The Ukrainian crisis has the potential to become a major embarrassment for Obama and the US. Here is why.
1. Russia is not nearly as weak as it was in the 1990’s after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Oil money has buffered Moscow and strengthened Putin’s grip on power.
2. America is not nearly as strong as it was in the 1990’s. The debacle in Iraq and the economic meltdown have damaged America’s standing in the world and its ability to act. Add to this the recent Obama administration’s drastic military cuts and it makes it clear that America should not be feared.
3. This is in Russia’s backyard and they deem the Crimea (which has a heavily Russian population) as Russian territory even though technically it is a part of the Ukraine.
4. The Ukrainian president that was just forced from office was elected democratically to office although I am sure that it was corrupt. This, along with the fact that the Crimea is heavily Russian provides Putin with the justification to intervene militarily.
5. The West encouraged the demonstrators in the Ukraine but nobody should be fooled here. There is no chance of the US or Europe putting boots on the ground to protect the Ukraine.
6. The only thing the US and the West can do is talk tough and hope the Russians don’t call their bluff. Putin knows this and he will call the bluff humiliating Obama and America by default.
7. Obama’s much hyped “Russian reset” has been a total failure. A pattern has developed here with Russia playing a major role in problems around the world. Syria, Iran, and the Ukraine all have one thing in common, Russian interference.
Today Russia has alerted over 150,000 soldiers to test their readiness to invade the Ukraine, the Syrian Civil War rages on supported by Russia killing tens of thousands. Iran , once again supported by Russia, is racing to build nuclear weapons and threatening to wipe Israel from the map. The US is committed by treaty to defend South Korea against the nuclear armed North Korea, which just so happen to share the world’s most heavily armed border in the world with over 1.2 million on either side of the border ready to kill each other. The US is also obligated by treaty to defend Japan and all its territory. Recently the Chinese have begun laying claim to Japanese territory. To intimidate the Japanese and America the Chinese have routinely in the last year sent ships and planes to continuously provoke the Japanese. The exact same has happened with the Philippines, which just so happens to have a treaty with the US.
None of the above even mentions the ongoing battle with islamic extremists around the globe. On top of all this current Sec. Def. Hagel has admitted that the US stands to lose military dominance if investments aren’t made to ensure continued US technological advantages. However in spite of everything I just listed, what can only be described as a world spinning out of control, this administration has decided to make drastic cuts to the American military. In essence we are communicating are lack of resolve and weakness to our many adversaries around the globe. Unfortunately for us and the world as a whole they are listening.
Over at www.autoblog.com they recently had a story about how a 3rd Korean automaker was trying to enter the market and start exporting cars to the US. It got me thinking about how bad our foreign policy is these days with countries like South Korea. First, the US imports about 400,000 cars a year from South Korea while we send them a whopping 15, 000 annually. Second, the US recently signed a free trade agreement with South Korea and the outcome was predictable. Our trade deficit with South Korea soared to a record $23 billion dollars. Third, South Koreans don’t even like Americans. With the exception of the older generation that can still remember America helping South Korea the rest of South Korea seems to almost hate Americans.
All of this makes me ask why? Why do we sign free trade deals with a country that costs us billions in lost jobs? Why do we then station tens of thousands of troops there to defend the same country at great cost ( I was recently told by someone that South Korea has agreed to foot part of the bill for US troops stationed there, how generous of them)? Finally, why would we do all of this for a country that hates us? The only country capable of such stupidity is America, thanks Uncle Sam!
In an absolutely stunning development President Obama has now decided that he will go to congress to seek authorization for strikes against Syria. Now to be fair I have to say up front that I have been riding the fence about whether or not we should strike Syria, not because the crime doesn’t fit the punishment but because what the president is proposing wont accomplish anything but to say that he kept his word. Also lets not lie, America isn’t exactly very strong right now. Borrowing 40 cents of EVERY dollar spent by the federal government, mostly from those thugs in China, should make all of us hesitate at least a little before starting another middle eastern adventure. Having said that the fact that Obama has now gone to congress to seek political cover (something no president has ever done for a limited military action in the modern era, not even Carter was that weak) after trying to talk tough against Syria has made America look pathetically weak to exactly those people who need to fear us. America has not looked this weak and vulnerable since the failed bid to rescue the hostages in Iran. Furthermore the president’s about face has had just the opposite effect of what the strike was supposed to have done, it has now emboldened ALL of our enemies in the region. To say that this is amateur hour in the White House is an extreme understatement. Our country now desperately needs someone with a new vision and decisive leadership to fix our many problems at home and abroad because it sure isn’t going to come from this White House. God have mercy on this nation because we have incompetents in charge of us now.
When I first started writing this article I wrote the title as a question. Upon further reflection I came to the easy decision that there really wasn’t any question about it and that I should write it as a statement instead to better reflect reality. As our fearless leaders in Washington both republican and democrat debate whether or not we should launch military strikes against Syria I think it is time to acknowledge that our days of being a Superpower have passed. Yes, we do still have the world’s most powerful military by far but that fact doesn’t look so powerful when you begin to realize that for us to use this military we have to borrow the money, mostly from China. Can you really claim to be a real Superpower when you are dependent on rival regimes to finance your mighty military? To me the answer is obvious and has been since the Great Recession began. The sad fact of the matter is that we are now dependent on borrowed money from rival foreign powers to do anything militarily. What happens when our interests don’t align with the people that are lending us the money?
Recently leaked documents revealed that the NSA has paid the British to spy American citizens to circumvent US law.
In a shocking revelation courtesy of Edward Snowden it has now been revealed that the US has been paying the British for their intelligence services. This includes using the British to spy on American citizens because the NSA is regulated by US law, supposedly to prevent the spy agency from spying on ordinary Americans. This is a bombshell on multiple levels. First, because of what we already mentioned and second, because the British are revealed in the documents to be keenly aware that they are the junior partner in the relationship. In other words they readily acknowledge that they are providing a service to a paying client. Check out these inflammatory quotes below and then head over to http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/aug/01/nsa-paid-gchq-spying-edward-snowden for the whole story.
“We both accept and accommodate NSA’s different way of working,” the document said. “We are less constrained by NSA’s concerns about compliance.”