It sure looks like Vladimir Putin is the winner and Barack Obama is the loser in the latest skirmish between the United States and Russia.
Over the weekend, Putin organized a hasty vote and effectively annexed Crimea into Mother Russia. He’s now reasserted the Russian Empire’s power, and all of the nation states surrounding Russia are surely feeling the cold breeze blowing in from the Siberian Steppes.
Amazingly, the Crimeans who voted to rejoin Russia are the same people who voted 25 years ago to leave the Soviet Union. The difference is that, in those days, they could rely on United States leaders to keep their word.
Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons in exchange for a guarantee from Britain, the United States, and Russia to protect their now-evaporating borders. But if the United States isn’t prepared to live up to its treaties, it shouldn’t sign them. Our word should be inviolate.
Since the Russian invasion took place, the United States has blustered a lot… but the only concrete steps it’s taken include a few naval exercises in the Black Sea and the delivery of military pre-prepared meals. We sent Stalin better goodies when he was fighting Hitler.
Meanwhile, if I was living in Lithuania, Latvia, or Estonia, I would be figuring out how to emigrate. The KGB masters are back, and they’re as ugly as ever.
Could Weakness Lead to War?
This should surprise nobody who has been watching. Yet the three blind mice of American foreign policy – Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry – were foolish enough to try to “reset” relations with this aggressive rogue state.
Back on April 16, 2008, then-Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced that Russia was going to recognize the breakaway states of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. These were provinces of the sovereign country of Georgia, just across the water and to the east of Crimea.
George W. Bush was president when Georgia was invaded, and the invasion became an issue in the campaign. Sarah Palin said at the time, “After the Russian army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.”