69 million page views

Folly and Incompetence -- and a big moral zero

Reader comment on item: Does Europe Have No-go Zones?
in response to reader comment: Good vs. Evil: Poland in Relation to Russia & Ukraine

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Feb 10, 2015 at 11:35

my parents' home town was in Poland, now Ukraine, in the City of Drohobych

That's in L'viv Oblast. My Jewish ancestors were from Burshtyn, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast. They seem to have left the area in the first part of the 19th Century.

On the other hand, the Ukrainians never had a state of their own

Actually they did, but it was long ago. The most prominent "Russian" principality was in Kiev, ruled by the Rus, a Scandanavian people. Before the time of the Mongol invasion, and for some time afterwards, the "Russians" were divided into independent principalities. As the Mongols withdrew, what is now Belarus was taken over by the Lithuanians, Kiev was conquered by the Poles; and Muscovy, Novgorod and Pskov remained Mongol tributaries. All of them spoke mutually intelligible dialects; but as the years by, Belarussian, Ukrainian and Russian developed as separate languages.

The "Ukrainians", therefore, have a long and proud history, but not as "Ukrainians". In this, you are correct. When they became an independent country after some 200 years of Russian domination, they had a somewhat muddled identity, a split identity which expressed itself in election after election. The armed struggle going on now, is a defining moment of the Ukraine emerging as a people.

I don't think you know Obama if you believe that the CIA created the Ukrainian revolt

Are you serious? I don't think you know the CIA, if you think they had nothing to do with it. We certainly differ in our opinions there. Whether or not the CIA was involved secretly, the US has subsequently become very openly and obviously involved, meddling in what has all the makings of a civil war. This is not a "Russian invasion", though the Russians are certainly aiding one faction while we are aiding the other. That's the point I was making. Obama is starting a Vietnam-style surrogate war, RIGHT IN RUSSIA'S FRONT YARD! If that isn't the height of folly, I shudder to think what is.

In brief summary, if you want to take a moral stand regarding Ukraine vs. Poland, listen to the voices of modern Poland

Taking a moral stand on the Ukraine is, in my opinion, stupid. To me, it's yet another military adventure of the most interventionist, military adventurist President in US history. James K. Polk got us into a war with Mexico; but Obama has instigated major wars in Libya, Ukraine and now Iraq-Syria, and minor conflicts in countless other places. He washes his hands of the horrible consequences, by noting that we put "no boots on the ground". There's no "moral stand" in any of this, just folly and incompetence.

I don't know what side you were on in the Vietnam War, but you can see its outcome: We lost, the country was reunified, and ultimately, the Vietnamese have become our "allies" against the Chinese -- who, while certainly not our allies, are our largest supplier of finished goods and our banker. The Russians, meanwhile, who had backed the Viet Cong against us, are now supplying the Viets with advanced submarines while having massive naval and infantry maneuvers alongside the Chinese. So who won the war? The Americans? The Vietnamese? The Chinese? The Russians? How about the French, who magically drew us into their unfinished business? Everyone, it seems, is profiting from it except the poor suckers who gave their lives in the bloody thing. Can you possibly think the wars in Libya, the Ukraine and Iraq-Syria will have a better outcome than Vietnam? Or a more meaningful outcome? (I don't think so).

Where's the "high moral ground" in all this? In my opinion, there isn't any.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2024 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)