Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

The US Goverment Offers Crimea to Putin on a Silver Platter, Then Freaks Out When He Accepts Their Gift

with 5 comments

Invaders In Flight

Ukraine. Crimea. Putin. Russia. What a mess. If the gentle reader can’t find Crimea on a map, fair warning, this post might make them angry. That’s what the comment section is for. Here goes: By any definition, the Russian actions in Ukraine far more fit the definition of “humanitarian intervention” than say, the US invasion of Iraq. I think the death toll was, what, zero? And the majority of people in Crimea actually wanted to be part of Russia, not living in Ukraine … especially a Ukraine with a nationalistic government that clearly wanted to treat ethnic Russians as second class citizens. While Putin’s actions were clearly self-serving, Crimea is of paramount strategic importance to Russia, the idea that this is some sort of Hitleresque invasion is nonsense. US foreign policy has become so knee jerk and predictable that it’s easy for clever mofos like Putin to take advantage of them. And that’s exactly what happened, the US in it’s mindless zeal to expand NATO and the EU right up to the Kremlin’s doorstep essentially handed Crimea to Putin.

How’s that? How much the US influenced the ouster of the democratically elected government in Ukraine is debatable, but they certainly played a role, possibly a large role. And they got their wish, the government of Ukraine was overthrown and a government much more to their liking (profoundly anti-Russian) was installed. (This was not some sort of popular revolution against a dictatorship, it was mob rule at its ugliest.) A “government” who decided that their first order of business was to pass laws diminishing the status of Russian speakers in Ukraine. A government that the US immediately recognized as legitimate. And this is where the shortsightedness of America’s current policy becomes clear. What, exactly, did they think Putin was going to do? Did it even cross their minds that Putin might do exactly as he did some years earlier in Georgia, send in the troops to protect Russia’s interests? Apparently not, since their reaction to Putin’s move has been mindless hysterics. As is the case with so much of America’s modern foreign policy, there was no plan B.

Even the sanctions are looking to be a joke. The Europeans are in no mood for an actual economic war with Russia or something as mindless as a resumption of the “Cold War.” So the US is reduced to histrionics. I suspect that after all is said and done, Crimea will remain part of Russia, and the US will blame the “loss” of Crimea on its allies … and carry right on with further ill conceived foreign meddling. There will not be a resumption of the Cold War, there will not be World War Three, nor does this have any similarities to the rise of Hitler. The fact that the US media and most Americans can only think about foreign policy in terms of cartoonish similarities to past events is a wonderful example of how uneducated the public discourse has become in modern America. And sadly many of our leaders are just as uneducated and shallow in their world view. This is what happens when religion and ideology become the basis for getting into office, you get parrots spouting nonsense to their base instead of educated people trying to run the country effectively.

On the plus side, boy, Putin came out of this smelling like a rose, demonizations in the western press notwithstanding. In one fell swoop he humiliated the USA, reasserted Russia’s historic control of Crimea, brought large numbers of ethnic Russians back into Russia … and made himself one of the most popular leaders in recent Russian history. His approval ratings are the envy of Obama and Congress. The lesson here of course is that foreign policy needs to be based on a  realistic assessment of the world. “Might makes right” does work sometimes, but it’s not a substitute for things like diplomacy and common sense. And instigating trouble in Ukraine made about as much sense as Russia trying to stir up trouble in Canada or Mexico. Even if they succeeded, and a pro-Russian government came to power in either, the chances the USA would sit back and do nothing would be zero. Yet that’s exactly what the US did in Ukraine, and then acted shocked and surprised when Putin did exactly what any sober assessment of the situation would have strongly suspected was a possible consequence.

Watching US foreign policy is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. It’s also a wonderful illustration of one of the definitions of insanity. Insanity is repeating the same actions, but expecting different results. The US will continue to meddle in “unfriendly” governments, and continue to achieve results that weren’t what it expected, or even the opposite of what was expected. It’s easy to destabilize a government and make a mess of things, it’s much harder to put together the pieces afterwards. Maybe someday Washington will learn that.

(The above image is Public Domain under US copyright law. It’s German soldiers retreating from Crimea during World War Two. Foreign armies have been fighting in Crimea for centuries, one can only hope we don’t backslide that far this time.)

Written by unitedcats

March 18, 2014 at 11:00 am

Posted in History, Propaganda, War, World

5 Responses

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  1. Doug,
    You are spot on with this posting. I can’t believe how shallow and predictable our present administration functions in world affairs….. my God, doesn’t anybody working at “foggy bottom” have a clue of history any more?

    This isn’t our fight and we shouldn’t have been involved at all in the Ukraine. Victoria Nuland (Asst. Secreatry of State) and her thug group of “neo-cons” delivered Crimea on a silver platter to Putin due to the ineptness of unintended consequences………. Way to go, Obama admin…… This really is the way Russia wanted everything to play out and you carried the ball for them!
    Lincoln

    Lincoln Smith

    March 18, 2014 at 11:54 am

  2. Clear, concise, and nice assessment Doug. However, resurrecting the Cold War does up the ante of nuclear war, even if the current crisis never becomes a direct cause. It is simply a matter of blind luck we never fought the third world war with the Soviet Union in those long years of the Cold War. Resuming that mindset creates more probability of a mistake or miscalculation, putting the world at irrevocable peril. There is no margin of error when playing with nuclear weapons. Thus, I see a return to business as usual in world affairs as was defined in 1945.

    Clifton Reed

    March 19, 2014 at 6:12 am

  3. American politicians have a teflon mind… history doesn’t ‘stick’

    And with clowns like John McCain in the senate its a wonder we are not fighting EVERYONE

    john galt

    March 21, 2014 at 7:41 am

  4. So the US is sanctioning Russia, but will depend on them to keep ferrying US astronauts to and from the space station LOL

    john galt

    March 26, 2014 at 11:22 am

  5. Israeli President Peres asks the Russian President:

    – Vladimir, are you of Jewish ancestry?

    – Putin: What makes you think so, Shimon?

    – Peres: You made the US pay five billion dollars to deliver Crimea to Russia. Even for a Jew, that is audacious!

    JO

    March 27, 2014 at 10:51 pm


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