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Is Anyone Paying Attention?
by Dale Brown, [IMAGE]2014

ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED AT DaleBrown.Info, 28 February 2014

[MEGAFORTRESS.COM image] Message follows:

If you watch MSNBC or CNN (which I admit I do, on occasion) you might think it's a slow news cycle right now, because all you ever hear about is the latest daily allegation of corruption against NJ Gov. Chris Christie, gay pro basketball players, or Pres. Obama's latest program to help kids of color.

In the meantime, Russia stages massive war games in western Russia on the border of Ukraine, and "unidentified gunmen" (who look an awful lot like Russian soldiers in balaclavas and without identification) have taken over two Crimean airports in the Republic of Ukraine, just days after a citizen uprising toppled the pro-Russian Yanukovich government.

At the same time, the Russian government has proposed new rules allowing Ukrainian citizens to quickly become passport-carrying Russian citizens. The goal is obvious: millions of new Russian citizens in Ukraine will need protection from the "illegal rebel-led," "discriminatory," and "oppressive" Ukrainian government, so a strong Russian troop presence in Ukraine will be necessary.

Read the accounts of the conflict between Russia and the Republic of Georgia in 2008, and you'll see it's a carbon-copy of the present turmoil in Ukraine. The common element: the United States chose to do nothing, and the Russians felt emboldened to press forward.

Vice Pres. Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry are wagging their fingers at Russia, admonishing them not to do anything rash, and gladly accepted the explanation that the massive war games were planned well in advance and had nothing to do with the fall of the pro-Russian government.

Pres. Obama has been completely silent on the matter. So has Congress, and so have the potential presidential candidates in 2016. Are you people not paying attention? What say you? Are you unaware of these developments, unsure about what to do, or afraid that taking a stand might cost you votes?

Russia is poised to flex its muscles again against an independent and mostly pro-Western and pro-European Union nation, and the United States seems content to stand aside, wag fingers, and whisper little more than "tsk tsk" and "please play nice" while the Russian army rolls ahead.

Of course, Pres. Obama really can't draw too many red lines these days--because he has already drawn too many that were crossed, all without a response.

Pres. Obama needs to decide if the United States will continue to slide into the geopolitical black hole it has been driven into in the past six years, or if it is time again to take its rightful position as a superpower and ultimate grand referee of international affairs.

Plan of action, to commence immediately:

The United States should demand the immediate removal of all hostile non-Ukrainian military, paramilitary, and intelligence forces from Ukraine, especially around the airports in Crimea.

The U.S. should reinforce the naval vessels sent to the Black Sea during the Sochi Winter Olympic Games to show support for Ukraine. The U.S. has restrictions on the number, size, and duration of warships in the Black Sea, but we should take every opportunity to maximize our presence there, including aircraft.

The U.S. should immediately identify and condemn all Russian incursions into Ukrainian airspace. Russia has a major naval base in Sevastopol on Crimea, but recent Russian military helicopter overflights are not routine and appear meant to intimidate Ukraine.

The U.S. should monitor new elections in Ukraine in May to be sure that they are fair and legal. Ukraine should not be pressured or bullied by Russia, but neither should it be taken over by the mob.

Above all, Pres. Obama needs to show some leadership for a change. From Libya, Syria, Iran, Yemen, and now Ukraine, Pres. Obama seems to be content to hope for the best instead of leading the free world's response.

How is that working out so far?

Message ends.

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