Friday, August 29, 2014


A new geopolitical word has crept into the eastern European
crisis now centered in Ukraine and Crimea.

That word is “Novorossiya” or the Russian language word for
“New Russia.” Actually, the term is an old one, and comes
from the czarist imperial description of southern Ukraine
when it was part of the old Russian empire.

Russian President Putin is now using the term to describe
the Ukrainian rebels, tentatively giving credence to a
possible rationalization of the annexation of eastern
Ukraine in addition to the annexation he has already done

President Obama has denounced recent Russian
aggression, and has been joined by his major NATO allies,
but so far their action has been limited to economic
penalties. Putin has responded with counter-penalties.
To be fair, it is unclear what more action Western nations,
including the U.S. could reasonably take, given historic
European passivity and a war-weary U.S. public.

The problem is, of course, that Ukraine is a sovereign
nation, albeit declared so by the Soviet Union when it
controlled most of eastern Europe either as puppet
satellites or “socialist republics” in the Soviet Union itself.

The dismemberment of Ukraine today is an extra-legal
disruption of post-Soviet Europe, both west and east.
Whether by Napoleon, the Central Powers led by the
German kaiser,  the Axis Powers led by Hitler and
Mussolini, or the Soviet Union led by Stalin, modern
Europe has endured these disruptions for more than two
centuries. Mr. Putin is only the latest aggressor.

History tells us that only force repels force. Otherwise,
aggression in Europe has only led to more aggression.

That, alas, is what is in store for the post-war European
Union that was created to deter and eliminate European
wars “permanently.” Force meeting force, however
necessary, has once more become very unfashionable.

In an adjoining region of the world, an Islamic new
caliphate has been self-proclaimed, and is aggressively
on the move against its neighbors.

Here we go again.

Copyright (c) by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment