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Post-Crimea Vote: The West Vs. Russia?

Crimeans have voted to leave Ukraine and join Russia.  Now come the sanctions, the counter-sanctions –and the  big questions on where the stand-off ends.

Pro-Russian people celebrate in Lenin Square, in Simferopol, Ukraine, Sunday, March 16, 2014. Fireworks exploded and Russian flags fluttered above jubilant crowds Sunday after residents in Crimea voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.  (AP)

Pro-Russian people celebrate in Lenin Square, in Simferopol, Ukraine, Sunday, March 16, 2014. Fireworks exploded and Russian flags fluttered above jubilant crowds Sunday after residents in Crimea voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. (AP)

Russia is taking back Crimea. Day by day, hour by hour. Today, Vladimir Putin saying Crimea has “always been an integral part of Russia in the hearts and minds of people.” And pushing for annexation. From Washington and Europe — sanctions. On a couple a dozen Russians. Big talk about how a Crimean annexation will never be recognized. But the bigger conversation is about how far Russia may go now. Where a real line may be. And what’s happening to to the post-Cold War world right now. This hour On Point: Russia, the West and the view from Crimea.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Guy Chazan, energy editor for the Financial Times. (@GuyChazan)

Gwendolyn Sasse, professor of politicsa dn international relations at Oxford University. Author of “The Crimea Question: Identity, Transition and Conflict,” “Europeanization and Reorganization In the EU’s Enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe: The Myth of Conditionality” and “Ethnicity and Territory in the Former Soviet Union: Regions in Conflict.” (@GwendolynSasse)

Michael McFaul, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia. (@McFaul)

Eugene Rumer, director of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. (@Eugene_Rumer)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: U.S., EU Slap Sanctions on Targeted Russians, Ukrainians — “The U.S. and European Union enacted their first sanctions Monday against Russian and Ukrainian officials in response to Moscow’s military intervention in Crimea, a coordinated action that the West warned is likely to expand in scope.”

Washington Post: Ukraine activates reserves following Sunday vote –”With some of his troops surrounded on Crimean bases by Russian forces, Ukrainian defense minister Ihor Tenyukh said the country would not back down even as the gears moved toward an apparent separation of Crimea from the rest of Ukraine. Following Sunday’s referendum, Crimean officials were to present a formal request in Moscow to become part of Russia, and the Russian parliament is scheduled to consider the matter this week.”

POLITICO Magainze: Is Putin Having a Brezhnev Moment? — “No analogy is perfect, but my gut tells me that historians will regard Putin’s reckless decision to invade Crimea much like Brezhnev’s mistake in Afghanistan—as the beginning of the end. The Soviet system in 1979 had a much stronger foundation than Putin’s. The Communist Party was a very strong institution, and the leadership could trot out any number of achievements, from defeating Nazi Germany to achieving nuclear and military parity with the United States, to justify the system’s legitimacy.”

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  • Fredlinskip

    There are some ex-Russians here in America too- can they get together and have a large region of America annexed as well?

    • jefe68

      Oh, you mean Alaska, which we bought from the Russians in 1867. Interesting to note, it was due to losing the Crimean War (1853–1856)

  • Frank Daugherty

    This is a very difficult and dangerous situation with no easy solution. The US and other Western States need to do all they can to help the people of the region to find a peaceful solution to the crisis before a costly and deadly conflict breaks.

  • dust truck

    Nuclear war is a real possibility.

    • brettearle

      How?

      • dust truck

        The western countries will have to amass an army now to stop Russia. As soon as US troops arrive in Crimea, Putin will launch missiles at the US and the US will be forced to respond.

        • brettearle

          Can you point to ONE credible story–JUST ONE–that suggests that western countries plan “to amass an army now to stop Russia?”

          Point this out, or be guilty of being an ENORMOUS alarmist.

          • dust truck

            John McCain said so

          • brettearle

            In the last 10 years, Senator John McCain has recommended that we support FIVE military interventions, in FIVE different countries–in the Middle East and Central Asia, respectively.

            Had Senator McCain become President, we would ALL be six feet under.

            ALL=Everyone on the planet.

            Senator McCain is SICK.

          • dust truck

            bomb bomb bomb Iran

          • brettearle

            I remember.

            I’d sooner see Brian Wilson take over the ex-POW’s seat in the senate.

      • Jasoturner
  • georgepotts

    We will find out why President Obama wants us to accept the taking of Crimea today.

    • brettearle

      In other words, are you implying that the US ought to intervene, militarily? Is that what you are saying?

      I wonder whether you will answer this question, directly–if that’s what you mean.

      And if that IS what you mean, then what do you envision happening next–after the US intervenes, militarily?

      Do you see an armed conflict between Russia and the US?

      Is that what you think is unavoidable?

      If so, do you think that it is worth risking WWIII–over Crimea?

      Maybe you are not implying any of this. If not, then what are you implying?

      But if you are implying direct US intervention, are you saying that we will Live Free or Die–OVER CRIMEA?

      Is that WHAT YOU ARE ACTUALLY SAYING?

      • John Shannon

        Don’t feed the trolls

        • brettearle

          One has to choose one’s strategic spots.

          Sometimes, if you ignore them, they Fester….

          Other times, well….

          [Besides, he's a Coward.]

          • jefe68

            Let him fester.

          • brettearle

            [I actually am avoiding my own advice.]

        • jefe68

          Ditto, this chap is only looking for a reaction.

          • brettearle

            Yeah, jef…

            But if you confront the guy, then he looks stupid–especially if he doesn’t respond.

          • jefe68

            I guess. But he looks stupid without one responding.

          • brettearle

            Yuk…

    • Shag_Wevera

      What should we do?

  • Boz K

    Putin will not stop at Crimea, nor will he stop at Luhansk or Donetsk. He has made clear his intentions are to bring all of the former Soviet Union under Russian oversight. This includes the Baltic States, now part of NATO, where close to a million Russians reside. The West needs to get their collective heads out of the sand and realize the seriousness and urgency of the current geopolitical situation. Until the West can show through concrete actions that it is ready and willing to go to war to stop Putin, Putin will not be stopped.

    • dust truck

      Exactly. Romney would have handled this situation much better.

      • Boz K

        Romney has nothing to do with it.

        • Shag_Wevera

          Don’t duck the question. What should be done? Are you willing to fight?

      • TFRX

        (Is that tongue in cheek?)

      • Don_B1

        Like George W. Bush did with the secessionist areas in Georgia back in the summer of 2008?

    • brettearle

      Your vision is an utter paranoid exaggeration.

      Putin would NEVER risk such aggression.

      You do not know what you are talking about.

      He is fully aware that he could NEVER get away with it.

      If men and women, like you, were running the country, we’d all be incinerated.

  • Adele Roof

    I’m really tired of the United States’ hubris, hypocrisy, and hegemony. If we really have principles in this matter, why don’t we impose sanctions on Israel’s land grab of Palestinian territories? Why don’t we stop sending killer drones into countries that do not want us there? And please explain what right we have to support the overthrow of the democratically elected president of Ukraine. My understanding is that Yanukovech had already agreed to hold early elections this May. I can’t help but wonder if the CIA has instigated this coup, just like it has in so many other countries.

    • Don_B1

      Pushing President Putin’s propaganda?

      • Jay

        It’s still better than you pushing Obama propaganda.

        • Don_B1

          I am NOT pushing propaganda of any type. I actually do look at the issue and various assessments and try to determine who is presenting real facts and then determine which approach will likely end up in a good result.

          In this case the analogy fails, as in this case the Ukraine’s President Yanukovych

          has been shown to be arrogantly proud o the corruption he has foisted on the country and his “agreement to an early election” did not have sufficient credibility with the citizens as they would have to stand down while President Yanukovych backed out of the agreement. See:

          http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-25182830

          If you have seen the videos of his “mansion” home, that seems absolutely reasonable interpretation, considering that President Putin was making overtures to support his continuing in office. See:

          http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/25/viktor-yanukovych-ukraine-corruption-mikheil-saakashvili

          Where is that “pushing Obama propaganda”?

  • Matt MC

    Aside from the rather arbitrary national boundaries, I’m not sure Crimea being absorbed into Russia is such a terrible thing. In terms of demographics and politics, Crimea is more aligned with Russian than with Kiev. Many are also unimpressed with the new government, which discarded the democratic process and is already busy giving away governorships to oligarchs. It seems like the same old story to me.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Let’s not do anything stupid here. As far as I am concerned, Crimea is not worth embroiling the world in a world war over. I don’t know what the answer or final outcome should be, but I don’t sense that ratcheting up the rhetoric and tension is the answer. I would also encourage the administration not to draw any red lines that it has no intention of keeping.

    • Don_B1

      There is basically no way to stop Putin’s moves in Crimea in the short term; but the potential for Putin to run the same gambit in eastern Ukraine with even worse results for the people of Ukraine is real unless the West collectively shows that the price will be high (and that the West is willing to suffer pain in the process).

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        It is a “sticky wicket”, that’s for sure. I was surprised to see on the news this morning that Gorbachev seemed to support the separatist vote.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    WWDND? {Duke Nukem}

  • Jasoturner

    Crimea is a fait accompli. As long as Russia does not take provocative action against Ukraine proper, the annexation will probably have to stand. However, aggressive Russian action against Ukraine would present the world with a huge dilemma fraught with danger. Warfare is unlikely due to the enormous risks, but a Cold War 2.0 could be an eventual outcome.

    • brettearle

      Thank god, you’ve entered the fray.

      The jingoists, here, are truly outrageous.

      I have to assume that Kerry has told Lavrov what the Administration’s breaking point would be.

    • Ray in VT

      I think that the West is unlikely to make moves so provocative as to elicit a physical response from Russia. I think that at this point it would take force to remove the Russians from Crimea. Sanctions may be able to hurt the Russians somewhat, but probably not enough to make them reconsider this move.

      • brettearle

        There’s no way we’re going to war over Crimea.

        • Ray in VT

          I don’t think that we will. This is no German invasion of Poland in 1939 or Pearl Harbor.

    • hennorama

      Jasoturner — Crimea gets nearly all of its fresh water and electricity from Ukraine. There’s no direct land connection to Russia, and the bridge currently under construction will take years to complete. All sorts of infrastructure for Crimea runs through Ukraine.

      Crimea’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism, which has virtually halted, and Crimea will need massive economic support from Russia.

      Most of the above implies that Putin will try to foment unrest in eastern, especially southeastern, Ukraine, and to encourage and support a repeat of the Crimean circumstances, in order to gain land access and infrastructure.

      Keep in mind also that Russia is heavily dependent on high commodity prices for its exports of oil, nat. gas and metals, so it benefits from continued unrest, which tends to keep oil prices high.

      • Jasoturner

        That is interesting information, and you are more educated than me on the details of the situation. The map bears out what you say.

        Your implication seems correct, then, and Putin holds the spigot for fossil fuels to Europe. This will make it very hard for the EU to pressure the Russians overmuch should their reach expand beyond Crimea proper. Ukraine leadership is in a very tough spot – cooperate with Russia on access and supplies to Crimera, or pay the consequences.

        Too complicated a situation for me to presently have a firm opinion on relative to next steps. I’ll leave that to others. But surely military intervention cannot be an option!

      • brettearle

        Good points. If they’re valid–and I presume they are–you gave me a fair lesson, a day ago, or so.

        • hennorama

          brettearle — TYFYR.

          “If they’re valid”? O ye of limited faith: :-

          CNN, March 17, 2014:

          Crimea is entirely integrated into Ukraine’s mainland economy and infrastructure: Ninety percent of its water, 80% of its electricity and roughly 65% of its gas comes from the rest of country. It also depends heavily on the Ukrainian mainland to balance its books. About 70% of Crimea’s $1.2 billion budget comes directly from Kiev.

          Wall Street Journal March 16, 2014:

          With no land bridge to Russia, it relies on Ukraine for about 25% of its gas, 70% of its water, and 90% of its electricity, all of which it imports over a small strip of land that connects it to the mainland.

          Christian Science Monitor, March 17, 2014:

          Logistically, Crimea’s separation from Ukraine might not be that simple. The peninsula gets the majority of its electricity, water, and gas supplies from companies based on the Ukrainian mainland.

          Fox News, March 16, 2014:

          Crimea’s freshwater flows in from the Kakhov Reservoir in Kherson via the 250-mile North Crimean Aqueduct. The peninsula’s vast orchards and vineyards rely on mainland water supply for their livelihood, as do the people in Crimea’s cities of Simferopol, Sevastopol, Kerch, Sudak and Feodosia.

          Just as important to Crimea is the power it gets from the Kakhov and Zaporizhiya hydroelectric power stations in Kherson, which provide the peninsula with 75-80 percent of its electricity needs. Finally, Crimea gets 35 percent of its natural gas delivered through pipelines that extend from the mainland via the Mykolayiv and Kherson regions.

          Slate, March 1, 2014:

          What’s left out of most Western analyses of Putin’s brazen military intervention is the Crimea’s complete economic dependence on the mainland, which provides nearly all of its electricity and water and about 70 percent of its food.

          Deutsche Welle, March 14, 2014:

          Most of the water – more than 80 percent – comes from the Dnieper river via the North Crimean Canal, which begins at the Kakhovka Reservoir in the southeast of the mainland, weaving its way through the Isthmus of Perekop and branching out over the entire Crimea.

          The peninsula also consumes around 1.2 gigawatts of electricity annually. While there are four thermal power stations in Crimea, they only supply one-tenth of the demand. The other 90 percent comes from the Ukrainian mainland – again via Perekop, as well as the Chongar Peninsula. In addition, 90 percent of all food and industrial goods come through Ukraine..

          Sources, in sequence:

          http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/17/world/europe/ukraine-crisis/

          http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303287804579443500138112552?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303287804579443500138112552.html

          http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2014/0317/Promises-promises-Will-Russia-deliver-in-Crimea-video

          http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/03/16/vote-to-join-russia-could-leave-crimea-dry-in-dark/

          http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2014/03/vladimir_putin_s_crimean_mistake_the_russian_president_is_miscalculating.html

          http://www.dw.de/crimeas-lifeline-runs-through-ukraine/a-17496242

          • brettearle

            Henn, I didn’t ask you to verify.

            I only said what I said–because I didn’t have the time to check out your important supplementary information.

            Your information made me realize how much more I needed to take into account.

            It was not meant as a subtle dig. I simply couldn’t fully take it on face value.

            How many times have I praised your research?

            C’mon….

          • hennorama

            brettearle — dude … my bad. In retrospect, I should have used ;-) rather than :- , because I was not serious.

            Yet another example of humor not always coming across as intended.

            Like you, I generally don’t take things at face value, which is why I had multiple sources, all of which I’d read, at hand.

            No worries.

            Take ‘er easy.

      • Don_B1

        Another point to show how complicated this all is: Russia needs the money from sales of all that oil and natural gas to support its economy, which has been doing well with the recent rises in prices of oil and gas. Note that even with no export of fracked natural gas from the U.S., the reduction of the U.S.’s imports of natural gas has flattened the rise or even lowered i the price of natural gas on world markets (supply and demand rules again!).

        It is possible that Putin felt that he was strongest right now with diminishing prospects if the U.S. frackers get their way and have ports built for exporting LNG.

    • Potter

      I love the way you just wave away international law. Putin makes the case that well the US invaded Iraq. Someone should stop cowering at that in our government and explain the difference EVEN THOUGH it was a terrible thing that we did. But the excuse was WMD’s and there was a history of Saddam himself invading Kuwait which was reversed. As well he was terrorizing his people. But the MAIN POINT is that we left- we did not annex Iraq. We did not bully their elections. The shame we have to deal with is the misguided policy of pre-emptive war of GWBush.

      The question is, are we going to have international law or not? Does it mean something? How is it going to be enforced?

      • Don_B1

        Right now, President Obama is playing the long game, where economic sanctions will be able to humble the Russian economy over the long haul. Just because it is not immediate does not mean that President Putin will come out victorious in history.

        And not using military power now means that a whole lot of people will not die for an immediate pyrrhic victory.

        That seems to be the best that can happen in the current circumstances, none of which were created by President Obama (or his predecessors either).

        • Potter

          I agree.

      • Jasoturner

        Calling something a fait accompli is hardly waving away international law. It is simply acknowledging a thing that has been accomplished. And if we cannot find the proper levers to activate within the boundaries of international law to undo this act, it will indeed stand. Which is why this is such a perilous situation. I did not imply more than this.

        • Potter

          I was reacting to “it will have to stand” (as long as Russia does not take more). Now you change what you said.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    We will draw the line at Poland. Sorry, I meant Crimea.
    –Barack H. Obama {online avatar: No_GI_Joe}

    History redux.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Obama escalates.
    1. Unfriends Putin on Facebook
    2. No golf outings with anyone whose last name ends in “kovich”.
    3. Russian Duma members denied VISAs to Disney World.

    That’ll fix ‘em, boy.

  • Jeff

    Why is it our business if a territory right next to Russia wants to become part of Russia? Even if the election was rigged (which it appears to be) all the pundits are saying that the vast majority of people in Crimea have closer ties to Russia than Ukraine and the territory was handed over to Ukraine (from Russia) as a gift back in the Khrushchev era. I don’t see a problem with this territory using self determination where they want to align themselves and the USA has no business interfering.

    • Don_B1

      On the “territory right next to Russia wants to become part of Russia,” the question was not openly answered by the “vote” on Sunday, and, from its construction and the emotional propaganda surrounding it, not clearly reflecting the “will of the people.”

      Before these events, polls had indicated that the citizens of Crimea wanted more autonomy but not union with Russia.

      • Jeff

        Is the region of Crimea not 60%+ ethnic Russian? How else do you see a vote going?

        • Ray in VT

          It depends. Taiwan is overwhelmingly ethnically Han Chinese. How do you see a vote going there to be incorporated into the People’s Republic?

          • Jeff

            Haha, the People’s Republic already claims the island. The people in Taiwan ran away from the mainland during Mao’s revolution…completely different scenario. Did the people of Crimea run away from Russia in the 1950′s?

          • Ray in VT

            It’s not the best fitting analogy, but your contention that seemingly the mere fact that Crimea has a large number of ethnic Russians should determine the outcome of this “vote” is greatly oversimplified.

          • Don_B1

            In a poll before Yanukovych was “deposed,” the citizens of Crimea indicated a strong preference for greater autonomy but not independence or union with Russia.

            The ballot they voted on over the weekend did not provide many reasonable alternatives to the independence and joining Russia and the people there were whipped up with false stories of Americans shooting Russians in the streets of Kiev, etc. [Much like some of the stories you post here about President Obama.]

            When General Chiang Kai-shek led his forces that had been defeated by Mao Zedong’s forces, he assumed control of Taiwan and while he and his elite leadership remained in control there, they were not “native” there. There are Taiwanese of both inclinations, but all are wary of joining China.

      • hennorama

        Don_B1 — and the fact that the “vote” occurred in conjunction with an occupation by foreign troops does not exactly point to the will of the people being freely expressed.

        Plus, there was no status quo option in the referendum.

  • J__o__h__n

    Why is Obama picking a fight we have no interest in? We aren’t going to go to war over it. The sanctions aren’t going to change anything. Crimea has more of a history with Russia than it does with Ukraine. The US and Western Europe don’t need to push NATO right up to their borders. What strategic benefit is there for us in Ukraine?

    • dust truck

      phallus comparison, of course.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    NSA transcript released by Snowden.

    Putin: We will stop at our historical borders in East Germany and Berlin.
    Obama: OK, sounds good to me. What’s on today for you?
    Putin: Invasion. You?
    Obama: I’m going back and try to master the back 9 at Andrews.
    Putin: Dasvidaniya.
    Obama: Whatever.

    Washington media responds with alarm: Is Snowden a traitor for releasing secret information to our (apathetic, unprofessional, overpaid, underworked, overcelebrated) press?

  • Coastghost

    Ambassador McFaul: why detach the present tumult in Crimea from the unlawful NATO action in the Balkans some fifteen years ago? “Operation Allied Force”, which contravened the UN charter if not the NATO charter itself, arguably helped motivate Putin’s rise to power. Why feign amazement that the Russians remember well the West’s readiness to tinker in Russia’s back yard?

    • Ray in VT

      I think that moving to prevent genocidal actions are a worthy enough reason to act. The days when Russia was the big brother and protector of the Slavs in the Balkans are long past, and their ambitions there led to a great deal of bloodshed 100 years ago. Some lessons of history, though, are not learned or are forgotten.

      • Coastghost

        Certainly, vocalizing the words “GENOCIDE IN EUROPE!” just as the Rwandan genocide was occurring provided very convenient grounds for overlooking an actual genocide occurring practically simultaneously in sub-Saharan Africa.
        NO genocide, nothing even close to it, occurred or even came close to occurring in the former Yugoslavia: mass murders do not a genocide make, and 130,000 deaths on ALL SIDES do not in any sense even come close to constituting “genocide”.
        Some lessons simply are never learned.

        • Ray in VT

          The war crimes tribunal disagrees with your assessment. Feel free, though, to deny that and to attempt to create some sort of false equivalence for the crimes that were perpetrated there, I think that the international community’s failure to act in Rwanda and Darfur is deplorable.

          • Coastghost

            Well, that’s what comes of shouting “GENOCIDE!” where it manifestly is NOT occurring and ignoring clear evidence of where it IS occurring.
            Using the word “genocide” in the context of the Balkans of the 1990s is a powerful error, an egregious lie, and a potent diversionary tactic. Using the word “genocide” in the context of the Balkans of the 1990s IN NO WAY instantiates what you purport, Ray: NO GENOCIDE OCCURRED in the Balkans of the 1990s. Period. (Feel free to concede to NATO self-justifications and apologetics, though.)

          • Ray in VT

            Yup, I guess that those people rounding up masses of Muslims and massacring them weren’t up to no good. I guess that I should ignore the investigators who looked into the crimes that were committed there and just take your word for it. You know what went on there so much better than they do after all.

          • Don_B1

            His ideology and mantra to blame President Obama for everything gives him a great view overlooking everything of importance.

          • Coastghost

            Gee, Commissar, whose motivations are on display? The name “Obama” appears in none of my posts directly above.

          • Don_B1

            You are clearly trying to lay the groundwork for the next step of blaming President Obama for the current difficulties.

            If you had not used similar tactics many times in the past that might not be obvious, but …

          • Coastghost

            You are right insofar as I am no apologist for the (reckless, effete, ill-considered) foreign policy establishment within the Democratic Party.
            Every Democratic President since sainted JFK has been highly divisive or inordinately ineffectual: LBJ, Carter, Clinton, and the current fellow. I give the Democratic Party credit for foisting poor leaders upon us.

          • Don_B1

            The Republican Party has done much worse! From Reagan in Lebanon to Bush I in Panama to Bush II in Iraq (from reckless to ill-considered)!

          • Coastghost

            Mass murders were being committed by all, including the Bosniaks, Ray. Even NATO bombing killed hundreds of Albanian Kosovars. More Serb civilians were killed in the first three weeks of NATO bombing in spring 1999 than were killed on both sides in Kosovo from Dec 98 to Mar 99. Did the war crimes tribunal take on NATO?

          • Ray in VT

            The facts that I have seen do not line up with your opinions. Perhaps you need to re-evaluate your positions based upon reality.

          • Coastghost

            Perhaps you need to re-investigate reality. (I think you’re massively conflating events and their descriptions.)

          • Ray in VT

            I think that it works pretty well, except for those who insist upon attempting to make it conform to their beliefs.

          • Floyd Blandston

            Srebenica. ANY credibility you ever had is gone. Go Away…

          • Coastghost

            7.1% of the Serb population of Bosnia was killed between 1992 and 1995. Bosniak Muslims were well-skilled at killing Bosnian Serbs before the Army of Republika Srpska responded at Srbenica in July 1995

          • Floyd Blandston

            Wow. Thanks for playing, here’s a parting gift, the ‘play-at-home’ version, and GET THE FUDGE OUT!

  • Jay

    The good people of Crimea said NO to neo-fascism. Sorry Obama.

    • Don_B1

      No to neo-fascism? Yes to a dictatorship!

      • Jay

        some people do think Obama is a dictator. You’ve got a point there.

        • Ray in VT

          Some people are cracked.

          • Jay

            Dr. Cornel West has called Obama a ‘global George Zimmerman”. Is Cornel West ‘cracked’ as well Ray?

          • Ray in VT

            Is George Zimmerman some sort of dictator? If so, then I am unaware of his dictatorial actions. Please elaborate.

          • jefe68

            West has been very critical of President Obama’s drone policy and rightly so.
            That said West tends towards the hyperbolic in my opinion.

            The right winger is just using it for his own inane purposes.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that there is plenty to criticize the President for regarding our use of drones, but I do prefer to stay away from hyperbole, as it is the absolute worst thing in the entire universe.

          • jefe68

            I agree. Apparently West does not.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — Did I miss a meeting or something? I thought disco was “the absolute worst thing in the entire universe.”

          • Ray in VT

            How dare you disagree with me!!!! (you can tell how angry and serious I am, because I used 4 exclamation points) I shall now proceed to insult your intelligence, as you are probably a neo-fascist.

          • brettearle

            Anyone who uses Professor West as a standard bearer, for Liberals and for Democrats, is employing propaganda.

          • Jay

            Dr. West (a former Obama supporter) is comparing Obama to Zimmerman. What part of that simple analogy don’t you get?

          • Ray in VT

            The part where that comment has anything to do with Obama being a dictator, as Zimmerman is not one. Perhaps it is your ability to use devices such as analogy that needs to be corrected.

          • Jay

            Ask Dr. West for clarification, it’s his statement.

          • Ray in VT

            So it doesn’t compare Obama to a dictator, as you said some consider him to be. Thanks for the clarification.

          • Don_B1

            That it is not an analogy, but a contrast.

        • jefe68

          Ding, ding, ding… and today’s troll award goes to Jay.

          • Jay

            Your President is the one supporting neo-fascists in Ukraine, take it up with him.

          • jefe68

            Troll alert ^^^^

          • Jay

            I see that you’re still in denial.

          • jefe68

            Nope, I’m not anywhere near da Nile.

          • Ray in VT

            Da Nile is not just a river in Italy.

          • Jay

            Then your head must be submerged in the toilet again.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, I saw you doing it, so I thought that it might be worth a try, although I won’t follow your example and see how far I can cram it up my rear.

          • Don_B1

            What actions has President Obama taken that explicitly support the neo-fascists in the new Ukrainian government over the other members of that government? And how are they not related to the general support of the Ukrainian people?

          • hennorama

            Jay — “Your President”? Have you emigrated and taken up citizenship elsewhere?

    • Ray in VT

      Interesting then, that they would consider moving closer to Russia, where a right wing government is more the embodiment of some sort of neo-fascism than anything being in existence in the West.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Obama escalates. Day 17.

    Today by executive order I’m deporting all the Siberian huskies from homes in Arlington and Alexandria, VA. These animals will be treated humanely with professional handlers, all Russian speaking.
    –Barack H. Obama, President of Someplace

  • MrNutso

    Ambassador McFaul seems to be under the impression that this supported by Russians in general. I think this is all about Putin and only Putin. As long as he is in power or controls the puppet strings “Russia” will not give a a damn about anything the west does or the impact on Russians.

  • J__o__h__n

    Does Bush need to look at Putin’s soul again?

  • TFRX

    Tom, you’re allowed to laugh at the crazed, bitter rantings of Old Man Yells At Cloud.

    And Mitt Romney, the other guy who would been in the Oval Office? Let’s remember he

    demonstrated as a candidate (basically a) knee-jerk hostility to Obama’s policies and equally reflexive hostility to improving relations with Russia. To the extent that he had a coherent idea for how to approach Russia differently, he thought that Russia should be provoked at every turn and that cooperation should be avoided

    .

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Obama escalates. Day 22.

    By executive order the president forces the re-opening of the NYC eatery, The Russian Tea Room. Then orders it closed and the samovars expelled to the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg.

  • Ed75

    Very true, the opportunity was lost – but at least Russia doesn’t have the imperialist ideology of Communism.

  • Jay

    Who would have thought that in 2014, an American President would help to overthrow the legitimate, democratically elected govt. in Ukraine, and replace with a bunch of neo-fascist thugs.

    • lobstahbisque

      Spam alert.

      • Jay

        No, truth alert.

        • lobstahbisque

          ….Spam spam spam spam….

          • Jay

            It’s not my fault your President supports neo-fascist thugs in Ukraine
            .

          • hennorama

            Jay — again with the “your President”?

            Are you not a U.S. citizen or resident?

          • MrNutso

            Wonderful spam.

          • jefe68

            Spam, spam, spam and more spam…

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anwy2MPT5RE

      • tbphkm33

        I do believe Jay qualifies as “Idiot Troll Alert”

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Obama escalates. Day 29.

    By executive order the president institutes a no vodka, no caviar, no Russian salad dressing policy for White House state dinners. Servants will be attired in blue and yellow livery. Table settings will not consist of the colors of the Russian federation: red, white, and blue.

    • MrNutso

      Freedom fries, freedom toast, freedom kissing ……

      • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

        Yep. History repeats.

  • hellokitty0580

    If the United States doesn’t take a stand against the annexation of Crimea to Russia, then it really is just paying lip service to the ideals of democracy that Americans are so enamored with. If the whole of Ukraine had been allowed to vote in Crimea’s secession it would be a different story. Crimea matters because promoting a world of international governance and democracy is important to the stability of the world. That’s known and that is important to US interests. People seem fearful to compare Putin’s actions to Nazi Germany, but the writing is on the wall. Appeasement didn’t work then and it won’t work now. This is an absolute opportunity to learn from history. That’s not to say the West should go into Ukraine guns a blazing, but we also can’t accept these actions as valid and should take non-violent measures as consequence.

    Furthermore, John McCain is so obsessed with displaying American strength and prowess and blaming the President for lacking in those qualities. But doesn’t it seem that Congress has a role to play in standing behind the President despite differences of opinion rather than cut him down? Doesn’t this divisiveness show weakness whatever one might feel about the President’s foreign policy?

  • Ed75

    About the missing airplane, I hadn’t thought about it much, but this is my theory. It seems to me that the West is facing terrorism because it has turned to abortion (and failed to stop it) and other evils, and that 9/11 was part of this. Abortion became legal in 1973 and if ’37′ indicates ‘reverse Roe’, or ‘end abortion’, we find the number 37 all over 9/11. (For example, the four times of attack and building collapse add up to 3737). This plane has the number 370 and it was taken on 3/7 (I’m told), so my guess is that it will be used for terrorism against the West, which continues to turn ever more to abortion.

    • jefe68

      Oh no, just when you thought it was safe to use the number 37, it’s not.

    • J__o__h__n

      And I thought Courtney Love’s claim that she located it would be the craziest thing I’d read about the missing plane today.

      • Ed75

        Hurray, I win!

    • tbphkm33

      Ed75, never thought I would give this advice – but you might want to puff on that marijuana pipe a little longer in the mornings. Unwind that convoluted mind from all these conspiracy theories.

      • Ed75

        Never touch the stuff, though it’s legal now in places. The idea is deeper though than a conspiracy theory: it’s that we in the West have turned to crime. And God, in his mercy, will not let us die in crime, but will separate us from it.

        • Jay

          I don’t know if tb smokes dope, but his
          rabid, illogical support for a President who supports third-trimester abortions makes you wonder.

      • Jay

        Is that what you do tb, smoke dope? Because if you do, that would explain your dopey support for the current President, whose illegal drone attacks have maimed and killed many innocent people around the world.

  • Potter

    Does this mean that countries should not give up their nukes?

  • babbo1

    Ambassador McFaul is egregiously and obviously fudging facts in his portion of this morning’s program to beat his Cold War 2.0 war drum. Shame on him. He said something toward the end of his segment about the history of Russia using force against its neighbors… That isn’t what happened in Crimea! Crimeans voted democratically for this after protesters in Kiev deposed the Russia-friendly Ukrainian president they supported. This isn’t tanks rolling into Hungary, it’s like the polar opposite of that!

  • georgepotts

    The IRS will be investigating Putin. They will also deny his 401(c)3 application.

    • MrNutso

      We got the IRS. I’ll just say Benghazi to get it over with.

      • TFRX

        Good job. What’s an Abbott without his Costello?

        (I ask rhetorically, as “Benghazi” is taking on the symbolism of “I don’t know” “Third base!” in this forum.)

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Obama escalates. Day 36.

    By executive order the president orders the installation, at the abandoned burned-out hulk of the former US consulate in Benghazi, of a big marble plaque at the gate, the chiseled title: Embassy of the Russian Federation.

    In honor of the Clinton RESET. Hand salute. Two.

  • georgepotts

    Ukraine is next.

  • twenty_niner

    So much for re-designing the military to fight insurgents and cave dwellers.

  • MarkVII88

    If there is an equal partnership of western powers to take action against Russia’s actions, then fine. But, if the USA has to act alone or is only joined in a token fashion by other nations, then we should do nothing. NO UNILATERAL FISCAL OR MILITARY ACTION!!!

  • georgepotts

    Put the missiles back in Poland, Czech lands, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

  • riverdweller52

    I wonder if it has occurred to any of the political geniuses in Washington that we should save a good helping of blame for what is going on in Ukraine for ourselves. As a nation, we could be leading the western world community’s response to Crimea and Ukraine, but we are so busy with the electoral politics of division, dysfunction and blame, that we are completely incapable of behaving as any kind of an organized deterrent to Vladimir Putin’s ambitions to rebuild the Russian empire. At a time when we, as a nation, should be the most unified, we are anything but.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Obama escalates. Day 41.

    By executive order the president institutes the policy that Borscht is the Soup of the Day everyday in the White House cafeteria.

    {apparently it’s Ukrainian}

  • Jay

    God bless the good people of Crimea for voting down neo-fascism.

    • georgepotts

      So, that means that the rest of Ukraine should become part of Russia?

      Maybe Teddy Kennedy can go to Russia and make a deal with the KGB like he did in 1983.

      http://njiat.com/media/Ted%20Kennedy_%20Reagans%20Benedict%20Arnold.pdf

      • Jay

        The Ukraine is broke, they’d love the chance to be part of the Russian Federation. What’s the alternative? Join the EU and become permanent debt slaves? Joining the EU didn’t work out to well for Greece, Ireland. Italy, or Spain.

    • tbphkm33

      Funny thing – if you knew anything about the Ukraine, politics or history, you would know that the only neo-fascist around are the U.S. Nopublican/TeaBagger cabal that is flirting with fascism.

      ———-

      fascism |ˈfa sh ˌizəm| (also Fascism)
      noun
      an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
      • (in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.

      • Jay

        You just can’t get over the fact that your President, Mr. Nobel Peace Prize, is openly supporting the neo-fascists in Ukraine.

        • Ray in VT

          That would be like saying that by generally supporting the opposition to a dictator, some part of which has Islamist inclinations, then one is supporting Al Qaeda.

          • Jay

            You’re right Ray, we should never question the President on anything. Look at how well the Libyan campaign worked out. I’m sure the Libyan people really enjoy living in a divided and smashed nation, which is ruled by warlords with AK47 rifles.

          • Ray in VT

            When did I say that we should not question the President?

            Given the treatment that Gaddafi subjected his people to, and his stated intent to massacre vast swaths of his own population for daring to challenge his dictatorial rule, I think that many are likely to prefer the options available to them now versus previously. Gaddafi did a pretty good job of smashing his own country by systematically destroying institutions and making the country dependent upon his rule.

          • Jay

            Libya had the highest standard of living in all of Africa before the US started bombing, now it’s a smashed nation. What the US did was completely unjustifiable. The real reason the US overthrew the Gaddafi regime was because he said he wanted a gold backed currency for his oil, NOT US dollars.

          • Ray in VT

            Sure. That’s it. It had nothing to do with Gaddafi threatening mass murder against his own people. It was all just some conspiracy to steal Libya’s gold. You might want to check out how things were for the people in Gaddafi’s secret prisons prior to the revolt or look to see what was happening on the ground prior to outside involvement. I bet it was all real peachy.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — look how weak President Obama is in Libya, and how he’s supposedly “supporting al-Qaeda in Libya,” as [Jay] has written:

            “U.S. Navy SEALs take over oil tanker for return to Libya

            By Ernesto Londoño and Abigail Hauslohner, Published: March 17

            A team of U.S. Navy SEALs boarded an oil tanker Sunday night in the Mediterranean Sea in an apparent bid to prevent the delivery of Libyan crude worth several million dollars that members of a militia had been attempting to sell, according to U.S. and Libyan officials.

            In an operation approved by President Obama, the SEALs commandeered the commercial tanker Morning Glory shortly after 10 p.m. Eastern time and were en route overnight to a Libyan port, Rear Adm. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement. No one was hurt during the operation, he said.

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-seals-board-north-korea-flagged-tanker-for-return-to-libya/2014/03/17/ddab14bc-add6-11e3-9627-c65021d6d572_story.html

          • Ray in VT

            Plus the military grabbed a militant in Libya a while ago and irked the government there.

    • tbphkm33

      I should have just called it the way it is: “Idiot Troll Alert”

      Seems that Jay is the lost Nopublican/TeaBagger of this week.

      • Jay

        Thank you for putting your picture next to your moniker tb, it confirms what I suspected to be true, you really are as dumb as you look.

  • AliceOtter33

    Follow the money. In this case, the money is in oil and gas. Putin’s megalomania aside, the trajectory of his vision depends on a practical strategy: securing Russia’s dominance of surrounding energy resources.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Obama escalates. Day 47.

    By executive order the president installs the requirement that the Russian language cannot be spoken in Russian classes at the Foreign Service institute {FSI}.

  • Ed75

    “Get thee to thy prayers …” Henry V.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Obama escalates. Day 49.

    The president removes the tunes “Moscow Nights” and “Song of the Volga Boatmen” from his IPod.

  • georgepotts
  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Obama escalates. Day 249.

    In a fit of pique, the president changes the name of his daughter, Sasha to Kieva.

    • jimino

      Most people who are idiots tend to try to disguise the fact. I’m curious why you repeatedly, and apparently proudly, advertise it.

  • georgepotts

    Put missiles in Poland and other Eastern European countries.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Obama’s USAF missile silo people would just have them aimed at us.

    • Jay

      Where are we going to get the money to acquire the missiles George? The US is broke. The D.O.D. is trying renege on some of the benefits it promised to US vets.

  • John Shannon

    I enjoy reading other’s opinions and getting divergent viewpoint, but it is clear some people, and the same ones over and over, post just to promote an agenda, are almost always off-topic, and do not contribute to a healthy debate. Is it possible to “exclude” certain posters due to “trolling”? Maybe a collective vote by other posters? Again, not certain viewpoints, but certain posters who we all know are only here to disrupt. I know this can be a slippery slope, but for one or two commentators, perhaps a “time-out” , if not a complete ban, might be in order? And spare me your 1st Amendment BS, if you agree to leave, I’ll mail you a soapbox for the street corner.

    • AliceOtter33

      As long as a commenter remains civil, she or he should not be banned from participating. Just don’t feed the trolls. Eventually it will get boring for them and they will troll elsewhere.

      • John Shannon

        I don’t find it civil to disrupt others conversations. I like to imagine the comment section like discussions after a conference, people milling about, different conversations going on. If someone was walking around, interrupting conversations, brining up unrelated points, always trying to steer the conversation to their agenda, While they might not scream, curse, or name call, there actions are hardly “civil” and I don’t think they would be welcomed back to future events.

        • AliceOtter33

          I get what you’re saying and share the frustration. Still, it’s a different sort of disruption. I think it’s a lot easier to ignore a commenter than it is to ignore a live person hijacking a conversation. An outright ban would just become outrage ammunition for them.

        • LinRP

          I have to say I agree with you. There is a difference between censorship and editing out things from left field. The anti-abortion dude who often posts first at the crack of dawn tying EVERY topic into that issue is an insufferable waste of time.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            So you know what is coming. You know it will annoy you and yet you still decide to read the comment? Sounds like a case of masochism.

          • brettearle

            He is, but you have the right to ignore him or attack him.

            He has the right to be a jerk.

          • John Shannon

            No one has a right to post on this forum at all.

          • brettearle

            I don’t know what you are talking about….

            Go take out a restraining order.

            Your one-man vigilante failed before it began.

          • John Shannon

            “I don’t know what you are talking about….” … which your posts make obvious.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Censorship is never the answer. Especially in this kind of forum where it is so easy to skip over comments one considers nonsense. The slope is way too slippery.

      Consider this — this weekend Putin received 97% ‘collective votes’ to censor ‘the opposition’.

      • brettearle

        You’re making sense.

        Why can’t you make sense more often?

      • John Shannon

        I understand the censorship reasoning, and the slippery slope, and I am not entirely comfortable with my own suggestion because of its potential for misuse, but it’s just frustrating to get through the comments in the limited time I have available with having to wade through such nonsense. And I am not talking about opinions I disagree with, but outright non-sense and disruption. Just as OnPoint doesn’t take callers about Climate Change on shows about Crimea, maybe the comments sections could do something similar.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          The disqus collapse thread feature might ease your pain. Just click on the ‘-’ character on any thread you find annoying and voila, the entire thread collapses.

          • John Shannon

            Ha, just found that, very helpful. Thanks. Now perhaps a personal “Ignore” list would be helpful too?

          • Ray in VT

            You mean like a feature that one can use by checking off a box next to a poster’s name?

          • John Shannon

            I don’t see that feature, but I’ll find it and thanks for pointing it out. And I know this whole thread is off-topic, and shows my ignorance!, but it is only one post and hopefully didn’t disrupt the conversation too much. Thanks for your responses and help

          • Ray in VT

            Oh, it doesn’t exist, at least as far as I know, but I thought that that might be something along the lines of what you were proposing. I don’t see your comments as disrupting. Some general discussion about standards and such pops up every now and again.

    • brettearle

      John, I’m likely close to being as Liberal, as you are…but you can’t BE serious, about this.

      This is a forum that allows for a high degree of flexibility.

      If there are idiots, then they are either ignored or are challenged.

      There IS a monitoring program, here. We ARE being watched by `BUR’s Big Brother.

      I’m going to pretend that I didn’t hear the above recommendation, from you.

      It does NOT become a solid-thinking Liberal.

      • John Shannon

        And who says I am a solid, thinking, or a liberal? Trolls are trolls, and I am not talking about a few posts, but constantly and consistently being disruptive. Just as you wouldn’t invite such “idiots” back to a dinner party, why invite them back to this conversation? At least consider a “time-out”.

        • brettearle

          You are seriously wrong in your viewpoint.

          This isn’t YOUR dinner party. It is everyone’s dinner party.

          At everyone’s dinner party, you either accept the rules; or you are ignored; or you leave.

          Take your pick. No one’s going to respect you for your views.

          They’re too biased–even though you believe that they are reasonable and sensible.

          They are NOT.

          • jefe68

            Actually, it’s BUR’s lemonade stand and they do have rules for posting.

          • John Shannon

            I’m sorry, please show me were I indicated it was MY dinner party? My analogy was that if the dinner guests decided that someone was disrupting the party, they would ask that person to leave. Never once did I indicate it would be my decision alone.

            “Accept the rules, ignored, or leave”. Good points, and if one of the rules were, “don’t be an ass”, the posters disrupting things would be asked to leave.

          • brettearle

            Had you had any cohorts supporting your point of view, it wouldn’t have been your party alone.

            But since you have none supporting your point of view it is your party, alone.

          • John Shannon

            Actually, someone did support my point of view. But my point remains valid; not once did I say that I alone would make any decisions, a point you fail to realize.

            I’m glad we both agree that there ARE rules for this “Dinner party”, we just disagree on their scope. HAGD

          • brettearle

            Your point remains invalid.

            The only people who would be invited to your dinner party would be those who support censorship.

            There is no room for censorship on this forum.

            You don’t have to take my word for it.

            As a matter of fact, if you did take my word for it, you would be doing the overwhelming majority, here, a disservice.

            We would prefer to see the Webmaster and the Program Director read you the necessary Riot Act and then ask you, unofficially, to consider being handed your walking papers.

            The Electronic World would be a lot better off.

          • John Shannon

            “Every Web site has its own rules, … If you break them, don’t be surprised if we delete or block your comments.” … would that be considered censorship?

            Trolling, being off topic, rambling: all these can be considered against the “rules” of this forum.

          • John Shannon

            Actually, I didn’t realize it at first, but everything I said is already in the Community Rules, which you agreed to follow when you post on this site, therefore you agree with me, thank you!

          • John Shannon

            As for the Webmaster and Program Manager, are they the ones who came up with the rule that if a person trolls they can delete (censor?) that persons comments?

    • Art Herttua

      I’ve already been censored, and on the radio it was even more extreme censorship, from what I heard, versus what I read here. Thanks.

      • John Shannon

        One man’s censorship is another man’s standards of polite behavior. And since I don’t know you, or your posts until today, I was not referring to you.

    • jimino

      I think that an under-appreciated benefit of unfettered free speech is identifying the wackos and how they think. It lets one know what they’re up against.

  • John_Hamilton

    A person called in saying that he served in NATO, and therefore this naked aggression should be, hmm, stopped, countered, somethinged, start of Cold War two point oh. I also served in NATO, back in the days when it was organized to stop, counter, something the Soviet Union. It was a cosmic joke then, and is more of a cosmic joke now. It was an ad hoc treaty organization at its inception, but now is a perpetual alliance for…? Maybe to counter Russia. Here’s a chance to justify its existence.

    This is all a struggle of the arbitraries. The United States of America is itself formed out of conquest, with an economy dependent on slavery. We no longer have official slavery, but we do have unemployment slavery. So many are so desperate to work that they will work at slave wages just to stay alive. We call it “freedom” and “democracy.” I call it arbitrary. Freedom and democracy by pronouncement, as in “I hereby pronounce this is freedom and democracy!”

    We have had our own wars of conquest, such as the Spanish-American war, the war with Mexico, overthrows of governments in Guatemala, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Panama, Congo, Haiti, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, to name a few. Attempted overthrows of governments in Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela and others.

    Any designation of other countries as naked aggressors not only ignores history, but inevitably favors one arbitrary version of nationhood over another. We may have been formed out of aggression and conquest, the reasoning goes, but that was a long time ago, so we can accuse Russia of naked aggression now. Ohhh, that Vladimir Putin. He’s a bad man!

    The comical aspect of this is that it provides ample opportunity for U.S. politicians to beat their chests, scrambling for air time to challenge the president’s “manhood,” comparing his prowess unfavorably to that of Vladimir Putin, and of course implying great things about their own.

    For our president, this exaggerated crisis is proving to be an embarrassment. He should have seen this coming years ago, but has now painted himself into a corner, having to defend his “manhood.” Yuk. He has to walk a fine line between posturing for “democracy” and risking going to war with the world’s number two nuclear power.

    So the real issue here is how important it is for Western politicians to save face. Is it worth thermonuclear war? No? Then what is it worth?

    • brettearle

      This short essay is EXCELLENT. Very well done. I agree with much of it….

      However, I would disagree with you about how the President should have seen this coming years ago.

      Aside from Hindsight Being 20/20, Crimea has a history with Russia. And the there are also similarities with Kosovo.

      What’s more, you can’t always expect one country, even a superpower, to employ diplomacy–much less the threat of counter-force–in order to stop aggression.

      • tbphkm33

        I agree, this was one situation that was hard to see even a few months ago. Sure there was talk of Putin’s ambitions to be a strong man, but the assumption was that he would stay within Russia.

        Interesting hypothesis relating to the USA in a role reversal over Cuba. No doubt in my mind that Washington would quickly intervene in an Cuban popular uprising, occupy the island and call for “free and fair” democratic elections… six months down the road, after US capitalists have had time to run amok.

        • Jay

          You really are as dumb as you look.

      • AliceOtter33

        I agree on the 20/20 hindsight issue. Obama could not have seen this particular scenario coming.

        That said, I agree with John_Hamilton that we’re at a point in history where all this realist posturing by world leaders is getting beyond silly.

        The international community should scale down the reactionist routine regarding Crimea and keep the focus on the remainder of Ukraine.

        Russia struggles under the “natural resource curse” – it’s wealth is tied to an authoritarian state monopoly over energy and propped up by political corruption.

        This land grab – following the ostentatious Olympics horse and pony show – is actually another giant display of Putin’s insecurity.

      • John_Hamilton

        I think what he should have seen coming was from the NATO side, that meddling in Ukraine and various other places would accelerate to a confrontation with Russia.

        Actually, they may have known all along that it would reach this point. We don’t really know, but NATO is an organization that has to do something to keep itself going. It was a huge stretch to get involved in Afghanistan, and now that that is ending ignominiously, a vacuum exists for this anachronistic “treaty.”

        If we just look back a hundred years or so, the forming and reforming of nations has been a constant in a sea of change. China has arbitrarily decreed that Tibet no longer exists, but the land area has always been “China.” There used to be a Vietnam, then a north and south Vietnam, then Vietnam again. Into that mix the heavy hand of the U.S. was a self-appointed arbiter. We should have learned, but didn’t. On to the next arbiting.

    • OnPointComments

      At first I was surprised that your screed could get any up votes, but then I saw that those who liked it were many of the usual suspects.

      One of the character traits of liberals that I don’t like is their propensity to take a pass on moral judgments that are crystal clear to everyone else, or to say that entirely different actions are the same. For liberals like you, a fight for freedom and a fight for dominance are both the same, “one arbitrary version of nationhood over another.” For everyone else, the choice between totalitarianism and democracy is not arbitrary.

      I wasn’t surprised at the conclusion you reached in your diatribe, that it must be the US is at fault and equally guilty. I’ve posted the following quote several times, because what Jeane Kirkpatrick said at the Republican convention in 1984 is just as true today; she touches on your false equivalency of democracy and dictatorships in Grenada and Central America:

      “The Democrats said that saving Grenada from terror and totalitarianism was the wrong thing to do – they didn’t blame Cuba or the communists for threatening American students and murdering Grenadians – they blamed the United States instead.

      But then, somehow, they always blame America first.

      When our Marines, sent to Lebanon on a multinational peacekeeping mission with the consent of the United States Congress, were murdered in their sleep, the “blame America first crowd” didn’t blame the terrorists who murdered the Marines, they blamed the United States.

      But they, they always blame America first.

      When Marxist dictators shoot their way to power in Central America, the San Francisco Democrats don’t blame the guerrillas and their Soviet allies, they blame United States policies of 100 years ago.

      But then, they always blame America first.

      The American people know better.”

      • John_Hamilton

        So personal. Angry too. Erroneous as well. I’m a conservative. I believe in conserving human civilization. I also believe in conserving the ecosystem. The term “liberal” doesn’t mean much to me, because it is such a loaded term, and tends to be like beauty, in the mind of the beholder.

        Beyond that, there isn’t anything else worth commenting on – all talking points derived from the projection of “liberalism” that paints a broad brush of every grievance the projector can muster.

        I reiterate what I wrote previously, which is that “countries” are arbitrary ascriptions, rooted largely in military conquest. The land itself is neutral, accommodating to whomever claims ownership. In the current change of ownership many factors are involved, including the expanding reach of the anachronistic alliance known as NATO.

        In this context the basic question is how much this shifting of countryness from one arbitrary identity to another is the business of NATO. Is every last event on the planet the business of NATO? If you see NATO (read: the U.S.) as the hand of God on Earth, then, yes, let’s start another war.

        If you see NATO as the hand of dubious and desperate men, then a better idea is to abolish NATO. We are now in the twenty-first century. The climate is becoming increasingly threatening to humans and most other species. NATO has NO SOLUTION for global climate change, but rolls on, looking for new opportunities to meddle. The money wasted on NATO could be used to solve real problems, climate change being NUMBER ONE.

  • Madmon

    It is good have a cold war than having a world with single policeman. More policemen is a good deterrence!

  • Art Herttua

    “It appears that the US State Dept. gave $5 billion to Ukrainian neo-Nazis who used some of the money to hire mass murderers who massacred protesters, policemen and bystanders in order to provide a rationale for overthrowing the democratically elected government of Ukraine and installing an anti-Russian puppet government.”

    Who is the aggressor here?

    • John Shannon

      Who are you quoting?

      • Art Herttua
        • Ray in VT

          So who does this “cluborlov” and what are his(?) sources. I see from where on that blog you have repeated what that person has written, but I see no links to outside information, such as webpages from these supposed “neo-fascists” where they detail their positions.

        • John Shannon

          Not really an objective source.

          • Art Herttua

            No he is not objective. But he does give perspective that you won’t find in MSM, and Npr. It is difficult to find the truth here, the first casualty of war.

          • John Shannon

            Why would you quote what you yourself consider a non-objective source? Since you would, your opinion of the media, and of NPR, is suspect at best.

          • Art Herttua

            Sorry, I should have elaborated, I don’t think there is an objective source, not MSM, not Npr, but Orlov gives a perspective that is needed.

          • Don_B1

            Only if there are actual facts that give some, though not necessarily conclusive, support for that perspective.

            Or only if you want to indicate that there are people out there who have some crazy ideas (perspectives).

          • Jay

            First you want to censor people, then you question their sources. Dude, you should move to North Korea. Their rigid thought control would be perfect for you.

          • John Shannon

            Please read the Community Rules, thet YOU agreed to when you post on this forum. Everything I proposed is already mentioned in these rules, which YOU agreed to. Did you agree to censorship then?

          • John Shannon

            Questioning sources is thought control? So, any source is credible?

    • hennorama

      Art Herttua — this is nonsense.

      As stated to another forum member [Jay] who shares some of your views:

      No doubt your sources haven’t told you that the U.S. has provided an average of a bit more than $227 million per year to support Ukraine’s efforts to transform itself into a working democracy.

      Here’s the relevant portion of what Victoria Nuland said at the Washington Press Club on Dec. 13, 2013 (emphasis added):

      Since the declaration of Ukrainian independence in 1991, the United States has supported Ukrainians as they build democratic skills and institutions, as they promote civic participation and good governance, all of which are preconditions for Ukraine to achieve its European aspirations. We’ve invested over 5 billion dollars to assist Ukraine in these and other goals that will ensure a secure and prosperous and democratic Ukraine.”

      Source: (the relevant part is at about 7:25 into the clip)

      http://youtu.be/2y0y-JUsPTU?t=7m25s

      • Coastghost

        However, hen, this chart at least begins to suggest that US subsidization of Ukraine from 1991 through 2012 was merely one long act of pouring money into the pockets of Ukraine’s corrupt elites:

        http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2014/03/economic-growth-in-ukraine-a-recent-history.html

        Or: why was generous US financial assistance not contributing directly to increasing Ukraine’s GDP performance? Given the discrepancy with Russia’s own performance over the period, Crimeans may have had sufficient incentive to vote for union with Russia.

        • hennorama

          Coastghost — TYFYR.

          Given that Ms. Nuland stated “…the United States has supported Ukrainians as they build democratic skills and institutions, as they promote civic participation and good governance … these and other goals that will ensure a secure and prosperous and democratic Ukraine,” it’s curious that you focused on the “prosperous” aspect.

          Corruption and resistance to reforms, combined with a dependence on Russian energy sources, have all contributed to Ukraine’s economic struggles. It’s clear that the so-called “generous” U.S. support, which averages to about $5 per Ukrainian resident per year, has not been successful in acheiving the goals Ms. Nuland listed.

          As to “US policy in eastern Europe” — that is far too broad a topic for brief discussion.

          Thanks again for your response.

          • Coastghost

            But why do you downplay the reasonable expectation that $5 billion (US) would contribute (or would be thought or said to contribute) to sound economic growth in Ukraine?
            Our expense of $5 billion seems to have ensured NOTHING in terms of achieving “a secure and prosperous and democratic Ukraine”, Ambassador Nuland’s apologetics notwithstanding.
            Looks a lot like the US Federal govt. spending money for the sake of spending money, with no view at all to influencing outcomes of any preference or of any kind.

          • hennorama

            Coastghost — TYFYR.

            To answer your first question, let’s examine the average annual U.S. aid to Ukraine, vs. Ukraine’s 2013 estimated GDP.

            US aid: $5 billion, over 22+ years = about $227 million year.
            Ukraine’s estimated GDP for 2013: $$175.5 billion (and “purchasing power parity” estimated at $337.4 billion)

            This means that the average US aid amounts to a bit over one-eighth of one percent (0.1295%) of Ukraine’s estimated 2013 GDP.

            If we add in another $1 billion, we get a bit over two-thirds of one percent (0.6993%).

            Need I write more as to what you describe as “the reasonable expectation that $5 billion (US) would contribute (or would be thought or said to contribute) to sound economic growth in Ukraine?”

            As stated previously, the so-called “generous” U.S. support, (about $5 per Ukrainian resident per year over 22+ years, with perhaps another $23 per resident if the $1B in new aid gets approved), has not been successful in achieving the goals Ms. Nuland listed.

            Sources:
            http://data.worldbank.org/country/ukraine
            https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/up.html

          • Coastghost

            Disingenuous and irrelevant for you to keep citing your calculation of $5 of US aid per Ukrainian over 22 years, hen: you and I both know that was not how or why the money was being spent.
            You seem on the one hand to complain that US foreign aid to Ukraine was insufficient to the purposes of fostering stability, on the other you seem content for the US to continue dispensing such aid without any regard whatsoever for outcomes.

          • hennorama

            Coastghost — TY again FYR.

            To be clear, simple arithmetic was employed to refute the absurd, repeated claim that “the US State Dept. gave $5 billion to Ukrainian neo-Nazis” made by [Art Herttua] at the beginning of this thread, and also to counter your “reasonable expectation” about US aid and Ukrainian economic growth.

            It is clear that U.S. financial aid has thus far been unsuccessful in achieving all of the goals Ms. Nuland laid out in her remarks.

            Whether or not such aid is worthwhile given this lack of success is beyond my ability to judge, and I claim no expertise in the matter.

            However, given Ukraine’s geopolitical significance, it’s likely that both Russia and the West will continue to both woo Ukraine, and fight over it.

            Thanks again for your response.

        • hennorama

          Coastghost — FYI, the original source of the chart you referenced is a post on the economist.com’s “Free exchange” blog. This source supports my post below, as follows (in part):

          “[Ukraine's] economic turmoil reflects recent political instability. But Ukraine’s economic problems were long in the making. Dodgy economic policy, distaste for reform and endemic corruption have brought the country to its knees.”

          And:

          “Ukraine has proven reluctant to engage in reform.”

          “In other areas reform has been half-hearted.”

          “Corruption and poor governance are other major problems.”

          See:
          http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2014/03/ukraine-and-russia

      • Art Herttua

        Ukraine was a democracy, the U.S. supported the oppostion that deposed the democratically elected president.

        • hennorama

          Art Herttua — please support, if you can, the quote that you chose, especially this portion of it:

          “It appears that the US State Dept. gave $5 billion to Ukrainian neo-Nazis…”

          This nonsense is based on the second bold portion of Victoria Nuland’s remarks above, and ignores the first.

          • Art Herttua

            What Nuland did not reveal on December 13 was that her meetings with ‘key Ukrainian stakeholders’ included neo-Nazi Svoboda party leader Oleh Tyahnybok and prime minister wannabe Arsenly Yatsenyuk of the Fatherland Party. At about the same time Nuland was wooing fascist extremists, Sen. John McCain (R-Az) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D- Conn) shared the stage in Kiev with Tyahnybok offering their support and opposition to the sitting government. The Svoboda party
            which has roots with extreme vigilante and anti-semitic groups has
            since received at least three high level cabinet posts in the interim
            government including deputy prime minister. There is no doubt that the
            progenies of west Ukraine’s historic neo-fascist thugs that fought with
            Hitler are now aligned with the US as represented by Victoria Nuland.
            http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/05/chronology-of-the-ukrainian-coup/

          • hennorama

            Art Herttua — thank you for your response.

            Again, please support, if you can, the quote that you chose, especially this portion of it:

            “It appears that the US State Dept. gave $5 billion to Ukrainian neo-Nazis…”

            One doubts that you would be interested, but here’s an article, from a rather more widely recognized source than those you choose, that speaks to U.S. aid to Ukraine’s efforts to transform itself into a working democracy over the years:

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/06/AR2010020602045.html

          • Art Herttua

            Yes the Washington Post is widely recognized, and so is the rest of MSM. But neither source is objective, if you want the truth you have to go elsewhere. If you doubt that the US had alterior motives, the see this: http://williamblum.org/books/killing-hope

          • hennorama

            Art Herttua — thank you for your response.

            Please allow me to translate it:

            I, Art Herttua, despite being an authority on “the truth,” cannot support the quote I have chosen, and instead need to cite a book by an author endorsed by Osama bin Laden.

            Thanks for yet another telling reply.

          • Art Herttua

            Here’s some endorsements of that book:

            “Far and away the best book on the topic.” – Noam Chomsky

            “I bought several more copies to circulate to friends with the hope of shedding new light and understanding on their political outlooks.” – Oliver Stone

            “A very useful piece of work, daunting in scope, important.” –Thomas Powers, author, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist

            “A very valuable book. The research and organization are extremely impressive.” – A. J. Langguth, author, former New York Times Bureau Chief

            Who would have thought that Osama was in such esteemed company!

          • hennorama

            Art Herttua — thank you for confirming, again, that you cannot support your own selected quote.

          • Art Herttua

            Sorry hen, I only have so much time for this. Google it, you will find many sources. Thanks.

          • hennorama

            Art Herttua — no need to apologize; the weakness of your claim speaks for itself.

            And if you believe the number of search results corresponds with the validity of something, may I suggest that you plug ‘Art Herttua is a fool’ into your favorite search engine, then report back with the number of results.

            Of course, no insult is intended or implied by the suggestion above.

          • Don_B1

            And since talking with our enemies is not forbidden, and actually should occur as that is the best way to get them to understand our position and possibly modify their position without a military action, why shouldn’t Ms. Nuland have talked with all the actors in the Ukraine’s political groups?

        • Jay

          The US could care less that the legitimate, democratically elected govt. of Ukraine was overthrown by US supported, fascist thugs, the US did not have a puppet govt. in Ukraine who would allow the US to install ballistic missiles in Ukraine, which would have been pointed back at Russia. The US wants to encircle Russia militarily.

    • Jay

      The US is clearly the aggressor. Somewhere along the way, Mr. Nobel Peace Prize bought into the heresy of the Neo-Con agenda, and now Obama is trying to force American hegemony on the rest of the world, whether they like it not.

  • TyroneJ

    Putin won’t stop. I’d be really nervous if I were Lithuanian, Latvian, Georgian or Estonian right now. If the more powerful former Eastern Bloc nations, like Poland, have any brains, they will at a minimum insist on NATO publicly stationing nuclear weapons in their countries. If NATO won’t, then they need to renounce the non-proliferation treaty and start nuclear weapons programs of their own. Anything less is suicide.

    • Madmon

      Go ahead and make more bombs as if NATO has any less bombs?

      • TyroneJ

        Russian history is story after story of duplicity, and this is no exception. Remember, Stalin & Hitler jointly invaded Poland in September 1938, and were allies for the following 3 years. In the Spring of 1941, Stalin even begged Hitler to let the Soviet union join formally join the Axis. It was not until June 1941 when Hitler decided he’d had enough that Germany & the Soviets went to war, and the Russian weather, not the Russian army, proved Hitler’s downfall and allowed the USSR to crush the aspirations of Eastern Europe. Yet the Russian lackeys are today claiming similar aspirations to hose they crushed after WW II to justify Russian invasion of the Crimean. To this day, Russians whine about WW II as if they were victimized by it, rather than admit to both starting WW II and their empire benefiting from it.

        • Madmon

          Russia did not start the, WWII, period! Actually West wanted Germany to finish Soviets but when the bear woke up and advanced towards the eastern Europe, US had to get into game to save what it could save. If war breaks out this time, only cockroaches would survive to cherish the democracy. Crimea has always been Russian. That is a fact and that is what people have voted finally. Kiev people want to join EU, it should join it without Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. I see no problem. You want democracy, you got your democracy!

    • tommyslothrop

      This is blatant warmongering without justification. Putin went into Crimea because NATO was trying to take control of it (long term).
      NATO should not exist. It’s existance now is the cause of the current difficulties in Ukraine. NATO is an anti-Russian alliance that is trying to get control of Russia’s warm-water port which it has had for over 200 years. If it weren’t for NATO nobody would care if Ukraine joined the EU.

  • tbphkm33

    As a sideshow to the Ukrainian crisis, it is interesting that the US lockstep conservative movement is siding with Putin and the Kremlin in calling Kiev’s protesters “neo-fascist’s”. There are several examples of the uniformed Nopublican/TeaBagger’s promoting this misguided propaganda on this forum today. Largely attempting to tie Obama to invented fascists in Kiev. Anyone who has followed events in the Ukraine, or know elementary level world history and politics, realizes that the claim that Kiev’s protesters are fascists is ludicrous at best.

    Another prime example of the Nopublican/TeaBagger cabal remaining clueless to reality and choosing to live in their imaginary world. My advice, don’t go repeating what you hear on FOX Entertainment “News”
    —————-
    Kiev’s protesters: Ukraine uprising was no neo-Nazi power-grab
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/13/ukraine-uprising-fascist-coup-grassroots-movement

  • Sy2502

    There is no “West vs Russia”. Europe depends on Russia for its fuel and will not antagonize it just to go back to burning candles. America has no foothold with Russia, no way of threatening it, scaring it, or negotiate with it. As Obama was threatening Russia with “grounding it and taking away their Playstation for a week”, Putin was annexing Crimea.

    • Don_B1

      And Russia is basically a gas and oil company with an army and air force which needs desperately to sell its products in order to support its weak economy.

      • Sy2502

        The world runs on fossil fuel. Some countries have it, some don’t. Russia won’t run out of customers any time soon.

        • Don_B1

          That depends on what you mean by “any time soon” and how well the citizens of the world begin to really understand the climate changes that burning fossil fuels for energy and the consequent catastrophe that will result without stopping the exploitation of fossil fuels.

          I give that realization at most 10 years and likely more like five. Note that Europe, which now gets some 30% of its natural gas from Russia, could cut that in half or even 75% by bringing more sustainable fuels into use, which it has already begun doing although at too slow a pace.

          Interestingly, it might mean that Germany might have to go back on its decision to eliminate nuclear power as a source of electricity. What was the worst part of that decision was the timeline that they decided to take for the elimination of nuclear power.

          • Sy2502

            I remember Europe talking of moving away from fossil fuel when I still lived there, 17 years ago. Still no dice. But it was any minute now…

  • Joseph Lapinski

    The Russian people consider Kiev and the territories east to the current Russian border as part of the boundaries of historical Russia (see history of Kievan Rus’ from Wikipedia, below). Putin is just the current representation of this belief. This struggle of the Russian people to regain its historic ‘motherland’ has and will continue, no matter how many centuries past, present and in the future, it takes. Sanctions? You can’t be serious. Russia sacrificed 30 million of its people to defeat the Germans in WWII.

    Historical data: Kiev was the capital of the Rus’, Russian people. see Kievan Rus’ in Wikipedia: excerpts from…

    Kievan Rus’ was a loose federation of East Slavic tribes in Europe from the late 9th … The modern peoples of Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia all claim Kievan Rus’ as their cultural inheritance [source: Plokhy, Serhii (2006). The Origins of the Slavic Nations: Premodern Identities in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 10–15. ISBN 978-0-521-86403-9. Retrieved 2010-04-27. "For all the salient differences between these three post-Soviet nations, they have much in common when it comes to their culture and history, which goes back to Kievan Rus', the medieval East Slavic state based in the capital of present-day Ukraine."Kievan Rus' was known as the "land of the Rus'. The term "Kievan Rus'" (Ки́евская Русь Kievskaya Rus’) was coined in the 19th century in Russian historiography to refer to the period when the center was in Kiev (source Tolochko, A. P. (1999). "Khimera "Kievskoy Rusi"". Rodina (in Russian) (8): 29–33.).

    Further...Foundation of the Kievan state:
    East-Slavic tribes and peoples, 8th-9th century.
    Rurik led the Rus' until his death in about 879, bequeathing his kingdom to his kinsman, Prince Oleg, ... Oleg led a military force south along the Dnieper river,... reaching Kiev, and declared Kiev the "mother of Rus' cities."[source:Normanist scholars accept this moment as the foundation of the Kievan Rus' state, while anti-Normanists point to other Chronicle entries to argue that the East Slav Polianes were already in the process of forming a state independently. Martin (2009), pp.37-40.]

    • Jay

      You bring up some excellent historical points, the problem is that the die-hard Obama supporters aren’t interested in truth or history, they’re only interested swallowing White House talking points.

      • Joseph Lapinski

        Thank you for insight. All non-Slavic nations are the same, too. Ask Poland about Russia, duh

        • Jay

          Wow, you really turned out to be quite the horses’ ass.

  • Jay

    The Obama regime openly assisted violent, neo-fascist thugs in helping to overthrow the legitimate, democratically elected govt. in Ukraine.

    • tbphkm33

      Anyone else get the feeling that in 1776, Jay would have been hopping mad about these rebels defacing the name of the King.

      • John Shannon

        without the anonymity of the internet, I don’t think Jay would have opened his mouth at all.

        • Ray in VT

          I don’t know. There are always those people who will scream on the street corners, and I had classy with plenty of people who proudly and confidently advanced positions which had little to no factual backing. They also seemed to regard those who didn’t know their “real truth” as being the victims of brainwashing or propaganda.

          • John Shannon

            Absolutely, but in a time of danger like the American Revolution, I think people of his ilk would be quite mute.

          • Ray in VT

            It is always hard to say what someone may or will do in a particular situation. I think that it is difficult to say for ourselves oftentimes, and it is even harder to do it with others.

          • Jay

            Excellent post Ray.

          • Jay

            Spoken like a true enemy of the First Amendment that you really are.

          • John Shannon

            ‘First Amendment” – you keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.

          • Jay

            You see censorship as a way of silencing people you don’t agree with. I’ve been reading the On Point blogs for years, you’re the only person that I can ever remember who advocated censorship on this site! You’re no friend of Free Speech. Why don’t you move to North Korea, their rigid narrow mind-set society would be just perfect for you.

          • JS

            1. You agreed to the Community Rules, did you not?

            2. The Community Rules proclaim a person can be banned for trolling, or being constantly off-topic.

            3. I proposed banning people who are trolling, or are constantly and consistently off-topic, at least for a ‘time-out’ period.

            Now, explain to me how what I proposed is any different from the Community Rules that YOU agreed to…

            http://www.wbur.org/community/rules

          • JS

            Banning someone for their views is censorship: example: Calling for banning someone because they support/oppose Obama

            Banning someone for disruption, trolling, etc is having standards: example: banning someone for posting “You really are as dumb as you look”

            I only mentioned standards, never viewpoints. I welcome your views on Obama and would never seek to silence them, but I prefer reasoned debate and conversation, not name calling. I realize we all lose our temper sometimes, and post snarky comments, and thats fine. But when it becomes a habit, I feel the moderators should take note, politely inform the poster of the standards contained in the Community Rules, and ask them to keep it civil and on-point.

            Repeated violation of the Community Rules should be dealt with, as you agreed to when you joined, or does your word mean nothing?

          • JS

            And you agreed to “censorship” when you signed on to the forum, as stated in the Community Rules:

            http://www.wbur.org/community/rules

        • Jay

          Oh that’s right, you want to censor all criticism of Obama from this site.

          • JS

            Jay, show me my post where I specifically mentioned banning anyone for their viewpoints?

      • Jay

        You’re questioning my patriotism? I’m an honorably discharged USMC vet, what branch of the military did you serve in?

        • tbphkm33

          Ah, explains more-and-more – how many potatoes did you manage to peel an hour?

          • Jay

            I’m proud to be an honorably discharged USMC veteran.
            P.S. How long have you been so anti-American?

  • Alchemical Reaction

    I recognize Russia is a facist state and must be reigned in. BUT, Crimea VOTED to re-join Russia. The people have spoken. If Putin tries land grabs elsewhere, then apply severe sanctions. But don’t punish Russia for a Crimean vote.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      “The people have spoken.”

      Really? A hastily orchestrated vote two weeks after a military invasion and under martial law does not constitute a valid referendum. Note that Crimean public polls as recently as February had only 40% of the population supporting annexation by Russia. Now it is 95%? Something stinks.

      • John Shannon

        As for the 95%, some people quoted in the news said they would abstain from voting, since a clear “NO” wasn’t offered on the ballot. Someone said it would drive up the count to close to 100%, further delegitimizing the vote.

      • Alchemical Reaction

        You are absolutely right that the referendum may have been fixed. The problem is, we don’t know WHICH ONE was fixed, was it the poll before the “invasion” or the vote after – we don’t know! Most of the news reports have broadcasted interviews of ethnic Russians in Crimea who were balling their eyes out with happiness over the referendum.
        C’est la vie.

      • Alchemical Reaction

        Which one was fixed? The poll before the invasion or the vote after? Most of the news reports have broadcasted interviews with ethnic Russians in Crimea balling their eyes out with sheer happiness over the referendum.

      • Alchemical Reaction

        Was the poll prior to the invasion fixed? Most of the news reports focus on how happy people in Crimea are to “return to Russia”. Even broadcasting interviews with Crimeans crying with happiness over the referendum. NPR has broadcasted these.

    • Madmon

      Sanctions would cut both ways. EU needs to sell its expensive cars and aeroplanes to somebody?

  • Jay

    US Administration Directly Supports Neo-Nazis in Ukraine and its Parliament

    http://nsnbc.me/2014/02/24/us-administration-directly-supports-neo-nazis-ukraine-parliament/

    • Madmon

      A great recipe for Ukraine to loose more land in the East.

    • hennorama

      Jay — your sources get more obscure by the day.

      This one is out of Montenegro, and the linked item cites the founder of the website itself as an expert.

      Very well done, sir.

      • tbphkm33

        I think it is ironic that Jay is siding with Putin in promoting the propaganda about Kiev being driven by fascists. Jay does not even understand who’s brainwashing he is quoting.

        This is akin to labeling the entire US Republican party as fascist and neo-Nazi, simply because they include those sub-groups within the larger Grand-Old-Party.

        • Jay

          Hey tb, you really are as dumb as you look.

          • tbphkm33

            LOL – showcasing your exceptional debating skills learned at the local community college?

            How about maturing a bit and submitting an informed rebuttal. Guess that is hard if you are uninformed.

          • Ray in VT

            “showcasing your exceptional debating skills learned at the local community college”. I think that you are either over selling this individual or greatly maligning the local community college.

          • tbphkm33

            I know, same thought struck me when I wrote “community college.” They do some good work, guess they also fail at times.

          • Jay

            At least people who attend community college weren’t born with their foot in their mouths like you obviously were tb.

          • tbphkm33

            Funny thing is that Jay has no clue who he is attempting to offend – so characteristic of those scoring far under 100 on the IQ scale who are on a mission to prove what their daddy told them about the world and politics has to be true. Inability to look beyond their own brainwashing.

          • Jay

            Brainwashing? You’re the backward ass-thinking libtard who considers every obvious lie put out by this neo-fascist supporting regime to be the Gospel truth.

          • Jay

            Go back to reading your Obama propaganda Ray, it saves you and tb from having to think for yourselves, which is clearly evident.

          • Ray in VT

            Clearly you don’t trouble yourself with having to think. Please spit some more nutty conspiracy nonsense at us.

          • Jay

            Remember this one Ray? “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it”.
            That’s got to be the biggest conspiracy theory of all time.

          • Ray in VT

            And what does that have to do with going on and on about how the President is supporting neo-fascists and Al Qaeda, which is so mind-numbingly oversimplified and outright wrong in so many ways that it leads me to question your ability to discern fact from fantasy?

          • jefe68

            Remember what Mark Twain said about trying to debate idiots: they bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.

          • tbphkm33

            Thank you – so very true.

          • hennorama

            jefe68 — thanks again for that excellent Twainism!

          • brettearle

            Henn–

            Your opinions please….the first opinion, at least, being without the (understandably) requisite nit-picking:

            Let’s say a territory–Vancouver Island– at the border close to the US and Western Canada, had always been up for geopolitical grabs:

            This Territory had suffered from a schizophrenic history, with an independent streak, but, currently, was under the control and ownership, technically, of Canada.

            Then, because the central government in Canada–which presides over the sovereignty of all its provinces and which ideology is more closely allied with the US than with any other dominion–implodes, there is now widespread instability.

            This chaos turns into dissolution, amid protest and violence, resulting in a fledgling central government, noticeably anti-American in sentiment.

            Correspondingly, Vancouver Island, filled with a heritage of native Americans [not just American Indians but Giants of the Earth ancestral pilgrims, originally from the Old World] experiences a partial resurgence of its erstwhile American identity, that may very well be bolstered by a nervous-Nellie Washington White House.

            Indeed, reports specifically point to US naval operations, not simply bordering on the `protectorate’ of Vancouver Island; but also actually entering its territory–so as to shield US communications and security installations, at Fort Hardy, which help to bolster America’s surveillance & relay capacities through the reconnaissance of an, “I Can See Russia From My House”, channel…up through Anchorage and points North.

            In the interim the new Canadian government, repairs to the Kremlin, so as to shore up its allegiance and receive diplomatic assurances at an arranged press conference with Vladimir Putin.

            Shortly thereafter, Vancouver Island, holds a pleboscite, designed for its residents to call for a vote of independence and the right to seek annexation from its forebears, the United States of America.

            Putin and Lavrov and the Russian Parliament are incensed, calling these maneuvers to be incited by Western Imperialist Dictates and promising a . permanent return to a Cold War footing.

            They impose Energy sanctions on Western Allies, as well as travel restrictions on key Attachés.

            The Old Guard Soviet citizenry rises up, too, like a Phoenix, from its former ashes–and before we know it, MSM declares a 100 years’ war….

          • Don_B1

            One consideration that makes your alternate history more closely resemble what happened in Crimea and what would not happen as your scenario contends, if Vancouver Island was a democracy:

            It counts as to how that “plebiscite” was held and how free the discussion of the issues was before it took place.

          • brettearle

            Thanks much for your comments [and the sp. correction, of course].

            I appreciate you taking the time to read this.

            Let me consider what you say.

          • brettearle

            Does RealPolitik take into account the de facto opportunity for a plebiscite in a territory that does not presume an official claim of Democracy?

          • Don_B1

            I guess it depends on the “RealPolitik”!

            But I would want a reasonable discussion, open and free to all, though with some unfortunately required restrictions on monopolization by any small groups, etc., so that the consequences of each choice on the ballot, which must be inclusive of all reasonable options, to be discussed with as little emotional content as possible.

            A lot of difficult to determine constraints there, but it is the “real world.”

          • brettearle

            Well said.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — let’s add to the scenario, and assume that about 25 years ago, Canada had broken up, and its provinces each became independent nations.

            Now we have Quebec trying to “defend” Francophones in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, eastern Ontario, and Maine. France has extended an invitation to Quebec to form a new French Federation, and thousands of armed French-speaking “defenders,” dressed in military garb but without insignia, have suddenly shown up in large numbers in the “target” areas.

            All of these thought experiments are interesting, but difficult to construct in such a way as to be closely comparable to Ukraine/Crimea/Russia, without positing an authoritarian virtual dictatorship on one side of the issue.

            If your question is “Does Putin have an historical rationale for his activities in Crimea?,” then the answer is Yes.

            But that doesn’t mean the activities are either right or legal.

          • brettearle

            Thanks.

            The priority for my scenario has more to do with kettle black/ox-gored perception rather than international law or moral turpitude

            But, of course, Law and Morality are right up there, as considerations.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — you’re welcome, but I’m not sure I really added much that hasn’t already been considered.

          • Don_B1

            But I would say that you put it in a new context that clarified some aspects.

            Just as I hope my contribution in another post on this thread complimented yours and also helped in some small way.

          • hennorama

            Don_B1 — thank you for your very kind words, a complementary compliment, as it were. ;-)

          • Jay

            That’s why I refuse to debate an idiot like you jefe.

          • jefe68

            Wow, what a come back.
            What do you do for an encore…

            I say, I say, son, why don’t you run along and play with the kiddies and let the adults get on with their discussion.

          • Jay

            Ray, your problem is that you can’t distinguish Obama propaganda from fiction, which in reality, are nearly identical.

          • Ray in VT

            Nope. I’m good with distinguishing propaganda from more accurate or objective sources, which is why I am not repeating claims being pushed by the Kremlin or Damascus.

          • Ray in VT

            Also, how is that a conspiracy theory? Perhaps, in addition to analogies, the exact nature of what constitutes those things escape you. For instance, believing that President Obama was born in Kenya and that his grandmother said that he was is a conspiracy theory.

          • Don_B1

            There is proof that Speaker Boehner also LIED about the PPACA also, and in a worse way!

            Look it up!

          • jefe68

            I think it’s time for Bugs to pontificate:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxGgnI6kCrs

          • Jay

            Stick to something you can easily understand, and requires absolutely no thought process on your part jefe68, cartoons and Obama propaganda.

          • jefe68

            Now, now, don’t dis on Bugs.

          • hennorama

            jefe68 — in addition to being an anti-Obamite, this guy’s an anti-Leporidite.

            (h/t Cosmo Kramer)

          • Jay

            You are wrong again hen, I oppose leaders who support neo-fascist thugs, which is the exact opposite of you and your President.

          • Don_B1

            Take your own advice! Then in a couple years you might have enough understanding to come back here and make some intelligent posts that actually add to the discussion.

          • brettearle

            More!

          • Jay

            Debating a die-hard Obamanoid like yourself, what a waste of time. All you would do is regurgitate White House talking points.

          • Don_B1

            Then why are you wasting it and taking up long stretches of this blog?

            I suspect it is to turnoff those who come here to actually learn something.

          • Don_B1

            Going ad hominem already, so soon into the argument?

            You must feel that you are on solid ground!

        • andor_2001

          Please, watch this video. It is happening..The respected Chief of the TV-1 in Kiev is assaulted, forced to write the resignation letter, taken away afterward.. never seen again. In the beginning they discuss the nationalities of the Channel One personalities, claiming most of them being Russian ( a big no-no in progressive Ukraine!) , then … watch yourself.. Humanity retreats where fascism blossoms..
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27H5Y0hTYfs

      • Jay

        Sorry hen, I don’t give neo-fascists a green light of support like the current President does.

  • http://tombstone001.blogspot.com/ tombstone001

    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article44868.html

    In the inimitable and immortal words of that heroine of all transgender sociopaths, the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton sums up the double standard: What Difference Does It Make? The bipartisan support for an unbalanced death wish to jump-start the DEFCON alert level, reflected in the comments of General Dempsey: US ready for military response to Russia if Crimean conflict escalates, should alarm everyone. “We do have treaty obligations with our NATO allies. And I have assured them that if that treaty obligation is triggered [in Europe], we would respond.”

    For a listing of reports on Lessons of the Ukrainian Coup, examine the latest BATR RealPolitik Newsletter – March 13, 2014. Especially appreciate the Robert Parry article, Neocons and the Ukraine Coup, which targets the perverse mentality of the NeoCon influence.

    “Now, you have Assistant Secretary of State Nuland, the wife of prominent neocon Robert Kagan, acting as a leading instigator in the Ukrainian unrest, explicitly seeking to pry the country out of the Russian orbit. Last December, she reminded Ukrainian business leaders that, to help Ukraine achieve “its European aspirations, we have invested more than $5 billion.” She said the U.S. goal was to take “Ukraine into the future that it deserves.”

    Any attempt to establish sanity in foreign policy must recognize that the betrayers within have sold out America for the last century. Foggy Bottom is the depository of dual loyalists as explained in the Totalitarian Collectivism essay, The State Department’Neocons and the Ukraine Coups New World Order Agenda.

  • http://tombstone001.blogspot.com/ tombstone001

    Our side, ” news and briefings”, their side, ” threats to human race and propaganda”, wake up people!

  • Jay

    A Woods, what does the A stand for? Adolf?

  • Jay

    God bless Crimea for voting thumbs down to the neo-fascism violence, and chaos Obama, Kerry, and Nuland are trying to export there.

  • georgepotts

    The Russian are laughing at the ability of the United States to do anything.

    This is the cost of Obama’s failure in Syria and Kerry’s slip to let Russian negotiate with Hassad to get rid of the chemical weapons.

    The Syrians have not destroyed a single chemical weapons.

    We need a President who can put on big boy pants.

    • The poster formerly known as t

      You want a war? YOU pay for it, not me. Pay with it with your taxes.
      I wonder if you’re a real person or a paid
      shill for a think tank somewhere.
      You have way too much time on your hands to make all these inane posts.

  • Coastghost

    How’s Edward Snowden’s reputation faring these days? The acclaimed “human rights campaigner” has been awfully silent (apart from his SXSW self-glorification) about the Russian domestic political scene. He hasn’t come out to defend the punk feminist collective that Disqus prefers not to name, he hasn’t criticized Putin’s seizure of Crimea. His performance conveys every impression of his being a paid Russian agent.
    Even if he is a self-styled prisoner of conscience (Snowden consents to self-imprisonment in Russia just as Julian Assange confines himself to the Ecuadoran embassy in London),

  • andor_2001

    Gene, I am with you… Have you seen this video with “Svoboda” nazis attacking the Director of the TV1 station, accusing him of being pro-russian? They start beating on him, the thugs, at 4;40, forcing him to resign, he is later taken away (kidnapped) and nobody knows his fate. Hitler would be proud of these Sturm Zoldaten
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27H5Y0hTYfs

  • Kate Arkhipova

    this ambassador was expelled from Russia in disgrace. People living in the Crimean Peninsula 97% vote to join Russia. Disturbances, terrorists and assassins were from the United States. Putin raised the Russian economy. Russia won the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. Russians respect Putin. Hostilities in the Crimea was not from Russia, they were mercenaries from other countries. Copyright lying hypocrite. In the Russian people against the U.S. State Department, because the U.S. invaded our country with guns.

  • Kate Arkhipova

    I am Russian, my relatives live in Ukraine. Conflict in Ukraine was provoked from Western countries and the United States, do not believe what you are told your media. Lying to you and set up your people against our. Ukraine is our brotherly nation, the war between us will never be. Ukrainian people seeking protection in Russia. Both Russia and Ukraine Putin defends implementation of the United States. Putin big well done! Putin did not give offense to our brotherly nation, hostilities, Russia and Ukraine does not lead, it’s a lie!!

  • Kate Arkhipova

    The U.S. needs the Crimean peninsula to put in there a NATO base and have power over Russia. Russia proud country and will not allow us to frighten.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Where did you get that propaganda? Sounds like unjustified paranoia.

      Propaganda doesn’t work too well over here because we still have a free press Journalists critical of the regime aren’t jailed or killed.

      • Kate Arkhipova

        I read your press, look at your TV, have friends in Alaska and in the other state. and know that the U.S. citizens misled. Respect for Putin in Russia and in Ukraine has increased. 97 per cent of citizens voluntarily voted for the occurrence of the Crimean peninsula of the Russia. And there about this people celebrate.
        19.03.2014 17:51 пользователь “Disqus” написал:

        • J__o__h__n

          Can you see Alaska from your house?

        • John Shannon

          97% of the people who voted, voted for succession for Ukraine, not 97% of the citizens. And a vote with armed soldiers standing by can hardly be considered “voluntary”

          • Ray in VT

            I recall that one of my undergrad professors once talked about elections and such in parts of the world where leaders were returned to office with numbers similar to 97%. He was pretty dismissive of the validity of such outcomes, saying that “Jesus Christ himself could not get” that sort of a return.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Amazing how this 97% number keeps coming up — like the number of climate scientists…

          • Ray in VT

            Experts largely agree, but some with committed anti-evolution or anti-government action stances find it easier to believe in conspiracies, and the Internet has made it far easier to bypass the scientific community and take their questionable “findings” directly to those who may also share their biases. It’ll stick with the best assessments of the scientific community.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I’ve been warned that the thread police will attack if we start a AGW propaganda debate over here so we need to tread lightly. But I did find it humorous that Putin, Saddam and the alarmists all came up with the 97% support number for their individual causes.

          • Ray in VT

            I find it amusing that you would make such a comparison. Perhaps your selective reading of the science compels you to believe that any significant part of the scientific community, especially those who are most involved in climate research, is unconvinced by the evidence amassed to date.

            Do you also doubt these findings:

            97% of kids play video games
            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/16/survey-97-percent-of-chil_n_126948.html

            97% of Americans plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day “in one form or another”

            http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/survey-finds-97-percent-of-americans-plan-to-celebrate-st-patricks-day-249844311.html

            Snack attacks affect 97%

            http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20140108005486/en/Driscoll%E2%80%99s-Reveals-Snack-Attacks-Affect-97-Surveyed#.Uym2rYUXe5A

            97% of companies want to identify potential cost savings

            http://shipandbunker.com/news/world/977915-survey-97-of-ship-owners-and-operators-seeking-energy-savings

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Yes, I doubt them (without even reading them).
            I’m of Irish heritage and I didn’t even wear green on Monday.

            But as I said before I won’t engage in a AGW propaganda debate here.

          • Ray in VT

            So, are you no longer going to push your “skeptical” propaganda? If so, then thanks.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Ha. You won’t silence me that easily.

            I will continue to defend science and the ghost of Feynman forever.

          • Ray in VT

            Then you should probably stop citing some of the people that you do. Doubt may be a product that sells well to some, but it is interesting how many researchers are not buying it. Perhaps they know something that you don’t, but I’m sure that you think that they don’t know what they’re talking about.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I don’t even know how to respond to your post.
            ‘citing some of the people’ Who? About what?

            ” Perhaps they know something that you don’t” Who is ‘they’? What are they saying?

            ‘”Doubt may be a product that sells well to some”
            Doubt about what? What does the IPCC science say about uncertainty? Do you know? Much of the propaganda centers around honest communication on the uncertainty of the science. It is in the IPCC science report — not the summary for policy makers.

          • Ray in VT

            You’re up on the science, supposedly, so you should know what the community says, at least what Watts, Curry, Spencer and other skeptics likely say about it.

            Doubt about what the findings of the scientific community’s research says. The conspiratorial nature of some of the “skeptical” positions, with its allegations of data manipulation, incompetence and “group think” among that vast majority of scientists whose research supports the conclusion that human activity is playing a significant role in the changes that are occurring. I don’t see much “honest communication” from the skeptics and deniers.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            You should really check out Dr. Curry’s blog. She is all about improving the scientific process and improving communication. Also, she provides an open forum for feedback.

            She has a lot of praise for the recent APS process.

            “Finally, Some Real Climate Science”

            Note, the process is now open and transparent and is about making the science better.

            http://quadrant.org.au/opinion/tony-thomas/2014/03/finally-real-climate-science/

          • Ray in VT

            Feh. I have read some of her stuff and some of the criticism from her peers, and I am not overly impressed. I have doubts about those who are in principle opposed to collective action and favor individual choices as an effective alternative, as well as those who choose to associate themselves with energy-backed think tanks like Heartland. In short, I think that she may have an ideological bias common among critics of climate science. However, I’d rather have her hash out her differences with her peers, who are far more able to judge the validity and accuracy of her work.

            There’s been plenty of real climate science, and I don’t count much of the “skeptical” community’s work in there.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            “However, I’d rather have her hash out her differences with her peers,
            who are far more able to judge the validity and accuracy of her work.”
            This isn’t about her research. And she is working with her peers. Clearly, you decided to ignore the link to the article on the American Physical Society (APS) review process. Are the alarmists critical of the new APS process? If so, why? Because it is now open and transparent?

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t know what people think about the process, and I did look at the link. Given their history, then I would be concerned about the inclusion of Lindzen and Christy, although it appears that they won’t be drafting the policy statement, and it is good to have contrary opinions when formulating ideas and questions.

          • jefe68

            The only amazing thing I see is how you can’t help yourself in using any excuse to post some utter BS about things you feel are not within the confines of your narrow minded world view.

          • jefe68

            There also seems to have been no option to vote no.

        • jefe68

          “have friends in Alaska ”?

          What I see here is nothing short of you defending Russian nationalism.

      • Ray in VT

        I’m pretty highly disinclined to give much credence to quite a number of claims regarding this situation that as they are being represented by the Russian media.

  • Kate Arkhipova

    I read your press, look at your TV, have friends in Alaska and in the other state. and know that the U.S. citizens misled. Respect for Putin in Russia and in Ukraine has increased. 97 per cent of citizens voluntarily voted for the occurrence of the Crimean peninsula of the Russia. And there about this people celebrate.

  • Kate Arkhipova

    U.S. media reports that Americans now are not recommended to travel to Russia, particularly in the Rostov region, because of the proximity of our region to Russia and possible here hostilities and armed conflicts. I live in the center of Rostov region in the city of Rostov-on-Don and I can say that this is false, there is no military equipment or military. People holiday mp about joining the Crimean peninsula. Q Why do you lie and set up against Russia?

    • Don_B1

      Why did Russian broadcasts to the citizens of Crimea, whose access to outside sources was cut off prior to the weekend’s vote, claim that there was a lot of shooting of Russian ethnics in Kiev by westerners?

      I believe the “hostilities and armed conflicts” was a reference to the Crimea region, where there actually is that possibility. And should that come to pass, then there might be vigilante action in the Rostov region as a result of the inflamed emotions that would cause.

  • leibniz09

    Tom, and many others, need to broaden their reading list and fast here as the west pushes World War III. Thermonuclear war anyone? Being a mouthpiece of the western intelligence agencies is not independent journalism.

    I would suggest start reading Paul Craig Roberts many essays on this crisis.

    Also note that the pre-nomination book, Obama: The Postmodern Coup-The Making of a Manchurian Candidate, correctly forecast that an
    Obama presidency would lead to war with Russia and China, as well as a stating that Obama would be a complete puppet, of Wall Street/City of London. Yes that book has been sadly proven correct.

    Obama could have been great, now he is a war criminal who should have been impeached over bombing and sodomizing Libya.

    • Adam

      I thought Kate’s post was stupid, but this is on a whole other level.

  • Adam

    “97 per cent of citizens voluntarily voted for the occurrence of the Crimean peninsula of the Russia.” Under duress from the Russian military, with no status quo option on the ballot, with the Tatar minority boycotting the vote, with the referendum offered and enacted by a Crimean Parliament led by a Russian-installed separatist who’s party received 4% of the vote in the last election. Russian propaganda has tried to portray Maidan at different times as led by a decadent Europe that would enforce homosexuality on the public, as a fascist coup, as a Nazi coup; it’s absurd and bares no relation to the facts. Ukrainian Jewish leaders wrote an open letter to Putin repudiating the Kremlin’s narrative of events entirely and castigating Putin as a liar. Crimea has no relation to Kosovo as well, Russia’s favorite new equivalency. Putin said yesterday that ‘you can not call something white one day and black the next’; I would ask what was Russia’s position in relation to Serbia when Kosovo democratically declared independence after a decade of Serb-blocked negotiations? Kosovo was also the scene of brutal Serb aggression and ethnic cleansing, unlike the trumped up threats to the Russian “compatriots” of the Crimean peninsula. We need to be smart and see Russian propaganda and the counterfactual narrative they are pushing for what they are, a cynical and aggressive attempt to establish facts on the ground in pursuit of a geopolitical goal.

  • Kate Arkhipova

    for us Ukrainian people and the land as native. We often go to the Crimea to rest at sea, some relatives living there, many Ukrainians live here. Between us there is no war, the conflict provoked by the U.S. State Department. I love and respect of U.S. citizens, but your prizident leads with Russian cold war.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Hey Kate, what happened to the treaty that Russia signed with the Ukraine in 1993 to respect its borders? It appears that Russia broke that treaty.

    • Don_B1

      I am sorry to read your interpretation of what has happened, though it is understandable with the heavy propaganda that has been coming from President Putin’s Russia.

      The immediate cause of this Russian action (the seizure of Crimea) was the protests in Kiev and throughout the Ukraine over President Victor Yanukovych’s turn away from a commercial trade treaty with the EU to an offer of some $15 billion from President Putin.

      One of the good parts of the EU treaty would have been the reduction of corruption in The Ukraine, which has been growing exponentially under President Yanukovych’s administration, at a level in the $billions! An indication of the level of that corruption has been documented by those who went to the President’s mansion/chateau.

      This action was something President Putin has had in mind since he first took office, and it is the rebuilding of the power of Russia as it existed under the U.S.S.R. and the forced removal, by Ukrainian citizens on their own as their revulsion of the corruption grew, of President Putin’s puppet, President Yanukovych, forced him to act at this moment, not some later time with yet another excuse if he could not accomplish the nominal reunification of Russia and The Ukraine without military power through his stooge.

      • leibniz09

        So I suppose you think that the $5 Billion in U.S. Tax payer money that Victoria Nuland bragged about using to overthrow the democratically elected government of the Ukraine, utilizing violence and murder means nothing?

        That the United States is now supporting a strange combination of neo Nazi gangs and mainly Jewish Kleptocrats, ready to loot the Ukraine for the IMF and the sake of the bankrupt western banking establishment is a disgusting degradation of the United States.

        Putin is acting as a real “American” President, in the historical tradition that Russia is a historical ally of the United States from its support of the Union during the civil war, against the very same London/Wall Street cabal that launched the civil war and are launching world war 3 with this puppet or rather “boy’ of London/Wall Street, Obama.

        • Don_B1

          The money was NOT, repeat, NOT spent to overthrow the democratically elected government of the Ukraine; it was spent to help the different parties and interest groups of the country to learn how to use democratic methods to reconcile their differences peacefully rather than by fighting in the streets.

          See:

          http://youtu.be/2y0y-JUsPTU?t=7m25s

          particularly around the 7 to 8 minute interval. [Thanks to hennorama for the link.] A transcript is provided by hennorama elsewhere on this program blog.

          • leibniz09

            But to overthrow a democratically elected government using violence is exactly what it did…and Victoria Nuland-Kagan will congratulate the violence with cupcakes! What utter hypocrisy.

            What does one expect from a NeoCon Democrat anyways.
            W

          • Ray in VT

            So the aim of that aid, going back to 1993, was to overthrow a corrupt leader in 2013-2014? Yanukovych could have done much to defuse this situation early on, instead of attempting to either dismiss or squash his political opponents.

          • leibniz09

            I guess you like fake ‘color revolutions’ and their consequences….because that is what we have been paying for with the Gene Sharp/Soros/NED soft revolution canard. This is all classic CIA workings.

            Watch the film, Yanukovych’s forces were essentially unarmed in the face of Molotov Cocktails, guns and snipers shooting from the protesters held positions.

          • Ray in VT

            I “like” such things if I think that they are supporting worthwhile goals. I do not like corrupt governments, governments that brutalize their own people. Reports of government forces firing upon and killing protestors disagree with your assessment that Yanukovych’s forces “were essentially unarmed”. If you want to portray the widespread public dissatisfaction with Yanukovych with CIA machinations, then feel free to do so. I just don’t think that the evidence from the ground supports such a contention.

          • leibniz09

            Well we have Dr. Olga Bogomolet, a physician, who has refused a post in the new coup government of Ukraine, who has said that shots that killed protesters came from a building controlled by the protesters, which she reported to a minister from Estonia.

            Now I do not think you can get better evidence and testimony from someone on the ground there, who one would rather suspect, considering she was once rewarded by one of Soros’s groups with a prize, that she would be biased in the favor of the uprising,

            Do we hear of this in the western media? Not really, but through say Voltairenet.

          • Ray in VT

            I had heard that account, but one statement from one individual does not disprove the other statements and accounts that run counter to those.

          • leibniz09

            Like whose John Kerry’s, Victoria Nuland’s, John McCain’s, Catherine Ashton’s, Bill Kristol’s….

          • TELew

            Who is Victoria Nuland?

          • leibniz09

            Who is Victoria Nuland you ask? Well other than being the husband of Robert Kagan, the neocon warmonger who pushed for our war with Iraq, and is probably one of the architects of the 9/11 attacks which perfectly fit the billing of the PNAC, Project for a New American Century, need for a dramatic trigger event to launch America into military hyper-drive to satisfy this cabal seek Erzat Israel, etc etc, Victoria Nuland is a warmonger and criminal in her own right for helping to engineer this overthrow of the legitimate, democratically elected, government of Ukraine. It was Nuland who was significantly caught on tape saying FU to the EU as concerns the unfolding of the crisis in the Ukraine.
            Nuland’s is part of that group of policy wonks run by the financial oligarchy who wants to destroy the Ukraine, turn it into chaos. That chaos is demonstrated in what we are debating about at the edge of World War III, and where Nuland supports now a strange malange of Neo-Nazi’s and jewish klepticrats, who are selling the Ukraine to the IMF for austerity.
            So who is Victoria Nuland, just another criminal hanging around Obama.

          • Ray in VT

            So Nuland’s husband helped to plan 9/11?

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, totally. The news accounts of the unrest in the Ukraine and the actions taken there by forces loyal to Yanukovych were all written by those people.

          • hennorama

            Don_B1 — TY for the mention, and you’re welcome. As always. I find that having actual information, facts, and context to be helpful.

            That some would believe “Obama gave $5 billion to neo-Nazi thugs to overthrow Ukraine!” and similar would be absurd to the point of hilarity were the situation not so serious.

            It just goes to show that lies repeated often enough do work on some people.

            Thanks again for the mention.

      • Art Herttua

        Prior to the coup, Victoria Nuland, stated the she was meeting with the opposition, that the US had invested $5b in Ukraine. In a leaked phone call, she said she wanted “Yats” to be the new president. http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ukraine-crisis/ukraine-power-play-focus-f-eu-leaked-call-n34711

        Protesters, police and civilians were shot by snipers from the opposion. See: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/05/ukraine-bugged-call-catherine-ashton-urmas-paet

        After that, Nuland’s pick became president.

    • John_Hamilton

      I don’t have any response to the content of what you have written, but am enjoying the read. Your sincerity comes through, and is refreshing to see. I hope things turn out the best for all involved, but no doubt some will suffer and some will gain. Be glad you aren’t in Syria.

  • Kate Arkhipova

    Crimean Tatars are boycotting? Yes rally Tatars was. the fact that the leader of the Crimean Tatars asked not to go to a vote, but all Crimean Tatars voted. 22 representatives from different countries to observe the voting and vote legally recognized by all international law. This is one people and one country. Military action by Russia was not. But terrorists caught with Matsdana reported that they were working on an agreement with the United States. Mercenaries were from the U.S.. Hard to believe? But Obama is a criminal, most aggressive in relation to other countries, but it will never power over Russia and Ukraine. Russia is ready to abandon the dollar and economic ties with the United States.

    • Don_B1

      I at first thought you were just a misinformed Ukrainian. My mistake. If you are not ethnically Russian, you appear to be totally Russian, at least in your misguided sympathies, and seem not to be responsive to any real facts of what is going on.

      I hope you can prove me wrong, but you will have to provide strong evidence for your absurdist claims to do that.

    • Adam

      It’s absurd to label Obama has the most aggressive international political figure, when the consensus about his policy domestically and internationally has been he has been far less interventionist than Bush, and even negligent in some cases–Iran in 2009, Syria, Egypt, the Arab Spring to name a few. He has led a strong international sanctions regime on Iran when hawks from Israel and the US have pushed for military action, he put a firm limit on the bulk of the Afghan war troops when hawks wanted to follow the military timeline and he has tried to work through the UN and Congress, particularly with Syria. I’m done trying to argue with someone who has so obviously swallowed the Kremlin line.

  • Kate Arkhipova

    Do not you understand. Ukrainian people in agony, fear and the people he turned to Russia for help. In my town daily migrates 12,000 Ukrainians.

    • leibniz09

      Kate is absolutely right.

      Here we have the west utilizing armed thugs, well paid, and fed by the warmongering psychopaths of the west to which Victoria Nuland-Kagan takes the cake, or gives out the poison cake to her thieves who violently overthrew a democratically elected government in the Ukraine.

      Putin knows this is about a much wider war against Russia as we are witnessing with Obama’s destruction of Syria and Libya.

      All of this is predicated upon the fact that the west is entirely bankrupt and can only stay in power through the point of a gun, which is the modus operandi of the British Empire to which America has been hijacked into being its war bully.

      • Don_B1

        The scenario you describe is a figment of the paranoid Russian psyche. Admittedly some of the actions of the West have played into this false picture, and should have been better thought out, but it has always been the hopes that building a stronger capitalist economy in the countries of the collapsed U.S.S.R. in order to provide a basis for peaceful growth all across the world that has inspired the West to make financial investments in those countries.

        • Kate Arkhipova

          I’m a woman with two higher educations, ask respectful and respectful answer. From my psyche all good. Do not worry. and i am russian!

          • Don_B1

            The West is actually not bankrupt, or anywhere near it, but it is going through a period where the rich, like your oligarchs, have been trying to turn our middle class into peasants by cutting the taxes on the wealthy and cutting the spending on the poor which tries to make up for the way large businesses cut the pay for many jobs. It is similar in some respects to the way, in the U.S.S.R., the government subsidized apartments, etc.

            Thus the widespread claims that the government is bankrupt. If you can read the blogs of Paul Krugman, Brad DeLong or Mike Konczal, you can get an idea of what is going on with the economies of the United States and Europe. They are not bankrupt, but the rich are trying to make bankruptcy possible but so far I still have hope and some confidence that their efforts will be turned back.

            When I mentioned psyche, I meant a cultural meme, such as the American idealization of the days of its west, where cowboy movies show the hero coming to rescue the sheep farmer from the cattle baron against the criminal gunslinger who terrorized the local merchants, etc. It is a background idea that colors, to some extent, the approach to geopolitics in most countries, although the meme is different for each country or ethnic culture. These memes are seldom really examined for their accuracy or relevance to whatever the current issue is that is being discussed.

            I look forward to further discussion if you feel it might be useful.

          • leibniz09

            The west not bankrupt you say! Well I guess you still fall for the Greenspan/Bernanke/Yellin shell game and as perpetuated by Wall Street’s very own fake dialectic of Republicans and Democrats who support the evisceration of the United States of America and the world. Yes we are enslaved to the Fed’s creation of credit from debt, which is but a lien upon the American People. The IMF/World Bank loansharking operations are part of the same

            The attack on Ukraine is all about western economic hegemony whose ultimate aim is to destroy Russia and China as those powerhouses that could buck the fake bucks that putting the world into perpetual debt.

            We do not need to hear from fakes like Krugman who really does not understand economics, for if he did, he would be demanding that we return to the policies of Parity, which supports and earned income economy based upon monetizing of the actual costs of producing essential wealth (FOOD).

            Yes we need to return to raw material economics as reflected in the 1942 Steagall Amendment, then we will start to get out of debt as earned income becomes the basis of our currency, once again, not credit based upon debt, and those earnings are circulated through the rest of the national economy, producing jobs.

    • jimino

      Can you help me understand why of these two countries that broke from the old Soviet Union, Ukraine, which kept close ties to Russia, has one-third the economic output as Poland, which more closely allied itself to the west? Why has the Russia-allied Ukraine been such an abysmal economic failure?

  • leibniz09

    The answer to this is Indict Obama, Kerry, Clinton, Nuland, Biden, etc for war-crimes, which means impeach these murderers.

    Any Congressperson not willing to impeach should resign for not being able to uphold their Oath of Office. This means going against party and politics and getting back to principle.

    The Democrats did not want to impeach Bush/Cheney because it would get in the way of electing a Democrat President. (To whom they wanted to inherit all the powers of the Unitary Executive grabbed by Bush)

    Well we have our “Democrat” President, and he has surpassed even Bush and Cheney with his warmongering.

    Obama was chosen because he would be the face lift for imperialism, able to do things that Bush could never get away with, but many liberals are to stupid and work hand and hand with their right wing twin doppleganger twins of the Neocon variety, to actually oppose war.

    Impeach Obama before a right wing fool or Killery inherits totally unopposed destruction of the Constitution and unlimited warmongering.

    • Adam

      Your logic, intelligence and grip on reality were impeached long ago.

      • leibniz09

        Enjoy your world….hey that is not contrail nor even a chemtrail overhead, no they are going to fast, its either a meteor or ICBM’s that have just been launched.

        Much thanks for your support of World War III thus far, have you not learned anything from history?

        I am sorry that principle should be so foreign to you.

    • jimino

      Well, now we know that Putin’s Russia knows how to utilize the internet and its myriad comment sections to spread propaganda. Please tell us, what is the succesor to the section of the KGB that is in charge of these efforts?

      • leibniz09

        Here are some quotes from President Putin, and I do consider him the only real example of a President of a nation in distinction to the warmongers of the west.

        Putin:
        “time after time, we have been deceived, decisions have been taken
        behind our backs, and we have been presented with a fait accompli. So it
        was with NATO’s expansion to the East, and with the emplacement of
        military infrastructure at our borders. We were told repeatedly, ‘This
        doesn’t have to do with you.’ That’s easy to say. And so it was with the
        deployment of BMD systems. Despite all our warnings, the machine is
        operating, it’s moving ahead.”

        “neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites [who] executed this coup.
        They continue to set the tone in Ukraine to this day. . . We can all
        clearly see the intentions of these ideological heirs of Bandera,
        Hitler’s accomplice during World War II.”

        “neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites [who] executed this coup.
        They continue to set the tone in Ukraine to this day. . . We can all
        clearly see the intentions of these ideological heirs of Bandera,
        Hitler’s accomplice during World War II.”

  • Alchemical Reaction

    Don’t punish Russia over an ecstatic Crimean referendum. But YES, reign in Russian paranoia and any further land grabs after Crimea. Which one was fixed, the poll prior to the invasion or the referendum after the invasion?

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      month old Mercedes-Benz CL-Class CL63 AMG only from working off a home pc… go
      now C­a­s­h­D­u­t­i­e­s­.­ℂ­o­m

  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

    FULL COVERAGE: http://hammernews.blogspot.com

    KIEV: Great- they are booting out Russia from the G8. It’s too bad to see thread taken over by muddled Russians with idiotic conspiracy theories- sadly probably 80% think this invasion was great- then they also have thousands of paid “commenters” and hackers to attack critics.

    The 97% Soviet “vote” for Crimean annexation is typical- Russians cheat and lie so badly their results and explanations are like a bad comedy routine- reportedly 123% of Sevastopol residents voted in an election without a “no change” option (join Russia or go to the 1992 Crimean Independence), about about double the number of actual voters: 474,137 votes vs. only 385,462 citizens (or as they said in US 2000, a significant overvote). An 82% turnout is nonsense too- the 250,000 Tatars (13%) insanely boycotted (I asked Tatar leader Umarov why) and probably most of the Ukrainians stayed away, intimidated by armed thugs at polling places. Polls put real support for Russian merger at 41-42%. I said before jokingly Russian citizens + soldiers would be allowed to vote- that was the case, with a Russian reporter voting.

    Now the question is whether Ukraine can hold the restive East, roiled by Russian “tourist” subversion. Initial reports aren’t good- the Lugansk admin building was invaded and occupied again by Russian subversives the 16th, and still no loyal (Western) militsia/Internal Ministry troops have been sent East to purge the Separatists and Russian loyalists among the SBU, local militsia, who stood by passively when a large crowd ransacked and destroyed a building housing a Pravy Sector office and have supported paid Yanukovich thugs (according to
    Croatian journo Miho Dobrasin), or seal the borders against busloads of Russian “tourist” infiltrators. I asked Klitschko about that, but he totally ducked the question; former Defense Minister Grytsenko said he’d recommended doing that and mobilizing the military 2 weeks ago, but nothing was done. LINKS

    Another real bad result of the Russian Invasion is the enormous theft of Crimean resources- all the Mig-19′s in Belbek; the Crimean oil gas co. and the giant oil/gas reserves in the Black Sea- Shell just cancelled negotiations on leases in suspiciously bad timing.

  • Joe KomaGawa

    Crimea situation, IMHO, is not repeatable in other situations where there are are large numbers of Russian/Soviet myth sympathizers. I think that if the Crimea had resisted, the West would have been forced to act. Therefore a map for the exception to Crimea is to resist. Of course this means people die, but that is the international political reality. The people who are meek or sympathetic to an annexation, will not get the support. Second “of course” is that we have the risk of another Syria. Syria resisted/supported an overflow which enough of the population did not accept. And we are in the 4th year. there isn’t a neat answer.

  • Dee Dee B

    Comical hypocrisy! We have the gall to attempt to stand on some moral high ground lecturing Russia invading another country ( btw didn’t know you could ” vote ” to be invaded) when we- the USA has invaded ( not by vote) brutalized raped and murdered our way through the middle east then installing puppet regimes..

    • Don_B1

      Just because the U.S. elected a bunch of ignorant neocons for the previous administration does not, and should not, mean that other countries can imitate or actually do worse things in some actions which will prevent world peace. And promoting world understanding that can contribute to world peace should be the prime foreign policy goal of the U.S., which is what President Obama is attempting right now, playing a long game since the short game is too fraught with danger.

      • Dee Dee B

        world understanding.. world peace.. et al..Miss America Pageant.. the Fact is as always ..
        #1 its none of our damn business..
        #2 Again- when you are guilty of committing war crimes and genocides against other people and installing puppet regimes.. you have zero moral high ground to stand on.. kind of like a killer lecturing a rapist on how bad he s behaving..

        • Don_B1

          But when the U.S. has fallen, it can never get back up?

          President Putin is trying to revive Russia from its fall in a way that is destructive to the world, while President Obama is trying to restore a positive role in U.S. policy.

          President Putin was more than influential in the election of President Yanukovych of Ukraine, and his corruption which had led to the loss of around $15 billion of Ukraine citizens’ tax money was the immediate cause of the street protests, which while violent (mostly because of the way Yanukovych tried to suppress them) led to the elected parliament to depose the President.

          I will take the (admittedly flawed) path offered by President Obama over President Putin’s.

  • http://freeourfreemarkets.org/ Steve Banicki

    Obama deserves credit for holding off the gun slingers who wanted to take military action. The problem is we should not let one corrupt economy cuddle up with a second, much larger, economy.

    The west made two big mistakes with how the Ukraine fiasco was handled. First we did nothing about Ukrainian corruption. We did not condemn it and then when the revolt against the pro Russian leader broke out we fueled it throwing out the possibility of Ukraine joining the Eurozone.

    Putin was sitting at the Olympics and secretly fuming at the west. The west leaped to the conclusion that he was helpless and would do nothing. Did we ever miscalculate. The west’s error actually fueled the flames.

    Secondly, while Obama was speaking of sanctions Putin was taking action. Soon after Russia crossed the border with troops we should have stopped our threats and took economic action by suspending Russia’s membership in the G-8, imposing economic sanctions on the country and on its Oligarchs and start supplying natural gas to Europe.

    Let’s hope we don’t repeat our lack of action with what remains of the Ukraine. We need to lay out what we expect Ukraine’s government must do to be considered for membership in the Eurozone. Before granting them membership require that they begin developing and implementing a plan for joining. Provide some economic support now but hold off their membership until real positive action occurs….. http://lstrn.us/1j0B3ME

  • leibniz09

    Your right Dee Dee, but the Democrats would not impeach because they did not want to interfere with getting a Democrat elected.

    Well they got their Wall Street boy in Obama, who has built upon the unchallenged precedent of Bush, thanks to the Democrats, and now is just a different kind of warmongerer and murderer, than Bush, and in many ways worse, because folks like you still protect Obama.

    Now the Republicans will not impeach Obama because of the same reasons the Democrats would not impeach Bush. They covet the imperial presidency and put politics above principle.

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