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by
Bryan Preston

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March 19, 2014 - 12:24 pm

First, Bosnia. Russia was never happy with how that war ended. Now Putin is stoking separatism.

Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik has long resisted any efforts to centralize power in Sarajevo, predicting instead the country’s eventual demise.

He met Russia’s ambassador to Bosnia, Aleksandar Bocan-Harcenko, on Tuesday and said the Serb Republic backed Sunday’s referendum in Crimea on joining Russia as “legitimate and democratic”, in accordance with international law and the U.N.-guaranteed right to self-determination, Bosnia’s Fena news agency reported.

As the Crimea crisis neared its climax last week, Dodik visited Moscow, where he was rewarded by Russian Patriarch Kirill for his efforts “to consolidate the unity of Orthodox nations”.

Ashdown noted an offer by Russia of a loan to Bosnia’s Serb Republic to compensate for a freeze in funding to both of Bosnia’s entities by the International Monetary Fund over stalled economic measures.

Russia stepped in to help Ukraine’s pro-Moscow president, Viktor Yanukovich, with billions of dollars in aid after he spurned a deal on closer ties with the European Union in late November. Yanukovich was toppled by mass protests in February, precipitating Crimea’s secession by referendum on Sunday.

“The actions of offering an alternative loan … to one of the (Bosnian) entities, the action of withdrawing support for a project to join Europe, it cannot have any other outcome but to encourage those who wish to see secessionism,” Ashdown told reporters.

“Is this just a coincidence? Ask the Russian ambassador.”

It’s no more or less a coincidence than Ed Snowden dropping leaks on U.S. intel capabilities from wherever he now lives in Russia. And it’s no more or less a coincidence than Russia going public with this now:

Interfax: Russian diplomat says Moscow considering changing stance in Iranian nuclear talks.

What does this mean? Russia has traditionally regarded Iran as a non-threat to itself, and has traditionally played its influence with Iran against U.S. interests. Iran’s nuclear program is built on Russian technology. While Russia does not want a radical Islamic state armed with nuclear weapons, Russia here is signalling that it will fight any U.S.-led effort to slow down Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Couple that with Obama’s own Hamlet-esque dithering, and the bottom line is that Iran will obtain nuclear weapons. Iran has previously threatened to obliterate Israel. Russia and Iran have an understanding about who their real enemy is.

The American celebrity and media culture that elevated Barack Obama to the presidency is going to have a lot of reality to come to grips with. Presidents have to know more than just college basketball stats and the odd hard-left ideological trope. Their skills must go beyond those of the average insult comic. They have to be more than glib and photogenic. The Russia-China-Iran axis, with junior partners in Pyongyang and Karachi, may be about to make some very consequential moves.

Putin looks set to start too many fires for Obama and his pitiful national security team to deal with. His immediate prize remains, in my view, Ukraine and its energy production. He’ll start one fire over here, another over there, and while those conflagrations get going, he gets what he wants, consolidates, and moves on to his next real target. So far, Putin is overmatching Obama. Badly.

And that’s supposing that Obama really wants to keep Putin in check. That’s not a given.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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Top Rated Comments   
"The Russia-China-Iran axis, with junior partners in Pyongyang and Karachi, may be about to make some very consequential moves." - Preston

You are as depressing as Ledeen. But the truth must be known.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
"First, Bosnia. Russia was never happy with how that war ended."

I wasn't either. I thought we should have stayed out or sided with the Christians, rather than the Muslims. Of course, I see Syria the same way. And Iraq where, thanks to our intervention, 2/3 of the Christians there were ethnically cleansed and Islamic Law is enshrined in their U.S. sponsored constitution.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
We very much need an administration that understands world history and we don't have one. From the end of the 18th century until the end of the 20th, "the Big Game" called for the containment of Imperial Russia within it's home ports to keep it out of the Middle East and Western Europe. . Great Britain pretty much commanded that role until 1945. After that it became the job of the United States and NATO ( although it was the US nuclear umbrella that was most effective as the Warsaw Pact armies would have torn through the NATO forces in about 30 days ) to keep Russia in check. Putin knows history. He knows that power never respects a vacuum and seeing one in Western Europe combined with the drawdown of the US in the Middle East, he is free to make his move/s. China witnessing the same ( and also knowing history ) in Asia will feel free to move against South Korea and Japan causing the latter to rearm, probably very soon as Abe seems to understand history too.
History is not tolerance and conciliation but aggrandizement and conflict, and conflicts are decided by the strong not the noble. What truly upsets me is not just our leaders but the dull, vague understanding of the significance of geopolitics on the part of our citizenry.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (27)
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18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Putin's a Russian Patriot whether we like it or not. He Made Obama and all
The idiots who re-elected him look like the
inconsequential Fools...that they are.

18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ho Hummm........we have no dog in this fight........
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
The danger is that Putin could lose control of his fires and Russia finds itself in the midst of a major war. It might not be with the US and probably won't, but if Putin's strategy causes regional wars, then it will be burned, too.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Putin may behave like a KGB man, but we have got a man in the U.S. Senate who behaves like insanity personified and evil incarnate.

McCain Storms Out of Meeting With Syrian Christian; Fellow GOP Senator Apologises For Insane McVain’s Temper Tantrum [http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3119851/posts]

Hell-bent on arming opposition forces in Syria—despite strong evidence that they’re run by Islamic terrorists—John McCain displayed behavior unbecoming even a United States Senator during a recent meeting with Syrian Christian leaders touring Capitol Hill.

The outburst was so embarrassing that Senator Graham, also an advocate of U.S. military intervention in Syria, apologized for McCain’s disturbing outburst. “Graham actually apologized to the group for McCain’s behavior,” according to the source, who sat through the entire meeting. “It was truly unbelievable.”


If the Senate does not at the very least censure this sick bastard McCain, with a requirement that he undergo psychiatric treatment, and expel him if he refuses to get it, they will have forever utterly disgraced themselves. Have they no shame? My God, have they no shame?
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who is Putin's best ally in the USA? Rand Paul, of course.
http://nyyrc.com/blog/2014/03/the-problem-with-the-pauls/

nternationally, Svoboda is an ally of the far-right National Front in France. The modern Right in France owes much to – drum roll please! – Dugin’s “friend and intellectual mentor” (pg. 10), Alain de Benoist, a writer for Le Figaro and other publications. For the record, relations have chilled a bit between Benoist and the National Front. Still, interparty spats are rarely terminal, and the political Right, backed implicitly and explicitly by the Pauls on various occasions, appears ascendant in Europe. To be Ukrainian today means choosing between Putin (and Dugin and Zhironovsky) and a coalition that includes many of Dugin’s friends on the Right (4/20 Ministers are Svoboda, and Serhiy Kvit is ideologically sympathetic). These facts appear to make Rand’s flip flopping a moot point.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Who is Putin's best ally in the USA?"

I think that would be, hands down, the neo-conservatives (aka faux conservatives) souring Americans so much on foreign adventures with their stupid "Great Islamic Society Nation Building"/"Democracy Project" Mad Hatter Sociology Experiments using American troops as their Lab Rats for the last 12 years and accomplishing nothing in spite of the great loss of lives and limbs and trillions of dollars.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good for Putin; at least somebody in the world has the guts to stand up to the Obama/Biden dictatorship. Please stop the neo con crap about how the US is the only free country in the world; Obama/Biden has made that a joke.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Putin Aims to Cause Trouble Elsewhere Including Iran"

Hello. Iran already has a de facto green light from Obama to build several nuclear bombs.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
I said this was coming over two weeks ago when Spengler was telling everyone "the strategic consequences will be nil."
Indeed most of what I said would be fallout then has come to pass and I expect the remainder is merely pending.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The Russia-China-Iran axis, with junior partners in Pyongyang and Karachi, may be about to make some very consequential moves." - Preston

You are as depressing as Ledeen. But the truth must be known.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
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