Having reduced Ukraine, Putin begins his putative campaign against Estonia. The seizure of an Estonian official on spy charges is just the opening shot of the next phase Putin’s campaign to reestablish the Soviet Union, in fact if not in name.
Our own President may have brought Estonia higher on Putin’s list by his recent visit and claims of defense when, of course, the united States has neither the will nor the means to defend Estonia against Russia.
As with Hitler, western division and ambiguity only increases Putin’s imperial urges.
Today, political paralysis may stymie effective American leadership in the current Middle East and Ukraine conflicts. If that happens, Ukraine (and more of the former Soviet Union) may slid back under Russian control and the entire Middle East may dissolve into chaos and bloodshed.
For the last fifty years, America’s allies have learned that we aren’t dependable. We abandoned the Shah of Iran, after we engineered the coup which brought him to power. We declared victory in Southeast Asia and abandoned South Vietnam.
Russian tanks are showing up in Ukraine. Tanks. You know, those really big military things. Things which your neighborhood revolutionary—even in Europe—is not apt Continue reading →
As usual Putin is having it both ways. He publicly says he’ll respect the Ukraine election results, but behind the scenes his surrogates are still trying to dismember the country. Should they fail, he will moan that he has been “forced” to intervene for the sake of peace and safety … and add the former Ukraine to his burgeoning empire.
In the 1930s Hitler dismembered and subjected the countries surrounding Germany starting with the ethnic German peoples in Czechoslovakia and Poland. Then he annexed or subjugated whole Germanic countries, like Austria, creating a Greater Germany. Now Putin uses the same approach to create a Greater Russia. (It ended badly for the world last time.)
Crimea was only added to Ukraine in 1954 by Nikita Khrushchev, a Ukrainian. The transfer was a “symbolic gesture” marking the 300th anniversary of Ukraine becoming a part of the Russian Empire. A quarter of the population are Muslims, so Russia may be making another Chechnya.
Interesting that Russia is so supportive of Muslim nations internationally but so repressive to Muslim people at home.
Teddy Roosevelt, famously advised, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Modern politicians do the opposite. The USA won’t go to the mat over Crimea, so we should temper our words to our intended actions, which seem to be . . . nothing.
“History teaches, perhaps, very few clear lessons. But surely one such lesson learned by the world at great cost is that aggression, unopposed, becomes a contagious disease,” said Jimmy Carter in 1980, responding to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. A Washington Post headline reads, “Forget Reagan–we’re starting to miss Carter.”
“President Obama and European leaders are ratcheting up their rhetoric against Russia. Too bad Vladimir Putin is a man of action who hasn’t seen anything worth stopping his assault on Ukraine,” opined the Wall Street Journal.
Will Rogers said one way to prevent war was to ban peace conferences, because we use them to substitute words for action. We’re certainly trying to talk Russia to sleep. (That, and cancelling a few visas.)
All our talk may have the Russians oligarchs “concerned” but not Vlad the Imperialist.