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Chessmaster Garry Kasparov On Countering Putin

We’ll talk with Russian political activist, and world chess champion Garry Kasparov about Russia, Ukraine and going after Vladimir Putin’s oligarchs.

In this file photo, Garry Kasparov, front, a Russian opposition leader and former world chess champion leaves a police station after testifying in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. (AP)

In this file photo, Garry Kasparov, front, a Russian opposition leader and former world chess champion leaves a police station after testifying in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. (AP)

President Obama and the new Ukrainian prime minister sit down today at the White House to think about how to keep Russia from gobbling up Ukraine’s Crimea and maybe more.  How to stop Vladimir Putin.  One famous Russian is thinking a lot about that challenge.  Chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov is considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all time.  Kasparov is also an outspoken political activist and opponent of  Vladimir Putin.  If you want to rein in Putin, he says, hurt Russia’s oligarchs.  They’ll dump him.  This hour On Point:  Garry Kasparov on the Russia challenge right now.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Garry Kasparaov, chairman of the Human Rights Foundation. Former world chess champion. (@Kasparov63)

Stephen Walt, professor of international affairs and chair of the international security program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Author of ‘Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy.” (@StephenWalt)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: Cut Off the Russian Oligarchs and They’ll Dump Putin — “As I have said for years, it is a waste of time to attempt to discern deep strategy in Mr. Putin’s actions. There are no complex national interests in a dictator’s calculations. There are only personal interests, the interests of those close to him who keep him in power, and how best to consolidate that power. Without real elections or a free media, the only way a dictator can communicate with his subjects is through propaganda, and the only way he can validate his power is with regular shows of force.”

The Daily Beast: Putin’s Sochi and Hitler’s Berlin — “Do not mistake the epic graft in Sochi as unusual or incidental. Corruption is the overriding principle of Putin’s 14 years in power and looting the Russian treasury and the Russian people is itself the goal. For all the foolish attempts to interpret Putin’s geopolitical strategy and personal ideology, the common denominator is always whether or not an action helps him maintain the cash flow that in turn enables him and his clique to stay in power.”

The New Republic: “The World Needs Russia. Russia Does Not Need Putin.” — “Putin has succeeded in manipulating the awareness of many Russians who’ve come to believe that Kiev is ruled by Bandera’s followers who persecute the Russian population, that Western democracies are a mortal danger to Russia, and that Poland and Lithuania train Ukrainian fascists. But there are many Russians who have not succumbed to these deceitful myths.”

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  • StilllHere

    Does Garry have any ideas on how Obama can earn Putin’s rspcet.

    • Jay

      Obama could start by not interfering in the internal affairs of the Ukraine (as Obama helped to ouster the Ukraine’s legitimate government), and by not supporting al-Qaeda death squads (‘rebel’ fighters) in Syria, which the Obama Administration has admitted to doing.

    • Ray in VT

      Wrestle a bear.

    • Ray in VT

      Get Congress to unanimously approve the annexation of Vancouver Island in 15 minutes.

    • hellokitty0580

      I’m sorry, but maybe I missed the memo where it was made apparent that Obama *needed* to earn Putin’s respect…

      Uh, why exactly would Obama, the leader of the free world, need to earn the respect of a discriminatory autocrat like Putin?

      • StilllHere

        According to Obama, mutual rspcet is helpful in negotiating.

  • Jasoturner

    Let’s modify some of that WSJ text, shall we?:

    “There are no complex national interests in a [politician's] calculations.
    There are only personal interests, the interests of those close to him
    who keep him in power, and how best to consolidate that power.”

    Sounds to my increasingly cynical ears like they’re describing the majority of members of Congress, right here in the good old U.S.A.

  • carlos santaella

    If the Ukraine uprising has been making the world’s headline news, why nobody in the U.S is paying attention to another “uprising” that is happening three hours away from Miami? This one is simply as important, messy and even more justifible for the U.S. to be directly involved; and both uprisings have a link in common, Russia. Yes, I am referring to Venezuela.

    Both countries simply reflect parallel conflicts, where ‘puppets’ presidents, one controlled by Putin and the other by the Cuban Castro clan, are simply selling their countries’ sovereignties to the Russia-Castro Axel. Both countries represent major geopolitical interest to their regions, Ukraine to the EU, and Venezuela to the U.S, right?… WRONG. You see the EU vaguely confronting Putin’s action, but you see the U.S. aggressively involvement in a conflict that is 10 time zone away instead. By the same token the U.S. is barely noticing the atrocities of what is going on in his backyard, and this is a double standard, or simply ‘hypocrisy”. No wonder why the best chess players in the world are usually Russian, since they can definitely predict and analyze what is coming and is needed to move or not, but it is clear that Washington is completely blindsight regarding their foreign policy and strategy, not surprises though; they are terrible chess players. Venezuela, a country with almost the double of Ukraine’s GDP( $382 vs 176 billion), a country sitting on almost 300 billion barrels of proven oil reserves (the largest of the world), a country sitting on 300 Trillion cubic feet of gas (50% more than Ukraine’s vast reserves), a country with the highest violent criminal rate in the world (50 per every 100,000), a country with the highest inflation in the world (56%), a country where all “media” has been curtail by the government, so nobody can speak out of what is really happening, a country where Human Right Foundation has certified hundreds of flagrant human rights violations (torture, rapes, kidnapping, political prisoners, 95% of unsolved murder rates,no separation of powers, no fair or clean elections, oppression, extended corruption of their treasuries, with intimate ties to totalitarian dictatorial regimes: (N.Korea, Cuba, Syria, Iran); YES, all of these are simply happening under the U.S nose. Human Right Foundation, via Thor Halvorsen mainly, has been outspoken about these constant violations, but their voices seem to be completely “lost” in the diplomatic-political winds, why? Why the U.S so keen to defend Ukraine, but so completely passive about Venezuela?

  • carlos santaella

    If the Ukraine uprising has been making the world’s headline news, why nobody in the U.S is paying attention to another “uprising” that is happening three hours away from Miami? This one is simply as important, messy and even more justifible for the U.S. to be directly involved; and both uprisings have a link in common, Russia. Yes, I am referring to Venezuela.

    Both countries simply reflect parallel conflicts, where ‘puppets’ presidents, one controlled by Putin and the other by the Cuban Castro clan, are simply selling their countries’ sovereignties to the Russia-Castro Axel. Both countries represent major geopolitical interest to their regions, Ukraine to the EU, and Venezuela to the U.S, right?… WRONG. You see the EU vaguely confronting Putin’s action, but you see the U.S. aggressively involvement in a conflict that is 10 time zone away instead. By the same token the U.S. is barely noticing the atrocities of what is going on in his backyard, and this is a double standard, or simply ‘hypocrisy”. No wonder why the best chess players in the world are usually Russian, since they can definitely predict and analyze what is coming and is needed to move or not, but it is clear that Washington is completely blindsight regarding their foreign policy and strategy, not surprises though; they are terrible chess players. Venezuela, a country with almost the double of Ukraine’s GDP( $382 vs 176 billion), a country sitting on almost 300 billion barrels of proven oil reserves (the largest of the world), a country sitting on 300 Trillion cubic feet of gas (50% more than Ukraine’s vast reserves), a country with the highest violent criminal rate in the world (50 per every 100,000), a country with the highest inflation in the world (56%), a country where all “media” has been curtail by the government, so nobody can speak out of what is really happening, a country where Human Right Foundation has certified hundreds of flagrant human rights violations (torture, rapes, kidnapping, political prisoners, 95% of unsolved murder rates,no separation of powers, no fair or clean elections, oppression, extended corruption of their treasuries, with intimate ties to totalitarian dictatorial regimes: (N.Korea, Cuba, Syria, Iran); YES, all of these are simply happening under the U.S nose. Human Right Foundation, via Thor Halvorsen mainly, has been outspoken about these constant violations, but their voices seem to be completely “lost” in the diplomatic-political winds, why? Why the U.S so keen to defend Ukraine, but so completely passive about Venezuela?

  • Jay

    Was The Price Of Ukraine’s “Liberation” The Handover Of Its Gold To The Fed?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-10/was-price-ukraines-liberation-handover-its-gold-fed

    • Don_B1

      Putting a country’s gold supply on a plane?

      Either Ukraine has a small gold supply or how many C5s were used? More evidence of how ridiculous or credulous your are, and how every one of your statements needs to be taken with more than “a mine of salt.”

      • Jay

        It’s funny how after the US ‘liberated’ Libya, with the help of ‘fighters’ that had ties to al-Qaeda, Libya’s gold disappeared as well. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    • hennorama

      Jay — if you take the writings of someone who hides behind the name of Brad Pitt’s character in the movie Fight Club seriously, you deserve whatever outcome follows.

  • Peter Duveen

    I’m rooting for Russia. The US was behind the rebellion/coup. Although the press reports the “new” officials as constituting a legal government, this government has not yet been recognized officially by all nations, and the elected president may still retain power. So there may be no legal government, and in that sense, one can say that, without a government, the borders disappear, as there is no one in power to enforce them. Furthermore, We have Kosovo as an example of changing borders.

    • Jay

      Thanks to the foreign press corps, the truth about America’s drone program, and US aid to al-Alqaeda in Libya and Syria is getting out as well.

      • Peter Duveen

        Let’s hope the truth continues to get out, although Americans, fed up with the bad economy and their dwindling economic resources, seem to be waking up to the fact that meddling in other countries’ affairs has brought the United States to this point.

  • TFRX

    Vladimir Putin invaded somewhere in 2008 and it wasn’t the end of the world for our Beltway Inbreds?

    What possibly could have been different then?

    • Ray in VT

      I think that to a certain extent it is a matter of scale. Let’s face it, Georgia is pretty small, and it doesn’t have much clout or hold much sway. Moving against the Ukraine, which is much larger and bumps up against the EU, is, I think, a much more strategically important and significant move.

  • geraldfnord

    How to counter the Russian belief that they _like_ following a Big Man? —more than one Russian has told me this about them in general even as he denies his being the same, is it possible that these constitute a majority but don’t realise it because of the power of national myth?

    There were supposedly these proto-democracies in some Russian villages before centralised Tsarist/aristocratic control became easier in the modern age….

  • creaker

    One thing that has been interesting has been the “new patriotism” coming from the US right – they are rooting for Putin over their “failed” President.

    • hellokitty0580

      Well duh. Putin’s burly, gun-toting, bear hunting, homophobic white man. They can get behind that easy.

      • hennorama

        hellokitty0580 — is Putin really “burly”? He’s not exactly a large human (1.65 m/5′ 5″ in height), and seems more pudgy than burly.

        Also, it’s tempting to use the combination of “homophobic” and “[t]hey can get behind that easy” to crack wise, but I’ll refrain.

        • hellokitty0580

          Hahah. Did not intend to make that pun! But thanks for pointing it out!

          • hennorama

            hellokitty0580 — you’re quite welcome, and i’m glad you were amused.

      • Don_B1

        There are some interesting takes on Putin from David Remnick’s interview at The New Republic:

        http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116917/david-remnick-interview-russia-obama-and-editing-new-yorker

    • TFRX

      Anyone else wondering how many CPAC ballots had to be burned because Putin was written on them?

      • hennorama

        TFRX — Hahahaha. Once again, I’m glad I’ve learned to not sip my coffee while reading new comments.

        • TFRX

          Thanks, but I can’t believe I’m the first wag with a keyboard to come up with that little bon mot.

    • carlos santaella

      Putin is also circumventing/ambushing the US, not only on his frontal attacks, but though their axel of influence via CUBA and Venezuela. The US seems isolated in his confrontation vs Putin, the EU is passive and mute; also the US is completely passive and mute toward his own hemisphere. It doesn’t take to be a grand master of chess to see what is coming, and the US is completely blind or simply naive.

  • hellokitty0580

    Absolutely. Russia has been an oligarchy since the end of the Cold War. The IMF’s privatization helped with that. You want change? Threaten the income of the wealthy. They’re the ones who prop up the politicians. And national allegiance only goes as far as loose financial regulations. Money talks. And I do think we need to nip Putin in the bud. This isn’t going to get any better if we allow Russia to be aggressive with Ukraine and Crimea.

    Furthermore, if we Americans think it’s any different here in the United States we’re sorely mistaken.

    • jaduncan

      I think the power relationships are not what you are used to. Mikhail Khodorkovsky was the last oligarch to have a big fight with Putin. The result was that he was in jail for almost a decade and Yukos got a tax bill that bankrupted the company.

  • ccbard

    Seems to me that freezing the assets of billionaires would instill fear in others with assets in the US banking system, leading to assets being moved to safer havens, ones that don’t freeze assets.

    • Don_B1

      It might, depending on how many other countries condemn Russia’s actions. Iran’s assets have been frozen for some time and it did not noticeably lead to that result.

  • Jay

    Mr. Ashbrook,
    since Gary Kasparov is the chairman of the Human Rights Foundation, could you please ask him what he thinks about the Obama Administration’s drone program, which has resulted in the deaths of many innocent people in places like Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Ethiopia, and also, what Mr. Kasparov thinks of the Obama Administration’s support for fighters in Libya and Syria which the Obama Administration has admitted have ties to al-Qaeda.
    Thank you.

  • J__o__h__n

    Why don’t we go after the assets of our own oligarchs first?

    • tbphkm33

      Heretic you are!!! Oligarchs in the old USA. None here, this is the land where everything is fair, pull yourself up by your boot straps and you have as good a chance in life as anyone else…

      … oh sorry, I was repeating Nopublican propaganda there.

    • Jay

      Good idea, start with George Soros, the international speculator who nearly crashed the British Pound, and who also happens to be a big Obama supporter as well.

  • AC

    does anyone have info on the ny building explosion?

  • Peter Duveen

    If other countries are forced to supply Ukraine, gas prices will inevitably rise. It will affect all of us who use fuel for heat in the winter, and have limited income. Putin is not an evil dictator. Under Putin, the Russian condition has improved.

    • Jay

      Plus Putin doesn’t carry out drone strikes like Obama does that kill innocent civilians, and Putin doesn’t support al-Qaeda in Libya and Syria like the Obama Administration has admitted it does.

      • Don_B1

        And just what did Putin do in Chechnya? Not with drones, but in much more indiscriminate ways!

  • Lennie

    Financial approach will not work. He needs to be pressured. Putin denied having Russian troops in Crimea. He should be given one last chance to publicly confirm that these are his troops in front of other world leaders. If he denies than other world powers should present him with a simple fact that the troops do not belong to any known government and therefore are terrorists and they will be taken out and Russia may not intervene because it has non of its troops there according to them. At that point Putin will face either betraying his army, pulling out or starting a war. He will not risk WW III.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

    I’ve got a better idea: why don’t we stay the hell out of something that isn’t any of our business? Does Ukranian territorial integrity (whatever that even means given Crimea’s history and dominant ethnicity) matter to the defense of the US? If the answer is “no”, then our government should stay out of it.

    • Jay

      Good idea, that will never happen. The Neo-Cons want world wide American hegemony.

    • Peter Duveen

      Americans are already involved. It is the State Department and its operatives that supported, and even instigated, the rebellion that seems to have installed an illegitimate government that will bow to US interests and challenge the independent existence of Russia.

      • Don_B1

        Are you just repeating the unsupported claims of the Putin-led Russian government?

    • Lennie

      What matters here is that all countries need to abide by world rules. Russian is breaking them. If they are not stopped they will keep breaking them until it will come to US foot steps.

      • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

        Are you seriously suggesting that Putin would ever try to invade US territory? I find the notion (and all the implied comparisons to Hitler I hear elsewhere) laughable. Until Putin attempts to annex a country that was not part of the former USSR, I am simply not going to be worried about his territorial ambitions.

        • Lennie

          In today’s world there’re other ways to hurt countries and their citizens.

        • Ray in VT

          So it would not concern you if Russia moved against countries with which we are officially allied?

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            No. Alliances are what lead to World Wars. The US government exists to protect the people of the US. Period. It should not engage us in wars between other independent states.

          • Ray in VT

            Alliances also assure protection from aggressors. To wait until a hostile nation or group of nations is right on our doorstep to act is foolhardy.

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            Please: the US is in no danger of being invaded by Russia. Any suggestion otherwise is pure hysteria.

          • Ray in VT

            I didn’t say that he was. To argue, though, that the aggressive actions of another nation cannot negatively affect us economically, militarily, or politically is profoundly shortsighted.

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            And as I said above, “affect us” is an absurdly low standard for retaliation. The Chinese buying a lot of steel also “affects us economically”, but that does not mean we get to invade them.

          • Ray in VT

            And I don’t see anyone holding any sort of sway arguing that we should invade Russia. I just think that we have interests in not allowing Russia, or other nations, to harass, manipulate, intimidate, threaten or invade other sovereign states.

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            Last I heard, Crimea was holding a referendum to determine whether it should revert to Russian control. That sounds like “self-determination” to me, not annexation.

          • Ray in VT

            It is not legal according to the laws of that nation.

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            Neither was our declaration of independence from England. Nonetheless, we had the right to self-determination irrespective of the “laws of that nation”. So do the Crimean people.

          • Ray in VT

            We weren’t being instigated and militarily supported by a neighboring country that was looking to take us over. Getting involved in a civil war is tricky and, I think, often not advisable, but this is an action being taken by an outside force looking, possibly or apparently, to grab some land from a weaker neighbor.

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            Indeed, and the Crimeans evidently didn’t have a tea party in a Black Sea harbor, either. There are plenty of differences between the two situations, but ultimately if the Crimean people are mostly ethnic Russians (which they are) and identify with Russia more than Ukraine (which they do), then they have a right to declare themselves independent of Ukraine and hitch their wagon to Russia, regardless of any supporting circumstances you can point to.

            The bottom line for me is that I can summarize the viewpoint of most of the people opposed to what is going on as “Putin is a bad man, and so we can’t let him get what he wants, regardless of what the Crimean people think.” That is dumb. Yes, Putin is an autocratic thug, but that does nothing to alter the fact that the Crimeans don’t want to be part of Ukraine anymore. And that is all that matters.

          • Ray in VT

            “then they have a right to declare themselves independent of Ukraine and hitch their wagon to Russia”. Not legally, and we should not turn a blind eye to Russia’s machinations in the Crimea. If the Crimeans want to separate, then they should attempt to do so legally, and without Moscow putting its finger on the scales.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — it’s interesting that some might view a vote taking place during an occupation by foreign troops to have legitimacy.

            That a rather large “finger on the scales.”

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            Please point me to the legally-passed bill of Parliament that allowed the thirteen colonies to secede from England.

          • Ray in VT

            To be analogous to this situation, please show me what country’s troops were occupying Philadelphia in 1776 and pushing for colonial independence.

          • Don_B1

            Before the Russian Army, in disguise, took over, polls showed that the Russians in the Crimea only wanted more local control, not joining with Russia or even declaring themselves independent.

          • hennorama

            Kyle Rose — you do know that the Crimean parliament’s building was taken over by armed forces before all these votes occurred, right?

            If not, here’s an excerpt from a Reuters.com article from today (emphasis added):

            The day before the takeover of Crimea began, on February 26, the region’s parliament met to debate holding a referendum on loosening ties with Kiev. The atmosphere was volatile.

            In the four days since Yanukovich had fled Kiev, pro-Russian groups had been signing up volunteers to self-defense militias, spurred by Russian television reports that armed Ukrainian nationalists would descend from the capital.

            While Crimea’s parliamentarians met, thousands of pro-Russian demonstrators clashed outside the building with protesters supporting unity with Kiev.

            The vote on the referendum was not held that day: there were not enough lawmakers to reach a quorum after Pilunsky and another opposition lawmaker refused to register as present. “They begged, appealed and threatened us,” he said.

            The next morning before dawn, armed men seized the building, and from then on, journalists were excluded and it was not possible to verify whether a quorum was reached. Lawmakers had their phones confiscated at the door.

            Among those not allowed in was Anatoly Mogilyov, Crimea’s regional prime minister, appointed by Yanukovich. Mogilyov had spoken out against breaking away from Kiev, and the ruling party he represented – Yanukovich’s Party of the Regions which controlled 80 seats in the 100 seat legislature – was publicly committed to autonomy within Ukraine.

            Nevertheless, that night parliament’s website said 53 lawmakers had voted to replace Mogilyov with Aksyonov, and 61 had voted to hold a referendum on “sovereignty”.

            See:
            http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/12/us-ukraine-crisis-russia-aksyonov-insigh-idUSBREA2B13M20140312

          • Don_B1

            As Ray states the referendum is not legal and is being run by people not democratically elected to do that.

            Also, it is being held in an overwhelmingly hostile environment, where there is no free flow of information. Information from Kiev is blocked and the people of the Crimea are being bombarded with propaganda implying, among other huge falsehoods, that Americans are shooting people in the streets of Kiev. It is a full hate press.

          • Lennie

            It’s not about invasion. Russia is after being a world power the kind of world power US is where it could push other countries around without the use of military.

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            So? Who are you to tell them they can’t have that kind of influence?

        • hellokitty0580

          No, what Lennie is suggesting is that we have international laws and mores that have been established over several decades of foreign policy. Those laws and mores mean nothing if we allow certain countries to trounce them impunity and without punishment. These laws protect us all. And because these laws have been effective, it’s easy to take them for granted.

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            If “international law” requires the US to enforce it, then I would argue it is time for that notion to be abandoned.

            Close all foreign military bases; bring the troops home; protect the borders from invasion. That’s it: that is all our military should be doing.

          • Lennie

            US will be completely different country if that happens. Americans have too big an ego to lose it’s “world power” status.

    • hellokitty0580

      It’s called Globalization. Whether we like it or not, the actions of other countries either directly or indirectly effect other countries. The United States isn’t immune from that. Thus, we get involved.

      • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

        I think you mean “affect”. And using that as your standard for sanctions or military intervention is absurdly low. Unless Putin directly threatens the United States with invasion, we should stay the hell out of it. I don’t want to get dragged into another war because the US decides it needs to be the world’s policeman.

        To quote Thomas Jefferson, “Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto.”

        • Lennie

          Too late for that. At this point you’d have to break a lot of treaties to get out of obligations to “police the world”.

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            The government can unilaterally decide to abrogate all such agreements, which is what I am arguing it should do immediately.

          • hellokitty0580

            Then we would also have to abrogate all of our trade agreements. And that would be a severe detriment to our “Commerce with nations…”

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            We should in fact eliminate all trade agreements and instead institute unilateral free trade with all. Why would military alliances somehow be a necessary part of doing that?

          • hellokitty0580

            Then very few would trade with us. And no businesses in the United States making bank through international trade would agree to that.

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            Why?

          • hellokitty0580

            Where have you been??? International trade has opened up markets for American businesses, it’s created larger groups of consumers, it’s made these companies billions of dollars. If we don’t agree to certain trade agreements, many countries would not be happy with us. Furthermore, our companies are already way too intertwined in other countries’ business to simply abrogate our trade agreements. AND those trade agreements protect our markets and our companies. Need I go on??

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            To conclude from that that “very few would trade with us” is absurd, and you have no rational basis for making that leap. The US is both a huge consumer market and a huge producer market. Declaring free trade/no tariffs with all countries would not change that fact. Businesses in other countries would continue to trade with us if there is profit in it for them.

            Stop trying to make government out to be more critical than it is in greasing the wheels of commerce: it acts more like sand than grease, anyway, by making free trade a lot more complicated than it needs to be. A real “free trade” agreement would be about one paragraph long, not hundreds of pages.

        • hellokitty0580

          “It’s called Globalization. Whether we like it or not, the actions of
          other countries either directly or indirectly affect other countries.
          The United States isn’t immune from that. Thus, we get involved.”

          Okay, “affect”. I changed my grammar. Does that make you feel better?

          And I don’t see how using internationally recognized LAW signed by many, many countries is absurdly low. LOTS of people agree with me. I would say your perspective is extremely black and white. I don’t want to get involved with another war either which is why I believe we get involved diplomacy so we AVOID war. There is LOTS of gray area which you seem to be ignoring or unaware of.

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            I assume you will be the first to volunteer to head to the front if this idiocy leads to another World War? I’ll be happy to contact your local recruiting office for you if you’re too busy.

          • hellokitty0580

            No. I am against war. Which is why I DO want to serve as a Foreign diplomat to prevent war and aid in solving global issues which lead to war such as political instability, resource allocation, and human rights abuses.

            My preference is to work within the reality which is globalization rather than bury my head in the sand and pretend centuries of globalization and cross-cultural immersion haven’t happened.

          • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

            Find someone who believes that and argue that point with them. I am not an isolationist: I believe in free trade with all, alliances with none. That includes freedom of movement of people and capital. How is this in any way in opposition to globalization or “cross-cultural immersion”? Stop trying to fit me into the tiny box you have labelled as “The Opposition” in your little mind.

          • hellokitty0580

            I have the little mind?? You’re the one who is expressing ideas in completely black and white terms with NO appreciation for historical precedent or realities of globalization. Furthermore, the free movement of people and capital involves a trust of the countries that you are interacting with, a common goal and a confluence of beliefs and ideals, i.e. alliance. If the United States doesn’t abide by such common beliefs and instead we do “whatever the hell we want” when it pleases us to do so no countries will trust us and I believe that will severely harm our ability to trade with other countries. Just because there have been problems doesn’t mean you throw the baby out with the bathwater. It’s too late for that. Furthermore, you can disagree with my views all you want. But don’t you attack me personally. You don’t know me and you don’t know the depths of my mind. I’ve disagreed with you, but not once did I personally attack you.

          • hellokitty0580

            Also, I never called you an “isolationist.” You said that yourself.

          • Don_B1

            Kyle appears to be of the pure Libertarian ideology, more than even Ron Paul.

      • carlos santaella

        What is the purpose of the United Nations? If we are talking of breaking international laws, wouldn’t be the UN the right body to confront such violations? Why the US has to take the lead in this affair? Why the EU are completely mute? Why the UN is not bluntly and frontally assaulting Russia on this matter?

        • Ray in VT

          I think that part of it is leverage. Russia has a certain degree of leverage over Europe due to energy, and nothing will get through the U.N. Security Council because Russia has veto power.

          • carlos santaella

            I understand the “veto” power of Russian at UN SC, but I mean to take the lead for economic sanctions, trade sanctions political sanctions & diplomatic sanctions…Unless these type of sanctions are exclusively defined and imposed by the UN Security Council, which I’m not aware.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t know. Do you mean the General Assembly? I am not sure what, if any, power they have to take those sorts of actions.

  • James Staudt

    I agree with Gary, but the biggest obstacle is our own oligarchs in the west’s financial centers that control our kleptocratic government officials, especially in the City of London, where much of the Russian Oligarchy money is managed.

  • Coastghost

    Would Mr. Kasparov think it possible or advisable to engineer lateralization of wealth distribution of the oligarch class across a broader swath of Russian society?

  • hellokitty0580

    You know, everyone keeps turning this discussion back to what the United States has done regarding Iraq and Afghanistan. They’re valid questions. I have always questions the legality of those actions by the United States and ultimately, condemned them. But our trespasses do not diminish the current illegal actions of Russia. And what would the alternative be? For the United States to permanently shut our mouths when other countries do things that go against the agreed upon mores of our international community and our own personal beliefs? I don’t see that as a solution especially when the United States (whether we like it or not) is a global power with the responsibility to be involved, and when we have historically been one of the primary proponents of democracy, rule of law, and human security. Yes, we’ve done things that the international community has frowned upon, but we’ve also been on the right side of history too.

  • Potter

    This is about whether international law means anything.

    • Peter Duveen

      What about US support for the rebellion in the Ukraine for its own geopolitical purposes? Does that constitute meddling in the internal affairs of other countries and is that a violation of international law?

      • Potter

        this is not about “meddling” this is about taking territory, annexing.

        • Peter Duveen

          Yet, if a foreign power controls the government of another country, is it not as perfidious as annexing territory? And who has appointed the present usurpers who the US claims iis the current government of the Ukraine? How can that be imposed on the Ukrainians, including Crimea?

          • Potter

            We are talking about annexing, not control. This is about international law. This is not about the internal revolution in the Ukraine. That they have to resolve themselves, not with Russia claiming part of Ukraine. Ukraine and Russia can negotiate about the return of Crimea and the legal way to do it.

  • J__o__h__n

    Kasparov wasn’t very informed regarding NATO and Hitler. What does Yackof Smirnoff think?

  • Potter

    Stephen Walt– what should be done? How should we defuse this if Putin is playing poker????

  • hennorama

    Grand Master Kasparov pulls no verbal punches, in the same way he decimated chess opponents as soon as he perceived weakness.

    • Dev Saha

      Politics is not his cup of tea. Chess is what he should play.

      • hennorama

        Dev Saha — thank you for your response.

        I was commenting on GM Kasparov’s verbal prowess, not his political acumen.

        Specifically, he dissected (starting at about 37:25) caller “John from Tulsa, Oklahoma,” who had indicated he had been in the US Navy. The caller said “this is not about the Urkraine [sic], this is about Crimear [sic], or that area down there that has the ports, where the West has been trying to build those new, us, liquid petroelum, you know, exports…”

        Mr. Ashbrook then interrupted, to indicate John was referring to Sebastapol. Then John continued:

        “Basically that area are mostly retired Russian military, and those civilians have a right, just like we as Americans, if we served in the American military, to claim our area…”

        Shortly thereafter, Mr.Kasparov jumped in, saying “John, if you do not know the details, you should not speak with such authority …”

        • Dev Saha

          Yes, I understood your point. i knew Kasparov would be very abrasive and spoil the show. And, that is what exactly happened. He got an personal axe to grind with Mr.Putin that is a totally different issue than Ukraine. Thank you.

  • Potter

    What if Texas decided to become part of Mexico and Mexico’s government legislated that this would be welcomed? What if Mexico sent groups here to oversee a referendum ostensibly to protect Mexicans?

    • hennorama

      Potter — I think Texas secession would be a far more likely scenario.

      • Potter

        Fine. I am for it too. But not with Mexican troops and Mexico involved. And although I do not know the law, I wonder if the US Congress would also have to agree.

        • Guest

          When Texas joined the Union they left themselves a door out. They can leave if they choose to without US Government’s approval.

          • Potter

            Fine if this is true ( I don’t know.) But the Crimea is a territory of the Ukraine and their legal process is not the same. Also Mexico’s involvement in my example would be in violation of international law.

          • jefe68

            That’s not really true. When Texas joined the the US it was never granted that right.

            It does however have the right to split into more states. How arcane.

            http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/texan02.asp

        • hennorama

          Potter — thank you for your response.

          I am not “for” Texas secession in any way. Rather, I was indicating that your hypothetical scenario is so farfetched as to be unworthy of serious discussion.

          Sorry for my failure to more clearly communicate that in my OP.

          Thanks again for your response.

          • Potter

            Precisely. My hypothetical was meant to simply change the names to show how far fetched and outrageous Russia annexing Crimea by bullying is.

    • J__o__h__n

      I’ll help them pack.

    • Lennie

      Actually, Taxes can secede from the Union whenever they choose to do so.

      • Ray in VT

        There is no legal way for a state to secede from the United States. It could only be done by force or by ambivalence.

        • Lennie

          Not for Texas

          • Ray in VT

            Yes. For Texas.

      • jefe68

        Nope, that’s a myth.

    • 2lazy4mir

      I too do NOTsupport the Russian occupation of Crimea. But I think the west started the whole messing the backyard of Russia and they reacted. Like many callers and the guest on the program mentioned we should have waited for the gradual democratic process to vote out Yanukovich and to decide if they want to join EU or Customs Union rather than meddling in the opposition process as proved by the teleconference leak between US diplomat and Asst Secy. of State. We have no business in Ukraine. How would we like if 51% of Mexico population vote to join Russian led NATO equivalent or something? Would we leave it because the people of Mexico have spoken ? No way. Ukraine is same for Russia.

      • Potter

        You presume that Russia owns Eastern Europe and that the Ukraine has no sovereign rights to join the West economically. Putin is a self- aggrandizing jerk. He could have had his Russian influence without making a scene over this and lying to his people and everyone else.

  • Dab200

    At last somebody talks sense. Listen to the Great Master, he knows how to play and win!

    • Dev Saha

      Poor show from Kasparov. He sounded like an angry man.

  • 2lazy4mir

    Like many mentioned we should have waited for the gradual democratic process to vote out Yanukovich and to decide if they want to join EU or Customs Union rather than meddling in the opposition process as proved by the teleconference leak between US diplomat and Asst Secy. of State. We have no business in Ukraine. How would we like if 51% of Mexico population vote to join Russian led NATO equivalent or something? Will be leave it because the people of Mexico have spoken ? No way. Ukraine is same for Russia.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      It wasn’t the west but the elected Ukrainian parliament that impeached Yanukovich — 328-0.

      • 2lazy4mir

        That was on Feb 22, after he fled the country in fear of his life ( his chief of staff was shot at). But the agitation and West interference has been going on since Nov ’13. Kerry, McCain etc addressed the rally in Nov-Dec. Would we like if Putin addressed Tea-party rally in DC?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Outside ‘advice’ or ‘support’ can be a double edge sword. I don’t see any problem with a public support for those protesting an oppressive regime. It can only go so far.

          Why would the Tea Party invite Putin? So I really don’t get your analogy. You’d be much more likely to see Castro at a DNC meeting. In any case, free speech is free speech.

          • Ray in VT

            Certain members of the American right have a number of good things to say about Putin’s stand for traditional values and his leadership and manliness qualities. Maybe CPAC would be a better venue.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            CPAC? You’ve got to be kidding. Putin pines for the good ole days of the USSR. Commies and Statists are more at home in the Democrat party than at CPAC.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, white nationalists have long been welcome at CPAC, as are those who would use the power of the state to legislate morality and traditional values, so I think that there’s plenty of room for elements of modern Russian life at CPAC. Putin isn’t pushing for any sort of communist revival in Russia, and he’s likely as big on the fossil fuel industry as the GOP and the money men behind the TEA Party.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Just to be clear, I don’t believe Putin would be welcome at either the DNC or CPAC. Keep it real.

            And I’ve never heard of the white nationalists.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t really either, and I don’t think that that was 2lazy4mir’s point either.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Ah, back to the original point.

            I think 2lazy4mir point was shallow and not well thought out. What was his point? That “we” wouldn’t like Putin speaking at Tea party meeting? Let’s put aside the ludicrous premise of Putin speaking at a Tea Party meeting for a moment. Was Putin invited? What did he say? Was he simply stating the international community supports protesting against a corrupt and oppressive regime? So many “what ifs” straw man.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that he was saying that we would not be receptive to an outside leader coming an speaking here to an opposition political group, as McCain and Kerry did in the Ukraine. I think that you’re reading way, way too much into his analogy.

          • 2lazy4mir

            Exactly. And thanks for the clarification.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Fair enough but I think you are giving way too much ‘credit’ to Kerry and McCain for the opposition movement. As I best I can tell there was no ‘astroturf’ to the protests.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t think much of the comments describing the opposition and protests as being something that has been “stirred up” by the west.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            And it also depends on the messaging.

            Remember this one?

            “Mr. Gorbachov, tear down this wall”

            Very much appreciated by the people fighting against oppression.

          • 2lazy4mir

            Absolutely. I meant to say just as we wont welcome any foreign leader addressing a local political rally ( GOP/DNC/OWS/TeaParty etc), it was not good idea our senator and Secy State addressing their far-right political rally. That’s all.

          • Ray in VT

            That was what I thought was the thrust of your comment, although I would not characterize the anti-Yanukovych opposition as “far right” if that is how you are indeed characterizing them.

      • Dev Saha

        With guns pointed towards Yanukovich loyalists. You have no idea what really happened in that chamber. No single no vote? You call it democracy?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Guns? Do you have evidence? If it was an invalid vote of a representative government don’t you think someone would have spoken out in the last 3 weeks? So yes, it looks like democracy.

          However, what is happening in Crimea is anything but a democracy.

          • Dev Saha

            Don’t be naive! It was coup and I would not put any lipstick on that pig. Princeton Professor Cohen suspects that there might have been force applied to vote yes in that chamber. We simply do not know the real scoop of that moment.
            What makes you think that Creameans can’t decide their own destiny? That is fully democratic and I do not see any problem with their self determination. Even easter Ukraine might take the same route? How can you stop that?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Do you really believe a hastily prepared referendum two weeks after a military invasion and still under military control will be democratic? Yes, it will be just as ‘democratic’ as Saddam’s elections. Who is naive?

            OK, you have one ivory tower pin head speculating. I still ask, where is the evidence? There are plenty of western journalists in Kiev, don’t you think one would have broken that story over the last 3 weeks?

          • Dev Saha

            Not everybody in this world would subscribe our Jeffersonian democracy. When money and gerrymandering have become the name of the game, we should stop lecturing others how they should deal with their democracy. Ukrainians should crawl before the true democratic walk. A beggar has very little choice. Simply adopting western values would not do the trick. Thank you

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            “Ukrainians should crawl before the true democratic walk”

            Well, I can agree with that. I think the Ukranians will agree with that. However, the hastily scheduled referendum under martial law is a sham.

            And what about Putin violating the treaty he signed with Ukraine in 1994.

          • Dev Saha

            Sorry to say that Kiev people showed the way. People could have easily waited for the next election but they were in hurry to take the control. If Putin had not taken any action, he would have been a dead man by now.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Simply amazing. Perhaps the elected representatives took action after the government thugs started illegally shooting people in the streets.

            You condemn Kerry and McCain for ‘interference’ yet you seem to praise Putin for a military invasion. Amazing.

          • Dev Saha

            Sir, majority population in Crimea are Russian. Putin did not have to do anything. Wait for Eastern Ukraine to become next flash point. If Ukraine government pushes too hard, the country will split in the middle. US has no business in Ukraine as Russians would not have any business in Havana or Caracas. These are the unwritten rules of geopolitics.
            Kerry and McCain can scream and cry but nothing will happen. Russians would not budge. Crimea is lost because of Kiev’s stupidity.

  • Palo

    Coming from Czechoslovakia, the similarities between Crimea and annexation of part of Czechoslovakia in 1938 and occupying (protectorat) in 1939 is worrying. Then came 1968 when the Warsaw pact armies came to “protect” us from ourselves. The Soviets even provided “invitation letter” the same way they use it now in case of Ukraine. The Crimea residents have rights to vote for more autonomy, but no rights to decide to be annexed. The same way Quebec can’t vote their territory to be annexed by France, because they speak French and don’t like government in Ottawa..

    • Dev Saha

      Sir, sixty to seventy percent of Cremeans are ethnic Russian and not Ukrainians. The difference is huge and comparison with Czechoslovakia is totally laughable.

      • Palo

        You are incorrect. 1/3 of population in prewar Czechoslovakia was declaring themselves as German, with majority living in Sudetenland where they voted 70% for naci party (SdP).
        They are areas of south Slovakia that are 100% Hungarian, using Hungarian language for business and education, but still Government in Budapest can’t annex them even some of those people would vote for it. It might be laughable for you, but I see Crimea situation as a dangerous precedent.

        • Dev Saha

          Germans needed no excuse to attack any country. They just wanted to be the master of the world and attacked whoever on their way. You are comparing apple with oranges. Crimea has been Russian all the time but it was given to Ukraine in fifties during Chruschev time. If Western Ukraine can dance with the West, why can’t Crimean Russians form an union with Russia. Seventy percent Crimean Russian population can’t use their democratic choice? You must be kidding?

          • Palo

            I was talking about 1938, Germany didn’t attack anybody yet, they were just returning their volks to the Fatherland by annexing another country’s territory which happened to have majority of German population. And which also “democratically” elected Henlein nazi party who requested Berlin to “return them” back to the 3rd Reich.
            I don’t know but this Sudeten apples looks very much like Crimea Oranges.
            If it came from Chruschev in 1954 or two weeks ago makes no difference. Crimeans can democratically decide if they want to stay citizens of Ukraine or not, but I don’t think that there is any acceptable democratic process which would allow even majority of people to draw a line in dirt and say “we decided this land belong to different country now (and 30% people are foreigners now)”

          • Dev Saha

            Your 3rd Reich analogy is simply poor and should not even brought here. How did Kosovo decide to be an independent country?

          • Palo

            Ok lets’ talk Kosovo. They declared autonomy in 1990 as a state within Yugoslavia and this wasn’t internationally recognized. It took them till 2008 and international court to come to conclusion about Kosovo as state. I am not arguing about self-declaration of a state, My problem is with other state intervention and changing borders.
            So as analogy of Kosovo this never happened – there were not Albanian (or other) army invading Kosovo. There was no vote of Kosovians to be annexed by Albania, neither Alabania ever expressed the will to add Kosovo as their territory. Even they could claim there are all part of Otoman empire ……
            I have to admit I have a bias of citizen of small country, who has to trust international law, that his country will not be annexed by military stronger neighbor. I don’t know what is your background, I sure admire your devotion to excuse an approve the action of Russia and Putin. But please consider the consequences of changing European borders in this matter.

          • Dev Saha

            Albanian did promote Kosovo’s independence. Only difference is that Albania was not strong enough to be forceful with its aim. But West settled the score with its might.
            Crimea has been leased to Russian Navy. So, I do not see Russians are occupying the base which has been historically a Russian territory to begin with.
            UN is basically an obsolete organization. US does not go there anymore to get its blessings. Russia and China have the same mentality. Call it unfair but that is the world we are living.

          • Guest

            So

  • HonestDebate1

    I wonder which chess piece Mr. Kasparov (BTW On Point, his name is misspelled) would liken Obama to. I would pick pawn.

    • ExcellentNews

      Here is a bit of actual information to help you in your wonderings, since Mr. Kasparov is not available to confirm your musings.

      When Obama was elected in 2008 and 2012, the only two major nations that were disappointed with the result were CHINA and RUSSIA.

      I guess Putin would have preferred by far a US President that shares “his soul” – meaning, one who protects his oligarchs and considers the 99% as disposable peons. Kinda like Bush… After all, the agenda of the corporate powers behind the Republican party is to remake the US in the image of Russia – government by the oligarchy for the oligarchy, with a veneer of democracy engineered by corporate-owned media.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        “When Obama was elected in 2008 and 2012, the only two major nations that
        were disappointed with the result were CHINA and RUSSIA.”

        Hilarious. Are you really buying this propaganda?
        Would Romney be “more flexible after the election”? It is clear that Putin considers Obama a pawn — his “red line” pawn.

        • harverdphd

          I thought it was pink line

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Exactly. It started out ‘red’ in Syria but got seriously diluted along the way.

      • HonestDebate1

        Obama is the best thing that ever happened for Putin, ask him again now.

        • jimino

          Actually it is people like you and other obsessive Obama haters that are the best thing that ever happened to him. Who would have thought that modern so-called conservatives would be so anti-American and pro -Russian? As a child of the cold war, I certainly find it troubling to US interests.

          • HonestDebate1

            Jimino, that is an odd response. Where did you get the idea I was pro-Russian? I hate the fact that Putin is playing Obama like a fiddle. I hate the fact that the world has no rudder with America sitting on the sidelines. I’m not rooting for Russia here… but Obama is.

  • Jay

    Where is your proof?? Even Amnesty International has accused the Obama Administration of engaging in war crimes for it’s use of drones.

  • Jay

    Paying to see a lousy movie that you thought would be good, “sucks”.
    Having a family member killed because of one of Obama’s drone strikes, that’s a war crime.
    There’s a big difference.

  • ExcellentNews

    If we move to seize the assets of the Russian oligarchs behind Putin, can we please do the same with our own oligarchy here at home? After all, they all do business with the same offshore banks, and rub shoulders at the same country clubs and executive boardrooms…

  • Dev Saha

    Mr. Kasparov was a great chess master but not great player of politics. He is flat wrong about his recipe against Putin. Putin is not a Hitler and Russia is not a pushover country like Iraq or Serbia. Maidan people did not do their home work right. If Western Ukraine has the desire to lean on the West, why would be criminal for Easterners to look eastward? Good for goose but not so great for gander? Harvard professor made great points and won the debate. Mr. Kasarov came out as an obsessive Putin hater.

    • Refreshingly Obvious

      It is not criminal to look eastward and try to be friends with Russia, but splitting a country by staging hasty referendum protected by unidentified armed troops is a different story. The vote has to be really lopsided in terms of all eligible voters to count for anything. If you get 80% for joining Russia with 40% turnout that’s only third of a population.

      • Dev Saha

        Bankrupt Kiev people wanted play the hardball and they should take full responsibility of this stupid mess. Western Ukraine should merge with the West as they please, but they should not decide for the other half of the country.

    • Gregoryt700 .

      Maidan people did not do their homework right….
      What an arrogant, condescending statement. No, I suppose you sir know better than Ukrainians themselves what they should want and what they should risk their lives for? The hubris behind your attitude is breathtaking…
      I studied East European history and PoliSci at an Ivy League school. I know the languages, and I at least know a little about the subject. Prof Walt made several egregious errors (cf. my comments, supra). Only the uninformed could believe he ‘won the debate.’

      • Dev Saha

        Then, accept the consequences! What makes you think that the Easterners need you to represent their desire and wishes? It cuts both ways, Sir!

        • Gregoryt700 .

          It is difficult responding to such a comment, since I never intimated any such thing. Do you even know anyone from East Ukr? I do, have many friends there, and even Russians among them have no desire to join Putin. If you were actually paying attention, Gary pointed out that opinion polls in East Ukr largely support remaining in Ukraine – and that is more to the point.
          And even if we allow for majority opinion polls e.g. in Crimea – though this is by no means certain – Int’l Law and Constitutions still couñt for something. One can’t just detach small regions from sovereign nations willy-nilly (e.g. Quebec comes to mind). But I don’t sense that you sir are interested in facts per se….

          • Dev Saha

            So, if you know Russians, who would love to stay with Western Ukraine, what do you care? Let them choose their destiny.
            Look, Gary got an axe to grind with Putin and he is totally detached from the reality that has been felt during yesterday’s talk show. He became pretty aggressive and impolite to the Professor and callers. That man has problem with his anger management.
            There are plenty of examples when an ethnically small part of a country seceded from a larger country. That is called democracy. East Timor is one of them.

          • Gregoryt700 .

            1. There is no West Ukraine. There is Ukraine.
            2. Ukraine may very well be allowed to decide matters democratically, if Russia does not send in troops to preempt the matter. That is not how democracy is exercised. And to anticipate your response, when gov’t starts shooting protestors in Kiev they have a right to escalate protests. America once did something similar.
            3. Prof Wall made comments that were offensive to a Ukr-American such as myself. He was also rude.
            4. Gary is a passionate man, But facts are on his side regarding Putin’s repressive regime (cf. Human rights reports on Russia from Helsinki, etc) Ad hominem attacks obfuscate the real issues. Someone should be upset about Putin’s tactics

          • Dev Saha

            There are plenty of repressive regimes in this world and we can’t just force them to love our Jeffersonian style democracy. Ukraine has a fault line whether you agree or not. Prof. Walt is a prudent man and his position is right whether you like or not. Ukraine can’t choose its neighbors but it can choose its friends.Have a referendum and see who wants to join whom?

          • Gregoryt700 .

            Please, let’s end this discussion, it is not fruitful. You are not addressing any of my specific points. Have a referendum in Ukraine, without Putin sending in troops, absolutely. As for Ukraine’s unfortunate and often tragic history in proximity to Russia, yes, we Ukrainians do know a little bit about that. I had thought that in the 21st century things might be a little different.
            Prof Walt is NOT an expert on East Europe, I studied with some real ones at Yale and know who they are.
            Really, ‘Prof Walt… Is right whether I like it or not ‘ is a silly and puerile thing to say. As for his prudence, some of his views on Iran and Israel are actually rather controversial in academic circles.
            We’re in a democracy, I enjoy debate on the basis of knowledge and real facts, but that’s not what’s going on here. Sorry.

          • Dev Saha

            Lets agree to disagree. Thank you.

          • Gregoryt700 .

            Fair enough. I will admit it is somewhat of an emotional issue for me. Hope you have a good day, sir.

  • Dev Saha

    There you go! Putin is his nemesis.

  • Jay

    ‘Unrest in Ukraine part of NATO’s expansion plan’

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKfdfbwkm5I

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      I was waiting for Pravda to be heard. Thx.

  • Alchemical Reaction

    Putin’s ONLY naval base in the region is in Crimea.
    What about the US invading Iraq? Double standard?

    • HonestDebate1

      No double standard. The caller who tried to make the same analogy, which Tom seemed to support, was properly dispatched by Mr. Kasparov. We didn’t annex Iraq, it’s not the 51st state.

      • Alchemical Reaction

        Obviously the two situations have significant differences. The US went in IRAQ for oil and got it. Russia went in Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula with a Russian identity and some would argue–the birthplace of Russia, to protect its own naval base. Seems Putin has the moral high ground on this one. Regardless, if Crimea votes to become part of Russia, the people have spoken.

        • HonestDebate1

          We didn’t go to Iraq to take the oil. We should have taken the oil but we didn’t.

          Putin didn’t take Crimea to protect a Naval base.

          • Steve__T

            Kt – QB3 – CK

          • Alchemical Reaction

            You’re half right. Bush went into Iraq to get revenge against Saddam Hussein for his attempt to assassinate Bush Sr. Part of that invasion was about oil. When Obama took over, foreign policy toward Iraq changed.

            And Putin most certainly DID go into Crimea to protect his naval base.

  • Dev Saha

    Kasparov does not have any investment money in Russia but EXXON MOBIL and many other US companies do. If Western Ukraine can have a choice, why can’t East have the same choice? Brainwashed Russians? Really? No, they have become more nationalists like Ukrainians.

  • Gregoryt700 .

    I marvel at this inconsistent logic. Western Ukraine (actually, most of Ukraine) wants closer economic ties to the West. This is supposed to give Crimea (and East Ukraine, so goes the argument) the right to LEAVE Ukraine and join Russia. Amazing.
    By analogy, then, if northern US states wanted to do commerce with Canada, this would give southern Calif. (If majority wanted it) right to cecede from the US and join Mexico.

  • Gregoryt700 .

    Mr Kasparov has been prescient about Russian politics before, disagree at your own peril…
    As a Ukr-American I share his shock that Prof Walt should more or less dismissively speak of Ukraine as a pawn in East-West politics, rather than accord this country the right to self-determination. I found his attitude revealing in this respect.
    Moreover, as Gary alluded, West vs East Ukraine divide, while containing some truth, is overly simplistic. E.g., many Russian speakers still identify selves as Ukrainian. Factors such as education, job, etc., make simple linguistic maps too facile a way to analyze.
    Finally, Euromaidan is not simply a ‘west Ukrainian’ phenomenon. Nor is it a Wall Street ploy. I find it rather bizarre to believe thousands of young Ukrainians risked their lives protesting for the sake of Wall Street.

  • Dev Saha

    America is not the world’s policeman and it needs to take care of its own people at home. Thank you.

    • Gregoryt700 .

      You have an uncanny ability to attribute ideas to people that they never said. I agree US cannot be policemen; but US and Europe can initiate economic pressures so that people like Putin at least are compelled to respect Int’l Law . Once we betray that principle, Pandora’s box is open

      • Dev Saha

        Go ahead and put pressure on Putin if that serves EU and Germany’s interests. See where that leads. Russia is not an Iran.

      • JustaWatcher

        May I ask a question please? Isn’t international law or any law is about people? If it is, when what is wrong with Crimea to become a part of Russia,when almost 80% of population of Crimea said “yes” to it on referendum? What about they rights in int.law?

  • marygrav

    Thank you Mr. Garry Kasparaov, for fulfilling my dream of WAR WITH RUSSIA! I have waited for this all my life of DUCK AND COVER! But I must caution my fellow Americans that Russia is not a Banana Republic and that we’ve near bankrupted the US economy by trying to fight an asymetric war in Asia already.

    Remember my fellow Americans: Colonialism is over and Detroit is in the throws of death as a major city; our infastructure is crumbling; our veteran are in need of medical care and the only ones who will benefit from War over Ukraine are the corporations.

    Study world history and you will learn why Putin is so paranoid over Ukraine defection. Putin does not want NATO at its front door to Europe. And this great Chest Master should know that the Queen must always be protected. Just as the US is our Queen, Russia is Putin’s Queen of the Earth.

    Some people like the Cold War and have no reason to exist without it. For the Fans of the Cold War, I must suggest you read Stephen Kinzer’s The Brothers. It was the Dullas brother who got US into this frame of mind. They are now dead and safely being guarded by Satan so as not to make trouble in hell, so dangerous were these guys.

    Learn something from history and stop paying so much attention to propaganda during an election year. Remember that the House of Representatives still cannot extend Unemployment payments to American but can give loans to Ukraine that will never be repaid, and give orders to Putin which I know if he is any kind of leader of the Russian people he will choose to ignore.

    Tell Gary to go back and preach his war propaganda back home in Moscow and leave US alone!

    And furthermore listen to Stephen Walt. Like always the US has grabbed the wrong end of the stick. We as a nation have never been on the right side of history when it come to the so-called Third World and never will be it seems.

    I was told we wanted war with Russia and got Vietnam instead. Is this true?

    • Dev Saha

      Well said! Kasparov thinks US can beat Russians again if only it starts another cold war when China is surging?

  • Mao Cheng Ji

    Something unusual, extraordinary even, happened in Kiev last month. Call it a revolution or a putsch, but the fact remains: an elected president (albeit extremely corrupt) was deposed by violent means.

    Personally, I don’t mind the idea, and I wish it happened more often, and not only in poor countries. However, when something like this happens, there is no point for the winners, the revolutionaries, the putschists, to complain about the mayhem that follows, not in good faith, Garry.

    The fundamental rule of peaceful transfer of power in a democratic society has been broken, and now it’s time for a civil war. Foreign powers will interfere pursuing their interests, the borders may be redrawn, people will die. These are natural consequences; one has to think it over before throwing his first molotov cocktail at the police. Here’s an alternative to consider: wait for the next election.

    If Mr. Kasparov is really so outraged by the looming Crimea secession, clashes in Donetsk, and so on, he should get a tin hat and a rifle, and board the first plane to Simpheropol. Good luck, Garry.

  • Ahmad Alhassan

    If
    the 1990s did not represent an opportunity to totally tear down Russian
    power, there is much less of an opportunity today. If the Balkans and
    the Caucuses were not doable then even when they were internally ripe
    for liberation and NATOization then, why would Ukraine be accessible
    today no matter how ripe. Both then and now the deterrent was Russia
    which has rebuilt its strength and which has nearly exhausted its trust & patience.

    http://theoriginalamed.blogspot.com/2014/03/ukraine-flash-point.html

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Aug 29, 2014
Ukrainian forces guard a checkpoint in the town of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko called an emergency meeting of the nation's security council and canceled a foreign trip Thursday, declaring that "Russian forces have entered Ukraine," as concerns grew about the opening of a new front in the conflict.  (AP)

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Aug 29, 2014
Ukrainian forces guard a checkpoint in the town of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko called an emergency meeting of the nation's security council and canceled a foreign trip Thursday, declaring that "Russian forces have entered Ukraine," as concerns grew about the opening of a new front in the conflict.  (AP)

War moves over Syria, Ukraine. Burger King moves to Canada. Nine-year-olds and Uzis. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

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