Monday, March 3, 2014

Putin's Time

     As was the prediction made by many observers of the growing tinder box in the Ukraine, Russian troops have this past weekend incurred into the sovereign lands of that freedom-loving country. The Crimean peninsula, which is located on the Black Sea in the South-Eastern part of the Ukraine, is currently being occupied by Russian troops, and the Ukrainian government has called upon its citizen army to prepare for war. Crimean bases and armories have been surrounded by Russian soldiers, and the fledgling Ukraine government is transmitting not so subtle messages to the United States and Great Britain that they may need help in stemming the Russian incursion before more of their sovereignty is gobbled up by a hungry Russian bear.
     I fear that the Ukrainian pleas for help will tumble from the slight and ineffectual shoulders of President Obama and his administration. Beyond the platitudinous warnings and empty threats about the Russian violation of international law, Mr. Obama is ill-equipped, both ideologically and in intestinal fortitude, to meet the Russian Bear in the arena of courage and moral certitude. And Vladimir Putin knows, except for empty words and even emptier resolve, he will meet no resistance from the United States as he has his way with the Ukraine.
     It is at once the worst time for the world, and the best for Vladimir Putin, as he tries to rebuild the old Soviet empire. Would he have felt as strongly about taking such a bold chance in the Ukraine if the United States was lead by a strong, virtuous, and liberty-determined president? We will never know. We do know that he has no fear, respect, or deference to the over-educated and under-experienced President of the United States. It is as if the Russian prime minister is playing chess and the American president is playing checkers. The complexities and strategies of world politics, let alone that of Russian/Soviet politics, is beyond the limited experience and arrogantly simplistic world view of Barack Obama.
     I can not help but wonder when the moment was that Vladimir Putin knew Barack Obama was an unworthy adversary, and would provide only flaccid and vacuous opposition to Soviet aggression. Maybe it was before Barack Obama's re-election when he told Russian president Medvedev to transmit to Putin the message that after he, Obama, was safely re-elected, he would have more "flexibility" in dealing with the Russians. Or maybe Vladimir knew Obama was his when he was able to recently manipulate events in the Middle East to his advantage, making the U.S. president look buffoonish and amateurish.   
     The twentieth century has often been called, "America's Century." The prosperity, advancement in the human condition, and the value of liberty spread throughout the world by the United States in those hundred years is unequaled in human history. But I fear that the twenty first century is rapidly becoming Putin's time, when Soviet aggression will once again rule a large chunk of Eastern Europe. And the United States, under feckless leadership, will sit idly by, lacking the strength of both will and ability to honor the cause of liberty and fight under the flag of freedom. 

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