Here's a clue for Jonah Goldberg -- the US does not have a monopoly on what is true and good in the world. Here's another -- Obama headed off the crisis in Ukraine for the moment through the use of diplomacy; therefore, there was no need to send lethal aid to Ukraine.
It is very appropriate to make use of the whale during Good Friday weekend. Goldberg is trapped in a whale of American exceptionalism that blinds him to some basic facts about the matter. First of all, the US has attempted around 80 coups since 1953, many of democratically elected governments. You can argue with Davies' number or his examples, but what is not a matter for debate is that this government has an entire culture built around regime change.
It is interesting that a Republican like Goldberg is so trapped in the prison of the military industrial complex that he would rather have gays than Putin.
I believe that Putin’s adventures in Russia’s “near abroad” are a mistake. Indeed, they are part of a whole tapestry of wrongheadedness. It’s also bad for the Kremlin to crush dissent, censor the news, and hobble the economy by handing it over to oligarchs and a kleptocratic bureaucracy. Putin’s scapegoating and demonizing of gays isn’t only morally wrong, it’s not in Russia’s long-term interests either. That Putin prefers to use his oil and gas assets as a political weapon abroad and an excuse not to diversify his economy at home has me googling the Russian word for “boneheaded.”Goldberg's problem with Putin is that he allegedly can't be reasoned with. But he forgets the lessons of history. The Russians wondered why Kennedy was so psychotic and unable to be reasoned with when they put missiles in Cuba. We were doing the exact same thing in Ukraine, when we tried to facilitate a coup and possibly put missiles in that country. It doesn't matter who would have been in charge in Russia; any leader would have behaved like a bear at an obvious threat to their country's existence. Russia's annexation of Crimea was a breach of the 1994 treaty that pledged to respect Ukraine's sovereignty. But what Goldberg and many other people forget is that the US was in breach of the same treaty when Nuland facilitated the coup against Yanukovych in the first place. And Goldberg also forgets that Putin can be reasoned with; for instance, the deal that he brokered to head off US air strikes against Syria is working; 75% of the chemical weapons have now been destroyed.
Goldberg also inconveniently forgets that the new government in Ukraine includes members of the far right, Neo-Nazis, and ultranationalists. While the government has cracked down on them to some degree, they are still there. While the coalition that overthrew Yanukovych was broadbased and such people are in the minority, they still exert a disproportionate degree of influence in the new government. It is not some fable invented by RT; it's been documented here, here, and here among other places. The far right in Ukraine has taken over top posts in that government. Victoria Nuland's facilitation of the coup there not only raised a specter of World War II for Russia (who lost 19 million to that conflict), it dishonors the sacrifices that we made as a whole nation to rid the world of fascism and Nazism.
Goldberg then lectures Obama on allegedly being weak and spineless for the fact that the sanctions that he imposed were token in nature. But he misses the point again. Two wrongs don't make a right and Nuland's meddling in Ukraine's sovereignty did not justify Putin's snatching away of Crimea. But there are already serious economic consequences that are being suffered by Russia for their move. Billions of dollars have fled from the country, an economic boycott of Russian goods has been organized and has spread to Eastern Europe, and Putin is now nostalgic for normal relations with the West. Obama didn't need to do more. But what he does need to do is fire people like Nuland whose life mission is to create chaos in other countries like her other Neocon cronies and renounce regime change as a tool of American policy and renounce spying on foreign allies.
I entirely understand that Americans are war-weary, and for good reason. But has it really gotten to the point where the U.S. military now defines “chest-thumping” as unleashing the socks of war?It is really interesting to see Goldberg dictating to Russia in the same manner that Nuland was dictating to Ukraine. When she gave her notorious speech in December bragging about the $5 billion that we invested in Ukraine since 1991 and saying that union with the EU was the only way forward for them, it was her tone of voice which was the most disturbing. The haughty imperious tone that she used has no place in international diplomacy. Fortunately, the real diplomats on all sides were able to put their heads together and reach a deal that seems to be holding for the moment.