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Taking The Temperature Of The U.S.-Russia Face Off

The U.S. and Europe face off against Russia. Are we looking at Cold War II? Something hotter?

Russian President Vladimir Putin heads the Cabinet meeting in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 30, 2014.  (AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin heads the Cabinet meeting in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP)

For decades, Moscow was the great bogeyman of the West.  The Cold War enemy.  Then the Berlin Wall came down, and the world was jubilant to say goodbye to all that.  Is it back?  Just when it’s the last thing anybody needs?  Vladimir Putin is pushing a hard line into Ukraine and specifically against the West.  Malaysia’s airliner is in pieces and the shock waves still shake us.  New sanctions are going at the heart of Russia’s wealth – oil.  And now there’s talk of the US helping target Russian weapons.  That’s hot.  This hour On Point: is it Cold War again?

– Tom Ashbrook


Masha Gessen, Russian-American journalist. Author of “Words Will Break Cement,” “The Man Without a Face” and “Dead Again: The Russian Intelligentsia After Communism,” among others. (@mashagessen)

Michael McFaul, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia. Professor of political science at Stanford University. (@McFaul)

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: Mouthpieces for the Kremlin’s propaganda channel aren’t brave — “Sometimes journalists who admit having lied for years get to be heroes for a few days, garnering praise for their honesty and bravery. These public liars get to depart the story with their heads raised high and every reason to expect to continue a career in journalism.”

The Atlantic: Why Putin Turned Against the U.S. — “There several ways of thinking about the recent crisis. One favorite frame, especially among Russian experts, is that this is simply the way Great Powers behave and the way they’ve behaved for centuries. Russia is a rising power, and it’s only natural that it would seek to control more territory. That can’t be written off entirely, McFaul said, but he doesn’t see it as the main factor.

Bloomberg View: Tefft the Terminator Heads to Moscow — “To understand how little the U.S. and Russia expect of their relationship these days, consider this: The Barack Obama administration has put forward John Tefft, who is something of a bogeyman for the Russians, to become the next ambassador to Moscow — and the Kremlin today said it’s fine with that.”

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  • brettearle

    How can this Ukraine matter possibly compare to the Berlin Wall or the Cuban Missile Crisis days of the 20th Century Cold War?

    No matter how adventurist some fear modern day Russia can become, their influence is limited by comparison to the reigns of Khrushchev and Brezhnev . Their current Reach is far greater than their actual Grasp–even if they are a major Energy provider.

    Why are our anxieties so off kilter?

    If we concentrated on things such as ISIS, we’d be much better off.

    Seems to me that such a broad and far-ranging radical non-state actor, such as ISIS is, currently, much more of a dangerous Foe.

    What gives?

    • Arkuy The Great

      Truth be told the USSR a couple of generations ago was a threat to Europe primarily. That they trained SS-20s on the USA was more to keep the Yanks overseas and afraid get frisky on the Continent like in ’41-’45. The relationship is not all that different now only instead of keeping large Warsaw Pact divisions in the East Russia merely wields the threat of turning off the oil and gas spigots. Similarly, then as now the USA is the potent counterforce only we now do it similarly with the threat of exporting our new oil and gas bounty (and encouraging other countries to do likewise) instead of Minutemen and “Peacekeepers”.

  • Obamunism 2.0

    How dare those Russians refuse to be puppets of Washington D.C.!

    Doesn’t Moscow know that NO country has a right to self-determination in this age of world-wide American hegemony?

    • AC

      i think they want to make sure they have shelter for all the cyber criminals they harbor. smart move, really, thinking ahead about who’ll butter your bread…..otherwise, they’ll actually have to comply with international trade laws:
      tho, apparently they’re on the run:

      btw, i think you’re an idiot.

      • Obamunism 2.0

        You’re the moron who blindly supports a President who ordered the assassination of four American citizens (which included a 16 year old boy). That says a lot about your gullibility and your clear lack of ability to think independently.

        Obama Admin. Admits for First Time It Killed Four U.S. Citizens in Drone Strikes Outside War Zones


        • AC

          i see the article is over a year old, admits to the action and more importantly, has nothing to do with what is happening and being discussed in respect to Russia (which in case you need a pointer, is what this is supposed to be about (see show title)).
          speaking of thinking independently, i don’t think you are. it feels like typ. anti-west hack and instead of offering any sort of summary or solution, you choose to allude to a world wide hegemony where russia must be made to ‘cower’ or something by the ‘evil-empire’. lol. honestly, a 13 year old on an ap debate team could do a better job.

          • Obamunism 2.0

            How long have you been a paid government troll?

          • AC

            yep. 13 year old would be better suited to discourse with you. i’m out.
            good luck!!

          • Obamunism 2.0

            Yeah, go back to blogging more mindless pro-Obama propaganda.
            Maybe you can convince some of your fellow morons to keep supporting Obama.

            Happy trolling!

          • jimino

            Do you pretend KGB agents get to take a shot of vodka every time you make a moronic claim about someone else being a troll, like the Bob Newhart Show drinking game?

          • Obamunism 2.0

            Are you as incoherent in your native language as you are in English?

          • jimino

            How do you say “cheers!” in Russian?

          • Obamunism 2.0

            Thanks for answering my question.

        • anamaria23

          Your obsession with the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki may be justified, but give some consideration to the terrorist’s active plots against the USA. I suspect that Presidents have the choice of the lesser of two options i.e. chances of a horrendous attack on the US or being tried for war crimes.
          While you may have some valid points, your mocking petulance and utter contempt for this POTUS and the US shows a deeper agenda than just seeing justice served such as your would be joy at seeing the POTUS in an “orange jumpsuit.

          • Obamunism 2.0

            Obama logic: Assassinate an American citizen, then assassinate his 16 year old son the next day, since terrorism is obviously in the family DNA.

          • jimino

            We know you would prefer suicide vests in a market place or a place of worship, or shooting down commercial passenger airplanes. Or is it just rounding up your foes and shooting them in the head after they dig their own grave? It’s confusing sometimes.

          • Obamunism 2.0

            So you approve of Obama assassinating American citizens? You’re really a loyal Obama troll.

          • anamaria23

            That American “citizen” would bring down the United States, if he could, in a heartbeat. How do you suggest this “citizen” be dealt with?

          • Obamunism 2.0

            Not by assassinations.

          • anamaria23

            How, then?

          • Obamunism 2.0

            That’s what courts are for.

          • hennorama

            Obamunism 2.0 — you do realize that apprehension and arrest of the suspect is generally required for the process of indictment, trial, judgment, and possible sentencing, to proceed, right?

            How do you propose such arrests and apprehensions? Invasion? Special/Covert Operations? Local law enforcement and/or military action, followed by local prosecution, or transfering the suspect to US custody?

            Part of the protocol involved in the decision ot use lethal force involves whether or not capture is feasible. If it is not feasible, then the rest of the decision protocols are followed.

            While the exact protocols and procedures are secret, a “decision matrix” has been teased out from previous actions, testimony, public statements, and off-the-record conversations with officials involved. An interactive version can be found here:


          • SteveTheTeacher

            “Part of the protocol involved in the decision ot use lethal force involves whether or not capture is feasible. If it is not feasible, then the rest of the decision protocols are followed.”

            The assumption of the right to kill citizens with impunity, by an subgroup of government officials, is fascist.


            1. The US memo outlining the legal argument for the extra-judicial killing of US citizens states that the targets must pose an imminent threat to the US or US “interests.” It further explains that :

            “The condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future,”

            2. With respect to “infeasible” capture, it states that the memo states that an infeasible capture includes a situation that would pose an “undue risk” to U.S. personnel involved in such an operation. Whether such “risk” means risk of physical harm or disclosure of US affiliation or potential revelation of US methods of operation is left to the discretion of those who assume the right to decide who will live and who will die.

          • hennorama

            SteveTheTeacher — thank you for your informative and mildly opinionated response.

            I see the issue of the use of lethal force via UAVs to be a very thorny one, and am happy to not have to make such decisions myself. It is a difficult issue, with a multitude of good arguments on both sides.

            However, it is true that to effectively use the courts, one must first capture the suspect, is it not? That was the thrust of my comment, made in reply to [Obamunism 2.0].

            Thanks again.

          • SteveTheTeacher

            Yes Hennorama, I understand and agree with your point that “to effectively use the courts, one must first capture the suspect.”

            My point, however, is that, we need to be aware that particularly since the Presidency of Bill Clinton, those in power in the US have intentionally re-crafted the use of language to allow them to present statements with one common understanding, but to act on their own, very different, interpretation.

            Thus, an imminent threat, commonly understood to be a threat that is very likely to happen in the near future, is interpreted by the government as not necessarily an clearly articulated plan and not necessarily expected in the near future.

            Similarly, an infeasible capture, commonly interpreted as a capture that is not possible or not possible without the loss of life, may be interpreted by the government as a capture that may cause undesired revelation of US personnel or operations.

            It is also my point that, inconvenient as the US government may find it to capture a person that the executive kill committee, without oversight, labels an “enemy”, this is an reprehensible justification for murder.

            The assertion of the unquestionable right to determine who will be killed, with the will and military/police force to carry out the killing is, what I call fascist.

          • hennorama

            SteveTheTeacher — thank you again for your thoughtful response.

            I’m fully aware of this “Orwellification” of language, if you will, and that many are not. I respect and support your efforts to educate others about the facts, opinions, and subtle and not-so-subtle subterfuges surrouding these very difficult foreign policy and national security issues.

            Indeed, “infeasible” might one day be acted upon as if the modifier “politically” preceded it, if one extended some of the arguments and opinions that have been presented.

            Thanks again for your thoughtful response.

          • SteveTheTeacher

            Yes. You’ve articulated. very clearly, the point that I’m trying to make.

            Thank you for taking the time to reflect on my comments.

          • hennorama

            SteveTheTeacher — thank you for your very kind words.

            This issue seems to have no absolutely right solution, but only choices between options that are all flawed in their own way. It’s no wonder that President Obama’s hair has greyed.

          • SteveTheTeacher

            Guess that’s the Bush/Obama excuse reason for murdering approximately 200 children through drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia.


          • SteveTheTeacher

            An estimated 90% of the Israeli population supports the Israeli militaries actions in Gaza despite the fact that the Israeli military has murdered approximately 300 children and babies. This popular support does not diminish the fact that this is an abhorrent crime against humanity.

            Similarly, whatever specious justification the Obama administration may give, and despite the popular support in the US for the governments mass murder drone policy, the reality is that this policy, which has killed approximately two hundred children, is a crime against humanity.


  • AC

    to be honest, i don’t think Russia really has a choice but to help the rebels fight. how else will they keep the international community from realizing all the cyber-criminals they’ve been protecting?

  • Michiganjf

    The Cold War was based on differences in ideology, regarding which political/economic philosophy would prevail over large sections of the globe.

    Today, nearly every country, both west and east, are overly influenced by plutocrats working within psuedo-capitalist systems, so there’s not much of a difference in “political/economic” philosophies.

    The current issue with Russia is more of a test of how much pressure a loose confederation of countries can exert against a single antagonistic, subversive, state actor.

    If the confederation holds its ground for a few years, the test will prove successful and this particular issue will be resolved, albeit after a high cost for those caught in the middle.
    With a little luck, the effects will prove to be a significant example for would-be aggressors for a few years… but this IS NOT another Cold War, and it’s silly to put it in those terms.

  • Arkuy The Great

    Then, as now, it has all been about oil. The USSR was the world’s biggest producer of hydrocarbons in the mid 20th Century and still remains a leader today. It was collapsing prices in the 1980s that broke them. It is consistently high prices today that are enabling the current power grabs and crisis instigation by Putin and the Russian government; nostalgia for Soviet power runs high over there, apparently. If the goal of the Western coalition is to weaken Russia’s advance the solution is to do so with oil. The one thing that keeps Vladimir awake at night is that other countries besides the USA will start fracking to produce their own oil and gas.

    • hennorama

      Arkuy The Great — yes. and it behooves oil exporting countries to foment unrest in the Middle East, thereby maintaining high oil prices due to security and supply concerns.

      • Arkuy The Great

        To be fair, I would rather see major oil importers like Europe, Japan, China, etc. buying from us than from OPEC. So, yes (sort of). Fewer petro-dollars/euros/yen/RMB going to those unstable regions means they will be less of a threat outside their immediate neighborhood.

    • StilllHere

      It isn’t out of the realm of possibility to assume that Russian rubles are financing fracturing and Keystone opponents here. The US recently passed Russia in terms of oil production but could do much more if it weren’t for political and astro-turf headwinds.

  • andrewgarrett

    It’s odd that significant numbers on the American Left bizarrely view Putin as somehow the progressive here. Can someone tell them that communism ended 25 years ago? There is no longer any reason to blindly and counter-progressively support the USSR, because the USSR no longer exists.

    But sure, I get it. In the world of conspiracy theory every evil comes from the West. So if Putin is opposed to the West, he must magically be a progressive.

    • jimino

      This comment is so stupid that it’s almost unbelievable anyone could actually think this way. Then I remind myself what the “American Right” has become and it all makes sense.

      You are so confused about who kisses Putin’s ass, for being a thorn in you-know-who’s side, that you clearly need to be reminded: sun rises=east, sets=west. Good luck after dark.

    • MrNutso

      The left? So all those Republicans praising Putins as a man of action are closet liberals?

      • hennorama

        MrNutso — given the tendency of some to post semi-nude photos of Vlad the Inhaler, one might suppose something else present in “the closet.”

        Not that there’s anything wrong with that …

    • samalama99

      This comment has so much trolling to it I’m not sure if it’s real…. but I’ll bite.
      Putin’s strong arm tactics have been heralded by the American Right pretty much since Obama has been in office. He’s been a golden boy on sites like the Drudge Report…. what part of America’s left likes an autocrat outlawing homosexuality and dissent in the media?
      This whole infatuation is kind of like the Bundy situation. Any person who defies Obama and/or the Federal govt is held up as a hero in the American Right – but then, their hero is exposed as an ignorant d-bag (think Bundy and slavery) or we find out their true colors (Putin, Ukraine rebels, Malaysian airlines)… and their love affair is exposed.
      So lets try this. Point out some occasions that America’s Left has been in love with Putin…. can you do it even once? I’ll stand by….

  • John Howard Wilhelm

    In response to the Financial Times editorial yesterday on the Russian Ukrainian situation I sent the following letter:

    4 West Eden Court
    Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108
    Tel. 734/477-9942
    July 30, 2014



    Given the role that Katherine Ashton and Victoria Nuland

    played in fomenting the current Ukrainian crisis, it is
    certainly disingenuous for the Financial Times to underplay
    the role of the EU and the US in that crisis (Closing a 25-year
    chapter with Russia, Comment July 30). Surely the failure
    of the US administration to respond to legitimate Russian
    concerns after the troubling coup in Kiev in February and
    its immediate reaction of threatened sanctions greatly
    compounded the response one could expect from Russia
    under any leadership.

    In light of Putin’s support of Assad, I could not argue against
    anybody who would label Putin a thug. But given our failed
    commitment not to expand NATO, given the Banderite ties
    of Svoboda and the Right Force, given the attempt by a
    clearly rump parliament to delegalize the official use of
    Russian and given the information that has come out of
    Germany on the Maidan shooting of February, I don’t see
    how any other responsible Russian leader could have behaved

    much differently than Putin has in the Ukrainian situation prior
    to the latest incident.

    In the 1990s following the breakup of the Soviet Union we made
    three serious mistakes: 1) Accepting the arbitrary borders of the
    Soviet Union as international borders a la Yugoslavia, 2) Acquiescing
    to the Russian Federation acquiring the Soviet UN Security Council
    seat and 3) NATO expansion. Twenty three years after the Soviet
    collapse we are reaping the consequences of these mistakes.

    In responding to the current situation, our strident Russophobic
    response is surely no more helpful. If we are not to face serious
    problems again in some 20 years, isn’t it time to think about some
    different approaches to Russia and the former Soviet Union than
    we are currently pursuing, especially given the troubling nature of
    our developing Chinese problem?

    Sincerely yours,

    John Howard Wilhelm, Ph.D.,

    • Obamunism 2.0

      So Putin’s support of Assad in Syria makes him a ‘thug’?
      Assad has protected religious minorities in Syria, primarily Christians and Jews.
      Do you think the Jihadists in ISIS (who Assad is fighting), will do the same if they take control of Syria?

      • John Howard Wilhelm

        The initial uprising against Assad was largely a secular one. In response, Assad did everything he could to make it a militant Islamic uprising and we did nothing to stop him until it became such. Is that really protecting Christians? Ask an Iraqi Christian or a Christian in areas controlled by ISIS in Syria.

        • Obamunism 2.0

          Assad is far from perfect, but he’s definitely nowhere near as bad as the Jihadists in ISIS who are not only killing non-Muslims in Syria and Iraq, but Muslims who aren’t ‘faithful’ enough to implementing Sharia law.

    • TyroneJ

      I concur about your “mistakes”. I’d advance on #2 even further – if one really wants the permanent seats on the Security Council to reflect something other than remnants of colonialism & the cold war, those seats should be parceled out based on something relevant today. If parceled out based on the sizes of economies (GDP) for example, the seats would belong to the United States, China, Japan, Germany & France.

    • wynn

      I believe this is a ‘loaded’ panel which is what happens whenever Amerika has issues with nations of the world (like Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc.).
      Respectfully, on the matter of Syria you are wrong. Yes, Assad overreacted but is that reason to have thousands of jihadis from around the world wreck that country? A year ago, Obama was ready to bomb Syria on a false-flag incident. After what has happened to Iraq and Libya, I can’t see how anyone can support such interference.

      I admire Putin for doing good for his people. The West, but mostly the USA, has no business in Ukraine. Don’t we have enough problems here (like cutting off water to customers in Detroit)?

  • John_in_Amherst

    If Russia was to just sit tight for a decade or two, they will benefit more from global warming than any other country, as Siberia turns increasingly more habitable. Putin surely knows this. So he’s not playing the long game here. More likely he is seeking to drum up nationalism and possibly a “hot” war to distract his peoples’ attention from the oligarch thugs that run the show in Russia in an increasingly more blatant, greedy and harsh manner. (It works here, why not their?)

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I guess Ronnie Reagan was right about declaring the Soviet Union evil forever: “We start bombing in five minutes.”

    • Arkuy The Great

      One of Reagan’s mistakes was attempting to separate the USSR from Russia. He believd the USA could respect Russia (and the other former SSRs as well) as having unique national characteristics minus the menace of Soviet confederation. Looking at CPSU tactics of generations past and how Putin functions today and you realize that things are not all that different now. It was Russia that made the Soviets a threat, not the other way around.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    The western nations have finally thrown the towel in on Libya. Perhaps Obama has found the good sense not to double down on Ukraine, as well. Civilization just can’t be stood up like tomato plants.* Witness: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel.

    * Since the colonials left, many scabs have never been civilized to begin with: Syria, Libya.

  • Peter Duveen

    We must be wary that the way this topic is introduced and the guests chosen to discuss it will convey a very biased view — one aligned with that of the US State Department.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Cold War = standoff. Well said, that woman.

    • Peter Duveen

      True, but it is the US, not Russia, that is provoking confrontation.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Yep. Sanctions should be sucker punches. When you take the breath from someone they remember it. For a long time.

  • Peter Duveen

    This woman is a disinformation specialist. At the least, it is only one opinion, her’s. Namely that Russia is somehow at odds with “Western values,” etc.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Yep. Just like you are. Opinions are like rectums.. Hoober Doober

      • brettearle

        Go ply your trade in Hades.

  • Peter Duveen

    And your other guest agrees with everything that Masha says, so how can we have a discussion here? This program is a brainwashing session for Americans. Where is the diversity of opinion on this issue being expressed and debated?

  • SteveTheTeacher

    If Russia is to be sanctioned for allegations of supplying weapons to Ukrainian rebels on the ground that these rebels are engaging in war crimes, why isn’t the US government subjected to sanctions for supplying the Israeli military with weapons and ammunition that is used in war crimes (bombing of schools, hospitals, playgrounds, murdering more children and babies than all the civilians that died in the downed Malaysian aircraft)?


  • Peter Duveen

    Good suggestion. Just let Putin have Ukraine. How dare Obama deliberately try to weaken another nation’s economy. This is a violation of humanitarian principles. America started this aggression. These economic sanctions are acts of war.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    The most severe sanction for eastern Ukraine: Russian bread lines.

  • Andrew Page

    If we let him have Ukraine… what will he want next? One of the Baltics?

    Shall we decide where to try the red line… or just how much we’re willing to give him. Let him know soon; will make things easier for everyone.

    • Peter Duveen

      It would purge the nations of US/NATO, which has destroyed three cultures and their infrastructures–Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya–and is working on a fourth–Syria, and a fifth, Ukraine. Latvia has been destroyed economically through its membership in EU.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Donetsk can choose Russia* or the West.+
    Leave it to the locals to choose. Americans used to celebrate self determination.

    * Boris’ Borscht Burp, downtown Moscow.
    + Harvey Nicks, downtown London.

  • Jon

    show some respect to Putin and he’s just a strong mind with all the western virtue of being competitive and not giving in. why should Russians accept American value? isn’t freedom of choice the universal value?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    The Bidens and Clintons: Hoovering up the nickels ahead of the steam roller. Let’s hear it for American Exceptionalism.

  • Dmanj

    I believe this is worst than Cold War. With so many of the unresolved or badly resolved issues from World War I & II surfacing again all over the place – there is unrest everywhere! I fear we are walking a tight rope over the mouths of World War III: one wrong move and we fall there.

  • Peter Duveen

    America wants to eliminate a viable competitor for world influence, economically and politically. That’s what this is all about, and America is willing to risk nuclear war to achieve its end of disabling and destroying Russia.

    • anamaria23

      How does that square with the warming of relations when a 21st century thinker, Medvedev, was President of Russia.
      There was collaboration, not competition.
      It was Mr. Putin who put the brakes on a reset.

      • Peter Duveen

        Medvedev was a jerk who refused to oppose the Security Council resolution on Libya, which resulted in the wholesale destruction of that country and the murder of the head of state.

  • Jon

    this show should get a scholar with the opposing opinion – Americans never ending ‘annexation’ of eastern Europe after cold war is to blame for Putin’s defensive rebound.

  • Floyd Blandston

    The return of Russia to the Soviet model of parallel, alternate realities to western perspectives is troubling, but no more so than when the GOP and its minions do so also. Isolating and mobilizing hysterics and psychotics for political ends is perverse.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    When China gobbles up eastern Siberia will Putin allow it into his grand Eurasian Economic Co-Prosperity Sphere?

  • Davesix6

    So Biden’s son is suddenly on the board of a Ukraine gas company, haven’t seen that reported anywhere in the main stream.
    Imagine if it had been Dick Cheney’s daughter Liz.. the main stream left would have been airing all manner of conspiracy theories.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      It’s been reported before. Just like one of the Galbraiths is a Kurdistan resource booster. HD

      • Davesix6

        Ah, so it has been reported, but interestingly no “firestorm” of controversy like there would be were the shoe on the right foot.

    • StilllHere

      And constantly!

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Bill “Horndog” Clinton is long known for flying to the former Soviet republics, munching horsey doovers, eyeballing the local almond-eyed beauties, and coming home with wads of cash. This, too, has long been reported on.

  • Potter

    I wish there was a way to threaten or impeach Security Council members. I don’t think Russia belongs after a certain number of violations of international law- particularly taking Crimea.

    That said, I know we too are vulnerable, But so be it. There’s no teeth in international law.

  • Peter Duveen

    The greatness of this show is that it allows listener comments. The US press is a controlled press, generally spouting whatever happens to be the US State Department line. This is in contrast to Masha’s statement that the Russian press is controlled. That is how we end up getting into hugely expensive and destructive conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and now Syria. The press fails to question, and just mimics the State Department line.

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

    The irony is that so many GOP / Tea Partiers loved Putin just a few months ago, for his hateful anti-gays laws, and how he got the better of Obama – in their opinion ….

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Hillary RESET to the rescue. Like Secret Squirrel. HD

    • Davesix6

      Neil, please go and meet someone who is a Tea Party supporter and stop listening to the left wing hate mongering press!

      • jimino

        “Putin decides what he wants to do and does it in half a day. He makes a decision and executes it quickly and everybody reacts. That’s what you call a real leader.” – Rudy Giuliani

        Putin is “the lion of Christianity, the defender of Christian values, the president that’s calling his nation back to embracing its identity as a nation founded on Christian values. To ever think we would get to the day that Russia would be more advanced spiritually than the United States. I mean, it’s just staggering to see what is happening to this country.” – Bryan Fischer

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Yep. The American hegemony of flush toilets, healthy food, and VISA cards.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Both Israelis and Russians just adore their fearless leader. Interesting, huh? They must both be on the right side of history.

  • Jon Sojka

    Ukraine is clearly within Russia’s sphere of interest. The US has no interest in Ukraine. The US needs a constant state of crisis to maintain its own legitimacy. Without the fear mongering maybe we’d start paying attention to our own inept Government.

    • Peter Duveen

      Well said, Jon.

    • https://twitter.com/joriandrake JD

      There are no “spheres of influence” anymore in this century. Ukraine as sovereign nation, and any other, has a right to decide when, and which organizations to join.

      Just because Ukraine borders Russia no one has the right to deny them a membership of neither the EU or NATO, same with Finland, Norway, and so on.

      Also, same is true for opposite, if Russia would join the same organization as Mexico, Canada, or Cuba, it wouldn’t justify a war of the United States against them just because of that.

      • Jon Sojka

        JR the word was “interest.” Does the United States have a monopoly on defending interests with political pressure, economic force, or the blunt instruments of military action?

        So if Russia were able to destabilize Mexico, foment a civil war that resulted in a political alignment that pointed East, and perhaps impeded our ability to pipe natural gas through its borders we would sit by and “hope” it would change its mind?

        I doubt it. After all history is on my side. The United States has invaded or used military force against more countries than any other. We have propped up brutal puppets who oppressed people, murdered, and pilfered. Just look at Iran’s pre-1979 history. Look at pre-Castro Cuba. Look at pre-1991 Iraq.

        We use and abuse anyone who gets in the way of America’s commercial interest.

        All while kicking the can down the road on an indebted dysfunctional swamp of ideas.

        The problem is some Americans don’t see that we’re running out of road.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Russia! Marching backwards into the dark past of black bread, watery soup, open pit latrines, and bearded Orthodox mullahs. Everybody wins!

  • Peter Reynolds

    Why are we not seeing, in the face of Putin’s support for the will of the people of Crimea, a resurgence in the quest for home rule from the Chechens, or the Georgians?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    With Global Heating, Russia will have 365 day access to the Arctic Ocean and the White and Bering Seas. Just like northern Alaska* and Canada.

    * Now considering LNG facilities along the Arctic coast.

  • StilllHere

    American liberals’ man-crush for Obama knows no bounds and leads to endless excuse-making and contorted rationalizations. The illusion continues, but only here. Obama’s star on the world stage has extinguished as he is handily made to look inept and repeatedly shown to be geopolitically naive and ineffectual. Putin has accurately perceived this complete vacuum in global leadership and all Obama can do is sit and watch from the comfort of his golf cart.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Fortunately, the Ukrainian Rupert Brooke is not going to die at the front lines.

  • Potter

    McFaul is correct- Putin may have reasons but his approach was entirely belligerent and 19th century.

  • AC

    i missed the whole show – have they brought up cyber crime yet? honestly, nothing makes me angrier than these guys getting away with it. theft is theft. hand them over!!!

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Most of the best Russian cyber squirrels live and work in the West. HD

      • AC

        that’s totally untrue – and i have insider info on that.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Back in the USSR
    Where’s the latrine, boy?

  • Buster1


    R. Hunter Biden will be in charge of the Holdings’ legal unit and will provide support for the Company among international organizations. On his new appointment, he commented: “Burisma’s track record of innovations and industry leadership in the field of natural gas means that it can be a strong driver of a strong economy in Ukraine. As a new member of the Board, I believe that my assistance in consulting the Company on matters of transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities will contribute to the economy and benefit the people of Ukraine.”

    Some say the eastern Ukraine was against fracking but Hunter Biden Joes boy is headed there to start fracking the missiles have allowed the equipment to be moved in people are to upset to protest now.

  • Peter Duveen

    Funny that Russia allows critics like Masha in and out of the country who call it an “authoritarian regime.” That sure sounds like a closed society.

  • Jon Sojka

    This is the beginning of an attempt at regime change in Russia. How can this not set off an arms race with China?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    No one named Pushkin, Gogol, Mandelstam, Bulgakov, or Pasternak will die at the Russian front line in Donetsk.

  • sufferingsuccatash

    This entire show was neo-con nonsense. Only the callers expressed intelligent analysis. The Kiev putsch government is a CIA/DOS fabrication that intends to introduce NATO troops and missiles in Ukraine. This is a government dominated by neo-fascists—Svobodaz Party and Right Sektor lunatics. It is a US planned political provocation on the ground, followed quickly (with the assistance of Ashcroft) by a media blitz.

    • TyroneJ

      Yes, Russia is always the victim. Just ask them about World War II for example. They’ll start their story at Barbarossa in June 1941, and tell you about all of their sacrifices, and how they really won World War II single-handedly. Forgetting, of course, Stalin’s collaboration with Hitler to jointly invade Poland in September 1939, and Russia & Nazi Germany being allies thereafter. The alliance lasted almost 2 years, until Barbarossa. Too bad for Russia that the rest of Europe knows Russian history better than most Russians do.

    • hennorama

      sufferingsuccatash — I believe the preferred term is “neo-consense,” as it can be used by both proponents and opponents.

    • anamaria23

      Can you reference your comment?
      It sounds a lot like what is presented by RT.

      • sufferingsuccatash

        As for the members of the neo-fascist government check the global research site or foreign policy. com—neither is a controversial site—in fact Foreign Policy is an overall conservative site. Their article is entitled, “Yes There are Bad Guys in the New Ukrainian Gov’t.” As for introducing a NATO presence, check the recent history of former Soviet countries that have joined NATO, (ie. Poland, Latvia,..) who have both NATO forces and armaments on the Russian border.
        The Svoboda Party is outlawed in Europe due to its Neo Nazi sentiment and the Right Sektor finds Svoboda too liberal. Hence the European Union has been reluctant to get too close to this putsch Ukrainian gov’t. and embrace the severe sanctions that the US demands. It will be interesting to see the results of the investigation of the downing of the Malaysian flight. The most recent theory with accompanying photographs of the crash cite appeared in a German paper and suggested that the plane was downed by the accompanying Ukrainian air force jets because of the bullet holes riddling the cock pit.

  • HonestDebate1

    The tougher sanctions are a good move but if they were implemented immediately after the invasion the shooting down of a commercial airliner could have been avoided.

    There were many here who said there was nothing short of war we could do. They’re wrong.

  • Radical___Moderate

    The U.S. is hypocritical. We meddle all over the world in places we have no historical or cultural true ties or heritage connections (i.e IRAQ). We are the captains of Imperialism (soft and hard). Yet we condemn Russia for what they are doing in a country that they’ve had long ties too. The “West” loves to talk and throw stones but they are largely impotent. Putin, like Netanyahu, is a strong leader who takes no guff. For this, I respect them. Many of our leaders are wishy-washy and effeminate. That is partly why Putin and others feel at liberty to do what they are doing. We should let Putin have the Ukraine in exchange for his help in getting Iran to give up its nuclear program. WW 3 might be most avoided if we and Russia get on the same page and work against it happening. Putin has out smarted and beaten Obama on Syria as well, getting what he wants.

    • anamaria23

      “Let Putin have Ukraine” Most of the Ukrainians would not agree. Most of them want to join the 21st century, not be beholden to the “Mother Russia” of Putin’s ambitions that feed his need for power and money.

      • Arkuy The Great

        Most Ukrainians want to leave their corrupt, backward kleptocracy of a country and live in a modern, forward-thinking society. Germany is a destination of choice for many of Ukraine’s youth nowadays.

        • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

          Most young Ukrs did because of Yanukovich and the incredible corruption they represented and practiced- that’s why the Maidan revolution happened, because the whole country wanted to end it, not because of US manipulation or money.

      • Radical___Moderate

        First of all, western polls are misleading. Read about what is called “ketman” in Cszlaw Milosz’s “The Captive Mind.” Secondly, did most Iraqi’s and Afghan’s want us in their countries??
        Putin is going to take Ukraine. We better get used to it. We are pretty hypocritical to condemn him for it. As for real self-determination, we don’t even have it here. The Ukrainians want the best economic deal. They will take it from east or west. Also, most Ukrainians are socially conservative and do not want too embrace what is seen as licentious western liberalism.

  • Mary Anne

    I was appalled by the amount of callers who disagreed with the guests on your show. They are no different then the appeasers who fell in line with Hitler and his goals for Nazi Germany. Putin is no different from former rulers in Russia who ruled by authoritarian and pugilistic means. He is using methods left over from World War II and previous centuries of how conflict was solved in Europe. As the former head of the KGB he knows devious ways of achieving his aims. What I think is sad, is that the Russian people are not educated enough to ask questions and thinks for themselves. They are willing to follow a strong father figure even if is one that does not bring them peace and prosperity. And no one even mentioned the downed Malaysian airplane with the loss of life. No one is willing to take responsibility and apologize! This is from a country where a previous ruler, Stalin, killed millions of people without any consequences. The Russian people cannot bring themselves out of their own depressive and backward form of life/government.

    • vs

      There is no question that plane was downed by rebels. Yet only 3 percent of Russians believe so. This is not because of lack of education. It is very offensive to say Hitler in reference to Russia. Of course since you did not get benefit of reading history I am willing to let it go.

      • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

        She was comparing the appeasers who let Hitler run wild till Poland, and the appeaser callers who would excuse anything Putin did. It had nothing to do with Russia. Understand the comment you are critiquing before you libel the writer.

  • DJJS

    Tom, two words: Victoria Nuland. I refer to her leaked Feb 2014 phone call with new US Ambassador to the Ukraine Pyatt (who had just replaced your guest McFaul). Why did you not raise this leaked call with McFaul as one reason Russia may be paranoid as hell of the US in Ukraine? Here’s a link to a Guardian story about the call: http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/feb/07/eu-us-diplomat-victoria-nuland-phonecall-leaked-video Definitely a lopsided show, Tom. Folks, here’s a link to a much better On Point show on Russia in March that included venerable Russian historian Steve Cohen http://onpoint.wbur.org/2014/03/03/ukraine-kiev-crimea-putin

    • Che Bianchi

      DJJS, that is an excellent point found also in the back of my mind during the McFaul/Gessen/Ashbrook dancing with truth. Remember Disinformatia is not only a Russian phenomena.

      • DJJS

        Thanks, Che, for taking time to pass along a compliment, and I realize that Russia is hardly alone in putting out disinformation (I refer you to a retired Army General, Powell maybe is the name :->, who might back me/us up on that!)

  • Patrick Edwin Moran

    Americans have their heads in the sand. So do citizens of EU states.
    Until the shoot-down, hardly anybody was interested in helping Ukraine.

    is my suggestion: Do everything possible to link the former Soviet
    states, e.g., by forming mixed battalions in each of them. With
    deliberation, build up patently defensive forces along the frontier. My
    goal would be to make any further take-over have to involve a de facto
    invasion of all of the border states. Military units with the potential
    to penetrate deeply into Russia should be kept well back.

  • Tim

    I’m a little disappointing in how few analysts, across the media, are making the connection between the problems in Ukraine, and with an aggressive Russia more generally, and the war that now spans Syria and Iraq.

    We hear over and over about how the EU is loathe to stand up to Russia due to their reliance on Russian oil and gas. The other side of this is that Middle Eastern oil production is currently threatened by a war that has already spilled across one border, and could possibly engulf the entire region. When a group like ISIS controls key oil fields and refineries in Syria and Iraq, and Iran is beginning to send special forces, (and possibly air support in the future) into Iraq, thus upping the ante on the Saudi’s to step up their involvement, the future of Middle Eastern energy production doesn’t look at all stable.

    Despite being so far apart, the two crises are related. The more the Middle East falls apart, the more Russian oil and gas production counts for, and the more leverage Russia has.

  • marygrav

    The Cold war has never been over. Russia was always being put to the test. Sanctions as Persuasion is getting old. I think that Putin is willing to throw-down against the US, if not the West. The Russians remember Casavo and how the West/US reshaped the Balkans. And the fact that the US suppported two illegal coups: Egypt and Ukraine.

    Russia is under threat and the Russians will rally behind Putin, oil wealth or not. Any leader will protect its ports of entrance and exist. It appropriated Crimea to protect its Black Sea Port. This has nothing to do with a “War Against Western Civilization. It has to do with not wanting to be surrounded by ones enemies. NATO is not a friend of Russia and neither is NATO a friend of Ukraine. It wants to use this basket case of a nation as entrance into the western front of Russia.

    Michael McFaul represents the Neocon the pursuaded Bush to invade Iraq. Jacob Heilbrunn writes about them in They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons. Heilbrunn writes that the neocons’ liberal detractors, persist in acting as though neoconservatism were a phenomenon that has run its course. They crowed, for example, when the Project for the New American Century closed down in the summer of 2006. but don’t be fooled. Propheats are not easily dissuaded from their crusade [a Trotskyist scheme of eternal revolution]. They may regroup, reassess, and retrench. but these reckless minds, to borrow a term from Mark Lilla, aren’t going away. Quite the contrary.

    Masha Gessen has adopted the Crusaders’ attitude of speaking for an oppressed people, the Ukraines. Like all crusaders she want to encourage war while avoiding the heat. Her attitude is similar to those of the foreign groups of disadents based in the West, mainly the US who determine that their homeland should be invaded so that it can be free so

    that they can return to rule/oppress the people with their version of freedom. It is funny how Americans LOVE, but want to see blood on the streets.

    The Ukraine native actually consider the Russians as interlopers. However, the Russian speaking Ukraine know that the history says that the “natives” will slaughter them if left completely alone. Americans want to believe that these Balkan countries can be pluralistic if a strong hand is not kept in view. The Ukraines think that if they get on the side of the EU, they will become rich and live like movie stars, not like the Greeks, who have fallen on hard times.

    Obama is using Ukraine and Putin as a distraction. He wants to dictate to Putin what he cannot dictate to Netanyahu. The US is doing in the Middle East, what Putin is supporting in Europe. This is racists. The Ukraines are White, therefore they deserve freedom and peace. The Palestinaians are peoples of Color, therefore are deserving of neither. Hamas has made its case of why it is firing missles: 7 years of blockade and oppression, but this does not matter because they are not White.

    American must note, Russia is not a Banana Republic like the enemies we have faught since 1945. It is well armed and has atomic weapons. Putin will not back down, just as Netanyahu will not back down.

    These two warmongers, like Netanyahu, don’t give a rat’s about the people. Like the their predecessors PNAC that Martin Jacques writes about in When China Rules The World: The End of the Western World And The Birth Of A New Global Order. Quoting neoconservative Charles Krauthammer he writes about PNAC vision of a New World Order: On December 26, 1991, the Soviet Union died and something new was born, something utterly new–a unipolar world dominated by a single superpower unchecked by any rival and with decisive reach in every corner of the globe. This is a staggering development in history, not seen since the fall of Rome.

    Jaques said PNAC overreached in Iraq and Affghanistan by failing to comprehend the significance of deeper economic trends, as well as misreading the situation in Iraq, the Bush administration overestimated American power and threby overplayed its hand, with the consequence that its policies had exactly the opposite effect to that which had been intended: instead of enhancing the US’s position in the world, Bush’s foreign policy seriously weakened it. The neoconservative position reprsented a catastrophic misreading of history.
    Obama needs to get back to the Middle East and let the Eurpeans work the situtation out for themselves. And he must remember climate change and that Russia is a European nation. It gets pretty cold over there. We Americans are too invested in other peoples’ business to take care of our own. Soon the American people en mass will see Israel as a liability because the free access to the internet will allow them to judge for themselves which narrative rings true. They will begin to notice as I have that every time the Two-State Solution is to be arrived at, it is sabatauged by an Israel Prime Minister and his Right-wing Cabinet.

    • andor_2001

      10 years ago McFaul published an article, “Meddling in Ukraine”. He was one of the architects failed “Orange Revolution”. Here is what he said 10 years ago, ” Did Americans meddle in the internal affairs of Ukraine? Yes. The
      American agents of influence would prefer different language to describe
      their activities — democratic assistance, democracy promotion, civil
      society support, etc. — but their work, however labeled, seeks to
      influence political change in Ukraine.” Cynical, isn’t it?
      Victoria Nuland boldly declared that the US “invested” $5 billion dollars in “Ukrainian Democracy”. $5 billion taken away from American kids, form creating new jobs, and FOR the regime change in Ukraine. Why America wants to change it? Just because it loves Ukrainian cooking?
      Not at all. It is a master plan to bring the entire Europe to the American heel.

      • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

        Since I think you are operating out of a Russian comment boiler room, think we’d need references for all these “quotes”.

  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

    – With a
    stunning series of victories and rebel leaders fleeing (Bezler,
    Borodai), Ukraine may be close to a breakthrough in their civil war.
    LATEST NEWS+LINKS Donetsk is encircled and almost cut off, has little
    electricity, water, phone- Lugansk also
    dark. Horlivka, Snizhne
    under seige. Sep counterattack w fresh Rus weapons in Shaktarsk, Torez-
    Donetsk’s lifeline; Interview w National Guard troop who has been
    fighting 10 days – Jul 31

  • Cacimo

    Had to replay three times were McFaul claims the “reset” was successful. This statement is so unbelievable I thought I was having a mis-hear.

  • Gato Pardo

    How horrifying to be in front of a mirror and not to be able to recognize oneself………the same diplomats and experts that brought WWI and WWII are about to take us all into a deep, deep hole.

    • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

      In some ways, Russians (where I lived 3 years) are like Americans: arrogant, superior, insufferable about their superiority and right to rule. In others, they are like another species- the product of their hideous history of oppression, brutality, and mass murder.. from Mongol genocide and overlordship, to Czarist brutality, Nazi cleansing (all Soviets were to be killed for liebensraum), to Stalin’s monstrous butchery- unequaled by any nation against their own. Many nations have had genocidal monsters (even gentle Cambodians), but ONLY Russia still worships them- 1/3 of Russians would reelect Stalin today. When I told them stories of some attack or thuggish brutality, they wouldn’t commiserate, but laugh, “”Ha ha, now you know how things are, (how tough we are)”.

      And those diplomats from WW1 would be about 125 yo now.

      • http://xoanna.wordpress.com/ ohnova

        Denial, fierce pride, intense stubbornness (albeit a will of steel), an usually high threshold for enduring pain (in all sense of the word), injustice and suffrage perhaps due to having the general attitude, or understanding, first and foremost that “Life is hard” and to usually expect the worst that life has to offer but take while you can. Lastly, focusing on others outside of family/friends is, simply put, dangerous and foolish; one must live their own life and concern oneself solely with their own, which necessitates an extremely strong desire/sense to self-preservat that’s been instilled in most everyone at very young age via learned-behavior and beyond. All of this, perhaps, creates complacency and apathy more than naught, and instead of majority uprising and rebelling, people turn more and more inward as, like stated above, to self-preservat and to insulate oneself from harm or conflict… Like a flight-fight-freeze response but of mass societal proportion as a whole…. Ultimately, it can’t be too surprising that all of this compounded tends to give way to a populace of a sort of misunderstood scarred numbness, an internalization of one’s parents’ parents’ parents’ parents’ pain, anguish and fears before them and that life right now isn’t really ***that*** bad when compared to the lives that my Mamochka, my Babushka, etc. etc. lived before.

      • vs

        Yes yes and yes.

  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

    Kiev: To all the leftists caller hammering Ukraine, I hate the Bush Admin., the neocons, and their near destruction of America… BUT you are really addled, and acting as Putin’s simps. This is a brutal cynical invasion by a heartless KGB operative who was white-hot at the collapse of his restoration project when Ukraine dared to join the EU. The corruption, cronyism, theft, that besets Ukraines is based on Russia’s Soviet model- but Putin hasn’t lifted a finger to control or moderate it. Kyiv wanted to- why the EU was such a “City on a Hill” for them.

    There are no and never were any Nazi’s fascists in Kyiv, or discrimination against Russian speakers- that was all insane Kremlin lies, which has returned to the 70′s when 90% of every word was lies. In his rape and theft of Crimea Putin has stolen $50-100 billion of land, property, oil, and gas. Now he’s created this dream of New Russia and packed the Donbass with every simple, brutal, gullible mercenary he could find- but in the 4.6 mil people of Donetsk Russian FSB/GRU Sep leader Strelkov whines how only 1100 locals will fight with him (the real depth of locals support for a Russian takeover. In every town liberated from these vermin, people come out crying to welcome Ukr soldiers and tell tales of beatings, abuse, theft, extortion, kidnappings.

    Putin had a legitimate interest in the Black Sea Fleet and of course didn’t want Ukr part of NATO (which nobody supported here)- that was all- Ukr hasn’t even stopped supplying Russia’s military parts, and didn’t shoot 1 Russian invading, humiliating, and ejecting them in Crimea! He didn’t have to invade and destroy the Donbas- that was just to cripple and bleed Ukr endlessly- he has no interest in Ukraine’s stability except to destroy it. Invasions are bad vicious destructive acts, whether it be Iraq, Panama, or Ukraine.

    It’s time for America to step up and rush Ukr some HARM anti-radar missiles to take out these dozens of missiles trucks Russia has flooded Ukr with, or they will lose the ability to do ANY air ops. Some obsolete A-10′s and SuperCobras would be nice too. We have an obligation to defend Ukrs border by the Budapest Memorandum! If Seps/Russia manage to stop Ukr’s successful campaign, and it settles into a frozen conflict, Ukraine will be bled indefinitely (20% of people + territory and most heavy industry) and no amount of billions will help them.

    Obama thinks he had problems with the BS attacks about Bengazi, wait till he gets the “Who Lost Ukraine” attacks, which won’t be unjustified. Putin doesn’t care about sanctions- he understands force- and America should make it clear Ukraine will get what it needs to survive.

    Michael Hammerschlag

  • http://xoanna.wordpress.com/ ohnova

    Exactly what the Canadian who just called in said (not exact quote): it
    s regrettable that both guests are basically of the same viewpoint – this could’ve been a much more insightful if there was opposing views from guests.

  • http://xoanna.wordpress.com/ ohnova

    Andrew – guy with in-laws in southern Ukraine – I fee your anguish and worry for sure as I’ve family and in-laws over there as well…it’s like everything and everyone has just gone a bit nuts.

  • Zack Smith

    Two hawk guests; they sound like neocons. While I have no love for Putin, the US has been meddling in Ukraine and exerting influence in Russia’s backyard http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/05/chronology-of-the-ukrainian-coup/ . We helped start the Georgian war in 2008 through various means – http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/05/georgias-dangerous-quest-for-american-weapons/238620/

  • Roger Ham

    Really poor choice of guests. McPhail openly promoted the same kind of “colored revolution” in Russia which paved the way for NATO expansion to the Russian border. A group of former foreign ministers, defense ministers and intelligence chiefs from Western and Eastern Europe as well as Russina just released a statement warning “The Task Force… believes the current crisis is putting the security of everyone in Europe at risk and is potentially pitting nuclear armed adversaries against each other in a highly volatile region.”

  • DaveG99

    Behind the change in Russian attitude that McFaul alluded to but did not mention must be Syria. Obama tried to confront Putin on his support for Assad but was attacked on all sides for doing so, especially by Republicans who would not support any type of response. Putin interpreted this as weakness (he was right) and is now being more brazen.

    2 million refugees and an opening for ISIS is the result. Both of these hugely significant issues have fallen off the media map, while US lawmakers are more interested in sueing the commander in chief. How totally pathetic.

  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

    One of most stunning news kernals I ever got was straight from McNamara where he revealed the Soviets already HAD 162 nukes on Cuba in the missile crisis (discovered only at Brown U CMC conferences in 1999?), and the balloon almost went up. “Nukes have no deterrent value IF YOU DON’T TELL ANYBODY YOU HAVE THEM!!!”, he screamed. I did big articles on the threat of nuclear war 3 times, and the nuke tests in that period were chilling: 1,2, 3 a day, bigger and bigger and bigger.

    Yeah, you’re right. Putin is a ruthless SOB who started his reign blowing up his own apartment buildings in the monstrous 1999 “provocations” that Russians are so fond of to manipulate situations- he used that to start the 2nd Chechen war and consolidate power (fire unloyal deputies+ commanders). This isn’t speculation- the FSB admitted they did it when their operatives were caught on the 4th or 5th bldg + 60% of Russia believed they (AKA VVP- he was head of FSB 3 weeks before he became PM) did it in 2000- then they elected him President anyway.

    For a while he thought he could get along with the West if they didn’t step on his toes, share the world in historic spheres of influence, and pretend moderation, but they did step on his toes with NATO expansion, and did deride Russia as “not a superpower” (ability to press the Button and vaporize 90% of America makes them pretty super in my book). This Eurasia Customs Union was to be his legacy, his restoration of the crumbled SU, and he invested enormous hopes and dreams in it. I always said Ukraine was the line he will attack over, if they try to join NATO, even the EU was enough of a trigger. Tragically this all might have been averted had Yatseniuk gone to Moscow, kissed ass, and given the Little Big Man a 50-100 year lease on the BSF, which Putin was terrified the new pro-Western Gov would eject, like Yushchenko tried to.

    But yeah, this cool calculating schemer reacted like an enraged rhinoceros when these “Nazis” of Maidan (actually there was always the jealousy, “WE do insurrections, WE do revolutions, overthrows, who do they think they are?”) tossed out dirtbag Yanukovich and all his sticky fingered minions. That this wasn’t some careful plan was obvious- he wouldn’t have released his imprisoned critics and pissed away $60 bil in Sochi for good PR if he was planning to rape and crush his placid neighbor. (Course it had been carefully planned back to 2004 Orange Rev so simple matter to activate).

    One of the reasons I was desperate to stop it at start of Crimean Invasion was that I knew it would destroy Russia: push them out of the world community, fuel deep seated notions of persecution, resentment, xenophobia.. and create another 3 decades of deadly international crises. Putin is, to put it simply, a real Hulio.

  • Agnostic58

    I keep thinking of Putin’s defiance of the Eric Snowden matter toward the US. The Ukrainian putsch occurs during the Sochi Olympics when Putin is trying to show off Russia to the world. But this Ukrainian mess is all Putin’s doing. Please!

  • Agnostic58

    Hey Tom, why don’t you bring on someone with the Russian perspective to your show? This Western perspective is far from the only interpretation of events that have led to this situation. Your choice Tom: be a journalist or a Western stooge. The US has no culpability in Ukraine, right Tom? What about Eric Snowden? You think he has nothing to do with this? You dream in Technicolor, my friend.

  • http://xoanna.wordpress.com/ ohnova

    What a great comment – this is a real problem that we seriously need to confront before we’ve burnt all of our bridges for good. The blatant hypocritical actions and preaching by the USA has become quite disgusting, imho, and we are no better than what so many people around the world believe….. ugh, your comment is what I couldn’t put into words and I thank you for being so eloquent!

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