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Putin's imperial overreach is a big concern to the former vassal states of the USSR.  Case in point: Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, all of which were conquered by the Soviet Union during WWII and ruled from Moscow thereafter, until independence in the 90s as the USSR broke up, have asked the US for support under the NATO Treaty to which they belong:

Centuries of Soviet and tsarist oppression taught the three Baltic states to bar their doors whenever the Kremlin issues marching orders. Now they also scramble NATO jets.

President Vladimir Putin’s decision to hold snap military drills in the Baltic Sea last week just as he was pouring troops into Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula sent shock waves through Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which demanded, and got, military support from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The U.S. deployed six warplanes to Lithuania yesterday to bolster defenses in the Baltics for the first time since they joined the alliance in 2004, expanding the squadron to 10. Another dozen will arrive in Poland on March 10, the country’s Defense Ministry said. About 150,000 soldiers took part in Putin’s drills, including 3,500 from the Baltic Fleet in Kaliningrad, Russia’s exclave between Poland and Lithuania.

“Russia today is dangerous,” Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite told reporters at an emergency meeting of European Union leaders in Brussels. “After Ukraine will be Moldova, and after Moldova will be different countries. They are trying to rewrite the borders after the Second World War in Europe.”

Bloomberg

Interesting times.  The Baltic states have a long history with Russia and probably are smart to invoke NATO.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (133+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timaeus, ericlewis0, serendipityisabitch, jayden, AoT, joe from Lowell, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, kaminpdx, skod, Doctor RJ, katiec, native, bleeding blue, Louisiana 1976, jbob, CwV, srkp23, Matt Esler, harlinchi, Shockwave, Sylv, MI Sooner, greenbird, Thinking Fella, Glen The Plumber, ferg, Hayate Yagami, peacestpete, Azazello, AllanTBG, appledown, Remembering Jello, spooks51, Panacea Paola, Ian Reifowitz, OIL GUY, divineorder, Ekaterin, revsue, samanthab, bobswern, profundo, sturunner, TracieLynn, OllieGarkey, Mr MadAsHell, Throw The Bums Out, KayCeSF, IL clb, middleagedhousewife, davehouck, PinHole, TofG, yawnimawke, virginislandsguy, GAS, Catte Nappe, zerelda, Yoshimi, gramofsam1, Jakkalbessie, kevinpdx, anodnhajo, Lawrence, cocinero, IndieGuy, DeminNewJ, eeff, leevank, petulans, MKinTN, xaxnar, viral, doroma, defluxion10, pat bunny, Powered Grace, greengemini, 1BQ, Rosaura, JayBat, Eric Nelson, bythesea, SneakySnu, Onomastic, earicicle, OleHippieChick, myboo, Captain C, kathny, jasan, eztempo, Simul Iustus et Peccator, angry hopeful liberal, Chitown Charlie, cotterperson, doingbusinessas, chimpy, majcmb1, wader, Chaddiwicker, Railfan, WhizKid331, TomFromNJ, cybersaur, BarackStarObama, SphericalXS, owlbear1, tin woodswoman, collardgreens, missLotus, BlueMississippi, Vicky, BobTheHappyDinosaur, rapala, Paul Ferguson, harrylimelives, Hey338Too, Brian82, Bonsai66, Laughing Vergil, Bridge Master, Tinfoil Hat, Mets102, leeleedee, bluezen, Sky Net, BachFan, ER Doc, FarWestGirl, LOrion, MadEye, pdx kirk

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:43:56 AM PST

  •  Russia isn't going to attack (47+ / 0-)

    the Baltic states. This is fear mongering and nothing but. For as bad as the intervention in Crimea is there is no comparison between moving troops around when the country is on the brink of civil war and attacking member states of NATO and the EU.

    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

    by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:49:07 AM PST

    •  So Lithuania et al should not (36+ / 0-)

      have asked?  Or should they not have the right to do so under NATO?

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by TomP on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:50:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course they have the right to do so (20+ / 0-)

        That doesn't mean their is a chance in hell that Russia is going to attack. Anyone who thinks there is a legitimate threat of Russia attacking the Baltic states is a fool, period.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:57:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I suspect the people there do not (64+ / 0-)

          mind being called a fool by you.  I suspect they would rather be safe than sorry.

          A month ago, I would not have thought that Putin would invade the Crimea with troops from the Navy base.  While I agree that it is unlikely he will invade the Baltic States today, there are Russians there, and Parliament has proclaimed a right (and given Putin the power to) invade any nation that oppresses a Russian population.    

          I agree it is unlikely, but I don't blame people who lived under Soviet rule, and have centuries of history dealing with Russian aggression, feeling more secure by invoking NATO and reminding Putin that war with the Baltic states means war with the US and the rest of NATO.

          I also suspect that Ukraine will join NATO at some point.  

          Putin's actions create reactions, and so on.  

          Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

          by TomP on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:03:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Russia is not going to attack a NATO country (24+ / 0-)

            period.

            And it isn't unlikely, it's simply not going to happen. Putin isn't an idiot and only an idiot would start a nuclear war to get back Lithuania.

            I also suspect that Ukraine will join NATO at some point.
            Possibly, although Ukraine has consistently rejected pro-Euro politicians in elections, so I don't know that it's any sort of a sure thing. Ditto with joining the EU.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:12:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Help create a crisis, exploit the crisis. (8+ / 0-)

            Propagandize for war, claiming it's for democracy and the leader you wish to depose is like Hitler.

            Regime change for a New American Century.

            Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

            by CIndyCasella on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:00:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wow! It's always a conspiracy by the evil (37+ / 0-)

              United States.  I know what the PNAC is, and this ain't it.

              Ignore anything contrary to your fantasy, blame the United States.  Putin has the right to invade anywhere because he is not the US.  Fuck the people in Lithuania, Latvia or elsewhere.  They do not matter because their don't fit your fantasy.  

              You make a farce out of reasoned opposition to United States imperialism.   It's not a TV show in which you pick a team that is always wrong.  

              One of the dumbest comments I have read in a while.

               

              Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

              by TomP on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:05:01 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Funding a coup d'etat was not PNAC-like? (7+ / 0-)

                Taking Ukraine out of Russian-sphere of influence is a neocon wet dream.

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

                by bobdevo on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:09:59 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, Ukrainians have no rights. (24+ / 0-)

                  What a load of bullshit.  How dare the Ukrainians give their lives in a protest.  Cause it is always America's fault and we
                  on the Left must fight for Putin's right to dominate others.

                  That ain't the Left.  It's just ignorance.    

                  Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

                  by TomP on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:19:00 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No one here is fighting for Putin's (6+ / 0-)

                    right to do anything.

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:21:48 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You sure? (7+ / 0-)

                      I read a lot of defenses of his actions.  

                      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

                      by TomP on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:25:30 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Where? (9+ / 0-)

                        Because all I've seen is people claiming that people are defending his actions. I've seen people claim I'm defending him when I've outright called him a fascist. I've also noted that this isn't exactly an invasion and that makes me some sort of apologist for Putin when I'm anything but.

                        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                        by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:31:09 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You're not a fascist. (10+ / 0-)

                          Last I recall you are an anarchist.

                          Your views are usually more intelligent than some others.   While I don't always agree, I never would consider you to be an apologist for Putin.  

                          I have read other comments, however, that seem like that to me.

                          Of course there is complexity here.  It's an invasion, but ... it was an invasion of a territory that historically was part of Russia.  This is part of the breakup of the Soviet Union.  And in 64, Kruschev gave Crimea to the Ukraine.  

                          So it is not simple.  

                          Overall, though, the invasion destabilizes much.   Even more is the vote allowing by the Parliament allowing Russia to intervene anywhere on behalf of ethnic Russians outside the border of Russia.   While HRC's comparison to Hitler and the Sudentlenand is a bit over teh top (because of Hitler's later actions), it is similar to Hitler and Germany's position regarding ethnic Germans up to 1938.  Ignoring the holocaust, WWII, etc., it is a dangerous position regarding nationalities.  There are many ethic Russians in the Baltic states.  

                          This reminds me more of the beginning of WWI than Hitler.  But I think calmer heads will prevail.  Putin is neither Hitler, nor Stalin.  He;'s not even George W. Bush.  That's good.  On the other hand, Putin is an oppressive autocrat who rules a capitalist nation.  I'll take Obama and the US any day of the week, with all our imperfections as the global leader of capitalism.  

                             

                          Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

                          by TomP on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:41:02 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  "the invasion destabilizes much." (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            divineorder, chuckvw, CIndyCasella

                            Indeed. Although again, I don't know that invasion is the right term. Occupation, certainly, invasion, not so much.

                            And the big issue that I have with the Hitler comparison is that it takes literally the most heinous example of that sort as a comparison. The Russian empire certainly did just this, as have innumerable countries, including the US, throughout history. Using Hitler as an example is clearly meant to inflame the discussion and act as propaganda.

                            This reminds me more of the beginning of WWI than Hitler.  But I think calmer heads will prevail.  Putin is neither Hitler, nor Stalin.  He;'s not even George W. Bush.  That's good.  On the other hand, Putin is an oppressive autocrat who rules a capitalist nation.  I'll take Obama and the US any day of the week, with all our imperfections as the global leader of capitalism.
                            In regards to being leaders they are not at all comparable, specifically in that Putin actually has the powers that a lot of people think Obama has or should have. Obama isn't the leader of global capitalism any more than the US is. There's no leader of capitalism, it's one of the ways it maintains it's resiliance.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:57:38 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Every time you dismiss the invasion (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          sviscusi, Bonsai66, bluezen

                          by Putin...

                        •  Not exactly an invasion!!! (0+ / 0-)
                        •  Nah, you're cool. But look around. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          ER Doc

                          There are a few (and i'm SO happy that they're a scant few; i cynically figured there'd be hundreds of these folks at Dkos. glad to be wrong.) that seem genuinely handcuffed to this concept that the CIA/MIC/PNAC/pick-your-alphabet/etc is secretly the hidden marionette hand behind every international crisis, with the explicit goal of Iraq War 2. So if Russia pulls a obvious, textbook imperialist bully move in a country where Russia has been doing that sort of thing for........centuries..................obviously the ONLY plausible explanation is ZOMG AMURKA IS INVADING IRAQ AGAIN

                          No real analysis or thought, just knee-jerk emotion, Manichean US VS THEM binary thinking. The U.S is bad ergo Russia is good. Because its SOOOOOOOOOOO HARRRRRRRD for some people to simply say "The U.S is full of imperialist bullshit on X, Y, Z, but obviously that doesn't excuse Russia's attempts at imperialist bullshit". No, that's SOOOOOOOOOOOOO HARRRRRRRRRRRD now. Only room for one villain at a time, folks.

                          "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

                          by TheHalfrican on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:06:43 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  You hear a lot of facts countering the propaganda. (9+ / 0-)

                        If Putin says the sky is blue, and someone else says the sky is blue, it does not mean that the other person is backing all that Putin does, only agreeing that the sky is blue.

                        I remember when I used to demonstrate against the Iraq War, which Victoria Nuland's husband, PNAC co-founder Robert Kagan helped launch,  brainwashed/propagandized people called me a "Saddam lover."  Now you are using that same nonsensical logic to call people who question today's propaganda/latest neocon machinations as "Putin lovers."

                        Same old, same old.

                        Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                        by CIndyCasella on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:35:48 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Cindy, (5+ / 0-)

                          Countering propaganda with propaganda does what? You continue to turn to autocrats (Syria, Venezuela, Russia) to find your "real news."

                          It just seems odd on so many levels.

                        •  "facts" (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Loge, TheHalfrican, bluezen, OIL GUY

                          yeah, I've seen a lot of those "facts" like the notion that the Ukrainian government is run by neo nazis and that the protestors hired snipers to shoot at them.

                          lol.

                          •  The Right wing positions of new leaderhsip (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Ezekiel in Exile, chuckvw

                            in Ukraine are public record and not debatable,including extreme anti-antisemitism. I don't mean to imply he is sincere. Of course he's using this opportunistically.

                            The suspicions among EU leadership that the Maidan DID indeed put in the snipers (who by the way killed police and protestors alike). It was confirmed and clear in the leaked telephone call.

                            There are no saints in this mess.

                            I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

                            by pajoly on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:12:10 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You didn't read your own links! AMAZING! (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bluezen, Just Bob, ER Doc

                            That time article actually elaborates how the claims of anti-semitism are pretty much only Russian propaganda.  IN fact, it goes to great lengths to show that the Crimean pro Russia forces are far far more anti-Semitic and that the Jewish community agrees that the charge is purely Russian propaganda.

                            You do realize that the new Prime Minister is Jewish!?!? right?

                            ANd you also didn't read the article about Foreign MInitser Paets discussion of claims he had heard.  Specifically, the Foreign Ministry said
                            We reject the claim that Paet was giving an assessment of the opposition's involvement in the violence.In otherwords, your "facts" consist of random rumors.

                            SO, yes, I think you provide a fantastic example of the totally screwed up "facts" provided by the pro Putin elements on these pages.  I couldn't possibly have made the case any better than you do that you are all spewing Russian propaganda.

                          •  I read them. I know what they say. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            CIndyCasella, chuckvw

                            And I know the Time article seeks to dispell the story, but I've also read the direct quotes from earlier speeches and it is clear to me ultra rightwing people have assumed key roles.

                            I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

                            by pajoly on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:38:21 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  ok (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bluezen

                            so you know that what you are saying is debunked, but you are pushing it anyway.

                            That's just brilliant. I rest my case.

                          •  What about Oleh Tyahnybok, who is in his cabinet? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bobdevo, chuckvw
                            in 2004 leader Oleh Tyahnybok gave a speech attacking what he called "the Moscow-Jewish mafia ruling Ukraine" and in another speech declared: "the Moskali, Germans, Kikes and other scum who wanted to take away our Ukrainian state."
                            Channel 4 News, London: How the far-right took top posts in Ukraine's power vacuum
                            His party was registered in 1995 and initially used a swastika-style "wolfsangel" rune as its logo. It restricted membership to ethnic Ukrainians. Until 2004 it had a paramilitary wing called Patriots of Ukraine, and though it ended its link to the group in 2005, the two continue to be closely associated and to participate in protests together.
                            An ultra-Orthodox Jewish student, Dovbear Glickman, was stabbed while leaving a synagogue last week, suffering massive blood loss. It is the second anti-Semitic assault this month after a Hebrew teacher was followed home from synagogue by a gang before being beaten.
                            Ukraine: far-right extremists at core of 'democracy' protest

                            Is the US backing neo-Nazis in Ukraine?

                            After the 2010 conviction of the Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk for his supporting role in the death of nearly 30,000 people at the Sobibor camp, Tyahnybok rushed to Germany to declare him a hero who was “fighting for truth.”
                            I take the latest "nothing to see here, move along" propaganda campaign:

                            claiming the illegitimate Ukraine cabinet contains no an anti-semites

                            with a very large slice of yellowcake.

                            Sadly, these desperate and angry warmongering (Putin and Obama used detente instead of bomb, bomb, bombing Syria and Iran, boo hoo hoo) neocon sociopaths think that the ends:

                            overthrowing a democratically elected president who was willing to undergo a new election and pulling Putin's tail

                            justified the means:

                            a violent coup allied with strange anti-semitic bedfellows.

                            Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                            by CIndyCasella on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:58:05 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'll pretend that you're interested in facts (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            wu ming, bluezen

                            First of all, it might interest you to know that it was in fact Tyanybok who eliminated the use of the wolfsangel and disocciated SVoboda from the Patriots of Ukraine and subsequently clashed with them.  So, you might want to keep up and not be citing things that are significantly out of date.  While Svoboda is by no means a shining beacon of fantasticness, in large measure they group has changed markedly over the last decade to the point that the rest of the coalition, yes, including the Jewish Prime Minister, is comfortable enough working with them.  (Hell, we certainly find similarly vile statements made by members of the US congress also)
                            Ultimately, I'd suggest that I'll take the opinions of the Rabbis of Ukraine on this matter over yours.  The idea that the interim government is a bunch of neo nazis is pretty clearly Russian propaganda.   I certainly wouldn't be voting for many elements of the coalition, but then the effort to delegitimize the movement in this way is mostly reminiscent of efforts to paint OWS as an anarchist movement.  Anarchists certainly were part of it, but that wasn't the main thrust of it.

                          •  Where are your links? n/t (0+ / 0-)

                            Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                            by CIndyCasella on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:26:42 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you can start (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            wu ming, bluezen

                            with the citations in the wikipedia page for Svoboda, which has been locked I believe

                            ALso, to see the debate, Reuters has a good piece on them

                            But Ivan Katchanovski, a political scientist at the University of Ottawa who has studied the far-right in Ukraine, disagreed that Svoboda was so extreme. "Svoboda is currently best described as a radical nationalist party, and not as fascist or neo-Nazi," he said. "It is now not overtly anti-Semitic."
                            http://www.reuters.com/...

                            Here is also an article mirrored by the International Relations and Security Network from the Swiss Federal Technology INstitute in Zurich that describes Svoboda and its positions and development from 2011 (i.e., before these accusations started getting lobbed

                            check the PDFs here  http://www.isn.ethz.ch/...

                            In 1998, Oleh Tyahnybok, the deputy head of the SNPU (in charge of organisational issues)
                            was elected member of Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, winning a seat
                            in a single-member district. After his re-election in 2002 (while his party, the SNPU, received
                            only marginal support), he was already strong enough to lead the party. A year on,
                            the ‘Wolfsangel’ disappeared from the party’s symbols, and in February 2004 it changed
                            its name to All-Ukrainian Union ‘Svoboda’. The party changed its symbol to a hand with
                            three fingers stretched that symbolised a Tryzub (trident), a popular gesture during proindependence
                            demonstrations in the late 1980s. The radical neo-Nazi and racist groups
                            were pushed out from the party
                            There's more, but I don't have much time at the moment.
                          •  I like how you pretent you have a (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            CIndyCasella

                            mindful nature.

                            As if.

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

                            by bobdevo on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:44:17 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I love how (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bluezen

                            You have no notion of what that means. Here is a hint: you don't qualify if you ignore the troubles of others because it doesn't support your domestic agenda

                          •  Ukraine will have troubles no matter what. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            CIndyCasella

                            Are you aware of how much they owe Russia for natural gas - gas they accepted and haven't paid for?

                            Here's as hint for you:  you don't have  a mindful nature if all you do is parrot neocon talking points.

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

                            by bobdevo on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:05:24 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  As I was saying (0+ / 0-)

                            You interpret everything through you lens of domestic politics and allow your ignorance of the rest of the world create indifference to what other people are going through.  It isn't a neocon talking point to oppose dictatorships.  In fact I am old enough to remember a time when the left used to value human rights and democracy.  No longer. Now they left manages to mutter "why should I care?"  "Why should I do anything to help anyone?"  "It is no business of mine".  It is the same attitude of the neighbor who sees domestic violence and does nothing but mutter "someone should have done something to stop it" when they carry the woman's body out the door

                            Do not presume to lecture me on compassion for others

                          •  Ukraine's Jewish leaders don't seem to agree. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bluezen, ER Doc

                            "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

                            by TheHalfrican on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:00:41 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Link please to article alleging protesters hired (0+ / 0-)

                            snipers to shoot at them.  I have yet to read that, but I did read about a phone call between an Estonian official to a British official in which he said a doctor told him that wounds treated seemed to point to the same shooter.

                            Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                            by CIndyCasella on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:32:29 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Yeah, that's why Obama's invading Russia right (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          bluezen

                          puh-freakin-lease. You ain't the only one here who opposed Dubya's folly iirc.

                          "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

                          by TheHalfrican on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:57:46 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  It is kind of sad (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          AoT, CIndyCasella

                          I remember when I opposed the invasion of Afghanistan I was told that I hated women. It's sad to see respected posters here using the same mccarthyist memes.

                          Nuance is complicity. See it my way or commie.

                          It always seems impossible until its done. -Nelson Mandela

                          by chuckvw on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:24:58 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  TomP (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        CIndyCasella
                        I read a lot of defenses of his actions.  
                        Isn't it more like people have been explaining why they think he did what he did?   NO one has been defending him that I have seen.

                        Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

                        by divineorder on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:09:12 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Sure sounds like some here are fighting forPutin's (6+ / 0-)

                      right to go in anywhere he feels like. And they conclude it's EVIL America to blame.

                      •  USA!!! USA!!! USA!!! (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Ezekiel in Exile, AoT, Nattiq, divineorder

                        Fuck nuance... You're either with us or against us.

                        USA!!! USA!!! USA!!!

                        If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

                        by HairyTrueMan on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:05:05 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  As you chant, "USA always sucks!" (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          sviscusi, fcvaguy, TheHalfrican, bluezen

                          Just the mirror image of the Tea Party bozos.  

                          Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

                          by TomP on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:22:30 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I like you better when you write "good diary" (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            divineorder

                            and slink away. At least then you're not telling everyone else what THEY think.

                            If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

                            by HairyTrueMan on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:29:12 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And you are not doing exactly the same thing? (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TomP, fcvaguy, bluezen
                          •  I usually give my own opinion... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            divineorder, chuckvw

                            even when it's not popular. I tend to avoid the straw men and the insults, although I've been known to mock people. But usually only after they write something personally insulting towards me, such calling me the "mirror image of the Tea Party bozos." That was a dickish thing that Tom wrote. It was intentional dickishness. He combined a straw man with a personal attack because I mocked the Cheneyesque, with-us-or-against-us tactics TofG was using.

                            If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

                            by HairyTrueMan on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:57:20 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  yes opinion, because (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bluezen

                            its painfully obvious you are woefully short of the facts and the history of the region which are an integral part of whats happening there now. And, even your opinions aren't rooted in reality. They're rooted in myopic anti-Americanism.

                            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                            by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:34:01 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What a link filled, insightful comment! (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            HairyTrueMan

                            Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

                            by divineorder on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:19:51 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Your rebuttal is short on facts. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            divineorder

                            What the fuck do you know about my knowledge of the region? "Myopic anti-Americanism?" Fuck that nonsense.

                            You probably don't even see the irony in your dickish comment. Here's a hint: You're telling me what I know and classifying MY views. Instead, you should worry about what YOU think and let other people think for themselves. THAT'S the American way.

                            If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

                            by HairyTrueMan on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:21:14 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  lets try again (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            viral, bluezen

                            You're certainly entitled to your views and opinions, but not to your own facts.

                            Did you not claim that what happened in Ukraine was a "junta"?  As much as I've read about it, it was the impeachment of a president by the unanimous vote of a democratically elected parliament.  How is that a junta?

                            Country after country has recognized the legitimacy of the current government. Canada, one of the most respected countries on the international stage, was one of the first and Canada disagrees with you.

                            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                            by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:45:02 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  He was impeached after the government offices... (0+ / 0-)

                            were overrun by protesters and the president was forced to flee the country. And now the president is a man who wasn't elected, put into power through a coup.

                            Definition of junta (n)
                            Bing Dictionary
                            jun·ta[ ho͝ontə ]
                            1. new rulers after coup: a group of military officers who have taken control of a country following a coup d'état
                            2. secret group: a small group of people, especially one secretly assembled for a common goal
                            3. Latin American government body: in some parts of Central and South America, a council or other legislative body within the government

                            http://www.bing.com/...

                            And while Western/NATO/EU nations are recognizing this new (unelected) president, parts of Ukraine (Crimea) and Russia do not. And there is nothing the United States or it's allies can do about it. Canadians can stomp their feet, yell, scream, jump up and down and nothing will change. Crimea is most likely never going to be a part of Ukraine ever again. By overthrowing the president and seizing power, Ukrainian nationalists have essentially abandoned Crimea.

                            If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

                            by HairyTrueMan on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:39:10 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Thats simply not true (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bluezen

                            He left Kiev after he signed the agreement and went to Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine. When he was impeached, and then charged, his own party abandoned him, calling him a coward, and a traitor to the nation, with blood on his hands, and having left the country bankrupt while enriching himself. It wasn't until a warrant was put out for his arrest that he fled to Moscow.

                            The new interim President was indeed elected by the democratically elected parliament with a call for elections May 25.

                            Just because Putin said it, doesn't make it true.

                            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...

                            in the meantime, a for real putsch/coup occurred in Crimea just a few days ago. Armed forces take over the parliament, members of parliament, forced to convene, having their cell phones confiscated, media blocked from entering, and then a vote taken for which there is no record for a declaration of secession, the deposing of the prime minister, and then election of a new prime minster, a person who's party only controlled 3 members of 100 in parliament. And coincidentally, it was a nationalist, pro-Russian-union party.

                            Any comments on that?

                            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                            by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:28:39 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Presidents aren't elected by parliament in Ukraine (0+ / 0-)

                            And I'm no fan of Yanukovych. Although it does appear that he was trying to get a better deal from Russia ($15 billion and gas subsidies versus less than $1 billion). It seems like the very people who didn't vote for Yanukovych wanted him gone for not siding with Europe. Apparently they weren't willing to wait until the next election. Any comment on that?

                            And yes, the move in Crimea is a coup of sorts. A bloodless coup without a single shot fired. They are not cool with the guy they overwhelmingly voted for being thrown out of office by those who didn't. And now they'll be part of the Russian Federation or an independent state under the protection of the Russian Federation. They were never really part of Ukraine anyway. Crimea was a gift in the 1950s USSR.

                            But you know that.

                            If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

                            by HairyTrueMan on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:05:53 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  ahahahaha (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bluezen
                            And yes, the move in Crimea is a coup of sorts.
                            This made me laugh.  True, you have a wonderful weekend. !!

                            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                            by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:18:29 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'd call it more of a secession actually. (0+ / 0-)

                            Coup was YOUR word. And there was quite a bit more blood in Kiev, huh?

                            If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

                            by HairyTrueMan on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:23:51 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you obviously didn't read the links (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bluezen

                            or bother to look up what actually happened in the Crimean parliament. It was secession at gun point.

                            And not sure what your point is about blood in Kiev. Yes, lots of innocent protesters were murdered, 88 I believe. Even Yanukovich's own party said he was responsible.

                            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                            by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:40:51 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  We don't actually know who started (0+ / 0-)

                            the gunfire in Kiev. And probably never will. It's just as likely that the police were responding to the armed protesters form what I can tell. This is why I'm so adamant about pointing out the fascist elements, because they're exactly the sorts that would shoot at cops to incite the police to shoot back and sacrifice the lives of other protesters.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:45:19 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm talking about the farce that is Crimea (0+ / 0-)

                            Start watching here at 1:15. Great report on the real putsch that Putin orchestrated:

                            http://www.msnbc.com/...

                            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                            by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 05:05:23 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I agree completely about Crimea n/t (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            fcvaguy

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 05:32:08 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Again are you not not doing the exact same thing? (0+ / 0-)
                          •  Good default position given the history. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            divineorder
                        •  What about the Ukrainian people (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          wu ming, bluezen

                          and their own agency?  Not a damn word from you and those who are saying much the same as you. They are real people, with their own rights, who are being completely ignored by you in your obsession, whatever that may be.

                          KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                          by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:32:27 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't really see anyone here respecting (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            HairyTrueMan, chuckvw

                            the agency of the Ukrainian people.

                            Most people are acting as if the people of Ukraine are of one mind and are either being pushed into something by the US/EU or Russia. I can't count the number of people who seem to think this revolution means tat the Ukraine is now magically a part of the EU even though Ukraine has consistently voted against joining the EU.

                            And on a practical level everyone is acting as if Ukraine has no agency and is at the mercy of either the US/EU or Russia. The idea that only the west can save Ukraine allows them as much agency as Russia has.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:09:42 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't agree AoT (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            wu ming

                            I've seen several people speak up on behalf of the average Ukrainian. And, most people recognize the Ukrainians are not of one mind when it comes to the EU. However, it was a major issue in the last election and Yanukovich, a Russian, won on the promise he would negotiate to join the EU. He reneged.

                            And, I've not seen one person say Ukraine is now part of the EU. Realistically, it will take 10 -12 years on average before that happens. Perhaps 8 on an accelerated basis.

                            even though Ukraine has consistently voted against joining the EU.
                            never happened AoT. There was never ever a vote in Ukraine to vote for or against the EU.

                            To be honest, I'm not sure what your point is in your comment.

                            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                            by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:49:29 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  There were elections scheduled. (6+ / 0-)

                    The democratically elected government was overthrown by street violence.  The president was not removed under the procedures mandated by the Ukrainian constitution.

                    I'd say you're the one being willfully ignorant.

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

                    by bobdevo on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:24:01 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Thanks. (14+ / 0-)

                      Your answer parrots the Russian line.  Such a good president who was overthrown by the Parliament after ordering troops to murder protesters.  

                      You side with the oppressor.   Putins' Russia is a capitalist nation.   Much more undemocratic than this capitalist nation (the US).  

                      How dare the Ukrainian people shed their won blood against the government shooting them.  

                      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

                      by TomP on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:28:20 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Same old pro-Putin line keeps getting spouted here (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Lawrence

                      by a few. Guess they think if repeated long enough it's true:

                      "Just the place for a Snark, I have said it thrice.
                      What I tell you three times is true."

                    •  PLease review (0+ / 0-)

                      section 111 of the Ukrainian constitution.

                      Thanks

                      •  Section 111 (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        limpidglass, chuckvw
                        Article 111

                        The President of Ukraine may be removed from office by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by the procedure of impeachment, in the event that he or she commits state treason or other crime.

                        The issue of the removal of the President of Ukraine from office by the procedure of impeachment is initiated by the majority of the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

                        To conduct the investigation, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine establishes a special temporary investigatory commission whose composition includes a special procurator and special investigators.

                        The conclusions and proposals of the temporary investigatory commission are considered at a meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

                        For cause, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, by no less than two-thirds of its constitutional composition, adopts a decision on the accusation of the President of Ukraine.

                        The decision on the removal of the President of Ukraine from office by the procedure of impeachment is adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by no less than three-quarters of its constitutional composition, after the review of the case by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and the receipt of its opinion on the observance of the constitutional procedure of investigation and consideration of the case of impeachment, and the receipt of the opinion of the Supreme Court of Ukraine to the effect that the acts, of which the President of Ukraine is accused, contain elements of state treason or other crime.

                        This was not followed and the parliament arbitrarily used the previous constitution's impeachment mechanisms.

                        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                        by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:23:39 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  thats false (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Texas Lefty, Avenginggecko, bluezen
                      The president was not removed under the procedures mandated by the Ukrainian constitution.
                      the democratically elected parliament voted to impeach a corrupt President. It then elected a new government consistent with the process outlined in the Ukraine constitution.

                      What about the putsch in the Crimean parliament? Why are you so quiet about that?

                      KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                      by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:35:51 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Putin apologist!!! Saddam apologist!!! (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    chuckvw

                    Old tune.  Played when reasonable people try to object to ginning up war fever.  Does not have a beat you can dance to anymore.

                •  The wife of PNAC co-founder is Victoria Nuland. (11+ / 0-)

                  She was on the phone determining who would rule Ukraine before the coup happened.

                  Why Victoria Nuland, wife of Robert Kagan and advisor to Dick Cheney is running the show in Barack Obama's cabinet is anyone's guess.  It's outrageous.

                  We voted for change from Dick Cheney/Bush family/PNAC.

                  Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                  by CIndyCasella on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:26:57 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I think you're considering too small a piece of (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ezekiel in Exile, AoT, divineorder

                  the puzzle. The US isn't acting in isolation. The background extends to the failure of the League of Nations. I suspect there are few "free market" types who are any longer aware of the history.

                  It starts here with Clarence Streit's book, Union Now. You will find a George Orwell essay referenced there critiquing that book. You can google to find that essay. I hesitate to give the title here as it uses a word that is now forbidden. Let me just say that we are all n****rs now. The original concept has been lost but the idea that corporations would have more power than nation states directly infers the end of democracy. That history continues with the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

                  I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

                  by Just Bob on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:42:27 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Laughable (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Loge, Texas Lefty, wu ming, bluezen, Just Bob

                  There was no coup-d'etat in the Ukraine. Its being run by a parliament democratically elected in 2010.

                  On the other hand, just a few days ago, armed gunmen took over the Crimean parliament, forced members to congregate, confiscated their cellphones, refused media entry, locked the doors and forced a vote which resulted in the election of Aksyonov, a man who's party had only 3 seats in the 100 member parliament. And suddenly he's prime minister? Then, of course, the same parliament with armed soldiers present, voted unanimously for the referendum.

                  bobdevo, thats what you call a putsch; an armed coup-d'etat. Where's the outrage?

                  Before dawn the next morning, truckloads of unidentified men with guns showed up and took control of the Crimean parliament building. They also seized the executive branch building. Police walled off half of downtown Simferopol.

                  What initially seemed like a chaotic seizure of buildings by random armed radicals, throwing the city into uncertainty, started to exhibit signs of a carefully plotted takeover.

                  Anatoly Mogilyov, the Crimean prime minister from Donetsk appointed by Mr. Yanukovych, showed up to try to negotiate, but one militant said he wasn't "authorized" to do so, according to local media reports. The gunmen nevertheless allowed Mr. Konstantinov to convene an emergency session of parliament.

                  It wasn't public. Outsiders couldn't enter to determine whether there was a quorum or how many people voted. But its decision was announced to a group of roaring Russian nationalists gathered outside: The deputies had fired Mr. Mogilyov and replaced him with the leader of the Russian Unity party, Mr. Aksyonov.

                  KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                  by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:24:43 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Just where did the U parliament take their vote? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    chuckvw

                    And why?

                    This post nicely debunks your propaganda:

                    http://news.firedoglake.com/...

                    •  You point to an opinion post (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Texas Lefty, wu ming, bluezen

                      on a blog??? seriously?

                      No thanks. I'll go with reliable sources:

                      The Ukrainian parliament has elected former opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk as the country’s Prime Minister.

                      Mr. Yatsenyyuk, a close ally of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, was backed by 371 of 417 participating deputies.

                      http://www.thehindu.com/...

                      you can find dozens more international sources claiming the same thing.

                      Furthermore, you can also look to see how other countries have reacted to the vote. For example, Canada, one of the most highly respected countries on the international stage, as given full recognition to the government.

                      And, while you are obsessing about trying to spin the Ukraine as a some putsch orchestrated by the US, you completely ignore the real putsch which just occurred in the Crimean parliament and the facts around what happened there.

                      But I unnderstand. Its not at all consistent with your preferred narrative.

                      KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                      by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:54:38 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  wow, its worse than I thought (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      bluezen
                      Just where did the U parliament take their vote?
                      And why?
                      I actually went to your link.

                      here's the part of that post that you think is relevant:

                      Which is interesting because under that constitution Viktor Yanukovych is still president. The vote in the parliament in Kiev was blatantly illegal and mostly a symbolic attempt to legitimize the violent overthrow of the elected president which, not surprisingly, is not allowed under the Ukrainian Constitution.
                      So based on what some dude named DSWright posted on firedoglake, it becomes gospel truth. No facts to back it up, no links, nothing. Just an ignorant statement well short of the actual facts from somebody I'm supposed to be impressed by.

                      For real Ezekiel?

                      KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                      by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:02:47 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yanukovych fled to friendlier territory (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        fcvaguy

                        and agreed to resign in a phone call. At that point he was declared him unable to carry out his duties. Yanukovych, at some later point in time, decided he wanted a do over.

                        I don't know where it fits in the timeline, but the mayor and the governor of Kharkiv then fled to Russia. Yanukovych tried to go to Russia but was turned back by the border authorities.

                        Somewhere in that timeline, there was a warrant issued for his arrest.

                        Dateline 22 February 2014
                        http://en.apa.az/...

                        Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Alexander Turchinov said that he held a phone conversation with Viktor Yanukovych at 14:00: “In the presence of several deputies Arseny Yatsenyuk spoke to him and called to resign. He agreed. But, later he refused to do it after consulting with some people. His press service has released the known video.”
                        Since we really should consider our sources in such a case:
                        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                        I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

                        by Just Bob on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:47:20 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  So you approve of Putin just seizing Crimea (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      bluezen

                      right? Yeah, nice to know that any action taken by Russia is Non-Imperialist™ by sole virtue of Russia not being the United States of America.

                      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

                      by TheHalfrican on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:15:11 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I loved Saddam too. (0+ / 0-)

                        What crap.  Opposing yet even more U. S. provocative bullshit and interference in the affairs of other countries is supporting DICTATORS.

                        Thanks.  I can get that shit 24/7 on Fox.

                        Can't you advocates for U. S. imperialism come up with something new?

                        •  lol you're not "opposing" anything. (0+ / 0-)

                          Because Obama isn't fucking starting a war over this, but whatever man. Keep shaking in your boots and ready the "HANDS OFF UKRAINE" anti-war posters for a fantasy World War even the John Boltons of the world aren't advocating for. I'll be over here "advocating for U.S imperialism" by condemning imperialism conducted by the U.S and other nations. Because I'm actually consistent about not liking oppressive bullshit, regardless of who does it.

                          ...

                          LOL JUST KIDDING, LET'S INVADE RUSSIA FOR OIL DUDES, WHY DO U HATE AMURKA????

                          "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

                          by TheHalfrican on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:41:05 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  a parliament elected in unfair (0+ / 0-)

                    and unfree elections.

                    But that only matters when it's the president?

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:25:05 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  AOT (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      wu ming, bluezen

                      If you're talking about the Crimean parliament which was replaced 2 days ago without a vote, you would be correct.

                      If you're talking about the Ukrainian parliament, it was democratically elected in 2010 and is still in place. I'm pretty sure thats what you're referring to, so I have no idea where y you're getting your info from that the Ukrainian parliament came into power in unfree and unfair elections.

                      KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                      by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:34:10 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The current parliament of Ukraine (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        chuckvw

                        was elected in 2012, not 2010. And unlike the presidential election it was disputed by the pro-EU parties. Now suddenly it's the most legit thing.

                        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                        by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:48:28 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Thanks for the correction (0+ / 0-)

                          It was indeed elected in 2012. Point being, it was a Democratic election. Yanukovich's election in 2010 also had similar claims of illegitimacy, but they never went anywhere.

                          Still, not sure where you're going with this? Is your point that nothing is legitimate in the Ukraine? and if that were true, what then does that allow you to claim? That Putin had the right to invade the country?

                          KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                          by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:51:50 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

              •  Victoria Nuland, et al, does not embody the US. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                divineorder, chuckvw

                She was on the phone determining who would rule Ukraine before the coup happened.

                Victoria Nuland: Leaked call shows US hand on Ukraine by Mark Mardell of the BBC.

                Victoria Nuland's husband, Robert Kagan, and William Kristol, co-founded the Project for a New American Century.

                The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) was an American think tank based in Washington, D.C. established in 1997 as a non-profit educational organization founded by William Kristol and Robert Kagan. The PNAC's stated goal is "to promote American global leadership."[1] Fundamental to the PNAC were the view that "American leadership is both good for America and good for the world" and support for "a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity."[2] With its members in numerous key administrative positions, the PNAC exerted influence on high-level U.S. government officials in the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush and affected the Bush Administration's development of military and foreign policies, especially involving national security and the Iraq War.[3][4]
                Some have regarded the PNAC's January 16, 1998 letter to President Clinton, which urged him to embrace a plan for "the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime from power,"[12] and the large number of members of PNAC appointed to the Bush administration as evidence that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a foregone conclusion.[48]

                [snip]

                Media commentators have found it significant that signatories to the PNAC's January 16, 1998 letter to President Clinton (and some of its other position papers, letters, and reports) included such later Bush administration officials as Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, John Bolton, Richard Armitage, and Elliott Abrams.[29][37][40][49]

                Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                by CIndyCasella on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:23:45 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  This is called "Adding 2 and 2 together and coming (0+ / 0-)

                  up with 4,000."

                  Ban Ki Moon and Robert Serry from the UN were mentioned at the end of the call.

                  Nuland: OK... one more wrinkle for you Geoff. [A click can be heard] I can't remember if I told you this, or if I only told Washington this, that when I talked to Jeff Feltman [United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs] this morning, he had a new name for the UN guy Robert Serry did I write you that this morning?

                  Pyatt: Yeah I saw that.

                  Nuland: OK. He's now gotten both Serry and [UN Secretary General] Ban Ki-moon to agree that Serry could come in Monday or Tuesday. So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and to have the UN help glue it and, you know, Fuck the EU.

                  Since you're so sure that a coup was being plotted, what were Ban Ki Moon and Robert Serry's role in it.

                  They were in Kyiv on Jan 28-30 which means that the intercepted call was recorded before that.

                  Yanukovych offered the Prime Minister job to Yatsenyuk on January 25. Could that have been the topic of discussion on the call.

                  And does it mean that Yanukovych was involved in the coup plot too? Against himself?

                  There is no existence without doubt.

                  by Mark Lippman on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 05:23:41 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Putin took Crimea without a shot (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                chuckvw

                Contrast that to Iraq, etc. and to what we still do ala drones. Tell me how many people in other countries Putin has killed so far? So who are the bad guys here again?

                Putin was also right about the anti-semites and neonazis in power now in Ukraine. That's a fact that's now understood.

                It is also a fact now that the snipers in the streets of Kiev are thought to have been installed by the Maidan, NOT by Yanukovych, as made clear by the leaked telephone call between the Estonian PM and EU High Commissioner.

                Finally, 58% of Crimeans are ethnic Russian and Crimea's history is principally about being Russian in identify, with some Tartars. It sits on the border of greater Russia.

                Do I think Putin is a good guy? Of course not, but all this Putin is evil and dangerous when placed into real perspective that does not gloss over the shit this country does around the world using the excuse about "terrorism."

                I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

                by pajoly on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:02:02 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  But was Crimea Pooty Poot's to take? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  pajoly

                  I think not, and  his excuses for doing so ring hollow.  At the same time, I think the former Ukranian leader got what he deserved, but I don't have anything good to say about those now in power.

                  There are no "good guys" here except for the people who are going to be steamrolled no matter who's in power.

                  You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

                  by Johnny Q on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:29:09 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  wow (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  wu ming, bluezen
                  Putin was also right about the anti-semites and neonazis in power now in Ukraine. That's a fact that's now understood.
                  The prime minister of Ukraine is Jewish. Where are you getting your facts?

                  KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                  by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:38:31 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, but there are other leaders (0+ / 0-)

                    and some of them ARE known antisemites and extreme nationalists.

                    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

                    by pajoly on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:41:06 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  do you worry they're going to assassinate the PM? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Avenginggecko

                      And btw, there are other Ministers in the current government who are also Jewish !

                      And guess what, we have people in our own Congress who are anti-Semites, racists, gay haters and extreme nationalists.

                      So does France (National Front), so does the UK (UKIP & BNP) and they have seats in their respective Parliaments!

                      Did you see what happened in the Crimean Parliament just a few days ago?  Now that was a coup d'etat.

                      I don't understand what you and others are trying to do - you seem to have a real bias in this crisis despite the real facts.

                      KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                      by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:47:01 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I don't have a horse in the race (0+ / 0-)

                        I'm not a Putin fan (he's a fascist for sure), nor do I think it did the right thing, but my point is the West's nattering and admonitions are complete hypocritical BS.

                        I also think Russia's actions are far more justified than just about any use of force the U.S. has done in the past 13 years, but again, that's not saying much.

                        I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

                        by pajoly on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:04:55 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You don't have a horse in the race (0+ / 0-)

                          but somehow you see some justification for Putin invading a sovereign country, putting 30,000 troops on its territory, overthrew the Crimean parliament and forced them to vote for a Russian nationalist for prime minister, someone who's party only had 3 of 100 seats in parliament. And then with armed forces present in the chamber, had parliament vote for a referendum to secede from Ukraine.

                          KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                          by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:38:19 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  In fairness, I have not been paying attention (0+ / 0-)

                            to Ukraine the past few days, so I have not been following what's gone on in Crimea since I read about a troop pull back by Russia.

                            Of course I don't support what Russia has done. But I also don't see any mass protest by Crimeans, most of whom are ethnic Russian. Nor do I see any bloodshed by the Russians (yet).

                            Maybe they should have taken our tact with a little "shock and awe" that CNN could gush about?

                            I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

                            by pajoly on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:56:07 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  tens to hundreds of thousands of civilians (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT, Spit, bluezen

                  died in putin's wars in chechnya and dagestan. fewer died in his war with georgia. his client state of syria has certainly killed an awful lot of people as well.

                  putin's body count is significantly higher than obama's, but lower than bush's. that so many of those killed on his watch were his own country's ethnic minorities makes his actions in ukraine unsettling.

              •  Are you really this naive? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                divineorder, chuckvw

                Have you ignored the role of neocon Nuland, left in the State Department by Obama, and the billionaire funded "NGOs" who have funneled money to these neo-Nazis?

                It's only been a dozen years since this same scam was played, only this time the neocons aren't ginning up hatred against powerless Saddam.  They're trying to make enemies out of people with real economic and military power.

                And the Europeans aren't dumb enough to follow us into this folly.

              •  TomP, you calling my comment dumbest speaks (0+ / 0-)

                volumes for your intellectual acumen.

                I'm for the USA, the people who voted for change, not the status quo that has its grip on our nation and is truly evil, nor the idiot PR propagandists they hire that make fools out of themselves with their ignorant remarks.

                Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                by CIndyCasella on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 12:11:25 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  This is way way way over the top. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TheHalfrican, bluezen
            •  What a dumb comment. Hitler never used democracy (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bluezen

              as a pretext for war. Or much for anything else really.

              Godwin fail.

              "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

              by TheHalfrican on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:55:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  If Ukraine splits, yes... (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TomP, TofG, AoT, Texas Lefty, divineorder

            ...I think that whatever government represents the western portion of the country will move to join NATO.

            When the country was whole, it specifically rejected full NATO membership.

            The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

            by wesmorgan1 on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:06:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I would have. (11+ / 0-)
            A month ago, I would not have thought that Putin would invade the Crimea with troops from the Navy base.
            He knows we won't send troops to Crimea.

            He also knows that if he invaded Latvia, it would mean an immediate state of war where the US, Canada, Australia, The entire EU, Several North African states, and others all ganged up on Russia in a defensive war, he'd lose all of his international trade, there'd be an immediate embargo and a situation where the Chinese would probably play both sides against each other, but certainly not help Russia.

            The Jets are there to calm Latvia and the rest, and let them know that Crimea is the Russian High Water Mark.

            This guarantees that the little states don't do anything destabilizing.

            An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

            by OllieGarkey on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:14:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Under the Putin Doctrine (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wu ming, WineRev, bluezen

            where he asserts his right to protect Russian people anywhere (Transnistria, Gagauz, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and now Crimea), the Baltics certainly have reason to be concerned. For example, in Estonia:

            Russians make up 25.6% of the total population but account for 36% of the population in Harju county and 70% of the population in Ida-Viru county.
            I would say with respect to Ida-Viru at least, the Estonians  should be seriously concerned.

            The trend is there. Putinissues passports to ethnic Russians in countries where they are a large minority and then uses that as the basis for his obligation to defend them.

            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

            by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:59:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  TomP - I agree (0+ / 0-)

            Forward deployment of aircraft, and more, is the right answer even if just for the optics.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:32:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Two weeks ago, I would have (7+ / 0-)

          scoffed at the idea that the Russians would invade Ukraine.

          How wrong was that? I think that any Baltic State which isn't preparing tor a Russian assault, while taking every action to forestall such an attack, is very foolish indeed.

          I try to learn from my own mistakes. Thanks for the diary, Tom. I find it truly weird that some Kossacks seem to feel Russia can do no wrong

          Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

          by OIL GUY on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:00:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  no one has said that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            divineorder, chuckvw

            But several have acknowledged that Russia has interests and a sphere of influence, albeit more limited than ours, and that the security of the United States would be better served by leaving the situation alone.

            This strategy of equating opposition to U.S. policy to support for Putin, or for Russia in general, sounds like it was thought up by a bunch of political consultants.

            A terrible beauty is born. --W.B. Yeats

            by eightlivesleft on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:37:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Political consultants???? (0+ / 0-)

              What could you be implying?

              Anyway, sorry if I harshed your mellow.

               If Putin is your man, you should stand by him. That's what Tammy Wynette taught us..

              See. I got musicologists working alongside my political consultants..

              Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

              by OIL GUY on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:11:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  "If Putin is your man" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                chuckvw

                This comment demonstrates my point.  He's not my man, or the man of anyone who's posted to criticize American policy or actions.  But making this about Putin is a public relations tactic crafted to avoid the more important conversation, which is about whether the United States has any legitimate interests here.  It's very much like accusing opponents of the security state of being supporters of Ron Paul.

                A terrible beauty is born. --W.B. Yeats

                by eightlivesleft on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:44:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Maybe you haven't noticed, (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  wu ming, bluezen

                  but Putin is the guy doing the invading of one of his neighbors. That neighbor signed a treaty with the US, Russia and Britain in which it agreed to get rid of its 10,000 or so nukes, in return for the aforementioned countries guaranteeing to defend Ukraine were it attacked.

                  If Putin wants to be left alone, he merely has to abide by the treaties he signs.

                  The US doesn't want to be involved any more than we have to in that part of the world. Our dance card is already overbooked. But, we have many allies in the area who are greatly disturbed and we do have some obligation to the Ukrainians who were foolish enough to trust us and the Russians. I'm sure that Putins little invasion will advance the cause of nuclear disarmament all over the world.

                  Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

                  by OIL GUY on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:00:00 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Political consultants, maybe but (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                chuckvw

                what it really sounds like are the supporters for the invasion of Iraq who attempted to  smear the patriotism of those in opposition and the 'America Love It or Leave It' spouters  of an earlier era.

                Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

                by divineorder on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:47:31 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Here's my take (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              divineorder, chuckvw

              It's fairly obvious that what Putin did was reprehensible, but there's no way to counter this that doesn't make things considerably worse for everyone involved.

              Much the same reason the world let us have our way in Iraq.

              You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

              by Johnny Q on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:36:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I agree that US should avoid having a war over (0+ / 0-)

              Ukraine. However, for the Baltic regions, US is bound by the NATO treaty.

          •  For those of us who have been paying attention (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OIL GUY, divineorder, bluezen

            It was obvious that Russia would intervene, perhaps militarily, as it has done consistently in the past.s

            You can tell who hasn't paid close attention to the region by who was surprised.

            I'm glad you're paying attention now!

        •  Anyone thinking Putin's Russia wouldn't jump at a (6+ / 0-)

          chance to invade the Baltic Republics is a fool.

      •  That they asked is key here for anything that (10+ / 0-)

        transpires in the future that threatens to imperil them.  Watch what China says and does, as they have their own understanding of Putin.

        Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

        by judyms9 on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:58:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, they shouldn't have asked. (7+ / 0-)

        Six F-15s are a joke, and serve no purpose except symbolically.  To Putin, it's going to be a big LOL.

      •  I think we have the right to note when things (17+ / 0-)

        are being done to jack up the paranoia and baseless fears as part of a propaganda campaign. Must say it's rather jaring to read about Russia's imperialism in a US-based blog, and in light of long-stated US policy of surrounding Russia and China so they can't possibly interfere in our activities in Eurasia.

        And when I say 'ours' of course I mean the 1%s, the Fossil Fuel Companies, etc. Certainly our activities the world over aren't being done for our security. Else, why bring us to insupportable debt while creating enemies the world over?


        Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

        by Jim P on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:03:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why is it jarrring (21+ / 0-)

          to read about Russia's imperialism in a US-based blog.  
          I cannot talk about their imperialism?  Just about US imperialism?  I don't self censor for Putin.

          Who are you to blame the Baltic states for invoking their treaty rights.  

          Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

          by TomP on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:05:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not blaming them at all. But it is propaganda, (7+ / 0-)

            surely you know that. Russia isn't going to invade the Baltic states, however understandable their anxiety is.

            And how many nations has Putin 'invaded' exactly? Let's see: Georgia after they declared war on Russia (and receiving arms and combat training from the US), and Crimea which is under an existing treaty. Chechnya for sure.

            But let's pretend those were all aggressive invasions, though, not just the one. Can you express that as a percentage of the nations the US has either invaded, bombed, or subverted in an effort to gain control of wealth and territory?

            Let's just limit that to the last 20 years. Since about the time the US & Europe backed Yeltsin when he overrode the Russian constitution, dismissed Parliament, and then killed Parliament members in bombardments and takeover of their White House (Parliament Building): in effect establishing the dictatorship which opened the door for the dictator Putin.

            I think we have a lot more to worry about than Russia here at home. And it's American Imperialism that's fucking Americans over, not Russian.


            Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

            by Jim P on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:23:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  In this circumstance (10+ / 0-)

              why does it matter what the US has done in the past?

              When discussing current Russian actions, why go immediatly into US is imperliast wirse than Putin?

              I really dont get it.

            •  T and R the diary for breaking news but glad to (4+ / 0-)

              see JimP offering a little context on this.  

              Post Soviet Russia is a product of US policy as much as anything else.  The disaster capitalists flocked to Russia and helped turn it into the kleptocracy it is today.

              Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

              by divineorder on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:08:52 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  JimP? (0+ / 0-)

                is totally ignorant of the context.  I really wish he'd stop spreading his bullshit.

                •  No, you are clearly the clueless one here. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  chuckvw

                  Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

                  by divineorder on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:54:56 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Name the bullshit. (0+ / 0-)

                  Here's the 'economic' treaty which is also a military treaty, read Title II:
                  http://eeas.europa.eu/...

                  here's what CSDP, referred to in the treaty, says about themselves:
                  http://www.youtube.com/...

                  here's Svoboda's (formerly Social National Party) website, read what they say about themselves:
                  http://en.svoboda.org.ua/...

                  Svoboda says they take their inspiration from Yaroslav Stetsko. Here's what Stetsko says in his autobiography:
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                  Here's the Ukrainian Prime Minister's own party's news website and list of cabinet level officers (at the time proposed, subsequently confirmed)
                  http://www.ukiedaily.com/...

                  I'll let you look at the names and see what parties the key ministers are associated with.

                  If you don't do this, all you can do is mimic the bullshit you're told.


                  Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

                  by Jim P on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:04:24 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  This is coming from the guy (0+ / 0-)

                    With zero understanding of the history here?  That's convincing.  There is a lot more at work than your few websites.  

                    That "bullshit" I've been told is just the experience of my family.  Sorry we are real human beings to you

                    •  In other words, no, you can't. Thanks for the (0+ / 0-)

                      honesty.

                      Tell me again how Russia plans to start a War with NATO here in 2014.


                      Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

                      by Jim P on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:45:06 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Russia does NOT (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Mindful Nature

                        plan to start a war with NATO in 2014.

                        OTOH,
                        a) things can get out of hand without plans.

                        b) Russia (whether Czarist, Soviet or Putinesque) has an ancient history of acquiring/controlling/conquering its border neighbors. Much of this stems from a history of the Muscovy leaders, having established rule in around Moscow, found they had virtually no natural borders for defense. The Urals had proved no restraint to the Mongols. The Don and the Volga still allowed the Vikings to come raiding (and trading).

                        c)As far as the Baltic States go, yes, as I noted earlier, they have a 750 year history of being conquered/passed around by all our larger, more populous neighbors. But, with the partial exception of the Lithuanians (in Union with Poland) THEY were NOT the conquer-ORS, they were always the conquer-EES.
                        (Show me the battlefield where the Latvians laid waste to the Teutons and went on to sack Berlin? When was it that the Estonians burned Stockholm to the ground or slaughtered the Danes of Schleswig?)

                        d) Of all the conquering nations and tribes (like the Teutonic Knights) who have stomped through the Baltic in the last 750 years, who is still at it?
                        Denmark? Naw----they settled for Greenland, Iceland, and, for some years, Norway. (Probably the Baltic folk didn't like all that minimalist, pointy furniture the Danes tried to inflict on everyone around 1957. We saw it coming.)
                        Sweden? They kind of hung up their swords after 1721 and haven't been back to bother anyone since. (Well, unless you don't like smorgasbords, IKEA, and ABBA.)
                        Poland? Well, disappearing from the map from 1793 to 1918 did sort of cramp their style. They did have a nasty argument with the Lithuanians in 1920 about Vilnius/Wilno but otherwise that seems to be the only issue.
                        Germany? Well, from 1271 onward the "Balt Deutsch" did tend to form 5%-15% of the population (depending on the country) and own like about 95% of the land, but they weren't sending tribute or bowing the knee to Germany either. That's because up until about 1871 there really wasn't a Germany.
                             Now from 1914-1918 there was a major effort to attach the Baltics to Kaiserdom (see the activities of General R. Von Der Goltz) but then the Kaiser had to throw in the sponge.
                             From 1941 to 1944 Herr Adolf made another effort to attach the Baltics to the Reich, but then he had to throw in the sponge as well.

                        None of these ancient Baltic conquerors has any interest in the Baltics today. Only ONE nation, with a history of intervention and invasion and resettlement and Russification dating back a good 500 years, STILL has a taste for pushing around little countries on the Baltic.

                        e) Finally, while Russia/Putin does not plan a war with NATO to conquer/acquire/occupy the Baltics, he is more than willing to cow them, bully them and overawe them on the cheap if he can, without war.
                              The Baltic invocation of NATO is an understandable reaction to prevent just this.

                        Shalom.

                        "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

                        by WineRev on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:48:21 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Here you go (0+ / 0-)

                        Let us start here

                        http://www.dailykos.com/...

                        I think we have the right to note when things (17+ / 0-)
                        are being done to jack up the paranoia and baseless fears as part of a propaganda campaign. Must say it's rather jaring to read about Russia's imperialism in a US-based blog, and in light of long-stated US policy of surrounding Russia and China so they can't possibly interfere in our activities in Eurasia.
                        And when I say 'ours' of course I mean the 1%s, the Fossil Fuel Companies, etc. Certainly our activities the world over aren't being done for our security. Else, why bring us to insupportable debt while creating enemies the world over?
                        This interpretation that pretends that Russian imperialism doesn't exist and that the reactions and concern is all just fear mongering on the part of Balts to support oil company profits is so insanely ignorant of history and psychotic in its CT it is rightly called bullshit

                        Putin has leveled whole cities and repeatedly invaded neighbors and has attacked Estonia repeatedly in various ways.   Obviously when Putin rattles his saber the Baltic States respond and that has nothing to do with US economic interests.  To ignore the history and experience of other people's and view everything through the lens of the arrogant ugly American is profoundly offensive really.

                        Sometimes it just isn't about you

                    •  Clown. I know the history much better than you do (0+ / 0-)

                      and I also know the real world of today much better than you do. My grandfather was from Ukraine. Why I'm here is he fought the Bolshies. You imbecile parrots have been saying first, that there was no military provision in the rejected treaty; second, the Nazis had no meaningful participation in the new government.

                      Having demonstrated in the participant's own words what the Treaty says; what the now-empowered Nazis say; and what the Ukraine government says about who is in the government, you resort to ad hominem.

                      Imbecile parrots more than adults in an honest conversation. I doubt you could manage a conversation of facts, which is probably why you go to just making up shit about somebody you don't even know and name calling.

                      What a turd!


                      Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

                      by Jim P on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:30:37 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  History disagrees. (9+ / 0-)
              Russia isn't going to invade the Baltic states, however understandable their anxiety is.
              By all means, read the history of the Baltic states. In a nutshell:
              Independence to various alliances (e.g. the Polish-Lithuanian union), Tsarist conquest, independence,  Soviet annexation, Nazi occupation, Soviet re-occupation, independence...???
              I'd suggest that their anxiety is well beyond the level of "justifiable."

              The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

              by wesmorgan1 on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:15:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I blame the people who couldn't wait for a vote in (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ezekiel in Exile

            Ukraine.  They were about to hold a new vote.  Why did they have to throw Molotov cocktails and shoot at police?

            Why indeed.

            Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

            by CIndyCasella on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:05:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Heh? (10+ / 0-)

              So, if my wife and I are arguing, you have the right to move into our house?

              Do you even read what you type?

            •  Yes, the protesters made the police kill them. (8+ / 0-)

              And yet, if it were in America, you'd be yelling about the police.   Your excuses for oppression are amazing.  

              The Parliament overthrow the presidency.

               

              Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

              by TomP on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:32:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  We don't really know who killed whom in that (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                protectspice, AoT, divineorder, Jim P, chuckvw

                mayhem.  

                What would our police do if they were being shot at?  What would happen here if protesters threw Molotov cocktails at government buildings?

                I'm not defending the police if they did shoot at people, but that whole protest was contrived and unnecessary since the democratically elected president had agreed to a new vote, and that protest wasn't as peaceful as the propagandists want us to believe.

                It was a coup.

                Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                by CIndyCasella on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:40:57 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Right. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TomP, sviscusi

                  I bet it was Navy Seals.

                  •  Right. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    protectspice, divineorder, chuckvw

                    I bet it was ...

                    OK, if you get to make a snarky guess, I can, too.

                    ...Al Qaeda?  After all, they were Johnny on the Spot "rebels" terrorists in Chechnya, Syria, and Afghanistan, and after the Iraq War debacle, they're terrorizing Iraq now, too, even though they were not there in significant numbers before the war, when the warmongering propagandists said they were there to start the war.  Al Qaeda are ruthless mercenaries.  This bloody coup would be right up their alley.

                    Poor Navy Seals.  The Navy Seals are victims, just like so many victims, men, women, and children, of the warmongering sociopaths.  

                    The warmongering sociopaths lied, and Navy Seals died.

                    The propagandists have so much blood on their hands, lying us into war after war.  Shame on them all.  They have no humanity, only greed and a twisted hegemonic goal that justify the horrific means.

                    Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                    by CIndyCasella on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:02:14 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  This is one of the craziest (11+ / 0-)

              comments I've seen here in years. Are you really claiming that the protestors started the carnage outside Parliament. The videos I've seen of riot police shooting deliberately into the crowd of protestors must all be fakes.

              I don't recall that you took the side of the US police when they evicted the OWS protestors, or the side of the Egyptian police, when they tried to clear Tarir Square.

              Are the Ukrainian riot police known for their pacifism? Are you claiming they didn't kill dozens of protestors? Was this a case of mass-suicide by protestor?

              Get a grip! Your hatred of the United States is blinding you to the simple fact that there are lots of bad people in the world. Most of them are not Americans. That's just the law of numbers. I'm not arguing that we are better than the rest of the world, by any means. But its ridiculous to think we are the cause of all evil in the world, which seems to be your presumption.

              Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

              by OIL GUY on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:16:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Excellent comment. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sviscusi, OIL GUY, fcvaguy

                Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

                by TomP on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:23:56 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  What then must we do? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                chuckvw

                These horrible abrogations of human rights are beyond the pale.  Sending a few fighter jets to the Baltics is no real response.  I can imagine what the great hero Curtis Lemay would say about such a pusilanimous response.

                No, Kos had it right in that diary a few days ago.  The American people have gone soft just because they've been lied into war a few times.  On top of that, they lost.

                Is that any reason not to take every opportunity to enjoy the glories of war?

                I say we must create a new Lincoln Brigade to fight side by side with those brave Ukrainians who have taken over their government.  We should create a new group at DK--a truly action-oriented group--that gathers volunteers for the fight against the Great Satan Putin and those Stalinist Russians.

                Of course, they are some cultural issues we'll need to advise people about before they head to Kiev.  To really get along with our new comrades, it would be advisable to pack a few Confederate flags.  A White Power tatoo or two would probably help us fit in a bit better as well.  Maybe a picture of two of famous Ukrainian Nazi collaborators would come in handy.

                Come to think of it, maybe we should call it the un-Lincoln Brigade since the original went to Spain to fight against fascists rather than with them.

                But in the end, who cares?  War is fun.  And we must return our beloved 'Murca to its status as the meanest motherfuckers on the block.

              •  Snipers attacked the police (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                limpidglass, Jim P, chuckvw

                and protesters.

                There is no clear evidence of who started the firing. So blaming it on either party is not supported by the evidence.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:28:22 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  of course, your version of events (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Progressive Witness, Spit, wu ming

              in Kiev on that day aren't at all consistent with the facts.

              on the other hand, you certainly aren't saying much about what just happened in the Crimean parliament. Now this is what I call a putsch, or coup-d'etat:

              Before dawn the next morning, truckloads of unidentified men with guns showed up and took control of the Crimean parliament building. They also seized the executive branch building. Police walled off half of downtown Simferopol.

              What initially seemed like a chaotic seizure of buildings by random armed radicals, throwing the city into uncertainty, started to exhibit signs of a carefully plotted takeover.

              Anatoly Mogilyov, the Crimean prime minister from Donetsk appointed by Mr. Yanukovych, showed up to try to negotiate, but one militant said he wasn't "authorized" to do so, according to local media reports. The gunmen nevertheless allowed Mr. Konstantinov to convene an emergency session of parliament.

              It wasn't public. Outsiders couldn't enter to determine whether there was a quorum or how many people voted. But its decision was announced to a group of roaring Russian nationalists gathered outside: The deputies had fired Mr. Mogilyov and replaced him with the leader of the Russian Unity party, Mr. Aksyonov.

              They also voted to hold a referendum on Crimean statehood, initially set for May 25 but now slated for March 30.

              Where's your outrage?

              KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

              by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:30:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Have you ever got an answer to this? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fcvaguy

                Even a snarky, evasive one?

                Yeah, the magical new Crimean-parliament-at-gunpoint is a mite sketchy. Messes with the anti-Maidan narrative though, so don't look at it too closely.

                "No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." --MLK

                by Progressive Witness on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:20:37 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  It's an occupation (0+ / 0-)

                And an occupation government.

                And I find it funny that so many people are wondering where the outrage is after complaining about too much outrage about things like drone attacks and NSA surveillance. No one has been killed by the Russian occupation so far, and hopefully won't be.

                I mean, are you outraged about the occupation government in Afghanistan?

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:18:16 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  What did you think of what happened (0+ / 0-)

                  in the Crimean parliament?

                  I'm outraged about a lot of things AoT, especially the Iraq War and the lies about it.

                  I'm capable of being outraged about a lot of things at the same time. I don't say "Sorry, my outrage list is full, so Ukraine, step aside".

                  KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                  by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:21:40 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I shouldn't have implied (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    fcvaguy

                    you were one of the outrage police that wonders around here, but god damn if I haven't been chided in half the diaries on the NSA by people who are now outraged that I'm not outraged by this.

                    And the reason I'm not outraged about this as I am other things is that this isn't my government and being done with my money. And some of them are being done to me or people I love.

                    And honestly, I've started to take the outrage advice. When it's something I have absolutely no control over I don't get outraged. It just hurts to do so.

                    But I think that what happened to the Crimean Parliament is bullshit. That's why I called it an occupation government.

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:31:49 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The NSA/Snowden/etc/etc/ diaries (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      AoT

                      aren't conducive to good discussion. People here are too polarized over it, so it ends up being nothing but pie fights. Thats why I don't do them. If they're bugging you, you should do the same.

                      KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                      by fcvaguy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:38:28 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  They're aren't many diaries (0+ / 0-)

                        that are conductive to good discussion.

                        And I keep breaking my rule not to post in diaries with more than 100 comments.

                        And I have been staying out of the NSA threads for the most part.

                        But then I see the same shit spill over here.

                        I should probably just leave, it would be better for me.

                        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                        by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:41:00 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

        •  It's as if we've never been (9+ / 0-)

          imperialistic, isn't it?

          Must say it's rather jaring to read about Russia's imperialism in a US-based blog
          That's what I find to be so jarring--some of the "news" continues to frame it as if we're pure as the driven snow.  

          This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

          by lunachickie on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:21:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The threat of war historically takes the mind (10+ / 0-)

            off conditions at home. Not always, but that's a truism of Realpolitik (aka 'moral imbecility') which US leadership has long used.


            Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

            by Jim P on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:26:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  OT: just noticed your sig. Damn straight! (6+ / 0-)

            We can thank the lunatic Newt for 'Language: a Key Mechanism for Control' which has rapidly degenerated our domestic political life. http://fair.org/...


            Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

            by Jim P on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:28:38 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  And do you endorse that imperialism? (8+ / 0-)

            I mean if you think it is not a real problem when Russia does it, how do you expect to have any credibility in decrying it when the US does it?

            I think that if the left wants to have a leg to stand on in standing up to the Bush's of the US, it is absolutely imperative that we not be hypocritical in giving Putin a free pass.

            •  This is not the left. Just a few on Dkos (11+ / 0-)

              who call themselves the left.  

              These folks find positions based on what side the US is on. Since the US is the fount of evil, anybody opposed to the US is good.  It's stupid.  

              Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

              by TomP on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:06:43 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Eh, it's simple. (6+ / 0-)

                I'm convinced that there are some nervous systems which are simply not capable of processing ambiguity.

              •  What they are is what the Occupy Movement (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mindful Nature, TomP

                and anti Wall Street conspiracy theorists dragged in. I'm impressed that they can be for mass movements in the US but their conspiracy theories have them rooting against the Occupy movements in other countries.

                It's all one big conspiracy to make them look nuts.

              •  Oh what bullshit. It's honesty, not left or right. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                limpidglass

                Just take an honest look at history and context. If you were the head of Russia you too would worry that a state on your border had it's elected government overthrown immediately upon rejection of a MILITARY and Economic agreement with nations which have avowed you as their long term enemy.

                Get real, stop drinking the KoolAid.


                Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

                by Jim P on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:11:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  the EU is a colonial power and a new empire (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT, chuckvw

              we are not used to thinking of it that way, but it is. It expands and extends its borders like any other empire. And it has done so with incredible speed in the last two decades.

              It assimilates new territories through what is called "soft power," through "democracy promotion" (i.e., using money and covert operations in unstable nations to destabilize governments and foment regime change), through free trade deals and other economic methods, rather than open militarism (though NATO, i.e. the US, provides military muscle when needed). But it's nonetheless an empire.

              It took advantage of the chaos in the fall of the USSR--the old empire and colonial power--to expand. The EU got many small former Eastern Bloc states to join on terms very favorable to it--whose protection were those tiny states going to seek out, having just cut loose from the old empire? They needed a powerful patron to guarantee their security, the EU and NATO were the only game in town. (And in some cases, if their leaders wanted to stay unaligned, revolutions magically sprang up, installing new leaders extolling the virtues of Western-style democracy and free markets. Amazing, huh?).

              In Stalin's day it was Russia that took advantage of the chaos in WWII, to assimilate European territory. But today, it is now the EU, and its handmaiden NATO, that have beaten a path to Russia's borders in the aftermath of the Soviet collapse.

              Now NATO is beginning to encircle Russia itself, threatening to block access to the Mediterranean and take away the bases which house the Black Sea fleet--a provocation that drew a Russian response.

              No country would merely sit around passively as it was encircled by a hostile military power. The Russian response, to move troops into Crimea and engineer its secession from Ukraine, has actually been fairly mild, considering.

              If it were the US in Russia's position, we would have flattened Kiev by now, hanged the leaders of the interim government, and put R. Paul Bremer in charge of rebuilding Ukraine. Stalin certainly would have done that much by now and probably more. But Putin is not Stalin.

              The old Soviet empire is dead. It's not coming back. It wouldn't have even existed in the first place if it weren't for the power vacuum left by WWII.

              The new empire doesn't even know it's an empire, and so it continues to unthinkingly expand eastward. As long as there was a power vacuum, it kept pushing east. Now Russia is pushing back.

              Obama is not offering anything that addresses these deeper concerns. He is offering just token concessions and making threats of sanctions, and hoping he can wait Putin out. He is not defusing the situation, and if he isn't defusing it, then it's escalating.

              Time is not on the side of those who want peace. Once one idiot gets startled by a pigeon and shoots off his gun, Ukraine will be engulfed in civil war and war with Russia at the same time. Then who knows where it goes from there?

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

              by limpidglass on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:48:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  As an Estonian American (29+ / 0-)

          who has had family murdered, enslaved and sent to labor camps in Siberia when the Russians invaded last time, I'm going to tell you that the Baltic States are absolutely well justified in fearing Russian aggression and are absolultely correct in invoking the NATO treaty.  They joined NATO precisely to avoid the kind of move that has happened in Abkhazia, Crimea, South Ossetia, Transdniestra and even Chenchnya.  And making sure that those security guarantees are real and showing Putin that they will be taken seriously is the ONLY reason Russia won't invade or cause trouble in them.  Remember all three Baltic States hae significant Russian popluations placed there intentionally as part of the ethnic cleansing campaigns under the Soviets and Tsars, so the threat of a Crimea type action is incredibly real.  Estonia in particular has come under attack from Moscow since 2004 in fact.

          So, your comments about this being propaganda is in fact basic ignorant naivete.  If you think Russian imperialism isn't a genuine thing, you should read the newspapers more.

          •  Are you trying to muddy the discussion with (11+ / 0-)

            historical details instead of red herrings?!? I'm staunchly against American imperialism, but I'm also staunchly against... Imperialism. I'm not inclined to give other countries a pass anymore than I am my own.

          •  Thanks for sharing. (14+ / 0-)

            The people in the Baltic states matter also.   Yes, the US has been imperialistic, but so has Russia and other nations.   It's a lot easier to blame the US for everything, but I choose not to be a Sarah Palin projection, i.e., Blame America First.   This nation was greviously wrong in invading Iraq, but that does not mean  everything we do is automatically wrong.    

            here, the US complied with treaty obligations.  The people who instinctively side with Putin because he is opposed to the US are not worth taking seriously.  

            Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

            by TomP on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:09:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Compare Russian conduct in Afghanistan to US condu (0+ / 0-)

              Russia pretty much shelled Kabul to the ground and took a scorched earth policy.  As bad as the Afghanistan war was, the US doesn't hold a candle to Russian policies.

              •  You mean 'Soviet Union' and not 'Russia' (0+ / 0-)

                and you mean forty years ago and not today.


                Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

                by Jim P on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:22:37 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Same diff (0+ / 0-)

                  The Soviet Union was nothing more than the Russian Empire in new dress.

                  And of course I mean 40 years ago.   It is still an instructive comparison for those who beleive that the US is the worst thing ever no matter what it does

                  •  If you total up the number of dead, maimed, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AoT

                    wounded, and displaced over, say, the last forty years (leave out instigation of civil wars) generated by every nation on earth within another nation's borders, which nation would total, oh, 3% of the US?

                    Specifically, outside a nation's borders. No question Pol Pot, Rwanda, and the ongoing but never mentioned murder in the Congo would come near that, but those were internal affairs.

                    C'mon. Name the nation that has inflicted 3% of the casualties we've inflicted on other nations since, say, President Ford. 1%. Can you find 1%?


                    Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

                    by Jim P on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:43:23 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  This fucking unhinged (0+ / 0-)

                      The US occupation has resulted in roughly 40,000 civilian death, roughly 75% by Taliban forces (UN report. I can't be bothered to look for it). Compare than to the Soviet occupation which killed between 850,000 and 1.5 million Afghans.  That alone pretty much matches all estimates from the US in the last 40 years.  

                      Your lack of contact with reality when it comes do dreaming up anti US "facts" is truly breathtaking.   I don't talk to CT mongers so I will not respond to you further.

            •  This shows how disordered your, ahem, thinking (0+ / 0-)

              is on the topic.

              You are desperate to stereotype people who offer objective information about the situation as 'knee-jerk America haters.'

              You guys need to form a group here at DKos: Bloodthirsty Kos. And you can all get together and talk like rightwing nutjobs and neo-cons strain to smear anyone who presents evidence.


              Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

              by Jim P on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:21:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  As a Ukrainian heritage American I can tell you (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT

            the last time Russians invaded their main transportation and equipment was horses and US-given trucks.

            Nor could anyone base nuclear weapons 500 miles from Moscow.

            Those days are not these days. If you think American imperialism isn't a factor in Russia's actions you should read US foreign and military policy statements and positions more.

            You honestly think Russia is going to invade the Baltic Nations and provoke a war where we outnumber and outclass them in every single department of military capability? Really?

            PS: Look into who set up, approved of, and wholeheartedly encourage Yeltsin to be dictator and helped crush democracy in Russia.


            Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

            by Jim P on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:17:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Crimea is non-NATO (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP, poco, divineorder, AoT, METAL TREK

        so people can at least pretend that they're not involved and work on non-military solutions.  Invading a NATO member means things instantly go hot.  I doubt that even Putin wants that.

        "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

        by Hayate Yagami on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:38:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Crimea is arguably not even Ukraine. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Azazello, METAL TREK, divineorder

          Historically, Crimea has never been a part of Ukraine.  Kruschev cut and pasted Crimea on to Ukraine as a publicity stunt in 1954.  

          It's not as if the tanks are rolling thru Kiev.

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

          by bobdevo on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:11:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  While true, it is part of Ukraine (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Loge, divineorder, Avenginggecko

            unless "I want it back" or "I changed my mind" is reason enough to invade and capture territory...

            "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

            by Hayate Yagami on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:31:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  ANd how did Ukraine come to "have" (0+ / 0-)

              Crimea?

              Does the populace of Crimea want to stay with Ukraine or align with Russia?

              Do you oppose the right of Crimeans to self-determination?

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

              by bobdevo on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:40:23 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Do you support Texas' right to secede? (0+ / 0-)

                Seriously, what?

                It's part of Ukraine. Russia, for whatever reason, ceded the territory to Ukraine 60 years ago.

                Russia then invades, installs a puppet government that "decides" that it would rather be part of Russia, in complete violation of the Ukrainian Constitution, and you're pretending that it's a legitimate thing?

                "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

                by Hayate Yagami on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:37:42 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The problem here is that there are currently (0+ / 0-)

                  only recognized methods of joining some country or another, and not mechanisms for leaving countries. This is also true of the EU, although less so. Regions do have some right to leave a larger geopolitical unit they are associated with. I mean, I'd say that the Kurds have a right to secede from Iran, Syria and Turkey. But what is the mechanism which legitimizes that?

                  Shit, what mechanism legitimized the breakaway of the USS from England? We didn't take a vote or anything, a chunk of the population just decided to do so. And yet we have no mechanism for a states to leave the union. I don't know of any country that has such mechanisms and all require some large amount of violence to precipitate a secession. And if a super-majority of Texans wanted to secede then I would be for it. That's not happening any time soon, but the sad fact is that at some point in the future there will be a state that wishes to secede and if there isn't a peaceful mechanism there will be violence.

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:59:46 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Crimea has a separate legislature. (0+ / 0-)

                  The Crimean legislature voted 78-0 to align with Russia.  So, the answer is, YES,  you do not believe in Crimean self-determination.

                  Thanks for playing.

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

                  by bobdevo on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:02:34 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That was a legislature that was installed (0+ / 0-)

                    after the occupation started. The Legislature was replaced with a pro-Russian legislature and then immediately voted to support the Russians.

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:32:28 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Link? (0+ / 0-)

                      I've seen two stories which both say the legislature was put in power last month, which is before the "occupation", no?

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

                      by bobdevo on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 07:24:21 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The occupation started on the 27th (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        bobdevo

                        and so did the new legislature. The timeline is a bit confusing and I made that same mistake as well. I had to jump around to a bunch of different sources to figure it out.

                        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                        by AoT on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 10:54:20 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  A little late on the response (0+ / 0-)

                    That's the puppet government that you think is legitimate. Installed after the old parliament was removed at gunpoint.

                    http://on.msnbc.com/...

                    "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

                    by Hayate Yagami on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 07:57:05 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  which is the point these NATO members are making (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          divineorder
      •  "Should" is hard (11+ / 0-)

        There is a domestic audience for the request in each nation.

        Estonia and Lithuania have strong ties now to the EU, and Russia did what it did in Ukraine precisely to prevent NATO membership, which they anticipated, with the EU ties. At least this is the report from BBC world service analysts.

        If Russia is aggressive toward Ukraine because it fears NATO militarism on its borders and belligerent or angry former republics, then "should" Lithuania and Estonia have invoked NATO self-defense treaties for greater military presence? Maybe not. Maybe.

        As for Poland, it's out of the question. Poland has been making itself a military power for the past twenty years, and NATO has been arming it.

        "man, proud man,/ Drest in a little brief authority,. . . Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven/ As make the angels weep; who, with our spleens,/ Would all themselves laugh mortal." -- Shakespeare, Measure for Measure II ii, 117-23

        by The Geogre on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:38:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They have a right to . . . it's just stupid to do (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        whizdom, native, METAL TREK, divineorder

        so.  Having a bunch of US jets flying around only increases the chance of us bumbling into conflict.

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

        by bobdevo on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:07:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'd like to agree with you, but in this case (15+ / 0-)

      the "nothing but" doesn't really apply. This looks like a case of nobody knows just what's going on, but in case something goes screwy, let's not get caught napping.

      I don't think Russia has any intention of attacking the Baltic states either, but the situation is so badly scrambled at this point that it's hard to tell whether something might not go wrong purely by accident.

      It doesn't sound like the level of mobilization on NATO's part is more than a formality, at this point.

      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

      by serendipityisabitch on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:01:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  When you've got Hillary comparing Putin (11+ / 0-)

        to Hitler for moving some troops around in a place where they were already stationed under treaty I'm a little skeptical about the supposed threat that Russia poses. The actions in Crimea are obviously a problem, but there is absolutely no way that Russia will attack a NATO member, none.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:10:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If I were Putin, and looking for maximum chaos (9+ / 0-)

          and distraction, I could see that making the entire region uncomfortable might be one way to do it, even if there were no intention of trying to move on any area except the Crimean peninsula.

          Perhaps I'm reacting to the incredible timeline map that Meteor Blades put up in last night's Night Owls showing the relative fragility of most boundaries in Eastern Europe.

          At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

          by serendipityisabitch on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:20:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The treaty (11+ / 0-)

          does not give Russian troops permission to take control of Crimea, nor does it countenance the levels of Russian troops in Crimea today.  Russia is in clear violation of that treaty.

          Instead, Russia has moved its troops into a foreign country based on a justification of protecting its nationals.

          Compare this to the dynamic around the Sudetenland and you'll find Putin isn't the first to use this rationale and theory of international law.

          Next, consider strongly the locations of the other significant populations of Russians in its neighbors.

          •  No, it doesn't give Russia that permission (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cybrestrike, native, Johnny Q, divineorder

            And Russia is in clear violation of that treaty. But neither did Russia "invade". And there were plenty of other examples that could be used other than Hitler. Like any of numerous times in US history. But of course, she's not going to compare this to the invasion of New Mexico, because that wouldn't fit in the propaganda box. Shit, she could have just compared it to the damn Russian empire! That would make a hell of a lot more sense.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:15:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If the US (5+ / 0-)

              moved out of Gitmo and sent ground troops into Guantanemo provence to "prevent anti-american retaliation" from the "terrorists" in Havana, would you have a problem?

              Germany moved into the Sudetenland to prevent "anti-germanic violence" from Czechs. This is a case where a WWII example is a resonable example.

              It is better to be making the news than taking it; to be an actor rather than a critic. - WSC

              by Solarian on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:53:39 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  We have control of GITMO (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                divineorder

                because of the threat of force, not because of any treaty that the Cuban government is bound by. I'd say that is much worse than this.

                Germany moved into the Sudetenland to prevent "anti-germanic violence" from Czechs. This is a case where a WWII example is a resonable example.
                It's obviously and intentionally inflammatory. Especially when there are better examples. And Germany didn't have troops already stationed in Sudatenland under treaty, so it's not actually the best parallel. Nor did the elected government of Sudatenland or the head of state of Czechoslovakia call for said intervention. So really there's one similarity, the protecting ethnic brethren reasoning. And Hitler was far from the only leader to use that excuse.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:07:45 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Generally (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Johnny Q, Avenginggecko

              sending your troops into someone else's country to take over government administration and evicting the military of that country constitutes an invasion.

          •  indeed Putin is not the first to use (9+ / 0-)

            this rationale--the US used it before him, to justify a violent regime change!

            American troops have invaded Panama in a bid to oust dictator Manuel Noriega.

            Around 200 civilians, 19 US soldiers and 59 Panamanian troops are believed to have died in the fighting after President George Bush sent forces into the Central American country at 0100 local time (0600 BST).

            "General Noriega's reckless threats and attacks upon Americans in Panama created an imminent danger to the 35,000 American citizens in Panama. As President, I have no higher obligation than to safeguard the lives of American citizens," President Bush added.

            "And that is why I directed our armed forces .. to bring General Noriega to justice in the United States...

            The Russian response breaks the treaty, but they haven't tried to overthrow the interim government--even though Putin's position is that the interim government is illegitimate. They've stayed in the Crimea. They haven't invaded.

            We killed 200 civilians (possibly more) in Panama. If Russian troops had killed even 20 Ukrainian civilians, we'd be at war right now.

            Could it become an invasion? Possibly. That depends on a large extent on whether cooler heads prevail. But threats and sanctions and NATO exercises aren't going to stop the Russians. They're going to make absolutely sure their fleet is protected, and we don't have a great deal of leverage.

            Realpolitik suggests we start looking for other options besides force. Because we may be running short of time to prevent a war.

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

            by limpidglass on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:38:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  which is the point of NATO (6+ / 0-)

          Just for clarification, the justification that the Russian parliament and President give for authorizing a Russian invasion of Ukraine is protecting ethnic Russians.

          Which is the same justification the Nazis gave for their aggression.

          And that same justification would be equally applicable to all the countries mentioned in the diary. If they were not in NATO (or NATO was hesitant to protect them) they would definitely have something to fear.

          •  And it was an excuse given by Reagan (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            divineorder

            to invade Grenada. And "protecting America" was the excuse that Bush gave for invading Iraq. Little difference there except that there are no ethnic Americans. This is literally the oldest excuse in the book. Invoking Hitler was flat dumb and only goes to show that Clinton is still happy to play the war monger.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:26:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  "little difference"? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Texas Lefty, Avenginggecko
              And it was an excuse given by Reagan to invade Grenada. And "protecting America" was the excuse that Bush gave for invading Iraq. Little difference there except that there are no ethnic Americans.
              wow. just. wow.

              That "little difference" is the reason she made the comparison. Because Reagan didn't claim a need to protect "ethnic Americans" in Grenada. And Bush didn't claim a need to protect "ethnic Americans" in Iraq.

              But Hitler's Germany did claim a need to protect "ethnic Germans" throughout Europe. And it used that claim to convince the rest of the world that it had limited ambition.

              And now Russia has done the same. For the same reason.

              That's the comparison. It's apt. It's embarrassing for Putin and the Russians? Too bad.

              Invoking Hitler was flat dumb and only goes to show that Clinton is still happy to play the war monger.
              Should I ask if you think Putin is a war-monger?
              •  Reagan did claim to be protecting Americans (0+ / 0-)

                as did Bush. And if Germany is the only place you can think of that invaded to protect some ethnic enclave then you need to read some history.

                And the US doesn't have ethnic Americans, so we just claim to be protecting Americans. Or making the world safe from communism or terrorism, or whatever. It's all the same excuse. Claiming a defensive reason when really it's offense. It's variations on a theme and picking out Hitler as the example is bullshit. As I've pointed out elsewhere, this is nothing like Germany taking Sudatenland. The government of neither Sudatenland nor Czechoslovakia approved of that, whereas the head of Crimea did call for Russia to defend Russians. It is not at all the same.

                Should I ask if you think Putin is a war-monger?
                Well, he's occupying another country under flimsy pretexts, so obviously. that doesn't make other people not war mongers.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:16:28 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  you keep doing that (0+ / 0-)
                  It's all the same excuse.
                  "They are all excuses" does not mean the same thing as "It's all the same excuse."

                  The Bush excuse was "fighting terrorism" and that allowed him to expand a righteous war in Afghanistan into a completely unjustified war in Iraq.

                  The Russian excuse is "protecting ethnic-Russians" (an excuse and parliamentary authorization that could justify invasions across all of eastern Europe). It's a different excuse, and is the same justification used by Nazi Germany and their enablers.

                  Just so I'm clear on how the labeling system works:
                  - Occupying another country under flimsy pretexts = war-monger
                  - Appropriately comparing said war-monger's actions to those of the Nazis = war-monger

                  Is there a non-warmonger response to war-mongering?

                  •  Reagan used the same excuse for Grenada (0+ / 0-)

                    And again, this is completely different than Hitler and Sudatenland, completely.

                    The Bush excuse was "fighting terrorism" and that allowed him to expand a righteous war in Afghanistan into a completely unjustified war in Iraq.
                    "Protecting Americans" was the excuse. Same thing as protecting Germans or Russians.
                    Just so I'm clear on how the labeling system works:
                    - Occupying another country under flimsy pretexts = war-monger
                    - Appropriately comparing said war-monger's actions to those of the Nazis = war-monger
                    This was not like Hitler despite all the misplaced outrage. Calling it such is warmongering. The use of the word ethnic does not turn someone into Hitler. Sorry.

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:21:16 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  No way that Russia will attack (4+ / 0-)

          a NATO member, you're right. Unless, as serendipity suggests, something goes wrong purely by accident. Which it easily could. In which case all hell would break loose.

          We are playing with fire here.

      •  Bingo (10+ / 0-)

        I think you've read this just right.  Let's face it a handful of jets isn't going to stop a determined Russian invasion.

        However, it does serve as a reminder that Putin should not look west for his adventures.

        •  One thing this whole Ukraine affair does is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mindful Nature

          considerably raise the chance that Finland will be joining NATO soon.

          They also have their experience with invading Soviets/Russians and this continuing aggression by Putin is making them nervous.

          And you are right about Russia leaning on Baltic States very hard:

          Cyberattack, War

          In 2006, irked by Lithuania’s decision to sell the only oil refinery in the Baltics to Poland’s PKN Orlen rather than a Russian company, Russia halted oil supplies by pipeline, forcing the refiner to seek more expensive transportation by sea. The link remains idle today.

          In 2007, as Estonia debated relocating a Soviet World War II memorial, the entire country came under cyberattack. Computers from around the world were used to overload Estonian servers with a barrage of access requests that disabled government, banking and media websites. Estonia’s government said the assault was coordinated from inside Russia. Russian officials denied any involvement.

          A year later, after Russia invaded Georgia to defend two breakaway regions, Lithuania led calls for the EU to halt trade talks with the Kremlin in protest. The bloc’s leadership opted at the time against isolating Russia, its largest gas supplier and third-largest trading partner.

          “The Georgian war in 2008 was a very bad precedent,” Linkevicius, the Lithuanian foreign minister, said by phone on March 1. “We haven’t learned the lesson and we are seeing something very similar now continuing at another location.”

          - See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/...

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:32:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Two weeks ago, did you think Russia would... (18+ / 0-)

      invade the Crimean peninsula?

      And what, exactly, do you think the little Baltic states are "fear-mongering" for, if they're not actually, you know, afraid of Russia?

      If I was running the government in one of those snack-sized countries with a long history of Russian domination, hell yeah I'd want some back up.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:03:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What it does is make them feel secure. (9+ / 0-)

        Russia has to weigh the possibility of war with the US in any act against them.  

        Yes, an invasion is highly unlikely, but with the history their, I don't blame the Baltic states at all.

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by TomP on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:07:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No they don't. Russia has to weigh the cost of (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          divineorder, METAL TREK

          economic sanctions, loss of prestige in the world, being excluded from the G-8 (or is it G-9?) nations, and a whole host of other things, but they can remain confident that the US will not be going to war with Russia over the take-over of what was historically Russian-controlled territory in the Crimea.  

          Direct combat between Russia and the US is not going to happen over the Crimea, nor will it happen over the Baltic States.  

          And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

          by MrJersey on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:54:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Unfortunately, you fail to understand NATO (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT

            All signatories of the NATO treaty are obligated to come to the defense of all other signatories in case of an attack.  That's how the treaty was written, and for very good reasons.

            Back when I was in the Army in West Germany (1979-82), the basic intelligence community assessment of what would happen if Russia attacked depended on how serious they were.  If they had a minimal Russian force mobilization, then combat would continue in the country until US reinforcements could arrive.  However, if Russia went all-out on mobilization and attack (considered by far the more likely scenario), Russian tanks would be able to roll over the western border of West Germany in hours to days, long before US reinforcements could be transported to W. Germany.

            Nonetheless, the reinforcements would be set to transporting to multiple other locations in Europe, because the US had an obligation under treaty to defend Germany, even if Germany had fallen before we got there (and taken out tens of thousands of American troops as well).

            It is the same with the Baltic States now.  If Russia invades, the US is obligated by treaty to defend them to the best of their ability.  So yes, if Russia attacks the Baltic states, then the US will be in a hot war with Russia in very short order.

            -------------------------
            "[T]his is playing the long game, but it's about time we start playing the long game."
            kos
            ^^^^^ THIS ^^^^^

            by Laughing Vergil on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:46:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There is NATO and there is NATO. I do believe (0+ / 0-)

              that perhaps there would be war if the Russians marched across Poland and invaded Germany.  I do not think that NATO would go to war if the Russians moved into the Baltic states.  Just my opinion, but NATO expansion has gone far beyond the expectations of the original founders into a place that not all NATO members would be equally defensible, nor probably should they be.

              And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

              by MrJersey on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:40:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Two weeks ago I didn't know (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MrJersey, divineorder, Subterranean

        Ukraine would be in a near civil war, so no, I didn't think Russia would mobilize troops already stationed there.

        And again, the Balkan states are a part of NATO and the EU. The situation is not even comparable.

        Should Alaska start requesting more military? It used to be a part of Russia too.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:15:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  A couple of years ago, Putin let the US (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bobdevo, divineorder

        know that Russia would never allow Ukraine to drift into the EU orbit.

        I'm convinced that the NSA had a 90%+ confidence that Russia would invade Crimea when the government in Kiev changed hands.

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

        by PatriciaVa on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:48:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  yes, actually (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence, divineorder

        I was pretty sure that RUssia was never going to stand for this kind of opposition to Yanukovitch.

      •  The possibility (7+ / 0-)

        That Russia would take extreme action,  including hostile invasion of the Crimea to protect its naval base and their perceived security interests in Ukraine, has been known to be a probable outcome of foreign meddling in tipping Ukraine into the Eurosphere. for years.  Putin has stated this repeatedly.  
        I honestly can't believe that we had an intel assessment that said anything different.  

      •  Well, yeah, I did foresee that possibility. n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder

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

        by bobdevo on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:12:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Optics. Sending a message to Putin that he is (14+ / 0-)

      not going to get carte blanche and that everyone is watching

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

      by merrywidow on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:06:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  hitler (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OIL GUY

      would never invade poland after taking over austria, or go into an allied country like france.... never

    •  And Russia wouldn't invade Crimea, wouldn't (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, mwm341, OIL GUY

      invade Georgia, won't threaten to invade eastern Ukraine...

    •  It's pressure (0+ / 0-)

      Would you be happy if the Chinese or Russians sent jets to Mexico?

      No, they aren't going to invade the Baltics. the jets tell the Russians we're actually quite unhappy and not just posturing.

      "Don't be defeatist, dear. It's very middle class." - Violet Crawley

      by nightsweat on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:36:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  ....we would hope. (0+ / 0-)

      When Merkel (!!!) is literally calling Putin nuts, who knows. :(

      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:13:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  She didn't call him nuts. (0+ / 0-)

        She said he had a different view of the world. The mistranslation that keeps on giving.

        And I'd expect her to support sanctions if she actually thought he was a threat.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:31:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  mistranslation? well THANK GOD (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          because the alternatives were....worrying. Reading suggestions that he's getting terrible info from Yes-Men doesn't help.

          "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

          by TheHalfrican on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:46:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The more power you have the less reliable (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TheHalfrican

            information you get. This is one of the reasons that dictatorial regimes end up killing a lot of people. I wouldn't be surprised if he's getting some not so great advice, but he's not crazy, nor is he going to do anything that will provoke a nuclear war, or any hot war with NATO, if he can help it.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:59:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Putin is being very reckless here. (13+ / 0-)

    Personally, I do not see a problem with Crimea becoming part of Russia as long as there is a legitimate vote, and the Ukraine is properly reimbursed for the loss of a major part of their economy, mostly agricultural.

    The Baltic states are another story. As member states of NATO, if he isn't careful with them, he could cause a war no one wants, even him. Mistakes happen, both in judgment and in execution. I pray he isn't as reckless as he appears to be.

    Please don't piss all over my shoes and tell me it is raining. I know better. And you're getting my shoes wet.

    by kaminpdx on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:05:54 AM PST

  •  It works as a reassurance (12+ / 0-)

    for those countries that NATO is there to back them up. And as evidence to Putin that we don't plan to leave them out in the cold.

    Then again, by agitating up North he distracts from what is happening down South. A reminder to us that it's a really long front to defend.

  •  If there were a real (7+ / 0-)

    threat to the Baltics, doubt we'd be putting planes in there. Easier to destroy them out on the ground. I'd think in a real threat, they'd keep them back in Poland to protect them while flying patrols over the Baltics.

  •  Poland Has Invoked Article IV (16+ / 0-)

    Article IV of the North Atlantic Treaty says that a member state can request consultation from other NATO members if it feels its security, territorial integrity or independence are under threat.

    From Reuters:

    After Russia's military intervention in Georgia in 2008, NATO was reported to have organized a Baltic defence contingency plan - something new for the region, but on which the alliance declines to comment ... There is an element of "I told you so" in the Baltics, a region that has long been one of the most vocal against Russia.

    Even before the Ukraine crisis, the region was worried about Moscow. NATO scrambled jets more than 40 times to check on Russian jets approaching Baltic borders last year. That compares to once in 2004 when NATO first began patrolling here.

    The Russians resumed strategic bomber patrols in 2007. Since then, there's been a number of incidents of Russian bombers testing air defenses, with Colombia, Finland, Japan, and others complaining the Russians have violated their airspace.
  •  Obama and Putin remind me (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobdevo, gulfgal98, chuckvw

    of two guys in a shoving match on the street. Both of them have had a bit too much to drink. Every shove inspires a counter-shove, but neither of them really wants to throw the first punch.

  •  Russia is not goimg to attack the Baltic states (7+ / 0-)

    they are NATO members and it would bring on a general European War that could end in a nuclear exchange and Putin is not insane. He is not trying to expand Russian territory to its post WWII limits, he is trying to preserve Russia's hold on its Black Sea ports and naval bases, while attempting to send a message to the new Ukrainian government  not to get too snuggly with the US and the EU. I can't believe the amount of fear mongering around the actions of Putin. It's as if there was an orchestrated neocon  campaign to start a new Cold War...

    "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

    by KJG52 on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:34:56 AM PST

    •  No he won't attack (7+ / 0-)

      but he wont' attack because he believes that NATO would actually go to war on behalf of the Baltic States.  If NATO didn't make that threat credible, there's a very significant risk he would in fact invade them.

      •  He won't attack be cause he has no intentions (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder, chuckvw

        of doing so. Do you think the EU and NATO would go to war with Russia over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? We didn't go to war with the Soviets over Berlin in 1948, Poland in 1949, the Hungarian uprising of 1956 or Czechoslovakia in 1968 and you think we love the Baltic states so much that we would bring on a World War to save them, or that the Russians think that we would?

        NATO has always been and continues to be a trip wire mechanism, it is a containment system and not a very good one at that, do you think Putin is afraid of NATO?

        Putin wants Russia to be secure and his position to be secure within Russia's political structure, that's all. If he perceives Ukraine as a destabilizing force next to Russia, he will take whatever action is necessary in his view to preserve Russian security and his position against this perceived threat. What we have to do is ratchet down the perceived threat level and cool things down, not send military units to the Black Sea and the Baltic, that's just stupid sabre rattling.

        "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

        by KJG52 on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:25:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  ...then it's the least we can do... (0+ / 0-)

          ...to honor our allies' request for aid.

        •  You are very wrong if you think that NATO (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Spit, jdsnebraska

          won't go to war over Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia.

          Unlike the examples you mentioned, the Baltic States are not Warsaw pact countries.

          Poland would answer calls for help and when Poland does that, all of western and central Europe answers, as well.

          NATO would be required to go to war over them and if it didn't, it would pretty much cease to exist because trust would be completely lost.

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:29:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Collective security has worked so well in Europe (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chuckvw

            in the past, and you may not know that the Baltic states were indeed Warsaw Pact countries. Poland would indeed answer calls for help, but how effective would the Polish Army and Air Force be against the Russians? US Army estimates of Polish strength against a Russian invasion vary but all agree that if Poland stood alone against Russia that she would last no more than a month.

            Poland called for help in 1939, the Germans and Soviets carved her up in less than six weeks, and they lasted that long primarily because Hitler stood off from Warsaw and let artillery and aircraft  bombard the city into submission to avoid German casualties in street fighting.

            Russia still has the third largest military in the world, after the US and China. We have one division in Europe and equipment prepositioned for three more. The Europeans do not want war, they've had their countries ravaged by war again and again in the 20th century, I don't believe that Germany, France, England and Italy, would march to save Poland, after Poland rashly provoked Russia in the Baltic. I know that we wouldn't use atomic weapons and the trip wire that is NATO was designed to hold back the Russians long enough to make the threat of nuclear intervention real.

            Are the American people ready to risk nuclear war to intervene on the behalf of the Baltic states or Ukraine, in order to stop Russian aggression? We didn't even want to go to war in Europe after Pearl Harbor, if Hitler hadn't declared war on the US, it is problematic that we would have been at war with Germany in WWII.

            This posturing, this sabre rattling and provocational language is ridiculous. We are not going to war with Russia over the Baltic nations, Poland, or Ukraine. Russia, the EU and America need to slow this down, cool it out and stop the provocative moves or we may end up in a place none of us want to be in...

            "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

            by KJG52 on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:17:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Baltic states were not Warsaw Pact countries, (0+ / 0-)

              they were Soviet Republics.  And now they are independent, democratic nations that are part of NATO.

              You are mixing up periods of history that consist of vastly different circumstances.  

              If you really think that NATO allies wouldn't answer Poland's call for assistance, then you don't know modern day Europe very well.

              The Russians are the ones doing the sabre-rattling with their invasion of Ukrainian Crimea.  If you want things to cool down, I suggest you write Putin or call the Russian embassy and lobby them to cool it.

              "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

              by Lawrence on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 09:23:25 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  What evidence is there (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder, KJG52, chuckvw

        that Russia has any intention of invading the Baltic States?

    •  Surely its MILC backed in order to keep spending (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, chuckvw

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:22:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  you are awful confident (6+ / 0-)
      he is trying to preserve Russia's hold on its Black Sea ports and naval bases, while attempting to send a message to the new Ukrainian government  not to get too snuggly with the US and the EU
      The only problem with this analysis is that, if those were his goals, sending troops was the worst possible thing to do.

      My interpretation of events leads me to believe that Russian troops are in Crimea because Putin hoped a limited invasion might cause:
      A. a popular uprising against the new government
      B. a violent reaction by the Ukrainian military
      C. the collapse of the new government

      and possibly all three. Any one of which would have been all the justification Putin needed to authorize a full-scale invasion of the country. (For the security of the Russians, of course!) With the end result of Russia controlling Ukraine as a puppet state.

      •  Have you been to Russia or actually ever read any (6+ / 0-)

        of its history? The Crimea, Ukraine, and the Caucasus have been major strategic areas of influence for Russia since the reign of Peter the Great. Putin's move is for both domestic political consumption and Ukraine, EU and US notice. He doesn't necessarily even want the territory, he wants political guarantees and access. He'll take what he can get, but this is about Ukraine kowtowing to Russia not about a Crimean land grab.

        Russia already controls Ukraine, if the presence of the Russian Army on Ukraine's soil, with no noticeable military reaction from the Army of the Ukraine, is not a strong sign of this, then I don't know what would be...

        Moscow views Ukraine siding with the EU as we would Mexico allowing China to open Naval and Army bases on their territory, we would take immediate action to forestall such an act by the Mexican government, up to and including direct military action.

        Putin could have rolled tanks into Kiev and that's the point of this action, to remind everyone playing in Ukraine that the Russians will brook no encroachment into their security zone. All the neocon idiots that think America and the EU can play anywhere in the world with no repercussions should be aware of this, Russia ain't Libya...

         

        "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

        by KJG52 on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:06:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Never been, just armchair-ing it (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          divineorder, Spit

          but aren't we all? I do know a little Russian history.

          Moscow views Ukraine siding with the EU as we would Mexico allowing China to open Naval and Army bases on their territory
          Those things are not equivalent in any way. The Ukranian government didn't even have a chance to voice an opinion on whether it was friendly to Russia or friendly to Europe (why not both?). Putin didn't wait to see if they were friend or foe, he just sent in the troops.
          we would take immediate action to forestall such an act by the Mexican government, up to and including direct military action.
          Mexico having Chinese military bases is crazy! The only reason that makes sense is if they thought the United States would invade at the drop of a hat... ohhhhhhhh. (See what I did there?)

          I get what you are saying about Russia's POV, I really do. But it's a straight-up terrible read of the situation. And because of it, this whole thing has blown up in Putin's face.

          Reading the tea leaves, the following things are going to happen in short order:
          1. Russian troops in Crimea will pull back to their base.
          2. The new Ukrainian government will be recognized by the international community (including Russia) as the legitimate government of Ukraine.
          3. Crimea will remain a part of Ukraine.
          4. Europe will immediately look to reduce its dependence on Russia NG. (Most likely by expanding imports from the United States.)
          5. Ukraine's government will be much friendlier with Europe than Moscow. Russia isn't even talk to them!

          This is a foreign policy disaster for Putin at every level. The only question remaining is whether he can spin it enough at home to save face.

          All the neocon idiots that think America and the EU can play anywhere in the world with no repercussions should be aware of this, Russia ain't Libya...
          I have no idea what this means. This is a hole that Russia placed themselves in. If the Russian view is the only way out is down, then I'm afraid there's a lot of digging ahead for them.
          •  Actually... (0+ / 0-)

            I'd be more concerned by Chinese-owned manufacturers opening in Mexico than I would be if they home-ported a destroyer in Acapulco.  Seems to me I've read that they're already buying into Mexico, but can't find it on the Google right now.

          •  I agree with this part: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Spit, sweatyb
            But it's a straight-up terrible read of the situation.
            Putin's actions make sense in a 19th century geopolitical way.  It makes no sense in any other.  Up to the point of aiding if not itself violating Ukraine's territorial sovereignty, he was pressuring Ukraine to stay within Russia's orbit and winning.  Now he's got Crimea, big fucking whoop, and Ukraine applying to NATO as soon as it can.

            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 Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:15:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think you know how the Russians approach (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, sweatyb

            the West and America in particular. Just like American Presidents, Russian Presidents have domestic political considerations that often change international relations.
            I am not arm-chairing it, as you so quaintly put it, having spent a great deal of time in the USSR and Russia over the span of my career dealing with business, military and government persons there.

            The Russian perspective is shaped by a century of turbulent change, the rise and fall of the Soviet Union, the "Great Motherland War," the Stalinist terror, the "Cold War," the dismemberment and balkanization of the USSR, Chernobyl, Afghanistan, the rise of the oligarchs and then the political/economic exhaustion that brought forth Putin all overlayed on the insularity, xenophobia and mysticism of the Russian culture since Czar Ivan the Terrible.

            Putin is playing to many audiences in this situation and believe it or not, America is not the most important member of the audience as far as Putin is concerned. NATO is not a real consideration as Ukraine is not part of NATO and Russia is not threatening NATO with aggression. The revolutionary government of Ukraine is the primary audience, Russia is going to punish them for rejecting Putin's plan for Ukraine. The second, but equally important audience is the people of Russia and its military and energy sectors, stability and security of the Russian state and energy revenues are extremely important to Putin's survival. The third most important audience is the EU, this is a warning shot across the bow of the EU ship, telling them to stop trying to expand economically and politically into Russia's perceived economic and military security zone. The Russians can and may very well stop energy shipments to Europe, which would almost instantly throw Europe into a depression. The fourth audience is Russia's allies in the world, especially China, to reinforce the greatness of Russia and the willingness of Russia to stand against all of world opinion for the principle of preserving Russia's economic/political security. The fifth audience is the US. The rest of the world is the sixth audience and not very important to Russia at all-merely noise.

            The US is only on the list because of its military might and the Budapest Memorandum. England and the US stand as treaty guarantors of Ukraine's territorial and political integrity, as England and France stood as guarantors of Polish political and territorial integrity in 1939. However, in both cases the mechanism for enforcement of the treaty obligations are not spelled out. Therefore Ukraine gave up its nuclear deterrent for promises from Russia and America that they would be good boys and play fair with Ukraine.  

            Realpolitik trumps poor planning and wishful thinking every time, Ukraine was a pawn sacrificed by America to Russia in order to stop possible nuclear proliferation. Putin knew that the US would not risk war in this instance, and we won't. Putin is winning and the US will not get anything from  Russia that Putin is not willing to give, it will be interesting to see how the EU pressures the US to act in response to the threat of economic Armageddon?

            The meddling neocon idiots in the US and EU that thought it would be a good idea to support the uprising in Ukraine and provoked this response by Putin, have opened Pandora's box in the Crimea. I hope they like the inevitable chaos in the world that this crisis is creating, maybe we can go to war with Russia, or at least create another "Cold War," that seems to be the ultimate aim here... Because Putin will not roll over and will meet force and provocation with the same, his domestic political and economic situation demand it, so are we all,"in for a penny, in for a Pound."  

            "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

            by KJG52 on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:28:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm right there with you (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KJG52

              There's a lot of good stuff, and I really appreciate your insight. But I have to tell you that the part where you start talking about current events seems like it's coming from a parallel dimension.

              Putin knew that the US would not risk war in this instance, and we won't. Putin is winning and the US will not get anything from  Russia that Putin is not willing to give
              This is so frustrating. What does Putin get? What is he winning? It's not the US that is risking war. There's no need for war; there's no need for Russian troops in Crimea.

              Russia's influence over Ukraine is about its proximity and its economic and cultural ties, not its military might. Nothing the EU does can change any of that.

              The meddling neocon idiots in the US and EU that thought it would be a good idea to support the uprising in Ukraine and provoked this response by Putin, have opened Pandora's box in the Crimea
              That certainly does sound like the Russian perspective.

              No consideration that the people of Ukraine might throw off their democratically elected and now universally despised kleptocrat. That never happens in former Soviet Republics, especially not Ukraine.

              But that's the point. If Russia wants to claim Ukraine as their special "Sphere of influence" then Russia needs to take responsibility for the state Ukraine is in.

              No one else, not the US, not Europe, wields even a fraction of the kind of influence Russia does.

              Ukraine is a basket-case because Russia wants it to be a basket-case. The external actor that's screwing them over is Russia.

              It seems likely that Putin will end up "rolling over" simply because there's no force to meet, there's no provocation except the apparently wild paranoia of the Russian mind.

              •  Putin wins the approbation of the Russsian (0+ / 0-)

                people and the economic, military and political establishment of Russia.

                The Ukraine is a basket case and its government is terrible, autocratic and corrupt, just like Russia's. I am not championing the rule of Putin or the Ukrainian kleptocracy, they are both terrible. Putin is a dust-devil whipped up by the winds of chaos; however, what we are doing is making him into a hurricane, we are giving him what he wants, a scenario where he gets to play the strong man to an audience of his choosing.

                Ukraine has been a basket case for over a decade, where was the West during this period, trying to economically exploit the basket case, that's where. As long as the EU and America got what it wanted from Ukraine economically, we payed lip service to "freedom," and lived with the status quo.

                I am not a champion of the staus quo; however, if we are going to launch neocon crusades about "freedom" in the world perhaps we should think about the possible outcomes first, before we support revolutionary change. Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Georgia, the policy failures of the US in supporting "regime change" or trying to prevent it should be apparent to almost everyone by now. What have the people of these nations received from our interventions? Chaos, crisis, instability or in the case of Egypt, the restoration of strong man rule. All this "Sturm und Drang," in the Ukraine will resolve to the partition of Ukraine and the destabilization of its government and economy. The people will get only misery and heartbreak, not "freedom," and that is why this situation just makes me crazy. The outcome was foreseeable and we didn't look...

                "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

                by KJG52 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 06:39:25 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Believe this is mainly about the defense budget (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder

      They could care less about the Ukraine, but cutting the defense budget, no way.

  •  oh, yeah ... i remember now: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, eztempo

    ol' stormin' Norman said it best, so far as i'm concerned:

    Tough Guys Don't Dance

    we're not talking ballroom, here, but heavyweight champs in the ring. (or we were up until a minute ago.) where's Snowden been ... and were there earthquakes anywhere ? (i almost wrote 'earthcakes.' must be naptime.)

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

    by greenbird on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:39:03 AM PST

  •  Ukrain flag carrier enters Olympic stadium (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, native, divineorder, AoT

    in Sochi. pic at link.

    how it is.

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

    by greenbird on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:43:13 AM PST

  •  It's only symbolic saber rattling... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, divineorder, Azazello, Subterranean, AoT

    ...with no military value.

    Crimea is gone.  It has strategic value to Russia, i.e. Sevastopol.  The Baltic republics are not strategic, just Gazprom customers and Gazprom can just shut off the flow.

    Moldova is not strategic either.

    The more saber rattling we do the more Russia will look around for geopolitical chess moves elsewhere, like Iran.

    I think we should keep an eye on Azerbaijan and Armenia.  Relations between Azerbaijan and Russia are quite complex.  Armenia and Russia are strategic partners.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:49:44 AM PST

  •  Putin is not an idiot (10+ / 0-)

    attacking a NATO member state would mean immediate war with the US. It's one thing to move troops around in a non-NATO member state in an area where Russia has bases; quite  another to attack a NATO country.

    This is saber rattling by NATO to show Russia that the US means business, it's total PR. I'm not sure these three states requested NATO support, so much as they were told they'd be getting it by the US.

    What the Lithuanian president said is sheer paranoia. There won't be a new campaign of Russian expansionism--mostly because of NATO, but also partly because they simply don't have the military strength. Also, it isn't good for business since they now trade with the EU to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. Why would they jeopardize that?

    The borders were rewritten after the fall of the USSR--country after country in the former Eastern Bloc was integrated into NATO and the EU. NATO has expanded eastward until it is now very close to Russian borders. NATO has made no secret of the fact that it wants Ukraine to become a member. That would be the logical consequence

    This would mean that a country bordering Russia, where the Russian Black Sea Fleet is based, would come under the authority of a military alliance designed to contain Russia. This is considered a tremendous provocation and danger by the Russian leadership--an entirely reasonable position.

    If the US were put in the same situation that Russia is in now, we would already be at war. Not moving troops around, we would have gone in like we did in Iraq and toppled the Ukrainian government. Kiev would be rubble by now.

    In the long term, I think there is only one way to uphold our obligations to existing NATO members while resolving Russia's genuine security concerns: Russia must join NATO.

    This is not a radical or novel idea, it's been floated since the 90s. Long ago, Putin himself publicly said it was possible.

    Once upon a time, it was openly entertained in diplomatic circles East and West. In late 1991, the final days of the U.S.S.R,, Boris Yeltsin stunned a NATO meeting by sending a letter with this unilateral declaration: "Today we are raising a question of Russia's membership in NATO." "A long-term political aim," Yeltsin called it then, as he threw down the gauntlet before the West. NATO ministers, as Tom Friedman reported for the New York Times at the time, were "too taken aback ... to give any coherent response." In the ensuing years, as Yeltsin with characteristic bravura continued to raise the prospect, the West kept fumbling for a reply.

    Even Putin, in his first days in the Kremlin, seized on the issue. In March 2000, in his first interview with a foreign reporter -- the BBC's David Frost -- Putin shocked critics and fans alike, saying, "We believe we can talk about more profound integration with NATO, but only if Russia is regarded as an equal partner." Asked outright if Russia could join NATO, Putin shot back: "I do not see why not." He also added a dark warning: Any NATO attempt to exclude Russia from the debate over the alliance's eastward expansion would only provoke "opposition."

    In the short term, though, this looks very, very far away, especially since things are so tense right now and the US and Russia disagree over missile defense systems in Europe (Russia claims they may be used as first-strike weapons against them, while the US maintains they're just for defense against Iran). And it would take a huge expenditure of political capital. Putin, as I have said, has at least suggested it's possible (though who knows how serious he was or what he thinks now). To my knowledge, Obama has never shown any sign of acknowledging the idea even as a theoretical possibility.

    But even if the Ukraine situation is resolved for the time being, the larger issue of NATO encroaching on Russian borders would remain, and the problem would flare up again, this time worse. Eventually war might become inevitable. A permanent solution is needed.

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

    by limpidglass on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:50:34 AM PST

    •  ...are we sure about that? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw

      When Merkel, FREAKING MERKEL, is questioning your mental state....idk.

      I'm seeing an AWFUL lot of "Putin isn't STUPID/CRAZY/DUMB" comments around here. The more I see, the more nervous I get.

      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:20:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the update Tom. (19+ / 0-)

    And again we see the people in this thread who assume that talking about Russia's wrongs means excusing our own. Unbelievable.

    Oh, and no, Russian/Soviet crimes and aggression over the centuries are not equivalent to our own, they are far, far, far, worse. That does NOT make us angels, but call me when you find evidence of the U.S. having murdered 30 million of our own citizens, or putting tens of millions of our neighbors under our direct control, and imposing totalitarian governments on them for fifty years.

    •  Correct. What bothers me the most, (12+ / 0-)

      and this says something not necessarily complimentary about me, is the stupidity, the lack of analysis or education or knowledge of history.   It's like reading Tea Party folks.  

      Yes, there were bad things in our history, but the only thing even comparable to the liquidation of the kulaks was the genocide of Native Americans in the 19th century, but I don't think the numbers are at all comparable.

      Like you said yesterday, it is the mirror image of the America-Is-Always-Right crowd.  Here, America is always wrong and anyone who opposes America is right.   It is simplistic, white hat, black hat stuff.

      It is not the Left.    

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by TomP on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:15:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Native Americans, Slavery (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      native, AoT, divineorder, chuckvw

      Pre-colonial Native American population was over 20 million.  Our ancestors exterminated most of them.

      Slavery is easily as evil as anything Russia has ever done.  

      Now regarding Crimea, what evils have been perpetrated by Russians?  Have they killed anyone?  Seized territory that they did not formerly control?  

      I'm not saying Russia's actions are justified, but much of the west's reaction is laughably over the top.  

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:39:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pre colonial is before the US. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jiffypop, Ian Reifowitz, Vicky

        Your anscestors may have killed off people, but mine did not, and most AAs did not.  You assume only WASPs from England count.  Latonops here did not kill off Native Americans.  

        While there were big crimes agaisnt humanity by the US in the 19th Century against Native Americans, I find your white-centirc, and WASP centric perspective revealing.

        The need to turn the US into Stalin's USSR or worse is interesting.  There is bad and good in our history, like all nations, but I don't see the US and Stalin comparable.  Sorry.  

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by TomP on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:14:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

          •  He didn't "take care" of it (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chuckvw

            What you said was false:

            Oh, and no, Russian/Soviet crimes and aggression over the centuries are not equivalent to our own, they are far, far, far, worse.
            That is a false statement, plain and simple.  I don't even see how it factors into the current situation in Crimea.

            "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

            by Subterranean on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:28:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Just to be clear, I am not AA, but (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eztempo

          as far as I know, my ancestors came here in the late 19th century from Europe.  Just had a DNA test about my anscestry (since I never knew my genetic father and my mother's ancestry on her probable father's side is uncertain).  

          Here's what I got:

           

          91% European
          Of the 4 different ancient population groups tested, your DNA came back 91% European

          8% Sub-Saharan African

          Of the 4 different ancient population groups tested, your DNA came back 8% Sub-Saharan African

          1% Indigenous American
          Of the 4 different ancient population groups tested, your DNA came back Indigenous American

          Region: Europe
          Your ancestral DNA reported you as 91% European. When we compared your DNA to today's region, your top 6 country matches are:

          1. Syria
          2. Libya
          3. Bangladesh
          4. Turkey
          5. Kosovo
          6. Slovenia

          Certainly interesting since I am very light skinned/northern European, but that kind of stuff is only a few genes.  

          Besides, whoever the fuck my ancestors were, I am not morally responsible for their acts.  

          Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

          by TomP on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:59:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  LOL, that's funny (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chuckvw

          America's crimes don't count because they were perpetrated by white men.

          There is bad and good in our history, like all nations
          Exactly.  There is no need to turn the US into Stalin's USSR, nor is there any need to turn the US into Jesusland.  We are no better, or worse, than any other empire.  

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:06:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  There were also crimes against humanity in the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Spit, chuckvw

          20th century. And the current treatment of native americans  continues that. As does the massive imprisonment of people of color, and especially black men. We have a far larger prison population that Russia, both in real numbers and as a percent of our population.

          The list goes on and on.

          And that's great that your ancestors didn't do the actual killing, but all of us benefit from that killing. Where exactly do you live that you don't live on stolen land? Because I sure as hell live on stolen land.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:41:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Can someone answer this for me. A Russian (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, Lawrence, TomP, Yoshimi, mwm341, native

    controlled Crimea sits at the end of the Ukraine.  Getting stuff to Crimea would have to be done either by sea (thus making the Crimea something of an island in the Black Sea) or by transporting it overland through the Ukraine.  

    How is the Crimea going to subsist if most goods and services have to be transported through a hostile and unfriendly Ukraine?  Doesn't the existence of a Russian dominated Crimea depend on a Ukraine willing to let Russian supplies and whatever pass through the Ukraine safely and efficiently?

    And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

    by MrJersey on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:02:19 AM PST

  •  The Guns of March and the March of Folly... (6+ / 0-)

    Where this leads, no one knows.

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

    by kovie on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:09:52 AM PST

  •  And Turkey (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, PatriciaVa, TomP, mwm341, native

    Is scrambling jets in response to Russian military flights on Turkey's Black Sea border.  
    Classic tactic, Putin wants to do limited provocations over a widely dispersed area, so we have to spread our forces widely.
    The real action is the build up in Poland.  

    •  China's doing the Same (5+ / 0-)

      Air defense zones.  

      Then having a Chinese naval vessel play "chicken" against the USS Cowpens.

      No nation is more pleased with the US focusing on Ukraine than China.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

      by PatriciaVa on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:08:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why would Putin want to draw (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP

      Turkey into this? They have a large, modern military and their control over the Straits of Bosporus could cripple the Soviet Black Sea fleet. They are also a NATO Ally.

      This would actually relieve pressure on the Mediterranean members of NATO. A war with NATO would concievably cost the Russians every naval base east of the Ukraine/Russian border.

      Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

      by OIL GUY on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:54:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So does this make Obama Hitler? (7+ / 0-)

    Or is he still Neville Chamberlain. It's hard to keep up sometimes.

    /snark

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:14:51 AM PST

  •  They just beefed up the current rotation (13+ / 0-)

    NATO has been rotating fighter jets in Lithuania for the past 10 years. Belgium just finished their rotation of 4 jets and we took over till May when Poland will send theirs in. There are always 4. Lithuania asked and got extra while things are tense. So while yes, there are extra jets there right now, it's not like this is something new.

    Lacking the capabilities to police their airspace, the Baltic nations have relied on their NATO allies, which send fighter jets and crews on a rotational basis to perform the mission. For the past 10 years, the United States has shared the task of protecting Baltic airspace with several other NATO countries, including Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Spain.

    The 48th Air Expeditionary Group out of Lakenheath has been deployed to Lithuania in support of the mission since early January, when it replaced a Belgian unit. That mission is still scheduled to end as planned in early May, Good said. The Polish military will assume the next rotation.

    Though the beefed-up U.S. contingent headed to the Baltics more than doubles the number of U.S. warplanes currently patrolling the skies over the former Soviet republics of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, a senior NATO diplomat said Thursday, “this is essentially a symbolic action.”

    By the way, I'm Lithuanian and I understand that they're looking at this with a very concerned eye. I don't believe that there is any real panic that Putin is going to make a move on the Baltic states. This is more about posturing.

    "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

    by Siri on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:29:30 AM PST

  •  Sweden reacted to that exercise also (8+ / 0-)

    by transferring Gripen fighters to Gotland.

    I don't see Russia daring to attack either NATO member states or Sweden, but obviously this business has a lot of people on edge - and when you have that, mistakes can be made.

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

    by jrooth on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:42:59 AM PST

  •  A detailed overview: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Eric Nelson
    Further north, as many readers are no doubt aware, the U.S. Air Force has been manning a NATO air patrol position in the Baltic Republic of Lithuania.  The detachment there is normally fewer than six fighters, along with a contingent of airmen.  The U.S. is beefing that detachment up with an additional six F-15Cs and 60 airmen from the 48th Air Expeditionary Group at RAF Lakenheath in the UK.  NATO air forces rotate through this assignment; the U.S. aircraft are due to rotate out in early May.

    In Poland, there is already a small contingent of Air Force personnel, and a schedule for periodic rotation of U.S. aircraft through a base in central Poland, for joint training with the Polish air force.  At Poland’s request, a detachment of twelve F-16Cs is reportedly being sent there next week for training, although the original schedule had the next rotation limited to C-130 transport aircraft, which were not to deploy until April (see Stars and Stripes link above).  The F-16 rotation will involve 300 airmen.*

    There are natural ending points to the movements of Truxtun [into the Black Sea] and the F-15Cs headed to Lithuania: pre-appointed times at which no special political signal will be sent by their departures.  The F-16s going to Poland could be a different story.  Unless they are to be kept there and become the de facto core of a change in the U.S. posture in Europe, the expeditious approach will be to withdraw them promptly after a normal amount of time for such training rotations – regardless of what Poland wants.

  •  NATO has a "minor league" for candidate members (8+ / 0-)

    called the Partnership for Peace. All the former Soviet Republics (even the "stans" in central Asia) are members . Russia itself is a member.

    Nine former Warsaw pact states, and three Soviet Republics have "graduated" to full NATO membership since 1999. Only Ukraine and Belarus stand between Russia and NATO, and they are both members of the PfP.

    The newz has been telling us that the dispute in Ukraine is about choosing between Russia and the European Union. From Russia's point of view, it's Russia vs NATO.

    Read the Wikipedia article on the Enlargement of NATO. We were able to tighten the noose around Russia when it was "the sick man" of Europe, but no more.

    We have provoked Russia in Georgia, and cost them influence in Libya and Syria. Their response to Ukraine's crisis should have surprised no one.

    I don't think Russia wants a return to the Cold War. But military posture is the foundation of diplomatic power, and diplomacy affects everything from the price of natural gas to the price of caviar.

    Russia wants to preserve its naval base in Crimea and the "strategic depth" that Belarus and Ukraine provide on its western border.

    Ukraine will have to remain neutral, or it will be divided along a strategic line, such as the Dneiper River.

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
    he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

    by jjohnjj on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:01:00 AM PST

  •  It doesn't look good to me. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catwho, chuckvw, Subterranean, limpidglass

    The whole situation doesn't look good at all. What worries me is not so much Russian expansionism, but reckless over-reaction to it on the part of NATO. It seems to me that the Obama administration is not reading Russia's intentions correctly, and remains unaware of how quickly this situation could spin out of control. Putin will not be bullied, and will not respond well to threats.

    We are climbing a ladder of escalation here, the top rung of which is WIII. People forget that the systems to effectuate a nuclear exchange are still very much operative. Wars have often happened even when neither side wanted war. A momentum builds up, push leads to shove... an unexpected event occurs...

    We won't even see the flash.

    •  I'm curious (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ExpatGirl, TomP

      What exactly are Russia's intentions?

      "Harass us, because we really do pay attention. Look at who's on the ballot, and vote for the candidate you agree with the most. The next time, you get better choices." - Barney Frank

      by anonevent on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:45:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  100% the most important question. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        anonevent, chuckvw, Subterranean, whizdom

        This movie is being played forward six ways to Sunday but the only thing that really matters at this point is Putin's endgame. What does he want to achieve and what is he willing to risk to achieve it?

        •  Mostly I think he wants (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          native, Subterranean, whizdom

          not to have NATO strategic assets right on his border. We almost had a nuclear war in 1962 when the Soviets inserted missiles into Cuba.

          It always seems impossible until its done. -Nelson Mandela

          by chuckvw on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:59:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah. I agree that is his preference. (0+ / 0-)

            But I don't think events in Ukraine live up to even that standard.

            He will always have NATO interests on his border regardless of where those borders are drawn. That is a fact of his reality unless he by magic comes up with the capacity to control all of Europe.

            •  Well, as said... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              native

              The U.S. wouldn't accept the inevitability of Soviet allies on its borders and destabilized/overthrew governments, sponsored the proxy slaughter of tens of thousands, and damn near launched a nuclear war.

              Some sort of regional accommodation can be made with acceptance by both sides of a non-aligned buffer situation, which was the direction things were headed before the coup - elections had been scheduled - or we all can just let this play out in unpredictable and dangerous ways...

              It always seems impossible until its done. -Nelson Mandela

              by chuckvw on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:31:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, but Ukraine, precisely because (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chuckvw

              it is partly European and partly Russian, makes for an ideal buffer state. It should... in fact it must remain unaligned, or else split in two. I don't see how that would benefit anyone, least of all the Ukrainians themselves.

              In spite of this, the West seems inclined to exaggerate and inflame the natural, unavoidable tensions within it. We should be working with Putin, or at least seriously negotiating with him, to the end of calming down the situation, and reaching a compromise.

              •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                native

                It always seems impossible until its done. -Nelson Mandela

                by chuckvw on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:52:01 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Ukraine is that way b/c Russia made it that way (0+ / 0-)

                The settling of ethnic Russians in Ukraine and the "transfer" of Crimea to the Ukrainian SSR during the Soviet regime were done by Soviet Russia to ensure that Ukraine remained a Russian buffer/client state rather than a relatively homogeneous territory with a clearer claim on full, independent nationhood.

                Please help to fight hunger in the U.S. by making a donation to Feeding America.

                by MJB on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:03:16 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  That is very true, and very regrettable, (0+ / 0-)

                  but it doesn't change the facts of what Ukraine is today, nor does it point a way toward peaceful settlement of this crisis. You can't undo the past, and you can't always get what you want.

    •  Misreading intentional or otherwise... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      native, Subterranean

      In either case dangerous.

      It always seems impossible until its done. -Nelson Mandela

      by chuckvw on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:00:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I doubt that Putin plans on invading the Baltics (5+ / 0-)

    anytime soon. If at all. His full attention is focused on Crimea.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:22:05 AM PST

  •  What is worrisome though is McCain talk.. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, whizdom, chuckvw, native, Subterranean

    ..that echoes the sentiments of these RWNJ neo-cons:
    PUTIN INVADES UKRAINE: WHAT IF BUSH’S POLAND MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM WAS THERE TODAY? - Posted on March 2, 2014

    I just recently heard McCain talk about missile systems re-upped in in Poland and the Czech Republic:  

    The Bush commitment was for interceptors of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Obama scaled that back to interceptors of intermediate-range missiles. There will now be pressure from McCain and others to go back to Bush’s plan, and to get them there faster than 2018, which is the Obama timetable.
    ..McCain; using language like "weak on defense" (with video) and accusing Putin of re-starting a "Cold War"; which by the looks of it is exactly what McCain actually wants, and has for years.
    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called Putin’s use of military force in the Crimea section of Ukraine “the ultimate result of feckless foreign policy where nobody believes in America’s strength anymore.” McCain, a GOP leader on defense issues who lost to Obama in the 2008 election, said the U.S. government’s first task should be to “regain our credibility” because “we have none.”
    A glaring problem, the senator argued, was Obama’s declaring recently that he was about to strike Syria to punish the regime there for using chemical weapons, but then backing off. “That sent a message all over the world,”
    McCain told CNN, adding that it encouraged Russian aggression. “Putin wants to restore the Russian empire," McCain said. "Ukraine is the crown jewel.”

     - added blockquoting by me

    ..all but saying that not bombing Syria was weak & a mistake; also part of the latest republican narrative leading back to Benghazi
    ..with republicans now using the Ukraine situation as the latest vehicle to promote every Big Oil/imperialistic/"and for other purposes" (wink wink) agenda on their list are now actually thinking we can quickly build billion dollar LNG (liquid natural gas) stations to export LNG to the EU to topple Putin, who would never have entered Ukraine if only we had bombed Syria, a missed opportunity which we all know caused the attack on our consulate in Benghazi..
    So I know I'm kind of off topic on the Baltic states understandably seeking NATO support, but wonder if this won't be taken as a vehicle by the neo-cons to pour more resources into the MIC with longer term goal of perpetual war/war games/war footing/bomb. bomb, bomb McCain.

    Basically a further building up (and spending) on our war machine and maybe even a degrading of Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

    Thx TomP

  •  Handy. Just when the F-35's popularity (5+ / 0-)

    was swirling the bowl, we need new jet bombers for Death from Above. Ossum. Gotta love it.

    "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
    Teh Twitterz, I'z awn dem.
    Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

    by OleHippieChick on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:02:47 PM PST

  •  I don't get the point of the way this movie is (5+ / 0-)

    being played forward. Putin didn't have the capacity to build an Olympic Village. On what planet does he have the capacity to launch a multi-pronged war? And solely on his own. Who would his allies be? Syria? Those hands are otherwise occupied. China? Not likely.

    He has stated that he dreams of the former glory of the USSR but there is zero evidence that he has been feverishly mobilizing to make it happen.

    His actions to date have been opportunistic, pure and simple.

    The Baltic States were absolutely justified in their action given the history but the rest of us need to get real about the, so far, limited scale of what is happening here.

    Russia has watched US military actions abroad without losing its shit for years. Now that the shoe is on the other foot we are going completely around the bend.

  •  The stupid just keeps getting stupider (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native

    Archduke Franz Ferdinand had better stay home for few months.

    I'm sure the Lithuanian people are happy to be dragged into this fiasco.

    It always seems impossible until its done. -Nelson Mandela

    by chuckvw on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:54:20 PM PST

  •  I still say no more than 10...20 million dead. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Subterranean
  •  It's always better to have military available and (0+ / 0-)

    not need it than it is to not have military available and need it.

    I agree, however, that this is just posturing.

    "I guess you think you can psych me out by saying really random stuff." -Sora, Hollow Bastion, KH2

    by SphericalXS on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:40:35 PM PST

  •  Thanks for the info, TomP--I don't see this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spit, Bonsai66

    diary as warmongering, but as informative about very important events happening during a time of international crisis. I read some of the arguments from both sides and the acrimony shown makes me think humankind will never have peace.

    "Let's stay together"--Rev. Al Green and President Obama

    by collardgreens on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:04:05 PM PST

  •  This was a way to get some kind of international (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bonsai66

    military into the area.  Am I suggesting that the requests came from countries that don't feel in danger? No. But it WAS the easiest and best way to sort of quietly send a shot over Putin's bow.

    I wonder what the Russian people in Russian might be thinking.  I hope it's something like, 'Well, Putin stepped in it big time with this little foray."

    And he did.

    I still hold out for Ukraine to hold national elections and that all decisions be made with a hand's off approach before this leapfrog aggression gets out of hand.  So far it seems, at least, most of the people there are behaving themselves, so to speak.

    The only hawk I like is the kind that has feathers.

    by cany on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:08:16 PM PST

  •  Smart move overall. (0+ / 0-)

    Putin is desperate to shore up his image domestically, (he doesn't give a rat's ass what the west thinks of him), and invading Crimea plays well with his base.

    These moves help calm the populous of those Baltic states, and they only put a sharper point on the potential risks of Putin's provocations.

    And it costs almost nothing to implement while reinforcing the bonds between those countries and western Europe.

    I don't see any tactical downside.  It also makes strategic sense without increasing tensions in the Ukraine.

    Again, a smart move.

    Nothing worth noting at the moment.

    by Bonsai66 on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:39:08 PM PST

  •  Flexing when you're not ready to throw down (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw

    is fucking idiotic.

    Welcome to the Whole Foods of the blogosphere.

    by JesseCW on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:34:36 PM PST

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