Russian Invasion: Where’s Our President?

(1) white trucksThe Washington Post nabs the essence of the issue:

Mr. Putin’s approach has been terribly sly, from the “little green men” who took over Crimea without noticeable military insignia, to the “uprising” in eastern Ukraine of separatist fighters who just suddenly happened to possess anti-aircraft missiles. Mark Galeotti of New York University wrote recently in Foreign Policy that Mr. Putin has demonstrated in Ukraine a method of fighting with his military intelligence service that is “a mix of stealth, deniability, subversion, and surgical violence.” We would add: outrageous lies and propaganda.”

The latest trick is the so-called Humanitarian Aid Convoy of military trucks painted white. The trucks carry the Red Cross insignia but the Red Cross has no idea what’s on the trucks and has walked as far away from an association with the convoy as is possible given that it has offices in Moscow. Today the painted military trucks began to cross the border into Ukraine without permission from Ukraine.

But that’s not all. How about these photographs of military transport trucks carrying tanks toward the Ukrainian border and returning empty the next day. The tanks are in place to follow. They would have been part of the convoy already but even Putin could figure out that painting a tank white would not disguise it.

I know it’s painful for Obama to get back to business. Today on Martha’s Vineyard the day is quite overcast although rain has not set in yet, I suppose he’ll still want to hit the links but perhaps he might take a pause to figure out what he’s going to do in light of this invasion.

If he can’t figure it out, I’ll explain to him Putin’s game plan. The white trucks will go into Ukraine, many have military equipment on them, some will be hit by artillery or other explosive devices, that will be considered “an attack on Russia” and Putin will send in his troops to defend his aid workers, who by the way all dress alike and appear to most observers to be army troops.

Obama has thought he could stop the invasion with sanctions. He said he did not have to give the Ukrainians any military arms to help them in the fight because they were defeating the rebels who had been sent by Russia to take over parts of Ukraine. Now what does he plan to do now that the Ukrainians face a much larger military force.

Obama ratcheted up the sanctions slowly in the hope they may deter an invasion. That has not worked. The invasion is on.

What now Mr. President? You shilly-shallied with ISIS calling them a little league team in January. You guessed wrong on that one. They were well on their way to taking over Iraq before you decided to take a second look at them and launch air attacks. But you’re trying to do it on the cheap. We have only one aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) on station off Iraq. One other is in the Atlantic. Don’t we have ten active carriers? What are the others doing?

You’ve guessed wrong with Putin. You know he has been quietly invading all along but that hasn’t worked. Now that his forces are losing he’s doing it openly. I hope he’s not fooling you with the 280 White Trucks Trojan Horse approach. I know the Europeans aren’t keen on helping Ukraine fearing it might hurt their GDPs. But you can’t defend Ukraine on the cheap! Whatever sanctions you have you’ve got to blast away and also start to give the Ukrainian army the means to defend itself.

It seems to me that you really don’t like to do the hard work but prefer to enjoy the many perks of your office. As my grand kid said to me when he was 3 years old: “Grandpa the world isn’t like you want it to be.” It seems that the world isn’t like you want it to be with all those enemies running around. You know, if you’re really not up to it anymore, why don’t you step down. Look at the Clintons, the perks get better after you leave.

I like it that you don’t want to use the military and that you also don’t like wars and killings. But when one side is doing it to our friends, don’t you think we should give them what aid we can?

Isn’t it time to get off the links and the fund raising trips? Isn’t it time to stop playing around? If you’re not going to step down then spend the next two years working the job hard. You were left a mess; I hope you don’t leave the next person a mess.

5 thoughts on “Russian Invasion: Where’s Our President?

  1. Matt:

    Why do you count Obama such a fool? The Ukrainian military are roundly whipping the insurgents. You, yourself, described the pre-invasion Ukrainian armed forces as dilapidated and demoralized. To what would you account their miraculous turn around?
    Our SF know their job. In fact, training East European guerilla forces to combat the old Soviet Union was one of SF’s original missions. If the administration can assist Ukraine off-radar, using assets specifically designed for such operations, why should the president be criticized for not showing his hand? Like poker, the action in Ukraine is a game of bluffs, and, calls. Obama has to keep his hand tight, maybe too tight for us to peek at.

    1. Khalid:

      Perhaps the SF are helping the Ukrainian army but you have to admit the Ukrainian army is no match for the Soviet Russian army even with the help of SFs. You think it is good Obama is acting on the QT. I suggest otherwise. Surely the Soviets Russians know what is happening if as you suggest you do. It has only caused them to up the ante by going into Ukraine full force, as they now appear ready to do.
      I suggest Obama should have armed the Ukrainian army as if it would eventually have to face the onslaught from Russia. In that way he may have deterred it because the Russians won’t like their soldiers coming back home in body bags. Obama’s pretense that only the insurgents are involved in East Ukraine and the Ukrainian army can fight them without being sufficiently armed (with the help of SFs) gives the Russians an open the door for the invasion.
      You can’t be off radar when being on radar would show the other party you are serious.

  2. Matt:

    There is an interesting obit in the Kyiv Post’s op-ed section,today It concerns an American volunteer fighter named Mark Palawsky. He was an ex-captain in the Army Rangers.
    Back during the Guatemalan Civil War, a serving Marine,or, soldier, could answer an ad in SOF and be down to Aurora in a fortnight. SOF, under Brown, had a recruitment office not far from the main gate to Bragg. One could become a private contractor, complete with new passport, almost overnight. What makes the situation in Ukraine any different?

  3. Matt, you know that I am 100% in support of the Ukrainian’s peoples quest for freedom, democracy and Independence from Russia’s forced intrusions. The Russian separatists inside Ukraine should work peacefully to air their complaints, or emigrate from Ukraine and return to Russia or elsewhere. I write however to note the glaring hypocrisy of the our country, i.e., the US Government. We send arms and advisors to the Free Syrian Army and train and urge them to overthrow Assad. Today I heard a General on Cable say we should magnify aid to both the FSA and Iraq Army to kill-defeat Isis. We should kill Isis, I agree. But we can’t be criticizing Russia for aiding Russian separatist rebels inside Ukraine, when we are aiding Syrian rebels attempting to overthrow Russia’s friend ASSAD. If we are going to condemn international intermeddling, we have to stop it ourselves. Of course, destroying ISIS is a legitimate Augustinian just war goal, but using the just war against ISIS as a way to further arm Syrian Rebels (the Syrian Free Army) is the way of the perpetual arms merchants and war mongers (like many retired and active duty us generals and many imperialistic political hawks in congress) . Make love, not war. Woo the Russian people; oppose both Russian and Ame rican unjust Imperialism and excessive Intermeddling and Interventionism. Peace, but not at any costs; First Eradicate ISIS. Military intervention only as a last resort, and not as a continuing US-NATO policy.

    1. William:

      The Russian separatists are Russian soldiers. The leaders of those groups come from Russia not Ukraine. There is no hypocrisy when it comes to Ukraine. You seem to miss the point that the Russians have their armed forces in Ukraine fighting the Ukrainians. We didn’t put forces in Syria to fight Assad. That war started during the Arab Spring by Sunnis opposed to Assad not by Americans inserted into Syria posing as Syrians. The differences are stark.

      With respect to ISIS, you will see I also disagree. It does not come under the Augustinian just war theory since we are not threatened by it. You’ll note in my post that it is not our job to fight ISIS, it is time for the Arabs to fight it. They are the ones being threatened.

      You joke when you say “woo the Russian people.” We have no way to do that since they are being inundated with Putin Propaganda. Peace in Ukraine is being destroyed by the Russians. Blaming American imperialism and intermeddling seems to me to be putting on blinders.

      Are you unaware that in the past few days, Russian troops bearing the flag of a previously unknown country, Novorossiya, have marched across the border of southeastern Ukraine. The Russian Academy of Sciences recently announced it will publish a history of Novorossiya this autumn, presumably tracing its origins back to Catherine the Great. Various maps of Novorossiya are said to be circulating in Moscow.

      Did you know a few days ago, Alexander Dugin, an extreme nationalist whose views have helped shape those of the Russian president, issued an extraordinary statement. “Ukraine must be cleansed of idiots,” he wrote — and then called for the “genocide” of the “race of bastards.”

      How about this: Vladimir Zhirinovsky — the Russian member of parliament and court jester who sometimes says things that those in power cannot — argued on television that Russia should use nuclear weapons to bomb Poland and the Baltic countries — “dwarf states,” he called them — and show the West who really holds power in Europe: “Nothing threatens America, it’s far away. But Eastern European countries will place themselves under the threat of total annihilation,” he declared.

      Those latter bits of information I got from a Washington Post Columnist. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/anne-applebaum-war-in-europe-is-not-a-hysterical-idea/2014/08/29/815f29d4-2f93-11e4-bb9b-997ae96fad33_story.html

      It’s important to remember where the threats and attacks come from.

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