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The Decline of the West (Cont'd) ^ | April 19, 2014 | Paul Greenberg

Posted on 04/19/2014 5:42:25 AM PDT by Kaslin

The latest from the White House is that it has "overwhelming evidence" that Russia is now fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine. You think? How do you suppose our super-sleuths can tell? Maybe it's the busloads of the usual bullyboys being trucked in to take control of police stations, government installations and other key points in Donetsk, Slovyansk, Kramatorsk ... and points all along the next slice of Ukraine the Russians have their eye on.

Some of these thugs are in uniform, some without, and many wear St. George ribbons, the unofficial symbol of the old Soviet Union, and they're all following the same playbook they used in Crimea with great success. There's nothing like an absence of opposition to assure a smooth military operation.

This week's headlines could be a replay of what happened in Crimea, and in Georgia before that. And next? The Russians may not stop until they're stopped. And why should they? With a weak president in the White House, a vacillating European Union, and a United Nations that is as disunited as ever, this new tsar knows an opportunity when he sees it -- and he takes it.

And so the Russian Bear, awake from his long hibernation, goes back and forth, to and fro in the land, and up and down in it, seeing what he can see and grabbing what he can grab.

This isn't just a replay of Crimea, it could be a replay of the feckless 1930s, which were followed by the cataclysmic 1940s. Appeasement, even if it has a new name (Reset), breeds war. And all our president and his ever bumbling press secretary have to say is that "we are working with our partners and assessing for ourselves what response we may choose." There, that ought to scare a not-so-ex-KGB man like Vladimir Putin.

No wonder the Kremlin sneers.

The reaction in Washington and the West in general is more a lack of one. Western leaders wring their hands, express concern, and assure the world they're assessing events. Anything and everything but actually taking any meaningful action.

On the contrary, to quote the Associated Press, "President Barack Obama has not yet concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions warrant broader sanctions on key Russian economic sectors." You have to wonder at this point what would -- the Cossacks' descending on Kiev? Not that our fearless commander-in-chief might do anything realistic to deter Moscow even then. He seems much too busy assessing the situation to do anything about it.

The only thing necessary for evil to triumph, to quote Edmund Burke, is for good men to do nothing, and by now the Hon. Barack Obama is an expert at it.

It's not just Georgians and Ukrainians who are being repressed these days but Russians, or at least those who dare express any qualms about this resurgence of Stalinism in their country. To quote a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, which can do little more than issue statements given Washington's passive stance as this latest purge unfolds:

"In the last year, the Russian government has passed laws imposing unprecedented censorship and restrictions on media and online publications. In the past few months alone it has blocked independent websites and blogs; turned the respected news wire service RIA Novosti into a propaganda service; denied visas and accreditation to foreign professional journalists; and forced leadership changes at several media outlets simply because those outlets dared to challenge the Kremlin's extremist policies." Aggression abroad has a way of going with censorship at home.

Naturally the Voice of America has been shut down, lest a dissenting view be heard in this new but all too familiar Russia. To quote Moscow's chief enforcer of its new gag rule, Dmitri Kiselyov, head of the tame Russia Today news agency, the Voice of America was just distributing spam and had "nothing original to say." Remarkably enough, for an operation that had nothing original or important to say, the Voice of America was original and important enough to be shut down. Censorship remains the sincerest compliment that a police state can pay a news source, however unwittingly.

The Cold War is definitely back on, only this time unilaterally because the West has yet to respond to this series of outrages in any meaningful way, not even with meaningful sanctions. You've got to hand it to Tsar Vlad, he knows his victims, and how easily taken they are.

Back when Détente was in bloom back in the 1970s, long before it had been renamed Reset and staged a comeback, it was not done to resist evil or even call it by its right name, lest the tyrant be offended. It would take an amateur in diplomacy, an old B-movie actor named Ronald Reagan, to call an evil empire the Evil Empire, and when he did, the usual respectables were shocked. For nothing may be so shocking as to acknowledge what is happening right in front of our noses and, even more shocking, do something about it. Which is what Ronald Reagan proceeded to do, giving American diplomacy a new beginning and a new self-respect, the end result of which was the end to the Cold War, the nuclear arms race, and, along the way, the Soviet Union itself.

There is no Ronald Reagan anywhere in sight these days, unless you count the John McCains and Lindsey Grahams and such, all of whom can be safely ignored by a White House intent on ignoring not just them but the reality staring it and the world in the face.

Leader of the Free World -- remember when that was almost a synonym for president of the United States? But that description can be applied to this president only ironically. This president, far from confronting aggression, seeks common ground with it, whether he's "resetting" relations with Moscow or his secretary of state is proceeding to aid and abet the mullahs in Iran in their long and now almost successfully completed effort to build a Bomb of their own. It takes two for appeasement to work, and the West is doing its share.

Peace Through Strength. There's another phrase that has acquired an antique sound as this administration cuts the U.S. Army's troop strength down to a size not seen since before Pearl Harbor, tells the Navy it'll have to do without sophisticated weapons like the Tomahawk missile, and generally cuts the defense budget beyond the bone.

Nothing may be so effective as facing reality, the first step in shaping it. But all of that seems to have escaped our current president and his hapless crew, who are still murmuring about assessing events, lest they have to recognize a clear and present danger and, even worse, do something about it.

As for those of us who dare take notice of this latest Decline of the West, and warn of the disaster it invites, defenders of this administration's passivity explain that Barack Obama is just leading from behind. Right. So far behind he's not even leading. All the usual apologists for appeasement can be counted on to have much the same response to the president's critics as Comrade Kiselyov had to the Voice of America. Shut up, they'll explain.

But we won't. We'll continue to speak out in the faith that one day the West will reawaken and find its old, vigilant self again. Let's hope it won't be too late.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Russia
KEYWORDS: america; crimea; ukraine; west

1 posted on 04/19/2014 5:42:26 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Thank you for your post :)

2 posted on 04/19/2014 6:11:18 AM PDT by
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Anyone who thought the break up the USSR was the end of world communism, and who thought that the ideological left would just give up was very wrong.

3 posted on 04/19/2014 6:28:57 AM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: Kaslin

Americans with the determination to defend our borders, defend freedom, defend our Constitution ... were defined by President Bush and the Establishment Republican Party ... to be “vigilantes.”

These “vigilantes” would be the same people who landed at Normandy Beach on June 6, 1944.

The same-spirited men are now expected, despite the cultural civil war being waged against them domestically, waged by the leftist/liberal/socialist regime and Executive Directorate of the Democrat Party ... despite all that resistance ... to now, in large numbers, suddenly appear and defend Poland and the rest of Europe.

Where, the Germans are unwilling to defend, and where England is but a tourist attraction filled with contempt for the principles of freedom, such as free speech.

Not to mention the loss of free speech in Canada.

OK, mention that, plus the distrust of British and Canadians and Australians ... of anybody carrying a firearm while not in state-authorized uniform.

Add to that, from what populace of any may we expect the courage of underground fighters -— who certainly are not going to resist the forces of oppression by “sheltering in place.”

Much of what takes people the courage and will to resist, that is disdained in public by the likes of McCain et al of the GOPe or RINO whose ambition is to be a Democrat for Low Taxes and not much else.

Americans are *not* going to war in order to defend Europe, merely because it’s a job.

Many Americans know that Obama is a fraud, and they will not entrust their sons and daughters to the like-minded leftists.

We certainly are not going to war in order to defend the nationalizing socialism of the left.

4 posted on 04/19/2014 6:30:31 AM PDT by First_Salute (May God save our democratic-republican government, from a government by judiciary.)
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To: pieceofthepuzzle

The end of the USSR only removed the home base of world-wide Marxism.

Putin seems to more of a Russian ultra-nationalist, mixing the ruthlessness of the Soviet state apparatus (minus the “Workers of the World Unite” schtick) with the gilded exterior splendor of czarist rulers in order to ground it in a nebulous legitimacy of being “ancient”.

He seems to have taken advantage of the “communist diaspora” that has weakened the west to the point of inevitable collapse to make his moves.

5 posted on 04/19/2014 6:58:20 AM PDT by VanDeKoik
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To: VanDeKoik
Totalitarian Czar - Totalitarian Soviet Communist Marxist - Totalitarian Ultranationalist.

Meet the new boss - same as the old boss.

6 posted on 04/19/2014 7:02:14 AM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: Kaslin
There is no Ronald Reagan anywhere in sight these days, unless you count the John McCains and Lindsey Grahams and such...

Lol...ok that was funny.

7 posted on 04/19/2014 7:15:16 AM PDT by mac_truck ( Aide toi et dieu t aidera)
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To: pieceofthepuzzle

I remember how the full gospel churches immediately sent in missionaries as they preached that this reprieve from Communism Control would be a short window, then the oppression would return.

8 posted on 04/19/2014 7:24:29 AM PDT by Kackikat
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