It has taken a day of reflection to fully grasp America’s perfidious betrayal of Europe in hastily agreeing to bilateral talks on Sunday with Russia, on the eve of a EU summit.
Obama is no longer, if he ever was, a leader of the Free World who could be trusted to not go behind the backs of his alliance partners to cut a side deal with Russia.
He demonstrated this by selling out the Syrian resistance, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states when he cut a deal with Russia for the withdrawal of chemical weapons from Syria.
Now, as Europe gathers for a NATO Foreign ministers meeting at which responses to Russian aggression In the Ukraine are to be discussed, Obama has undercut the common position of the U.S. and Europe vis-a-vis Russia by agreeing to bilateral talks with Russia to defuse the Ukrainian crisis.
With tens of thousands of Russian troops gathered on the border of the Ukraine, and Putin threatening to send them into the eastern Ukraine and/or Moldova, Obama has agreed to hold bilateral talks with Russia, which at this moment has seized and annexed the Crimea in violation of the most fundamental prohibitions of the Unied Nations Charter.
Merely talking to Russia sends a powerful signal to Putin: His aggression has paid off, and further aggression promises to pay off more. He can send troops into other countries, and the Americans will still jump at any opportunity to discuss his further demands–at the end of the barrel of a gun.
When the U.S. and Europe should be implementing permanent sanctions against Russia for what it has already done, a pacifist Obama pleads with Russia not to commit further acts of aggression.
The minimal sanctions which should be imposed now, and not lifted until the Russian seizure and annexation of the Crimea has been reversed, include a total ban on doing business with any company or financial institution which conducts business in the Crimea.
This measure should stay in place for 50 years, if necessary, until Russia’s aggression against the Ukraine is reversed.
50 years Is about how long it took to reverse the Soviet aggression and annexation of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia.
Russia will not agree to that, some say. Who could naively expect an aggressor, with armies on the march, to agree to anything except its further demands?
Such a measure, and others, however, are needed now to communicate forcefully to Putin and his band of war criminals (it is an international crime to launch a war of aggression) that the military takeover of the Crimea will not stand.
For a broader view of the current crisis with Russia, see
Joschka Fischer, “Europa, bleibe hart,”Suddeutscher Zeitung, 30. marz 2014.
Die EU muss anerkennen, dass sie nicht nur eine Wirtschaftsunion, sondern auch ein machtpolitischer Akteur ist. Wenn sie Putin jetzt nachgibt, dient sie nicht dem Frieden. Dann ermutigt sie Russlands Präsidenten, den nächsten Schritt zu tun.
The Trenchant Observer
Der Scharfsinniger Beobachter
El Observador Incisivo