So Russia sends troops into a neighboring country (that was part of the old Soviet Union) and then says let’s vote on whether you want to join Russia or not, and actually, as I understand it, there was no provision on the ballot for a direct no vote. And the news now is that the vote in Crimea was overwhelmingly to break away from the Ukraine and join Russia. Surprise, Surprise.
The Obama administration is not recognizing the vote.
The other day, before this election, I drafted a post for this blog but did not get a chance to post it. But my feelings on the matter have not changed. The post:
Let’s see, the Ukraine, part of Russia, the bread basket of Russia, somewhere to the south and maybe west of Russia proper (whatever that is), part of the old Soviet Union, not treated well by Stalin. Well that pretty well exhausts my knowledge of it.
Just another place in the world that most of we Americans know little and even care less about (my apologies to anyone from there). And yet it is so important that our president sends veiled threats to Russia that if it tries to take the place over, well we just might have to do something — sanctions for sure, but if that does not work, well we’ll consult with our allies and we’ll do something. Military action? Well that is the implied threat, but really? We would risk going to war with another power that has nuclear weapons over a place that has no connection with the United States?
It is a complex issue, with there being a separate area of the Ukraine called Crimea, to which Russia may or may not have some claim, and the populace of the whole Ukraine is said to be somewhat split on whether to align with the Western nations or with Russia. Ukraine is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), although there is some kind of move to make it one (and I don’t know how that works or the whole history of that).
If it were a NATO member then I suppose like it or not the United States might have an obligation, along with its fellow members, to take part in some kind of military operation to protect it. And that is a problem with these multi-nation alliances which in effect say if country x invades country y, then countries a, b and c and so on are obligated to fight country x. Isn’t that in a way how World War I began (except some of those agreements were said to be in secret)?
Soviet troops or not clearly labeled troops backed by Russia have already occupied parts of Crimea and threaten the whole of the Ukraine. So far the U.S. has not had any luck getting the European allies to commit anything or to any action. The U.S. really has little direct economic ties or dependency with the Ukraine or Russia, I think it is fair to say.
Europe does I think. But Europe does not have the ability or stomach or care to get involved in an actual war I don’t think.
I would say let the people in the Ukraine sort things out. Yes Russia, led by Vladimir Putin, is acting aggressively, but let’s wait until it or he threatens Alaska. We’ll sick Sarah Palin on him. And she is no doubt watching. She can see Russia from her front porch.
And seriously now, with the pro-Russian vote in Crimea, sham or not, one wonders if Russian troops will now march into Ukraine.
As so many have pointed out, Putin is acting like Hitler by using the pretext of protecting ethnic Russians to take over another country.
It will be interesting to see what the reaction of Western Europe is. I say for now, let them take the lead in all of this.
So far, on the world stage, Mr. Obama seems to draw lines in the sand and the step back and draw another. I don’t fault him for being cautious, if anything, though, I fault him for saying anything when he might not be able or willing to back it up.
And, actions speak a whole lot louder than words.