I suspect that they will not.
And I have a sneaking suspicion that the Russians are actually sorry for the Americans for putting such a clown in the White House.