"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Russia Now Controls Crimea; Obama Concedes and Asks Putin to Not Invade Rest of Ukraine


"Okay, here's the deal. I'll let you have have the Crimea. And if you stay out of the rest of Ukraine, then I won't have my assistant write any more strongly-worded catch-phrases for me to say during my 'outings.' What do you say?"

Smart diplomacy!

From The Wall Street Journal:

The American and Russian presidents spoke on the phone for 90 minutes on Saturday after Russia's parliament voted unanimously to deploy troops in Ukraine, defying warnings from Western leaders not to intervene.  
In his conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin , U.S. President Barack Obama expressed "his deep concern over Russia's clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity." Mr. Obama urged Russia to de-escalate tensions by withdrawing its forces back to bases in Crimea and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in Ukraine. 
Saturday's developments come as Russian troops and their local allies have already largely taken control of Crimea, a restive province of Ukraine that belonged to Russia until 1954 and remains predominantly pro-Russian.
In a statement after the call between Mr. Putin and Mr. Obama, the White House said the U.S. "condemns Russia's military intervention into Ukrainian territory."
Mr. Putin told Mr. Obama that Russia reserved the right to intervene in Ukraine to protect its interests and those of the Russian-speaking population there, according to a statement from the Kremlin.
Mr. Putin also spoke of "provocations, crimes by ultranationalist elements, essentially supported by the current authorities in Kiev." It wasn't clear what incidents Mr. Putin was referring to.

So Obama Asked Putin to please stop and in return Russia can keep the Crimea. Pathetic even by Obama's ocean bottom standards.

There's a lot of talk about the U.S. having a 1994 treaty with Ukraine, but that appears to not be the case. It seems people are actually talking about The Budapest Memorandum of 1994 which basically states that the US, UK, and Russian Federation agreed to keep the territory of Ukraine intact. Interestingly, this agreement seems to be nullified if Ukraine attempts to court the EU.

From Rick Moran at American Thinker:

According to the agreement, the US, UK and Russia all agreed to protect the sovereignty and “territorial agreement” of Ukraine, meaning any Russian support for an attempt to declare Crimean independence would be in violation of their international obligations.
The three powers committed to “respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine” and “refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine”. 
Significantly, the wording suggests Russia’s insistence that Ukraine forgo an EU trade deal may have already breached the terms of the agreement. 
The signatories agreed to “refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind”.

While it may be true that the US and UK do not have an obligation under this agreement to protect the Ukraine, it cannot be overlooked that Russia's invasion of Ukraine can be only be viewed as aggression against a Western ally. Certainly the West is looking for any way it can to weasel out of any idea of obligation toward Ukraine-- this is hardly a difficulty for the Obama Administration who can contort themselves in all sorts of ways to avoid reproach or blame for their repeated domestic and international failures, however the true message is clear enough to all.

The US and the West have proven themselves to be unwilling to protect its allies. This is especially bad news to countries like Taiwan, The Philippines, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Poland, perhaps even Singapore. Countries that had once relied on American willingness to protect democracies from the incursions of powerful repressive governments-- such as China, its psuedo-vassal North Korea, and Russia are now being left out in the cold. Obama and the West have given a clear message that they will labor mightily to find legal outs from any obligations (and using deconstructionist techniques to nullify obligation is hardly beyond these people's morals), and deliver only vagues and limp tongue lashings in the way of support.

As tensions increase in Asia and Europe, it is very likely that we'll see more of these invasions. Do you really think Obama will do anything about them?


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