The outcome of the events in the Ukraine is of profound consequence. The Ukraine has been the front line for Imperial Russia, then Soviet Russia, and now (adjective currently in the process of being defined) Russia.
The Ukraine has always been Russia’s first colony. How contemporary Russia deals with the Ukrainian question will determine the direction of the new Russia. That the Ukraine succeeds in its transition to democracy is of great consequence to the Ukrainians, but also consequential to the United States, Europe and Russia.
The Ukraine is the pivotal first test for Russia. The choice made by President Putin in the Ukraine may be itself the defining decision as to whether Russia becomes a great democratic nation or an imperial authoritarian nation. There are two choices being made. One is about the Ukraine the other is about Russia. Russia is about to take the “Imperial test”. If President Putin permits the Ukraine to become an independent and democratic nation, Russia itself will have made the choice to become a democratic nation. The Ukraine will be the turning point for President Putin. How he deals with the Ukraine will set a precedence, the direction, the conduct and policy for Russia’s foreign policy towards the other former republics and “near abroad”.
The Ukrainian events will therefore be a pivotal test for the United States and Europe. The Ukraine has always been the gate between east and west. The extension of democracy to this pivot state is a key for establishing and promoting democracy and freedom into central Asia and the Middle East. The outcome in the Ukraine will determine the democratic balance of power in the 21st Century and on every continent. If the administration fails to promote democracy in this pivot nation on the edges of Europe then the endeavor to transform the Middle East by creating a beachhead of democracy and stability will become much less likely. As in the Middle East, an independent and democratic Ukraine is important to the national security of the United States. For the Europeans, it is absolutely essential to their national security that Russia embraces democracy.
A decisive moment in history is upon us and it is important for the Americans and Europeans not to blink. At this crucial juncture, it is important for the Americans and Europeans to understand the depth of what is at stake, and decisively support the cause of freedom in the Ukraine and by forcefully confronting President Putin. A decisive unified response from the Europeans and the United States will result in President Putin yielding. It must be made clear to President Putin that this would cause a serious rupture in his relationship with us. This turn to the dark side will be deeply disturbing to the Europeans and the United States. We need to make clear to President Putin his nation’s accomplishments and relationship with us is in jeopardy.
The appeasement of Hitler in the Munich Agreement of 1938 was a reference point for the remainder of the last century. History took a decisive and very dark turn. The appeasement of Hitler by Prime Minister Chamberlain was the determining choice that set the course of history and subsequent events. We may be facing the 21st Century’s moment of appeasement at the great gates of Kiev. The choice that we now make may be our “vote” between the establishment of a democratic Russia or imperial Russia. The Ukrainian and Russian Question would in time need to be addressed and answered, it was always out there on the horizon. In the year 2004, that question must now be answered. A defining foreign policy decision needs to be made. We are likely writing a critical chapter in history.
Find Archived Articles: