Opinions & Editorials

Democracy Notes

By Alex Reyes

The Guardsman

What should be of more concern for City College students, Russia’s annexation of Crimea or the American war lobby’s demands for military action against Russia and every other country the warmongers fix in their crosshairs?

Until recently, Crimea had been an autonomous republic within Ukraine since 1954.

But Crimea has also been a key part of Russia since 1783. Both the Soviet Union and Russia continued to maintain their Black Sea warships in Crimean ports from 1954 to the present day.

The Russian takeover of Crimea began on Feb. 27.

On March 18, Russian President Vladimir Putin accepted Crimea back into the fold of Mother Russia after Crimeans voted to secede from Ukraine two days earlier.

The American dogs of war have been barking throughout.

On March 1, United States Sen. Lindsey Graham declared on CNN’s “State of the Union” television program that United States President Barack Obama is “a weak and indecisive president” who “invites aggression.”

On March 3, U.S. Sen. John McCain was calling for the United States to revive its missile defense systems in the Czech Republic and Poland and possibly even engage in military exercises in Northern Europe’s Baltic states.

McCain told Al-Jazeera America that United States President Barack Obama “played right into Putin’s hands” and that the president “clearly has no idea of the kind of person Putin is and what his intentions are.”

In a March 14 essay published in The New York Times, McCain wrote one sentence condemning Putin for Russia’s Crimea invasion and the better part of the next 16 paragraphs condemning a “disturbing lack of realism that has characterized our foreign policy under President Obama.”

The president’s “disturbing lack of realism,” of course, has to do with Obama’s unwillingness to order America’s strained military into whatever part of the world McCain, Graham and the rest of our country’s perpetual warriors desire to direct us.

Despite having fought in two soul-sapping wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that lasted and have lasted for over 10 years, McCain, Graham and a legion of like-minded Americans have called for U.S. military belligerence in one country after another during the Obama presidency.

In the last three years alone, our nation’s muscle-bound addicts have demanded military action against Libya, Syria and now Russia.

Instead, in Libya, Obama “led from behind” in the midst of an international show of force against Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

Gadhafi was removed from power and executed by rebels.

In Syria, Obama pivoted from imminent unilateral military action to a diplomatic resolution of the matter of Syria’s possession and use of chemical weapons.

Rolling Stone magazine reported in its April 10 issue that the Syrians have turned over 500 metric tons of deadly chemicals, or nearly 46 percent of its supply, to international watchdogs, with its remaining stockpile to be destroyed by the end of April.

Now, Russia.

In addition to their takeover of Crimea, Russia may have as many as 88,000 troops amassed along and near their border with eastern Ukraine.

After leveling two rounds of sanctions upon the Russian elite and agreeing with the rest of the now G-7 group of economic allies to drop Russia from its membership, Obama urged his Russian counterpart to withdraw those forces.

What will happen if Russia does indeed attempt to take over the rest of Ukraine?

The Russian takeover of the bordering regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008 could be a good guide. After a five-day war with Georgia, Russia assumed control of the both areas.

President George W. Bush’s response?

Obama’s immediate predecessor condemned the Russian provocation and returned a Georgian military brigade from fighting in Iraq as a member of Bush’s “Coalition of the Willing.”  That was about it.

The world survived. We survived.

The American war machine’s bloodlust, however, is insatiable.

City College students, and indeed the American people, should know that the greatest threat to our well being is homegrown.

The Guardsman