Sarah smiles

When the conflict in Ukraine started, I immediately assumed that it would somehow prove Sarah Palin was right about what happens when Putin rears his head and comes into the airspace of the United States of America. Sure enough, here’s Lady Starburst claiming she was proved fucking right on Facebook.

Who will be the first serious person to go full-on Slatepitch with “PALIN WAS RIGHT”? Here’s a start:






179 replies
  1. 1
    randomworker says:

    Its out there already. Check Breitbart for the full wingnut.

  2. 2
    Davis X. Machina says:

    I’ll give it a shot from another, “Putin is right”, angle.

    Palin is 180º out of whack with the correct position. We have to throw in with Putin, not against him, because the alternative is the EU, and that means the ECB, German bankers, rule from Frankfurt, the new virtual Lebensraum….

    How often are the PLP and Stratfor pulling in harness?

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    Forced to watch CNN discussing Ukraine. Reminds me why I don’t watch CNN.

  4. 4
    Tom the First says:

    Palin reminds me of numerous people I’ve had the displeasure of working with in my career. They don’t have any particular skill, but do have plenty of opinions, usually of the misinformed or idiotic variety. These people rely on pointing out the flaws in others to make themselves look good.

    When you act, your actions are out there for criticism. It’s part of the deal. But there’s a special place in hell for people who don’t act, who “accomplish” through criticizing others. And who are all too eager to crow when of their opinions is proven right, even if it wasn’t really proven right or was merely incidental.

    And I’m not talking about art critics or people who cover politics, at least the good ones. There’s great value in debating the merits of music, film or policy… as long as it comes from a genuine place.

    I’m talking about the vultures who aren’t skilled enough to accomplish things through any skill of their own and merely push people down in order to elevate themselves.

    Sorry. /endrant

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    We need a president who can see into Putin’s soul.

  6. 6
    cleek says:

    i like the idea that a threat to Ukraine is a threat to the US.

    makes me feel like the US really is the policeman, and the mommy, and the daddy, and the kindly uncle, and the stern schoolmaster, of the entire fucking world.

  7. 7
    Davis X. Machina says:

    The only analyst you need for the Ukrainian situation is William Goldman.

  8. 8
    Cassidy says:

    @cleek: What about kindly Catholic priest?

  9. 9
  10. 10

    @Davis X. Machina: That’s what Bob in Portland has been advocating for days in the comment section of any Ukraine related blog posts.

  11. 11
    Belafon says:

    What’s going to be almost as frustrating as trying to come up with a good solution to this problem is dealing with the people who think US involvement in geopolitics ended when Bush2 ducked up.

  12. 12
    Cermet says:

    Who gives two shits about Ukraine? Least of all the Crimea? Poop-in or sometimes spelled Putin, is a pile of shit FSB plant who is a cold blooded killer with the soul of a 0.0001% repug-a-thug (sometimes spelled republican.) Yet, Ukraine is a place that has been an essential part of Russia for centuries – not like this wasn’t gonna happen. We have about as much need to care about that conflict as we need to care about China and Taiwan … wait, I see a pattern here.

  13. 13

    @Cassidy: I bet the Iraqis will agree with you.

  14. 14
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: This is why it’s so hard being a true progressive…

  15. 15
    MomSense says:

    And even if Russia were the greatest geopolitical threat–WTF would we want to do about the Ukraine and Crimea??

    I am soooo sick of Republican magical thinking. Maybe if President Obama said four Iron Ladies and three hail Reagans, Putin would quake in his boots and decide not to exert influence in his own backyard. Yup, you betcha that’s exactly what would happen.

  16. 16
    Cassidy says:

    @Cermet: I will now refer to you as word salad (sometimes spelled Cermet).

  17. 17
    jenn says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: And even some non-Ukraine-related posts.

  18. 18
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Davis X. Machina: it’s a dicey situation. The EU and IMF will enact reforms that will destabilize the country politically. Russisa will put folks in charge to impoverish the country and loot the treasury.

  19. 19
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    So if Russia (and Willard said “Soviet Union”, IIRC) is our greatest geopolitical threat, that must mean that Ukraine is our closest and most important geopolitical ally. Funny, I never heard Ukraine (and it takes an effort to leave out that “the”, don’t know why) mentioned in the campaign. I do remember when we were all Georgians for 36 hours in 2008. Cindy McCain even made a heroic pilgrimage, that was very important and impacted the situation on the ground in resultful ways.

  20. 20
    lol says:

    Sam Stein ‏@samsteinhp 24m
    if only we had a US citizen in Russia with a history of leaking highly-classified national security documents and strategies.

  21. 21
    Cermet says:

    @Cassidy: Is there an easy way to convert to that name? Has a nice sound to it – Word Salad says:

  22. 22

    Good or bad, there’s nothing we can do except gentle diplomatic nudging. Much like Syria. The punditocracy misses Reagan with all their hearts and will give us a nonstop parade of Why Cowboys Like McCain Are Better Than Wimpy Obama, but nobody cares what the pundits think except the other pundits.

  23. 23
    MattF says:

    Timothy Snyder’s been mentioned a few times in the comments here. I’ll just repeat and point:

    http://www.nybooks.com/article.....d-ukraine/

    Briefly, Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia suffered horribly in the ’30’s and ’40’s– and they’re all still walking wounded. In the near term, fascism is alive and well in all three countries, and there isn’t a lot we can do about that.

  24. 24
    gene108 says:

    I don’t really understand what’s happening in Ukraine or why I should care (other than general compassion about people getting treated badly). People are revolting against the government. Some of them are neo-Nazi’s* or something, so that is bad.

    Ukraine wants to be a part of the EU, but Russia wants to reabsorb this “break away republic” and that is bad.

    Otherwise, I think unless Russia puts troops on the ground in Ukraine to “restore order”, there’s a lot of stuff the Ukrainians need to sort out of themselves.

    * Ukrainian Nazi’s? WTF? Ukraine got hammered by the Nazi’s in the WW2. If ever there was a country that should have a burning hatred of Nazi’s it is Ukraine.

  25. 25
    scav says:

    Putin, Putin, wasn’t he the brave ideally masculine bare-chested leader that one fled to for protection when the utter lack of freedom in these new UuuuuBenighted States came after you for being all liberatin’ of stuff? Wasn’t he just so very very recently praised as showing the decadent West how to deal with them there scourges of homo-sex-uals and their marrying corrupting ways? That there choir praising the Seer Sarah sure can change tunes on a dime without dropping a note or changing key.

  26. 26
    MattF says:

    @gene108: Well, Ukrainians would have been happy to ally with the Nazis against Stalin. Hitler wasn’t interested.

  27. 27
    Liberty60 says:

    I admit to a lack of historical knowledge about Ukraine. Crimea, and that entire region, other than the snippets I am getting from the last few weeks.

    But does anybody know of a solid argument as to what the American interest is here, aside from Cleek’s observation of us being the Daddy/Mommy/ Policeman of the entire world?

    I mean, why am I suddenly a Ukrainian and not, say, a Tibeten?

  28. 28
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Liberty60: the best I can say is that Ukraine is the home of the Black Sea fleet, it would be equivalent to The US having a hostile government in Bahrain or Panama. It weakens an adversary. Otherwise, no interest. It is a European problem.

  29. 29
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Liberty60:
    Tibetans aren’t white, for one thing. And your auld enemy in the Cold War, Russia, isn’t at war with their country, for another.

  30. 30

    @gene108: Ukraine and most of eastern Europe has a long history of antisemitism.

  31. 31
    MattF says:

    @Amir Khalid: I suppose China regards the whole situation with interest.

  32. 32
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @cleek:

    makes me feel like the US really is the policeman, and the mommy, and the daddy, and the kindly uncle, and the stern schoolmaster, of the entire fucking world.

    excepting it’s own citizens. That would be to intrusive.

  33. 33
    thrasycon says:

    Two links that might be useful.

    Pepe Escobar:

    http://tinyurl.com/n92pcrq

    Moon of Alabama:

    http://tinyurl.com/kxtlrqh

  34. 34

    @Amir Khalid: Besides, the situation in Tibet has been festering for decades now. The events in Ukraine are unfolding right now.

  35. 35
    Spike says:

    @Davis X. Machina: So you’re saying I should never match wits with a Sicilian when death is on the line?

  36. 36
    Jay says:

    17 year old Jamie Kirchick is “serious” now?

    Gag me with a spoon.

  37. 37

    @Frankensteinbeck: Last I checked, Reagan did not send troops to Russia or the countries behind the Iron Curtain in Europe.

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    CNN really is Fox News lite.

  39. 39
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Spike: That, and never get involved in a land war in Asia…

  40. 40

    @Baud: I haven’t had cable for the last three years, mostly out of compulsion, since we don’t get it where I live. I don’t miss it at all these days.

  41. 41
    scav says:

    @Liberty60: There’s something comforting about reruns? And, if people have seen it in a movie, especially one in black and white, they know what their appropriate role and response is without all those icky complexities of thought and ambiguity. Cheer! Wave Flags and Kiss Your Girl! The Shoe-Pounder Rides Again and We Are all Young And Magnificent Again!

  42. 42
    Amir Khalid says:

    Per the text of Putin’s request to the Upper House, he asked for — and got — permission to send troops into Ukraine. Not just Crimea but, as TPM’s Josh Marshall notes, any part of Ukraine.

  43. 43
    Culture of Truth says:

    Even assuming control of Ukraine (pro Russia v pro Europe) is a test of America’s and Obama’s manly manliness, the pro-Russia guy fled, so right Obama is winning. Which is killing the haters.

  44. 44
    gene108 says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Reagan did not send troops to Russia or the countries behind the Iron Curtain in Europe.

    Reagan did not need to send troops.

    He exuded a cool confidence and projected American exceptionalism across the world. He the USSR the “Evil Empire” showing them he would not be intimidated by them. He only negotiated with Gorbachev after exhausting the USSR of their ability to keep up with us in the arms race.

    In short, Reagan was so awesome he destroyed the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, without firing a single shot.

    If only America still had a Rea President like Reagan, we would be in better shape.

  45. 45
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @gene108: Stalin crushed the people of Ukraine in the 1930s. When the Nazis invaded, many Ukrainians thought it was a way to get out from under Stalin’s fist. (Enemy of my enemy, and all that.) It wasn’t necessarily because they were fans of Hitler or Fascism. That history is likely at least partly underlying the desire of many to get away from Putin as completely as possible.

    The history of the region is long and deep and bloody. It’s complicated.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  46. 46

    Sweet fracking Buddha, what an idiot.

    Russia might be the current Ukrainian government’s greatest geopolitical threat, but until they’re either trying to install a friendly government in Mexico or Canada where they can station troops and missiles or they’re threatening us with Cold War rhetoric again, they ain’t the US’s greatest geopolitical threat.

    Bloody warmongers. They’d actually push us into a shooting war with a nuclear power over a country where we have minimal national interests.

  47. 47
    Baud says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    Sweet fracking Buddha, what an idiot.

    Russia might be the current Ukrainian government’s greatest geopolitical threat,

    You forget, we are all Ukrainians now.

  48. 48
    Amir Khalid says:

    @gene108:
    Reagan challenged the USSR to a game of economic chicken with his military build-up, which the USSR lost. But the USA overspent like crazy on its own military, as I recall, and damn near went over that cliff as well. And Reagan didn’t start any really big wars. His successors in the Republican party are much more enthusiastic about firing shots than he ever was.

  49. 49
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    @Tom the First: thanks for the reassurance. I have to work with some one just like that. My supervisor ( the jerk’s equal)
    Asked me to stop saying to him – great idea, tell us, how do you plan to deal with that issue. Now meetings with him are just fast because we all keep shut while he pontificates.

  50. 50

    Does Grandpa McCain want to begin his Russian campaign in time for the next winter? Can we ship him to St Helena after he loses or should we stash him in bunker instead.

  51. 51
    SRW1 says:

    @Liberty60:

    John McCain says that you have been a Thibetan for a long time.

  52. 52

    @Baud: Thanks, but no thanks! The last thing I want to be is Ukrainian.

  53. 53
    Baud says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    So who would you like to be?

  54. 54
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Give Putin a break…. He has the Ukrainians’ best interests at heart. He’s just trying to save them from the iron heel of the Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse, the ECB, the IMF, and Deutche Bank. Which is their fate if they enter the EU.

    Oh, and save them from us. Because the Germans are our allies.

    Now you know the correct progressive position to hold.

  55. 55
    jenn says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yeah, that was the bit that had me chortling, anyway … his perpetual references to countries (and there were several) that no longer existed. And it wasn’t just Romney, it was his advisors, too. I mean, what kind of advice/decisions could the guy be getting/making if he’s talking about nations that hadn’t existed for years?! It was just ludicrous. Oh, God, and there was Cain talking about Uzbekibekistanstan. I almost gave myself a concussion with that head-slap.

  56. 56

    If she’s so eager to go, we’ll ship her and the whole family — camera crew included — over there. Hell, I’ll drive her to the airport and buy her a muffin at Au Bon Pain.

  57. 57
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Davis X. Machina:
    Obama, a Fascist? This guy doesn’t seem right in the head.

  58. 58
  59. 59
    Baud says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Obama is so fascist, he’s a communist.

  60. 60
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Amir Khalid: This feeling will pass as the sheer correctness of his position washes over you…

  61. 61
    Baud says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    A logical choice.

  62. 62
    jenn says:

    @Baud: Ok, I laughed.

  63. 63
  64. 64
    chopper says:

    weren’t these the same fuckers fawning over vlad when it came to syria? pick a side, dicks.

  65. 65
    Baud says:

    @jenn:

    LOL or ROTFLMAO?

  66. 66

    @Baud: No, I’m a mostly Anglo-Saxon Mutt.

    I have no idea what the political parties are in the Ukraine, what their aims are, how corrupt they are, which of the oligarchs they’re in bed with, and no idea what the Ukrainian people want or care about for their country.

    And, I suspect, neither do most pundits and American warmonger politicians calling for us to get tough over a country we have no historic ties to.

  67. 67
    maya says:

    This makes Sarah Palin the Florence Nightingale of our times. We must send in our 600 Light Brigade Drones. Stat.

    Without Ukraine where would we get our Ukraineleles from?

  68. 68
    NotMax says:

    @jenn

    A source of eternal astonishment that there were those who promoted Cain as able.

    @Cermet

    Ukraine is a place that has been an essential part of Russia for centuries

    Bzzt. But thanks for playing; there are some lovely parting gifts backstage.

  69. 69

    @Comrade Dread: They just think it would be fun to play Cold War, again.

  70. 70
    Vanya says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Yes, Seems like Palin is completely out of touch with the wingnuts on this one. The far right seems to have decided Putin is the last bastion against the global leftist homosexualist conspiracy, or maybe any enemy of Obama is a good guy in their eyes. Odd that the left seems to be lining up with Pat Buchanan, Steve Sailer and their ilk on this issue.

  71. 71
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    I believe your suspicions have merit.

    McCain is operating purely out of his default Cold War programming. He can’t deviate from that in the least. True for the vermin of the Village, too.

  72. 72
    GregB says:

    Is now the time to start trolling through the wingnutosphere and throw back all of the kind things they were saying about Putin when he was their anti-gay love crush?

  73. 73
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @NotMax:

    As far as the Russians are concerned, Ukraine is still the Borderland…of Russia.

    The Russians are really, really, really into buffer states. Always have been.

  74. 74
    MattF says:

    @GregB: I foresee some cognitive dissonance over this. Maybe if Putin runs for the Republican nomination in 2016…

  75. 75
    Baud says:

    @GregB:

    They still love him because they think he makes Obama look weak.

  76. 76
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Baud:

    He’s also so atheist, he’s Muslim.

    Or is that so Muslim, he’s atheist? I get them confused. I suppose it depends on whether it’s cloudy outside or not.

  77. 77
    Ian says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    I blame Seinfeld. “The Ukraine is weak!” “I am from the Ukraine!”

    Which has been sadly lacking in most of our Ukraine posts :(

  78. 78
    Citizen_X says:

    Who the fuck is Jamie Kirchick, and why isn’t this apparently young and healthy warmonger tweeting this note from his Marine barracks? Sack up, bigmouth. You know where the recruiting office is.

  79. 79
    Baud says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    He’s so naive, he’s a master manipulator.

    He’s so weak, he’s a Chicago thug.

    And on and on…

  80. 80
    Vanya says:

    @gene108: If ever there was a country that should have a burning hatred of Nazi’s it is Ukraine.

    Well, no, actually. I’m not sure where you’ve learned the history of WWII. Probably alone among the peoples of Europe, ethnic Ukrainians actually had valid reasons to hate the Soviets/Russians more than the Nazis, including the brutal Soviet repression of an independent Ukrainian state after WWI, collectivization, the horrific famine in the 1930s, and the brutal Soviet invasion of Galicia and Volhynia in 1939. And the Germans took full advantage of that.

  81. 81
    some guy says:

    surprisingly well-armed Neo-Nazi’s overthrowing an elected government , and then are asked to join the coup government. what could possibly go wrong?

  82. 82
    mk3872 says:

    I’m fairly confident that getting into a row with Russia over Ukraine is not even close to making Russia “our greatest geopolitical threat”

  83. 83
    MikeJ says:

    @gene108:

    Ukraine wants to be a part of the EU, but Russia wants to reabsorb this “break away republic” and that is bad.

    That should be “somewhere between 45% and 55% of the population of Ukraine wants to be in the EU.”

  84. 84
    p.a. says:

    @Amir Khalid: the USSR didn’t go bankrupt trying to keep up with Ronzo’s military spending. They didn’t even try to keep up; the were already on life support. All those Kremlin documents and budgets are public. St. Ron’s sabre rattling may have caused them to hang on longer than otherwise.

  85. 85
    Baud says:

    So when will the Czech Republic invade Slovak Nation?

  86. 86
    Brian R. says:

    So the wingnuts now think Obama is weak for not standing up to Putin?

    Haven’t they spent the past year on their knees blowing Putin?

  87. 87
    Amir Khalid says:

    @p.a.:
    Ah. I stand corrected.

  88. 88
    Liberty60 says:

    @Suffern ACE:
    I seem to recall when we DID have a hostile government in Panama, during the Reagan years. We did something about that. Brought them freedom by respecting their sovereingty or, something.

  89. 89
    NotMax says:

    @Villago Delenda Est

    One side of the family comes from a town now in Ukraine.

    When my mother was born there, it was in Poland.

    When her father was born there, it was in Russia.

    When his father was born there, it was in Habsburg (Austro-Hungarian) Empire dominion.

    And so on and so on.

  90. 90
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Amir Khalid: Abraham Lincoln was a Fascist. Really. Have a look at the Washington Monument sometime, notice what his hands are resting on in the sculpture.

    The early Americans were big on the Roman Republic, the original Fascists united in a common cause, their symbol the fasces. It didn’t hurt that the Romans (and the Greeks and all the other nations of that period) kept slaves so it gave a gloss to their maintenance of that institution even after most civilised nations had abandoned it.

  91. 91
    MattF says:

    WaPo says Obama should threaten Putin with something-or-other and really, really, really mean it:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....ml?hpid=z6

  92. 92
    gogol's wife says:

    @Vanya:

    You’re not supposed to be commenting here — you actually know something!

  93. 93
    Baud says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    There goes the neighborhood.

  94. 94
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @NotMax: Old Soviet joke — a babushka is fiiling out paperwork for an internal passport.

    Where were you born? St. Petersburg.
    And where were you married? Petrograd.
    And where do you live now? Leningrad.
    And where would you like to go? St. Petersburg

  95. 95
    Chris says:

    @MomSense:

    I am soooo sick of Republican magical thinking. Maybe if President Obama said four Iron Ladies and three hail Reagans, Putin would quake in his boots and decide not to exert influence in his own backyard. Yup, you betcha that’s exactly what would happen.

    This will be held up (along with Syria) as proof that the Democrats are “weak” and only embolden aggressors… even though, somehow, this exact same thing happening in Georgia didn’t prove anything of the kind WRT Republicans.

    Just like Truman “lost” China, and Carter “lost” Iran and Nicaragua, but Eisenhower didn’t “lose” Egypt or Cuba and Nixon didn’t “lose” Vietnam, and Bush didn’t “lose” Gaza. The Script says Democrats are weak on defense and Republicans are tough on defense, therefore it shall be followed to the letter.

    I can tell exactly where the narrative is going based on nothing but the party identities of those in charge.

  96. 96
    jonas says:

    @gene108: Ukrainian Nazi’s? WTF? Ukraine got hammered by the Nazi’s in the WW2. If ever there was a country that should have a burning hatred of Nazi’s it is Ukraine.

    Certain anti-Stalinist partisans in Ukraine during WWII did welcome the Wehrmacht as liberators of sorts (enemy of my enemy is my friend, etc.). The Soviets were horrifically brutal in suppressing what they considered to be Ukrainian-German collaboration in parts of the country.

  97. 97
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Robert Sneddon: There are two 8′ bronze fasces in relief on the wall on either side of the Speaker’s chair in the US House chamber.

  98. 98

    @Baud: Devout Muslim and an atheist.

  99. 99
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Pretty much the same question I was asking military age cheerleaders of the Iraq war. “Hey, why aren’t you in uniform, putting your ass on the line for something that is so important to you?”

    Cowardly chickenhawk Rethug scum, like their fathers.

  100. 100

    @Chris: Increasingly though, they are talking amongst themselves.

  101. 101
    Amir Khalid says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    … whose Christian pastor said something embarrassing about race, as I recall.

  102. 102
    Chris says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Hope so, indeed.

  103. 103
    gene108 says:

    @Vanya:

    Well, no, actually. I’m not sure where you’ve learned the history of WWII. Probably alone among the peoples of Europe, ethnic Ukrainians actually had valid reasons to hate the Soviets/Russians more than the Nazis, including the brutal Soviet repression of an independent Ukrainian state after WWI, collectivization, the horrific famine in the 1930s, and the brutal Soviet invasion of Galicia and Volhynia in 1939. And the Germans took full advantage of that.

    For some reason, I thought the Nazi’s did not take advantage of Ukranian desires for independence and were more interested in being an occupying power, which is one reason they were not able to raise the countryside against the Red Army.

    I know Stalin was brutal, when the independent Ukraine was reabsorbed into the Soviet Union, in the 1920’s and equally brutal, when Ukraine fought for independence after the end of WW2. The famine of the 1940’s was a direct result of Ukraine’s armed uprising at the the end of WW2 in a bid for independence.

    I didn’t think the famine’s of the 1930’s were specifically targeted at Ukraine. I know as being the “breadbasket” of the USSR they were hurt. but I thought the famine was the result of Stalin deciding to achieve 100% collective farms at a rate far faster than anything his advisers thought possible and the result was famines as agriculture was so badly disrupted.

  104. 104
    Anoniminous says:

    Swedish friend recommends this as a good news source.

    This is somewhat amusing:

    Members of Russia’s Duma, or parliament, are clear that European and American imperialism is a real and present danger to both Ukraine and Russia, that joining the EU would be an economic and humanitarian disaster for Ukraine, that Russia needs to return a democratically elected leader to power in Ukraine, and that if they do not act quickly then the Western imperialists will topple most of Europe.

    ETA: news source about Ukraine

  105. 105
    karen says:

    So the hard-on Patrick Buchanan and the National Review had for Putin is over? That was quick.

  106. 106
    karen says:

    So the hard-on Patrick Buchanan and the National Review had for Putin is over? That was quick.

  107. 107
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @karen: Anything over 4 hours, and you have to consult a doctor…

  108. 108
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @gene108:

    The Nazis, being fuckheads more concerned with their racial ideology than with practical considerations, considered Ukrainians to be mere Slavic untermenschen to be treated poorly. There were those in the German military who saw the utility of treating Ukrainians well, and recruiting them as allies, but they were rebuffed by the ideologues.

    Sound familiar?

  109. 109
    jonas says:

    Like with Syria, there is no “good” side here. What dog we have in this fight is not clear to me — other than vaguely defending international order (armed uprisings, violence = bad). This is for the Ukraine, EU and Russia to sort out and the fact that idiots like Palin are freaking out because Obama has not appeared at a podium in war paint, ripped his shirt off and challenged Putin to have their dicks measured, followed by a no holds barred UFC cage match on live television, just goes to show how hard we have to work to make sure they are never, ever allowed anywhere near the levers of power in this country.

  110. 110
    NotMax says:

    @jonas

    Such a panoply of turmoil.

    The affect of the Hitler-Stalin pact on convoluting nationalism. The resettlement (too tame a term, but the one commonly used) of Russians into parts of Ukraine. So much more.

    Ukraine is truly a case of ‘you can’t tell the players without a program.’

    (Although in Ukraine, substituting pogrom for that last word would also be more than apropos.)

  111. 111
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    (cross-posted from elsewhere)

    I’ve been looking at a map and scratching my head, wondering how in the hell we could intervene militarily in Ukraine even if we wanted to. Supply lines would be a freakin’ nightmare. And can you imagine trying to get a carrier battle group into the Black Sea? Good lord. Anyone who thinks the Administration should be doing more saber rattling is invited to look at the map and tell me what alternatives there are to diplomatic pressure.

  112. 112
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @J.D. Rhoades:

    Please do not confuse John “Did you know he was a POW?” McCain with facts. He was a naval aviator. Logistics do not concern him.

  113. 113

    What dog we have in this fight is not clear to me

    We don’t. Unless you have a hard-on for the Cold War or just plain war in general.

  114. 114
    JoyfulA says:

    @NotMax: The same as my in-laws, except they didn’t have that “Russia” step. The grandfathers did get to go to Italy in the Austro-Hungarian Army, though.

  115. 115
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @J.D. Rhoades: A carrier group can’t pass through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles without going through the process spelled out by the Montreaux Convention. I’m guessing the Turks, who are allies, and whose help we seem to need in dealing with Syria, would have opinions on the matter….

  116. 116
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Anoniminous:

    “The Europeans are coming! The Europeans are coming!”

    No doubt to steal our babushkas and borscht.

  117. 117
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    @Davis X. Machina: That’s what I mean.

    Hey, I’ve got an idea! We take out the Russian Black Sea fleet in harbor at Sevastopol with a brilliant, lightning-fast, Pearl-Harbor-like strike (probably requiring the use of nukes), then we bypass the Crimea altogether, land at Odessa (after using airborne troops to seize the bridge north of the city), then drive up the M05/E95 highway and seize Kiev. We get greeted as liberators, install a friendly government, and everyone’s home by Christmas. Who’s with me!?

  118. 118
    Anoniminous says:

    @NotMax:

    Ukraine is truly a case of ‘you can’t tell the players without a program.’

    Plus the players in Ukraine seem to be playing 43 Man Squamish using CalvinBall Rules.

  119. 119
    MattF says:

    @J.D. Rhoades: Look at a map? Why would anyone want to do that?

    Some years ago I got into an argument with a guy who was convinced that the (then) Soviets were about to invade Afghanistan going north from the Indian Ocean through Iran and Pakistan. “But… look at a map. Do you really think this is a good idea?” Bah.

  120. 120
    Anoniminous says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Putin can see Alaska from his office.

  121. 121
    JoyfulA says:

    @Vanya: Except Galicia was in Poland in 1939.

  122. 122
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @MattF:

    Terrain analysis FAIL is one of the hallmarks of the chickenhawk.

  123. 123
    Citizen_X says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    the Montreaux Convention

    That’s where they had the fire that inspired Smoke On the Water, right?

    I’ll show myself out.

  124. 124
    Anoniminous says:

    We’re through the Looking Glass on this one:

    Where is Viktor Yanukovych? This is the question intelligence services of many countries, hundreds of politicians and experts, thousands of stakeholders in Kiev and millions of Ukrainians tried to answer all Monday. After all, he could not just evaporate. Still, a very recognizable politician. And here quite a logical question comes to mind: could he be hidden by those who are very good at covering their tracks? That is, Americans.

  125. 125
    catclub says:

    @mk3872: I’m fairly confident that getting into a row with Russia over Ukraine is not even close to making Russia “our greatest geopolitical threat”

    I think it is the present GOP.

  126. 126
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Citizen_X: No, that was the gambling house.

  127. 127
    gian says:

    @J.D. Rhoades:
    to truly channel the Reagan you need to start talking on a live mic about outlawing Russia forever and the bombs starting…
    and have comments from your administration about “with enough shovels we can win a nuclear war”
    and spend an Iraq war sized bounty on a pie in the sky missile defense system while saying “fuck the 1972 ABM treaty”

    Obama could start by having nuclear armed B52s flying 24 hours around Russian airspace. that would give a good taste of having the Reagan back.
    then start talks to put mobile nuclear land based missiles in the Baltic republics. (after all the wasn’t the sub commander in the hunt for red October supposed to be Lithuanian?

  128. 128
    catclub says:

    @MattF: “Some years ago I got into an argument with a guy who was convinced that the (then) Soviets were about to invade Afghanistan going north from the Indian Ocean through Iran and Pakistan.”

    Well, that route would certainly be unexpected. I think your guy was looking at the route Alexander the Great took. [He also did not really succeed in Afghanistan]

  129. 129
    Chris says:

    @gian:

    Half and half IIRC. The mother was Lithuanian, as was the grandmother who raised him, but the father was Russian and a Politburo member, which helped the career along.
    /movie-book nerd

  130. 130
    JPL says:

    The network Sunday shows shunned McCain or so it appears. Rubio will be on MTP. Since his family arrived on the shores of America to escape, pending communism, he’s an expert on Ukraine. ABC has the former ambassador of Russia and CBS has on Chuck Hegel. I didn’t check the Ailes network or CNN so maybe McCain still has a chance. What a shame to get left behind because of Rubio. McCain was a pow and all.

  131. 131
    JPL says:

    @catclub: Well that plan happens when you drop out of your history class.

  132. 132
    JPL says:

    Sarah has updated her facebook

    Yes, I could see this one from Alaska. I’m usually not one to Told-Ya-So, but I did, despite my accurate prediction being derided as “an extremely far-fetched scenario” by the “high-brow” Foreign Policy magazine. Here’s what this “stupid” “insipid woman” predicted back in 2008: “After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.”

  133. 133
    Keith G says:

    @Cermet: ”
    Who cares about Ukraine?”

    We have to… at least a bit.

    They gave up their nukes on our guarantee of their protection. Now, suppose we want another country to give up their nukes and their condition is that we guarantee their protection. Will they trust us if we don’t help Ukraine?

    This is not about what feels good for the moment. It is about what is in our long term interest to help reduce the nuclear stockpiles, worldwide.

    One of President Obama’s strongest runs of success in foreign policy is his reduction of nuclear materials around the world. Abandoning Ukraine to the tender mercies of Moscow would set his progress in this area back quite a bit.

  134. 134
    JoyfulA says:

    @JPL: The networks must not know that McCain was a POW.

  135. 135
    dslak says:

    @JoyfulA: How could they know? He never talks about it!

  136. 136
    Tripod says:

    They’ve been arguing over payments and basing rights for that broke dick “fleet” for years.

  137. 137
    GregB says:

    @JPL:

    Was it Bush’s indecision that caused Putin to invade Georgia or can’t we talk about him?

  138. 138
    El Caganer says:

    @Anoniminous: I thought he was chilling with Eddie Snowden.

  139. 139
    JPL says:

    @GregB: Didn’t Bush put troops on the border? haha

  140. 140
    Chris says:

    @JPL:

    “I hate to say I told you so…”

    … but, what? Did you in fact say thay Russia would invade Ukraine? Because all I see here is a reference to a conflict five years earlier in which you predicted nothing, just editorialized.

  141. 141
    fuzz says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The Ukrainians were used as guards at death camps a lot and I think in a lot of ‘anti partisan’ operations. Many of the more notorious figures from places like Treblinka and Sobibor and Belzec were actually Ukrainian and Latvians who were taken out of the POW camps and joined the SS. That guy Jon Demjanjuk is an example.

  142. 142
    PJ says:

    @Keith G: Furthermore, if Putin is successful in establishing puppet states in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, he ain’t gonna stop there (and, if he is successful, he will be in power until 2024.) There is a reason why the Baltics and former Warsaw Pact countries were clamoring to get into NATO.

    For those regional experts here who have been maintaining that the Ukrainian revolution is a victory for fascism, Timothy Snyder, who has some knowledge of what he speaks, has a corrective:

  143. 143
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Keith G:

    They gave up their nukes on our guarantee of their protection.

    You considerably misstated our assurances to the Ukraine. Our diplomatic assurance was that we would retaliate on their behalf if Ukraine is attacked with nuclear weapons. That’s it.

  144. 144
    PJ says:

    @PJ: I can’t figure this thing out, but here is Snyder’s link one more time: http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/n.....insrc=hpss

  145. 145
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Liberty60: Well, there’s an oil pipeline taking oil to China that passes through Tibet, so I think that you can technically be a Tibetan too.

  146. 146
    Cervantes says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    @Keith G: They gave up their nukes on our guarantee of their protection.

    You considerably misstated our assurances to the Ukraine. Our diplomatic assurance was that we would retaliate on their behalf if Ukraine is attacked with nuclear weapons. That’s it.

    What agreements (“guarantee,” “assurance”) are the two of you talking about?

  147. 147
    Gravenstone says:

    @JPL: I believe Frau Palin is being entirely too kind to herself when she quotes others calling her a “stupid” “insipid woman”. She’s a fucking useless waste of protoplasm!

  148. 148
    catclub says:

    @JPL: “After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence”

    wasn’t that the same reaction as PRESIDENT GW Bush? I don’t remember any invasion from the US.

  149. 149
    catclub says:

    @Chris: It claims to quote a five year old statement, but no link to the old statement. I am not convinced. Also a total lie that she is not a ‘told-ya-so’ kind of person.
    That is exactly her kind. She goes on to prove it.

  150. 150
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: Probably the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances – a document that seems to promise only that signatories will “consult in the event that a situation arises which raises a question concerning [the commitments made earlier in the document].”

  151. 151
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Is it your impression they’re both talking about the same document?

  152. 152
    Bob In Portland says:

    First off, if you want to figure out what the way out of this you need to figure out what’s in dispute. In 1954 the Soviets (Kruschev, pardon the spelling) added a part of Russia to Ukraine in order to Russian-ize it. It didn’t work, and the folks in western Ukraine are doing what they’ve always done.

    Russia understands its own history even if Americans don’t. Putin has no interest in western Ukraine or the fascists in it. He wants his strategic port and he wants to protect the Russians along the eastern part of Ukraine. If anyone thinks that the US is going to go to war over Crimea they’re deluded. There may be a few martyrs created for the Ukrainian people but they’ve already lost that part of Ukraine that doesn’t really belong to them. Russia has won. The war is over. Is Europe going to deny itself any Gazprom to punish the Ruskies? And no, doubling the fracking in the US is not going to help.

    The deal on the table from the west is for strict austerity. The Russians have suspended their loans and will stop their petro discounts. The West will have a basket case in their laps. And what’s the IMF/EU plan? Extreme austerity. That’ll keep the fascists might unhappy.

    How that plays out in Ukraine will be interesting. The rump state and its cutting-edge political movement will have to find scapegoats. And the blood will be on the hands of those who cheered on the neo-Nazis.

  153. 153
    MaryRC says:

    @catclub: I don’t imagine she made the prediction in the first place — more likely that it came from one of her ghostwriters.

    That “neener-neener” post from her today, though — that’s the authentic voice of Sarah Palin.

  154. 154
    Bob In Portland says:

    @catclub: And Obama lost Vietnam and Red China too!

  155. 155
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: Now that you mention it, I don’t really know.

  156. 156
    Bob In Portland says:

    Here’s the most important part: America’s organizing principle has been endless war and the paranoia that accompanies it. We had reached a point where the class differences here at home were actually affecting the political landscape, not enough for immediate change but enough to hope for some redirection of funds to domestic needs.

    The coup in Ukraine is already fanning the flames for a new cold war, so tell the kids that they’ll have to delay their future for another decade.

  157. 157
    PJ says:

    @Bob In Portland: You keep coming here to repeat one of Putin’s and Yanokovych’s main talking points, that the Ukrainian revolution is run by neo-Nazis, therefore a Russian military response is completely justified. Yet Timothy Snyder, who has actually spent a lot of time studying Ukraine and the atrocities committed there in the 30s and 40s, has a completely different opinion. From whence does your expertise arise?

  158. 158
    Cervantes says:

    @catclub:

    “After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence”

    wasn’t that the same reaction as PRESIDENT GW Bush? I don’t remember any invasion from the US.

    As I recall re Georgia, Obama at the time said there was no possible justification for the attack. What “moral equivalence” is Palin talking about? Does she even know what the phrase means?

    In 1939, Churchill, puzzling over what Stalin was going to do about Hitler, said that Russia was “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” With apologies to Winnie, Palin is a catastrophe wrapped in a debacle inside a fiasco. Ignore her!

  159. 159
    Morbo says:

    @Anoniminous: A day before he shows up and gives a speech in Russia, amazing.

  160. 160
    Morbo says:

    @PJ: to paraphrase Rick James, “RT is a helluva drug.”

  161. 161
    Anoniminous says:

    @Morbo:

    It’s a global pandemic of wing nuttery.

  162. 162
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Bob In Portland: Fuck you, Bob.

  163. 163
    Belafon says:

    @Bob In Portland: I love your world just about as much as the world of those who want another Cold War: Look, I can collapse the world into one paragraph, and all solutions will flow from that. So libertarian of you.

  164. 164
    Cervantes says:

    @Gin & Tonic: That comment bothers you?

    Or is it a matter of accumulation?

  165. 165
    Chyron HR says:

    @Cervantes:

    What “moral equivalence” is Palin talking about? Does she even know what the phrase means?

    Woah, woah, woah, sparky. Let’s start by teaching her what the individual words mean, then she can graduate to learning what entire phrases mean.

  166. 166
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Anoniminous:
    Wow, that news piece makes Fox look good.
    Is that sort (wild speculation, based on cartoon western villains) of reporting in Russian state-owned media currently typical?

  167. 167
    Cervantes says:

    @Chyron HR:

    Woah, woah, woah, sparky. Let’s start by teaching her what the individual words mean, then she can graduate to learning what entire phrases mean.

    You missed the point entirely: “Let’s start by” ignoring her!

  168. 168
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Cervantes: It’s been piling up over the week. I’ve been kind of busy today.

  169. 169
    Cervantes says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Got it, thanks.

  170. 170
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Bill Arnold: Typical? Sadly, yes. That’s Russian media today.

    Did you notice Alexei Navalny has been shut off from the world?

  171. 171
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Chyron HR:

    what the individual words mean

    That’s not entirely fair. In a (hidden) markov model of right-wing-talking-points-speak, the word “moral” is often followed by “equivalence”. (Or sometimes by “hazard”.)

  172. 172
    AxelFoley says:

    @lol:

    Sam Stein ‏@samsteinhp 24m
    if only we had a US citizen in Russia with a history of leaking highly-classified national security documents and strategies.

    Heh.

  173. 173

    @PJ: Did he solve the mystery of where the million Ukrainian Jews disappeared to?

  174. 174

    @Gin & Tonic: The truth hurts.

    Now remember, only one helping of extreme austerity a day.

  175. 175
    Cervantes says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Did you notice Alexei Navalny has been shut off from the world?

    Yes. As if his previous crimes were insufficient, now he must be punished for having a Ukrainian father as well.

    A friend of mine in Moscow, prominent in the politics of the ’90s, once received a package containing his missing son’s fingers. I’m not at all sanguine that Alexei Anatolievich will be spared an equal fate.

  176. 176

    @Belafon: I love how I’m a libertarian, I a Republican, etc. It’s like if you say something around here that harshes someone’s buzz then you instantly become the monster under their bed.

    What do you want me to say? That now the mighty Ukrainian army will vanquish Russia and ethnic Russian-speaking Ukrainians will embrace their new second-class citizenship? Russia was going to give Ukraine a fifteen billion-dollar loan. Why spend that kind of money on people who hate you? The Russians will hold onto those parts of the eastern and southern Ukraine that were formerly Soviet and have ethnic Russians and don’t want to be stuck with the fascist rump state.

    Now you’ve got what you want, a Ukraine free from Russia, except for those parts that they took back. You want Europe to cut themselves off from Gazprom over the petty nationalists in Kiev?

    And how is this EU deal going to be any better than the deals in Spain, Portugal and Greece? Austerity’s working real well there, eh?

    Sorry if reality bites you in the ass. You can find an empty seat next to John McCain.

  177. 177

    @Belafon: Oh, my world in Portland has the premium cable package, a city full of microbreweries, my Congressional rep routinely calls for the legalization of marijuana, as if it matters anymore, and the state is moving steadily towards marriage equality. And, compared to the SF Bay Area, it’s actually affordable for a person on a pension to live here.

    But my world also has knowledge of the post-WWII history of our world and our government.

  178. 178
    Anoniminous says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    From what I’ve seen and read, yes.

    Russian wingnuttery differs from US wingnuttery only in the choice of Nouns. Example:

    Those {Russian/Americans} {communists/imperialists} are seeking world domination!

  179. 179
    Vanya says:

    @JoyfulA: Yes, exactly, Galicia was part of Poland in 1939, and the Soviets invaded and annexed it, not the Germans. After two years of Soviet rule and repression the Ukrainian were mostly happy to see the Nazis arrive. The Poles and Jews in Galicia were not so happy, but thanks to German and Ukrainian collaboration, plus enthusiastic post war Soviet assistance in clearing out Poles, there are hardly any Poles or Jews left in Eastern Galicia today. The Nazis were more pragmatic than you might think. In Galicia, where ethnic Poles, Jews or imported Russians tended to be the local elites, the Nazis did tend to treat Ukrainians better than other Slavs, out of pure cynicism to be sure, and even supported Ukrainian nationalist movements and military divisions. In Central and Eastern Ukraine, the Nazis treated local Ukrainians as badly as they did any other Soviet citizens and you will not find much pro-Nazi sentiment around Kiev or Kharkov.

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