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Where's The Outcry?
by Dale Brown, [IMAGE]2014

ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED AT DaleBrown.Info, 6 March 2014

[MEGAFORTRESS.COM image] Check out this article by my friends at Stratfor.com (a private intelligence and analysis company I have used for at least the past 10 years) about Russia's latest antics against Ukraine: http://tinyurl.com/o2lf6f9.

It is the latest move by Russia against Ukraine, but it is not just a batte over the semi-autonomous, mostly ethnic- and Russian-speaking Ukrainian province of Crimea. Instead, it is a warning shot aimed at all former Soviet republics in Russia's periphery that have any desire to join the European sphere of influence rather than Russia's.

But instead of indignation, alarm, or anger against Russia, all I seem to hear are the Russian apologists. Where's the outcry against Russia? Too many commentators dismiss the comparisons between Adolf Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovakia to "liberate" German-speaking people in the Sudetenland in 1938, or Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, claiming that it was historically Iraq's "Thirteenth Province."

I get it that the world and especially the United States and NATO are tired of 24 continuous years of war (I'm counting the Gulf War, Operations Southern Watch, Provide Comfort, Northern Watch, Vigilant Warrior, Desert Strike, Desert Fox, Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn, and Enduring Freedom--yes, we have been fighting in the Middle East THAT LONG!), and I get it that the annexation of Crimea by Russia will not change the reality in the Black Sea that much--Crimea is a virtual Russian possession already.

The world was weary of war after World War One, so when Hitler grew Germany's military power and advanced against his neighbors in the late1930s, no one much cared. In just a few years he had swallowed most of Western Europe. Are we watching a repeat of history?

I also get it that a major strategic imperative of Russia are buffer states. Because Russia's western flanks are easy to cross, for centuries Russia has sought to dominate smaller and weaker nations along it borders to guard against invading armies--Napoleon, Hitler, and the threat of invasion by the U.S. and NATO are three examples.

Russia was powerless to stop its former buffer states from becoming independent after the fall of the Soviet Union. But as Russia regained its regional power and more of its former buffer states became Westernized and joined NATO, Russia and Vladimir Putin in particular knew they had to act before Russia became encircled by NATO.

Putin has been using economic blackmail to keep its "near-abroad" in its sphere of influence since his rise to power, and now he's using the threat of gradually-escalating all-out war versus a war-weary and economically strained West to keep Ukraine under his thumb.

The question is: what is the West going to do about it?

Are we going to accept Putin's promise that Crimea is all he wants, like U.K. prime minister Chamberlain accepted Hitler's promise that Czechoslovakia was all he wanted? Or are we going to react more like Pres. George H. W. Bush, who recognized that perhaps Kuwait was not all that Saddam really wanted when he invaded, and the oil fields of Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states were the dictator's real objectives?

All I hear right now are the apologists and see the political ostriches with their heads buried in the sand, refusing to recognize the potential danger because "we are so weary of war."

Vladimir Putin doesn't seem to be weary of war at all. When voters in Crimea vote for independence next week, let's see what Vladimir will do...

...and let's see what the apologists have to say then.

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