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Is Ukraine Finally Boiling Over?

Deadly clashes and downed helicopters. We’ll look at the latest in Ukraine and what can – and should – the U.S., NATO, do.

With guest host Dina Temple-Raston.

People gather around the coffin of 17 year-old Vadim Papura during a religious service outside the apartment block he lived in, in Odessa, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Papura died after jumping out of the burning trade union building in an attempt to escape Friday's fire that killed most of the 40 people that died after riots erupted last Friday. (AP)

People gather around the coffin of 17 year-old Vadim Papura during a religious service outside the apartment block he lived in, in Odessa, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Papura died after jumping out of the burning trade union building in an attempt to escape Friday’s fire that killed most of the 40 people that died after riots erupted last Friday. (AP)

The violence in Ukraine is ramping up as pro-Russian forces clash with the Ukrainian military in the eastern and southern part of the country. Are we seeing the beginnings of a civil war? Or, will leaders step back from the brink? What is Russia’s role in all of this? We hear the latest from the ground in Kiev. Try to assess whether sanctions are having any effect at all. And we’ll talk about whether the Russians have torn a page from the Jihadist playbook, using assymetric warfare to set the US and Europe back on their heels. This hour, On Point: the latest in Ukraine.

Guests

Sabra Ayres, Ukraine, Russia and Afghanistan corespondent for the Christian Science Monitor. (@babraham)

Angela Stent, director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies at Georgetown University. Former national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at the National intelligence Council. Author of “The Limits of Partnership: U.S. – Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century.” (@angelastent)

John Kornblum, senior counselor at Noerr LLC. Former U.S ambassador to Germany and former assistant secretary of state for European Affairs. Senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

From The Reading List

Washington Post: Ukrainians call for volunteers to help quell separatist uprising — “Ukrainian political and military leaders called for volunteers Tuesday to help restore order ahead of elections that are increasingly threatened by a pro-Russian separatist uprising in the eastern part of the country. With the nation on alert for more violence, former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko urged the creation of a ‘volunteer army’ because neither Ukraine’s army nor its security services has been effective so far in handling outbreaks of rebellion, the Russian news service Interfax reported Tuesday.”

NPR: Ukraine Reports Dozens Killed In Slovyansk Fighting – “Ukraine says its military has killed 30 pro-Russian separatists as government forces try to retake Slovyansk and other cities near the border with Russia. At least four Ukrainian soldiers have died, and separatists shot down a helicopter in eastern Ukraine.”

Quartz: Ukrainians must beware of what joining Europe could actually mean — “Despite the heavy price they have already paid, a large percentage of the Ukrainian people persist in their quest for a European future. While admirable, Ukrainians’ struggle to be part of Europe poses a simple, yet crucial question—do they know what they are fighting for?”

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  • Shag_Wevera

    Could be the beginning of the third world war, could be regional adjustment. This is the kind of thing that challenges students of history. What past lessons reveal what might happen now? Is it Hitler in Czechoslovakia in 1938, or is it the Polish driving the German population out of their country after World War Two?

    • Ray in VT

      It is always tricky trying to take lessons from history and apply them to current events, in part because no two situations are the same and in part because we often take the wrong lessons from events. I have heard some people speculating about us being on the verge of something like World War III. I think that such an outcome is unlikely, but many also said the same when an Archduke got shot in the Balkans 100 years ago next month.

      • Shag_Wevera

        Beating the Russians in a conventional conflict might require mandatory conscription here and in most of the western countries. I won’t speak for Europe, but I don’t think it would work here anymore. We are a few generations removed from the greatest generation, and we are too jaded to buy the concept of making the world free for democracy.

        • jefe68

          You do realize that about 50,000 men deserted in the European theater and that psychiatrists deferred enlistment for more than 1.7 million men before training began.

          In the Pacific there were no desertions as there was no place to desert to on Japanese-held islands.

          • Shag_Wevera

            True, but imagine today…

          • Ray in VT

            I do wonder sometimes if we would rise to the occasion as we did in 1941. I tend to think that if the threat was great enough that we would.

            This says 12.2 million in the military in 1945

            http://www.nationalww2museum.org/learn/education/for-students/ww2-history/ww2-by-the-numbers/us-military.html

            I don’t know if that includes the WAC, the WAVES, the WASP or other such groups. Still, that is out of a population of about 140 million.

          • geraldfnord

            My father, who fought with the (non-Vichy) French 1939-1945, insisted that we would rise to the occasion if the occasion demanded it; these polite precincts are no place for his characterisation of the notion of “The Greatest Generation”, based I think on having been in it and known it (just as any élite college or successful start-up tempers your opinion of Leading Authorites, having seen a few of them blind-drunk and/or enraged and/or depressed)…he thought that we did and would ‘do the necessary’, as subcontinental English succinctly puts it.

        • Alchemical Reaction

          I actually agree with you on this.

        • Ray in VT

          I suppose that it depends upon what one means by beating. Were the goal merely to prevent Russian troops from advancing into or taking over parts of Ukraine, then I don’t think that that would be necessary, given current American and EU forces, and I realize that I have just made the assumption that the EU (either wholly or partly) would get involved.

        • Ray in VT

          In looking I found on a Wikipedia page that supposedly North Korea has the biggest military in the world (about 9.5 million). Russia is #7, and the U.S. is #9, with Iran sandwiched in between. Just FYI.

      • TFRX

        I take it you’ve finished “The War that Ended Peace”.

        (I didn’t want to spoil the ending for you–it was not pretty.)

        • Ray in VT

          No, I haven’t. Bush shhh. Don’t spoil it for me. I still have to get around to watching Titanic to see how that one ends up. I just don’t have the time to sit down and read much at all. It’s a shame, because I have so much on my shelf.

  • Michiganjf

    When it first looked like Russia would impose itself on Ukraine’s strife, I asked Tom on this site if Russia would get itself into a mess it really couldn’t afford and would ultimately regret (ala Iraq for the U.S.)…

    well, they may still regret their role in Ukraine, but it’s looking more and more like Russia has perhaps worked out a viable strategy… control the entire southern coast to landlock Ukraine, then strangle the country using economic isolation, resource isolation, planted subversives, and of course propaganda.

    Russia may actually pull this off with relatively little expense or effort, save for the effects of any truly biting sanctions from the world community.

    Are there any truly biting sanctions upon which the rest of the world can agree and successfully impose?

    • anamaria23

      So complicated. Severe sanctions would ultimately harm the Russian people, thus driving them further to Putin which he understands.
      The US going it alone without Europe is Putin’s ideal outcome. He would like nothing more than to see the US at odds with Europe.
      Would small arming Ukraine have any real effect on Russian army?
      Is Ukraine something Putin really wants or just a chance to show the world some muscle for self glorification?
      Does anyone really know Putin or is he as inscrutable as he seems?

  • andrewgarrett

    I don’t think we should risk war with Russia over this. But I think we’re starting to avoid everything, and that’s bad. We should have done something about Syria, for instance. Yes, I get it, we screwed up in Iraq. But we haven’t always screwed up. I’m still stoked that we helped defeat the Nazis. The world will be a bloodier place without the US exerting influence at least on occasion.

    • JS

      Doesn’t our exertion of influence also shed blood?

  • HonestDebate1

    It’s a little late to be wondering what to do. Putin already knows he can do what he pleases. He already sized up the flexible Obama. He had every confidence before he acted that Obama would not stop him.

    • Michiganjf

      Genius Republicans always have the same answer to any foreign affairs issue… war, or at least war by proxy.
      Either way, always stupid with even the smallest sense of history.

      Yeah, that would be a real winner for America in American’s minds.

      • HonestDebate1

        No one suggested war.

        • Michiganjf

          So you were suggesting Putin knew “Obama would not stop him” by… what… cutting off his cable?

          • harverdphd

            Red sidewalk chalk?

          • hennorama

            Michiganjf — Predicted response, from the Gregg Smith Response-O-Matic: “Don’t tell me what I think.”

          • HonestDebate1

            I am suggesting Obama has projected weakness since day one. A weakness that makes tyrants salivate. I am saying Putin controls energy for Eastern Europe and Obama’s energy policies have prevented us from giving them an alternative. I am saying Obama undid gains Bush made with missile defense. I am saying Obama relayed to Putin that after the election he could be more flexible. I am saying Obama let Putin broker the deal with Syria to Putin’s advantage while Assad continues to gas his people. None of it had to be this way.

          • Michiganjf

            Yeah, THAT would have “stopped him.”

            If only Obama would show he was willing to go to war!

            … with Syria, with EVERYONE!

            Like I said, always the same genius idea from the right.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes, being willing to go to war more often than not prevents it. Taking military action off of the table creates war.

          • Ray in VT

            How much of your blood are you willing to shed for Crimea or the eastern Ukraine? How about how much more in taxes are you willing to pay for the cost of intervention?

          • Steve__T

            Reply deleted-Discus

          • HonestDebate1

            Wrong question.

          • Ray in VT

            That’s sick.

          • Ray in VT

            Indeed, keep on pretending that Obama got rid of missile defense in Eastern Europe or that perhaps any progress could have been made regarding actual WMDs in Syria without Russia given how sick the American public is of foreign intervention and the sudden reluctance of the GOP to not want to bomb someone.

          • HonestDebate1

            Keep pretending I wrote what you said I wrote.

            “I am saying Obama undid gains Bush made with missile defense.”

            http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/obama-scraps-bush-missile-defense-plan/story?id=8604357

          • Ray in VT
          • HonestDebate1

            You are pretending again. Obama undid the gains Bush made. I am fully aware of his flexible alternative.

          • Ray in VT

            Sure. You know better than the Secretary of Defense. Sure.

          • Ray in VT

            Plus if Obama had just given Yanukovych he could have swayed that Putin puppet to swing towards Europe, plus Obama could have somehow gotten relief to Benghazi faster than the military says that it could have if only he had tried.

          • HonestDebate1

            You can’t be proud of your comments. You are not a serious person.

          • Ray in VT

            Lame.

            I guess that we’re firing up the Dismiss-a-tron 5000.

          • HonestDebate1

            I dismissed you long ago.

          • Ray in VT

            You guys are a hoot.

          • jefe68

            And it’s not about him…

          • Ray in VT

            I would not be proud to have advanced such positions. I wonder why you have?

    • Ray in VT

      I’m sure that Putin would never have tried any funny business if he had been faced by some true conservative, you know, like George W. Bush. Oh, wait….

      • HonestDebate1

        The simplistic shallowness of your implications never ceases to amaze me. Do you really want to compare the records of Bush and Obama regarding Russia? Really? Are you truly prepared too draw an analogy between Putin’s actions in Ukraine and Georgia? I mean you’ve got a great talking point for idiots but that’s about it.

        • Ray in VT

          Well, you would know talking points the idiots like, as you repeat them hear after reading them on Hotair and hearing them on Rush all the time.

          “The simplistic shallowness of your implications never ceases to amaze me.” This statement accurately reflects my view of your position. How did that Russian non-invasion of Georgia go when that man’s man of men’s men George W. Bush was in office? Putin didn’t dare, right?

          • HonestDebate1

            What’s the matter with Hot Air? And Rush is a harmless lovable fuzzball, what’s not to like? That’s just silly.

            And you are really serious about Georgia? Unbelievable.

          • Ray in VT

            Yadda yadda.

          • jefe68

            You forgot alrighty then.

          • Ray in VT

            The Dismiss-a-tron just hasn’t spit that one out yet. Give it time.

          • jefe68

            I’m beginning to think that Homer Simpson is ghost writing for him.

          • Ray in VT

            The Dismiss-a-tron just obliged you above.

          • jefe68

            Doh!

          • Steve__T

            Why not G was busy painting his portrait, calling him Buddy.

          • Ray in VT

            He’s not your buddy, guy.

    • jefe68

      Name one president that was has been successful in stopping the former Soviet Union from doing what it wanted to during the Cold War and dare I say afterwards.

      Did Eisenhower stop the Soviets from invading Hungry?
      Did Kennedy stop the Berlin wall from going up?
      Did Carter and Reagan stop the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan?

      Other then Kennedy negotiating with Khrushchev to remove missiles from Cuba, the answer is no.

      • Ray in VT

        Don’t bother me with history and facts. I have an Obama to attack. ;)

        • HonestDebate1

          Why would I want to attack Obama for no reason?

          • Ray in VT

            Hatred for the man and everything that he represents? Besides, you have stated that you have concluded that Obama is an enemy of America, and if you really believe in the various conspiracies that you promote, then one would have to conclude that such a person is very terrible. Of course one has to believe in a bunch of baseless conspiracies dredged up by some of the lowest elements of American culture, but….

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s quite clear that Obama is not acting in the best interest of America. I hate what he has done and is doing to my county so I spell it out in detail. I don’t hate him and I don’t make stuff up to support my positions.

          • Ray in VT

            You are not a serious person.

            I also did not say that you make stuff up. Just like with the white supremacist “research” on black on white crime, you rely on others to haul out the manure spreader and start it up. You just consume and regurgitate it.

          • 1Brett1

            What, that he was passed out stoned drunk the night of the Benghazi attacks? That he seizes every opportunity to trample all over and destroy the Constitution? That he constantly perpetuates racism? That he is deliberately, systematically trying to destroy the country so he can rebuild it into a socialist society where all citizens are completely dependent on government and bow to its will? That’s not hatred, Ray, just spelling out the facts.

          • Ray in VT

            I see that you have managed to pierce the veil of the elaborate conspiracies at which Obama is the heart. Congratulations!

          • HonestDebate1

            Exactly!

          • Ray in VT

            Alrighty then.

          • HonestDebate1

            Finally, we agree.

          • Ray in VT

            Only were I to get half of my brain removed so that I could also believe in such lame conspiracies.

          • Steve__T

            It’s what you do. Everyday. Why would today be any different?

          • HonestDebate1

            I always give reason. The best I can tell is y’all are assuming I use your tactics.

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, a reason like believing in the anti-Obama conspiracies that you do. Your dishonest tactics are well known by those who spend any time here, so you are hardly one to chastise others for how they conduct themselves.

          • HonestDebate1

            Chastise?! Alrighty then.

            Just defend Obama at all cost. I mean who are you going to believe, the White House talking points or you own lying eyes?

          • Ray in VT

            I believe the best available facts, not the conspiracy theory nut jobs who can’t accept reality because it is too hard for them to accept the latter, such as those who promoted the idea the the polls were cooked in 2012 or that there’s Sharia law in Dearborn.

          • HonestDebate1

            Which polls? Is arresting people for handing out Bibles Sharia law? I think so.

          • Ray in VT

            The presidential polls. Please inform me as to what part of Sharia that is and how it has come to be the law in Dearborn. Please explain, given statements of harassment from festival attendees and blatant attempts to disrespect Islam and its followers, why the police shouldn’t have gotten involved?

          • HonestDebate1

            I have no idea what you are accusing me of regarding the polls. I don’t care, you make it all up anyway. Have at it.

            It’s not against the law to disrespect Islam in America but it is against Sharia law.

            But that’s just a red herring, all they did was hand out bibles, watch the video. There is no harassment.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m not specifically accusing you of anything. I don’t remember if you were charging that the polls were being fixed, but you have with the jobs numbers. One of many looney conspiracies that you promote. Indeed, I make up the words that you post here, as I am magic.

            It’s illegal in many places to incite violence or a riot, and police had reports of harassment. Considering the actions of some surrounding that event, I think that it is prudent for police to investigate such claims so as situations don’t escalate. There’s also no Sharia law ruling Dearborn.

          • HonestDebate1

            Which polls are you pinballing to now? Is arresting people for handing out Bibles Sharia law? I think so.

          • Ray in VT

            Are you now being even too lazy to come up with new dreck?

      • HonestDebate1

        The last I checked Hungary is still Hungary

        • Ray in VT

          Is that supposed to be some sort of legitimate critique of our non-response to the 1956 Hungarian uprising. Yeah, the Soviet Union didn’t prop up that regime for another 35 years. Maybe we can check back with Georgia and Ukraine in another 30-35 years.

          • HonestDebate1

            No it’s just a reality check. Silly comparisons serve no purpose. It is always tricky trying to take lessons from history and apply them to current events, in part because no two situations are the same and in part because we often take the wrong lessons from events.

          • Ray in VT

            So, if Obama had been a real straight shootin’, rough and tumble, bring it on sort of guy, like Bush, then Putin would or would not have acted?

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t have a crystal ball but Putin has little fear of Obama. What Obama calls a red line Putin regards as a red carpet.

          • Ray in VT

            Given the actions of Obama’s predecessor and what events went down then, why do you have reason to believe that Putin cares about how tough Obama is or isn’t? Do you think that George Bush would have been willing to risk war over the Crimea? I don’t.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t think Putin would dare do such if Bush were President. But if he did we would be in a position to supply Ukraine with natural gas. Ukraine would be on a path to NATO. Why do you think Putin waited until Bush was virtually out the door before he invaded Georgia? And he still failed because of Bush’s bold actions. Putin surely thinks Obama is a wuss. Bush’s red lines meant something.

          • Ray in VT

            Oh, but he wouldn’t dare to invade Georgia? Bush really deterred the hell out of that one. He failed? Tell that to the Georgians.

            So, how would Bush have magically put us in the position to ship natural gas nearly half way around the world. How would Bush have convinced a strident Putin ally to lead his country into NATO? Your shallow and simplistic reasoning is laughable and entirely predictable.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes he deterred it for 8 1/2 years and made Putin sorry he tried it. Putin failed.

            The first step in supplying natural gas is to exploit our reserves and own it. And if you have never heard of tankers and think most oil isn’t shipped halfway around the world, fine but don’t call me shallow and simplistic.

            Likewise the first step to convince anyone to join NATO is to make it possible. They already did the heavy lifting when the Soviet Union broke up but they still were under threat. They had little choice but to be allies with Russia. There were no other options.

            So what are you saying? It seems like you are arguing America is helpless to do squat. Surely you are smarter than that.

          • Ray in VT

            “Yes he deterred it for 8 1/2 years and made Putin sorry he tried it. Putin failed.” Hahahahahahaha. Do you really believe this sort of nonsense? If so, then please show that Putin had designs on Georgia for 8.5 years. Also, how exactly did Bush deter Putin even before he got elected? Wow. That’s a powerful guy. He failed? Oh, then Georgia is in control of the breakaway parts of its nation? Must be, because Putin was backing them against Georgia, and you said that he failed.

            Supplying oil half way around the world has been done for a long time, and it is facilitated by that infrastructure and the fact that oil comes out of the ground as a liquid. Natural gas does not have that long distance infrastructure so well established, plus it needs to be liquified, and in the case of an accident it could ignite. So yeah, just saying that we’ll supply it ignores the problems that exist with it.

            Oh yeah, and Obama just let Ukraine slip away from NATO. Of course this ignores some opposition to Ukraine joining NATO by other members as well as a Ukrainian government opposed to NATO membership. Aside from that, it’s totally Obama’s fault.

            I’m not arguing that America is helpless. I just don’t believe in the magical thinking, or cartoonish view, regarding American power and influence that you promote.

          • jefe68

            Yep, the red line was Georgia.
            Have you thought of quitting while your behind? With every comment you keep on exposing yourself as being ignorant of history and even a basic knowledge of geopolitics. I dare say it’s not even on the level of a 11th grader, no a 9th grader.

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s well established that I’m an idiot.

            Putin won Crimea. He did not win Georgia. The two tiny client states South Ossetia and Abkhazia are recognized by the UN, America and most of the world as part of the Republic of Georgia.

            Bush sent an airlift of humanitarian aid within days along with a stern warning to Putin not to obstruct. Putin did not. He also sent Condi Rice directly to Tbilisi. If Putin was going to take it he would have to go take America’s top diplomat. Obama showed no such backbone. there is no comparison between the reactions and the results.

          • jefe68

            Well, unfortunately the neocon right wing view you’re parroting here about Georgia is false.

            http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/mar/19/karl-rove/karl-rove-says-george-w-bush-had-more-muscular-sta/

          • Ray in VT

            Now what are you going to believe? You can either look at what happened or look at what Karl Rove said happened. Obviously we have to go with what Rove said happened, even if it isn’t supported by what actually happened, because siding with Karl supports the narrative.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — isn’t it obvious? A guy named “Karl” is clearly an expert on Russia.

            In fact, he’s probably a “Marxist” and a “socialist” who wants to create a “virtually socialist nation in which nobody gets rich, government is in charge of everything,” like President Obama is (according to that noted political expert, Pat Boone).

            Others think he’s a Stalinist, as evidenced here:

            “Karl Rove and his plans to turn America into the USSR”

            See:
            http://www.dailypaul.com/275375/karl-rove-and-his-plans-to-turn-america-into-the-ussr

            Since I don’t know the man, I couldn’t possibly comment, of course.

          • Ray in VT

            Karl isn’t a very ‘Merican way to spell Carl. I’m suspicious.

          • jefe68

            It’s how HD rolls, completely oblivious to history and facts.

          • jefe68

            Hey Ray if Romney had won the election Putin would never had messed with West…

            Romney would have threatened a corporate “raid” and outsourced the entire Russian economy.

          • Ray in VT

            Obviously. Who would have messed with that vicious beast of a statesman. Now I wonder when Jeep is going to move all of that Jeep production to China?

          • jefe68

            So in your absurd world view, the history of US foreign policy as it relates to the former Soviet Union is a silly comparison?
            You aware that Putins gambit is based on that history, right?

          • Ray in VT

            But how does that help me trash the current President and fluff the previous one?

          • jefe68

            Benghazi…

          • Ray in VT

            Boo-yah!

          • HonestDebate1

            Actually I was quoting Ray. But yes, I think it’s a silly comparison. This is not your daddy’s Soviet Union. They are not a super power. They do not have a dominating economy. Putins gambit is not base on Russia’s strength, it is based on America’s weakness.

          • jefe68

            Pisst, HD, you know what you forgot, Russia is still a major nuclear power.
            There economy is based on oil and gas that is used mostly by Europe. So given that sanctions are the most likely the only way to get Putin’s administration to back down, and given that Europe holds most of those economic cards it would seem that the ball is in the EU’s court.

            Russia has little to do with our economy.
            Your assertion that somehow the US is weak here is based on nothing more than neocon nonsense. Again, it’s astounding how your complete lack of the historical context of the former USSR frames your silly arguments. You talk about weakness in one sentence and then when you are pressed about actions you then deny you are alluding to using military force. Oh the inanity…

          • HonestDebate1

            If you think Russia is anywhere near the superpower as the Soviet Union was then feel free but you’re kidding yourself. What I wrote is true.

            Strength is not measured by military might alone. Military might means nothing without a will to use it or an economy to support it. The will to use it is the best way to avoid needing to but it cannot be a bluff. For me all it took was one beating with the buckle end of the belt and I was an angel. From then on I knew the threat was real.

            But the will is not enough alone. It’s all Putin has other than control of Europe’s oil. Russia’s economy cannot pay for a prolonged military action. It just can’t. Our weakness is in part a result of our refusal to exploit our natural gas reserves and be in a position to fuel Europe. Europe is not helping with their weakness on the same issue. Russia controls the oil because of our weakness not because of their strength.

            Your premise is backwards. Russia’s economy depends on the sale of oil, you’re right about that but it is within our’s and Europe’s control to not only supply alternative sources but cripple their economy at the same time. All without firing a shot.

            Putin took Crimea without force. He did not need strength. He did not need a strong economy. He got it because of the weakness of the world. America used to be the beacon Europe looked to. That is no longer true.

          • Ray in VT

            If you also think that the United States military is capable of dropping a half million troops into a country like we did in Vietnam, then you are also highly mistaken. Russia certainly has weight to throw around, especially with weaker neighbors when we are half way around the world.

            “Russia controls the oil because of our weakness not because of their strength.” I’m pretty sure that they would still have their oil and gas reserves, and their reserves are thought to be perhaps three times that of ours, and they can transport it, as well as natural gas, by pipeline, rather than having to go with a sea route.

            I also find it very amusing that you are attempting to dismiss the arguments of others claiming silly comparisons, while, at the same time, you will go on about how the recession should have just been a blip, ignoring the vast differences between the Great Recession and the comparatively much smaller and substantially different recessions since the end of World War II.

          • jefe68

            Oh for the love of comprehension issues.

            Where did I say that Russia was anything like the former Soviet Union in terms of it being a superpower. Not one mention of that. The Russians do have large military and they have a large enough nuclear arsenal to pose a threat to Europe and the US. However the chances of the US and Russia getting into a nuclear war are pretty slim to zero. The US military could defeat the Russians, but boy would that be a bloody fight. Again, history comes into play here. What’s clear here is that you are not really interested in this crisis other than using it to post anti Obama screeds.

  • Matt MC

    Dina Temple-Raston! Why do all the NPR folks get the cool names? Ofeibea Quist-Arcton! Come on! Oh, yeah, there is a show about Ukraine today…

  • Ray in VT

    According to the poll reference here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/06/ukraine-intervention-poll_n_5267452.html only 14% of Americans favor a military intervention. There is little appetite for such actions domestically, and the sanctions route is a bit tricky with Europe, who have much closer ties to Russia and who would face significantly more difficulties if this erupts into some sort of either cold or hot war.

    • http://www.google.com Big Brother

      That is about the same as the support for intervening in Germany during the height of the Holocaust.

      • Ray in VT

        Really? Support for the war was pretty high after about December 7, 1941, and the real mass killings, of Jews at least, really began in 1941, with the German invasion of the Soviet Union, and peaked in 1942.

    • TFRX

      Which 14%?

      More importantly, why are they so over-represented on the gasbag shows?

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    You have to talk about McCain favoring providing arms to Kiev.

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    We should put troops in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Czech Lands, Slovakia, and Western Ukraine. And provide arms and leadership to the Ukrainian military.

    • Ray in VT

      We have stepped up joint maneuvers with some of our allies that you mentioned.

  • reality bites

    America is too deep in debt and over stretched militarily to do anything in a former Soviet state. Whatever happens in Ukraine will have no consequence on the daily lives of Americans. The US should focus on solving its own problems first.

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    This should be called the infomercial hour. I hear more about flowers than anything else during this hour.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    What can Ukraine/US do about regional war? Drop back 10 and punt. On 3rd down. Then declare victory.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Take the US contribution; spend it at US public radio stations; permanently end pledge drives. A much better use of US foreign aid money than pissing it away in the river of doomed causes. Like Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Nigeria, Syria, Iran, Israel, Palestine, Oklahoma,..

    • reality bites

      Oklahoma?

    • http://www.google.com Big Brother

      Pledge drives will never end. NPR gets tax-free money and sponsors like being mentioned for marketing purposes (“advertising”)

  • Coastghost

    How do we characterize Obama’s attempt to guide domestic US opinion concerning his Administration’s policy (?) towards Russia and Ukraine? Are Obama and Kerry even on the same page, or are they operating two separate and independent foreign policy commands? What coordination of policy (and politics) has Obama actually forged domestically?

    • TFRX

      Domestically?

      Well, there’s every Repblican one can name dumping shat on the adage about “politics stopping at the waters’ edge” which seems so important when an (R) is in the White House.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    What should we be looking for next? Utter capitulation by Ukrainian “forces.”

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

    Why is Putin’s charade not part of this discussion?

    • TFRX

      Do you mean the “press conference”?

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

        Discuss is wonky this morning and many of my posts are staying grayed out.

        I mean the whole ‘separatists’ ruse.

        • TFRX

          I thought that “wonky” was a compliment about someone’s interest in detail on a subject.

          You may be considered wonky.

          Disqus is glitchy.

  • DeJay79

    we won the cold war but Russia, Russia was playing the long long game.

    Mikhail
    Gorbachev said to a young Putin “Let the US win now then when they have
    to “save” the whole world the will spend themselves into trouble,
    that’s when we make our move and they won’t be able to do anything about
    it. muhamuhahahaha!”

    • Ray in VT
      • DeJay79

        lolz Exactly, I love the Lenin coming back to life part.

        • Ray in VT

          I was just talking to my niece and nephew this weekend about the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War.

  • Coastghost

    Our clock of negotiations with the Iranians continues to tick, and barely two months remain on its dial. Prior to the Crimean crisis, we were told that the US was counting on Russian assistance in negotiations with both the Iranians and their Syrian client. What distinct contributions to settling up with the Iranians might we now begin to anticipate from the Russians?

    • HonestDebate1

      I have no idea what Obama’s strategery regarding the role of America in the world is. The best I can tell it’s to check out, wait and react….maybe. That is a very dangerous policy.

      • Ray in VT

        That sounds like an extremely prudent foreign policy.

        • HonestDebate1

          As the world spins out of control, tyrants get nukes, dictators gas their people and the Islamic Caliphate becomes more and more real, you are entitled to your misguided opinion.

          • Ray in VT

            You get bonus nutso points for pushing Islamic Caliphate. Hey, on whose watch was it that North Korea started testing nuclear bombs, and under on whose watch have we managed to get one guy to give up his very real WMDs without invading a country and unleashed ethnic strife?

            “As the world spins out of control”. Good one. You seem to be under the impression that the world wasn’t always going to hell in a hand basket. History largely tells me otherwise.

          • jefe68

            Wait, no mention of Benghazi yet…

          • Ray in VT

            You know what Russian actions against her neighbors make me think of? I’ll give you three guesses, and the first two don’t count.

  • StilllHere

    Further encroaching by Putin is not possible as we drew a red line.

    • Ray in VT

      Incredibly thought provoking contribution. Thanks.

      • StilllHere

        You are welcome.

  • MrNutso
    • Ray in VT

      Perhaps a good sign, but I doubt that anyone in leadership thinks that he may be backing off for realz.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    We will thwart Russian aggression all the way to the Brandenburg Gate, if we must. Our resolve has never more resolved.
    –John F. Kerry, Dude of State*

    * The Dude abides.

    • Ray in VT

      That was kind of funny the first time or two, but do you have anything new?

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

        Nope. The Dude is on vacation, I’m just filling in. Hoober Doober

        • Ray in VT

          Okay. Maybe he’ll have some new material when he gets back in town.

          • jefe68

            Don’t hold your breath.

  • reality bites

    President Obama has adopted a well thought out and reasoned approach in regards to the Iranian nuclear issue, despite getting heavy resistance from the ‘bomb Iran’ clique. I hope President Obama will adopt the same reasoned approach towards Ukraine and Russia.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Perhaps Ukraine can borrow rubles to build a 20th century military. If the terms are right.

  • Alchemical Reaction

    The military industrial complex is so massive and multi-faceted, its impossible to separate the propaganda from the facts. Typically neither side of ANY conflict has a monopoly on the truth.

  • Coastghost

    Has the Crimea/Ukraine crisis begun to provoke German (and/or broader European) rethinking on shutting down nuclear power production?

    • jefe68

      Not in France.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    U.S. can always airdrop Dimon, Blankfein, Fuld, Greenberg, Geithner, Cayne, Ham, et al — behind Russian enemy lines. Can you imagine the kind of damage those guys could wreak in a few weeks?

    • Ray in VT

      That is probably a far more popular position with the American public than the intervention option.

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

        Costs less, too. Everybody wins!

        • Ray in VT

          Except the Russians.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Didn’t Stent testify yesterday at US Senate hearing? The argument today sounds as weak as the one she was trying to make to McCain.

  • spiral007

    The National Propaganda Radio (NPR) has done it again. Here we have three guests along with the host reiterating the talking points of USA. Not a peep about our role in causing the unrest in the first place and now with CIA, FBI, IMF et al ‘helping’ an illegal government (result of the overthrow of a democratically elected govt).

    Even the three callers were of one viewpoint. So either our government has been totally successful in brainwashing our public or the effort continues. You pick!!

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

      So, you’ve swallowed the Russian talking points, hook, line and sinker, then.

      The previous Ukrainian government was a puppet of Putin, and the protests were real.

      • spiral007

        I did not realize that puppet governments were only the domain of Russia (sarcasm in case you do not get it) and it was a crime to have puppet governments. In case you have forgotten everyone has said that Yanukovich came to power in a fair election!!

        Also, what does protest being ‘real’ mean….are the protests in eastern Ukraine a fiction or the occupy wall street protests in USA.

        The point Neil is that we keep feeding our public this one sided stuff hoping to get them convinced to get more engaged in Ukraine. We did the same thing before going to war in Iraq and look how it turned out to be for us or for the Iraqis. There are other viewpoints (ex senator Ron Paul, Prof Steven Cohen come to mind)

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

          I made no claims to the US having clean hands everywhere – but in this situation, you are overlooking reality.

          • anamaria23

            This is so weird. Some commentators say Russia is our greatest threat and others say we are Russia’s greatest threat and I guess the Ukrainians are just too meek to make up their own minds about their own government.
            The US came in and got them to overthrow their corrupt government against their will.

          • Get Your Facts Straight

            “The US came in and got them to overthrow their corrupt government against their will.”

            Coup d’etats are hardly ever supported by a majority of citizens, so yes, of course a government could be overthrown against the will of the people. Why do you think Ukrainians in Donetsk, Slavyansk, etc., are protesting?

      • anamaria23

        You are right.The democratically elected government was elected on promises it reneged on and then looted the country’s resources. That was the cause of the uprising as confirmed by live interviews by Margaret Warner in the Ukraine. The so called Fascists were a minute part of the uprising. Yesterday on public radio a young Ukrainian was interviewed. He was leaving a good job here to return to enlist in the Ukrainian army. He stated that the protests were real as reported by his family in Ukraine and that Putin’s lies were a great impetus for his move back to Ukraine.

        • spiral007

          You are making my case…in case you did not know Margaret Warner and that anecdote about a young Ukrainian going to fight the big bad guys in Ukraine was on NPR – The National Propaganda Radio!!!!

          You guys should really diversify your sources of news before throwing comments with such conviction!!! I do listen to NPR and BBC regularly, in addition to reading the news from other sources such as Russia, India, China, Germany, Israel etc.and hence can make the observations about today’s coverage being one sided.

          Regarding elected politicians not keeping their promises….I got news for you, it happens in the USA and elsewhere all the time., yet you do not have people violently overthrowing the government…they wait till the NEXT election. In addition, they do not invite foreigners to coax them along with ‘cookies’.

          • anamaria23

            Calm down. I’ll try to do better, though I am a busy person and probably won’t catch the Russian, Indian, Chinese, German news most days.
            You seem like a scary guy.

        • Get Your Facts Straight

          ” . . . if the American people were allowed to know that Ukraine is currently in the throes of a civil war and that the US StateDepartment coordinated the entire crisis bringing the world to the edge of a major military confrontation, it would rise up as it did last September in opposition to Obama’s proposed bombing of Syria. Instead, the left over Bush neo-cons and Obama’s neo-cons realize the necessity of censoring the news and suppressing the facts. In
          addition, we have already seen that news of a Ukraine civil war would
          send Wall Street bananas! There is no doubt that the US wants war with Russia, albeit with NATO as its proxy, but the US must manipulate Putin into invading before the US gives the green light to retaliate.

          It should come as little surprise to those who have followed US media
          coverage of the Ukrainian situation since early February with its almost daily, savage attacks on Russia and personal antagonism towards Putin who, you may recall, saved the world from a catastrophic calamity in Syria last September. . .”

          http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/05/08/us-media-follows-white-house-lead-on-ukraine/

  • hennorama

    Surprisingly, there was not much mention of possible economic reasons for Putin and Russia fomenting unrest, namely, to keep energy prices high, as the Russian economy is massively dependent on the energy sector.

    The following is from the most recently updated (Nov. 2103) Analysis Overview about Russia, from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) (emphasis added):

    Overview

    Russia is the second-largest producer of dry natural gas and third-largest liquid fuels producer in the world. Despite its significant reserves of coal, it produces only modest amount of coal. Russia’s economy is highly dependent on its hydrocarbons, and oil and gas revenues account for more than 50% of the federal budget revenues.

    Russia is a major producer and exporter of oil and natural gas, and its economy largely depends on energy exports. Russia’s economic growth continues to be driven by energy exports, given its high oil and gas production and the elevated prices for those commodities. Oil and gas revenues accounted for 52% of federal budget revenues and over 70% of total exports in 2012, according to PFC Energy.

    Russia was the world’s third-largest producer of oil (after Saudi Arabia and the United States) Preliminary data for 2013 show that Russia still is the third-ranked producer of total liquids, with average production at 10.5 million barrels per day (bbl/d) through September 2013. Russia was the second-largest producer of natural gas in 2012 (second to the United States).

    Source:
    http://www.eia.gov/countries/cab.cfm?fips=RS

  • Get Your Facts Straight

    NPR must be getting their “facts“ and “experts” straight from the State Department. All I heard on this program was anti-Russian propaganda.
    “Pro-Russian” demonstrators want a referendum on autonomy? You’d think that if they were pro-Russian they would want to join Russia, like Crimea did, but apparently, wanting autonomy, or opposing fascists in Kiev is being “pro-Russian”!

    Too many lies and too much disinformation to counter. All I can say, anyone who wants to know what is really going on in Ukraine needs to read Robert Parry (Consortium News, frequently also published on Common Dreams), or go to Real News Network. Paul Craig Roberts – a Reagan guy is another source, if you trust conservative sources more. Heck, even Russia Times is more objective than this tripe we just heard on NPR.

    The US is fomenting another war again, with full media complicity. Please, get informed, people! Don’t let them brainwash you into supporting another atrocity!

    • Bart caruso

      love Paul Craig Roberts !:-)

    • John_Hamilton

      Pretty good, except I’m not so sure about the fomenting war part. I suspect that Obama and his hapless mouthpiece Kerry have gotten in over their heads, and are just thrashing around for some face-saving.

      I don’t know for sure, but it seems that when Obama decided to run for president he didn’t realize how powerful the national security establishment is. During his campaign in 2008 he brought in advisers who were straight out of national security central casting. His “foreign policy” was set at that point, and derivative of that his “domestic policy” was also set. It is very likely that the fate of JFK has been hinted a time or two.

      It’s all pretty strange. In the intelligence division of the CIA they KNOW what lies ahead re. climate change, but it is likely that, similar to society in general, their voices get drowned out by the thunder of paranoid national security mongering.

      And, lest we forget, the more trouble in the world, the better for arms manufacturers. An economics professor I knew decades ago observed that weapons manufacture is our only remaining comparative advantage in world trade. Domestic sales are also a growth industry, so it is in our government’s interest to keep violence at a fever pitch worldwide.

      • Get Your Facts Straight

        So you are “not so sure about the fomenting war part.”

        Well, you can wait ten years until somebody writes a book about it, get informed now, or for example, read “To Kill a Nation” by Michael Parenti, which is a book about another American and NATO joint war crime in former Yougoslavia. The blueprint was similar, and it will make the situation in Ukraine clear for you.

        I know it’s hard to believe, and yet it’s true. Your refusal to believe it is just wishful thinking.
        Obama isn’t just naive, clueless, or misguided. He is fully complicit.

        • John_Hamilton

          There is great comfort in certainty about the future. When you combine it with arrogance, it can be almost orgasmic. Or close enough.

          You may, in a quiet moment, sense that being “informed” is a highly relative notion, and is a bit less than the essence of life. One man’s being informed is another man’s brainwashing. I take the view that the best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley. Or, from the East, the truism that he who thinks he knows, knows not.

          • Get Your Facts Straight

            Why bother responding to someone’s comments with a bunch of non-sequitur statements and some pseudo-philosophy? People can be brainwashed, or simply misinformed, and the best way to counter itt is with arguments and facts, not philosophy.

            Just because Kerry is an idiot and doesn’t always seem to be on the same page as Obama, doesn’t mean that the people in charge don’t know what they are doing. Did it ever occur to you that when our illustrious leaders make misleading or contradictory statements it does not necessarily mean that they are confused? Could it be that they just want to confuse . . . you? How else would they get you to support ideas that are unjust, immoral, or against your own interests?

          • John_Hamilton

            Hmm. A bit of projecting can sure help get one through the day. A lot of projecting is needed for some. Maybe it’s a tolerance drug – the more you do it, the more it takes to get through the day.

          • Get Your Facts Straight

            More of the same.

            Good day to you, John.

          • John_Hamilton

            Get your facts straight.

          • Get Your Facts Straight
          • John_Hamilton

            Hmm. The link goes to something by Mike Whitney. I thought your name was Get Your Facts Straight. This is a good example of the fatal flaw of the “leftist” peanut gallery: ego.

            Referring to someone else’s work does not make you an exalted being. When you preen around on the Web in arrogant fashion you don’t convince anyone of anything, except your own need for ego-inflation.

            Pretty good evidence of this is you keep posting as if to a “right winger.” For those who live in a two-factor world, it’s either with “us” or against “us.” Unable to recognize nuance and ambiguity, they lash out at anyone not in 100% lockstep.

            Or, put another way, get your facts straight. I read CounterPunch too, just don’t need to pretend it makes me an authority on other people’s work, or any other kind of exalted being.

          • Get Your Facts Straight

            Look, Johnny. I came here to talk about Ukraine, and not for some amateur psychoanalysis. I posted a link to an account of events in Odessa. I wasn’t there, so I must rely on sources I find trustworthy. If you have a comment on that, go ahead. If not, please don’t bother me any more. If I want to have a discussion about my ego, it won’t be here with you.

          • John_Hamilton

            Get your facts straight. My name isn’t “Johnny” any more than yours is Get Your Facts Straight. The question I raised is your arrogant communication style. I don’t care what you “came here for.” Other people on this planet do not exist to be your obedient subjects.

            So, when you post in an ego-inflating manner, you can expect to be challenged. We are all capable of searching the Web. This is the hardest thing for “leftists” to learn – that you will get nowhere with an arrogant communication style. The underlying message is “I have the facts. You don’t. I’m better than you.” Or, “Get Your Facts Straight.” Meanwhile, as Bob Dylan once put it, life outside goes on all around you. Here’s a link: youtube.com/watch?v=jHGrWTmXK6w&feature=kp

          • Get Your Facts Straight

            I’m sorry if I came across as arrogant. It’s just very frustrating. Neocons are trying to start World War III, blame it on Putin, and well-meaning liberals, blinded by all this coordinated media blitz, go right along. You try to open people’s eyes and you realize you are getting nowhere. There’s none so blind as those who will not see.

            I guess maybe it’s time to “Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”, but I hate just to sit here and do nothing.

            Nothing wrong with getting your facts straight, John.

            Have a good day.

          • Ray in VT

            I find that as I get older I “know” less, as perspective, uncertainty and gray creep further into my worldview.

      • tommyslothrop

        This is one of the most sensible comments I have seen anywhere is quite some time.

        • John_Hamilton

          Thanks much. This doesn’t happen very often. More typical is the response below. Life is funny.

    • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

      Parry is through the looking glass on this and I used to like him. You’re full of baloney + BS. Only 30% of Doentsk region wanted union w Russia, the highest in country after Crimea (42% there NOT 97% in their Soviet election), in Kharkiv, Odessa it was only 16%. America didn’t invade anyone here, so can’t be fomenting anything- Russia did.

      • Get Your Facts Straight

        I didn’t realize they already held a referendum in the east and south of Ukraine. Could you please post a link to the results? I thought the only referendum so far was in Crimea, where an overwhelming majority of the population voted to join Russia. Do you have a problem with democracy?

  • John_Hamilton

    Yes, Ukraine is finally boiling over. The question is the perfect title for this segment. Let’s all have an opinion about something happening halfway around the world. We can speculate about Vladimir Putin, projecting “hurt feelings” upon him, just as we projected “narcissism” on Russian resident Edward Snowden. We’re “Americans.” We have opinions about everything, and it is our opinions that matter in the world.

    Global warming? We have opinions about that too. If you have the opinion that it doesn’t exist, then it doesn’t. Obama is “Kenyan?” Sure. Just form the opinion that he’s from “Kenya.” Obama himself is pretty good at forming opinions. When civilians are bombed with drone aircraft he can just form the opinion that they are “Al Qaeda” leaders. We live in an age where opinion is fact.

    I have the opinion that our system is unsustainable and is going to collapse soon. I also have the opinion that we will do nothing to prevent this from happening.

    • Sy2502

      How you managed to make a conversation about Putin and Ukraine into a diatribe about global warming truly boggles the mind.

      • Ray in VT

        Yes, because the military and intelligence communities haven’t identified effects of climate change to be potentially very destabilizing in some regions where we have allies or interests.

      • John_Hamilton

        It might be because “the mind” is easily boggled. Fake sophistication can be seen from a proverbial mile away.

        The Oxford Dictionary defines diatribe as a forceful and bitter verbal attack against someone or something. What I wrote, while it can be seen as forceful, hardly qualifies as bitter, except in the easily boggled mind.

        Musing is more accurate, and it isn’t “about” global warming. It is about the exaggerated worth we give in this culture to opinion posing as fact. The easily boggled mind would not be able to glean this from reading, because a predisposal to bogglement interferes with the ability to read.

        Try again. It’s always fun when people pretend to be smarter than they are.

        • Sy2502

          Taking 2 unrelated subjects and writing them consecutively doesn’t automagically related them. To do so you need to construct a logical argument. You know, logic, that sophisticated, pretentious thing you like to sneer at…

          • John_Hamilton

            Too easy. There are no unrelated subjects. “Automagically related them.” Take an English class. Constructing a logical argument – as in premise, premise, conclusion – is one way of writing, but far from the only way. Like it or not, other people are not on this planet to do things your way. I don’t need to do what you are demanding.

            Logic is fine. Knowing how to read is also fine. I suggest you reread what you are complaining about. A careful reread would reveal that you are complaining about what you misread. This also is something that can be helped by taking an English class. Or, at a level more appropriate, Language Arts.

          • Sy2502

            “Take an English class.”
            Since you called the earlier post “pretentious” I dumbed it down for you. You should thank me for it.
            While I take my English class, make sure you take that Logic class.

          • John_Hamilton

            Logic was one of my better college classes, required in schools of a certain persuasion. I had a minor in Philosophy.

            All you have to offer is trash talk, which is a waste of everyone’s time. Trying to amplify your ego with point-scoring on the Web is a good indication of the need to get out more, take up gardening, do some volunteer work, take walks, etc.

          • Sy2502

            Do you have anything to contribute to the conversation? No, nothing. Rant rant rant… yawn.

  • Blue_To_Shoe

    Have we forgotten that We had NO PROBLEMS with Russia when Dmitry Medvedev was President!!!!!!
    We had NO PROBLEMS with Russia until Putin came back!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Remember – Putin supposedly retired, and Obama seemed to have a decent relationship with Medvedev to an extent that cynical Republicans tried to use it against him!
    Remember the famous ‘open mic’ moment when President Obama was caught whispering in Medvedev’s ear about being more ‘flexible’ after the mid-terms!

    If Medvedev was President, none of this would be happening.

    These talking heads are always making excuses about what’s really going on!

    Besides, Americans don’t care about the rest of the world anyway; they are obsessed with the apparent REAL enemy that FoxNews tells them about everyday, all day long – their fellow American that’s ‘different’!

    • Ray in VT

      I’m not sure how much Medvedev was really calling the shots. Maybe he was to a greater extent that is believed by many, but there is quite a bit of opinion that Putin was still the power even when he wasn’t President.

      • Blue_To_Shoe

        Good point…

        • Ray in VT

          I don’t know, really, but that is the speculation about Medvedev, who wasn’t really anybody until Putin anointed him as his successor.

          • northeaster17

            They bring up Medvedev. We get Palin

          • Ray in VT

            I have more confidence in the ability of Medvedev.

          • HonestDebate1

            I wish it were so but we didn’t get Palin who incidentally predicted this entire scenario back when there was opportunity to nip it in the bud.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, and she’s really been out there talking in depth about the whole geo-political situation there in Eastern Europe these past 6 years. How silly we were not to heed her many warnings.

          • HonestDebate1

            Yes it was silly but it was even sillier to not listen to Romney say the same thing as Obama laughed off the notion.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that to call Russia our number one enemy and our greatest geopolitical threat is silly, based upon the events of the past 20 years.

          • HonestDebate1

            He didn’t say they were the number one threat, he said Iran was. Obama dismissed Russia completely. He said the 80′s called and want their foreign policy back.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Y9oVC-mGW8

          • Ray in VT

            Perhaps not then, but here he did:

            http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/26/romney-russia-is-our-number-one-geopolitical-foe/

            So, which one is it, or are they co-number ones? Also, given the state of U.S.-Russia relations at the time, and even currently, a sort of Cold War mentality is still, I think, out of whack with current conditions.

          • HonestDebate1

            It is the same interview referenced in the debate. He said the same thing. There is no that was then, this is now thing. It is Obama who characterized it as something it wasn’t and you that are swallowing it whole without question. Read your own link.

            Romney said Russia is our #1 geo-political foe. It’s true, they have taken opposite sides in the UN regarding any number of situations including Iran. They have sided with Assad. And on and on. That’s what geo-politics means.

            And in the same breath Romney says Iran is the #1 security threat. And he put N. Korea right behind Iran.

            Who said anything about a cold war mentality? Do you remember the cold war? How old are you?

          • Ray in VT

            I read it, thanks. I’m not prone to chucking out something that I don’t even read and then looking the fool (like making untrue claims about the dictionary or on polls regarding things like Yucca Mountain).

            What’s your line? A distinction without a difference? Have they taken positions in opposition to some of our moves? Sure. Does that make them our greatest foe? Debatable. So there are co-biggest threats? Good to know.

            Is Russia against our plan to cloud Iran?

            Yes, I do remember the end of the Cold War, and I can also read and talk to people, so my knowledge is not just limited to what I lived through.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’ll do you a favor and illustrate the devious Obama tactics used to hoodwink you.

            Obama said that Romney was asked what the greatest geo-political threat facing America was. That’s not true.

            But you think Russia is a bigger foe right now than, let’s say, Iran or China or North Korea? Is that – is that what you’re suggesting, Governor?

            That was the question. The word threat was not uttered. Obama knows what geopolitics is. He inserted the word threat to cloud the issue. So he not only invented the question, he recast the meaning and mischaracterized Romney’s answer. Read it again, slower. Then watch the video, slowly. You are the one who maintained they were unrelated.

            “Perhaps not then, but here he did:”

            I remember the cold war well, you cannot as illustrated by your analogy.

            So now you want to say foe and threat are interchangeable? Seriously. Okay smarty pants, many people say Sadaam Hussein was not a threat (I disagree) but no one says he was not a foe. Are you willing to say he was not a foe?

            To note, you just asked: “Does that make them our greatest foe?” I didn’t say that and Romney didn’t say that. The term was geopolitical foe.

            Then you asked rather clumsily: “So there are co-biggest threats?” Romney did not say Russia was a threat.

            This isn’t rocket science Ray, it’s plain english.

          • Ray in VT

            I can read just fine, and I do realize that Romney used the word foe and not enemy. To cast those two terms as massively significant in this case is, I think, a resort to the sort of semantic hoop jumping that you often accuse others of. I am aware of what Mr. Romney said, and I think that to present Russia in that light is still rather out of line with present circumstances.

            It depends upon how one defines those terms. Was Saddam a threat to us? Not really. Was he a foe? Yeah. Was he a foe in the same way that we might characterize Putin as a foe? Absolutely not.

            Oh, so foe and geopolitical foe are two totally separate things, then? Our biggest geopolitical foe isn’t our biggest foe? Those other foes must be pretty important then.

            You don’t like the words enemy or threat. That’s fine with me. I misremembered the exact word that Romney used in the first case, and I substituted what I thought to be a term with relatively equal meaning in this situation in the second case.

            Given your repeated observed difficulties with reading the plain English of the dictionary you are hardly one to lecture others on language and its use, however.

          • HonestDebate1

            So now it’s “enemy”?! Neither Romney, Blitzer nor Obama used the word enemy. That’s your word. Enemy and foe ARE interchangeable! You say “to cast those two words… ” I didn’t even use the word!

            It’s not a matter of which words I like. It’s a matter of Obama saying Romney said Russia was a threat when Romney said no such thing. And now you even endorse the difference regarding Hussein! You are talking in circles.

            Good Lord Ray! Don’t ever accuse me of not understanding plain english again.

          • Ray in VT

            Again, I misremembered. Everybody makes mistakes. That is what they put erasers on pencils for. I am distinguishing between a difference in circumstances regarding Saddam and Putin. I’m sorry if that is hard for you to comprehend.

            So, if foe and enemy are interchangeable, and Obama said that Romney called Russia our number one enemy, which is something that he said on at least one other occasion, then how does that figure in to your theory of Obama hoodwinking people in that regard? Is using a synonym not allowed?

            One can be a be a foe without really being a threat, and I don’t place any great significance of Obama using that word in that instance, but he probably purposely chose it as a part of his plan to distort Romney’s position, right?

            Also, I shall continue to assail you regarding you language difficulties just so long as you continue to insist that “all definitions” say this or that or that “by any definition” this or that is the case when that is not the case.

          • HonestDebate1

            Really Ray, this is getting uncomfortable for me to keep having to correct such astonishing gibberish.

            If Romney had said Russia was our #1 geopolitical enemy then there would be little difference between that and a geopolitical foe. Obama DID NOT SAY THAT. What relevance is your question: “Is using a synonym not allowed? He did NOT use a synonym.

            And you just agreed they are not a synonym: “One can be a be a foe without really being a threat…”. Exactly! What the hell do you think I’m trying to get through to you? That’s Romney’s point. For heaven’s sake, please stop digging.

            He accused Romney of calling Russia a geopolitical “THREAT”. He then conflated geopolitical with security by evoking Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda is not a geopolitical threat. They are a national security threat.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m sure that such are your conclusions, but considering how addled you are, your confusion is apparent.

            Obama did say that Romney said that Russia was our number one enemy, just not then, which, I think, was the source of my misremembering.

            How am I digging? I am acknowledging the difference between the terms foe and threat. I just don’t think that the usage in the context of the debate greatly shapes how the public interpreted it.

            So, if Russia is a geopolitical foe, and they have thwarted our moves on a number of fronts and issues, then are they not a threat to us advancing our positions and interests? I also think that in various times and places that extremist groups can create geopolitical threats for us, such as by further destabilizing an already unstable region, such as in Yemen, although such groups do not pose the sort of larger threat that a significant nation-state can create.

          • HonestDebate1

            “Obama did say that Romney said that Russia was our number one enemy, just not then, which, I think, was the source of my misremembering.”

            Either source it or quit using the word enemy.

            How do these two comments square with each other? Either they are synonyms or they are not.

            “I am acknowledging the difference between the terms foe and threat.”

            “Is using a synonym not allowed?”

            Since you won’t stop digging I’ll stop burying you now. You don’t have a leg to stand on and you know that in your heart. Take a breath, reassess, admit your confusion and have a nice day Ray.

          • Ray in VT

            Ask me pretty please and I’ll give you the source. It’s a pretty easy one to find, though. Considering your sourcing abilities and practices you are hardly one to lecture, and mine isn’t based upon a story from a joke website, by the way.

            perhaps your confusion comes from your either your lack of attention or comprehension. What you are referring to are two different statements by me.

            “So, if foe and enemy are interchangeable, and Obama said that Romney called Russia our number one enemy, which is something that he said on at least one other occasion, then how does that figure in to your theory
            of Obama hoodwinking people in that regard? Is using a synonym not
            allowed?” – me.

            Clear now, or are you still confused? I see. It’s time declare victory, regardless of the merits of such a claim. Another entirely predictable tactic.

          • HonestDebate1

            Obama did not use the word “foe” he did not use the synonym “enemy”. He hoodwinked by using the word “threat” which Romney did not use. Threat is not a synonym for foe. It is not a synonym for enemy. Obama did not use a synonym so what is the point of asking if a synonym is allowed?

            Yes they are two different statements by you that do not square with each other. Are you paying attention at all?

          • Ray in VT

            Indeed I am paying attention, although a relatively unimportant word choice and impact, which you seem to think is something of great consequence, from a year and a half ago isn’t really that high on my radar from day to day.

            That having been said, it is pretty funny to watch you either not be able to understand what I have said or intentionally misrepresent what I have said. It’s good comic relief sometimes.

            How’s that being hoodwinked by Romney by still sticking up for his lie that he told to at least one, but I think two, crowds in a swing state in the days leading up to the election working out for you?

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — apologies again for the interruption.

            Perhaps it really is a simple inabilty to understand nuance on Sir Nobler Than Thou’s part.

            No doubt he was a critic of the following nuanced view, expressed shortly after the Benghazi attacks:

            President Obama referred to US-Egypt relations as a “work in progress”.

            “I don’t think we would consider them an ally, but we don’t consider them an enemy. They are a new government that is trying to find its way,” Mr Obama said in a television interview with Spanish-language network Telemundo.

            He said that so far Egypt’s government has “said the right thing and taken the right steps” but it has also responded to other events in ways that “may not be aligned with our interests”.

            Source:
            http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-19584265

            Again, my apologies for elbowing in.

          • HonestDebate1

            Well… after having told Mubarek within days of the unrest that the transition must start now, thereby delivering a bullet in the back from Uncle Sam as one Israeli journalist put it, Obama somehow never delivered that same message to Morsi. Morsi is the Muslim Brotherhood and the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization. So the question of whether Obama considered a terrorist organization an enemy or an ally is a good one. And then there is the view from the streets of Egypt which says Morsi is neither America’s enemy or ally. They say Morsi is Obama’s bitch.

            But what does that have to do with ### oh never mind.

          • HonestDebate1

            After all that, you finally say Obama used a poor word choice? Really? I gave you the video of what Obama said and I also gave you the interview Romney said and Obama referenced. You went to that much effort to misrepresent what Obama said as well as what Romney said, blamed misremembering, introduced a phantom quote that had nothing to do with the debate I posted the best I can tell, muddied the water with the word enemy and you even tried with all your might to talk about, of all things, Jeeps! Geeesh!

            Your second paragraph contradicts your first and your third makes no sense.

          • Ray in VT

            Of course, it’s all intentional by Obama. It’s a part of his master plan. Maybe even his revenge.
            Who is misrepresenting what Obama said? Not me. I said that he said that Romney said that Russia was our number one enemy, which we have agreed is a synonym for foe, just not in the debate, which was not what I claimed. You seem confused, which isn’t really a surprise.
            I find it very interesting that you still want to defend Romney’s words, which were not true then and are not true now, yet want to say that others are hoodwinked. It seems that you’re still sticking by the GOP lines, despite evidence to the contrary. I’m sure that because you believe Romney’s words, which were not true, that the facts make no sense to you. That is, however, not my fault. That’s all on you pal.

          • HonestDebate1

            “Again, I misremembered. Everybody makes mistakes.”

            You have a short memory if you just read the link you provided. But still, I won’t accuse you of lying, unfortunately your absurd definitions would clearly dictate you lied.

          • Ray in VT

            They’re not my definitions. They are the dictionary definitions. Feel free to accuse me of lying. You seem to want to accuse Obama of lying every time he makes a mistake. If we want to go down that road, which is sanctioned by a variety of dictionary definitions, then, by all means, let us make it so. I’m sure that we can work up a #1 Liar trophy for you, as your mistakes, in addition to your lies and distortions, are legion.

          • HonestDebate1

            Alrighty then.

          • Ray in VT

            Lame.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — please pardon the interruption in your entertaining exchange.

            Sir Pot The Noble One may simply be suffering from a sort of linguist achromatopsia, and is unable to “see” anything other than white and black, and no gradations between the two. After all, he has a lengthy history of concern about black, white, black-on-white, white-on-black, etc.

            This brings a question to mind: are nits black, or are they white?

            Thanks for your indulgence of the interruption.

          • HonestDebate1

            Except for the “Noble One” thing (Sir too but I haven’t smoked pot in eons), which does give me my due respect, that is as lame a comment as anything I’ve read.

          • Ray in VT

            Don’t read a lot of your own stuff, do ya?

          • HonestDebate1

            Actually, all of it. It’s a necessary evil.

          • Ray in VT

            Now, also considering that you have accused me of being hoodwinked, then let me ask you this. Did Mitt Romney say that Jeep “is thinking of moving all production to China”?

          • HonestDebate1

            Good God Ray, at least try to have a little shame when you so blatantly dodge and pinball to something else. And one link is enough. I see no reason to follow you into the weeds but I will humiliate you once again.

            I never denied Romney said what he said. And he was absolutely correct. I denied what you said he said which was, Romney said Jeep was moving all production to China. He said they were thinking about it. They were.

            http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/01/15/jeep-guangzhou-china/1566380/

            http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2014/04/19/jeep-models-in-china/7908463/

            http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/whoops-politifacts-lie-year-turns-out-be-true_696223.html

            My God Ray, I am embarrassed for you.

          • Ray in VT

            Good one. Romney said that they were thinking about moving all production to China. That would be pretty damning if they were thinking about moving all production to China. Here’s the problem, though. That wasn’t what they were thinking about, and that wasn’t what was reported. So, while you want to rake me over the coals for enemy versus foe versus threat, although you admit that the first two are interchangeable, you continue to stand by Romney’s lie. You’ve been duped. I am embarrassed for you.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s funny!

            “So, while you want to rake me over the coals for enemy versus foe versus threat, although you admit that the first two are interchangeable…”

            There you go again. Enemy is your word, no one else’s.

          • Ray in VT

            Why? Did I make it up? I did try to purchase the word from the dictionary so that I could make it mean whatever I wanted, but they told me that they had already had a similar request regarding lie, and that they aren’t taking bids for words.

          • Ray in VT

            That also fails to address the fact that truth behind the Jeeps issue is that, contrary to what Mr. Romney said, Chrysler was not thinking about moving all Jeep production to China.

          • HonestDebate1

            This is to Hennorama who liked the above comment. She is also obsessed with me so I know she is reading.

            Your highly selective precision is what makes you the most disingenuous person on this blog. Why would you click like on such an inaccurate sloppy comment? Why would you not instead correct Ray about what Romney actually said. And just the other day you misquoted me and put your misquote in quotes to make it appear I said you said something I did not. Don’t ever claim to be the precision queen again. And don’t even try to apply your selective precision by saying you never said the precise words “precision queen”, you know what I mean.

            AND APOLOGIZE IMMEDIATLEY!

          • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

            How, she doesn’t read! Maybe she saw it from her back deck in a cloud.

          • HonestDebate1

            Huh? I thought you were a hotshot. I even clicked on your link for “FULL COVERAGE” regarding Ukraine despite your shameless plug. I may even go back but you’re no journalist.

            How can anyone not love Sarah?

    • tommyslothrop

      Any Russian president would have had to act similarly. No Russian leader would be able to stay in power if he let NATO take Sebastopol.

      • Ray in VT

        I think that some of the Russian actions are logical, to a certain extent, from their point of view. I think that they do have some level of national concern, perhaps even almost a paranoia, about their western boarder, given the invasions that they have faced there. I think that they likely feel rather pressed or threatened by NATO and the West. That having been said, though, I think that some of these moves are likely ultimately against some of their broader interests, especially considering how such moves may impact their trading partners in Europe.

      • carlloeber

        the Kremlin could have kept Sevastopol just like the USA kept Guantanamo ..

    • Sy2502

      I don’t think you understand how Russian politics work. Medvedev was Putin’s puppet. Putin was the real president even when he wasn’t. You don’t actually believe Russia’s politics are Democratic and fair, do you?

  • Bart caruso

    Unfair and unbalanced discussion. Where’s the truth that the U.S.spent $5 Billion to draw Ukraine to the West for Corporate / Banking gain.As stated by State Department Neocon Victoria Nuland. And that Ukraine’s elected government was overthrown by our coalition ,particularly the neo-fascist elements , the snipers of Februrary who fired on both sides.

    • northeaster17

      I think it should be added that the $5 Billion was spent over two decades as the report indicates. The 5 billion number has been thrown around alot, and there is I think, a certain cadre that would like many to think that the money was just recently introduced to the region. I’ve actually heard that stated in various places.

      • Bart caruso

        I know ,it was since the fall of the USSR- but it’s purpose (achieved by funding NGO’s) was to open Ukraine to Western Corporations- and it resulted in a violent overthrow of an elected Government . i can’t help thinking back to 1953 , where the U.S. spent $5 Million to overthrow Iran’s democratically elected , secular, Progressive leader ,Misoedec- look where that got us > twenty yrs of a U.S. puppet Dicatator , who was eventually over throw by a theocracy – I realize now , NPR is Corporate /Wall st. favoring newsfouxtainment (ESTABLISHMENT !) radio – but why should “we” be mendling, with Taxpayer Money , on behalf of Corporate(Chevron, Cargill) Interests ? (the invaluable Ukraine info starts @ 15:30 -Matt taibbi’s new book : ”
        The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap
        is discussed in the first half ) > http://rt.com/shows/keiser-report/keiser-report-590-episode-600/

      • Bart caruso

        You are Correct ,it was since the fall of the USSR- but it’s purpose (achieved by funding NGO’s) was to open Ukraine to Western Corporations- and it resulted in a violent overthrow of an elected Government . i can’t help thinking back to 1953 , where the U.S. spent $5 Million to overthrow Iran’s democratically elected , secular, Progressive leader ,Misoedec- look where that got us > twenty yrs of a U.S. puppet Dicatator , who was eventually over throw by a theocracy – I realize now , NPR is Corporate /Wall st. favoring newsfouxtainment (ESTABLISHMENT !) radio – but why should “we” be mendling, with Taxpayer Money , on behalf of Corporate(Chevron, Cargill) Interests ? (the invaluable Ukraine info starts @ 15:30 -Matt taibbi’s new book : ”
        The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap
        is discussed in the first half ) > http://rt.com/shows/keiser-report/keiser-report-590-episode-600/

    • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

      Nonsense- that’s invented baloney- Maidan was supported by millions and millions of dollars of endless free labor- friends worked all night dozens of time, gave + donated everything to people there, political parties and oligarchs helped. These people shattered the will of the Yanumen by walking into bullets with homemade shields, think you can buy that determination with a few trinkets and beads. Meant to ask doctor today at press conf. who started that insane rumor about Gov-sponsored snipers- think she’s already disavowed it. Nuland may be a detestable neocon (or hubby is), but the diplo translation for her comments is: “It’s really too bad that the EU requires unanimous consent from 28 members before it can take any action.”

      • Get Your Facts Straight

        “. . . think she’s already disavowed it.” – what makes you think so? Do you have any evidence for this assertion?

  • HonestDebate1

    Obama has power over exploiting our resources. We have plenty of natural gas for Eastern Europe.

  • marygrav

    Don’t Crow is the first rule in diplomacy. It can cause you opponent to fight to the death and perhaps win. There is a deep steated history of the West’s hatred for Boshevism/Communism that stretches back to the 1917 Russian Revolution. So that whatever claims the Russians offer in their defense right or wrong is disregarded.
    The Cold War was an invention of Winston Chuchill because the US had dropped the UK from its Lend Lease Agreement and concentrated on the Marshall Plan to Europe. So he spoke of an Iran Curtain instead of the reason that Russia had just cause for distrusting the West.

    If Right-wingers like John McCain had not become the real “Ourside Agitators” encouraging the Ukraine Coup, there would not even be a talk of Civil War. All the Civil Wars were to be in the Middle East. But if the Old Soldier had studied European History, he may have realized that the Middle East has a long arm beyon the Urrel Mountains.

    To hear the Neocons crow over what they think will be a “Cake Walk” because of US sanctions is a joke and would be funny if Iraq had not delt US such a blow. These political experts have more in common with Trotsky who always believed and sanction eternal revolution than it has with the practicality of the World going to war in both Central Europe and in the Middle East as well.

    Ask, “Why do they hate US?” They hate US because we don’t understand that controlling history and making it up as you go is a fool’s errand.

    John Kerry is a fool. Some kind of deal has gone down between Angela Merkle and President Obama to pour oil on the Ukraine waters. All he should do is follow orders and forget that he hate Bolsheviks.

    • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

      “Don’t crow” is true enough, but not much else. Have a feeling from your Inglish that you are writing from Moscow, where the Kremlin pays hundreds of bloggers and posters to present their “version” of events. Iraq was truly a great crime and act of treason on Bush’s part- our country can be hijacked too, but it doesn’t excuse the brutality and cynicism of Putin’s Imperial Stretch.

  • HonestDebate1

    I’m not President, nor do I want to be.There are a gazillion options before we get to ICBMs. But I am struck by your use of “Ukraine”. That illustrates the way the issue has escalated. It is no longer about Crimea. Putin has won, now the focus is Ukraine. If he gets that then is it Latvia? Moldova? Belarus?

    I have no problem with a flexible President. I have a huge problem with a President whispering the message he will be more flexible after an election because he no longer has to worry about votes.

    • jefe68

      You do realize that Belarus is still for the most part a communist country, right?

  • HonestDebate1

    I remember a joint press conference with Bush and Putin in Russia. I took note the American contingent were all wearing headphones for the translation… except for Condi who is fluent in Russian. Imagine the rush felt across the Kremlin when the next Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, with the full resources of the American government, could not even get the translation of the word “reset” right.

    Imagine the glee the Russians felt at the prospect of American retreat with the concept of a reset to begin with. Bush pulled out of the ABM tracy. He went forward with missile defense. He advocated a direct path to NATO for Georgia and Ukraine. He was a thorn in the side of Putin and it was all going away. Oh boy!

    Imagine the lessons learned when Obama ceded leadership to France when Gaddaffi caused trouble in Libya. Or when Obama ceded leadership to Putin himself in Syria. Or when Obama softened the stance on nukes in Iran. Or his apology tour and guilt over a strong America.

    Think back to when Romney said Russia was the most pressing geopolitical issue and Obama laughed it off teling Romney the 80′s wanted their foreign policy back. Romney said he was not going wear rose colored glasses when it came to Russia or Mr. Putin and certainly was not going to say to him “I’ll give you more flexibility after the election”. He said after the election he’ll get more backbone. Who do you suppose Putin was rooting for? Imagine the utter joy Putin felt win Obama won.

    Imagine the relief for Putin when Obama decided not to exploit our massive gargantuan natural gas reserves leaving Russia in total control of Eastern Europe’s lifeline. Imagine the gazillions of dollars Russia could use to fund their military as President Obama cut ours to the bone.

    Imagine Putin today now that there is no talk about Crimea. All the talk is about Ukraine. Victory is won in Crimea. Think about the ego boost for Putin after realizing commenters on stupid blogs swear up and down America is helpless to control him.

    And now imagine Putin’s dreams for the future and how awesome a Hillary Presidency would be for him.

    So now Ukraine is boiling over. Anyone who thinks this happened overnight is not being the least bit objective.

    • ExcellentNews

      Another off-point attack against our President, who was elected against the wishes of our oligarchy. Don’t let facts bother you, but it’s hard to forget your beloved Bush.

      - The two countries Bush wanted to integrate into NATO are the two countries Russia invaded. Coincidence? If anyone laughed, it was Putin when Bush looked into his eyes.

      - Strong America? Yes, it was strong before our corporate cronies exported 20,000,000 industrial US jobs to China and gave themselves a tax cut and an inheritance tax cut. Yes, it was strong before the banksters who funded deregulation and the Republican revival bloated themselves from predatory consumer loans. Yes, it was strong before fundamentalist Republicans alienated our true allies in Western Europe.

      - Oligarchies and dictatorships today do not worry about America. Not because of Obama, but because they see we have become just like them – a banana republic ruled by the rich for the rich. Which is why countries like China, Russia or Saudi Arabia cheered for McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012 and funneled obscene amounts of “dark money” into their campaigns. At least, Obama was elected by the American people, not by the global oligarchy.

      And yeah, I am relieved that we are not drilling like mad gophers to ship natural gas to Eastern Europe, where corruption and graft will make sure that not a single cent of value comes back to the US. What a crackpot idea.

      • HonestDebate1

        The Oligarchs have made out like bandits under Obama. Even the Russian ones.

        Do you think Putin would have preferred Romney to Obama?

  • true-teller

    We in the West must take some responsibility for what is going on in Ukraine. First we station NATO troops in several countries bordering Russia with an effort to put troops in all the countries on Russia’s western front from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. Then we support anti-government protest in Ukraine, another country bordering Russia. To show that we are serious about destabilizing Ukraine, we sent Sen. John McCain and 7 senators to Ukraine to cheer on the anti-government protesters in Kiev. Not to be outdone by the senators, the State Department dispatched its Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland to Kiev to pick and choose the new leader for Ukraine. Who can forget her “F..k the EU” statement that has since gone viral? France, Germany and Poland, on behalf of the EU, then negotiate a peace deal to end the protest. The anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi and fascist wing of the protesters outright reject the agreement. To a shocking delight of many in the West but a jolt to Russia, the US gave its full support to the anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi and fascist demand and pushed the elected president out of office. Get this…All this is happening on Russia’s border. Just imagine the uproar in the US if Russia did this in a country bordering the US. What would be our reaction if Russia supported an anti-government protest in Mexico that resulted in overthrowing the elected president? This is a simple question none of my critics will dare to respond to.

    • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

      The elected President was a cheap thug 2x ex-con who beat people unconscious and one of the great thieves of world history- it seems he was stealing up to half of every penny moving through his Gov. His billion$ estate had gold chandeliers worth $5 mil each. Within first 8 months he had seized absolute power by perverting and packing every other branchs of Gov- the Rada, the Courts, the Election Commissions, the Governors. http://hammernews.com/absolutepower2.htm
      His apparent legitimate election was a tragedy- I said at the time- you’ll have this thug for 15 years unless someone shoots him. He got off scot-free with his $32 bil, others were killed, now the foreign sponsored traitor is supposedly funding the Civil War. Think that might impact his “legitimacy”?????

      • true-teller

        Your description of “the elected President was a cheap thug 2x ex-con” can be applied to many so-called presidents, prime ministers, Kings, emperors, monarchs and military dictators that we support as they suppress their own people. Some were clearly worse than Viktor Yanukovych yet we single out Viktor Yanukovych?

        • carlloeber

          you don’t know what you’re talking about .. unless you mean guys like Sadam and Gaddafi and Assad and Moubarak .. just list the names so we know if you are serious ..

          • true-teller

            Please do yourself a favor and do some research and Google “United States support of authoritarian regimes”.

          • carlloeber

            sure there are plenty of dictators in the world.. Are you saying that we should not get rid of them.. Unless we get rid of them all together at once!?

          • true-teller

            Very good… You did your research. Look, my work has allowed me to live and work in several countries around the world. Even you will develop a different prospective when you sit and listen to the common people under these dictatorships. Apartheid was worse than what Viktor Yanukovych did in Ukraine but we had a policy called “constructive engagement” with the apartheid regime. Let’s take your example, Saudi Arabia. 15 of the 19 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia. Osama bin Laden came from Saudi Arabia. 3,000 Americans died on 9/11 because of the dictatorship in Saudi Arabia. When the people in Bahrain protested against their government (just like the protestors did in Kiev), Saudi Arabia sent in tanks and crushed the protesters.

    • carlloeber

      you have the realise that the Kremlin is full on dictatorship .. no one should have to live with rulers like that .. please wake up .. there is no excuse for the Kremlin mobsters anymore then for Ivan the Terrible who put out the eyes of the artist who built the beautiful church in Red Square for him … Ukrainian people don’t want to live under rulers like this !! except those who think that the Russian incomes which are twice that in UKraine are more important than living in a free country ..

      • true-teller

        Very interesting that you spent all this time commenting but you won’t respond to the simple questions in my original comment.

        • carlloeber

          I did not see your comment until just now.. I will go look for it and try to give you an answer!

          • true-teller

            Let me save you some time. Here are the questions. Please be objective and not subjective.

            1. What would be our reaction in the US if Russia was openly supporting say, an anti-government protest in Mexico City?
            2. What would be our reaction if the Russian Foreign Ministry was caught on tape discussing the overthrow of the elected president of Mexico as well as the people Russia wants in power?
            3. What would be our reaction if Russian troops were stationed in Mexico?

  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

    Kiev: I’ve spent over 5 years here and 3 years in Russia, reporting for every English paper and some US, questioning every political leader and new minister, was in height of fighting Jan + Feb, and lived by Maidan for 3 months, Kornblum is very good. There are several things people should understand:

    1. There are NO fascists or Nazis in Ukraine- even the big boggyman Pravy Sector hasn’t done or said anhything too extreme (except for, uh, 1000′s of firebombs), are marginally competent, and have been greatly chopped down by a feud w Int Min. Avakov. That is 80 year Soviet propaganda because the Ukr nationalists were the only people to continuously resist Soviet murders.
    2. There is no discrimination against Russians anywhere (maybe far West, where they don’t like to speak Russian); in fact Russians are the master race, who have killed (mostly as Soviets) 10-15 million Ukrainians, from revolution to 3 famines, to the Purges and Gulag, all the way back to 1600′s.
    3. Ukrainians are peaceful patient people who will take enormous abuse without reaction, like allowing the dirtbag Yanukovich to steal +$40 billion (the entire deficit) before they rose up. The evidence of that is that in the Invasion, takeover, humiliation, and killings of Ukrs in Crimea, not a single Russian was killed or even shot. To Ukrs, Russia is an older abusive brother, who has provided training, but constant disrespect and bullying.
    4. None of this is happening without big money- several millions a day from Russia or Yanukovich + his “Family” who all (maybe 8 members) stole billions. Slavyansk was a home base of Yanu, Horlivka of prosecutor Pshonka, Odessa payments for the murderous attack on the football fans (5 shot dead) before the tragic burning of the Trade Center, came from chunky Arbuzov, and Klymenko. From friends and reports in the East, payment for PR (pro-Russian) demonstrating is $40-70/day; for storming buildings and bases $500/day- I’ve seen pictures and videos of them handing out money.
    5. The pattern of attacks and takeovers were to have “civilians” w women and kids make the first attack, backed up by armed rebels, sometimes backed up by Green Men (Russian special forces). so Ukrs would have to kill civilians, Except in Mariupol, where they repulsed and shot up an attack on military base, Ukrs have been loathe to do that.
    6. The East has become lawless hellhole with unknown balaclava Kalishnikov-wielding rebels robbing banks or detaining anyone who isn’t PR – attacks on Kolomoisky’s Privat Banks caused them to close- so there’s been a run on ATM’s so nobody can get money.

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

    • anamaria23

      Thanks very much for the close up report. It is so hard to sort out all the information, some distorted.

      • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

        Thanks. There is a huge amount of misinformation about what’s happening here, and it is galling to listen to people who KNOW based on this or that propaganda they’ve heard. I long thought during all Maidan that the Russians must be fuming, “WE do revolutions, WE destabilize Govs, WE do insurgencies, and boy are we going to show you!!!! They are experts at this propaganda- many have forgotten the Cold War, when if Moscow said anything, it was 80% lies and distortion. That Russia is back- Putin now is planning to censor and control the Internet, because all the young are getting unfiltered info, which can’t be allowed. That will provoke massive disenchantment- in this gigantic remote empire/country the Internet is their window on EVERYTHING.

        See my BLOG, where entire history of PROTEST/REVOLT/INVASIONS is covered in exhaustive detail. “Victory Explained” video is good, Yahoo article on INVASION (click on it but 3 week newer version is at LOCAL), Jan 19th Video is wild. Just went back there- to Hrushevskogo St. for the first time in 3 months and it seemed like a dream- there are still a few tents and tires but they’ve replaced most of the ripped up paving stones. Had Yanukovich not had Maidan sleeping students savagely beaten at 4am by Berkut storm troopers, protest would have probably faded away (2 murdered/disappeared still).

        It’s been a long strange trip, and I’m maybe imminently going East, where as an obvious foreigner, anti-Yanu, anti-seperatist, dirty American, CIA spy (all Americans are, you know) journalist.. I would be in serious peril.

        • anamaria23

          Thanks again. Take care and be safe.
          Good work you are doing.

        • Get Your Facts Straight

          “. . . CIA spy . . .” – no kidding!

    • Ray in VT

      I think that there are some sorts of fascist groups operating in Ukraine presently. I don’t know if it is accurate to label them as Nazis, but they are there, although I think that their numbers are relatively rather small, when compared to other political elements.

      • Bart caruso

        small , but armed and dangerous. then there is the possibility of Mercenaries.

      • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

        You do eh? I’ve never seen it anywhere- admittedly the Svoboda torchlight parade was very bad PR, but think they meant it as something to burn out evil rather than copy the Nazis. Cause you heard it 3000 times- that’s how propaganda works. You saw 20,000 reports about Clinton’s “crimes” in Whitewater, but as you know… they did nothing but lose money. Some leftist reporters have an absolute bug up… on this, notably once reputable Robert Parry, who now sees neocon plots under every bed, and babbles on and on about fascists in a place I think he’s never been. Some of the protesters were extremists, but only in insisting Yanu leave, understandable- how long would Obama be in office if he personally stole, say $ 1.5 trillion (amt = % budget). I said myself that the offer to give the Oppo the PM + deputy PM would solve crisis, since they could carve Yanu up + down from those positions, and otherwise.. 100-200 people would die before this ended (~125 did, with the disappeared).

        The dirty truth is Slavs are almost all pretty racist and anti-Semetic, historically the brown Moslems of the South + oriental Mongols were deadly enemies, and occupiers- the Ottomans/Tatars shipped out 3 million Ukr slaves from Feodosia (blew my mind); the Mongols slaughtered most of everyone they ran across in the first scientific genocides. Ukrs are quite mild in this but Russia, with their imperial realm, think little of brutal discrimination, exile,and murder- like America, they didn’t subdue the continent and build and empire by sweetness and light. They killed 30% of Chechnya in the 2 wars, reason for the endless terrorism from there, and even when I lived in Mockba in 2007, doctors with 14 year legal residency, were just thrown on trains and shipped back to Azerbaijan or Tadjikistan, losing everything in one of the periodic crackdowns. I did a piece about how surprising Ukr was in this respect- http://www.kyivpost.com/news/opinion/op_ed/detail/129493/

        How slick the Rus propaganda is is displayed by how the Eastern protesters are carefully doing carbon-copy re-enactions of Maidan protest- “self-defense” forces, burning tires, talk of freedom and independence, occupations… but Maidan didn’t have the monstrous kidnappings, tortures, and murders that are going on regularly there, esp of any non PR journos. The Horlivka councilman and two poor young students had their stomachs slit open before they were dumped in the river, presumable still barely alive.

        Actually Western delineations of left and right +
        fascist have little meaning here. The Communists were brutal fascists in everything except their exact ideology, instead of Gov-corporate dictatorship- it was entirely Gov, and everything and everybody that lifted a finger in resistance was plowed under. These supposed Ukr fascists have nothing to do with corporate power- they just want a Ukr free from foreign control, like our founding fathers.

        • Ray in VT

          I was indeed referring to Svoboda, which some have described as having either some sort of neo-fascist, anti-semetic or neo-Nazi ideology. I do not know first hand. I have relied upon what I have heard and what I have read. Some have certainly raised questions about Svoboda and its ideology, such as here http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/ukraine-sliding-towards-civil-war-in-wake-of-tough-new-laws-a-945742.html. If true, then those are some troubling facts, and I am inclined to give at least some credence to such reporting, in part because of the source, which is, I think, a good one, but also because I am wary of extremist groups.

          I am aware of the Russian propaganda and how it is attempting to portray the protests that brought down Yanukovych, and I am not siding with them, but I am also casting a very wary eye upon the positions of some of those who took part in the protests.

    • carlloeber

      Thank you Hammermann!! I am in Ukriane now too and wrote something above .. I would like to visit with you .. send to me at loeber@live.com

    • Get Your Facts Straight

      No fascists or Nazis in Ukraine? If you were in Kiev and somehow missed them there why don’t you search Google images for “ fascists or Nazis in Ukraine”. Or you can see a nice compilation here:

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/there-are-no-neo-nazis-in-the-ukraine-and-the-obama-administration-does-not-support-fascists/5370269

      Do you recognize Oleh Tyahnybok in the first picture? He is a member of Ukrainian Parliament and the leader of Svoboda.

      You are defending some really nice people!

      I suspect that you were in Ukraine and Russia like I was in Vegas last night.

  • HonestDebate1
    • Ray in VT

      Not at all.

  • carlloeber

    I am in Ukraine! I have made 15 trips to Russia and Ukraine since 1996.. but have not gone to Russia since the dictatorship became apparent there.. I’ve been watching Putin since he was first elected in 2000.. the Kremlin dictatorship is rule by mobsters.. He and his supporters have eliminated democracy.. by ending the election of governors.. by taking over control all three national television networks and the top news and social internet sites.. intimidating opponents with jail sentences.. Intimidating journalists with muggings and murder.. no normal person wants to live in a society like this! To top this the Kremlin wants Ukraine to join a customs union with two large nations, Belarus and Kazakhstan, where dictators have ruled for more than 20 years! .. while the mobsters in the Kremlin have been doing all this for the last 14 years the presidents of the United States like Barack Obama and other Western politicians has been treating the mobsters and their godfather like respectable persons! They have aided this dictatorship and enabled the mob leader Mr Putin! This is despicable but it will probably continue after this situation cools down.. these mobsters have amassed greater fortunes then any dictators in the history of the world, this includes the former president of Ukraine Yanukovich.. if you would like details read articles in the newspaper published by Mr Gorbachev .. http://en.novayagazeta.ru/politics/62145.html
    You can find links to these and others on website StopPutinNow.US

  • Get Your Facts Straight
  • carlloeber

    This is the best links and research about the Kremlin.. And what is going on in Russia and Ukraine!

    http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-16/putin-bank-trail-runs-from-communist-cash-to-billionaires.html

    for 14 years V. Putin has ended democracy in Russia by ending free local and regional elections, and
    by
    taking over all
    national TV stations, and by the murder of opposition journals and
    writers and imprisonment of possible political opponents ..
    what Putin does .. with his friends in the Kremlin ..
    1. invades Georgia
    2.
    invades Ukraine
    3.
    tortures and murders a whistle blower named Sergei Magnitsky who proves that police officials stole $250 million .. then after
    4.
    headed a mafia state of thieving officials and taken $40 billion for
    his personal estate, Russians send $50,000,000,000 in private money
    every year to foreign banks
    5. puts his political opponent Khordohovsky in prison for ten years
    6. arrests his critic Navalny in Moscow
    7.
    ends the free election of mayors and governors of regions so that there
    are no competing political personalities can become well known by the
    voters
    8. concocts a tandem trade with Medvedev to rule for 24 years
    9. forms a “trade union” with
    Belarus and Kazakstan .. where dictators have ruled for 20 years
    10. takes control of all national television stations in Russia
    11. Edward Snowden’s sponsor
    12. props up mass murderous dictator in Syria
    13. 120 sailors die in the Kursk rather than let NATO countries try to save them
    14.
    threatens to put medium range missiles on the German border unless
    Obama backs out of his offer to defend Poland and Prague with anti
    missile radar ..
    15. assassination of Litvenenko in London
    16. assassination of Anna Politovskaya
    17. attempted assassination of Ukraine Pres. Yushenko as candidate in 2004
    18. mass murder to suppress self determination in Chechnya
    what President Obama does in response..
    1. sends gay representatives to the winter olympics because of limits on gay rights in Russia
    2. says that the Kremlin will pay for the
    invasion of Ukraine by not being invited to the Big 8 conference in 2014

    • true-teller

      There you are trying so hard to avoid my questions. I hope you will be objective (I mean impartial, unbiased and even-handed) and respond to these 3 questions.

      1. What would be our reaction in the US if Russia was openly supporting say, an anti-government protest in Mexico City?
      2. What would be our reaction if the Russian Foreign Ministry was caught on tape discussing the overthrow of the elected president of Mexico as well as the people Russia wants in power in Mexico?
      3. What would be our reaction if Russian troops were stationed in Mexico?

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