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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Meddling in the Ukraine

The big issue in the Ukraine recently has been whether to align more closely with the European Union or with mother Russia. Vladimir Putin just extended a 15 billion dollar loan to the Ukraine and offered cheaper natural gas in return for closer ties, so Yanukovych wants closer ties to Mother Russia. But the Ukrainian people seem to want closer ties with the EU.

Russia has complained recently that the US is "crudely interfering" in the internal affairs of the Ukraine.

They have a point.

Recently Secretary of State John Kerry recently announced that the United States stands with the people of the Ukraine, i.e., against democratically elected current President Viktor Yanukovych. The Obama administration wants the Ukraine to turn West, and get out from Russia's sphere of influence.

Why is this any of our business?

The Ukraine is a former Soviet Republic. For us to be over there as the self-appointed referee in this dispute is akin to Russia deciding that it should exert its will in the internal affairs of Mexico or Canada.

What would our reaction be if Vladimir Putin suddenly announced that Russia supported the Quebecois separatists? Most Americans would probably think, stay in your own neighborhood.

It is our unfortunate tendency to stick our nose everywhere and see ourselves as the world's umpire, or worse, world's police force, that makes much of the world hate us.

It's true that we get more censure than we deserve, especially given how much aid we hand out. And it's true that Putin himself regularly meddles outside his neighborhood, most recently in Syria. But he is a mere dilettante compared to us; we're everywhere.

We're almost like the belligerent drunk who wanders into a bar looking for a fight with whoever happens to be there.

We'd be better off letting everyone else resolve their own fights.

The sad thing is, this is how most Americans feel. It's just our imperial government which wants to get involved everywhere.


Anonymous said...

John McCain, please go away.

As pointed out elsewhere - all the US 'aid' to foreign countries is primarily to buy influence, just as Putin's package to the Ukraine did successfully. The US should be the last to complain about that.

As for Russia's meddling in Syria - Syria is a mere stone throw from Russia and a long term, important strategic ally with a port to the Mediterranean Sea, leading to the Atlantic. What is Syria to the US?

US hypocrisy is dripping from the handling of Egypt. We started with our high minded, principled support of democracy - resulting in a Muslim Brotherhood victory, fair and square. Then the Brotherhood governed relatively poorly and threatened instability with Israel. So the US green-lighted a military coup. Easy come, easy go - whatever pleases the US is righteous.

Volumes more could be added.

Could the bankrupt superpower learn its lesson, pull its horns in, and enact policies favorable to the middle class at home?

- Ed

John Craig said...

Ed --
Amen, amen, amen. Everything you say is on target. (Except I'd say that some of the aid we give is humanitarian, i.e., to countries in Africa we have little to gain from.)

And yes, our behavior in Egypt has been shameful.

Right now both political parties in this country pay lip service to the middle class, but the Dems enact policies which benefit the underclass, and the Republicans favor policies which benefit their financial contributors, i.e., the upper class. The middle class gets shafted either way. And both parties kowtow to Israel to the point where all of israel's potential enemies automatically become our enemies. So we all get shafted.

Anonymous said...

Agree, we should stop meddling in the affairs of Europe and Asia.

The democrats policies have been very destructive to the lower classes in America, turning them into wards of the state and teaching them they have no responsibilities, but should blame others for their poverty.

It seems like the democrats know their agenda is destructive to poor people, keeping them poor and dependent on government handouts to maintain a block of votes for themselves. The so-called war on poverty has made the poor in America worse off , with a distorted view of reality and an entitlement philosophy which ensures more generations of dependents .

John Craig said...

Anon --
I agree with you completely about what the War on Poverty has wrought. But I wonder if the Democrats fully realize what they've done. Most of the Dems I know think they're helping, and that their mindset is proof of what good people they are. There are probably some cynical types who are advocating such policies purely for political gain, though, as well.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post John. Wouldn't the world be a much better place if we focused our energies accordingly, and be an example to the world. I suppose that the military industrial complex is too dependent on maintenance and expansion to stop this primitive behavior. Mind boggling! Brian

John Craig said...

Thank you Brian, and yes, it would be.

Anonymous said...

Amen btw russia has a navel base in Syria

bluffcreek1967 said...

Hey John, I totally agree that we ought to stay out of this mess in the Ukraine. It's none of our business, plain and simple.

It's amazing for a man (Obama) who voted against U.S. involvement in Iraq and who had complained of too much military involvement in the world on our part, he's not only continued much of the same meddling as his predecessors, but he's also made veiled threats against Ukraine's democratically elected president!? Obama is walking contradiction.

Incidentally, where are all the Leftist anti-war protestors now that one of their own is in the Oval Office? Some liberals, admittedly, have voiced their opposition, but most have said nothing.

John Craig said...

Ambrose --
As much as I despise that con man Obama, I think that his instincts are to stay out of entanglements with foreign countries, and he's pretty much just paying lip service to maintaining some kind of influence. That lip service can get us into trouble, as it almost did in Syria, when they crossed his "red line," but for the most part he just wants to concentrate on redistributing wealth here in the U.S.

I agree completely about the hypocrisy of the liberals when their man is in office. I remember when Reagan was President, and then Bush the Elder after him, the gays used to protest no end that he wasn't spending enough money to cure AIDS, and from the way they acted you'd have thought those two were personally responsible for having introduced the virus to this country. (And during that time, federal research dollars were going way disproportionately to AIDS research vis-à-vis cancer research, when you took into account how many deaths each was responsible for.) Then, all of a sudden when Clinton got into office, the protests immediately ceased.

Likewise, imagine the reaction is Reagan or either bush had gotten caught with a 21-year-old intern. The sky would have come falling down. But since it was Clinton, the liberals reacted by pooh-poohing it, "Oh, it's just sex." What was really enlightening was to see the feminists' reaction when the Paula Jones case came up: instead of sticking up of their fellow woman as they do in practically every other case, they called her "trailer trash." The party of the "downtrodden" has always demonstrated very selective outage.

And you're right, Obama has killed you times as many people with drones as George W.Bush ever did, but we don't hear a peep from th leftists about this.