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Friday, August 29, 2014

Only one thing will help

Bring Rabbi Nachman to Jerusalem Only one thing will help. 1) Send Rabbi Nachman to Jerusalem and 2) ask the Nation of Israel for complete cooperation until Russia is wiped off the map! The Ukrainians are not dealing with Pharaoh, they are dealing with Amalek!

As Russia widened its invasion of Ukraine this week, with the aim of tearing the nation apart, the West and even some of Ukraine’s leaders refuse to own up to the six-month-old reality that this is war and that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a threat to global peace who must be stopped.

Russia’s invasion started with its troops taking over Crimea on Feb. 27, and has widened with a mix of Kremlin-armed and -financed proxies, as well as Russian special agents and troops working inside eastern and southern Ukraine in April and May.

When the proxies started losing ground to the Ukrainian military in June and July under Russian leadership, Russia in August started seeking to regain lost territory and erase the hard-earned gains – paid for with the blood of more than 2,000 Ukrainian lives and counting – of the nation’s military and civilians.

And still the West is looking away as if this has nothing to do with them, preferring to ignore the new reality of Russia as a rogue state.

The astute Timothy Ash, head of London-based Standard Bank emerging markets research, was right as usual when he observed on Aug. 28: “The reality is that many Western governments, with strong business links to Russia, would rather prefer to ignore the awkward reality that Russia has changed, and the West needs to adopt a different approach. Surely this can no longer be business as usual when Russian actions are threatening peace, security and economic stability in Europe.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s five-hour stopover in Ukraine on Aug. 23 symbolized the aimlessness of the weak Western response, for which all nations of the European Union will regret soon.

Merkel’s policy is to adhere to an outdated NATO-Russia agreement whereby the Western military alliance does not station large numbers of troops in NATO-member countries on Russia’s borders.

This may have been fine when Russia was not an adversary and before it violated international law by annexing part of Ukraine, but Putin’s Russia stands today as the strongest threat to global democratic values. The Kremlin dictator’s stance requires strengthening NATO through a significant build-up in the three Baltic nations and Poland, four countries that already have reason to doubt Western security guarantees.

Not only did Merkel in Kyiv not offer any military assistance so that Ukraine can better defend itself, the chancellor went a step further and said Germany – and therefore, most likely the EU as well – is not contemplating further economic sanctions against Russia. This was a double green light for Putin.

Merkel, often called a realist, is living in a dream world by offering a 500 million euros package to rebuild the Donbas. Rebuild for whom, Angela? The Russian Federation?

By Aug. 25, Ukraine had its answer, with the capture of 10 Russian paratroopers caught 30 kilometers inside Ukraine as part of an attack force. One of the detained paratroopers said he thought the group was on a military training mission and had no desire to fight against the Ukrainian people.

Meanwhile, on Aug. 26 in Minsk, the crazy man in the Kremlin was continuing his usual lies and misdirection with the gullible West and the historically hapless EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton. Putin has sized up many Western leaders, such as French President Francois Hollande and Merkel, as money-grubbing, weak-willed hypocrites who only require a regular stream of Kremlin prevarications to pacify and paralyze them.

President Petro Poroshenko, while a vast improvement over any other president in Ukraine’s history, is not yet up to the challenge. He spoke too softly and demanded too little in his meeting with Putin. The Kremlin mass murderer (though not on the scale of Josef Stalin yet) undoubtedly regards Poroshenko as a weak counterpart deserving of the same contempt that Putin gives Ukraine. Poroshenko compounded his hesitant leadership by declaring the situation under control on Aug. 28. No, the situation is not under control.

So what to expect?

Ukrainian forces are in danger of losing the ground they gained – and more, potentially the entire Donbas again. Some volunteer and regular army units are nearing revolt because of the poor strategy of Ukraine’s military leadership and their lack of arms to fight Russian forces.

Two steps are required.

Firstly, Ukraine’s leaders need to put the nation on a war footing. This means massive mobilization, rationing and, even if the West won’t help supply the resources, militarization of society.

Secondly, the West needs to deliver on arms and massive financial assistance, impose tougher sanctions and sever all possible trade deals with Russia. U.S. President Barack Obama, one of America’s weaker foreign policy presidents, needs to take a tough stand on behalf of Ukrainians by leading the Western response. For what does America have the world’s strongest military if it cannot help a good friend fight for its survival?

This war can still be won by the good guys fighting on their home turf. But victory will come only if the West – and Ukraine’s leaders—awaken from their spring and summer slumber.

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