Ukrainian Crisis Shows World Still Needs Americans

Ukraine_Demo_München_(12269462196)The Ukrainian crisis is there to show that our world still desperately needs old-fashioned Americans, and that European normative power can’t do much against Russian military might.

They call it “information warfare”, but in reality this is just Russian-style military invasion: as a former KGB agent, Vladimir Putin knows very well that winners write history; he certainly doesn’t want to play the loser’s part in this war game.

Speaking about losers, it seems clear that Ukrainian citizens will most likely have to “hang in there” while Putin makes his strategic moves. In fact, it is important to keep in mind that Russia’s interests in the region are at odds with European interests. And with enemies like Obama’s America and the EU, who needs allies? Certainly not Putin.

“The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine,” said Obama during the course of a White House briefing.

Rather predictably, however, Putin hasn’t been scared by America’s “threat”. If anything, such a statement could compel Putin to act more bravely and more swiftly than ever. Obama’s Soft Power doctrine has never worked if not in the imagination of Joseph Nye, neither will ever work in the real world. Let alone European normative power. The Soft Power is nothing but a fairy tale for kids: it doesn’t work in the real world.

As Paul Saunders – head of the Center for the National Interest – told The Daily Beast: “It’s a mistake of the administration coming out the way that it has trying to discourage Russian military action because they are in essence waving a red cloth in front of a bull… They are setting themselves up for another Syria red line.”

What’s happening in Ukraine is a slap in the face of dreamy Liberals who still think that reducing the amount of American nuclear warheads might actually augment the chances for global peace.

According to Timothy Snyder, “Russia’s very contempt for the European Union might force Europeans to undertake a more active foreign policy and to take responsibility for their neighborhood.”

The problem being: there is no European military strategy on the desk, the only European military strategy that ever existed is losing wars and then pointing the fingers at someone else (usually America). The  Srebrenica massacre anyone? Or the 2011 military intervention in Libya? And what about Syria?

According to the Washington Post editorial board: “The United States now faces a naked act of armed aggression in the center of Europe by a Russian regime that is signaling its intent to steamroller this U.S. president and his allies. Mr. Obama must demonstrate that can’t be done.”

That is correct. But the WP also states that the economy of Russia depends heavily on Western trade and investment. And that is only partially correct, in the sense that the statement does not take into account that any economic threat will utterly fail to convince Putin that what he is doing might have severe consequences for the Russian economy, since Russia will still be selling its gas to many European and non-European states, as well as its oil, along with other resources. Also, Russia can certainly cope without “Western trade” for a while, if that’s the price to pay for establishing itself at the top of the world.

Too many people tend to think that the Cold War ended in 1991 and that’s it. But really “Cold War” was just a label that the international consensus applied to something it couldn’t really grasp. And that something is the enormous difference that exists between Russia and the Western world.

Like Charles Krauthammer put it: what Obama really meant with that statement is that he’s not “really going to do anything”, and that America is just “telling the world” about it.

The situation could not be more easily intelligible than this: while Russian mercenary troops are invading Ukraine as well as the Crimea peninsula and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov tells John Kerry that Moscow isn’t intervening in Ukraine, even the NYT gets it: “In Moscow, Mr. Putin convened the upper house of Parliament to grant him authority to use force to protect Russian citizens and soldiers not only in Crimea but throughout Ukraine. Both actions — military and parliamentary — were a direct rebuff to President Obama, who on Friday pointedly warned Russia to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity.”

This is what they call a rude awakening, it happens when dreams are brusquely interrupted by harsh reality. These are the consequences of having a pacifist American President, the problem is: rich New York Liberals living in the Upper-East side of Manhattan won’t likely notice the difference as poor, unsophisticated, desperate Ukrainians have already done.

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Andrea Loquenzi Holzer

The truth will set you free

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