RUSH: UK Daily Mail Online, a guy named Edward Lucas, writes, "I hope I'm wrong, but historians may look back and say that this was the start of World War III." He's talking about Putin striking at Ukraine and Crimea and the tanks. (Drudge's headline is "World War III.") His point is that Putin is striking at the heart of the West, just because they're going at Ukraine.
Remember, the West promised to defend Ukraine. It would be well worth your while to remember that Ukraine disarmed and demilitarized on that promise. There was a treaty that originated in the Clinton years, and it was reaffirmed in 2009, signed again by Obama. So Ukraine disarmed. They're sitting ducks. They got rid of their military; they got rid of weapons.
They did it in exchange for a promise from us and the UK and the Western democracies to protect them should something like this happen, except we're not. We're threatening sanctions. We're huffing and puffing. But basically what we're doing is taking over the Census to jury-rig the uninsured numbers. We're making speeches out to college campi. We're getting all hopped up on who the next late night comedian is gonna be.
Meanwhile, Putin is marching.
As Mr. Lucas writes, "We can chose to surrender any responsibility we have to protect Ukraine and the Baltic states ... Or we can mount a last-ditch attempt to deter Russia from furthering its imperial ambitions." And those imperial ambitions are to reassemble, to reconstitute the Soviet Union. That is what Putin wants to do. He is former KGB. That has always been his long-term desire.
He says, "If we do choose to resist Putin, we will risk a terrifying military escalation, which I do not think it an exaggeration to say could bring us to the brink of nuclear war." Now, that, I think, is something written to grab attention readers of the newspaper, but that is the logical progression if things get out of hand. His point is: What do we do here?
Do we just let Putin have it and get away with a strike at the heart of the West, or do we try to stop him? And if we try to stop him with words and doctors and nurses and clean water, negotiation, global warming threats -- and try to appeal to his good conscience and not destroy the planet and all -- and if that doesn't work, then what do we do? Well, we've pledged to defend Ukraine.
If we don't... If we do that militarily, oh, people are worried about that. If we don't, people are worried about that. That's something real that's going on and is significant, that is totally unnoticed by vast majority of people. I mean, there are tanks with Russian flags on them in east Ukraine, and the Drive-Bys are calling it a civil war.
It's not. It's an invasion. The reason they call it a civil war is because we have no business getting involved in civil wars. "Remember Vietnam? How did that go? How did that work out for us? If it's a civil war, it's none of our business! We stay away."
RUSH: To J.R. in Raleigh, North Carolina. Great to have you on the program. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. How are you, buddy?
RUSH: Just fine, buddy. I'm glad to hear from you.
CALLER: Say, I'm a longtime listener, and we love you out here, man. I just wanted to see if you heard what I heard on the news this morning. I got the biggest laugh out of what Obama did over the weekend.
RUSH: What did he do?
CALLER: Him and Putin were playing, "Don't sink my battleship," over the telephone.
CALLER: When them Russian planes were buzzing one of our ships out there in the Black Sea, Obama called Putin, and they were discussing it on the telephone.
RUSH: What do you think Obama said to him?
CALLER: (laughing) He called kissed his ass, I'm sure, but I don't know. I just thought it was funny.
RUSH: Well, what do you think Putin's doing buzzing our ship?
CALLER: Well, I think he's just daring Obama to make a move, to do something.
RUSH: Nah, that's not what he's doing, I don't think.
CALLER: He's laughing at him, I know that.
RUSH: Well, that may be. There may be that, but I'll tell you what. Putin has been doing this for a while. Russia has these giant bombers, these giant propeller airplanes he calls the Bear, the Bear Bomber. They've got other big airplanes. When the Soviet Union went kaput, when the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union went out of business, those airplanes and those military flights and got grounded.
Putin came back into power and for years those planes have been flying what appear to be reconnaissance missions against us and getting very close to US territory, even the continental United States, CONUS territory. So it's not new that Putin would be doing that. I think Putin's flexing his muscles. I think Putin is daring Obama. I don't know if he's daring Obama to respond, but buzzing our ship, it was day before...
I think it was last weekend or last week they did a number of different flybys. It is a bit of a challenge. It's Putin telling everybody who he is. I don't know if he's trying to goad Obama into any kind of a response, but he certainly is, in the old-fashioned way, just demonstrating manhood here. At the same time he's trying to demonstrate that his opponents are afraid of him.
He's trying to demonstrate that he's intimidating his opponents. Let me put it this way. Remember Mikhail Sergeyevich, Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, had that birthmark on his head? You ever notice that thing (as I pointed out constantly) was growing when he ran the Soviet Union? It coincided with Soviet expansionism. So did that birthmark. You could see the East Coast. You could see Florida on that birthmark. If Putin had one, it would be growing right now.
That's what all this military activity really means.