Anyone who pays the least bit of attention to what is going on would know that Russia had to act on our provocation. This thing will decide the next election in this country. Obama and the neo liberals have gotten themselves in a situation that will make them look like fools and the Republicans won’t let go of it. Skin head fascists are flooding into Kiev from Sweden and all over Europe to make a bad situation worse. With our meddling (thank you Soros, Omidyar, neo libs, etc.) the Ukraine may split in two. The West will have to do some compromising with the Russians and that may spell the end of the neo libs and certainly the attitude of the world towards this fantasy of Pax Americana.
The US uses “soft power” to drive Russia out of the Mediterranean Sea? That’s been the accepted wisdom: http://consortiumnews.com/2014/02/26/cheering-a-democratic-coup-in-ukraine/ Russia has a naval base in Tartus, Syria and on the Crimean penninsula in the south of Ukraine. If the US can deny Russia both bases, the masters of soft power believe, they will be denying Russia not only the Mediterranean but access to the Suez Canal and the Atlantic Ocean. Their Black Sea fleet is based in the Crimea and has access to the Mediterranean Sea via the Straits of Bosphorus. That is why you see well organized rebellions in both countries. Yes, both countries were ruled by unpopular authoritarians, but neither will end up as democracies when the rulers disappear. This seems to be a tremendous strategic overreach by the US to isolate Russia from direct sea access to the west.
This is a big deal for Russia and they are not going to let it go easily. US “soft power” i.e. in the case of Ukraine by funding the anti-Russian political opposition in the north and west of the country, and in the case of Syria, letting our surrogates in Qatar and Saudi Arabia keep the insurgents armed and operating. While our “hidden foreign policy” probably funded the initial peaceful opposition.
Despite the pompous statements emanating from the administration warning Russia, there is very little we can do if Russia allows the eastern part of the country to secede in order to keep close ties to Russia and keep their Crimean naval base in Russian hands. There is no way Putin can afford to lose both of these bases and there is no way the U.S. can prevent Russia from seizing control of the Crimean peninsula and exerting some control over the Russian speaking East of Ukraine.
If the administration expects robust support from the EU, they will be sorely disappointed since the EU depends for heating on Russian natural gas from the pipeline running through the Ukraine. It’s still winter In Europe,folks.
Rep. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in a statement. “This aggression is a threat not only to Ukraine, but to regional peace and stability. Russia’s latest action is yet another indicator that Vladimir Putin’s hegemonic ambitions threaten U.S. interests and allies around the world.”
These bellicose statements from neo-con mouthpieces like Rep. Rogers only make us look more ridiculous when Europe is well aware that it is our instigation and support of the rebellion that has brought the situations in Syria and Ukraine to a head.
6 thoughts on “BREAKING NEWS: ‘Soft Power’ and what Syria and Ukraine have in Common”
I wonder if President Obama realizes that our astronauts cannot make it up to our space station and back again without the Russians giving them a ride on their Soyuz rockets.
I also wonder if President Obama realizes that our military and mercenary forces in Afghanistan can’t get out of that sand-trap unless the Russians let us traverse their territory should the Pakistanis close off the Khyber pass as they occasionally do when miffed at us for drone murdering so many of their citizens.
The Russians have about had it with the United States attempting to surround them with bases and missile systems while constantly bad-mouthing them and their leadership for one thing or another. The Russians will not wait around to see what President Obama will do. They will act immediately in defense of their national interests and President Obama will just have to sand by and watch an effective foreign policy in action. Sure, the Republicans will call him a wimp or worse, but they will do that anyway. Best for him to keep his big mouth shut as much as possible. Not an easy thing for the guy who considers himself emperor of the earth and an oh-so-exceptional fellow, but there you have it. What do the French call it? A “fait accompli?”
It’s difficult for our foreign policy “experts” to admit that sometimes we hold no cards. And that often the best course of action is not to act. But we can’t stop from posturing — beating our breasts and criticizing Putin for illegal invasions even as we deploy military forces around the world, reserving the right to intervene wherever and whenever we want (witness our killer drones patrolling the skies of foreign countries).
My Dad always said that the empty barrel makes the most noise. Keep that in mind as we listen to various blowhards in the coming days and weeks, all claiming they have the answer to corral and control Putin.
Ah, I see my Dad’s saying about empty barrels is coming true! http://www.cbsnews.com/news/sarah-palin-on-russian-action-in-ukraine-told-you-so/
I understand that Secretary of State John Kerry actually spoke the following words on Meet the Press:
“You just don’t invade another country on phony pretexts in order to assert your interests.”
I don’t know what response this obtuse remark generated from the “press” that Kerry met, but I can just imagine President Putin’s reply:
“Actually, the United States invades other countries on phony pretexts in order to assert the interests of Israel and Saudi Arabia — only to damage its own interests. Not just hypocrisy and mendacity, but stupidity as well.”
Which brings to mind one of my favorite Vladimir Putin aphorisms: “The United States doesn’t want allies. It wants vassals.” The man does have a way of cutting through the crap.
Yes, the human publicity stunt that John McCain thought he could ride to the U.S presidency has once again demonstrated the wisdom of my high school freshman PE teacher: “Boys, always remember that a closed mouth catches no flies.” In other words, consider:
The Damn Belle Sans Souci
(after the style of Keats’ “La Belle Dame Sans Merci”)
Whatever ails you, Number Two,
On stage and sneering red-meat quips?
Some spittle smears the lipstick on
Your pit-bull lips.
Who can assail you, Hockey Mom,
Post-partum and still nursing Trig?
Your daughter’s underage and yet
Her belly’s big.
We hear you told her “just say ‘no,'”
Although both you and she said “yes;”
And now you want to blame the Stork
For this, your mess?
The baby blanket that you wave
Like garlic and a silver cross
Cannot scare off the questions or
Your looming loss.
We know of apron strings and troops
Behind which charlatans will hide.
But pregnant unwed daughters? Why
Has John no pride?
From speeches written by a ghost
You read some insults off the page
For leper lunatics who find
You all the rage.
Appalled, the country sees again
The venal viper’s gaping jaws
And dripping fangs deployed to bite —
For cheap applause.
But snakes, like other beasts of prey,
Come well supplied in genders, two;
So snakes that mate for votes will come
As nothing new.
From nowhere, you have now appeared:
An apparition of attack,
With no substantive claims except
The class you lack.
Thus John McCain has shown once more
That pressure from the right he’ll heed;
And in selecting you, damn belle,
We see his need.
With all your carefree calumny
You’ve shown no virtue, only vice;
Which leaves us only left to ask:
How low your price?
Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2008
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