“One of the common failures among honorable people is a failure to appreciate how thoroughly dishonorable some other people can be, and how dangerous it is to trust them.” These words by economist Thomas Sowell sum up the naïve foreign policy of the Obama Administration. Sowell’s words are a good summation of the appeasement policy pursued to placate Hitler and his territorial quest prior to World War II. The Obama “RESET” policy is another form of appeasement.
What many Americans and Europeans don’t realize is that Vladimir Putin has set up a quasi Communist regime in Russia. Former KGB officers are in key government positions. There are many Russians who would like to return to the good old days of Communist rule. They want to become a superpower again.
Putin is popular among many Russians because their economy is percolating along, the unemployment rate is low, and the government has cracked down on the lawlessness in the nation. Add to these factors the economic dependency of Western Europe on Russia for the bulk of their oil and natural gas. This energy dependency provides Putin with an economic weapon. He can intimidate the rest of Europe not by military saber-rattling but by threatening to cut off their energy resources. They are his personal form of economic sanctions against his enemies.
Russia’s economic recovery is due to capitalism. Communism impoverished Russia. Yet Russia has modified their capitalism, like China, by concentrating certain industries into the hands of the government. So it is quasi-capitalism that Russia has created with elements of socialism. Old habits die hard!
Russians wants to relive the days when Europe and the world trembled at the aggression of the Soviet Union. The Cold War never ended for the Russians. It just entered a new stage with a new leader who was trained in KGB tactics and duplicity. This is what Obama and the Democrats failed to realize. Obama’s “RESET” of relations with Russia was naïve. Obama draws red lines and does nothing when the red lines are crossed. So Putin took advantage of Obama’s phony warnings by seizing the Crimea and threatening the Ukraine. So don’t be surprised if China, North Korea and Iran also become more belligerent. Why not? Who is going to stop them? The world no longer has the United States leading free nations in containing aggression.