U.S. Leaders Have More Ambitions Than Brains

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On June 4, 2014 Obama met with President Poroshenko of Ukraine. Obama spoke of the “incredible outpouring of democracy”. He said of Poroshenko:

“And in my discussions with him today it’s clear that he understands the aspirations and the hopes of the Ukrainian people. And when I say the Ukrainian people, I mean all the Ukrainian people. I think that President-elect Poroshenko recognizes that his mandate is not just to help certain portions of his country succeed, but all portions of his country succeed.”

Shortly thereafter, Poroshenko broke a truce with the Donbass region and attacked it and the Ukrainians living in it in strength. The destruction by the forces he commands of civilians, dwellings, and capital investments has been very great. This destruction is so great that Poroshenko is busy talking with Biden and Merkel in order to line up financing to pay for the companies that will be hired to rebuild the areas conquered by his forces, presumably American and German companies among them.

Poroshenko’s devotion to democracy doesn’t exist as this article explains. At the end of July, he outlawed the Communist Party. It contained politicians most critical to his policies. He is now marginalizing the Parliament, calling them fifth columnists for not designating Donbass rebels as terrorists. Poroshenko has also instituted mass mobilization, under severe penalties for young men who resist it. This is a very unpopular measure among Ukrainians.

In short order, Ukraine will have a very large armed force. This will pose a great threat to Russia, especially given the extreme rhetoric and hostile provocations that have been typical of the Ukrainian government. Imagine what will happen if such a force decides to move against Crimea. Imagine what will happen if the measures proposed by the most extreme Ukrainian politicians, such as Liashko, begin to be implemented.

The reality is not that Ukraine is a vibrant democracy headed by a committed democrat whose name is Poroshenko. It is that the U.S. is supporting whatever government it can in Ukraine so as to further its geopolitical aims in Ukraine. The U.S. has supported Poroshenko’s attack on Donbass.

The U.S. is busy creating a time bomb in Ukraine.

The leaders of the U.S. government have more ambitions than they have brains.

This region was one that was singled out by Zbigniew Brzezinski in his 1997 book “The Grand Chessboard”. This has influenced U.S. leaders. The problem is that Brzezinski’s analysis has extremely serious flaws. One of these, and I’ll only mention one, is that the real world is not a chessboard. Iraq, Iran, and Ukraine are not chess pieces. Obama and other presidents cannot move countries around like pieces on a chess board. They can’t move governments and people around mechanically. World politics is a much more complex and dynamic game, if it is a game, than Brzezinski understands it to be. There is no cost or very little cost to moving a chess piece, but as the U.S. has found time and time again (or should have found as in Iraq), the costs of making any move can be extraordinarily high and unpredictable.

Obama doesn’t really know what he’s gotten America into by committing to Ukraine and by following a Brzezinski kind of blueprint provided by his State Department. Americans cannot expect realistic policies fashioned in their interests from a State Department that contains a closed circle of people educated by chessboard curricula on foreign policy by university professors who can teach rarified and unrealistic doctrines.

5:22 pm on August 20, 2014