Ukraine’s violence has far reaching global implications

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CHARLOTTEFebruary 20, 2014 – The global implications surrounding the chaos in Kiev are enormous despite comments by former presidential candidate, Ron Paul, that the protests are purely an internal conflict.

Barack Obama has weighed in on the situation saying, “There will be consequences if people step over the line.” There’s that line again. We heard about it before in Syria. Somehow, thanks to our diminished credibility and increasing international weakness, the president’s words have little clout.

Former Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, summed it up in three words, “Nobody believes that.”

While Ukraine burns, the events are so fresh and fluid that Obama hasn’t even had an opportunity to fully analyze the situation. Yet, the president’s foreign policy record is so poor and so inept, that there are already strong perceptions that he will be impotent in whatever decisions he does make. That does not represent an American attitude with which we are either familiar or comfortable.

Columnist Steve Hayes of The Weekly Standard had a powerful analysis in that regard saying, “We are watching in real time the decline of American power, and the person who’s most afraid of American power these days is Barack Obama.”

As John Bolton sees it, “The likes of Vladimir Putin see that statement (Obama’s) and they say, ‘The field is open.’”

While Ron Paul and Barack Obama may have different approaches to Ukraine, their conclusions eventually wind up in the same place with both highlighting the weakness of current American policies. Much of what is happening in the former Russian satellite nation has such deep global ramifications that they could have a domino effect to such an extent that the United States has no other choice but to intervene. Therein lies the problem because President Obama has no inclination toward intervention regardless of the rhetoric he uses.

Why is Ukraine so important? In the simplest terms because it is a conflict between East and West where the country could become a major economic player in Europe if given a Western allegiance. On the other hand, Ukrains represents a potential return to the old Soviet alliance for Vladimir Putin, as well as easy access to the Black Sea through the Strait of Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey.

For the moment, Putin has the upper hand; a strength which has intensified thanks to the Obama administration’s foreign policy fiasco in dealing with Syria and Iran.

Thanks to previous international policy failures by the U.S. under Barack Obama, our words have little impact. Says former ambassador Bolton, “Other countries are watching the inability or unwillingness of the United States to do anything about this. You can bet in Beijing they’re paying very close attention to it. They’re breaking out the orange juice in Tehran for what this means on the nuclear negotiations. This is just a terrible display of American withdrawal.

“The president lives in an unreal world when it comes to international affairs. He lives in a world of rhetoric and talk. He does not live in the real world of power.”

There is never any certainty about the implications of any negotiation on any given day when dealing with such diversity on an international scale. However, whether our actions have ultimately been right or wrong, the United States has always been perceived by the global community as a world leader that represents the highest ideals of human rights, individual freedoms and self-determination.

No matter how well-intentioned team Obama/Clinton/Kerry may have been, their policies of appeasement combined with unrealistic diplomatic efforts with Islamist factions throughout the Middle East have eroded America’s power in the eyes of the world and made it considerably more dangerous.

Superman has been crippled by Kryptonite. Sampson has been given a crew cut. The question is whether we can regain our credibility before it is too late to do anything about it.

In and of itself Ukraine may appear to be a regional conflict, but its implications could be far reaching and Barack Obama’s foreign policy legacy does not offer an encouraging outcome for the United States.

Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (  

Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News

Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod


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  • lonborghini

    President Obama is overseeing our extrication from a war in Afghanistan that was initiated long before his watch. President Obama has so far avoided engaging the USA in any new wars. Our president shows remarkable strength, resolve and moral leadership at the helm of a superpower with a warmongering history.

    • Rob Davis

      Our president has shown remarkable weakness, lack of resolve, and lack of morals. He has given Iraq back to the terrorists, and the same thing will happen in Afghanistan.

      He has lied about almost everything.

      You must be a mentally ill Liberal, all you do is lie, just like the POTUS.

      • lonborghini

        Terrorists? They are just very religious people with guns, kind of like Texans.

      • Edward Whelden

        “He has given Iraq back to the terrorists” The US IS the terrorist,and we can thank George Bush for two wars we should have not been in…While you clowns are gun-ho for another war,who’s paying for it? you? If we listened to the bs you people spit out we’d be at war with Iran by now

      • So bomb Syria and bomb Ukraine then? That will fix everything?

    • Torin Clinton

      You Obviously voted for Obama… You’re input is not needed or welcome. You have set events in motion that could lead to a second civil war in this country. Explain THAT to your children. 14

      • lonborghini

        Did i do that? Even my grandchildren would find your assertion amusing. BTW, i always vote the Libertarian ticket. Our president is no Libertarian.

      • Edward Whelden

        From where I stand it was Kerry,not Obama that wanted missle strikes in Syria…Put the blame where it should be,all these assholes that want the US to start wars…It’s all about the buck isn’t it

    • Doug Williams

      I don’t get?Where is the punchline?Oh…nevermind

    • Valerie Ploch

      He’s the done dragging that war out! There have been more Americans killed in Afganistan since Obama took over than all of Bush’s years!

  • KS Sys

    Obama’s lack of strength is embarrassing. He lets Iranian warships into our Maritime waters, with a free pass. The Iran nuke deal was a complete joke and all of his scandals are solid ground for impeachment. We wanted a President, and all we got was some Kenyan dictator. Maybe someday he’ll listen to THE PEOPLE, but I won’t hold my breath.

  • Vitaliy Shtym

    People are winning, most of the president’s party has left he country in the last 24 hours. Remaining politicians managed to legally pass the laws to dismiss the armed forces to stop the violence, it just has to be signed which should happen 10am local time. A lot of military has surrendered to the protesters today.
    Yes the global Implications are huge when it comes to Ukraine BUT Ron Paul is 100% correct that USA has to stay out, any actions other than sanctions will only divide the country and cause a real civil war. Action that is needed from USA and EU is to put sanctions on the governmental officials that are responsible for this, freeze their assets and trial: Yanukovych, Azarov, Klyuev, Zakharchenko, Lukash, Pshonka, Herman, Rybak, Portnov, Efremov, Dobkin, Kernes, Myroshnichenko, Chechetov, Tsarev, Kolesnychenko, Boyko, Oliynyk for starters.

    • Valerie Ploch

      Hallelujah! Someone with a brain!

    • cally1

      sounds like a plan Vitally. I don’t trust that this administration knows just what to do…and if they do, I don’t trust that they’ll follow through-

  • Olde Rose

    POTUS is a half-African Jimmy Carter. Last time around, we were gifted with Ronaldus Magnus, who quickly restored order. We can do it again. We are Americans.

    • Valerie Ploch

      I don’t think we’ll be coming back this time!

      • cally1

        Valerie, don’t give up, remind yourself of all the founding fathers who gave their lives so we could live in the best country in the world. Look up some of the quotes from them and it will give you more confidence that it can be done-we can’t just roll over belly-up, or hide our heads in the sand. Keep the faith and get involved-phone calls and emails to senators and congressmen really do make a difference!

      • Olde Rose

        Our history is replete with woundings that were deemed mortal — yet somehow, miraculous recoveries occurred. Whether we are yet again to be saved by Divine Providence is of course unknowable; but the track record clearly says that’s the way to bet. Keep the faith, Valerie, and Semper Fi!

        • Olde Rose

          Just saw cally1’s commentary. It renders mine redundant, but should bolster your confidence all the more. NEVER sell The Shining City short!

  • EpluribusUNO

    This is the most ridiculous analysis of the Ukraine situation I have read so far. Appeasement? Withdrawal? the EU, with US support CAUSED the situation. Ukraine is broke, mainly from EU/IMF bank manipulation of loans causing huge financial problems from Kuchma and Timoshenko to the present. UA Bond yields are now 26.75% on an already overpriced 7.95% face. Hryvnia is in freefall. The rejected EU “deal” would have been certain bankruptcy, which STILL may be unavoidable if Russia decides to change its mind about buying $15 Billion in UA bonds, which no investor in EU will touch. The EU doesn’t want to pay Russian prices for the gas running through Ukraine. US and NATO want military bases on Ukraine soil, to further surround Russia.
    It’s about time commentators dumped their simplistic rhetoric and anti-communist fantasy bogeyman, and joined the world or realpolitik. Affiliation with EU will create massive deprivation, massive hyperinflation, and failure of what’s left of the Ukrainian economy. Meanwhile the corrupt oligarchs are buying $145Million apartments in London, where they can hang out with their sponsors in the City of London, the Big Banksters at Barclays and Bank of England. The author was correct about one thing: Obama’s inept rhetoric on “going over the line” and “sanctions” on an already devastated economy. Sanctions hurt and kill regular people, so that Bankers can get rich, not so people can “aspire to democracy.” When Ukraine goes bankrupt, the protesters, who have zero political and economic skills will look to blame someone new, while the banks auction of their country.

  • The writer seems to be suggesting that the US of A should just unload bombs on Syria and Ukraine in some sort of misguided megaphone diplomacy of ordnance. Fat lot of use that was in Viet Nam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

    As for Syria, would Assad even have admitted to having chemical weapons were it not for Obama’s red line? Why should they go and bomb the place now? John Kerry handed Putin the chance to mediate out of war, and that surely is the better outcome than going in gangbusters. The insurgents are busy desecrating Christian churches and hardly seem any better than the regime they’re rising up against.

    The trillions of debt the USA is now in can be sheeted right back to the foreign wars of the trigger happy G.W. Bush, and the cost to America hasn’t just been financial, it has been the loss of face, loss of credibility and loss of authority.