China Backs Russia in Ukraine Dispute- No that it is a huge surprise that China would back Russia but it is a sign of support and escalation calling all paper tiger's bluffs and further emboldening our adversaries around the world.
Notes of interest - Like Al-Queda in Syria look here we are now - Savage Interview - US teaming with neo-Nazis in Ukraine
- David Stockman's site -Memo to Obama: This Was Their Red Line!*****************************************************
My thoughts -
As events unfold in the Ukraine it is causing me a lot of discomfort and I think the Media is not focusing on the real issues here instead they are intent on just painting Putin as the bad guy. Please understand Putin is a Ex-KGB thug and a ruthless one at that; as evidenced by the way he treats his own citizens.
What is causing me concern requires a bit of a history background and understanding of “the great game”. Travel back in time to pre WW1 Europe. Starting in the period of 1870 – 1914 the European powers were jealous of each other and competing for dominance. For example, Germany longed to compete with Britain’s industrial revolution and naval power so they worked feverishly to build out both industrial capacity and a navy that rivaled England’s, under Otto Von Bismark’s vision. In this time period all the countries of Europe as well as Central Asia and Russia entered in to various alliances with each other. By the time 1914 rolled around the countries were all interconnected by treaties to come to the aid of fellow countries should they be attacked. Through what historians refer to the process of escalation tensions continued to rise until an innocuous event occurred plunging Europe in to chaos. The event took place on June 28, 1914 with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, by Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo. This seemingly minor event set in motion a series of treaty dominoes that resulted in Europe descending in to World War 1.
How does this relate to today? Good question. So today we have the military movement of Russian forces in to the Ukrainian province of Crimea. Crimea is actually more aligned with Russia and much of the population there is of Russian descent and many are dual citizens as well as Russian speakers. Ukraine is a complicated country as the Western half of the country is Ukrainian and has more of a bias toward Western Europe while the Eastern side’s vision fits more with the Russian sphere. Sounds like a recipe for a mess but wait it gets even more complicated.
The region of Crimea let alone Ukraine as a whole is of vital importance to Russia and Putin. The reason Putin is moving in to Crimea and will not be deterred by more hollow threats from Washington (a la Georgia 2008) is more than simply to protect Russian citizens who make up most of the population, instead it is strategic on many fronts. First, the Russian Navy has large fleet bases that they would not want to give up located in Crimea on the Black Sea. Second, the Eastern half of Ukraine is also known as Russia’s “bread basket” to feed their population. Third, Russia is dependent on heavy industry that is located in Ukraine for both economic and military needs. Fourth, Russia’s access to warm water ports outside of the Black Sea through Turkey could be blocked. Fourth, and most important to Putin is whoever controls Ukraine controls the last piece of the puzzle to the Natural Gas pipelines that are so vital to the EU.
Remember that not to long ago the US was almost involved in Syria because Putin was taking the other side’s position. One has to ask themselves what was Syria really about? Just like the Arab spring which was strictly pabulum for the masses so to was the narrative of what is happening in Syria. The conflict in Syria is an effort by the US to stop Putin from achieving his goal of a natural gas coop there by destabilizing the petro dollar. The US found itself in bed with Al Queada to try and deter the Russians from being able to put pipelines through the critical land link of Syria enroute to the EU; Ukraine also stands in that chain.
Putin envisions himself as a kind of new Czar and is trying to reassemble a new version of the Russian Empire. This is a man who longs for the days of the KGB and the old Soviet Union.
Ironically, the Russians in the Crimea province know this and still would prefer to align with Putin than the EU. Moreover, it is unknown what the desire or fates of the roughly 35-40 percent of the population in Crimea that are not of Russian descent. What happens to them do they become like the tragedy of the American Indian or do they fight or flee? Enter the the Obama administration and yet more policy blunders. It is coming to light although the Western Mainstream Media (MSM) especially in the US is trying to suppress the story that the “rebellion” in Ukraine was a Washington concocted situation. Another fine mess created by the thought processes of our current crop of politicians that are either academics or nothing more than myopic political hacks (thank you very much Mr. Kerry & Mr. Hagel). A revelation leaked on the internet, highlights a call between US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, in which they discuss, which of the country’s opposition leaders they would like to see in government – and refer to getting the UN involved in the process to resolve the political crisis. So in essence Washington was coordinating this uprising to essentially be a thorn in Putin’s side knowing that it would strategically hurt him.
But move forward to today and as usual the best laid plans of academics and political hacks (who know nothing of history) have blown out of control.
So on the one hand you have Russia massing the military and actually moving in to Crimea to protect their interests in what the MSM calls “uncontested arrival” so nice and politically correct. While the protests in Kiev and other places in the Western side of Ukraine went from being peaceful to violent. Why did they go violent? Once again out Political hacks don’t understand history in general or that of Russia a or the Ukraine in specific. Initially, the “hand picked” leaders that Nuland and others higher up in Washington’s ivory tower selected to “take over” Ukraine and found a new government were over taken by a very strong faction that has a long history in Ukraine. The Policy wonks that the US supported have been over run by a much more violent, organized and strong group that does not align with the US or Russia. To understand this one needs to look at history again.
This time we need to go back to World War 2 and understand that Ukraine is located between Poland and Russia and to Poland’s left is Germany. Most people know that the Germans “Blitzkreiged” through Poland and occupied it, but Ukraine fearful of Russia actually had a large contingent that allied with the Nazis to fend off the Soviets. Before WW2 the Soviets had large scale “Progroms” in Ukraine and many people still refer to this period as the “Ukrainian Holocaust”. In fact the main reason that the Eastern side of Ukraine is mostly ethnically Russian is a result of the Soviet purification efforts on the mid 1930’s. So as a result when Hitler started in to Ukraine they were welcomed and had a collaborator.
The ancestors of those collaborators who are in essence modern Nazis see their opportunity to seize control, and they have with violence. In fact they now hold the main election office under armed guard with the excuse that they want to have the normal election cycle and this way they can prevent voter fraud. If one does an internet search you can see that reporting of who holds the government buildings in Kiev stops on 2/22 and articles about this topic written post that date have mysteriously disappeared. What this means is they are looking to perpetrate voter fraud in favor of themselves and make sure the peaceful up risers cannot get in to power. This is an old tactic used throughout history in coup situations and dictatorships and was in fact made fun of in Sahsa Barron Cohen's movie "The Dictator" in the ending sequence wher ethey show a long line of people ready to cast votes and the line shifts because breifly one sees a tank on the edge of the frame herding the people to the "correct:" voting booth.
Friday in another of those Yosemite Sam vs Bugs Bunny moments, Obama put forward another “I dare you to cross this line” speech. In response, Saturday the Russian Parliament approved Putin using military force in Ukraine, meaning that action would not necessarily be limited to Crimea. This reaction is what should be expected given this and prior US responses. I am sure that the leadership in China, Iran, North Korea and other of our foes has duly noted that the US is all bark and no bite. All this comes at a time where we are reducing forces and gutting the military all the while stretched across the world and having unsecured borders. While this is a concern it is not my immediate concern.
Instead the modern day situation reminds me of the start of WW1. Today we have Ukraine positioned where it is taken over by this violent faction and Russia is on one side while Poland and the EU are on the other as a consortium of NATO states. Echoing pre- WW1, there is a situation, where an attack or incident in one state could cause a domino tumble because of all the treaties. Moreover, a confrontation with Russia in their back yard would not be a wise idea as learned by Napoleon and Hitler. I fear if the US were stupid enough to actually try and go up against Russia near their border a further escalation could result in use of nukes.
The reality is the US is still for now very powerful and what we need to be doing is standing with allies and moving carriers and other assets in to position around the region. Realistically, we don't want to get in to a war I understand that but as I stated earlier Putin is a thug and thugs only understand power. Playing the Yosemite Sam vs Bugs Bunny cross this line card will not work with Vlad; instead he needs to see we will back things up with action. Even if we don't want it to come to fighting, words are not going to convince Putin. Only a fear that we would overwhelm his navy and or military with air superiority might just be enough to get him to back down. If we don't act it further reenforces that the US has become a paper tiger and will further embolden Putin and other bad actors in the near future.
On Tuesday , Secretary of State John Kerry, is going to travel to Ukraine and threaten sanctions which I am sure Putin will now disregard, as I am sure this was part of the reason for diversifying out of US Dollars in to tons of gold. Short of going in to the Ukraine what could we really do to stop this? Moreover, going in to Ukraine and taking on the Russians is not a good idea. The problem is our politicians have now created a situation where the likes of Putin and others view us as more impotent by the day. The world does not dance to the current philosophy of appeasement that the US has under taken a lesson learned many years ago by Neville Chamberlain but forgotten today. Increasingly we are viewed as weak and nothing more than a paper tiger. Mr. Kerry by his own actions has fostered this belief as well by denouncing the "Monroe Doctrine" a naive and dangerous precedent that further emboldened our adversaries. Now this man who has at best utopian view of how the world works s going to solve the problem in the Ukraine; I am sure Putin is just shaking in his boots, Russia is not Iran or Israel that can so easily be toyed with as in the past. Things have changed and while Russia is not a superpower each day that passes we are being drive more to their level than maintaining our position. Just look what has happened since Kerry made this asinine proclamation; Russia is in the process of opening bases not only in Asia but also right under our noses in Cuba , Nicaragua and Venezuela. What are we doing about it under the current Secretaries of Defense or State, very little. I find this unbelievable since under JFK we nearly went to nuclear with the Russians during the Cuban Missle Crisis starting on October 16th 1962.
There are those that argue it is good for the US to be knocked down a peg and that we spend to much on military and are therefore inclined to use it to often. I totally disagree with these utopian thinkers, the world is a dangerous and hostile place and a strong military is needed to provide a deterrent to any and all comers. To paraphrase the Emperor Tiberius " Let them hate us so long as they fear us" . Being a good global citizen does not mean cow towing and appeasing the world it means taking the moral high ground and standing from a position of strength to ensure that the torch of right and liberty remain lit. People want every one to like us well look around people the policies in place now are not winning us any friends, in fact I would argue that Americans were more globally liked at the zenith of our power by a wide margin vs today. We need a foreign policy that is consistent and based in reality vs what we have had under Bush and continuing under Obama; one that will recapture world respect.
Seems like so many in the US at all levels take for granted all the blood that was spilled to allow them to live and think the way they do currently. They disrespect the memories of those who built this country its foundation and don't realize (or perhaps they do) that they are not moving us forward but the whole world backwards. Its time to grow up America and live up to your heritage not toss it out the window for lollipops, EBT cards, democrats, republicans or the promise of rainbows and unicorns.