Sunday, 2 March 2014

After Sochi (part ii)

A month ago, I wrote that Vladimir Putin would most likely wait until the end of the Sochi Olympics and then act in the Ukraine, which is essentially what has now happened.

After a rubber-stamping of approval by the Russian parliament, Putin has moved Russian troops into the Crimea region, where a new president has been installed, according to the 
BBC's Daniel Sandfordunder a Russian guard and who has "asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for help to ensure peace".

Just like, I imagine, the Soviets were invited into Hungary in 1956 and Prague in 1967, to "keep the peace".

To the surprise of no-one, President Obama, for his part, has so far taken the decisively uncompromising action of telling Russia that its action will hurt its "standing in the international community".

As my good comrade John Blake put it, "that'll learn him". Because that "don't cross the red line" strategy worked so well in Syria.

I also wonder if Mr Obama is familiar of the history of Czechoslovakia between 1938 and 1939. In the face of Western indifference, German occupation of the Sudetenland was, of course, subsequently followed by the occupation of the whole country. 

While Putin may or may not choose not to go that far, the goal of installation of a compliantly pro-Russia government in the Ukraine, in place of the current one, may turn out to be an agreeable alternative for him. Meanwhile, every one of the democratic former Soviet republics which border Russia is looking to the West for protection, with increasing desperation.

Mr Obama, please wake up. Your house is on fire.


UPDATE 12:57: If you need any confirmation of how wrong Obama has got things so far, check out this 2012 video of him berating Mitt Romney for taking Russia as America's biggest threat: "The Cold War's been over for 20 yrs". 

 
Doesn't sound so silly now, does it?

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