Some Friday Ukraine Links

Fareed Zakaria at The Washington Post: ‘Why (this time) Obama Must Lead:

Obama is still likely leaning on Russia for an exit out of AfPak, and as some kind of East Of Center geopolitical ‘ally’ for leverage in dealing with Damascus and Tehran as part of his global vision (empirical results may vary). He’s probably still aiming for that one-world thing.

I’d call Zakaria’s piece a likely liberal centrist/populist call to action with detailed consideration of the strategic realities:

‘Unlike many of the tragic ethnic and civil wars that have bubbled up over the past three decades, this one involves a great global power, Russia, and thus can and will have far-reaching consequences. And it involves a great global principle: whether national boundaries can be changed by brute force. If it becomes acceptable to do so, what will happen in Asia, where there are dozens of contested boundaries — and several great powers that want to remake them?

Obama must rally the world, push the Europeans and negotiate with the Russians. In this crisis, the United States truly is the indispensable nation.’

Andrew Wood at The American Interest: ‘Crying ‘Fascist’ On Ukraine

“Fascist” has indeed become a crude political insult, and the term can be used to cover states ranging from Peron’s Argentina to Nazi Germany. But the charge of fascism carries a particular force in the formerly Soviet space. World War II is the one sacral achievement that must not be questioned in Russia. To suggest that there are those in power in Ukraine who attack its accomplishments or indeed seek to reverse them is to plug into anger. Hence its value as a weapon to the Kremlin’

This reminds me of Christopher Hitchens passionately denying the ‘fascism’ charge, while often uncannily sniffing it out and confronting it (Hitchens interviews The Metzger White Nationalists).

Of course, I was hoping we in America could resist having only a bunch of military-right, ethnic-nationalists with fascistic tendencies on one side, and Socialist fascists on the other.  We’re not anywhere near that, I hope.

John Kerry threatens ‘serious steps‘ if Russia makes further movements into Crimea, violating both the sovereignty of Ukraine and international law.  No unified ‘international’ response seems forthcoming.