Monday, 28 April 2014 19:39

Putin-Ukraine, Middle East conflicts should raise concerns

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putinI am not the alarmist type.  I don’t see bad things around every corner.  And I don’t believe those wild and crazy rumors that can be found on the internet.  But watching the news I have to say I am worried.  Things around us don’t look good, and I am concerned about the future of our nation and the world we live in.


Russian President Vladimir Putin has turned his nose up at the entire world.  He has taken over Crimea and his armed forces on the border of Ukraine ready to invade on the flimsiest of rationales.  President Obama looks inept with his “sanctions,” the Europeans seem lax, they need the Russian energy supply as much as the Russians need to sell it to them, and the United Nations remains the biggest joke of all.

The United States has told Mr. Putin to back off.  He didn’t, so Mr. Obama imposed sanctions.  Mr. Putin still doesn’t back off.  Mr. Obama threatens more sanctions.  Mr. Putin presses on.  And now more sanctions are coming.  If the U.S. is going to impose sanctions, then do it.  Be tough and go as far and as hard as you can.  Why give the enemy small doses at a time?  If the Russians continue their march into Ukraine, a civil war is likely to break out.  If the Ukraine government cannot withstand the Russian onslaught, the country will fold; and Mr. Putin will be emboldened to move forward possibly into the Balkan states as some have speculated.  Where does it end?

The U.S. seems to be standing alone.  China is no help, and the European nations apparently need a lot more motivation to get moving.  It seems that a pattern of what happened in World War II is replaying itself.  “Who cares about Ukraine?”  So what if Russia continues to expand their territory by moving into sovereign nations and seizing control?  It is not our problem.  But it is Europe’s problem.  They are most threatened.  Europe needs to be more vocal and stand up to the Russian invasion of Crimea and the invasion of Ukraine if it happens.

While turmoil continues on that front, the mad little dictator from N. Korea continues to taunt the rest of the world.  Two Americans are now held hostage by the N. Koreans, and the N. Koreans are focused on developing nuclear weapons.  And all the while the U.S. is relying on China, another enemy, to help us persuade the N. Koreans to stop their nuclear weapons research.  Again the Obama administration’s foreign policy seems weak and ineffective at best.

The Middle East remains a land in turmoil.  Israel is still a nation in jeopardy.  With enemies on its borders and Iran vowing to destroy it, Israel remains on high alert.  It has few friends but has no reason to believe that under President Obama the hand of friendship will remain extended as negotiations for peace are at a standstill and remain a joke.

Afghanistan is the lesson we should have learned from having watched the Russians battle in that nation.  The U.S. armed the opposition which eventually forced the Russians out.  Now we are in Afghanistan, doing everything we can to remain there, spending billions of dollars that could be better spent at home, and are unwelcome by the Afghan government and its president.  We eliminated Osama Bin Laden, and it is time to come home.  Afghanistan is a third world country with no interest in the 21st Century.

President Obama told us after the successful raid that killed Osama bin Laden that Al Qaeda was on the run.  What was the president smoking?  Al Qaeda is alive and well, and remains a deadly enemy, plotting against the United States every hour of the day and at every turn, urging its followers to attack the U.S. whenever possible.

Our foreign policy is askew.  We should and must concentrate on the defense of the United States.  We must have state of the art offensive and defensive weapons at our disposal - weapons that we don’t share with anyone.   We must be able to not only defend ourselves against an attack of any kind foreign or domestic, but we must also be able to defeat the attack before our enemy has had the chance to even launch it.

As the president and the congress continue to weaken our military resources through massive budget cuts, we as a nation become more vulnerable.  And when you realize that our borders are wide open, you can really come to understand that anyone can sneak across the border with the intent of causing extensive harm and mayhem.

Liberals in congress want to open our borders so anyone can come in.  Really? Conservatives want to send back to their country of origin anyone who crossed the borders illegally.  How many busses, planes, boats, and trains will it take to send back maybe 10, 15 million or more people back to their native lands?  It is not possible.

Reality shows us that both sides are playing politics.  No, we cannot let anyone enter our country simply because they want to.  They must enter our country through a fair and legal process.  Immigration laws allowed our nation to grow and prosper.  But the federal government in modern times has chosen to not enforce the law, or in the least look the other way as our nation’s borders were illegally crossed.  Because nothing meaningful was done to stop this, we are now faced with millions of people inside the U.S. who came here while our immigration laws were ignored.  So what is the solution?  

As is necessary in so much of what has not happened in Washington, the politicians must stop playing politics with this and other important issues facing our nation.  There is a way to allow those who are here who have committed no crimes to be documented and started on a path of legal status in the United States and possibly citizenship.  But for that to work, however, our borders must be sealed and illegal immigration stopped.  And regrettably that is something the politicians in Washington don’t seem to be interested in doing.

You may recall Ronald Reagan proclaiming, “peace through strength,” a phrase that has been attributed to Roman Emperor Hadrian who is alleged to have sought “peace through strength, or failing that peace through threat.”  Regardless of its origins, it is not a bad idea to follow.  Let’s hope our leaders subscribe to it.


Lawrence Chehardy

For thirty-four years Lawrence Chehardy served as Assessor of Jefferson Parish. He has been the leading authority on Louisiana’s property tax laws. In addition to his political commentary and public speaking engagements, Lawrence Chehardy is a founding member of the Chehardy, Sherman, Ellis, Murray, Recile, Griffith, Stakelum & Hayes Law Firm and serves as its managing partner.

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