Friday, March 7, 2014

On Putin and the Ukraine

The Washington Times has an editorial criticizing Obama on the Ukraine crisis:

[There have been] disasters in the past when presidents [have] left the door ajar to aggressors. When Dean Acheson, President Truman’s secretary of state, suggested that America was not much interested in protecting South Korea, the result was a long and bitter war. 
Leading from behind looks to adversaries and enemies like an invitation to take chances for a big payoff, as in Ukraine this week. Disaster inevitably follows. 
Ronald Reagan believed in “peace through strength, knowing that if America was strong enough, evil and ambitious men would not be tempted to test American resolve. 
Mr. Carter learned that hard lesson when it was almost too late. But he learned it. Mr. Obama works on a much steeper learning curve, but learn he will, too. 
The American people and those who rely on us for their very existence must know that we are there for them. Dithering and weakness lead to war that could have been avoided.

I guess this is a perfect opportunity to point out my paleoconservative bona-fides. I gag at sticking up for Obama on anything, but he's doing exactly what he should do here-- nothing.

We have no dog in this fight. Ukraine and Russia have issues that are a millennium old (the 9th --13th century Kievan Rus was a confederation of slavic tribes that gave rise to Russia-- and to the Ukraine-- as ethnic and cultural entities). Russia has slavered over the Crimea and warm water Black Sea ports since at least the 18th century. The Crimean War in the 1850's was in significant part about Russian access to the Black Sea. The eastern half of the Ukraine is ethnically and linguistically Russian,  as is the Crimea, and the Ukrainians have a lot of (understandable) resentment toward Russia (the Holodomor was a genocide of horrendous proportions). The Russians on the other hand resent the Ukrainians for their (perceived) widespread support for the Nazis during Barbarossa, which itself may be understood as the result of persistent Ukrainian resentment for Stalin's famine-as-policy atrocity. Between Russians and Ukrainians, it's complicated.

This is a complex crisis with very old dynamics, and we have no business whatsoever getting involved. The Baltic states and Morovia and Poland and Hungary might appropriately be a bit nervous, but that is a European issue, and none of our damn (American) business.

The editorial's reference to Acheson's speech in 1950 that may have helped trigger the Korean War is misguided. Indeed it is important to take a strong stand to defend a national interest-- if it is really a national interest-- but to take a strong stand to defend something we have no business defending is just asking for escalation and all manner of problems. We had good reason to defend South Korea, and should have said so in the run-up to 1950. We have no compelling national interest to defend Ukraine, and we should make that clear, which is exactly what Obama is doing.

Obama is a putz, but right now "putz" is just what we need. This is no place for 'lines in the sand'. The appropriate American response is to offer to facilitate a peaceful resolution and particularly a resolution that protects innocent civilians who, as always, stand to suffer if this becomes a war.

Conservatives who demand that we be "tough" with Russia on this matter are nuts. I am a conservative, but sometimes, especially on foreign affairs, conservatives are out of their minds.

13 comments:

  1. M.Egnor: "... sometimes, especially on foreign affairs, conservatives are out of their minds."

    That would be because most conservatives are actually "liberals", which is to say, actually leftists. They (both the conservatives who are actually "liberals", and the open "liberals") accept the premises of leftism ... they just aren't (yet) willing to go to all the places the logic of those premises dictate. But, as sure as night follows day, when the open (or hard-core) leftists decide that it's time to go there, the "conservatives" and "liberals" will huff and puff for a bit, and then they'll cave: because they already surrendered to the destination when they (unthinkingly) accepted the premises.

    Hell, even you suffer a bit from this dynamic.

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    1. In what way, Ilion?

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    2. Ilíon: "... even you suffer a bit from this dynamic [of reasoning from leftist false premises]."

      M.Egnor: "In what way, Ilion?"

      Well, think back to the Todd Akin incident: your initial reaction was entirely an expression of leftism in general and feminist supremicism in particular -- no mere man may ever say anything that some woman, somewhere, does not want to hear, and especially may he not say anything that implies any sort of criticism of any behavior of any woman anywhere.

      Or, more recently, consider your stance with respect to the leftists' current cause célèbre, "gay" "rights" and "gay" mirage. You're starting from the (false) assumption that "discrimination" is always immoral ... and always to be legally suppressed. Now, this is an assumption the leftists constantly push upon the unsuspecting, though, of course, being hypocrites, they don't actually believe it, or behave according to it, themselves. BUT, because *you* believe it, you are always on the defensive when you don't need to be.

      There was some post you made recently (and I can't find it now) in response to one of these lying leftists who infest your blog, in which you made yourself (you, yourself, personally) a slave to "society" simply because you can't free you mind from the leftist indoctrination about "discrimination".

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  2. As far as the Obamination "doing nothing" with respect to Ukraine, as I understand it, the US administration was stirring the unrest in the first place.

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  3. Fellow paleoconservative Pat Buchanan agrees that BHO should "Tune Out the War Party!."

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  4. Absolutely astonishing that the city that thinks that it can (and should) run the entire planet can't even supply itself with drinkable water.

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  5. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyMarch 7, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    Putin is not going to give up that warm water port. The Russian Navy requires it. Im sure he's laughing at imPOTUS Jeebus McLightworker and his silly "lines". Everyone else is.

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    1. What would you do “Admiral”?

      -KW

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    2. Oh, and they already had the port, nobody was asking them to give it up. Idiot.

      -KW

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    3. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyMarch 7, 2014 at 2:56 PM

      Popeye, you are such a bootlicking dimwit:

      Crimea was bound to be the focus of the Russian backlash against the Ukrainian revolution. ... For more than 20 years, ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union, its rule by Kiev has been a major source of Russian resentment – inside and outside Crimea – and a major thorn in Ukraine's relations with Russia.
      --- The Guardian (2/28)

      You may not have noticed, but the government in Kiev recently changed, as did their affection for Russians.

      What would I do? Nothing. And that includes lying about "lines" and "consequences". Putin was obviously no more impressed than Assad by the imPOTUS and his panty-boy posturing. Jeebus McLIghtworker can't even manage the development of a website, much less threaten Russia.

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  6. Amen. I have not paid attention but its because it doesn't matter.
    President obama has no right to be president because he ran and was voted for based on rejecting Americans right to be president because of identity especially the original english puritan and southern angligan identities IF they are bringing it up.
    Yet Obama is right and theres no dog in this fight.
    in fact it should be the christian demand that there is no right to kill anyone.
    if one must defend oneself thats different.
    Aggressor is another word for the bad guy and to oppose the bad guy.
    its not important and they really can solve these things.
    This would be a chance for a wise prez but americans voting in these guys has ruined that chance.
    i'm not going if they call. no worth my life.

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  7. "President obama has no right to be president because he ran and was voted for based on rejecting Americans right to be president because of identity especially the original english puritan and southern angligan identities IF they are bringing it up."

    Love that word salad. Apparently a sub-75 IQ is a requirement to be an Egnor fan.

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