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April 25, 2014

"F*** the EU," Revisited

"F*** the EU," top State official Victoria Nuland said on a phone call.

This phone call had been covertly recorded by Russia and was then leaked to the press, which should have been a signal that Russia, at least, was taking this more seriously than Obama's team was.

The F-bomb is deployed because Nulandís frustrated that the EU isnít doing more to pressure Viktor Yanukovych, the Putin-backed Ukrainian president whose recent deal with Moscow instigated the last few months of protests.

Why wasn't the EU doing "more" to pressure Yanukovych, Putin's choice for President?

Here's the thing: Because the EU was thinking hard about the Ukraine and realistically about itself.

The EU didn't want to force Yanukovych out of power, nor encourage the Maidan movement to force him out of power, because they knew that Russia would react as Russia has in fact reacted.

And the EU knew this about themselves: They were not prepared to do a damn thing about a Russian invasion.

So the EU made a cynical, self-serving decision to not encourage or support the Maidan movement, because they knew they would not be doing anything down the road to support the Maidan movement when the movement actually needed support.

This was an unpopular decision, and it makes them seem cowardly and weak... but ti did have the benefit of comporting with reality.

The EU was clear-minded enough and had an honest enough appraisal of its interests and capabilities to make the honest, accurate assessment that they would do nothing in Putin but offer him diplomatic protests were he to invade Ukraine.

And the EU crafted its own policy response based on that accurate, honest appraisal of its own weakness and cowardice.

You can call them cowards, but you cannot call them self-deluded fools.

At least they understood themselves.

And what has the US done, by contrast?

We encouraged the Maidan protestors to hit the gas pedal on their revolution, but as Russia has done all the things that only a child could fail to predict that Russia would do, we have been surprised at every turn by the inevitable.

Now this got Obama some good press in February, back when supporting Maidan seemed like the right move for American Social Media Foreign Policy, and was, at that moment, a cost-free gesture.

But now the check is coming due, and what do we do to support the revolution we encouraged?

We offer Tweets.

Tweets.

The EU knew that they too would only offer Strongly Worded Tweets, should Ukraine depose Yanukuvich and Russia in turn invade Urkaine. Which is why they attempted to discourage Ukraine from doing that.

The American President, on the other hand, urged Ukraine to do just that, without telling them that should Russia begin shooting bullets into Ukrainians, the Ukranians could expect America to respond with Precision-Guided Tweets.

Obama has long had this sense of delusion about himself, that he is so inherently good and pure and charismatic that his simple words will move oceans, like the words of God Himself.

I can only imagine he did this because the thought, in the end, his Precious Red-Letter Words would be enough to fix another disaster he'd caused.

One last point:

If Obama were serious about any of this, he'd at least offer a Presidential Address to the Nation warning Russia away.

Why? Aren't those "just words" as well?

Yes, but the trick of the Presidential address is that it's an escalation. When a President speaks to the nation, he puts his own credibility and his own political fortunes on the line.

If he fails to act in the face of aggression after that, he suffers politically.

Thus, the point of the exercise is to put one's counter-party on notice that one has invested a policy with his own personal limited cache of authority, and hence will be much more likely to back that policy up with something more than well-crafted #hashtags.

But of course Obama isn't doing that. Instead, he has a relatively low-level bureaucrat out there #TweetingForFreedom.

And I'm not sure I blame him for that.

I don't want to go to war with Russia, either.

But I do wish that perhaps Obama could have managed the reasonable, realistic assessment of his actual level of capability and willingness to employ force that the EU managed.

And unfortunately, I think the Ukrainians will soon be wishing that as well.

I Just Got an Email from Winston Churchill... who, surprisingly, approves of Obama's foreign policy.

Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of rising Russia and all the odious apparatus of the KGB state, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight on FaceBook, we shall fight on Instagram and Pinterest, we shall fight and, with growing follower lists and growing Likes, we shall defend our #hashtag, whatever the cost may be.

We shall fight on Twitter, we shall fight on Vine, we shall fight on the Washington Post's op-ed pages and in the New York Times' comment areas, we shall fight in Buzzfeed's gifs; we shall never surrender.

And if, which I do not for a moment believe, this #hashtag or a large part of it were hijacked by trolls, then our social media reach, armed and guarded by the writers at Media Matters and the Daily Beast, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, some miracle should descend upon us in rescue us so we can return, as we much desire, to the #WarOnWomen.

Romney wants to #BanTampons, please retweet.


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posted by Ace at 07:13 PM

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