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Obama Should Act Like M.L. King, Not Khrushchev

At its core, the likelihood that Ukraine will become a U.S. satellite is no less of a threat to Russias national security as Soviet missiles in Cuba were to the U.S.

Published: April 23, 2014 (Issue # 1807)




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After CIA director John Brennans recent visit to Kiev and his talks with Ukrainian intelligence officers, it is clear that the Ukrainian crisis has ushered in a new cold war in which the U.S. and Russia are battling each other on the territory of a third country. In the previous Cold War, that struggle took place in African and Asian countries, but now, with Russia weaker than before, the battle has come to Moscows backyard Ukraine. What began as a disagreement with Europe over Ukraines future has now become an open conflict between the U.S. and Russia.

Also by this author: Russia Must Stop U.S. Aggression

This is probably the worst conflict between the two countries since the Cuban missile crisis, but in the Ukrainian crisis the two sides have switched roles. This time, U.S. President Barack Obama is not taking President John F. Kennedys role in the standoff, but that of former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. In 1962, Khrushchev thought the U.S. was weak and that he could therefore place Soviet missiles in Cuba. But in placing nuclear missiles so close to U.S. territory, he had crossed a red line that provoked a tough U.S. response.

Also by this author: Why There Will Be War in Ukraine

Now Obama, like Khrushchev, has crossed a red line by helping a Russophobic government to seize power by force in Kiev. Obamas main mistake was that he failed to understand that Moscow would view U.S. support for the new anti-Russian government in Kiev as both an act of aggression and an existential threat to Russia and that Moscow would be prepared to resist blatant U.S. meddling in Ukraine at all costs. Just as Khrushchev became emboldened by the Soviet Unions emergence as a superpower and overestimated Washingtons weakness, Obama, it would seem, is emboldened with the U.S. status as the only remaining superpower, while overestimating Moscows weakness. Russia might not be a strong global superpower, but it has great strength in its own region.

At its core, the likelihood that Ukraine will become a U.S. satellite is no less of a threat to Russias national security as Soviet missiles in Cuba were to the U.S.

Ethnic Russians and Ukrainians in Ukraine are not opposed to each other. In fact, the two even blend together in some places. For example, 75 percent of the population in the rebellious cities of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk speak Russian as their primary language, according to recent polls. Meanwhile, 65 percent of all Ukrainians speak Russian as their primary language, even though they are able to speak Ukrainian.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meeting tonight at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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