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Sarah Palin Was Right About Ukraine?

Mar 3 2014, 11:41pm CST | by , in News | Misc

Sarah Palin Was Right About Ukraine?
 
 

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Sarah Palin Was Right About Ukraine?

Sarah Palin may not have been able to see Russia from her house, but she might have been right about Russia invading Ukraine.

“After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next,” Palin claimed in 2008, during her vice-presidential bid alongside John McCain.

Palin, already mocked for claiming that she could see Russia from Alaska, was criticized for her Ukraine prediction. Among the critics was Foreign Policy Magazine, which described her forecast as “strange” and an “an extremely far-fetched scenario.”

Palin hasn’t exactly tried to hide her glee. “Yes, I could see this one from Alaska,” she crowed on her Facebook page. “I’m usually not one to Told-Ya-So, but I did, despite my accurate prediction being derided as ‘an extremely far-fetched scenario’ by the ‘high-brow’ Foreign Policy magazine. Here’s what this ‘stupid’ ‘insipid woman’ predicted back in 2008.”

Foreign Policy Magazine (whom I also write for) was gracious enough to offer a sort of mea culpa.  “So we have to hand it to her: Six years after the publication of a 156-word blog post, points to Palin. Sort of.”

The magazine then pointed out that given Palin’s lack of foreign affairs credentials, it was less likely that Palin astutely predicted Russia grabbing Crimea, and more likely that her comment came “in the context of the GOP’s 2008 narrative, which was the same as most Republican campaigns since World War II: Democrats are weak on national defense and that weakness will invite aggression, endangering us all.”

Regardless of whether Palin had ESP or was just a broken clock that happened to tell the correct time, postulating that a forceful U.S. response to Russia during the brief 2008 Russia-Georgia War would have deterred Moscow from attacking Ukraine today, is as unlikely a scenario as imagining that then-Senator Obama could have changed U.S. policy.

In 2008, the U.S. military was stretched like a rubber band, trying to fight simultaneous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. George W. Bush’s White House, which could hardly be described as shy about using force, didn’t have the resources for another conflict, and every U.S. President – Republican or Democrat – has trod very carefully in any situation that might put American troops in a shooting war with a nuclear-armed Russia. The Bush administration did ship humanitarian aid to Georgia, Western Europe criticized Russia, and that was all. Jimmy Carter ordered the U.S. to boycott the  1980 Olympics over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and Russian troops stayed in that country  another 10 years.

Perhaps the biggest lesson of the Russia-Georgia conflict was that it is dangerous for Russia’s smaller neighbors to think of joining NATO, as Georgia hoped to do,  which Ukraine has flirted with, and which the three small Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have actually done. Regardless of what Senator Obama said in 2008 or President Obama did today, Russia would protect what it perceives as its vital interests.

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Source: Forbes

 

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

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