Yesterday, President Obama signed an executive order that ‘authorizes’ U.S. sanctions on individuals and entities that violate Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The warning, albeit righteous, is futile because vapor and words on paper do not deter the Russians.
Instead, Russia responds with military force. For every action, they raise the stakes with a stronger reaction. Besides, they control the oil & gas supply in the region.
As Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee said, "Putin is playing chess, and I think we are playing marbles — and I don't think it's even close. They've been running circles around us."
Indeed, the Russians have seized control of Ukrainian military bases in Crimea and they are not likely to budge. Furthermore, as reported today, Russia began large-scale air defense drills in Kapustin Yar, just 280 miles east of the Ukrainian border.
An estimated 3,500 Russian troops and 1,000 military implements will exercise for about a month, including use of live-ammunition and deployment of air defense systems. Their position trumps our symbolic show of U.S. ships in the Black Sea, pilot training in Poland and six more fighter jets in NATO air patrols in the region.
In addition to futility, the premise of Obama’s executive order is contradictory. It intends to protect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, but what about sovereignty and territorial integrity here in America.
Reference the morass of governmental scandals, coupled with the overreach of presidential authority in the U.S. Consider federal infringements on the sovereignty of individual states by the Department of Justice and non-compliance with our Constitution, especially when the White House unjustly bypasses congress with executive orders.
We are witnessing the erosion of constitutional integrity. Sample cases include NSA spying on U.S. citizens, politicizing the IRS, gun control, illegal immigration, relaxed voter registration, reduction in military forces, religious freedom, social engineering and the list goes on.
At a Cabinet meeting in January, President Obama boasted of his “pen and a phone” strategy. He said he plans to use his pen to sign executive actions and his phone to convene outside groups in support of his agenda if Congress proves unable or unwilling to act on his priorities.
While we are preoccupied with and fend for the sovereignty and protection of Ukraine, our own nation is subject to authoritarian exploitation.
Though foreign troops do not surround our military bases as in Crimea, our constitutional rights and national security are vulnerable to the 'pen and phone' strategy.