Things are happening fast, so perhaps my description will be out of date by the time you read this. The Ukraine underwent a relatively peaceful* revolution, chasing the pro-Russia president out of the country and establishing an interim revolutionary pro-West government.
One house of Russia's national legislature just authorized the use of military force to protect what it sees as Russian interests and to protect Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the Crimea region.
Peaceniks chant "What if they gave a war and nobody came?" Well, then of course you wouldn't have a war, but a war isn't a party you can just not go to if it's being brought to you.
I'm not going to get more specific. I'm just inviting a discussion of the situation going on in the Ukraine. What should be done? What COULD be done?
* People have died, but it's nothing like some of the other conflicts going on now or happening in recent years around the world (Egypt, Syria, etc.)..
We're starting to go off topic here, so either start a new thread or accept that Republicans are responsible for the wave of deficit hysteria that has been strangling the only known effective way to end a recession: stimulus spending.
This is the first I have heard of Republicans (and I am assuming here you meant the Republican mainstream) being behind the recent proposals to shrink the military.
There's no need to assume what I meant because I specified it: the Republicans held the global economy hostage and forced the Democrats to accept drastic spending cuts.
The Democrats wanted to pass stimulus packages, like the American Investment and Recovery Act of 2009, and the $447 billion American Jobs Act of 2011 (which the Republicans killed).
(It certainly goes against the stereotype of Republicans wanting a big military, and what I have been hearing from the left since 1979 has been incessant complaining about how much money we spend on that sort of thing. You are literally the first person on the left I have heard, in my lifetime, complain that the military is too small!)
You're hallucinating, Steve. I didn't "complain that the military is too small". I said the Republicans are responsible for the spending cuts that reduced the size of the military (in addition to most other aspects of the government). The Democrats didn't want that.
Do you have a source for this? Or are you referencing some other proposal?
The source of your hallucination is within your own mind. The source for the Republicans threatening to default on the national debt in 2011 unless the Democrats agreed to slash the budget was linked in my original post. Here it is again.
Now there was a bipartisan sequester agreement to shrink both the military and domestic spending, but the military shrinkage was a Republican concession to get the Democrats to agree to the domestic cuts.
The sequester was as "bipartisan" as a school bus driver and a suicide bomber agreeing the C4 vest will not be detonated if they drive backward through rush hour traffic at 70 miles an hour.
Are you suggesting the sequester would have come about of its own accord without the Republican blackmail? The Democrats and the Republicans mutually agreed to kill the Democrats' stimulus spending plans and pass the Republicans' sweeping spending cuts in a severely depressed economy? Just like that?
The George Costanza "shrinkage" plan was a product of the Republican Party. It was so successful for them politically that they just tried to pull the same stupid stunt again-- and stuck with it for months-- until they realized it had backfired.
So what is it you are referencing here?
I'm referencing the debt ceiling crisis the GOP orchestrated in 2011 to get the Democrats to stop passing stimulus packages and start passing austerity measures: deficit hysteria. That's the reason for the cuts in military spending.
If you want to continue this conversation, start another thread somewhere else. We're done here.
I read some suggestion that a flotilla of US warships should be sent to the Black Sea. No more provocative act can be imagined. What if Russia sent a flotilla of warships to the Gulf of Mexico? We would demand that they be withdrawn and threaten military action. Exactly the same thing would happen in the Black Sea.
The US and the west have almost no options in this situation in the Ukraine. We are deluding ourselves if we think we do. Putin is going to do as he pleases and tell the rest of the world to f---k off.
I think Putin's intention is to annex Crimea (a territory within the Ukraine) in order to secure his only warm water port. I doubt if he will end up annexing the Ukraine in its entirety. The West will probably accept that as a compromise. There really are NO military options because nobody wants WW3.
There is a bit of a joke going around that whoever annexes the last piece of Ukraine will have to pay for it.
No peaceniks? I wonder why...
Probably because a US military strike is even not viewed as a real option like it is in Syria right now. If a war breaks out we may end up supporting a UN peace-keeping force when it cools down, like in Bosnia.
Looking how the Taliban is making a comeback makes one wonder if all the huge sacrifices made by our military in Afghanistan over the past 14 years were worth it. When we leave will it just reset back to square one? Are we training and arming our next enemy? Should we stay another 100 years? Things are also going backward in Iraq lately. I'd wager that Sadam would have been a casualty of his own people by now anyways. These ancient ethnic and religious issues are a waste of time for us to try to fix by military means.
If we want to promote our form of government and way of life all over the world, we should focus on making that better and it will sell itself. A functioning government and a viable middle class would be a great start.
If a war breaks out we may end up supporting a UN peace-keeping force when it cools down, like in Bosnia.
Since China does this sort of thing (Tibet) and may want to do it again in the future (Taiwan), they will veto any UN peacekeeping force.
What got us involved in fighting the Taliban is that we cared. W'hat is the US interest in fighting the Taliban? Sure, they are terrible, but they aren't terrible to US, as long as they don't organize terror against the US. And for that, we have drones.
I agree totally with your last paragraph.
"What got us involved in fighting the Taliban is that we cared."
Lets be honest as the US has no problem supporting and funding terrorists as long as they are on our side. Remember It is America who originally created and trained the Taliban to fight off the Russians.
Consistency is the bugaboo of small minds.
Fair enough I guess.....
Those of us who would be breaking out our 'Make love not war' banners right now are simply clear-headed enough to realize the nature of modern war: it hardly matters who protests, when the only people making decisions are so isolated by their command structures. We're not exactly talking about attacking the neighbouring village, here.
Except it did have a massive impact on Syria. Our governments and media really pressed hard for war but enough people said no that it was called off.