The United States and the European Union imposed another round of limited sanctions on Russia yesterday in response to ongoing Russian aggression in Ukraine.
These limited sanctions come on top of earlier limited sanctions which did nothing to prevent Russia from imposing its will on Ukraine…which did nothing to deter the Russians from taking over the Crimea…which did nothing to prevent the Russians from threatening the territorial integrity of the rest of Ukraine and the very existence of the Ukrainian state…which did nothing to prevent the possibility (the very strong possibility) of Russia taking over the rest of Ukraine too and placing it under Russian hegemony.
The response to this latest round of limited sanctions has been quick. The Russian ruble has increased in value, the Moscow stock index went up by 1.5% and Russian aggression on the ground has not abated in the least. It is safe to say that limited sanctions haven’t worked, aren’t working and will not work, that limited sanctions will simply not prevent the Russians from doing whatever they want to in Ukraine, including take it over in the same way they took over the Crimea, which was part of Ukraine and is no longer.
It is also safe to say that harsh sanctions won’t work either, even sanctions that target Russian President Vladimir Putin personally. All they will do is make Putin and the Russians more bellicose, more militant, more aggressive. Sanctions simply will not prevent Putin and the Russians from continuing to do whatever they want to in Ukraine. If anything they will cause them to implement their agenda even faster. Russian history and Putin’s personal history tell us exactly that. For that matter, so does European history, world history in general and the psychology of bullies and bullying.
It is evident that Russia will never return the Crimea to Ukraine. It is also evident that one thing and one thing only can prevent further Russian aggression in Ukraine and beyond, can persuade the Russians to leave Ukraine alone and let it return to its former self, albeit without the Crimea.
That is the credible threat of military force…more specifically the credible threat of the use of military force against the Russians…more specifically the credible threat of the use of U.S. military force against the Russians. Nothing else will deter the Russians, nothing else will prevent them from doing anything, nothing else will persuade them to change their ways.
Unfortunately, there is no possibility of the United States using military force against Russia over Ukraine no matter how much it is in America’s best interests to keep Ukraine out of Russia’s hands. That is an option which is simply not on the table, which effectively means that the U.S. has given a free hand to Russia in Ukraine, all the sanctions in the world notwithstanding…which effectively means that the United States has abandoned Ukraine and the Ukrainian people…which effectively means that President Putin has bullied U.S. President Obama and that Obama has capitulated to him. Putin of course knew that would happen, which is why the Russians went into Ukraine, went into the Crimea, to begin with.
So why Obama allowed himself to be bullied by Putin? Why has he capitulated to him, even though the loss of Ukraine is clearly not in the best interests of the United States?
Its because he’s afraid of him, that’s why.
Putin the bully.
Obama the coward.
That sums it up.
Who will Obama say goodby to next?
Israel, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the list goes on.