Re: Where have you been Murphy?!
Awww, how CUTE! An American that has never left his home country beside trips to Cancun for Spring Break.
If you had any real knowledge of world affairs - which you can get by travel and living abroad, I will quickly add - then you would know that Germany is the most economically and militarily strongest country in the EU. And you would also know that Germany gets a HUGE amount of its energy imported as Russian-sourced natural gas. As do many countries in Europe. Some - like the UK - are able to access local supplies and the North Sea gas wells, and so COULD say FU to Mr. Putin. But the fact is, most cannot, and are dependent upon Russian energy, and will be for some time.
Worse yet, even when there are other supplies available (it is a world market, after all), the cost is much higher than Russian energy, which is close and has nice pipelines to Europe. So...the people at the very top would HATE to have their corporations actually pay more for energy, as it would hurt profits. And of course, many people would have trouble heating their homes, as much of Europe IS colder than the US average temperatures. So the plain fact is that unless someone can show the EU how Crimea or even Ukraine as a whole is more important than say, saving the EU economic recovery, and the thousands of EU lives that are likely to be lost due to a cold winter without enough home heating...then frankly it is a smart play to simply not get involved.
I do feel sorry for those living in the Ukraine. My housekeeper just returned there to be closer to her son and his family, and I have spent hours talking to her about the situation they face there.
But the simple fact is, it was STUPID to try and expand NATO the the very edge of former Soviet land. It was STUPID to think that the Russian Navy would give up it's only warm-water port, located in Crimea. It was stupid to think that they would not demand some buffer around their space, as we do as well. It was cowboy American thinking that drove NATO to think that treating Russia as a defeated foe rather than a neighbour was a good idea. Now you reap what you have sown - a huge nationalist reaction from Russia, headed by a crazed, militant nationalist that could well be another Hitler given half a chance.
I am counting on the Chinese to bail the West out before he gets too far....they need us to buy shit to prop up their economy, and they hold too much US debt. If it hits the fan, they will subtly - or not so subtly - apply pressure from the East to reign him in, probably in exchange for selling out some Japanese and Philippinean fishing grounds and drilling rights to China.