Thursday, March 6, 2014

What if it was Texas?

The news lately seems to be all Ukraine all the time. If there ever was a time and place for the U.S. to just keep its collective mouth shut and back away slowly, this is probably it. Ukrainian and Russian history have been intertwined for centuries, Ukraine was part of tsarist Russia before it was a Soviet Republic, its history as an independent nation is brief, and we Americans are notoriously bad at understanding what's actually going on in any foreign country. Instead of trying to provoke Putin into doing something that make him look even better in Russia, the Obama administration should be as mealy-mouthed as possible and hope something else pops up someplace else in the world to distract the news media. Tempting though it always is to meddle, this is one of those no-win situations.

Ukrainian internal politics are twisted, to say the least. Various politicians in the past have seemed quite willing to switch sides at the drop of a hryvnia, Ukraine itself has an ethnically mixed population, you can't always tell by the language spoken (i.e., Ukrainian vs. Russian) just who is who when it comes to loyalties, and the reason for the current unrest seems murky at best. There's a lot of talk in the media about "freedom" and cleaning up corruption, but it actually seems a lot more like one group of special interests was lusting after the opportunity to make money by aligning with the European Union while the other group was lusting after the opportunity to make money by sticking with Russia. In other words, one group of wannabe corrupt politicians decided to boot the already corrupt politicians out. No matter who gains control in the end, the average Ukrainian's everyday life is unlikely to improve much, at least not in the short term.

Besides, why on earth would we want to be stupid enough to do anything remotely provocative right on the Russian border? Anyone willing to do some mental role reversal can see how insane that could be. How would we react if Mexico had a revolution and the Russians or Chinese decided to help out one side or the other in that conflict? If the Russians put boots on the ground or poured massive amounts of aid into Chihuahua or Tamaulipas, we'd freak out. It would be, holy fuck, the Russians are massing on the Texas border! They're coming after our oil!! They're going to destroy our refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. I mean, we went ballistic when the leftist government on the island of Grenada starting building a bigger airport with Cuban help; imagine several thousand Russians hanging out just south of Brownsville or El Paso. Or, even better, over on the West Coast in Baja California just south of San Diego. So how do you think the Russians would react if the Obama administration was stupid enough to listen to John McCain or Lindsey Graham and do something even remotely aggressive in Ukraine?

As for the billion dollars in aid that John Kerry just promised the Ukrainians, why does the above image immediately come to mind?

4 comments:

  1. I'd almost welcome a Russian invasion, can't be any worse than
    perry.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nan,
    Excellent post! I agree. And, now we have a destroyer entering the Black Sea on a "routine" mission and deploying fighters to the area.
    This is insane. As for McSenile and his likely lover Colonel Graham (USAFR) - I ignore them and their saber rattling.

    Ron

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sorry Nan, American Exceptionalism trumps all you reasoned concerns and your appropriate analogy.

    America* can do what America* wants.

    "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business." ~ Jonah Goldberg relayed his view of the 'Michael Ledeen Doctrine' on April 23, 2002.

    *- America is defined as the 1%, their paid conservative shills and Republican Lap Dogs.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I came here quite by accident: Blimey, a US citizen who sees foreign policy straight?

    Wonders will never cease.

    PS I am totally fond of US citizens.

    ReplyDelete

My space, my rules: play nice and keep it on topic.