Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What Putin did shouldn't shock anyone

Let's talk conspiracy theories for just this one post.  Based on what I have read on the subject, and I read a lot from a lot of sources, the writing appears to be on the wall that Vladimir Putin is trying to reassemble the Soviet Union.

By listening to the various folks in Washington you'd think they were just shocked that Putin used his military might to over take Crimea.  But should they be?  Isn't it the job of the people running this country to be expecting this kind of stuff, and to be prepared for it, in order to prevent it from ever happening?  

I mean, it's not like Russia has never invaded a country before? In 1979 they invaded Afghanistan, and they did it on Christmas while everyone else was distracted. They also colonized Georgia, and what about Shalikashvili and South Ossetia? So, there should be no surprise to what Putin is doing, for those who pay attention to history anyway.

So Russia puts troops around Crimea in the Ukraine, and folks in Washington are all surprised about it. Let's use Obama's words from March 24, 2014,as one example:
The United States does not view Europe as a battleground between East and West, nor do we see the situation in Ukraine as a zero-sum game. That’s the kind of thinking that should have ended with the Cold War.
As Charle's Krauthhammer said in his March 24, 2014, column, "Obama vs. Putin: The Mismatch:"
Should. Lovely sentiment. As lovely as what Obama said five years ago to the United Nations: “No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation.”
That’s the kind of sentiment you expect from a Miss America contestant asked to name her fondest wish, not from the leader of the free world explaining his foreign policy.
 Now let us use Secretary of State John Kerry's words: 
What has already happened is a brazen act of aggression in violation of international law, in violation of the UN charter, in violation of the Helsinki Final Act, in violation of 1997 Ukraine-Russia basing agreement. Russia has engaged in a military act of aggression against another country, and it has huge risks, George. It's a Nineteenth Century act in the Twenty-First Century.
Kerry and Obama are acting like it's a big surprise surprise what Putin is doing. Kerry is upset Putin violated rules set by the United Nations.  The truth, however, is that world history is a history of wars, so it should be no secret that the aggressor in any war sets the rules. In this case, Russia is the aggressor. Russia wants to win.

So it should be no surprise that Putin is setting the rules.  Why?  Well, consider the following:
  1. The purpose of any military is to kill people and break things. It's not to advance anybody's social agenda. It's not a laboratory for social ideas or playgrounds. It is to kill people and break things
  2. The aggressor in any conflict sets the rules. And if they violate an existing rule book, then so be. In other words, the aggressor does whatever is needed to win, regardless of the century.
When people like Vladimir Putin are the aggressors, they don't care about international law, U.N. Charters, or things like that.  They don't care that we are in the 21st century and rulers aren't supposed to do things like this.  Putin wants to take over Crimea, and so he's going to do it by any means he can, regardless what the rest of the world thinks.

So here you have Putin acting, using 19th century tactics as Kerry said, and you have people in Washington, the media, and other people, standing around with their mouths agape saying things like: "He can't do that!"

Well, he just did.

Prior to WWII, despite warnings by Nevelle Chamberlain, neither Britain nor the United States were ready for war.  Prior to 911, no one expected Muslims to blow up the twin towers.  We were not prepared.

Krauthammer said:
Putin’s irredentist grievances go very deep. Obama seems unable to fathom them. Asked whether he’d misjudged Russia, whether it really is our greatest geopolitical foe, he disdainfully replied that Russia is nothing but “a regional power” acting “out of weakness.”
Where does one begin? Hitler’s Germany and Tojo’s Japan were also regional powers, yet managed to leave behind at least 50 million dead. And yes, Russia should be no match for the American superpower. Yet under this president, Russia has run rings around America, from the attempted ingratiation of the “reset” to America’s empty threats of “consequences” were Russia to annex Crimea.
Annex Crimea it did. For which the “consequences” have been risible. Numberless 19th- and 20th-century European soldiers died for Crimea. Putin conquered it in a swift and stealthy campaign that took three weeks and cost his forces not a sprained ankle. That’s “weakness”?
What are the allies thinking now? Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and other Pacific Rim friends are wondering where this America will be as China expands its reach and claims. The Gulf states are near panic as they see the United States playacting nuclear negotiations with Iran that, at best, will leave their mortal Shiite enemy just weeks away from the bomb.
America never sought the role that history gave it after World War II to bear unbidden burdens “to assure the survival and the success of liberty,” as movingly described by John Kennedy. We have an appropriate aversion to the stark fact that the alternative to U.S. leadership is either global chaos or dominance by the likes of China, Russia and Iran.
The main job of any government is to protect the people; to provide national security.  In fact, this is the number one, most important, job of any nation.

It's the job of our leaders to be proactive, as opposed to worrying about the media calling them conspiracy theorists, as I will probably be called.

I think people today are so isolated from bad people, from war,  from history (because they don't teach it in public schools) that they forget that human history is a history of war, and war isn't pretty. It's gotten so bad that too many Americans forget that the world is filled with people waiting, salivating, for an opportunity to strike.

At all costs, we should do everything and anything, even what's not popular (as George W. Bush learned), to prevent it: and we aren't.  Instead we have our leaders making arms agreements to get rid of our nuclear weapons, and tearing down our military.

If we need to spend money on anything in this country, those are the two most important things.  If we are not secure, if some other nation takes us over, nothing else matters.  If another nation gains power over us, it won't matter what job you have, or that you have one, nor that you are fed, nor that you have a retirement plan, nor that you have health insurance.

Someone is going to be the world's super power.  Do you want it to be the good guys, or do you want it to be Putin.  Or, worse, do you want it to be Iran? Or North Korea? Or, even worse than that, some rogue terrorist organization.

Aggressors like Putin don't care about rules, they care about getting their way. Putin is salivating, says the writing on the wall, about rebuilding the Soviet Union, and the only way he will succeed is if the United States lets him.

Sure you might be unpopular to tell your friends that Putin looks like he's trying to re-create the old Soviet Union, which might cause a new cold war.  Surely Washington might not be popular in doing so either?  But isn't it better to err on the side of caution?

Further reading: