Three crises, one president, many bewildered friends.
The first crisis, barely noticed here, is Ukraine's sudden turn away from Europe and back to the Russian embrace.This is no trivial matter. Ukraine is not just the largest country in Europe, it's the linchpin for Vladimir Putin's dream of a renewed imperial Russia, hegemonic in its neighborhood and rolling back the quarter-century advancement of the "Europe whole and free" bequeathed by America's victory in the Cold War.
After years of negotiations for a major trading agreement with the European Union, Ukraine succumbed to characteristically blunt and brutal economic threats from Russia and abruptly walked away. Ukraine is instead considering joining the Moscow-centered Customs Union with Russia's fellow dictatorships Belarus and Kazakhstan.
The U.S. response? Almost imperceptible. As with Iran's ruthlessly crushed Green Revolution of 2009, the hundreds of thousands of protesters who've turned out to reverse this betrayal of Ukrainian independence have found no voice in Washington. Can't this administration even rhetorically support those seeking a democratic future, as we did during Ukraine's Orange Revolution of 2004?
A Washington Post headline explains: "With Russia in mind, U.S. takes cautious approach on Ukraine unrest." We must not offend Putin. We must not jeopardize Obama's precious "reset," a farce that has yielded nothing but the well-earned distrust of allies like Poland and the Czech Republic whom we wantonly undercut in a vain effort to appease Russia on missile defense.
The second crisis is the Middle East – the collapse of confidence of U.S. allies as America romances Iran.
The Gulf Arabs are stunned at their double abandonment. In the nuclear negotiations with Iran, the U.S. has overthrown seven years of Security Council resolutions prohibiting uranium enrichment and effectively recognized Iran as a threshold nuclear state. This follows our near-abandonment of the Syrian revolution and de facto recognition of both the Assad regime and Iran's "Shiite Crescent" of client states stretching to the Mediterranean.
Equally dumbfounded are the Israelis, now trapped by an agreement designed less to stop the Iranian nuclear program than to prevent the Israeli Air Force from stopping the Iranian nuclear program.
good stuff to munch on over some hot coffee... as always, i feel like krauthammer pretty much nails the situation and lends a clear, concise perspective.
lastest from victor: Ignoring History: The Folly of Our Iran Pact