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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!" 

 

Eggsactly.  It never ceases to amaze me that people still cannot understand that major component which led to Obama's elections.  Maybe they are blinded by the "it was because he is BLACK!" line of thought.  But, in reality, it was as much a desire put somebody in the oval office who is was not a Cowboy in foreign policy as anything else.

 

It seems to me that this is as good an opportunity as any for Germany to take significant steps to restoring its sway in the region.  At least in dealing with Merkel, Putin would have something to talk about as they both have boobs. 

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It seems to me that this is as good an opportunity as any for Germany to take significant steps to restoring its sway in the region.  At least in dealing with Merkel, Putin would have something to talk about as they both have boobs. 

 

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

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Israel has an advanced defense industry, top notch commanders, well trained technicians, and of course nuclear weapons.  It also could use a few more friends in the region.  The Ukrainians have land and people.  Space to drill and develop, ironically like the Nazis did in Russia before WWII.  There’s a good chance they still have nukes, but not necessarily the ability to maintain them properly.  They complement each other well, and each has enemies nearby. 

 

The time may be passed for it, but like the Croats after the Americans and Germans helped them, they would have been in better shape to reply.

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Israel has an advanced defense industry, top notch commanders, well trained technicians, and of course nuclear weapons.  It also could use a few more friends in the region.  The Ukrainians have land and people.  Space to drill and develop, ironically like the Nazis did in Russia before WWII.  There’s a good chance they still have nukes, but not necessarily the ability to maintain them properly.  They complement each other well, and each has enemies nearby. 

 

The time may be passed for it, but like the Croats after the Americans and Germans helped them, they would have been in better shape to reply.

 

Well this saying has helped me personally and professionally.  I use this all the time. 

 

..............The enemy of my enemy is my friend!

 

All the players in this have to be think the above.

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who is this woman? I wonder if she's been shipped off to the Gulag by now!

ZolXrjGIBJs

Gulag?  Wow, you're really dating yourself with that one!

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I saw that on Twitter this morning. She's at least out of a job, as that is state-run TV.


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

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The downside of all these sanctions is that Russia is a big oil & gas exporter.  Sanctions against them will raise the price of fuel around the world and everyone pays more. 

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Israel has an advanced defense industry, top notch commanders, well trained technicians, and of course nuclear weapons.  It also could use a few more friends in the region.

 

Israel does have all of those things, but it is unlikely to be able and willing to provide any of those to the Ukrainians.  I can't even realistically see Israeli technicians helping out with Ukraine's own equipment, and that would be the least incendiary of those things that Israel could provide.  As for Israel needing a few more friends in the region, they probably need some that aren't largely impoverished nations in Russia's crosshairs.

 

The Ukrainians have land and people.  Space to drill and develop, ironically like the Nazis did in Russia before WWII.

 

Those would indeed be assets to peaceful trade, and this is why I said that I could easily see Israel and Ukraine as trade partners, but that's a very different thing than military allies.

 

There’s a good chance they still have nukes, but not necessarily the ability to maintain them properly.  They complement each other well, and each has enemies nearby.

 

A Ukrainian nuke would be a game-changer.  But I strongly, strongly doubt it exists.  Conventional wisdom can be wrong, I understand, but the strong conventional wisdom consensus is that Russia transferred all nuclear weapons (and just about everything else remotely related to nuclear weapons) out of the former Soviet republics as the USSR was dissolving.  Even the notion that Ukraine has a dud nuke that could be somehow restored to operational status by the Israelis has the ring of a Tom Clancy novel, not a serious basis for contemporary policymaking.

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Also, while it's interesting to see a state-owned Russian TV anchor (even if it's just their English-language channel ... if it's anything like Al Jazeera, the English and native-language channels can be very different) publicly disapprove of the invasion, I'm conflicted about it.  The woman is a 9/11 Truther ... Martin is so far out there that she was basically calling out Rachel Maddow(!) for covering for Republican lies to justify invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.  In fact, I'd guess that that conspiratorial mindset is probably what originally attracted her to RT.

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Israel has an advanced defense industry, top notch commanders, well trained technicians, and of course nuclear weapons.  It also could use a few more friends in the region.

 

Israel does have all of those things, but it is unlikely to be able and willing to provide any of those to the Ukrainians.  I can't even realistically see Israeli technicians helping out with Ukraine's own equipment, and that would be the least incendiary of those things that Israel could provide.  As for Israel needing a few more friends in the region, they probably need some that aren't largely impoverished nations in Russia's crosshairs.

 

The Ukrainians have land and people.  Space to drill and develop, ironically like the Nazis did in Russia before WWII.

 

Those would indeed be assets to peaceful trade, and this is why I said that I could easily see Israel and Ukraine as trade partners, but that's a very different thing than military allies.

 

There’s a good chance they still have nukes, but not necessarily the ability to maintain them properly.  They complement each other well, and each has enemies nearby.

 

A Ukrainian nuke would be a game-changer.  But I strongly, strongly doubt it exists.  Conventional wisdom can be wrong, I understand, but the strong conventional wisdom consensus is that Russia transferred all nuclear weapons (and just about everything else remotely related to nuclear weapons) out of the former Soviet republics as the USSR was dissolving.  Even the notion that Ukraine has a dud nuke that could be somehow restored to operational status by the Israelis has the ring of a Tom Clancy novel, not a serious basis for contemporary policymaking.

 

The author that speculated, in 1996, that a commercial aircraft might be used as an anti-structure missile?

 

The breakup of the Soviet Union was very chaotic and corrupt.  I'd be very surprised if a few nuclear weapons didn't get "misplaced".  Whether or not they are servicable today is an open question.

 

The Israelis have Dolphin class submarines which can deploy nuclear weapons, meaning that even if the nation is somehow overrun it can strike back.  Having a presence in Ukraine increases this deterrent capability by an order of magnitude. 

 

I'm not saying it's likely, but it's truly something that makes sense.

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There’s a good chance they still have nukes, but not necessarily the ability to maintain them properly.  They complement each other well, and each has enemies nearby.

 

A Ukrainian nuke would be a game-changer.  But I strongly, strongly doubt it exists.  Conventional wisdom can be wrong, I understand, but the strong conventional wisdom consensus is that Russia transferred all nuclear weapons (and just about everything else remotely related to nuclear weapons) out of the former Soviet republics as the USSR was dissolving.  Even the notion that Ukraine has a dud nuke that could be somehow restored to operational status by the Israelis has the ring of a Tom Clancy novel, not a serious basis for contemporary policymaking.

 

I would hope that Ukraine adhered to the Budapest Memorandum and didn't keep any nukes. There's always a chance that some mobster and/or corrupt public official kept one or three nukes stashed away someplace for nuclear blackmail. But that doesn't mean they'd be readily available to the current crop of political leaders and activists who are trying to rid Ukraine of its corrupt past. Their opponents may be more likely to have them, I would think.

 

Interesting reading.....

http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/04/opinion/pifer-ukraine-budapest-memorandum/


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

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The downside of all these sanctions is that Russia is a big oil & gas exporter.  Sanctions against them will raise the price of fuel around the world and everyone pays more. 

 

It seems Europe is hemming and hawing on sanctions and account freezes for pretty much this reason.

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There’s a good chance they still have nukes, but not necessarily the ability to maintain them properly.  They complement each other well, and each has enemies nearby.

 

A Ukrainian nuke would be a game-changer.  But I strongly, strongly doubt it exists.  Conventional wisdom can be wrong, I understand, but the strong conventional wisdom consensus is that Russia transferred all nuclear weapons (and just about everything else remotely related to nuclear weapons) out of the former Soviet republics as the USSR was dissolving.  Even the notion that Ukraine has a dud nuke that could be somehow restored to operational status by the Israelis has the ring of a Tom Clancy novel, not a serious basis for contemporary policymaking.

 

I would hope that Ukraine adhered to the Budapest Memorandum and didn't keep any nukes. There's always a chance that some mobster and/or corrupt public official kept one or three nukes stashed away someplace for nuclear blackmail. But that doesn't mean they'd be readily available to the current crop of political leaders and activists who are trying to rid Ukraine of its corrupt past. Their opponents may be more likely to have them, I would think.

 

Interesting reading.....

http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/04/opinion/pifer-ukraine-budapest-memorandum/

 

That's a good point about the opposition, except for the fact that they are pro-Russian.  Even if they had their own reasons for keeping them, there's somewhat more likelihood that one of their own would snitch to the Russians.

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People are giving a lot of credence to the "pro-Russian" line when it comes to describing Crimea and many of Ukraine's eastern provinces.

 

How reliable do we think that information is?

 

Given the choice between living under the haplessly corrupt regime in Kiev or the ruthlessly corrupt regime in Moscow, I'm not convinced that everyone who speaks Russian as their native language would want to be part of Russia itself.  I get that Russian nationalism is a pretty potent cultural force, though.

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People are giving a lot of credence to the "pro-Russian" line when it comes to describing Crimea and many of Ukraine's eastern provinces.

 

How reliable do we think that information is?

 

Given the choice between living under the haplessly corrupt regime in Kiev or the ruthlessly corrupt regime in Moscow, I'm not convinced that everyone who speaks Russian as their native language would want to be part of Russia itself.  I get that Russian nationalism is a pretty potent cultural force, though.

 

That's a good question. I've met some in Ukraine who think highly of the Russians. Specifically I met someone who lived in Sevastopol where Russia has its Black Sea naval base (albeit greatly diminished from the Soviet Union's presence there), and they liked having the Soviets/Russians there. They were good for the local economy. But my friend Irina is ethnic Russian and also a Ukranian nationalist. She doesn't dislike Russia, but Ukraine is her home. She was born there. Her parents were born there. She is proud to be a Ukranian.


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

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People are giving a lot of credence to the "pro-Russian" line when it comes to describing Crimea and many of Ukraine's eastern provinces.

 

How reliable do we think that information is?

 

Given the choice between living under the haplessly corrupt regime in Kiev or the ruthlessly corrupt regime in Moscow, I'm not convinced that everyone who speaks Russian as their native language would want to be part of Russia itself.  I get that Russian nationalism is a pretty potent cultural force, though.

 

I was thinking the other day that an independent nation of Crimea might be a solution, but I doubt Putin settles for that. 

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People are giving a lot of credence to the "pro-Russian" line when it comes to describing Crimea and many of Ukraine's eastern provinces.

 

How reliable do we think that information is?

 

Given the choice between living under the haplessly corrupt regime in Kiev or the ruthlessly corrupt regime in Moscow, I'm not convinced that everyone who speaks Russian as their native language would want to be part of Russia itself.  I get that Russian nationalism is a pretty potent cultural force, though.

 

I was thinking the other day that an independent nation of Crimea might be a solution, but I doubt Putin settles for that. 

 

As I understand it (from reading the ever-infallible American media and not knowing anything about the constitution [if any] or laws of Ukraine), Crimea was already given a substantial amount of autonomy within Ukraine.  Moving it from autonomous to independent might not actually be shifting the reality all that much.

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The breakup of the Soviet Union was very chaotic and corrupt.

 

This is a completely irrelevant aside, but has anyone else ever noticed how Bill Clinton and Al Gore get about ZERO credit for helping shepherd the world through the disintegration of the Soviet Union?  It was one of their top foreign policy objectives - Gore negotiated a lot of the nuclear dismantling, in Ukraine and Kazakhstan especially, his first foreign visit in 1993 was to Poland, the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission helping establish closer ties with Moscow, etc., etc...it did not have to go that (relatively) smoothly - the horrors unleashed in the Balkans could easily have been worse, and spread across a host of former Soviet republics and satellites.  And it wasn't all Clinton/Gore's doing.  But still, I never see them get credit for the part they played in an amazingly dangerous, unstable time...

 

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The breakup of the Soviet Union was very chaotic and corrupt.

 

This is a completely irrelevant aside, but has anyone else ever noticed how Bill Clinton and Al Gore get about ZERO credit for helping shepherd the world through the disintegration of the Soviet Union?  It was one of their top foreign policy objectives - Gore negotiated a lot of the nuclear dismantling, in Ukraine and Kazakhstan especially, his first foreign visit in 1993 was to Poland, the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission helping establish closer ties with Moscow, etc., etc...it did not have to go that (relatively) smoothly - the horrors unleashed in the Balkans could easily have been worse, and spread across a host of former Soviet republics and satellites.  And it wasn't all Clinton/Gore's doing.  But still, I never see them get credit for the part they played in an amazingly dangerous, unstable time...

 

Probably because a lot more of it was Yeltsin's doing and he, more justifiably than was the case with Gorbachev, got the bulk of the media credit.  The Poles also get a lot of the credit, much more than they got publicly.  They did a lot of the groundwork with the newly independent states.

 

Some was also what had just happened to Iraq and the wake up call this gave to same newly independent nations.  This resulted in a lot of microcorruption rather than macro-chaos.

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uoaxe.jpg

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

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US warship given permission to traverse Bosphorus en route to Black Sea

 

http://t.co/mJ62OZBVIY

 

If Russia swallows Ukraine, European system is finished, writes Timothy Snyder. Can its values be defended? http://t.co/WiTacQtnnG

 

Breaking: Hagels tells Congress: "this morning the Defense Dept. is pursuing measures to support our allies" #Ukraine http://t.co/ZWuj6par22


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

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What Rocky are we up to, anyway?

 

I finally heard from my friend Irina last night. She said things were pretty scary for a while, with some protests, unrest, UA soldiers and tanks in Cherkassy. But things have quieted down there lately, she says.


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

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This was on the YouTube front page this morning ... another RT anchor speaking out against the Crimea occupation, this time with a little more of a dramatic twist at the end:

 

 

 

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The version of the truth between east and west is so far apart that I wonder how this can be resolved peaceably.

 

2 March, 13:10

Ukrainian refugees flood Russia's Belgorod region as ultra-radicals continue rampage

 

Three Russian regions have reported increasing flows of refugees from Ukraine. Thousands of refugees from southern, eastern and central Ukraine are pouring into the Belgorod region, Belgorod Governor Yevgeny Savchenko said. The refugees motivate their desire to stay in Russia by the ongoing rampage unleashed by the unruly ultra-right who seized power and think that they can get away with anything, he said.

 

A group of unidentified men attempted to shut the Moscow-Crimea M2 highway, Savchenko told the Rossiya-24 television.

 

"Crowds of gunmen - no one knows where they came from – are roaming around, staging all sorts of provocations. Yesterday, they attempted to block the Moscow-Crimea highway. We are deeply concerned," the governor said.

 

READ MORE AT:

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_03_02/Ukrainian-refugees-flood-Russiajes-Belgorod-region-as-ultra-radicals-continue-rampage-0550/

 

 

6 March 2014, 11:30

US, NATO, CIA supporting nazis in Ukraine project

 

The overthrow of the government of Ukraine was an armed coup d’état ordered, planned, organized, funded, carried out and executed by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Pentagon, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and their surrogates in the European Union (EU) using every instrument at their disposal including the National Security Agency (NSA) and all of their amassed media resources. It was carried out with the knowledge and approval of US President Barack Hussein Obama if not at his directive.

 

The actions of the US in organizing the armed overthrow and installation of an illegitimate puppet government in Kiev was and continues to be illegal and revelations that continue to be exposed, including the latest regarding the hiring of snipers to kill demonstrators and police, are an outrage and a crime against all humanity that must not be allowed to stand.

 

READ MORE AT:

http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_03_06/US-NATO-CIA-supporting-nazis-in-Ukraine-project-2569/

 

 

4 March, 23:55

Ukraine was coup d'état by the CIA – David Shayler

 

What has occurred in Ukraine was not a popular revolution, it was a carefully orchestrated coup d’état. The "demonstrators" with the metal barricades, bullet proof vest, army helmets, weapons, shield and masks were very well organized and trained. The whole affair was orchestrated by the West in an attempt to bring Ukraine into NATO and split Russia. Mr. David Shayler a former MI5 officer spoke to the Voice of Russia on the activities of the intelligence services and on what the forces behind the scenes are doing. He says President Putin is merely protecting his country and his people and is in a strong position.

 

READ MORE AT:

http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_03_04/Ukraine-was-coup-d-tat-by-the-CIA-David-Shayler-7088/


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

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It's strange. We don't go around blaming the KGB.

Back during Viet Nam, the nightly news would report the number of casualties every day. They would report the American version with 10 dead Americans & 100 dead Viet Cong & the VC would report 10 dead Viet Cong & 100 dead Americans.

I was a little kid but I knew both sides had the same incentive to lie.

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It's strange. We don't go around blaming the KGB.

Back during Viet Nam, the nightly news would report the number of casualties every day. They would report the American version with 10 dead Americans & 100 dead Viet Cong & the VC would report 10 dead Viet Cong & 100 dead Americans.

I was a little kid but I knew both sides had the same incentive to lie.

 

But not the same ability. 

 

When there is free inquiry and a free press, eventually someone notes the math not adding up.

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^That bit had me cracking up last night.

 

My opinion on the Ukraine crisis is nothing more than knee-jerk at the moment.  That said, I don't think I agree with the administration's position on the Crimea situation.  The administration apparently opposes the referrendum vote for Crimea to become a separate state in the Russian Federation because it would somehow violate the Ukranian constitution.  They might be right, but I think the same could be said about the ouster of the President, which the administration seems to be in favor of.  I'm all in favor of letting the people of Texas secede if they so desire.  The people of crimea shoud have the same discretion.  Live and let live.  I'm sure there are some consideration I am not taking into account, however. 

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^That bit had me cracking up last night.

 

My opinion on the Ukraine crisis is nothing more than knee-jerk at the moment.  That said, I don't think I agree with the administration's position on the Crimea situation.  The administration apparently opposes the referrendum vote for Crimea to become a separate state in the Russian Federation because it would somehow violate the Ukranian constitution.  They might be right, but I think the same could be said about the ouster of the President, which the administration seems to be in favor of.  I'm all in favor of letting the people of Texas secede if they so desire.  The people of crimea shoud have the same discretion.  Live and let live.  I'm sure there are some consideration I am not taking into account, however. 

 

I think one issue that I read (sorry, don't recall where) is that in 1994, Ukraine agreed to give up its nukes to Russia, and in return, Russia, the US, and the UK guaranteed the territorial sovereignty of the country (including the inclusion of Crimea).  The commentator I was reading/hearing was saying that the Crimea leaving will have negative repercussions in the field of nuclear disarmament, at least. 

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^^I don't think "live and let live" is really a helpful framework considering the substantial minority populations in Crimea (and Texas for that matter).  Also, whether you mean it or not, "for Crimea to become a separate state in the Russian Federation" sounds like an awfully euphemistic way to describe an engineered Russian annexation of Crimea, which this increasingly appears to be.

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this entire provocation by Putin is just the precursor for something far more sinister. I don't know what yet, but it's coming. I just wish our reputation in the world had not gotten so debased. We've lost our influence, maybe not completely, but to a stunning degree. Otherwise this probably wouldn't be happening in the first place.

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this entire provocation by Putin is just the precursor for something far more sinister. I don't know what yet, but it's coming. I just wish our reputation in the world had not gotten so debased. We've lost our influence, maybe not completely, but to a stunning degree. Otherwise this probably wouldn't be happening in the first place.

 

This was predicted.  Pretty much any other serious candidate, from either party in either election, had more international credibility than Obama, by an order of magnitude.  Including Hillary. 

 

No....especially Hillary, because she would had Bill around to be her "bad cop".  It's pretty well known in foreign relations circles that behind the bluster and out and out corruption (see Chinese technology sales), Bill was liable to quietly channel Reagan if you seriously threatened American interests, or made him look bad.

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this entire provocation by Putin is just the precursor for something far more sinister. I don't know what yet, but it's coming. I just wish our reputation in the world had not gotten so debased. We've lost our influence, maybe not completely, but to a stunning degree. Otherwise this probably wouldn't be happening in the first place.

 

Lament now.  But just remember this the next time you vote for a guy like Bush..... twice.

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this entire provocation by Putin is just the precursor for something far more sinister. I don't know what yet, but it's coming. I just wish our reputation in the world had not gotten so debased. We've lost our influence, maybe not completely, but to a stunning degree. Otherwise this probably wouldn't be happening in the first place.

 

Lament now.  But just remember this the next time you vote for a guy like Bush..... twice.

I guess that's good advice if you're thinking of voting for any President...twice. :wink:

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I just wish our reputation in the world had not gotten so debased. We've lost our influence, maybe not completely, but to a stunning degree. Otherwise this probably wouldn't be happening in the first place.

 

See what happens when you trust "experts" like Cheney and Rumsfeld.  But you go to far to blame them for this.  Iraq yes, but not the Ukraine.

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A Facebook friend just linked this article in Mother Jones by Kevin Drum.  I know MJ leans liberal and KD is one of the authors that makes that so, so they're going to be inclined to go easier on Obama than more centrist or conservative outlets.

 

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/03/lets-please-put-myth-iron-willed-putin-rest-once-and-all

 

Let's Please Put the Myth of the Iron-Willed Putin to Rest Once and For All

 

... None of this justifies Putin's actions. But to suggest that he was motivated by weakness in US foreign policy is flatly crazy. He was motivated by fear; by shock over the speed of events in Kiev; by a sense of betrayal when the February 21 agreement collapsed; by nationalistic fervor; by domestic political considerations; by provocative actions from the new Ukrainian parliament; by an increasing insularity among his inner circle; and by just plain panic.

 

-------------------------------

 

Up until Putin sent in the troops, he was clearly on the defensive.  His stooge had just been ousted from Kiev, and Kremlin-unfriendly opposition leaders in Ukraine that had been jailed were being freed.  The new parliament was wheeling and dealing with the EU, not for membership (since the EU wouldn't go that far), but trying to find any remotely palatable alternative to the financial aid package that the Kremlin was offering, and that would have rendered the Ukraine economically dependent on Russia for a long time.  (In fairness to Russia, Russia was actually making a pretty attractive offer on paper, one that would be difficult for the EU to match, given the EU's own financial struggles.  The fact that the new Ukrainian parliament was clearly willing to take a much less attractive [on paper] offer from anyone other than Putin, just to avoid financial dependence on Russia, shows how dramatic the political shift was in Kiev.)

 

In essence, Putin went from having the whole country, by proxy, without having to commit troops to having only Crimea and only because of committing to a military deployment ... something that we all know, from recent experience, can be very expensive.  Even his planned referendum (which likely has an equally planned result ...) in Crimea might be a poison pill for Russia in the long term, if he gets away with it.  Ukraine is a very poor country (GDP/capita $3867, compared with Russia at $14,037, Poland [ukraine's large EU-member-next-door] at $12,708, and the USA at $51,749).  If Russia were acting out of purely rational calculations, it would want nothing to do with annexing any piece of it, any more than we would have wanted Iraq and Afghanistan voting for statehood.

 

I'm not quite as willing as Drum to fully exonerate Obama here, but even those critical of Obama's handling of trans-Atlantic affairs should realize that many things had to go into Putin's calculations, and his reading of the U.S. response was only one of them. 

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@dpeleschuk

TV in my Sevas hotel with message: cable co. has removed following Ukrainian channels after order from city admin. http://t.co/E1LKn0aF8Z


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

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