Those who watch the world scene for a living seem to think the hardly pusillanimous Putin will be content with just a little part of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics’ returning to the fold. It’s been suggested he’s having a difficult time coming to grips with the fact that the old hammer-and-sickle regime isn’t relevant in the world anymore. And that can be more than a wee bit dangerous for all of us.
Some have compared the Russian Bear’s actions to those of Hitler just prior to World War II. As der Fuhrer with Germans in the Sudetenland, Putin basically said that reclaiming Crimea was simply a matter of returning ethnic Ruskies back home.
Given the outcome of WWII, that swoop-in-and-grab strategy hasn’t really been a formula for success. However, Vladimir is getting away with it thus far, so perhaps it will be different in this era.
If annexation is the new norm, I’m thinking the U.S. of A. ought to get in on the action. Putin has already given the world the blueprints. All we now need to do is execute the plan. You do have to grudgingly admire the fact that he captured his target with little or no bloodshed and accomplished the coup in less than a fortnight. And he managed to grab only the best part of the geographic area. He kind of likes the idea of having that warm-water access, but doesn’t want the monetary headaches that might go along with some of the more economically-challenged Ukrainian regions. Can’t say I blame him.
Given that modus operandi, maybe We the People should look into doing something similar. Putin used geography to his advantage. Following suit, how about we annex Bermuda? It’s got a nice climate. Lots of rich people live there. Crime is low. It’s close to the mainland. We could probably take control simply by having a couple of large naval vessels encircle the island for a week.
The oil fields in Alberta and Saskatchewan might be other targets. Again, we’re just looking to take possession of the land that contains the black gold. The residents of Edmonton and Saskatoon can fend for themselves. All we want is the gooey good stuff. Couple of Marine squads should be enough to subdue any resistance from rural Royal Canadian Mounted Police. For show, we could stage some war games near Minot, North Dakota.
Cancun, Mexico. Now, we really have to be surgically precise in this area. The white sandy beaches and some of the Mayan ruins would be cool to claim as our own. Americans have dumped enough dollars into the area’s economy we could make the case we’ve bought the place already. But there is that slight drug problem currently occupying the culture of most of the estados in our neighbor to the south. Like Putin, maybe we choose the part of the Yucatan Peninsula we really crave. We could erect an electrified fence or something to keep out the drug cartels. Maybe put a sign on it that says, “No Trespassing, No Meth Labs Allowed.” That ought to do the trick.
California. Oh, no, wait a minute. That’s already part of the United States. It sometimes just seems like a foreign country. Come to think of it, is there a way to de-annex places? I mean, we could keep Napa Valley, Carmel, some nice neighborhoods in L.A., Pacific Beach and LaJolla in San Diego, maybe Lombard Street, and the Ghirardelli chocolate factory in San Francisco, the Redwoods and orange groves, but kind of divorce ourselves from the rest of the state. Hey, it’s just a thought.
Alas, as attractive as it might be for America to engage in pick-and-choose annexation, something about it just doesn’t feel right. Call it morality, ethics or nationalistic decency. When a bully beats up or threatens a smaller opponent, it’s really not a nice thing to do. So instead of annexing on our own, maybe we need to flex our muscles and strongly suggest to the bully that he cease and desist. A sharp stick in Putin’s economic eye should do the trick.
Bill Lewis is a freelance writer in Marietta.