Skip to main content

Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a news conference at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Vladivostok September 9, 2012.              REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin (RUSSIA  - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS)
  1. Why did U.S. President Barack Obama let this happen?

    That's the question everyone in Washington, DC is asking. It's a perfectly reasonable question to ask—if you are incapable of seeing beyond the very dark hole into which you've placed your entire head.

  2. On a related note, why did President Obama allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to host the Olympics, particularly with the Benghazi scandal still unresolved?

    This is a crucial question, particularly since the International Olympic Committee awarded the games to Sochi in July, 2007. Unfortunately, we may never know the answer—unless House Government Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa succeeds in compelling former IRS nonprofit division head Lois Lerner to testify before his committee.

  3. What should President Obama do now?

    Probably his best option would be a surgical nuclear strike aimed at Mr. Putin, but without inflicting any civilian causalities.

  4. Wait, what? You think starting a nuclear war would be the most efficient way to end this crisis?

    Absolutely. Russia's markets may already be in turmoil, but diplomatic and economic isolation takes time, and force is the only language that thugs like Putin understand. If you want this crisis over by crack of dawn tomorrow, just launch a few ICBMs Moscow's way. Yes, that might create other problems, but there's no denying it would take Ukraine off the table.

  5. You're not being serious, are you?

    Not really. The fallout from a nuclear war would probably decrease the chances of passing a Grand Bargain.

    That being said, it's abundantly clear that President Obama should have waved his magic wand to stop Putin, and it's appalling that he continues to refuse to do so. What good is a magic wand if you refuse to wave it?

  6. Okay, one final question, and try to give a serious answer to this one: Isn't Putin is taking an enormous and foolish risk by invading Ukraine? If so, how could a major world leader embark on such an unwise adventure?

    In short, the answer to the first part of the question is yes. And perhaps the second part of the question would be better answered by U.S. President George W. Bush, who not only looked into Putin's soul, but also knows a thing or two about the perils of misguided invasions in the 21st century.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

    •  It was lost in translation from the Original (12+ / 0-)

      Klingon

      I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

      by JML9999 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:19:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He had a different perspective from the US. (5+ / 0-)

      He is irrational.

      Sounds to me like two different ways of saying exactly the same thing. If you disagree you are obviously irrational and I will ignore your comment.

      •  FOLLOW THE MONEY FOLKS!!....it always pays (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        erratic, Andrew F Cockburn, valkyrry

        Ben Judah...just tells it like it is.. READ AND LEARN.

        European BANKERS have Russian Oligarchs NUTS all of them, and can crack them as soon as POL’s let them.

        Why Russia No Longer Fears the West

        Russia would rather have swallowed Ukraine whole, but the show must go on. Russian TV needs glories for Putin every night on the evening news. Russian politics is about spin, not substance. The real substance of Russian politics is the extraction of billions of dollars from the nation and shuttling them into tropical Western tax havens, which is why Russian politics needs perpetual PR and perpetual Putinist drama to keep all this hidden from the Russian people. Outraged Putin has built up a Kremlin fleet of luxury aircraft worth $1 billion? Angry that a third of the $51 billion budget of the Sochi games vanished into kickbacks? Forget about it. Russia is on the march again.
        Vladimir Putin knows this. He knows that millions of Russians will cheer him as a hero if he returns them Crimea. He knows that European bureaucrats will issue shrill statements and then get back to business helping Russian elites buy London town houses and French chateaux. He knows full well that the United States can no longer force Europe to trade in a different way. He knows full well that the United States can do nothing beyond theatrical military maneuvers at most.
        This is why Vladimir Putin just invaded Crimea.
        He thinks he has nothing to lose.

        Proud to be part of the 21st Century Democratic Majority Party of the 3M's.. Multiracial, Multigender and MiddleClass

        by LOrion on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 02:44:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Those silly Russians. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TKO333, cany, martucio

          I bet Putin will stage a photo op where he parachutes onto a battlefield and then stands on a tank and brags about kicking ass.

          Americans would never fall for that sort of thing.

          •  And somewhere behind him (0+ / 0-)

            will be a banner with the Russian words for "Mission Accomplished" painted in bold Cyrillic letters for all to see.  Meanwhile, the mission will only just be getting started and will go on for years, being left by Putin for whatever successor he has to finish.

        •  I don't think his view is particularly accurate... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BelgianBastard

          I've read nearly opposite analysis from other sources that say economic punishment is entirely possible and feasible. Russia needs the West more than the West needs Russia at this time.

          "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

          by JWK on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 05:09:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, but... (0+ / 0-)

            It appears, from the map of the area, that Russia needs unfettered ocean access, and the Crimean Peninsula has it. My bet is on Putin in this regard. The region is vital to Russia. Not exactly a new tactic, in Europe or anywhere. 'Not saying it passes the smell test.

        •  Foreign adventurism to distract Russian people. (0+ / 0-)

          I think that Putin is afraid that the Russian people are losing their patience with his corruption, and the Olympics weren't enough to get them to ignore that.

          He needs a war to get them to rally 'round the flag.

          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 06:01:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  If the US didn't want missiles in Cuba... (0+ / 0-)

        ...why would Russia want US missiles in Ukraine?

    •  should have used the NSA version /nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eikyu Saha

      Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

      by annieli on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:35:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Remember the Kmart/Sears merger? (33+ / 0-)

    Everyone was asking, "if a troubled giant retail operation merges with another troubled giant retail operation, what do you get besides bigger trouble?"

    That's how I see Russia's move into the Ukraine.  One failed-ish oligopoly corrupt state takes over an entirely failed oligopoly corrupt state.  So you have a bigger area destined for the dustbin of history.  

    Maybe countries should concentrate on being better than bigger.

    The dossier on my DKos activities during the Bush administration will be presented on February 3, 2014, with an appendix consisting an adjudication, dated "a long time ago", that I am Wrong.

    by Inland on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:19:23 AM PST

    •  Good point. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rainmanjr

      I was listening to the NPR people talk about the western leaders preparing a bailout for Ukraine, and it occurred to me that it be such a shame if Putin invaded and took over responsibility for the bankrupt Ukrainian government.

      •  I am NOT for an economic bailout of Ukraine. (0+ / 0-)

        Mostly because it's going to become Russian territory and they've got enough money without inheriting more of ours.  As the diary points out, our magic wand hasn't stopped Russian dominance over the Middle East (thanks to Iran being unleashed by our aggression) or its neighbors (remember Georgia?).  They have a stronger alliance with China and Putin is doing to us exactly what Reagan did to Gorbachev...death by economic escalation of military might.
        I appreciate humor even more than most but this is a deadly and serious event.  The USA, by having no cards to play that will make Putin think twice, is about to lose containment of Russia.  Obama will get the blame, it will affect Dem candidacies, including Hillary's, and GOTP will benefit.  2 polls already indicate Americans will still vote for the GOTP despite believing they are out of touch.  Palin has just been granted a major foreign policy prediction which makes the case that they're not as out of touch as people think.
        We are in trouble thanks to Putin and a racist/conservative population.

        "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 11:57:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  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

            [ Parent ]

        •  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 ]

  •  Mitt Romney... (8+ / 0-)

    Right or rightest about Putin/Russia?


    Note: Whichever option you don't choose will be applied to Sarah Palin.

  •  Thanks for clearing all that up Jed... (8+ / 0-)

    I think?.......lol

  •  Just This (22+ / 0-)
    And perhaps the second part of the question would be better answered by U.S. President George W. Bush, who not only looked into Putin's soul, but also knows a thing or two about the perils of misguided invasions in the 21st century.

    "A famous person once said, 'You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.' But as I once said, "If you don't teach them to read, you can fool them whenever you like." – Max Headroom

    by midnight lurker on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:20:59 AM PST

  •  "Obama is Black?....I did not even notice." (20+ / 0-)

    Bill kristol.  Okay, not his exact words, but it captures the sentiment.

    Those endearing Rethugs have been high on Kristol meth.

  •  I had no idea (17+ / 0-)

    that my brother had agreed to a daily kos interview.

  •  Bush wanted to get Iraq's oil (7+ / 0-)

    Putin wants Ukraine's grain and Sevastopol.

    What looks like fail to you may not be fail to them.

    Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

    by blue aardvark on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:23:10 AM PST

  •  this assumes (22+ / 0-)
    President George W. Bush, who not only looked into Putin's soul, but also knows a thing or two about the perils of misguided invasions in the 21st century.
    that bush learned something from his misguided invasions. which presumes that bush is capable of learning.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:23:24 AM PST

  •  Perhaps the president should dust off the Plan (22+ / 0-)

    Allen Dulles brought to JFK in early 1961.  You know, the one where the US would launch a preemptive nuclear strike on the Soviets that would have killed 130,000,000 civilians.

    Dulles and the Joint Chiefs thought it was a keen plan.  JFK not so much.  The honeymoon was over.

    The descendants of the Dulles Brothers are now still at large and lobbying for more . . .

    Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

    by bobdevo on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:24:36 AM PST

  •  I think the planing went something like this (36+ / 0-)
    Russian adsvisor: Vlad, how can we make Obama and his administration look bad today?

    Putin: We could invade Ukraine.

    Russian advisor: Invade Ukraine? How would invading Ukraine make Obama and the USA look bad and not us?
    Surely people would be all over our ass and not the USA's?

    Putin: Just sit back and watch.

    //
  •  Russia's markets are in turmoil? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    merrywidow, a2nite, TomP, JeffW, LeftistSkeptic

    Ours don't seem to be reacting to world events in a particularly sparkling manner either.  But then, markets have always been quite touchy - everybody's.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:27:00 AM PST

  •  Well played DKos staff. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbird, JeffW, filby

    "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

    by gritsngumbo on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:27:54 AM PST

  •  SOX/RUX (28+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:29:26 AM PST

  •  Good luck to the President (23+ / 0-)

    I wouldn't wish having to deal with a crisis with this bunch of fucking idiots in the Republican Congressional caucuses on my worst enemy.

    If he is for something, the House GOP will be against it.

    "We are ALL Un-krain-delphians!"
    "Me too!"
    "What?"
    "Me too."
    "Shit! Well, fuck 'em then!"
    "You make a good point."
    "What?"
    "I said, point taken. We have other priorities."
    "What! Fuck! We are all U-in-Crup-doplians!"
    "I want to eliminate the estate tax."
    "What?!? You EVIL Monster! I-I-I... We.."

    “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.” — Auric Goldfinger

    by LeftHandedMan on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:30:24 AM PST

  •  Actually, isn't letting your opponent over play (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, erratic

    Their hand, especially when left with no other choice  (because are we really looking to bomb a nuclear nation?). The only option is economics and after watching Republicans take faux credit for the last Russian (soviet union) collapse, with the ignorant backup media that  Reagan tore it down, you would think  they would be all aboard. And this one won't have us arming OBL.

  •  Okay. My bad. This is all my fault. (4+ / 0-)

    A few weeks ago --- about the time Sochi's opening ceremonies and Olympian housing reputation went down the international toilet --- I made the incredibly factual comment to a friend that everything coming out of Putin's mouth sounded like shit right after hitting the fan.

    So I gave him the nickname "Vlad the Poo."

    Instead of an evil, bloodsucking vampire, I equated him to a bottom-feeder, sucking and spitting excrement.

    Again --- my bad....

    Proponents of gun violence own guns. Opponents of gun violence do not own guns. What part of this do you not understand?

    by Liberal Panzer on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:34:09 AM PST

  •  Didn't he have to protect his base in Crimea (5+ / 0-)

    if the government fell?

    taking emotions out of this, as a chess game he had to do this

    it is how the whole thing gets resolved that matters
    new election, minority rights respected and we all move on

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:34:31 AM PST

  •  okay, Jed. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Loge

    you made me laugh in spite of myself.
    so Ukraine grain, is it ... ?

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

    by greenbird on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:36:08 AM PST

  •  It's incredible there are still Americans (32+ / 0-)

    Who are convinced that the United States can simply will the change that we want in other countries.

    The United States "lost" China because there were Red sympathizers in the State Department who thought that Mao's Communists were "agrarian reformers."  Never mind that civil war the waged killing millions on both sides plus civilians.  Never mind the corruption of the Nationalists.

    The United States "lost" Iran because Jimmy Carter didn't sufficiently love the Shah.  Never mind the million plus demonstrators in Tehran.  Never mind that too many Iranians considered the Shah a U.S. puppet, implanted by the CIA in 1953 when a popularly elected democratic leader was deposed.

    You would think that after Vietnam and Iraq this kind of non-thinking would be held in disdain.

    "Corporations exist not for themselves, but for the people." Ida Tarbell 1908.

    by Navy Vet Terp on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:37:27 AM PST

  •  Don't Know, Don't Care (7+ / 0-)

    Like other members of the Daily Kos community, I just want a war. Like they said on the Oscars last night, "Free Venezuela and Ukraine! The American people are with you!"

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:39:13 AM PST

  •  why did the U.N. let this happen? (0+ / 0-)

    I know they are pathetic but still......

  •  I sense mockery and derision in this diary. (4+ / 0-)

    But then again, I just finished a half a jar of peanut butter and a bottle of seltzer water, and all the belching has made me a tad detached from reality.

  •  Putin is not a chess master (9+ / 0-)

    Kevin Drum, I think, made this point. This isnt the sign of a great chess master, quite the opposite. The pro-Russian government in Ukraine fell despite Putin's 15 billion bribe to the Yanukovych so Putin had to do this out of desperation.

  •  Well, I've argued with a couple of (6+ / 0-)

    intelligence "experts" who firmly believe that the weakness we allegedly showed in Syria led directly to Putin daring to invade Ukraine.

    It's one of those unproveable things which should apparently be obvious if only one is sufficiently "expert."

    "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

    by jrooth on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:46:11 AM PST

    •  People are being killed!!!! We must act! (6+ / 0-)

      Otherwise we are just a weak, shiftless bunch of bums.

      I'll be you our veterans just back from a gazillion tours of Iraq and Afghanistan are just itching to for a Russian Winter!

      •  Well, I do think we need to respond. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        middleagedhousewife, erratic

        Just not militarily. Boot Russia out of the G8 & WTO. Freeze assets. Revoke visas of diplomatic family members & representatives of government or industry.  That kind of stuff. And of course promise to quickly roll all that back if they back out.

        The idea has to be to convince Putin the economic cost will be truly devastating if he keeps going - because if he invades the rest of Ukraine this is going to get very bloody very fast.

        (And yes I know our own history of ignoring sovereignty and invading whom we want whenever we want doesn't give us the greatest moral standing - but that seems to me to be insufficient reason to throw up our hands and say it's not our problem.)

        "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

        by jrooth on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:03:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  HUGE Failure of American foreign policy (5+ / 0-)

        And not in the way you guys think.

        The whole discourse seems to be: a) Putin is bad and b) so let’s come up with the sickest way to punish him.  Let’s bomb, or maybe destroy his currency, or whatever.
        This is not AT ALL how it looks from the inside.  Simply put, Putin is the ONLY world leader who currently stepped in to protect Russian-speaking minority in Ukraine.   What do you think, they are stupid?  It’s just no one else is hearing their pleas!

        You have to understand that when you say Bandera in Lvov, you hear ‘Hero.’  When you say it in Odessa, you hear ‘pogrom.’  On the guttural level, South and East of Ukraine cannot stand the new Ukrainian government.  I have talked to several people over the weekend, some in Odessa, some in Kharkov, some in Kiev (I am from Odessa myself), and EVERYONE referred to new government as Bandits.  

        The most amazing to me was the lady from Kiev that was absolutely livid with Tymoshenko, who she accused of being almost as corrupt as Yanukovich.  She also contemplated that Ukraine is still better off with Russia, because Europe only wants us “to wash toilets for cheap.”

        Western leaders need to be more mindful of the half of Ukrainian population, AND propose some concrete steps.  Maybe inclusion of some Party of Regions people into Government.  Maybe exclusion neo-Nazis from the Government.  Maybe put up for referendum both EU agreement and Russian Trade agreement.  Maybe devolve some of the powers from Kiev to the regions.

        The bottom line is that current policy just reinforces the line “Putin is being punished for helping us, so let’s stick even closer to him.”  What you want is to show other way.

        •  I agree with much of this. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          erratic

          But I still think it's essential to convince Putin to stop (and then to back away.) At that point everything you list should be on the table. But the first order of business has to be to try to prevent this from devolving into all-out war.

          "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

          by jrooth on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:41:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There is ZERO chance of all out war (4+ / 0-)

            Or even limited one.
            Did you notice that NOT A SINGLE SHOT was fired when Crimea was taken over?  

            Simply put, for a whole host of historical, cultural, etc. reasons, Russian army will not fire the first shot.  

            Also, again, this whole thing is making him popularity go through the roof.  Every Russian speaking person in any former Soviet republic is quietly rooting for him.  Not to mention Russia.

            And also the guy is smart and playing a long game.  He knows full well that he has to last months, if not weeks.  As soon as the next shiny object will appear on the horizon, the West will move on.

            •  Putin is effectively dictator for life. Back in (0+ / 0-)

              the 1930's the consensus was that democracies were all failures including the US.
              Putin is trying to turn the clock back. You can't get much dumber than that.

            •  That's for sure. No way Western minds focus on (0+ / 0-)

              anything for more than a month or two. Hell, here in the U.S., there's social programs to cut!

            •  Crimea is one thing ... east Ukraine another. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              erratic

              The Ukrainians have showed excellent restraint so far, but partly that's a matter of the relatively few forces in Crimea being completely unprepared for this invasion and too weak to mount a credible defense.

              If the Russians cross into eastern Ukraine it's going to be a different story.  I don't think they have anything like the capability to defeat a Russian invasion, but being forewarned they do have the capacity to put up a serious fight.

              There was a good piece by a pair of former US ambassadors to Ukraine about this - I'll see if I can find it.

              "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

              by jrooth on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:43:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Putin is trying to stop war in Ukraine (0+ / 0-)

            Putin's show of force gave the Crimeans the opportunity to calmly stand up the the U.S. supported neo-NAZIs that overthrew a democratically elected leader in Kiev.  I suspected that the riots were CIA inspired regime change.  I was close, but recently learned that it was an organization formed by a former CIA director that is responsible - not much difference.  Furthermore, Obama and Putin have an understanding that goes above the U.S. State Department. Maybe Obama should purge the neocons out of the government, but right now, he is doing only what he thinks he can do.

        •  Elections (0+ / 0-)

          I doubt the US has so much influence it can dictate which parties are and are not involved in the transitional government.

          The Ukrainian people should have been focused on the May elections so they can decide who they trust. Instead the Russians have come in and impose themselves.

    •  Obama gets what he wanted w/o firing a shot... (5+ / 0-)

      just with some threats and preparation, and his critics conclude that he was wrong not to fire the shot anyway.

      Well that's just freaking brilliant.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:51:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  what about our strength in Iraq/Afghanistan? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      myboo

      Why is Syria the only reference point Putin is using? We invaded Iraq a decade after they'd been neutered. Why doesn't he think the same thing will happen again?

      Don't fuck with us, man. We are crazy!

      •  Yeah, I brought that up (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sweatyb

        and the reply was essentially "that was Bush, this is Obama." To which I replied then how do you explain South Ossetia and Abkhazia? Didn't really get an answer beyond "that was different" (presumably again is some way which would be obvious if only I were sufficiently "expert")

        "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

        by jrooth on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:34:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  their minds don't work like ours (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jrooth, JourneyInside

          Which, incidentally, is what makes them sure they're "experts". The fact that regular people can't see at all what they see so clearly is proof-positive that they are geniuses.

          They are using inductive reasoning. They start with the conclusion: Putin sending soldiers to Crimea is evidence that Obama is weak. Once they have that, all they need is to cherry pick to support their conclusion and presto, they're ready to appear on Fox News.

          There's nothing to do to convince them. They wont use deductive reasoning because as soon as they start it becomes clear that they can never get to the correct conclusion.

      •  Putin isn't using Syria as a reference point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sweatyb

        Eternal critics of Obama are. If Obama had bombed Syria back into the stone age, they would be saying his actions in Syria caused Putin to annex Crimea because Obama showed he couldn't be reasoned with.

        There's only one consistent theme with these critics: anything the Obama administration does (or doesn't do) is wrong.

    •  run the counterfactual, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jrooth

      let's say the U.S. had bombed Syria.  That doesn't make it any more possible that the U.S. has the ability to do whatever the fuck in Crimea.  

      The lesson there is Putin failed to learn from the last time he overreached.  

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:23:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Weakness in Syria????? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LeftistSkeptic

      I think Vietnam, Iraq and Afganistan adequately displayed our weakness.

    •  Voodoo Kremlinology (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      erratic

      Right wingers think we can intimidate Russia into doing (or not doing) what we want by talking tough.  I have my doubts.

      Let's start by assuming that Putin is reasonably rational; not to say perfect, but rather motivated by things we can analyze like gain and loss.  What does Putin want in this situation? What does he fear? Given this, how would our words and actions affect his perception of the risks and rewards?  

      Ukraine is the linchpin in Putin's plan to create a counterweight to NATO and the EU, which he perceives as threatening to Russia's security.  So by intervening in Ukraine he not only preserves his ability to create a competing alliance, he prevents a hostile alliance from gaining a foothold on his borders.

      Geographically, the Crimea abuts the Straight of Kerch, between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.  The Sea of Azov is connected by the Volga-Don Canal to the Caspian and via the Volga to over half of Russia's twenty largest cities. So any maritime traffic between the Russian heartland and the Mediterranean and beyond has to pass through the Straights of Kerch.  Having a hostile Europe in charge of half of the there is not good for Russian paranoia.  In a crisis, Russian civilian and military traffic could be bottled up in the Sea of Azov by a single well-defended gun emplacement.  This, while Putin is making substantial outlays to reestablish Russia as a maritime power by adding 75 ships the Russian Navy.

      So given what is at stake for Putin, how likely is it he'd be intimidated by an threats of US force right on his doorstep?

      A successful action against Syria would be a major blow to Putin's prestige and the prestige of the Russian military because of Syria's reliance on Russian military hardware. But the result wouldn't be that Putin rolls over and plays dead. On the contrary he'd get more belligerent to counter the domestic perception of weakness, knowing full well that an attack against Russia on Russia's doorstep would be much more costly.

      I've lost my faith in nihilism

      by grumpynerd on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:42:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let me get this straight: A month ago... (8+ / 0-)

    The entire nation of Ukraine was firmly inside Russia's breast pocket.

    Today, there is a crisis over whether Russia will hand onto the Crimea as the rest of the country reorients itself to the west.

    And the question in the nation's two most important op-ed pages is "Who lost Crimea?"

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:50:16 AM PST

    •  Your assumption (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe from Lowell
      Today, there is a crisis over whether Russia will hand onto the Crimea as the rest of the country reorients itself to the west.
      is that Putin is done and doesn't plan to seize 'the rest of the country'. I don't think that's a safe assumption.

      Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

      by bear83 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:01:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think it is. Look at the Georgia example. (5+ / 0-)

        I remember, when he send the tanks into South Ossetia after the Georgian government's incursion, how many people were assuring us that he was going to keep rolling to Tbilisi. It was the height of naiveté to think that he'd stop in the Russio-philic portion of the country.

        But that's exactly what he did.

        Whether he goes for the eastern half of the country, which voted for the pro-Russian candidate, is still an open question, but the west is clearly gone.

        The bottom line here is that this episode represents a net loss of influence for Russia. They're trying to hang on to what they can, but the editorialists are writing as if it's the west losing something.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:07:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Pundits & Politicians: find Ukraine on a map (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buffie

      Once you've done that you can proceed with your verbal diarrhea.

      If you point to an area inside the current borders of Russia, you are never allowed to talk about foreign policy ever again.

    •  Not Straight (0+ / 0-)

      A month ago, only Yanukovych and his cronies were firmly inside Russia's breast pocket. Presumably millions of Ukrainians were satisfied with choosing Russia over EU, but they were mostly silent while millions either stood in protest or rioted in the streets.

      Today all of Crimea is firmly inside Russia's military control. Including presumably millions who are terrified they're being annexed away from their country Ukraine.

      Yes, the question is "who lost Crimea"? It is lost, even if just for now, to a Russian invasion, and it  should not be. The question is a good one.

      Another good question is why you think it's OK that Russia just annexed a major region of its neighbor with a military invasion, while the US and UK who agreed to protect it from that let it happen.

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

      by DocGonzo on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:46:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What the fuck are we supposed to do? (0+ / 0-)

        Have you forgotten that Russia has nuclear weapons? Enough to turn the entire planet to charcoal? We CAN NOT fight them, any more than they can fight us. Mutually Assured Destruction means that war between the superpowers is impossible. It's pure suicide.

        This is going to be just like Afghanistan in the 70s and 80s, where the US bleats "oh no you can't do that!" and the Russians say "oh yeah? Stop us."

        Sorry, Ukraine. You're not worth the thermonuclear extinction of all humanity.

        "Is there anybody listening? Is there anyone who sees what's going on? Read between the lines, criticize the words they're selling. Think for yourself, and feel the walls become sand beneath your feet." --Geoff Tate, Queensryche

        by DarthMeow504 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:40:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  There are deeper, emotional reasons for Putin's (0+ / 0-)

    behavior that are not rooted in any logical, reasonable framework.

    Putin himself is probably unsure of why he is doing this and his justifications, both internally and externally are really just backfill for his actions, which are emotion-based, and not reasonable, rational or logical.

    There are probably several layers of justification/motivation that are used to explain his behavior.

    Level one is the public reason: We need to provide stability.
    Level two is the internal justification to his inner circle: we need to secure resources, bring them into the Russian fold, secure oil/gas concerns etc.
    Level three: Putin's internal dialogue and justification, probably along the lines of "I need to do this to prove something, it's necessary to for control, and impact and power consolidation"
    Level Four: (Unconscious underlying motivation) This action satisfies an internal emotional need.

    That inner emotional need is the real motivation for this, everything else is layers of justification to mask the inner emotional necessity.

    Imagine the most profound idea ever conceptualized occupying this space. Now expect exactly the opposite. You'll never be disappointed.

    by Gurnt on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:50:34 AM PST

    •  Why does that sound so familiar? Oh yeah, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bewareofme, Gurnt

      reminds me of Bush and Iraq.  Does Putin have 'daddy issues', too?

      “To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.”-Brandi Snyder (in memory of my Nick)

      by YellowDogInGA on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:59:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Putin's issues are located directly below (0+ / 0-)

        his waistband. Deficiencies, I suspect, that explain a lot.

      •  Iraq was also emotional, Putin may have daddy (0+ / 0-)

        issues, that would probably be a part of it.

        But I could make a case that this is more an emotioanl response to the cultural threat that the US poses to Russia (and "tough guys" like Putin).

        It may seem far fetched, but Russia's current "push back" agains Gay rights, for example, is, IMO, a direct response to the progress here on that front.

        The progress on Gay right is obviously VERY threatening to large segments of the Russian population (and "tough guys" like Puting).  His current hostility may be an emotional response to that perceived threat.

        Imagine the most profound idea ever conceptualized occupying this space. Now expect exactly the opposite. You'll never be disappointed.

        by Gurnt on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:08:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm impressed at the strength of spin here. (3+ / 0-)

    First -- let there be no mistake:

    Putin is the bad actor here.  

    Unequivocally.  

    This is not Obama's fault.

    It's possible that Obama's youth and perceived weakness encouraged Putin to test American resolve in the way that Kennedy's youth and perceived weakness encouraged Krushchev to send nuclear missiles to Cuba. Even that, if a factor, is on Putin and his judgment.

    But, for an administration that sold itself as a major step up  in international relations, one that many Kossacks expressed an "Now the grown-ups get to take over" sentiment, our leaders sure do seem taken aback and clueless by current events.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:51:04 AM PST

    •  Or maybe in the way that Eisenhower's (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83, Loge, kingfishstew, elmo

      youth and perceived weakness encouraged Krushchev to invade Hungary.

      Of course, he was right on that one- Eisenhower didn't have enough foreign policy experience to realize that he should retaliate.

    •  His "youth and perceived weakness" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheLizardKing, FiredUpInCA, elmo

      encouraged Putin to test him....over five years into his presidency?

      •  Don't know if it's a factor at all. The Cuban (0+ / 0-)

        missile crisis was much earlier in Kennedy's administration.  On the other hand, Kennedy had shown a willingness to be aggressive in the Bay of Pigs and Kennedy was not merely an ex-military, but a genuine war hero.

        Krushchev misread Kennedy.
        Is Putin incapable of misreading Obama?

        And, let's face it, this administration has not exactly been an international powerhouse.  Add that to increasingly isolationist American sentiments, it's not irrational to imagine that Putin might feel emboldened.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:08:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, the U.S. isn't going to use military force (0+ / 0-)

          to drive Russia out of Crimea, and that's true no matter who is President.  It's over there, our closest bases are in Turkey, Germany and Italy, it's an densely populated area and the Russian naval black see fleet is based there.  If Russia wanted to invade a hell of a lot more countries, it certainly has the wherewithal to do so.   It's not, however, costless to Russia in other areas, and if anything, emboldens the resistance of Western Ukraine.  But the point is this has next to nothing to do with the U.S. - this is Russia's historic sphere of influence, over which it's losing, not gaining power, and the reaction of the U.S. and others might have been a factor in Putin's thinking (if he reached beyond they're not going to stop us, militarily), but it's ancillary.  This isn't a "test" of Obama like Cuba was with Kennedy; this is consolidating power over Eastern Ukraine.  

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:28:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wow. What is it with Kossacks and binary thinking? (0+ / 0-)

            Surely there must be something in between "Do nothing and kill lots of people while blowing the place to kingdom come."

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:04:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  C'mon. There is a very wide range of ... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dinotrac, jrooth

              ...opinion being expressed by Kossacks about Ukraine, Russia, Obama's role, Putin's designs. Arguing that opinion here is binary misses the mark by a long shot.

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:10:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Maybe, but it seems that any reply I get assumes (0+ / 0-)

                that the only alternative to what is (not) being done now is to use military force.

                And even that isn't a singular answer.
                Even if you assume that military force is required, the next question is whose military force?

                Ukraine's?
                NATO's?
                UN peace keepers?

                Maybe it's because people know that I'm a conservative and presume that conservative = KABOOM!.  

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:15:05 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  nope, (0+ / 0-)

                  you're the one talking about 'emboldened by perceived weakness,' as a possibility.  i'm using the military force example to show how abusrd it is to think anything Obama did could have had more than a negligible effect on Putin's interest in his backyard, and the rest of the comment was about how the whole situation has at root little to do with us.  Your rhetoric seemed like it hints at military force but doesn't follow through.  Without a stronger account of what Obama could have or should have done differently, it's really empty, and your lack of a clear argument doesn't make mine any less clear.  

                  Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                  by Loge on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:42:19 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Your argument is that do nothing is the right (0+ / 0-)

                    thing to do.

                    And that's a perfectly valid classic American isolationist stance.

                    It arguably makes more sense than the administration's decision to involve itself in Libya and Syria.

                    But when  does "do nothing" become "do something"?

                    Does it ever?

                    Remember: Ukraine is a sovereign nation, just like we are, like Canada is, Finland, Poland, England, Germany, etc.

                    Do the Russians have to roll into Poland? Finland? Norway?

                    Do we simply accept that it's OK for the Russians to do things that would be unacceptable for us to do?

                    Does the fact that Russia possesses the capability that Hitler lacked to meaningfully attack the US make a difference?

                    What difference does it make? Do declare our weapons a modern-day Maginot Line and surrender?

                    These are legitimate follow-ons to "None of our business".

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:02:28 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Nope x2, (0+ / 0-)

                      the U.S. can do stuff, but it shouldn't expect it to make much of a difference, because it's dealing with Russia and not Libya.  Russia has power, the other countries don't.  The point is simply that it isn't about us, so "real or perceived weakness" is a red herring, in terms of U.S. domestic politics.  As far as Russia goes, I've said, use whatever leverage we have re economic sanctions and membership in international institutions.  Don't be surprised when Putin is unmoved.

                      You can have fun with your strawman, however.  

                      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                      by Loge on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:11:29 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  How about George Bush's response to the (0+ / 0-)

                        2008 invasion of Georgia?

                        Here is a snip from a CNN interview including the former Georgian President:

                        MIKHAIL SAAKASHVILI: One thing should be known. In Georgia in 2008 after the reaction was quite late, Putin was stopped at the entrance of our capital by a huge unit who showed, but the international community outcry. George Bush sent four fleets. The initial planes were put on alert prepared for no fly zone over Georgia and that's what stopped Putin from a --

                        BURNETT: So that's what Obama is going to have to do.

                        SAAKASHVILI: There have been many different options he can consider. I'm not saying that's the situation for sure but certainly we should consider all of the options because U.S. security interests are at stake. If this war in Europe collapses now, the U.S. will be in trouble. The United States is one of the main guarantors and benefactors of this order that exists today in Europe and if it goes to hell, certainly American interests would be at great risk. BURNETT: Well, we'll leave it at that. Thank you all very much. Appreciate it. Obviously a very significant moment right now for the world, for the United States, for Russia, for Ukraine.

                        http://transcripts.cnn.com/...

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:15:17 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  so, you do want a military response, (0+ / 0-)

                          after disavowing it.  I also wouldn't trust anything Saakshvili says, and there's a bit of hindsight justification in his argument.  Bush might have done these things (send which fleets from where to where?), but that's not an argument it directed Putin to come to the table, so much as proving it's point to Saakashvili.  Russia currently occupies South Ossetia, anyway, Georgia precipitated the invasion by shelling separatists, and the analogy to Tblisi would be as if Putin were attacking Kiev.  All in all, a bad analogy, in service of an argument that you don't understand what it is you're saying.  Perhaps Putin might be willing to come to the table, but it'll be because he wants to.  

                          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                          by Loge on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:28:16 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Come on, simple English. (0+ / 0-)

                            I didn't say that at all.

                            I did bring up Bush's action in 2008 - which wasn't exactly a military action, even though it was carried out by the military.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:47:54 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  also, where do you get off (0+ / 0-)

                      complaining about "binary thinking" and then twisting my argument into isolationism.  Kettle, meet dumber kettle.

                      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                      by Loge on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:13:48 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I don't think you're dumber. (0+ / 0-)

                        In what way is "do nothing" not isolationist for a country that has long been an international leader, is a founding member of NATO and is one of the permanent members of the UN security council?

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:17:32 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  in what way did i say "do nothing?" (0+ / 0-)

                          i said this isn't a function of real or perceived weakness on Obama's part, and you just went to town, having an argument with yourself.  I'd be moved by the NATO thing if Ukraine were a member.  Thank God it's not.

                          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                          by Loge on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:30:53 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I extrapolated that from your statement (0+ / 0-)
                            But the point is this has next to nothing to do with the U.S.
                            Maybe I read too much into your statement, but does it seem illogical to believe that you mean "do nothing" is the best response to an action that has nothing to do with the United States?

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:45:44 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  read far to little, (0+ / 0-)

                            the cause of the invasion has little to do with the U.S.' relative "weakness" as a preciptating factor - w/r/t Crimea, any country is weak compared to Russia.  

                            The U.S. should respond in a way to preserve face, but Putin's in crimea for as long as he wants to be.  

                            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                            by Loge on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:53:16 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Looks like you read far too little as well. (0+ / 0-)

                            Which is fine.

                            I guess it would be wrong to start bolstering the Ukrainian military in recognition of the fact that it is weak compared to Russia.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:58:53 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  i would not support doing that (0+ / 0-)

                            because then Russia just gets to blow up more American weapons come to it, or else a pro-Russian regains power and we've just armed an adversary of ours who now has the ability to further threaten actual NATO members.  Truly astounding.  

                            "has nothing to do" and "should do nothing" are different tenses of different verbs.  

                            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                            by Loge on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 01:11:06 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  OK, we are in agreement that should and has are (0+ / 0-)

                            different verbs.

                            That's something.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 01:15:32 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  do you forget everyting you say after you post (0+ / 0-)

                            your argument that my position is "do nothing" was based on language you quoted that said the situation had "nothing to do" with relative U.S. presidential power.  

                            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                            by Loge on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 01:18:02 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Gosh, try to be nice. Some people... (0+ / 0-)

                            No, nor have I forgotten your silly attempts to talk your way out of your own statements.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 01:19:22 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you mean by not agreeing with your (0+ / 0-)

                            misinterpretations of them?  Imma call you vampire, because you can't look at mirrors.

                            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                            by Loge on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 01:21:52 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Cute. (0+ / 0-)

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 01:23:54 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

            •  i don't know what it is you're arguing against (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dinotrac

              re "binary thinking."  I agree the solution is in the middle; i was referring to your diagnosis of the cause.  The lack of military option is the reason it's little to do with Obama or perceptions of him.  Pick a President, the dynamic doesn't change.  

              Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

              by Loge on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:31:20 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I tend to agree with Loge's reply. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dinotrac, Loge
          But the point is this has next to nothing to do with the U.S. - this is Russia's historic sphere of influence, over which it's losing, not gaining power, and the reaction of the U.S. and others might have been a factor in Putin's thinking (if he reached beyond they're not going to stop us, militarily), but it's ancillary.  This isn't a "test" of Obama like Cuba was with Kennedy; this is consolidating power over Eastern Ukraine.  
          I dont look at the issue as just a two way US-Russia issue.  

          A couple of months ago, Russia had their guy in power in Ukraine, and now they dont. So out of desperation, Putin is now trying to hold Crimea and possibly move into Eastern Ukraine.

          I think he would do this regardless of the US president, and whatever their previous actions were.

          Another way of putting it, Putin went into Georgia even after Bush's invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. And Ukraine is even more important to Russia.

          •  Are you saying that Putin had great respect for (0+ / 0-)

            Bush?

            That's hard for me to believe.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:06:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, I'm saying the opposite (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LeftistSkeptic, Loge, dinotrac, buffie

              I dont know that the US president, whoever it is, really factors much into his decisions.

              Bush was certainly not isolationist, and yet Putin didnt seem to care about that much when he invaded Georgia.

              Obama is certainly more isolationist, or restrained in using power, or however you want to characterize it, and Putin invaded Crimea.

              My point is he has his own interests for doing these things that have nothing to do with the US president.

              •  On the other hand, Bush did take action (0+ / 0-)

                From a CNN interview:

                MIKHEIL SAAKASHVILI, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA: One thing should be known. In Georgia in 2008 after the reaction was quite late, Putin was stopped at the entrance of our capital by a huge unit who showed, but the international community outcry. George Bush sent four fleets. The initial planes were put on alert prepared for no fly zone over Georgia and that's what stopped Putin from a --

                BURNETT: So that's what Obama is going to have to do.

                SAAKASHVILI: There have been many different options he can consider. I'm not saying that's the situation for sure but certainly we should consider all of the options because U.S. security interests are at stake. If this war in Europe collapses now, the U.S. will be in trouble. The United States is one of the main guarantors and benefactors of this order that exists today in Europe and if it goes to hell, certainly American interests would be at great risk. BURNETT: Well, we'll leave it at that. Thank you all very much. Appreciate it. Obviously a very significant moment right now for the world, for the United States, for Russia, for Ukraine.

                http://transcripts.cnn.com/...

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:13:13 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  it's the wrong way around (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gzodik, LeftistSkeptic, buffie

      Krushchev engaged in a provocation by placing offensive nuclear weapons in Cuba, and JFK responded to that threat.

      In this case, it was the US who was engaged in provocation by backing a regime change in a country bordering Russia, in order to draw that country into the EU orbit. Russia is responding to that--and the threat of losing its warm-water port.

      Putin's response to that provocation threatens to escalate tensions and is not constructive. But there was no way they were not going to respond to what the EU and US did in Ukraine.

      If a far-off country destabilized Cuba and tried to pull it into their orbit, we would be at war already. Russia's response has been mild by comparison with what we would do in the same situation.

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:02:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which changes what, exactly? (0+ / 0-)

        Would Krushchev have made the same calculation with Nixon in the White House?

        Maybe. Maybe not.
        After the lone summit between the two, in Vienna:

        Kennedy’s aides convinced the press at the time that behind closed doors the president was performing well, but American diplomats in attendance, including the ambassador to the Soviet Union, later said they were shocked that Kennedy had taken so much abuse. Paul Nitze, the assistant secretary of defense, said the meeting was “just a disaster.” Khrushchev’s aide, after the first day, said the American president seemed “very inexperienced, even immature.” Khrushchev agreed, noting that the youthful Kennedy was “too intelligent and too weak.” The Soviet leader left Vienna elated — and with a very low opinion of the leader of the free world.
        http://www.nytimes.com/...

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:13:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree that the US had any major role in (0+ / 0-)

        the conflict between the two sides in the Ukraine.  I'm sure we attempted to influence the pro-Western leaders, but the movements they led were a reflection of various segments of Ukrainian society, not something the US conjured up out of nothing by throwing around money and propaganda.  

        And what the US State Department wanted was just one of many competing pressures those leaders were trying to balance, and less important than what their fellow Ukrainians wanted.

        If the US can magically conjure up thousands of people in the streets of Kiev, then Russia should be able to have even more influence since they're much closer geographically and have a significant percentage of the people in the Ukraine identifying as Russian.  

        Yet Russia had to resort to military force to achieve its aims. The people living in that country are not puppets dangling from either American or Russian strings.  

      •  Offensive Provocation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Meteor Blades

        Kruchev's nukes in Cuba were in response to the US putting nuke missiles in Italy and Turkey, and the US' failed invasion in the Bay of Pigs. But the US didn't respond by invading East Germany to defend our military bases in West Germany.

        Putin's military invasion of Crimea constitutes more than just "some response". Indeed the US backing Ukraine regime change was a proportionate response to the Russian backed regime and its actions.

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

        by DocGonzo on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:54:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Cuba's history, even under Castro, did not... (0+ / 0-)

        ...begin in 1962. The U.S., after all, took a few actions in Cuba before Khrushchev made his moves. Moreover, he made moves in Germany before then, too, reminding the USSR through a subordinate's speech about America's hugely larger nuclear arsenal and building up conventional forces in Europe.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:16:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  taken aback? clueless? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac, FiredUpInCA, Loge

      I must say that your impression is distinctly different than mine.

      •  Well -- I hope you're right and I'm wrong. (0+ / 0-)

        An awful lot at stake.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:13:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  right about what? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FiredUpInCA, DarthMeow504

          If you know how the United States can stop Putin without starting a global military conflict completely out of proportion to the instigation, I am sure we'd all be delighted to hear it.

          The nature of this conflict is that Obama or Kerry are observers. The fate of the Crimea (and potentially all of Ukraine) rests entirely with how much Putin wants to gamble.

          •  Ummm....your post (0+ / 0-)
            I must say that your impression is distinctly different than mine
            Which I presumed from its subject line of  taken aback? clueless?

            to be a response to this from my post:

            our leaders sure do seem taken aback and clueless by current events.
            That seems like a reasonable interpretation, but if I got that wrong, please correct me.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:02:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  read the content of my reply (0+ / 0-)

              It does not matter what Obama and Kerry do. If they starting running around wildly, babbling like idiots or crying like children it does not matter.

              The point of my reply was that whether you're right or I'm right, it. does. not. matter.

              Putin is lighting matches in his own back yard. Everyone else is watching in case the fire leaps the fence.

      •  I think there was probably some surprise (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sweatyb

        that Putin would invade Crimea, because it's 2014 and that's now how things are done anymore.  Clueless i don't think really applies, because there's not much they can do to begin with, but they are responding with the tools (international opprobrium, financial sanctions) they do have at their disposal.  

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:45:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Pop Quiz Time! (0+ / 0-)

    Why did U.S. President Barack Obama let this happen?

    He was asleep at the switch.  Or golfing......

    On a related note, why did President Obama allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to host the Olympics, particularly with the Benghazi scandal still unresolved?

    Again, he was asleep at the switch.  Or golfing......

    What should President Obama do now?

    He could take a nap or go golfing......

    Wait, what? You think starting a nuclear war would be the most efficient way to end this crisis?

    As long as the President isn't allowed to nap OR go golfing.....

    You're not being serious, are you?

    No, Not really. About the nukes? No.  The napping and golfing?  I'm totally against them.

    Okay, one final question, and try to give a serious answer to this one: Isn't Putin is taking an enormous and foolish risk by invading Ukraine? If so, how could a major world leader embark on such an unwise adventure.

    He missed his nap and his round of golf.....  

    Was that a trick question?

    I am Joe's Steven......

    by Joes Steven on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:54:11 AM PST

  •  Jed channels Hunter. Had to look twice at (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bewareofme, jrooth

    the byline.

    "The attack on the truth by war begins long before war starts and continues long after a war ends." -Julian Assange

    by Pierro Sraffa on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:01:08 AM PST

  •  I'm an Obama guy through and through (2+ / 0-)

    but I really do think the POTUS not intervening in Syria when Assad blatantly violated international law (and Obama's red line) emboldened bad actors like Putin.

     In the long run intervention could have made things worse, no doubt (although its hard to imagine it worse then it is now) but I think Obama miscalculated the Syrian issue.

    •  Oooookaaaaaay. Thanks! nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FiredUpInCA
    •  Can't test counter-factuals (5+ / 0-)

      but for what it's worth I think Ukraine is so strategically important to Putin that he would have done this regardless of what we did in Syria.

      After all, Bush hadn't shown much reticence about using force before Putin crushed the uprising in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

      "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

      by jrooth on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:14:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i tend to think the busier the U.S. military is (0+ / 0-)

        elsewhere, the stronger, not weaker, it makes Putin.  

        However, the flip side is the U.S. has no interest in Crimea worth going to war over, not international human rights, not natural resources, not anything.  As far as the U.S. is concerned, Crimea was already "Russia" because it's where the black see fleet is.  

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:47:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We do have one major interest. (0+ / 0-)

          We are under treaty obligation to protect their territorial integrity in return for their having divested themselves of their nuclear arsenal.

          "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

          by jrooth on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:29:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  WE ARE NOT WE ARE NOT WE ARE NOT (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jrooth

            we have a non-binding obligation to "reaffirm" our existing obligation not to attack it, as does UK and Russia.  It's not a treaty and it doesn't commit us to their defense from a third party.  We can't invade Ukraine, and we couldn't before.

            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

            by Loge on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:32:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ah OK ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Loge

              I see I was misinformed about the nature of the agreement.

              Nonetheless, i think the fact that we entered into these assurances in conjunction with the Russian Federation, who have now violated it by invading Crimea, is of some considerable national interest to us. After all, we would presumably like other nations to rely upon similar assurances from us in the future.

              "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

              by jrooth on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:50:02 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Obama cited it, (0+ / 0-)

                now that Russia's in violation, but it's far more telling that Ukraine was never brought into NATO.  Russia could argue that the letter's effect evaporated when Ukraine got the development aid, but it doesn't impose any new obligations in any event.  Russia can't violate Ukraine's territorial integrity because Ukraine is its own country, not because of a letter.

                I think most of the world would rather the U.S. exercise restraint and soft power viz Russia . . .

                Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                by Loge on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:57:32 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  It's fun to poke fun (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LeftistSkeptic

    I really enjoyed some of the snark here on this issue.  

    But, when the rubber meets the road, we have absolutely zero business sticking our American noses into this.  

    Why do we ALWAYS have to get involved in other nation's foreign affairs?  

    I just do not get it.

  •  Good news (0+ / 0-)

    There can't be armed conflict when one side makes threats both know not to be true. There will never be any consequences.

    You best believe it does

    by HangsLeft on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:02:46 AM PST

  •  Breaking News: (0+ / 0-)

    Russian news sources say: NO ULTIMATUM issued.  Um, wanna buy a bridge?

    ~Arianna_Editrix-- I willingly accept Cassandra’s fate, To speak the truth, altho’ believ’d too late

    by Arianna Editrix on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:07:14 AM PST

  •  Exactly what options is Obama supposed to have? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, LeftistSkeptic

    By all available evidence, the Administration is exploring financial and economic sanctions. But for those to be at all effective, most other Western nations would have to cooperate. To set that up requires time and, you know, diplomacy (pardon the dirty word).

    What else is there? Are we and NATO supposed to be sending armored divisions into Ukraine, or what? Wouldn't be much left of the place if we and the Russians fought pitched battles with modern weaponry through it, even leaving out the whole nuclear thing. Ukraine would look like those pictures of Germany taken in the summer of 1945.

    Don't think even the most anti-Russian Ukrainian wants to be "saved" that way.

  •  Like King Herod, Putin gives orders to ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades

    have all the dogs in Sochi killed in hopes of putting a stop to photos like this from going viral. Ukraine and Crimea suffer the blunt of his blows as well.


    Walk beyond the crowd. Be your own wisenheimer.

    by glb3 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:08:15 AM PST

  •  President Dale: General Decker, if you do not shut (0+ / 0-)

    up I am going to relieve you of your commands.

    Gen. Decker: We have to strike now, sir! Annihilate! Kill! Kill! Kill!

    President Dale: SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!

     - From the movie "Mars Attacks"

    “My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there." - Rumi

    by LamontCranston on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:10:19 AM PST

  •  EU Issues Statement (0+ / 0-)

    To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

    by dizzydean on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:13:41 AM PST

  •  My Head's Not In a Hole (0+ / 0-)

    The US along with UK, Russia and Ukraine signed the 1994 Budapest Memorandum surrendering Ukraine's thousands of Soviet nukes to Russia, replaced by the assurances of those countries of Ukraine's territorial integrity and soverignty. In 2009 Obama and Medvedev renewed the treaty in 2009.

    The Pentagon spends $TRILLIONS on defending the US, including universal spying, including on foreign leaders, and even endlss $BILLIONS for Cold War mission planes. Even as Obama allows (and even suggests) cutting essential budgets to protect the Pentagon's squanderous ones.

    Over the course of two days Russia violated that treaty, invading Ukraine, while the Pentagon seemed not to exist at all.

    Of course I want to know why Obama let this happen. What kind of insanity defends him from this kind of failure?

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

    by DocGonzo on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:15:32 AM PST

    •  What exactly should the DoD do? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rodentrancher, DarthMeow504

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:09:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Stop Spending Our Money (0+ / 0-)

        For one it should stop spending so many $BILLIONS of our money pretending to support agreements like the Budapest Memorandum protecting Ukraine. It should stop spying on everyone when it doesn't even help deter a Russian invasion.

        Maybe it should have better trained Ukraine to respond to a Russian invasion like this. Maybe it should have put more ships into the Black Sea than just the two for Sochi, one of which (the one with the weapons) ran aground in Turkey and is being repaired.

        What should it do now? Give me security clearance and a meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and I'll tell you.

        But now that the Pentagon has lost the chance at deterrence, it's probably just a costly obstacle.

        What should happen now is that Obama should lead the rest of the world to lock down Russia's finances, while finding ways to supply Ukraine with gas instead of from Russia. And pressure Russia to stick to its story of "protecting Crimea through the Ukrainian political instability" by never firing a shot or interfering in anything, until the May 25th Ukrainian elections, and then immediately leaving once the election is complete.

        I expect Obama to do those things. I expected Obama to lead the US in living up to our obligations like the Budapest Memorandum. Which is why my head isn't in a hole while I wonder why he let this happen.

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

        by DocGonzo on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:37:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  palin claims credit for ukraine invasion call (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kovie

    but first she has to find Ukraine on the map.

  •  One thing most people don't know (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LeftistSkeptic, kovie, DarthMeow504

    The Crimea is not historically part of the Ukraine, it was 'given' to the Ukraine by Stalin after WWII, for some reason, best known to Stalin.

    May you live in interesting times--Chinese curse

    by oldcrow on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:20:17 AM PST

    •  That reason is now obvious (0+ / 0-)

      He correctly predicted that communism would fail and the Soviet Union would break up as a result, and some future Russian dictator would need some pretext to invade seceding former Soviet republics to put it back together.

      Sounds crazy, and it is, but still...

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:04:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  That pretty well sums up the Republican criticism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, Heftysmurf

    of the administration recently. Tactical nuclear strikes would bring Putin down in a week. Massive retaliatory strikes could have saved Ambassador Stevens. A presidential landing on a carrier deck will magically result in "mission accomplished"  in two weeks.
      Republicans are living proof that either the American education system is failing us or the country's mental health is flushing down the toilet.

  •  Read shit like that all day yesterday... (4+ / 0-)

    "Obama let this happen because ARGLE BARGLE!"

    Dude, STFU. There wasn't anything he could have done to prevent this because NO president could have. Bush would have done the exact same thing. Nothing. Because this doesn't involve us. Yes, Putin's a thug. Guess what? American evangelicals have made him their new best friend. So maybe you should talk to them about getting Pootie to back off.

    "Oh, if only we would have dumped millions of dollars and aided Ukraine five years ago we could have prevented..."

    No, we couldn't. Putin wanted Ukraine badly enough he would have gone to war over it. Even with us. I know you're eager to put this at the foot of Obama but he really doesn't have anything to do with this and nothing we could have done would have prevented it other than dragging us into a war we don't need right now.

    "Obama looks weak and that's why Putin wasn't scared of him."

    Again, Putin doesn't give a shit about what anyone else thinks. Ever. He thought Bush was as much of an idiot as we do. No amount of saber rattling or posturing would have stopped him. He just doesn't give a fuck. There's no way this is going to help the Russian economy or image on the world stage and he did it anyway. So stop pretending that acting like a tough guy would have done anything.

    He stole a Super Bowl MVP's ring when he shook his hand. This guy doesn't give a fuck. Seriously. If you get into a staring contest with him, you will lose.

  •  Why did President Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    limpidglass, Meteor Blades

    ...put Victoria Nuland in charge of European and Eurasian affairs for the State Department knowing that she's a neo-con connected to the Kagan family?

    Right now the US attitude seems to be "We stole it fair and square."  Russia has serious geopolitical interests in Sevastapol and this flap conveniently diverts Obama from the rapprochement between the US and Russia over Syria and Iran.

    It's time to get out of the Cold War mindset and look at the bigger picture.  Victoria Nuland might just have scuttled Obama's Middle East policy.  Or maybe Obama is no longer serious about easing the tensions with Iran and he is ready to go have another war.

    Who the hell did we elect when we elected this guy?  I hope that the private conversations are more civil and the public bravado is just to defend against the GOP in Congress.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:30:26 AM PST

    •  we elected the ultimate politician (0+ / 0-)

      Everything he does is purely out of political expediency. Every single thing.

      He's only talking with Iran because the polls tell him. The Iranian president comes out explicitly and stakes his presidency on settling the nuclear issue--this is a chance beyond any in living memory. And he just sort of plays along, because what else is he going to do? If he didn't, he would look like the bad guy in the media--and that's what he hates worse than anything, bad PR.

      And so far it's been nothing but a temporary agreement to do nothing further for six months, at which point they'll talk. You get the sense that if he could kick it down the road until he left office, he would. If he's asked to stake his political capital on a permanent settlement, what are the chances he'd do so?

      Totally rudderless foreign policy. And if he's rudderless, than neocons like Nuland are going to seize the first chance to steer the ship of state towards the rocks. Such a chance was narrowly averted six months ago, but it appears that another chance is coming soon. There are idiots in the State Department that would cheer a military confrontation with Russia, and if they get one half-shot at it...

      You can't resist malevolence by being passive. It needs active moral commitment. Something this president is incredibly reluctant to do.

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:47:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  if this were poll-driven, (0+ / 0-)

        he'd have walked away from Iran negotiations.   Not being so credulous towards Iran's leaders is not the same thing as rudderless.

        Absent entirely is what you think the administration should do re Ukraine.  Give Putin a total green light on the "not our business" platform in the hope they'll be useful going forward in Syria and Iran?  it's a possibility, but a tad craven, and in either case, moral certainty isn't terribly helpful -- calculated risks are.

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:53:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm curious (0+ / 0-)

      Do you buy your tinfoil in bulk or just 100 yard box at a time?

      •  Nice to ignore facts (0+ / 0-)

        Victoria Nuland is married to neo-con historian Robert Kagan.  Victoria Nuland was a Cheney protege in the Bush-Cheney national security council.  Victoria Nuland likely was one of the participants in US support of the Orange Revolution in 2004.

        The relations between Russia and Ukraine have a long and tortuous history.  And the US has recongized Russian security interests in having Sevastapol as its major base on the Black Sea, leased from Ukraine.

        Which part of this do you think is inspired by conspiracy theory?

        I'm not sure who's driving American foreign policy at the moment.  It would be lot clearer if all the Bush-Cheney people in the national security apparatus were fired.  Nuland, Brennan, and Clapper are prime ones who seem not to be serving this President well.

        50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

        by TarheelDem on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 01:02:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Jed, the why below (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LeftistSkeptic

    President Obama is between a rock and a hard place since his first election.  Do we agree that is a given?  Obama is awesome intelligent, also extremely infatuated with EU "selfies".

    Ukranian citizens, majority Russian speaking, will resent western interferences in their democracy.  The EU and the US are trying to spin this as "we support democracy".  

    Kiev has proceeded, without democratic methods, to replace those who promote Ukranian independence by installing oligarths to rule in eastern Ukraine, and in their parliment.

    I never thought that I would praise Tsar Putin.  Maybe he is what the region needs to avoid a drift into anarchy?

    •  Praise Putin? (0+ / 0-)

      Putin is a KGB thug who hates LGBT people and has taken pleasure in thumbing his nose in the face of the American President every chance he gets.

      The words "Praise" and "Putin" should never be used in the same sentence on a progressive site.

      •  John, Putin was KGB, he has said the west (0+ / 0-)

        must understand the limits of the Russian Orthodox Christians.  George HW Bush was CIA.  Was he a thug?

        Sorry, I praised Putin for his restraint.  I wish our President and others in a rush to war would do the same.

        •  George H.W. Bush was a political appointee (0+ / 0-)

          overseeing the finances of the CIA for two years.  Putin was a colonel stationed in East Germany.  The flip side is George H.W. Bush wasn't all that great, but he wasn't Putin.  

          Putin just invaded another country, and he has only recently turned the power of the state against gay people.  Ukraine isn't so much anarchy.  

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:55:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Ukranians citizens are not majority russian... (0+ / 0-)

      ..speaking.  where are you getting your info?  Russia today?  It's all BS.

      Ukraine is a very big deal. They need our support.

      by LordMike on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:47:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Perhaps the lovely Lindsey Graham, (0+ / 0-)

    a recognized, grizzled authority on military combat (he often had to loosen his tie while dodging incoming memoranda in the air-conditioned JAG office), will suit up in his camo leotard and pink feather boa, strap on his AR-15 and march his flabby butt into the crisis zone.

    It's time for a real leader to bitch-slap Putin and show us all how it's done.

    ... and Johnnie "Five-Crash" McCain can fly air cover in a rehabilitated Navy trainer. The Russkis won't know what hit 'em!

  •  Brief history of Russian military actions in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    European countries post-WWII.

    1956- Hungary- Russian troops suppress local rebellion.  US President Eisenhower (Rep) takes no miltary action to counter this bloody military assault despite please from Hungarians.

    1968- Czechoslovakia- About 750,000 Russian and allied troops sent to suppress local leaders demanding autonomy.  US President Johnson (Dem) takes no military action to counter this move, which is much less bloody only because there is far less organized military resistance than there was in Hungary.

    somewhat related:
    1948-49: Russia cuts highway access to Berlin.  US President Truman (Dem) begins an airlift which brings enough supplies into the city that the Russians eventually allow highway access again.  No shots were fired by either side.

    The US has never taken any war-like military action against any military action that Russia has taken in Europe.  Neither they nor we should expect anything other than diplomatic responses to whatever the Russians do in the Ukraine either.

    The closest the US has come to taking military action was the formation of NATO as a force which could militarily oppose Russia if they attacked any NATO country.  Presumably this deterred Russia from whatever plans they had to do so.  

    However, NATO likewise never attempted to militarily dislodge Russian troops from any of the "Warsaw Pact" nations which they had occupied during WWII either.  

    •  And NATO wasn't actually attacked... (0+ / 0-)

      ...so we have no idea if that alliance would actually hold, but we'll find out soon enough. Putin's going for the baltics next.

      Ukraine is a very big deal. They need our support.

      by LordMike on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:46:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can't believe I omitted yet another example- (0+ / 0-)

      2008- Georgia- Russia invades, though apparently the Georgian government fired the first shot.  But certainly the Russians were happy to provoke them.  US President Bush ("W") took no military action to counter this move.

  •  Thank you and I want to add (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    for those mocking Secretary Kerry about the similarities between this and Iraq.  Yes, Iraq was likely the worst foreign policy decision in our history, an absolute, unmitigated disaster.

    So, because we made a huge, just a huge mistake, does that make it any better for Putin to do it too  or for us not to call him on it?  Or for us to have, my god I hope, learned from our mistakes.

    Oh and as to 2007 and the IOC,  Obama should have had this, I mean he was probably thinking about running by then?  

    jeez/sh

  •  The Republican response to Kiev situations borders (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    on treason and should be called out.  If a political party undermines the Government in such a time of tension, they are hurting the chance a reasonable solution can be found.

  •  Is all of eastern European politics like NJ politi (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    politics

    It seems that everyone is corrupt and as a citizen you pick the corrupt guy you think will do the best for you.  

  •  Why did Obama let this happen? (0+ / 0-)

    He's not called the Great Capitulator for no reason.

  •  Only one thing to do now: Deport Yakov Smirnoff (0+ / 0-)

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:59:35 AM PST

  •  Snarky as no 3 might be, if the Kremlin were (0+ / 0-)

    taken out, what in the Russian Federation would be left to anger the West?  Realpolitik for the 21st century...but not nukes bozhe moi, just drones...

    Armed! I feel like a savage! Barbarella

    by richardvjohnson on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:04:37 PM PST

  •  It's not fair (0+ / 0-)

    Why should Putin get Crimea?  We didn't get to keep Iraq.

    •  No American ethnic group living in Iraq (0+ / 0-)

      Russians still living in Crimea, wanting to keep their ethnic identity in many cases...........Putin regrets the loss of so many ethnic Russians in the former Soviet Republics. Mixed up mess.

  •  Republican decision matrix (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LNK

    I think this holds for most issues...

    1. It's Obamas fault - blame him.
    2. Hold a press conference and/or go on talk shows.
    3. Gain a very thin understanding of the issue that matches what the right-wing media blowhards are saying.

    Freedom isn't free. That's why we pay taxes.

    by walk2live on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:08:54 PM PST

  •  Damn straight. Why can't he just admit The Fall (0+ / 0-)

    (from Eden) and Everything Bad Since was his fault and resign, taking Biden with him, so Gwad-fear homophobes and the OrangeOne can nuke the world before it grows up?

    If they don't kill us all now, we might actually get our shit together and realize we don't need the Plutocrats & Thoecrats!  

    That way lies madness! :)

  •  Behind the scenes. . . . (0+ / 0-)

    We have no way of knowing what is going on behind the scenes in terms  of diplomacy.

    Issues I'd like to hear more about =

    Ukraine move to outlaw use of Russian language in official proceedings in Crimea.

    Effect of Western influence on business in Ukraine (one factory I know of which ran beautifully under Communism was bought by Westerners who took it to pieces, ran it into the  ground).

    Effect of Western military influence in Ukraine on Russia's feeling of vulnerability, loss of buffer zone.

    Effect of Russian monopoly on energy sources going to Europe. Years ago I remember seeing a cartoon of the classic Russian Bear holding the pipeline to Western Europe.

    Where are the Communists nowadays?

  •  OT, did you know WWII Crimea story? (0+ / 0-)

    Nazis wanted the Crimea for the airfields close enough to Romanian oil fields but also as a future "Riviera" vacation paradise. If I were Crimean (one of my ancestors came from Crimea) or Ukrainian or Russian, I'd still feel touchy on the subject of Western influence:

    “This was Hitler’s dream,” he said, “to capture this rock massif and give Germany a Riviera… He was convinced that the Crimea was a former German colony because Gothic tribes had settled there from time to time. A “Gotengau” was envisaged in the “Master Plan East” which would have included the peninsular and southern Russia as far as Cherson. Somebody even made the suggestion, and I think it was Hitler himself, to change the name of the capital from Simferopol to Gotenburg, and Sevastopol to Theoderichshafen! As a spa resort Yalta was to be directly connected to the German motorway network, so that you could (according to Hitler) comfortably do the journey in two days! He wanted to rid the Crimea of its native inhabitants and populate the area exclusively with Germans. As there was a problem at that time with national identity in the South Tyrol, there was serious debate about repatriating all the South Tyroleans to the Black Sea.”
    http://borysthenes-landschaft-trauma.eu/...

    And if I were a Crimean Tatar I'd be touchy about everything. See the above link for more.

  •  Putin (0+ / 0-)

    Before the right invokes St. Ronnie's name I say Putin is no Gorbachev.

  •  We should be careful to distinguish the Crimea (0+ / 0-)

    from Ukraine -  just sayin'

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 01:06:41 PM PST

  •  This is serious stuff, and I'm (0+ / 0-)

    REALLY glad you posted it.

    This is like, the greatest political analysis I've read since...my son's ABCs when he was in kindergarten. No wait, sorry...I won't insult my son like that.

    The fact is that this did happen on Obama's watch (just like Iraq happened on Bush's watch) and while he didn't precipitate it, he hasn't done a whole lot to keep Putin reined in either.

    Stupidly defending him is as pathetic as the GOP's defense of Iraq.

  •  Who are we to judge? (0+ / 0-)

    As the nation that started wars in Vietnam and Iraq; intervened militarily in El Salvador (against our own laws), and nearly plunged the whole world into the abyss over an island off our coast that has never been a U. S. territory, what standing have we to judge anyone in this matter?

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little. " --Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jg6544 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 02:24:24 PM PST

  •  tired (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Superpole

    I can't believe you're still going with the "Obama's playing chess and Putin's playing checkers", routine.

    What's so hard about admitting that Barack Obama has always been in way over his head, domestically, economically, legislatively and in foreign policy?

    It's probably those weaknesses that have made him so reliant on the US oligarchs, the NSA and whistleblower prosecutions.

    In a nation where celebrities rule, he's been a successful politician, but a horrible president, especially if you happen to be a progressive.  If you run a right-wing PAC, Obama is a godsend.

  •  Cold War is as American as apple pie. (0+ / 0-)

    All Americans right, left. liberal, progressive and Tea Partier love trash talking Russians.  

  •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for explaining things so clearly.

  •  Did I Miss Something?? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DarthMeow504

    did the Ukraine become part of the United States over the past few days?

    I mean, yes, I want western Ukrainians to join the EU if that is what they want.

    but the notion WE MUST send in our military to help make this happen is total nonsense.

    "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

    by Superpole on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:55:35 PM PST

  •  the best I read on the topic ! (0+ / 0-)
  •  Is it me or is the general feeling with this (0+ / 0-)

    President different with other ones? It feels like people including Democrats blame this one for world events than we've done others. Even Republican Presidents. Maybe I'm more plugged in to what people say now.

  •  Well BHO would have (0+ / 0-)

    in a New York minute, but the lanes were closed!
    Next question?

  •  Say what? (0+ / 0-)

    Best reply to the disgusting blizzard of jingoistic, a-historic and war-promoting comments to this list:

    "Why did U.S. President Barack Obama let this happen?
    That's the question everyone in Washington, DC is asking. It's a perfectly reasonable question to ask—if you are incapable of seeing beyond the very dark hole into which you've placed your entire head."

    The issue is Imperialism.  Not theirs.  Ours.  

    And Democrats whose loyalties are so easily swayed, who've apparently learned so little from the past 15 years that you can't be trusted with the leadership of a desperate and outraged American people in the coming economic debacle.

    I just said "you" instead of "we".  Something inside of me has shifted.

  •  Magic wand, indeed. (0+ / 0-)

     It is always interesting how President Obama is blamed for everything under the sun.
      Like when some programs, started by other Presidents, continue on without any control at the present time.
      Like when legislation is thwarted by the Congress.
       And probably like when a sun-grazer comet bites the dust.

    I'd give him my magic wand to fix all this, but something happened to it as I slid down to the 47%

  •  What could Obama actually have done to stop it? (0+ / 0-)

    Have the limits of the powers of the POTUS been forgotten? Even in our own country, the POTUS can only accomplish a limited amount of anything he attempts to do; how the hell could he have kept Putin and his goons out of Crimea, without having gone to war against them?

    I am not a diplomat and my knowledge of the complexities of this region are limited, but still, no matter who our president may have been; I am unaware of any legal means he could have used to prevent this from having happened!

    Putin, seems to have been forgotten in his role in all of this, instead, we see the media of distraction playing to the ignorance of its audience.

    We know that this region is unstable, and the treaty that was supposed to guarantee Ukraine's sovereignty was always a paper of "we hope this works!" rather than any real deterrent to this sort of activity. (Duh!!) So here we are...where our diplomats knew we would be at some future point. Go figure!

    I don't want to see one American service-member dead over this situation, and I do not want monies from an already strapped U.S. treasury, being sent to the region, when we have unemployed people here who do not have the "handout" of "dependency-producing" unemployment benefits to shore up their positions until they can find another job!

    •  What could Obama actually have done to stop it? (0+ / 0-)

      President Obama , or any other President could not prevent Russia from doing what they are doing..We should stay out of it and not send any money.Why is it Republicans keep telling us we are broke , and have to cut food stamps , medicaid ,unemployment insurance , and have no money to repair our infrastructure and put people back to work. But billions of dollars magically appear to send aid . Aid will probably benefit Russia , more , than Ukraine. It is in their part of the world , and we should stay out of it. Let them solve their own problems.
        It doesn't matter what we do , the outcome will be the same . When Russia is satisfied they have what they want , it will be over.
           What has happened there is certainly not the Presidents , or U.S. governments fault. No other country could have prevented it either..
            I guess if Romney , McCain , or Graham were in charge we would have already invaded , Russia , and probably Iran along the way.

  •  We must be careful (0+ / 0-)

    getting into this.
    The President of the Ukraine was duly elected in 2010.  It is now 2013 and there is a condition for a civil war.  New elections were scheduled for late this year.  Then is the time to voice your displeasure with the current Government.  The fact that the current President ran out like a frightened girl means little, he was just asking for some muscle to get himself in.
    This is not the Arab Spring where the citizens rebelled against a dictator who took the office by some means other than an election.
    The result is that Odessa and all contact with the Black Sea will be lost to the ethnic Ukraine's and the economy will suffer greatly.

  •  Fuck Feck! (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks to Fox, it no longer seems like "men" of note are "making news" by sounding off in the mainstream press. The asshole have marginalized themselves into the predictable douche bag contingent. Lindsay Graham rolling his eyes at  lack of US machine gun fire really moves ya to want to pick up up a weapon and go throw yourself into the Russian fray by god, doesn't it? Hey, is there a "feckless light"?. It sounded yesterday like someone in a studio instead of pressing the applaud button, pressed "say feckless" a lot. Especially you, McCain and that hemorrhoid growing out of your ass Bolton. Feckless, feckless, feckless. Where has all our feck gone? Aw fuck it, it was French for fuck away.

    "Education Is Not the Filling of a Pail, But the Lighting of a Fire" W.B. Yeats

    by RareBird0 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:28:59 PM PST

  •  Wanna know the answer? (0+ / 0-)

    Just ask Lindsey Graham and John McCain. But first, ask them SPECIFICALLY what they would do, and WHY.

    They sure have big mouths, but never does a good idea come out of either one.

    Graham says he is "sure " he will be re-elected. Wouldn't that be a hoot if his constituents voted him out?

Sylv, Alfred E Newman, TXdem, Bill in Portland Maine, fcvaguy, mwm341, Powered Grace, greenbird, byteb, OLinda, Sandy on Signal, Heart of the Rockies, mikidee, artebella, ranger995, leevank, Lawrence, chrismorgan, AmyCat, Sybil Liberty, Armand451, marina, citizenx, LNK, Inland, skyounkin, Rusty in PA, Joes Steven, peacestpete, noweasels, Nance, golem, myboo, 417els, mr crabby, raptavio, erratic, gpoutney, Libby Shaw, JVolvo, SingerInTheChoir, thenekkidtruth, Eikyu Saha, dochackenbush, bear83, fabucat, wildweasels, mommyof3, leonard145b, TomP, JeffW, OleHippieChick, Involuntary Exile, brooklynbadboy, pamelabrown, smartdemmg, Gemina13, kyril, rodentrancher, enemy of the people, pileta, artmartin, tari, Remediator, kravitz, Jonohex, kl5, DaNang65, MizKit, kingfishstew, Livvy5, Larsstephens, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, serendipityisabitch, gramofsam1, kjoftherock, sillyalicia, LOrion, BenderRodriguez, anonevent, ThirtyFiveUp, melfunction, addisnana, Patate, cocinero, fiercefilms, soaglow, slice, annieli, Bluefin, oldmilitant, spooks51, valkyrry, boriscleto, Reston history guy, FarWestGirl, Teiresias70, PorridgeGun, BarackStarObama, midnight lurker, enhydra lutris, diffrntdrummr, Andrew F Cockburn, Joe Jackson, smirking, cactusgal, Davui, Siri, Eric Nelson, a2nite, FloridaSNMOM, exatc, reginahny, bewareofme, ShoshannaD, CalBearMom, allensl, jusjtim35, Linda1961, minnec, aresea, Aunt Pat, Knockbally, duhban, BelgianBastard, richardvjohnson, karma5230, Dodgerdog1, Gurnt, VPofKarma, cjtjc, irocdk, duffymom, Mostserene1

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site