Ukraine

The War in Ukraine Is Putin's Fault, but 30 Years of Misguided U.S. Foreign Policy Didn't Help

NATO is a means to an end, not an end unto itself.

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There is one person—and just one person—who is responsible for the widespread death and devastation inside Ukraine right now, and that is Vladimir Putin. He has attacked and invaded a sovereign nation without justification. Putin's nostalgia for the old Soviet Union is despicable, and his imperialist ambitions to expand his authoritarian grasp are in direct violation of international law, humanitarian principles, and the very stability of the post–World War II peace that has endured in much of the word for decades.

Putin is a tyrant and a killer. His decision to put Russia's nuclear forces on high is unconscionable. It's a move that harkens all the way back to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962—a leader of a superpower has unilaterally brought civilization closer to nuclear war. This is indefensible, and the whole world knows it. The people of Russia know it: That's why thousands of them are protesting Putin's war all over their country. Putin's government has arrested more than 6,000 peaceful demonstrators so far.

Putin's nuclear threats will put the rest of the developed world on high alert in response. This means we've rapidly landed in a place where the risk of all-out nuclear war is significantly higher. There's no reason for this. We are in this situation because of the actions of one very evil man.

All of that said, it's important to call out the bad U.S. foreign policy moves that helped get us here. And even though no one did this but Putin, the U.S.'s failed approach to Russia for the last 30 years—a bipartisan effort that includes mistakes by Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden—deserves criticism as well.

Let's start with the Clinton administration in the 1990s. As Reason's Eric Boehm pointed out, Clinton was the first U.S. president in decades to inherit a world that did not include the Soviet Union. Clinton could have completely revamped NATO now that its purpose—defending member nations against the expansion of the Soviet Union—was no longer applicable. Instead, Clinton, with the Republican Party's support, oversaw an expansion of NATO. Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland all joined. Years later, Putin would cite this enlargement of NATO as one of the West's "broken promises" that justified his Ukraine policy.

Again, Putin is dead wrong. Nothing justifies his Ukraine policy. But the purpose of NATO was defensive: to protect the world from Russian aggression. If NATO policy is antagonizing Russia and being used as a pretext for invasion, it clearly isn't serving that goal.

With the Clinton administration's backing, NATO also intervened in Yugoslavia in 1999 to ensure an independent Kosovo. That military action never had the backing of the United Nations; it was a violation of international law, just like Putin's attack on Ukraine.

George Bush's foreign policy has not held up well, due to the U.S.'s horrendous misadventures in the Middle East, but Bush blundered in Europe as well. At a 2008 NATO summit—one attended by Putin—Bush staunchly supported Ukraine's eventual admittance to NATO, over the objections of France, the U.K., and Germany.

The Obama administration, of course, inflamed tensions with Russia when the U.S. took sides in the 2014 Ukrainian revolution. And then came Donald Trump. Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media ceaselessly accused Trump of being a Russian stooge, even a pro-Putin plant, installed by Russia as president of the U.S. due to a subtle influence campaign on Facebook. This was of course ridiculous—and as evidence of how ridiculous the claims are, Trump's actual administration was just as foolishly tough on Russia as his predecessors. In 2017, Vice President Mike Pence even reiterated the 2008 Bucharest declaration.

The Biden administration maintained that same fiction. A clear declaration that the Ukraine would not be joining NATO might have deprived Putin of the intellectual ammo he required to move forward with this invasion. We don't know for sure. But it was incumbent on the U.S. to try. NATO is a means to an end—a more safe and secure Europe—not an end unto itself. If expansion is creating the very conditions that NATO's existence is supposed to prevent, it's not working. Yet every single U.S. president since the end of the Cold War has misunderstood this. And now here we are.

NEXT: This War Isn't Going as Putin Planned

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  1. The purpose of NATO is to maintain U.S. hegemony in Eurasia and to act as a conduit through which to leverage concessions and acquiescence, using the threat of force, against any state or states that are viewed by the U.S. government as a threat or impediment to its hegemony.

    Now, if there is a debate to be had about why this is good or bad, or whether it is in the interests of the United States, let's have that argument.

    However, nobody should be under any illusions as to what NATO is, or is not.

    1. That's total bs. American influence over the Europeans is directly proportional, more or less, to the level of aggression coming from Putin's dictatorship as you can plainly see right now. Europe was divided on many fronts before this aggression but now all that division seems trivial in comparison. Putin threw away his entire game of division and corruption in a weekend. All that hardwork dividing and infiltrating our societies was wiped out in a matter of days. If Putin thinks he can control and exploit Ukrainian resources and sell those resources to China he is sorely mistaken. China would be buying stolen wheat, stolen property. China would be exposed as a two bit operation which is the very opposite of the image they fight so hard to project. The stolen resources from Ukraine assuming Russia succeeds in this vile invasion will be blockaded and the ships will be seized to pay for war damages and the theft and murder. Russia will be sued into the dirt and it will be impossible for a legitimate business to trade with Russia. China wants to be a serious player and it will be impossible to be one and do business with the terrorist state of Russia. Russia is also killing slavs using Muslim Chechens. No way the actual slavic nationalists excuse that shit.

      1. Neo-libs and neo-cons unite. I prefer to call them all warmongering faggots, because none of them will ever volunteer or lift a finger to join the fight, while clamoring for war the loudest.

        Fuck off and die.

        1. The decent people of this world don't want war (Putin has trusted and profited from that very sentiment to push his agenda) but they're not going stick their asses up in the air and let Putin fuck them like you have.

          1. The Ukrainians are taking foreign volunteers.

            1. Go get ‘em tiger!

            2. Not...The....Right to....

              Bear arms!!!!

              OMG!

              1. Unfortunately it takes events like what's taking place in Ukraine to renew the support of the people for the 2nd Amendment. The Democrats are in for something historical this year.

                1. Our government is quite adamant about arming people elsewhere in the world to topple governments and regimes that it finds problematic or inconvenient. They do not want that happening here, of course -- so, no guns for you, insurrectionist.

            3. Just a few good men could turn it our way!!!

            4. Those used to be known as mercenaries. The U.S. being the biggest of them all.

          2. Ah, yes the decent people that couldn't point out Ukraine on a map until about a week ago.

            Grab a rifle and ship off.

            Noble, decent people dying in a war is the pinnacle of all possible achievements.

            1. It’s a pretty big co7ntry. Not that hard to miss. Plus it should be familiar to anyone who has ever played ‘Risk’.

              1. Ukraine is game to you???

                1. No, Ukraine is game to United States warmongers.

            2. It IS one helluva virtue signal.

              Of course, universal elements of proper US progressive virtue signals are that they must be cost-free and benefit no one but the signaler.

          3. The decent people of this world don't want war

            The stolen resources from Ukraine assuming Russia succeeds in this vile invasion will be blockaded and the ships will be seized to pay for war damages and the theft and murder.

            It is so strange when people advocating war simultaneously pretend to oppose war. They seem to think blockades and no-fly zones magically occur because of words rather than acts of war. What's more bizarre is that these people so utterly incapable of understanding anything seem to regard themselves as intellectuals.

      2. The stolen resources from Ukraine assuming Russia succeeds in this vile invasion will be blockaded and the ships will be seized

        You do know that Russia and China share multiple land boarders?

        1. Probably doesn't. Or that Russia has a major railroad that has a major sour into China. Or that Russia has a major port that is mere miles, across a small inlet from North Korea. Or that there is are two major highways between China and Russia that travel through the Russian client states of Kazakhstan and the other through the Russian client state of Mongolia. I am betting he doesn't even know where Ukraine and Russia are on the map.

          1. *major spur

      3. Why would China care if it's buying stolen goods? They steal goods all the time for their own use. That's a pretty ill informed statement.

        1. For the win!

          It's been going on for decades.

          All the while, we wring our hands.

      4. I can't even.
        What bullshit.
        What's Russia supposed to do?!?! Wait until Ukraine joins NATO and parks a slew of short range nukes on their doorstep?
        Where was your outrage in 2014 when Victoria Nuland overthrew the lawfully elected government of Ukraine and installed actual NAZIs? (I know he was corrupt, but no more than any other European neoliberal)

    2. I thought the Nazis in this conflict are recognized as the Jewish Ukrainians.

      All these demonstrations remind me of the Jewish led global boycotts of all German trade in 1933 long before any Jews were allegedly persecuted.

      Nazis and Jews are like peanut butter and chocolate. They have identical agendas but only one can be the winner. Both right wing socialists. Just ask the Palestinians.

      http://mronline.org/2022/02/24/what-you-should-really-know-about-ukraine/

      “Washington Used Nazis to Help Overthrow the Government“

      “ The facts above give more context to Russian actions following the coup, and ought to counter the caricature of a Russian Empire bent on expansion. From Russia’s point of view, a longtime adversary had successfully overthrown a neighboring government using violent far-right extremists.

      The Crimean peninsula, which was part of Russia until it was transferred to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic in 1954, is home to one of two Russian naval bases with access to the Black and Mediterranean seas, one of history’s most important maritime theaters. A Crimea controlled by a U.S.-backed Ukrainian government was a major threat to Russian naval access.

      The peninsula—82% of whose households speak Russian, and only 2% mainly Ukrainian—held a plebiscite in March 2014 on whether or not they should join Russia, or remain under the new Ukrainian government. The Pro-Russia camp won with 95% of the vote. The UN General Assembly, led by the U.S., voted to ignore the referendum results on the grounds that it was contrary to Ukraine’s constitution. This same constitution had been set aside to oust President Yanukovych a month earlier.”

      1. "I thought..."

        You've never done anything of the sort, Nazi shitbag

        1. I am not a Najewzi.

          1. No, you're just a Nazi.

            1. See how I did that,

              There’s a Jew at the centre of every Nazi.

              Just like a chocolate peanut butter cup.

              1. Forcefully injected. Garbled. Sounds like your understanding of history too.

              2. You really should commit suicide.

    3. Lying and rewriting for the wrong side already?

      Youre not even waiting to be on the wrong side of history.

      Are you Trolling for Russia in Russia or out?

      1. You're just as bad as Joe Friday and LoS, just you come from the other side.

        1. He really is a loathsome piece of shit.

          1. Misek is correct. Y'all are just butthurt.

    4. NATO is many things to many countries. To the former satellite states of the Evil Empire, NATO was a hope that they could avoid being terrorized by Russians for another half century.

      If Poland felt that NATO was a way to impose US Hegemony, they must really like US Hegemony. Or, perhaps, they fear Russian meddling so much- especially since it is now headed by a guy who pines for the days of the Old Russian Way- that they feel it is best to join a multi-national alliance to avoid that fate.

      I don't like NATO- mainly because I think it is far more of a tool of Europeans to keep the US around, despite the fact that we long ago should have left them to deal with their own shit. But the idea that it is some evil provocation of Russia- instead of a reaction to it- or that it is some American-only power grab- is simplistic.

      1. ^This.
        NATO served a purpose, but that ended in 1991. Since then it's turned from a mutual defense alliance into the US paying for most of Europe's defense, so they didn't have to and could instead pay for the welfare state handouts. All the while, they criticized us for how much we spent on defense and how unenlightened we were for not adopting their policies.
        If nothing else, this war has maybe made Europeans more willing to pay some for their own defense. But we'll see how long it lasts. I ain't betting the farm on it lasting very long. They'd rather debate if the stipend college kids get, while going to "free" college is big enough rather than upgrade and train in their leopard tanks. And paying the less enlightened Eastern European countries for electricity made from fossil fuels, so that they can pretend to be doing something about climate change.

      2. Let's hear it for the Tzar!

    5. "The purpose of NATO is to maintain U.S. hegemony in Eurasia and to act as a conduit through which to leverage concessions and acquiescence, using the threat of force, against any state or states that are viewed by the U.S. government as a threat or impediment to its hegemony."

      You.
      Are.
      Full.
      Of.
      Shit.

      1. Triggered neocons can go suck a dick

  2. While I think NATO has long outlived its usefulness, you can't say Putin is 100% responsible "but .... NATO egged him on".

    NATO did not enslave the new members, as the USSR enslaved its Warsaw Pact members; they wanted to join, and NATO wanted to enlarge their bureaucracy. Russia had and has a large military and nuclear weapons; NATO could still claim their purpose was unchanged. Putin's aggressiveness since he came to power shows NATO's stated purpose was not all bullshit. Russia's military has been inept and incompetent for a long long time; but current events show it is still dangerous, and Putin shows it is still a danger.

    1. ...you can't say Putin is 100% responsible "but .... NATO egged him on".

      There's no more to say about it than this.

      Sorry Robby; no sale.

      1. It’s almost like he’s not allowed to say otherwise.

      2. She deserved it, did you see how she was dressed?

      3. He could have stopped with the first paragraph.

      4. What did you guys expect? Does a leopard change its "to be sure"s?

    2. Threatening to extend NATO to Russia's border was a provocation. Failing to reach a diplomatic solution or an effective deterrent before the invasion was another failure to add to Biden's list.

      But Putin is solely responsible for the death and destruction caused by his invasion. The Russian people and leadership should remove him as soon as possible, order the withdrawal of all forces and rejoin the world economy.

      National success in the 21st century isn't gained by conquering land and controlling natural resources, it's gained by developing human talent, and by maintaining effective and stable legal, financial and market systems.

      1. NATO has been on Russia's border since 1999

        1. This, and taking Ukriane will only make that worse with Poland and Romania.

      2. "Threatening to extend NATO"???

        NATO is a voluntary group. If NATO wants to admit a country which wants to join, that is their business, not Putin's. If Putin has any say in Ukraine's membership in NATO, then Ukraine is not a sovereign nation.

        Maybe you approve of the Warsaw Pact, forced membership, and the USSR preventing Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Poland from exercising national free will. Maybe you think the US, Britain, and Germany should have invaded France to prevent de Gaulle from leaving.

        Stop making excuses for Putin.

        1. Joining gangs is voluntary. If you neighbor wants to join a gang, what business is it of yours? What objection can you possibly have?

          1. "Gang" usually denotes a criminal group which intends to do harm. Are you calling NATO a gang? Most people would use the word "club".

            I have no objections to my neighbor joining a club.

            1. The Axis alliance was just a club, then.

              1. Really? No harmful intentions?

                Do you even read, bro?

                1. Bingo.

                  Military alliances ... exist ... not as a consortium for hobbyists ... but ... as a foundation ... for concerted ... military action.

                  Now, you can parse whether any given action engaged in by an alliance is or is not "criminal," with the definition changing depending on what side you are on, but to call NATO a fucking "club" is ridiculous.

                  1. Uh, one is not like the other and if you can't figure it out, I'll get $750/hr to explain it, and at a guess, it'll take 'way more than an hour.

                    1. Here's something you may not have know, and this is free: The axis alliance also saw themselves as the good guys.

              2. "The Axis alliance was just a club, then.

                Man, the 'both sides' mental disability is serious here.

                1. Seeing only one side of the equation is how you land yourself into a war you cannot win and a formula for making bad decisions.

                  Note: You do not need to agree with the other side to see the conflict from their perspective.

                  Barreling through the analysis in a straight line leads to bad results like, for example, twenty years of pointless war in the Middle East/Central Asia.

                  1. But you've been the most guilty of this. You've accused people who've spent weeks talking against the war and NATO pro-war because they've disagreed with your historically dubious analysis. You can blame Putin for his actions while still acknowledging that the US actions aren't guilt free and opposing the war and without blaming the US.

                    1. That's complete bullshit.

                      I called people neo-cons because their first and strongest reaction to me questioning the American factor in the equation of the Ukraine conflict is to accuse me of being pro-Putin and anti-America.

                      The neo-cons then got upset with me and explained that they are not pro-war, they are just pro sending weapons to Ukraine so that the Ukrainians can use them against the Russians, because, actually, that is how you get peace instead of more conflict --- and then they explained that, actually, this is the most libertarian approach possible under the circumstances.

                      Then they told me I'm just a fool repeating Kremlin propaganda and that they are 100000% not pro-war, just anti-Russia, pro-Ukraine, pro-giving weapons to Ukrainians to kill Russians, but .... to be clear .... definitely no pro-war.

                      I do not want to call anyone pro-war. I just want to make that clear.

                    2. You are so are so deluded you don't even realize the bullshit you've been dishing. You don't even fucking know what a neo con is. And you aren't pointing out what NATO did. You are trying to draw an equivalency between NATO freely associating with who they want and do business with who they want with Russia telling a sovereign nation what it can And can't do and then invading when it doesn't gets its way. It's the false equivalency, the false maintaining that NATO is just American hegemony, the failure to condemn a pure act of aggression (it's not a condemnation if you say Russia bad but the US provoked them by being friendly to Ukraine against Russian wishes, that is deflecting blame by creating a false equivalency).

            2. Do you know where you are? This is a LIBERTARIAN forum.
              EVERY governmental / state organization is a [criminal] gang.

        2. NATO is a military organization. That’s not far from a gang in my book.

          1. But they're clearly the good guys so whatever destruction they dole out, or threaten to dole out, is acceptable and anybody that says otherwise is a bad guy.

            Jingoism makes you retarded, and alphabet soup is a perfect example.

            1. Well GG, make the case that NATO is making the problem here (are you saying they're making the problem, your response was unclear to me). NATO 'sat' on Ukraine's application because NATO knows the Ukrainians are corrupt AF, and they said so. Ukrainians make Russians look honest, and that is quite a fucking feat. No one was making noises on admitting Ukraine to NATO.

              Putin saw his strategic opening, and is taking it. It remains to be seen whether he achieves his objectives, but I think he will.

              Crimea will remain Russian.
              There will be two new Russian Oblasts in East Ukraine.
              Ukraine will not be admitted to NATO.

              To me, those are concrete 'wins'.

              1. The problem is two international hegemons fighting each other at the expense of everyone else.

                NATO is how the U.S. government maintains its hegemony over Europe. The counterweight to that hegemony is Russia/Belarus/China. Ukraine is stuck in the middle of a proxy war between the "West" and Eurasia (very Orwellian, indeed(.

                NATO does not want Ukraine as a member, but they do want to use Ukraine as a cudgel against Russia. Neither side in this conflict gives two shits about Ukraine's autonomy or sovereignty or freedom or democracy or Nazis or genocide or any of that other bullshit.

                Both sides are causing the problem because they are stuck in a dualistic pattern of Cold War thinking.

                There is no need for the stand off, but both the United States and Russia need an eternal, external, evil enemy to manipulate their respective populations, even as they systematically work to divest their people of what little freedom they have left.

                For all of the libertarian screeching that is done around here, scarcely is there a suggestion that the best way to disarm Russia is through continued economic cooperation. The options on the table are always framed in terms of a militaristic response (either direct or indirect) and I find this posture very weird.

                1. For a hegemony, Europe sure does a lot of things that the US doesn't like. Look at their trade policies to begin with.
                  Also, it wasn't even a real possibility as Ukraine wasn't even currently eligible under the NATO treaty, what with their two breakaway provinces and the Crimea. No, it was stupid of the US to support their entrance (which France and Germany was resisting) it is an even stupider justification on Putin's part.

                  1. As I said, this is a fight between two nuclear armed super powers with the smaller countries in Europe acting as the battleground for their proxy wars -- for the moment. They dipped their feet in the water in Syria, and have now decided to turn up the heat.

                    Except that Ukraine is not the only battleground. Russia is helping Venezuela militarize as well:

                    https://apnews.com/article/europe-russia-venezuela-vladimir-putin-south-america-fc9e01895f52f8d9f52e501a93b2f089

                    Shit, Venezuela is right there and suddenly all the proxy war bullshit isn't so funny anymore.

                    1. You're analysis ignores modern geo-politics. It also ignores historical politics.

                    2. It's wrong for Putin to invade Ukraine, it's wrong for us to invade Venezuela. Period. You think you have a gotcha argument but you don't.

                    3. It's not a gotcha moment but a "take the fucking time to realize where these tit-for-tat strategic gambles lead us" moment.

                      Very cool, by the way, that you are cool with Russia militarizing Venezuela and Cuba. Guess who's not going to be cool with it? The government. But, you can totally explain to them when you family members get deployed that you, personally, are against it. That will definitely stop the entire global conflict with Russia in its tracks.

                      You have skin in the game.

                      Maybe instead of attacking everyone that counsels for caution, you can listen.

                  2. I've been counseling caution from day one. What I refuse to do is draw a false equivalency. You haven't offered any caution until you were called out for saying yeah but NATO... You don't even fucking know me and it's obvious you've never read anything I've been posting since January about this. I just am tired of the false equivalency. There is no explaining Putin's actions away. We didn't tell Ukraine they had to join NATO or tell them they had to buy our guns. Russia told them they couldn't join NATO and couldn't buy our guns. Russia then told us we couldn't sell them guns and we couldn't let them join NATO. Selling guns might have made the situation worse, but that is only because Russia believes it can dictate to other countries. Yeah we aren't angels, but we also didn't tell anyone what to do here, but Russia sure as hell tried. And when Ukraine said nah, Russia invaded. There isn't any way to get around that.

      3. "Threatening to extend NATO to Russia's border was a provocation."

        No the provocation was Russia enslaving several countries for better than half a century, then spending the past 30 years waging various soft and hard diplomatic attacks against their autonomy. It isn't NATO's fault that Poland or Ukraine feel like they need protection. That's Russia's fault. Russia doesn't get to say whether Ukraine is Pro-Europe or Pro-Russian.

        I can understand if Russia feels threatened, but that is largely due to Russia's imperialistic tendencies in the 20th Century. Rather than act aggrieved and put out that Poland regards them with the side eyes, maybe they ought to be thinking about reconciliation.

        1. Russia doesn't get to say whether Ukraine is Pro-Europe or Pro-Russian.

          Who gets to say?

          1. The Ukrainians.

            1. https://twitter.com/aaronjmate/status/1498418575735988226?t=LW8To2apW955ayYSYAucEw&s=19

              Zelensky won on a platform of peace and quickly reneged, refusing to implement the Minsk accords. In his defense, he faced threats from far-right forces who threatened to coup him. US offered him no help. He's now presented as a hero for one main reason: he follows US orders.

              If you doubt that the US plays such a major role in Ukraine, listen to what a top Zelensky aide told Time magazine: when Biden came to power, Zelensky offered him "a welcome gift" to "fit with the U.S. agenda": targeting Ukraine's pro-Russia opposition.

              The US is so influential in Ukraine that when a Russia-allied Ukrainian politician brokered a deal for Russia to provide free COVID vaccines, Zelensky said no -- along with the State Department. Why does the State Department get a say in Ukraine's COVID vaccine policy?

              I am confident that Zelensky will be rewarded handsomely for his services. It's his people who will pay the price for using his country as NATO cannon fodder.

              [Links]

              1. If that is what the Ukrainian people want?
                Why should Russia have influence instead? Even when the Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire, and the SSR, Ukrainians always were treated as second class citizens, and not as ethnic Russians.
                It's just as wrong for Putin to exert his will as it is for America. The sphere of influence shit is just as much, if not more bullshit than the anti-Russia provocation of the west. It's using selective history to justify aggression. It's no better than using slavery to justify CRT.

                1. Exactly this.

                  The United States and Russia are like a divorced couple destroying everything in their marital estate if only to prevent the other from enjoying any of it if they, and they alone, cannot have it all.

                  We have been in the midst of this psychotic divorce since 1945 and, after a brief lull where everyone promised to be good, are back to the same old shit.

                  The Cold War never ended, and that's the truth.

                  1. Fuck, you need to study the cold war closer. A large part of America remaining was at the behest of the UK and France. Your analysis is an inch deep. Europe benefitted far more from NATO than the US ever has.

                    1. + 1 Fulda Gap

                    2. Ah, of course.

                      How blind of me. The United States is a self-less benefactor sprinkling freedom dust throughout the world.

                    3. No, it isn't a dichotomy. The US has done wrong in the name of fighting communism, but calling NATO a US hegemony is just not accurate. And it ignores how NATO was founded and how much power France and Britain have had in it historically and now France and Germany has had.
                      That's the problem with your analysis, it's simplistic and only allows two possibilities. You've created a false dichotomy. And are arguing based upon that dichotomy.

              2. "He's now presented as a hero for one main reason: he follows US orders."

                Which US orders? The ones where he kept telling the State Department to shut the fuck up?

                Again, the fact that the Ukraine prefers to "fit in" with the US Agenda doesn't mean he is a tool of the US. It could also mean that he doesn't want to be conquered by Russia.

                The idea that the Ukraine is some puppet of the US is silly. I look at occam's razor here, and the choice is clear:

                1) Despite the Holodomor and a near century of brutal Russian oppression, the majority of Ukrainians really did want to be aligned with Russia, and were perfectly fine with a pro-russian puppet president killing its Free Trade Agreement with Europe (thus leaving Russian oligarchs as their main source of commerce)- and yet hundreds of thousands of people were convinced to spend almost an entire winter freezing in the capitol because the CIA fooled them.

                2) The vast population of Ukraine is deeply skeptical and resentful of Russia, and its new dictator who barely changed out of his KGB outfit before he was drooling over their land. To the extent that the US has meddled, it was to influence what was going to happen anyway to enrich US politicians and their allied Ukranian oligarchs.

                This is all much ado about nothing. The US doesn't need to be involved in Ukraine. It is a pity that we are, and I seek us exiting there and NATO as soon as possible. But Russia is 100% the agressor here. And any claim that we have provoked them by lending support to one of their former satrapies is moral delusion.

                1. ^This.

                2. We get it, USSR=Russia=bad.
                  Funny you don't mention the nationality of the autocrat who implemented the holodomor. He wasn't Russian.

                  I'm sure there are a lot of Ukrainians who would prefer closer ties with the west than with Russia, probably the majority. Hell, the west has money and decadence, of course they would. But there's at least a sizeable minority who are proud of having Russian roots and ties. The first thing the coup-installed pro western government did upon coming to power was outlaw the Russian language.
                  At any rate, I think those Ukrainians who are looking forward to ties with the west are going to be disappointed when they realize western leadership/power is dominated by people who idolize Lenin and Mao.

                  Here's the reality of the situation: it sucks. Ukraine is a pawn to the west and a rebellious child to Russia. Unfortunately, Ukraine is next door to Russia. Pragmatically, their best interest is not being a threat to their mother country.
                  A lot of this could've been avoided if NATO had simply accepted any of Putin's offers of Russian membership. Unless it's a specifically anti-Russia alliance, there's no reason not to.
                  But that ship has sailed, so it's a relevant yet moot point.
                  Ukraine has been the worst or close country economically in Europe for 2+ decades. It was a corrupt shithole under pro Russian puppets, and it's been a corrupt shithole under pro western puppets. Now it's a war torn corrupt shithole. How do you think life would change if Zelensky immediately surrendered with no conditions? It wouldn't, except there'd be no war against pro western Ukrainians or against pro Russian Ukrainians.
                  Membership in the EU will probably improve things slightly, as it'll be easier for Ukrainians to immigrate to and work in western European economies. Of course, that's assuming the Great Reset doesn't bring everything crashing down to Ukrainian standard of living levels.
                  Now let's look at the actions of Zelensky, hero of the anglosphere. He's refused any of the compromises Russia offered prior to invasion- no NATO, autonomy and ceasefire in the east, separation of the Azov Battalion from ties to government. How would average Ukrainians be hurt by any of those measures?
                  Zelensky rejected the US offer to evacuate (a dick move by our administration, by the way), so props to him for that. But to fight for freedom and liberty, for all the world as we're told, he's barred all males from leaving the country and conscripted them all into military service. Not exactly consistent with the ideas of freedom and liberty, but desperate times, amiright?
                  Unfortunately, what we don't talk about, with that move is he's turned every male in Ukraine into either a uniformed combatant or one not in uniform. That's... likely to get more people killed than accomplish anything else. But hey, maybe he'll get NATO to jump in if that's the case. You know, beyond arming and funding his entire war effort.

                  On to abstract (somewhat) principles of geopolitics.
                  Is striking first always unprovoked aggression, or can there be cases where it's justified?
                  Was Israel 100% at fault as the aggressor in the 6 Day War?
                  If it's sometimes justified, what are those justifications?

                  1. "We get it, USSR=Russia=bad." Since you are clearly being sarcastic here, EITHER YOU DON'T GET IT, OR YOU ARE A PAID LIAR FOR RUSSIA.

                    "Funny you don't mention the nationality of the autocrat who implemented the holodomor. He wasn't Russian." Russian troops, not Georgian, enforced the Holomodor. Stalin wasn't Russian, but he was promoted within a Russian conspiracy, then promoted further when that conspiracy became the government of Russia, until he was in position to seize the supreme power - working through Russians and enabled by Russians. He repaid their support by oppressing his own people, and many others, and the Russian communist leaders that put him in power loved it and supported him - until the mostly Russian goons working for the Georgian Beria came for them in the purges... Russian communists gave Stalin and Beria the power, and were responsible for what they did with it.

                    Russia under the Golden Horde was bad - an empire that kept invading its neighbors. Russia under the Romanovs was bad. The Communists didn't have to invent the secret police, but only to take over the structure created by the Tsars and put in their own loyalists. And Tsarist regulations held back what should have been an economy stronger than the USA's (with more land, more mineral wealth and other natural resources, and a larger workforce), making most Russians desperately poor and putting it at a deep disadvantage against the smaller Triple Alliance.

                    Russia under the Communists took everything bad about the Tsars and made it much worse. As the USSR, it was an empire that murdered tens of millions of ethnic Russians, but treated the ethnic minorities far worse. Russia conspired with Hitler to invade and divide Poland, thereby helping Hitler start WWII, and gain dominion over lands where he wanted to exterminate millions. Russia accidentally landed on the right side of WWII, but only because Stalin somehow didn't believe that Hitler would stab him in the back _first_.

                    Then as WWII for Russia turned from a desperate struggle for national survival to a winning back their lost land, they held back enough force to take much more land while the exhausted Allied forced rested. Russians and their puppets ruled the nations east of Germany and Austria harshly, and made them part of the new Russian empire in all but name - an empire that fortified its borders not against invaders, but against its subjects that wanted to leave.

                    From the Golden Horde to the Cold War, Russia was always misruled, and the only times it wasn't a murderously bad neighbor to other countries were when it was too weak to be a threat. Mismanagement of the economy (any time politicians try to manage an economy it will be mismanagement, but the Communists were worse) finally weakened Russia/USSR to where it could not hold its empire together - but after a few years of being no worse than a bungling and corrupt western country, the economy had rebounded enough for Russians to start thinking they were a great power again, and they brought in Putin - who came up through the organizationally sociopathic KGB - to manage a reversion to Russia's old bad habits.

                    Yes, until Russians learn to demand better from their leaders, Russia = bad, whether or not it's the ruling power within the USSR.

      4. Under NATO treaty, countries with occupied territories can't be admitted. All they'd have to say is Ukraine isn't currently eligible for NATO membership. Putin would most likely still invaded but at least we tried to defuse the situation.
        And what is up with Putin out of the blue threatening Finland and Sweden about joining NATO, when it really hasn't been brought up before, and Sweden in particular has been invited multiple times in the past 70 years and has declined based on it's neutrality stance. Yeah, Finland's voiced interest in the past but no one was really talking about it. That was just asinine on Putin's part.

        1. I think it is Putin's attempt to save some face from this. If he can at least get assurances that Finland and Ukraine won't be NATO- even as an empty promise- he can claim that he affected a political victory.

          As it is, Finland- who also fought a war on skis against the Russians- should also be allowed to join or not based on their own risk analysis.

          1. They probably will join now. So will Sweden, because Putin directly threatened them. Which was really stupid on his part because Sweden turned down every offer to join NATO for 70 years.

      5. It wasn't in the 20th century either. Check history.

    3. This is just a re-write of the previous Blame Spreading article trying to deflect from Mad Vlad.

      SS ND

  3. Actually it was only 4 years of bad foreign policy that got us to this point. With Drumpf in the White House Russians were literally controlling our government. This guaranteed Putin would attack Ukraine — but only after he no longer had a Russian intel asset as Commander in Chief of the US military.

    #LibertariansForBiden

    1. OBL, I'm surprised at you. You forgot to mention how Drumpf's policies have now resulted in making Russian oligarchs poorer!

      #RichRussianLivesMatter

  4. If Ukraine wanted to join NATO, why not? Don’t they, as a sovereign country, have that choice? It does seem that they were right to fear Russian aggression.

    1. The shadow of U.S. fuckery in Ukraine's government cannot be overlooked, however.

      A big part of the reason why the "autonomy" angle is at the very least in question is because the U.S. government has a track record of meddling in the internal affairs of other governments -- and has been known to kick off "revolutions" here and there.

      The problem, as usual, as you have two hegemonic giants fighting a proxy war with one another in the territory of another country.

      It's fucked up, but that is the truth of the matter.

      1. So the only reason why the corrupt Russia oriented government was toppled was because US support?
        Really?

        1. Is that what I said?

        2. Ukrainian policy, as a border state, was to stay neutral.

          Because NATO has been dangling membership in front of Ukraine like string in front of a cat, the population could have opinions on that that would be anti- NATO without being pro-Russian.

          Voting for the anti-NATO guy who was attempting to be even handed with his border neighbors may have been exactly what Ukrainians wanted. The US fomenting a color revolution to depose him and putting in a pro-NATO guy could be what Ukrainians did not want. Wanting Russia to annex them could ALSO be what Ukrainians do not want.

          1. That is my point, in a nutshell.

            The Ukrainian people, about whom neither the Russian nor American governments actually give any shits, are stuck hosting a proxy war between two hegemonic powers.

            Nowhere in this conversation is there any genuine consideration of a free Ukraine. Neither hegemon will allow for it.

            1. Oh the poor Ukrainians, so devoid of free will and agency that they must be protected from foreigners dangling carrots (NATO) and brandishing sticks (Putin).

              Fuck off, slaver.

              1. Found the asshole that forgot how to read over the war propaganda.

                Go die for Ukraine, brave boy.

                1. Answer the comment, slaver.

                  1. I answered your comment.

                    I called you an idiot that can't read, and you proved my point twice over.

                    1. No, you called someone an asshole. You can't even read what you claim to have written.

                    2. Sorry.

                      I stand corrected.

                      You're an asshole that can't read.

                      My apologies.

                2. Not a huge fan of war or NATO but your take is frankly just puerile and simplistic. First of all of Europe is part of an American hegemony they sure don't act like it.

                  1. American hegemony isn't entirely accurate, but anglosphere imperialism would be.
                    And that imperialism extends internally most of all.
                    How many billions of dollars are they taking from taxpayers to give Ukraine this week?
                    And obviously nobody else will profit along the way...

                    1. "but anglosphere imperialism would be."

                      Only if you don't know what imperialism means.

                    2. im·pe·ri·al·ism
                      /imˈpirēəˌlizəm/

                      a policy of extending a country's power and influence through diplomacy or military force.

                  2. How many troops does the U.S. have stationed in Europe? About twice as many as there are police officers in New York City. You may object to the term hegemony, but it is, for the most the part, accurate. Considering that many of those troops are in Germany, we can justifiably even call it an occupation.

                    At the end of the day, the Europeans know the score.

                    1. It’s more like a codependent relationship than anything else.
                      The American public doesn’t want to be there.

                    2. Nobody in power cares what the American public wants, unfortunately.

                      Why? Because the mind of the American public is infinitely malleable.

            2. Korea. Vietnam.

        3. Not reason, excuse.

      2. You think the US is the only corrupt government in the world, in history? You think other governments are powerless to investigate US interference in their corruption probes? Oh wait -- Hunter Biden! How did that corruption probe work out?

        Crimea river.

        1. You can't read.

          That's three times, now.

          1. Make it four.

            No, five.

            Six.

            1. you're mine Bender. for two months I got you.

      3. But, but, but.....like torture.....everyone does it.

    2. Being right doesn't mean it was a wise move.

      1. Taking into account the responses of paranoids in making decisions is almost always a bad move.

  5. As for Kosovo, it may have violated international law; IANAL and don't know. But it was in response to actual documented genocide, and trying to compare that to Putin's invasion of Ukraine is pathetic. Don't forget that Russia did commit genocide in Ukraine 90 years ago, and don't forget Poland in 1939, Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, Afghanistan from 1980 to 1988, Poland again in the early 1980s, all the various -stans since the USSR breakup, and Crimea in 2014. Modern Russia doesn't have a good record but did provide plenty of excuses for NATO to hang around.

    And France withdrew from NATO, voluntarily, without the rest of NATO invading to make them take it back.

    1. Cite for "documented genocide"?

      1. Oh, I forgot you don't think of Muslims as humans.

        1. What a totes rational, sane, substantive response

          1. More than what you deserve.

            1. Fuck off and die, boomer.

      2. Everything is a genocide now.

        Russia invading Ukraine is now also a genocide.

        1. It was a genuine question since, as far as I'm aware, no international courts were able to find enough evidence to make the genocide charge stick.
          It appears it was propaganda used to get support for bombing Serbia, regime change, and a location to launder taxpayer money through.
          But boomers like alphabet and sevo don't like when their conditioning is called into question.

          1. You really aren't calling any conditioning into question, especially Sevo and Overt who are extremely well versed in history. You are making a somewhat fallacious argument, not nearly as fallacious as GG.
            It is possible to be against NATO, as it is currently configured. It is possible to blame Putin for his actions. It is possible to say the US did some things they shouldn't have but that in no way justified war. It's okay to say the Ukraine has the right to associate with whomever they want, while also saying it isn't a good idea. It's also okay to say that the US shouldn't have gotten involved in a purely Ukrainian matter (the coup) while also stating it was a popular movement. It's okay to protest Putin's actions to maintain a sphere of influence that other countries don't want, while also being against the war drums. It's okay to blame Biden and western Europe for their ratcheting up of the hostility and rhetoric while also saying Putin's actions since the moment he decided to fully invade Ukraine make absolutely zero sense, as they likely are going to accomplish the exact opposite of what he states he wants. His threats against Sweden and Finland especially don't make fucking sense. I'm not sure what his fucking endgame is, and that fucking scares me. He doesn't appear to be acting rational, and Biden and the rest of the European leaders don't seem to want to back down.

            1. He doesn't appear to be acting rational, and Biden and the rest of the European leaders don't seem to want to back down.

              And, therefore, the most libertarian solution is to give Ukraine weaponry to kill as many Russians as possible --- you know, as a de-escalation technique.

            2. So we must all accept as gospel that the evil Serbians weren't at war with the innocent Muslim nationalists, full of brutality on both sides, but were genocidal monsters, despite lack of official international recognition that genocide did in fact occur?
              And if we accept that there was a genocide waged exclusively by one side against the other, do we also have to accept that NATO enforcing Kosovo's secession and bombing Serbia was justified?
              Now, if we've accepted both of the above, are we allowed to consider if what NATO did to Serbia is comparable to what Russia's doing to Ukraine, or do we have to dismiss that possibility because NATO is good and righteous while Russia is evil and aggressive?

              1. Annnnnnnnd I see you've already covered all that below.
                Thanks.
                Well put.

    2. The bombing of Kosovo was unwarranted, but Putin using it as an excuse nearly 30 years later is also unwarranted.
      From what I can find there was an attempt at expelling the Kosovar Albanians but little findings of actual targeted killings. The expulsions where in part due to claims of "terrorist acts" and genocide conducted by the KLA against Kosovar Serbs. That region has a long history of ethnic strife and atrocities committed by both ethnicities.
      As for the expulsions, both sides participated in it. They did find 3000 bodies, but they consisted of both ethnicities. So the genocide charge is a lot murkier than you imply. Not saying the Serbs were angels but it appears to have been a rather mundane civil war, that NATO decided to get involved with. Probably because they felt guilty for letting Bosnia go on so long without doing anything. Also, NATO was trying to legitimize it's continued existence after the fall of the Soviet Union.
      Both sides accused the other of genocide but it really appears it was just a continuation of the break-up of Yugoslavia, which was always an artificial creation. First by the allies in 1919 and then by the Soviets and Tito in 1945. Yugoslavia really was a union of separate countries dominated by the Serbians and Serbia didn't want to give that up.

      1. You missed the Christian/Muslim angle.

        Why does that matter?

        Because religions have been at the root of most wars in history.

        Ban religions today!

      2. You must have loved the U.S.S.R., because that's exactly what they did. Tons of Christian and Muslims were killed, along with other religious groups.

        Repent of your evil thought.

    3. No one really cares what the French do. They've gone against the grain for a century or more.

      We just like to see them make their own beds and then sleep in them. You know, like the Vichy government.

      It's good for a laugh.

  6. Robby.

    Look at me!

    Fuck you.

    NATO is proving it's relevancy and value in spades right now and you have to be a moron to not see that.

    Sorry for being redundant.

    1. Generally speaking, being an armed public is proving it's relevancy right now. And you have to be a moron not to see that.

      1. From your lips to God's ears.

        But, you'll never see any analysis of that in the media. Anywhere.

        Only the Swiss understand. And even they won't say a word.

    2. Go fight, chickenhawk joe.

  7. None of this shit happened during the Trump administration.
    Just saying.

    1. It's as if we actually have the real Putin cock holster in office now.

  8. Part of Putin's "intellectual ammo" is that he considers the breakup of the Soviets state into various independent republics a great catastrophe for the world. Reintegrating the lost territory of the Soviet Empire is the reason for the invasion of Ukraine, the rest are rationalizations. Giving Russia an effective veto over NATO would be in itself a foreign policy blunder. Their is no reason Ukraine, or any other former Soviet territory must cede their sovereignty to be under the thumb of Russia's autocratic regime.

    1. “Reintegrating the lost territory of the Soviet Empire is the reason for the invasion of Ukraine, the rest are rationalizations. “

      Pretty much. Putin shared his own Mein Kampf a short while ago in his swollen essay. His revanchism is mopey, but not irrational. It’s a sentimental salad of lost Bolshevism, and the fading motherland. Throw in some polemic on the threats by the west, and he’s drawing a line in the sand-Ukraine-that he sees as the crucible of his concerns.

      In short, he’s envisioned a fait accompli that reduces his empire to nothingness.

    2. Megalomaniac dreams of the power that he thinks the empire once had.

  9. If you had been under the Soviet boot for 50 years like the Poles and the Hungarians and the Czechs (not to mention the Nazi boot for 6 or 7 years before that) you’d have rushed to grab the protection of NATO as well.

    Look at the history of Europe. There’s been no real stability - a boundary somewhere has changed locations every generation or so since the beginning of time. If anything, NATO has helped to minimize that and contribute to stability. Just because Putin wants to use it to excuse his misdeeds doesn’t mean you have to believe him.

    1. Few people realize just how unstable Europe has always been. I read somewhere that in 1914, there were only two democracies in Europe, France and Britain. Apparently Germany's foreign policy and military spending was entirely in the Kaiser's hands.

      Then after the war, borders were thrown up and new countries created almost out of whole cloth. Poland was created from parts of Russia and Germany, both of which used that as an excuse for taking their land back in 1939. When Hitler took the Sudetenland and later the rest of Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary took chunks too, to redress 1918 wrongs. In 1945, Stalin pushed Poland west, took big chunks of Germany and Ukraine got big chunks of eastern Poland. Stalin strong-armed the UN into accept the Ukraine and Belorus SSRs as independent founding members. Khrushchev transferred Crimea to Ukraine from Russia in 1954. Then Yugoslavia broke up, and there were minor border grabs elsewhere around the Black Sea. Germany only accepted its new Poland border in 1989, I think, in exchange for reunification.

      And all that is just in the last 100 years! How many people know there used to be a Poland-Lithuania kingdom 1000 years ago, more or less?

      It would be fascinating to find a map of European borders for the last 2000 years.

      1. That’s why I laugh when I see people on the American left talk about how dreamy Europe is and how much they wish we were more like them. Her we are stable and quiet, both with our states and with Canada and Mexico, while every 20 years or so territory in Europe shifts from one country to another. Or maybe a new country. Our schools do such a shitty job of teaching history.

      2. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was still in existence in the 1790's, but was only created in the 14th century. The Poland created in after the WWI was made from approximately the Polish portion of the old Commonwealth Prussia, Russia and Austria appropriated in the "Partitions of Poland" in the later parts of the 18th century. Much of the land Russia took in that travesty under Catherine the Great became Ukraine.

        1. Proves my point, that few people know how twisted Europe's borders have always been 🙂

          1. I recommend buying any of the Europa Universalis games and playing with the starting date slider for a vivid, if inexact, illustration of this.

      3. It would be fascinating to find a map of European borders for the last 2000 years.

        Here you go. Arrows on left/right for changing the year.

        https://www.timemaps.com/history/europe-30bc/

        1. Thanks, that’s a cool site.

        2. It's a bummer they skip over so much in the medieval europe period. The entire mongol empire is not even mapped- just the nameless blank spaces in the east.

      4. Thats the Porous Borders effect...

      5. Germany didn't exist until the 1860s, before that it was a bunch of waring principalities and grand duchies. And before that most of it was part of the Holy Roman Empire.
        Scandinavia and England have had probably the most consistent borders for the last 1000 years. At different times Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland have joined in voluntary and sometimes involuntary unions but the borders of each province have basically unchanged.
        Norway and Denmark were probably democracies in practice. They were constitutional monarchies but in practice the king had very little actual power over the parliament (even less than the British monarchy). Sweden was well on its way. In fact in 1920 the King of Denmark actually tried to use his power to dissolve the parliament, setting off a crisis that nearly brought down the monarchy and resulted in him backing down to parliament and giving up even that power.

        1. Finland has always been kind of an outlier in Scandinavia. It isn't dominated by Northern Germanic people and doesn't speak a Germanic language. It also isn't Slavic. The majority of it's people are Balto-Finnic and it's most spoken official language is most closely related to Hungarian. It's Scandinavian more by cultural tradition, as since the Viking Age, Sweden controlled it's major settlements.

          1. Russ Vikings....Same story.

            1. A little different. The Kievan Rus were descendants of Vikings but adopted the local culture. In Finland, the Vikings imposed their culture onto the natives.

      6. Actually, the Europeans do know. Which is why the laugh at American analysis of European events....until the shit hits the fan. Then, they call on the U.S. to stand strong with them.

        Europeans don't trust each other. And most European countries are as small as the largest U.S. states.

  10. You don't know shit Robby. Trump was attacking NATO even threatening and planning to withdraw from the collective defense. That's Putin's wet dream. You can hardly distinguish Fox News from Russian state TV at times. And here you are dumb as shit with no fucking clue.

    1. Pick up a rifle and go. Your bravery will be remembered.

    2. Send us selfies from the front lines!

    3. Trump was attacking NATO even threatening and planning to withdraw from the collective defense.

      "collective defense"

      Collective defense requires our NATO allies to be militarily relevant. Germany is only now committing to meet NATO 2% spending requirements. No word on the rest of NATO. In the mean time, Europe has been funding Russia with Oil & Gas purchases. Some ally, funding Putin's war machine!

    4. He was also attacking Germany for being dependent upon Russian gas. Turns out he was right about that.

    5. Gotta love when war mongers like you get all pissy cause they were called out.

      Seethe harder.

    6. Mutual defense means the so called allies paid for their own defense, but most weren't. Germany even admitted as much this week. It wasn't mutual anything except possibly leeching off America's defense budget while almost totalling abandoning their own.

      1. Historically, client states and satrapies relied on their hegemons to provide them with protection against their enemies ...

        1. Stop with the hegemony bullshit, it's historical nonsense aimed solely at blaming America for every problem. It was Churchill and the Brits who convinced the US to stay in Europe to combat Soviet aggression. It just happened that those goals aligned with Truman's goals but not congress's initially. Look at all the fuss that Europe raised when Trump mentioned pulling out of NATO.
          If this is a hegemony, it's more like a European one. We paid for most the defense, most of the rebuilding after the second world war, and most European countries have very protectionist laws against American goods, but we have fairly loose trade laws against European goods. No, it's an American hegemony is the argument of a simpleton.

          1. Right, this "American Imperialism" bullshit is the stuff of Leftists for the past 50 years, and its origins are actually in the Soviet Propaganda being pushed around to reduce American support for resisting ACTUAL Soviet supported attacks.

            For the record, Imperialism means domination of a country's political and economic systems. Empires extracted blood and treasure from their satrapies- demanding levies of troops, taxes and resources.

            The US tired of that game EARLY, and never took it very far. Far from being sources of income and military for the US, by and large the countries we reside in take far more of our blood and treasure.

            I think there is ample reason for the US to pull up stakes in places like Europe, but "ending imperialism" is not one of them. And it is quite shocking to see a bunch of the general right-leaning people carrying this water.

            1. Far from being sources of income and military for the US, by and large the countries we reside in take far more of our blood and treasure.

              Those weapons don't manufacture and sell themselves. Somebody is definitely getting rich, but it sure as fuck is not you, or me.

              1. If you look, we don't sell all that much weaponry to Europe. Most of our NATO allies have their own military industrial complex and are actually competitors to us. In fact our newest side-arm and likely our next rifle are made by a German owner company. Most of our Naval vessels mount cannons made by a Swedish made company. Our anti-tank AT-4 rockets are made by a Swedish company. Our current squad automatic is made by a Belgian owned company. Our next generation of frigates are made by an Italian-French conglomeration. The F-35 was a multinational project. The Stryker is a Canadian design, licensed built by an American company. So is the Marine Corps newest amphibious assault vehicle. It's like the rest of your arguments it is shallow and ignores a lot of contrary facts.

                1. And yet Russia stands to steam roll Europe unless we stop them, or so I'm told.

                  "FINLAND IS NEXT!"
                  "LATVIA IS NEXT!"
                  "POLAND IS NEXT!"

                  See, the only contrary bullshit here is the neo-con spin. Russia is going to swallow Europe is the U.S. doesn't take a tough stance --- but also, Europe can totally handle itself and doesn't need us --- but if we leave, they are screwed.

                  Fuck, man.

                  Which is it? Is Europe a lamb sitting there for the slaughter? Or, a self reliant assemblage of states that can handle their own shit?

                  The problem I have is that the narrative shifts every which fucking way depending on how hawkish the retards in D.C. happen to feel on any given day.

                  And, now, the neo-libs are in on the game and, for what seems like the first time since the early 2000's, there is a partisan unity and everyone agrees that Russia must be dealt with.

                  This is not going to end well unless the lockstep march toward stops -- and the first step to get the march toward to stop is to be fucking honest about Europe and NATO, and to stop pretending like the United States is a selfless, benevolent superpower that keeps the peace, rather than one that, for all of the good it does in the world, had spent the last 20 years stumbling its way into endless wars and is now sleepwalking right into another one.

                  1. Putin fucking threatened both Finland and Sweden last week.
                    It doesn't have to be one or the other. It can be both. That's your fucking problem, to you it's own way or the other. Putin acts are dangerous, and Europe should defend itself. But if history has shown anything, European wars rarely leave America alone, even if we want them too. We're just to big and rich for them not to get us involved. Ignoring the problem doesn't work very well either. We can be opposed to war while also recognizing the dangers of Putin's actions. It isn't either or, except for those ignorant of history.

                    1. It can be both

                      That's exactly what I said, and you piled on with Ken in a stupid tirade about how I am a pro-Putin propagandist.

                      Fuck off.

                    2. We're just to big and rich for them not to get us involved

                      Yea, we're just too big and rich not to get involved in wars, but the notion of a global American hegemony is just nonsense. We can't avoid wars even if want to!

                      That's a convenient little theory you got there, along with a giant helping of delusion and denial.

                    3. What European wars did the US get drawn into without actively jumping in?
                      WWI- US involvement was completely unnecessary, though we were arming GB prior to official action, and it would've been better for everyone if we'd stayed out. But Wilsonianism, yall!
                      WWII- we were again arming Britain before Germany declared war on us. But if Germany didn't declare war, what was the non-humanitarian need for the US to intervene?
                      Balkin Wars- nothing to do with the US, and we had no reason to get involved.

                    4. Yes, what you say is true. The US is a mercantile country. And I disagree with Wilson and his protest against the German blockade while ignoring the British blockade (US merchants would have been happy to sell to both). But the Zimmermann telegram was an act of war. Yes FDR was looking for an excuse to go to war (despite us being badly unprepared, which I think was even worse than his lend-lease, seeking war when he knew how sad our military was), but Japan attacking Pearl Harbor and Germany declaring war on us was worse. The point is, I can only think of a few wars since Jamestown, that the Americas haven't gotten roped into. Partly by our own actions. Unfortunately, Americans tend to be idealistic. And our leaders do make bad choices. As a result, it's highly unlikely that America would even choose to stay neutral. Look how many Americans ran off and joined the French and British, despite it being illegal too in both ears. We remained neutral as well as Switzerland and Sweden remained neutral in the second world war, the difference is in who chose to do business with.
                      And I am not really certain it is possible to remain completely neutral in any country where we have interests in. It would be great, but not certain if it is really realistic. That doesn't mean we declare war on Russia tomorrow or do something stupid like try to impose a no fly zone. But if Russia does invade a country that we have strong ties to, especially commercial ties, do we ignore that? Can we truly let another country dictate to us our foreign policy? Do we give veto power to a third party in how we deal with another sovereign nation?
                      My biggest problem with Wilson, was he did exactly that. He let England decide who we could trade with. He let England decide who we could associate with. It wasn't his allowing trade with England to occur, but the fact that Americans wanted to do business with Germany as well, but Wilson didn't even voice his dissatisfaction much to Britain. The blockade could be considered an act of war by Britain long before the Lusitania, but Wilson basically ignored it. He could have chosen to ignore the Zimmermann telegram also, but didn't.
                      That doesn't mean I think we should go to war with Russia, but we should prepare for one in case. If you want peace, prepare to fight. But be smart about it too. The Ukraine, by the terms of the NATO treaty wasn't even eligible to join NATO, and that was all Biden and Western Europe needed to say. They were wrong for continuing to push for it, when they knew Ukraine couldn't even join under the Treaty, and besides France and Germany were not going to let it happen anyhow. But for Putin to use that as an excuse to invade, is just evil. If you have to enforce your sphere of influence at the point of a bayonet than it really isn't your sphere of influence.

                    5. We're just to big and rich for them not to get us involved.
                      Taking it out of context shows you didn't understand what I was saying. Which is your problem. In world war 1, all the powers realized by the end of first couple months that none of them were strong enough to win the war, so both sides had an interest in what America chose to do (and I think we chose wrong). England and France tried to court us to join, while Germany tried it's best to keep us out (though initially did they try to get us to join their side as well, as did many German Americans). Why was it so important, because we are a huge country, with huge resources and a large population, and are rich. We are a major benefit to any country fighting a war. That's all that means. But you chose to pick one sentence out of multiple paragraphs to get all bent out of shape about and by doing so, you missed the entire point.
                      Also, if you meant to say we can do both, then why haven't you yet condemned Putin's actions? Not once have you called him the aggressor. You've blown of his aggression by pointing to what he did in response to what he didn't like. That isn't even close to condemning his actions. So no you haven't been saying that.

                    6. I'm not bent out of shape about your comment regarding American wars, I'm just responding to it.
                      With the exception of Pearl Harbor, and arguably the Zimmerman telegram, the reasons you've given for direct involvement in European/foreign wars are idealism and peer pressure.
                      The US is a massive, populous, technologically advance nation with large oceans separating us from Asia and Europe. Mexico and Canada don't have the population or mineral/industrial/technological resources to pose too great a threat. We are completely self sustainable.
                      The US doesn't have to get involved in any war that doesn't reach our southern or northern neighbors. That doesn't mean there aren't good reasons to go to war, but we just don't have to get pulled in if we really don't want to be. Just because England, France, Germany, Israel, South Korea, Japan, or anyone else wants us to join them in a war doesn't automatically mean we should if it's not in the American people's best interests.

                      I haven't condemned Putin's actions because I haven't come to a conclusion whether they were justified or not. Yall can clutch your pearls about that, but that's not going to make up my mind. If anyone wants Putin condemnation, they can look to literally any politician, media member, or social media hivemind. Hell, even NGOs and corporations. But, unlike the majority, I haven't decided.

                      Is a first strike ever justified?
                      Israel initiated military engagement with Syria and Egypt in 1967, and I think they were right to do so.
                      So unless you're condemning all initial strikes unequivocally, like in the 6 Day War, you'll have to judge them on a case by case basis.

                      What I see so far is Russia backed into a corner a viewing Ukraine as a fatal point of failure. Since NATO has unequivocally rejected alliance or detente with Russia, and spoke in exclusively hostile rhetoric for years, Russia had 2 options: do nothing and hope for the best, or invade. If they didn't want to rely on the mercy of their enemies, invasion is the only option and just a matter of timing.

                  2. Swallowing Ukraine will be Putin's Waterloo.

                    Russia won't be able to take on and support another territory.

                    1. Indeed, it may be a massive strategic error. Never interrupt your enemy when they are in the process of making a mistake, as the saying goes.

            2. "Right, this "American Imperialism" bullshit"

              Because we're missing the forest for the trees. NATO is supposedly a defensive alliance of various nations around the world.
              But for 30 years, that's not what NATO really is. Without the USSR, it's nature has changed. It's no longer defensive, but proactive. And it's no longer about member nations, though it still sucks from their treasuries, but represents the interests of the international aristocratic/political class.
              Intervention in Bosnia and Libya did nothing for the American people, or for the people of member states, except cost middle/working class people money.
              NATO is the globalists' muscle, no more.
              It isn't American hegemony, it's globalist ruling class hegemony.

              1. *Kosovo/Serbia and Libya, not Bosnia

              2. And that is wrong. But Putin invading the Ukraine is war worse. I agree NATO lost it's way, and disagree with it's actions in the Balkans and Libya. I also agree that if we allow Turkey to remain in NATO, and Eastern Europe to join, we should have let Russia join when it tried in 1999. But I am not giving Putin any slack for starting a war of aggression to force a sovereign nation to bend to his will.

                1. It's not about giving Putin slack, but about at least trying to understand that arming a neighboring country with billions of dollars in military weaponry over the course of ten years while telling Russia to go fuck itself the entire time was not the smartest thing to do. It was dumb, it was deliberate, and there was no need for it. "But Ukrainian democracy!" is not sufficient.

                  None of this makes Putin's conduct justified, but this long standing state of affairs was most certainly a provocation.

                  "Fuck you, I do what I want" is not good foreign policy, ever. Why? Because it invites a reciprocal response. When diplomacy and de-escalation fail among states, war is the only result. And if you want to avoid war (assuming you want to avoid war) it makes no sense to go out of your way to do things to make war more likely.

                  1. Finally, you condemned Putin. I still have to question why we should bow down to Russia's demands. Okay, diplomacy. Fine, then isn't that is deciding for Ukraine what it can and can't do, without asking them? They felt threatened by Russia. And they have a reason to. So, do we ignore them just to make Russia happy? How is that any different than Britain and France giving Germany permission to invade Czechoslovakia? Did Britain and France ask the Czechoslovakians if they were okay with that?
                    Sometimes appeasement to an aggressive nation, especially when a third country is involved is the wrong answer as well, and it doesn't stop wars if the other guy is hell bent on starting it. We can play what ifs forever. The fact is that if we were wrong to sell to a country that asked us for those goods, the third country that tried to stop it is even worse. And we aren't any better not selling those weapons at Russia's request to the Ukrainians, than we are for selling the arms to Ukraine to the Russians. The only difference is if we went with Russian demands, it would be purely because Russia is big enough to hurt us. So, for the sake of avoiding war, maybe if we backed down it may have stopped the war. Biden's and western Europe, especially England's, rhetoric certainly wasn't helpful. But the bigger question is why we were negotiating in the first place without having Ukraine present as part of the negotiations.
                    Do we stop selling weapons to Taiwan because China says so? Do we stop selling weapons to South Korea because North Korea says so? Do we break off relations with these two countries because China doesn't like it?

                    1. You keep using the word "selling."

                      We are not selling. We are giving. We are arming. At taxpayer expense. We have been for 10 years.

                      Giving, not selling.

                      There is a difference and it matters.

                  2. The because they are a big power argument seems even worse to me. Because it means Ukraine's wishes don't matter at all.

                    1. Ukraine's, and Russia's, wishes matter to me only to the extent they have a chance to impact my life.
                      Giving Ukraine what they want and denying Russia what they want doesn't make my life, or anyone's that I care about, better.
                      I'd prefer to not be involved in their squabbles, but thanks to our malevolent rulers our money has less purchasing power, things are more expensive, and we might get fucking nuked.

                2. Putin doesn't have anything to do with me or anyone else here, NATO does.

                  I'm not seeing Putin's propaganda trying to build my support for his war everywhere I look, I'm seeing Ukraine's and NATO's.

          2. Like I said, hegemons are expected to protect their client states. I am not saying the U.S. is to blame for all the evils of the world -- no, that fake argument is just your neo-con insecurity bubbling to the surface in a fit of projection.

            You want me to argue that because then it is easy for you to stick your fingers in your ears and march into another war just to prove how righteous the United States really is.

            Your shit is old. Pack it the fuck up and go home, you neo-con bitch.

            1. If you aren't meaning it, you sure aren't explaining yourself very well. And Europe are hardly client states. They sell us a shit ton of weapons and have a shit ton of influence on us and NATO. That's called a partnership not a hegemony.

    7. More brainless democrat pablum.

  11. watched a tank drive over a moving car like it was Atari I'll never unsee it. otherwise I'm enjoying "Russia Can't Beat its Neighbors @RISK Part Deux"

    1. More like Winter War part deux. Stalin thought Finland would be a walkover too. Most people forget that war of aggression because the Finnish sided with the axis a year later, but they actually protected their Jewish population from the final solution.

      1. And it is noteworthy that Finland joining the Axis was largely DUE TO the Winter War.

        1. Yep.

  12. Poll: US majority believes no Russian invasion with Trump as president

    Caps-Harris poll shows 62% of respondents believe Putin would not have ordered troops into Ukraine with Trump in White House

    A clear majority of Americans think Vladimir Putin would not have ordered the Russian invasion of Ukraine had Donald Trump still been in the White House, according to a new poll.

    https://amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/feb/26/poll-trump-russia-ukraine-white-house

    1. 4 years of no invasion to back that up.

  13. Putin's nostalgia for the old Soviet Union is despicable, and his imperialist ambitions to expand his authoritarian grasp are in direct violation of international law, humanitarian principles, and the very stability of the post–World War II peace that has endured in much of the word for decades.

    Putin does not have a nostalgia for the Old Soviet Union. If you were a journalist and listened to his speech, you'd know that.

    1. Yes, KGB-groomed authoritarian heads of state are well known for their transparency.

      1. So you can read his mind?
        Or you're just going with the totes trustworthy, completely unified messaging from our government/media.
        When everyone who's been lying in the exact same way for 2+ years uses the exact same talking point... it must be the truth.

  14. "With the Clinton administration's backing, NATO also intervened in Yugoslavia in 1999 to ensure an independent Kosovo. That military action never had the backing of the United Nations; it was a violation of international law, just like Putin's attack on Ukraine."

    BOTH SIDES!!!

    1. Such a good point! There is only one side! Republicans good! That's it! If you disagree you're a traitor to the country!

      1. I'm an independent and think both parties suck. I also believe putting NATO expansion on a par with Tsar Vladimir's attempt at imperial expansion is moronic.

        1. Did you read his declaration of war? I did. He's makes it clear that having Western military infrastructure on his doorstep is unwelcome, especially combined with the international disdain directed at Russia.

          1. ....but if he takes over Ukraine, he then has NATO allies directly at his border, no?

          2. But he we totes ok with the Baltic NATO states on his doorstep. Seems those tiny nations were low hanging fruit.

          3. "He's makes it clear that having Western military infrastructure on his doorstep is unwelcome,"

            Well tough shit. That isn't his choice, since he doesn't own the countries who seem to be looking side eyed at him. I wish American men and material weren't among that gear going to Poland, but that is between Poland and NATO (and therefore us). Putin has as much right to bitch and moan about this as I have objecting to which college my neighbor's son chooses.

            Maybe Putin ought to have spent some of the past 2 decades asking WHY places like Poland, Hungary, Estonia, Ukraine, Lithuania, etc feel the need to put NATO forces in their borders. If perhaps he hadn't been so obsessed with explaining why Pan Russian Dominance was a natural development, they'd have felt more at ease.

            1. Cuba.

              1. Yeah, remind me when we invaded Cuba? The most we've ever done is arm a few rebels and let them try to overthrow the Communist. We never invaded Cuba. Even the Cuban missile crisis, not our finest hour, we didn't invade Cuba, we did protest to the USSR and blocked their shipments to Cuba, but in the end, we removed our missiles from Turkey in exchange for them removing their missiles from Cuba.

                1. Blockades are wrong, but starting a war is even worse.

                  1. Blockades are officially an act of war, which is why the administration called it a "quarantine".
                    Useful word, quarantine.
                    Pretty much can do whatever you want with it...

                    1. I realize blockades are acts of war, so is assassinations and attempted assassinations. But they're acts of war you can choose to ignore. Someone crossing your border and shooting at you is much harder to ignore. That's my point.

          4. But that's what's been coming out of the Kremlin since the end of WWII.

    2. People don't understand how much Clinton's actions in Kosovo shook the Russian government. It was also an explicit about-face on eastward NATO expansion, something the Clinton administration said it wouldn't do in 1992.

      1. Hush now! We're not allowed to try to see Russia's perspective and explain their actions. We must believe, without question, that they're simply evil and irrational.

  15. How dare you say something bad about Trump! If he was president (which he should be since the election was a hoax) this wouldn't have happened! He may be a Russian stooge, but Putin's afraid of him because he's a Republican! Democrats are all pussies, which is why Putin invaded Ukraine! He knew that pussy-ass Democrat Biden wouldn't do anything. Unlike Trump who talked about withdrawing from NATO. That must have really scared Putin which is why he didn't invade while Trump was president. Jeez. This magazine is nothing but a mouthpiece for the Democrat party.

    1. I bet Biden’s approval goes up for making it clear we won’t send any US military forces there whatsoever.

      1. I bet it makes no difference at all.

        1. Yeah, because he's a democrat, and democrats just have to suck, right, eh? RIGHT???

    2. He knew that none of the European nations would do anything either.

  16. https://twitter.com/mtracey/status/1498337556613771267?t=RVLtucuJWI_yIqUUh7ZABg&s=19

    It really bothers the pro-war crowd to be told that they're pro-war because they favor expressly pro-war policies. Maybe they can put "Peace" signs on the grenade launchers and Stinger missiles

  17. "Again, Putin is dead wrong. Nothing justifies his Ukraine policy. But the purpose of NATO was defensive: to protect the world from Russian aggression. If NATO policy is antagonizing Russia and being used as a pretext for invasion, it clearly isn't serving that goal

    The reason Putin is invading Ukraine isn't because of NATO trying to expand into the Ukraine. NATO has been ignoring the Ukraine's persistent request to join NATO for years. The reason Putin is invading the Ukraine is because the Ukrainian people want to join NATO. There is a bid difference there.

    If the United States undermined the cause for the Ukraine through NATO, it was by dragging our allies of on foreign adventures that had little or nothing to do with the defense of Europe. When NATO is about supporting elective American adventures in Iraq, it undermines European support for the alliance.

    I feel bad for the Poles. They didn't leave Afghanistan until we did because they value our NATO support so intensely--and we should have been out of there ten years before we left. Meanwhile, IF IF IF the Ukrainians successfully defend their freedom, I'll have a hard time saying they shouldn't be admitted to NATO.

    They'd be among our staunchest allies--like Poland--and they're earning a right to be considered for entry and paying the price for their freedom in blood. If Sweden and Finland want to join, we should admit them, too. Again, it isn't about putting U.S. forces in Finland. It's about putting Finnish forces in Lithuania and the Ukraine. NATO isn't about the U.S. leading foreign adventures. NATO isn't about us defending our allies. NATO is about selling hardware to our allies so they can defend themselves. NATO is about our allies using that hardware to defend the security interests of the USA.

    1. NATO is about selling hardware to our allies so they can defend themselves. NATO is about our allies using that hardware to defend the security interests of the USA.

      The security interests of the United States are best served by everyone else killing one another with our weapons.

      That's an interesting way to look at it, Mr. Cheney.

      1. That might have been interesting if it had been what I wrote. For goodness' sake, you quoted it yourself.

        1. I did quote it.

          Neo-Ken may just stick.

          1. Next, after you quote it, you should try reading (and understanding) it.

            1. Claiming that the entire purpose of a purportedly "defensive" and benevolent alliance is for the U.S. to make money selling weapons, because selling weaponry is in the best interest of the United States, without any consideration as to whether those weapons will be employed in a theater of war (or, someday, against the U.S.), is just about the most senseless neo-con hivemind bullshit that I've heard all week.

              1. We have bases and stations in places like Pakistan, who may give us intelligence and air space so we can move on terrorist targets. RUSSIA warned us about suspected terrorists in the past.

                In exchange, we give these nations and organization money, weapons, and other kinds of incentive. Do you think international cooperation comes to us at no cost? We should send troops or drones abroad and figure out fueling and supplying them from domestic sources? What about airspaces above sovereign lands?

                We have armed bad people in proxy wars. But if selling weapons to NATO is "neo con" we may as well just ban immigration for the next 10 years, because most of our frenemies in the middle east will be less encouraged to help us out.

                1. Yes -- we have woven a complicated web of war and espionage around the world and have spent billions, if not trillions of dollars, to maintain it.

                  Is that really the best us of our resources? I happen to think that it is not, and am tired of the endless wars. It wasn't always like this, and doesn't have to be.

                  1. Oh yes the arguments of a simpleton. It's all America's fault.
                    That is the whining of a freshman poli sci major who has no understanding of history. But keep shoveling that shit. Because you obviously don't care about actually understanding the complexities of the issue.

                    1. It's all America's fault.

                      I did not say that.

                      Try again, but without the triggered neo-con persecution complex.

                    2. No, but you've implied it in everyone of your posts on this story. And you didn't use those exact words but have come pretty fucking close.

                    3. No, but you've implied it in everyone of your posts on this story.

                      I didn't imply shit. The neo-con in you assumed it.

                    4. Bullshit. Name one post that you haven't blamed America, if that isn't your intent you need to find some better talking points, because everyone almost seems to be reading them the same way as I am.

                    5. Name one post that you haven't blamed America ...

                      Put down the fucking freedom fries, asshole.

                    6. You can't do it because it doesn't exist. You've posted below that the US can't sell weapons or sign an alliance with Ukraine or Poland because Russia doesn't like it. You've spent every post saying everything that the US has done wrong but yet to say Putin was wrong for invading. You have explained why you think the US freely associations with a countrIes that wants our help is a bad thing other than to say Russia doesn't like it. It seems the problem is Russia trying to decide for sovereign nations who they can or can't do business with an associate with.
                      Russia doesn't get to decide this. You can disagree with the US selling weapons to willing costumers, that's fine but saying we shouldn't do business or associate with a country because Russia doesn't like it is blaming us for Russian acting tyrannical towards it's neighbors. Sorry, but that's what you are doing. You are excusing Russia imposing it's will with force by blaming America for freely associating with countries. Those countries don't answer to Russia. We aren't forcing them to answer to us, we aren't forcing them to do anything. Russia however is using force.
                      If my neighbor doesn't like AR-15s, does that give them the right to tell the local gun to sell me one? And then when they do, does my neighbor have the right to break into my house to steal my AR-15 from me at gun point? Because what Russia is doing is no different than the neighbor in my example.
                      If my neighbor doesn't like the Republican party, can they break into my house, hold a gun to my head and force me not to join the Republican party? This is no different than Russia invading the Ukraine to force them not to join NATO.
                      They can protest the arms sales, or voice their displeasure of NATO,but they can't force Ukraine not to buy from or associate with whoever they want to.
                      Yes we've done that in the past, and it was just as wrong for us to do it in the past.

                    7. Geiger Goldstaedt
                      February.28.2022 at 3:39 pm
                      Flag Comment Mute User
                      The problem is two international hegemons fighting each other at the expense of everyone else.

                      NATO is how the U.S. government maintains its hegemony over Europe. The counterweight to that hegemony is Russia/Belarus/China. Ukraine is stuck in the middle of a proxy war between the "West" and Eurasia (very Orwellian, indeed(.

                      NATO does not want Ukraine as a member, but they do want to use Ukraine as a cudgel against Russia. Neither side in this conflict gives two shits about Ukraine's autonomy or sovereignty or freedom or democracy or Nazis or genocide or any of that other bullshit.

                      Both sides are causing the problem because they are stuck in a dualistic pattern of Cold War thinking.

                      There is no need for the stand off, but both the United States and Russia need an eternal, external, evil enemy to manipulate their respective populations, even as they systematically work to divest their people of what little freedom they have left.

                      For all of the libertarian screeching that is done around here, scarcely is there a suggestion that the best way to disarm Russia is through continued economic cooperation. The options on the table are always framed in terms of a militaristic response (either direct or indirect) and I find this posture very weird.

                      That's the post that set you off. The fact that I pointed out the United States and Russia are fucking around with people's lives in another country, in a stupid continuation of a Cold War rivalry they cannot seem (or do not want) to let go off.

                      Putin stooge, here.

                      P.S. Go fuck yourself

                    8. That didn't condemn Putin. It did repeatedly blame NATO. You mentioned Russia once, then spent the next several paragraphs blaming mostly NATO and implying the Ukraine was a patsy, for wanting to join NATO instead of doing what Russia wanted. You said NATO doesn't really want Ukraine to join, which is false, parts of it does, parts of it doesn't. And you still wrongly labeled NATO as an American hegemony. This also contradicts you assertion that NATO doesn't want Ukraine to join, because if NATO is a US hegemony than NATO would want Ukraine to join since the US has favored it for 20 years. We're the biggest partner, but also the richest partner, with the largest population however, they don't do our bidding. Quite often they do what Germany or France want, much more than what we want. I refer back to Ukraine and Georgia not being allowed to join, mostly because Germany and France refused them joining.
                      Finally, you condemn the US and NATO for diplomatic actions, but failed to condemn Russia for the much worse sin of starting a war to get their way. Actually, that is far more Cold War mentality. Refuse to confront the Soviets when they invaded and put down revolts in Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Romania, because we didn't want to maybe provoke them. If anyone is in a Cold War mentality it's the don't provoke the Russians and let them inflict their desires on their neighbors in the name of peace. That was basically our entire Cold War strategy. As long as they didn't invade West of their area of occupation at the end of July 1945. So, appeasing Russia is far more what we did in the Cold War than going against their wishes.
                      I agree we should have worked harder with Russia when we had the chance, which probably ended around 2000. After that, working with Russia would be resorting to the old appeasement. It's easy to say if we just appeased Russia, we wouldn't have a war. Maybe. Maybe not. It keeps coming back to what Ukraine wants. The US is honoring what Ukraine wants today, Russia is trying to veto that. And it is all stupid, as Ukraine wasn't going to get admitted to NATO anyhow.
                      Yes, we misstepped, and our rhetoric has been horrible. But only one side has been trying to enforce it's will on other sovereign nations. Poland asked to join, the Baltic Nations asked to join. That was their choice. Ukraine asked to join. We didn't need to voice out support, but it's not our fault for supporting their choice either.
                      Biden is wrong mainly because he talked tough while his actions have been weak and reactive. He weakened our energy sector, while begging Russia to increase theirs. He talked tough and promised to confront Putin, but ruled out from almost day one US troops. Yeah, I don't want war, but he weakened his and everyone else's bargaining position by announcing that to the world. That was stupid, don't talk tough if you aren't ready to fight. It's my drug abusing nephew, who weighs all of 135 pounds who gets in everyone's grill when he gets upset. The last time he did that to me, I threw his ass to the ground. Because when you act tough, sooner or later someone is going to call you on your shit. So by acting tough but saying you won't fight, while the other guy is willing to fight, the only option you have left is capitulation. I told my nephew, as has my brother and my Dad, multiple times. And he wondered why my parents kicked him out (again) and didn't get mad at me. Sooner or later someone calls you on your shit. If Biden wasn't willing to do what it takes, then he never should have started talking shit in the first place. Once he did, announcing that we won't fight if necessary pretty much took any option except capitulation off the board. Finally, he can protest all he wants, but he isn't preparing for war, while still ratcheting up hostility. His weakness is what I blame Biden for. His weakness while doing the tough man talk. His policy seems the opposite of Roosevelt's, speak loudly and carry a small twig.
                      At least we are selling Ukrainians weapons, after we promised to protect them from Russia, so they followed us. I also blame Biden for that. He could have told them sorry, we can't help you if Russia calls out bluff and invaded, so you might want to negotiate with Russia on your own. No he told them "we'll protect you from Russia". That is what I blame Biden for and England for. And the rest of NATO for.
                      If we weren't going to protect Ukraine we never should have told them we would, we should have been more realistic with them, or less transparent to the Russians. Once Biden announced we weren't going to use force (even if that was his intentions he shouldn't have said it before negotiations even started) then he had no real options. Yes that is America's fault.
                      But I consider that a far smaller sin for Russia to tell Ukraine and everyone else what Ukraine can do, and then invade when he doesn't get his way. Nothing NATO did even comes close to those acts.

                    9. But I consider that a far smaller sin for Russia to tell Ukraine and everyone else what Ukraine can do, and then invade when he doesn't get his way. Nothing NATO did even comes close to those acts.

                      I get it. NATO good, Russia bad. NATO participation in invasions and bombing missions is good, Russia bad.

                      You could have spared me the wall of text and just said "Russia Bad."

              2. "Claiming that the entire purpose of a purportedly "defensive" and benevolent alliance is for the U.S. to make money selling weapons, because selling weaponry is in the best interest of the United States . . .

                I didn't say any of that shit either.

                The purpose of NATO should be as a defensive alliance.

                "If the United States undermined the cause for the Ukraine through NATO, it was by dragging our allies of on foreign adventures that had little or nothing to do with the defense of Europe. When NATO is about supporting elective American adventures in Iraq, it undermines European support for the alliance."

                Do you really not understand what that means, or do you not want to understand what that means?

                If the Finland and Sweden and Poland send troops to Lithuania--so we don't have to send more than a token force--then it's in the best interests of the United States for them to deter a war between the U.S. and Russia rather than for us to send U.S. troops ourselves. NATO is supposed to be about the Europeans taking care of their own defense. That's why they're supposed to spend more than 2% of their GDP on their own defense.

                Because we've foolishly allowed them to benefit from our largess doesn't mean that's the only possible outcome.

                Meanwhile, the U.S. and other countries arming a state like the Ukraine or selling weapons to Poland--so that Poland can defend itself--is an excellent way to deter an invasion of Poland. If you think it's in the best interests of the United States not to go to war with Russia, then deterring aggression by Russia through weapons sales is in the best interests of the United States.

                NATO successfully deterred a proxy war between the U.S. and Russia in Europe during the Cold War--when we were fighting through proxies practically everywhere else in the world--from Asia and Africa to South America and the Middle East. Mutual defense treaties are an excellent way to deter wars--and they would still be that way if we didn't squander so much money on our military and if we didn't engage in foreign adventures like Iraq.

                The legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights. The legitimate purpose of foreign policy is to protect our rights from foreign threats. If we never engaged in another unnecessary foreign adventure like Iraq and Vietnam, NATO would still be the cost effective way to deter Putin's aggression. If you can't see that adding all of Europe's militaries to our own makes aggression against our allies less likely, it's because you don't want to see it.

                Selling munitions to the Poles and the Lithuanians is the smart, effective, libertarian way to avert war.

                1. Some people seem to think the Cold War never happened, there's nothing to learn from our mistakes and victory, or that winning without a nuclear exchange was inevitable. We won the Cold War the way we did--without a direct confrontation or a nuclear exchange--because of the smart choices we made and in spite of the mistakes. For goodness' sake, you know we won the Cold War, right? That outcome was not a random walk. Some people argue against NATO as if winning the Cold War without a direct conflict was an unmitigated disaster--a mistake that shouldn't be repeated.

                  SMH

                2. If you can't see that adding all of Europe's militaries to our own makes aggression against our allies less likely, it's because you don't want to see it.

                  If you can't see that other states may perceive that kind of aggregation of force as a form of aggression or a threat, then it is because you don't want to see it.

                  By your logic, the Soviet Union and its satellite states were a great deterrent to war, and it would actually be in the interest of peace for the Soviet Union to reconstitute.

                  If you only look at the conflict from one side -- that being, we are the good guys and everything we do is therefore right -- the only thing you will ever guarantee is perpetual war.

                  1. "If you can't see that other states may perceive that kind of aggregation of force as a form of aggression or a threat, then it is because you don't want to see it."

                    Let's be clear: Russia doesn't see that as aggression. They see that as an inconvenience to their desire to have a bunch of subject states that treat them like the Brussels of the East.

                    1. Let's be clear: Russia doesn't see that as aggression.

                      Ah, it's settled then.

                      And in Russia they are saying that the United States doesn't see the invasion of Ukraine as aggression, just an inconvenience to their desire to otherwise bend Europe to their will.

                      I don't know. Maybe they just hate us for our freedom ...

                    2. The difference is America didn't invade and start killing the Ukrainians like Russia did. Ukraine chose to buy American weapons. Putin didn't like that and invaded. Comparing selling weapons or any goods to a willing customer is not even close to being equivalent to using force to force a country to bend to your will against their wishes. It wasn't right when we did it in Iraq, and it is not right for Putin to do it now. Period. End of story. Your post is a false analogy. Or if not false, pretty sophomoric.

                    3. Ukraine chose to buy American weapons. Putin didn't like that and invaded.

                      Really? Ukraine just "bought" weapons? Because -- and pardon me for being such a Putin stooge -- an argument can be made that, instead of innocently buying American weapons, the United States government was actively arming the Ukrainians with hundreds of millions of dollars in lethal munitions while telling the Russians they can shove their objections to Ukraine joining NATO up its ass.

                      https://www.npr.org/2022/01/22/1075064514/ukraine-lethal-aid-us-russia

                      Oh, and the United States government has been doing this for the past ten years, in case you missed it. Fuck, it's almost like there was an entire Presidential impeachment predicated upon this shit.

                      As wrong as the invasion was, pretending that the United States and Ukraine were just innocently involved in a simple market transaction until big bad Putin got a whiff of it is a giant load of fucking nonsense.

                      However, you seem to believe that shit --- which is fine. I am certain it has nothing to do with you being a neo-con.

                    4. Russia doesn't get a say who the Ukraine chooses to join. How fucking hard is that to understand? Russia can complain all it wants about who Ukraine buys stuff from. But they don't get to invade another country because they don't like who that country chooses to buy from or who they decide to hang out with.
                      No one doubts the US has been selling weapons to Ukraine and Russia didn't like it. What they have a problem with is that why does Russia get to decide for Ukraine and the US what Ukraine gets to do? That's not fucking hard to understand.
                      Russia chose to invade a sovereign nation because they felt they had the right to decide what that nation does and who it does business with.
                      It wouldn't be right for us to do it in Venezuela or Cuba, and it isn't right for Russia. If Russia did it in Mexico, I would protest it, but I wouldn't support us invading Mexico to stop it either.
                      Protesting is one thing, invading is completely unforgivable. No matter what your justification seems to be. Yes, the US has done things Russia doesn't like, so has NATO, but, that doesn't give them the right to invade a sovereign country and inflict their will at bayonet on another country. It wasn't right in Iraq for the US and it isn't right for Russia in the Ukraine.

                    5. Russia can complain all it wants about who Ukraine buys stuff from.

                      The United States government actively giving away billions of dollars in advanced military weaponry (i.e. "aid") to a country while telling its nuclear armed neighbor to go fuck itself in the face of concerns about what that weaponry is going to be used for is not the same as Ukraine shopping around a gun store for a fucking shotgun like a god damned civilian in the suburbs.

                      At least own up to what the fuck happened over the past ten years instead of constructing an alternate reality.

                    6. "Russia doesn't see that as aggression. They see that as an inconvenience to their desire to have a bunch of subject states that treat them like the Brussels of the East."

                      Bullshit.
                      Your looking at through the lens of prejudice, and ignoring the possibility of other perspectives.
                      The US/NATO states have been blaming Russia for "interference" in everything for 5 years. They've been accusing Russia with all sorts of crimes, often with little to no evidence. They clearly cast Russia as The Bad Guy for over a decade, conditioning their populations and trying to fuck up their diplomatic relationships. The rhetoric being used by the US/NATO has been the same as the rhetoric about Milosovic and Hussein and Qaddafi and Assad leading up to invasions/interventions.

                      I haven't seen anybody say Russia was right to invade Ukraine, but they were sure as hell right to think the US/NATO were preparing to make a move on them.

                3. Selling munitions to the Poles and the Lithuanians is the smart, effective, libertarian way to avert war.

                  So the Russians arming the Venezuelans and Cuba is just Russia engaging in some libertarian peacekeeping?

                  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/russia-ukraine-war-us-talks-unsuccessful-military-infrastructure-cuba-venezuela/

                  Jesus fuck, dude. Do you even hear yourself?

                  1. I figure you would have been voting against raising the military budget in 1939 as well, because why would the US need a strong military if we just mind our own business. This is the just pollyannaish tripe.

                    1. So, we're cool with the Russian selling arms to Cuba and Venezuela then? I am told doing so is the best way to ensure world peace and to avoid war.

                    2. First, are the poles and Ukrainians using American weapons to subjugate their citizens. You could argue the Ukrainians might be (if you ignore the only reasons they're using American weapons in those two provinces is because Russia shipped weapons into the two provinces in the first place). Second, it really doesn't bother me, because even with Russian weapons those two countries don't pose much of a threat to the US. The Ukraine, even with American weapons, the Poles, even with American weapons don't pose a credible threat to Russia.
                      The Chinese and Russians have been selling weapons to those two countries for decades. Iran has also been supplying them with weapons and personal, as has Hezbollah in Venezuela. Do you see us invading them?
                      Your analogy fails because it totally ignores the fact that these countries have been buying weapons from Russia and China for decades, and the US hasn't really done much other than occasionally protest.
                      Sure, if we go back to the Cuban Missile Crisis, but in American politics, 40 years might as well be ancient history. We have sanctions against both countries but really don't interfere with their foreign trade with anyone but us. You think you have gotcha because you seem ill informed about the particulars.

                    3. So the answer to my question was "Yes, I'm cool with Russia selling weaponry to Venezuela and Cuba."

                      Okay, then fine. Let's see what your stance is when, a few years from now, the U.S. begins its campaign against Russian influence in South America.

                    4. Remind me, how often we invaded Cuba?
                      And I'll be just as opposed to military intervention in South America as I am against a war with Russia. It's fucking false dichotomy you're arguing. Fuck you are a simpleton. If we don't agree with you, we must be pro-war. Fuck that noise. That is as shallow as Joe and LoS and Tony who have suddenly become hawks because Biden is.

                    5. If we don't agree with you, we must be pro-war. Fuck that noise.

                      I never said you were pro-war, I called you a neo-con because your reflexive reaction to me questioning the wisdom of escalating the conflict (albeit, indirectly) by dumping weapons into the hands of NATO allies with the goal of them being used against Russia as a libertarian pathway toward peace (per Ken) was "you're pro Putin simpleton and anti-America."

                      Sure, you're not for a direct engagement --- but you seem to be very much pro taking every step that leads us closer and close to a direct engagement.

                      Guess who gets blamed when U.S. weaponry is used to blow a Russian jet out of the sky? Libertarian my ass.

                    6. No, that isn't a neo-con argument either. But it is pretty free market. If they freely buy our weapons, that's their business. Free association is a bedrock principle of libertarian and classical liberalism. Putin doesn't get veto power over an independent country. I don't think it was smart to do it in the provocative manner that Biden chose but I also don't believe Putin has the right to decide who can voluntarily join an organization, even if I don't agree with the organization. Fuck, calling that neo-con is the shallowest argument you've made so far.

                    7. But it is pretty free market.

                      Yes, of course. When I think free market I immediately think of global military super powers with a history of foreign adventurism selling and exchanging military grade weaponry to/with corrupt states under incredibly precarious circumstances in order to stick a thumb in the eye of another global superpower.

                      If this is your definition of a "free market," guess what? You may just be a neo-con.

                      Call it shallow if you want, it's the truth. You wear your heart on your sleeve.

                    8. If you think a tyrannical government saying who another country can or can't buy from, is okay and all you can argue is calling everyone who disagrees with you a neo-con you might be a simpleton.

                    9. "If you think a tyrannical government saying who another country can or can't buy from, is okay"

                      So... sanctions bad?

              3. "or, someday, against the U.S."

                Bingo. Big, long term risk.

                Many of our NATO allies are not friends, but frenemies.

    2. Ken, I'm in no hurry to admit Ukraine to NATO. They are corrupt AF.

      1. then theyll fit right in.

        Attacking the Victim is lame

      2. The election that overthrew Putin's crony was in part a reaction to that corruption.

        The real origin of this conflict was the European Union - Ukraine Association Agreement, which required Ukraine to make various changes to their laws in order to bring them up to European norms. Read about it yourself here. One of the reasons the Putin crony at the time tore up the association agreement is presumably because he couldn't have continued to profit off of corruption like he had been if the Ukraine adopted the norms of the EU. Check the details yourself below. Every single individual country's legislature in the EU ratified the agreement.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union%E2%80%93Ukraine_Association_Agreement

        Corruption doesn't end in a day, but part of the reason the Ukrainian people threw out Putin's crony is because he was ranked as the head of the most corrupt government on earth. The Ukrainian revolution was in part a reaction to that. They haven't completely cleaned themselves up overnight, but then Donald Trump couldn't drain the swamp in just one term either--and we're nowhere near as corrupt as everything in the Ukraine was.

  18. https://twitter.com/RNCResearch/status/1498323440985595915?t=BZAfUtxCdyjJ05b9s5nNtw&s=19

    REPORTER: “Mr. President, are you worried about nuclear war?”

    BIDEN: .........
    [Video]

    1. He's got a massive bunker to hide in and forewarning if things get serious, that is not shared with the US people. If anyone will survive a nuclear war, it will be the US president.

      1. He probably spends more time in Delaware than DC at this point, and there's no threat of the former getting hit by anything.

        "Hi, I'm in...Delaware."

      2. But, will Hunter supply him with a cache of little girls to live out his fantasy life?

        That's the bigger question.

  19. https://twitter.com/AreOhEssEyeEe/status/1498313867033731082?t=tvAUSQ3_UxaRry3o8wIuww&s=19

    So I guess everyone owes Dr. Robert Malone, Alex Berenson, Dr. Peter McCullough, Jordan Peterson & Joe Rogan an apology?
    [Links]

  20. https://twitter.com/The_Real_Fly/status/1498345276247101441?t=D92YJaa_aVEVEYdLD-WoFw&s=19

    ZELENSKY IS URGING BIDEN AND NATO TO IMPOSE A NO-FLY ZONE" OVER SIGNIFICANT PARTS OF UKRAINE STATING THAT "UKRAINE CAN BEAT THE AGGRESSOR IF THE WESTERN ALLIES DO THEIR PART." - AXIOS.

    1. And?
      You're a pile of irrelevancies today.

      1. Zelensky is inviting NATO into an open war with a near peer nuclear armed rival.

        What precisely about that is irrelevant?

        1. So, if we accept Ukraine's proposal, you would still say that Ukraine was doing America's bidding, because you can't see past America bad, to blame for all the world's problems.
          We aren't without sins, but we also aren't the biggest sinners. You can oppose military action without blaming America or forgiving Putin for his blatant and unnecessary aggression. The Ukraine was not going to get into NATO because Germany and France were opposed to it and also because under the NATO treaty countries with breakaway provinces can't be members of NATO. It was never going to happen, because the US doesn't exert the power you believe it does on NATO.
          Because of Putin's stupidity NATO probably will admit the Ukraine, Moldova, Sweden (who has never been that thrilled about joining NATO) and Finland. If Putin's war was to keep NATO from expanding into Eastern Europe further, he just fucked the pooch. Germany and France were opposed to any more expansion. Germany and France already dominate the EU, and they've done a pretty good job over the past three decades of dominating NATO.
          But facts don't matter much to the blame America crowd. Next you'll blame the middle East problems on the US, while ignoring the Ottoman Empire and the British and French actions prior to 1945.

          1. The problem with neo-cons is that they reflexively assume everyone else is an idiot the minute they turn to discuss the actions of the United States government as having any role in fomenting war and conflict across the globe.

            "Blame America" is a convenient fucking excuse to shut down the conversation.

            Just call me a Putin puppet already and get it out of your system so you can move on to drinking your daily dose of war propaganda.

            1. I am hardly a neo-con. But you seem hell bent on forgiving Putin and blaming America. I am calling out your shallow analysis of the situation, especially your misconception that NATO is some American hegemony.

              I called you a simpleton because your analysis is simplistic and not historically accurate. I also said blame America because you haven't done anything but blame America. Every single post on this article from you is blame America, and occasionally Russia. But you ignore any autonomy of any of the other players on the board. It's a simplistic argument that misses almost any of the complexity. You may not be a Putin agent but you are as guilty of falling for his propaganda as those you accuse of falling for American propaganda.

              I have and continue to oppose war and provocation, however, I blame Putin more than anyone else. I am not a fan of NATO. I don't think it's a good idea to expand NATO, and have argued that for the past two weeks, however, I see your analysis as as bad as LoS and Joe Friday's. It's just as dishonest in my opinion.

              1. But you seem hell bent on forgiving Putin and blaming America.

                Yea, definitely not a neo-con.

                1. Yeah, taking one quote out of context, and a quote that in no ways screams neo-con is proof positive I'm a neo-con. What a fucking joke...

                2. At this point I am pretty sure you define neo-con as anyone who doesn't agree with you 100%. I really don't think you know what neo-con means, you just use it as shorthand for anyone who blames Putin for starting a war. Yes, the US actions aren't without blame, but most all of them were done with the agreement and support of Ukraine, several of them at their own request. Russia doesn't get to decide who an independent country does business with or allies with. I hate communism and socialism, but I don't believe that gives America the right to invade Cuba or Venezuela. I am not happy they've been buying weapons from Russia and China for decades (in the case of Cuba since the 1950s). That didn't excuse Eisenhower's and Kennedy's attempts to over throw Castro, and it doesn't excuse us to attack them today. Free association is a bedrock of libertarianism and classical liberalism. Trying to dictate who you can associate with is pretty much Wilsonian and Neo-'con. By making the but Russia doesn't want Ukraine in NATO and NATO freely sold weapons to Ukraine, is actually closer to the Neo-con argument, than saying the Ukraine can decide to do whatever it wants.
                  That being said, outside of them being paying customers, the US has no real interest in Ukraine, not enough to warrant a possible war over. It isn't an either or duality. Ukraine has a right to exist however it wants too and neither the US, Western Europe or Russia has any say in that. The same goes for Poland, the Baltic countries, Finland et al. Hell, Byelorus has the right to continue to live under an authoritarian dictators and Russians have the right to elect a corrupt strong man if they want to. We have no more right to stop them than Putin has to try and force Ukraine to do what he wants. I'll condemn any attempt and all attempts the US government has taken to overthrow Putin in the past, while also condemning Putin for using force to overthrow the government of an independent nation. I'll state I think NATO has outlived it's worth, and Europe should protect itself, while also believing any country that wants should be free to apply and it's members have the right to accept who they do or don't want to join. If the majority of Americans want America to stay in NATO, I have to honor that while also continuing to speak my mind about why I think they're wrong. I will speak against going to war, but if Russia attacks us or our treaty allies, I will do everything to support the war because it's my blood who will be fighting it. Like my family has always fought for this country, even while often disagreeing with the government. War is horrible and should be avoided and not used to force your will on others. I'm sure you'll twist this to mean I want war. I don't. And I'll do everything in my power to keep us out of war.

                  1. I will speak against going to war, but if Russia attacks us or our treaty allies, I will do everything to support the war because it's my blood who will be fighting it.

                    Like I said, you have skin in the game. I appreciate your perspective but, at the same time, having skin in the game skews your perspective, too.

                    They see it the same way. People dying for the sins of their government ... what else can I say? I hope it doesn't come to it.

            2. I don't want war. That is fucking laughable. I've been arguing against war for two weeks. I have a son in the Army and a nephew, not to mention several cousins in the armed forces. A war with Russia would be devastating and likely get my son killed. It's a fucking false dichotomy that if we blame Putin that we want war. That just proved how simplistic your analysis is. Based on historical inaccuracies, lacks nuance and full of false dichotomies. At no point did I even come close to saying you work for Putin.

          2. What benefit would adding Ukraine provide the American people?

          3. "You can oppose military action without blaming America or forgiving Putin for his blatant and unnecessary aggression."

            But there's no honest discussion of whether that aggression is indeed unnecessary, it's simply assumed, dismissed out of hand, and any doubt labeled Russian propaganda.

            1. Let's say you're general of a generic army circa 1800, and your enemy's army is across the field. There's a hill close to your lines, a hill that commands the battlefield and provides massive strategic advantage to whichever side posses it. On that hill is a house where a nice family lives, but that family hates your side and favors your enemy. That family will not vacate peacefully, but will fire upon any of your soldiers who approach it. Further, you've intercepted letters from that family to the opposing general promising to give your enemy access and free reign.
              Losing this battle means you lose the war, and your enemy conquers your people.
              Would you be justified in taking that hill, even if you had to fight and kill the people who own it?
              Or would you leave that hill alone and hope your enemy doesn't attack, or that you can withstand his attack despite the major strategic deficit you'll be at with enemy possession of the hill?

            2. I hate using chess analogies but, when you are playing chess, if you focus only upon your own strategic positioning while ignoring how those moves reshape the position and open potential opportunities for your opponent, you will lose the game.

              In other words, every move you make -- though it may serve your immediate interests and advance your goal of winning the game -- has the potential to dramatically change, depending on the opponent's response, the universe of viable tactics and goals available to you on the next move.

              Refusing to consider the full range of responses from your opponent is always a losing strategy, as is refusing to consider how your moves also limit your replies to your opponent's responses.

              It would be ludicrous to argue that soberly anticipating an opponent's responses in a chess game and carefully assessing which options are forclosed that may previously have been available is tantamount to rooting for the opponent or wanting to lose the game.

              It is equally ludicrous to do so when assessing moves in the foreign policy context. Calculation requires understanding the options open to your adversaries, and how your moves alter the landscape of available choices. Understanding is not the same as sympathizing.

              1. Correct.
                And the chess analogy is apt not only because Russia is famous for its chess culture, but also because if you look at a map of Europe with NATO states year-to-year since the 90s, it looks like someone getting their pieces into position like one would in chess.
                And Russia justifiably sees Ukraine as NATO's checkmate move.
                Whether or not you conclude this is justification for their invasion, this is how it looks.

                Further, despite all the decadence of civilization, humans are still animals. Try as we might, we, animals that we are, cannot escape being subject to the laws of nature. There are certain things you don't do if you want to avoid being attacked by a dangerous beasts, such as looking it in the eyes or sneaking up behind it. It's simple action-reaction calculus based on instinct and behavior.
                You might have completely benign, even benevolent, intentions, but if you approach a cub the momma bear is going to attack you.
                Shall we spend time condemning the bear, or react appropriately? Reacting appropriately, whether it's fight or flight, depends on us assessing the bear's motivations and the cost/benefit of each decision.
                If a bear's charging and it's psychotic, we're probably going to have to fight it or it will keep pursuing. If we know we're approaching its cub, flight probably solves the problem.
                So is Russia psychotic, or have we approached its cub?
                If we've approached its cub, do the benefits of trying to lure it away with honey outweigh the cost of killing or being killed by its mother?

                1. Exactly correct.

                  But the war propaganda is overflowing and asking questions is not allowed.

  21. FIFA set to ban Russia from the World Cup. Now that's hitting them where it hurts.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/28/sports/soccer/fifa-russia-ban.html

    Seriously, though I have a problem with this. The world is beset by activist governments and NGOs that should operate with a certain amount of neutrality. Russia's actions have nothing to do with soccer, and so FIFA should keep its nose out of it.

    1. They're probably trying to avoid things getting rather nasty on the pitch.

      During the 1956 water polo match between the Soviets and Hungarians, the two teams beat the shit out of each other so badly it was called the "Blood in the Water" match.

    2. FIFA tried to stay out of it, and then it tried a compromise where the Russian team would play under another name. But with a whole pile of national federations declaring they would not play Russia under any circumstances, the choices came down to banning Russia or the end of FIFA.

      I mean, sure, FIFA arguably should have banned all the countries that refused to play Russia, on the grounds that they had no right to refuse to play. But since most of the money in international soccer is in the countries that declared a boycott of Russia, a counter-tournament by an organization of the Russia boycotters would have instantly become the leading soccer tournament, and FIFA instantly become irrelevant.

      1. You nailed it perfectly, DRM.

  22. https://twitter.com/emeriticus/status/1498336197294399497?t=hpyTYwXwXOjdncHDlOD3uQ&s=19

    The plight of Ukrainian civilians is being exploited to empower everyone and everything from the neocons who got us into Iraq to the corrupt national security apparatus and there has been virtually zero pushback because people are afraid of being called pro-Putin

    How do people not see that every shady person and org from the CIA to George Soros is throwing weight behind this myth of Ukraine as the rallying point of democracy

    1. GG said it yesterday, but it's INSANE how EVERYBODY suddenly got on the same page.

      1. It's covid on steroids

      2. Sort of like the liberation of Kuwait.

        Or, the aftermath of 9/11.

        1. But dialed way, way up.

  23. https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/1498335037921669125?t=NXjnhG6BLA8eHTs7FvWJ8w&s=19

    We have to make sure that within our own country, we are calling out people giving aid and comfort to Putin and siding with autocrats against the global cause of democracy.
    [Video]

    1. Expressing skepticism about the next American war project = "giving aid and comfort to Putin" just like expressing skepticism about the security of the 2020 election = " supporting an armed insurrection worse than Pearl Harbor"

      These fucking clowns are absolutely shameless.

      1. If you're not with us, you're agin us.

      2. That was Bush’s line in 2002. My god, is there nothing she won’t steal?

  24. It is sad that Robby feels the need to reaffirm his commendation against Putin to hopefully dodge anti-Putin witch hunting and make his legit point come across.

    After the dissolution of the USSR, the fall of communism and possibility of democracy what was the message of NATO? "You still are the enemy, you are not part of the free world, you suck."

    Clearly NATO as institution had an existential crisis. The only solution was to keep the cold war somehow.

    1. +10

    2. Ah the lie of " fall of communism"

      No, just the Union fell.

      Communisms alive in deniers like you.

  25. Robby, if you want to discuss whether it was a good idea to expand NATO, do so based on the various scenarios, including future scenarios, inherent in not doing so. But why would you use what Putin says about his motivation to attack Ukraine? You actually believe anything Putin says?

      1. Gee, addressing the issue with relevant comment here; you're batting a thousand today!

        1. We are expected to believe, simultaneously, that Putin is absolutely mad and cannot be reasoned with but also that he can and will respond to various economic manipulations and international pressure because, after all, it is not like he is crazy or something!

          The "LOL" was at the fact that when it comes to Putin, we are expected to believe only what fits the prevailing narrative at any given time. Putin always lies, but our government can always tell the truth behind his lies, and how to respond, apparently.

          In practice, what this boils down is always: "We are right, and Putin is wrong, because we are always right, because we said so."

          It may come as a surprise that most people do not find that kind of reasoning persuasive.

          1. "We are expected to believe, simultaneously, that Putin is absolutely mad and cannot be reasoned with but also that he can and will respond to various economic manipulations and international pressure because, after all, it is not like he is crazy or something!"

            You gave that strawman a hell of a beating.
            Try reality next time.

            1. Fuck off, retard.

            2. I mean, our only sources of information in regards to this are the Media and the Biden Administration, so being credulous when someone demands you to take their words at face value without a large grain of salt isn’t really a strawman.

          2. Putin's actions seem extremely counterproductive the last couple of weeks. His initial occupation of the breakaway provinces probably would have gotten a slap on the wrist. Most of NATO wasn't keen on admitting Ukraine. The Finnish had basically stopped talking about joining NATO, and Sweden has always resisted any attempt to join NATO. But now both Sweden and Finland seem inclined to join NATO, because of the threats Putin made last week.
            I'm sorry, but Putin doesn't seem to be considering his actions very well. The sanctions may not accomplish much, but it beats war. The fact is, that Putin's actions seem most likely to result in exactly the opposite of what he stated he wanted to happen.

            1. We're at war.
              Whether or not US troops get involuntarily (as opposed to those that have joined Ukraine's foreign militia) committed to direct combat remains to be seen.
              They're certainly doing the propaganda push to get enough public support for direct hostilities whether or not they actually go that route.
              And I wouldn't trust NATO to stay out of Ukraine. NATO has broken their word plenty of times, and recent admission of a country like Montenegro seem to serve no purpose but strategic leverage over Moscow. I find it hard to believe you could so confidently dismiss the possibility of Ukrainian inclusion, especially considering the rhetoric of both NATO and Ukraine.
              Doesn't look good for Putin right now, but neither does it look good for the rest of us.
              This is another case of the globalist cabal screwing us over, just like covid.

  26. It's hard to say this without it sounding like defense of Putin, but consider the following. If you're the relatively weaker party and the powers that be have been unresponsive to civil inquiries, what exactly are you supposed to do?

    Might doesn't make right, but make no mistake, it makes. Right and wrong are something that the winners can sort out later.

    Any take on Ukraine that only blames Putin is hot garbage. This has a lot more to it than just the actions of one man. It's a crisis decades in the making.

    1. That kind of thinking dampens the patriotism required to sell a war, and is therefore not allowed.

    2. College professors everywhere will analyze this for the next 100 years......if global warming doesn't kill us first!

      1. https://twitter.com/RepAdamSchiff/status/1498387035475824644?t=0wQPvnywLVSvfosEy1Wr9w&s=19

        A new report found climate change is unfolding so rapidly that it may soon become impossible for us to adapt.

        This is a five-alarm fire.

        We need all hands on deck, taking unprecedented action to fight back.

        An Apollo-like project to save us. A Green New Deal.

  27. But the purpose of NATO was defensive: to protect the world from Russian aggression. If NATO policy is antagonizing Russia and being used as a pretext for invasion, it clearly isn't serving that goal.

    No, the purpose of NATO is to protect NATO members from Russian aggression, and even then only within the specific geographic scope laid out in the treaty.

    1. Correct, and faulty perception by paranoid thugs regarding that issue is (and should be) irrelevant the understanding of the current war:
      Putin declared war on an independent nation and acted as the aggressor.
      His justifications/excuses (and those of others) are so much bullshit; to be ignored.

      1. Putin declared war on an independent nation and acted as the aggressor.

        You, Putin is a bad, bad person and he did a bad, bad thing.

        So what?

        What does that have to do with the US? What reason do US taxpayers have to waste one penny on what is happening in Ukraine or risk one American life?

        I mean if you want to donate to charity for Ukraine, that's fine. If you want to sign up with the Ukraine military, I think that's fine too. But this is not the business of the US government.

    2. NATO branched off the Allies, including Russia, winning WW2.

      Russia got all pissy about wanting more power and here we are.

      Now if the US would just adopt that Closed Borders thing....

    3. Did they put that change in writing?
      Because I always thought it was to protect NATO members from Soviet attack...

      1. Also, I didn't realize Serbia and Libya had attacked any member states.

  28. If anyone has spare Russian Wodka they dont want, theres a place to dispose of it safely and securely:

    Send it to:

    The Clinton Foundation
    1200 President Clinton Avenue
    Little Rock, AR 72201
    501-374-4242

  29. This explanation makes sense considering agitators been doing the same / similar things in the US. Antifa and tearing down Confederate statues.

    https://thepeoplescube.com/peoples-blog/why-did-ukraine-parliament-outlaw-communism-and-nazism-t16250.html

  30. A new Internet scam.

    Psych conditioning to condition people into not clicking " X'es" to close ads.

    Last 2 days, sites using X'es to launch ads.

    Just now on MSN

  31. Putin’s invasion is more defensive than any war fought by the U.S. government in my lifetime. So, there’s that.

    1. That what? Youre a lying Troll?

      Thats obvious.

      1. When did the US last fight a defensive war?

  32. https://twitter.com/martyrmade/status/1498363609260310533?t=5hIY9sp0dxCfavGc47bLaw&s=19

    Modern propaganda doesn’t even bother trying to convince (if even by deception). It merely says if you think This, you’re good, if you think That, you’re bad, then encourages the Good People to go attack the Bad People.

    1. Might even be some of that modern propaganda right here.

  33. President Obama was 100% correct in supporting the 2014 Ukrainian democratic revolution.

    The US has long supported democracy worldwide, as we should.

    1. So go join the Ukrainian militia.

      1. Dipshit.

    2. The US has long supported democracy worldwide, as we should.

      US leaders have abused their position of power to engage in virtue-signaling vis-a-vis western-friendly regimes that identify as some form of democracy.

      The vast majority of Americans couldn't care less what happens to Ukraine; whether it is governed as libertopia, as a dictatorship, or swallowed up in a gigantic sinkhole.

      If you want to privately donate to Ukraine, be my guest. If you want to sign up for their militia, be my guest. But "the US" (i.e., the US government) certainly has no right to expropriate private property and risk American lives in order to do anything for Ukraine.

  34. Seems legit...

    https://twitter.com/YourAnonTeam/status/1497678548764696585?t=WfU6Na_7nFfDqRoX9mSjmg&s=19

    We call all hackers and digital activists to be united as one. If this war is not won with weapons, it will be won with cyberweapons. Democracy and freedom will destroy fascism and imperialism. #Anonymous #OpRussia #Ukraine #Russia.

    1. I understand that it's an emotional time for anyone with a paycheck denominated in rubles, but Biden did a smart fucking thing you can't escape. He said what Russia was going to do before it did it. There is egg on some faces and not others. No ambiguity about where the egg is.

      1. Anybody that can see a punch a coming but stands around to get punched, only to smile about it afterward and say "I told you so," is a fucking idiot.

        Impotence should not be a point of pride, moron.

      2. but Biden did a smart fucking thing you can't escape. He said what Russia was going to do before it did it.

        "Saying" that Russia was going to invade Ukraine isn't "doing a smart thing", it's doing no fucking thing.

        Biden is president; as soon as he realized what Putin was up to, he could have stopped it. Or he should have explicitly said "we don't care".

        The GOP tried to stop it, and Biden didn't let them.

  35. Ukraine is not a member of NATO.

    1. De facto, it is.

    2. Youre not a member of humanity, Russian Troll

      Now Fucksky Offski

  36. https://twitter.com/unusual_whales/status/1498396002138529792?t=BkMSUDlpz-IjXhgWHqVsJg&s=19

    Ukraine has asked crypto exchanges to freeze all Russian accounts to aid the war effort.

    Binance, the world's largest exchange, said doing so "would fly in the face of the reason why crypto exists."

    Do you agree?

    1. Maybe. But I'd cheer on any and all that work to muck up the works for Russian activities.

  37. https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet/status/1498377139632189442?t=W-xSraSflJGkrnWfVfMYFA&s=19

    Fascinating how they flipped the switch virtually overnight from 'anyone who questions the narrative on COVID is dangerous/should be locked up' to 'anyone who questions the war narrative is dangerous/should be locked up'.

  38. Why are today's youngsters so enamored with self-flagellation? To the point of dragging up the supposed missteps of six administrations!

    Vision is always perfect in the rear view mirror.

    With the same arguments used here, I could justifiably say that the world would not be in this predicament today, and we wouldn't even be having this conversation, if Truman had let MacArthur have his way. A lot earlier than the Clinton administration.

  39. Yup.
    Mac had them by the nuts but the Globalists didnt want him to squeeze.

  40. For the low-watt bulbs Nards, GG and the rest, suggest you might possibly learn something here from a non-western POV, IOWs lacking your bullshit claims that the US foreign policy is the driver of the world:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJLnZ_rNLOU
    - history

      1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLzrZAt4pkw
        How the world outside of your bullshit US-centric focus is reacting. In the best interest of each agent for those assholes STUPID enough to assume US foreign policy is the world's policy

  41. "We at Reason stand sqarely against self-determination for the Russian minority held captive by the Ukrainian government."

    Another #LibertarianMoment brought to you by the new Woke Establishment Reason.

    1. Care to explain what that comment means?

      1. What he means is that there is, in fact, a Russian minority in Ukraine and that they might wan t a right to self-determination.

        Just like there are conservative minorities in California whose views and preferences don't matter.

        The problem is that the current political arrangements realistically don't allow for "self-determination" even in the most democratic Western nations, let alone Ukraine or Russia.

  42. https://twitter.com/ChristinaPushaw/status/1498497192092487683?t=7EIDVNk4cyWnClSFQGDK4g&s=19

    Many journalists calling me to inquire why @GovRonDeSantis declined Biden’s demand for the National Guard to come to DC for the State of the Union.

    But has anyone asked Biden why he needs the National Guard in the first place? There’s no hurricane in DC. Political melodrama.
    [Link]

  43. https://twitter.com/covid_clarity/status/1498360349975842821?t=GH0wQKiVf9nqTBJwj4Q88g&s=19

    On Friday, the CDC revised its covid risk formula.

    With this single change, the pandemic abruptly eased going from 90% of the United States in High-Risk Red to less than 30%.
    [Link]

  44. Thread:

    https://twitter.com/selectedwisdom/status/1498407119464595457?t=G676eZPd3BPSXvpgus_8iQ&s=19

    Strangest thing - entire world watching a massive Russian armor formation plow towards Kyiv, we cheer on Ukraine, but we’re holding ourselves back. NATO Air Force could end this in 48 hrs. Understand handwringing about what Putin would do, but we can see what’s coming

    1. Read the above links, asshole

      1. Sevo's such a butthurt little bitch.
        Sad to see.

        1. Read the above links, asshole and really give an effort to understand, pile of shit

          1. Have a stroke.

  45. https://twitter.com/JackPosobiec/status/1498523849566167043?t=8A_adYEYDx7WP8YbJQOPZQ&s=19

    "NATO expansion may well involve the US military in conflicts unrelated to our national interest"

    - Ron Paul, 2008

    1. Read the above links, asshole

        1. Read the above links, asshole

  46. https://twitter.com/Brick_Suit/status/1498452421512626176?t=B5rBtmKAPPkg5CrmQPNCCQ&s=19

    UKRAINE MEME THREAD...
    Drop what you got here. Any meme you've got that relates to Russia vs. Ukraine regardless of who it favors.

    War memes are hell!

    [Memes, lots of memes]

    1. Read the above links, slimy pile of shit

      1. Your life has no value, boomershit

        1. Read the above links, asshole

  47. https://twitter.com/mtracey/status/1498529971383549952?t=noZfqD0bHNHhI6iqOT-CRw&s=19

    Video from Dec. 2016 in which John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Amy Klobuchar tell a Ukrainian military unit that it's time to go on the "offense" against Russia. "It is time for them to pay a heavier price," declares Graham. This is what they wanted!

    [Link]

  48. Read the above links, asshole and really give an effort to understand, pile of shit

  49. Easy to see that the asshole ignoramus identifying as Nardz has a real problem dealing with reality as opposed to his bullshit fantasies; his gripe regarding the evidence offered is to whine about me being a "boomer".
    Stuff a rusty pitchfork up your ass, steaming pile of shit.

    1. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
      Watching sqvoly meltdown is growing on me.
      Poor little boomer going full Biden.

      1. "LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL"

        Ignorant asshole works hard to make intelligent comment; fails.

        1. It's funny because everyone can scroll through these comments and compare mine to sevo's.
          Wouldn't be talking about intelligence if I were sevo, but some boomers just can't help raging at what's far above them.

  50. The War in Ukraine Is Obama's Fault, and it Started in 2014

  51. Is there a compelling argument against Ukraine's adopting an official policy of neutrality? That seems to have worked in Switzerland, Sweden, and Finland.

  52. https://twitter.com/disclosetv/status/1498623369830440964?t=bBRD_97SWlHgMcdy6BDU6w&s=19

    JUST IN - YouTube blocks Russian outlets RT and Sputnik across Europe effective immediately.

  53. https://twitter.com/rrtidotcom/status/1498472712787927043?t=n_Ldem5jc1vXXsBQogiryBrent.

    the last guy we regime changed ended up getting sodomized to death with a knife. why do we think putin wont say "fuck it" and press the big red button if it gets that far

  54. https://twitter.com/The_Real_Fly/status/1498587916360163328?t=BjVzKe0I209Hs-nUg8QGJA&s=19

    US calls for Russian athletes to be thrown out of Winter Paralympics in Beijing

    You read that right

    1. Just in: Nards tries to find something to back his pile of shit, fails.

  55. If only they'd learn from history. I remember reading about this during in a World History course I took while in college decades ago. It's called the Austrian State Treaty of 1955.

    Here's some text from that event:
    On May 15, 1955, representatives of the Soviet Union, Great Britain, the United States, and France signed a treaty that granted Austria independence and arranged for the withdrawal of all occupation forces. These governments signed the agreement with the understanding that the newly independent state of Austria would declare its neutrality, creating a buffer zone between the East and the West. The Austrian State Treaty was the only treaty signed by both the Soviet Union and United States in the decade after the 1947 Paris Peace Treaties, and it marked the only Cold War era withdrawal by the Soviet Union from a territory it occupied. ---end of text

    Now, if what Putin claimed was true (i.e. He simply didn't want Ukraine joining NATO) to prevent this invasion, then doing something similar to what was done for Austria back in the 50s would have worked. Essentially let Ukraine continue to be a sovereign nation (no joining of NATO), but free to govern themselves and do business with whoever they want. This way, they would (as Austria did) serve as a buffer zone between Russia and NATO.

    This could have been a part of the U.S. playbook during negotiations, but unfortunately, it was not.

    Doing something like this would have placed the ball squarely on Putin's side of the court-forcing him to show his hand. It would have shown the world that he was either hell-bent on invading no matter what or telling the truth about not simply wanting NATO at his doorstep. Putin would have been solely responsible for the outcome.

  56. }}} Misguided U.S. Foreign Policy

  57. }}} Misguided U.S. Foreign Policy

    Wait. What?

    We have another kind of Foreign Policy?

    When did that happen? Ever? OK, maybe during and before Monroe....

  58. How is it that when people suggested Trump was "installed by Russia as president of the U.S. due to a subtle influence campaign on Facebook, this was "of course ridiculous"? It's eminently plausible. Russia had

    1- Opportunity -- social media was exploding with misinformation
    2 - Capability -- they'd influenced the electorate in several countries
    3 - Motivation -- Trump was clearly their preferred US President for a lot of reasons.

    It may not have happened but the idea is not at all ridiculous.

  59. It’s totally Joe Biden’s fault that Donald Trump spent 5 years lavishing praise on Putin, reiterating how amazing, smart, capable and strong he is, and defending him at every turn. It’s also definitely Joe Borden’s fault that Trump underscored how weak we are by encouraging an insurrection and continuing to lay the groundwork for a second one. It’s also Joe Borden’s fault that Trump’s “love” for our military was expressed by trying to use it for parades (celebrating Trump) and clearing out protestors instead of training for the impending situation we find ourselves in now.

    /S

  60. *Biden, not “Borden” stupid autocorrect

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