Ukraine: What, Where and Why

Why is Ukraine important? We keep asking that question with respect to both the US and Russian viewpoint. It appears many of these questions are really about finding reasons to stay out of some conflict in a far off place. Not on the implementation of some sound principle that was established with long hard thought. “They speak Russian” is one such refrain. Yet surveys of language have shown only a couple provinces in Ukraine where the majority people (more than 50%) identify Russian as their primary language. One of these was Crimea and the other borders Russia on the eastern extreme. The rest of “Eastern Ukraine” varies with percentages ranging from a maximum of 15% to 50%.

So, if language is a determination of ethnicity or some supposed reason to align with one side or the other, we have to ask ourselves: What about the other 50% of the population who don’t view themselves as Russians or even as just primarily Russian speakers. This of course doesn’t address the fact that the presence of Russian as a primary or just major language is largely created by Russia’s invasion and control over this region.

Why would Russia want Ukraine? Another question asked here frequently. Well as you can see from the map, Eastern Ukraine provides broad access to the Black Sea and the already confiscated territory of Crimea. As many have noted, Russia gains an ice free deep sea port by controlling Crimea. The primary transportation system through the region (with a hub at Kharkiv) is linked directly to Russia.

Eastern Ukraine is also a major “bread basket” and would provide Russia with additional food, if needed, as well as expand its export markets. That is giving them something besides oil and weapons. One other thing to consider. Note that if Russia controls Eastern Ukraine it almost completely landlocks the rest of Ukraine.

The next map shows some of the regions of Ukraine, by the time period when they were added to the Country. When people talk about “eastern Ukraine” in context of the Russian goals it is primarily the area in pink. Of course the green area borders Balarus, another Russian friendly Nation.

So why should the US care or get in the mix? Well that comes down to whether we still believe in the principles we adopted as a Nation following WW II. That conflict forced a recognition in the US, and the World, that sitting back and watching while tyrants move to expand their empires has lasting impacts. And that the cost of doing so will be greater in the long run instead of dealing with it at the start. Have we as Citizens changed our views on this problem? Should we change them? Where are the lines between what is acceptable or tolerable and what is not? China invades Tibet, we do nothing substantial.

Do we oppose all such expansions as a matter of hard policy or are there truly nuances to consider. Such rationalizations have been presented in both the Tibetan and Ukrainian cases. Claiming it is none of our business. But what about Taiwan? Is that also none of our business just because those freedom loving people happen to be of Chinese ancestry?

These questions and many more exist when we do not have solid foundations from which to develop policies. That is policies which are consistent with those foundational principles. To claim it is none of our business implies an underlying principle that we only use force when attacked directly. I am not sure that such a principle is widely understood nor accepted by We the People, let alone our elected and bureaucratic officials.

If this is in essence our foundation then what about economic impacts to our country? Is that an attack? If China strangles the shipping in Asia is that an attack on the US? Or is it only a physical invasion that matters? How about the efforts of China, Russia, Iran and others to hack and take down our internet systems? Where is the line in the sand that should come with clear and consistent articulation and enforcement?

I am not offering an opinion on this, for now. I am pointing out that all of this is far more complicated than much of the discussions I see among pundits and opinion leaders. As I almost always do, I am also trying to show that much of this difference or confusion, to some degree, can almost always be tied to lack of clearly articulated, understood and defensible principles.

Let me offer one thought on why we struggle with these questions. Our desire to do what is right greatly exceeds our willingness to do what is required. We gave up half of Germany and all of eastern Europe because we Americans had grown so “tired of War.” We left the North Korean, Vietnamese and Afghan people to tyrants because we were “tired of War.” Here lies a conundrum of huge import. As a Nation of essentially free people a division of political viewpoints naturally develops. These divisions unfortunately become partisan weapons used to “politicize” foreign policies. Especially when if may be necessary to use force. Both major political parties love to use any failure or the fear of “another Vietnam” to tear down the other party if they are in power. In essence, the nature of our politics prevents us from having the very foundational principles we need to form coherent policies. Policies which will be supported by the people, even when the going gets very, very tough.

There is of course much more to discuss and consider on the general topic. That being when, where and why should we, the USA, be willing to draw a line and say “NO”! And of course, then back that up with the full might of the US military if needed.

Coming Soon: The Day Working Americans Wake Up to the Reality of Our Federal Govt.

Credit to unknown creator published at American Thinker

Time for Reflection and Thanks

I think it is time to take a couple of days to reflect. First on the friends, family and acquaintances who make our lives fuller each day. Second on the blessing of having been born into a country that has put such a premium on Liberty. May we keep that blessing alive in the years to come.

Let us all lift a glass and toast to that which has been, that which is and that which is yet to come. May all our friends who have gone before us enjoy the music and dance in Valhalla. Skoal!

So, What’s Next?

Are You Ready?

It appears that a nasty planned bad economic future is in sight. Are we one day closer to a meltdown?

What Happened?

Too Many Lies

Epic Failure

Dog Days of Summer

Happy Independence Day

When Men Were men

Destroying the Nation

Why Are Dems Fighting So Hard?

Riot Season Is Here

The Created Crisis

Who’s Really Running Things?

Doubling Down on Dumb

Lack of Democrat’s Integrity On Full Display During Impeachment Trial

The Dumpster Fire President

The Purge Continues

A Strange Day

Armed Protests?

The Purge Is ON

Anger May Explode

So, Now What?

Happy New Year

Merry Christmas

Shutdowns Worse than Virus

The Vaccine Is Coming

Medical Martial Law