As we watch the events unfolding in Ukraine there is one theme I continue to hear presented by the pundits in the news media – the United States has no options. It is unconscionable that we find ourselves in a foreign policy situation where there are no viable courses of action to be implemented. What is even more disturbing is that Russian President Vladimir Putin was fully aware of this going into his standoff.

America, the erstwhile superpower, finds itself outmaneuvered in a resurging Cold War-type showdown. It seems former GOP presidential candidate Governor Mitt Romney was right after all. I just wish he had defended his assertion with a tad more vigor.

Thanks to the announcement by US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, I do not see us committing any military forces in support of Ukraine. And Pentagon officials confirm they are not working on any contingency plans in that regard. Hagel’s force reduction announcement was made the beginning of last week – it didn’t take the Russian president long to see a gap to exploit.

We telegraphed our intent starting in 2008 allowing Putin to make his incursion into the former Soviet state of Georgia.

SYDNEY WILLIAMS-“The Month That Was – February 2014”

“The most serious charge that can be brought against
New England is not Puritanism, but February.”
Joseph Wood Krutch (1893-1970)
American writer and environmentalist
Snow, cold weather, the Olympics and the deaths of celebrities were the main takeaways for the month of February. The month lived up to Joseph Krutch’s characterization. The blizzard of February 11-12 caused massive traffic jams from Atlanta to Boston. California had a drought, followed by mud slides. Twice, our flights to Florida were cancelled. Most schools in my neck of the woods have had seven snow-days this year, all of which must be made up before the little darlings are released in June. Even today, February 28, the thermometer read ten degrees.
As remarkable as many of the individual athletic feats were, the Olympics, in the opinion of this duffer, have become too commercial. Worse, we and other nations pay our athletes for the medals they receive – and then, of course, tax them. The opening and closing ceremonies have little to do with the spirit of amateur Olympics. Instead, they are an advertisement for the mythical wonders of the host country. Even in today’s world of outlandish excess, $51 billion is a lot of money – two or three times what the previous two Olympics combined cost. And with all that money, reports were that toilets didn’t work! Putting that $51 billion in perspective, Russia’s GDP per capita is roughly one fourth of ours. Modesty does not define this age.
The month began with the ascendancy of Janet Yellen to the chairmanship of the Federal Reserve. With her assertion that the economy was sluggish, markets sensed that tapering would cease or be done at a slower pace, thereby assuring that asset prices would continue to rise. The month ended with the scowling, scolding and outrageous Harry Reid calling out as liars poor souls who had lost their insurance because of ObamaCare. He sounded like an ill-tempered Senator McCarthy pouncing on Army Secretary Robert Stevens. If only some Democrat Senator, with the moral courage and innate decency of a Joseph Welch, would call him out. But the blood lines of politics seem stronger than decorum and respect. One must presume that Mr. Reid has no conscience; else he would have faded away in shame.

Crimea River Obama is Irrelevant to Putin’s Next Moves.


Sometime last Thursday, our intelligence community was telling its bosses that there was little or no chance that Russian President Putin would order his troops to seize control of Ukraine. These are the same guys that are telling us that Iran isn’t building nuclear weapons.

Fortunately, I have better sources. My friend Matt Keegan is a Russia expert and a serious student of their military. On Friday, Matt emailed me to point what should be in the front of the minds of President Obama and the other naïfs trying to figure out what was (and is) going on.

First, he said, Russia wants to control Ukraine because it believes it needs a land bridge to its strategic naval base at Sevastopol on the Black Sea. (The base has been there for about 200 years. When the Evil Empire fell apart, Russia began renting it from Ukraine.) He also pointed out that there are about eight major gas pipeline routes from Russia through Ukraine to reach Europe and Sevastopol. Without controlling Ukraine, Russia risks Ukrainian tariffs on gas or even pipeline sabotage. All of which meant, he said, that the Russians would send military forces into Ukraine to control some or all of that nation.



This may be the excruciatingly worst time for Prime Minister Netanyahu to be visiting President Obama who clearly and, perhaps painfully, is aware of the ridicule many in the international corridors of power are heaping upon him.It is glaringly obvious that in five short years President Barack Hussein Obama has made U.S. foreign policy a figure of ridicule. This president’s red lines have come and gone and left America’s loyal allies, particularly Israel, deeply dismayed and apprehensive. Enemies have been immensely emboldened as the erstwhile policeman of the world has become in the eyes of many a paper tiger.

Whether this was perpetrated deliberately by Obama and his minions or is a display of utter ineptitude remains to be seen. What is happening now with the Ukraine is a de facto annexation by Putin’s Russia, first of the Crimea, with all its vital naval facilities at Sevastapol and, perhaps much of the eastern part of Ukraine.

The strategic control and annexation of Sevastopol, this preeminent warm water port, allows the Russian fleet the wherewithal to control not only the Black Sea but also entry into the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal. Indeed, Obama’s mishandling of the Egyptian “Arab Winter” has allowed Russia to oust American influence in that strategic area of the Middle East and return the situation to the much earlier period of the Soviet Union’s alliance with Gamal Nasser and, for a time, Anwar Sadat.


http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/grovermustgo/ On February 11, 2014, ten influential national security practitioners– including former Congressman Allen West, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, former CIA Director Jim Woolsey, former Pentagon Inspector General Joseph Schmitz and others– sent a letter to American Conservative Union board member Cleta Mitchell, urging her and her colleagues to […]


http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2014/03/02/the-presidents-prophetic-threats-to-israel/#.UxUEAmmolX4.facebook In an extraordinary—and I don’t use the word in a complimentary way—interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of Bloomberg, President Obama follows his secretary of state in warning Israel and its leader that a failure to “make peace” now with the Palestinians will have terrible consequences. Israel is “more isolated internationally,” and will become more so; […]


What we have:
In 1990, the U.S. had a 546-ship Navy. Today we have 285 ships. China now has more ships in their Navy than the U.S.
In 1990, America had 76 Army brigades. Today we have 45.
Twenty years ago (in the 1990s), the Air Force had TWICE as many fighter squadrons and bombers as today.
What shape it’s in:
Most Navy ships and light attack vehicles were built 20 years ago. In the last 4 years, inspection failures for Navy ships have nearly tripled. 1 in 5 ships inspected are UNFIT for combat or severely degraded.


Diplomacy is the US president’s preferred weapon. Now he must prove he can wield it


In the dying days of the Soviet Union, President George H W Bush gave a speech in Kiev urging Ukrainian nationalists not to provoke Moscow. US conservatives dubbed it his “chicken Kiev” speech. Having long since been branded America’s appeaser-in-chief, President Barack Obama now confronts his own chicken Kiev moment. Can Mr Obama stand up to Vladimir Putin, the Russian fox circling the chicken coop? It is unclear whether he has the will and the skill – let alone the means – to do so. Yet the future of his presidency depends on it. There can be little doubt that Mr Putin wants to restore the boundaries of the Russian empire. Mr Obama must somehow find a way to frustrate him.

It will require a very different Mr Obama from the semi-detached one the world has grown used to. Even before Mr Obama became president, critics accused him of appeasing a revanchist Russia. John McCain, his Republican opponent, seized on Russia’s semi-invasion of Georgia in 2008 as an example of where he would draw the line against Moscow’s expansionist creep. Mr Obama’s unwillingness to match his opponent’s hawkishness chimed far better with the US public mood. Americans were tired of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Mr Obama promised to end them. He has done so.

If anything, Americans are even warier of entanglements today. Yet Russia’s occupation of the Crimea dramatically changes the landscape. Everything that Mr Obama wants – nation building at home, a nuclear deal with Iran, a quiescent Middle East and the pivot to Asia – hinges on how he responds to Mr Putin. At the start of his presidency, Mr Obama offered to “reset” US-Russia relations. That is now in tatters. Along with many others, Mr Obama has consistently underestimated Mr Putin’s readiness to challenge the status quo. As recently as last Thursday, the White House dismissed predictions of a Russian incursion into Crimea. In a 90-minute phone call on Saturday, Mr Putin hinted to Mr Obama he was prepared to extend Russia’s Crimean occupation into eastern Ukraine. It would be naive to assume he will not.



Today’s FrontPage Interview guest is Chloe Simone Valdary, a junior and international studies major at the University of New Orleans (UNO). In her short time on campus, Ms. Valdary has distinguished herself as a passionate defender of Israel and Zionism, creating the organization Allies of Israel, one of the lone pro-Israel groups at her university. Ms. Valdary is also the assistant director of special programs for the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel (ISBI) and blogs for Arutz Sheva and the Times of Israel. In addition to being featured by the Jewish Press, BET.com, Breitbart.com, the Jerusalem Post, among others, Algemeiner named Ms. Valdary one of the top 100 people positively affecting Jewish and Israeli life. Recently, Ms. Valdary’s advocacy has elicited the ire of anti-Israel activists, one of whom resorted to racist attacks against her.

FrontPage Magazine: First off, thanks so much for speaking with FrontPage. You’re doing such impressive work fighting anti-Israel and anti-Semitic extremism on campuses today, which is very serious and, unfortunately, growing. When did you decided to take on this cause and what was the trigger for you?

Chloe Simone Valdary: I grew up in a philo-Semitic house. I am a Christian, but one of a different breed, some may say. I grew up observing Shabbat, keeping kosher dietary laws, and observing the Holy Days like Succot and Yom Kippur. So I was always learning about Israel from a historical standpoint. Throughout high school, I became fascinated with Jewish literature. I remember picking up a book called “Choose Life” by Rabbi Bernard Mandelbaum from my library. It was a collection of sayings from famous people which were all very positive and inspiring.

Another important moment in my life was watching the film “Freedom Writers.” I can now say retrospectively that film changed my life for ever. Because what occurs in that film is a class of students changing their lives for the better, and the turning point in the film is when they begin to learn about the Shoah. So that had a huge impact on me.

Sacrificing the Military to Entitlements By Bruce Thornton


Vladimir Putin, playing geopolitical chess while our president plays tiddlywinks, has effectively taken over Crimea. Armed men, looking suspiciously like Russian military personnel, have seized both airports and established border checkpoints decorated with Kalashnikovs and Russian flags. This comes after other armed men seized two government buildings and raised Russian flags, as the legislature appointed a pro-Russian regional leader. Meanwhile Russian military forces are gathering on the border, with Russia’s parliament unanimously voting to approve deploying troops in Ukraine.

This is just Putin’s latest revanchist expansion of Russian power throughout the region. He’s been at this for a while. Remember that during the Bush administration he stole chunks of Moldova and Georgia, using the same argument of ethnic self-determination that served Hitler so well in 1938, when he made the Sudeten Germans the pretext for gobbling up Czechoslovakia. Remember when in 2005 Putin said that after the collapse of the Soviet Union––the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century, as he put it–– “tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory”? And just as England and France did nothing except talk about Hitler’s aggression, so too the West has blustered and threatened and indulged “diplomatic engagement” in response to Putin’s depredations. So we shouldn’t be surprised that Vladimir is dismissing Obama’s flabby threat of “costs” and damage to Russia’s “standing in the international community” if Russia annexes part of Ukraine––as if the ruthless Putin, currently arming and backing the Syrian butcher Assad and the genocidal mullahs in Iran, gives a hoot about his international reputation. And after so many of Obama’s toothless “deadlines,” “red lines,” “game-changers,” “I don’t bluffs,” and “no options are off the table,” who can possibly take this administration seriously?