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View Diary: Why did Obama let this happen, and other questions on Ukraine (313 comments)

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  •  It amazes the hell out of me (62+ / 0-)

    that the bobbleheads and partisans in Washington are dumping all over the POTUS for this instead of turning their focus on, y'know, Putin, Crimea, the Ukraine, imminent war in the region, you know, unimportant shit like that.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:19:33 AM PST

    •  I like this place, but that was pretty much (39+ / 0-)

      The reaction of the two most read diaries here, to attack Kerry and Obama's administration in a mocking way. Why would we expect better treatment from the media than we give ourselves?

      •  Point. (9+ / 0-)

        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

        by raptavio on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:34:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's BS imo (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jrooth, Subterranean, DocGonzo

        Kerry said something stupid and there was a post on it.

        Frankly, I'm a little tired of the amchair FP experts on this.

        •  And armchair politicians (23+ / 0-)

          and armchair campaign managers
          and armchair attorneys
          and armchair engineers

          Dude, this is where armchairs go to die.

        •  Again, I said nothing about what was stated in (14+ / 0-)

          The content of those diaries, but even your response admits that the diaries immediate went after what you consider a Kerry faux pas as opposed to the meat of the issues. Which is exactly what I responded to here. Why would we expect the media to focus on the meat when we went after the sides too?

          •  Kerry Faux Pas (3+ / 0-)
            what you consider a Kerry faux pas

            Kerry's false step was his vote to invade Iraq. It should have ended his political career, among many others. Instead every Secretary of State starting with Colin Powell supported the Iraq invasion. Kerry had the chance here to somehow address the lesson learned from invading Iraq on a pretext that Putin hasn't learned.

            Daily Kos is a Democratic blog. Kerry and Obama are Democrats leading the US while Russia invades Ukraine. They are in fact the primary interest of Daily Kos, whether or not the corporate mass media shares that focus.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:25:41 AM PST

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        •  he didn't say something stupid (13+ / 0-)

          he said something everyone here on this site believes implicitly. He said what we wish he'd said in the run up to the Iraq war.

          I guess the implication is that Putin wouldn't be in the process of annexing Crimea if George W Bush had been thwarted in his efforts to invade Iraq. That's not armchair FP, that's straight-jacket FP.

          •  Not the Implication (4+ / 0-)

            No, the obvious implication is that Kerry undermines the US position against pretext based invasions because he supported one recently. It should have disqualified him from Secretary of State for the discrediting revealed by precisely this crisis in which he must lead. We should have had a SOS without that baggage. Instead Obama appointed him.

            You go to wars with the Secretary of State you have, not the one you wish you had.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:27:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  if I don't brush my teeth and they all fall out (9+ / 0-)

              do I undermine the position that it's important to brush your teeth every day?

              It should have disqualified him from Secretary of State for the discrediting revealed by precisely this crisis in which he must lead. We should have had a SOS without that baggage. Instead Obama appointed him. We should have had a SOS without that baggage.
              Again I fail to understand why this is relevant. Kerry is doing just what you think he should and saying just what you want him to say, but you (and Kos) need to undercut him out of spite? Honestly? Pathetic.

              The problem with this critique is that you don't carry it through. If the response to Kerry's statement is, "You say that, but you supported the invasion of Iraq."

              The obvious rejoinder is, "And that was a terrible mistake. We believed, as you do, that our goals were legitimate and that our cause was just. We spent, as you will, blood and treasure we could not afford to lose. We lost face in the world. We lost face at home. Russia should not make the mistakes we made."

              •  No, You Undermine Your Credibility (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                valkyrry

                If you don't brush your teeth and they all fall out, but the State Department replaces them with dentures better than your original, and you tell people they must brush their teeth without saying "or you'll suffer what I suffered", but instead saying "like people used to in the 19th Century", you undermine the message.

                If you then tell people you're going to force them to brush their teeth, people are not going to respect what you tell them.

                The tooth decay is still a real threat. But you are not persuading anyone to believe it.

                Kerry has not made the obvious rejoinder. Kerry is not at all acknowledging his personally walking the path he is now warning Putin from. In fact his hypocrisy makes insulting the injury that is his being Secretary of State and powerful enough to threaten Russia.

                "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                by DocGonzo on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:00:06 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  you're right, Kerry should commit seppuku (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ssnbbr, Matt Z, smartdemmg, rainmanjr

                  and let a more honorable man take over at State. That would certainly make an impression on Putin.

                  I am sure we've always been upset that Kerry was named Secretary of State. Kinda like how I'm sure we've always been at war with Eurasia.

                  I recognize that Kerry's phrasing was particularly galling. But, the important part isn't that as a Senator he supported the war, it's that now, as Secretary of State he is right.

                  And I much prefer to have the Secretary of State speaking out against this action in no uncertain terms, rather than have him try to phrase his statement to reduce the country's embarrassment.

                  As to your other point, the United States invaded Iraq. Not John Kerry. There is no way for the Secretary of State of the United States, no matter who it is, to avoid the accusation of hypocrisy.

                  •  Nonsense (0+ / 0-)

                    No, Kerry shouldn't "commit seppuku". Despite that obnoxious strawman response - along with your cryptic jibe about "Eurasia" - I will tell you what's appropriate.

                    Kerry shouldn't have been nominated for the office, and he should have declined it if offered. But given his baggage, it was absolutely mandatory that he explain how he has any authority after his extremely serious mistake. As I just told you in my prior post. But he didn't. That's not just "phrasing", it's the actual message. By ignoring his poor credentials for speaking against pretext invasions, he undermined the message that such invasions are intolerable. He could have, because there is a way, even though he himself was complicit in the Iraq invasion.

                    I prefer to have a Secretary of State who can communicate that, rather than ignore it and so provoke legitimate responses of hypocricy from even the people defending this Russian invasion.

                    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                    by DocGonzo on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 01:50:32 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Obsession with hypocrisy (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      valkyrry, rainmanjr

                      Is what Kerry said less correct because he's a hypocrite?

                      The rest of the world doesn't give a sh*t if Kerry voted for or against the Iraq war. He is an American and therefore, by default, hypocritical on this issue. All Americans carry the shame of the Iraq war, no matter how hard we fought against it.

                      provoke legitimate responses of hypocricy from even the people defending this Russian invasion
                      The funny thing is I don't see people using "hypocrisy" as a response to defend Russia's actions. I see people like Kos sniping (counter-productively, unless the goal is to encourage Russian aggression).

                      The people actually defending the Russians want very very badly that no one draw the parallel between Russia's actions in Ukraine and the United States' actions in Iraq.

                      "This is not an invasion," they say.
                      "The people welcome the Russian military."
                      "It's really Russian territory, anyways. And a very small piece. Ukraine probably wont notice if it's gone."
                      "There are neo-nazis in Kiev and they might start making nuclear bombs any minute."

                      The one thing they are explicitly not saying is, "This is just like how the United States invaded Iraq."

                      •  Obama Didn't (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        cany

                        No, most people know Obama opposed Bush's war. But the main reaction to Kerry's statement to Russia about 19th Century invasions was to laugh at it because of Iraq. Not to stand with a strong and morally unambiguous US leadership.

                        If Kerry - who ran against Bush in 2004 and so his Iraq position is also well known in the world - had opposed Iraq, the US would not be undermined by its hypocrisy. There is a very deep and powerful point to changing governments by elections. Unless the new government is the same old boss - as is Kerry on the subject of Iraq.

                        Hypocrisy undermines the messenger, even if their later position is correct. It doesn't make Russia's invasion any more legitimate. It just delegitimizes the US moral ground.

                        But you're denying that people heard Kerry and said "yeah, like you and Iraq, sure". They are indeed - both journalists and commenters in world news sites, and surely everyone else. And surely in Russia - and not just in the government. But it doesn't exist to you. Since you're impervious to those facts, my explanation isn't going to matter to you.

                        So goodbye.

                        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                        by DocGonzo on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:24:42 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  You make a strong point, DocGonzo, but... (0+ / 0-)

                      if we only staffed the Cabinet with people who voted against Iraq we wouldn't have much of an operating govt.  This is part of the reason why it's so imperative that mistakes like Iraq don't happen and how badly our nation has been weakened because of it.  Hillary was a pretty popular SoS who also voted for Iraq and may be our next nominee, after all.  I think Kerry's response to the claim of hypocrisy is that he made the vote on the basis of lies told by our Pres, VP, VERY respected SoS, and demand of 85% of the American populace.  THAT'S his response but it needs to be made in a separate conversation.  Not while trying to push Putin back into his cage.

                      "If it takes all night / that'll be alright / if I can get you to smile before I leave." Jackson Browne

                      by rainmanjr on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 12:27:26 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No Indispensible Men (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        rainmanjr

                        I totally disagree. There are plenty of actually talented and experienced people among our 300M Americans. The Cabinet doesn't have to be staffed with every one of the party's presidential candidates. Hillary is precisely the kind of problem we have: popular despite a track record of the status quo, no matter how shabby or incomplete.

                        Voting for the Iraq War, in a decent country, would have ended careers. Not promoted people upwards. When Kerry condemned Russia for invasion, he was among the worst messengers - who didn't even reference his own making that same "19th Century mistake". Any "but" of course needs to be delivered with the condemnation, or else the condemnation is hollow. He's not even having that "separate conversation". And I'm leaving aside that his claims he "believed Bush" are BS - he voted out of political expediency, just like Clinton. Further, he did absolutely nothing as Senator or as Secretary of State to fix that system, even when he had the power.

                        Look, if what we want is just Americans saying things, OK, we've got a network of insiders who say things. If we want people to listen and take us seriously, we need those people to be believable. Of all the people telling Puting you just can't invade on a pretext, the people who told Bush he could are the last to do it.

                        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                        by DocGonzo on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:23:18 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Again, good points. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          DocGonzo
                          Of all the people telling Puting you just can't invade on a pretext, the people who told Bush he could are the last to do it.
                           I can't argue with that except for the typo.  On the other hand, Kerry did rail against Iraq in his 2004 run so has some history of 'splaining his vote.
                          What Kerry said was stupid and someone who voted no, or wasn't involved at all, would certainly have more cred alongside a Pres who spoke out against an Iraq war.  I can't deny that.  But I also agree that it's America which has lost cred because of that war and nobody could have made Kerry's statement sound credible.  Yet that's the argument against Putin's invasion.  (shrug)  It's our history and we have to live with it, now.  As a matter of pure fact it will weaken our ability to be outraged by the behavior of other nations.
                          Putin is on the winning side of this argument and Obama is kind of stuck in needing to address it.  Europe will play a key role in how hard Obama can slap him, if at all, and that's mostly what's at stake.  This would be true regardless of who is SoS because it's a matter of pure oil economics.
                          I was one of the Iraq War protestors so have full sympathy with how you feel, Doc.  Maybe we should break with the easy win (HRC) and nominate someone who also didn't favor Iraq.  There's no guarantee they will staff their cabinet with outsiders, though, and not many from Congress who didn't vote yes.  Peace.

                          "If it takes all night / that'll be alright / if I can get you to smile before I leave." Jackson Browne

                          by rainmanjr on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:35:23 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  Further, it's important to remember that.... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    sweatyb

                    Sen Kerry voted for invasion on the basis of lies that were told by our President, VP, SoS, and support by 85% of the American public.  It was a mistake but that can be addressed in a different conversation.  One doesn't address it when trying to win the upper hand and cultivate alliances.  

                    "If it takes all night / that'll be alright / if I can get you to smile before I leave." Jackson Browne

                    by rainmanjr on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 12:19:47 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah! - this requires a STRONG response! (0+ / 0-)

            Like what Dubya did after Putin went into Georgia.  Obama needs to "look into Putin's eyes and see his soul".  Obama should have gone to Sochi & spent time with Putin, like Bush did at the Beijing Olympics - "pal around" with him.  Invite him to the White House & introduce him to Bo, like Bush Jr. did with Barney after the Georgia invasion.  Better yet, go to Moscow, so Putin can show you how much bigger, stronger & faster his dog is than yours (yes, that happened with Dubya, too!)  Because that's the only language that tyrants like Putin understand!

            What ever happened to Politics stopping at the water's edge?  Comments like those being made by Mr & Mrs McCain/Graham would have been called treason a few years ago!

            OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

            by mstaggerlee on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:42:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yep. There was a post about it in a (0+ / 0-)

          nanosecond. And that, Armando, is the problem with it.

      •  The Point of This Place (0+ / 0-)

        The point of DKos is not to influence Putin.

        It's to influence Kerry and Obama. That's why legitimate criticisms of the president and secretary of state are relevant here.

        It's legitimate to criticize them for letting Russia violate Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity when Obama himself renewed the 1994 agreement with the US, UK, Russia, France and China protecting them.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:21:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just what they need right now. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          smartdemmg, BelgianBastard, rainmanjr

          So let's everybody scream at once.  Btw (re "letting Russia violate Ukraine's sovereignty): Exactly how would Obama have stopped Russia's incursion? Tanks? Bombs?  

          •  I was hoping... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OleHippieChick, smartdemmg, rainmanjr

            Obama was going to rally the troops of the NRA and send them over there with McCain, Graham and Nugent leading the charge. But alas, that probably won't happen but I can dream can't I ? And no I'm not being flip, I just don't understand why everything, and I mean everything, is Obama's responsibility and the conversation always comes to, "Is he up to the task?" There are a number of players and factors in this "crisis" and nobody can really claim that they know how this is going to out with any certainty. once again I'd suggest we chill and let the people we elected to lead us  take the time they need to do their job. The last time I looked Dubya and Darth are no longer in charge and we stand a much better chance with the people we have now.

          •  Not Everybody Scream at Once (0+ / 0-)

            For one, this is a blog, and this medium doesn't even permit everyone to scream at once. And Kerry and Obama don't read it.

            But others do. The intensity of the reactions is part of how the web of influence works. You are trying to suppress that because you're more interested in protecting them from complaining bloggers than in their doing what Democrats strongly want them to do.

            Which means there's no point debating it with you. Goodbye.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:30:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  understandable (0+ / 0-)

        You have to admit, if you don't mind Obama's failures from the perspective of how bad he's been for progressive issues, it is pretty funny how awful and hapless he and Kerry have been.

        I can only hope that we end up learning something about politics by how badly we've been burned by this president.

      •  Apparently, it's fun to mock Obama. (0+ / 0-)

        Destroying our own chances for retaining power is all the rage within our ranks.  Somehow many think that by destroying the guy who was moving our agenda forward, and the woman who will most likely continue in the same vein, they will get a leader who will get them everything they want.  That's a fairy tale that ends with head in hands disappointment.
        2 polls show that many who don't like the GOP are still going to vote for them.  Dems have not been able to fully realize growth from our values since JFK and we weren't going to get a better chance than now.  We are losing that opportunity and everything gained in the last 6 years will be repealed--just as Reagan did.

        "If it takes all night / that'll be alright / if I can get you to smile before I leave." Jackson Browne

        by rainmanjr on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 12:09:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  it helps that they don't care (5+ / 0-)

      the more countries Russia absorbs, the fewer names their candidates need to remember.

    •  but still, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sajiocity

      it's good to casually suggest a 'surgical strike' as being most likely to succeed -- in removing the current pieces currently on the current table.

      (like the Gulf BP Deepwater Horizon disaster: most common/stupidest solution was "NUKE IT.")

      so, make the announcement, POTUS ... and have Putin guess whether you're serious. (a new Oscar category)

      TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes? -- Addington's Perpwalk.

      by greenbird on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:31:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Question for McCain. (0+ / 0-)

      McCain lost no time to blame the entire thing on Obama. Does he think that if we had continued Bush's policy of sounding strong and occasionally throwing a small country against the wall to show we're serious while not raising the taxes to make us truly strong; that Putin would have been deterred by a president who let the Iraq War fester for 44 months before really doing anything?

      McCain called Obama feckless, but I don't see Bush as having been "feckful."

      Freedom's just another word for not enough to eat. --Paul Krugman's characterization of conservative attitudes.

      by Judge Moonbox on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 06:30:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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