Beyond the Cusp

May 11, 2014

How Much of Eastern Europe Will Putin Swallow Up?

The fact that Russian President and former exemplary KGB Colonel Putin salivated over the Crimean Peninsula with its warm water port to the Black Sea and through the Bosporus on into the Mediterranean and from there the world, vacation paradise beaches, natural resources and manufacturing is unquestionably true. After all, how could he resist such a ripe plum just waiting to be plucked? Add to that the situation after the overthrow of his subjugated virtual puppet, former President of the Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych resulting in a weak, nascent governance still getting its house in order thus being unable to mount any serious opposition militarily. Of course Vlad the Invader took advantage of the situation and swallowed up the Crimean Peninsula, but that left poor Vlad with a serious problem; he now found that he required a land route into the Crimean Peninsula otherwise the warm water port was next to useless and all that manufacturing and natural resources would remain outside of Russian reach. The obvious remedy was for Vlad the Invader to also annex much of eastern Ukraine, but how to arrange such a move so immediate to his annexation of the Crimea that it would not alarm the world? It must have been such a delightful memory of hearing the message carried to him by former Russian President Medvedev telling of a promise for more flexibility from United States President Obama after his reelection. Between the promise and the record of timidity and “leading from behind”, of course Vlad the Invader could count of President Obama to jump up and down and shout threats to hold his breath until he turned blue but to respond with meaningless and unsubstantial responses such as minimal economic sanctions levied mostly against Russian oligarchs threatening to freeze any assets in banks where they held no funds. So, Vlad the Invader sent in his special forces trained to intimidate resident populations while making the lands seem to be crying for Russian protection from the evils which threatened their livelihoods as they were pro-Russian Ukrainians who had supported the ousted President Yanukovych and thus feared the new pro-European leadership in Kiev, or at least that was the tune played for the world to hear. Vlad had made plans to control all information or at least stifle any protestations against the pro-Russian instigators by native Ukrainians. Some morsels of complaints have seeped through the din of Russian partisan rabble-rousers who have a lock on the media outlets within the affected provinces but unfortunately appear to have fallen on deaf ears.


With the Europeans cowed due to threats of withholding gas by Vlad the Invader and with President Obama having problems of his own and never having developed even the slightest taste for foreign policies or especially foreign entanglements, Vlad the Invader realized he has an open season for further land grabs likely without any pain inflicted by the rest of the world. Still, Vlad the Invader is moving at a measured pace not showing any reason forcing him to act with any sense of urgency. Perhaps Vlad the Invader has learned from studying history and has realized that haste makes neighboring nations and leaders distant far more likely to fall into a panic and thus more likely to take steps to oppose the rapid spread of invaders. Despite the passivity exhibited by the Europeans and United States signals a green light for further exploits by Vlad the Invader, the Invader appears to have learned from history that haste makes trouble and calm and steady is more likely to permit him to achieve the desired annexation providing he continues to exhibit patience. That leads to the next question, providing that the world continues to be nonresponsive to the hue and cry for anybody to come and provide protection for the Ukrainians from Vlad the Invader, will Vlad be satisfied with eastern Ukraine or will he continue to annex and annex until he swallows the whole of the Ukraine, or even worse, continue beyond the Ukraine and if so, then where else will Vlad the Invader turn his appetites and if he has other designs, will the world finally respond?


Looking back at recent history and the series of disasters which finally led to World War II, perhaps we can learn what to look for today. The Munich Accord which gifted Nazi Germany the northern portions of Czechoslovakia including vital mountain pass defenses was signed on September 30, 1938. It was not until almost six months later before Nazi Germany made their move to take the remainder of Czechoslovakia on March 16, 1939. Vlad the Invader annexed the Crimean Peninsula around March 7, 2014. Counting the same amount of time as the Germans waited to finish their conquest of Czechoslovakia; Russia would make their next move on the Ukraine around middle to late August 2014. It would be doubtful that even Vlad the Invader would take the entirety of the rest of the Ukraine in one fell swoop as the Ukraine is about four times the size of Czechoslovakia and thus might just take more than one bite to fully ingest. Still, it appears the smart money is betting that Vlad the Invader fully intends to subsume all of the Ukraine back under Russian ownership and should that be his intentions, there is likely little the new Ukrainian government in Kiev would be able to do to prevent that result. And even worse, Europe, the United States and apparently every other nation are not about to take any measures to prevent such an outcome.


The question then will become what happens should Vlad the Invader decide to turn his hungry eyes on a NATO member state? That will be the final test for President Obama and the European nations. It would almost be understandable for the European nations to simply dissolve NATO should the United States refuse to come to the aid and protect a NATO member nation as their combined military capabilities may not even be equal to that of the United States alone and the heart of the European nations could simply announce that they are only willing to protect nations within the European Union and that they have dissolved NATO for lack of American support as the reason. That would open the doors for Vlad the Invader to absorb a fair number of former Warsaw Pact nations which have thus far not been admitted into the European Union. So, the world will be turning its eyes and ears towards Washington D.C. awaiting the response from President and Ditherer in Chief Obama should Vlad the Invader start the same insurrection as a cause for Russian intervention in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, or other NATO nations. Also, as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and virtually every other NATO nation has also been incorporated into the European Union, there would be some very nervous leaders throughout the capitals of Europe should any European Union nation be invaded; and they would be very interested and concerned how Washington would react, especially if the nation belongs to both the European Union and NATO, a very likely scenario. The other question is what would the world do in response should Vlad the Invader start to swallow up Belarus as it is not a member of either NATO or the European Union. The curse of living in interesting, or at least uncertain, times continues to plague the world. One has to wonder when will mankind mature to the point where cooperation is preferred to conquest, aggression and antagonism; where peaceful discourse replaces tanks, planes and violent altercation. When will the age come described in Isaiah 2:4 where it reads, “They have beat their swords to ploughshares, and their spears to pruning-hooks, Nation doth not lift up sword unto nation, Nor do they learn war anymore.”


Beyond the Cusp


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