Less talk and more action in Ukraine.

Sitting face-to-face but not seeing eye-to-eye, Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, on Sunday. Must have been an awkward afternoon around the diplomatic drawing board, way I see it. Four hours of Kerry pleading, “Pretty please… Won’t you pull back your troops?” Only to be met with Sergey’s, “I’ll take that to the Kremlin. In meantime, why don’t we turn Ukraine into federation? You divide, we conquer.” Four whole hours of soft power talks, without a single Ukrainian at the table—another conversation— and not a thing accomplished.

Diplomatic isolation, asset freezes, travel bans on oligarchs, even angry Obama phone calls to Moscow were appropriate at a time—but objectively ineffective. Mr Putin laughed off US sanctions that targeted his inner circle, promising the Russian government would “have the back” of those on the list. And did you hear? Vlad ordered fireworks over Moscow after the second round of US economic sanctions.

Look, I’ve never been one to argue “give war a chance,” so well meaning bleats aimed at painting me as a neo-con can remain calm.

But you’ll forgive me if I just don’t get what kind of playbook the White House is employing.

It’s no secret Obama’s no foreign policy president—compounding the problem: Putin knows his record. Obama gave up Bush’s win in Iraq; even helped topple slavish American allies in Egypt and Libya. And Putin himself has taunted Obama in Iran, in Syria, and with Edward Snowden. But this leaders’ game of cat-and-mouse is unlike the others… It is much, much worse.

Quite apart from the humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine, where dozens are missing and tens of thousands of Russians, Ukrainians, and Tartars have been turned into political refugees… The invasion of Crimea by the expansionist Russian federation marks the destruction of the present system of international relations and public law.

Either Obama is in denial of these facts or perfectly incompetent.

To be sure, the probability of war in Ukraine’s southeast is high. When Russia invaded Crimea, it mobilized 150,000 troops along Ukraine’s eastern frontier. Most of those forces still terrorize Ukraine, never mind Putin’s pull-back promise to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday– some 20,000 troops still occupy the peninsula and provocateurs sent by Moscow continue to stir unrest. And, like a holy hangover of the region’s Soviet past, Ukrainian Catholics are completely paralyzed in the occupied territory, where priests in Crimea have been kidnapped, accused of being ‘Vatican agents’ by Russian supporters.

For Putin, the Cold War ended, as he put it, “tragically.” He will turn the clock back as far as intimidation through military power, economic leverage and Western inaction will allow.

                                                            RUSSIA                       UKRAINE

Annual Defense Budget (USD)       $76,600,000,000      $4,880,000,000

Fit for Military Service                    46,812,553                15,686,055

Active Military Personnel               766,000                      160,000

Total Tank Strength                        15,500                         4,112

Total Aircraft Strength                   3,082                          400

Total Nacy Ship Strength               352                             25

And with 15 times the cash being dumped into their annual defense budget, Vlad has the military and economic power he needs to successfully crush Ukraine and her people. See, while world leaders were busy drawing down troops and spending less on security, Russia has been increasing her military might since the Cold War. Today, the Russian Army is virtually unopposed in Central Europe.

“Parts of Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States and Finland are states where Putin claims to have ownership.” – Andrej Illarionov, Former Putin Aide

And now, an ex-Kremlin aide warns Putin wants to annex Finland, Belarus and the Baltics. I, for one, believe him.

The immediate concern for world must be to show Russia that FURTHER MOVES WILL NOT BE TOLERATED and that Ukraine’s territorial integrity is, indeed, sacrosanct. Putin is a narcissistic sociopath… a megalomaniac. Like the bully on the playground, he does not respond to soft power; to reason or arguments. Putin must face a threat of physical force in order to even consider changing course… hard power fighting hard power.

So, who should supply that muscle?

No country can on its own. Look here: Obama’s indebted America is not a reliable ally or consistent power. When the interim Ukrainian Prime Minster  met with Obama, his request for weapons was politely declined. Instead, the Obama administration offered uniforms and military meals… As if Ukraine was going to the Garrison Ball. And forget handicapped Europe… She’s has welcomed tens of billions in dirty money from a who’s who of Russia’s most unsavory business men, all along doing little to wean herself from Russian oil and natural gas.  And our P-M, despite leading the class in harsh rhetoric, has totally abandoned the traditional conservative build-up of armed forces and defense industries. Canada might talk the talk but we certainly can’t walk the walk.

So, only NATO is apt to provide a robust defensive strategy and lift the Ukrainian militarily out of its present isolation. “But Ukraine is not a NATO nation,” you say. That’s right, but why aren’t they? Following the Georgian crisis, Obama’s Russian “reset” led to an abrupt revision of plans… Talk of Ukraine and Georgia’s future in NATO ceased. Moscow cheered.

To avoid consensus-building an sticky precedent, a NATO coalition of the willing ought to be formed and three actions taken.

1.      Arm Ukrainian nationals

2.      Deploy intelligence capabilities and military trainers

3.      Conduct a military exercise

First, the Ukrainian P-M’s request for military equipment should be immediately approved and, above that, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons should be included. These weapons will complicate Russian military planning and add risk to its tyrannical operations. And, as a point of taste, U.S. equipment might bring back unpleasant memories of when Soviet forces encountered Western weapons in Afghanistan.

Second: the alliance should deploy intelligence capabilities and military trainers to Ukraine. The deployment of military trainers to Georgia was one of the most effective elements of the U.S. effort to bolster Georgia’s security after it was invaded by Russia in 2008.

Third: NATO allies and partners should soon conduct a military exercise in Ukraine as part of the effort to train the Ukrainian military. The alliance’s plan to wait until its next scheduled exercise in Ukraine, this summer, could incentivize Russia to take additional military action before then.

Ukraine is our Sudetenland and Russia our Berlin. The same dynamics are at play: barefaced racism, xenophobia, a violent nationalism unbending to moral scrutiny, and the reproduction of lies by ranting lawmakers. Appeasement didn’t work then and it’s already not working now. Enough of round tables and photo-ops, statesmen. Less talk, and more spark— for 46M Ukrainians, for the balance of power in this world, for freedom. Anything less won’t satisfy me.

Posted on by Faith Goldy in Uncategorized
  • Frank_Godon

    Are you really that delusional Faith? I thought that journalists were unbiased when it came to reporting the news? First lets look at Crimea – It’s a delusion that Russian troops annexed Crimea. Russian troops did nothing of the kind. Russian troops were in Crimea under the international treaty on the deployment of the Russian military base. It’s true that Russian troops helped Crimean’s hold a referendum on their (a) independence and (b) desire to join the Russian Federation. No one can prevent these people from exercising a right that is stipulated in Article 1 of the UN Charter, the right of nations to self-determination. – This area of land was never part of a Ukrainian territory – it was given by a Communist dictator (Ukrainian in heritage) and the people there were mostly Russian. Have you ever been to Crimea? Have you ever lived in Russia or Ukraine? You (and many delusional Canadian Ukrainians) claim your Ukrainian heritage but your mindset is purely western and you are so far removed from your “RUS” heritage that you can only see and understand the past century of what this area was (Communist Soviet Union) you do not understand or see the other 900 years of what the true “RUS” spirit and culture really is. I have lived in Russia since 2004 – I have been many times to Ukraine and have many friends all over the country. I am a professor at the State University in St Petersburg where I had the opportunity to teach students from all over Russia – Belarus – Ukraine – Georgia, etc. This gave me a good understanding of the people, culture, and history.

    Second the demonization of President Putin by western leaders and media. “The primary reason for demonizing Vladimir Putin is his “actions that are undermining the economic ambitions of the Western bankers.” One major achievement in this respect was the recently signed 30-year gas deal with China, estimated to be worth over $400 billion.” Summed up very well by Prof James Fetzer – Prof. Fetzer’s predictions for the development of Russian-US relations are extremely grim. He warns that there is “a very real possibility now” of a war seen in some US circles as “the only way to salvage the American economy, which is falling apart.” The expert even has some speculative details to share about the probable campaign. “There’ve been reports and anticipations that 22 June may be the key date for some kind of an attack, that would be blamed on Iran and Russia to promote a world war. It would, of course, be completely catastrophic, but in the US it may be viewed as the last desperate attempt for a government in a desperate situation.”

    Such a scenario, Prof. Fetzer explains, may unfold due to the fact that “the Western powers are driven by greed and the profit motive. There is a long-standing chronic problem here and it is rooted in the nature of capitalism and the lust for even more profits, which are being exposed again and again with the American corporations”.

    You ask that NATO intervene in Ukraine to “protect”. NATO is nothing more than the war machine used by the expansionist’s in the west to accomplish their goals. I believe President Putin summed it up very well in his latest interview with French media –

    “Speaking of the level of sovereignty, I will say it again – any country that becomes a member of a military alliance gives away some of its sovereignty to a supranational body. For Russia, this would be unacceptable. As for other countries, it has nothing to do with us. They have to decide such matters for themselves. In this regard, I think of the Gaullist tradition and General Charles de Gaulle, who protected France’s sovereignty. I think this deserves respect. And there’s another example: François Mitterrand, who spoke of European confederation, with Russia as its member. I think this opportunity still exists and we will have it in the future.”

    Members in NATO have given up their sovereignty – and no longer control their own defence forces.

    The last item I wish to touch on is your rant with Ezra about the “bully” Russia cutting off Ukraine’s gas. Come on REALLY? Even common sense (something I always thought Sun News had) dictates that if you don’t pay your bills the gas company will cut off your gas and require you to pay up front before any more is delivered. But by searching on the internet (something I guess you don’t do often) I have found an excellent piece by Dr. Matthew Crosston – Professor of Political Science and Director of the International Security and Intelligence Studies program at Bellevue University Give it a read and you will find something your western news filters don’t tell the public.

    I could go on about the genocide happening in the eastern part of Ukraine – how the military is killing innocent civilians and how it was atrocious for the past Ukrainian president to use a police force against the citizens but it Ok for the current regime to use the “MILITARY” against its own citizens.

    Please I now invite you to defend your view, or are you like most Liberals who will delete my comment and block me? Answer my Twitter tweets too

    • Frank_Godon

      Also think about this – “If Russia and Putin are so bad then why are the refugees from the war torn eastern areas going to Russia? Over 100,000 are fleeing to Rostov and Crimea seeking protection from their own government. If it was only “Russian terrorists” fighting the government in this area and not locals, then why wouldn’t these people go to Kiev instead of Russia? Your (and western media’s) logic about who the bad guy is here is faulty!