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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Monroe Doctrine Dead; Putin "Sudetenland" Corollary to Brezhnev Doctrine Alive and Well

Last November, in a confused, historically inaccurate speech, our Secretary of State John "I spoke to both Vietnamese delegations" Kerry announced the end of the Monroe Doctrine. Kerry, who seems not to know or not care about facts, used the words "Monroe Doctrine" in the way that lefty anti-Americans have done for many decades. He, in effect, apologized for the past 190 years of US policy in Latin America.

The Monroe Doctrine committed the United States to oppose outside powers reestablishing or establishing colonies or zones of influence in the Western Hemisphere. For its first forty or fifty years, the Doctrine was bombast by a relatively weak military power; the US, in effect, relied on Britain's Royal Navy to enforce the Doctrine and prevent Spain and France from returning to the New World. The Doctrine was, at times, violated, e.g., the establishment of a short-lived French-controlled monarchy in Mexico during the US Civil War, and, of course, by JFK's needless acquiescence to a Soviet Cuba. It was, however, invoked at some critical times and served as a reminder that the US, when it wished, could act to keep out extra-hemispheric and anti-US influences from Latin America. Communists and populists in Latin America and elsewhere, of course, derided the Doctrine as a proclaimed right by the United States to intervene in Latin America at will. Kerry, who has never recoiled from depicting the USA in the worst possible light, accepted that redefinition and "officially" ended the Monroe Doctrine. Some might argue that the Doctrine was already dead before Kerry declared its end, but why make an announcement of that sort given current international conditions? Why unilaterally renounce a well-established principle without getting anything in return aside from some tepid applause at the OAS?

Statements of the sort made by Kerry typically get little press in the US. Most Americans today probably cannot even tell you what the Monroe Doctrine stated, much less the contents of the 1904 Roosevelt Corollary to it which gave it teeth. Statements of weakness and self-declared limitations, however, do get noticed abroad, and put into the context of everything else the US is doing or not doing. (Note: We saw this in 1950, when we foolishly implied that South Korea was outside of our circle of concern.) In sum, giving up the Monroe Doctrine is of a piece with this misadministration's misconduct of foreign policy; with its issuing of bland banalities as substitutes for real policy; its mistaken belief that words equal action; that words, e.g., "red line," don't really have any meaning; that the United States should surrender its nearly century-old role as a if not the key player in international politics; that it is "just fine" to gut our military. It is the triumph of the Little Americanists.

And Russia? Well, Putin and Lavrov have a very different vision for their country than do Obama and Kerry for the US. I have written before about Lavrov and how Kerry is no match for him. I also wrote previously on how Putin outplayed the hapless Obama on Syria, and that Obama's feckless handling of the "red line" would come back to bite us.

It's happening.

While we dither and destroy our economy, military, and seventy-years worth of international alliances and arrangements, Moscow has made clear that Russia is back on the scene. Russia is seeking basing rights for its growing navy not just in the traditional Near Abroad, but far afield in places such as Venezuela, Nicaragua, Seychelles, and even Singapore. Its warships dock in Havana. Russia has established a de facto alliance with Iran and become the big outside player in the Middle East. The manner in which Russia saved its ally in Damascus is not lost on a world which saw how the Obamistas treated Qadafy and Mubarak, and how weakly the Obamistas respond to events in Venezuela.

The crisis in Ukraine provides a graphic demonstration of Putin's disregard for Obama. While Obama puts out tepid statements of "consequences" and standing with the international community should Russia do something untoward in Ukraine, Putin--quaking, but with laughter--sends commandos into Crimea and gets approval from his pet legislature for the deployment of Russian troops in Ukraine to "stabilize" the situation and protect the lives and property of Russian citizens. The late unlamented Leonid Brezhnev had a "doctrine" which announced that the USSR would not allow socialist countries to get rid of socialism, and would not allow the establishment of hostile regimes on the USSR's borders. We can see that Putin has developed his own corollary to the Brezhnev Doctrine, with some heavy borrowing from the Hitler Doctrine we saw at work in Austria and Czechoslovakia. Putin has made it clear that the former territories of the USSR are of special concern for Russia and that Russia will not hesitate to intervene to protect its citizens or to prevent instability, i.e., development of anti-Putin governments. The goal clearly is to reestablish at least the old Czarist empire if not the old Soviet one.

Understatement of the year: Putin is not impressed with Obama.

We continue our national obsession with gays, allowing undocumented illegal aliens and felons to vote, and relabeling our food products because Michelle thinks the average American housewife too stupid to make the right choices in the supermarket without the guiding hand of the feds. We continue to prattle on about Global Climate Change, and all the while Russia seeks to effect a serious change in the global climate; Moscow wants a chilly Russian wind blowing around the world.

Will Russia overreach? Will Russia's considerable internal problems bring its imperial quest to a halt? Maybe. But is that to what we are now relegated? To hoping that in the long run the enemy (yes, enemy) is weaker than we?

Meanwhile, of course, we have our President and VP jogging to meetings and Michelle providing us 1000% of our minimum daily requirement of condescension. I guess that's some consolation.

"Hey, Vlad. Can you do this?"
UPDATE: See an excellent piece on the looming disaster for the Anglosphere and West from an Australian perspective posted at 38 South.

44 comments:

  1. Austria-Hungary was a weak empire but they managed to create some problems in 1914. Russia has about 50 years to accomplish anything before the demographics do them in. China has about 100 years and both would-be empires are led by men who know that. Ukraine has population and lots of gas and oil reserves. Both are valuable to Russia.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. To go further, Germany needs Russia's natural resources and Russia needs Germany's technical skills. Both have need of each other. I wonder if Germany and especially Poland have any frackable gas and oil reserves? Czech Republic too?

      Delete
    2. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/

      http://www.rigzone.com/

      Ark

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    3. @whitewall,
      the short answer to your questions would be:
      yes, yes and yes.
      It would be my personal opinion that Putin outmanuvered (is that a word?) States in the last 6 years, and EU certainly so.
      He is playing EU the same way cat plays with a mouse, knowing perfectly well it can not escape its claws.
      He put stop meat to be delivered (imported) to Russia few years ago, a long list of vegetables just couple of years ago where testing and retesting safety took just long enough for the growing season come to an end costing EU growers in various countries billions of Euros.
      He also commends gas distribution to western Europe (Germany as a main consumer). He was clever enough to route the gas delivery in such ways there is no one (as a country) to do much about it.
      Interesting part of it all is that Russians did not suffer any shortages of meat, vegetables , at least not noticable supplies.
      Yes, Poland has a huge resources of frackable gas tested and confirmed by USA companies. It was said within few years Poland could be totally independent on energy sitting on such natural wealth.
      well...as you may imagine nature protectors (loony greens) are obviously well funded and make so much noise about destroing the environment causing all further development to slow down, while Russian "private" companies are buying out rights too many tested grounds...
      :)
      don't you love politics?
      and I thought prostitution was money oriented profession!



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    4. Joanna, interesting info. I think Putin knows that fracking can be a problem for him if enough of Europe does it and no longer needs Russian extortion supply. In the meantime, you are right about the "greens"....er water mellons protesting any Polish development. They would be funded by Al Gore, Soros and yes Putin. Europe will need to grow a spine or a pair of something else in the short term.

      Lots of $$$ in prostitution and there is more than one kind of prostitution I think.

      Delete
  2. Ah, but we are quite safe to draw down our military while darkly warning of "costs", because we have the one special weapon that Putin doesn't have: militant gay activists. Cry "bully" and unleash the dogs of law!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I envy your keen eye for military analysis, Miss C.

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    2. Our military might get reduced and weakened, but by God they will be oh so PC and very "sensitive". So take that Vlad.

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    3. ... by God they will be oh so PC and very "sensitive".

      Come now Whitewall, you know even after the PC DIs get finished at all the boot camps our troops'll still be able to waltz right in! Keep you chin up - imagine a Corps marching in this cadence:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-50GjySwew

      Nice soundtrack at any rate.

      Ark

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    4. LOL
      way too funny Becky and right on!!!

      Delete
    5. Arkie, quite a video there. I heard Warren Zevon tracks a couple of times I'm sure. This may catch on for basic training only on bases in Blue States maybe. White slacks optional.

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    6. Any truth to the rumour that the mincing halfrican and jumping Joe have bought a prancercise franchise and were showcasing it at the White House yesterday?

      And if it comes down to it, sad to say, my money would be on the old babe against your LGBT recruits, in a competition for three consecutive chin-ups.

      Ya think Putin has not been watching this decline.

      Delete
    7. Yeah Whitewall, sure sounded a lot like the first few bars of Lawyers, Guns & Money din't it?

      Dunno Cascadian, what little time I ever had to spend inside the beltway is even littler (nevermore actually) than it might've been.

      But if I had to bet actual money t'whether Michelle has Bozo 'n Biden "doin' the step" ... Biden's BMI doncha think, has had something going on?

      Ark

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    8. Obama should be called "the halfrican queen"

      -Blake

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  3. I bow to your experience Dip & so I ask,

    reckon that ship pulled into Havana is somehow connected to Venezuela?

    I can't see how it could be of *much* help militarily - maybe deception/distraction but, Putin placed the 150K troops on the "scheduled" training exercise on the 23rd (yes I realize nobody in our media noticed but).

    Still, there's got to be some *reason* for that sort of ship to dock at just this time?

    Arkie

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    Replies
    1. Arkie,
      Surely you're mistaken, the MSM have identified those people as military contractors. Apparently Halliburton is giving group vacations to the Black Sea.
      I wonder if the ship in Havana is to facilitate more secure communications?

      Delete
    2. I'm just asking James. I really don't have a clue.

      Now to your "I wonder" --- that my friend is precisely why I'll be deferring to Diplomad.

      Arkie

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    3. Arkie,
      Since we have large numbers of "defense contractors" vacationing in the Crimea (with an inordinate fascination with government facilities), perhaps the ship is part of a group samba lesson?

      Delete
  4. Perhaps the best way to get the president to play hard ball with Putin, is to tell Obama that Putin is going to run against him.

    The current administration seems to only excel at politics and elections. Everything else looks like it just came out of a clown car.

    This is the best depiction of the decision loop on 9/11/12:
    http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2013/12/benghazi-comix-is-this-what-happened.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tell Obama that Putin admires Fox news and the TEA Party.

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    2. ...and follows Sarah Palin on FB. :)

      Delete
  5. Brezhnev Doctrine...the mention of his name only calls to mind that sickening photo of Jimmy Carter check to cheek and a smooch on Brezhnev's cheek. Good thing Obama and Putin don't repeat as Obama would have to do a deep bow for another cheek.

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    Replies
    1. Odd you mention Goober on this here particular post Whitewall.

      Long ways back when I was a regular "uniform wearing" sailor - there was a standing order (carriers) that, Nobody can take pictures on the hangar deck. Everything's classified Top Secret

      I happened to be standing on the carrier pier at North Island (Coronado) one day in 1978. I personally watched a Mao uniformed contingent of Chinese "diplomats" march up the quarterdeck directly into ... you guessed it - the hangar deck of the USS Kitty Hawk.

      I thought to myself, "Wow, if the Chinks even have their diplomats marching in sync, how can we ever compete on a parade ground?"

      Ark

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  6. As to the question under the above photo of O and Biden, Putin just gave his answer: "You walk, I ride.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Given the hopelessness of Obama at seemingly everything and his refusal to put a tip of steel on the thin red line America's enemies, some of whom may be unknown, will be looking to see what advantage they can get out of all of this. High on their list of "knowns" is that the current administration will make noise and do nothing. Ear plugs take care of the noise.

    That old Roman dictum "If you want peace, prepare for war" is as true today as it was in the time of the Roman Empire.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Syria proved that the O was good and talking loudly but carrying no stick--although I have to admit that I could not sympathize at all with the Syrian rebels, who were doing to Syria's Christians what the Ba'athis had done to its Jews.

    While I was never a fan of the Left's weakness through lofty rhetoric (as opposed to peace through strength), I admit that I winced when my A-100 class was told that one of us might write a book _Present at the Consummation_ (a reference to Dean Acheson's memoir) and that for a short time, the neo-conservatives were speaking of an "end to history". The latter made me think that we'd all drunk too deeply from the wells of Marxist chiliasm.

    It's time for US foreign policy to seriously consider that history is going on, that we'll continue to see states and other powers trying to seize opportunities, tie themselves in knots over phantoms, and rise against each other.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Francis Fukuyama is or was "the neo-conservatives"? The hell you say.

      Delete
  9. Dip, I was wondering when someone would see "Sudetenland" in this mess. Is kerry going to go Anglo and bring ?Peace in out time"? My God, the inmates are running the asylum.

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  10. Not to be too Pollyana-ish, but in a crazy way these events might work in our favor foreign policy-wise. The world is getting a long, hard look at what a World Without America looks like. They'll never admit it of course, but certain noisier international players might find themselves mysteriously less critical in the future when we find our collective balls again.

    ACCO

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  11. "A World is a beautiful place..."
    yes indeed:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4RjJKxsamQ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The more things change, the more they change right back.

      Delete
  12. Still, the influence of all that youthful television-watching is present today. In a book on the inner workings of Obama’s presidential reelection campaign, Politico’s Glenn Thrush reports that although Obama’s biographers “have been more enamored with his complexity,” Obama himself “seeks shallower waters, especially in times of crisis.” When the going gets tough in the White House, Thrush says, the president plays sports and watches ESPN. Indeed, while Obama’s administration was beset by scandals regarding improper IRS investigations and the death of U.S. officials in Benghazi, the New York Times’s Peter Baker reported that Obama “talked longingly of ‘going Bulworth,’ a reference to a little-remembered 1998 Warren Beatty movie about a senator who risked it all to say what he really thought.” Thrush, it seems, was right that movies and TV served as Obama’s version of “comfort food.”

    Commentary Magazine - http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/the-pop-presidency-of-barack-obama/

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    Replies
    1. Maybe we're over-thinking O.

      Maybe he's an only middling-bright guy who, over an entire life of extremely "affirmative" thought and action, has been wafted by a favoring gale, as one sometimes is in trances, to a height that few can scale, save by long and weary dances--surely never had a male, under such-like circumstances, so adventurous a tale, which may rank with most romances!

      Delete
    2. Middling bright? More like "dumb as a sack of hammers," but with well-honed political cunning & survival instincts. Beyond that? No hope. He's surrounded himself with a bunch of half-baked "intellectuals" that sound like the ill-informed undergrads I used to try and teach history to of the "give peace a chance" school.

      We are so in trouble. The media actively suppresses reportage of his incompetence and so many of the sheeple think "all is well" and go back to watching reality TV.

      Delete
    3. You give him too much credit. At least hammers serve a purpose. He is more like "dumb as a box of hair", long past its usefulness and suitable only for strewing on top of the manure in the garden composting section. Same goes for the current media we suffer under. We ARE soooo in trouble. Fortunately, I continue to hear an increasing buzz of unhappiness among the "real" people out there. More and more I hear "something has got to give . . . soon" comments from young through old. Hope spring eternal.

      Remember Benghazi!

      LibertyGrace'sGrandma

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  13. "the New York Times’s Peter Baker reported that Obama “talked longingly of ‘going Bulworth,’ a reference to a little-remembered 1998 Warren Beatty movie about a senator who risked it all to say what he really thought.”

    I suspect we may see more "Bulworth," a lefty fantasy movie, as we get near the end of Obama's term. Especially as things continue to fall apart.

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  14. "Hey Vlad, can you do this"? Maybe Barry and Joe have decided to make a run for it. Out of DC, across the beltway to Dulles Int. Airport. Hope.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dip, I don't know about you, but this is how I have come to feel.

    Once I moaned and felt unfairly treated when I got RIFed as part of the "peace dividend". Now, I see that as God's tender mercy to an undeserving sinner; for I don't know how I could live with myself if I had to experience the disgrace of being in the Senior Foreign Service under Shrillary Shrew or John F**k-his-own-country Kerry.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Is history repeating itself? Are we heading for another siege of Sebastopol and Charge of the Light Brigade

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 19th century British political leaders were geniuses compared to this guy.

      Delete
    2. A la Israel. It seems to be their only tool.

      "I am willing to bet that Kerry's visit, far from being a demonstration of support for Ukrainian sovereignty, will be a Chamberlain-to-the-Czechs message of "don't increase tensions by resisting aggression." I am almost certain Kerry will advise Ukraine to roll over, and accept the loss of Crimea in exchange, maybe, for some vague promise from the West to help preserve the remainder of Czechoslovakia Ukraine."

      Delete