Category Archives: Russia

Will Putin Punt Or Pass?

Each day another confusing episode arises in the nation of UKraine. Ukrainian soldiers just forced their way into control of Lugansk airport that had been held by pro-Russian forces who dream of becoming part of a new nation. A plane load of 40 Ukraine paratroopers was blasted out of the sky by hand held missiles fired by the pro-Russian group that so desires to become leaders of the new nation of Lugansk. UKraine President Porosheko demanded that President Putin quit sending weapons and soldiers into his country. At least three Russian tanks crossed the border and entered Ukraine territory.

President Putin has to make a decision. He can continue playing these silly games which allow a handful of thugs to pretend they actually can run a government or Putin can pass on this opportunity for cooperation with European nations. The end result of gamesmanship is sanctionship. The end result is a blow to the Russian stock market, a blow to the Russian economy. We believe it is time to punt and allow the other side to take the offensive.

Putin Becoming Peaceful Vladimir?

According to Fox News Vladimir Putin is a model leader who enforces his views upon others with the threat of armed force. Members of the Republican party have joined in acclaim for Putin who, in their view, is a “real man” unlike the coward in the White House. At this point the Republican message becomes a bit more confusing. Ted Cruz and Tea Party folk do not want the USA to become involved in world conflicts while at the same time blaming President Obama for not “standing up to Putin.” Of course, Senator John McCain wants soldiers on the ground–someplace. John wants tough talking to Vladimir, bare chest or not. There is one thing Republicans agree upon–Barack Obama lacks guts and is not a “real American” because he does not want to send troops –someplace.

Two months ago, Russia seized the Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise which was protesting oil rigs and imprisoned thirty people. They, eventually were released. John McCain is angry because President Obama did not do something. As of this date, no one knows what McCain wanted done. Anyway, yesterday the Russian government released the ship, and all those seized are back home. And, believe it or not! Not a single American soldier got killed!!

Never Forget D-Day

The speeches have been made. The dignitaries have gotten their pictures taken as though any of them had anything to do with the June 6, 1944 landings in Normandy. Hand over heart in remembrance is now compulsory for anyone who wants to pose as a “leader.” Unfortunately, not a single one of world “leaders” who was in Normandy a few days ago has the intelligence, the mental toughness, and the desire to work with other nations to ensure peace in the world. June 6, 1944 was a different time, a different place, and it certainly had different leaders. Imagine the United States of America, the Soviet Union, England, and French exiles working together for a common purpose–the end of tyranny in the world? Heck, President Obama can’t even gain cooperation of Republicans in Congress whose only dream is more money for the wealthy. In 1944, the top tax rate was 90%! And, thousands of wealthy businessmen came to Washington to work as “Dollar a Year” men whose love of nation far surpassed their love of money.

Sorry, Congressman Boehner, but the 90% WWII tax rate never got below 70% until the 1980s and WE HAD PROSPERITY! Believe it or not, but the wealthy paid and paid, but the jobs kept on getting created. D-Day was another time and place when we were ALL AMERICANS. Just remember, those who fought received the G.I.Bill of Rights which guaranteed free education plus money to live on. And, PROSPERITY grew!

Ukraine For Ukrainians!

My father was born near the city of Kiev in a small village over a hundred years ago, so I am, by heritage, a Ukrainian. The history of Ukraine is complicated, confused, and it has changed decade to decade from being independent, part of Russia, and even being part of Poland. After the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s, Ukraine became an independent nation. However, eastern areas of the country retain a high percent of people who miss the old days of being part of Mother Russia while those in western Ukraine are happy never again to have anything to do with Russia, which never was a Mother to those people. Petro Poroshenko, a billionaire, just got elected president of Ukraine. As far as he is concerned, Ukraine also includes the Crimea.

“Citizens of Ukraine will never enjoy the beauty of peace unless we settle our differences with Russia. Russia occupied Crimea which was, is, and will be Ukrainian.”
Ok, great sentiment. President Poroshenko is in the same boat as is President Obama with nutty Republicans. They will not change anymore than Russia will give up the Crimea. So, get on with your life and accept reality.

D-Day Anniversary-America Once Great

It is the 70th anniversary of the day when British, Canadian, French, American troops landed on the beaches of France as part of the plan by which the Soviet Union and its allies would end the regime of Adolf Hitler. In the morning as dawn broke, German soldiers awoke to see 5,000 ships staring at them while cannons boomed and troops headed for the beaches of Normandy. It was an Allied effort, actually Americans constituted only 45% of those who landed. The British and Americans devised an incredibly complex plan which worked out, and within a day 150,000 men were on the beaches fighting for their lives. About 20,000 American and British paratroopers landed behind the lines and engaged German troops. So, what was unique about this day?

1. American leaders actually had a war plan that worked.
2. American leaders actually worked in a cooperative manner with allies.
3. The plan required pin point military decisions that actually worked.
4. American troops knew why there were landing on a distant beach, and who was the enemy.
5. There was close cooperation between the air force and ground troops.
6. The entire American nation was behind the effort.
7. Believe it or not but the top tax rate was 90% on the wealthy.
8. Wealthy people were willing to give their riches for the country’s need.
9. Believe it or not but high tax rates only led to more job creation.
10. We all were proud to be Americans.

That was then, today is now.

A New Guerrilla War In Ukraine

I understand the frustration and fatigue of the American people who have endured over a decade of war in foreign places where people fight and die, and Americans are engaged in un-explicable events. A war is beginning in eastern Ukraine between the government and “separatists.” It would be one thing if these “separatists” actually represented the people of areas such as Luhansk, but it increasingly is clear those fighting are Russians who have been armed by the Russian government. Only a fool would believe that “separatists” could possess modern weapons and have military training that enables them to launch attacks.

It is time for the US and NATO to dispatch arms and ammunition. It is time to dispatch military advisors, not to fight, but to train and equip a Ukraine army that can put amend to separatists. There is NO need for American forces to engage in military action, but they can engage in training and offer modern equipment and helicopters for the fighting that must occur if Ukraine is to gain peace.

You Have Freedom To Think As I Do

I recently encountered the ideas of a Turkish professor who is a devout Muslim and it became clear that his ideas are not only found among conservative fundamentalist Muslims, but represent the thinking of many Christians and Jews. Professor Hayrettin Karaman argues that modern secularism “does not have aspects which are in harmony with or parallel to Islam. He does agree with the concept of freedom of religion, but in his interpretation of this concept that means everyone has the right to freedom of thinking providing it directs the individual to believe in Islam. He does have ideas concerning the idea of pluralism. At the “bottom of pluralism lies the relativity of right and wrong, good and bad. “This goes against the essence of Islam.”

Ironically, the same manner of thinking is found among many Orthodox Jews or Christians. Heck, in America, we have Republicans who believe seeking to raise taxes one percent will result in the decline of America and simply punish our beloved job creators who will cease to job create. Those who posses the “truth” know there is only ONE TRUTH and that is what they believe. When it comes to this approach to thinking, one discovers such thinkers in ANY religion!

Blame It On Someone, Not Me!

Russian President Vladimir Putin is employing one of the oldest strategies in politics by waving the flags of fear in order to divert attention from real problems and issues confronting the people of Russia. He has employed control over the media and press to instill fears about Nazis and Fascists in Ukraine who threaten the very existence of true Russian nation. It worked in the Crimea and that area is now part of Russia. Putin is using his surrogate secret police in eastern regions of Ukraine to stir up the pot of anger and hate against the government in Kiev. Suddenly, that entity has become a “Nazi government” with its huge army of 150,000 ill armed men with a few tanks and no air force now threatening the very existence of the Russian nation! Dimitry Gukov, is a rare Russian creature, he is an opposition member of the Russian parliament and thus stands against the Putin campaign of fear and distrust.

Polls show that 85% of Russians do not want to engage in any form of protest against their government. President Putin now has the support of 82% of Russians because he “saved them from the modern Fascist government of Kiev.” According to Gukov, “Russia’s domestic policy is being conducted through Ukraine. The population reluctance to protest does not mean that it is necessarily happier or more satisfied. Citizens are being distracted from domestic problems by state authorities’ insistence on the presence of foreign enemies-in Ukraine and the West. There will come a time when authorities will no longer be able to distract Russians from their troubles at home.”

Every bully and dictator in the 20th Century used this ploy to get or maintain power. Shades of Mussolini and Hitler and Stalin.

Time To End Violence In Ukraine

The people of Ukraine just had an election and a candidate garnered over 50% of the vote. Mr. Poroshenko is a billionaire who is pragmatic, desires to restore law and order to his nation and wants to do it NOW. Even as he spoke the separatists in the Donetsk region were attempting to take over an airport only to be thwarted by Ukraine forces, including jet planes. Reports are that about 30 died in this silly effort by a group of thugs, most probably in the pay of the Russian government. Poroshenko was blunt in making clear to President Vladimir Putin the time was over for his efforts to split Ukraine. “The anti-terrorist operation cannot and should not last more than two or three months. It should and will end now.”

Putin knows that he has lost. He awoke one day and realized that if Russian forces actually invaded the UKraine his government would be confronted by billions of dollars in cost to run the region plus facing the prospect of new economic sanctions that will damage Russian banks and business enterprises. It is time to conclude this folly.

So, Who Is Voting?

So, what happens if an election is held but there is no place for people to cast their ballot let alone having people who want to cast a ballot? Here in America we have something called, “elections” and about forty percent of the people just do not show up to cast a ballot. No surprise that in Ukraine yesterday and election was held to determine who would be president and a heck of a lot of people in eastern regions refused to accept the idea there even was an election. About twenty percent of eastern region Ukkrainians want to return to the good old days being part of Russia. There is scant doubt they are being provided with guns and money by the Russian government.

Anyway, most eastern folk did not vote, either because there were no ballots, let alone polling places due to separatists. After all, who wants to risk life in order to vote? Most probably in Ukraine, let in dear old USA, money talks. Industralist Petro Poroshenko will win and life will go on. Sorry, separatists, Vladimir Putin does NOT want you. He finally figured out that getting eastern Ukraine would cost money.