Ukraine

Meanwhile in Ukraine

Featured image It’s not getting much attention, but Ukraine continues to make military progress against rebel separatists. The Washington Post reports that the Ukrainian military has pushed the rebels out of a series of villages and towns in the East, and now has its sights set on Horlivka, a city of about 300,000. If it succeeds in taking Horlivka, the military will be on the doorstep of Donetsk, the separatists’ power center. »

What’s next in Eastern Ukraine?

Featured image Leon Aron of AEI takes a sober look at what’s likely to happen next in Eastern Ukraine. He begins by noting that, although new sanctions are likely to be imposed against Russia and are likely to be painful, they are not likely to cause Putin to permit the pro-Russian separatists to suffer defeat: After half a year of deafening war-mongering propaganda, the rebel’s defeat would be an enormous blow to »

Say the nonsensical thing

Featured image Scott correctly observes that we can count on President Obama to say the wrong thing. To make matters worse, all too often Obama says nonsensical things. Consider his remarks yesterday about the downing of the Malaysian airliner by Ukrainian separatists. Obama declared: We need to know exactly what happened, and everybody needs to make sure that we’re holding accountable those who committed this outrage. To this standard-issue mush, Obama added »

More Thoughts On MH17

Featured image The destruction of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 is one of the most appalling news stories within memory. A commercial airliner cruising six miles in the air, destroyed instantaneously by a surface to air missile–like September 11, I am afraid this event will permanently erode our sense of security. I agree with what Paul wrote this morning: the downing of MH17 should have serious consequences, but probably won’t. Here are a »

Is the downing of Flight MH17 a Ukranian game-changer?

Featured image The conventional wisdom about the downing of the Malaysian passenger jet over Ukraine seems to have emerged. John McCain expressed it this way: “If the Malaysian plane was shot down, this is obviously a game changer.” McCain continued, “if it is the result of either separatist or Russian actions mistakenly believing this was a Ukrainian war plane, I think there’s going to be hell to pay.” Various experts quoted in »

In Ukraine, Is the Obama Administration Failing On Purpose?

Featured image Eastern Ukraine is sliding toward chaos, and the Obama administration’s response to Russian aggression has been limited to sanctions imposed on a handful of individuals associated with the Putin regime. It is hard to see how such measures could deter Putin, and, as George Friedman of Stratfor explains, they won’t: “The U.S. Opts for Ineffective Sanctions on Russia.” Friedman’s analysis is, I think, intensely interesting: Placing effective sanctions on a »

How did the German stock market do under Hitler?

Featured image Who knows? Who cares? I doubt that Hitler did, at least not to the point that stock prices affected his foreign and military policy. And if ordinary Germans cared, it didn’t matter. The Obama administration touts a recent drop in the Russian stock market (which, by the way, began before the U.S. imposed sanctions). For example, White House Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken notes that Russia’s financial markets are »

Green men cross red line

Featured image “Green men” — armed gunmen wearing green — were at the vanguard of Russia’s Crimea takeover. Now they are stirring the pot in Eastern Ukraine. Russia claims they are local protesters. In reality, as Max Boot says, they are Russian soldiers and intelligence operatives. The evidence is conclusive. According to the New York Times: Photographs and descriptions from eastern Ukraine endorsed by the Obama administration on Sunday suggest that many »

Kristof vs. Kristol on Ukraine

Featured image I used to patronize a toy store in St. Paul called Essence of Nonsense. The store closed in 2010 but the memory lives on. It’s a great name for a toy store and it has a wider applicability. It comes to mind in connection with the sophisticated liberal pieties that New York Times columnist Nick Kristof serves up in his encounter with Bill Kristol on CNN discussing Obama administration foreign »

Jews Told to Register In Eastern Ukraine

Featured image More evidence that we are living through a reprise of the 1930s: Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk where pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings were told they have to “register” with the Ukrainians who are trying to make the city become part of Russia, according to Israeli media. Jews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city’s Jews to provide a »

Russia Moves on Eastern Ukraine: What Is To Be Done?

Featured image Yesterday there was violence in eastern Ukraine, as armed men loyal to Russia seized police stations in several cities, and the Russian flag was raised in some locations. The video below shows pro-Russian forces taking control of the police headquarters in Kramatorsk. These were not a bunch of guys from the neighborhood; this was a military operation: Ukraine’s government sent special forces to resist these encroachments in several cities, and »

Should John Kerry be surprised that history has given us a back-kick?

Featured image Fareed Zakaria attacks those who criticized John Kerry’s assertion that changing borders by force, as Russia has done and may well do again, is 19th century behavior. Zakaria relies on statistics showing that wars between nations resulted in border changes more frequently in the 19th century than in the 20th, and have done so infrequently during the second half of the 20th century. He also points out that the occurrence »

More deep thoughts by Barack Obama

Featured image President Obama, fresh from dodging Jonathan Karl’s question about whether Mitt Romney was right in deeming Russia our number one geopolitical (Obama said “the number one national security threat to the United States” is a terrorist attack in this country, but that’s not a geopolitical threat), unloaded more fuzzy thinking on a group of students in Belgium. Obama declared: This is not another Cold War that we’re entering into. After »

Nature abhorred power vacuum in the 19th century, apparently still does

Featured image The New York Times reports that Afghanistan has become the third nation to publicly back Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The other two are Syria and Venezuela. Irony abounds. Afghans, including President Karzai, fought a ten-year war against Soviet invaders and their unpopular puppets. The U.S. assisted the Afghans in that struggle. Later, of course, the U.S. liberated Afghanistan from the Taliban and installed Karzai as president. Yet now, when the »

The weaker Ukraine is, the better for Obama

Featured image Russian troops are amassing on the Ukrainian border. Ukraine’s foreign minister warns that the chances for a war with Russia are “growing.” But still, the Obama administration has not provided weapons, ammunition, or any other kind of military aid to Ukraine despite that government’s request for such assistance, and won’t commit to providing it. Why? In my view, the answer is that President Obama wants Ukraine to be as militarily »

Puttin’ up with Putin

Featured image It is not difficult to get a fix on Barack Obama’s view of the world. It is the view of the leftover left that took the side of the Soviet Union in the Cold War. Obama seems not to have changed his views or to have learned anything since his days as a college student in which he performed as a “useful idiot” for the Soviet Union. A year ago, »

Obama presents false choice on Ukraine

Featured image President Obama declared today that the U.S. will not take military action in Ukraine. I think most of us had worked that out. “What we are going to do,” Obama declared “is mobilize all of our diplomatic resources to make sure that we’ve got a strong international coalition that sends a clear message.” The clear message will be this — please, please don’t invade more territory. In ruling out military »