Tag Archives: Ukraine

‘This isn’t Rocky IV’

The last time Secretary of State John Kerry used a “Rocky IV” reference in public was at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

Then, he was poking fun at Republican presidential nominee’s assertion that Russia was this nation’s most dangerous “geopolitical foe.” Kerry, then a U.S. senator from Massachusetts, declared that Romney’s view of Russia was more like the “Rocky IV” film that became a silly metaphor for the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

It drew huge applause and laughter at the DNC’s final night in September 2012.

It’s not a laugh line in today’s context.

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ukraine-crisis/kerry-russia-must-be-very-careful-judgments-ukraine-n39236

Kerry has warned Russian President Vladimir Putin about rekindling the Cold War by threatening Ukraine, a neighboring country — and former Soviet state — with military exercises.

Ukraine has just ousted its Russia-friendly president amid terrible street violence in cities throughout that country. Putin’s decision to activate the military has forced Kerry to issue some stern warnings on behalf of the United States.

He told NBC News: “I think Russia needs to be very careful in the judgments that it makes going forward here. We are not looking for confrontation. But we are making it clear that every country should respect the territorial integrity here, the sovereignty of Ukraine. Russia has said it would do that and we think it’s important that Russia keeps its word.”

According to NBC.com, Kerry also said that “Russian President Vladimir Putin should ‘listen carefully to Ukrainians who have voiced their desire for change,’ repeating that the United States does not view its relationship with Russia as a ‘sort of continuation of the Cold War.’”

Are we going to war with Russia if the Russians intervene militarily? Of course not. However, memories of the long-simmering rivalry between the nations ought to be as long in Russia as they are in this country.

We won the Cold War. Putin ought to think carefully about how it turned out for his side if he intends to start a new one.

You must define ‘outrage,’ Mr. President

President Obama said today he is “outraged” over the violence in Ukraine.

He vows “consequences” will occur if the Ukrainian government refuses to stop killing its people who are mounting what were supposed to be peaceful protests.

http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/europe/198803-obama-outraged-by-rising-ukraine-death-toll

Let’s understand, of course, that the president was “outraged” over the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons. He threatened a military strike, he sought permission from Congress — which it had demanded — to act and then, presto!, the Russians stepped in with a deal to rid the Syrian military of the chemicals it used on its citizens.

The Ukraine matter is different, to be sure.

The United States cannot launch a military strike against the former Soviet republic that sits right next to Russia. It can, and must, be firm in enacting economic sanctions — perhaps even imposing a trade embargo if the government doesn’t stop slaughtering its citizens.

Bear in mind that this is a big deal with huge implications around the world. Ukraine possesses a lot of the nuclear material used to build the Soviet arsenal during the Cold War. The Cold War ended a little more than two decades ago, but the material remains.

The Ukrainian government had announced a truce with those who were protesting, only to see the truce shattered overnight, prompting the rhetorical response from the White House.

And per normal these days, the usual suspects here at home are criticizing the White House and the president for perceived fecklessness in handling this crisis.

Let’s understand, the Russians aren’t about to let anyone — even the United States — get too involved singularly in this dispute.

There must be a concerted international effort involving the European Union, and the United States and Russia to bring huge pressure to bear on the Ukrainian government thugs.

Can our government play a role? Sure, but we need to make sure this remains a team game.

President Obama’s outrage must be tempered with reason and even a tad bit of patience.