Opinion: Morning Examiner

Aleksandr Dugin's Eurasianism is the volatile theory behind Vladimir Putin's drive into Ukraine

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Barack Obama,Russia,Vladimir Putin,Ukraine

A swelling chorus of worried voices on the Right is warning of the dangerous decisions being taken by President Obama in slashing American military might.

The most recent cuts announced by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will reduce the country's defenses to their weakest point since the fall of 1940.

But the Hagel cuts were preceded by five years worth of Obama reductions in military preparedness and weapons acquisition that were preceded by inconsistent funding throughout the Bush years.

The end result is, as Washington Examiner columnist James Jay Carafano puts it this morning, "after a decade of war and two decades of lackluster attention to modernizing the military, America has now pretty much exhausted the Reagan investment."

The new Anschluss?

Now that Russia's Vladimir Putin is invading the Crimean peninsula in preparation for taking the rest of Ukraine, the inevitable comparisons are being made with Hitler's 1938 annexation of Austria.

The parallels are disturbing, beginning with Putin's support of a takeover of the Crimean Parliament by Russian loyalists. Hitler used a coup by pro-Nazi Austrians as cover to move German troops across the border to "unify" the two countries.

And, like the long history of Germany and Austria as two sides of the same national coin, Russia has long considered the Ukraine as organically attached to itself. Russia, whether ruled by the Tsars or the Soviets, was never satisfied so long as the Ukraine was not securely under its dominance.

Now comes Eurasianism

Meet Aleksandr Dugin, dubbed by Robert Zubrin today on NRO as "Putin's Rasputin." Dugin's program is a strange, even exotic, mix of communism, Nazism, ecologism and Mother Russianism.

But the volatile mix of -isms shouldn't be dismissed as mere fanaticism. It has the potential to provide the unifying facade for a new era of Russian imperialism.

Dugin's obsession is seen in these words quoted by Zubrin: "Only a global crusade against the U.S., the West, globalization, and their political-ideological expression, liberalism, is capable of becoming an adequate response. ... The American empire should be destroyed.”

Those inclined to dismiss Eurasianist mix as impossibly volatile should recall the ease by which Hitler and Stalin carved up Poland in 1939. When the goal is brute conquest, words are merely means to evil ends.

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

Editorial: A little "honest graft" only works for crooks and liars in Congress.

Columnist/Hugh Hewitt: GOP's 2016 hopefuls can stand out by standing up for strong defense.

Columnist/James Jay Carafano: Now is not the time to repeat past mistakes and shrink the military.

Beltway Confidential/Michael Barone: What to do about Putin's invasion of the Ukraine.

Beltway Confidential/Ashe Schow: Issa says no immunity for Lois Lerner's forthcoming testimony in the IRS scandal.

PennAve/Susan Crabtree: House intelligence chief says Putin is playing chess while U.S. plays marbles.

Legal Newsline/Bryan Cohen: Study says class-action litigation actually harms investors.

In other news

CBS News: Ukraine tests Obama's credibility on the world stage.

The New York Times: Democrats try wooing the ones who got away, white men.

The Washington Post: Ukraine tells Putin to pull back.

Newsweek: Will Putin's gambit backfire?

USA Today: Suicide bombers kill 11 in Pakistani capital.

CNN: Kerry rebukes Russia's "incredible act of aggression" in Ukraine.

Righty Playbook

The Weekly Standard: Ukraine, the day after.

National Review Online: The Eurasianist behind Putin.

American Thinker: Obama paints Netanyahu as obstacle to peace, praises Abbas.

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: Do we want the 1980s foreign policy back?

Lefty Playbook

Washington Monthly: Arthur Brooks mistakes anger for envy.

The Huffington Post: A brief history of the Republican alternative to Obamacare.

The Progressive: On Russian aggression and U.S. hypocrisy.

Bonus must-read

The Nation: MSNBC and its discontents.

Blog Right

Ka-Ching: Military map of the Ukraine crisis.

Yid With Lid: Stupid media tricks -- Ukraine-I-told-you-so edition.

Jammie Wearing Fools: Focused like a laser on the Ukraine crisis, Obama hits campaign trail for minimum wage hike.

Blog Left

Talking Points Memo: Is the Tea Party dying in Cruz country?

Slate: China blames Muslim separatists for knife attack that killed 29.

Gawker: Everything you need to have seen from the Oscars.

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