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02 March 2014

by Mike.B

At Political Chess - Putin is a Grand Master

Over the last 15 years or so in Australia, we have watched and been involved in many aggressive acts by Uncle Sam, the good 'ole USA.

The dessimation of so many middle eastern countries, the drone strikes on innocent people, the use of dirty bombs, the illegal use of telco's for spying (even on their allies), the illegal use of economic sanctions on countries simply not wanting to succumb to their will, the torture of political prisoners. The list goes on and on.

And then, when an incursion, commenced at their own hand, but perilously close to a potential adversary provokes a response, they call foul.

Putin's involvement in Crimea is no invasion as the Western Media insists, but is by agreement. Crimea is an autonomous region of the Ukraine, and, as is the eastern region of Ukraine partisan to Russia.

One has to remember that the whole of the eastern border of Ukraine abutts Russia. It takes little imagination of what would happen if, say Mexico, was embroiled in similar uprising at the hand of Russia. Think of a small island like Cuba.

When it comes to political chess, Putin is a grand master. In this move, he has put NATO in check, and awaits their next move. Where Putin has been decisive, Obama has been the opposite, and naiively called Putin to ask what he was doing.

Of course the Amercan 'dogs of war' Kerry and McCain are baying at the gates of the White House.

Insane McCain says 'We Are All Ukrainian'

In response to reports of a Russian takeover in parts of Crimea, Arizona Senator John McCain said on Friday, We are all Ukrainians, before calling for swift U.S. economic aid to Ukraine, condemnation of Russia at the United Nations, sanctions against Russian officials and the installation of U.S. missiles in the nearby Czech Republic.

America's highest diplomat John Kerry said:

Russia could be expelled from the G8 and face economic sanctions, unless President Vladimir Putin halts his incredible act of aggression and withdraws forces from Ukraine, the US secretary of state, John Kerry, warned on Sunday. He is not going to have a Sochi G8, he may not even remain in the G8 if this continues, Kerry told NBC's Meet the Press. He may find himself with asset freezes, on Russian business, American business may pull back, there may be a further tumble of the ruble.

The US seems to completely dismiss the BRIC's alliance (Brazil, Russia, India, China), which if it were ever to gain traction would be a severe impediment to the US's economic threats.

Both Putin and the West are reacting to events which unfolded within Ukraine. Action by the West was not a significant factor in the toppling by Yanukovich, that was a nationalist reaction to an abrupt change of political direction which seemed to be moving Ukraine decisively into the Russian orbit. Ukrainians are not stupid and they can see the standard of living in former Soviet Bloc countries which have joined the European Union is now much higher. Anybody who denies that is deluded. Of course western governments had programmes to encourage pro-western tendencies in Ukraine, including secret operations. It would be naiive to expect otherwise. Anybody who thinks Russia was not doing exactly the same is deluded also. But it is a huge mistake to lay too much weight on these efforts, both the West and Russia were taken aback by the strength and speed of the political convulsions in Ukraine, and everybody is still paying catch-up.

Which is why we now need a period of calm, and an end to dangerous military adventurism. Political dialogue needs to be resumed. It is interesting that even the pro-Russian assembly of Crimea region has only called a referendum on more devolved powers, not on union with Russia or independence. However I still maintain the best way forward is agreement on internationally supervised referenda to settle the position. The principle of self-determination should be the most important one here. If any of the regions of Ukraine wish to secede, the goal should be a peaceful and orderly transition. Effective military annexation by Putin, and insistence by the West that national boundaries cannot be changed, are both unproductive stances.

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