World News

03.07.14

PJ O’Rourke on Putin’s Crimea for Help

Secretary of State John Kerry heads to Paris and Kiev, an RT-America anchor quits on air, and what about Russia’s 90,000 Chinese in its far east?

Busy Week in Crimea…

Sudden appearance of troops without insignia wearing ski masks. A brilliant disguise. Nobody on National Security Council even guessed they were Russian.

On Friday February 28th

The day that Russian forces seized Crimea’s airports, blocked the Ukrainian navy inside Balaklava harbor and landed 13 troop transport planes at Russia’s airbase in Crimea, Pentagon analysts concluded there would be no Russian military action in the next 24 hours.

NSA officials didn’t see it coming either. No doubt they were engrossed in their Oscars office pool and were too busy listening in on Motion Picture Academy voters’ Pre-Award Ceremony cell phone traffic.

CIA would cover its butt with Agency spokesman Chris White saying, “…updates have included warnings of possible scenarios for Russian military intervention in Ukraine.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Mich.) Asks Timely Question…

“Did they miss something?”

Putin, in First Post-Invasion Press Conference, Says…

“We did this, and it was the right thing to do, and very timely.” 

Liz Wahl, American Anchor for Russian-Controlled RT-America Cable News, Resigns On-Air After Discovering Russia Controls RT-America Cable News…

She was almost as shocked as President Obama was by Russian control of Crimea.

European Streets Filled With Angry Demonstrators Protesting Imperialism, Neo-Colonialism And Militarism of Arrogant Super Power…

Or am I getting that mixed up with George W. Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq? 

Only 9 Days Before Russia Occupied Crimea President Obama Had Said…

“I don’t think there’s a competition between the United States and Russia.”

Interesting geopolitical viewpoint.

Young Barry must have been powerfully influenced by playing in Hawaii’s 6-and-under Pee Wee Baseball league. Score is “fun-to-fun!”

Then President Obama Got Tough…

Issued executive order banning U.S. visas for those “responsible for or complicit in threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”  So much for Vladimir Putin’s plans for summer frolic in Provincetown.

And he won’t be allowed in the TSA Pre-Check line either.

Putin Claims He Doesn’t Think it Will Be Necessary to Invade Eastern Ukraine…

“Such a measure,” says the Russian president, “would certainly be the very last resort.”  Although, speaking of resorts, now that Provincetown is out, weather on Sea of Azov is lovely in August.

But President Putin, What if Every Man Who is Insecure About His Masculinity Invaded Crimea?…

Well, it would stimulate the area’s flagging tourist industry. And Putin might meet a certain special someone, without insignia and wearing a ski mask, with whom to share his hopes and dreams.

Why Barack Obama is Not Called “The Winston Churchill of The 21st Century” (Or “The Bob Hope Of The 21st Century”)…

Tuesday March 4th statement by the president:  “There is a strong belief that Russia’s action is violating international law. I know President Putin seems to have a different set of lawyers.

Secretary of State John Kerry Flies to Kiev… 

Finds excellent thread count on sheets in U.S. Embassy bedroom.

Offers Ukraine aid package of… (twisting pinky finger in the corner of his mouth and grinning madly) …ONE BILLION DOLLARS.

Secretary of State John Kerry Flies to Paris…

Consults with Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and Ukraine’s acting foreign minister Andrii Deshchytsia at the French Foreign Ministry. Lavrov and Deshchytsia both reported to have been in the building but not in the same room.

Playing “Blind Man’s Bluff”?

Deshchytsia seems to have won. Lavrov told reporters who asked whether he’d met with his Ukrainian counterpart, “Who is it? I didn’t see anyone.” 

Secretary of State John Kerry Sheds Light on the Situation…

“I had no expectation, zero expectation, that today that kind of meeting would take place,” he said. 

Then he said, “I personally feel as if I have something concrete to take back and talk to President Obama about so that I can get his input and thinking, advice, on what he’s prepared to do.”

Putin on protecting the ethnic Russians in Crimea? Putin wishes. That’s Hitler in his February 20, 1938 speech to the Reichstag on protecting the ethnic Germans in Sudetenland.

Which brings us back to “…no expectation, zero expectation…”

One of the admirable things about Secretary of State John Kerry being his rigidly logical mind.

Veterans of Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution Say…

“Orange is the new black.”

Russia’s Stock Market Plunges, Ruble Falls, GDP Growth is Stagnant, But U.S. And its Stalwart NATO Allies Seem Confused About How to Put The Squeeze on a Dying Economic Giant…

They should call Jeff Bezos and have a chat about what Amazon.com did to the publishing industry.

Europe Hamstrung by Dependence on Russian Energy Supplies?…

Europe has energy stockpiles. U.S. has energy surplus. Spring weather is coming. Where is the brave European leader needed to face down Russia?  Francois Hollande should say, like Marshal Petain at Verdun,They shall not pass… gas.

Come To Think Of It…

Things did not go so well with Marshal Petain later, in the Vichy Republic.

And Now Our Stalwart NATO Ally France…

Is going ahead with plans to deliver two aircraft carriers to Russia.  Maybe Russians promised to use the aircraft carriers only for peaceful purposes.

President Obama Sought to Let Europe Take the Lead in Crisis Over Ukraine’s Ties to the West…

Just as President Obama sought to let Europe take the lead in Libya, where everything is fine now. 

Coincidence?… 

Ousted Ukraine President Yanukovych was teetering on the brink of joining EU.  Changed his mind after getting a phone call from Vice President Joe Biden encouraging the deal.

Germany Wants to go Ahead With Sochi G-8 Meeting. The Netherlands Rules Out Economic Sanctions. Leaked Document Indicates British Will Not Block UK Russian Banking…

Has Joe been calling everybody?

But U.S. Will Not Be Sending a Presidential Delegation to the Sochi Paralympics…

So that should tip the diplomatic balance.

And the UN Security Council Has Addressed the Ukraine Crisis by Holding Three Emergency Sessions…

 An anxious world breathes a sigh of relief.

Those Who Cannot Remember the Past…

Are Probably Our Stalwart NATO Allies…

“Political separation… may not lead to deprivation of rights—that is, the general rights of self-determination. It is unbearable for a world power to know that there are… comrades at its side who are constantly being afflicted with the severest suffering for their sympathy or unity with the whole nation…To the interests of the [nation] belong the protection of those…people who are not in a position to secure along our frontiers their political and spiritual freedom by their own efforts.” 

Putin on protecting the ethnic Russians in Crimea? Putin wishes. That’s Hitler in his February 20, 1938 speech to the Reichstag on protecting the ethnic Germans in Sudetenland.

White House Aides Claim Reversing Occupation Would be Difficult… 

Are focusing on drawing a line to prevent Putin from going further. There is some debate about whether line should be drawn just to the west of Vienna or just to the east of Cape Cod.

Unlikely That All This Will Result in a WWIII…

No need for that level of tech complexity. A WWI will suffice. 

China Taking a Measured Stance on Ukraine… 

As Beijing considers the political separation, the general rights of self-determination, and the protection of the estimated 90,000 Chinese who reside in Russia’s far east, while Vladimir Putin is busy 4,500 miles away.

New York Times Op-Ed Piece That Didn’t Need to be Read…

“Why Putin Doesn’t Respect Us” by Thomas L. Friedman.