Crimean Update

I have class today. Yes, grad school on a Saturday. So light blogging.

Regardless, the world goes on. Especially in the Crimea. Lot’s happening.

Putin seeks Ukraine troop deployment

Lots of people freaking out about Putin’s request for what is essentially a Russian version of our AUMF, as were requested for Afghanistan and Iraq.

Lots of hypocrisy. Tell me, who will be the first pontificator to cite the seminal George Kennan essay, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct.”

D’oh, 8:03 this morning this tweeter sourced Kennan:


Can we please move past the Cold War mindset? Please? Pretty please?

Be sure to check my twitter feed. We are trying to get it integrated to posts here.

Troops are moving into the Crimea. Things are moving fast.

Obama’s bluff has been called by Putin. What will Obama do? Fulminate. Cancel his appearance at Sochi G-8 and in the end nothing.

Why? Because we have no vital interests in the Ukraine, as I have long said. Russia would have been happy with a buffer state. Now, we’ll get a partition. Good work DC policy makers. You are the misery multipliers of geopolitics.

And then there is this tweet:

Metz is a smart man, but this? No. NATO’s continued Eastward push is exactly what has brought us to this point. Not some phantom Russian neo-imperialism.

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Sean Paul Kelley

Traveler of the (real) Silk Road, scholar and historian, photographer and writer - founder of The Agonist.

14 CommentsLeave a comment

    • As I have repeatedly stated since I began blogging again, I call it the Ukraine and I will continue to do so come the apocalypse or some other catastrophe.

      Question: are you willing to send Americans to fight and die for these “interests” in the Ukraine?

      • Well, since I changed it from “we have no vital interests” to “we have no interests” my interpretation of that change would be that my answer to your question would be “no.” Put your own interpretation on why else I would change it in that manner if you like.

        I like your naming convention for names. Screw what the nation itself wants to be called, I like my name better. I think I will start calling this country the DSA, for the “Disunited States of America.”

    • The Netherlands
      The United Kingdom
      The United States
      The Republic of South Africa
      South Africa

      Use of “The” appears to follow no rule (as is common in English Grammar). Please enlighten me.

      • There is a pattern. Nations whose name is derived from an association or which uses as its name the form of government do use the article. The name is actually a description of the nation

        The Netherlands: comes from “the low countries” because it was fromed from a bunch of duchies which were below sea level.
        The United Kingdom: a uniting of Britain (note, no “the”), Scotland, Ireland, etc.
        The United States: Named when a whole bunch of colonies got together.

        Nations whose name is a proper noun do not use the article, because the name is just their name, not a description of the nation. It would be like calling me “the William.”

    • Jayhawk: I have to apologize. I completely misread what you wrote vis-a-vis “interests.” My bad.

      As for THE Ukraine. I’m sticking with it. 😉

  • Russian in where others should fear to tread (Charge of Light Brigade and Gallipoli come to mind).

    Maybe the US is determined to better the British Empire’s defeats (Aden, Afghanistan, Crimea, Sudan, Kenya).

    Is there a pattern here? (Snark Intended).

  • Nit-picking on nit-picking:

    Churchill commented that just because a people use one name for a place does not mean we have to follow suit.
    We still refer to Munich, not München; Copenhagen, not Kobenhaven; Japan, not Nihon.

    BTW: Saw a news item that phone and internet cables had been cut at numerous places, breaking communications in THE Crimea. Don’t know about the rest of the country, but hope Liquid is still safe and eventually able to give us on-the-ground info.

    BTW2: Gallipoli was against the Turks, not Ukrainians and/or Russians.

  • Class on Saturday!? That is *wrong*. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    As to Cold War thinking, I’m not sure that’s it. I’m not sure we’re thinking in Cold War terms at all (or at least thinking well). I see reflexes from the Cold War, assumptions from the Cold War, language and concepts from the Cold War – but they’re all being applied in very post-Berlin Wall falling wishful thinking ways. As near as I can tell, there has been no significant in-depth thinking inside the USG about what current strategy should look like – since ’89 there has been a lot of coasting on autopilot and now that Russia has developed such that it can push back in appreciable ways, the intellectual poverty is being made clear for all to see. That it is dressed in the terms of the Cold War should not deceive us – that thinking was *miles* ahead of what we’re seeing.

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