Time to keep quiet

By ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, former U. S. senator


MARCH 18, 2014 -- If President Obama could stop campaigning against Senator McCain and govern, the country would be better off. Now the President is acting strong because McCain says he is weak.

I want to support President Obama but it's difficult. He is imposing sanctions when he ought to be quiet. Ukraine has been a part of Russia for 200 years. The Crimean port of Sevastopol has been fundamental to the Russian Navy. In winter, the northern ports of Russia are frozen over and Sevastopol affords the Navy its only outlet to the Mediterranean and Atlantic. For several years, Russia and European Union have been in a contest to have Ukraine join the Russian Federation or the European Union. Both Russia and the U.S. through its National Endowment for Democracy have been financing the demonstrations - the upheaval.

When the President of Ukraine opted for Russia, we helped his overthrow. Both Russia's man and our man in Ukraine are ne'er do wells. Russia's is corrupt and ours is an anti-Semite. But Russia's man was democratically elected President of Ukraine by a million votes in 2010. Crimea is very much Russian. The overthrow forced Putin to protect Russian interest in Crimea. He moved troops into Crimea to protect the vote from Ukrainian troops.

On Sunday, Crimea voted 96.77% to join Russia. There's been no election in Ukraine. The U.S. finds itself supporting an overthrow against an election saying the Crimean election is unconstitutional and a violation of International Law. As they say in equity, the U.S. doesn't have "clean hands". As The Economist reports (3/8/13): "Let Mr. Putin keep the Crimean peninsula … It has a Russian speaking majority and was anyway part of Russia until 1954."

President Obama should keep quiet and start governing.

Senator Hollings of South Carolina served 38 years in the United States Senate, and for many years was Chairman of the Commerce, Space, Science & Transportation Committee. He is the author of Making Government Work (University of South Carolina Press, 2008).

© 2014, Ernest F. Hollings. All rights reserved. Contact us for republication permission.

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Ernest F. Hollings served the public for 56 years -- 38 years in the United States Senate and as South Carolina's governor, lieutenant governor and a member of the S.C. House of Representatives.

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