Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The "Domino Theory" Rides Again


Back in the 1950s and 60s this theory was used to justify our involvement in conflicts involving other nations. I associate it most strongly with President Eisenhower who worried about Asian nations falling into communism like a row of tumbling domino pieces. Corruption of ancient values played a role in tipping nations off ethical paths.

Right now, it would appear that Vladimir Putin and his Russian buddies are trying to reconstitute the old Soviet Union; one country at a time. It started with Georgia and Chechnya, relatively small fish in the scheme of things. Ukraine is a big fish with strong manufacturing and food production capacities important to the region.

Once Putin saw that his invasions of Georgia and Chechnya didn’t rile the rest of the world enough to get involved, he decided on a bigger goal. Sadly, the president of Ukraine was a Putin-puppet and readily turned-over the reins.

In no way do I suggest that the U.S. should send G.I.s into Ukraine or Crimea even though Putin thumbs his nose at our diplomatic efforts. He really could not care less what we think about his actions. Besides, whenever the U.S. has supported insurgencies in other countries, they have turned around and bitten our collective posterior. Supporting Iraq’s former dictator Saddam Hussein against Iran and Afghan rebels (Taliban) against the Russians are just two examples.

Are we still so afraid of communism and the Iron Curtain that we have to react every time Putin throws his weight around? I think it’s dreadful that Ukraine's civilians and military are taking a beating. It reminds me of the atrocities in Serbia and Croatia not so long ago. Still, the U.S. is stretched way too thin trying to police the world.

The United Nations is oxymoronic [not sure that’s a word but it works] because member nations seldom are united on anything. The U.S. is its main financier yet is outweighed in the Security Council by nations that contribute far less. Regardless, it should be the U.N., not the U.S. that stands up against Russian intrusion. Diplomacy has its place, but it’s time for member nations to roll up their sleeves and go after the bullies. Strength in numbers is the only way to stop bullying before the bullies get too sure of themselves.

Unlike some believe, the United Nations does not have it’s own army. It depends on member nations volunteering their troops for U.N. peace-keeping missions. I believe there is a chance that a U.N. mission to Ukraine and Crimea might halt the conflict before it gets really ugly.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Well said Peg. What a mess this could turn out to be.