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I still suspect they do, though probably not the means to deliver them.  Consider that the Budapest Memoranda have been aborgated. 

 

As for our influence, consider that respect may be more key than popularity, and while one can claim that Bush/Cheney decreased the latter, Obama has had much more negative impact on the former.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/condoleezza-rice-will-america-heed-the-wake-up-call-of-ukraine/2014/03/07/cf087f74-a630-11e3-84d4-e59b1709222c_story.html

 

Will America heed the wake-up call of Ukraine?

 

By Condoleezza Rice, Published: March 7

Condoleezza Rice was secretary of state from 2005 to 2009.

 

“Meet Viktor Yanu­kovych, who is running for the presidency of Ukraine.” Vladimir Putin and I were standing in his office at the presidential dacha in late 2004 when Yanu­kovych suddenly appeared from a back room. Putin wanted me to get the point. He’s my man, Ukraine is ours — and don’t forget it.

 

The “Ukrainian problem” has been brewing for some time between the West and Russia. Since Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, the United States and Europe have tried to convince Russia that the vast territory should not be a pawn in a great-power conflict but rather an independent nation that could chart its own course. Putin has never seen it that way. For him, Kiev’s movement toward the West is an affront to Russia in a zero-sum game for the loyalty of former territories of the empire. The invasion and possible annexation of Crimea on trumped-up concerns for its Russian-speaking population is his answer to us.

 

<more>

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As for our influence, consider that respect may be more key than popularity, and while one can claim that Bush/Cheney decreased the latter, Obama has had much more negative impact on the former.

 

Only with the Palinites.... And I don't expect them to attempt another invasion before 2016.

 

The rest of the world didn't respect Bush.  You don't respect someone who is the punch line of all of your idiot jokes

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I don't understand that statement at all. When the Iraqi reporter threw the shoe at Bush, it was applauded by much of the PLANET. We actually had a movie, The Death of the President, out during that president's reign. These are not examples of a country or world that respects us on any level.

 

The amount of political capital and goodwill the US had amassed since WWII vanished, utterly vanished, due to our muted response in Afghanistan,  the Iraq War (our greatest foreign policy sin since Vietnam), and us being the epicenter of the banking crisis, and resulting global depression, during Bush's tenure. ANY sitting president, McCain,  Romney, would have had their hands tied from the beginning as have Obama's

 

Oh no, President Romney is on the phone. Better leave Crimea by sundown.

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I don't understand that statement at all. When the Iraqi reporter threw the shoe at Bush, it was applauded by much of the PLANET. We actually had a movie, The Death of the President, out during that president's reign. These are not examples of a country or world that respects us on any level.

 

The amount of political capital and goodwill the US had amassed since WWII vanished, utterly vanished, due to our muted response in Afghanistan,  the Iraq War (our greatest foreign policy sin since Vietnam), and us being the epicenter of the banking crisis, and resulting global depression, during Bush's tenure. ANY sitting president, McCain,  Romney, would have had their hands tied from the beginning as have Obama's

 

Oh no, President Romney is on the phone. Better leave Crimea by sundown.

A reporter throwing a shoe is not remotely similar to one country invading another.

 

Being a Persian Gulf veteran myself, the true sin was not dealing with Hussein in finality when we had the chance in 91.  That I blame on Bush Sr., but political pressure to do nothing was immense at the time.

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Let's please stay focused on Ukraine. We're drifting off-topic. Thanks!


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

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Great quote from @Ukrainolution

A soldier that is afraid to show his face does not fight for a just cause. #Ukraine #Crimea #Russia


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

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Interesting article linked above.  I have a ton of respect for Condoleza Rice, but it's hard not to typecast anyone arguing for action in Ukraine right now, as a warmonger, ala McCain, Graham, Cheney & whomever else.  The best reason I've seen for US intervention thus far is that Ukraine is a sovereign nation and it's rights are being trampled by Russia.  That might be the case, but we also are not the world's police and it doesn't seem to be very damaging to US interests, other than a slightly stronger, more connected Russia.

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gottaplan, "action" is a pretty unspecific term.  Here's the prescriptive part of Rice's article:

 

This time has to be different. Putin is playing for the long haul, cleverly exploiting every opening he sees. So must we, practicing strategic patience if he is to be stopped. Moscow is not immune from pressure. This is not 1968, and Russia is not the Soviet Union. The Russians need foreign investment; oligarchs like traveling to Paris and London, and there are plenty of ill-gotten gains stored in bank accounts abroad; the syndicate that runs Russia cannot tolerate lower oil prices; neither can the Kremlin’s budget, which sustains subsidies toward constituencies that support Putin. Soon, North America’s bounty of oil and gas will swamp Moscow’s capacity. Authorizing the Keystone XL pipeline and championing natural gas exports would signal that we intend to do precisely that. And Europe should finally diversify its energy supply and develop pipelines that do not run through Russia.

 

Many of Russia’s most productive people, particularly its well-educated youth, are alienated from the Kremlin. They know that their country should not be only an extractive industries giant. They want political and economic freedoms and the ability to innovate and create in today’s knowledge-based economy. We should reach out to Russian youth, especially students and young professionals, many of whom are studying in U.S. universities and working in Western firms. Democratic forces in Russia need to hear American support for their ambitions. They, not Putin, are Russia’s future.

 

Most important, the United States must restore its standing in the international community, which has been eroded by too many extended hands of friendship to our adversaries, sometimes at the expense of our friends. Continued inaction in Syria, which has strengthened Moscow’s hand in the Middle East, and signs that we are desperate for a nuclear agreement with Iran cannot be separated from Putin’s recent actions. Radically declining U.S. defense budgets signal that we no longer have the will or intention to sustain global order, as does talk of withdrawal from Afghanistan whether the security situation warrants it or not. We must not fail, as we did in Iraq, to leave behind a residual presence. Anything less than the American military’s requirement for 10,000 troops will say that we are not serious about helping to stabilize that country.

 

Until you get to the last paragraph, you don't find anything even remotely military.  It's all economic (financial/commercial penalties against Russian oligarchs, approving Keystone XL) and cultural (targeting Russian students and young professionals studying and working abroad with the aim of convincing them of the superiority of Western values and culture).  Hard to see "warmongering" there.

 

Maybe you can read calls for military action in the last paragraph, but I don't see them there, either.  Note that I personally disagree with her suggestion that we should be doing more in Syria, but that doesn't mean that either she or I are suggesting direct military action there.  I'm not sure exactly what she *is* suggesting, since she also uses the vague word "action" without elaboration.  But I don't think that one should immediately jump to the conclusion that it means military action.

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Great quote from @Ukrainolution

A soldier that is afraid to show his face does not fight for a just cause. #Ukraine #Crimea #Russia

 

I love it.  This applies to the "Black Bloc" too.

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I don't understand that statement at all. When the Iraqi reporter threw the shoe at Bush, it was applauded by much of the PLANET. We actually had a movie, The Death of the President, out during that president's reign. These are not examples of a country or world that respects us on any level.

 

The amount of political capital and goodwill the US had amassed since WWII vanished, utterly vanished, due to our muted response in Afghanistan,  the Iraq War (our greatest foreign policy sin since Vietnam), and us being the epicenter of the banking crisis, and resulting global depression, during Bush's tenure. ANY sitting president, McCain,  Romney, would have had their hands tied from the beginning as have Obama's

 

Oh no, President Romney is on the phone. Better leave Crimea by sundown.

A reporter throwing a shoe is not remotely similar to one country invading another.

 

Being a Persian Gulf veteran myself, the true sin was not dealing with Hussein in finality when we had the chance in 91.  That I blame on Bush Sr., but political pressure to do nothing was immense at the time.

 

We didn't have a coalition to do that, and in the immediate post Cold war period that was key.  Bush the Elder's logic, which I disagreed with, was that eventually Hussein would act up enough that a new coalition would build and he could be dealt with.  He miscalculated that a second war would spring up immediately after the first was ending and Hussein fell.  So did his son.

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gottaplan, "action" is a pretty unspecific term.  Here's the prescriptive part of Rice's article:

 

This time has to be different. Putin is playing for the long haul, cleverly exploiting every opening he sees. So must we, practicing strategic patience if he is to be stopped. Moscow is not immune from pressure. This is not 1968, and Russia is not the Soviet Union. The Russians need foreign investment; oligarchs like traveling to Paris and London, and there are plenty of ill-gotten gains stored in bank accounts abroad; the syndicate that runs Russia cannot tolerate lower oil prices; neither can the Kremlin’s budget, which sustains subsidies toward constituencies that support Putin. Soon, North America’s bounty of oil and gas will swamp Moscow’s capacity. Authorizing the Keystone XL pipeline and championing natural gas exports would signal that we intend to do precisely that. And Europe should finally diversify its energy supply and develop pipelines that do not run through Russia.

 

Many of Russia’s most productive people, particularly its well-educated youth, are alienated from the Kremlin. They know that their country should not be only an extractive industries giant. They want political and economic freedoms and the ability to innovate and create in today’s knowledge-based economy. We should reach out to Russian youth, especially students and young professionals, many of whom are studying in U.S. universities and working in Western firms. Democratic forces in Russia need to hear American support for their ambitions. They, not Putin, are Russia’s future.

 

Most important, the United States must restore its standing in the international community, which has been eroded by too many extended hands of friendship to our adversaries, sometimes at the expense of our friends. Continued inaction in Syria, which has strengthened Moscow’s hand in the Middle East, and signs that we are desperate for a nuclear agreement with Iran cannot be separated from Putin’s recent actions. Radically declining U.S. defense budgets signal that we no longer have the will or intention to sustain global order, as does talk of withdrawal from Afghanistan whether the security situation warrants it or not. We must not fail, as we did in Iraq, to leave behind a residual presence. Anything less than the American military’s requirement for 10,000 troops will say that we are not serious about helping to stabilize that country.

 

Until you get to the last paragraph, you don't find anything even remotely military.  It's all economic (financial/commercial penalties against Russian oligarchs, approving Keystone XL) and cultural (targeting Russian students and young professionals studying and working abroad with the aim of convincing them of the superiority of Western values and culture).  Hard to see "warmongering" there.

 

Maybe you can read calls for military action in the last paragraph, but I don't see them there, either.  Note that I personally disagree with her suggestion that we should be doing more in Syria, but that doesn't mean that either she or I are suggesting direct military action there.  I'm not sure exactly what she *is* suggesting, since she also uses the vague word "action" without elaboration.  But I don't think that one should immediately jump to the conclusion that it means military action.

 

I think her main point is to quit following the Carter approach of trying to make nice with our adversaries at the expense of our friends.

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I don't understand that statement at all. When the Iraqi reporter threw the shoe at Bush, it was applauded by much of the PLANET. We actually had a movie, The Death of the President, out during that president's reign. These are not examples of a country or world that respects us on any level.

 

The amount of political capital and goodwill the US had amassed since WWII vanished, utterly vanished, due to our muted response in Afghanistan,  the Iraq War (our greatest foreign policy sin since Vietnam), and us being the epicenter of the banking crisis, and resulting global depression, during Bush's tenure. ANY sitting president, McCain,  Romney, would have had their hands tied from the beginning as have Obama's

 

Oh no, President Romney is on the phone. Better leave Crimea by sundown.

A reporter throwing a shoe is not remotely similar to one country invading another.

 

Being a Persian Gulf veteran myself, the true sin was not dealing with Hussein in finality when we had the chance in 91.  That I blame on Bush Sr., but political pressure to do nothing was immense at the time.

 

We didn't have a coalition to do that, and in the immediate post Cold war period that was key.  Bush the Elder's logic, which I disagreed with, was that eventually Hussein would act up enough that a new coalition would build and he could be dealt with.  He miscalculated that a second war would spring up immediately after the first was ending and Hussein fell.  So did his son.

I understand, the coalition "should've" been built that would've saved tens of thousands of lives and Billions of $$'s.

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gottaplan, "action" is a pretty unspecific term.  Here's the prescriptive part of Rice's article:

 

This time has to be different. Putin is playing for the long haul, cleverly exploiting every opening he sees. So must we, practicing strategic patience if he is to be stopped. Moscow is not immune from pressure. This is not 1968, and Russia is not the Soviet Union. The Russians need foreign investment; oligarchs like traveling to Paris and London, and there are plenty of ill-gotten gains stored in bank accounts abroad; the syndicate that runs Russia cannot tolerate lower oil prices; neither can the Kremlin’s budget, which sustains subsidies toward constituencies that support Putin. Soon, North America’s bounty of oil and gas will swamp Moscow’s capacity. Authorizing the Keystone XL pipeline and championing natural gas exports would signal that we intend to do precisely that. And Europe should finally diversify its energy supply and develop pipelines that do not run through Russia.

 

Many of Russia’s most productive people, particularly its well-educated youth, are alienated from the Kremlin. They know that their country should not be only an extractive industries giant. They want political and economic freedoms and the ability to innovate and create in today’s knowledge-based economy. We should reach out to Russian youth, especially students and young professionals, many of whom are studying in U.S. universities and working in Western firms. Democratic forces in Russia need to hear American support for their ambitions. They, not Putin, are Russia’s future.

 

Most important, the United States must restore its standing in the international community, which has been eroded by too many extended hands of friendship to our adversaries, sometimes at the expense of our friends. Continued inaction in Syria, which has strengthened Moscow’s hand in the Middle East, and signs that we are desperate for a nuclear agreement with Iran cannot be separated from Putin’s recent actions. Radically declining U.S. defense budgets signal that we no longer have the will or intention to sustain global order, as does talk of withdrawal from Afghanistan whether the security situation warrants it or not. We must not fail, as we did in Iraq, to leave behind a residual presence. Anything less than the American military’s requirement for 10,000 troops will say that we are not serious about helping to stabilize that country.

 

Until you get to the last paragraph, you don't find anything even remotely military.  It's all economic (financial/commercial penalties against Russian oligarchs, approving Keystone XL) and cultural (targeting Russian students and young professionals studying and working abroad with the aim of convincing them of the superiority of Western values and culture).  Hard to see "warmongering" there.

 

Maybe you can read calls for military action in the last paragraph, but I don't see them there, either.  Note that I personally disagree with her suggestion that we should be doing more in Syria, but that doesn't mean that either she or I are suggesting direct military action there.  I'm not sure exactly what she *is* suggesting, since she also uses the vague word "action" without elaboration.  But I don't think that one should immediately jump to the conclusion that it means military action.

 

I think her main point is to quit following the Carter approach of trying to make nice with our adversaries at the expense of our friends.

 

Perhaps.  But that didn't seem to be the main thrust of her argument, either; she barely mentioned the rest of Europe, for example, other than the fact that the Russian oligarchs like to travel and expatriate assets from Russia to Europe, so European countries would have a better shot at imposing consequences on the powerful Russians that are among Putin's most essential supporters.

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The best reason I've seen for US intervention thus far is that Ukraine is a sovereign nation and it's rights are being trampled by Russia. 

 

Which is the logic we used to invade Iraq under Bush Sr.  But now, that argument is hard to make due to our more recent actions in Iraq, which was a sovereign nation that we invaded.  Of course, some would argue that the invasion of Iraq was justified....... but then Russia will throw that right back in our face by saying that the invasion of Crimea is justified due to concerns over "human rights" or whatever other platitudes they want to use.  And they could further argue that Ukraine's government was illegally overthrown by non-democratic means in violation of the Ukranian constitution, and technically they would probably be right.  On top of that, the Crimean "invasion" has not been anything like the way we ran roughshod over Iraq on our way to Bahgdad.  In other words, previous foreign policy decisions by past presidents can put current presidents in quite a bind when trying to police the world.

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The best reason I've seen for US intervention thus far is that Ukraine is a sovereign nation and it's rights are being trampled by Russia. 

 

Which is the logic we used to invade Iraq under Bush Sr.  But now, that argument is hard to make due to our more recent actions in Iraq, which was a sovereign nation that we invaded.  Of course, some would argue that the invasion of Iraq was justified....... but then Russia will throw that right back in our face by saying that the invasion of Crimea is justified due to concerns over "human rights" or whatever other platitudes they want to use.  And they could further argue that Ukraine's government was illegally overthrown by non-democratic means in violation of the Ukranian constitution, and technically they would probably be right.  On top of that, the Crimean "invasion" has not been anything like the way we ran roughshod over Iraq on our way to Bahgdad.  In other words, previous foreign policy decisions by past presidents can put current presidents in quite a bind when trying to police the world.

Iraq was funding and harboring terrorists, Crimea is/was not.

 

Everything Russia has said so far on Crimea is trumped up.  The reality is their puppet Gov't was overthrown by the West's puppet Gov't.

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it's been 20 yrs now, but I recall there being a pretty solid coalition of countries that backed military action when Saddam invaded Kuwait.  I don't think we have a similar coalition in place yet for Crimea...

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Iraq was funding and harboring terrorists, Crimea is/was not.

 

Everything Russia has said so far on Crimea is trumped up.  The reality is their puppet Gov't was overthrown by the West's puppet Gov't.

 

So now we were justified because Iraq was funding and harboring terrorists?  I thought we invaded for WMDs?  It's a good thing we got rid of all those terrorists in Iraq...... except for maybe Al Queda in Iraq which didn't exist before we invaded Iraq.  You might want to read the 9/11 commissions findings on the operational links between Sadaam and any terrorist groups.  And you might want to reconsider the use of the term "trumped up" when trying to compare another country's justifications for invading a sovereign nation compared to our stated justifications for invading Iraq.

 

 

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it's been 20 yrs now, but I recall there being a pretty solid coalition of countries that backed military action when Saddam invaded Kuwait.  I don't think we have a similar coalition in place yet for Crimea...

 

True, but on the flip side, Vlad doesn't exactly have a whole lot of friends on this, either.

 

I think the general consensus has been somewhere in between "just do nothing and let him have Crimea" (though there are clearly some war-is-never-the-answer types who are going that far) and "kick his @$$ out of there."  There are many options that are at neither extreme of that spectrum--options that could indicate that we have no intention of rolling over and completely acquiescing to this even if we concede that we're not willing to start WWIII over it.  I'm betting that the Eastern European NATO nations are quite on board with such options, and I honestly think even the Western European nations are likely thinking such things privately (while cautiously feeling out how far everyone else is willing to go, since no one wants to be the lone voice speaking up publicly in favor of stronger action against Russia than others are willing to go along with).

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So how would you like to be a journalist sitting in your hotel lobby in the Crimean city of Simferopol, Ukraine when -- boom -- 25 heavily armed special forces soldiers enter with weapons drawn?

 

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

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Iraq was funding and harboring terrorists, Crimea is/was not.

 

Everything Russia has said so far on Crimea is trumped up.  The reality is their puppet Gov't was overthrown by the West's puppet Gov't.

 

So now we were justified because Iraq was funding and harboring terrorists?  I thought we invaded for WMDs?  It's a good thing we got rid of all those terrorists in Iraq...... except for maybe Al Queda in Iraq which didn't exist before we invaded Iraq.  You might want to read the 9/11 commissions findings on the operational links between Sadaam and any terrorist groups.  And you might want to reconsider the use of the term "trumped up" when trying to compare another country's justifications for invading a sovereign nation compared to our stated justifications for invading Iraq.

I'm not going to argue on the political reasoning (WMD's), but my belief was/is a terrorist connection with Hussein's Iraq, no report will change my opinion.

 

In regards to Ukraine/Russia, I am married (16 years) to a Ukranian who was raised as a "Soviet" Russian and I myself lived in the former USSR for about a year after leaving the military, where I met my wife.  My in-laws and sister-in-law now live in Moscow.  So being a Persian Gulf veteran, and someone who's actually been to Iraq and to the former USSR gives me a unique perspective on this subject.  I don't need to read any reports,  I can develop my own opinions from firsthand experiences.

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Olaf Koens ‏@obk  9m

Wow. NATO-websites down after attack claimed by http://cyber-berkut.org . Isn't that considered an act of war? pic.twitter.com/0KEL3LzcRA


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

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So being a Persian Gulf veteran, and someone who's actually been to Iraq and to the former USSR gives me a unique perspective on this subject.  I don't need to read any reports,  I can develop my own opinions from firsthand experiences.

 

Unique?  I doubt it.  Perspective?  Certainly.  But it hardly means that your opinions are correct and/or untainted by bias.  And it certainly shouldn't (but surely 'can') preclude you from examining/considering the findings of others who have spent considerably more time investigating the facts from all angles.

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So being a Persian Gulf veteran, and someone who's actually been to Iraq and to the former USSR gives me a unique perspective on this subject.  I don't need to read any reports,  I can develop my own opinions from firsthand experiences.

 

Unique?  I doubt it.  Perspective?  Certainly.  But it hardly means that your opinions are correct and/or untainted by bias.  And it certainly shouldn't (but surely 'can') preclude you from examining/considering the findings of others who have spent considerably more time investigating the facts from all angles.

Comical that my experiences are not unique in your "opinion", and that I (and all of us) should simply fall in line behind reports that were in many or most cases politically driven, as usual.  BTW - Wasn't the WMD angle derived by findings in a commissioned report where others spent considerable time investigating?  Was that accurate?

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I don't know why you find humor in it.  To me (and many reference books), the term "unique" means being the only one of its kind and unlike anything else.  Your experiences are relevant, but hardly unique.  I'd bet my bottom dollar you are not the only person who has been to both countries.  My definition of 'comical' appears to differ as well.

 

No, the WMD reports were not accurate.  Good point.  But if you inferred that I was suggesting you accept any report as gospel, you were mistaken.  That said, outright dismissing investigative reports (especially when they haven't been disproven - i.e. WMDs) is an equally flawed approach.  I simply suggested that you review and consider what was generated

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Why (this time) Obama must lead

 

The crisis in Ukraine was produced by two sets of blunders, neither emanating from Washington. The European Union’s vacillations and — most significantly, of course — Russia’s aggression created the problem. But it will be up to President Obama to show the strength and skill to resolve it.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/fareed-zakaria-on-ukraine-obama-must-lead-from-the-front/2014/03/13/10b9359a-aaea-11e3-af5f-4c56b834c4bf_story.html

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I don't know why you find humor in it.  To me (and many reference books), the term "unique" means being the only one of its kind and unlike anything else.  Your experiences are relevant, but hardly unique.  I'd bet my bottom dollar you are not the only person who has been to both countries.  My definition of 'comical' appears to differ as well.

 

No, the WMD reports were not accurate.  Good point.  But if you inferred that I was suggesting you accept any report as gospel, you were mistaken.  That said, outright dismissing investigative reports (especially when they haven't been disproven - i.e. WMDs) is an equally flawed approach.  I simply suggested that you review and consider what was generated

On this board, I would think my view is "unique", in the general public, I'll go with "uncommon".  I didn't or don't outright dismiss investigative reports, but they are only a piece of information that should be considered when forming individual opinion, in my opinion.

 

My individual opinion on Iraq was that Hussein's Iraq was a key player in supporting, financing, etc. terrorist operations in rogue countries like Afghanistan and in secret networks throughout the world.  I just don't share the opinion that GW was a bloodthirsty warlord that many like to portray him as, though I didn't agree with many of his policies.

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My friends in Cherkassy are scared that Ukraine and Russia will go to war on what my friends, including an ethnic Russian, called an "illegal election." ever since the economic collapse of the Soviet Union, when food wasn't available on the shelves, Ukrainians living in smaller cities and towns keep backyard gardens, chickens and small livestock, and store food. Its not much different than your grandmother who still keeps cash in her mattress 80 years after the Great Depression...

 

@rlsmithpd: Hundreds pack church in #Cleveland suburb of Parma to support Ukraine, "Wow, like Easter"  http://t.co/XoVDjfZTFR


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

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^Which election are they labeling as illegal?  The referendum in crimea?  Or the maneuver which removed the 'former' president?

 

My individual opinion on Iraq was that Hussein's Iraq was a key player in supporting, financing, etc. terrorist operations in rogue countries like Afghanistan and in secret networks throughout the world.  I just don't share the opinion that GW was a bloodthirsty warlord that many like to portray him as, though I didn't agree with many of his policies.

 

I think it is fair to assume that GWB himself had a good-faith belief there was at least a likelihood that they would find WMDs in Iraq.  Of course, there should be a huge 'FWIW' on that comment.

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^Which election are they labeling as illegal?  The referendum in crimea?  Or the maneuver which removed the 'former' president?

 

The referendum in Crimea which, BTW, reportedly had 95% supporting its absorption into Russia. I guess the Ruskies didn't want to make the election fraud obvious with a 100% "yes" vote!! Oh, and the 5% who didn't vote for the Russian takeover, they were given all-expenses-paid trips to Siberia. I hear it's lovely there this time of year.

 

Seriously, the Ukrainian and Russian armed forces are now at a tense standoff.


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

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Although a 95% vote in favor looks very suspicious, about what percentage would one expect under "fairer" circumstances?  I still get the impression from all that I've read that Crimea would still likely vote to join Russia even under calmer periods of time in a completely democratic election.

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^Which election are they labeling as illegal?  The referendum in crimea?  Or the maneuver which removed the 'former' president?

 

My individual opinion on Iraq was that Hussein's Iraq was a key player in supporting, financing, etc. terrorist operations in rogue countries like Afghanistan and in secret networks throughout the world.  I just don't share the opinion that GW was a bloodthirsty warlord that many like to portray him as, though I didn't agree with many of his policies.

 

I think it is fair to assume that GWB himself had a good-faith belief there was at least a likelihood that they would find WMDs in Iraq.  Of course, there should be a huge 'FWIW' on that comment.

 

They pretty much did.  The chemical weapons were very badly stored and unusable, but that didn't mean they didn't have them, and we of course had no idea that it had been neglected.  We had very good sources of intel in Iraq (including, I remain convinced, "Baghdad Bob"), knew what had been turned over, and what hadn't.  In any case, Hussein was acting like a felon grossly violating the terms of his parole.

 

This is relevant because I suspect Obama's concerned about being painted the way Bush was for reacting to a very relevant threat, and it's reinforcing his innate tendency to be geopolitically passive .

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Since the Russians are in a democratic mood these days, organizing and recognizing a vote for the people of Crimea, they should do the same for Dagestan.  Dagestan is a republic of 3 Million made up of about 3% Russian.  While they're at it, they should stage a vote in Chechnya too.

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I think it is fair to assume that GWB himself had a good-faith belief there was at least a likelihood that they would find WMDs in Iraq.  Of course, there should be a huge 'FWIW' on that comment.

They pretty much did. 

 

Oh.... well that depends on who you mean by "they".  I was simply giving "GWB himself" the benefit of the doubt.... which really isn't that hard to do in such circumstances.  But "they" would include, I assume, his inner circle.  "They" don't get the benefit of the doubt from me and I truly believe that "they" had ulterior motives.  Not malicious motives, not bad faith (in their mind) motives, but ulterior motives nonetheless.

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BTW, Russia's warm weather ports on the Baltic Sea don't mean much if Turkey, as a NATO member, declines permission to Russian ships to traverse the Bosporus....

 

US, Europe, Japan order Russia sanctions after Crimea takeover

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/586669/us-europe-japan-order-russia-sanctions-after-crimea-takeover

 

Turkey calls Crimean referendum illegal, illegitimate

http://www.todayszaman.com/news-342367-turkey-calls-crimean-referendum-illegal-illegitimate.html

 

UK Sends Typhoon Fighters to Baltic States To Guard Against Russia

http://www.ibtimes.com/uk-sends-typhoon-fighters-baltic-states-guard-against-russia-1561859

 

Kremlin jets in joint exercise with Belarus

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/kremlin-jets-in-joint-exercise-with-belarus/story-e6frg6so-1226855167993

 

WHY RUSSIA MAY REGRET CRIMEA GRAB

Muslim Tatars are tied to outlawed Russian Islamist group

http://www.wnd.com/2014/03/why-russia-may-regret-crimea-grab/


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

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I think it is fair to assume that GWB himself had a good-faith belief there was at least a likelihood that they would find WMDs in Iraq.  Of course, there should be a huge 'FWIW' on that comment.

They pretty much did. 

 

Oh.... well that depends on who you mean by "they".  I was simply giving "GWB himself" the benefit of the doubt.... which really isn't that hard to do in such circumstances.  But "they" would include, I assume, his inner circle.  "They" don't get the benefit of the doubt from me and I truly believe that "they" had ulterior motives.  Not malicious motives, not bad faith (in their mind) motives, but ulterior motives nonetheless.

 

In this case, "they" meant Coalition forces.

 

(This doesn't count the stuff sent to Syria.)

 

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=15918

 

http://nypost.com/2010/10/25/us-did-find-iraq-wmd/

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/13/AR2005081300530.html

 

 

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So Putin annexed Crimea this morning to, in his paranoid words, keep it and Ukraine out of NATO hands. But Ukraine has no interest in joining NATO....

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/russias-putin-prepares-to-annex-crimea/2014/03/18/933183b2-654e-45ce-920e-4d18c0ffec73_story.html

 

However other parts of the world are making gestures against Russian individuals who have already moved their money out of Western banks. Serious economic sanctions against Russia are not likely because the world has become too addicted to money, oil, etc.

 

But is anyone in the USA noticing? If you watch USA media, they all seem preoccupied with one Malaysian plane, when they should be more concerned with the 1,000 planes in Russia. I'm concerned Americans will wake up one day in a war with Russia and have no idea how it got there. So you think an ultra-nationalist Putin will stop with the Crimea? Think again.....

 

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/romanias-president-says-moldova-next-in-soviet-expansion/story-e6frg6so-1226857651757


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

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So Putin annexed Crimea this morning to, in his paranoid words, keep it and Ukraine out of NATO hands. But Ukraine has no interest in joining NATO....

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/russias-putin-prepares-to-annex-crimea/2014/03/18/933183b2-654e-45ce-920e-4d18c0ffec73_story.html

 

However other parts of the world are making gestures against Russian individuals who have already moved their money out of Western banks. Serious economic sanctions against Russia are not likely because the world has become too addicted to money, oil, etc.

 

But is anyone in the USA noticing? If you watch USA media, they all seem preoccupied with one Malaysian plane, when they should be more concerned with the 1,000 planes in Russia. I'm concerned Americans will wake up one day in a war with Russia and have no idea how it got there. So you think an ultra-nationalist Putin will stop with the Crimea? Think again.....

 

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/romanias-president-says-moldova-next-in-soviet-expansion/story-e6frg6so-1226857651757

Fox has been doing a good job of keeping multiple Ukraine stories on the front page.  While the other mainstream agencies are engulfed with the Malaysia plane, though they (usual media suspects) did take the time to blame GWB for not pulling Ukraine into NATO 10 years ago, never mind the inability to pull them in (to NATO) over the past 6 years.

 

I'm holding out hope that the current administration has an ace in the hole with Ukraine, like working with Turkey (and NATO) in disallowing the use of their waters for any Russian vessel originating from Crimea, a now illegitimate state of Russia.

 

Not only is Russia watching closely what the West is doing in response to Ukraine, so is China.

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Fox has been doing a good job of keeping multiple Ukraine stories on the front page.  While the other mainstream agencies are engulfed with the Malaysia plane, though they (usual media suspects) did take the time to blame GWB for not pulling Ukraine into NATO 10 years ago, never mind the inability to pull them in (to NATO) over the past 6 years.

 

I'm holding out hope that the current administration has an ace in the hole with Ukraine, like working with Turkey (and NATO) in disallowing the use of their waters for any Russian vessel originating from Crimea, a now illegitimate state of Russia.

 

Not only is Russia watching closely what the West is doing in response to Ukraine, so is China.

 

I just checked the front pages of MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN. All three had Crimea/Russia conflict as the second story on the front page. Fox and CNN both had the missing plane as #1.

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Fox has been doing a good job of keeping multiple Ukraine stories on the front page.  While the other mainstream agencies are engulfed with the Malaysia plane, though they (usual media suspects) did take the time to blame GWB for not pulling Ukraine into NATO 10 years ago, never mind the inability to pull them in (to NATO) over the past 6 years.

 

I'm holding out hope that the current administration has an ace in the hole with Ukraine, like working with Turkey (and NATO) in disallowing the use of their waters for any Russian vessel originating from Crimea, a now illegitimate state of Russia.

 

Not only is Russia watching closely what the West is doing in response to Ukraine, so is China.

 

I just checked the front pages of MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN. All three had Crimea/Russia conflict as the second story on the front page. Fox and CNN both had the missing plane as #1.

I just checked and MSNBC's #1 story is "Dark Money Power" relating to guess which party?  Fox has 5 stories on Ukraine right below the Malaysia plane.  There's one Ukraine story near the top for CNN on their main page, a couple more near the bottom.

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^^^China might be watching closely how the West reacts to the Crimea situation, but make no mistake, China is taking the same stance as the United States on this issue.  China has a keen interest in making it very difficult for regions of a country to declare independence without the approval of the central government. 

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^^^China might be watching closely how the West reacts to the Crimea situation, but make no mistake, China is taking the same stance as the United States on this issue.  China has a keen interest in making it very difficult for regions of a country to declare independence without the approval of the central government.

Which is why China abstained from the UN vote over the weekend?

 

The Moscow media is portraying China (and Iran) as staunch supporters of Russia.

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I just checked and MSNBC's #1 story is "Dark Money Power" relating to guess which party?  Fox has 5 stories on Ukraine right below the Malaysia plane.  There's one Ukraine story near the top for CNN on their main page, a couple more near the bottom.

 

I don't have to pull up Fox to know that any headline is going to be giving a knobjob to Putin as somehow being a stronger, wiser, and more tactful leader than our President.  Fox is in the midst of an intense love affair with President Vladimir Moobs.  He is everything Fox viewers want in a leader.

 

Fret not, however.  Benghazi will be back on top in no time no matter whether the Ukraine situation blows over or not.

 

 

I see your washpo and nypost links.  I could raise you countless media sources, but this should suffice....

 

In his final word, the CIA’s top weapons inspector in Iraq said Monday that the hunt for weapons of mass destruction has “gone as far as feasible” and has found nothing, closing an investigation into the purported programs of Saddam Hussein that were used to justify the 2003 invasion.

 

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/7634313/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/cias-final-report-no-wmd-found-iraq/

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I just checked and MSNBC's #1 story is "Dark Money Power" relating to guess which party?  Fox has 5 stories on Ukraine right below the Malaysia plane.  There's one Ukraine story near the top for CNN on their main page, a couple more near the bottom.

 

Both sites have SEVERAL articles on BOTH stories on the front page! I'm not going to argue any further because this is a pointless. MSNBC and Fox News are both really really biased. Let's leave it at that.

 

On another note.

 

This does seem eerily similar to Hitler annexing portions of land he claimed rightfully belonged to Germany. To be clear, I'm not saying Putin is Hitler, Russia is equivalent to the Nazis, or this will spark a new world war. But it goes back to that old argument of appeasement or hard-lined defense of your beliefs. Perhaps Russia is done annexing land and appeasement might be the best course of action. I can't predict the future, but there has been a bad precedent for that in the last century.

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We made it through Russia doing this for literally decades during the Cold War without starting World War III...... and tensions were monumentally higher back then.  I don't see this spiraling out of control, particularly with us and our allies having no appetite for more military conflict after the past decade in the middle-east. 

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I just checked and MSNBC's #1 story is "Dark Money Power" relating to guess which party?  Fox has 5 stories on Ukraine right below the Malaysia plane.  There's one Ukraine story near the top for CNN on their main page, a couple more near the bottom.

 

I don't have to pull up Fox to know that any headline is going to be giving a knobjob to Putin as somehow being a stronger, wiser, and more tactful leader than our President.  Fox is in the midst of an intense love affair with President Vladimir Moobs.  He is everything Fox viewers want in a leader.

 

Fret not, however.  Benghazi will be back on top in no time no matter whether the Ukraine situation blows over or not.

 

 

I see your washpo and nypost links.  I could raise you countless media sources, but this should suffice....

 

In his final word, the CIA’s top weapons inspector in Iraq said Monday that the hunt for weapons of mass destruction has “gone as far as feasible” and has found nothing, closing an investigation into the purported programs of Saddam Hussein that were used to justify the 2003 invasion.

 

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/7634313/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/cias-final-report-no-wmd-found-iraq/

Now we're going to revert to name-calling?  And Benghazi is not a big deal, MSNBC (and CNN, USA Today, etc.) already told us so.

 

BTW - The last place I would look for a world view on Ukraine is "any" U.S. based media outlet, and that includes Fox.  Though it is funny to watch the predictable angles from each outlet play out, sort of like reading posts on this site with the "he's not as bad as your guy" or Neanderthal name-calling tactics.

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