The one Ukraine analysis you should read this week...
I know, I know... For some, the Ukrainian story is probably getting a bit old.
Either the story is irrelevant to the average American, or people are getting downright scared about the prospects for Cold War II, or worse, a shooting war in Europe that eventually sucks up other countries.
The former reflects the usual American apathy about overseas developments, and the latter, a fatalistic, apocalyptic vision about a path to World War III.
If you're one of those who's still grasping to understand how we got to this point, I highly recommend this analysis from Leslie Gelb in The DAILY BEAST.
I've read bits and pieces of this narrative in other places - and pondered some of these historic inconsistencies myself - but Leslie neatly catalogues the hypocrisy on all sides: Russians, Ukrainians, western Europeans, and Americans. No one is spared: Not President Obama (although no mention of Vice President Biden), nor ex-Secretary of State Clinton, nor U.S. Republican leaders, nor certainly President Putin or Ukrainian leaders.
This analysis certainly underscores how consistency in international relations is so damn difficult, probably impossible for a major power on the international stage.
Reading this, one recognizes the near impossibility of bringing back all sides from the brink, but obviously the stakes are too high not to go into overtime trying (and praying, if you are so inclined)...
I was not very surprised. There has been a growing cadre expressing that opinion since day one.
For me, the only thing I hadn't thought about before was the damage this could do in fixing Syria, Iran, and North Korea. Makes sense; surprised that hadn't crossed my mind.
btw. Did our state department really publish a list of Putin's lies? How did we all miss that?
It could have been that the antics of Republicans John McCain and Lindsey Graham are so over the top, that while shaking our head over their irrationality, we missed all the lesser stories....
Mon, Mar 10, 2014 10:39pm
Kavips: Now those are two Republicans I can agree with you about. Traitors with a capital T.
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 7:59am
This paragraph from the article sums it up well.
"There’s one chance to turn things around, but it’s a long shot. All leaders involved have to tone down their “explanations” and self-justifications. They have to stop threats and sanctions for the time being. Everyone knows these actions won’t go away and that diplomatic failure would soon call them forth again. And just for the moment, everyone’s objective should be to help President Vladimir Putin climb down from his perilous perch. If there’s to be an agreement, everyone knows what it must be: Russia proclaims and Ukraine accepts greater autonomy for Crimea within a still united Ukraine."
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 9:16am
Very well-written article... I agree with this writer and Henry Kissinger about the only viable solution for Ukraine.
So much for Hillary "smoothing" things over and throwing her "reset" button away. Calling Putin the next Hitler (even if true) wasn't very helpful for U.S. efforts to maintain good foreign policy relations with Russia.
Hillary is as bad as John McCain and Lindsey Graham.
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 10:00am
Earl... funny thing is ... it is as if she is trying too hard to get a certain seal of approval from the exact same group, as are McCain and Lindsey.
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 10:23am
kavips: Yep, and I would love for McCain and Lindsey to go away as well...we don't need to continue in the failed policies of the old Neo-Cons.
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 10:26am
EarlGrey and Kavips: Well said.
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 10:50am
I wonder what Iran thinks as Tehran watches Ukraine overtaken by Russia? Ukraine gave up its nukes and signed an agreement promising Ukraine would be safe... and we see how well that's going for the Ukrainians. Iran now has even more reason to want nukes, and what are we going to do to prevent that from happening?...
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 12:50pm
I can't speak for Iran, but I know I'd say "no way. Not giving up nukes, ever."
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 1:23pm
Sadly, agreements get made, and not kept. This isn't the first time the U.S. hasn't honored agreements. Maybe we should be slow to make agreements, so the few we'd make we might actually keep.
Would the U.S. step in to stop Israel if the Israelis decided to attack Iran? So when putting all this together, it's easy to understand why Iran wants its own nukes, just as we want our own. We don't want to have to depend on some other nation to protect us, but we think we should be able to tell other nations that they should do so. Then we wonder why we're not so well-liked, especially when we don't keep our word.
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 8:02pm
MFD: The problem with the U.S. is that one president makes the agreement and the next one breaks it. A treaty is only as good as long as the president who signed it is still in office. By law, it ain't supposed to be that way, but then who cares about the law anymore?
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