Wednesday, March 5, 2014

If the President Looks Weak, That's a Good Thing

You've probably been hearing about Ukraine and its current troubles.  The country is torn between two competing allegiances; one to the European Union and another to Russia.  The president of Ukraine was basically forced out because he favored ties with Russia over the EU and sparked mass protests (Here are some helpful maps that explain the divisions within the country).  The EU will certainly not force allegiance, but Russia looks increasingly threatening, with some of its troops actually inside parts of Ukraine.  Some are saying that a treaty signed in the 1990's would force the United States to aid Ukraine if they are invaded.  Conservative pundits are criticizing President Obama for looking weak and not standing up to Russia.

I sincerely hope that President Obama continues to look weak, because that would allow us to keep some of the freedom we have left (By the way, I would have similar hopes for ANY president).

Imagine you are walking around and you notice that one of your buddies is getting beat up.  Would you get involved?  I bet a lot of people would defend their friend even at the risk of getting hurt.  Now imagine the same scenario but you are walking with your neighbor when you discover the assault.  Would you ask your neighbor to help you save your friend?  Maybe.  And your neighbor might even be willing to help.  But what if your neighbor doesn't want to help.  Would you force him to help?  I hope you would not!  No one has the authority to compel their neighbor to help.  Anyone who would do that would be a bully and a criminal.

The scenario of someone forcing their neighbor to help is constantly being played out on the world stage.  Every time a government gets involved in a foreign war, it is forcing all the citizens to help by confiscating their taxes for the purpose of making war.  Any government that does that is no different from the aforementioned bully/criminal.

So, what do we do in a case like we have today in Ukraine?  It's simple:  Don't let the government get involved.  Don't let the government use coercion to fund a war.  It should be up to each individual to decide if they want to get involved or not.  Each individual should have the freedom to go help Ukraine if they feel the need.  Help could take the form of actually going there and taking part in the fight or just sending funds.  Of course, many people would not want to help at all and they shouldn't be forced to do so.

So I ask President Obama to please do nothing even if it makes him look weak.  It is the right thing to do.

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