Wednesday, February 4, 2015

U.S.-Russia Clash in Ukraine?

 U.S.-Russia Clash in Ukraine?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

February 03, 2015 "ICH" - Among Cold War presidents, from Truman to Bush I, there was an unwritten rule: Do not challenge Moscow in its Central and Eastern Europe sphere of influence.

In crises over Berlin in 1948 and 1961, the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 and the Warsaw Pact invasion of Prague in 1968, U.S. forces in Europe stayed in their barracks.

We saw the Elbe as Moscow’s red line, and they saw it as ours.

While Reagan sent weapons to anti-Communist rebels in Angola, Nicaragua and Afghanistan, to the heroic Poles of Gdansk he sent only mimeograph machines.

That Cold War caution and prudence may be at an end.

For President Obama is being goaded by Congress and the liberal interventionists in his party to send lethal weaponry to Kiev in its civil war with pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk.

That war has already cost 5,000 lives — soldiers, rebels, civilians. September’s cease-fire in Minsk has broken down. The rebels have lately seized 200 added square miles, and directed artillery fire at Mariupol, a Black Sea port between Donetsk and Luhansk and Crimea.

Late last year, Congress sent Obama a bill authorizing lethal aid to Kiev. He signed it. Now the New York Times reports that NATO Commander Gen. Philip Breedlove favors military aid to Ukraine, as does Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. John Kerry and Gen. Martin Dempsey of the joint chiefs are said to be open to the idea.

A panel of eight former national security officials, chaired by Michele Flournoy, a potential Defense Secretary in a Hillary Clinton administration, has called for the U.S. to provide $3 billion in military aid to Ukraine, including anti-tank missiles, reconnaissance drones, Humvees, and radar to locate the sources of artillery and missile fire.

Such an arms package would guarantee an escalation of the war, put the United States squarely in the middle, and force Vladimir Putin’s hand.

Thus far, despite evidence of Russian advisers in Ukraine and claims of Russian tank presence, Putin denies that he has intervened. But if U.S. cargo planes start arriving in Kiev with Javelin anti-tank missiles, Putin would face several choices.

He could back down, abandon the rebels, and be seen as a bully who, despite his bluster, does not stand up for Russians everywhere.

More in character, he could take U.S. intervention as a challenge and send in armor and artillery to enable the rebels to consolidate their gains, then warn Kiev that, rather than see the rebels routed, Moscow will intervene militarily.

Or Putin could order in the Russian army before U.S. weapons arrive, capture Mariupol, establish a land bridge to Crimea, and then tell Kiev he is ready to negotiate.

What would we do then? Send U.S. advisers to fight alongside the Ukrainians, as the war escalates and the casualties mount? Send U.S. warships into the Black Sea?

Have we thought this through, as we did not think through what would happen if we brought down Saddam, Gadhafi and Mubarak?

America has never had a vital interest in Crimea or the Donbass worth risking a military clash with Russia. And we do not have the military ability to intervene and drive out the Russian army, unless we are prepared for a larger war and the potential devastation of the Ukraine.

What would Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon or Reagan think of an American president willing to risk military conflict with a nuclear-armed Russia over two provinces in southeastern Ukraine that Moscow had ruled from the time of Catherine the Great?

What is happening in Ukraine is a tragedy and a disaster. And we are in part responsible, having egged on the Maidan coup that overthrew the elected pro-Russian government.

But a greater disaster looms if we get ourselves embroiled in Ukraine’s civil war. We would face, first, the near certainty of defeat for our allies, if not ourselves. Second, we would push Moscow further outside Europe and the West, leaving her with no alternative but to deepen ties to a rising China.

Given the economic crisis in Russia and the basket case Ukraine is already, how do we think a larger and wider war would leave both nations?

Alarmists say we cannot let Putin’s annexation of Crimea stand. We cannot let Luhansk and Donetsk become a pro-Russian enclave in Ukraine, like Abkhazia, South Ossetia or the Transdniester republic.

But no one ever thought these enclaves that emerged from the ethnic decomposition of the Soviet Union were worth a conflict with Russia. When did Luhansk and Donetsk become so?

Rather than becoming a co-belligerent in this civil war that is not our war, why not have the United States assume the role of the honest broker who brings it to an end. Isn’t that how real peace prizes are won?

Patrick Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000.

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elmysterio's avatar - Go to profile

elmysterio · 1 day ago
Send U.S. advisers to fight alongside the Ukrainians

The US already has people on the ground...

And we are in part responsible, having egged on the Maidan coup that overthrew the elected pro-Russian government.

Actually, the United States and it's NATO lapdogs are 100% responsible for the mess in Ukraine. Not partially, TOTALLY.

Rather than becoming a co-belligerent in this civil war that is not our war, why not have the United States assume the role of the honest broker who brings it to an end.

This IS an American War. You started it. You can not be an honest broker. The west is not honest at all. Sorry, this is naive cold-war thinking. The United States staged the coup. Demoness Nuland has admitted that. The United States picked who would be put into power. The United States told the Nazis to pacify the east. They told them what to do, how to do it. They told them to create their death squads..... this whole mess lands 100% in the lap of the United States.
9 replies · active 2 hours ago
Sam's avatar

Sam · 1 day ago
And we are in part responsible, having egged on the Maidan coup that overthrew the elected pro-Russian government.

Actually, the United States and its NATO poddles are entirely responsible for the mess in Ukraine.

than becoming a co-belligerent in this civil war that is not our war,
why not have the United States assume the role of the honest broker who
brings it to an end.

This is already an American war. Good grief, does Buchanan not have a memory, or can he not think straight? The US-NATO-CIA "invested" 5 billion dollars there in 5th column activities and then it engineered the coup d'etat. The latest in imperial globalization. Who is Buchanan kidding? And the US an "honest" broker? I don't think so. The US gov't is congenitally incapable of honesty. The neocons are a criminal cabal. Buchanan is either losing it or is disgracefully disingenuous.
2 replies · active 4 hours ago
setapart10102700's avatar - Go to profile

setapart10102700 · 1 day ago
Pat says: ...Putins' hand is being forced...As I see it, by reporting like they do, Buchanan, Paul Craig Roberts, Chris Hedges, Matt Taibbi and others are forcing the US' hand, because the NeoConLiberals may be realizing that the jig is up, and they're going to destroy the evidence and hope Putin gets blamed. (PS: Putin is a follower of Jesus--the media also paints Putin as a 'KGB thug', yet he was an outsider while with the KGB and promoted 'GLASNOST' and 'PERESTROIKA" in East Germany. Putin is a good guy!)
john petrino's avatar

john petrino · 1 day ago
trust the united pigs of humanity?(US) We think not
bozhidar balkas's avatar

bozhidar balkas · 23 hours ago
Russia, having not harmed even one American, would surely not let Americans harm it forever!!! It can stand/allow only so much and so long enmity and yet not harmed US in anyway, whatever.
Alas, even PB misses the mark by missing or not seeing the nature of that gang of nations! US and the Nazi part of Europe ever becoming honest broker???
As did Al Capone's?????
Are these journos [almost all of them] that stupid or they lead us by the nose???
citymouse's avatar

citymouse · 23 hours ago
Laugh of the day: ". . . have the United States assume the role of the honest broker. "
1 reply · active 2 hours ago
Gerry1211's avatar

Gerry1211 · 23 hours ago
Mr. Buchanan, you should know better Sir than to refer to the annexation of Crimea. Crimea was ALWAYS part of Russia, holds a very large Russian Naval Base built by Catherine De Great (ever heard of her?) and was ILLEGALLY annexed by Nikita Khrushchev to Ukraine in 1954. So what took place last Spring was a correction of an illegal event in 1954.
Putting things in perspective, Crimea was part of Russia far longer than Texas and California are part of the U.S. And when the President very sanctimoniously claims that we do not annex or occupy foreign lands he might want to answer when Hawaii's monarchy will be restored and when we are leaving Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
Perhaps Americans need to learn that Russians do not think like Americans do and that messing with Russia will cost us dearly. Claiming over and over again that Russia is the aggressor while we committed an illegal coup and have our mercenaries engaging in genocide does not work anymore.
Luhansk and Donetsk are the gateway to Russia and it is not Ukraine we are after but Russia where the intent is to do exactly what we did to Yugoslavia, split it up in small little states WE can control. But, as has been the case in the M.E. , Washington has lost control over its own script and Russia and the rest of the world see that. Washington's arrogance will not allow it to withdraw from Ukraine which leaves them only with one option and that is to TOTALLY destroy Ukraine and then go home claiming we won. By that time we won't be able to pay the interest on our loans, go bankrupt, the dollar looses its reserve currency status and we are bust, having alienated the whole world.
9 replies · active 1 hour ago
Judith's avatar

Judith · 23 hours ago
Buchanan is saying at this point we still have a choice, and we do. Right now it's a civil war, and we can pull back on our hegemonic ambitions and help broker a deal between the two sides, and bring this to an end, or we can further engage and turn this into a direct confrontation with Russia. I don't really trust us to do that, considering how crazy we've been since 9/11. However, maybe the European Union, especially Germany, can help to put an end to American madness. I really appreciate the imagery of Gorbachev's line that the US is in the Jungle and it wants to take Russia there.
5 replies · active 5 hours ago
Two Americas's avatar

Two Americas · 23 hours ago
Ukraine would be wise to avoid conflict. NATO gets its hands in this mess? Both east and west Ukraine will be in ruins. And maybe the World too? Stupid people do stupid things. We'll see how far Dr. Strangelove wants to go?
1 reply · active 20 hours ago
randy's avatar

randy · 23 hours ago
Pat Buchanan is an honest conservative (I know, that's an oxymoron) who on occasion even questions why Washington politicos need to kowtow to the whims and dictates of the Likud Party in Israel.

Obviously, he hopes to inject a little sanity and humility into U.S. foreign policy-- especially in regions of the world that have no real bearing on American security.

However, Pat is living in a fool's paradise.

There isn't a square inch of the planet, there isn't a single tiny sparrow in any wilderness, that the overlords of DC don't think they have a right to command and dominate. If that sparrow tweets without a directive, it may find itself designated as an enemy combatant.

Full Spectrum Domination --it's not only a military doctrine, it's the ultimate imperial hallucinogen.
2 replies · active 19 hours ago
Joe F.'s avatar

Joe F. · 23 hours ago
All this makes sense except the part about America becoming an honest broker in a peace settlement. It's too late for that. America couldn't qualify as an honest broker in a barnyard animal squabble.
Junious R. Stanton's avatar

Junious R. Stanton · 23 hours ago
"Alarmists say we cannot let Putin’s annexation of Crimea stand. We cannot let Luhansk and Donetsk become a pro-Russian enclave in Ukraine, like Abkhazia, South Ossetia or the Transdniester republic."
Mr Buchanan assumes AmeriKKKans have drank the monopoly media's Kool Aid about "Russian aggression" and"empire" and sees the world through the eyes of the mind control apparatus. What he does not factor is, even the most brain dead AmeriKKKans are war weary and don't see anything in a war with Russia for them. They went along with invading Iraq because they thought they would get cheap oil/gas, they went along with with Afghanistan because they were duped to think the Taliban had something to do with Osama bin-Laden and 9-11 and they were too zoned out to care about why we unleashed hell on Libya but they know Russia has nukes. They know Putin while he is no choir boy he s no punk like Bu$h II and Obomba and they know the Russians will fight!
Even Buchanan knows Europe/NATO will go up in flames and AmeriKKKa will probably get its behind kicked royally in a conventional war with Russia and her allies. We have to hope for some sanity in the midst of the ruling elites'psychopathy and delusion which is asking a lot!
RubyRenae's avatar

RubyRenae · 22 hours ago
Poland, in order to prevent a civil war in the West Ukraine, plans to send its own troops and arms to bolster the failing Poroshenko, because of its own territorial expansion goals in Ukraine. It fears the rise of Ukrainian ultranationals if Poroshenko is ousted, who would be hostile to Poland. The Poles are playing a deadly game as they think the Police States and NATO will have to continue to back the fascist cause under Poroshenko in Western Ukraine. But, as Pat says, that is a farfetched assumption to make when casualties mount.
SNNNN's avatar

SNNNN · 21 hours ago
"Alarmists say we cannot let Putin’s annexation of Crimea stand. ",
Crimea is just returning to Russia where it belonged in the first place.
They also voted to do so (you know....democracy ? ).
1 reply · active 20 hours ago
deaconsolomon's avatar - Go to profile

deaconsolomon · 20 hours ago
House speaker John Boehner and his stupid cohorts have done their level best to thwart President Obummer at every turn for the last six years. They plan to continue doing so for the next two years at least -- and longer still, if a Democrat is elected to the White House in 2016. Their plan is simple: they haven't got enough people behind them to do what they really want, so they've played (and will continue playing) dog-in-the-manger until (or if) they finally manage to get their way: dominate both houses of Congress, and the White House, and hold a majority position on the U.S. Supreme Court. May God help us all.

Obummer's situation is utterly hopeless, which doesn't particularly bother me. I don't like the mealy-mouthed little snake who lives in the Oval Office, and I never did. But what I think I see taking shape is just this: Obummer has been thwarted at every turn. Such legislation as he has managed to get enacted (ObamaCare) is a colossal failure. He no longer has a constituency, so far as I can see. So Obummer now has just two ways to go if he wants to ensure himself a place in the history books: He can fight and win a war with Russia or he can lose that war sin some spectacular fashion. No matter which path he chooses, his place in history will be the same and it won't be anyplace nice.

The gist of it is that I see Obummer battered by the winds of fate and by his own stupidity (Yup. The S-word is the right word for what's wrong with Obummer) Events push him toward a war that he doesn't really want and surely cannot win. I also think he's too weak to resist the forces that threaten to ruin both him and us. If I'm right, we're dealing with a set of circumstances we cannot control, and those who could control said events have no desire to do so.

So once again I say: "God please help us all."

Solomon sed.

My recent post Stephen Colbert? Caveat emptor.
plainsman's avatar

plainsman · 19 hours ago
why publish this old reactionary's screeds? 5000 lives in Ukraine? just woke up, pat? try 50,000. direct result of US installing a junta, openly supporting and reviving Nazi genocidal pigs., death squads, genocidal psycopaths. ol pat, try looking for some information sometime besides the Zionist mainstream babble. get a life.
realitytoday's avatar - Go to profile

realitytoday · 19 hours ago
War with Russia is the game plan This Government with its prefered Commander in Chief Satanyahoo could have us all killed . If only Obama could give up his Butler role and address the American People of the imminent danger the country faces . Sanity must win the day
sos's avatar

sos · 18 hours ago
Russian bombers flying over Kiev very soon.
1 reply · active 13 hours ago
melcdrofla's avatar

melcdrofla · 17 hours ago
Further usa neo con provocation?
's avatar - Go to profile

Judith · 17 hours ago
It was a poem, or short story, against the US imperialist agenda during the Spanish American war. Twain was saying imperialism was ungodly, and it was, then and now. Thou shalt not kill. but God is on your side when you do. I don't know how you make that work.
Cisco812's avatar - Go to profile

Cisco812 · 15 hours ago
Pat Buchanan has some mistaken notions about domestic policy but he is a has a good grasp of international affairs.
DarkEyes's avatar

DarkEyes · 14 hours ago
I think Mr. Pat Buchanan has a little dream here. He is a USA-citizen and contaminated or at least somewhat damaged by the 24/7 propaganda lies by the psychopaths in Washington and their MSM.

My conclusion about your story is you are not an European and you do not even try to understand the Russians. Your so called Government is fully responsible for the mess they are about to create in this part of the world.

But most of all, tell the insane psychopaths in Washonting who only want to possess the world, they are going to make a terrible mistake against at least 200 million Russians to start with.
To might receive the same or worse presented as the Russians did with Mr. Napolean and with Mr. Hitler.
I think you are getting too excited at the thought what might being initiated by US and the consequences.
Your country has won only partly one war and that was the second worl war but only because Russia did the main part and sacrificed at least 20 million of their people by destroying the NAZIs in Eastern Europe and Russia.
The US took the NAZIs with them to the USA and made them their citizens.
What a big difference.
goy's avatar

goy · 13 hours ago
"America has never had a vital interest in Crimea or the Donbass worth risking a military clash with Russia." But, America is not ruled by Americans, and PB has no b.lls to admit it.

This is what it is all about. It is the RU naval forces, who survive (mostly) the nuclear clash. Then they can affect the Suez, Greece, Turkey, the ME and much more. I believe that the bottom line is: Americans WILL be sent in huge numbers to that region to destroy as much as possible and to be destroyed. Someone else is hoping to be there and pick up the pieces. Kill them both and rule!
1 reply · active 8 hours ago
Yuri's avatar

Yuri · 10 hours ago
I would like to mention that the crises over Berlin in 1948 and 1961, the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 and the Warsaw Pact invasion of Prague in 1968, when U.S. forces in Europe stayed in their barracks, were not with Russia, but with the USSR which was a completely different animal.

It is also true that a few years ago, the US, under George W. Bush did not help Georgia to defend its regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia against Russian invasion. But the fact is that Georgia is a tiny country of some 5 million and it could simply not expect to successfully oppose Russian forces with or without external help.

The situation is totally different with Ukraine which has a population of over 40 million even without Crimea and Donbas. With some help, Ukraine can stand up against Russia. Even if Russia could initially grab a portion of Ukrainian territory to make a corridor to Crimea, it would be attacked in this corridor for years to come, in addition to further severe sanctions from the West. If Putin is crazy enough to do it, he and Russia will pay for it dearly in the coming years.

As to the provision of some defensive lethal weapons to Ukraine, this has been approved by the Congress in a special bill and signed by the President. It would be done at the request of the Ukrainian government and would help the Ukrainian army to counteract Russian modern weapons supplied to the pro-Russian separatists. These American weapons would also be more precise and therefore reduce civilian casualties. Obviously, some American personnel will be required to train Ukrainians in the use of these weapons, but apart from that it will be the Ukrainian soldiers who will fight this war.

I really think that it would be untenable for the USA to now refuse the supply of such weapons to Ukraine. It would look as if the US were scared stiff of Russia. Therefore, I expect the weapons and the assistance will be provided to Ukraine in the near future.
2 replies · active 11 minutes ago
Farflungstar's avatar - Go to profile

Farflungstar · 8 hours ago
No open US-Russian clashes in the Ukraine. Let the EU and the USSA worry about the f*cking failed state they helped create. Their skumbag media tools are doing every little bit of lying they can to put the blame on Russia so she foots the bill.
Eventually the steady cascade of dead Ukrainian conscripts will make the position of the Junta stupid and untenable, and this will have to be settled politically.
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