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I've been seeing tweets from people who said they're noticing Russian soldiers in Simferopol, which probably isn't surprising considering that eastern Ukraine is decidedly pro-Russian.

 

During my visits there in 2010 and 2011, I was surprised at how many Ukrainians didn't speak Ukrainian. They spoke Russian. They view Ukrainian as a peasant's language, and many Russians view Ukrainians as hicks -- as we in Ohio tend to view West Virginians (or as New Yorkers seem to view Ohioans!).

 

I was also surprised to see so many Lenin statues in Ukraine. But many people there respect him. There are also many streets named after Lenin and Stalin, who is considered by many Ukrainians, Belorussians, and Russians as a master builder. He is credited among these people with advancing these countries several centuries from feudalism into the 20th century. Imagine how powerful that is -- and yes it took a omnipotent dictator to make such sweeping changes occur so quickly. By comparison, Hitler rose out of a culture of hate and blame in an already developed nation of proud people.

 

The people of Eastern Ukraine identify more closely with Russia, so their inclusion in the Soviet Union was not done forcibly. This wasn't the case in western Ukraine which was once part of the Polish Kingdom. So when the Nazis invaded and kicked out the Soviets, the Nazis were hailed as liberators who restored many religious freedoms. But they soon realized the Nazis were worse. Sadly, when the Soviets pushed out the Nazis, many of the Soviets did not forget that the western Ukrainians were initially pro-Nazi. The Soviets took many political prisoners during the post-war years to prevent any moves for Ukrainian independence. But the spirit of independence was often there, and remains to this day as we have seen.

 

These emotions and divisions in Ukraine are deep and long-lasting.


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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I've been seeing tweets from people who said they're noticing Russian soldiers in Simferopol, which probably isn't surprising considering that eastern Ukraine is decidedly pro-Russian.

 

During my visits there in 2010 and 2011, I was surprised at how many Ukrainians didn't speak Ukrainian. They spoke Russian. They view Ukrainian as a peasant's language, and many Russians view Ukrainians as hicks -- as we in Ohio tend to view West Virginians (or as New Yorkers seem to view Ohioans!).

 

I was also surprised to see so many Lenin statues in Ukraine. But many people there respect him. There are also many streets named after Lenin and Stalin, who is considered by many Ukrainians, Belorussians, and Russians as a master builder. He is credited among these people with advancing these countries several centuries from feudalism into the 20th century. Imagine how powerful that is -- and yes it took a omnipotent dictator to make such sweeping changes occur so quickly. By comparison, Hitler rose out of a culture of hate and blame in an already developed nation of proud people.

 

The people of Eastern Ukraine identify more closely with Russia, so their inclusion in the Soviet Union was not done forcibly. This wasn't the case in western Ukraine which was once part of the Polish Kingdom. So when the Nazis invaded and kicked out the Soviets, the Nazis were hailed as liberators who restored many religious freedoms. But they soon realized the Nazis were worse. Sadly, when the Soviets pushed out the Nazis, many of the Soviets did not forget that the western Ukrainians were initially pro-Nazi. The Soviets took many political prisoners during the post-war years to prevent any moves for Ukrainian independence. But the spirit of independence was often there, and remains to this day as we have seen.

 

These emotions and divisions in Ukraine are deep and long-lasting.

 

Stalin also intentionally created a famine in the Ukraine during the mid 30s, with a death toll of about 6 million.  Indeed, that's why so many Ukranians saw the Germans as liberators.  So any lingering respect or reverence for him is about as contemptible as Palestinians, living adjacent to Israel, admiring Hitler.

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BTW, here are some photos from my two visits to Cherkassy, Ukraine to visit my friends Svitlana Kravetz and Irina Tkachenko. Cherkassy is about 100 miles southeast of Kiev, down the Dneiper River from Kiev.

 

A memorial to all those who died retaking Ukraine from the Nazis. A major battle was fought here at Cherkassy as the Nazis attempted to use Cherkassy the Dnieper River (beyond the statue) as a line of defense. The city almost was completely leveled by the Soviets who crossed the wide river (it's wider than the Mississippi River because it is dammed to create the long Kremenchug Reservoir) on boats and the Nazis were driven another 1,000 miles west toward Germany....

 

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Svitlana Kravetz and me. She is an accomplished artist and school teacher....

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Tears over the Soviets destroying many churches and cathedrals, some of which were rebuilt following Ukrainian independence. Ukraine has been a crossroads of many armies over the centuries. And each time Ukrainians have suffered a little more....

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Svitlana and me again....

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At Korsun, not far from Cherkassy, is this museum of Soviet military equipment used during World War II. The large home in the background was used by the German army as a command post.....

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Read more about the huge battle here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Korsun%E2%80%93Cherkassy_Pocket

 

The main street through Cherkassy is Shevchenko Boulevard. It is named after Ukrainian national poet Taras Shevchenko who was from Cherkassy....

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Yep, they taste the same everywhere!

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Cherkasy in the 1500s, before the Dneiper river was dammed up before World War II to create the Kremenchug. Most of the old city was relocated to atop the hillside, but was then destroyed during the war....

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A painting commemorating the battle of Korsun-Cherkassy. It was the Soviets' D-Day yet far bloodier (there were perhaps 80,000 casualties)...

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The last scenes from my December 2010 trip....

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Me, by the Kremenchug Reservior on a warmer August 2011 day....

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View of Cherkassy's residential district from my window at the Orange Hotel, a western-style hotel. Construction on the tall building was halted three years earlier during the global recession. Construction hadn't restarted...

12840243584_ef9950687f_b.jpg

 

Me and my friend Irina Tkachenko by the Kremenchug Reservior. She is a sales manager for a vacuum cleaner company....

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Me shooting an AK-47 rifle at empty vodka bottles under the watchful eye of my former Cold War adversary....

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Lenin standing guard outside the shooting range (from the prior pic)....

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Yet the western influences are everywhere.....

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The statue shown earlier....

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Views from the statue pedestal, looking north toward one of Cherkassy's finer neighborhoods. Most others look more like East Cleveland or Gary or East St. Louis except everyone is white.....

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A Soviet MiG permanently ensconced outside a city park next to the Cherkassy Zoo....

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Irina Tkachenko and me outside the Cherkassy Zoo on my last day in Ukraine. I miss it and its people very much....

12840033533_948da47260_z.jpg


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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People probably also stopped speaking Ukrainian over the years simply because it was to their advantage to learn Russian in order to succeed in the greater Soviet Union. Hopefully there won't be a civil war (I never understood why there hasn't been one already, considering how completely divided the country seems to be), but it looks like that may happen, especially since it would be humiliating for Putin to lose influence (dominance) over Ukraine (remember how years ago it was referred to as The Ukraine--just like Congo was The Congo? When did they drop the "The"? :wtf: Or probably that was just a mistake Americans were making all along)

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^^I see they show the same "quality" movies over there. Haven't those people suffered enough!

The chick in the Resident Evil movies is Ukranian.

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The people of Eastern Ukraine identify more closely with Russia, so their inclusion in the Soviet Union was not done forcibly. This wasn't the case in western Ukraine which was once part of the Polish Kingdom. So when the Nazis invaded and kicked out the Soviets, the Nazis were hailed as liberators who restored many religious freedoms. But they soon realized the Nazis were worse. Sadly, when the Soviets pushed out the Nazis, many of the Soviets did not forget that the western Ukrainians were initially pro-Nazi. The Soviets took many political prisoners during the post-war years to prevent any moves for Ukrainian independence. But the spirit of independence was often there, and remains to this day as we have seen.

 

These emotions and divisions in Ukraine are deep and long-lasting.

 

Man, a choice between Hitler or Stalin....talk about a losing choice either way.

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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."


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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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


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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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


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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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? ? ?


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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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.


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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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.


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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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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