Russian Parliament Approves Use of Military in Ukraine, Specifically Crimea

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On Thursday morning, I made one of my rare predictions: “Putin is more than posturing, however. He will use his army to hold Crimea. Over 150,000 troops are doing a ‘military exercise’. The option of splitting off part of Ukraine also remains open.” This was based on several considerations, including the military exercise, the importance of Crimea to Russia, and the additional severe political blow to Putin and Russia if Ukraine were to suppress the ethnic Russians in Crimea or boot out the Russians.

Now the Russian Senate in a 90-0 vote has given Putin authority to use the military in Crimea. Putin’s official rationale is to protect Russian citizens and military forces in Crimea. This rationale is identical to rationales we hear from American presidents when they move forces around the world. Hence, we need give no weight in terms of a consistent position to the posturings of Obama and McCain in this matter. Not that there is any way, in the first place, to justify that U.S. forces be used to protect U.S. citizens who privately choose to do business or travel across the globe.

McCain spoke of Russia’s “infiltration” as a “great danger”. Hardly. He’s the danger if he means to confront Russia over this. It is a very good thing, relatively speaking, that McCain never made it to the White House!

Obama is bad enough. We do have to give weight to potential errors of judgment of Obama and others in the U.S. government who may decide to raise the stakes in some manner in this very dangerous game and confront Russia. We do have to understand that Obama almost blundered into war with and in Syria by foolishly adopting a red line. We do have to understand that Obama has planted the seed corn of many future U.S. involvements in conflicts by his expansion and entrenching of AFRICOM in Africa. We do have to understand that neocons still permeate official offices in Washington and that they are brainless warmongering idiots, lacking in all good sense, prudence and judgment, and totally unqualified for their positions.

11:56 am on March 1, 2014