I don't think Obama gives a rat's buttocks about Ukraine or those disputed islands.
I think he just desperately wants something else...a distraction.
'What kind of sick and twisted toy factory is this?'
'We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile, and nothing can grow there. Too much, the best of us is washed away.'
"Better to be dead and cool, than alive and uncool."
That said, what is troubling currently is that Russia says that mercenaries from US security companies are operating with nationalist militants from Right Sector and Ukrainian security forces in Eastern Ukraine. If that is true, then Russia could perceive that the US, through mercenaries, could be attempting to infiltrate Russia itself through Ukraine to provoke unrest and destabilize the Russian government. That would not be an unfounded conclusion because indeed the US did use mercenaries in Afghanistan, and I think is is highly likely that those mercenaries were used to help facilitate and encourage those groups in Afghanistan such as the TTP that were carrying out attacks in Pakistan aimed at destabilizing the government. The President of Pakistan, Asif Zadari, husband of the slain Benazir Bhutto, told US envoy Zalmay Khalizad that he believed the US was behind a number of attacks inside of Pakistan. He said the purpose of the attacks was to destabilize Pakistan so that the US could seize it's nuclear weapons. So it's possible that US mercenaries could infiltrate Russia through Ukraine and foment unrest in Russia to destabilize Putin's regime. We are likely already doing so through NGOs in Russia, so while it's not a known fact, such a scenario is a possibility. Not only that, but right wing extremists like the Right Sector could even carry out terrorists attacks in Russia using Ukraine as a staging ground. IF that's the case, and Putin senses this as a threat, then it would become highly likely that he would send troops into Ukraine, thus escalating tensions. If we had a firm security guarantee with Ukraine, this would be very unfortunate because direct confrontation between Russian troops and US military personnel would become likely. That would be very, very unfortunate.
Now one could say that's all the more reason to give a security guarantee to Ukraine because that would reduce the possibility of a Russian incursion. But I think that given the very close proximity of Ukraine to Russia and the close historical ties the Russia has with the people in eastern Ukraine, we would be playing a very dangerous game of Russian roulette, pun intended, and I see no good reason to take such a risk over Ukraine. Again, the countries of NATO is the proper place to draw that line.
Allowing Russia to sink it's tendrils into Ukraine again and running the very real risk of a Russo-sphere that extends to the periphery of Central Europe is unthinkable. It would threaten the European experiment in innumerable ways. It would expose countries like Romania, Moldova, Hungary, and Serbia to the beguiling temptations of shifting back into a Russian orbit, it would endanger if not annihilate the credibility of US security guarantees which could lead to flash points in the Baltic (where you genuinely have anti-Russian policies unlike the fictitious pretexts in Ukraine) especially in Estonia. It would embolden Russia to take advantage of future possible pretexts for further intrusion in Georgia and Azerbaijan (vis a vis Armenia/Nagorno).
Finally it critically endangers the global credibility of the US alliance structure and our willingness to assume a defensive posture over frontline states and in potential hot spots. There is so much on the line in Ukraine even if people would prefer to stick their heads in the sand about it.
As for the rest of your point... it's baseless. There is no reliable evidence whatsoever that US 'mercenaries' are operating in Ukraine nor does that make any sense. Or that we used mercenaries to support the Pakistani Taliban. Those are just silly conspiracy-isms. It's also nothing more than a propaganda point (abetted by a colossal misunderstanding of Ukrainian history and politics) to call the government in Kiev a bastion of right wing extremists.
The reality of the situation is that there is a very big difference in the downside risks for us in Ukraine with regards to the way that we handled the European associate agreement, and those of Russia. On one side Russia is faced with a do or die situation, on the other we are simply faced with a situation in which our leverage is reduced. So to have put Russia in a situation like that was not very good strategic thinking because it forced Russia to play their hand in Crimea. By doing so, it has created a front in which military confrontation between ourselves and Russia is substantially more likely. Not only that but it has totally put and end to any notion of the view that Gorbachev had when the Soviet empire broke up of a new cooperative thinking between ourselves and Russia. The problem with your position is that you appear to believe that any regime that does not share the same views and values that we have, or that disagrees with what our ability to dictate policy to other nations should be, is a regime that is highly hostile and needs to be eradicated. This view is so extreme that even someone as benign as Aristide, in poor little Haiti, is a threat that must be removed. In that case, there was no more than an ideological difference of opinion with regards to how the resources of the government should be used to help it's citizens. But to persons like you, that is a grave threat to US interests, and therefore he was removed from office. It's totally ridiculous and unsustainable because the US simply does not have the proper resources to project it's influence all over the globe in this way.
Last edited by MildSteel; 04-09-14 at 05:53 AM.