Sensing that the Russians and Russian sympathizers in eastern Ukraine were replaying the Crimean scenario, Ukrainian forces have made their move against Russian secessionists.
Will the prospect of bloodshed - and near global condemnation - give Russia's Vladimir Putin pause, or will he seize on this as a pretext for overt Russian intervention? I fear the latter, although Moscow may play for time...
(Note the Ukrainians call it an "antiterrorist" operation.)
"Meanwhile, a trio of Ivy League professors uncovers this correlation: The less Americans know about Ukraine's geographic location, the more they favor U.S. intervention (whatever that means)..."
I think that once these geographically-challenged Americans see how close Ukraine is to Europe, they'll think that Europeans should protect their own "neighbors" and their own "backyards"... there are more than enough countries right there and directly impacted by Russia's actions.
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Apr 8, 2014 10:13am
EarlGrey: Well said.
Tue, Apr 8, 2014 10:27am
I do feel obligated to make the slight geographic point: It's not a matter of seeing "how close Ukraine is to Europe".
Ukraine IS in Europe, albeit southeastern Europe.
By normal geographic conventions, Turkey - to Ukraine's south - is in both Asia and Europe. (The vastly bigger Anatolian portion of Turkey is in Asia, or what geographers once quaintly called 'Asia Minor'). Istanbul, Turkey is considered a part of Europe. Russia also uniquely traverses both Europe and Asia, with the Ural Mountains considered the boundary.
The former Soviet Transcaucasian republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia pose a greater geographic conundrum as they more or less fall below the Ural Mountains. They usually are considered part of southwestern Asia, but some have argued they're part of a "blend area" - and if religious & cultural heritage become part of the equation - Armenia & Georgia might be considered European.
Or strictly on geographic grounds, some might treat Georgia and Azerbaijan just like Turkey -- mostly Asian, but with those parts north of the Caucasus Mountains in Europe. It gets even more confusing, though, because for example, the northwestern-most part of Georgia is Abkhazia, de-facto a separate nation, and an enclave which could be the "next Crimea" outside Ukraine.
Tue, Apr 8, 2014 10:43am
"Ukraine IS in Europe, albeit southeastern Europe."
Exactly! And, that IMHO is why we should let Europe make the decision to get involved...or not.
Tue, Apr 8, 2014 10:46am
Ain't going to happen, though. Once again, Poland is sounding the early alarm. History repeats itself (maybe).
Tue, Apr 8, 2014 12:18pm
Sadly, I agree with your opinion that Europe will not "step up to the plate" against Putin/Russia.
And yes, Poland is indeed sounding the alarm and calling its army reservists home, dramatically increasing its military spending, and building missile-defense systems (both with U.S. and on its own). The Poles know that they cannot reliably count on our country for the missile defense, so they have a back-up plan just in case...
Mike from Delaware
Tue, Apr 8, 2014 1:19pm
At least one can say the Poles did learn something from 1939, unlike the rest of Europe.
This time the Poles won't be trying to fight off an aggressor with horse drawn cannons and a horse calvary [saw film footage of Poland's Army when Germany marched into Poland at the beginning of WWII].
To most folks, Europe is Western Europe, those Eastern European places don't even register with most folks.
I agree with what EarlGrey said: "Exactly! And, that IMHO is why we should let Europe make the decision to get involved...or not."
Tue, Apr 8, 2014 9:56pm
Sorry, but as it was with both world wars and the current war on terrorism, the U.S. is almost always and inevitably drawn into the conflict. I just hope we have a Republican administration in place before we're drawn into this one, but I'm not so sure time is going to wait for us.
Wed, Apr 9, 2014 8:05am
You are more than likely correct on this one mrpizza.
Thu, Apr 10, 2014 10:22am
Interesting. Both world wars were under Democrats: Wilson and Roosevelt. Turned out well enough considering the circumstances. Vietnam was also Democratically induced, and led. The Balkan wars were Democratic, and turned out marvelously.
On the Republican side, you have the Civil War, but Lincoln was Republican in name only because the party was so new, it is probably unfair to decide that either way. The Spanish-American War was Republican, though done by a progressive one: Teddy Roosevelt. Probably unfair to call Grenada and Panama wars - they were so limited - but they were Republican planned and executed... The first Gulf War was probably America's finest hour - it was all Republican - though most Republicans look the other way when George H. W. Bush gets mentioned... The Iraq and Afghanistan wars - which were opened by Republicans and closed by Democrats - are like Vietnam, hard to consider a total victory, since unrest is still on going.... Being both Republican wars, their legacy will go down as one in which the Republican political leadership did not match the quality of the military forces sent to fight... Initial victory was achieved quickly and decisively, and then, corporate corruption settled in. undoing all the good those brave men and women accomplished....
That is why I disagree with Mr. Pizza and think if war is inevitable, it needs to start now, under a Democrat, so it remains a moral war, and not a "let us take your resources" type of war...
Republicans are the party of corruption, and bode ill for any American enlisted to fight abroad.
Thu, Apr 10, 2014 11:07am
Don't kid yourself kavips...politicians on both sides are corrupt. Though this current Democrat administration seems to be more corrupt than past administrations.
The only hope for the modern Republican Party to survive is if they go back to their roots and restart the Party Lincoln began so many years ago. We need more Friends of Abe ;)
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