Foreign Policy Waffling

I was going to ride my high horse into the weeds of the Islamic State and its beheadings, burning alive, torturing, stoning, burying alive, mass shooting, raping of 10-year-olds, whippings, amputations, and kidnappings of journalists, social workers, soldiers, non-believers, Christians, Muslims of different sects, and just about everyone on the opposite side of their guns. However, we have been assured these “It’s Allah’s way,” “Allahu Akbar” atrocities weren’t in the name of Islam or the Prophet and weren’t Islamic. Besides, Christians did this 1,000 years ago, the US supported slavery for years and civil rights is still an issue here.

So, no high horse. Anyway, a better writer and commentator of some standing wrote a definitive piece the other day. That’s Jonah Goldberg, a Jew, by the way, whose people were victims of a barbaric German tribe that was largely Christian. That was only 75 years ago. They didn’t kill in the name of Jesus or God, just in the name of power and prejudice, which is enough. And, they killed a lot of other people, too. But is it relevant to today? Look-up Goldberg’s article on the Internet. It’s a good read whatever your political view point.

On to the Ukraine. If we’re going to abandon the Middle East, or at least not get too involved, it shouldn’t be too hard to let go of western influence in the Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and maybe Poland, the first and last being Slavic and a natural fit for Russia. So-called rebels took over the Crimea, a polyp sticking into the Black Sea off of the Ukraine, and they are poised to take large chunks of territory east of the Dnieper River which kind of divides the Ukraine into east and west. This was part of the Soviet Union and Russia wants it back.

The bit about rebels is only a pretense. There’s a large contingent of highly trained Russian troops and fire power in and on the border. In a recent interview, Lt. Gen. Frederick “Ben” Hodges, commander of the U.S. Army Europe, noted that Russia is building and building its military (we’re pulling out our missiles and defenses in the region) and preparing for an all-out move. Having taken over the Crimea, they need a supply route for it and that’s Eastern Ukraine. Not far from there to the Baltics which already have a large Russian population. Not only that, if you look at a map, it all fits well with Russia since Belarus is already a Russian satellite. All this gives Russia easier access to water in the Baltic and Black Seas.

But, not to worry, no one seems to be worried. Europe has its own problems and doesn’t like to spend money for defense since they’ve relied on the awful Americans since the end of World War II. Better to pretend there’s no real problem east or west. Of course, there are those who believe Russia will implode economically. They might, but they might also acquire more territory to help them with their economic problems. Turkey, Russia and Iran make a good alliance.

In the meanwhile, a year or two into all this mess, the US is talking and talking about giving real arms to the Ukrainians to defend themselves and are developing (it doesn’t happen overnight) a rapid response force under the North American Treaty Organization (NATO). Like arming the Kurds… oops, back there again. Wait long enough and decisions are taken from you.

Waffles make a great breakfast, but lousy foreign policy.


Somethin’ on My Mind is an opinion column written by Bill Northrop. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Gabber publishers, staff or advertisers.

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