Ukraine: As in real estate, it’s about location, location, location

Ukraine: As in real estate, it’s about location, location, location

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Kyiv protestor / Photo by snamess, used under Flickr Creative Commons license
Kyiv protestor / Photo by snamess, used under Flickr Creative Commons license

Kyiv protestor / Photo by Snamess

FORT WORTH, Texas, March 12, 2014 — Sometimes a rancher wants the land adjoining his. And then he wants the land next to that. When you acquire the land next door, do you keep looking over the fence at the land beyond, or do you eventually become content with what you have?

That all depends on what your ultimate goal is. Do you want a nice parcel of land, or do you want an empire? In Texas there are many large ranches, and over the years some have grown larger, but, in other cases the land has been divided and the empire that once was is gone. In either case, ownership will eventually change, as will use of the land. Economies, nations, and society’s wants and needs are always changing.

The attraction of land will always be location, location, location. And the location of Ukraine must be attractive to many interested parties. Russia seems to have decided to take posession at any cost. So will they stop with Crimea, or will they look across the fence toward the rest of Ukraine? And if it does take the rest of Ukraine, will Russia like what it sees in Poland, Slovakia and Hungary?

Ukraine, a country of 233,062 square miles, is a handy pied-à-terre for anyone looking to expand in just about any direction. What will happen in Ukraine is anybody’s guess; the situation there changes by the hour. Americans may wonder, why do we care about this? No American blood has been spilled, and there are a great ocean and 82 million Germans separating us from that piece of land. And everyone knows that Germans give Russia the heebie-jeebies.

It’s easy to see why the countries that adjoin Ukraine would be on edge; they’re located on a great, flat piece of the planet that has been a natural and convenient place for huge masses of men — from Huns to Swedes to Russians to Mongols to Germans — to run wild and run amok. Everyone on the Eurasian land mass who’s ever dreamed of world domination has at some point invaded Poland.

Wars of territorial acquisition are nothing new. Ever since God created us or we descended from the trees, we have wanted what others have and been eager to conquer new lands and new subjects.  That is unlikely to change, wars will be one tactic to do it, armies will fight armies for God, country, and new markets, and innocent blood will be shed to satisfy our thirst for wealth and power.

This is why America needs to take notice. This is not a new cold war, and Russia won’t race through Europe and across the Atlantic in order to seize New Jersey. But we do not live in a new world order where war is obsolete, where no one wants new lands, and where hostile nations won’t threaten our interests through wars of national aggrandizement.

Russia seems to have a chokehold on Ukraine and its neighbors through its control of their natural gas supply. The pipelines to western Europe all go through Ukraine. Russia is in the driver’s seat at the moment, and there’s nothing we can do about it right now.

The Obama Administration plans to cut our military forces, reducing the Army to its smallest troop strength since before World War 2. We should bring back our sons and daughters from our Asian wars, then focus on rebuilding the military to the point that we are carrying the biggest stick and letting every nation know that we will use it to defend ourselves against all comers. As long as we have a president who believes that his dazzling intellect and brilliant smile will disarm and subdue our enemies, we will be perceived as weak, unwilling to defend our friends, and unwilling to defeat our enemies.

Ukraine matters. It matters because Europe matters, and Russian conquest or domination of Ukraine will send an icy wind across the fence and across Europe. It isn’t the real estate that matters here; it’s the people. We Americans have the obligation to do everything that we can do to help create a more stable and safe world, a world in which people can pursue their own dreams and aspirations — not ours, not Moscow’s. We must lay the groundwork to ensure that no more fences will be crossed by Russia. By doing so, we light a candle in the dark, and make the world better for all of us.

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