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Oh no!  So this means that Sharia Law in every state, Death Panels in every hospital, the invalidation of heterosexual marriage, bible/gun confiscation, and Putin rearing his ugly head over Alaska are going to become reality too?

 

Seriously though, coincidentally or not, this is not the first time she was "right"..... she also correctly predicted that Obama would be disrespectful enough to violate Pakistan's sovereignty by sending armed troops into that country if he though OBL was hiding there.  Spot on.  Nobody ever gives her credit for that.

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Hey KJP when you were repping your Cavs shirt did anyone ask you about the Ukraine Train aka Vitaly Potopenko?

 

Not a one. However, while I was walking through a busy park that same day, I thought I was getting paranoid by thinking people were staring at me. So asked Irinia if people were looking at me. She said "yes, because they know you're an American." I asked her how they knew that. She said, "because you act like you own everything."


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Crimea is really Russia, historically.  It was given to Ukraine in the Soviet Era.  Much of the rest of Eastern Ukraine is also heavily Russian.  Western Ukraine is the historic Ukraine, and they do not want to be aligned with Russia.

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Crimea is really Russia, historically.  It was given to Ukraine in the Soviet Era.  Much of the rest of Eastern Ukraine is also heavily Russian.  Western Ukraine is the historic Ukraine, and they do not want to be aligned with Russia.

 

ukraine_rus-02.gif


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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although i generally like ukrainians, god what a depressing looking place they live in. lets see, if i was head of russia, yeah sure i would want better control of the sea of azov too. i mean, who wouldn't? yeesh. i can't believe this mess abuts the land of my people. its sad to see, but russian meddling aside, i suppose it has been a long time coming. i just hope we stay out of it.

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...many Russians view Ukrainians as hicks -- as we in Ohio tend to view West Virginians (or as New Yorkers seem to view Ohioans!).

 

 

not to get off topic, but briefly -- nyet. this is absolutely not true. native nyer's do not think that of ohio. far from it. only the young move-ins from other places get uppity and full of themselves and even then its not about ohio specifically, its about anywhere that isn't nyc. that is analogous to suburbanites moving into any city and becoming all super-pro-that-city.

 

back to crisis. da.

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not to get off topic, but briefly -- nyet. this is absolutely not true. native nyer's do not think that of ohio. far from it. only the young move-ins from other places get uppity and full of themselves and even then its not about ohio specifically, its about anywhere that isn't nyc. that is analogous to suburbanites moving into any city and becoming all super-pro-that-city.

 

back to crisis. da.

 

Well Phyllis Diller DID call Drew Carey "farm boy." ;)

 

although i generally like ukrainians, god what a depressing looking place they live in. lets see, if i was head of russia, yeah sure i would want better control of the sea of azov too. i mean, who wouldn't? yeesh. i can't believe this mess abuts the land of my people. its sad to see, but russian meddling aside, i suppose it has been a long time coming. i just hope we stay out of it.

 

Some parts of it are quite pretty, especially the hilly western parts and the areas along the Black Sea. But in between, it's as flat and boring as it is from western Ohio to eastern Colorado. And the cities that the Soviets rebuilt after the war are incredibly depressing. Like I said, Cherkassy (about the size of Akron) isn't much different than East Cleveland, Gary or East St. Louis except that it is populated almost entirely by white people. And they are all dressed very nice and professionally. They look like they have money, but live in apartment buildings that would be condemned in Western Europe and America. Very few have cars. Many buses are rusted out. Traffic laws are a rumor. So is landscaping and pollution controls. Kiev has some beautiful sections that weren't destroyed, but most of the city was heavily damaged by the Nazis and Soviets, then demolished and rebuilt by the Soviets in their "Commie Block" style. The cities that weren't completely destroyed in World War II are mostly between Kiev and the Polish border. One city that wasn't touched at all like Prague is Lviv. And like Prague, look at what a beautiful city Lviv is:

 

http://tinyurl.com/l25z374

 

But for all their ugly cities, their people are beautiful -- especially the women. I had seen pictures of Ukrainian women before I'd traveled there and thought they were taking and sharing pictures of only the most beautiful ladies. Not true. When I walked down the street, I was astonished at how many beautiful women there were. Many could easily get work as models in the USA. Their brilliant turquoise-blue eyes, by themselves, are enough to weaken any western man. Sadly, Ukrainian and Russian seem more in love with alcohol than their women which is why so many ladies look to the west for men.

 

So, more news.......

 

SUN MAR 02, 2014 AT 12:07 PM PST

Egads, it sure is terrible when SOMEONE ELSE starts wars with trumped-up excuses

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/03/02/1281587/-Egands-it-s-terrible-when-SOMEONE-ELSE-starts-wars-with-trumped-up-excuses?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dailykos%2Findex+%28Daily+Kos%29


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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But for all their ugly cities, their people are beautiful -- especially the women. I had seen pictures of Ukrainian women before I'd traveled there and thought they were taking and sharing pictures of only the most beautiful ladies. Not true. When I walked down the street, I was astonished at how many beautiful women there were. Many could easily get work as models in the USA. Their brilliant turquoise-blue eyes, by themselves, are enough to weaken any western man. Sadly, Ukrainian and Russian seem more in love with alcohol than their women which is why so many ladies look to the west for men.

So, is that Irina chick single? Have you got contact info?

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So, is that Irina chick single? Have you got contact info?

 

Really? ? ?


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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not to get off topic, but briefly -- nyet. this is absolutely not true. native nyer's do not think that of ohio. far from it. only the young move-ins from other places get uppity and full of themselves and even then its not about ohio specifically, its about anywhere that isn't nyc. that is analogous to suburbanites moving into any city and becoming all super-pro-that-city.

 

back to crisis. da.

 

Well Phyllis Diller DID call Drew Carey "farm boy." ;)

 

 

phyllis diller? well she was from lima, ohio, not nyc, she should talk! so thats in house. like i said lol!

 

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Why Russia No Longer Fears The West

 

"Russia sees an America distracted: Putin’s Ukrainian gambit was a shock to the U.S. foreign policy establishment. They prefer talking about China, or participating in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Russia sees an America vulnerable: in Afghanistan, in Syria and on Iran—a United States that desperately needs Russian support to continue shipping its supplies, host any peace conference or enforce its sanctions.

Moscow is not nervous. Russia’s elites have exposed themselves in a gigantic manner – everything they hold dear is now locked up in European properties and bank accounts. Theoretically, this makes them vulnerable. The EU could, with a sudden rush of money-laundering investigations and visa bans, cut them off from their wealth. But, time and time again, they have watched European governments balk at passing anything remotely similar to the U.S. Magnitsky Act, which bars a handful of criminal-officials from entering the United States.

All this has made Putin confident, very confident – confident that European elites are more concerned about making money than standing up to him. The evidence is there. After Russia’s strike force reached the outskirts of Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, in 2008, there were statements and bluster, but not a squeak about Russia’s billions. After Russia’s opposition were thrown into show trials, there were concerned letters from the European Union, but again silence about Russia’s billions.

 

 

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/03/russia-vladimir-putin-the-west-104134.html#ixzz2uuXJwvZD

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I think the article is saying that all leaders in the EU and USA are followers -- followers of people with money. Thus if they aren't threatened, the EU and USA shouldn't feel threatened. And if hundreds or thousands of lives are lost, that's no problem as long as the wealthy in the west aren't financially hurt.... Or so the dogma goes.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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I wonder whether Russia would agree to leave Ukraine alone (Putin has said that Ukraine is just a "territory" of Russia, not an independent country), in exchange for a vote in Crimea and an agreement not to admit Ukraine to NATO or the EU.  Most of the Crimean peninsula is native Russian-speakers and there has been little protest to the Russian "invasion" there.  Russia values the port there for their navy and will never agree to give it up anyway.  A vote in Crimea is likely to go Russia's way, no monkeying with ballots will be necessary.  Would be a lot more productive and less costly in lives and treasure than the empty saber rattling going on now.

 

But in the end, I don't think there is a lot that the US can really do here.  Better to say little than to rattle sabers that everyone knows we won't use (and thus appear weaker). Another cold war/sanctions only benefits the military industrial complex.

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I wonder whether Russia would agree to leave Ukraine alone (Putin has said that Ukraine is just a "territory" of Russia, not an independent country), in exchange for a vote in Crimea and an agreement not to admit Ukraine to NATO or the EU.  Most of the Crimean peninsula is native Russian-speakers and there has been little protest to the Russian "invasion" there.  Russia values the port there for their navy and will never agree to give it up anyway.  A vote in Crimea is likely to go Russia's way, no monkeying with ballots will be necessary.  Would be a lot more productive and less costly in lives and treasure than the empty saber rattling going on now.

 

I don't think he would even agree to it, because he thinks (probably justifiably) that he already has Crimea now, so what purpose would a vote serve?  Legitimacy?  Putin doesn't think in those terms.  There is no material advantage to Putin personally to such a vote, and no strategic advantage for Russia in it, either.  Elections don't have the same meaning in that part of the world that they do here.

 

Realistically, I think that it's a near certainty at this point that Putin will make a bid to completely occupy the eastern provinces of Ukraine, and likely impose some sham "security and cooperation agreement" or similar soft lie on the rest of the country to turn them into the puppet that Yanukovych was ready to let Ukraine become anyway before his impeachment.  Such a bid has almost no downside to Russia at this point.  Even a long, protracted war in Ukraine doesn't have the downside to Russia that Western observers might think, if we think Putin thinks like us (worried about exhausting his military and damaging the ruble further).  The war would be fought almost entirely on Ukrainian territory, leaving one of Russia's largest and most potentially troublesome neighbors battered and bloodied.

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I wonder whether Russia would agree to leave Ukraine alone (Putin has said that Ukraine is just a "territory" of Russia, not an independent country), in exchange for a vote in Crimea and an agreement not to admit Ukraine to NATO or the EU.  Most of the Crimean peninsula is native Russian-speakers and there has been little protest to the Russian "invasion" there.  Russia values the port there for their navy and will never agree to give it up anyway.  A vote in Crimea is likely to go Russia's way, no monkeying with ballots will be necessary.  Would be a lot more productive and less costly in lives and treasure than the empty saber rattling going on now.

 

But in the end, I don't think there is a lot that the US can really do here.  Better to say little than to rattle sabers that everyone knows we won't use (and thus appear weaker). Another cold war/sanctions only benefits the military industrial complex.

 

Very well said. The only exception I have is that many independent-minded Ukrainians want inclusion in the EU. They view their current governmental model as too corrupt and backward and see EU inclusion (at lease for the western portion of Ukraine) as a path to reforms.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Given that Putin apparently does not give a crap what the US says or does (so far)...

 

I am seeing plenty of rhetoric that the US and the EU are "weak" with respect to this conflict. That's the gist of 10 or so links on Drudge.

 

What do conservatives believe should be done about Ukraine from the US side beyond economic sanctions? Military aid? Intervention?

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Given that Putin apparently does not give a crap what the US says or does (so far)...

 

I am seeing plenty of rhetoric that the US and the EU are "weak" with respect to this conflict. That's the gist of 10 or so links on Drudge.

 

What do conservatives believe should be done about Ukraine from the US side beyond economic sanctions? Military aid? Intervention?

The question is less what can be done as what should have been done over the last five years.  It all started with abrogating commitments to the Poles and Czechs and has gone downhill from there.

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Why Russia No Longer Fears The West

 

Because we put a follower where a leader should be.

 

Easy now.  Reagan wasn't that bad

 

What do conservatives believe should be done about Ukraine from the US side beyond economic sanctions? Military aid? Intervention?

 

They can't say.  They have to wait for Obama to do something prior to taking the position that whatever he did was the wrong move.  Until then, you will hear them simply say that he has to do "something" or attempt to construct some type of failure  :roll: which allegedly already occurred, the absence of which would have surely avoided this crisis....... keeping in mind that this is not so much a crisis to them as it is an fantastic opportunity.

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They can't say.  They have to wait for Obama to do something prior to taking the position that whatever he did was the wrong move.  Until then, you will hear them simply say that he has to do "something" or attempt to construct some type of failure  :roll: which allegedly already occurred, the absence of which would have surely avoided this crisis....... keeping in mind that this is not so much a crisis to them as it is an fantastic opportunity.

 

Oh, ok. It's EXACTLY like health care! Got it.

 

Silly me - I thought conservatives had a unified perspective on the Ukraine issue.

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What do conservatives believe should be done about Ukraine from the US side beyond economic sanctions? Military aid? Intervention?

 

They can't say.  They have to wait for Obama to do something prior to taking the position that whatever he did was the wrong move.  Until then, you will hear them simply say that he has to do "something" or attempt to construct some type of failure  :roll: which allegedly already occurred, the absence of which would have surely avoided this crisis....... keeping in mind that this is not so much a crisis to them as it is an fantastic opportunity.

 

Do you seriously think that Obama's international weakness contributed nothing to Putin's calculations?

 

Ironically, just about the only good thing that I could see coming out of this is that it might get not only the US, but the EU as well, to reverse some of the shortsighted defense cuts that have been posited as ways of freeing up ever-increasing amounts of cash for the demands of the welfare state, as well as the reinvigoration of NATO (which had become basically moribund).

 

Rusty, I don't know how other conservatives would answer your question, but I would propose something along the lines of the following:

 

(1) Strengthen the integration of the post-Cold War new NATO members into the alliance, including the placement of joint allied forces in the territory of any alliance member who welcomes them, up to and including those with direct Russian borders, to make it somewhat less likely that Putin could repeat Ukraine with Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, or potentially even the former Yugoslavian countries.

 

(2) To the extent the host countries remain willing, restore the plans to build eastward-facing facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic.

 

(3) Approve all necessary facilities to allow the U.S. and Canada to export natural gas to NATO member countries.

 

(4) Arrange loan forgiveness and economic aid to Ukraine, to the extent that it somehow preserves its independence over the next few weeks (maybe months), as needed to keep the lights on.

 

(5) To the extent that a genuine indigenous resistance in Ukraine forms, support it exactly as we did the USSR's indigenous Cold War adversaries, and make Russia pay at least as much to take and hold Ukraine as it did to take and hold Afghanistan.

 

I'm sure I could think of a few more.

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What do conservatives believe should be done about Ukraine from the US side beyond economic sanctions? Military aid? Intervention?

 

They can't say.  They have to wait for Obama to do something prior to taking the position that whatever he did was the wrong move.  Until then, you will hear them simply say that he has to do "something" or attempt to construct some type of failure  :roll: which allegedly already occurred, the absence of which would have surely avoided this crisis....... keeping in mind that this is not so much a crisis to them as it is an fantastic opportunity.

 

Do you seriously think that Obama's international weakness contributed nothing to Putin's calculations?

 

Ironically, just about the only good thing that I could see coming out of this is that it might get not only the US, but the EU as well, to reverse some of the shortsighted defense cuts that have been posited as ways of freeing up ever-increasing amounts of cash for the demands of the welfare state, as well as the reinvigoration of NATO (which had become basically moribund).

 

Rusty, I don't know how other conservatives would answer your question, but I would propose something along the lines of the following:

 

(1) Strengthen the integration of the post-Cold War new NATO members into the alliance, including the placement of joint allied forces in the territory of any alliance member who welcomes them, up to and including those with direct Russian borders, to make it somewhat less likely that Putin could repeat Ukraine with Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, or potentially even the former Yugoslavian countries.

 

(2) To the extent the host countries remain willing, restore the plans to build eastward-facing facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic.

 

(3) Approve all necessary facilities to allow the U.S. and Canada to export natural gas to NATO member countries.

 

(4) Arrange loan forgiveness and economic aid to Ukraine, to the extent that it somehow preserves its independence over the next few weeks (maybe months), as needed to keep the lights on.

 

(5) To the extent that a genuine indigenous resistance in Ukraine forms, support it exactly as we did the USSR's indigenous Cold War adversaries, and make Russia pay at least as much to take and hold Ukraine as it did to take and hold Afghanistan.

 

I'm sure I could think of a few more.

 

Those all make sense.  A ton of sense.  I'd add an immediate offer to Ukraine to join NATO, as they were on the verge of doing in 2008.

 

Unfortunately, as you say the root of the problem is a President who, to put it mildly, lacks testicular fortitude. So we're stuck with this crap for another three years or so. 

 

Obama rather famously chided Romney that "the 80s are calling, they want their foreign policy back." during the 2012 debates for suggesting that Russia might be a geopolitical threat.  I wonder if that's Neville Chamberlain on the phone....

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Do you seriously think that Obama's international weakness contributed nothing to Putin's calculations?

 

That's a loaded question which I won't bother answering specifically.  But I will note that this moves is totally about Putin and it would make no difference who occupied the White House, both in terms of Russia's actions and, for the most part, our response.

 

You could always ask yourself WWRD?

 

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-february-25-2014/anarchy-in-the-ukraine---what-would-reagan-do-

 

Ironically, just about the only good thing that I could see coming out of this is that it might get not only the US, but the EU as well, to reverse some of the shortsighted defense cuts that have been posited as ways of freeing up ever-increasing amounts of cash for the demands of the welfare state

 

Like I said..... a fantastic opportunity

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But I didn't ask "would he have done it anyway."  Perhaps I should have clarified at greater length that I agree that it might not have completely dissuaded Putin, and I fully agree that this move is primarily about Putin.  Our role is basically as scapegoat (though look up the rhetoric at the Federal Assembly vote in which the Russian parliament authorized the Kremlin to do this ... they're really selling this as a preemptive move against the US in some measure).

 

Putin might have done this anyway.  Agreed.  Heck, the Soviets were aggressively expanding when Eisenhower was in the White House (the Warsaw Pact was signed in 1955, and the USSR hardly stopped there), and no one on either side of the aisle could paint him as an amateur or a coward on defense.  However, that's not the whole picture.

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I see the problem as a basic difference of world-views.

 

The US and NATO view Russia as an expansionist, somewhat hostile regime, so our agenda over the years has been to hem them in.

 

Russia views former states and satellites as temporarily disembodied parts of itself and therefore views all of these restrictions as encroachments on its internal affairs.

 

Plus, Russia historically loves its despots and cruel tyrants. Putin is a walk in the park in comparison, but he's in that dictator mold. Russians probably view full on democracy as a weak central government, and only respect non democratic process. Putin is Russia's Ronald Reagan figure.

 

Conservative or liberal, I don't see a good solution or way out. Western values are just not valid in Russian eyes.

 

And what the administration is playing with is not just a willingness to engage Russia, but also a need to avoid an economic meltdown.

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It hasn't helped that over the past few years we've basically thrown anyone seeking freedom in repressive regimes (like Iran) under the bus. These people still see the US as a beacon of democracy (perhaps naively so at this point) but we do nothing to support them. I fear we're going to do the same with Ukraine. It certainly doesn't help either that we keep gutting our military. What kind of message does that send to Putin?? He and all the other megalomanical despots of the world are laughing at us while we continue to become more and more irrelevant on the world stage.

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Yes, gutting the military.  With the latest rounds of cuts proposed, we'd only be spending as much as the next 13 countries combined on that gutted military.

 

Should be at war with Iran right now, EVD?

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It's public relations. We project weakness when we announce to the world we a paring down our defenses. Do you really think it was just a coincidence that this invasion came so quickly after this was revealed? Putin doesn't care about diplomacy. Hasn't that been obvious for ages??

 

Who said anything about going to war with Iran? Talk about a giant leap of illogic!  :drunk:

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What do conservatives believe should be done about Ukraine from the US side beyond economic sanctions? Military aid? Intervention?

 

They can't say.  They have to wait for Obama to do something prior to taking the position that whatever he did was the wrong move.  Until then, you will hear them simply say that he has to do "something" or attempt to construct some type of failure  :roll: which allegedly already occurred, the absence of which would have surely avoided this crisis....... keeping in mind that this is not so much a crisis to them as it is an fantastic opportunity.

 

Do you seriously think that Obama's international weakness contributed nothing to Putin's calculations?

 

Care to expand on Obama's international weakness?  Not picking, I just want to know where this came from.

 

What do conservatives believe should be done about Ukraine from the US side beyond economic sanctions? Military aid? Intervention?

 

They can't say.  They have to wait for Obama to do something prior to taking the position that whatever he did was the wrong move.  Until then, you will hear them simply say that he has to do "something" or attempt to construct some type of failure  :roll: which allegedly already occurred, the absence of which would have surely avoided this crisis....... keeping in mind that this is not so much a crisis to them as it is an fantastic opportunity.

 

Do you seriously think that Obama's international weakness contributed nothing to Putin's calculations?

 

Ironically, just about the only good thing that I could see coming out of this is that it might get not only the US, but the EU as well, to reverse some of the shortsighted defense cuts that have been posited as ways of freeing up ever-increasing amounts of cash for the demands of the welfare state, as well as the reinvigoration of NATO (which had become basically moribund).

 

Rusty, I don't know how other conservatives would answer your question, but I would propose something along the lines of the following:

 

(1) Strengthen the integration of the post-Cold War new NATO members into the alliance, including the placement of joint allied forces in the territory of any alliance member who welcomes them, up to and including those with direct Russian borders, to make it somewhat less likely that Putin could repeat Ukraine with Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, or potentially even the former Yugoslavian countries.

 

(2) To the extent the host countries remain willing, restore the plans to build eastward-facing facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic.

 

(3) Approve all necessary facilities to allow the U.S. and Canada to export natural gas to NATO member countries.

 

(4) Arrange loan forgiveness and economic aid to Ukraine, to the extent that it somehow preserves its independence over the next few weeks (maybe months), as needed to keep the lights on.

 

(5) To the extent that a genuine indigenous resistance in Ukraine forms, support it exactly as we did the USSR's indigenous Cold War adversaries, and make Russia pay at least as much to take and hold Ukraine as it did to take and hold Afghanistan.

 

I'm sure I could think of a few more.

 

Those all make sense.  A ton of sense.  I'd add an immediate offer to Ukraine to join NATO, as they were on the verge of doing in 2008.

 

Unfortunately, as you say the root of the problem is a President who, to put it mildly, lacks testicular fortitude. So we're stuck with this crap for another three years or so. 

 

Obama rather famously chided Romney that "the 80s are calling, they want their foreign policy back." during the 2012 debates for suggesting that Russia might be a geopolitical threat.  I wonder if that's Neville Chamberlain on the phone....

 

Care to expand on the President's lack of "testicular fortitude"?  Again, not picking, just interested in where your viewpoint comes from.

 

I wonder exactly what people would want the President to do in this scenario; our country has been involved in wars for over the last decade, we're approaching $20 trillion in national debt, and Russia isn't a small third-world country.  If Mitt Romney were President right now, I don't see him having every possible scenario on the table against Russia given the circumstances our country is facing right now.  Under these circumstances, does the President have any other choice BUT diplomacy or sanctions in coordination with other other European nations which are active trade partners with Russia?

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What do conservatives believe should be done about Ukraine from the US side beyond economic sanctions? Military aid? Intervention?

 

They can't say.  They have to wait for Obama to do something prior to taking the position that whatever he did was the wrong move.  Until then, you will hear them simply say that he has to do "something" or attempt to construct some type of failure  :roll: which allegedly already occurred, the absence of which would have surely avoided this crisis....... keeping in mind that this is not so much a crisis to them as it is an fantastic opportunity.

 

Do you seriously think that Obama's international weakness contributed nothing to Putin's calculations?

 

Care to expand on Obama's international weakness?  Not picking, I just want to know where this came from.

 

(1) Breaking previous agreements for deeper security cooperation with Central European countries (Poland & the Czech Republic) that are bellwethers for how seriously we take the Russian threat.

 

(2) Allowing previous, recent Russian aggression against smaller post-Soviet states to be essentially utterly free of diplomatic or economic consequence.

 

(3) Pursuing his risible "reset" diplomatic strategy.

 

I wonder exactly what people would want the President to do in this scenario; our country has been involved in wars for over the last decade, we're approaching $20 trillion in national debt, and Russia isn't a small third-world country.  If Mitt Romney were President right now, I don't see him having every possible scenario on the table against Russia given the circumstances our country is facing right now.  Under these circumstances, does the President have any other choice BUT diplomacy or sanctions in coordination with other other European nations which are active trade partners with Russia?

 

In the next month?  Probably not.  And possibly not ever in Ukraine proper, depending on how events unfold there in the next few critical weeks.  Certainly not with our own forces.  And we had even less room to maneuver directly on the ground in Georgia and Armenia.  But I outlined some longer-term strategies above that could be adopted by a president who takes the Russian threat seriously.

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It hasn't helped that over the past few years we've basically thrown anyone seeking freedom in repressive regimes (like Iran) under the bus. These people still see the US as a beacon of democracy (perhaps naively so at this point) but we do nothing to support them. I fear we're going to do the same with Ukraine. It certainly doesn't help either that we keep gutting our military. What kind of message does that send to Putin?? He and all the other megalomanical despots of the world are laughing at us while we continue to become more and more irrelevant on the world stage.

 

On the other hand, the US asserted itself strongly in Iraq and Afghanistan and we found both of these small countries to be pretty well ungovernable. We've pretty much given up in Afghanistan - Al Qaeda and Taliban keep coming back like bedbugs or roaches. Iraq is still on the fence. Russia is a problem many times larger. Nuclear strike? "Dead hand." Russia is not to be messed with.

 

The US actually has a very long tradition of throwing freedom fighters and former alliances under the bus. South Vietnam, etc. Nothing new.

 

So suppose we support Ukraine militarily? That almost certainly puts the west and Russia at war.

 

Pragmatism here could be framed as cowardice. Or just as self interest. So we do nothing, Russia takes Ukraine. And later, it's, say, Estonia. But by then it's considered somewhat acceptable because the Russian frontier has moved westward several hundred miles.

 

I don't know what the correct response is. Ideally Russia should bow to international pressure, but they see it as a national pride and self determination thing.

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Hey KJP when you were repping your Cavs shirt did anyone ask you about the Ukraine Train aka Vitaly Potopenko?

 

Not a one. However, while I was walking through a busy park that same day, I thought I was getting paranoid by thinking people were staring at me. So asked Irinia if people were looking at me. She said "yes, because they know you're an American." I asked her how they knew that. She said, "because you act like you own everything."

 

Ha ha! How true.

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It's public relations. We project weakness when we announce to the world we a paring down our defenses. Do you really think it was just a coincidence that this invasion came so quickly after this was revealed? Putin doesn't care about diplomacy. Hasn't that been obvious for ages??

 

 

Defenses? You mean offenses.

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It's public relations. We project weakness when we announce to the world we a paring down our defenses. Do you really think it was just a coincidence that this invasion came so quickly after this was revealed? Putin doesn't care about diplomacy. Hasn't that been obvious for ages??

 

 

Defenses? You mean offenses.

that's no way to talk about John Kerry!

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It hasn't helped that over the past few years we've basically thrown anyone seeking freedom in repressive regimes (like Iran) under the bus. These people still see the US as a beacon of democracy (perhaps naively so at this point) but we do nothing to support them. I fear we're going to do the same with Ukraine. It certainly doesn't help either that we keep gutting our military. What kind of message does that send to Putin?? He and all the other megalomanical despots of the world are laughing at us while we continue to become more and more irrelevant on the world stage.

 

On the other hand, the US asserted itself strongly in Iraq and Afghanistan and we found both of these small countries to be pretty well ungovernable. We've pretty much given up in Afghanistan - Al Qaeda and Taliban keep coming back like bedbugs or roaches. Iraq is still on the fence. Russia is a problem many times larger. Nuclear strike? "Dead hand." Russia is not to be messed with.

 

There are endemic corruption problems in Ukraine, certainly, but (a) no one is proposing that we attempt to "govern" Ukraine in anything close to the fashion that we did in Iraq and Afghanistan, and (b) even if we did wield a significant amount of political influence there by virtue of a military "tripwire" presence, I think we'd find that Ukraine (or at least western and central Ukraine) is nothing like post-Ba'ath Iraq or post-Taliban Afghanistan.  South Korea was largely a corrupt, authoritarian state at the time of the Korean War armistice; they've done all right for themselves over the succeeding generations.  South Vietnam ended badly for us, of course, and its government was corrupt and authoritarian as well, but it was still not a parallel to Iraq or Afghanistan.  (That said, I don't want to minimize the fact that it did end badly for us.)

 

The US actually has a very long tradition of throwing freedom fighters and former alliances under the bus. South Vietnam, etc. Nothing new.

 

QFT.

 

So suppose we support Ukraine militarily? That almost certainly puts the west and Russia at war.

 

Does it?  It didn't put us at war with the Soviets when we supported the Islamic fighters in Afghanistan.  That came back to bite us decades later, of course, but it didn't result in open war with the USSR (and while 9/11 was a horrible and scarring experience, let's not compare it to what an open war with the USSR would have been).

 

Pragmatism here could be framed as cowardice. Or just as self interest. So we do nothing, Russia takes Ukraine. And later, it's, say, Estonia. But by then it's considered somewhat acceptable because the Russian frontier has moved westward several hundred miles.

 

This is a false dilemma, though.  There are many intermediate options between direct military intervention in Ukraine's defense and doing nothing.  I haven't seen anyone in this thread yet suggest direct American military intervention in Ukraine.  Heck, I haven't heard anyone suggest direct NATO military intervention or any other direct Western military intervention there.  I certainly haven't, and I think that so far, I'm probably among the most hawkish on this thread.

 

I don't know what the correct response is. Ideally Russia should bow to international pressure, but they see it as a national pride and self determination thing.

 

True, which means that both they and their leader probably don't care about "international pressure," or at least, not of the kind that only involves words.

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Guys, who cares about the last five years. Real weakness is sitting around and arguing about who should have done what with the clarity of hindsight. This is happening now.

 

I've been seeing tweets from international news agencies that Poland is now worried they're next if Russia takes back Ukraine. Their fears may not be unfounded. There are reports that the Russian navy's Baltic group out of Kalinigrad (spitting distance from Poland) is doing live-fire exercises with 3,500 troops. Granted that's not a large mobilization/exercise, but the activity isn't helping the already nervous Poles.

 

So why does western Europe care about any of this?

 

Bh1CIOHCYAAGX1C.jpg:large


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Guys, who cares about the last five years. Real weakness is sitting around and arguing about who should have done what with the clarity of hindsight. This is happening now.

 

I've been seeing tweets from international news agencies that Poland is now worried they're next if Russia takes back Ukraine. Their fears may not be unfounded.

 

Reading the responses here has made me about 10x more worried. Put this way, this situation feels one hell of a lot more imminent than any of the crap we instigated in the Middle East in the 2000s.

 

Christ, we could get WW III out of this. Regardless what NATO and the US do about it.

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Read Ukranian news in English here:

http://www.kyivpost.com/

 

EDIT: And here......

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/david-ignatius-putins-error-in-ukraine-is-the-kind-that-leads-to-catastrophe/2014/03/02/d376603e-a249-11e3-a5fa-55f0c77bf39c_story.html?hpid=z1

 

....is an excellent column on the situation in Ukraine, and why we should all be concerned about Putin's attempt to stop Ukraine from turning towards the west rather than stay in Russia's sphere of influence. How far will Putin go to keep this from happening, and how far will the west go to stop Putin? If Putin isn't stopped in Ukraine, do we really think that thiis his last stop considering his reverence for reconstituting the old borders of the Soviet Union to preserve Russian power?

 

 


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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So my friends in Ukraine may be in danger and you think this is a good time to tease me? The story is far more important. Leave me out of it, please.

 

As I hope my other posts made quite clear, I take this situation very seriously.

 

in other news, the Russian stock market & ruble plummeted today with likelihood of economic sanctions...

 

I'll be interested in seeing just how far this goes.  On paper, Russia should be one of the most impervious countries in the world to economic sanctions.  It has tremendous natural resource wealth (mineral and agricultural) and is a net exporter of the natural gas that not just Ukraine, but much of Europe, relies upon.  There are other things we can deny them, of course, but Russia should have the ability to sustain itself more than most countries in the face of such threats.  That doesn't mean it necessarily does, because it's let its infrastructure degrade substantially outside of its largest and most strategically important cities (and even there, truth be told), but it should, and it could.

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Guys, who cares about the last five years. Real weakness is sitting around and arguing about who should have done what with the clarity of hindsight. This is happening now.

 

I've been seeing tweets from international news agencies that Poland is now worried they're next if Russia takes back Ukraine. Their fears may not be unfounded. There are reports that the Russian navy's Baltic group out of Kalinigrad (spitting distance from Poland) is doing live-fire exercises with 3,500 troops. Granted that's not a large mobilization/exercise, but the activity isn't helping the already nervous Poles.

 

So why does western Europe care about any of this?

 

Bh1CIOHCYAAGX1C.jpg:large

 

They should probably worry just as much about what insurgent Ukrainians might do to those pipelines if they feel the west is pushing them under the proverbial bus.  They see an entity that during the last century has "provided" them with a man made famine and a radioactive mess in their heartland.  They're not going to be inclined to play nice.

 

As for Poland, along with the Baltic states, that's NATO.  If we're not willing to back them to the hilt, we might as well just give up on something that's been a foreign/defense policy cornerstone since the 50s.  The mere fact that Poland is so concerned about this speaks volumes, though admittedly this is mitigated by the pro-GOP bias the Poles aren't shy about displaying.

 

As for discussing recent history. it's relevant when we're not entirely talking about hindsight.  It's not like Iraq, where the "concerned" Democrats have contradictory quotes in their past.  Palin and Romney in particular called this well in advance.  It's more like the end of 1979, when even Jimmy Carter realized his approach wasn't working.  One of the smart things he did then was replaced Vance with Muskie.  Obama should do something similar.  Kerry is ineffectual, even Hillary was better.

 

Barring joining NATO, the best think Ukraine could do is form an alliance with Israel, which would be one of the best things either side could do.  It's unfortunate the effect idiotic religious biases can sometimes have.

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Guys, who cares about the last five years. Real weakness is sitting around and arguing about who should have done what with the clarity of hindsight. This is happening now.

 

I have to agree with that.  Because there's plenty of blame to go around - I mean, look at Georgia in 2008, when Putin did this EXACT SAME THING, and Bush did nothing.  We chose President Obama (twice!) since that time - did we think we were choosing a more aggressive foreign policy with him?  He explicitly ran on NOT being a cowboy, and we said, "I'll take two of them!"  I'm a huge Bush fan, and I'm disappointed with President Obama on many fronts, but the fact is, he really doesn't have any good options to confront Russian belligerence.

 

I hope we do everything we can publicly and behind the scenes to neuter Russia and its oligarchy financially - a second "Soviet collapse" may be one way to save the rest of Ukraine and eastern Europe without bloodshed - but beyond that, I'm pretty dubious about what we can do.  I mean, if I were king of the forest, I'll be all about a trip wire force, but if you want a trip wire force, you've gotta have a claymore sitting behind it...and are we willing to get in a shooting war with Russia?  I'd wager the answer to that is HELL no, by probably a 10-1 margin.  And if you aren't willing to get in a shooting war, the last thing you want is a trip wire force.

 

Terrible times...

 

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Poland requests more NATO consultations over Russia

BRUSSELS Mon Mar 3, 2014 3:19pm EST

 

(Reuters) - NATO allies will hold emergency talks on the crisis in Ukraine on Tuesday, for the second time in three days, following a request from Poland, the alliance said on Monday.

 

In calling the meeting, Poland, a neighbor of Ukraine, invoked a NATO rule allowing any ally to consult with the others if it feels its security, territorial integrity or independence are under threat, the so-called Article 4.

 

"The developments in and around Ukraine are seen to constitute a threat to neighboring Allied countries and having direct and serious implications for the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area," the alliance said in a statement.

 

NATO meetings under Article 4 are rare. Only Turkey has used the option before, calling for consultations three times, once during the 2003 war in Iraq and twice, two years ago, over the Syrian conflict.

 

READ MORE AT:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/03/us-ukraine-crisis-nato-meeting-idUSBREA221VS20140303

 

Russians and Ukrainians aren't necessarily interested in fighting each other. Consider #Ukraine's flag flies again as #Russians let 10 #Ukrainians jointly guard #Belbek AFB from 'extremists' #CrimeaInvasion

Bh4x71eCEAIYQpf.jpg:large

 

 

A map in multiple languages showing where those killed at Euromaiden had lived as of Dec. 2013......

Bh4nRYeCEAACanl.jpg:large


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Barring joining NATO, the best think Ukraine could do is form an alliance with Israel, which would be one of the best things either side could do.  It's unfortunate the effect idiotic religious biases can sometimes have.

 

How do you figure this?  Israel cannot project sustained power at range; surgical strikes are about the limit of their capabilities, and they're certainly not going to antagonize Russia and risk deeper Russian strategic ties with Iran (and other Arab regimes).  Israel's entire defense architecture and philosophy are both built around close-quarters defense.  "Turtling," to borrow a video game term, with long-range capabilities basically only designed and used to take out threats to the homeland defense (e.g., the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak).

 

Ukraine, likewise, couldn't be of much use to Israel if Israel were attacked by any of its neighbors, particularly given the problems Ukraine itself is dealing with right now.

 

I don't see how this alliance could ever happen.  A trade agreement of some kind, sure.  But an alliance?  I'm not really following the logic at all, sorry.

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Poland requests more NATO consultations over Russia

BRUSSELS Mon Mar 3, 2014 3:19pm EST

 

(Reuters) - NATO allies will hold emergency talks on the crisis in Ukraine on Tuesday, for the second time in three days, following a request from Poland, the alliance said on Monday.

 

In calling the meeting, Poland, a neighbor of Ukraine, invoked a NATO rule allowing any ally to consult with the others if it feels its security, territorial integrity or independence are under threat, the so-called Article 4.

 

"The developments in and around Ukraine are seen to constitute a threat to neighboring Allied countries and having direct and serious implications for the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area," the alliance said in a statement.

 

NATO meetings under Article 4 are rare. Only Turkey has used the option before, calling for consultations three times, once during the 2003 war in Iraq and twice, two years ago, over the Syrian conflict.

 

I wonder what Poland is hearing at these meetings that it called.  Obviously, Ukraine is not part of NATO, or this would be an Article 5 issue, not an Article 4 ... not to be overly melodramatic, but it would basically be WWIII.

 

I also wonder if Poland would dare offering assistance to any Ukrainian resistance without running it up the NATO flagpole in advance.  Poland doesn't have America's resources, of course, but it may have somewhat more motivation--and it does have a land border with Ukraine (and that border borders the areas of Ukraine most hostile to Russia).

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