Russia Just Told the World to Bug Off

Everyone knew what would happen. It was no surprise when the election results from Crimea came back and we learned that the people of Crimea had voted to join Russia. What was speculated on was just how commanding the vote total would actually be. Would Russia pretend that the vote was honest and “only” win by a small margin? Or would Russia thumb their nose at the world and blow the doors of this mockery of an “election?”

Now we know.

Now we know just how little Vladimir Putin and the government behind him cares about what the world thinks – and particularly what America thinks. The people of Crimea apparently voted overwhelmingly to join with Russia – and by overwhelmingly I mean with 93% of the vote. Russia also claims that some 81%+ of Crimean citizens voted… which would make this one of the most democratic landslides in history.

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Have you ever seen any vote by a population swing that drastically towards one position? Me neither. President Obama couldn’t even get that large a percentage of the African American vote…

It becomes an even more dubious consideration when one considers that the last poll in Crimea over the question showed that only 41% of the population wanted to join Russia, and some 56% were against such a move.

putincasualThe reality is that Russia is making its stand. It won’t back down now, because that would do nothing for Putin’s (and Russia’s) position. He has a foothold in Georgia, he’s now gained Crimea and the Black Sea. He has also proved that the West will do nothing to stop him — or even attempt to slow him down. It’s a replay of pre-WWII Europe – only instead of Hitler pushing Chamberlain, it’s Putin pushing Obama.

I’m not going to pretend to know the answer to this problem. However, it seems that every step the Obama administration has taken over the last 5+ years has led us to this point. Whether it was Hillary Clinton’s “Reset” button, Obama’s pledge of flexibility once the 2012 election was over, Obama’s recalcitrance on Syria, or Obama’s impotence on Iran… every foreign policy misstep has brought us down this road. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that what is happening in Eastern Europe now is as much President Obama’s fault as it is Vladimir Putin’s.

Now the European Union and the USA have both imposed sanctions on Russia for their Crimean move – which has led Putin to threaten dumping the US Dollar in favor of another form of currency. The sanctions may actually hurt the US more than they end up hurting Russia… if this were a chess game – the Russians would have the upper hand.

Russia is making the West look foolish – and I don’t think Putin is done yet.

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