|U.S. forces in Narva, Estonia (which borders Russia)
The American politicians, needless to say, do not want war with Russia either (though a war with Syria or Iran is something I would not consider beyond them) and they would be doing none of this if they believed for a moment that Russia would ever fight back. The more dim even act as though they are completely ignorant of the fact that the choice between war or peace with Russia is one that is not only up to them but up to the leadership in Moscow as well. I really wish people would learn from history, the common lament of historians of all ages I am sure. All of this should remind us of the Crimean War and not just because Crimea and Ukraine are again at issue. For those not familiar or who would like to refresh their memory, read this past post about the Clash of Monarchies in the Crimean War. Suffice it to say that neither Britain or France really expected to get into a war with Russia over what amounted to a sort of turf-feud between Christian factions in the Holy Land. Napoleon III of France, who took the side of the Catholics (silly man), was satisfied by Turkish concessions on the issue and the British, being a Protestant country and not Catholic or Orthodox really had ‘no dog in the fight’, so to speak, concerning the original issue. How then did this all come to war?
|British troops depart for Crimea
After having stoked the fires of anti-Russian sentiment to such a degree, the politicians in London were left with no other option but to make good on their threats rather than face the public humiliation of backing down from their hysteria. The Czar of Russia was not averse to talking the matter over but he was also not about to back down over an issue in which he clearly felt that he was in the right. He would not and, given his character, could not simply wash his hands of the large Orthodox Christian population living under Ottoman rule in the Holy Land and the Balkans. The result was a war in which nearly 40,500 British troops were killed, France lost over 100,000, Sardinia lost just over 2,000 and the Turks lost almost 45,500 men. The Russians lost the war of course and had casualties of over half a million, just over 500,000 compared to total Allied losses of just over 200,000. Their position was severely weakened and yet, what had the Allies really won with their victory over Russia in Crimea? The French abandoned their interests in the region when another republic replaced Napoleon III, brought down by the Germans in 1870, and the Russian Imperial Navy was soon back in the Black Sea and the British could do nothing about it since neither the French or Germans would support them. Hopes the British had of added Alaska to Canada were thwarted when Czar Alexander II sold the vast territory to the United States. What had Britain gained? Not much.
|President Vladimir Putin
It is, I think, worthwhile to take a step back and look at the basic situation here. Russia does not have military forces or military bases in any country bordering the United States. Russia has not attacked the United States and the same European leaders who howled about Trump rubbishing NATO during the campaign and demanded reassurance of America’s commitment to their defense are now not wanting to get so tough on Russia after all. Iran, likewise, (and regular readers will know what I think of the monstrous and illegitimate regime in Tehran) is no threat to the United States and never have Shiite Islamic terrorists attacked the United States itself. Sunni Islamic terrorists have, many, many times and yet we are sanctioning the Islamic Republic of Iran while selling weapons to the (Sunni) Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. North Korea, finally, is more problematic and yet, one could make the case that they would not be threatening America if American forces were not right next door in South Korea and Japan. The South Korean government, particularly the new President, does not want to take a hard line with North Korea and is very friendly with China. So, on that front, my question is; if South Korea is not worried about the North, why should Americans be? Pull the U.S. forces out and let South Korea handle the situation.
|Where sanctions tend to lead...