Stay far, far away.
Unless America wants to see the powder keg of Europe ignited once again, (and actively opposing Russia in its conflict with Ukraine could potentially start World War III), it will steer clear of that region. Avoiding another global war, this time, with nuclear weapons, should be reason enough, but here’s another: it’s not our fight.
It is a limited brawl between those two nations, and, despite the political spin that Russia is the bad guy, it is not at all clear who is right. Either way, those powerful nations dominate that region; we don’t. Marching in as a self-righteous superpower thinking we can fix the problem is arrogant, naïve — and dangerous.
1) Malaysia Airlines: Was it just bad luck that in the span of four months, Malaysian Airlines planes have been involved in two of the worst airline tragedies in decades?
The jury is still out on the missing jet. While some conspiracy theories are absurd, others cannot be so easily dismissed. But one thing is clear: the incompetence of the Malaysian government and Airline officials was on full display after Flight 370’s disappearance. That track record may have played a factor in the tragedy over Ukraine, as airlines had been repeatedly warned to avoid flying over that conflict area. The Malaysian jet failed to heed that warning.
Was it to save money by flying a more direct route? Pilot error? Airline incompetence? Hopefully we will discover the truth, not to play the “blame game” but to establish a lessons learned.
But Malaysia Airlines’ mind-blowing obtuseness hasn’t changed. Just days after losing Flight 17 to a missile over Ukraine, it was sending flights over Syria. Yes, that Syria, the one engaged in a ravaging civil war where thousands of surface-to-air missiles abound.
2) Many clamoring for action against Russia and the pro-Russian rebels have forgotten the concept of innocent until proven guilty, as it remains unclear who fired the missile, especially since the Ukraine military operates the exact same SA-11 system.
And it’s not unprecedented for missiles to be fired at the wrong targets. Iraq killed 37 sailors on the USS Stark in 1987 when one of its airplane missiles mistakenly hit the Navy frigate. Similarly, the American cruiser Vincennes mistakenly shot down an Iranian airliner, killing nearly 300 people in 1988. We can’t have it both ways, stating that the Malaysian jet was unmistakably a passenger jet, yet excusing how one of the world’s most sophisticated radar systems (AEGIS) thought a jumbo jet was a small, attacking fighter.
Our credibility on the world stage is at stake, so let’s think before we speak.
3) The question of which country the predominately Russian-speaking people of Crimea want to be aligned with is not new; these ethnic and nationality issues don’t just transcend borders, but time, with allegiances going back hundreds, even thousands, of years. We are a nation barely over 200 years old, with absolutely no concept of how strong these European ties are.
To think we can provide the solution is naivete at its worst.
We used the same approach for engaging Iraq and Afghanistan. How’s that working out for us?
4) The Cold War is over. We won. Now it’s time to move out of Europe, and end America’s playing policeman to the world. Only four NATO countries meet their requirement for defense spending, yet the U.S. always exceeds its obligation to pick up the slack. If the Russian-Ukranian conflict is anybody’s business, it’s Europe’s. Let them deal with it.
That’s not to advocate isolationism. But an aggressive and all-too-often misguided interventionist foreign policy leaves us perceived as imperialistic aggressors, which creates exponentially more problems down the road.
No more expending blood and treasure in foreign lands while our protectees default on their end of the bargain, leaving us holding an empty bag.
5) We haven’t done too well choosing sides. We backed the Libyan rebels (the largest foreign force in Iraq to fight the U.S.) who overthrew Muammar Ghaddafi, after which 10,000 surface-to-air missiles disappeared and the Benghazi tragedy occurred. Bet the ranch neither would have happened had Gaddafi remained in power.
We are backing the Syrian rebels, who are unquestionably more radical and anti-American than the government of Bashar Assad; the Iraqi government we helped install is worthless; and Afghani President Hamid Karzai is astonishingly ungrateful. Instead of meddling in foreign affairs, maybe it’s time to focus on the people who should matter most: Americans. In America.
Russia is not the superpower it once was, but it is still a powerful player that must be respected. Warmongers’ cries of “appeasement” notwithstanding, playing “chicken-Kiev” with Russia is not sound foreign policy.
It’s a recipe for disaster.
Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.
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