My old friend Colonel Joe Bob was a true sage filled with such bon mots. John Kerry would have benefited greatly from Joe Bob's counsel.
Folks, I remind that many of you were quite sure that Russia would not take military action and instead would rely on diplomatic and economic sanctions. You were wrong. The Russians did not "play it safe." They intend to annex the Crimea one way or another. Their seizure of the port of Kerch in the east indicates an intention to further reinforce their forces in the Crimea. The big ship ferries will be used to move armor, artillery and other heavy equipment from the Russian mainland for the purpose of consolidating their position against a decision on the part of Kiev to fight for the Crimea or the likely Tatar resistance to come.
The Russians will be carefully considering EU willingness to cooperate with the US in economic and political actions that will punish them as much as Russia. IMO it is unlikely that EU countries will boycott Russian gas or entertain seriously the notion of ejecting Russia from the G-8. If that is the case then the chances will rise to well above 50% that Russia will invade the rest of Ukraine to restore what they see as the legitimate and constitutional government. The purpose of this will be to eliminate the influence of anti-Russian political factions and ensure that Ukraine does not move into the EU or NATO. Would the Ukrainian Army fight? Probably they would but to little effect. I doubt that Russia would try to re-absorb non-Crimean Ukraine. The costs would be too high but the chance to smash what the Russians see as a US plot organized to eliminate Russia's role in Ukraine may well be so alluring that temporary occupation of the country may occur.
Against that background the pathetic bleating of the pundits is simply wrong. The idea that history and human societies have something like organic life and that all of that has direction and motion is incorrect. History is just things that happened. It has no direction of change. It does not really change. People do not change. Their motivations remain what they always were. To speak of Russian action as being characteristic of the 19th or 20th centuries is inane. The Russians are proving that to be the case.
The newspapers and 24/7 news bilge is today full of outrage. It is meaningless outrage. Russia has strategic nuclear forces sufficient to eliminate any threat of significant US military action and the Europeans will not sacrifice their worldly goods for the Galicians and the Crimean Tatars.
It is clear that Putin is unconcerned with hard words directed at him from the West. The blonde BBC newsbabe said on Morning Joe today that she has now learned that a man who does not care what you think of him is difficult to deal with. More people should learn that lesson. pl