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Standoff in Ukraine isn’t going away

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BILL STEWART

Understanding Your World

Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014 7:00 pm | Updated: 12:53 am, Sat Mar 15, 2014.

Though the world is mesmerized by the disappearance of a jumbo-jet somewhere in Asia or over the Indian Ocean, Crimea and Ukraine remain the center of a major crisis. Russia seems impervious to Western diplomatic pressure as Crimea heads for a weekend referendum on its future. Will Crimea declare its independence and then move for union with Russia, as seems likely? And if it does, what can the West do? Military action is out, and economic sanctions won’t work in the short run. This is a crisis of major proportions.

Close to 10,000 Russian troops have been deployed for suspicious military exercises near the Ukrainian border. It is hard to believe they will cross that border, because the international consequences will be immense. But then who would have believed that Russian President Vladimir Putin would organize a Russian takeover of its former Crimea province, because that is what the March 16 referendum in Crimea is all about. Putin is playing hardball with Ukraine and the West, with an attitude of “damn the consequences.” Or so it seems.

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3 comments:

  • Stephen Clarke posted at 6:02 am on Sun, Mar 16, 2014.

    SRC Posts: 3

    Pat: Agreed. These so-called "crises" do not come out of nowhere. There is always a backstory of some sort. You could even roll this one back to Wilson's "making the world safe for democracy" fiasco if you wished, I suppose.

    We have everything we need here in the continental US; if we were willing to get along with Mexico like we do with Canada (not likely!), all the military we would need would be the Coast Guard, and the rest of the world could jolly well go war themselves silly.

    But even that ignores the fact that the only real Americans have never had a seat at the table. In the meantime, the rabble rouses yet again.

     
  • Pat Shackleford posted at 1:28 am on Sun, Mar 16, 2014.

    Pat Shackleford Posts: 573

    But, the U.S. hasn't exactly been "staying out of" the area in recent years. On December 13 of last year, Assistant US Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Victoria Nuland proudly told a meeting of the International Business Conference sponsored by the US-Ukrainian Foundation that the US had ‘invested’ more than $5 billion and ‘five years worth of work and preparation” in achieving what she called Ukraine’s ‘European aspirations.”

    An agenda set, and bankrolled, is not easily abandoned. Foreign policy is not made for the long-term benefit of citizens, but for big-business concerns (banks, energy, et al) who through their financial control of congress and capitol hill generally, effectively direct our "national interests", wherever on earth that may be. If the weight of U.S. military force is needed to coerce or force compliance, that can be arranged.

     
  • Stephen Clarke posted at 5:41 pm on Sat, Mar 15, 2014.

    SRC Posts: 3

    Ukraine may be a crisis, but hardly our crisis. This is one which we can easily stay out of. We have little leverage in this situation (and only a negative influence of provocation), and Russia has much more of a vital interest in that than we do. Our threats are unenforceable, so they should not be made. The only people who seem to be standing to gain anything out of this are those chicken-hawk chest beaters who want to see a restart of the Wold War. After our lovely adventures from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, who could possibly think that any adventurism in these Ukrainian affairs could rebound to our or anyone else's ultimate benefit?
    The sidelines is the right place for us, where we can enjoy a free bit of shadenfreude is we wish.

     

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