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America’s Stake In The Ukrainian Crisis

We’ll talk about what the US should do or not do about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Pro-Russian soldiers block the Ukrainian naval base in the village of Novoozerne, some 91 km west of Crimean capital Simferopol, Ukraine, on Monday, March 3, 2014. Ukraine says Russian forces controlling the strategic region of Crimea are demanding that the crew of two Ukrainian warships in Sevastopol's harbor must surrender. (AP)

Pro-Russian soldiers block the Ukrainian naval base in the village of Novoozerne, some 91 km west of Crimean capital Simferopol, Ukraine, on Monday, March 3, 2014. Ukraine says Russian forces controlling the strategic region of Crimea are demanding that the crew of two Ukrainian warships in Sevastopol’s harbor must surrender. (AP)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Ukraine today.  In Kiev, as Russian troops crawl over Ukraine’s Crimea and protests denounce invasion.  In Washington yesterday, President Obama warned of consequences for Russia.  “We are examining a whole series of steps – economic, diplomatic,” said the President, “that will isolate Russia and will have a negative impact on Russia’s economy and its status in the world.”  How far should the U.S. go in brining Russia to account for events of the past week?  For what may yet come?  This hour On Point:  What the U.S. should do, or not do, about Russia and Ukraine.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Margaret Coker, senior reporter for The Wall Street Journal. (@margaretwsj)

Indira Lakshmanan, U.S. foreign policy reporter for Bloomberg News. (@Indira_L)

David Ignatius, columnist at the Washington Post. Author of “The Director,” “Bloodmoney,” “The Bank of Fear” and “America and the World.” (@IgnatiusPost)

Kori Schake, research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: Putin’s error in Ukraine is the kind that leads to catastrophe – “Perhaps inevitably, given Washington’s political monomania, the big subject over the weekend wasn’t Putin’s criminal attack on Crimea but whether Obama had encouraged it by being insufficiently muscular. There are many valid criticisms to be made of Obama’s foreign policy, especially in Syria, but the notion that Putin’s attack is somehow the United States’ fault is perverse.”

The Wall Street Journal: Russia Seizes Border Posts in Crimea, Says Ukraine – “Ukraine’s State Border Service said Russian forces were also massing armored military vehicles on its side of a narrow sea crossing separating the region from Russia, increasing pressure on Ukrainian forces still in the region. The movement suggested that Russia was planning to stay in Crimea for the long haul. Ukraine’s newly appointed prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, said there was little chance of resolving the standoff in the short term. But he added there was no evidence that Russian forces have tried to push out of Crimea into mainland Ukraine and that he doesn’t believe they plan to do so.”

Bloomberg News: Cold War Ghosts Haunt East Europe in Moves for Crimea — “As Ukrainians steel themselves against a full invasion by Russian troops into Crimea and political leaders across the globe engage in marathon diplomacy with President Vladimir Putin to quell soldiers and sailors already there, people in central and eastern Europe say their mistrust of Russia is as strong as it has ever been. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is visiting Kiev today, the latest of politicians from the West to show support to the new government.”

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  • Informed American

    Too bad for Mr. Nobel Peace Prize, Barack Obama, there’s no Al-Qaeda for him to support in the Ukraine, like he did in Libya, and he’s currently supporting in Syria.

    • brettearle

      Too bad such distorted, biased propaganda has to start off the Thread, today.

      • keltcrusader

        It seems to be a daily occurrence lately

      • Informed American

        Like it or not, it’s the truth Bert.

        • brettearle

          What IS the Truth, is that if you had spelled my name accurately–people wouldn’t be so painfully aware that just like your agreement with ignorant propaganda, you can’t get your FACTS right.

          Now watch, everyone….watch how SO-WELL `Informed America’, the name of the Commenter above, is SHAMED into changing the inaccurate spelling of my name from `Bert’ to the accurate name, `Brett’.

          I am simply calling this commenter out in order to discourage him from changing the spelling.

          Either way, now, he CAN’T win….

          And, also, Ladies and Gentlemen, watch for him to possibly delete his comment altogether, due to his own embarrassment; or else radically change it, to try to make my comment seem inappropriate….

          Watch, Ladies and Gentlemen….

          • Jasoturner

            Rarely do I laugh out loud, but this exchange was awesome…

          • brettearle

            Thanks.

            Coming from the likes of you, I am especially appreciative.

          • Informed American

            You’re mad because I intentionally spelled your name wrong, but the fact that YOUR President is supporting Al-Qaeda in Syria doesn’t make mad? Your priorities are all screwed up.

          • brettearle

            P.S….

            `The Likes of You’ is translated as someone who adds, reliably, high quality dialogue to the Thread….

          • Informed American

            The fact that Obama has supported Al-Qaeda in Libya in Syria is fine with you? That is duly noted.

          • Don_B1

            So the fact that Iran gained the most from President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq and, because of poor planning, butcher everything that followed the first month of the invasion, can be viewed as supporting Iran.

            President Bush also dismissed Iran’s overtures on its nuclear program following the invasion until the U.S. difficulties made their potential compromises on the program obviously unnecessary.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — your comment assumes that “Informed American” is capable of embarrassment. There is no evidence at present to support this assumption.

          • brettearle

            Toooooo-u-cheeee!

          • hennorama

            brettearle — what does Stanley Tucci have to do with all this?

          • brettearle

            Tucci roughly rhymes with Sochi and when we intone Sochi we think of Putin and when we think of Putin we think of today’s Forum and when we think of today’s Forum we think of this Thread and when we think of this thread

            ……We ….think….of….how….Inane…..Un-Informed….America’s….comments….
            Truly…Are

            THAT ought to answer your question–TO THE HILT!

          • hennorama

            brettearle — while your elliptical comments are of course accurate, if you believe “Tucci roughly rhymes with Sochi,” then you are indeed
            touché, monsieur.

          • brettearle

            Poetic License.

            I renewed last week.

  • HonestDebate1

    It turns out they stole the “reset’ button from the hotel jacuzzi. Now thats what I call foreign policy!

    http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/372373/infamous-reset-button-stolen-hotel-pool-or-jacuzzi-jim-geraghty

  • Ed75

    I don’t know, this just feels like the start of something much worse, I could be wrong.

    • brettearle

      You are likely wrong–if you think `Much Worse’ means a wider regional (beyond Ukraine) or Global War.

      If you think ‘Much Worse’, means more bloodshed, then you are likely right.

  • georgepotts

    Putin is just a big bully. We have made bullying against the law. Maybe the IRS could investigate Putin?

    We could send troops from our peace-keeping base in Iraq. Oops.
    We could help the EU boycott Russian oil with our oil from the Keystone pipeline. Oops.

    John Kerry could say, “If Putin promises that he will not invade Ukraine beyond the Crimean peninsula, then the world can accept the annexation of Crimea if Putin promises to hold elections to allow for the Crimean people to have self-determination.”

    Will Putin write that for him like he did for the gassing in Lebanon?

  • Coastghost

    Insofar as neither Ukraine nor Crimea are ours to trade, I wonder whether the firm Obama Rice Power and Kerry could offer this to Putin: “You give us Edward Snowden, and you can HAVE Crimea, no other questions asked.”
    Self-serving and feckless, some might say, and it almost goes without saying it’s not going to happen (neither side would offer or consent to terms, I don’t much think): but I just woke up and have only begun the day’s coffee.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Cynical and crude and cruel …

      • Coastghost

        Woof woof, growl, and snarl.

  • georgepotts

    All of the liberal media criticizes and ridiculed Sarah Palin when she said that Putin is a potential problem. She also said that after he invaded Georgia, that the Ukraine was next.

    Obama and government radio said that Putin was our friend.

    Anyone want to admit that the weather girl from Alaska was right about Putin and that Obama was wrong?

    No, the conversation today will be about how many ethnic Russians are in Crimea and how Russia has had a naval base in Crimea and how Russia made a mistake giving Crimea to Ukraine and Russia is just taking back what is theirs.

    That’s like rationalizing the bully taking away your bicycle because he likes it more than you.

    • Grigalem

      “All of the liberal media criticizes and ridiculed Sarah Palin”

      Offer some examples. Three will do, methinks.

      And define “all”. So far, I can only find one such comment – in Foreign Policy Magazine. In 2008.

      ***************

      “Anyone want to admit that the weather girl from Alaska was right about Putin and that Obama was wrong?”

      In what way was President Obama wrong? What did he say or do that was wrong and/or the opposite of Palin?

      What is Palin’s proposal to resolve the situation? So far, I can’t find it.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      But, I thought that Putin has a good policy on gays? And many Republicans have fawned over Putin …

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Unfortunately, when we make poor decisions like invading Iraq when there were no WMDs, we give up the moral high ground on unjustified invasions that we are now accusing Putin of. I am a conservative, but this decision has caused serious and long lasting harm to our desired position as beacon of freedom to the world. One of many decisions that Bush made that cause me to conclude that he was a terrible president.

  • Jasoturner

    This is a very perilous situation. The United States cannot afford to talk tough, and then fold like a house of cards when red lines are crossed. Again. Hopefully Kerry and Obama will resist the urge to try and assert themselves, and will instead allow Europe to take the lead here.

    Beyond risking our political credibility, there also seems to some ambiguity regarding Russia’s intentions that merits a go-slow response by the U.S. It would seem to be pretty easy for this thing to escalate out of control if Russia’s intentions are misread or misunderstood.

    One thing is surely novel. The USSR was, ultimately, a corrupt political philosophy of governance. Putin, however,seems interested in the personal power and wealth that he can accrue through his servicing of the plutocrats. A takeover of Ukraine would probably result in the plundering of the country’s wealth by a small cadre of Russian billionaires – a pathetic reason to risk an international conflict.

    • hellokitty0580

      Agreed. I don’t think there’s any reason for the United States to get militarily involved. I think that would be an extreme and I don’t think we’re at that point yet. I also agree that Europe needs to take the lead on this, especially Germany. It’s not to say that the United States shouldn’t go forward with sanctions and soft power strategies against Russia, but this is a delicate situation for sure and the US should be very measured with its response.

    • Don_B1

      A military response was never a rational response to this bit of Russian bullying.

      Note that sanctions, if they are to be effective, and Russia is not as vulnerable to the extent that Iran has been, will require all of Europe and much of the rest of the world to agree. Getting that agreement will take time and may not even be possible, given the amount of Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas and the current winter makes the need obvious (even though Europe is not suffering the severe cold that the eastern U.S. is).

      But that does not mean that nothing will be done. It just may not (and almost certainly won’t) be instantaneous.

  • AC

    is there ANY conflict that ever gets resolved? wasn’t this determined back in 1850s? why won’t the losers move on gracefully?
    also, is this new gov promising to crack down on cyber criminals and turn them over to international courts?

  • Coastghost

    Hearing yesterday’s first hour discussion on the Ukraine Crisis, we are left to wonder just whether the EU and NATO really do have eyes and designs on incorporating Ukraine. It’s hardly unimaginable that they do: but as Amb. Matlock has observed elsewhere, the ambition goes nowhere as long as a non-consensual Russia slumbers just east of Ukraine.
    Building a “Fortress Europe” for the 21st century would have ideally to incorporate some part of Russia, too, like its western fifth: eastward to the Urals and south into the Caucasus. Making this ploy palatable to the Russians would cost several pretty dollars, pounds, and euros, no doubt, (some few rubles, too, or their equivalent in reliable oil and gas supplies): but arguably, benefits could accrue for all, if only the terms could be agreed to.
    Stay tuned.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Obama has his Karzai. Putin has his Yanukovych.

    Which of the Grand Masters is the bigger fool?

    • brettearle

      HLB drank his Kool-Aid. It was very tasty.

      HLB will disperse the Moderates with Saber-Rattling

      HLB, in his Rhetoric, offers Jingoistic Missiles. The Japanese had Pearl Harbor. Which of the Grand Masters is the Bigger Fool?

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Who was president when Hamid Karzai was “elected”?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Karzai turned on the US under Obama. Obama decided to not JFK Karzai.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    We will contain the Russian horde with business contract law. I’m a professor of these instruments of civilization, as you know.
    –Barack H. Obama, International Moral Authority

    Except for the drones, of course.

    • artymowski

      Are you referring to the drone in his voice?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I went to Kiev. I had the chicken. It was very tasty.
    –John F. Kerry, Internationally Renown Wordsmith

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    You go into the friends-helping-friends with the Yanukovych you’ve got.
    –Good Neighbor Vlad

    The world is forever indebted to Donald Rumsfeld for his obvious observations.

  • Ed75

    The movie ‘Son of God’ (highly recommended, very beautiful and very instructive) has a scene where Jesus and the disciples go into the Temple and Jesus starts to turn over the tables. Judas steps back and says ‘This doesn’t look good’. That’s how Ukraine looks now.

    • keltcrusader

      gee, I just read an article about how the couple who produced it aren’t considered real “Christians” because they inserted lots of “New Age” language and fanciful spins on the Jesus “story”.

      http://thelasthiker.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/the-son-of-god-movie-is-not-what-we-think-do-you-know-the-voice-of-your-master/

      The whole thing is just so rich, imagine Christians telling other Christians that they just aren’t “Christian” enough.

      • jefe68

        Or in Jesus’ case, not Jewish enough.

      • Ed75

        Interesting. The couple who produced (Roma Downey and her husband – Survivor producer) are devout Catholics, I didn’t see anything new age about it. They took some license to portray the end on the screen, but that’s OK. They consulted Protestant leaders to see if they could add to their understanding, I don’t think the Protestants would have much issue with it.

      • Ed75

        Well, that she has new age connections is unfortunate. But there weren’t any big problems with the movie at all, even a few bishops and cardinals were interviewed about it, and I know that she and her husband are Catholic. Now it is true that some Catholic sisters communities have been infected by some new age thinking, which is why the Vatican is investigating them. I don’t know about Roma Downey personally, but the movie seems theologically sound, leaving aside a second or two that was the result of the limits of a film.

  • tfam101

    The hypocrisy of this country is breathtaking. This is after two full on invasions of countries half a world away, triggering the death of thousands.
    And what would happen if one of our big neighbors ( mexico, canada, decided to align itself with a powerful alliance of our competitors?
    US MYOB

  • Coastghost

    Oh puh-leeeeeeeeeeeeez: hearing John Kerry intone gravely about “respecting national sovereignty and territorial integrity” is completely RIDICULOUS, given his present employer’s clear record of achievement. The entire world heard Sen. Obama on 1 August 2007 in his address to the Woodrow Wilson Center: US respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity under an Obama Administration are completely off the table and non-negotiable. “We will act,” Obama sternly warned with testicular fortitude, “I will not hesitate to use military force.”
    This was Obama’s delivery of his very own unilateralist creed. Although at the time it was aimed at the Pakistanis, it was offered for global consumption. Why are Americans perplexed now that Russia seems to’ve heard Obama?

  • Informed American

    The Ukrainian ‘crisis’ was created by the Obama Administration when it decided to send $5 billion to help fund N.G.O.’s (provocateurs), rent-a-mob thugs who helped to ouster the democratically elected, internationally recognized govt. in the Ukraine, in favor of some fascist leaning hooligans.
    This is the same Obama administration which is openly supporting the ‘rebels’ in Syria who even John Kerry admitted have ties to Al-Qaeda.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Golfers make poor leaders. Check recent history.

      • Informed American

        You are 100% correct sir.

    • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

      $5 bil, maybe $10 bil, or any other number you are pulling out of your a–. The democratic elected gov jimmied every office, changed the Constitution, packed the Parliament, packed the Courts and Election offices with their own crooked cronies, started stealing $5 bil, and they did it in 7-8 months- Absolute Power, the Repubs would call him… “extremely effective”.

      Everybody hated Yanu, even 1/3 of his own Party. The Protest was entirely indigenous- millions of Ukrs gave money, time, food, apartments, tents, cooking, cars to them free for 3 months- still doing it (now its a problem cause they aren’t leaving).

      • Informed American

        The Obama regime admitted to pumping $5 billion into N.G.O.’s (provocateurs) to create the crisis in the Ukraine. Nobody who thinks critically is interested in the pro-Obama dribble that you’re spewing out.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I will cross the Deleware. There’s supposed to be some fine golfing on the other side.
    –General George Obama, CINC {sorta}

    Don’t stand in the boat.. bad outcomes, you know.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    You don’t need to leave the back door open for a fool. Putin merely has to turn his tanks around and drive home. Even idiots can read road maps.

  • Coastghost

    WE have an Obama Problem.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Troll bait …

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I will arm the Ukraine Mujahideen. After all, it worked splendidly for President Reagan.
    –President B. Obama, Student of World History

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Yanukovych, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody Ukraine today.
    –Lord Vladimir Putin, Admiral of the Black Bathtub Navy

  • Informed American

    How is that Neo-Con war-monger, Victoria Nuland (the wife of Arch Neo-Con, Robert Kagan), hasn’t been fired from the State Department?
    It looks like Mr.Nobel Peace Prize, Barack Obama, fired all the Neo-Cons from the Bush Administration, and replaced them with his own Neo-Cons.

    • jefe68

      You seem confused about so much.

      • Informed American

        The only ones who are confused are individuals like yourself who support a President whose own Administration has admitted to supporting Al-Qaeda in Libya and Syria.

        • jefe68

          Did I ever say I supported Obama in Libya or Syria? You seem woefully ill-equipped to parse the idea that international events do tend to be complicated. Or so it seems.

          • Informed American

            When have you ever been even slightly critical of your President? You’re only to happy to swallow and believe every blatant lie that comes out of this regime. Just keep repeating to yourself ad nauseam, “yes we can” “yes we can” “yes we can”.

          • hennorama

            “Informed American” — this is at least the third instance of you referring to President Obama as “your President” or “their President.”

            This implies that you are not a U.S. citizen or resident. Please reveal your citizenship/residency status.

          • Informed American

            Just call Obama’s NSA. They’ll tell you what you want know. They’re spying on Americans and collecting data on them, very similar to the way the KGB used to in the USSR.

          • hennorama

            “Informed American” — thank you for your unresponsive response.

            Please reveal your citizenship/residency status.

          • jefe68

            I’m not sure it matters. My bet he’s Americana and is playing this stupid game.

          • Informed American

            Now I understand why you’ve decided to put your IQ next to your moniker, because then you can claim that you have a mental disability and get a check in the mail every month from Uncle Sucker.

          • brettearle

            Moment please!

            Right-winger, who make personal attack, take things too personally.

            Right winger need soul-searching Purge:

            Best to aim self for Afterlife Underworld, where Fun begins, with feet to fire.

            All, Best. Can get pitchfork cheap on Ebay.

            Have verified address? This part of survey, mandatory. Must answer….

          • Informed American

            Make sure that you show that to your social worker Bert, they might find it mildly amusing.

          • Informed American

            OK, OK I’ll tell you. But first you’ll have to go swimming in a river filled with hungry piranhas. Make sure you take Obamanoid jefe68, since misery enjoys company.

          • hennorama

            “Informed American” — thank you for yet another telling dodge.

            Are your positions so weak that they cannot withstand even the simplest of questions?

          • jefe68

            I’m not sure what your problem is, but you sound very immature.

            I happen to be critical of Obama on load of issues from drones to the environment to how his administration dealt and deals with wall street to name a few.
            But that’s besides the point. As to reaping myself, well it seems you have some comprehension issues, which is why I’m repeating myself, at least in your case.

            One more thing, grow up.

          • Informed American

            I’I happen to be critical of Obama”. Thanks for the laugh. If you were Obama’s toughest critic, he’d have it made. You’re just another Obama stooge who believes his lies. Every time you send out one of your pro-Obama rants, you’re just exposing your ignorance as well as your profound gullibility.

          • Informed American

            Keep buying Obama’s lies. He needs gullible people like you to help his poll numbers from getting any worse.

  • Potter

    Putin points to our invasion of Iraq. Yet the Republicans ( McCain, Graham) beat the drums loudly now and criticize Obama while we have lost credibility and even soft power from THEIR policies.

  • Pedro Alberto Arroyo

    What are the chances that we can have a conversation about what to do in the Ukraine that isn’t also a fight about every major geostrategic decision taken over the last half century?

    • hellokitty0580

      Slim to none.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      When we show that we have actually *learned* from our mistakes!

  • Coastghost

    Hearing Jay Carney intone gravely about Russian respect for “national sovereignty and territorial integrity” is also COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS, given that Carney has the self-same employer that John Kerry has.

    • Informed American

      That employer is over $17 trillion in debt and going bankrupt. $7 trillion of that debt was added by Obama himself

      • Pirate Wench

        Was that before or after he put the cost of the “war on terror” actually ON the books as debt?

        • Informed American

          That’s $7 trillion dollars that Obama added all on his own since his regime came into power.

          • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

            EXcept for the shattered economy and little line item called SAVING THE WORLD FROM IMMINENT COLLAPSE, plus much of that was also rung up secretly by the Fed in their mad schemes to bail out every penny of the criminal speculators pre-crash. And other parts involve only having a recession rather than depression. Not that our debt is good- but $5-6 tril of GB2 debt just went straight to the rich

  • manganbr

    Regarding Lindsey Graham’s comments on Obama: I don’t recall democrats ever publically saying anything so disrespectful about Bush’s authority to speak and address other foreign leaders. Criticizing policy is one thing, but calling the American president weak in this way is beyond the pale. I am not in the slightest an apologist for Obama: I don’t care who the President is, you just don’t talk that way about the commander in chief in this kind of situation.

    Graham says when Obama speaks “all our eyes roll” by which I think he’s confusing the hawkish McCain-Romney-Graham constituency with the definitely dovish American public still jaded by events in Iraq and Afghanistan. Graham’s proposal is that Obama “do something,” suggesting that Obama suspend Russia’s status in G-8. I don’t know how this works. Is this up to Obama? Does he not need consensus from other G-8 members? Does he have that? The weakness seems here not to be a function of Obama particularly, but of the need to get Europe to act. It seems that Graham is just using the conflict in Ukraine to flatter his constituency by bashing Obama. How could it possibly be constructive to speak openly about the president in this disrespectful way, whatever one believes in private? Again, I don’t mean we should restrain constructive open debate about what should be done, but this kind of insult is nearly seditious.

    • hellokitty0580

      Thank you!! Thank you!! Thank you!!

      There is nothing constructive about the criticisms of Graham or McCain. It’s mostly to pump up their own political persona and it’s really pathetic.

      We’ve been strong-arming the world for years now with Iraq and Afghanistan. Our foreign policy under Bush was reactive and see where that got us. What is so wrong with taking a different route? Nothing really. It’s a false argument. If it weren’t Obama taking this route, I don’t think you’d get the same criticisms.

    • Potter

      well said!

    • Coastghost

      Well, welcome back to Earth! You MUST have been visiting the Oort Cloud or the Kuiper Belt between 2001 and 2009.

      • jefe68

        Troll alert.

    • FrankensteinDragon

      in fact, calling him weak in public is what weakens the situation in foreign eyes–so republicans and tea cups are responsible for everything they claim obama is guilty for.

  • georgepotts

    I think that I have been censored. Some of my posts have been removed.

    • hennorama

      georgepotts — probably not. It’s more likely that you violated the “community rules” in some way, or that you used one of the “7 Words You Can’t Type In the On Point Forum.”

      Please allow a guess:

      You invoked the nickname of the most recent VPOTUS.

    • FrankensteinDragon

      you probably said sth truthful. mine will be removed soon too

  • 65noname

    Putun is “the biggest criminautside of africa”? Huh? What about the criminals who run saudi arabia where women are stoned to death for engaging in relationships with others? And where it is treason to critize the thug family that owns the country? What about the cheny/bush gang that used a phony claim of WMD as an excuse to invade iraq and kill 10′s and 10′s of thousands of people? what about israel which carpet bombed Gaza, including schools and hospitals?
    oops!!!! forgot!!! corporate radio is not permitted to call out the US’s allies in public!!!!
    My bad.

    • hellokitty0580

      Bashing Africa never goes out of style.

    • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

      Yanu was the biggest thief outside of Africa, I think I said. Maybe inc Africa, but there leaders aren’t happy with stealing 50%- they want 80% and their 14th palace. Yanu had apparently about 4 or 5 palaces- just Myezhigirye is worth maybe $1 bil (1 chandelier was $6mil)- he didn’t bother to hide it- he ripped off companies even from the oligarchs that he gave to his nobody dentist son, now worth $1 bil, or maybe nothing…. since it’ll all be nationalized. No Africa, what I’ve seen of it, is a wonderful place.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Remember the war against Franco
    That’s the kind where each of us belongs
    Though he may have won all the battles
    We had all the good songs.
    –The Folk Song Army, Tom Lehrer

  • BPol

    Is continually antagonizing the country that is still the second most dangerous country to have as your enemy (the US being the first) really the US’s best course of action? We’ve been antagonizing them since the fall of the USSR and it’s understandable for Putin to see this as part of what has seemed like an unrelenting advance towards their borders (correctly or incorrectly). Does no one realize the agreement Ukraine didn’t sign that sparked the initial protests included NATO provisions? How can we ignore that the leaked tape can easily be interpreted (again correctly or incorrectly) as US officials planning a Ukrainian coup? Of course, Putin sees it this way. It’s not entirely unreasonable.

    The Russians may not be in the right and the EU should work (with the backing of the US) to resolve this conflict, but the US doesn’t have that much influence over Russia or Ukraine and lets not forget that we still desperately need Russia on other international affairs (i.e. Syria and Iran). A second cold war might be good for the military industrial complex, but it would certainly be bad for everyone else. If we want to survive the 21st century the major nuclear powers need to play nice.

  • Coastghost

    David Ignatius: care to disown Obama’s Woodrow Wilson Center Aug 2007 loose-lipped declaration of “the Obama Doctrine”?
    Kori Schake: care to part company with “the Obomba Doctrine” unilaterally?

    • Informed American

      That will never happen. Liberals can’t bring themselves to admit that their President, Barack Obama, is a war-monger. Even Amnesty International has accused the Obama Administration of engaging in war crimes.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    They’re singing songs of love but not for me.
    –Vladimir, Russian soulful poet/philosopher

  • Coastghost

    But is John Kerry being as smart as caller Natasha? “Roll that clip!”

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I will go to Frostbite Falls. I will negotiate directly with Boris Badenov.
    –John F. Kerry, International Diplomat

    Don’t forget to take moose & squirrel.

  • John_Hamilton

    If I remember right, Russia and Putin opposed the invasion of Iraq. We didn’t let that slow us down one bit. Our Secretary of State has called Russia’s presence in Crimea a brazen act of aggression, saying “You just don’t invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests.” Too obvious is that we did exactly that in 2003, with no concern about what the rest of the world thought.

    Given that our president feels free to violate the integrity of other countries with drone strikes and spying on other world leaders and their citizens, the condemnation of Putin looks a tad disingenuous. What seems to be at play is more about supposed leaders jockeying for position on the world stage than concern for the masses of people in the countries involved. Why else would this be such a crisis HERE, when the location of pertinent events is on the other side of the world?

    • Sy2502

      Two wrongs make a right?

      • truegangsteroflove

        I shouldn’t respond to this – a nonsense comment – but at least bear witness.

    • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

      Nonsense- Bush’s invasion was an act of treason and the + neocons should be changing bedpans in Walter Reed for life, but Revolt was indigenous uprising against the Soviet abuse people deal with every day and dirtbag Pres. who stole $40 bil in 4 years (while people survive on 150-300/month). Putin isn’t doing this for any “position”, he just ripped a piece of a foreign neighbor off, and added it to his larder. It is the brutal politics of the 18th + 19th century, not cool in 21st.

      • truegangsteroflove

        You might have been attempting to reply to a different comment. Try rereading what you commented on, and see if what you wrote is a response to what was written or what you imagine was written.

    • FrankensteinDragon

      exactly. a voice in the wilderness full of morons

  • jefe68

    Facts? This guy is here to post as much mendacity as he can muster in a hour. It’s juvenile behavior that unfortunately is part and parcel of forums such as this.

  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

    Kiev: Was just on the show. There has never been a threat to a single hair on any Russians head- that’s boilerplate excuse for every attack or invasion- Russians will punch you in the face, then scream, “he’s attacking me!!”. Have a piece appearing in Moscow, that mentions biggest risk to Putin- that he’s unleashing titanic forces that could sweep him from power in 4-5 years. China will boost defense spending in border areas, and Russia will have to follow suit. With this Yanukovich “restoration” business, Putin is acting like a leader from the 18th century, not the 21st, and it shows how he’s becoming obsolete. http://hammernews.blogspot.com

    • jefe68

      Do you think that Putin’s action have the potential to bring the Russian economy to a halt? The ruble is losing value and it seems that investors are looking worried about Russia. This is a mess, that’s for sure.

      However, sending in any US military would be a huge provocation. I do not think this is prudent.

      • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

        Provocation? In reaction to an INVASION?!! It js appropriate- that’s what these fleets are for “showing the flag”. I’m not saying we engage the Russians in any way, but with no reaction by anyone, and no countervailing force, the loss of Crimea was assured. Putin only respects strength.

        Russian economy will be hurt long term, I hope, I can see the world diversifying enough that they only get HALF as much raw materials- oil, gas, minerals, metals, from Russia in 5 years. But for Ukraine- these blows could be fatal and cause default- they need immediate assistance to replace the money Yanu stole.

        STEP UP, World- you all thought this Revolt was neat- PAY UP!!!

        • jefe68

          Are you for real? Did you say you were a journalist? What organization do you work for?

          • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

            You could click on the link. Everyone. Had pieces in NYT, IHT, Seattle Times, Prov Journal, CJR, every Eng paper in Moscow + Kiev. Have pretty impressive record of accurate forecasts over the years. http://hammernews.com

        • FrankensteinDragon

          hay hay smart guy–did you forget about iraq? Afgan? Libya? all the other countries in the world? are you really that f—smart?! huh. Sit down.

  • XenoneX

    Well, let’s follow the money. Revolutions cost money,
    thousands of people for weeks in the street in the COLD!!! Where do they get
    food and shelter? Who pays the bills? Oh wait I know! http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26072281

    • FrankensteinDragon

      America

  • Shag_Wevera

    Nothing short of WW3 or nuclear oblivion can stop the Russians from having their way with the Ukraine. It is similar to expecting the US in 1939 to save the Poles from the Germans. Their are realities of time, distance and numbers that we simply must acknowledge. The appropriate response is to strengthen our alliances to respond should they go further than they already have. This round goes to the Russians.

    • FrankensteinDragon

      idiocracy

    • FrankensteinDragon

      I think it would be better to stop thinking in terms of a chess board. And reach out to Russia. Instead we make alliances with neo-nazis.

  • StilllHere

    Where’s Obama’s red line today?

    • Informed American

      Maybe the ‘rebels’ (Al-Qaeda terrorists) that Obama has supported in Libya and Syria can paint him one.

    • FrankensteinDragon

      get over it. the president does only what his board of corporate aristocracy commands

  • Sy2502

    “We are examining a whole series of steps – economic, diplomatic,” said the President, “that will isolate Russia and will have a negative impact on Russia’s economy and its status in the world.”

    Many countries, including much of the European Union, depend on Russia for oil and natural gas. Does Obama think these countries will go back to burning candles for light, and sticks for warmth? Putin knew exactly what his “status in the world” was when he got his claws on Ukraine.

  • Gervaise Lantier

    Audio isn’t up yet. I’d rather listen to On Point but will listen to Diane Rehm’s coverage of the same issue since their audio is up.

    • FrankensteinDragon

      so. You should listen to kpfa. find out truth. dont listen to this nonsense.

      • Gervaise Lantier

        What particular nonsense are you referring to?

        • FrankensteinDragon

          everything NPR says. Everything the mainstream media says. Read my other comments about Ukraine.

  • twenty_niner

    Times when something other than a jellyfish as president would be useful: now.

    RUSSIA TEST FIRES INTERCONTINENTAL BALLISTIC MISSILE: INTERFAX

    • jefe68

      So you think using threats and beating ones chest is the smart thing to do?

      Maybe you should read up on the Cuban missile crisis to see how restraint prevailed and saved the world from a nuclear war.

      • Zenplatypus

        Kennedy imposed a naval blockade of Cuba. Is that your idea of restraint?

        • jefe68

          It was better than charging in with the marines. Or declaring war, which is what the Joint Chiefs of Staff were ready to do.
          Are you aware how close that crisis was to becoming a world war?

          • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

            Kennedy saved the world in the Cuban Missile Crisis against the subterfuge and near treason of the Joint Chiefs- cause there were ALREADY 162 nukes on Cuba, which didn’t come out till 1989. I studied it for big article on threat of nuclear war and just from the steadily escalating Bomb tests bigger and bigger 1,2,3 a day.. it was obvious the world bafrely escaped Armaegeddon.
            2002 McNamara Aud)

          • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann
          • TheDailyBuzzherd

            You do realize that Kennedy put the Missile Crisis in motion with The Bay of Pigs Invasion, which was planned by Eisenhower’s Administration? After the Invasion debacle, Kennedy then screwed up in Vietnam, weeks before his assassination, when the Diem Brothers were shot in a botched arrest. They were only to be detained but things quickly got out of control. I’m sure after that he thought twice about intervening in others’ affairs. It’s fair to assume he would’ve pulled American advisors out of ‘nam since those closest to the Vietnam situation thought a military situation would be folly. Turns out one man was right. It wasn’t Kennedy, he was dead by then. Clue: It sure as Hell wasn’t Johnson either, nor Mcnamara. Always, one has to include historical perspective in weighing military action. Kiev is no exception.

          • FrankensteinDragon

            yes I am sure he is–that is what they wanted and that is what they want now.

      • twenty_niner

        I used to be in the military; I’m well familiar with the Cuban missile crisis. Kennedy was willing to go to the mat with Kruschev, and he let him know it. He took the military to DEFCON 2, some say DEFCON 1 for a brief moment. That means bombers fueled and ready; silo doors open. Behind the scenes, he gave Kruschev a way out to save face with the hawks and the Politburo – the Jupiter missiles in Turkey.

        Putin is following the Soviet playbook, and their doctrine was to push boundaries and constantly test the mettle and resolve of the West. He’s not going to go to war over Ukraine; there’s too much to lose, but having exposed Obama’s soft underbelly, he’s not going to be restrained regarding Ukraine, which he regards as strategic resource, historically, militarily and more importantly, as a natural gas conduit (and potential gas supplier) to Europe.

        • FrankensteinDragon

          everything you say is really about America. Being in the military–esp way way back then–doesn’t mean you know anything about anything. Officers lie to enlisted men–it is their job. The media lies to peasants ( a mentality–I do not use this word in the same way your corporate aristocracy does). It is their job.

          Most people in the military are ignorant. That is why they are there. That is why they can be led to commit atrocities and believe absurdities.

          That is what makes an all volunteer army so brilliant–3/4 are blood lusting maniacs and fascists who choose to kill, the others just empty-headed. That is how war works. You get dummies to kill other dummies. But first you make them hate. Patriotism is hate.

    • FrankensteinDragon

      idiocracy

      • FrankensteinDragon

        twenty-nineer–america started this aggression by putting nukes in this area pointing them at russia. So shut up and grow up and accept your own terror. Go have a brewskie and be peasent like. THis is above your paygrade

        • twenty_niner

          “putting nukes in this area pointing them at russia”

          I think you mean SM-3 ICBM interceptors, the country was Poland, and the plan was cancelled.

          Once you learn how to read, a world of information will be at your fingertips. Here are a couple books that might help you get started:

          • FrankensteinDragon

            ‘once you learn how to read’–i said ‘this area’–now go look at a map and read a book and you will see how Ukraine has a history of Nazi parties and sympathizers who supported adolf in his extermination of jews–many of these elements were in fact Polish. You should know that the same groups now causing unrest that America supports assisted in the slaughter of over 900,000 jews during WW2. The Ukraine has very mixed ethnicity. (Judging from your comments, its hard to tell how you feel about that–probably not a factor in your concerns–but I assure you they don’t like the jews)

            Once again, I have advanced degrees and live all over the world, and have served my country, while you read cat in the hat with NPR and FoX and mouth tea bag loser president elects like McCain and former beauty models(very former), thumping bibles.

            America and the EU will use the newly acquired territory to install more missile silos and bases pointed at Russia–who is the aggressor? America. Who is the big bad wolf? America.

            You people should not have the right to vote. Only educated citizens should have this right. Go have some tea with your good VS. evil comic books.

    • FrankensteinDragon

      this show is nonsense. Tom ashbrook is guilty of facilitating lies and terror. Do not listen to this show. This is pure propaganda.

    • FrankensteinDragon

      I don’t think jelly fish can serve the corporate aristocracy so well. Maybe you don’t know this but jelly fish live in the ocean. And swarm and sting. BUt you should read a biology book, seriously. I don’t, no…i thought about it, and I’m pretty sure…the American people would insist a human being serve in the executive office. But you never know there are sooo many slow Americans that might mistake an animal for a person and elect him anyways because he is quite willing to start wars and do everything in his power to prevent democracy or healthy food or health care or education. Yeah, that’s what Americans want–a third world country run by mouthy tea lovers–so I’m not sure jellyfish like tea or tea bags

  • artymowski

    President Pantywaist is formulating a convincing not aggressive, overtly non-judgmental, pseudo-muscular contrived non-response.

    • FrankensteinDragon

      and you think we should confront Russia in colossal war–that’s a good idea. Why didn’t we elect you.

      You have know idea what’s happening do you?

      Read my posts above. And stop consuming mainstream corporate media. You are everything you claim to be against.

      Yeah, that’s real intelligent, real brave–go around talking tough, encouraging war. Some people should be locked up.

  • jefe68

    Wrong show.

  • FrankensteinDragon

    did russia come attack us we invade iraq–illegally and wrongfully–committing crimes against humanity? Did russia attack us when we invaded Afghanistan illegally killing thousands upon thousands for aboslutely nothing? Libya? What about all the Sout American countries America has undermined, invaded, terorized and massacred? Did russia interfere? America is such a pompous hypocritical ignorant foolish terrorist. Thank you corporate aristocracy. dark witches with dark cauldrons.

    • twenty_niner

      In case you forgot, the Soviet Union had collapsed leaving Russia’s military in shambles. Prior to the that Russia and the US fought proxy wars in East Asia, Africa, Afghanistan, South America, Cuba and Eastern Europe; almost everywhere except US and Russian soil. In other words, when Russia had the capacity to interfere, they certainly showed every willingness to do so.

      Putin longs for the Soviet days and has called the collapse thereof the greatest catastrophe of the 20th century, so it’s not like he’s holding his cards close to his chest.

      • FrankensteinDragon

        Um, no.

  • FrankensteinDragon

    what what what what! a 19th c act of aggression-what the F!!!!!!!!! Iraq? Aghan? Libya! All the others! America are you so slow, really? You dont remember what you did yesterday. Kerry is f—-joke!

    Russia is acting appropriately. Less the fascists america supports start a genocide. and then we have another serbia

    • twenty_niner

      “fascists america”?

      Your vocabulary has outed you as ignoramus.

      • FrankensteinDragon

        ok niner niner. when you have sth smart to say, text me, until then, rot in hell

        • twenty_niner

          Your Mom wants her computer back.

          • Zenplatypus

            He seems awfully angry. I wonder what they’re putting in Russian vodka these days …

          • FrankensteinDragon

            Do you know what idiot means?

            You can’t find anyone more American than me. I served my country and I am guilty of war crimes. I bombed Bosnia in 1995. I bombed Iraq. I was there while you watched CNN and ate your breakfast with a bowl of lies. I was a dead head–that’s right. NOw I’m a hiippy right–but American. The most American band in history. I have travelede the world and lived outside of America. I bet you dont even have a passport and yet you think America is number 1 right–the best–yeeehaw tell it on the mountain brother. I got me bible and that all i need! Let me tell you a secret–the bible is a conspiracy brother. Oh wait did i hurt your feelings. Yeah that smart, walk around with the bible and I’m the conspiracy theorist (am I referring not just to you but all your fellow Americans).

            I have advanced degrees. I’m not making up conspiracies. But your government is. It takes more than a 6th grade edu to understand these things. It takes more than NPR–corporate funded. Citizens United, media collusion–that’s a conspiracy smart guy!

            You are being lied to. period.

            The protest movement in Ukraine is a neo-nazi fascist uprising supported by the US and the EU. I wish it wasn’t true. I don’t give a D- about Russia. I do care about Europe and America and whole lot more than you apparently who ignorantly spots nonsense and shuts down rational debate.

            There is a community of about 200,000 Jews in Kiev. Their rabbi leader pleaded with them to flee the Ukraine because the ‘brown-shirt’ elements of this protest movement–self-proclaimed neo-nazis supported by the US are dangerous hateful bigoted violent people. The rabbi did not fear the Russians. These neo-nazis and neo-liberertarianns (like the tea party) are organizing the situation. But American media doesn’t want to talk about that. It all comes down to austerity, oil, structural adjustment–the same BS they are doing to America and you probably applaud. How VERY UN-AMerican.

            The EU is dumping grain ont eh bread basket of Ukraine–destroying farmer’s livelihoods–they can’t compete, they go out of business–so you have America and the EU importing all the bread into the heart of the Ukraine breadbasket–destabilizing the Ukraine. Then you have countless NGOs organized by the neo-nazis, US economic hitmen, CIA, etc…the neo-liberatarians, etc.

            The Caspian Sea and the Black sea are rich in natural gas and oil. Pipelines. That’s not a conspiracy, that’s a fact! Smart guy!

            Trying being objective once in your life. Foolish Americans. You are on the hook.

            P.S. I wouldn’t want to use my mother’s pc–America has the lowest Internet service in the developed world. I wonder why that is? Keep you slow and dull and obedient, fed a barage of lies–and now what?! No more net neutrality–oops–so now the corporations, a handful of billionaires–control everything–EVERYTHING–YOU CONSUME! The alarm is going off! Its time to get up. No taxation without representation.

            You know nothing. Nothing. INstead of doing ome research, you choose to listen to all the lies–the walls talking to you! Why? Why? YOu learn nothing form Iraq? Afgan? Libya? etc…? Are you that smart? they can just keep feding you nonsesne and you just keep beliveing it.

            That makes me wonder troll what your missio is here–spreading conspiracy theories! Why do you want to believe Russia is sooo bad–oooh th eboogey man! Yeah, always, the bad guy Russia is–why do you think that is smart guy? hmm. Have you ever stopped to think about anything once in your life. Perhaps you are one of these counterintelligence thugs on the Internet. We live in a age of information wars and you are on the wrong side–the side that stinks of BS.

            Anytime you go around calling sb a conspiracy theorist, or take there med s or ask mommy to use the pc or check your grammar, you give yourself away–tired old BS–not an argument. You fail my composition class. Go home. Is that the best you can come with. That goes for all you counter-intelligence thugs on this website. Neo-nazis. some of you dont even know it. foolish.

          • Zenplatypus

            Fascinating. At the risk of agitating you further, I would suggest that the one misguided notion deserving of your attention is in fact much closer to home, specifically your bizarre conviction that you alone know the salient facts in this case. But hey, everybody needs a hobby … And do tell: Where precisely did I espouse the views you’ve ascribed to me? I was simply remarking on your propensity for angry, ill-conceived posts. I think we can say with some confidence that your latest is of a piece with my observation. And whatever else may be said of them, your contributions here are most certainly not the stuff of rational debate. Your inability to distinguish the former from the latter offers its own damning commentary.

          • FrankensteinDragon

            And you seem content to hate those who don’t live in America. You seem content to hate Russians. You seem content to believe everything your corporate gov tells you. I dont know if thats naive, evil, or just an IQ lower than 70. For America’s-sake–use your head! Anger is good. Get angry. Stop taking those FDA regulated Happiness pills. Calling sb angry is not an argument.

            If you tell a child to stop eating paint chips 50 times and he still does it–it makes you a little angry, but sad too. I try to take the paint chips away, but the man keeps dumping them in my living room with armed police. And he has paid my neighbors to shut up and accept it. So they tell me my kid should be eating paint chips and I am a cosnpiracy theroist for saying it cant be good. For declaring sth is wrong. My neighbors dont like me because of it. They even try to force my kid to eat paint chips with his Coke and GM fries. I try to stop them, but they get sooo angry with me and say I am a bad person and wave the flag in my face. Some wave the crucifix in my face. I dont know what that means. They say my kid is better off with GM Coke and paint chips in his cereal. All I can do is get frustrated because the man is standing over there with a a gun. And he wants to stand his ground.

          • FrankensteinDragon

            my mom is dead. I think you should learn some manners. You dont have to talk about my mom. My mom was shot with a rubber bullet and killed at a protest in this great country–killed by the fascists who patrol you streets and shut down democracy. You leave my f—mother out of it!

      • FrankensteinDragon

        an ignoramus. really? what is an ignoramus? Do you ever think about what you think you think about but NEVER really think about? There is no words for it. The irony. Sb with sooo little education, so foolish, so brainwashed, so ignorant calling me an ignoramus.

        The United States of Idiocy.

        • twenty_niner

          Dude, crack and Red Bull is a bad combo.

  • FrankensteinDragon

    i have never seen so many uneducated ignorant fools in one place. in this forum

  • FrankensteinDragon

    way to go russia? at least sb has a level head.

  • FrankensteinDragon

    this is a completely phony situation. America wants a big war! And it is so phony, s absurd. And yet our media cheers it on and paints a false picture. Another manufactured slaughter of poor people all over the world. Thanks to america and american fraud journalists.

    what makes this crisis so dangerous is america

    • brettearle

      America does not want a Big War.

      Your Conspiracy Theories are amateurish.

      The US is certainly not squeaky-clean. Far from it.

      But we do not want a Big War.

      Please take your conspiracy theories, down, off this thread–so that we can bear witness to more substantive debate.

      • FrankensteinDragon

        see comment below. Read some books other than propaganda. get a passport. see the world. Turn off fox news, CNN, and NPR–America is so brainwashed. Please, I beg you stop assisting the thugs brainwashing America. I can’t imagine they pay you that much. Please, stop this dirty war of false information and lies. You dont have to be a neo-nazi anymore. Troll.

        • brettearle

          WILL THE USHERS PLEASE ESCORT THIS WACKO FROM THE PREMISES?

  • FrankensteinDragon

    america has no business in this situation. None. Why wasn’t america kicked out of th eG8 when we invaded half a dozen countries in the middle east? or interfered in S.A. over the last 40 years? Slaughtering hundreds of thousands and thousands?

  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

    As I said, I was on the show. Entertaining stuff Frank- where in Russia are you from? Here is how bad Putin really is- he is really trying to provoke the humiliated surrounded Ukrs into firing so he can wipe them out (with cause), or move on Ukr in other ways. Incredible courage and restraint by this Ukr commander.
    http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/so-why-arent-they-shooting-is-putins-question-ukrainians-say-338389.html

  • Jon

    a bunch of guests cannot match one callers opinion – what Ukrainians want is not up to americans responsibility. whether putin did something illegal is up to the UN and EU to decide. some times doing nothing or appearing weak is the right thing to do.

    • brettearle

      Doing Nothing?

      Well, if you’re referring to military action, of course the US was not going to implement anything of the kind.

      But if you don’t mean military action, then why isn’t it appropriate to do `something’–as in Economic measures?

      After all, we are a country who ought to stand up for Freedom–EVEN IF we trample freedoms in our own country.

      But….if we do stand up for Freedom, around the world, that DOESN’T mean that we do it with any sort of military action.

      Only under unusual circumstances, it seems to me, should we take that sort of action.

      • Jon

        any measure should be strictly under the UN authority. power or superpower doesn’t mean (moral) authority.

        Freedom is overrated. freedom is what politicians play into your psych ’cause freedom is human nature and animal desire. freedom or human rights is religion.

        • brettearle

          Apparently, you think that the UN has the same cache, in 2014, that it had 50 years ago.

          The UN body has sometimes proven to be as politically biased, or as politically weak, as anyone, or anything else.

          • Jon

            UN not functioning only because the US is meddling things up.

    • hennorama

      Jon — two quotes from Sun Tzu come to mind:

      “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”

      “He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.”

      ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

      • brettearle

        As a corollary to Sun Tzu….

        Part of the idea, in Martial Arts, is to take advantage of your opponent’s weakness–by letting them commit first, over-commit, telegraph their moves, etc.

        When we, as a superpower nation, don’t react or don’t overreact–even if Lives are lost in the Process–then we can better assess what the right, or effective, thing to do, actually is, so that we can possibly help to save a lot more lives, in the long run.

        At first, I thought that the Obama Administration’s reaction to the Ukrainian initiative was too vehement. Not that we shouldn’t be adamant or even effusive–but it almost felt like a Media-Driven Hissey fit.

        But now, at least, Putin is talking publicly. And that can only be for the good–even if he might be bluffing, obfuscating, or manipulating.

        We can, therefore, either have a greater chance to force his hand or force him to show his hand.

        • hennorama

          brettearle — indeed; thank you for your thoughtful response.

          Putin’s preposterous claim that the occupying forces in Ukraine are “local self-defense forces” is a prime example of the value of allowing an opponent to show their hand.

          Putin seems to be acting out of fear, fear that Western ideas might supplant his own. If he and his ideas were actually strong, he would have no need to violently suppress those who do not share them.

          • brettearle

            Henn, I know that we are in each other’s mutual admiration society and we praise each other a lot.

            That’s clear.

            But I have to say:

            That last sentence of yours, above, is terribly important [with an emphasis on the irony of `terribly'].

          • hennorama

            brettearle — thank you for your very kind words. I do occasionally have a lucid thought, and the recognition is appreciated.

            That said, please allow some (in?)appropriate silliness, per Groucho:

            “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”

        • Jon

          you’re talking about tactics. what about morality? see my reply to hennorama

      • Jon

        well you like to read sunzi and many aspects of his art of war was misinterpreted by modern chinese scholars. before you make an attack, make sure you’re at the higher moral ground. freedom or human rights are not moral ground. here is the beginning of his chapter IV (my translation)

        1. Master commander of the past says that
        you cannot win if you go (do or initiate war first) for your victory.
        You can win only after your enemy goes (or strike you first).
        2. Being incapable of winning is up to yourself and being capable of winning is up to your enemy.
        3. Thus being a master commander you know that going for it cannot win, and making yourself unmatchable by your enemy can win.
        4. Hence the saying: you can see victory but cannot go for it (first).

  • twenty_niner

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

    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-warship-given-permission-to-traverse-bosphorus-en-route-to-black-sea.aspx?pageID=238&nID=63227&NewsCatID=341

    I suspect a Seawolf-class boat is there as well. Maybe we should have built more than three.

  • Coastghost

    Oh utter joy: now HILLARY is grandstanding with her ovaries of porcelain and stainless steel and her over-the-top (and to Russian ears, I guarantee you, DEEPLY OFFENSIVE) comparison of Putin’s seizure of Crimea with Hitler’s blitz into Poland. She’s so eager to help Obama launch our first world war of the 21st century?
    I give it a Shrill Factor of 13 or 14 on the customary 1-to-10 scale.

    • brettearle

      If what you say is true–and I haven’t heard this–it is an unbelievably reckless statement.

      There may, or not be, historical parallels. But in terms of getting this crisis under control, that statement–if she said it–was NOT what I would call, in the least bit, helpful.

      I hope she pays a heavy price for it.

      I’d rather see someone else run for President, anyway. That’s for sure.

      • Coastghost

        Brettearle: thanks for your post.
        I was relying on the initial reports and was clued in by a passing reference in an hourly NPR news update without hearing the offending comments in toto.
        Google News flashed the story quickly, with reports only to the effect that Hillary compared Putin’s actions to Hitler’s in the late 1930s. I extrapolated the tenor of her actual comment to include the precipitous invasion of Poland, an actual point she seems not to’ve made: nonetheless, her invocation of the comparison with the circumstances in the Sudetenland to my mind is fully comparable in intent, recklessness, and irresponsibility (AND inaccuracy). Even without the explicit comparison with the invasion of Poland, her comments were offensive and inflammatory, as far as a Russian audience is concerned. A very poor performance from John Kerry’s immediate predecessor.
        Likewise, I was able only to glance at a headline that Senators Rubio, McCain, and Graham applauded or endorsed Hillary’s enunciation. I still assume the headline was basically correct, in which case my rebuke of those three also still stands, as stated.
        Washington, DC, is demonstrating a complete loss of the ability to house cool heads.

        • brettearle

          I completely agree.

          You and I may be on the other side of the political spectrum. But I can’t understand why our cohorts on both sides, who are reasonable, wouldn’t feel the same way.

          You deserve a shout-out for your objectivity–vis a vis Graham, Rubio, and McCain.

    • hennorama

      Coastghost — here’s a link to the Long Beach Press-Telegram piece. The LBP-T (surreptiously?)recorded Sec. Clinton’s words, and the article includes the subject comparison.

      http://www.presstelegram.com/general-news/20140304/hillary-clinton-compares-vladimir-putins-actions-in-ukraine-to-adolf-hitlers-in-nazi-germany

      While the comparison is controversial, one doubts that Sec. Clinton disliked it, as it may help enhance her hawkish reputation, and also allow her to address her involvement in the Putin/Russia reset.

      It is of course possible that the recording was made with the knowledge of the Clinton camp, for just such purposes.

      • Coastghost

        hen: grazie, that’s the very link I discovered this morning, eager as I was to satisfy brettearle’s legitimate concern with what exactly Herr Hillary said.
        I continue to think her comparison inapt and needlessly inflammatory (if not incendiary).
        I appreciate her earnest attempts to remain relevant through 2016, but I find her statement here just as irresponsible as the 1 Aug 2007 Woodrow Wilson Center remarks that I regularly chide Obama for, which were just as egregious and ill-considered (to her credit, even Hillary rebuked Obama in the aftermath, as did Biden and every other contender for the Democratic nomination for President: a pity that the Democrats as a party did not deny the nomination to Obama simply on the basis of his own grand-standing assertion: we begin to see the dependable consequences).

        • hennorama

          Coastghost — Prego, and TYFYR.

          Speaking of needlessly inflammatory: Herr Hillary?

          I’m glad you found the link. That you found it after your first comments is notable, but not terribly notorious.

          Perhaps what we have here is the first shot in the battle for the “NASCAR dads” (or whatever white men in the South and Midwest between the ages of 25 and 49 are known as these days) that will play out over the next couple of years.

          Thanks again for your response.

  • hennorama

    Here’s a link to an interesting opinion piece from Henry Kissinger, titled “How the Ukraine Crisis ends”:

    See:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/henry-kissinger-to-settle-the-ukraine-crisis-start-at-the-end/2014/03/05/46dad868-a496-11e3-8466-d34c451760b9_story.html

    I especially enjoyed this sentence:

    “The test is not absolute satisfaction but balanced dissatisfaction.”

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