Tag: Crimea

Flight 370; Ukraine and Russia; Obama & The Internet

1. Where is Flight 370? Right now, we don’t know any better than we knew yesterday. The only thing new in the news is that Malaysian government officials are now saying that the flight was hijacked, but they don’t know who did it, or what the motives were. It is clear that the sequence of radio and satellite communications from the Boeing 777 indicate that everything did not happen at once, with the transponders being turned off separately instead at the same time as would be caused by a catastrophic event.

Plus, we now have information verifying that the airplane flew for an additional seven hours after the transponders were lost. All this indicates malicious actions, but we still are no smarter about the who, what, or why.

2. Russia has invaded the Crimea. That’s just a fact, and no amount of bad-mouthing from our Secretary of State, John Kerry, will change that. It appears that Obama is really pushing on this issue by generating warnings of sanctions against Russia. European nations, Germany included, are powerless to do anything militarily or economically at the moment. The best thing we can do is insist on elections in the Crimea monitored by representatives of several western nations, i.e., the USA, UK, Germany, France, etc. I haven’t heard Kerry or Obama talk about this, yet. In my opinion if the citizens of the Crimea want to be in the Russian orbit, they should be allowed to make that decision without outside interference. For this to happen, though, Russia must withdraw their troops.

3. Obama is trying to screw-the-pooch, again. This time he wants to hand over the business of issuing internet addresses to the United Nations. Where did our genius President get this moronic idea? The problem is not the efficient issuing of addresses or domain names, but freedom of action and cost to the internet customer. Why should we give the United Nations the keys to our bank accounts by giving them control over internet addresses? It just doesn’t make sense. That’s why I am suggesting that there is another agenda in play. Agenda 21, anybody? Control of internet addresses can eventually lead to control of internet content. Now, this is a conceivable action for Obama. Control to the United Nations, an anti-USA body if there ever was one.

Ukraine Weekend

There is nothing new to report. Obama is stymied as to what to do. The Russians have pretty much consolidated their hold on the Crimea. The Ukrainian government is still without any options other than suicide, or holding their breath to make the Soviets Russians leave their country alone.

The West has threatened monetary and trade sanctions against the Russians, and the Russians reply forcefully, “Don’t do that!”

We all know that Russia depends financially on energy exports in natural gas and oil. It would seem that we could interrupt that flow of exports, thereby interrupting the flow of funds to their treasury. Whatever sounds good is not always good.

First of all, if we cut the natural gas pipelines from Russia to Eastern Europe, we not only mess with the Russians, but we also mess with the natural gas supplies of the European nations. Secondly, the Russians might decide to do that themselves in an exercise of hegemonic muscle.

So, what should we do? I don’t know. I do know the reason we elect leaders is to handle difficult situations to the advantage of the United States and its allies. The best long-term solution is to get new leadership. The best short-term solution is to play whatever cards we have, but that requires some courage of which our current leadership has none.

What do you think?

The Crimea Is Gone

The Russian incursion into the Crimea is the most alarming event of the twenty-first century. The Crimea is an area of land that juts out into the Black Sea, and used to be Russia’s main southern sea port. The Crimea has been fought over, and conquered dozens of times in the last two thousand years, including the Ottoman Turks, the Russians and later the Soviet Union.

The Crimea is also the subject of a famous poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “The Charge of The Light Brigade“, a cavalry action in the Battle of  Balaclava in the Crimean War.  The poem immortalizes the disastrous British cavalry charge that was a frontal assault against a Russian artillery battery, a mistake caused by severe miscommunication on the battle field. At that time, the Crimea was ruled by the Ottoman Empire, and the Russians lost that particular war to the  British after having ruled over that area since 1783. The Russians got it back, later, and ruled the Crimea until 1917 at which time Russia morphed into the Soviet Union.

With the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1984, the Crimea became an autonomous district of Ukraine. As of last week, the Russians are back. It looks like they are there to stay.

The Ukraine is willing to fight for the Crimea, but doesn’t have the military muscle to oust the Russians. Europe has no military power to challenge the Russians. The United States does not have the leadership to challenge any threat, much less risk a military encounter with Russia. Our military weakness started with Barack Obama unilaterally withdrawing our defensive missile systems.

To this point, our leadership has made threatening noises to Russia that there will be costs. So, what are these costs, and would the threat of economic costs force the removal of the Russian troops?

Putin knew that our feckless leader, Barack Obama, has no options to force Russia to do anything. The Europeans have no power to face the Russians.

The Crimea is gone from the influence of the West.