While We All Slept

Let’s see. What do I know about the Ukraine? Ooh! Back when I sold Greek apparel and ran grk.by, I cared about Belarus – where I bought the CCTLD .BY. Back then, I noticed the Ukraine touched it and I was like “huh, look at that.” That was the extent of my involvement with the Ukraine. And on the whole, unfortunately just another country with civil unrest.

Crimea actually was considered Russian sovereignty until the mid-1950s, when it was handed over to the Ukraine – an extension of the Soviet Union. Moreover, that area is pretty much enriched with a deeply ethnic Russian population and a handful of other Russian bullet points. It’s not foreign land to Putin – it’s home.

Which brings us to this latest “crisis”. In early March, a majority vote sought to rejoin Russia in what I think is a troubling referendum. Russian legislators voted to connext the Black Sea peninsula, where Russia has a strong naval presence, and Putin quickly signed that mug into law.

Since then, Moscow’s corralling troops near Ukraine’s eastern borders worrying the heck out of the interim government in Kiev. It’s also looking like other former Soviet republics, now belong to the EU and NATO are actually starting to worry. I guess the assimilation was going better than planned.

In response to all this mishegoss, the EU has taken some pretty bold steps to ensure Russia feels the affects of its decisions. A few of the annoyances levied on Russia: targeted sanctions, visa bans and – my favorite – canceling a number of engagements with Russia. Like thumbing our noses up at Russia is of concern of theirs anyway. But I also understand diplomacy works; even with idiots.

Net/net, these are looking like the strictest sanctions since the Cold War so I’m willing to bet Russia is at least loosening their neckties. They’ve pretty much isolated themselves – opting instead to stand alone in their whole mess.

Our president stands with world leaders with other world leaders. I’ve finally come to grips with who this president is when it comes to foreign policy. Better explained in its own diatribe, the brother is simply not in the business of sending our troops overseas flagrantly or half-cocked. Unlike the would be president Romney who has made it clear that he’d do everything in his power to create a climate where the theater of war was eminent.

And while I understand Romney’s concerns, I still don’t the US has risen to the level of dereliction, nor trend, as say Europe headed into theĀ  World Was II. In Winston Churchill “While England Slept” it was made apparent he was defending his homeland’s “strategy” of diplomacy. So for a slightly more objective take, or at least for balance, fast forward to JFK’s “Why England Slept” to reveal England’s true strategy of simply stockpiling power. Little did they know, there was a powder keg brewing in Germany.

That said, our President must be mindful of power vacuum and attention deficits when it comes to geopolitical matters. I’ve never managed a country but in my mere 10 years of people management I’ve noticed that some people just don’t want to be lead. Some folk just won’t learn to coexist. Which is to say some countries simply will not align, don’t have an intention to and have no inclination towards it. Obama must be aware of these gaps and proceed accordingly. I will agree with Romney that he has a great deal of naivete when it comes to foreign affairs. And its becoming clear that what he may lack in acumen he doesn’t always make up for with vision.

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