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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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"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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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


"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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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.


"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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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/


"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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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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You thought the Crimean crisis was over? Actually it's only begun ... http://t.co/61x678iBIF


"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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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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"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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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


"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 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!


"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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Great quote from @Ukrainolution

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


"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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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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