What should we do about the Ukraine?

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This is a very serious and a very complicated situation.  My hope is that it doesn’t escalate beyond its present level.  There so many facets to this that it is hard to decide where to begin.  I guess I have to stick to the issues themselves.  I have to say issues because there is more than one issue here.

First is the revolution in the Ukraine.   This action might have been warranted but it certainly destabilized the area.  Russia knew who they were dealing with in the old government and now they have an unknown on their border.  This is bound to make the nervous.  It didn’t help matters that the former president of the Ukraine left the country and went crying to Russia about being illegally deposed.  Can you imagine how we would be feeling if Mexico suddenly had a government that may be more friendly to a nation like China than they would be to us?

Second is the makeup of the population in the Crimea.  There are a large number of Russian speaking citizens in the Crimea who still think of themselves as Russian and have always expected Russia to protect them if something happened.  I’m sure many people are thinking that they have no right to expect protection from Russia.  They chose to live in a foreign country and it is up to the Ukrainian government to protect them.  There are a large number of Americans that have decided to move to the resort coast of Mexico where their retirement dollars will afford them a life of luxury in a tropical setting.  What do you think would happen if there was a revolution in Mexico and we felt that those Americans were being threatened?  Do you remember Granada in 1983?  Our excuse for invading that little country, after a revolution there, was to protect a handful of American medical students.  If we were going to be fair we would have to say the Russia has a pretty good argument, or we would have to admit that we were aggressors in Granada.  Of course, Granada is only one example.  We could talk about Panama, Chile, and Nicaragua as well, but I won’t get into all of that detail.

Image

This map comes from http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/the-ukraine-crisis-in-three-maps/.  It shows the ethnic makeup of the Ukraine.  Check out that solid brownish color in the south, that is the Crimea.  As you can see, its people a majority Russian speaking.

Unfortunately there are two sides to every issue.  The Russian move into the Crimea reminds me of the stories of Germany’s repatriation of the Ruhr and the remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1938.  The Ruhr was part of Germany but it was taken by France and Belgium in the twenties as a punishment for Germany’s actions in WWI.  Hitler moved in and took it back in 1938 and no one did anything to stop him.  This was the first appeasement to Hitler in a string of appeasements that led to WWII.  Is Putin thinking like Hitler, or is he just protecting his people?  Does he want the Ukraine back?

President Obama is moving carefully.  He wants Putin to know that we are greatly distressed over his moves but he doesn’t want to rattle the sabers too loudly.  His first step was to have the United States withdraw from preparation meetings for the next G8 summit to be held in Sochi, Russia.  He wants Putin to know we’re serious but he doesn’t want to do anything to escalate the situation.

John McCain wants tougher action.  I am happy to see that he noted that the United States does not have the military power to deal with Russia straight up without it turning nuclear.  He has suggested some tougher measures that would definitely get Putin’s attention.  I will add the words directly written by Josh Rogin of Yahoo News.

“Sen. John McCain has several suggestions for Obama, including the sanctioning of high-level Russian officials; restarting missile defense plans in Eastern Europe; and bringing Georgia, a former Soviet republic, into NATO. McCain said he plans to push from the Congressional side, he told The Daily Beast in an exclusive interview Saturday evening.”

I am inclined to agree with the Senator on this one.  Putin has to know that he doesn’t have free reign to do what he wants to do, but a military confrontation could only lead to disaster.  The question is, will this restart the Cold War and is it worth it?  If we do not respond strong enough, will this be 1938 all over again?

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About

Pete is a retired software developer, a writer, and a martial arts instructor. He lives in Maryland with his wife Cathy and they are enjoying their retirement. Pete is the author of four novels, "The Teacher", 500 Years from Home", and "The Long Journey Home" are available at Lulu.com; and "Pioneers" in available at the Kindle Book Store.

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Posted in Current Events, International Issues, Opinion, Uncategorized
2 comments on “What should we do about the Ukraine?
  1. Tony says:

    This is easy, anybody that thinks it is a good idea to fight for this country or any other foreign country for that matter saddle up, pack your trash, go get em, but leave our military out of it.
    If anybody thinks us giving them money is the way to go. Kindly feel free to give them all you money but leave this countries money alone. I am tired of our country carrying the load for everybody else. The only other countries I would fight for would be Canada, Mexico, England and Australia.
    Everybody else can fend for themselves. We have been feeding, fighting, bleeding and dying for all these countries for years. The bottom line they still want to take us out. To hell with all of them. If your in the U.S. and your country is having problems go back there and fight for your country or shut up.

  2. petejoem says:

    Our soldiers have certainly done their share.

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