A commenter on my own site writes:
OT: Evidently, Mark Kleiman reads Sailer. But then again, who doesn't?
The UCLA professor writes:
It would be amusing, if it were not so disgusting, to watch elements of the Obama-hating right (e.g. Steve Sailer) and the American-power-hating left (Tikkun, The Nation) agree in fawning over Vladimir Putin as he treats the solemn agreement under which Russian guaranteed the territorial integrity of Ukraine, in return for Ukrainian de-nuclearization, as a mere scrap of paper. It’s perfectly OK for Russia to seize Crimea by force because Crimea should never have been part of Ukraine. And it’s perfectly OK for Russia to seize territory inside Ukraine, using soldiers not wearing insignia, which alone makes their actions war crimes, because … shut up, he explained.
Both sides agree that it would be rude to compare what Putin just did in the Crimea to what Hitler did in the Sudetenland: not actually false, you see, just impolite.
It would be helpful, however, if Kleiman would read me more carefully, for example, my March 6 posting "Obama Is Right, Mostly."
I've been writing about Eastern Europe at vast length since before the crisis began because the situation has had such disturbing analogies to World War II (if Putin goes ahead with an anschluss with Crimea, that violates the understanding stemming from the two main events of 1938, German's Anschluss with Austria and its takeover of Czech Sudentenland, that Great Powers should not get Greater by annexing territory) and to World War I (which is more ominous because the Great War was more of a general systemic failure than one man's plan — Putin doesn't have a master plan to invade Germany, but politicians can botch things up royally without Hitlerian intent).
Going back to last year, I could sense that war fever was mounting. So far, Obama has been better than certainly McCain (and possibly Romney) would have been at not overly exacerbating the situation. Hopefully, Obama will respond more constructively (e.g., approving more natural gas exports from America to Europe) than destructively (I'd bet that Prince Bandar is right now working the phones to promote a scheme to destabilize Crimea by having the Saudis pay to radicalize the poor Muslim Tatars.)