Ukraine a mine field for Obama
During the Ukrainian “Maidan” coup the United States once more decided to lecture another foreign state. This coming from a nation that attacked Iraq on the false claim of “weapons of mass destruction.” Given that the Ukraine borders Russia seems to matter to President Barack Obama and his advisors, seemingly he thinks the United States has domain everywhere?
The facts are an armed mob of pro-fascist militias took advantage of the problems of Viktor Yanukovych and seized power in Kiev. It was in fact a putsch that many in the Ukraine failed to acknowledge. A rump parliament took over, letting pro-governmental deputies flee for their lives. Even the reporters of the Washington Post noted that the Russian takeover of the Crimea went smoothly. Ethnic Russians fearful that Ukrainian ultra-nationalists were poised to take over welcomed Moscow’s intervention.
In Kharkov citizens prevented intervention from the so-called government and retook state buildings. One woman stated, “They’re drug addicts, they’re no better than frozen vegetables,” describing the small units advancing the presumed “Maidan revolution.” But the usual suspects John McCain, the neo-cons and now the muscular Obamaites predictably did not allow facts to spoil their opinions. Remember, all this was about – initially – was Yanukovych’s decision to back stronger ties to Moscow than the European Union.
However, the United States believes that its “exceptionalism” gives it the right to do what it wants. It is heads I win, tails you lose. Simple formulas, sloganeering and editing of facts and you make a “revolution” out of a tawdry coup. Ignoring history, the United States reserves to rule in every action and event it is omniscient and supreme.
For Obama it is once more a test of how we can resist the neo-con propaganda machines. Sometimes, as with Iraq and Afghanistan, he can resist the pressure. Other times, as in Libya, he was stampeded by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and United States Ambassador Susan Rice. On the whole, Obama has been admirable in his restraint but the old-guard keeps on coming, daring him to make a decision that would wreck his presidency.
His reputation as Osama Bin Laden’s destroyer has sometimes played to his worst instincts. Democrats are somewhat confused, slashing military budgets and reducing the size of America’s Armed Forces while also pushing the discredited “new world order” fantasies of the Bushs. Simply put, Obama has to face the fact that he must give a little back from the gains the West made after the fall of the Soviet Union. There has to be a revision or peace will be challenged for decades to come.
Given U.S. hyper-interventionism since the 1980’s, Obama, as he well knows, is not playing a strong hand. China, reluctant as it may be, is eager to make common cause with Russia. It is a matter of necessity.
The United States still, whatever it might say, regards these nations as semi-outlaws. China warns Obama of meeting the Dalai Lama and he does it anyway but expects to keep good relations with Beijing. Maybe the Chinese should give a state function in honor of Edward Snowden. The United States wants it both ways and it can only have it by ratcheting up the stakes.
Perhaps maturity and realism showed returns in the conduct of foreign policy. Ukraine is in the Russian sphere of influence, it is meaningless to the United States. It would be as if a hostile government took over in Ottawa, Canada. Obama should follow his usually good instincts and allow events to play out without comment.