Show Me Your War Face

Apparently things are rapidly deteriorating in the Ukraine, and I have no real idea on what is going on, but there is always old faithful:

In response to reports of a Russian takeover in parts of Crimea, Arizona Senator John McCain declared Friday, “We are all Ukrainians,” before calling for swift U.S. economic aide to Ukraine, new moves to condemn Russia at the United Nations, sanctions against Russian officials and the installation of U.S. missiles in the nearby Czech Republic as a show of American regional strength.

I found this odd, because just a few years back, John McCain was telling me I was something else. Oh, look, a reporter with an actual memory:

The comments echoed McCain’s 2008 statement, “We are all Georgians,” which he made as a Republican candidate for President after Russia invaded Georgia. Six years later, McCain says he feels the same about the plight of Ukraine. “We are all Ukrainians in the respect that we have a sovereign nation that is again with international boundaries… that is again being taken in as part of Russia,” he said in an interview in his Senate office. “That is not acceptable to an America that stands up for the rights of human beings. We are Georgians. And we are Ukrainians.”

I also remember brief bits when I was an Iranian, but that was before I was Egyptian and after I was an Iraqi with a purple finger but before I became a Libyan. I think I was briefly from Yemen, too, but I’m starting to develop a bit of an identity crisis. Also, some dude once cautioned about entangling alliances:

With tensions rising in Crimea and pro-Russian forces controlling the peninsula’s main airports, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has called on Russia to “not violate the Budapest Memorandum.” So what is the “Budapest Memorandum” and what does it have to do with Crimea?

What exactly is the “Budapest Memorandum”?

The “Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances” is a diplomatic memorandum that was signed in December 1994 by Ukraine, Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

It is not a formal treaty, but rather, a diplomatic document under which signatories made promises to each other as part of the denuclearization of former Soviet republics after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Under the memorandum, Ukraine promised to remove all Soviet-era nuclear weapons from its territory, send them to disarmament facilities in Russia, and sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Ukraine kept these promises.

So, what do we know about what is going on in Ukraine, aka Obama’s newest Hurricane Katrina.

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276 replies
  1. 1
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    The fuck! You all can be Ukrainians. I am a Crimean.

  2. 2
    GregB says:

    Can we fund this war with Bitcoins?

    Gary Kasparov said that Putin will foment a civil war and then intervene.

  3. 3
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    All I know at this point is that the US should not get involved at any military level.

  4. 4
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    It is a little spooky how John McCain keeps turning into a citizen of the various soviet states every coupla years. Those north vietnamese must have done something to his brain and now they sit back and laugh.

  5. 5
    Warren Terra says:

    We are all [insert nationality of country on the Black Sea] here.

  6. 6
    Davis X. Machina says:

    I think the key thing is to make a lot of noise about the EU, Nazis, German bankers, austerity, and the new Lebensraum.

  7. 7
    Robert Paehlke says:

    For McCain we are all wherever it is there might be an opportunity for a war. I count at least a half dozen places in recent decades. I distrust Putin too, but like you I have no clue what is going on at this point and I suspect he doesn’t either.

  8. 8
    Pogonip says:

    I request to be German, please. Seems they have this custom of respecting workers. Also, when you are telling someone to “Have a good trip,” you say “Guten fart,” which is fitting; I, at least, have never had a bad one.

    (The way the winter’s been going, I already feel Russian with a dash of Eskimo.)

  9. 9
    BGinCHI says:

    This is going to seem really familiar if the Germans bomb Pearl Harbor.

  10. 10
    Trollhattan says:

    Jesus, Walnuts, “We are all Ukrainians.” Going with the classics, I see. Can you do that “Smoke on the Water” medley for us now?

    What color does the blog need to be?

  11. 11
    srv says:

    Putin is going to get Crimea and eastern Ukraine. Whether he wants a big drama for the rest of it is his decision.

    And nobody did nazi this one coming:

    Perhaps, the most questions about the new government’s direction will be raised by several key appointments of ultra-nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) and Pravyi Sektor (Right Sector) members to leading roles in the Defense Ministry, National Defense and Security Council, and the Prosecutor General’s office. Tenyukh is a member of Freedom. While a former Fatherland deputy and leader of the Maidan self-defense force Andriy Parubiy is the new head of the National Defense and Security Council, the leader of the far-right Right Sector Dmytro Yarosh was offered the post of his deputy. The newly-created lustration commission presumably to be tasked with investigating collaborators with the old regime and security services, will be headed by Maidan activist and reporter Yegor Sobolev.

  12. 12
    MikeJ says:

    I’m wearing a balaclava right now.

  13. 13
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I like to think of John McCain’s frequent interventions in foreign affairs as a fighter jet rocketing into the foray, locking in on the target and then experiencing engine failure and being forced to crash land.

  14. 14
    shelly says:

    So how many Sunday bobble-head shows will McCain be on this time?

  15. 15
    scav says:

    @BGinCHI: I was going with avoiding trips to Slavic lands with Bohemian wives in open-top cars — dratted literal tic creeping in.

  16. 16
    MikeJ says:

    @Pogonip:

    I request to be German, please. Seems they have this custom of respecting workers.

    Arbeit macht frei.

  17. 17
    Amir Khalid says:

    Is there an actual underlying dispute between Russia and Ukraine, something beyond “I don’t like your face”, or is Putin merely inviting them to “Suck. On. This.”?

  18. 18
    Baud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    All I know at this point is that the US should not get involved at any military level.

    All Obama needs to do is say, “no military intervention not paid for with tax hikes.”

  19. 19
    beltane says:

    Russia is claiming that the situation is Ukraine has been caused by the violent overthrow of a democratically elected government http://www.theguardian.com/wor.....4a90a9de5f

    The only surprising thing here is that Putin waited almost a whole week from the closing ceremonies at Sochi to send troops in. Such restraint!

  20. 20
    scav says:

    @MikeJ: And here I thought it was a baklava perched up there.

  21. 21
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Dammit, man! Don’t you realize that McCain was a POW?

  22. 22
    Baud says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Someone has to pay for that Olympic ring not opening, dammit!

  23. 23
    maya says:

    Walnuts has yet to figure out whether “we are all Shiites or all Sunnis.”

    Seriously, IIRC, at the time of the Georgian invasion we had been sending ‘military aid’ to Georgia – on the sly (what else!) – and the Ruskies just swopped in and grabbed it all. AND, there was nothing we could do about it except posture – like McCain is doing now. That’s Putin’s hood and he’s just doing his Christie act. Better than Christie.

  24. 24

    @Pogonip: You know who else was German?

  25. 25
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @scav: Perhaps it was a balalaika.

  26. 26
    srv says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    was a POW

    Was? The dude is still a POW of Obama, and DC is the new Hanoi.

  27. 27
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Don’t you realize that McCain was a POW?

    We are all McCain’s POW’s now.

  28. 28
    beltane says:

    And just a couple of weeks ago you people were laughing at the Russian military police choir’s rendition of “Get Lucky”.

  29. 29
    Daffodil's Mom says:

    There’s a lot more going on here than we are being told by the MSM — a whole lot more. To the point of making Russia, and Putin, look very good in comparison (never, ever thought I’d say that).

    Try this for starters — noting especially McCain’s role, but all the rest of it too. http://www.counterpunch.org/20.....venezuela/ And there are a couple of pretty good (non-conspiracy theory) blogs covering it well — be happy to share them if anyone’s interested.

  30. 30
    NotMax says:

    @MikeJ

    To certain of those of the wingnut persuasion, Auschwitz was a gated community.

  31. 31
    Gravenstone says:

    Really, he really went back to the “we’re all X” well, again?

  32. 32
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole @ Top:

    Also, some dude once cautioned about entangling alliance…

    I think that ship sailed when we became a superpower after WWII.

    Not that it justifies McCain’s attempts to entangle us in every country on Russia’s border.

  33. 33
    beltane says:

    @NotMax: According to most media fact-checkers, that statement would be considered true.

  34. 34
    Pogonip says:

    @MikeJ: Volkswagen.

  35. 35
    BGinCHI says:

    I can’t wait for Maureen Dowd’s “Where is my strong daddy!!??” column.

    It’s easy Mo, just cut and paste.

  36. 36
    WaterGirl says:

    Fuck.

    That’s all I’ve got. Thanks to BJ, I know it’s “Ukraine” not “the Ukraine”. And I’m pretty sure if McCain is for it, I’m against it. That, and that it’s day 1800 or so where I am utterly grateful that Barack Obama is our president and not one of these war-mongering idiots who never saw a war they didn’t like.

  37. 37
    jl says:

    At least one thing is clear. This Cole guy is a suspicious rootless cosmopolitan roaming at will around West By God Virginia.

    Maybe McCain will visit Cole and take up his cause. Or maybe West Virginia’s. I will watch for developments.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    gogol's wife says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Russia thinks it owns Ukraine. Ukrainians think otherwise. But lots of Russians live there, unfortunately.

  40. 40
    WaterGirl says:

    Next thing we know, McCain will be suspending his campaign again.

  41. 41
    Daffodil's Mom says:

    This, for example, is one of the people WE put in place (just watch it, you won’t need a translation. His name is Olexander Muzychko, aka Sasha Biliy, and he is “speaking” to a state prosecutor. Feel free to use Teh Google if you haven’t had enough of him…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8JC-ZjqFb4

  42. 42
    Baud says:

    Obama needs to swing his dick.

  43. 43
    SatanicPanic says:

    I’m staying American, thank you very much.

  44. 44
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    Don’t you realize that McCain was a POW?

    Is.

    Proponent Of War.

    Why does anyone anymore give any credence to anything that emanates from either of his mouths?

  45. 45
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Pogonip: Nina Hagen! Döner Kebab!

  46. 46
  47. 47
    gogol's wife says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Have you seen the beginning of The Manchurian Candidate?

  48. 48
    PopeRatzo says:

    Can I be the first one here to say this is all Edward Snowden’s fault?

    I don’t really think that, but it would please me to be the first one in.

  49. 49
    Anoniminous says:

    damn it.

    I thought we were Spartacus.

  50. 50
    Gravenstone says:

    @Baud: I’d be careful with that. I can see today’s Republicans embracing a tax hike if and only if it lets them get their (briefly) Cold War back on.

  51. 51
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SatanicPanic: I am not tall enough to be Dutch, so I guess I’ll stay American too.

  52. 52
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Pogonip:
    Franz “Der Kaiser” Beckenbauer!

  53. 53
  54. 54
    beltane says:

    @Pogonip: Werner Herzog!

  55. 55
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Davis X. Machina:
    Ahem. Döner Kebab was introduced in Germany by Turkish immigrants.

  56. 56
    Baud says:

    Can we all be Canadian? I want hockey gold.

  57. 57
    srv says:

    @Daffodil’s Mom: Dude should stop wasting his time over there, I’m sure there are openings in Obama’s admin.

  58. 58
    scav says:

    A lot of ‘mercans are probably worried if Ukraine falls, the next domino will be Texas.

     

    Also, UKane. Me scav.

  59. 59
    Anoniminous says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    You know who else was German?

    Immanuel Kant, Johann Sebastian Bach, Albert Schweitzer, and my great great great great great great great great grandfather.

  60. 60
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid

    Then there’s Donner Kebab, but that’s a whole ‘nother chapter in the history of cuisine.

  61. 61
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I was at a Philips event in KL once. A bunch of guys from the head office in Eindhoven had come over for it. There wasn’t a single one of them under 2 metres tall. You have to wonder why the Netherlands isn’t the world’s top nation in basketball.

  62. 62
    beltane says:

    @scav: I’ve seen hysterical comments elsewhere saying China will use this as a pretext to invade Japan so there’s that.

  63. 63
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Amir Khalid: That’s what makes it so quintessentially German. Not a nation of immigrants to the extent that US or Canada is, but still pretty mosaic-esque. My daughter’s block in Charlottenburg had a little of everything living in a few hundred meters — Turks, Bosniaks, Portuguese, Armenians, Pakistanis, Somalis, even a few Germans….

  64. 64
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Gravenstone: No they won’t. They want their cold war, but they want the poor to pay for it. They didn’t pay for the last war. Why would they pay for this one?

  65. 65
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I posted this below. Good English-language sources are The Interpreter and Global Post.

  66. 66
    dollared says:

    Just looked at the map. Let’s see, an isolated peninsula on a nearby country holding a naval base. Perhaps we could agree with Putin that he gives Crimea back, while we give Guantanamo back to Cuba?

  67. 67
    danielx says:

    Bloody Bill Kristol, Michael Ledeen, Elliot Abrams, Victor David Maximus Hanson, the Kagans (pick one), J-Pod, Craphammer, et al:

    1…2…3…

    We’re getting the band back together!!!

  68. 68

    @Amir Khalid: Even the women are tall, my friend’s mom who is Dutch is almost 6 ft tall.

  69. 69
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Amir Khalid: I am 5′ 10″ and it seemed like most Dutch women were my height. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

  70. 70
    Trollhattan says:

    @gogol’s wife: My metroplex has a metric buttload of both Ukranians and Russians, so I’ma looking for strange helicopters and dudes with guns around the airports.

    “Putin Annexes Premium Outlet Mall, Toyota Superstore Indicates Nervousness”

  71. 71
    Hungry Joe says:

    Not to betray a family secret, but my grandmother was Dutch.

  72. 72
    Trollhattan says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    So not chiming with “large fingers in water-control structures” crack here.

    They do skate quite well.

  73. 73
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Trollhattan: Incidentally, the dudes with guns at the airports in Crimea are more or less Putin’s Blackwater Corp. Plausible deniability and all that, you know? He can say “not Russian military” with a straight face.

  74. 74
    Trollhattan says:

    @scav:

    Could we be that lucky?

  75. 75
    some guy says:

    Russia is claiming that the situation is Ukraine has been caused by the violent overthrow of a democratically elected government

    They are also claiming that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. Further, they claim that water is actually made up of tow atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen. Jeez, those crazy Russians, they’ll believe almost anything.

  76. 76
    Trollhattan says:

    @Baud:

    Sheriff Bart: “Lemme just whip this out.”

    Crowd: “Aaaaaarh!”

  77. 77
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Well, at least this time the logistics aren’t quite as nightmarish as the “we are all Georgians” scenario in 2008.

    Still, once again, Putin’s got his ethnic Russians in place to provide a pretext for intervention. This is true of every former SSR of the old Union.

    Furthermore, hey, the Crimea is where the Russian Black Sea Fleet is based! Would we hesitate to intervene if say Guantanamo was in some sort of distress?

    Oh, wait, I’m asking Americans to wear the shoes of another country. How silly of me. Exceptionalism rulz!

  78. 78
    scav says:

    @beltane: Hey! there were just some Russian ships in Cuba so we can drag in all the commie classics and that crisis too for reruns. Would it be double-counting to remember the Maine as well? Crimea, Crimea, . . . do you think we could pull in some Ottoman Menace and punch back a few more centuries?

  79. 79
    Trollhattan says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Interesting. Was listening to the Beeb this a.m. who, unlike us, have reporters on the ground, trying to suss out the situation in Crimea and find out who the armed dudes were. Like you say, plausible deniability.

    “Vat doods?”

  80. 80
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @WaterGirl:

    “Sorry, Dave, can’t make the show tonight. Ukraine is kerploding.”

  81. 81
    kindness says:

    I’m gonna suggest that Fox send all their people to the Ukraine right now to show their valor. Think of the ratings. Think of life once all the Fox people are no longer among the living.

  82. 82
    Bokonon says:

    Maybe Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio will get up and make a BIG BRAVE SPEECH, about FREEDOM, and the Russians will get intimidated by the sheer strength of their rhetoric and resolve, and back down.

    Barring that, they will attack President Obama viciously for not scaring the Russians into retreat. Because Reagan Reagan Reagan or something.

  83. 83
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @scav:

    I really think we should insist the Brits and French deal with this entire Crimea thing. They’ve got experience there, after all.

  84. 84
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @scav: Remember the Maine!*

    *Don’t forget Poland either.

  85. 85
    ffredpalakon says:

    To give you an idea how confusing things are, there’s “Pierre Omidyar co-funded Ukraine revolution groups with US government, documents show” about how the founder of The Intercept funded the opposition, and we learned this information through documents broken by…The Intercept.

    People have spoken about the U.S. support for the opposition, and McCain’s support for the opposition; this ignores the fact that at the very same time, consultants in McCain’s camp, who supported NATO expansion, backed and helped elected Viktor Yanukovych. I try to get at some of this in “Roger Stone: Pretty Reckless is Going Straight to Hell” – the bulk of the piece focuses on Stone and his associates working for a Ukrainian politician who was part of the old Leonid Kuchma regime and may have been involved in the killing of a journalist, but some of it is given over to those who helped Yanukovych gain power. I quote from the piece, “In Ukraine, a Friend of Russia Stages Sweeping Political Makeover”, which gives some idea of the backing:

    As Mr. Yanukovich prepared for parliamentary elections due the following spring, one of his key backers — Rinat Akhmetov, a billionaire metals magnate from Donetsk — recommended he hire Paul Manafort, who had worked on then-Sen. Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign. Mr. Manafort, now a prominent Washington lobbyist, had been advising Mr. Akhmetov as he explored taking his business, SCM Holdings, public on Western financial markets.

    With another election fast approaching, Mr. Manafort declined in an interview to talk about the specifics of the campaign advice he gave Mr. Yanukovich. But according to people involved in the Party of the Regions’ campaign in spring 2006, Mr. Manafort advised on such basics as how to target and appeal to voters. He also produced a slick campaign film and coached Mr. Yanukovich on his presentation.

    Manafort works for Manafort-Davis, and the strange conflict between these advisers and McCain (McCain against Yanukovych, Manafort and Davis for Yanukovych) is described in the 2008 HuffPo piece “New Questions Over McCain Campaign Chief’s Ties To Ukraine”.

  86. 86
  87. 87
    NotMax says:

    @Bokonon

    It’s like Vi*gra for warhawks.

    Scratch that. It is Vi*gra for warhawks.

  88. 88
    Calouste says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    About 500 years worth of it I think, give or take a century.

  89. 89
    debbie says:

    Wasn’t McCain among those Republicans who intoned “Not in our national interest” while the Balkans were falling apart?

  90. 90
    Botsplainer says:

    @Pogonip:

    I, at least, have never had a bad one.

    I have. They can go bad on you.

  91. 91
    JustRuss says:

    @shelly

    So how many Sunday bobble-head shows will McCain be on this time?

    In the words of someone McCain wishes he never heard of: “All of them”

  92. 92
    WaterGirl says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I think that doing that to Letterman actually hurt McCain in the election.

    Edit: Good times.

  93. 93
    Morbo says:

    Imperialism is only bad if America does it.

  94. 94
    Gravenstone says:

    @Suffern ACE: To be fair, Baud never specified who might be seeing the hikes.

  95. 95
    jl says:

    @debbie:

    Maybe other commenters can describe any and all gyrations of McCain on Yugoslav breakup, but Wikipedia says

    “I n March 1999, McCain voted to approve the NATO bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, saying that the ongoing genocide of the Kosovo War must be stopped and criticizing past Clinton administration inaction ”

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

    McCain seems to be an unconditional fan of diplomatic and geopolitical drama and military action.
    I think he should be discredited after his involvement with sleazy and immoral Cheney/Bush BS in Georgian war, and especially his vile foreign policy adviser. McCain should be given zero credit for good faith.

    And even worse, the Cheney/Bush McCain Georgian escapade ended in dismal failure. Worse than a crime, it was a blunder. That does not absolve Putin of his approach, but sometimes there are sketchy and dubious characters on both sides of a conflict. But that is something that is completely beyond McCain’s comprehension. Something not even dreamed of in his philosophy.

  96. 96
    David Koch says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It’s the wooden shoes. It’s adds atleast 4 inches.

  97. 97
    Redshift says:

    Since I know people in Ukraine (in the western part, but still), I can’t really find much humor in anything about it. There’s clearly no useful military action to take, and I’m glad we have a president capable of understanding that. I hope he and his people are smart enough to figure out the least bad course of action.

  98. 98
    beltane says:

    @Amir Khalid: My husband is Dutch. At 6’4″ he is one of the short guys in his extended family.

  99. 99
    NotMax says:

    Must have missed McCain’s “We’re all gay Americans now” from earlier in the week.

    (Yes, aware he made belated veto mewlings.)

  100. 100
    Ruckus says:

    @Suffern ACE:
    Maybe it’s not so much they want war but they want to completely end any government program that might make anyone be or feel better. They can’t call for Medicare to end but they can break it. But ACA, Medicaid, welfare, UI, national parks and I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch. Unpaid for war and screams for deficit reduction may just be the cover. That and of course the MIC. Grifters till the end. Which can’t come soon enough.

  101. 101
    Amir Khalid says:

    @WaterGirl:
    It wasn’t just the deed, it was also the doing. Letterman, at the Ed Sullivan Theater, had access to the live feed from Katie Couric’s studio where she was interviewing McCain. Letterman shared that live feed with his audience. And it’s very hard not to conclude it served McCain right for telling a needless lie.

  102. 102

    @WaterGirl: Thanks for your recommendation, I ordered the Logitech keyboard you suggested, it will arrive on Monday.

  103. 103
    David Koch says:

    @beltane: must be the tulips

  104. 104
    jl says:

    @David Koch: Stroopwaffle, cheese and beer!

  105. 105
    Calouste says:

    sovereign nation that is again with international boundaries

    So, what the fuck did McCain think he was doing on that imperialist adventure in Vietnam?

  106. 106

    @Ruckus:
    It is both. Money has nothing to do with it, except when it can be used as an excuse. Their policy positions are all based around ‘I’m hurting you for your own good’. They like going to war and they hate safety net programs. Those policy preferences already existed, but now have been revved up to eleven because a black man is president.

  107. 107
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: No, I don’t think McCain has seen a situation in international relations that he didn’t want “improve” by bombing. I honestly don’t think the man is all that bright.

  108. 108
    Eric S. says:

    @Pogonip: ict ein Munchener. Because Oktoberfest.

  109. 109
    Calouste says:

    @beltane:

    Look, I’m Dutch, I’m 6’6″. It’s not that the Dutch are particularly tall, they’re average, it’s just that the rest of the world is quite short.

  110. 110
    beltane says:

    @jl: And milk. My in-laws drink milk the way other people drink water.

  111. 111
    David Koch says:

    @Anoniminous: the Volkswagen and Heidi Klum

  112. 112
    Fair Economist says:

    I’m not sure if the Crimean separatists are acting in Putin’s interests. Ukraine has been evenly divided between pro-Russian and anti-Russian for some time. Crimea isn’t *that* big, but it’s big enough that if it leaves, Ukraine will have a clear anti-Russian majority. A Crimealess Ukraine will join the EU and Putin’s Greater Russia dreams will recede even further from reality.

    To be fair, the pictures of Yanukovych’s outrageous villa and the documentation of corruption likely to be forthcoming may have turned enough of the pro-Russians that Ukraine was going to move away from Russia and join the EU anyway. In that case it’s a rerun of Ossetia, the section of Georgia the Russian got to secede and made into a client state.

  113. 113
    beltane says:

    @Calouste: Ah, so that’s it.

  114. 114
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    I honestly don’t think the man is all that bright.

    Sarah Palin?

    Joe the Plumber?

    Um, never mind.

    He has always confused the spotlight for brightness.

  115. 115
    Gin & Tonic says:

    For lulz, I offer you RT on the Crimean situation:

    Russia is interested in the stability and prosperity of Ukraine more than anyone and is acting within existing agreements, Russia’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin said after a private meeting of the UN Security Council on the situation in the country.

    Any movements of Russian military within Crimea are in line with the existing arrangements with Ukraine on the deployment of military assets in the former Soviet republic, Churkin added, addressing media speculation on military deployments.

  116. 116
    Mike in NC says:

    Can we permanently deport John fucking McCain to any Third World country that will accept him? What an asshole. He’ll have an active Sunday morning schedule on six network TV shows.

  117. 117
    NotMax says:

    @Calouste

    Natural selection to be able to see above sea level?

  118. 118
    jl says:

    @Calouste: Why isn’t McCain warning us about the Batavian menace? The Batavi, strong, tall, independent, fearsome Roman shock troops of the North. Until they rebelled! So, also treacherous.

    If McCain were on top of things, he would point out that every time the U.S. has tried to deal with the Batavian menace, it has been taken to the cleaners and lost. A show of strength and firm resolve is all they understand.

  119. 119
    Gex says:

    To be fair, this is really all just part of John McCain’s tendency to tell a lot of us we aren’t real Americans. He’s just following up to let us know what it is we are.

  120. 120
    beltane says:

    @Mike in NC: What has any third-world country done to us to deserve John McCain? Have these people not suffered enough?

  121. 121
    David Koch says:

    If the Dutch are so tall, why are they so poor at basketball? They didn’t even bother to send a team to the olympics. Is it the wooden shoes holding them down?

  122. 122
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Fair Economist: the pictures of Yanukovych’s outrageous villa

    One of the documents from there that’s been circulating is an invoice for the chandeliers. North of 30 million euros. Including one in the entry hall (one!) that cost 8 million euros. 10 million bucks for a goddamn light fixture.

  123. 123
    srv says:

    @Fair Economist: Outside of the remnant Tartar’s, and Ukrainians that are pro-Russian, Crimea is a Putinalooza.

    http://hnn.us/sites/default/fi.....eciton.png

    The green parts are tossups.

  124. 124
    p.a. says:

    @Amir Khalid: can’t jump

  125. 125
    jl says:

    @David Koch: I think ice skating takes priority.

    I have some Dutch friends. Talking with them, you would think that the Winter Olympics was all about ice skating, with some other little piddly sports thrown in for a side show.

    One Dutch guy went to raptures about how great it was to skate to school and back every day during the winter.

  126. 126
    OGLiberal says:

    Is it me or does Ukraine’s new, interim president remind y’all of Bob Mould?:

    http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media.....164359.jpg

  127. 127
    NotMax says:

    @Gin & Tonic

    “That’s it, baby, when you’ve got it, flaunt it. Flaunt it!”
        – Max Bialystock

  128. 128
    jl says:

    @srv: Not much green on that map. I hope that the very clear and dramatic division will make the split up easier.

    Edit: not that I hope for a split-up. I hope for a peaceful solution that helps restore the area economically and provides a democratic government. But what I have read of the two opposed political factions is not encouraging, to be honest. I hope it remains peaceful.

  129. 129
    sacrablue says:

    @Trollhattan: My immediate neighborhood is the epicenter of that boatload. It is a good bet that if the house has a stamped concrete driveway, added masonry details and concrete statuary (especially lions), it could be flying a Ukrainian or Russian flag.

  130. 130
    chopper says:

    @Pogonip:

    you say “Guten fart”

    sounds like something i once caught a whiff of in the cracker aisle of the whole foods.

  131. 131
    David Koch says:

    @jl: It’s true, Stephen Colbert just ripped Dutch arrogance.

  132. 132
    David Koch says:

  133. 133
    Chris says:

    @Robert Paehlke:

    For McCain we are all wherever it is there might be an opportunity for a war. I count at least a half dozen places in recent decades.

    He was one of the rocket scientists pushing for a war in Iraq as early as the 1990s on behalf of Chalabi’s group of exiles. General Zinni, then head of CENTCOM, went on the record deriding the idea as a recipe for disaster, which he called “the Bay of Goats.”

  134. 134
    JPL says:

    This is still my favorite video of McCain… I bring you Mr. Puddles.

  135. 135
    scav says:

    @chopper: With all the Dutch (not Deutsch) in this thread, I suspect it was a Gouda Fart in the adjacent aisle.

  136. 136
    muddy says:

    @jl: At least you’d know it wasn’t going to be uphill. Either way.

  137. 137
    p.a. says:

    @gogol’s wife: do you know who else used their ethnic populations residing in other nations as a pretext for invasion?

  138. 138

    Overwhelmingly the population of the US cares more about jobs at home than they do about any foreign stuff. Whatever the wingnuts are saying about the US appearing weak, the population of the US wants nothing to do with more military engagements. Period. They are fucking tired of being the World’s Police Force and want to let them sort themselves out. For once I agree with Rand Paul. Our priorities should be at home. If the World wants to screw itself then let it.

  139. 139
    debbie says:

    @jl:

    Thanks. I must have gotten my Republicans jumbled up again.

  140. 140
    catclub says:

    @MikeJ: I would like to be eating baklava.

  141. 141
    sacrablue says:

    @David Koch: Sacamento. Poaching sturgeon from the Sacramento River is apparently a big thing here…black market caviar, I believe.

  142. 142
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Trollhattan:

    I’m in an Armenian area of LA, so they’ll be rooting for injuries.

    ETA: Though probably slightly happier to see Russians get their toes tread upon.

  143. 143
    Amir Khalid says:

    @chopper:
    It’s actually “Guten Fahrt”, or if you really want to be formal, “Ich wünsche Ihnen eine guten Fahrt.”

  144. 144
    catclub says:

    @Gin & Tonic: “10 million bucks for a goddamn light fixture.”

    That could be the fake invoice that gets passed to the suckers who pay. He will keep a cut.

  145. 145
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JPL:

    Oh, classic!

  146. 146
  147. 147
    NotMax says:

    @sacrablue

    Like a sturgeon
    Poached for the very first time

  148. 148
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    “He said ‘fahrt’. Heh heh heh.”

  149. 149
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @catclub:

    Mitt Romney wants to know how to get one of those.

  150. 150
    Calouste says:

    @David Koch:

    Do you want to us spoil it for every one else like we did with the speed skating?

    Anyway, the explanation for why the Dutch aren’t good at basketball is that they have their own throw-a-ball-in-a-basket sport called Korfball. Which is pretty much the only mixed-sex team sport in the world. What do you think your average hormone fuelled teenager prefers?

  151. 151
    magurakurin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Perhaps it was a balalaika.

    “Can she play?! She’s an artist!”

  152. 152
    PeorgieTirebiter says:

    Robert Parry has an interesting article over at Alternet. It sounds like the folks McCain wants to immediately send aid to are not exactly the democracy hounds that the neocons are making them out to be. More like Neo-Nazis and assorted other right wing reactionaries. I am again relieved to have Obama, Hagel and Kerry on the case.

  153. 153
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Dang. That should be “Ich wünsche Ihnen eine gute Fahrt.”

  154. 154
    Chris says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Mitt Romney wants to know how to get one of those.

    “Well, I’ll tell ya, Mitt. First, you gotta win an election… oh, wait. You already tried that.”

    ::points and laughs::

    “AHAHAHAHAHA!”

  155. 155
    Dave says:

    @beltane: My dad’s Italian his parents were from so no account poor village way south. At 5’7″ I’m the tallest in my immediate family and on my dad’s sad of the family (some of my Irish English mothers family manage to break 6′)

  156. 156
    chopper says:

    @scav:

    no, those smell pretty gouda.

  157. 157
    Chris says:

    @Daffodil’s Mom:

    Thanks, I like getting stuff about Venezuela. It’s the rage here in Miami, but my confidence in both the media and the expat community’s reporting is as close to zero as humanly possible… which is pigheaded of me, but, I’d argue, quite warranted.

  158. 158
    Calouste says:

    @PeorgieTirebiter:

    Well, they use “Freedom” in their name, of course they are fascists. No difference there between the US and Ukraine.

  159. 159
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @PeorgieTirebiter:

    I am again relieved to have Obama, Hagel and Kerry on the case

    How you can feel that way after our invasion of Syria defeats my imagination.

  160. 160
    jefft452 says:

    ‘Arizona Senator John McCain declared Friday, “We are all Ukrainians,” ‘

    Now that he has renounced his American citizenship, is he still eligible to be a Senator?
    How long can he remain in the US without a visa?

  161. 161
    Jay C says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I’m sure that the cost of (former?) President Yanukovych’s chandelier is a bit misleading: the chandelier probably only cost €50,000: the other 7,950,000 were for the installation (and a tip for the electricians)….

  162. 162
    JPL says:

    @jefft452: At least when he proclaimed that we are all Georgians, that was in the United States.

  163. 163
    NotMax says:

    @Jay C

    That shipping and handling charge gets ya every time.

  164. 164
    scav says:

    @chopper: Whatever roques your fort.

  165. 165
    Pogonip says:

    @Botsplainer: @Eric S.: I remember that when Pres. Kennedy said “Ich bin ein Berliner,” supposedly what he was really saying was “I am a jelly-filled doughnut”; he would have to have dropped the article to say what he was really trying to say. The assembled multitude gave him a hand anyway. I used to be skeptical of this story seeing as how presidents are supposed to have staff to make sure they don’t goof, but then along came President Bush Jr. I guess presidents aren’t goofproof no matter how many staffers they have.

  166. 166
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Hey! It was, after all, US forces casualty free!

    On edit: except for that guy who cut his thumb on a beer can.

  167. 167
    Ian says:

    @some guy:

    the violent overthrow of a democratically elected government

    Those damn protesters paid those snipers themselves doncha know.

    As for the democratically elected part, see here

    That makes diebold and Ohio 2004 seem like amateurs.

  168. 168
    PeorgieTirebiter says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Are you saying a President McCain or Romney are somehow beyond your imagination? You might want to consider an MRI.

  169. 169
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Pogonip:

    The assembled multitude in Berlin had a better grasp of German than the idiots on this side of the Atlantic who thought it was about a jelly donut.

  170. 170
    MikeJ says:

    @Pogonip: The jelly doughnut story it one of those things that’s technically true but actually false. The way he said it was perfectly proper German, and yes, it could in theory mean, “I am a jelly doughnut.” However, German people aren’t any dumber than Americans, and when somebody says, “I am a New Yorker” nobody gets confused about why the speaker is declaring himself to be a Chrysler.

  171. 171
    Alan says:

    Ukraine is a BFD. NATO needs to draw a line in the sand. We don’t need Putin recreating the Soviet Union. Short of nuclear war, Putin needs to back the fuck off.

  172. 172
    Jay C says:

    @PeorgieTirebiter:

    It sounds like the folks McCain wants to immediately send aid to are not exactly the democracy hounds that the neocons are making them out to be

    They rarely are: it’s the same reaction as McCain showed in the Georgian crisis: knee-jerk Cold War/Russophobia that immediately transforms anybody opposed to Russia (or victimized by them) into Great Freedom-Loving Heroes: actual politics or policies be damned.

    That said, some of the movements which were involved in ousting Yanukovych – and who are now occupying seats in the “transitional” government – ARE a pretty unsavory bunch – one can only hope that after the election (assuming it goes off as planned), the nutballs will be somewhat marginalized. But I wouldn’t bet on it….

  173. 173
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Ian: Video of the snipers, in case anyone is interested and has a strong stomach.

  174. 174
    Ksmiami says:

    @Bokonon: yes those fearful Russians who sacrificed 20 million people plus to defeat hitler… They’re quaking in their boots in fear of walnuts and kristol meth

  175. 175
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Jay C: The Parliament as currently constituted has 449 seats. The party “Svoboda,” referred to by some as “ultra-right,” holds 36. Nobody to their right holds any.

  176. 176
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Calouste:

    Pretty much the way that “National Socialism” was marketed to working class Germans in the 20s and 30s.

    In Harry Turtledove’s Southern Victory series, the party in the post WWI South that is the analogy to the National Socialists in Germany is called the “Freedom Party.”.

  177. 177
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Alan:

    Short of nuclear war, Putin needs to back the fuck off.

    Just off hand, do you propose that we send tanks east from Germany as soon as the ground is firm enough this spring? That always works out so well. Or should we go up from Romania?

  178. 178
    NotMax says:

    @MikeJ

    when somebody says, “I am a New Yorker” nobody gets confused about why the speaker is declaring himself to be a Chrysler.

    Of course not. It’s obvious they’re declaring themselves to be a magazine.

    (rimshot)

  179. 179
    John McCain says:

    We are all West Virginians now.

  180. 180
    Elmo says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Furthermore, hey, the Crimea is where the Russian Black Sea Fleet is based! Would we hesitate to intervene if say Guantanamo was in some sort of distress?

    “Where are the nuclear wessels?”

  181. 181
    Petorado says:

    That $50 billion Putin spent on the Olympics to generate international goodwill and a favorable image toward Russia has been pissed away in what, a week? Great investment tough guy. Time to go back to your regularly scheduled despotism.

  182. 182
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    OT: Casablanca is just starting on TCM.

  183. 183
    AxelFoley says:

    I wonder what Snowden and Greenwald have to say about this?

  184. 184
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    We’re all French Resistance.

  185. 185
    karen says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    John McCain is a donut.

  186. 186
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Play it, Sam.

  187. 187
    Baud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    When do we invade Morocco?

  188. 188
    mike in dc says:

    Ukraine isn’t exactly powerless to resist, here. They have a non-insignificant military. This is a risky move by Putin. Desperate, somewhat, even.

  189. 189
    Jay C says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    True about the (nominal) makeup of the Ukrainian Parliament (Rada) – but IIRC, Yanukovych’s party mostly fled: however, the vote that tossed him out was a majority/quorum even without the PR, so there’s that…

    I was thinking more of the lineup I saw of the interim/transitional Cabinet: Svoboda (and, I think, another RW party) have a larger number of seats than their Rada numbers would warrant. I’ll admit to not knowing how relatively important these positions are right now: but the ultranationalist “fringe” seems definitely to have their foot in the door.

  190. 190
    PeorgieTirebiter says:

    @Davis X. Machina:
    Are you saying a President McCain or Romney are somehow beyond your imagination? You might want to consider an MRI.

  191. 191
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Round up the usual suspects

  192. 192
    jl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Since the Ukraine is not part of NATO, I assume commenter Alan is making a little jest.

    Edit: On the other hand, both Ukraine and Russia are members of NATO partnership plans, so I guess NATO forces could go there and shoot at each other. Then McCain could pick a side to bomb.

  193. 193
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Jay C: Everyone recognizes that the interim government is interim. Yatsenyuk called it a kamikaze government.

    The vote to remove Yanukovych was a super-majority and included many PR members who abandoned support for him.

  194. 194
    NotMax says:

    @Villago Delenda Est

    The NSA has an app for that.

  195. 195
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @jl:

    “Extremely little, Ensign.”

  196. 196
    Botsplainer says:

    Depressed.

    Sunday/Monday ice event followed by heavy wind gusts followed by 7+ inches of snow.

  197. 197
    mainmata says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I think Grampa Walnuts would definitely identify with that metaphor given his flyboy history.

  198. 198
    waspuppet says:

    So, what do we know about what is going on in Ukraine, aka Obama’s newest Hurricane Katrina.

    All I know is that someone will make that comparison sometime Sunday morning. Because anyone who knows anything about history can tell you that when a Republican is in the White House, not only does no one ever mess with us, but there is no conflict anywhere in the world ever.

  199. 199
    NotMax says:

    How does one say “Wolverines!” in Ukranian?

  200. 200
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    I think we’re all Bozos on this bus.

  201. 201
    Ripley says:

    We are all bitcoins.

  202. 202
    beltane says:

    I will reserve judgment until I hear what Bill Kristol has to say.

  203. 203
    Chris says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Ah, the movie about the Premature Anti-Fascist bastard who ran guns to Ethiopia, fought in Spain on the Loyalist side, and ultimately helps the chief Left Wing Terrorist in Europe escape retribution at the hands of the forces of law and order.

  204. 204
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Chris: All the while sticking his neck out for nobody.

  205. 205
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @Chris:

    I watched that all the way through in one sitting last week for the first time in decades. What struck me was how beautifully plotted and paced it is. Something you don’t get from watching the famous clips. It has great narrative momentum.

  206. 206
    NotMax says:

    @Chris

    And loses the girl.

  207. 207
    jl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: But didn’t he own a gin joint? Intrepid small business man, so has that going for him.

  208. 208
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: I pretty much watch it every time it is on.

  209. 209
    Chris says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:

    It’s a great movie all around, for sure. I still watch it on a fairly regular basis.

  210. 210
    Poopyman says:

    @David Koch: Nobody wants to play point guard.

  211. 211
    Keith G says:

    Cole, since you asked, the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances is an international agreement signed on February 1994, in Budapest. In the document, the signatories promise to protect Ukraine’s borders in return for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons. The question is: To what degree is this document (some call it a treaty) legally binding?

    IMHO: Ironically, Putin is a bit in a corner. In reality, Russian can not take over Ukraine. Russia might be tempted to cleave off the Crimea, but if they do that, they will risk pushing the rest of Ukraine completely over to the west. However, if he doesn’t act, a bunch of Russian nationalism will be disappointed.

  212. 212
    Cervantes says:

    @Pogonip:

    I remember that when Pres. Kennedy said “Ich bin ein Berliner,” supposedly what he was really saying was “I am a jelly-filled doughnut”; he would have to have dropped the article to say what he was really trying to say. The assembled multitude gave him a hand anyway. I used to be skeptical of this story seeing as how presidents are supposed to have staff to make sure they don’t goof, but then along came President Bush Jr. I guess presidents aren’t goofproof no matter how many staffers they have.

    Actually, what JFK said was correct.

    (I won’t bore you with the grammatical details.)

  213. 213
    gogol's wife says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I went through a period of thinking it wasn’t all that great. I was wrong.

  214. 214
    gogol's wife says:

    @Cervantes:

    That’s what my ex-husband the German professor always used to say.

  215. 215
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I never cry at the end. I always cry at this scene.

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:

    It’s one of the classic examples of total chaos on the set somehow leading to a perfect film. The screenwriters weren’t lying when they said they had no idea how to end it.

    ETA: Conrad Veidt, who played the evil Colonel Strasser, was so vehemently anti-Nazi that he insisted on being officially listed as a Jew when he was not (obviously, this was before he ended up having to flee one step ahead of the authorities).

  216. 216
    Cervantes says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Your ex-husband was right about that.

    Plus he was also once a man of good taste and great discernment.

  217. 217
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: I like the whole episode with the Bulgarian girl.

  218. 218
    tybee says:

    @Pogonip:

    i’ve had a few that were, ah, a bit more than one would expect.

  219. 219
    Sad_Dem says:

    McCain was born in Panama. When Bush the Foist invaded Panama because ol’ Pineapple Face got to skimming too much, did McCain say we’re all Panamanians now?

  220. 220
    Chris says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    ETA: Conrad Veidt, who played the evil Colonel Strasser, was so vehemently anti-Nazi that he insisted on being officially listed as a Jew when he was not (obviously, this was before he ended up having to flee one step ahead of the authorities).

    A whole ton of these actors were people who’d managed to escape from occupied Europe IRL, which lends the Marseillaise scene just that much more impact.

    (A similar thing happened years later with Hogan’s Heroes, where some of the German actors were survivors of fascism who were happy to play Nazis as long as they got to make them look like utter buffoons).

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Oh yes, definitely that one.

  221. 221
    Bob In Portland says:

    @mike in dc: Wars cost money. Ukraine is so far in the hole they’ll have to sell apples on the streetcorners to pay for the fuel for their tanks. That is, pay Russia for the fuel for their tanks.

  222. 222
    Cervantes says:

    @Chris:

    (A similar thing happened years later with Hogan’s Heroes, where some of the German actors were survivors of fascism who were happy to play Nazis as long as they got to make them look like utter buffoons).

    Robert Clary, who played LeBeau, was a Jew who’d been incarcerated by the (real) Nazis, first at Ottmuth and then at Buchenwald. He lost more than a dozen family members in Auschwitz.

  223. 223
    jl says:

    @Keith G: And where is the NATO-like pledge of military assistance or action in the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances? Russia and U.S. both signed and the agreement says that the signers will ‘confer’ if the agreement is violated, and any threatened nuclear aggression is taken to the UN Security Council.

  224. 224
    Tripod says:

    @mike in dc:

    Like a character in a noir, whose man in Kiev was grifting the wrong people.

  225. 225
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Keith G: The Ukrainians are accusing the Russian-Jewish mafia of controlling their country, so I don’t think that Putin is alienating many more Ukrainians. The eastern part of the country was given to Ukraine in 1954 in an effort to Russianize the region. Losing the western part of Ukraine wouldn’t be so much of a loss for the new Russia. Losing Crimea would be, and most of the people there would just as soon be part of Russia.

    It is also chutzpah for America to tell the Russians not to interfere there when Vicky “Fuck the EU” Nuland just said we’d spent five billion destabilizing Ukraine.

    But what’s unfolding was utterly predictable.

  226. 226
    Keith G says:

    @jl: That determination is a bit over my pay grade.

  227. 227
    kindness says:

    I was just over at NPR reading their evening report on the Ukraine & went into the comments. I tell ya conservatives hate America. Those foaming at the mouth nitwits are giddy about it all. Of course it’s all Obama’s fault but it’s such a raw deal.

    When bush43 led us into Iraq I was against it. But I wasn’t boasting/laughing about America failing. They are. And these are the same people that claim to be more patriotic than anyone else.

    Karma is gonna be a real bitch for some folk.

  228. 228
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    I hope the rights to Casablanca are locked up tight. That’s one film I NEVER want to see re-made.

  229. 229
    Tripod says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    That cuts both ways.

    In the good old days the Soviets would have rolled in a couple of Guards Armies. Crisis over. Now it’s a few dozen rent-a-rifles wandering around an airport terminal.

  230. 230
    Keith G says:

    @Bob In Portland: Was that from Alex Jones or Democracy Now?

  231. 231
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @Chris:

    (A similar thing happened years later with Hogan’s Heroes, where some of the German actors were survivors of fascism who were happy to play Nazis as long as they got to make them look like utter buffoons).

    The last time I was in Germany Hogan’s Heroes was on TV. Absolutely the last thing in the universe I expected to find on the tube.
    I do not get those people at all.

  232. 232
    NotMax says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder

    Aw, come on.

    Adam Sandler was born to play Rick.

    /gag me with a very large spoon

  233. 233
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Bob In Portland: The eastern part of the country was given to Ukraine in 1954 in an effort to Russianize the region.

    Another historical blunder by Bob. The only territory that was part of the 1954 transfer was Crimea, The Donbass has always been considered part of Ukraine. The eastern and southern oblasts were already, to a large degree, Russianized – this was done by Stalin pre-WWII and in the immediate aftermath (in the case of the Crimean Tatars.) Read up on the Holodomor, Bob. I can send you a bibliography if you like.

    I think it would behoove you to back up your strong opinions with some knowledge of the history of the country.

  234. 234
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Keith G: I’ve followed some of Bob’s sources, out of curiosity. You get down the rabbit hole pretty fast, I tell you.

  235. 235
    jl says:

    @Keith G:

    That reply wasn’t aimed at you particularly, but the link you provided was to a sensationalistic and grotesquely partisan conservative Brit tabloid. I’ve already seen U.S. wingnut and warnut accusations that Obama is ‘violating’ the treaty by not threatening Russia and intervening.

    The treaty is not a mutual defense pact. The thing is a page long, and anyone can read it in its entirety in a minute or two. The link to the text is below.

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/.....Assurances

  236. 236
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @NotMax:

    Clive Owen would be my pick, after seeing Croupier and Children of Men. But better not to mess with perfection.

  237. 237
    jl says:

    @jl: The U.S. and Russia and others have, and will continue to, ‘consult’ and ‘confer’. Obligations met, as far as I can tell. Anyone knows better, please let me know.

  238. 238
    gogol's wife says:

    @Cervantes:

    Thanks!

  239. 239
    David Koch says:

    @Bob In Portland: Nuland said: “Since the declaration of Ukrainian independence in 1991, the United States supported the Ukrainians in the development of democratic institutions and skills in promoting civil society and a good form of government – all that is necessary to achieve the objectives of Ukraine’s European. We have invested more than 5 billion dollars to help Ukraine to achieve these and other goals.”

    So she said, over the last 23 years, 200 million per year out a 23 billion yearly budget or less than 1% of the budget has been given to Ukraine in foreign aid, and some how you twist this to 5 billion was just used to overthrow the government.

    This is why I oppose legalizing mary jane, it triggers too much psychotic paranoia.

  240. 240
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: It was remade with David Soul as Rick. I will not link to anything about it. Now let it be forgotten.

  241. 241
    SRW1 says:

    @@Amir Khalid: Khalid:

    Ooops, caught in time, Amir. Was already wondering, as your German is usually impeccable.

  242. 242
    gogol's wife says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    What a film. The editing alone is astounding. (I mean the original, not the remake with David Soul [!].)

  243. 243
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Alternate universe. That perversion did not occur in the spacetime continuum that I inhabit and I like it that way.

  244. 244
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @gogol’s wife: It’s easily in my top five.

    Watch on the Rhine is next on TCM. It’s premature anti-fascism night.

  245. 245
    NotMax says:

    @gogol’s wife

    The sequel, however, was really quite a wreck.

  246. 246
    David Koch says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Oh gawd, I forgot about that. But I think I can top that, digya know Pam Anderson played “Rick” in her remake of Casablanca.

  247. 247
    tybee says:

    almost .5 tbogg unit

  248. 248
    Origuy says:

    Statement of Vadim Rabinovich, President of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress:

    The general situation regarding the Jewish community of Ukraine is tolerant and quiet, there are no massive outbursts or worsening of antisemitism in Ukraine.

  249. 249
    Roxy says:

    @Elmo: Love the Voyage Home reference.

  250. 250
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    In an odd way, The Shop Around the Corner is premature anti-Fascism. I’m sure audiences of 1940 couldn’t help watching it and thinking of what pre-war Budapest had been like (themes that Lubitsch was more blatant about in To Be or Not To Be).

  251. 251
    Roxy says:

    Grandpa wants war. This coming from the senator that voted no to boost veterans benefits. Doesn’t want to take care of the veterans but is willing to let more young men and women die, get maimed, so he can vote no again on taking care of the veterans. God I really hate this man. He is such a sleeze slime ball, evil, evil man.

  252. 252
    mclaren says:

    So, what do we know about what is going on in Ukraine, aka Obama’s newest Hurricane Katrina.

    What does it matter?

    Why does America have to be the world’s policeman?

    Why is it the American peoples’ business to interfere everywhere in the world every time some nation dissolves into civil war?

  253. 253
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren:

    What does it matter?

    It is an event happening in the world. It will have consequences. Some good. Some bad.

    Why does America have to be the world’s policeman?

    Why is it the American peoples’ business to interfere everywhere in the world every time some nation dissolves into civil war?

    Who here is suggesting that we should?

  254. 254
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Keith G: The line about Russian-Jewish mafia? It was said by one of politicians in the Ukrainian opposition that just seized power. It’s been reported widely. The Jerusalem Post is using it in an editorial encouraging Ukrainian Jews to move to Israel:

    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/E.....ews-342324

  255. 255
    David Koch says:

    Okay, this is hilarious. Pando is accusing Pierre Omidayar of funding a coup in Ukraine.

    Too rich. Sometimes when you unleash the dogs of paranoia, one of those dogs may come back to bite you. Wheeler is now trying to spin away her prior conspiracy theory, now that it’s been turned on her employer.

  256. 256
    Bob In Portland says:

    @David Koch: Read Christopher Simpson’s BLOWBACK and Carl Oglesby’s “The Treaty Of Fort Hunt” and get back to me. The CIA and the BND have been working to destabilize that region since the end of WWII. And I doubt that Nuland has access to the CIA’s full budget breakdown.

  257. 257
    Delia says:

    Kind of jumping in at the end of the thread here, but the whole Crimea thing is giving me a sense of deja vu all over again. Maybe if the National Review gang are really desperate for a war in Crimea they could cuddle up with some nice 19th century British Empire war poetry.

    Half a league, half a league,
    Half a league onward,
    All in the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.
    “Forward, the Light Brigade!
    “Charge for the guns!” he said:
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.

    It wasn’t popular with the public that time, either.

  258. 258
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Bob In Portland: And the rest of your hyperventilating?

    You get simple, basic facts wrong in nearly every post, and you ignore every local source reporting positively on the situation. It seems as if you want the country to fail.

  259. 259
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Delia: This is a good telling of the story behind the Charge.

  260. 260
    magurakurin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    but the others wait in Casablanca…and wait…and wait…and…wait

  261. 261
    mclaren says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    In response to “What does it matter?” we get:

    It is an event happening in the world. It will have consequences. Some good. Some bad.

    Every event happening in the world has consequences — some good, some bad.

    I repeat the question:

    Why is it America’s business to interject itself militarily or diplomatically into every conflict everywhere in the world?

    In response to this question, we get:

    Who here is suggesting that we should?

    John Cole’s question implicitly suggests that these kinds of political crises should be a concern for America, presumably because we have a Big Military and should think about intervening.

    I say: avoid military intervention in all geopolitical crises elsewhere in the world unless they directly and immediately threaten the 48 continental United States.

    Geopolitical crises elsewhere in the world should not even be a concern for America except insofar as we do something like send medicine or Doctors Without Borders.

    America is not a god. We are not all-seeing and all-knowing. We are not responsible for everything that happens everywhere on the planet. We’re not that smart, we’re not that wise, and we’re definitely not that powerful.

    Very often I think American foreign policy needs a version of the Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve Step Vow:

    “…Grant me serenity to accept the things elsewhere in the world that I cannot change, the courage to refrain from changing those I can just because I can, and the wisdom to know the difference…”

  262. 262
    mclaren says:

    @magurakurin:

    Horrific stories about the movie Casablanca:

    Ronald Reagan was originally slated to play Rick. Maureen O’Hara was originally slated to play Ilsa Lund.

    The screenwriters didn’t know how to end the film, based on an unstaged play called “Rick’s Place.” They toyed with the idea of having Rick and Ilsa fly off together in the plane at the end of the film.

    Producer Hal Wallis added the line “Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” after shooting had been completed. Bogart had to be called in a month after the end of filming to dub it in.

    The British invasion of North Africa became a big news event just as the film was about to be released and there were plans for a further scene, showing Rick, Renault and a detachment of Free French soldiers on a ship, to capitalize on the breaking news. But it turned out to be too hard to get Claude Rains for the shoot.

  263. 263
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: No, Cole’s question implied two things. One, that he wanted to know what was going on in Ukraine. Two, that he thought that no matter what Obama does in response, the Republicans will attack him for it.

  264. 264
  265. 265
    mclaren says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Thank you for offering your baseless idle speculations. When you can offer hard evidence for your gift of telepathy, we’ll pay attention your claims. Until then, the rest of us will satisfy ourselves with the available evidence of what John Cole wrote.

  266. 266
    Jay C says:

    @mclaren:

    So what part of O.O.’s thesis:

    Two, that he thought that no matter what Obama does in response, the Republicans will attack him for it.

    is likely to be incorrect? This, I think, is already happening. If we had any sort of decently responsible political media in this country, as opposed to the terminally lame Beltway Village we have, asshole warmongers like McCain wouldn’t get more than the occasional squib in Paragraph 35: but….. you know the drill.

  267. 267
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: You want to be an ass is that way?

    John Cole’s question implicitly suggests that these kinds of political crises should be a concern for America, presumably because we have a Big Military and should think about intervening.

    Implicitly, why? Presumably, why? Your gift of telepathy? No one here is suggesting that we jump into the situation in Ukraine at all. a suggestion that it flows from what Cole said or from what any commenter said is simply not anchored in textual evidence. The fight you want to pick is not there. Deal with it.

  268. 268
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jay C: mclaren has seen me as a monster (suggesting that I masturbate to holocaust pr0n among other things) since we disagreed over the legality of the al-Awlaki assassination. I think it is a topic upon which reasonable people can disagree. mclaren disagrees.

  269. 269
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Prediction: mclaren will show up with a long post referencing various Constitutional Amendments and/or Clauses. S/he won’t provide any context for the quotes.

  270. 270
    WaterGirl says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Late getting back to the thread, but I am hoping you confirmed that the link I gave you will work with the iPad 3 as well as the iPad 2.

  271. 271
    Mike G says:

    The last time I was in Germany Hogan’s Heroes was on TV. Absolutely the last thing in the universe I expected to find on the tube.

    Apparently the Germans were horrified by the show when it originally aired in the 60s and banned it, but by the 2000s things had changed enough for it to find an audience on German TV. Due to laws banning the use of Nazi words and imagery they have changed some of the dialogue, e.g. Heil Hitler becomes “Heil Schnitzler!” (schnitzel maker).
    BTW all the major German characters on the show (Klink, Schultz, Burkhalter and Hochstetter) were played by German/Austrian Jewish actors.

  272. 272
    sm*t cl*de says:

    We’re all French Resistance.
    Me, I’m a mixture of Holger Dansk and Ústřední Vedení Odboje Domácího.

  273. 273
    Cervantes says:

    @Sad_Dem:

    When Bush the Foist invaded Panama because ol’ Pineapple Face got to skimming too much

    Noriega was a CIA asset for decades, including when G. H. W. Bush was in charge of the CIA. Bush’s invasion of Panama was not about Noriega “skimming too much.”

  274. 274
    Neo says:

    It hasn’t been mentioned, but any hope to a break through of any kind in the Middle East died yesterday in the Crimea.

    Nobody will believe the assurances of the US.

  275. 275
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Neo: What are these relevant “assurances” of which you speak, Charlie?

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  276. 276
    Chris says:

    @Cervantes:

    I’ve heard various stories about why we invaded Panama. Noriega’s own story is that Oliver North asked for permission to use Panama as a base of operations for contra operations in Nicaragua, which Noriega refused: he claims that it’s because of that he became a U.S. target. Oliver North denies the story. (And we all know what his word is worth).

    Colin Powell’s retelling in his autobiography makes it sound like it was a turf war within the U.S. government, between the agencies that saw Noriega as an asset and those who placed him under indictment – the latter finally won out. (He also claims that Noriega cut deals with U.S. enemies like Russia, Cuba and Libya as well as the Colombian drug cartels – that last part at least is true – which if true, would explain why no one in Washington was sorry to see him go).

    I’m sure there’s others out there.

Comments are closed.