What do you do if you are the President of the United States and you are informed that Russia has invaded the Ukraine? Of course you deplore this unlawful aggression. And of course you demand immediate withdrawal of the invading troops. And of course your demands will be ignored.
So what now?
Especially if you intensely dislike the smart-ass who runs Russia and he feels the same about you – only more so.
I know what John McCain would do. I know what Dick Cheney would do.
And I know what dozens of pundits and other influential people will do. They will sit in their safe, comfortable offices and armchairs and urge the President to let loose the dogs of war. Again.
And if he is persuaded?
Once again, the battle weary doughboys (or dogfaces – or whatever they call them now) would go marching into harm’s way. Wives and husbands, fathers and mothers -and wide-eyed kids who were just getting to know their parents again – would see their loved ones shipped off to someplace they can’t even spell, let alone find on a map, to offer their lives and limbs in the service of their country.
From what I have read, the invaded Ukrainians have a right to expect US intervention. There’s compelling evidence that American organizations were involved in fomenting the anti-Russian revolt. And the rebels are expecting more than canceled trade agreements and sanctions.
But Russia is not Iraq. Vladimir Putin is not Saddam Hussein.
Conflict with Russia would indeed be the Mother of All Wars.
So what does the President do?
Vladimir Putin is not a prudent statesman with a firm grasp of the Big Picture. He is a narcissistic ex-spy who likes to bare his manly chest and wrestle bears. His “tough guy” image is legendary (photo above). His prudence is not.
You can’t pick up the phone and call the guy, talk it over with him and come to a sane solution to your differences.
Besides, what do you say? Hey Vladimir, I know we Americans got the Ukrainians riled up and helped them kick out their legally elected president because he signed a financial agreement with you instead of joining the EEU. But, hey, can we still be friends?
I don’t think so.
Who would stand with Russia if America stood up to Putin? The EEU surely. And the UK perhaps. Japan, too, I guess. And South Korea?
If South Korea jumps in, North Korea is sure to respond.
And where does that leave North Korea’s patron – China?
I don’t even want to know.
Of course President Obama has foreign relations experts who get paid (handsomely) to give him advice. And he has those medal-encrusted old guys at the Pentagon, who are sure to remind him that America’s troops have seen far too many deployments already.
I bet they will suggest reinstating the draft if he decides to go to the mat with Putin. What else could he do?
Do you remember Vietnam” Do you remember the protests? Do you remember “The Sixties”?