Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Pointer Toward Understanding the Ukraine Dilemma!

Thomas L. Friendman’s column, It’s Not Just About Obama, is an extraordinary explanation of the dilemma the U.S. is in over the Ukraine affair!
by Charlie Leck
It would be very difficult to get most unreasonable people (and I am thinking here of the critters who say they are Tea Partiers and the majority of the very right wing Republicans) to read a very reasonable and sensible column by Thomas L. Friedman that pretty well explains why America is in a tough spot when it comes to the question of a confrontation with Russia over its actions in the Ukraine.
In case I’m incorrect, here’s where you right-wingers can find the Friedman column, It’s Not Just About Obama!
Friedman has spent some time thinking about this one and this is a brilliant column that both justly criticizes President Obama and also expresses an understanding of the predicament the President is in at this particular time in American history.
“Most presidents make their name in foreign policy by taking on strong enemies; but most of what threatens global stability today are crumbling states. Exactly how many can we rescue at one time? I’d love to help Ukrainian reformers build a functioning democracy, but the reason that is so daunting a task is because their own politicians wasted two decades looting their own country, so the leverage required to foster change — $30 billion in bailout funds — is now massive.” [Thomas L. Friedman, NY Times]
America is simply in a predicament at the moment. Our big stick isn’t very big right now. Most of that can be blamed on the multi-trillions of dollars we spent in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade and a half. Even our current financial recovery is going through a slightly shaking spell right at the moment. Some of that can be blamed on a far too conservative Republican Party that is not willing to raise more money to set the ship of state on better waters. But again, not all the blame can be laid there either.
But, there is no reason for me to go on and on when Friedman has so precisely painted the picture in explaining the squeeze that the President is currently in. He doesn’t at all give the President a free pass on this one and he clearly explains why some of the blame is in the White House; but, by no means, is President Obama to take all the blame for this predicament.
The sad thing is that I know my progressive and moderate friends will read this Friedman column, but the ones who really need to read it – the more conservative and even right wing Republicans – are not going to.
Our political antagonisms in this nation – on both sides, now – are causing us terrible problems and weakening our image among the world’s nations. This emboldens nations like the Soviet Union.
If ever in our history there was an occasion when the parties needed to work together, it is precisely right now. That may sound like hyperbole, but I don’t believe it is.


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