Get real about Ukraine, Russia

| March 7, 2014


Brenda Robinson

Brenda Robinson

By Brenda Robinson

Frost readers, as well as all thinking people, must look at the Ukraine-Russia-United States conflict as “serious business.” This inability for, at least for now, all mentioned parties and additionally European leaders to arrive at a solution could very well provoke World War III. Thus, “politics as usual” and the Republican traditional response (“Lets do what we can to make President Obama look bad”) will be exceptionally counterproductive.

About ten days ago, Russian President Validimir Putin sent troops into Crimea, the military base for this former Russian state. This activity followed the “overthrow” of Ukraine Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych who was supported by the Russian government. Ukraine’s interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk considered the “invasion” of Ukraine a calamity and said this move puts Ukraine and Russia on the verge of war. Putin’s silence, initially caused speculation by the West that Putin’s troops were present to disallow Ukraine’s plans to elect a new leader. However, Putin, after several days of silence said the troops were present to protect the Ukraine citizens who were loyal to the overthrown prime minister. The White House believed Putin’s protection statement was a lie. The White House was indeed correct.

Now, lets examine the positions of the “players:”

The citizens of Crimea favor again becoming affiliated with Russia as Crimea has an older population who remember their former ties with the Soviet Union (Russia). Sixty percent of Crimea citizens take this position. Upon collapse of the Soviet Union, Crimea became a part of Ukraine. These people further said they are very comfortable with Russian troop occupation and wish to resume ties with Russia. The Crimea people will vote on this referendum on March 16. The White House and Ukraine fear a “yes” vote and will do what they can to hinder the votes progression.

And, the White House did just that, instituting sanctions against Russia and clearly stating Crimea is in violation of international law. The White House said Russia will have further sanctions unless they agree to discuss the crisis and also recognize Ukraine as a legitimate government. President Barack Obama maintained Crimea is violating an established treaty whereby Crimea has no legal right to succeed from Ukraine.

It gets more complex. The interim prime minister wants Crimea to remain a part of Ukraine and wants the former Prime Minister, who is in exile in Russia, to be returned to Ukraine to stand trial for murdering protesters. Russian authorities say, “no way.” Yatsenyuk also has called upon Russia to withdraw troops from Crimea and discontinue blocking Ukraine ships entry into Crimea.

The aforementioned rhetoric comes down to a bottom line for Americans. We recognize isolationism is unacceptable. The world is dependent on each other. The world is joined economically, socially, and politically. The destruction of one country could mean the destruction of the world as we know it. Therefore, we call upon conservative Republicans and the White House to “get real.”

Sarah Palin and John McCain should know better. Virtually, both have called President Obama a “pansy” for being what they term too easy on Putin. Palin and McCain know the drill. Might no longer wins wars. The United States in no longer the only country with nuclear power and satellite intelligence. Negotiation and compromise are necessary components for settling disputes, for all countries, regardless of their political systems, to remain on this planet.

We call upon Secretary of State John Kerry and the president to disallow conservatives to dictate “hawk” responses. For the United States to demand Russia to withdraw from Crimea and allow the Ukraine to have elections is nonsense. Crimea and Ukraine are Russia’s “next door neighbors.” America does not even live in the next block! America must stop the arrogance!

Let’s call upon CNN’s assessment to bring the point home:

“The vaunted Black Sea Fleet counts on its Sevastopol Port for year-round access (via Istanbul) to the warm waters of the Mediterranean. Arguably, the fear of losing that route to an unfriendly Ukrainian government is what drove Russia to take Crimea in the first place.”

To put it simply, Russia, for its own survival, needs a friendship with neighboring Ukraine. The White House surely understands such a position. Would we want Canada as an enemy?

A conflict with Russia is unlike conflicts with small countries like Syria and Iran. Russia, like the United States is a “big dog.” There is an old saying, “If you can’t run with the big dogs stay on the porch.” Syria and Iran are puppies. Russia is a big dog. The White House absolutely must keep this in mind.

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Category: National, Opinion, Politics

About the Author ()

Brenda Robinson is an NNPA Emory O. Jackson award-winning columnist for Frost Illustrated.

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