By: Marilyn Assenheim
The Washington Examiner ran an interesting headline on Thursday: “John Kerry: Russia has until Monday to reverse course in Ukraine.” The Examiner continued: “If there is no sign [from Russia] of any capacity to respond to this issue … there will be a very serious series of steps on Monday.” Chief among those “steps?” “…the U.S. and its European allies will not recognize (Russia) as legitimate under international law.” That ought to learn ‘em. Yet, unaccountably, The New York Times reported Thursday that, even in the face of Kerry’s paper kitten, Russia is busily massing forces on the borders of Ukraine.
The Washington Examiner quoted Kerry in saying how impressed he was at “… how united our European allies are on the issue…they are very, very committed to make sure there is accountability…” So was the U.N. when they shook their finger at Saddam Hussein for over twelve years. When Senator Lindsey Graham asked Kerry what the administration would do should Russia make further inroads into the Ukraine Kerry responded cautiously but in full pie-in-the-sky mode: “Our hope is not to create hysteria or excessive concern about that at this point in time,” he said. “Our hope is to avoid that, but there’s no telling that we can.” Hope. Hmmm. As the tune says, it seems we’ve heard that song before. Unfortunately for “Clap-For-Tinkerbelle” Kerry, he might have to wrestle with that very eventuality. The New York Times had the breaking story: “Russia’s Defense Ministry announced new military operations in several regions near the Ukrainian border on Thursday… A day after a deputy minister denied any military buildup on the border; the Defense Ministry released a series of statements beginning early Thursday that appeared to contradict that. They outlined what was described as intensive training of units involving artillery batteries, assault helicopters and at least 10,000 soldiers. The operations confirmed, at least in part, assertions by Ukrainian leaders on Wednesday that Russia was massing forces…columns of armored vehicles and trucks in a border village called Lopan, only 30 miles from the Ukrainian city Kharkiv.” The latest estimate of Soviet forces parked on Ukraine’s doorstep is 25,000 troops.
Angela Merkel and the rest of the European adherents of finger-wagging policy have joined America’s Secretary of State, warning Russia off of incurring possible economic and diplomatic sanctions. Europe’s trading ties with Russia, particularly when it comes to oil however, suggest that such a tack might be a case of the EU cutting off its nose to spite its face. Particularly when Russia is in a position to acquire the wealth of Ukraine. One would guess that Putin might be willing to gamble that Europe’s posture might hurt them more than it would hurt him.
Statists have long chosen to pervert what Ronald Reagan really meant by “peace through strength.” Although Reagan did not endorse military conflict he knew that not having a strong military would send a catastrophic signal to cultures that respect only strength. Democrats, believing that what they want makes their desires true, prefer diplomacy and sanctions and ignore the failures of the past. They eagerly neuter U.S. armed forces while providing military aid to nations hostile to America.
Kerry, although he has taken up room on planet earth for over 71 years, has not learned very much. Not surprising considering that Kerry earned a D in history, twice, at Yale. But he has, unfortunately, been foisted on a hapless America as Secretary of State. Even should he be willing to give up junk food to shield his own grades from public view, The Lyin’ King might have looked into Kerry’s political science grade at Yale before appointing Kerry: D. One can’t blame Kerry for everything even if what passes for The Lyin’ King’s ludicrous foreign policy is right up his alley. But embarrassing himself is one thing; making America a perennial clown on the world’s stage is another. And having Europe for company in the overcrowded clown car won’t help should the elephants run amok. Diplomacy is an ineffectual bludgeon; wielding it hasn’t worked throughout all of recorded history. Fear of an opponent’s strength has. Proof of this is rapidly becoming evident. Friday, Kerry met with his Russian opposite number, Sergei Lavrov, in London. After five hours of implementing his sure-fire diplomatic strategy the Kremlin told Kerry to stick an onion-domed minaret where the sun don’t shine. FOX News summed up Kerry’s dismay in the aftermath: “…he said that he came with ‘good faith with constructive ideas’ to address the concerns of both Ukraine and Russia. But he said Putin is not backing down.” Who could have seen that coming?
Europe and the free world used to rely upon America’s military might for safety, allowing them the fantasy of overcoming evil with a Coke and a smile. The world’s bad players may have dawning awareness, however, that America is becoming less of a threat and more Kool-Aid and a rictus grin.