Category Archives: Europe

Handling Ukraine Intelligently

Republicans are once again hot to engage in a war in order to blame President Obama for failure to win a war. It is Republican policy to initiate wars in order to blame Democrats for not winning the war because they lack “will power for peace.” John McCain and Fox News “foreign policy experts” want ACTION on the part of Barack Obama. ACTION translates into some form of behavior that results in Vladimir Putin pleading for peace. Let this blog suggest a realistic foreign policy toward Ukraine and Russia.

1. There is no “victory” at the end of the rainbow, simply a confused world of discord that will continue for years.

2. Russia, regardless of who is their leader, has justifiable concerns, stemming from their history the past hundred years of being invaded by foreign armies that murdered over fifty million of their people. Any accord with Russia must ensure their right to protection against foreign aggression.

3. We propose the Ukranian government issue a guarantee that it will not allow any foreign troops or military installations on its territory. In essence, Ukraine becomes another Switzerland adhering to the principle of neutrality.

4. We propose that any missile systems of NATO be withdrawn to England. In other words, the European continent is to be free of missiles.

5. The Crimea is to experience a UN monitored election to determine its future. If the Tartar minority does not wish to live in a Russian centered Crimea, it would be provided the right to migrate to west European lands or the United States and Canada.

6. A Turkish-Russian discussion would result in agreements concerning placement of aggressive weapons on one another’s borders.

7. The United States is to develop a major program in energy exports to Europe that ends dependence on Russian energy sources.

No shouting and screaming, just solid diplomacy is the answer.

The Ukraine Story

Lost in the confusion regarding Russian blunders in the Ukraine is how President Putin helped create a monster that he allegedly hated. Since day one of the disturbances in Kiev, the Russian media has offered a version of reality that is unreal. They have reported to the people of Russia that armed Neo-Nazis and fascists used violence to seize control of the government and drive from power poor misunderstood President Yanukovych, a man dedicated to the proposition of peace and security for all nations. In the Russian version, it is the Ukraine police who are bullied and tortured, not ordinary citizens. According to the Russian press, masked armed men–fascists, attacked the Ministry of Interior building in the Crimea which FORCED Russia to intervene in order to restore peace and security. That is the line being sold in Russia, and, from all reports it is being accepted.

The Ukraine is now confronting serious economic problems which might result in the rise to power of Nationalist groups anxious to engage in violence against Russia in order to provoke support by the European Union and the United States. Sounds like something that occurred 100 years ago in Europe when a Serbian nationalist killed the son of the Emperor of Austria Hungary and the resulting conflict over how to deal with a crisis led to World War I.

It is time to remain quiet and control anger. This time there are atomic bombs lying around, not trench warfare!!

Goodbye Crimea, Hello Russia

There are times in life when the bad guys win and the good guys don’t. The current situation in the Ukraine is an occasion when those seeking to obtain a democratic society will not achieve their goal. Russia is taking over the Crimea and no one is going to halt this adventure in terrorism. Heck, the Russian people are jumping for joy that their government used force to invade another country and take it over. Of course, as I recall, the American people were all for the invasion of Iraq –in the name of democracy and in the name of–Saddam Hussein with his weapons of mass destruction was ready to blow up the United States of America since he had guided missiles that went a few hundred miles. Americans jumped for joy when US tanks and troops entered Baghdad. OK, George Bush never bared his chest to prove that he was a man nor did he kill any animals to prove his heroism in battle, but he did chop wood.

Republicans shout and scream defiance from the security of Fox News studios, but I do not see many of them volunteering to man the first plane to bomb the Crimea. The very same people who cheered the invasion of a neutral country in 2003 named Iraq, now decry the invasion of a neutral country by Russia. The only defiance Republican congressmen will support is some sort of violent act by President Obama which would shortly result in an impeachment procedure initiated by Republicans!

Time For Reform And Honesty In Turkey

There is scant doubt that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan has over the past decade accomplished a great deal in moving his country into the position of being an important economic and political power in the Middle East. A problem in leading a nation for a long period of time is that possession of power begins to loom as an entitlement rather than as something in which democracies vie to achieve. Members of his Cabinet have resigned due to charges of corruption and a phone call between his son and the prime minister has sinister comments about money and disposing of money.

President Abdullah Gul has become increasingly concerned about the style of Erdogan’s crisis management approach. Gul made clear, “I am sad and disturbed” about charges against his prime minister and members of the Cabinet. He is also believes it is time Erdogan ceased to blame “foreign sources” as the cause of his troubles. Gul is urging a reform of the government in order to meet standards established by the European Union. Excellent advice.

Victory For Putin?

The people of Russia were brave during World War II and sacrificed in the cause of ending Nazi brutality. Today, in 2014, the people of Russia have allowed a petty thug named Vladimir Putin to convince the entire nation that he is once again fighting the forces of Nazism and Fascism. There is something ironic in a man who has imposed a Russian form of Fascism upon the people of his land now claiming that he is opposed to that mentality. Those who oppose his rule wind up in jail or are beaten, and many are found dead. Putin claims that Ukranians are “fascists” because they overthrew a corrupt incompetent man named Viktor Yukanovych as president of their nation. Over 70% of Russians are thrilled that their country has become the symbol of oppression and brutality. Russia has become a land that hates homosexuals and now it has become a land in which those seeking to further the cause of democracy are silenced or jailed.

The Russian government has recognized the so-called referendum in the Crimea as representing the “will of the people of Crimea” to secede from the Ukraine and seek to become a part of Russia. For the moment, nothing can be done to prevent this act of violence. The real question is whether or not the European Union and the United States have the will and determination to combat aggression.

1. Dramatically increase American sale of oil to Europe and end Russian sales.

2. Impose an economic embargo upon the nation of Russia.

3. Ban all flights from or to Russia.

Take those three steps and the people of Russia will sing another tune.

Mother Russia Wants To Protect Her Children

I must confess not being able to understand why the American government or the European Union does not agree that Mother Russia has a responsibility to take care of her flock of children. Our dear and beloved leader, Vladimir Putin, was forced to abandon his work with disabled people who were attempting to hold an Olympic Winter event and rush off to protect his fellow Russians who reside in the country of Ukraine or at his naval base in the Çrimea. Vladimir is simply a devoted son who cares for his fellow brothers and sisters who reside in the Fascist state of Ukraine and fear for their lives. Not only is Vladimir concerned, but about 20,000 Russian youth have rushed from their homes and sped to the Crimea without even waiting for orders from President Putin to make this effort. They also want to protect Russian people who are threatened by the Fascists in the Ukraine.

What else could Putin do but mobilize his armed forces on the border of Ukraine after learning that the Ukraine has accepted 50,000 volunteers to threaten his 120,000 men on the border with their tanks and artillery and air force? And, what does the West do? THEY threaten the peaceful people of Mother Russia with violence. God Bless Vladimir Putin for saving his fellow Russian citizens in the Ukraine and God Bless this man of peace!

The Fire This Time

It has been many years since anyone in Russia dared to challenge the authority of Vladimir Putin so it is foreign to his way of thinking that someone other than himself knows the answers to any problem. European Union leaders denounce his actions along with President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, and, they are ignored. The expectation that words from other people will influence Vladimir Putin is simply wishful thinking. Reality: there are few actions that would influence his decision making. We offer a few:

1. Allow massive shipping of oil and gas from America to Europe.
2. Encourage Nigeria and Venezuela to increase oil exports.
3. Institute a 30 day ban on any business transactions with Russia.
4. Let it become known through “unofficial sources” the CIA will begin meeting with Chechnya dissidents.
5. Ban travel by Russian diplomats to EU nations and the US.
6. Allow several US destroyers to sail through Straits of Dardanelles and anchor off Turkish shores.

He understands POWER!

Tiny Steps To War

A hundred years ago in June, 1914, a man shot and killed the son of the Emperor of a nation called Austria-Hungary. The story was reported on page 12 of The New York Times, and in Europe there were some sad comments, but the son was not particularly liked by the Austrian nobility so his death was not greatly mourned. Days went by with some notes of protest sent by the Emperor to the kingdom of Serbia from whence the shooter came. Most Europeans went about their daily business without any concern regarding the shooting. Serbia was a tiny country and Austria-Hungary was a large empire so it was clear that Serbia needed friends. To make a long story short, nations in Europe took up sides with their allies and without anyone realizing by August, World War I had begun. This war changed the lives of all on this planet and led to World War II.

Vladimir Putin has initiated a process of attempting to proof that he is one tough dude. Ukranians really do not have an army, but they are organizing some volunteers as the Russian army gathers on its borders. An accidental shot, a plane shot down, who knows, just the wrong tiny step and we could have a shooting war. Putin is the bully who runs Russia and he can readily believe the entire world is afraid of him. All it takes is one man firing at the wrong time at the wrong person.

Broken Treaties Broken

One thing that must be said about Vladimir Putin is that when it comes to breaking treaties he deserves the Nobel Prize for the most treaties broken in a single calendar year. Just about every day, he breaks another one, and this is all done with no shirt on his back and a rifle in his hands in order to kill some tiger who is heading in his direction. Ukraine President Arsenij Yatsenyuk is in Washington D.C. to confer with the president of the United States about what to do or what not to do regarding the situation in the Crimea. In theory, the Crimea is part of the Ukraine although a large number of people are of Russian heritage, not Ukrainian. As a good Russian, let me make clear being confused with one of those Ukrainians is a crime where I come from. Anyway, the president and the president made a list of broken treaties:

1. The United Nations Charter.

2. Russia’s commitment under the Helsinki Final Act

3. Russia’s 1997 Treaty of Friendship with the Ukraine

4. The Russian-Nazi Non-Aggresion Pact of 1939

5. The Lend Lease agreement with the US in 1941.

If you have nothing better to do, just list any and all treaties.

On The Death Of Humanity

The madness of the human race raises the question as to whether or not at some distant point we humans will make some drastic mistake that results in the end of being able to continue the human race. What would occur if at some point, we humans could not create new life and thus at some distant moment in history, the race we know as “human” would simply disappear, not only from this planet but from the universe? How would we think, feel, conduct our lives if there was no human race that continues to exist. Suppose, as we die along with other human deaths we reach a point in time when there are no children, just a increasingly declining group of elderly people who inhabit a world without youth and without a human destiny? What is we are today, and at some moment in time, we humans just disappear from the planet and the universe?

I believe that it is our faith in the inevitability of tomorrow that enables us to confront today. If there was no tomorrow then we would crumble into passivity and simply give up use of our mind. We need the existence of a collective tomorrow that spurs our efforts today to become creative thinking life forms. We humans without any thought constantly destroy life forms and end their existence on this planet. Just remember, that possibility also exists for we humans!