Thoughts on the Ukraine crisis

Flash back about 4-5 years ago. A very prominent conservative politician made a rather bold prediction that had many mocking and ridiculing her. The politician, former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin predicted that Russia would one day invade Ukraine. “How could she make such a foolish statement!!, it will never happen” was the typical response from many. “We are going to reset our relationships with them” was all I kept on hearing. Funny, but it looks like Palin was right after all!!

As a matter of fact, this invasion should come as no surprise to anybody. After all, do you really trust a former KGB official? Vladimir Putin might be the craftiest leader in all the world today. He knows exactly what he wants and it is very clear that he wants to gain as much new territory as possible. The peninsula of Crimea is just a start because it is located in a very convenient location just off the coast of the Black sea. I tend to think that Mr. Putin has other areas in mind and will neglect any type of international law in order to gain possession of new areas.

Most people in this country probably could care less about what is happening over there. We have enough problems here to worry about. However, if you are believer of people’s freedoms and a country’s right to sovereignty, you should be outraged over what is going on over there. Ukraine, after being a part of the former Soviet Union for many years, is finally a sovereign nation. Leave the people of Ukraine alone! Let them decide who will run their country. Why does Russia and Putin have to stick their noses into the affairs of that country? Imagine if some ruler decided to take over several new regions and neglect any type of international law? That is exactly what Russian and Putin is doing right now and who knows how far this will go.

I am going to wait before I will pass any judgement on how our president Barack Obama is handling this crisis. It is way too early to form any strong opinions. But based on how he has handled other foreign crisis’, does anyone have confidence in is ability to deal this particular crisis? I think this is a real benchmark moment and opportunity for the president to show good leadership and competence on foreign policy. He could score some major points if he handles this situation well.

How to handle Russia at this particular time is a very tricky problem. Obviously, any type of military action seems very unreasonable. Sanctions against the country may seem like a good idea, however, it may come back to hurt those European countries who are against this invasion. Many countries, including the United States, do business with Russia and sanctions could have a boomerang effect. Another  problem is that so many European countries are very dependent on Russian energy. I think it would be a wonderful thing if we could increase our energy production and help these European countries become less dependent on Russia. That would put a major dent into an already fragile Russian economy and might cause the folks in Russia to really turn their backs on Putin. This is more or less, a long-term solution to handling this crisis. It is not an immediate solution. Whether President Obama goes along with this idea is something that remains to be seen. He seems to be dragging his feet on this issue. It is unfortunate that so many wacky environmentalists seem to be pressuring him to limit our energy production like building the Keystone Pipeline.

There is certainly no easy answer to this crisis but something must be done to send a message to world’s leaders that violating international law is not acceptable and invading a sovereign nation for the sake of just taking it over must be dealt with rather harshly. A clear message must be sent to other leaders who are thinking about doing the same thing. A nation’s sovereignty is vital to world peace.




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