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Sun Mar 16, 2014, 06:48 PM

Time for Realism and Common Sense on Ukraine

The escalating crisis in Ukraine has set off reckless missile-rattling in this country. As Harvard’s Stephen Walt tweeted on March 2: “Public discourse on #Ukraine situation hitting new hghts in hyperbole. (‘New Cold War, WW III,’ etc.) Rhetorical overkill not helpful.” He may have been thinking of neocon Charles Krauthammer, who in his Washington Post column called for the United States to ante up $15 billion for Ukraine and send a naval flotilla to the Black Sea. The same paper headlined that the crisis “tests Obama’s focus on diplomacy over military force,” quoting Andrew Kuchins of the Center for Strategic and International Studies decrying President Obama’s “taking the stick option off the table.”

The Obama administration has responded to the crisis by flexing its own rhetorical muscles. When Russian President Vladimir Putin ignored Obama’s warning that “there will be costs” if Russia sent troops into Crimea, Secretary of State John Kerry denounced the “brazen act of aggression,” vowing that “Russia is going to lose, the Russian people are going to lose” and suggesting “asset freezes…isolation with respect to trade and investment,” while promising “economic assistance of the major sort” for whatever government emerges in Kiev.

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US foreign policy needs a strong dose of realism and common sense. It’s absurd to scold Obama for “taking the stick option off the table”: the unavoidable fact is that the United States has no stick in relation to Ukraine. Americans have no desire and no reason to go to war with Russia over Crimea, and the EU and the United States are not about to supplant Russia’s economic influence in Ukraine. Washington is not going to provide the aid, the trade or the subsidized energy Ukraine needs, and the EU—which is still mired in its own deep economic crisis—doesn’t have the means to offer Ukraine much beyond painful austerity. Its new government is not elected, not legitimate and not at all settled. The international community should be pushing hard for compromise before this fragile and bitterly divided country breaks apart.

Frustrated cold warriors filling armchairs in Washington’s outdated “strategic” think tanks will continue to howl at the moon, but US policy should be run by the sober. The president should work with the EU and Russia to preserve Ukraine’s territorial unity, support free elections and allow Ukraine to be part of both the EU and the Russian customs union, while pledging that NATO will not extend itself into Ukraine. It is time to reduce tensions, not draw red lines, flex rhetorical muscles and fan the flames of folly.

Editoral @ TheNation

I do agree that it is time for more sober approach to this issue rather than the hyper-ventilating that has been going on in the recent past.

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Arrow 148 replies Author Time Post
Reply Time for Realism and Common Sense on Ukraine (Original post)
mazzarro Mar 2014 OP
malaise Mar 2014 #1
MattSh Mar 2014 #122
reformist2 Mar 2014 #2
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #3
magical thyme Mar 2014 #7
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #10
cprise Mar 2014 #21
stevenleser Mar 2014 #33
cprise Mar 2014 #53
stevenleser Mar 2014 #66
cprise Mar 2014 #78
stevenleser Mar 2014 #88
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #36
cprise Mar 2014 #62
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #68
cprise Mar 2014 #80
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #83
cprise Mar 2014 #99
magical thyme Mar 2014 #131
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #132
2banon Mar 2014 #109
T. J. Kong Mar 2014 #91
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #93
T. J. Kong Mar 2014 #95
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #96
T. J. Kong Mar 2014 #102
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #104
T. J. Kong Mar 2014 #105
cprise Mar 2014 #135
muriel_volestrangler Mar 2014 #123
cprise Mar 2014 #136
muriel_volestrangler Mar 2014 #146
cprise Mar 2014 #147
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #5
Demo_Chris Mar 2014 #11
ProSense Mar 2014 #13
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #17
ProSense Mar 2014 #19
delrem Mar 2014 #23
ProSense Mar 2014 #26
delrem Mar 2014 #31
ProSense Mar 2014 #35
delrem Mar 2014 #40
ProSense Mar 2014 #48
delrem Mar 2014 #77
ProSense Mar 2014 #79
cprise Mar 2014 #117
delrem Mar 2014 #120
Comrade Grumpy Mar 2014 #57
ProSense Mar 2014 #60
cprise Mar 2014 #90
Cha Mar 2014 #25
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #34
ProSense Mar 2014 #51
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #69
ProSense Mar 2014 #73
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #89
ProSense Mar 2014 #97
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #103
ProSense Mar 2014 #106
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #110
tsuki Mar 2014 #112
ProSense Mar 2014 #127
cprise Mar 2014 #101
ProSense Mar 2014 #107
cprise Mar 2014 #115
Cha Mar 2014 #64
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #100
jeff47 Mar 2014 #133
Cha Mar 2014 #28
former9thward Mar 2014 #41
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #47
T. J. Kong Mar 2014 #121
Duckhunter935 Mar 2014 #126
malaise Mar 2014 #16
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #20
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #38
former9thward Mar 2014 #42
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #46
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #50
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #56
former9thward Mar 2014 #61
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #70
former9thward Mar 2014 #72
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #75
cprise Mar 2014 #114
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #116
cprise Mar 2014 #118
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #119
cprise Mar 2014 #144
quinnox Mar 2014 #8
840high Mar 2014 #74
Cha Mar 2014 #22
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #4
babylonsister Mar 2014 #6
ProSense Mar 2014 #9
zeemike Mar 2014 #12
ProSense Mar 2014 #14
Igel Mar 2014 #18
zeemike Mar 2014 #27
cprise Mar 2014 #29
NuclearDem Mar 2014 #30
zeemike Mar 2014 #39
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #43
zeemike Mar 2014 #59
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #63
zeemike Mar 2014 #76
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #81
zeemike Mar 2014 #86
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #87
zeemike Mar 2014 #92
geek tragedy Mar 2014 #94
zeemike Mar 2014 #130
NuclearDem Mar 2014 #45
zeemike Mar 2014 #67
NuclearDem Mar 2014 #71
zeemike Mar 2014 #84
NuclearDem Mar 2014 #124
zeemike Mar 2014 #128
NuclearDem Mar 2014 #129
Cha Mar 2014 #44
davidpdx Mar 2014 #125
stupidicus Mar 2014 #15
T. J. Kong Mar 2014 #24
stevenleser Mar 2014 #32
Cha Mar 2014 #49
ConservativeDemocrat Mar 2014 #52
stevenleser Mar 2014 #65
Cha Mar 2014 #85
scarletwoman Mar 2014 #54
2banon Mar 2014 #137
Cha Mar 2014 #58
2banon Mar 2014 #138
stevenleser Mar 2014 #139
2banon Mar 2014 #140
stevenleser Mar 2014 #141
2banon Mar 2014 #142
stevenleser Mar 2014 #143
Cha Mar 2014 #37
cprise Mar 2014 #145
mike_c Mar 2014 #55
ProSense Mar 2014 #82
Tierra_y_Libertad Mar 2014 #98
2banon Mar 2014 #108
jsr Mar 2014 #111
jeff47 Mar 2014 #134
Scootaloo Mar 2014 #113
woo me with science Mar 2014 #148

Response to mazzarro (Original post)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 06:58 PM

1. Excellent editorial

Rec

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Response to malaise (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 03:02 AM

122. Excellent, but with one glaring problem.

Right at the top, it states:

The international community should be pushing for compromise to prevent this fragile and bitterly divided country from breaking apart.


If a country is that fragile and bitterly divided, wouldn't it be better to help it break apart peacefully?

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Response to mazzarro (Original post)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 07:03 PM

2. I'm really disappointed by Obama and Kerry's overblown rhetoric. It's been so off the mark.

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 07:07 PM

3. Do you have any criticisms of Russia's handling of this? Nt

 

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 07:36 PM

7. it's not surprising, given the circumstances

 

Russia is far less concerned about its next-door neighbor’s economic relations with the EU...than the further extension of NATO to its borders....This isn’t an irrational fear. Despite promises by George H.W. Bush not to extend the West’s Cold War military alliance after Germany was united, eight former Warsaw Pact nations and three former Soviet republics have been incorporated into NATO, with the United States and NATO even setting up a military outpost in Georgia. And the EU association agreement...in fact had military clauses that called for integrating Ukraine into the EU military structure, including cooperation on “civilian and military crisis management operations” and “relevant exercises” concerning them. No one should be surprised that Putin reacted negatively to such a prospect. It’s difficult to imagine any American administration accepting a decision by Mexico to join a military alliance with Russia.

I seem to remember as a child practicing hiding under our desks during something called the Cuban missile crisis.

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 07:49 PM

10. One could point out that given Russia's aggression towards

 

its neighbors, belonging to NATO has proven to be a wise move for those that adopted in. Better to be allied with the US and EU than to be occupied by Russia.

Those states are free to pursue their own relations, Moscow's approval is not required.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #10)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 08:39 PM

21. NATO is an expansionist, explicitly anti-Russian military empire

Russia won't allow a situation where their interests (e.g. empire) is usurped by a hostile force. And having a NATO presence just dozens of miles away from Moscow is probably considered unacceptable under any conditions.

Also, 'freedom' becomes an extremely subjective (actually meaningless) term when the printer of the world's reserve currency starts throwing money around in foreign countries to "bolster democracy". What a sick joke.

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Response to cprise (Reply #21)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:17 PM

33. I disagree. But let's explore that. The invasion of Crimea has strengthened NATO and

 

has already shown signs of driving Ukraine and most of the former Warsaw pact nations right into NATO's arms.

NATO was certainly anti-Soviet, but it is a stretch to say it >was< anti-Russian. In the future, it may definitely become anti-Russian.

And the Russians will only have Putin and his government to blame.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #33)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:52 PM

53. The other (ex)Warsaw pact countries aren't so close to Moscow

Its pretty clear the anti-Soviet posture has carried over to Russia. As for people reacting to aggressive postures, perhaps these Slavic NATO converts imagine themselves exempt from any of the power relations that spell terror and death to people in the middle east. Actually, I would be surprised if those people didn't consider themselves to be "too white" for such treatment at the hands of the US.

IIRC, Russia recently extended a proposal to NATO essentially asking to *join* the organization. NATO flatly refused without so much as a counter-proposal or even a suggestion.

I find that quite interesting. I guess even masters of the universe need their demons.

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Response to cprise (Reply #53)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:05 PM

66. To varying degrees, but they certainly wont be close now, will they? Even Serbia is embarrassed

 

by what Russia has done.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #66)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:25 PM

78. Probably not a big deal to Russians. Serbia was never part of Russia, nor USSR.

And yes, its embarrassing when an empire is trying to control its "back yard".

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Response to cprise (Reply #78)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:41 PM

88. It's a big deal to Russia. Serbian and Russian nationalists have historically been very close.

 

Russian nationalists joined Serbia in the wars in the 1990s. Russia and Serbia were allied in WWI. Some Serbians have joined the Russian cause in Crimea.

Serbia has been one of Russia's most reliable allies in the world recently and historically, but the Serbian government has been silent on what Russia has done in Crimea.

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Response to cprise (Reply #21)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:21 PM

36. NATO seems like an awfully good deal to countries

 

like Estonia who do not want Russia's boots to be on their throats once again.

Russia may not like the fact that they're now incapable of invading the Baltics and Poland, but screw them.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #36)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:01 PM

62. If they imagine themselves like Poland, with a military economic boost.

Personally, I think Poles could be very disappointed if their status as NATO hot spot fades.

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Response to cprise (Reply #62)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:07 PM

68. If that meant that the days of Russia's bullying were over, I doubt

 

disappointment would be too profound.

Baltics don't need the money, just the knowledge that Russia has no choice but to leave them alone.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #68)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:27 PM

80. That doesn't mean they are "left alone" by everyone

Ask Greece.

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Response to cprise (Reply #80)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:30 PM

83. Greece's problems are largely home grown.

 

Turns out running up huge piled of debt without taxing the rich wasn't a great policy. Who knew?

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #83)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 11:06 PM

99. Or Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Iceland, etc.

In Greece's case, the tax problem put them on the forefront of a predatory lending and investment culture emanating out of Wall St. and London. Greece's government was misled about the safety of investing in megatons of ballooning debt.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #10)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 09:18 AM

131. unlike the US, who consistently shows aggression toward our "non next-door neighbors"

 

and covert aggression towards our neighbors to our south.

I don't approve of any of the aggression. Theirs or ours.

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #131)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 09:20 AM

132. I don't disagree. nt

 

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 11:42 PM

109. ^This! 1000+!

 

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:55 PM

91. I am gratefull for their restraint, considering the recent example we have set on the world stage.

 

Not a shot fired... phew (and i hope they keep it that way)

Could you imagine if one of our ignorant, blood-thirsty neo-cons were in-charge, over there, during this crisis?

Yikes, I get chills just thinking about it.

I guess my main criticism would be that their head of state was too quite in the immediate aftermath of the violent coup d'état in Kiev, especially as some were trying to spin it as a Democratic coup, so as to prevent that narrow narrative from becoming the dominate one, which is allowing this situation to unnecessarily continue to worsen vs constructive criticism and talks being engaged in by all sides.

However, I could be totally wrong on that criticism, since our M$M is notorious in misrepresenting the other side of the story

I think the grown-ups on our side need to step up, and work with Russia and the Ukraine to help resolve this serious constitutional crisis over there before the right-wing wackos get their way, and war actually does 'break-out'.

Sending positive energy to all diplomats involved in resolving this situation, and wish them all success for a peaceful conclusion to their very important work.

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Response to T. J. Kong (Reply #91)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:57 PM

93. Ok, so your only objection was that Russia didn't meddle

 

enough in Ukraine.

Kthxbai

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #93)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:58 PM

95. I'm sorry, but I think you responded to the wrong post.

 

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Response to T. J. Kong (Reply #95)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 11:00 PM

96. Nope.

 

I guess my main criticism would be that their head of state was too quite in the immediate aftermath of the violent coup d'état in Kiev, especially as some were trying to spin it as a Democratic coup, so as to prevent that narrow narrative from becoming the dominate one,


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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #96)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 11:17 PM

102. Right

 

plus a bunch more, which doesn't equate with your characterization of my post.

I apologize for not being more clear, but my main points were simply...

Pros:

1. No shots fired (by Russia)
2. Democratic process chosen in Crimea


Con:

1. Not enough timely communication in the immediate aftermath of the coup (by Russia)

Hope:

1. Influential parties to this crisis engage in constructive dialog to find a solution to settle the crisis peacefully, rather than unnecessary, and hostile tit-for-tat attacks, with a juvenile with-us, or again-us mentality.

This is a serious situation, with important, and powerful countries, not prostrate, and weak, like those we are currently still struggling with. So, it would be much wiser to take a different approach to ensure we DE-escalate, and NOT escalate.

I hope that is more clear.



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Response to T. J. Kong (Reply #102)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 11:28 PM

104. Yes, you're essentially a partisan on Russia's side, with the only objection

 

to their behavior being that Russia wasn't sufficiently pro Yanukovych.

And now you hope he gets rewarded with no negative consequences for his illegal actions.

Heard this all from the rt.com crowd

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #104)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 11:34 PM

105. Actually

 

I am a proud U.S. Citizen, and a U.S. Vet, and I think your partisanship is obviously clouding your judgment, at the very least, since you have just 'met' me, and instead of talking, your are in automatic attack/accuse mode.

So, I will say good bye, until you genuinely wish to respectfully discuss.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #104)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 03:19 PM

135. Your mission here is obviously to troll DUers with insinuation and name-calling

...with posts so quick and frequent as to appear employed for that purpose.

We get the message that you consider us unpatriotic. The repetitive empty denunciations are rather pathetic, however.

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Response to T. J. Kong (Reply #102)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 04:04 AM

123. Shots fired by Russia:

To stop OSCE observers: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26499328
To take over a Ukrainian base: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/ukraine-crisis-shots-fired-as-russian-troops-take-over-ukrainian-naval-base-in-crimea-9182216.html
To stop unarmed Ukrainian soldiers marching to their own base: http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/mar/04/warning-shots-fired-ukrainian-troops-crimea-video

The 'democratic process' involved shutting down all the Ukrainian language, and independent, TV stations in Crimea before the referendum, and replacing them with programming from Russia. Thus rendering the referendum undemocratic.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #123)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 08:07 PM

136. Sounds like an isolated incident (OSCE)... and Ukranian military

(or any military personnel) do NOT count vis-a-vis 'intimidation'. Its really odd to present that 'point' when riot police were attacked with firebombs (considered an act of terrorism within the US) and heavy bricks and eventually gunfire starting around Dec. 2nd.

For that matter, I would like to see what the OSCE people were doing when the warning shots were fired. Were they waltzing across the border without proper procedures? Or were they acting appropriately? I think the description is vague possibly because the details would de-sensationalize their claim.

Nothing you listed even remotely approaches what the US aggression in the Middle East, or Latin America and the Caribbean.

OTOH, the Ukrainian insurgents have been killing people for weeks, and that fact was surely not lost on parliament when they suddenly turned 100% against Yanukovych while said insurgents were taking over government buildings and calling for the president to be killed.

Your ideal non-aggressive environment for voting was spoiled long before Russian troops made a ruckus.

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Response to cprise (Reply #136)

Tue Mar 18, 2014, 04:45 AM

146. It was not a border

The OSCE observers were trying to move from one part of Ukraine, where they had the permission of the Ukrainian government to be, to another part, for which they also had permission from the Ukrainian government. Russian troops prevented them, firing shots. And of course firing shots at the Ukrainian military is 'intimidation'. It's absurd to suggest otherwise. It's arguably an act of war, since they did it well inside Ukraine.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #146)

Thu Mar 20, 2014, 12:22 PM

147. That was *after* murderous insurgents took over the govt

I'm not given to accounts of 'absurdity' that lack a sense of legitimacy.

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 07:30 PM

5. I agree. I find their "tough talk" all rather embarrassing.

As if Putin doesn't know damn well that we don't have a leg to stand on. He's going to protect his interests - just like the U.S. does.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #5)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 07:50 PM

11. yep. nt

 

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #5)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 08:10 PM

13. The editorial states

"As if Putin doesn't know damn well that we don't have a leg to stand on. He's going to protect his interests - just like the U.S. does."

...that Putin is in "clear violation of international law" and Obama was right to condemn his actions.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #13)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 08:26 PM

17. From the same paragraph:

The Obama administration is right to condemn it, although much of the world will grimace at the irony of Secretary Kerry denouncing the invasion of a sovereign country even as the United States only now winds down its “war of choice” against Iraq, which is thousands of miles away from US borders.


Oh, and how many people were killed when the Russian armed forces went into Crimea? That is, compared to how many people have been killed while the U.S. ignores sovereign borders with its drone program?

The U.S. does what it pleases because it's the biggest, baddest military power in the world. When the U.S. starts pointing out the mote in Russia's eye, it manages nicely to ignore the beam in its own.

As I said, Russia is rationally protecting its own interests - just like we do.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #17)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 08:33 PM

19. Like I said,

"Oh, and how many people were killed when the Russian armed forces went into Crimea? That is, compared to how many people have been killed while the U.S. ignores sovereign borders with its drone program? "

...that doesn't change the fact that Putin's actions were a "clear violation of international law."

Russia’s dispatch of military forces to Crimea is a clear violation of international law. Putin justifies the invasion as necessary to protect Russian citizens and allies, but this is a fig leaf. The Obama administration is right to condemn it, although much of the world will grimace at the irony of Secretary Kerry denouncing the invasion of a sovereign country even as the United States only now winds down its “war of choice” against Iraq, which is thousands of miles away from US borders. Crimea, of course, not only abuts Russia but houses its Black Sea Fleet, which, by treaty agreement between Ukraine and Russia, is set to remain there until at least 2042. Crimea historically was part of Russia until 1954, when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred it to Ukraine in what many viewed as a gesture of good will.

Also, the point that the "world will grimace at the irony" isn't relevant to the fact of the illegality. In fact, the UN voted to condemn Russia, and even China left Russia out in the cold.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #19)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 08:52 PM

23. So, in a nutshell: hypocrites don't give a flying fuck about the blatancy of their hypocrisy. nt

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Response to delrem (Reply #23)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 08:56 PM

26. Yes,

"So, in a nutshell: hypocrites don't give a flying fuck about the blatancy of their hypocrisy."

..."in a nutshell," that's true. People are focusing on the hypocrisy of the U.S., when it's also hypocritical to condemn the Iraq invasion, and then try to use other events to justify Putin's illegal invasion.

It's far worse to be hypocritical in support of an illegal invasion than it is to be hypocritical in calling it out and pushing for diplomacy.

Why would anyone want to be on the side of justifying an illegal invasion?

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Response to ProSense (Reply #26)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:12 PM

31. I do believe that today's referendum was hugely, 80+%, in favour of a certain outcome.

That outcome didn't require 100,000+ deaths; 1,000,000 refugees; the total destruction of physical and political infrastructure in what has to be called the razing of a country. An outcome, y'know, a state of affairs where terms like "illegal invasion" make sense. That outcome didn't require weapons using depleted uranium, or massive use of exploding phosphorous.

It didn't require using hellfire missiles double-tapped from predator drones.

So in that light, ProSense, let's talk about hypocrisy.

A hypocrite might not, for example, distinguish statements emanating from Pres. Obama and SoS Kerry, from some shill's projections about what fictional posters might say on DU. A hypocrite like that might even claim that Russia is conducting an illegal invasion - and that it didn't just lay the ground for a democratic referendum. Well.... such folk can be exasperating, that's for certain.

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Response to delrem (Reply #31)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:19 PM

35. Sure

"I do believe that today's referendum was hugely, 80+%, in favour of a certain outcome."

...if you support an illegal action controlled by Russia. If Putin wanted this to be on the up and up, he wouldn't have forced a vote at gunpoint via an illegal referendum, and then shut out election observers.

Also, Obama didn't invade Iraq.

"A hypocrite might not, for example, distinguish statements emanating from Pres. Obama and SoS Kerry, from some shill's projections about what fictional posters might say on DU. A hypocrite like that might even claim that Russia is conducting an illegal invasion - and that it didn't just lay the ground for a democratic referendum. Well.... such folk can be exasperating, that's for certain."

I take it you don't believe that Putin's invasion is illegal? Isn't it hypocritical to think Bush's invasion was illegal, but not Putin's?

Do you think the OP piece, which states that Putin's actions were illegal is a "shill's projections"?

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Response to ProSense (Reply #35)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:31 PM

40. ah. I see. Putin forced the vote at gunpoint.

You only accept elections that'll give you what *you* want. Cool.

And Obama didn't invade Iraq! So the fact that the USA invaded Iraq is irrelevant!

That's fucking grotesque.

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Response to delrem (Reply #40)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:40 PM

48. No,

ah. I see. Putin forced the vote at gunpoint.

You only accept elections that'll give you what *you* want. Cool.

And Obama didn't invade Iraq! So the fact that the USA invaded Iraq is irrelevant!

That's fucking grotesque.

...what's "fucking grotesque" is the inability to see that invading a country and forcing an illegal vote at gunpoint, blocking election observers is not a sign that Putin is interested in democracy.

As for the invasion of Iraq, you keep brining it up as if to say that because Bush invaded Iraq, Putin is justified in invading Ukraine. Is that your point?

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Response to ProSense (Reply #48)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:23 PM

77. OK, I'll try to bring a little sense to this.

It isn't about Obama and Putin.

It is more about the USA and Russia, but that can hardly be all. There are always the Ukrainians to consider...

Yes, John Kerry most certainly put The Hypocrisy Card on the table front and center, as spokesperson for the USA: "You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretexts."

So John Kerry said in one of the world's all time quotes from "statesmen".

ProSense explains that Obama wasn't president then.

Back when the bad things happened the R's were in office. The R's being terrible. So terrible that because there's been a change of administration, nothing from the earlier admin needs be to accounted for or even admitted to. Not just that, but the topics must become taboo.

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Response to delrem (Reply #77)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:25 PM

79. By posting nonsense? n/t

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Response to delrem (Reply #77)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 01:11 AM

117. Its more like schizophrenia than taboo. n/t

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Response to cprise (Reply #117)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 01:37 AM

120. I think that it's a fully conscious taboo.

A taboo replete with guilt, with raw emotion if the taboo is broken.

Perhaps it's just my nature not to want to assign action to mysterious diseases of the psych, "schizophrenia" or whatever, as if people fully adult weren't product of their own choices.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #26)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:58 PM

57. "Why would anyone want to be on the side of justifying an illegal invasion? "

 

Ask Hillary.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #57)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:00 PM

60. You ask her.

Why would I care about Hillary's opinion?

LOL!

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #57)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:48 PM

90. Depends on whether one considers the "regime change" legal

...or illegal.

The US apparently "midwifed" (i.e. assisted) the coup. I don't think Nuland and Pyat were asking for Biden's approval of their chosen replacement in order to deliver cookies to him. Merely deciding to back a replacement while Yanukovych was still in office was a breech of Ukraine's sovereignty.

US media didn't so much as use the word "rioters" to describe the "protesters" even after they had been launching fire bombs at the police and burning their surroundings for weeks.

Later, some of them started shooting police and co-rioter alike and while they stormed government buildings demanding the president's execution, we are supposed to believe parliament's vote to depose Yanukovych was not the result of threat or intimidation.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #19)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 08:55 PM

25. Oh, they're all about comdemning President Obama and PUmping up Putin..

Their own little pity party for Putin Bad President Obama for condemning Putin's Action's for Breaking International Law. Good Putin for Breaking INterntional Law. He's just protecting his own interests.. Leave Putin Alone

Also, the point that the "world will grimace at the irony" isn't relevant to the fact of the illegality. In fact, the UN voted to condemn Russia, and even China left Russia out in the cold.

Putin really does need to feature some of these posters on RT.. they'd be great.

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Response to Cha (Reply #25)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:18 PM

34. Pointing out that Putin is protecting his own interests is merely a fact,not a value judgement.

That's how geopolitics operate - those who have power protect their own interests. We do it, Great Britain does it, France does it, Germany does it, China does it. Granted, the West, in general, avoids taking action without at least a fig leaf of "legitmacy" - at least for overt actions (covert actions, such as fomenting coups are a different matter) - but it really is how the world works from the standpoint of exercising power.

So, when I say that Putin is protecting his own interests, it has nothing to do with approving of or liking Putin or his actions, it's merely pointing out his motivations - which ought to be obvious to anyone.

Why you feel the need to distort a simple statement of fact into something else entirely is really rather sad - not to mention, insulting.

On edit: I'd appreciate that in the future, if you have objections to something I've posted, that you take it up with me directly, rather than discussing me in third person. That's just rude.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #34)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:48 PM

51. "Putin justifies the invasion as necessary to protect Russian citizens...but this is a fig leaf."

That's from the OP editorial. Putin's illegal invasion was not necessary to "protecting his own interests."

That's simply repeting Putin's justification for illegally invading the Ukraine.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #51)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:09 PM

69. The real reason IS protecting Russia's interests. And Russia most certainly deemed it necessary.

Russia needs the Black Sea access that Crimea provides. It does not want this access threatened by the spread of NATO into Ukraine. Therefore, the calculation was made that getting full control of Crimea by military incursion and the quick "referendum" was the surest way to guarantee that Crimea's Black Sea port remained under its control. Disapproval from the rest of the international community be damned.

World powers will always find excuses for their actions, why should Russia be any different? No one with any intelligence believes the "protecting Russian citizens" excuse, least of all other world powers. They are fully aware of what Putin's game is in Crimea, and they understand his reasons quite well, since they would do the same if their own access to a vital trade route were threatened.

Putin acted with dispatch and created the "facts on the ground" that he needed. No amount of scolding is going to change that.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #69)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:13 PM

73. "World powers will always find excuses for their actions, why should Russia be any different?"

So you support Putin's illegal invasion because Russia should be able to do whatever it damn well pleases?

Seems like you're throwing your support behind this practice from here on out.

The world isn't buying it. First the UN vote, and likely more to come...

Japan does not recognize Crimea vote: government spokesman
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024676007

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Response to ProSense (Reply #73)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:46 PM

89. Oh for cripessakes! I said "protecting Russian citizens" was an excuse.

Then I said that all world powers find excuses for what they do - you know, the "fig leaf" that world powers come up with when they want to fuck with some other country. Like WMD in Iraq, for example.

Did I say anywhere that I support ANY of this? When I say that I recognize that this is how the world works, I am not in any way endorsing it, I am merely stating my observations.

What the hell is wrong with dispassionate observation? Am I suspect because I haven't participated in your idea of a proper two-minutes hate? Okay, here ya go: Bad Putin! Bad, bad Putin! Happy now?

Tell you what, I pretty much hate everything about how the world works. The big world powers and their weapons deals and their Big Oil and their corporate overlords have fucked it up big time for pretty much every common citizen on the planet. We are the captive audience while the Big Guns do their thing, and it's all about who controls wealth and resources.

WE ARE ALL BEING FUCKED. Ukraine and Crimea are just the latest on the list. Putin grabbed Crimea because he needed that Black Sea port access, period.

Granted, he's a bit of a throwback to the 19th century glory days of warring over control of the Suez Canal, or the Panama Canal, or shipping lanes in the Pacific - but still, it's nothing that hasn't been done before. If it shocks the sensibilities of polite company, it's only because the Western powers have found subtler and more insidious ways of jockeying for position when it comes to exploitation of resources and controlling the flow of wealth.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #89)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 11:02 PM

97. None of it justifies Putin's illegal invasion. n/t

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Response to ProSense (Reply #97)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 11:22 PM

103. I was never trying to justify it in the 1st place, only pointing out why Putin would justify it. nt

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #103)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 11:35 PM

106. Everyone knows why Putin would "justify it"

After spending all that time pushing his propaganda, you're saying you only were presenting his POV. Seriously?

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Response to ProSense (Reply #106)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 11:47 PM

110. Really? Pointing out that Black Sea access is important to Russia is "pushing his propaganda"?

I'm beginning to suspect that you have absolutely no grasp of geopolitics, whatsoever. Your worldview apparently consists solely of white hats and black hats.

Well, fine. Put me in your "black hat" column, then. I see there's no hope of attempting to conduct a rational conversation with you.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #110)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 12:25 AM

112. +10000

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #110)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 07:51 AM

127. Is "pointing out that Black Sea access is important to Russia" justification for the invasion?

If that's not the point of harping on that, what's the point?

I mean, whenever anyone states that the invasion is illegal, why is "pointing out that Black Sea access is important to Russia" constantly offered up with no condemnation of Putin actions?

Look at your comments in this thread. They're all about what's "important" to Russia.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #89)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 11:14 PM

101. +1000



Meanwhile, as people hyperventilate over Russia's actions, a lot of really nasty sh*t goes down elsewhere.

Part of the reason this coup happened when it did was because the perpetrators (that includes the US "midwives" were counting on the Russian government presenting its nicest image during the Olympics.

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Response to cprise (Reply #101)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 11:36 PM

107. WTH? n/t

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #34)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:02 PM

64. Yes, how touching.. a dictator protecting his own aggressive interests.

Last edited Sun Mar 16, 2014, 11:12 PM - Edit history (1)

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Response to Cha (Reply #64)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 11:10 PM

100. C'mon, Cha. I believe you're a good-hearted person. Why are you pulling this shit?

You cannot tell me that you honestly believe that countries don't protect their own interests. The only thing exceptional about Russia's actions in this case is that it's so blatant and upfront.

As I've been pointing out repeatedly, Russia needs the Black Sea access that comes with Crimea. The fact that Putin went so far as to bring in military force is evidence of how important it is to Russia. It's not about finding it "touching", it's merely recognizing the reality of the situation.

Why is pointing this out worthy of derision?

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Response to Cha (Reply #25)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 12:28 PM

133. Don't forget Putin is stopping the next Hitler. (nt)

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Response to ProSense (Reply #19)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:06 PM

28. Readout of the President's Call with Putin..



TOD

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Response to Cha (Reply #28)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:31 PM

41. Of course nothing Putin said is reported.

Was it a one way conversation? Or are we only allowed to hear what 'our' side says?

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Response to former9thward (Reply #41)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:40 PM

47. It was a message left on Putin's voicemail.

Putin saw the number on his caller ID and didn't pick up.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #41)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 01:42 AM

121. Well, he went ahead and brought up other recent, sucessful independent referendums, which isn't fair

 

in that it kinda muddies the argument that this kind of referendum is 'illegal'.

When some ask why, it seems that the answer is 'because we say so', which isn't very convincing.

And then there is the other, potentially bigger elephant in the room... the automatic and rapid recognition of the violent coup as being valid, by some, yet the will of the people of Crimea, expressed in a formal, democratic, and non-violent process, is somehow, 'invalid'... again when some ask why, the answer appears to be because 'we say so'.

Again, not a very compelling narrative.

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Response to T. J. Kong (Reply #121)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 07:32 AM

126. non violent

 

firing weapons to keep international observers out and shutting down all opposition. Blockading harbors, holding hostage opposing troops?

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #5)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 08:22 PM

16. And it's really that simple

so I really don't get the noise. Cameron might recall Thatcher in Los Malvinas - I remember a famous line defending the war because the English folks down there wanted to remain English.

It's the breathtaking hypocrisy that pisses me off - as if we're all stupid and don't understand reality.

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Response to malaise (Reply #16)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 08:35 PM

20. Great point!

Cameron might recall Thatcher in Los Malvinas - I remember a famous line defending the war because the English folks down there wanted to remain English.


Yes, they think we are stupid.

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Response to malaise (Reply #16)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:24 PM

38. The Falklands have never been part of Argentina which

 

makes that analogy break down. Argentinian presidents only bring that old non-issue up when they want to stoke Argentine nationalism to distract from internal political problems.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #38)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:33 PM

42. Nice you take the position of the British monarchy.

It is not the position of Argentina or the Argentinian people. Of course they don't count.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #42)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:40 PM

46. No, I take the position of the rest of the planet.

 

Falklands have NEVER been part of Argentina.

That is not opinion, that is an undisputed fact.

And no, the position of the Argentinian people doesn't mean shit since the people of the Falklands want to remain British.

As a factual and legal matter, there is no controversy, just whining from Buenos Aires.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #46)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:45 PM

50. Okay then! Since Crimea WAS, at one time, a part of Russia, then you shouldn't have any objections

with Russia taking it back, right?

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #50)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:54 PM

56. Taking back by force, no.

 

If the people of Crimea want to be part of Russia, then there should be a demilitarized political process by which their will is expressed.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #46)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:00 PM

61. Your definition of the "rest of the planet" is rather limited.

And that is telling in itself. The majority of South America supported Argentina. At the UN Security Council Panama voted no and China, Soviet Union, Poland and Spain abstained. The majority of the Non-Aligned Movement supported Argentina (120 countries but they are not part of the "rest of the planet').

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

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Response to former9thward (Reply #61)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:09 PM

70. The rightwing dictatorships in Latin America backed up the military

 

dictators in Argentina 30 years ago.

Awesome argument, dude.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #70)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:12 PM

72. And you are backing a right wing government in Ukraine, today.

Awesome, dude.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #72)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:15 PM

75. Rightwing? It's an interim government until May and contains

 

centrist and yes nationalist groups.

Of course, worst case scenario for Ukraine is that it becomes a rightwing thug state like the champion of some at DU, Russia.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #75)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 12:54 AM

114. Ha, still no authorities in US have so much as slapped the wrist

...of anyone involved in the Kent State massacre.

The CIA now operates with impunity here at home, and the drug war has put our prison population within a hairs breadth of what the Soviet Union had under Stalin.

The difference here is that the Pentagon claims military dominion over the *entire* globe excluding Russia and China. What they've written about South America alone is really quite...bracing. Yet, I'm supposed to be quaking in my boots over Russian devils (and especially Putin) like they were out to get me personally.

The bottom line in these discussions is that many of us on DU don't buy into the attitudes of American Exceptionalism, or jingoism, or a corporate aristocracy that runs the government for its own purposes. We try to read current events from the perspective of a Howard Zinn or a Noam Chomsky. So when you describe DUers who are sceptical of the infotainment story-telling like that, consider that your rhetoric might line up with those people in DU's past who accused us of loving Saddam Hussein.

Thuggery takes linguistic forms, too.

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Response to cprise (Reply #114)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 01:07 AM

116. No one here is scared of Putin as a threat to us.

 

But, that doesn't mean we can't disapprove of what he does.

You obviously disagree.

Of course, I don't watch or read rt.com, so of course we are going to disagree.

P.S. Please pass your evidence that the CIA is launching covert ops inside the US to Bernie Sanders. This would be a major story. Assuming you're not just bloviating with the idea that making a claim is the same as proving it.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #116)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 01:25 AM

118. I do care that a lot of hysteria is distracting people

Not to mention priming us for a war footing.

FYI, the CIA has put US Senate under surveillance, and the White House doesn't want to deal with it. Maybe its one of those things you missed while whinging on endlessly about people who don't buy into what US infotainment are selling-- they are almost always lying about international affairs.

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Response to cprise (Reply #118)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 01:28 AM

119. "The CIA has put the US Senate under surveillance"

 

Correct in only the most technical way. While what the CIA did should get its head fired, it is not the same as bugging Senate offices.

And those who defend rt.com have zero standing to mock other people.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #119)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 10:09 PM

144. "those who defend rt.com have zero standing"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/101688277

You differentiate between searching the Senate's working notes, internal messages and search terms... and bugging phones used for Senate business? I call that getting creative with the facts.

There is no difference in magnitude from a privacy and confidentiality standpoint; You're trying to make excuses for the CIA.

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 07:38 PM

8. +1. It's embarrassing to see Obama try and lecture about territorial borders. Uh, Mr. President,

 

the U.S. violates territorial borders all the time with Pakistan and the drones.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #8)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:14 PM

74. +1

 

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 08:49 PM

22. Yes, it's all about President Obama and SOS Kerry.. Nothing about Poor Putin's Aggression?

Or are you just going to hold a little pity party for Putin?

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Response to mazzarro (Original post)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 07:24 PM

4. Great editorial! Many good points made - people should go read the whole thing.

Thanks for posting it.

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Response to mazzarro (Original post)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 07:33 PM

6. Thanks for this-I think we're doing okay so far, but

it's nail-biting time. What next? Diplomacy needs to work.

"It is time to reduce tensions, not draw red lines, flex rhetorical muscles and fan the flames of folly."

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Response to mazzarro (Original post)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 07:44 PM

9. Interesting

<...>

The Obama administration has responded to the crisis by flexing its own rhetorical muscles. When Russian President Vladimir Putin ignored Obama’s warning that “there will be costs” if Russia sent troops into Crimea, Secretary of State John Kerry denounced the “brazen act of aggression,” vowing that “Russia is going to lose, the Russian people are going to lose” and suggesting “asset freezes…isolation with respect to trade and investment,” while promising “economic assistance of the major sort” for whatever government emerges in Kiev.

European governments were far more measured, with many condemning Russia’s Crimean invasion but most of them clearly reluctant to impose economic sanctions. Their economic ties to Russia are much closer than America’s, of course, but they also understand that diplomacy will be more effective. Among the cooler heads at home was Jack Matlock, ambassador to the Soviet Union under Ronald Reagan, who described the administration’s warnings to Putin as “ill-advised” and argued that “whatever slim hope that Moscow might avoid overt military intervention in Ukraine disappeared when Obama in effect threw down a gauntlet and challenged him. This was not just a mistake of political judgment—it was a failure to understand human psychology—unless, of course, he actually wanted a Russian intervention, which is hard for me to believe.”

I'll give that a pass since it was written 10 days before the UN vote, in which even China left Russia out in the cold. The EU will propose stronger sanctions in the aftermath of the vote.

We should take a deep breath—and a sober look—before committing treasure and prestige to a still-unsettled new leadership in a country on Russia’s border, one that has had a fragile independent existence for barely two decades. Some history would also serve us well if we’re to understand fast-moving developments. We are reaping the bitter fruit of a deeply flawed post–Cold War settlement that looks more like Versailles than Bretton Woods, a settlement inflamed by the shortsighted American decision to expand NATO eastward and pursue other policies aimed at isolating Russia and ignoring Russian interests.

This and the claim about Obama's rhetoric read like the editors are implying a threat of force, which is not the reality. Russia did not have to choose this course. The offer has been a diplomatic solution and still is (http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024664709)

Russia’s dispatch of military forces to Crimea is a clear violation of international law. Putin justifies the invasion as necessary to protect Russian citizens and allies, but this is a fig leaf. The Obama administration is right to condemn it, although much of the world will grimace at the irony of Secretary Kerry denouncing the invasion of a sovereign country even as the United States only now winds down its “war of choice” against Iraq, which is thousands of miles away from US borders. Crimea, of course, not only abuts Russia but houses its Black Sea Fleet, which, by treaty agreement between Ukraine and Russia, is set to remain there until at least 2042. Crimea historically was part of Russia until 1954, when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred it to Ukraine in what many viewed as a gesture of good will.

Yes, yes and yes, but the claim about Kerry denouncing the invasion after the first three points is almost cartoonish.

Fact, the Russian invasion and Crimea referendum are illegal.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 08:10 PM

12. "Crimea referendum are illegal"

Which I guess means that democracy and self determination is illegal.

That explains why we support the overthrow of democratically elected governments in Latin America.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #12)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 08:12 PM

14. Spare me. The editorial made that point. n/t

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Response to zeemike (Reply #12)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 08:30 PM

18. No.

No more so than in the Southern US, Scotland, Chechnya, and Venice.

Odd mix, but in the first there was no mechanism for secession. In Scotland and Venice there are, and Venice starts its vote today or later this week. Free and fair elections, after a season of campaigning, according to rules and in which the voter lists are properly drawn up and nobody's under undue pressure. Scotland may have its election in a year or so.

Chechnya was as much an autonomous republic as Crimea was. Yet we see the reactions and attitudes. The West has been consistent: free and fair elections in a way that maintains territorial integrity as far as outside actors are concerned. Russia, though, sees it differently: You want to leave Russia, it's over your dead bodies.

You want to join Russia, they'll set it up so that there's an election that's "free and fair" in that it achieves the desired result--with pro-Russian militias at the polling stations, pro-opposition people beaten in the streets in the week before, the government only allowing agitation for one side, voting lists that are drawn up and not open for inspection, truncated campaigning with only one side presented, and that the same view of the government and the occupying troops and the self-appointed armed militias.

It's the "free and fair" that's important for self-determination and democracy. In Crimea, certain groups felt sufficiently intimidated that they refused to turn out. Moreover, since everything was good to go for Russian unification the day after the elections--converting to rubles, media transmissions, replacement of staff, new laws aligning Crimean and Russian legislation, etc., etc., it seems rather pointless to say that there was anything like a real referendum at all. If it had failed, the banking and communication systems would have been a mess. And all the perks promised if they acceded to Russia--free trips to St. Petersburg for medical care, increased money for the local budget, increased pensions, massive investment in public infrastructure, etc., etc.--would have been lost. (Yes, counteroffers were made by Kiev. No, they weren't reported in Crimea because in the interests of self-determination and democracy unapproved sources were cut off, whether media or Internet.)

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Response to Igel (Reply #18)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 08:57 PM

27. Your knowledge of what is happening in the Crimea referendum is remarkable.

How did you come by all of that?

It seems we have instant experts in world affairs here.

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Response to Igel (Reply #18)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:08 PM

29. So suddenly parlaiment votes Yanukovych out of office while armed insurgents

..were coursing through government buildings calling for his execution. What is a Yanukovych supporter supposed to do when faced with a murderous mob?

"Free and Fair" cuts both ways, and there's nothing free or fair about the conditions under which that vote occurred.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #12)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:12 PM

30. Right, Putin cares about democracy and self-determination.

 

Which is why he stole the election that made him president in the first place.

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #30)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:28 PM

39. Well pardon me.

I keep forgetting that we live in a time when the evil ones are totally evil and the good ones are totally good.
The Bush policy of with us or against has now been installed on the left and the right.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #39)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:35 PM

43. Well, those who side with Putin, and Assad, and Gaddhafi etc when they're

 

in a confrontation with the US seem to live by that principle.

Not too long ago we had people insisting that the Syrian government didn't use poison gas against his own people, that Obama was lying, and of course they quoted rt.com as if it was credible.

Same people appear in the Ukrainian debate, always criticizing President Obama and never offering even the meekest criticism of Russia's conduct. Though some at least act a little embarrassed when citing rt.com

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #43)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:59 PM

59. When I criticize Obama it is for what he does or does not do.

Not for what right wing radicals do in the Ukraine.

But it seems to me that you want to frame everything as a criticism of Obama...as if we are to take as truth everything the white house or state department says as the truth as some kind of loyalty pledge to the president.

And frankly I find that disturbing that progressives would do such a thing...that does not look good for the Democratic party to become just like the GOP cult in that blind loyality to the leader.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #59)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:02 PM

63. There are people who NEVER side with the US if it's in a dispute

 

with a foreign country.

To the point they became propagandists on behalf of Bashar Al Assad.

At some point, it becomes clear that they either have great love for the old soviet bloc, or are engaging in "the enemy of my enemy is today my friend."

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #63)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:18 PM

76. Well perhaps that is because they don't think we should be having

Disputes with foreign contries...and every year it is a new one.

There is something pathologically wrong when a nation has a new conflict every few months or so...and when it's people are calling for more of it...and trying to heard the rest of us by saying you are either with us or you hate America...shades of GWB and his pappy GHWB.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #76)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:28 PM

81. Sure, that's called isolationism.

 

And, people who reflexively side with whatever nation is against their country are the ones engaged in with us or against us.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #81)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:36 PM

86. And what nation is against us?

Russia, the Ukraine? The Crimea?...are they threatening to invade us, take away our land or our property?....no they just are not doing what we tell them to do, that makes them against us and it makes us hate America if we don't buy that phony bullshit.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #86)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:40 PM

87. As I said, what you advocate is isolationism.

 

Under your calculus, Ronald Reagan was right to oppose the boycott of South Africa. None of our business . . .

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #87)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:56 PM

92. And under yours we were wrong not to invade Syria.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #92)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:58 PM

94. That is binary thinking.

 

I reject your "say nothing or bomb" framework

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #94)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 08:22 AM

130. Well glad you reject binary thinking.

And I am not saying say nothing I am saying not to be binary in our actions of saying something about one side and nothing to the other...that too is binary thinking.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #39)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:37 PM

45. Oh spare me already.

 

I oppose election rigging, imperialist aggression, and human rights violations no matter who does it. I criticized Bush for it, I criticize Obama for it, I criticize when Israel does it, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, the UK, the fascists in Ukraine, and Putin.

All I see around here nowadays are a bunch of "anti-imperialists" finding excuse after excuse for Putin's blatant aggression and utilizing all manner of tu quoque fallacy (including, I shit you not, Andrew fucking Jackson) to deflect criticism from Putin and somehow make Crimea all the West's fault.

Just have some fucking intellectual honesty and be anti-imperialist and pro-democracy consistently! Russia blatantly violates international law and human rights, and so does damn near every other country!

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #45)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:06 PM

67. Well I believe in that saying

Of take the log out of your eye before trying to remove the splinter in someone else's eye.

When we stop doing those things then we will have the moral authority to tell Putin to stop...otherwise we look to the world to be, and are, hypocrites.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #67)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:11 PM

71. Iraq and Afghanistan were the last guy.

 

Georgia and Ukraine are the current guy.

Stolen election in the US was the last guy. Stolen election in Russia is the current guy. Anti-LGBT in the US was the last guy. Anti-LGBT in Russia is the current guy.

So what fucking log are we talking about? You know, I'm not going to make apologies for the US's crimes, but I'm sure as fuck not going to go back to Vietnam or Andrew fucking Jackson to start excusing Russia's behavior.

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #71)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:30 PM

84. Well that is why we always have to look forward

So that we don't see what we have done in the past that we have never resolved or admitted to.

That is the log...you never remove it until you can admit you have it in there.
And it is in there...we are still in Afghanistan, the longest war in American history, and we are still torturing people at GItmo after 13 years...and then you tell us we have the moral right to call out Russia?

Now you give me a break.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #84)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 05:21 AM

124. You've got to be joking.

 

Look, I want to see the war criminals and torturers brought to justice too, but to say we've got absolutely no responsibility to call out Russia is just fucking stupid.

Fuck, during apartheid, you would have just kept screaming "Jim Crow! Jim Crow! Jesse Helms is still a Senator, you can't call out South Africa!"

Cut the crap. Putin is an imperialist homophobic warmonger. Obama is not. I've got plenty of problems with him, but calling out Russia over their escalation of tensions in Ukraine and doing so diplomatically is the right thing to do.

Pure isolationist bullshit.

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #124)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 07:54 AM

128. Well this is not a conflict between Obama and Putin.

It is between Putin and the people who did a coup on the elected government of the Ukraine.
And you insist on calling out Putin but not the ones who did the coup against a democratic government and seized power with the help of that fascist element.
And ignore the fact the first thing that coup produced is a law making the Russian language illegal.
Funny how they are never called out for escalation of the tensions.

And no I will not cut the crap...I will not be herded like a sheep by emotional labels into the with us or against us pen...sorry can't go there with you.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #128)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 08:19 AM

129. Wait, the Russian language is illegal in Ukraine now?

 

Oh, you mean that bill. The one that removed Russian as an official language (which is not the same thing as making it illegal by a long shot) and was subsequently vetoed. Not that I ever supported that bill or thought it was a good idea at all.

And for what it's worth, I've never supported the new Ukranian government, and have in fact suggested international investigations into the Neo-Nazi elements WRT their rhetoric. But Svoboda hasn't invaded a neighboring country. Russia had several diplomatic and economic options available before a preemptive invasion, but the imperial bastard in the Kremlin who demanded diplomacy in Syria chose military action instead.

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #30)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:36 PM

44. Right.. Puppets for Putin are getting more and more bizarre..



Travel Guide To Moscow


"First of all, Russia has become very corrupt throughout the last few years. Vladimir Putin has now been in office for twelve years and over those twelve years he has eliminated most elections, monopolized major media, and destroyed the democratic political system. Everyday people are brutally arrested for starting and participating in anti-Putin protests, while some are even detained simply for being nearby. Clearly, Putin’s actions are those of a dictator, and he plans to stay in power as long as possible."

http://sites.psu.edu/egorivanov/2014/01/31/travel-guide-to-moscow/

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Response to Cha (Reply #44)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 06:17 AM

125. Cool, that's my alma mater

The profs are on strike there right now.

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Response to mazzarro (Original post)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 08:18 PM

15. well, much of that has been obvious from the beginning

 

and what everyone that doesn't know or understand those things should be hearing and reading.

I think that NATO pledge carries the most weight.

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Response to mazzarro (Original post)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 08:52 PM

24. Rove Claims GWB Sent 'Strong Message' To Putin After Georgia Invasion - lol

 



http://crooksandliars.com/2014/03/karl-rove-claims-george-bush-sent-strong

These neo-cons are seriously deranged... do they still not know how the www works, yet?

The www has excellent looooong term memory, unlike our dysfunctional M$M.

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Response to mazzarro (Original post)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:14 PM

32. “Russia – the only country in the world, capable of transforming the U.S. into radioactive ash"

 

Last edited Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:48 PM - Edit history (1)

That was broadcast on Russian state tv news today (Sunday)

http://www.politisite.com/2014/03/16/russia-state-tv-putin-could-reduce-usa-to-radioactive-ash/
-----------------------------------------

But by all means, concentrate on criticizing the response to the unprovoked war of aggression and not the unprovoked war itself.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #32)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:45 PM

49. This Pity for Putin Party is bizarre, Steven.. The lengths some will

go so far to whine about President Obama and SOS John Kerry while Pumping up poor misunderstood Putin is foolish.



Meanwhile..



Travel Guide To Moscow


"First of all, Russia has become very corrupt throughout the last few years. Vladimir Putin has now been in office for twelve years and over those twelve years he has eliminated most elections, monopolized major media, and destroyed the democratic political system. Everyday people are brutally arrested for starting and participating in anti-Putin protests, while some are even detained simply for being nearby. Clearly, Putin’s actions are those of a dictator, and he plans to stay in power as long as possible."

http://sites.psu.edu/egorivanov/2014/01/31/travel-guide-to-moscow/

Common Sense from Ukraine?.. Okay..



The Fight for Democracy in Ukraine: A Conversation with Center UA’s Svitlana Zalischuk

BY Micah L. Sifry

“In the third and last part of our conversation, I asked Zalischuk about the referendum about to take place in Russian-occupied Crimea and the massive Russian troop presence across the border from eastern Ukraine. “Russian invaded Ukraine,” she said, mincing no words about Vladimir Putin’s actions in the wake of Yanukovych’s departure from office. “The referendum itself doesn’t mean anything,” she added, noting that the choice was between “yes and yes,” and didn’t give people a choice of maintaining the status quo. “You can’t conduct a democratic referendum when a whole country is invaded and controlled by the troops of a foreign country.”

This is not a conflict between Ukraine and Russia, she said, it’s a conflict between the civilized world and totalitarianism, one that undermines the whole architecture of the European and world community. I asked her about the idea that the democracy movement in Ukraine was mostly strongest in the western part of the country and not so much from the eastern half, where Yanukovych got the majority of votes. She said the picture was more complicated, because Yanukovych himself had campaigned in favor of stronger ties with Europe when he was running for president.”

http://techpresident.com/news/wegov/24827/fight-democracy-ukraine-conversation-center-uas-svitlana-zalischuk


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Response to stevenleser (Reply #32)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:50 PM

52. I don't see this editorial is scolding anyone other than Republican neo-cons

..who seem bound and determined to criticize Obama for refusing to engage in pointless saber-rattling.

So while I know there are a handful of people on the D.U. like that, I don't think that's an opinion held by many outside of the extreme negative patriot left.

- C.D. Proud Member of the Reality Based Community

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Response to ConservativeDemocrat (Reply #52)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:04 PM

65. Anyone who saber-rattles is dumb, but the focus should be on Russia and their invasion. Not the

 

response to the invasion.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #65)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:35 PM

85. You would think.. the USA's response is commensurate to Putin's Invasion.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #32)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:52 PM

54. You know, the OP simply posted an editorial from The Nation and said he agreed with it.

If you don't like what the editorial said, take it up with The Nation instead of giving the OP shit for posting it.

As for the Russia media personality banging his shoe on the table, so what? It's just some blowhard - probably very much like some of our own homegrown blowhards like Glenn Beck - running off at the mouth. Hardly a matter of serious concern.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #54)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 08:56 PM

137. ^This! 1000+!

 

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #32)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:58 PM

58. The "USA into RadioActive Dust"guy was recently chosen by Putin to lead an official news agency..

"Mr. Kiselyov was the man recently chosen by President Vladimir V. Putin to lead an official news agency charged with explaining Kremlin policy to the world, a media organization to be called Rossiya Sevodnya, or Russia Today."

So, he's not just some idiot.. he's Putin's idiot.

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/russia-could-still-turn-the-u-s-into-radioactive-dust-news-anchor-in-moscow-reminds-viewers/?_php=true&_type=blogs&emc=edit_tnt_20140316&nlid=1811197&tntemail0=y&_r=0

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #32)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 09:07 PM

138. Why do you give any weight of importance to that flame bating b.s.?

 

I noticed it was broadcast on tv news. ridiculous to give it a moments notice.

On your other point, it's only a geopolitical dispute between the east and the west. so far.

Moscow hasn't invaded us yet and I really don't think they're interested...

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Response to 2banon (Reply #138)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 09:08 PM

139. See Cha's #58 above. nt

 

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #139)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 09:12 PM

140. no can see

 

on my incoherent loon list.

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Response to 2banon (Reply #140)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 09:15 PM

141. Well, that person shared an important piece of information. The media person who said this was

 

appointed to head an official Russian state news agency.

"Mr. Kiselyov was the man recently chosen by President Vladimir V. Putin to lead an official news agency charged with explaining Kremlin policy to the world, a media organization to be called Rossiya Sevodnya, or Russia Today."

So, he's not just some idiot.. he's Putin's idiot.

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/russia-could-still-turn-the-u-s-into-radioactive-dust-news-anchor-in-moscow-reminds-viewers/?_php=true&_type=blogs&emc=edit_tnt_20140316&nlid=1811197&tntemail0=y&_r=0

-------------------------------------------

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #141)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 09:25 PM

142. Under the circumstances, that kind of thing is predictable and doesn't concern me.

 

If you step out of the ring long enough to hear the chest thumping the Neo Cons are doing are doing here, rhetorical responses in the same vein is predictable, but meaningless other than to appease their own audience. Same here. Neo cons are insisting that we get NATO forces in Ukraine post haste and militarily respond to Moscow. Both sides are engaging in saber rattling.

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Response to 2banon (Reply #142)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 09:44 PM

143. There is very little chest thumping by anyone here. nt

 

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Response to mazzarro (Original post)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:21 PM

37. Okay..



The Fight for Democracy in Ukraine: A Conversation with Center UA’s Svitlana Zalischuk

BY Micah L. Sifry

“In the third and last part of our conversation, I asked Zalischuk about the referendum about to take place in Russian-occupied Crimea and the massive Russian troop presence across the border from eastern Ukraine. “Russian invaded Ukraine,” she said, mincing no words about Vladimir Putin’s actions in the wake of Yanukovych’s departure from office. “The referendum itself doesn’t mean anything,” she added, noting that the choice was between “yes and yes,” and didn’t give people a choice of maintaining the status quo. “You can’t conduct a democratic referendum when a whole country is invaded and controlled by the troops of a foreign country.”

This is not a conflict between Ukraine and Russia, she said, it’s a conflict between the civilized world and totalitarianism, one that undermines the whole architecture of the European and world community. I asked her about the idea that the democracy movement in Ukraine was mostly strongest in the western part of the country and not so much from the eastern half, where Yanukovych got the majority of votes. She said the picture was more complicated, because Yanukovych himself had campaigned in favor of stronger ties with Europe when he was running for president.”

http://techpresident.com/news/wegov/24827/fight-democracy-ukraine-conversation-center-uas-svitlana-zalischuk

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Response to Cha (Reply #37)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 10:14 PM

145. Because right-wing terrorists make for a good voting environment. n/t

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Response to mazzarro (Original post)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 09:54 PM

55. wow, happy to rec this....

An excellent editorial.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #55)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 10:30 PM

82. Do you agree that Putin's actions were a "clear violation of international law"?

Do you believe that Putin's invasion of Ukraine was justified?
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024673202


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Response to mazzarro (Original post)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 11:04 PM

98. But..but...Looking Tough and screaming Bogeyman is ever so much easier.

 

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Response to mazzarro (Original post)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 11:39 PM

108. K&R'd

 

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Response to mazzarro (Original post)

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 11:59 PM

111. Time to mind our own business and stay out of their clusterfuck

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Response to jsr (Reply #111)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 12:38 PM

134. Yes, when a child is attacked by bullies, it's best to just walk away. (nt)

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Response to mazzarro (Original post)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 12:43 AM

113. Always remember that when it comes to foreign policy...

 

Charles Krauthammer is always wrong.

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Response to mazzarro (Original post)

Thu Mar 20, 2014, 12:31 PM

148. Excellent.

K&R

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