Ukraine, Putin, Russia, UN, NATO, Diplomacy & Military, Supreme Dictator = Impending Disaster?

 

Ukraine and bad, BAD boy Putin

So what do we have at this point in time in regards to the state of mind of Putin – psychotic break with reality? Yearnings of one man to be the Supreme (Dictatorial) leader of a country, to return to a time past that is long gone?

What the heck is going on in that man’s head, does anyone really know?

Yes, Putin may be smart but he appears to be very far over the line as a leader of a modern large country. You will notice that the previous sentence did not state ‘super power’ and it was deliberately left that way.

Do we have a crazy man as head of a large country? Or one who is becoming unhinged…? 

Diplomacy and communication does not appear to be working with Putin.

It is time for the developed countries and developing countries to band together and show some very serious solidarity against what Putin and Russia are doing.

Aiding and abetting rebels in “ANOTHER” country is not alright and it should never be! Putin and Lavrov are not fooling anyone in the civilized world by playing stupid – “What, what are we doing? It is not us; it is the rebels in Ukrainia doing all the fighting.

 SANCTIONS

Firstly, the U.S., along with Germany and France must take the lead and insist on even more crippling sanctions because Putin thinks that the sanctions will let up soon and he can go about his business. Yes, it will harm the citizens of Russia but if they are affected, they will vociferously and adamantly act out against Putin – maybe physically remove him from office (and I’m sure some of the suffering military will join in).

Yes, this may affect Europe because of Russia cutting off the flow of oil/gas but some little sacrifice must be done now, while there is time. The rest of the world can help make up some of the oil shortfall to Europe.

United Nations

The leading countries of the world need to stand up NOW and band together and grant the UN some teeth, even if Russia vetoes any vote in the Security Council. The UN needs to join in on piling on more diplomatic sanctions against Russia – WITHIN the week via an emergency session.

Okay, now, if that does not work, then authorize UN Peace Keepers to go into harms’ way, into eastern Ukraine. This is what the UN Peace Keepers are for, to stop this kind of activity. And yes, they have been ineffectual in the past but it is time to change all that.

 European Union

Next, the EU (European Union) will need to accelerate the timetable and bring Ukraine into the fold. This will cause more turmoil and bring the rabid dog (Putin) to a full-fledged tantrum BUT IT NEEDS TO BE DONE! Unless we show Putin more solidarity, he will continue to do what he is doing.

   Yes, I did call Putin a rabid dog and I really did not want to but this is just getting out of hand as to what is happening to the INNOCENT civilians who are indiscriminately being killed in the various bombings and shootings.

 NATO

The next step, or in conjunction, NATO will also need to accelerate the timetable of brining Ukraine into the NATO umbrella. And yes again, this will cause no little consternation on Putin’s part. NATO troops will need to be expeditiously brought into Ukraine – IT CANNOT BE HALF-ASSED, there is too much to at stake to do a slow buildup, allowing for a simmering situation.

And yes, the U.S. and western allies will need to supply Ukraine with advanced weaponry and detection capabilities to find and destroy the weaponry of the “rebels” so the Ukrainian soldiers at least have a fighting chance.

 China???

You will also note that China was not mentioned in any of this. China, while they purport to be spending money around the world, to build up infrastructures and build mines and other industries – they are not willing to have democracy in the world. They are sure not making it known if they are. I mean, c’mon, the Chinese government controls the media and the Internet, trapping their people into a bubble of brainwashing content.

Scientists, Academicians, students, journalists and the curious are all becoming completely unable to search the ‘Net and learn new things or to see the truth of what is actually happening in other corners of the globe.

The Chinese government still wants to manipulate their citizens with, well, mind control as to what the average citizen can say, read and talk about. It is completely stifling.

China would not be of any assistance in joining efforts from democratic countries that want to prevent another country from performing land grabs (Crimea and really, eastern Ukraine). Why? Because China also wants to do their own land grab in the South/East China seas, stating “these disputed lands/islands have always historically belonged to China.”

How do you fight that? So no, China was not mentioned as joining in because they are not yet a democratic country – A FULLY DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY. Do not just listen to the ramblings of just one person (me), do your own research. DO A BROAD AND DEEP LEVEL OF RESEARCH! There is PLENTY of data out there in all kinds of medium (‘Net, magazines, YouTube, Netflix, newspapers, other blogs). Go to democratic, conservative and independent organizations, then cobble it all together and actually think on that content. Then, MAKE YOUR OWN INFORMED decision.

 

At any rate, the world has to come together and stop any country from annexing parts of other countries. That time is long gone, at least I hope it is and we not on the cusp of reverting to the dark ages.

 

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SHAME! ISIS & WEAK Support from Congress, Senate, EU & mid-East allies

Shame on our American Congress and Senate! I will come back to that.

It is sad to see the growth and atrocities of the terrorist oriented group known as ISIS (or ISIL or IS) continue, not unabated, but slowed down. It is not just Americans being beheaded; it is Brits and other mid-Eastern citizens too.

It is Syrians, Iraqis, Yazidis and Kurds being, not murdered, but exterminated!

Okay, back to that shame comment. Here we are with many of our Congress and Senate unwilling to make a sincere, heartfelt move to vote for allowing America to make strongER moves against ISIS. WAIT! I do apologize; let me revise that last statement.

It appears that many in our Congress and Senate want to “wait” until after this fall’s election cycle is over. In this manner, those who are reticent to vote for a move against ISIS can first survive their election race. This way, they would not have to worry about their vote being recorded on the books.

This, to me mind you, seems highly “un-American” that those affected (or afflicted) individuals continue to put themselves before anything else, inclusive of a better:

  • Health care system for all
  • Educational system for our children
  • Highway and bridge infrastructure system for all
  • Clean, green energy infrastructure to wean us off of gas and oil (not just from abroad but from within the US as well)
  • Etc. – it is a very long list that our Congress and Senate can work on.

But, those are episodes for other writings. 

What I currently understand is that these folks really are ready to fully engage – ‘after the elections, once they are voted in again.’

The problem here is, many constituents are very short sighted and selfish and do not look long term, down the road, for the country as a whole. So, we wind up with people in congress and the senate who are also narrowly focused on the short term…

In the meantime, ISIS goes on – very, very sad. 

Now, our EU and mid-Eastern ‘allies’ and “partners” should be even more ashamed. The U.S. did not single handedly create a growing ISIS, even though some snarky hot head will say we did.

This is a conflict of religion. A religious conflict of one extremely radical element with a desire to transform the entire region, if not the world, into what they envision the world should be – a strict adherence to Islam and Sharia law, no exceptions and with the death of all infidels, us. ISIS only wants one thing, a Caliphate.

 

Has diplomacy and communication failed America? Is force truly the ‘only’ answer and best method to curtail this type of situation? 

Maybe now is the time for us to pull back U.S. interests from the mid-East and possibly the EU, letting ISIS flourish and spread throughout the mid-East and into Europe and possibly even the western front of Russia?

If our EU allies and more specifically, our mid-East partners are unwilling to help quash this extremist brand of Islamists, should the U.S. realistically undertake so much of this fight any longer? We simply cannot be the primary force or the leading force in that region… 

Should we become the isolationists we once were prior to the beginning of the Great War (WWI)?

If we pull back all of our forces and much of our American interests as possible and resort to being isolationist again – we can focus on rebuilding America. We can help our own people to grow. We can stop dumping billions of dollars into the Middle East where centuries old tribal factions and sectarian consternation (or mayhem) continues on and on and on. And in the background, some mid-East countries (or leaders) continue to support the radicals.

If we pull back and become isolationists, we can focus on beefing up our airports, shipping ports, borders and coastal defenses to pre-empt any wannabe terrorist from entering the country, our home – where people supposedly stand together, for the American people…

And since there is only tepid overarching support from multiple coalition parties, should the U.S. just stand back in the distance and watch the Wahabis (or Wahhabis) kill off the Sunnis or watch the Shia kill off the Sunnis and Wahabis or some other configuration?

If we pull back, we can rebuild our currency coffers and reduce our national debt load. We can focus on making America great and wonderful!

 

Oh. Yes. You were saying, “What about the spread of ISIS and all the mass killings of men, women and children – and don’t forget the atrocities undertaken on the defenseless – and the wanton destruction of priceless historical artifacts?”

Well…. We can take the tack of Turkey, where they stated the U.S. would not be allowed to use any Turkish sites to launch American airstrikes. We could say in turn when ISIS becomes a bigger problem for Turkey that we prefer not to put U.S. troops in harms’ way by having them in Turkey, Turkey can fend for itself.

Or, we could take the tack of Egypt where they stated that they have their own terrorist problems to deal with. In that case, we could say that the U.S. has our own demons back at home to focus on, such as unhinged KKK members/groups, extreme sovereign citizens, out of control militias, etc.

As for Germany and France, shucks, I am not sure what to say about them. Maybe, we could just stand back and state we have our own problems as German/French ISIS members sneak back into those countries and cause mass casualties. Maybe the U.S. should just let Israel unload on Syria since Assad is unwilling to be a leader and step down from his dictatorial position.

I dunno….

 

In the meantime, tens of thousands of people will needlessly die or be forced to convert to that extreme religion. Along the way, women and young girls will be sold off and/or given away as unwilling brides. Or worse… 

Of course, our backing off and reverting to isolationist will not transpire. It will not happen because of oil in the mid-East and the great many U.S. interests throughout the EU.

Until we, the U.S., actually get to a clean, green energy economy and get people into congress and the senate who “want” to do the right thing instead of listening to the wild, vocal minority of their respective parties, well, we’re screwed basically and will continue playing a massive role of world policemen.

 

If other coalition partners are unwilling to do more to stop this heinous and cancerous growth of ISIS, it is only going to get worse and become costlier over time – in lives and the very, very tight budgets of all countries in the current state of global economy.

The biggest fly in the ointment is Syria, where everyone seems to agree is the nerve center for ISIS. If Assad is unwilling to allow strikes against ISIS and with Putin opening his yap (being Assad’s buddy and all) stating that any strikes into Syria is an act of war – then how will that region of the world ever get to a state of less terror???

 

We, the global community, are at a serious crossroad. How do we solve this ISIS problem if diplomacy has seemingly failed and religious differences continue to fester…?

Because it boils down to this, how does one deal with an unbalanced, unhinged person or group (ISIS)?

 

Putin = Hitler… Is Appeasement Next?

 

Okay, Putin. Is anyone else out there equating Putin to Hitler yet?

The reason for the question is, is that he is acting like Hitler did back in the ‘30s. Putin seems to be making a pretense at or game of diplomacy, much like Hitler did. Saying one thing but in actuality doing another such as, talking about not invading Czechoslovakia but in March 1939 Hitler moves his forces into Czechoslovakia…

Putin is doing nearly the same thing. Putin: “No, no, there are no Russian troops and equipment in Ukraine or near the border.”

It is highly surprising that Medvedev, Russian Prime Minister, is not being vocal against this invasive move. Unless that is, Medvedev is attempting to save his own skin? Because we know what happens to people with large voices speak up against anything Russian – i.e. two individuals who died from Polonium-210, former KGB/FSB and then journalist Alexander Litvinenko (Nov 2006) and Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya (Oct 2006)… 

The rest of the Western, Asian AND developing world needs to wake up and come together in stopping a country from doing what Putin is doing – invading another country for territory, allegedly to help protect Russian citizens in eastern Ukraine. Land grab is not the way to grow in the 21st century.

Remember, Ukraine is a sovereign country and the rebel separatists in eastern Ukraine ARE in Ukraine… These same rebels were content to be proud Ukrainians when there was a Russian leaning Ukrainian President. Next, the majority of the Ukrainian people voted to become part of the E.U. And remember, the Ukrainian government was and is not out to harm innocent law-abiding Russians living in eastern Ukraine. No one was being harmed until the rebel separatists starting protesting and shooting government forces.

Sooo, how does this justify a leader of one country forcefully (military and financial support) interfering with another country’s political affairs?

 

When I indicated other countries, Western and Asian, should rise up to stop this type of advancement, I was specifically not including China. China has no interest in being party to a land grab or invasion by another country, especially when it does not affect them. At least they are not showing anything either way, for or against. China appears to be standoffish and isolationist, much as America was during the early part of The Great War.

Japan, S. Korea, India, countries of Southeast Asia, mid-eastern countries and Scandinavian countries – all of these countries need to join in on sanctions against Russia. Sanctions could include items such as; denying overflights out of Russia over their country, sanctions against Russian products, financial sanctions, etc. 

Now, yes, sanctions are going to be painful for a lot of countries and their people. Prices are likely to rise around the world for some things. Some of us cannot afford additional price hikes for certain staples, but this might be the price to pay for democracy and freedom around the world.

We must consolidate democracy and freedom, not see it slip away piecemeal, a slice at a time. Putin is currently attempting to make a play at getting statehood for eastern Ukraine, a ploy at creating a land bridge to a territory he illegally took as well as gaining the minerals in eastern Ukraine. 

Does the world allow for the appeasement of Putin as Chamberlain did with Hitler (Munich Agreement)? Hitler conned Neville Chamberlain into believing that Germany had limited intentions regarding the Germans living in Czechoslovakia in 1938… [1]

 

Here are two strong moves that may make Putin sit up and take notice. The E.U. and NATO bilaterally allow Ukraine to join both, NATO and the E.U. if they wish – as long as Ukraine, in the next year or two meets all E.U. and NATO member requirements.

 

Diplomacy has to be the answer, not military force – no one wants a regional or global war again. In addition to this diplomacy, vigorous finance and trade sanctions must be instituted against Russia. The rest of the free world will need to figure out a way to make up for the energy and other shortfalls that E.U. and other affected countries will face.

It appears that being tough is all that Putin understands…

 

 

 

 

References

1 – Chamberlain and Hitler 1938, http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/resources/chamberlain-and-hitler/, retrieved 10 Sept 2014

 

Putin – Lunatic or Just Jumpstarting a War for Russia’s Economy…?

Putin, wait, first let’s look at Russia’s Sergei Lavrov, the Foreign Minister.

Lavrov is either:

a) trying to appease his leader, his boss (Putin) in making a statement that the NATO satellite images of Russian troops within Ukraine “must be from a computer game” or,

b) Lavrov is also infected with some form of idiocy or mind altering lunacy and does not deserve to be a leader in making such an outlandish claim.

What Lavrov is stating is akin to what some individuals in the U.S. are stating that in the recent past of human’s (within 6,000 years ago) dinosaurs were domesticated to do farm work (please do your own research to verify that info for yourself).

So, is Putin also an idiot, a lunatic who might need to be put into a “Looney bin” or somewhere else, stripped of the billions of rubles he has hidden away (so far no one can prove an accurate amount)…?  

Or, is Putin attempting to undertake a land grab and furthering Russia’s territory, while trying to regain Russia’s “glorious” past?

Putin has stated that Russia is aiding the Russian citizens in eastern Ukraine to protect them…!!! “To protect them” was (and is) quite a statement that Putin made months ago. No one was trying to harm any of the Russians in eastern Ukraine.  The Ukrainian government only started harming the militant separatists when those separatists became physically violent, in shooting Ukrainians and taking over Ukrainian police stations, government offices and military bases. This could be seen as China invading Tibet to protect any Chinese citizens there to keep them safe from harm… In this case, it would be Chinese/Tibetan citizens living in Tibet where no one is outright attacking Chinese citizens (if I recall correctly?).

Putin is physically meddling in another sovereign country’s political situation – he has no legal right to do so.  Putin invaded Crimea and took that territory from Ukraine, annexing it and stating it was what the people wanted. The problem here is, that area of land “was given” to Ukraine in 1954 by a former Soviet President (Nikita Khrushchev). So now, Putin wants to take it back…??? 

Crimea is only a strategic regional gateway for Putin and he only wanted it for the naval base at Sevastopol.

With the current incursion (read as invasion) of Russian troops into eastern Ukraine, is Putin attempting to ignite a regional war (or worse, a global war) in trying to get the Russian economy moving faster.

Or does Putin really want to take more land to create a bigger buffer to protect Russia from the evil, encroaching West?

The thing is, who wants to invade Russia? No one! No one in their right mind wants to invade another country for any reason. It would be madness for a Western country to invade any other country because in doing so, it would destroy that country’s grasp on democracy.

Countries like Ukraine want to join NATO and the E.U. because they want to enjoy the Western democratic way of life. They do not want any part of a communistic society – that is it, nothing more. Ukraine does not want to threaten or invade Russia, the majority of people in Ukraine simply want a better way of life and they have chosen the E.U. version…

 

Further, Putin recently made a blatant statement that included a reminder to the world that Russia has nuclear weapons. Who, in their right mind – unencumbered of any mental deficiencies, would make a veiled statement like that – in the 21st century.

Countries are rallying to Ukraine’s side because that country wants to be a part of the free Western democratic world. No one wants to harm Russian citizens or to invade Russia. And certainly, no one wants to start a nuclear war, except maybe Putin it seems… It is very, VERY sad that the leader of a powerful country wants to commit troops to fight in another country’s democratic political problems instead of diplomatically trying to solve the problem.

Putin made the claim that Ukraine is pulling a Nazi type move when in actuality; he is the one doing the Nazi like move – that of making calming motions while troops are being put in place…  Remember his past statements, “oh no, there are no Russian troops in Ukraine, you must all be mistaken and the photos showing Russian troops and equipment were made up”?

 

Diplomacy & Communication

Diplomacy

Note, this writing is not on national and international diplomacy but rather on the ‘use’ of diplomacy in any setting, any engagement – from business settings to team building (work or sports), even to relationship settings (man and woman, boy and girl, man and man or woman and woman). This is a small attempt in discussing how the use in any of those settings (an incomplete set listed) can and should be successful.

Make no mistake; diplomacy is not a Sunday drive. Diplomacy takes a massive effort on the part of everyone involved. Diplomacy is not a one-way street nor can it be construed only as my way or nothing at all.

We need good people, not the richest people, or the most attractive people, or those who might have gone to the best schools (ala the “ole boy network”). We need good people who can be level headed and look at all sides of a problem or issue at hand.

Money and looks should not play any part whatsoever in diplomacy, just the earnest and honest use of working or being with someone (yes, I am looking through rose colored glasses but there you have it).

We need good people who are:

  • Intelligent – not necessarily a Brainiac but is aware of what he or she knows and does not know,
  • Measured,
  • Studied,
  • Able to display Commonsense and
  • Collaborative – a word I use a great deal because it should be a requisite for everyone at all times,

We do “not” need nor want people who are:

  • Combative,
  • Constantly seeking the limelight,
  • Full of One-upmanship and
  • In your face

Being diplomatic in dealings with others does not always necessitate going through a formal school teaching diplomacy. Do you believe that everyone who has ever been successfully diplomatic in dealing with others always received formal training through some sanctioned institution…? I am not discussing how to have a proper place setting or who should stand where or who should enter / leave a room first. I am simply discussing how people should be interacting with each other to successful outcomes.

You do not need formal diplomatic training for that role…

Being diplomatic in life and work can stem from being aware of a situation, being able to communicate – to talk to others at a decent and respectable level (not condescending or patronizing) and experience in different walks of life. Note, the aforementioned is not a complete list.

Sometimes, those coming from humble beginnings are enough of a jump start to their being a successful diplomatic person life and work.

 

Communication

Communication skills are a prized aspect of anyone and something every person walking the planet should work on – daily and hourly. These skills will open the door to multiple successful engagements and will never let you down.

Successful communicators attempt to:

  • Talk to people at their levels,
  • See themselves, looking through the other persons’ shoes, to see the other’s perspective,
  • See, not just look, but to really see what is going on, right in front of them

Collaboration and Coalition

Having a good to great person in a position of diplomacy should boil down to who can honestly, intelligently, critically and judiciously work with one or more parties to an issue and talk it out, collaborating and compromising on a quality outcome for everyone. The outcome should not end up being a goal insidiously beneficial to one party. The outcome(s) should never favor one group more than the majority. The majority plays a significant role in society.

However, yes, the majority should normally win but there are a fair number of situations where a minority needs to have their voice heard and their rights looked after. Examples of those situations are Gay rights, Minority rights, the poor and workplace gender discrimination.

These few examples, to this day, still require their minority voices raised above those of the majority who:

  • Only see through tunnel vision,
  • Are myopic and/or
  • Narrow minded

and often times believe their way is the only and best way (i.e. religion).

You want more illustrations? Take racial / gender inequality or choices of sexual preferences:

  • Slavery,
  • Suffragettes,
  • People like Harvey Milk (former San Francisco mayor) and / or
  • Chinese who were also used as slave labor in the past.

These groupings have been pushed to the back or swept under the rug for decades or centuries. Just because the majority, of the past (and today), may not want men and women of those groups to enjoy full equality and full happiness – it is wrong to deny them the simple pleasures of life that those in the majority enjoy and quite likely take for granted…

If you look back at any era of history, the oppressors were always the ones in power, dictating life’s outcomes – that is a fact. The SOLE reason to oppress or suppress people is the will to remain in power with the adjunct reason of gaining ever more power (and money).

Oppressors and Suppressors have sought to control:

  • The thoughts of the people for centuries (i.e. the Church and slave owners)
  • What people could access for knowledge (i.e. again, the Church and slave owners)
  • Who could meet who and where and when (i.e. during the days of slavery)
  • Who had the right to vote and work and to marry (i.e. Women and Blacks and Asians) 

We need more people who are consciously willing to speak for all in collaborative settings. But, in talking about being collaborative and building coalitions to work within, I am not talking about Machiavellian machinations. We do not need someone to work in that manner behind our backs in secretive sessions.

So, be aware, even if the majority does prefer some viewpoint, they may not necessarily gain that viewpoint.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a topic that I have brought up multiple times in other writings. Critical thinking is a significantly necessary side of anyone, not just the leaders in any group, but of everyone in many situations. We desperately need more people in all walks of life, not just government (where they are sorely, sorely needed) but in military, business, education and health care.

One must be able to take in as many variables as they can about the situation at hand; what happened, who were the people involved, what were the various reasoning’s for their individual actions, where did it occur, was money involved, was politics or religion driving factors, was it racially motivated, was it greed or jealousy, etc., etc., etc.

One has to be able to logically, objectively and critically think through a situation and no two situations are alike.

Problem Solving

This is another topic that I believe anyone and everyone should have or strive to obtain. Gaining the capability or capacity to do a good job at problem solving should be the top of everyone’s list of things to do.

Another prized aspect of problem solving (as well as in critical thinking) is the ability to extrapolate out into the future multiple realistic scenarios of what might and could occur, rather than dreamy possibilities.

Cognitive Diversity

This is another area that more people need to develop better skills in, cognitive diversity.

Having more and varied life and work experiences to draw from will aid in your being successful in your daily dealings with anyone and everyone.

Having a varied educational background will help you in being a better person. Look at Colin Powell, Hillary Clinton or Madeleine Albright; these individuals all had varied backgrounds to draw from and did not have formal diplomatic training before they entered their jobs of being diplomats. Of course, they did obtain formal training after taking over their role of Secretary of State, you know – who stands where, who leaves the room first, who to talk to the most or the least, etc., etc.

Successful individuals in any area using diplomacy (not just international diplomacy) are those who are able to communicate clearly and succinctly, without the babble and mumble jumbo of being duplicitous.

These same individuals also should have the capacity to deal with the internal demon of cognitive dissonance. If individuals, or you, should encounter a situation, which causes discomfort or tension due to conflicting beliefs on the issue at hand – we all hope that the winning belief is the right one for all concerned.

Dignity & Respect

Everyone everywhere deserves dignity and respect in life and please note I am certainly not including criminals (war or just breaking the law) here. A diplomatic person, in their travels, should strive to honour even the poor and uneducated with dignity, just as they do with the very educated and the wealthy and powerful.

As to respect, everyone deserves to be respected – until they no longer prove that they do not deserve that respect. It should not matter how old, young, senior or junior the other person is.

It should not matter if the other person is male, female, poor, rich or what race they are nor should it matter if they are straight or gay – everyone deserves respect.

And if the other person loses your respect, you ‘still’ need to successfully do your job – see it through to fruition and then move on.

Honesty

Do I really need to embellish on this topic…?

 

Conclusion:

We need to have in place, in more organizations, in more government agencies and in the military, individuals who are willing to lead the way and do so in a fashion that all people can understand and follow – with open eyes and mindset.

We need to have in place individuals who can be or become successful change agents, who are willing to be in the midst of getting something done for what is right, not just because there is a vocal minority or a majority who is not more educated on the issue at hand.

Individuals who are successful diplomats and communicators, in any endeavor, should be ones with heart and honor in order to aid anyone and everyone, anywhere.