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Archive for March 24th, 2014

Putin feels untouchable

I don’t know if you all remember Hillary’s suggestion for containing terrorism and protecting Israel in 2008, but she said she thought a “nuclear umbrella” might do the trick. As SOS, she also suggested we could take this tack against Iran in 2009.

Speaking  during a televised town hall meeting in Bangkok, Mrs. Clinton said, “We want Iran to calculate what I think is a fair assessment, that if the U.S. extends a defense umbrella over the region, if we do even more to support the military capacity of those in the gulf, it’s unlikely that Iran will be any stronger or safer, because they won’t be able to intimidate and dominate, as they apparently believe they can, once they have a nuclear weapon.”

I fear that in the light of Putin’s now obvious moves to re-take Ukraine for Russia, we are left with even fewer options to deter naked aggression by nuclear powers, than we ever were.

As Obama and the G7 countries meet to discuss the new massing of Russian troops on Ukraine’s border, the discussion centers around the economic possibilities of containing Pooty-Poot’s imperialistic ambitions.

The setting in The Hague of the improvised Group of 7 session and the nuclear security meeting in itself contrasts with the worldview recently offered by Mr. Putin and his power play in Ukraine. The standoff is also in stark contrast to the more hopeful tone struck by President Bill Clinton in 1997 during a visit to the Netherlands and France to mark progress toward the post-Soviet unification of Europe.

“In the twilight of the 20th century, we look toward a new century with a new Russia and a new NATO, working together in a new Europe of unlimited possibility,” Mr. Clinton said in Paris that year. “The NATO-Russia Founding Act we have just signed joins a great nation and history’s most successful alliance in common cause for a long-sought but never before realized goal — a peaceful, democratic, undivided Europe.”

That vision was a distant memory as President Obama on Monday repeated his intent to keep ratcheting up pressure on Mr. Putin. “We’re united in imposing a cost on Russia for its actions so far,” Mr. Obama said, adding that “the growing sanctions would bring significant consequences to the Russian economy.”

And what has changed between Clinton and Obama? Why does Putin feel so free to invade another country without having been attacked first? And why isn’t he deterred by Japan’s nuclear umbrella?

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March 2014
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