Ukraine

Russia Sending Troops to Ukraine, May Recall Ambassador From US

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World Econ Forum cc

“Putin has declared war on Ukraine,” reports newspaper Ukrainska Pravda. Despite stern warnings from the U.S. about meddling in the nation, the Russian government is taking rapid steps toward invasion and other destabilization tactics.

After Russian forces already began mobilizing within Ukraine's Crimean region, Russia's parliament today unanimously approved a request from President Vladimir Putin to send in as many as 28,000 troops. He contends that Ukraine's revolution poses a “threat to the lives of citizens of the Russian Federation, our compatriots, and the personnel of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation who are deployed on the territory of Ukraine.”

Crimea has a large Russian population and houses Russia's Black Sea Fleet. Earlier this week some citizens installed pro-Russian leader who wants a Russian military intervention, though others have pushed back against the idea.

The Kyiv Post writes that “despite the strong Kremlin overheated rhetoric, there is no evidence that ethnic Russians are in any danger in Ukraine more than anybody else.”

Russia's former chief economic advisor, Adrei Illarionov, argues that Putin's goal is to render Ukraine totally unstable as an independent country so that Russia may justify extending its own sphere of influence.

The parliament is also moving forward with legislation to “establishes a simplified procedure for a foreign territory to accede to the Russian Federation. The explanatory note for the bill states that it pertains to the situation in Ukraine,” according to Russian news site Interfax.ru. As part of its war, Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is offering to employ members of Ukraine's notorious and now-defunct riot police, Berkut, with the promise of granting them Russian passports. Many members of the force are antagonistic toward Ukraine's new, opposition-controlled government, because it dissolved Berkut for killing civilians during protests last month. Russia is also using social networks to rally ex-military personnel to join the fight for Crimea.

At the same time, the Russian government is openly snubbing the US. The parliament “recommended that the Kremlin recall the Russian ambassador to the United States to underscore objections to remarks made by President Obama on Friday,” explains the Los Angeles Times. So far, Putin has declined the recommendation but it remains an option.

Yesterday, President Obama warned that “it would represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by the Ukrainian people. It would be a clear violation of Russia’s commitment to respect the independence and sovereignty and borders of Ukraine, and of international laws.” 

Read more Reason coverage of Ukraine here.

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  1. You can say that again!

  2. Edward Snowden’s savior is one smart dictator!

  3. insane in the Ukraine lol

    laughsoyoudontcry.com

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  4. Swell. I guess this means we’ll be bringing our battle-hardened troops back from Afghanistan, now. A quick haircut and shoeshine, and it’s off to the Crimea.

    1. I foresee a strongly worded letter and perhaps a vetoed UN security council vote.

      1. Nostradamus I think wrote about this too. Haha.

    2. I don’t think so, the Taliban don’t have nukes.

      1. This. Of all the countries in the world that we really shouldn’t want to get into a war with, Russia has got to be either 1 or 2. Strong words and symbolic resolutions are about the most that will come of this.

        1. I think it’s number one for sure. The US military would kick the ever loving shit out of any other country. Yes, even China.

          But Russia….Russia is an entirely different story.

          1. The only reason I might put China at 1 is the economic fallout. But I’m not an expert on these things.

          2. Not really. Russia’s military sucks. I fear China more.

            1. And China has such a huge army; the numbers could be overwhelming.

              1. No good navy to transport it.

                1. Less true now than, say, ten years ago, but still pretty accurate.

              2. Human wave attacks don’t work against modern weaponry.

          3. Actually, I’d be more concerned with a war with Canada or Mexico, since they’re in a position to attack us conventionally.

            1. Except Canadians are too nice and Mexicans hate their country.

          4. We’d beat the Russians the same way we beat Germany: far superior industrial base paralleled by the finest logistical corps the world has every known.* It wouldn’t be a cakewalk and we might not like the economic fallout, but, in purely martial terms, there is no contest.

            *This is, of course, assuming it doesn’t go nuclear.

            1. While our industrial base isn’t what it was in 1941, I tend to agree. I would start by sabotaging Russia’s oil fields — they’re in a very difficult area to defend. Not suggesting “invading Siberia during the winter”, just getting in and getting out.

              With no oil, they have basically no leverage over anyone. Well, other than the nukes.

              1. With no oil, they have basically no leverage over anyone. Well, other than the nukes.

                That’s a little like saying, “Yeah, Tokyo’s a pretty calm city. Pretty peaceful. Well, other than Godzilla.”

            2. A lot has changed since 1938. I would not want to bet the farm on whether we’d be able to fight Russia into capitulation. We’d naturally need pretty much universal support from the EU.

              China’s also kind of a wildcard here. I can see the Chinese either supporting the US or agreeing to remain on the sidelines because of the value of our trading relationship and as a chance to grab hold of some disputed territory. I can also see China backing Russia to the extent that any conflict with Russia violated the Chinese understanding of sovereignty.

              Of course, all this is strictly academic, because it would go nuclear as soon as the first American boot hit the ground within 500 miles of the Russian border.

            3. You know who else thought they could win a land war in Russia?

                1. -1 Tatar for you, good sir.

            4. LOL

              We are currently sourcing several critical parts of the F35 from China because we can’t make it ourselves.

    3. Half a league/Half a league/Half a league onward . . .

    4. Grand…Good thing I still have my uniforms and have kept in shape – Retired Reserve mobilization, here I come! Or not. We will see.

      Maybe I should finish this bottle of shiraz to gain further clarity.

      1. If we go to war with Russia, they’re calling ME up!

  5. But Obama gave a speech about it. A speech!

    1. Obama didn’t just give a speech he pointedly warned Putin. Putin’s pointed response isn’t in words though. Oh oh.

      1. He said “We stand with the international community”, whatever that means.

        1. What he meant was, he’ll let the international community know what their position is and then he’ll tell them to stand.

            1. C’mon, it’s a Saturday!

              1. Well, he does have all of the episodes of True Detective. I would be watching those too if I had them.

                1. I wonder if he’s going to spoil it for everybody?

                  1. Nice.

                  2. He probably only knows what happens after reading the synopsis the next day on ew.com, like everyone else.

            2. “Ok, you got this Ukraine thing covered? Great. I’m gonna go get a quick round of golf in before this snowstorm hits. Let me know if anything happens.”

          1. Nah, what he meant was “I want to seem stern and strong but I don’t want to back myself into a corner like I did with Syria, so I’ll talk tough but make sure I defer to an international community that I know can’t do anything.”

  6. The terms of the debate are pretty much set now. Obama will denounce the Russians, and the opposition will say Obama isn’t Doing Enough to Confront the Russians.

    1. Lindsey Graham and Dust Farter McCain are probably apoplectic by now.

  7. There is no possible action we could take here that would advance our strategic interests in any way remotely commensurate with the risk.

    Ukraine is too close to the Russian heartland and has too many Russians in it for the risk/reward ratio to be in any way rational for us.

    I’d be happy to threaten the Russians with a strategic exchange for Germany – or maybe even Poland. For the Ukraine? Nope. Because it’s worth more to them than it is to us, and that means that they wouldn’t back down.

    1. This. I’d add that if I were Poland or even Germany, I would have a different position and would seriously consider some meddling. In that light, this is a great opportunity for America to leave its quasi-protectorates to solve problems for themselves at their own cost.

      1. at their own cost

        Good luck. The cost would ultimately be passed on to us.

        And Germany and Poland are both members of NATO, with all the implications for mutual defense that entails. I don’t think we want them getting too involved.

        1. Good luck. The cost would ultimately be passed on to us.

          Let Greece take care of it.

          1. Beware Greeks bearing gifts.

            1. But it is such a nice wooden horse!

          2. Well that doesn’t contradict my point it just implies NATO needs to be ended or at least the US should leave. I am pretty sure that the US could wriggle its way out of its dumb commitments if Poland or the Baltics got their dandruff up.

    2. There is no possible action we could take here that would advance our strategic interests in any way remotely commensurate with the r

      isk.

      What, exactly, are “OUR strategic interests” in this conflict?

      1. What, exactly, are “OUR strategic interests” in this conflict?

        Seeding in the bi-annual international prick waving contest?

      2. Hot Ukrainian wimminz?

        Oh, strategic interest…

        1. Hot Ukrainian wimminz?

          Isn’t that what happened to Groovus?

        2. watch out for the Babushka disease.

        3. Where the fuck is Groovus Maximus during all this hootin’ and hollerin’?

          1. Who do you think started this?

    3. Except that there is that unfortunate little thing called the Budapest Memorandum which the US, Britain, Russia and Ukraine signed in 1994 guaranteeing the territorial integrity of the Ukraine in exchange for the Ukraine giving up it’s nuclear weapons. I think the US and Britain are already on the hook to play a role in ensuring Russia doesn’t invade Ukraine.

      This is beginning to look like 1938, only with Russia playing the role of Germany, the Crimea playing the role of the Sudetenland and the west playing itself.

      1. This is beginning to look like 1938, only with Russia playing the role of Germany, the Crimea playing the role of the Sudetenland and the west playing itself.

        Oh, and both sides have nuclear weapons.

        1. Except that Czechoslovakia still had the president its people had elected, and its government hadn’t been toppled by mob violence.

          1. Yeah, that does seem to be getting lost here.

            I don’t get why ethnic Russians in the east and in Crimea are suddenly subject to the whims of the Euromaidan rioters. An amicable divorce would seem to be in order.

            1. I’m not sure there is the sharp geographical line that you seem to suppose. Ethnic Russians are concentrated in certain areas, but that doesn’t mean there are no Ukrainians there.

                1. Language isn’t a perfect barometer, considering that many ethnic Ukrainians speak Russian as their primary language. According to the 2001 Census (which seems to be the most recent source of information), Crimea is the only oblast (province) where Russians are more than 40% of the population (they are a majority in Crimea)

            2. An amicable divorce would seem to be in order.

              Russian invasions are not ‘amicable’.

              its government hadn’t been toppled by mob violence.

              Revolutions are messy and freedom is worth it, craven Putinpologism notwithstanding.

            3. Note that the areas which seem to be primarily Russian-speaking also happen to be those areas which are, geographically-speaking, most valuable. Speaking as someone whose ancestors were given some lovely land in northern Ireland in exchange for spreading some good ol’ hard-nosed Protestantism (and oats, and how to make real whisky) it wouldn’t be the first time that a country “tower-rushed” with immigrants in order to generate a claim for territory.

      2. Refrain from using economic pressure on Ukraine in order to influence its politics.

        I don’t think anyone is taking that treaty serious anymore.

      3. Except that the Budapest Memorandum has no legal standing in the US since its not a treaty and the Senate did not vote 2/3 for it. Presidents can sign anything they want, but it does not force future Presidents to do anything.

      4. It’s always 1938 when you’re a hyperinterventionist.

        1. I like how you and others will refer to any position other than your own as “hyperinterventionists” or “neocon”, when it is you in fact that maintain the dogmatic and narrow view of foreign policy alternatives.

          1. Well, this time they can’t trot out the “bomb brown people” card like usual…

          2. I’m using it to refer to the people who bring up Neville Chamberlain and his negotiating partner every time somebody unpleasant threatens military force against another country.

            While I’m certainly not a dogmatic noninterventionist, if you’re going to have a knee jerk rule of thumb on these issues, noninterventionism beats the other end of the spectrum by light-years.

            1. “”if you’re going to have a knee jerk rule of thumb on these issues,””

              my. point.

              at least you admit it.

            2. I’m using it to refer to the people who bring up Neville Chamberlain and his negotiating partner every time somebody unpleasant threatens military force against another country.

              You used it to describe me even though I never resort to argument by Chamberlain. That and ‘neocon’ are most of what you have in your limited bag of tricks for people you can’t actually argue against.

              1. You kidding me? I argue against your positions all the time, and you eventually just resort to slinging ad hominems.

                Living in 1938 is a sufficient but not necessary condition for being a neocon or a hyperinterventionist. In your case, you’ve explicitly said that we have the right to kill as many innocent people as necessary if doing so increases freedom (whatever that means) as a result, so yeah, you’re going in the neocon bin.

                1. You’ve demonstrated again that you don’t understand what neoconservatism is, at all. It’s just a buzzword you use against those with superior intellect to you ie everyone.

                  1. Enter the ad hominem!

                    1. Deflection time with Tulpa.

      5. Events like these are starting to prove the wisdom of retaining any nuclear weapons and power-generating capacity if you have any interest at all in preserving the sovereignty of your country. The only thing we need now is an invasion of S Africa to confirm the maxim that giving up nukes = future invasion and regime change.

      6. That’s why they can have my nuclear weapons when they pry them from my cold dead fingers.

      7. Sounds to me like Ukraine probably should have kept their nukes.

        -jcr

        1. Nuking your next door neighbor doesn’t sound like a good idea.

          I’m pretty sure Ukraine is familiar with the consequences of nuclear disasters, anyway.

          1. Nuking your next door neighbor doesn’t sound like a good idea.

            Precisely why deterrence is so effective. Look at the terms of the debate over US intervention vs. non-intervention. The 800 pound gorilla that we keep coming back to is that Russia has nukes. Even if there’s a 1% chance they’d actually launch a nuclear strike if our troops met in Ukraine, that’s enough to deter most Americans from signing off on intervention.

            By the same token, Russia just moved soldiers into Ukraine in order to “protect ethnic Russians.” If Ukraine had so much as one nuke, that never would’ve happened.

      8. The Budapest Memorandum says that we won’t take hostile action against the Ukraine. It does not say that we need to protect them in case someone else attacks them (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B…..Assurances). We can stay out of this, as we should. If Russia goes too far, the Europeans will have more at stake protecting Ukraine and we can leave it to them.

    4. Ditto. I do wonder if, as part of Russia’s Syria ‘assist’, Obama/Kerry made some Eastern Europe concessions that will negatively impact this situation. It wouldn’t surprise me, given the incompetence on display.

    5. My college roommate in 1979 was Ukranian, back when Ukraine was of course still part of the USSR. He frequently talked about how Ukrainians in general despised Russians, and they hated being subject to Soviet hegemony. It seems that still explains what’s going on now, with most Ukies wanting a more free and Western-aligned state, and the holdout Russians and Sovietphiles living in the country desperate to return its resources and strategic ports to Mother Russia.

      A blunt way to know about this situation you can derive from the English translation of “Ukraine”, which is “borderland.”

      1. and they hated being subject to Soviet hegemony

        They didn’t mind ruling the hegemony though. Khruschev gave Crimea to Ukraine for a reason. And Brezhnev was born in Ukraine.

        Oh, and Stalin was a Georgian. Russians get all the blame for everything, but in reality, it was a multi-ethnic team effort.

    6. “There is no possible action we could take here that would advance our strategic interests in any way remotely commensurate with the risk.

      i seem to recall this being the consensus view here when the protests had gotten started

  8. So if we lose the Ukraine tomorrow Russian Spetsnaz will be raping our women and pissing on the American flag?

    Because outside that scenario I fail to see what the big deal is if Russia resumes its centuries old position of ruling the Ukraine.

    1. Methinks it will be a big deal for the Ukrainians themselves — and that libertarians who express existential angst at the mere prospect of American intervention could show some consistency by sympathizing with the plight of a nation about to be subjugated by a far more illiberal neighboring empire.

      1. I sympathize with them, I’m just looking a little askance at everyone concern trolling Obama about how “weak” he looks.

        I hate Jughead as much as the next guy, but in this particular case the criticism is empty.

        “Let’s poke the President with a stick until he starts a nuclear war over a country that’s been in Russia’s sphere of influence for a millennium,” strikes me as an unwise game to play. Because however much we may sympathize with the people of Kiev, it’s just not worth it. Their previous government did nothing to protestors that our allies in Bahrain didn’t do.

        1. Making threats that have no backing in reality/future actions has the effect of making any future threats less credible. That is true regardless of what you think about the threat in question, and the wisdom of following through.

          For the recode, I agree it’s not worth it by a long shot — which is why US Presidents should not be talking about ‘lines in the sand’ or international law, esp when they know they can’t do anything about it and that bellicosity will interfere with areas we might be interested in cooperating with the other nation on.

        2. “I sympathize with them, I’m just looking a little askance at everyone concern trolling Obama about how “weak” he looks.”

          Obama lives in a dream world, where the things he says and does don’t have any consequences.

          It’s the same thing that led to ObamaCare. He thinks that those of us who imagine that there are consequences to the decisions we make are a bunch of stupid rednecks.

          And the problem is: he keeps making the same mistake!

          He did the same thing with Syria–mere months ago!

          A great way to avoid having to clean up after these mistakes? Is to stop making them in the first place.

          I’ve read reports that say Putin told the EU that if Ukraine ever joined NATO, that Putin would annex Crimea.

          Given that kind of communication, and Obama’s current predicament of having to depend on Russia in dealing with two other crises? What Obama said yesterday, about there being “consequences” was unbelievably stupid–and we’re right to call him out for it.

          No matter what happens in Ukraine, our country isn’t going to get any better until a critical mass of Americans get a clue as to how woefully incompetent Barack Obama is–on a whole slew of issues.

          1. What Obama said yesterday, about there being “consequences” was unbelievably stupid–and we’re right to call him out for it.

            The overwhelming majority of criticism on this matter coming from the Krauthammer set is of the “DO SOMETHING CRAZY OR YOU LOOK WEAK!” variety.

            They aren’t mad that the statement was too strong and that it can’t be backed up. They’re mad that the statement didn’t threaten immediate nuclear attack, or whatever other threat it is that they think might have changed the outcome.

            1. Who’s ‘they’? I don’t see anyone in this thread saying that.

              1. I don’t think he’s talking about people on Reason.com

            2. if that’s what Krauthammer said, then he’s right to a certain extent.

              A great reason not to promise to do something stupid? Is because it makes it more compelling to do something stupid.

              I’d argue that Obama making himself look foolish is no reason to do something stupid, but he does make us look feckless for making threats and not following through with them.

              …and there is some danger in that.

              1. except that’s not what Krauthammer said at all. While he called the statement “flaccid,” he’s not agitating for military adventurism. And, by the way, right after the speech, Obama was at a Dem fundraiser.

            3. Krauthammer was wrong. But Obama did say There will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine without being specific. It’s pretty hard to read that statement in a foreign affairs sense as anything other than a threat of retaliation of some kind.

              Oh, and Obama also said he was “deeply concerned.”

            4. Krauthammer said something to the effect of, “If you threaten to act, you’d better damn well act if he calls your bluff.” He’s right. That’s a different thing than saying, “Any time a free nation is invaded by someone we don’t like, we should immediately land ground troops.”

              Obama’s admittedly remarkable skills as a community organizer and his two years in national politics don’t seem to translate well to international diplomacy. As a narcissist, he’s unable to deal with people who are as powerful or even more powerful than he in a given situation. So, he does things like threaten dire consequences knowing full well that he’s unable to back the threat up thinking that his opponents will quake with fear and do his bidding. He fails to realize that his bluff is entirely transparent.

              If he were playing poker or was a pool shark, this might be a good long-term strategy. By looking completely inept, he’d be convincing the world that every time the US threatens to be scary we’ll back right down. Again, in a game of pool, this might convince an opponent to bet the farm. In international politics, this puts us in a position where threats are no longer sufficient, and must be backed up with actual military force. It makes for a more dangerous world, especially for Americans and American allies.

              Thanks, Barack!

        3. Looking weak is bad and Obama is bad for talking about ‘red lines’ that are almost tailor-made to be crossed. He wouldn’t be looking weak if he’d just shut up!

          1. the glaring problem is no foreign policy. Is the administration non-interventionists, interested in nation-building, willing to send covert aid, or what? No one knows. It’s all ad hoc. One speech after another because this fucker knows nothing but speechifying.

            1. It’s pretty clear what their foreign policy strategy is:

              1. Avoid criticism that might interfere with looting the treasury back home.
              2. Expand presidential power at the expense of Congress since the electoral college map heavily favors Dems for the foreseeable future.

  9. Putin: “This isn’t an invasion, this is military kinetic action.”

  10. So Russians are Republicans?

    1. No, it was the Democrats who got us into the Mexican War.

      Modern comparisons of Afghanistan and Iraq aren’t really apt to Russia invading Ukraine.

  11. Hasn’t this scenario once been played out in the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia?

    1. The Sudetenland was never part of Germany.

      1. It was part of the Holy Roman Empire and probably was thought of as part of “greater Germany”.

        1. It was also part of the German Confederation (1815-1866).

          1. There you go.

      2. Has Ukraine ever been part of Russia? I know it was part of the Soviet Union, but I recall that it was a separate republic.

        1. It was already part of the Russian Empire.

          1. So you’d be hunky dory with Britain taking over Massachusetts again.

            1. Didn’t they do that already?

        2. I don’t know what the set-up was formally called under Tsarism. It’s not that I’m for Russian irredentism, but that I roll my eyes at constant foreign-policy Godwinning.

        3. Russia apparently began in the Ukraine. That’s how Russian Ukraine is.

          1. I guess that means Northern Germany is British?

            1. That’s apparently how some Russians look at it. And it’s not like there’s a body of water separating the two. And the Crimea is seen as being Russian.

        4. Russia (in the form of “Kievan Rus”) arguably *originated* in what’s now the Ukraine.

          1. So relabel Ukraine as Russia and Russia as Muscovy. Not sure how that changes the situ.

    2. APPEASEMENT ARF ARF ARF

  12. If Ukraine was counting on the us they’re idiots.

  13. Why isn’t the Chinese terror attack front page news yet? Does it get in the way of the gun control narrative or something?

    1. People don’t kill people… guns do. Try and keep up.

    2. The victims didn’t have a Chinaman’s chance.

      1. Crazy-ass Uighurs.

        1. I’m reading that as “whiggers”. Am I correct?

          1. “weeggers” is closer

            1. For the purposes of his joke.

          2. +1 House of Pain

    3. Of course. Knife bans are pending. Mothers everywhere will be marching on DC.

  14. “CONSEQUENCES, I TELL YOU!”

    *shakes putter*

  15. President Obama warned that “it would represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by the Ukrainian people. It would be a clear violation of Russia’s commitment to respect the independence and sovereignty and borders of Ukraine, and of international laws.”

    Way to state the effin’ obvious, Maestro. So what? International law is worth less than the cost of the paper it’s printed on if it goes unenforced, and as stupid as you are I doubt that even you will rush to send in troops against Russia in an conflict which is at best peripheral wrt our rationally-constructed interests and defense.

    So what is the endgame of all this talk about the Ukraine? If they didn’t know before Syria, Put in is now undoubtedly aware you’re a fucking moron, to be played by foreign leaders as they will. So what does flapping your gums accomplish, beyond exacerbating an already bad situation where our leverage is essentially nil and where there is a zero percent chance that our government will help the Ukraine?

    Maybe you could boycott the Sochi Olympics over this, so that we get the full Jimmy Carter Treatment, here.

  16. The thing I find most interesting about the events of the last couple of weeks is how the Ukrainian government fell, if indeed it is correct to say it fell. The head of state appears to have simply up and quit the country. I’m not certain we can even call this a bloodless coup. Perhaps it is just strategic retreat and retrenching.

    I can only think that the quick, quiet, unopposed nature of the change of power in Ukraine is as telling as Russia’s overt and aggressive threats. Russia appears posed to move aggressively to secure control of Ukraine. The government of Viktor Yanukovych’s departure from Ukraine looks like waters receding before the wave.

    1. “The head of state appears to have simply up and quit the country.”

      He was chased out of the country.

      All the state news channels in Russia were condemning the Ukrainian head of state for, basically, abandoning his post. And the next thing you know, the head of state suddenly rematerialized in a city on the Ukrainian border–making public statements that sound like they were written by the Kremlin.

      The state news in Russia was obviously trying to deflect blame away from Putin–blaming the Ukrainian head of state for the mess.

      …because, obviously, it couldn’t be Putin (and his power play) at fault!

      1. What Power Play, Putin offered money and cheap gas, that is not a power play, its negotiations. The EU instead of making a better counter offer instead sent its diplomats in to support the protesters and then threatened sanctions.

        1. I’d say sending troops into another country when you don’t get your way counts as a power play.

          1. Since the article quoted does not say that any troops have been sent into the Ukraine its still up in the air. Always read Reason Mag sources, they often don’t confirm what Reason Mag says they say.

            There are thousands of Russian military personnel in the Crimea , they have been there for decades, but whether more have been sent is not clear.

            1. There were lots of US military personnel in the Panama Canal in the 80s, too. Didn’t make deposing Noriega an inherently peaceful act, regardless of what you think of that intervention.

        2. “What Power Play, Putin offered money and cheap gas, that is not a power play, its negotiations.”

          Give me a break.

          How ’bout having Yulia Tymoshenko thrown in prison after Russia shut off gas to Ukraine for 13 days in 2009?

          And why did the Ukrainians chase their president into hiding–if not because they wanted to reject the Russian trade bloc and join with the EU?

          This has been going on since before the Orange Revolution. Putin has been orchestrating power plays against Ukraine since before he did whatever it was he did to Victor Yushchenko’s face.

          1. Yulia Tymoshenko signed a gas deal with Russia. That is why the Ukrainians sent her to jail. Why would Russia want Yulia Tymoshenko sent to jail when she made deals with them?

            Stop thinking that Ukraine is just a two sided country, one good Western looking one and the other an evil Russian looking one. The Ukrainians have their own sides and they play the West and the Russians just like the Russians and the West plays them

            “”””And why did the Ukrainians chase their president into hiding””‘

            Since half the country did not vote for the President no matter who gets elected then its no surprise that they can muster up thousands and even millions of people. So far its just the so-called western ones who do this but I am betting the eastern ones are probably going to lean the lesson, screw elections, just get armed people in the streets

            “”””This has been going on since before the Orange Revolution”‘

            Yes, the second overthrow of a government with Western government support. Ukrainians are learning the lesson, its power in the streets that matter.

            1. And to make it even crazier, Yulia Tymoshenko was charged with violating the 2004 Constitution, the one which stripped the President of many powers. This Constitution was then overturned by the Ukrainian Supreme Court and the older one with wide Presidential powers was put back in place and now the 2004 one has been reinstated by the present leadership in the Ukraine.

              So if the 2004 Constitution is the legal one then Yulia Tymoshenko was probably guilty since she did not have the power to sign off on such a deal. A deal which the Russian liked

              1. “So if the 2004 Constitution is the legal one then Yulia Tymoshenko was probably guilty since she did not have the power to sign off on such a deal. A deal which the Russian liked”

                Barack Obama farts unconstitutional executive orders in his sleep.

                If Vladamir Putin wanted it so, the Russian Constitution would be rewritten every Monday to allow for whatever he’d done over the weekend.

                1. Here’s a quick rundown of the reaction to Yulia Tymoshenko’s conviction:

                  “The “gas case” trial was viewed by many European and American organizations as a politically-charged persecution that violates the law.[336][337] The European Union and other international organizations see the conviction as “justice being applied selectively under political motivation.”[13] The European Union has shelved the European Union Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with Ukraine over the issue.[338][16][17] The EU has repeatedly called for release of Yulia Tymoshenko as a primary condition for signing the EU Association Agreement. [nb 10] [339]”

                  ….

                  “On April 30, 2013, the European Court of Human Rights issued a judgment[340] asserting that “Ms. Tymoshenko’s pre-trial detention had been arbitrary; that the lawfulness of her detention had not been properly reviewed; and, that she had no possibility to seek compensation for her unlawful deprivation of liberty.”

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y….._reactions

                  So, just for the record, I’m hardly the first person to question the criminal proceedings that convicted her.

                  And at any rate, the point is moot, now. We might get to see what the people of Ukraine think about her in open elections–if Putin allows it.

            2. “Yulia Tymoshenko signed a gas deal with Russia. That is why the Ukrainians sent her to jail.”

              When the Ukrainians chased out the president, the first thing they did was free Yulia.

              Come on! How many rivals has the Kremlin had imprisoned on bogus corruption charges over the years?

              “Stop thinking that Ukraine is just a two sided country, one good Western looking one and the other an evil Russian looking one.”

              Oh, I don’t think that. And I suspect a lot of what we’ve been seeing happen in Crimea over the last week has been for the benefit of Russian supporting Crimeans, who might get in the way of whatever Putin is trying to do.

              If Putin starts to really assert himself in Crimea, he may find himself with two conflicts. My understanding is that Crimea was autonomous before it joined Ukraine, and it was autonomous within Ukraine, as well. I can understand why people in Crimea might support Russia in a political conflict with their fellow Ukrainians, but being autonomous already, chances are they’d rather go their own way than be absorbed into Russia.

              1. “””When the Ukrainians chased out the president, the first thing they did was free Yulia.””

                There are many factions among the Ukrainians, some support Yulia, some don’t want any of the old politicians back in power and some probably support putting Yulia back in jail

                Also Crimea is not very autonomous even if that is what it is called. The leadership is appointed by the Ukrainian government, and the legislature has no ability to self generate legislation.

                Sevastopol is also run by a mayor appointed by the President of the Ukraine

                1. “The legislature has no ability to self generate legislation.”

                  They set their own budget, do they not?

                  And it appears that Crimea has repeatedly attempted to assert its independence.

                  1. And it appears that Crimea has repeatedly attempted to assert its independence [autonomy].

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C…..ea#History

                    1. Fact is, whether the Putin Lover wants to admit it or not, Yanukovych’s ouster was a populist revolution. There were even some protests in eastern cities against him.

                      And yes, it was obviously a power play but Putin.

                    2. I like that you bitch about people calling you a neo-con and then call your opponents Putin Lovers.

                    3. I’m referring to DJF and the few others that seem to have a soft spot for Yanukovych.

  17. He contends that Ukraine’s revolution poses a “threat to the lives of citizens of the Russian Federation, our compatriots, and the personnel of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation who are deployed on the territory of Ukraine.”

    Gosh. When we invaded Grenada, we only cited the threat to a bunch of American med students.

  18. “Despite stern warnings from [Barack Obama] about meddling in the nation…”

    What’s Obama going to do?

    Invade Syria after all because Putin won’t play ball on Ukraine?

    Drop out of nuclear talks with Iran becasue Putin won’t play ball on Ukraine?

    Putin has Obama by the balls!

    How many times does Obama have to make himself look stupid before he finally learns to stop making idle threats?

    1. As I said on the other thread, BO’s only FP concern is avoiding criticism that might interfere with his ability to loot the treasury here at home. Making threats satisfies the neocons, at least somewhat; his own party won’t criticize him; and no one gives a damn what libertarians think.

    2. Idle threats are one of the surest indicators of failed leadership. Yet Obama can no more avoid them than a dog can avoid eating its own shit — tells you a little something about the decision-making process at the WH, huh?

      1. I would love to believe that BO is powerless at this point, but he is still having his way with the domestic agenda. This is a case of priorities.

      2. He thinks it matters what he says!

        Last I heard, the important meeting between the U.S. and Iranian delegations on Iran’s nuclear weapons was supposed to meet on March 17. Russia’s going to be there!

        Obama is depending on Putin to follow through on Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles–even while Putin continues to send arms to Syria!

        And Obama’s over here making threats to Putin?!

        If Putin sat back and did nothing–just pulled out of their chemical weapons role in Syria and pulled out of nuclear talks with Iran–that alone would be devastating to the Obama Administration.

        Obama must be in love with his own reflection on television or something! That Putin has to actually threaten to recall Russia’s ambassador–is it because Obama wouldn’t know the position he’s in if Putin didn’t shout it into Obama’s ear?! It suggests how truly oblivious Obama really is.

        P.S. Unless we get everything we want, this is not the time to ease sanctions on Iran.

        1. It’s time for Hillary to start speaking out then…against her superior.

          1. (former superior).

          2. The sooner people start shouting out that the emperor has no clothes, the better!

            I’ve been waiting for, what, six years?

            Yeah, it’s time already.

    3. “Putin has Obama by the balls!”

      Only if Valerie Jarrett returned ’em.

  19. “””‘President Vladimir Putin to send in as many as 28,000 troops””

    The link does not say that Russia is sending as many as 28,000 troops, it says that there is between 6,000 and 28,000 troops there. Since there were already thousands of Russian military personnel in the Crimea we don’t know from this if any have been sent.

    1. They were in Crimea in their bases. Now they are definitely not in the bases.

  20. Like we didn’t see this coming…

    – that is to say the protestors at Kiev should have expected Putin to act accordingly and for the U.S. / Europe not to ride to the rescue. Not that Ukraine – who has historically been screwed over time after time – should have given up the fight.

    1. ” Not that Ukraine – who has historically been screwed over time after time – should have given up the fight.

      The ethnic Russians don’t want to have a serious conversation with the Ukrainians, nor the rest of the world about how they arrived in the Ukraine in the first place, let alone what became of all the Ukrainians they “replaced”…

      1. Seriously. I’m glad my great-grandfather decided to get out when the getting was still possible.

      2. I’d rather not have a conversation with Cherokees about how my ancestors arrived here either….

        1. “I’d rather not have a conversation with Cherokees about how my ancestors arrived here either….”

          Sooo, your ancestors purposefully engineered a massive famine, starved and purge-trialed millions of kulaks Cherokees, and sent millions more off to die in the Siberian gulags, and stole everything that wasn’t nailed down, so they would have all the food and petroleum they needed to force Bolshevism across Europe at the barrel of a gun? Brutal….

          1. Is there evidence the 1923 famine was intended by the Soviets? I thought it was just a case of unintended consequences: Ukrainians growing less and hiding what they did grow because they weren’t allowed to sell it and the taxation was so heavy (both of which were true throughout the USSR).

            1. “Is there evidence the 1923 famine was intended by the Soviets?…”

              Probably…

              “I thought it was just a case of unintended consequences:”

              There’s always room for debate, but I see more than “random chance” and misfortunate descision-making at work there. You’re entitled to give Stalin the benefit of the doubt (incompetence vs. malicious intent) if you so choose… I chose not.

              “Ukrainians growing less and hiding what they did grow because they weren’t allowed to sell it and the taxation was so heavy (both of which were true throughout the USSR).”

              Soo.. The Kulaks and hoarders are to blame, comrade Tulpa? Of course they are, it’s all so simple…

          2. If Cherokees didn’t conveniently have weak immune systems, this is what European colonists would have done. As it was, Europeans only had to mop up the survivors.

            And yes, sending millions into labor camps was evil. What do you call transatlantic slave trade again?

            1. “If Cherokees didn’t conveniently have weak immune systems, this is what European colonists would have done. As it was, Europeans only had to mop up the survivors.”

              Possibly, but I was talking about Ukrainians before Tulpa went off on his Cherokee tangent, and you followed.

              “And yes, sending millions into labor camps was evil. What do you call transatlantic slave trade again?”

              I call it “The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade of America?” a wholly-owned subsidiary of “Evil-Empire of Malign Intentions LLC”… Relevance of the 150+ year old African slave trade to the Ukrainian issue I was speaking of?

              1. Tulpa was commenting about European colonists and their settlement policies in Indian lands. He makes an interesting point – there are some parallels in development of United States and Russian Empire/Soviet Union.

                United States had Manifest Destiny, Russia had russification policies and resettlement. US sent Native Americans into reservations to get rid of them, Russia/USSR sent everybody into Siberia, for much the same purpose. When US needed slave labor, it imported Africans. When Russia needed slave labor, it used serfs, or Soviet peasants of various nationalities.

  21. I sympathize with the Ukrainians that don’t want to be absorbed into Putin’s empire. I feel sorry Europe is the best option they have to turn to. But there really isn’t much the U.S. or Europe can do, because war with Russia is a non-starter. Russia would veto any U.N. resolutions. Europe is too dependent on Russian natural gas, and Putin is too willing to use that as leverage, for unilateral sanctions to gain any traction. The European economy is too weak to withstand the turmoil. So I see literally zero real options here other than words.

    Ukraine simply isn’t strategically important enough to warrant taking the risk of any real confrontation with Russia.

  22. “”Vice President Joe Biden used remarks at a reception he hosted in honor of African-American History Month to swing hard at the “malarkey” of voting right restrictions around the country ? specifically, citing voter ID laws in North Carolina, Alabama and Texas as offenders.

    “As he’s done before, Biden linked the voting rights fight now to the civil rights movement of the 1960s, calling the people trying to restrict voting now the intellectual descendants of those who beat the movement’s leaders in Selma 50 years ago.

    “”These guys never go away. Hatred never, never goes away,” Biden said.”

    http://www.politico.com/story/…..03965.html

    1. “”These guys never go away. Hatred never, never goes away,” Biden said.”

      Yeah, the ghosts of Byrd, Crow, and L.B.J will linger forever…

    2. And what was it LBJ said some 50 years ago in regard to the Great Society? Something about, “I deeply respect African-Americans and value their contributions to this country, and we owe it to every American to ensure they can live in peace and freedom as equals,” or something?

      Wait, that wasn’t quite it.

      Oh, yeah, it was, “I’ll have those niggers voting Democrat for the next 200 years.” Ah yes. Slipped my mind, what with all this tolerance and kumbayah. So tell me more about your intellectual ancestors, Uncle Joe. Please. I’d love to hear all about the Democratic Party’s legacy at the forefront of tolerance.

  23. Once again I feel embarrassed to be an American as “The Leader of the Free World” is proven again to be a pussy, while Putin again proves himself to be a strong leader. Sad.

    1. I seem to recall not long ago people tut-tutting Obama’s earlier ‘rhetoric’ as being unnecessarily intervention-y and warmongering….

      ..now he’s a pussy for lacking credibility?

      (apologies sarc – this isn’t really directed at you personally, but rather the noticeable change in sentiment here re: being earlier so passionately “DO NOTHING!”, now expressing surprise and dismay at the outcomes)

      1. Putin would never make a threat he wasn’t ready to back up.

        1. Sure –

          but I thought that kind of ‘strong leadership’ was to be rejected as interventionist power-grabbing and the worst thing in the universe.

          1. It’s called “speak softly, and carry a big stick”. Obama, on the other hand merely speaks big.

          2. His mouth is writing checks that everybody already knows he can’t cover.

            I’m not faulting him for not being a warmonger–I’m faulting him for saber rattling without a saber.

            He’s got nothin’!

            Nobody wants him to invade Ukraine. I want him to stop making idle threats and getting us into trouble! I’m want him to stop with the warmongering–not to actually follow through on his empty threats.

            Surely it’s possible to want Obama to stop making empty threats–without also wanting him to invade Ukraine.

            1. Especially if having your rivals view you as a “paper tiger” threatens your overall security in the long run.

              1. Yes to both you and Ken. Obama’s foreign policy has been reckless and degrading to America’s reputation and capability. Every time he fails to back up an empty threat, he puts himself in a tighter corner for the next situation, making it ever more likely that he will feel he has to actually take action to restore credibility.

                America used to be the sleeping giant no one wanted to mess with, now it’s more like the belligerent drunk at the bar that no one respects.

                1. America used to be the sleeping giant no one wanted to mess with, now it’s more like the belligerent drunk at the bar that no one respects.

                  aye

              2. Especially if having your rivals view you as a “paper tiger” threatens your overall security in the long run.

                Not just rivals either. It’s just as damaging when your current and potential future allies realize they can’t count on you when the chips are on the table.

              3. This is exactly the problem. Every time dopey runs his mouth it encourages the rest of the world to see the US as a limp noodle. Next time we actually do have security interests that are threatened we’ll have to do more than just rattle the saber, thanks to this dick.

            2. It seems no one has considered the possibility that non-idle threats might have prevented Russian intervention in the first place?

              nope. unpossible.

              1. What would have prevented Russian intervention in the first place would have been a United Nations that wasn’t merely a platform for the 3rd World to guilt money out of developed nations.

              2. See my comments above about Obama’s current situation with Russia in terms of Syria and Iran.

                Also notice how Putin has asserted in the past that if Ukraine joined NATO, he would annex Crimea.

                None of this should have been mysterious to anyone. It’s as if Obama consulted his wife instead of the State Department before he threatened “consequences”.

                It’s worse than his “red line” threat on Syria–because he should have learned from that mistake! Because Vladamir Putin is cleaning that mess up for him!

                Why couldn’t he keep his stupid mouth shut about consequences yesterday? Why couldn’t he go to a European summit, and push them to respond quickly instead?

                It’s their baby! They’re the ones Ukraine wants to join with. Why does Obama have to open his stupid mouth?

                1. Also notice how Putin has asserted in the past that if Ukraine joined NATO, he would annex Crimea.

                  When Putin first came to power, he moved his troops all the way to the other side of the Caucasus, pretty much as a gesture of goodwill. Bush responded by making Putin look like a fool by building missile defense installations in Poland, strengthening Turkey’s NATO installations, and courting the new Slavic states into NATO. Obama continue to use NATO to dick-slap Putin, and Russian culture’s long-standing collective fears of invasion, in the face.

                  Imagine how the Ukraine situation might have went if we hadn’t pissed away all our goodwill with Russia.

                  1. Russian culture’s long-standing collective fears of invasion

                    The “new Slavic states” and Poland have fears of invasion too, quite a bit more justified. Sorry, I’m not willing to sacrifice half a continent and hundreds of millions of people so Russia can feel collectively comfortable. If your neighbor installing a high fence makes you piss your pants, that’s your problem, not your neighbors.

                    1. Sorry, I’m not willing to sacrifice half a continent and hundreds of millions of people so Russia can feel collectively comfortable.

                      Well fortunately, unless you are either: (a) One of the high ranking lizard people members of the Illuminati who sit on the Council of 30, or (b) playing a game of Risk, that’s not a decision you have to make.

                    2. Er, weren’t you just criticizing Bush for letting countries that want desperately to ally with us to ally with us?

                      “Sorry Poland, you can’t be our ally. It would shrink Russian weiners if they knew they couldn’t invade you and occupy for 50 years again, and that wouldn’t be very nice of us.”

                    3. Bush, as far as I know, is a Lizard Person.

                      He has placed various “tells” in his self-portraits.

                    4. I’m criticizing Bush for not abolishing NATO entirely, the way his father should have after the Warsaw Pact was dissolved.

                    5. Gonna have to disagree here. There’s definitely a need for a militarily strong league of civilized democratic countries in the world, even in the absence of a persistent Soviet threat. It’s just unfortunate that we have to maintain the fiction that it’s a North Atlantic thing so we can’t include Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and maybe a few Latin American or African countries that show an ability to maintain a stable democratic government.

                  2. Imagine how the Ukraine situation might have went if we hadn’t pissed away all our goodwill with Russia.

                    It would go exactly the same because Russia is a belligerent ex-power with delusions of imperial grandeur.

                2. Politics. Why else?

                  Elections are coming up and he’s more worried about pundits busting his (and the Democrats’) balls about “selling out the freedom-loving Ukrainians to the Eternal Enemy – those dirty Russkies” than he is about touching off a war.

              3. It seems no one has considered the possibility that non-idle threats might have prevented Russian intervention in the first place?

                There are few non-idle threats available here. This isn’t Syria. And the ones there are have pretty horrid side-effects, to say the least.

              1. Oh, for goodness’ sake!

                No participating in preparatory meetings for the real G-8 meeting? But he’s still going to the G-8 meeting…

                Putin must be shaking in his boots!

                If Putin keeps going on the path he’s going? Obama might not bring donuts to the next summit, and God only know what might happen after that!

    2. I think we could make Putin seem a lot weaker if everyone in the USA agreed to refer to him as Pootin’. Make him the constant butt of jokes, as in “I heard the Russian leader is pootin’. Stunk up the place!” Then any time his name is announced, everyone breaks into laughter like his name was Dick Hertz or Mike Hunt. Suddenly the tough guy would be ridiculed everywhere he went, and he would become a self-conscious, timid little man who’d quickly get out of the spotlight, never to invade another country again.

      1. Well, actually, if you pronounced his name as it would be in French, it would be a homophone of this word?
        http://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/putain

      2. Reminds me of this:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01O62CDOKUE

        (Go to 3:30 mark)

  24. Question/discussion point: It’s hard for me to envision Russia, or any other country, making these kind of moves in the late 1990s in defiance of U.S. wishes. I guess it’s a consequence of an increasingly multipolar world.

    The question is if this is more a sign of waning perceived U.S. power (in an absolute sense) since the end of the Cold War, or if it is more a sign of the rise (or rebirth) of countries strong enough to oppose the U.S., at least in certain regions. In other words, are we weaker or are others just stronger?

    1. I’ll add that I think it is both, as Russia and China (to name a few) are obviously in better shape economically than they were in the late 1990s, and with that comes more political power. And I think our inability to achieve our desired outcomes in Iraq and Afghanistan, the political capital spent in those wars, and the war weariness of the American public has weakened the U.S. (or at least makes us appear weaker) in an absolute sense, even if we do have better weapons than we did 15 years ago.

      I’m not sure which factor is the most important, though.

      1. PRC is about to fall apart at the seams, and Russia is Saudi Arabia with nukes. For all the damage the BO admin has done, and continues to do, to the US, we’re still the floatiest turd in the toilet bowl.

        1. China has a difficult road to navigate but falling apart at the seams? I haven’t heard evidence of that.

          And Russia is a lot more relevant on the international stage than Saudi Arabia. They also have more than just nukes.

          1. China may hold together but the govt is in trouble. Xi Jinping makes Obama look competent.

            1. Uh Xi has been a reformist yeoman, though granted his refusal to bite the bullet and allow for debt consolidation by bankruptcy and more expensive money is a failure.

              1. I suppose trying to provoke shooting wars all over the region doesn’t even register on your radar as a problem?

          2. Russia is dying. Literally. Demographic are bad and emigration is making it worse. Capital flight is sucking the life out of the country. Inflation is higher than growth.

            1. Spot on. With weak leadership in the west, and declining oil and mineral revenues on the horizon, this is Putin’s last chance to grab everything on the table. He’s a smart man, and well aware of this, and he has no idea which way America’s political winds will blow in 2016, and isn’t going to wait to find out… I can’t blame him.

    2. In the case of Russia, the former IMO.

      The US has committed itself and its resources to the Middle East and Central Asia for the better part of two decades. Whereas the Reagan administration and most Cold War Presidents concentrated their efforts on Eastern Europe and East Asia, those areas have been relatively deprioritized as of late so that Russia’s relative power in the region has increased.

      1. Everything I’ve seen indicates a recent ramping up in US saber-rattling in East/Southeast Asia during the past few years.

  25. If you can’t believe Russia Today on this, who can you believe?
    Autonomous Republic of Crimea

  26. Church gets zoning variance to operate a music venue and tattoo parlor in a designated “industrial area.” The variance lasts for a 6-month probationary period. Other restrictions – only one music event per week which has to be on Fri or Sat, worship services on Sun evening, no more than 200 people at a concert or more than 250 at a religious service, and hire two off-duty town cops to provide security.

    http://posttrib.suntimes.com/c…..-area.html

  27. Can’t Hillary just push the Reset Button?

    1. What difference, at this point, ….

    2. THAT WAS EASY

  28. Pro-Russian mob violence in Kharkiv. Anti-Russian guys are run out of local government building.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZO9eaPMwgs#t=530

  29. I thought that kind of ‘strong leadership’ was to be rejected as interventionist power-grabbing and the worst thing in the universe.

    Power-grabbing is bad, but I don’t believe interference on our part will make things better or calmer.

  30. Obama’s playing with the big boys now. He won’t be able to drone his way out of this. He has been goofing around with red lines and targets that can’t really fight back to now. Libya? Easy. Syria? He got out of that one unscathed. Going up against Putin and Russia is going to be tougher, and I sincerely hope Obama doesn’t blunder us into something heavier than the not-a-war “kinetic action” he is used to.

    1. He’s always wanted a legacy accomplishment….

  31. Hey any socal guys and gals, a bunch of us are meeting in Long Beach at 11a for cocktails and orphan trading. About 5 of us are going so far, possibly more.

    1. If I was in town I’d be there!

    2. I wish I had hit refresh. 1 minute too late.

  32. So if this goes bad what will Poland do? The Baltic states? Finland? Yes, Finland. Don’t they have a history of a belief in a Greater Finland and if they sense enough weakness in Russia, perhaps drained by fighting a war, they’ll pounce and try to get those areas back? Perhaps excepting Estonia..

    And then what?

    1. Yeah, I don’t think Finland is going to go to war with Russia.

      1. I don’t think so either, if things stay rational. But politics can be anything but. Get enough Glory of Finland nationalist types worked up who knows, right? And this just might be the sort of thing they’re waiting for.

        1. There aren’t many glory of Finland nationalist types. Things like this don’t come out of nowhere. A hyper nationalist Finland will not simply materialize as a result of Russian weakness, it would take decades and probably generations for Finland to reach that point.

          1. Well then I’ll wrap that up in a bow of glad tidings.

          2. Or a really terrible hockey game.

            1. Violence connected to a hockey game? Absurd.

    2. Those countries had all better start reviewing their forces and talking to one another and getting real about NATO’s commitment to them (nonexistent).

  33. OT: SoCal reasoniods: We are having a brunch tomorrow at 11AM in Long Beach. 5 Yes, and a couple more maybes so far. Email Sloopy or leave contact info here if interested.

    Here is the menu.
    I’m having the eggs with blue crab and 5-8 mimosas.

    1. The chicken fried steak Benedict sounds intriguing (I just had a classic Benedict myself). I can’t see the eggs and crab being enough food, but maybe you’re just a shrimp. Albeit a shrimp who can down a bunch of booze at brunch.

      1. who can down a bunch of booze at brunch.

        Food is consumed at brunch? Huh, I always thought it was an excuse to drink Bloody Marys.

      2. 6′ 185lbs.

        Egg omelette, crab, avocado, jack cheese, fruit, and drinks isn’t an insignificant amount of calories, though. I do plan on eating 2 other meals tomorrow also…

        1. Ok, not a shrimp, but do you even lift, bro?

          I usually work out before brunch so I need real food. As much as I absolutely love seafood of all stripes, it will digest in about an hour (eggs and cheese too) so I have to get beef or pork (chicken usually doesn’t cut it either but it’s not bad).

          If I’m really hungry I’ll order the chicken fried steak with eggs and sausage gravy from here, and it comes with hash browns and sourdough toast from Macrina. Polish the whole thing and you’ve got yourself a meal. Add a few beers in and it’s the full deal.

          1. I sleep in before brunch. But judging by the fact that you have beers at brunch, your brunch comes much later in the day than mine.

            1. True. I usually get up, eat something small (eggs and bacon), then go work out, then go to brunch, so it would usually be closer to 2. But how is beer any different than a mimosa? Alcohol is alcohol.

              1. I don’t think I’ve ever had beer and eggs in the same meal.

                Lunch beers are good, but I haven’t extended that preference to brunch. Yet.

    2. I wouldn’t expect Cali restaurants to be so affordable. Or is it just that New England is expensive?

      1. Long Beach has a lot of good, affordable food. When you get towards downtown/hollywood, it gets a little ridiculous. Worse than Newbury St.

      2. I just got back from San Francisco so I know what you mean.

        It was like visiting a third world country — overcrowded, dirty, oppressive govt, street people demanding money from every American they see, etc. Except everything costs twice as much.

        The weather is nice though.

        1. No it isn’t. It’s too cold. Even in the summer.

    3. As I said, it’s doubtful I could join you guys unless I get let off from work early.

      But that menu looks good and is surprisingly affordable.

      1. If Playa drinks enough you might be able to convince him to pay the entire bill.

        1. True.

          1. *hops flight out west*

    4. God, I’d love to but I’m busy tomorrow morning. Still, for future reference because I’d love to meet some fellow reasonoids before i leave LA, my email is jkearney001@gmail.com

  34. The Cold War boners happening in the media are epic.
    Get the tissue paper ready for when they all erupt.

    1. Well, the media is excited because they know we have a tried-and-true foreign policy genius at the helm.

      I’m surprised he hasn’t blamed the whole Crimean affair on a youtube video. Maybe he’ll blame it on Vimeo.

      1. The Charge of the Light-Bringer’s Brigade will be sung of for generations!

    2. Well it’s certainly making the Battlefield series of videogames look prescient.

  35. Why Christian Conservatives Love Jesus-Hater Ayn Rand
    Economic greed appears to trump Christian charity.

    1. It wasn’t Christ she hated, it was her former gardener Jesus Esquelerria. He wouldn’t trim her bush exactly how she wanted.

    2. Wow, they are so fucking desperate, they’re now going back to time-tested antisemitic canards like charging the late Ms. Alice Rosenbaum with deicide.

      Upon reading her blog, it appears Ms. Stoker is just one Cossack away from leading a pogrom herself, and poor, frequent Reason contributor, David Harsanyi is first on her list.

        1. We all go through a phase at that age.

          1. A belief in liberation theology is a hell of a phase.

            1. I was a militant solipsist for three years. “I’m the only thing that exists, and so are you!”

      1. She also appears to be arguing in favor of theocracy:

        Folks like Harsanyi think in spheres. Christians can’t. All of life is touched by gift and grace ? this is what gives life its awesome intensity. But it also dissolves imagined barriers between the realm where we’d like to be pious ? say, sitting in church on Sunday ? and the realms where we’d like to evade the eye of God and do wrong ? say, in the construction or non-construction of aid for the poor.

        Every country that operates under the belief that Stoker is advocating ends up like Iran. She’s literally arguing in favor of a religiously motivated government.

        1. HOLY FUCK!

          Christianity proposes another vision that is neither alternative nor potential handmaid in the ‘compatible’ sense, but a radical ontological turn: states are gifts from God that can serve as remedial communities during our journey on earth, and since we participate in their shaping with God, we can either make them good or bad. But the goodness must be evaluated by God’s standard ? there is no other ? and the ethics we as Christians employ in our political orientation must be of that same standard, not plucked from some place less real.

          States are gifts from God. I’m sure the Saudis agree.

          1. States are gifts from God. I’m sure the Saudis agree.

            As would your typical Israeli Religious Zionist. But I have a feeling that young Miss Stoker would squeal like a stuck pig if you pointed that out to her.

        2. say, in the construction or non-construction of aid for the poor

          I am NOT going to read the rest of this crap. But, based on this excerpt, this is the classic leftist argument: if you don’t support government run welfare you don’t care for the poor. Most of the Christians I know who criticize the state give regularly to the poor.

          1. Charity only counts if it’s from the state, or something.

      2. There can be no space in Christianity that is not dominated by God

        Except she isn’t arguing for a politics dominated by God. She is arguing for politics dominating the lives of other people.

        Folks like Harsanyi think in spheres. Christians can’t.

        BS. I’m Christian and I can think of roughly 7 billion separate spheres that I have no right, by God or anything else, to force myself in to.

        1. I love when the bring up Jesus arguing in favor of feeding the poor.

          I must have missed the part where Jesus argued that the Roman government should coerce people into doing so and kill them if they didn’t.

          1. “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” ring a bell?

            1. That was an argument in favor of Christians turning their back on world things in favor of the divine. They were basically saying “We followers of God should not care about material things when our reward is in heaven.”

              Stoker is actually making the opposite argument: That Christians must construct a government so obsessed with material and worldly things that they provide those things to everyone.

              Jesus wanted Christians to renounce involvement in worldly states and kingdoms and to only care about the kingdom of God. That’s the exact of opposite of what Stoker is saying when she says “States are a gift from God.”

              1. The fact that God doesn’t force people to follow Him is always lost on these types. I would argue their eagerness to use force as a means of spreading Christian values (or those of any religion) is a form of blasphemy, by their own standards. They are assuming a power God Himself doesn’t claim.

                1. Last I checked, God claims the power to throw people in eternal hell if they don’t believe in him.

                  1. But you’re given a choice. Free will and all that.

                    1. Yeah, you have a choice of believing in God or suffering eternal torture. No government in all of past or future human history can match that level of coercion.

              2. I agree. Stoker is taking Augustine’s City of God model and presenting that as an argument for the legitimacy or illegitimacy of a state.

                While her argument possesses its own consistent internal logic, I don’t think she’s fully thought through the consequences of her premises. For example, if a state doesn’t meet her high standards of Christian morality, does she propose we go-a-Crusadin’ to “liberate” the poor, oppressed people of that God-gifted nation?

                And even more egregious is this statement:

                my NRSV lays it out a little differently

                YOUR NRSV?!? Bitch, if you position yourself as the next Joan of Arc riding into battle against the heathen libertarian, you need to get your lingua Latina on at least, if not Koine Greek.

                Yessh!

                1. The fact that she thinks the NRSV gives her authority over religious matters is awesome. The King James is really inaccurate when you compare it to the source material, but it’s at least poetic enough to be interesting.

                  The NRSV has all the inaccuracy of the King James Bible with the poetry stripped away.

                  1. RSV is decent. NRSV, as you may know, was mainly concerned with removing or replacing gender-biased pronouns.

              3. I’m not sure I agree with that interpretation of the “Render” line. Everything I’ve read of the Church Fathers (which at one time was a lot) indicates that was straightforwardly talking about recognizing worldly authorities over material things but giving yourself (which bears God’s image as much as the coin bears Caesar’s) to God.

                “States are a gift from God” is basically regurgitating some material from Paul’s letters about worldly governments being appointed by God to punish wrongdoers. Of course Paul would never have even recognized democracy as being on the menu, he was talking about lawbreaking and rebellion being off the menu.

                1. Of course Paul would never have even recognized democracy as being on the menu, he was talking about lawbreaking and rebellion being off the menu.

                  What makes you say that? I’ve always heard that the early Church was democratic in its structure. Or was Paul the guy who ended all that?

                  1. Not sure where you heard that from. It was certainly less uniformly hierarchical, but Paul speaks of overseers/bishops having authority over communities already in the mid-1st century.

                    1. I guess I’m thinking of democracy in a different way than you. What I was thinking of were the early Church synods, where bishops got together to discuss issues and vote on them. Not necessarily that the elders of the church were elected by laypeople or something like that.

                    2. I’d call that oligarchy, but whatever. In any case, I don’t think Paul would have understood democracy as a political system.

                2. Regardless of our agreement over the ‘Render unto Caeser’ line, people who take that to mean taxes are good and wonderful tend to forget that one of the things that led to Jesus’ crucifixion was an allegation of fomenting tax evasion.

                  And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this fellow perverting the nation and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ, a king.”

                  In other words, Jesus was literally crucified because it was alleged he stood in opposition to the state and its attempts at tax collection. If a new Jesus came around today, Stoker would throw him in prison for not being statist enough.

                    1. Is she seriously arguing that the NAP means you’re morally obligated to never help anyone?

                    2. I think she’s saying that the NAP is the Alpha and Omega of all libertarian morality and that there are no other principles that we use in which to judge the morality of an action.

                    3. It’s actually not surprising that she thinks that way given her other quotes. She basically believes that there is NO DIFFERENCE between political and moral beliefs. She states this clearly in several of the posts up above.

                      As a result, when a libertarian says “my beliefs on this issue are strictly political and not necessarily moral” this idea is alien to her. For example, I believe it’s wrong to do heroin, but I don’t think it should be illegal. The idea that I could think something is wrong without wanting to outlaw it makes no sense to Stoker, since she is essentially a fascist theocrat.

                      She is marvelously internally consistent when it comes to her mindless state worship though. Given that you aren’t supposed to have any God before God in the Christian faith, I’m pretty sure she’s going to burn in hell for erecting the state as a false idol.

                    4. She basically believes that there is NO DIFFERENCE between political and moral beliefs … She is marvelously internally consistent when it comes to her mindless state worship though.

                      Nope, you can’t even give her that.

                      She makes the exception for abortion, of course.

                    5. Stoker represents the essence of statism, which is that the only medium of human interaction that matters is force. Inherent in her criticism of the NAP is the assumption that, absent coercion, the overwhelming majority of humanity is short-sighted, greedy, stupid and cruel. Humanity must be ruled by enlightened philosopher kings or suffer a nightmarish dystopia. Government is the font of all good, therefore nothing good happens without explicit authorization (and the requisite threat of force) on the part of the government.

                      This is why they don’t recognize things like private charity or cooperation as valid; it isn’t backed by the mandate of state force, hence it doesn’t exist. For a certain type of person, this is terrifically liberating, because it lifts the moral burden of action (or inaction) by placing agency in the hands of a paternal state. So Ms. Stoker can sit in her house and rail against the injustice of a government not forcing her to go help her neighbor. All the moral high-ground, none of the skin in the game.

    3. Yeah – one of my concern-troll soon-to-be-ex-“friends” posted this on the social media.

      Yeah, when you misrepresent a whole bunch of positions, this TOTALLY makes sense!

      Fucking idiots.

    4. Here’s the subtitle to her blog:

      CHRISTIAN ETHICS. INEQUALITY. RESTORATIVE JUSTICE.

      I hate this woman more than I ever thought possible.

      1. Oh god, I actually read her comments. What a fucking idiot. Her position on the concept of property is absolutely fascinating. She actually maintained that a.) property as a concept doesn’t exist, and b.) only “Biblical scholars” such as herself are qualified to debate Christian ethics.

        Which is funny, because God doesn’t exist and she’s debating economics…

  36. Whatever. I had a SUPERB shrimp po’ boy for lunch from the little N’Olean’s-style place the next time over. Oh. My. Goodness! It was terrific. They make their own buns, too. REALLY good. OMG.

    Got an order of Cajun shrimp “to go” for dinner. Just had that….WHEW that’s spicy!! Really, really good.

    Chef/owner comes from NOLA and worked at the school my wife was at – started this place last year. Lucky us.

    OK – so, some shit is going down somewhere in the world that doesn’t really threaten the US’ interest all that much, and the Bamster pointed to the sabre on the wall (cause he’s such a puss he won’t pick one up and rattle it), and Putin’s sending in troops, and the Krauthammers and McCains are all “WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING!!! [stupid]!!!” Is that about it?

    Yeah – so it’s still Saturday. Good to know.

    Highly recommend the Crooked Bayou Caf? in Fowlerville. Just SUPERB shrimp.

    That is all.

    1. Throw me something mister!

  37. CAPTION: “Pull my finger! Come on! DO IT!”

    1. “If you pull my finger I’ll make the Pootin’ sound”

    1. Every day is a good time to talk about control in the Age of Obama!

      1. Putin is about to engage in Tartar Control, too.

        1. They should just Cossack up at not be russin’ into things.

        2. Putin is about to attempt Tart Control.

          1. He’s a pimp?

          2. Or a school administrator in charge of breakfast pastry shapes?

    1. FFS that is sorry.

    2. Looks like Putin needs some sensitivity training

  38. Krugabe must be ecstatic.

    Broken windows!

  39. And let me add this is a reason why culture matters.

    What happens when all the Mexicans who come in decide they want to be a part of Mexico, not the US? Goodbye to the Southwest and California.

    (Which to be fair, is how the US got those places in the first place. But as an American, I really don’t want to lose those regions)

    1. (Which to be fair, is how the US got those places in the first place. But as an American, I really don’t want to lose those regions)

      I have no problem with secession, regardless of who wants to do it.

      Hell, given how completely opposed to my way of thinking California is, I wouldn’t have too much of a problem with the Mexicans taking those electoral votes out of the country.

      1. But that’s never gonna happen because then who will pay for their food stamps? Other Mexicans will never be able to support that kind of expense. No, they don’t need to do secede. They will just wait another generation and all of the country will look like Southern California now.

        1. Shut the fuck up, American.

    2. “Because we live here!” BANG!

    3. What happens when all the Mexicans who come in decide they want to be a part of Mexico, not the US?

      Yes. Because your average Mexican immigrant is just itching to return to the corrupt, violent kleptocracy they decided to leave (by hook or by crook) in the first place.

      Then again, it look about 100 years, but those filthy Irish Papists finally managed to get one of their own elected as President, and look where we are now!

      1. Mexicans are like people in Detroit. I’m sure they are aware that their own elected leaders pursue destructive policies. But they continue to elect them, because the alternative is to elect people who look like the leaders of other cities.

        1. What the hell does that even mean? The white Mexican minority that forms most of the elite in the country already holds most of the political power. Any bias in Mexico based on skin color certainly doesn’t benefit darker skinned individuals.

        2. You’re referring to Mexicans in America, right? Because your statement makes no sense otherwise.

          1. It doesn’t make any sense either way.

        3. Then why is most of Mexico nothing like Detroit?

          1. Good point — Detroit has fewer roadside headless corpses.

      2. We’re all familiar with successful people from blue states moving to red states to escape the taxes and job-killing regulation, and immediately proceeding to vote in politicians who raise taxes and kill jobs in their new state.

        Yet somehow, to suggest that Mexicans who come here for a panoply of reasons might wind up doing the same thing, is racist or xenophobic or whatever the hate-word of the day is.

        1. Yet somehow, to suggest that Mexicans who come here for a panoply of reasons might wind up doing the same thing, is racist or xenophobic or whatever the hate-word of the day is.

          It is if you somehow tie that phenomenon to being an inherent part of their character merely by place of origin. Nevertheless, you raise a good point in your first paragraph. A while back, there was a rare moment of lucidity on the H y R comments and we looked into the claim that the GOP was pissing away potential Latino votes by using actual data. I’m too lazy to search for the thread now, but we had people linking to the “doi”s of various papers. One paper I found sampled around 3,000 Mexican immigrants (if I remember correctly) as to their political affiliation in Mexico before coming here. Most of the Mexicans identified themselves with the party in Mexico that was described by the researcher as “socially conservative and fiscally centrist”.

          Now, as you point out, people from Bluelandia who have every reason to be “fiscal conservatives” come to Redlandia and flip their affiliations. And it is a phenomenon worthy of consideration. Political culture shock, maybe?

          1. When translating “fiscal centrist” to its US equivalent, keep in mind that nationalizing industries and banning all guns everywhere are actually viable political positions in Mexico.

            Terry McAuliffe didn’t run on making Virginia more like DC and Maryland, he ran on taking care of the poor and respecting women’s rights. That’s how he got the MD-DC tax/jobs refugees to vote for him. But they’re getting the MD-style tax increases and job killing nonetheless. I’d imagine the Dems do the same thing with Mexican immigrants who vote (legally or otherwise) — play up support for the poor and demagogue Republicans, and hope poca informacion voters don’t notice the Dem positions on social issues.

          2. It is if you somehow tie that phenomenon to being an inherent part of their character merely by place of origin.

            The phenomenon is entirely cultural – so it is related to the place of origin because cultures are geographically focused.

            A factor in that phenomenon that goes mostly ignored is that people from central and south america have a different conception of government than people from the US. People in the US actually believe the we are the government nonsense while latin americans see the the government as an exogenous force imposed on them.

            The problem with that pov is that it makes the people holding it more receptive to the sales pitch that the government should help the people. The government is exogenous, after all, with a long history of oppressing the people so it’s about time the people get there ‘fair share’ and / or revenge.

            Another factor is that Latin American economies are largely based on extractive sectors which leads to zero-sum thinking. People are rich because their ancestors stole farm land, ranch land, mines, fisheries etc. from the people and it’s about time that those historical grievances be addressed.

        2. “We’re all familiar with successful people from blue states moving to red states to escape the taxes and job-killing regulation, and immediately proceeding to vote in politicians who raise taxes and kill jobs in their new state.”mi

          To what extent is this actually a real thing, and to what extent do people exaggerate its effects by blaming any policy changes on this, and ignoring the possibility of shifting views of the state’s native population?

          1. Also, JeremyR didn’t just say Mexicans are gonna turn states Democrat or whatnot. He said they’re going to give the West back to Mexico. Did you miss that?

            1. I was responding to Heroic Mestizo, not Jeremy R.

              1. And HM (Heroic Mulatto, not Mestizo) was responding to that particular quote of Jeremy’s.

            2. I was responding to Heroic Mestizo, not Jeremy R.

          2. McAuliffe got his ass kicked outside of Richmond and the DC suburb counties, which also happen to be where the immigrants are moving. That’s a pretty strong indication.

            1. Why are people moving the DC suburbs? Because of the massive federal apparatus there. Are native Virginians in that area, heavily reliant on the feds not voting Democrat? That’s the important question for the comparison.

              1. Keep adding epicycles to that universe, Cali.

                The federal govt was already a major employer in NoVA in the 1980s and 1990s when it was bright red.

                1. And has the federal government not grown a lot in the last 20 years? Are younger people today not more likely to vote Democrat than older generations that have died off? All I’m asking for is some actual data that natives in NoVa are significantly less likely to vote Democrat than non-natives.

          3. To what extent is this actually a real thing

            All I can say is my lyin’ eyes have seen evidence of this during the 30 semi-odd years I have resided in southern NH. On the same note, we also have people coming here specifically to make the state more “free”.

          4. To what extent is this actually a real thing, and to what extent do people exaggerate its effects by blaming any policy changes on this, and ignoring the possibility of shifting views of the state’s native population?

            Immigrants destroyed CA as the golden state by bringing their culture with them.

            I’m referring to rust belt refugees that moved here from blue states (they weren’t called that at the time) in the 70s & 80s to escaped crappy economies and racial turmoil. And promptly began electing the same sort of scum that created those conditions in their home states.

            1. It’s a shame that places with natural ports, good weather, and strategic location tend to attract leftist authoritarians — who use the surplus generated by those beneficial characteristics to breed a dependent underclass, from which they harvest votes to solidify their power.

              This is why we can’t have nice things.

    4. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t you the guy that claimed that Cinco de Mayo is some sort of plot by Mexican-Americans that will eventually culminate in them rebelling and giving the West back to Mexico?

      1. They’ll wait until we are all too drunk on tequila…

    1. Finally someone respectable will attend the Oscars.

      1. Ellen Degenerate: where advertisers and award shows go to die.

  40. What happens when all the Mexicans who come in decide they want to be a part of Mexico, not the US? Goodbye to the Southwest and California.

    Oh, fuck off.

  41. And the band plays on. Let me know when Barack resets his latest reset.

  42. Putin may not be a very nice guy, but he’s better than George Soros. Putin simply steals a bit of your money and gets mad if you notice it, Soros tries to destroy your entire culture.

    1. Putin simply steals a bit of your money and gets mad if you notice it, Soros tries to destroy your entire culture.

      – 2 million Chechens

  43. Republicans call on Obama to act on Ukraine

    A member of the Senate Armed Services and Senate Foreign Relations Committee, McCain called Russia’s actions an “ongoing military intervention” that would only worsen in severity so long as the President and the international community sit on the sidelines.

    McCain’s pronouncement was the first in a growing chorus of Republican lawmakers demanding the White House act.

    The ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, said Obama must “lead a meaningful, unified response” to the crisis, something he has thus far failed to do.

    “The Russian government has felt free to intervene militarily in Ukraine because the United States,” Corker said in a statement, “along with Europe, has failed to make clear there would be serious, potentially irreparable consequences to such action.”

    The chair of the House Armed Services Committee, Buck McKeon, R-California, painted the administration’s hesitance to intervene in even starker terms.

    “History judges perpetrators of these actions poorly, as it does those who stand idly by,” McKeon said in a statement. “Our response should demonstrate the U.S. stands by its friends against bullies.”

    1. People who think electing Obama in 08 was better than the alternative of electing McCain just may have an argument now. This idiot is itching to start WW3.

      1. Why won’t he die?

        1. Every morning I ask God why Brittany Murphy had to die instead of McCain.

      2. Several times during Obama’s first term, when I would despair about what a disaster to our country Obama was, I had to remind myself that if McCain had been elected he’d have gotten us into three new wars.

        1. As opposed to the two that BO got us into?

          And the MSM would be fighting him every step of the way cause he had the wrong letter after his name.

    2. Notice how they can’t actually come up exact actions, only bullshit buzzwords and vague platitudes.

      So where Shriek?

      1. It’s not at all clear what actions against Germany were available to Chamberlain in 1938 either.

        Far more head-scratching is the French allowing Hitler to re-militarize the Rhineland in 1936 in violation of Versailles, despite indisputable French military superiority at that time.

    3. “History judges perpetrators of these actions poorly, as it does those who stand idly by,”

      Like Eisenhower w.r.t. Hungary in 1956? Or LBJ w.r.t. Czechoslovakia in 1968?

    4. When I was a kid we might have been the only people to own a comedy album of the day which parodyed the Soviet leaders, itself a takeoff on the ridiculously successful Vaughn Meader album The First Family (little comedy audio skits about the Kennedys.) It had a little song for gulag-bound Soviet dissidents that has always stuck in my head. It was to the tune of the commercial “See the U-S-A in your Chev-ro-let.”

      It went “See the Ukraine, from our cattle train.”

      Seems like it might soon be appropriate to drag that one out again.

    1. This one is a real winner:

      From the initial spates of violence coming largely from the direction of the protesters to the pro-EU and pro-IMF demands, it was clear from the very beginning that the Ukrainian people were being callously pulled back and forth between two world powers indifferent to any interests but their own.

      These powers, the United States and Russia, have been covertly jockeying for more and more control over Ukraine, a strategic location for both countries, for the last several years.

      Wait, what? This started due to controversy between pro-Russian and pro-EU Ukrainians. What the hell did America even have to do with this?

      Apparently the U.S. is a land of black magic and our very existence results in strife and violence.

      1. ” the Ukrainian people were being callously pulled back and forth between two world powers”

        commie progtards unsurprisingly believe that *everyone else except them* are mindless pawns of the mechanizations of evil corrupt capitalist regimes.

        The idea that people are actually acting in their own interests is something that bothers them

  44. Putin doesn’t want selected pieces of Ukraine anyway. He wants a strong negotiating position for keeping Ukraine from Westernizing.

    The reason is simple enough, and not because of phantom fears that Germany might somehow move eastward and threaten a nuclear-armed state, or because Putin has any special emotional attachment to Kievan Rus. Those are levers for manipulating public opinion, not things that move a realistic, rational ex-KGB man playing on the world stage.

    Rather, a successful Ukraine will undercut his rule in Russia. Just as West Germany was the best evidence that East Germany was a failure, and Taiwan’s economic success was both a reproach to and later a model for China, a successful liberalized Ukraine would be the best evidence that Putinism is a failure. Because of the historical/cultural affinity with the “Little Russians” and the numbers of real “Great Russians” in Ukraine, a successful Ukraine will spark Russian cries of “Why not here?” that the success of a Germany, Poland, or Latvia does not. Putinism cannot survive Ukraine succeeding on non-Putin terms.

    So, Putin, having lost his puppet in the presidency, is flexing military muscle in an attempt to have a good enough position at the bargaining table to make Ukraine keep its distance from Europe in the name of unity or convince Europe to keep its distance from Ukraine in the name of peace.

  45. “Putin doesn’t want selected pieces of Ukraine anyway. He wants a strong negotiating position for keeping Ukraine from Westernizing.”

    Mikheil Saakashvili, former president of the now selectedly pieced nation of Georgia, disagrees with you.

    “Nobody knows quite what to do here, and it’s really messy,” Mr. Saakashvili says, “and Putin knows exactly what to do.” The Georgian has never hidden his contempt for the Russian leader, but his reading of Mr. Putin has been validated daily as the drama has played out.

    “What does he want here? Chaos,” Mr. Saakashvili says. “He has good chances here this time to really chop up Ukraine. It’s going toward big-scale conflict. Big, big internal conflict. He’ll stir up trouble in some of the Ukrainian regions. It’s a very crucial moment. Russia will try to Balkanize Ukraine.”

    —-Wall Street Journal, February 28, 2014

    http://online.wsj.com/news/art…..1,641,1009

    1. Saakashvili misinterprets because he’s looking through a Georgian lens. What Putin wants in Ukraine is not what he wanted in Georgia. There was no threat to Putin’s very regime in Georgian domestic politics the way there is in Ukrainian domestic politics, there was just bits of strategically useful land, which Russia secured at gunpoint.

      Just holding the Crimea is a failure on Putin’s part. The naval base is valuable in its way, but it would have remained perfectly secure even with an EU-Ukraine economic association agreement going through as planned, which would have avoided all the protests and government change in the first place.

  46. The correct, just, and best solution is to allow the Crimea to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.

    We fought for Kosovo to do the same. We have absolutely no right to object to an ethnic Russian majority voting to secede.

    It needs to be put to a regional referendum, and the Russians will have to withdraw their troops for that to happen under international monitors. That is what we should be negotiating for. The Russians back off far enough to let the Crimea hold an unbiased vote. Chances are they will will so they have no good reason not to agree to this.

    1. Putin doesn’t care what Crimea wants. He’s probably just going to annex Crimea. If they like it, that’s great. If they don’t, so what?

      I think Obama should threaten Putin with harsh consequences if they don’t hold an election in Crimea.

      Obama should also threaten Putin over gay rights.

      And threaten Putin over global warming! Don’t forget global warming.

      Obama should threaten Putin over sugary soft drinks, too.

      1. I mean, those are all important issues…that Obama can’t do anything about.

        So why not throw them into the mix?

      2. Putin doesn’t want to antagonize the EU. He’s not interested in setting up a second Cold War. He just wants to protect Russia’s navel bases in the Crimea, which are key to it’s strategic control of the Black Sea.

        This allows Russia to keep control of those navel bases, and allows the rest of the Ukraine to get closer to the EU.

        Putin is (essentially) making it clear that he’s willing to go to war to maintain Russian control of the Crimea. That’s what the point is.

        We can accept that without going to war or destabilizing the Ukraine. This is how.

        1. Navel, even.

        2. He just wants to protect Russia’s navel bases in the Crimea, which are key to it’s strategic control of the Black Sea.

          Protect them from what?

          This is like the US sending troops into Cuba to protect Guantanamo — except the govt of that country actually has a history of hostility toward us.

          1. He want’s to preserve Russia’s strategic control of the Black Sea. To maintain Russia’s Great Power status.

            The bases in the Crimea are a critical strategic asset.

          2. Oleg Tyagnybok.

            Ukrainian National Socialists has been bad news historically. And not just for Russians.

    2. Why would Putin bother negotiating? He can take what he wants unilaterally.

      1. Because it’s not in Russia’s interest to start a new Cold War. They just want the Crimea, because it’s the home of their Black Sea fleet.

        1. Seriously, give this article a read:

          “With its 46 million people and the seat of ancient Kiev Rus, Ukraine was the most painful loss for the Russian imperium. In a private conversation with George W. Bush in 2008, Mr. Putin averred that Ukraine wasn’t a real state.

          “Putin never just says things,” says Mr. Saakashvili, who met with him often before the 2008 war. “Ukraine is a ‘territory’ to him and a territory needs to be divided. The problem with Putin is not just that he’s a revisionist. He’s revanchist. That’s why it’s a clash of interests. He wants it back.”

          http://online.wsj.com/news/art…..1,641,1009

          That makes the word of the day, “Revanche”.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revanche

          Putin feels about Ukraine, more or less, like how Hitler felt about the Polish Corridor.

          Putin isn’t going to bite off more than he can chew, but we should expect him to (more or less) do like he did with Georgia. He’ll take what he can get and wait for the rest.

          And what he can get is Crimea. His troops are already there, and no one else’s are. He basically already has Crimea. My question is why he would give it back to Ukraine without a fight.

          If the Crimeans start fighting the Russians, that might be one thing. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if that happens.

          1. Um…not “revanche”; I meant “revanchist”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revanchist

            Not a superhero.

            Seriously.

          2. He’s not GOING to give it back to the Ukraine. He’s signalled he is willing to go to war to maintain Russian control of the Crimea.

            And the Crimean people want to be part of Russia. It’s an ethnic Russian majority.

            We SHOULD let him have the Crimea. Because (a) that’s what the Crimean people want and (b) Russia has a critical strategic interest at stake there, and (c) they’ve signalled they will go to war to defend that interest, and (d), minus the Crimea, Ukraine can peacefully integrate into the EU.

            Our job is to negotiate a peacegful way to allow us to let the Crimea secede. Ergo – hold a referendum on it, which the Russian ethnic majority will probably win.

            The only caveat is that the Russians have to withdraw their troops for the vote to occur.

            Why would Putin object to a peaceful resolution of the conflict that let’s Russia annex the Crimea and have that be internationally recognized as a legitimate choice of the Crimean population?

            1. “We SHOULD let him have the Crimea. Because (a) that’s what the Crimean people want and (b) Russia has a critical strategic interest at stake there, and (c) they’ve signalled they will go to war to defend that interest, and (d), minus the Crimea, Ukraine can peacefully integrate into the EU”

              I find these post-facto ‘reasons’ to be almost interventiony in their very assumption that ‘reasons’ are necessary for determining any foreign policy posture = the right, moral, and doctrinaire thing to do is *niente*, because non-interventionism.

              This establishment of ‘conditions’ or ‘criteria’ and ‘ultimatums’ almost strangely seem as though there is a preferred outcome here. and HM is willing to put the U.S. in the middle of this issue to ‘negotiate’ (this word? I have not seen it before??) with parties, implying a willingness to utilize force in conditions of non-compliance…? it all amazes me, this strange and sudden and bizarre neo-Machiavellian willingness to monkey about in foreign affairs when just a few days ago even breathing in the very direction of ‘taking a side’ was considered an inflammatory and philosophically selfish notion…as though anyone other than *individuals* could possibly have *best interests*…

              Now you’re comfortably slicing up whole segments of foreign territories while averring to some fuzzy notions of ‘legitimacy’ and ‘popular will’. I had no idea that’s all it took to turn a libertarian into a Petit Kissinger.

              1. Did HazelMeade actually change his/her position on this matter or are you one of those people on the Internet who uses different people giving different opinions at different times to accuse people of hypocrisy?

            2. “And the Crimean people want to be part of Russia. It’s an ethnic Russian majority.”

              I don’t know anything about that.

              South Boston is an ethnic Irish majority.

              I’m not sure they want to be annexed by Ireland.

              I know plenty of ethnic Mexicans in San Diego, in areas with an ethnic Mexican majority where Spanish speakers predominate, and I’m sure they’d much rather that, say, San Ysidro remained part of the United States.

              Just because they want to stand up for the rights as ethnic Russians within the context of Ukraine, doesn’t necessarily mean they want to be part of Russia.

    3. If the Russians had any thought of allowing anyone in Ukraine to engange in self determinism, it would have refrained from actually sending armed units across the Ukrainian borders.

      1. From Russia’s perspective, it’s defending the self-determination rights of the ethnic Russian population. The deposed president was elected in what was recognized as a fair election. From their perspective, we (meaning the West) overthrew a democratically elected leader that was aligned with Russia. We’re now threatening one of their critical strategic interests – control of the Black Sea – and they are signalling that we have crossed a red line.

        1. I get all that. But my point still stands. If Russia wanted Ukraine to self-determine, Russia would have not militarily invaded Ukraine.

    4. Nonsense. If all Putin wanted was to secure the strategic position in Crimea, he wouldn’t have opposed the EU economic association agreement. Europe was hardly going to allow, much less pressure, Ukraine into cancelling the naval base leases.

      1. Ukrainian Nationalists would cancel all agreements. EU is just a side show, nobody cares about EU.

        1. Can you not remember back less than half a year? The Ukrainian nationalists wouldn’t have any power if the EU association agreement had been signed when finalized, because there wouldn’t have been the protests, and the entire snowball wouldn’t have rolled downhill. Putin would still have his stooge in the Presidency of it weren’t for it. The entire reason Putin has to worry about the Crimea is that Putin didn’t want Ukraine associating with the EU.

          1. Putin screwed up. If he knew the shitstorm he was starting, i bet he would reconsider. Yes, i agree, he way overplayed his hand, and helped Ukrainian Nationalists immensely. But snowball has gone so far now, that original EU trade dispute is quite immaterial. If Nationalists prevail, lease cancellations are not out of the question, and that’d doom Putin’s legacy (he’d be forever remembered as a guy who lost Crimea).

  47. OT – Take that, yinzers! Yer only score came off an own goal by Seabrook.

    1. Seabrook really put his all into that one. He looked like he was making the winning shot for the gold medal. How I wish the Pens could have turned that from a minor joke to a turning point.

  48. If I were Putin, what would I say to Barack? “As Elvis said to Nixon, you’ve got your show to run, and I’ve got mine…”

  49. Does Ukraine bear any responsibility for where it finds itself? Its government is corrupt and is dominated by oligarchs who fleece the country to line their own pockets. This seems to be continuing even after the “revolution” that expelled the “dictator.”

    http://www.economist.com/news/…..victorious

    Nations have no “right” to exist. They exist because they have the political, economic, diplomatic, military, social and cultural heft to maintain their own existence. If Ukraine cannot meet these conditions after having been given the chance, why is it our business to do the work for them?

    1. I doubt you will find many here advocating that we need to do anything about this.

    2. Umm… the corruption and oligarchy is the reason the Ukrainians overthrew the government in Kiev.

      Why in the world would libertarians want authoritarian Russian hegemony to grow?

  50. Yet somehow, to suggest that Mexicans who come here for a panoply of reasons might wind up doing the same thing, is racist or xenophobic or whatever the hate-word of the day is.

    If you use that as your guideline for determining whether to allow any individual Mexican to move here: Yes – yes, it is.

    If the government or residents of some African country refused to let me travel there because they believed white people were likely to attempt to conquer them and force them to work as slaves on rubber plantations, that would be racist or xenophobic or whatever the hate-word of the day was.

    It wouldn’t matter what their history was. It wouldn’t even matter if it was true that, on average, it was more likely that white people would try to do that.

    None of that would matter, because the racism part occurs where they don’t individually judge whether I, Fluffy, will personally try to conquer them and enslave them on rubber plantations.

    If you oppose Mexican immigration because you believe Mexicans will vote Democrat, that’s racist and xenophobic mistreatment of those individual Mexicans who would not vote Democrat. A non-zero number of people.

    1. Some Spaniards were great people so it was clearly racist of the native Americans to resist colonization in the 16th century.

      1. That was an armed invasion by the organized military of another state.

        Had groups of Spaniards shown up in ships on the coast of Mexico in 1499 and said, “Hey, can we mow lawns and build huts in exchange for corn?” that would have been a different matter altogether.

        1. My comment was meant to be an analogy whites in Africa. But now that you mention it, there is an organized group of people with the acknowledged goal of reuniting the Southwest US with Mexico. Not that I think they’ll be successful or that most Mexicans on either side of the border agree with them.

  51. My paternal grandfather was Ukrainian (he passed in ’75), and I grew up around an enclave of them (steelworkers). They all had (and still do) white hot hate for Russians. Especially the older generations.

    And from the stories they tell, they have good cause.

  52. Obama will denounce the Russians, and the opposition will say Obama isn’t Doing Enough to Confront the Russians.

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