Saturday, March 01, 2014

Red Lines in the Snow

Yes, Kiev has burned, some Russians are streaming into the Crimea and Obama responded forcefully by giving a 3 minute speech then running off to herald "Happy Hour" at a DNC fundraiser last night.  What else can he do?  They crossed his red line but there's nothing on the other side, with the possible exception of sanctions and Obama not attending the G8.

Yes, this makes America look weak, especially as the administration talks of 'ending' wars that still rage while downsizing our military.  But what do Russian aficionados think?  How far will Putey-Poot go?

Looking around on the net there are all kinds of opinion blogs.  Here's one that seems to have an interesting theory:
In short, nobody wants to be the first to start shooting as the lesson from Georgia 2008 that is applicable to Crimea is if you shoot first, you lose.
In other words, there are downsides to being seen around the world as the aggressor.  He goes on to talk about Russia's signature on the Budapest Memorandum (to protect Ukraine's sovereignty), making the point that nobody will trust Putin anymore on future agreements if he sends more forces no mater what his excuse, but he ends with this:
The stakes are quite high for all concerned one way or another. How to row back from the current situation with all managing to save face? Or do one or more actors simply not care about that anymore?
Well, to be honest Obama will have 80 percent of the media at his back to spin any outcome as a victory, so he's probably got some tee times this weekend.  He'll continue full speed ahead on his domestic 'year of action' as he continues taking action to roll our foreign policy back onshore. 

Putin likely doesn't want full-scale war, he just wants to show up Obama enough on the world stage to gain more gravitas and prestige.  Obviously he's also protecting the Russian naval base in Sevastopol just as he did by finagling the Syria WMD deal to protect his interests at the Russian naval base at Tartus. Is there any coincidence that the last two altercations between the US and Russia have occurred on places where they have naval bases and oil and gas interests?  Probably not.

So here's a dumb prediction--cooler heads will prevail soon and the media will be back to talking about gay issues and fluff stories within a week.  That will continue until late March when the Obamacare final deadline arrives, at which point they'll probably pick up the World Net Daily Sheriff Arpaio "universe-shattering" announcement about Obama as a diversion (and to make fun of the Tea Party). Of course somewhere along the way Obama will have to make his March Madness picks on ESPN.   So it's all good.

Meanwhile, some chickens are coming home to roost...


LA Sunset said...

Word has it that Obama is really angry and has de-friended Putin on Facebook.

A.C. McCloud said...