Beyond the Cusp

May 3, 2014

Another War Most Will Ignore, the Ukraine

The confrontation between the nationalist forces which currently rule in Kiev of the Ukraine and the Russian separatists in the eastern provinces of the Ukraine has exploded into a shooting war. Do not expect the United States or NATO to react with anything beyond maybe some harsh rhetoric. That is not to claim that nobody will react to the pending disastrous situation. We can expect Russian President Putin to react and use something first applied by President Obama when NATO interjected themselves into Libya known as R2P, the “Right to Protect”. R2P was used to claim that somebody had to do something to prevent the slaughter of innocent people when the probability of a civil war presented itself in Libya when forces there first showed signs of deposing Muammar Gaddafi from his dictatorial rule. Using that excuse the NATO forces aided the Libyan rebels providing them with air cover and tactical air support, or at least that was the official story. It has since been shown that the United States had also gone further and provided some of the disparate factions with weaponry which may have provided some of the impetus for the murder of the American Ambassador and three other Americans later in Benghazi, but that is another story. Meanwhile, what was so interesting about the use of R2P in Libya was how once it had been applied in Libya the same concept was not used again in other situations. The most glaring of such opportunities where one might have thought that R2P would have been implemented has to have been in Syria. Instead there have been well over one-hundred-thousand innocents murdered and millions forced to flee their homes and become homeless refugees in neighboring nations.

 

Now the violence in the Ukraine will present President Putin with his own situation where the use of R2P will be perfect to facilitate his intervention and conquest of the eastern provinces of the Ukraine and also provide a land bridge to the Crimean Peninsula, a necessary possession if Russia is to retain that critical area and its sea port in Sevastopol. This will also allow Russia to gain control of the majority of the arms and military equipment manufacturing which is also situated throughout much of these areas in the Ukraine which were originally built by the Soviet Union. We can expect a Russian move to provide protection for the innocent victims of the overt violence being implemented by the Ukrainian government in Kiev which Russia has thus far refused to recognize and has classified as an illegal government resulting from a violent coup. Remember that one man’s revolution and quest for freedom is the other side’s illegal coup and forceful takeover of the governance. The Ukraine will now become one of the most ignored stories in much of the West as nobody desires taking on the risks and potential to fight the Russians once they decide they have sufficient reason to enter the eastern provinces of the Ukraine.

 

As long as Putin refrains from taking the entirety of the Ukraine and just occupies and eventually annexes three or at most four of the easternmost provinces, the West will scream a few threats while sitting on their collective hands. Should Putin continue an offensive and take the entirety of the Ukraine then there will be much noise and possibly some actual sanctions beyond the inconveniences thus far laughingly called sanctions that have thus far been applied. Once again the world will be sitting on their hands until the crucial and fateful step is taken, invading Poland. It was the invasion of Poland by the Nazis and the Soviets which began World War II and it may well be an invasion of Poland which triggers World War III. With the United States having already positioned troops in Poland, the die is cast and the line has been drawn and all that remains is to see if Putin decides to cross this line in the sand. Unlike the invisible moving line in Syria, the Western NATO nations very likely would react quite differently to the line at Poland being crossed as that would place the entirety of the NATO treaty and its relevance to the world today on the line. Poland is most definitely not Syria and this is something the world had best hope that Putin, or as we call him, Vlad the Invader knows and understands well.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 2, 2014

Russia and Ukraine Face-Off

A face-off between Russia and the Ukraine would have been more welcomed on the ice at the Olympics in Sochi a few weeks back. Instead the world is facing a heated and anxious situation as Russian troops have entered the port city of Sevastopol, Ukraine which serves as the home port for both the Ukrainian Navy and the Russian Black Sea Fleet. The Russians are claiming these troops are within agreed upon levels by treaties they have with the Ukraine and have nothing to do with the recent changes in the Ukrainian governance. For obvious reasons, the new government in Kiev is viewing this other than normal infusion of Russian troops in the areas of the Ukraine populated largely by Russians who were placed there by Stalin during his rule over the Soviet Union. A underlying level of animosity has existed between the Russian and native Ukrainian population which has only intensified as a result of what those Ukrainians who feel a close affinity to Russia feel has been an illegal coup by those who have recently claimed to have replaced the former government of President Viktor Yanukovych after months of protests. Further aggravating what is definitely a delicate situation are the rumors that the Russians are also providing a safe haven for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych who has yet to actually fully accept and acquiesce to the fact that there is a new governance going to be elected come May 25th unless something alters the current situation.

 

United States President Obama has expressed concern and warnings to Russian President Putin not to interfere with the “natural progression” currently evolving in Kiev and across the Ukraine. It is highly doubtful that President Putin will be anything other than mildly amused by President Obama issuing warnings as he has had more than enough experiences with the United States President’s Red-Lines. This begs the question why President Putin would only send in a limited force and whether the restraint is due to modest goals or a test to discern what the reactions will be from the rest of the world. Our guess doubts that Putin cares one whit about how the rest of the world, the United Nations included, will react to his placing troops in the Russian areas of the Ukraine. What is far more likely is Putin is only interested in the safety of the southern port at Sevastopol, Ukraine which allows for the Russian entrance to the Mediterranean Sea and from there the Atlantic Ocean and through the Suez Canal to the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean and beyond. There are more than sufficient Russian reserve troops poised on the Ukrainian border along with a fleet of aircraft should a larger assault prove necessary. The fact that the Russian presence is limited in both scope and numbers and basically simply holding two airports in the eastern and southern regions and the port city of Sevastopol, one is led to believe that the Russians are simply protecting critical infrastructure and military infrastructure and may have no intent to challenge the evolving politics in the Ukraine. On the other hand, we may be witnessing the first stages of a repeat of the Russian intervention into Georgian Republic where Russian military forces took by force the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which have large ethnic Russian populations similar to the eastern and southern areas of the Ukraine.

 

The responses available to the nascent leadership in Kiev will be completely dependent upon the support or lack thereof from the Ukrainian military. One can expect that the Ukrainian military would not be overly anxious to test their abilities against the Russians, and it is no wonder why. The basic truth is that whatever Putin decides he wants to do, he has the military power and resources to accomplish and this includes reversing the overthrow of President Yanukovych’s government. This has been further enabled as the Russian parliament unanimously voted to grant President Putin permission to mobilize the country’s military to utilize in the Ukraine. The European Union does not actually have sufficient military to enforce anything and are likely to at most sound some bluster and noise that will have little effect. As far as President Obama, he is far more interested in disassembling and paring down the United States military forces and capabilities than he is about preventing Putin from having his way in the Ukraine. The truth is that the United States under the auspices of President Obama has no international intentions and has basically surrendered all foreign policy decisions to the rest of the world. President Obama has decided to vote “Present” on all things beyond the maritime borders of the United States and maybe not even that far out to sea. His entire foreign policy can be summed up in one goal, force Israel to capitulate to as much of the Palestinians demands as possible and hoping that is sufficient to get a Palestinian state founded and he and Secretary of State Kerry a Nobel Peace Prize. Everything and everyone else, best of luck without us, the US. As we said when President Obama was first elected, welcome to Jimmy Carter on steroids. Jimmy Carter gave us the Ayatollahs ruling Iran and Barack Obama is giving the Ayatollahs a free run at manufacturing their own nuclear weapons. Russia imposing their will on the Ukraine, though a sad affair and unfortunate for those who fought so long to win a fresh start for their nation without corruptocratic rulers, a nuclear armed Iran will result in a far more damaging future and it is all thanks to Barry.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 25, 2014

Synagogue Firebombed in Ukraine

The place is Zaporizhia, southeast of Kiev, where the community’s Giymat Rosa Synagogue was firebombed by unknown assailants on the night of February 23, causing minor damages. The building showed the scars from traces of a fire on the facade of the balcony. The fortunate news is that there were no casualties and the authorities have promised to take precautions and to do whatever was necessary to arrest those responsible. The neck of a glass bottle was found near the area damaged by the fire affirming that a Molotov cocktail was the cause of the fire which also confirmed the suspicions this was the result of an intentional act. There have been other threats by forces from both the now deposed government including some threats made by government police and other threats came from elements from among the opposition protesters. The Ukrainian police claimed the Jews were behind the opposition to the government while those from the opposition were blaming the Jews for supporting President Yanukovych and his cronies and as such responsible for the deaths of opposition demonstrators shot by the government police. This is not a new situation for Jews living in a nation going through internal turmoil such as civil wars and other uprisings.

 

Even the United States had a major incident where Jews were victimized being held responsible for working against the government of the United States. This event came immediately after the end of the United States Civil War (War Between the States) when General Ulysses S. Grant as the military governor of the Kentucky Territory (governing the areas including Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi) ordered all properties, homes, cattle, horse and other assets confiscated from the Jewish residents and for them to be removed from the areas under his charge. Despite this situation being countermanded immediately as reports reached the White House, such while commemorative was too late to avoid much of the damage as the reversal of Grant’s orders took over a week before the new orders reached the area. Communications were quite a bit slower and the confusion quotient was fairly high, but there was no excuse for the order to have been given in the first place. If it could happen that Jews were singled out for scorn and blame without any proof of actions and chosen as others of equal or greater responsibility were not so treated is an anathema to any civilized society. Let us hope that nothing similar occur anywhere throughout the Ukraine which thus far appears unlikely.

 

Still, the Jewish communities in Kiev particularly and throughout the Ukraine have beefed up their security in response to the increased tensions. Reports from within the communities throughout the Ukraine tell of them putting their activities on hold out of safety concerns. There have also been arrest warrants issued for President Yanukovych and various members of his Administration over the violence perpetrated by security and police forces during the months of the demonstrations. Meanwhile, President Yanukovych was reportedly seen to be in a southern port in the company of Russian Marines. The area he was reportedly currently hiding is an area that is among those aligned with Russia as the majority of the citizens are Russians who were imported into the Ukraine during the reign of the Soviet Union in order to serve as a cause for Soviet forces to be injected and the rest of the Ukrainian population pacified. If there will be any shove back from Russia, it will be in response to petition from these Ukrainians as many may prefer to remain aligned and even ruled by the Russians. There have already been reports of demonstrations against the new government and calls from those demonstrating for the return of President Yanukovych as the duly elected President of the Ukraine. The struggle for the heart and soul of the Ukraine is not yet a settled disagreement and the potential for additional violence is still high enough to cause serious concerns until the new government has been elected hopefully as scheduled for May 25. A prayer for the people of the Ukraine and for calm to be the rule and not the exception and for the nation to heal and come together once a new government has been elected. Let us call for patience and for all anticipation be for changes through the ballot box and not the baseball bat.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.