Friday, September 05, 2014
Time to Divide Ukraine?
Time to concentrate on ISIS. Putin could either hinder or help with that. Guess which way he will go in the present climate of hostility towards him
Michael H. McGee
The United States needs to stay out of the current dispute between Russia and the Ukraine. We should withdraw our sanctions against Russia, and withdraw our threats and rhetoric as well. Let the parties involved work out the solution between themselves. Vladimir Putin is correct that there are a lot of Russian nationalists in eastern Ukraine, and a lot of others who identify themselves as ethnic Russians. Eastern Ukraine probably should be a part of Russia.
Some national borders are not worth fighting over or going to war over, particularly those somewhat arbitrarily established within the last few generations. And particularly when the border fails to take account of the natural loyalties of those encompassed within an arbitrary line drawn on a map.
Getting out of the way of the Russians will not harm the United States. Russia is not our enemy. We have much more to gain by retaining friendly relations with Russia than we do by attempting to fight Ukraine’s battles for them. The United States has no defense treaties with Ukraine, and that nation is not a member of NATO.
The Ukraine has only been an independent nation since 1991, and the long history of the area does not support the border as it is currently drawn. For example, in 1686 the area presently known as the Ukraine was provisionally partitioned between Poland and Russia. Russia obtained the areas to the east of the Dnieper River. Poland retained the areas to the west of the Dnieper. After some more changes of ownership, in 1795 even the Polish parts of Ukraine were annexed by Russia. After that time, the Ukraine was always a part of Russia and the Soviet Union until 1991. See here
Of course we do have an obligation to defend our NATO allies in Europe. It’s perfectly appropriate for us to do what we have to do to give both aid and comfort to our NATO allies. To the extent that our rhetoric is intended to reassure Europe that Russia will not threaten their borders, then we need to do just that.
Barack Obama, Joe Biden and John Kerry, though, seem to be going well beyond what is necessary to reassure our NATO allies. They need to STOP IT! RIGHT NOW! Getting involved in a dispute over an arbitrarily established border in an underdeveloped eastern European country will only weaken the United States in the eyes of the world, and will take our focus off the real problems we face. It’s not our fight.
Barack Obama must reestablish an atmosphere of cooperation with Vladimir Putin and seek to help restore a firm sense of security among our NATO allies in Europe. Putin is not going to try to invade Poland or Germany in this lifetime! There is no Threat from the East to our primary European allies. There is no danger to Capitalism and market economies. The fears of our allies are neither justified nor reasonable. Let it go, guys!
Many leaders in Congress and in Western Europe seem to be reacting with the old Cold War mentality, a product of the Twentieth Century, and still want to “crush” the Russian Bear. Even the Obama administration seems to have a low-grade infection of the Cold War disease. Take your antibiotics and let it go, boys and girls.
There is no threat to the United States, whom we love so dearly. Perhaps we are confusing love of our country with a fear of any and all change in the world. Not all change is bad, and some changes, if not good, are merely neutral to the security of both the United States and NATO.
Ukraine is about the same size as the US State of Texas. Below is a map which shows the natural fault-lines in Ukraine. The blue areas are those Oblasts (which are similar to US counties) which in the 2004 election results supported a Russian-leaning candidate. The yellow areas are those Oblasts which in the 2004 elections supported a Western-leaning candidate. There is no overlap in these results. There are no yellow Oblasts scattered among the blue, or blue among the yellow. Yellow is very yellow, and blue is very blue.
The 2004 election results could represent a proxy for a referendum regarding the wishes of the people of the Ukraine. These election results demonstrated the deep divisions between the western and eastern regions of Ukraine. See here
There needs also, though, to be a geographic logic to any division of the country, and Ukraine must retain enough territory to retain its viability as a nation. Russia could annex the eastern part of the country along the physical lines depicted above, and there could be peace.
Draw the new border beginning at the southern and eastern side of the Dnieper River from where it empties into the Black Sea at Kherson. Go up the eastern side of the Dnieper River to near the turn at Dnepropetrovsk, and then follow the eastern side of the Samara Lake. Go from there to the north along the eastern side of Highway M18, to where it ends at the intersection with Highway M03 west of Kharkov. The border could then follow along the eastern side of the railroad tracks from where they meet M18/M03, and push north to the Russian border.
Borders do not need to be a cause for war, conflict or sanctions. Not always.
Where Have the Immigrant Children and Students Gone?
Thomas Jefferson once said, “A country with no border is not a country.” It was true wisdom.
In the 1950s the United States had an immigration policy that maintained national security and unity in a country of peoples with hundreds of different nationalities, races and ethnicities. The system did largely favor immigrants of Western nations, but a nation has an absolute right to decide who immigrates within its borders. If citizens want to change immigration policy, so be it. But what citizens want and what they get are two very different things in Washington, DC.
In 1965 Ted Kennedy arose to do the Democrat thing and fundamentally transform America with his proposed immigration bill. He denied his intentions vigorously: “Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same. … [T]he bill will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area. … [The] ethnic pattern of immigration is not expected to change as sharply as critics think.”
That bill became the first in a series of immigration “reform” bills that passed and gave us our present rancorous multicultural society.
Sixty-five years later, with a population far more than “substantially” changed, we face critical, urgent problems caused by unrestrained immigration that must be solved soon if we are to remain a nation. We offer two examples.
First, even after the lessons of 9/11, government has failed to sufficiently track student visas, and some recipients simply disappear before or after their visas expire. Last year alone 58,000 failed to leave when required, and of that group, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is trying to find 6,000 considered to be of “heightened concern.”
Between 2003 and 2012 the number of students on visas nearly doubled, climbing from 663,000 to 1.2 million. It now exceeds a million per year. And virtually any kind of school qualifies: beauty school, massage school and, yes, flight school, a third of which have no FAA certification.
One school with four campuses remains in operation even though five top executives have been indicted for visa fraud. The indictment charges that 80% of enrolled foreign students had delinquent attendance, which the school failed to report. The execs pled not guilty.
The ICE official in charge of investigating student visa violations said ICE has no choice but to allow the school to continue facilitating student visas, explaining, “[T]his is the United States of America and everyone has due process.”
Second, where are the thousands of illegal alien children who continue entering our country? Some in the government know, but ABC News could not get an answer. The Department of Health and Human Services website says, “We cannot release information about individual children that could compromise the child’s location or identity.”
Not compromising illegal aliens' identity now takes precedence over not compromising national security. Remember, many of those “children” are in their late teens or early 20s. Some belong to either of the two most dangerous Latino gangs that have been recruiting heavily at detention centers. Plus there’s no way of knowing how many terrorists have infiltrated our nation after Barack Obama’s emasculation of the Border Patrol and the laughable performance of ICE.
Reportedly, more than 100 shelters are spread throughout the country to house children, and more are going up. Additionally, more than 37,000 children have been released to relatives or sponsors. How many of the relatives are here illegally themselves?
One private social welfare organization refused $50 million for housing children to avoid “negative backlash.” Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) did the math, and it comes to a cool $166,000 annually per child.
Even members of Congress can’t get information out of the administration, a typical Obama game.
Bottom line: Wherever these kids land, local costs rise immensely. By law they are entitled to health and social services as well as education, meaning bursting hospitals, welfare rolls and classrooms. Adding kids who can’t speak English, and are probably illiterate in their own language, will require more specialized teachers. It’s too bad the full costs won’t hit before November.
Finally, what’s going on at the border now? Certainly the influx of illegals hasn’t ended, but ISIL beheadings and Vladimir Putin’s adventures are front page now. The alien invasion is old news.
We’ve seen much of what Obama meant by “fundamentally transforming” America, but with almost two-and-a-half years remaining in his presidency, it looks like we ain’t seen nothing yet.
Of Racial Delusions and Riots
Last week, as riots in Ferguson, Missouri decrescendoed and the country held its collective breath over the question of the indictment of Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, rappers Diddy (formerly P. Diddy, formerly Puff Daddy, formerly Sean Combs), 2 Chainz, The Game, and Rick Ross, along with 10 of their fellows, released a song: “Don’t Shoot.”
The Game explained why he felt the necessity to record the song: “I am a black man with kids of my own that I love more than anything, and I cannot fathom a horrific tragedy like Michael Brown’s happening to them. This possibility has shaken me to my core.”
The lyrics of the song speak to a perverse view of race in America – a view reinforced day after day by a media dedicated to the proposition that American law enforcement maliciously targets black men at random. To this point, nobody knows the facts of the case in the Brown shooting. Nonetheless, the rappers label the shooting cold-blooded, first-degree murder. Because facts are unnecessary; only feelings are real. “God ain’t put us on the Earth to get murdered, it’s murder,” says one rapper, TGT. Another, The Game, raps, “They killin' teens, they killin' dreams, it’s murder.”
Next, Diddy launches into a listing of various black men killed under controversial circumstances. Some, like Emmett Till, were murdered in acts of pure and evil racism. But Diddy lumps together Till with Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown – and even Ezell Ford. Last week, the Los Angeles Police Department released the identities of the two police officers who shot Ford. One was Asian; the other was Hispanic. The Huffington Post did not even cover their races. The Los Angeles Times buried that relevant fact in paragraph 13 of their comprehensive story. But again, facts do not matter: Only a feeling of persecution matters.
Then Rick Ross sums up the generalized view of America created by media-stoked racial conflagrations like the Michael Brown situation: “Black men, we pay the toll, the price is your life, Uncle Sam want a slice, black dress code now we looting in the night, now we throwing Molotovs in this Holocaust.” A grand total of just under 100 young black men are killed by white police officers each year, according to statistics provided to the FBI by local police. To compare police treatment of young black men to the Holocaust is not only statistically idiotic, but also morally dangerous.
Nonetheless, that is the view of police for many blacks: police as paramilitary white force out to target black men. When I was recently in the CNN green room with former Obama green jobs czar Van Jones, he and I got to talking about the Ferguson situation. I asked him why he believed there was such a racial gap in the interpretation of the situation. His answer: “You’re Jewish, right? Wouldn’t you jump to conclusions if you heard that the Nazis or Hamas had killed a Jew?”
Of course, not even Van Jones, Diddy, 2 Chainz, and the rest truly believe what they say about the police. All those who spout about a “Holocaust” by police against blacks would call 911 in approximately 3.5 seconds if their houses were robbed. But if we truly believe that America’s police forces are akin to Nazis or Islamic terrorists, there can be no decent solution. Fighting police would be a moral imperative, not a moral evil.
And therein lies the problem. The only real answer to the antipathy between large segments of the black community and police is threefold: first, taking seriously fact-based allegations of racism against the authorities, and investigating and prosecuting such allegations if well-founded; second, not jumping to conclusions about non-fact-based allegations; and third, lowering crime rates among young black men, thereby lowering interactions between police and young black men.
But those are not solutions backed by the racially delusional. Instead, they suggest an unending and circular “conversation” about race that goes something like this: Police sometimes shoot young black men; that’s because police are racist; therefore, those who resist police are not morally unjustified; rinse, wash, repeat.
Sadly, America’s media backs this second approach. And so we end up with damaging foolishness like “Don’t Shoot” infusing our pop culture and the snarky but empty-headed racial guilting of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert invading our news. And nothing gets solved. We just get more hate, more rage and more violence.
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Posted by JR at 12:39 AM