This week may bring a "resolution" to the Ukrainian/Russian conflict that will allow Barack Obama to claim a diplomatic victory, while at the same time bringing Vladimir Putin closer to reconstructing the Soviet Empire. Mr. Putin and Mr. Obama and their surrogates have been negotiating for a peaceful disposition to the Russian amassment of 100 thousand troops on its border with Ukraine. And though the talks have centered on those troops and a myriad issues ranging from "international" monitors in Ukraine to the ability of other regions to distance themselves from Kiev, the West seems to have given up on Crimea.
Say what you want about Vladimir Putin, but he is a brilliant chess player. After absorbing Crimea into Russia using groups of pro-Russian armed thugs to foment a succession movement from Ukraine, and holding a hastily and suspect vote to insure the same, he amassed 100 thousand troops along Russia's border with Eastern Ukraine. The troops, I think, were never intended to be used for military conflict, but as a diversion from the annexation of Crimea. And it worked! President Obama and the "internationals" were so concerned about the troop build up, that they were willing to give Mr. Putin his victory in Crimea and call it a victory for the West.
And so brick by brick, just like Hadrian's Wall, Vladimir Putin will rebuild the Soviet Empire, all the while allowing his obtuse adversaries like Barack Obama to think they have been victorious by avoiding war. Because in the end, all that is needed for bad men like Mr. Putin to succeed, is for hubris men like Mr. Obama to think that peace is simply the absence of war. Vladimir Putin is well aware of the flawed weakness of President Obama's all-consuming desire for peace to the point that he is willing to allow Russia to gobble up chunks of sovereign nations, as long as there are no military conflicts involving thousands of deaths.
Those on the Left like Barack Obama and the "international community" have been given a false solace by the Russians' seeming willingness to find a "diplomatic" solution to the Ukrainian crisis. But Russian, or should I say Soviet, diplomacy is not defined by the same intentions as the West. Ronald Reagan understood this, Jimmy Carter did not. That is why President Reagan was successful in dealing with the Soviet Union and President Carter was an utter failure. It is also why President Obama is music to Vladimir Putin's ears.
In the final analysis, Mr. Putin is negotiating from a position of strength. He has Crimea and the troops on Ukraine's border with which to "bargain." Pulling back the troops leaves him with Crimea, which was his goal from the beginning. Barack Obama and the "internationals" only have their enervated sanctions as they attempt to extricate themselves from the corner in which they have taken up residence.