Pot, Kettle Alert

John Kerry this morning:

You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text.

That’s from the Guardian’s live blog. Dave Schuler at OTB has some maps that I thought were helpful. Here’s a fresh Ukraine thread.

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97 replies
  1. 1
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    Sometimes it really does matter who’s President, doesn’t it? I’ll take “aloof” Obama over anybody I’ve seen in the past 50 years (I’m 57). Anybody (cept Kennedy and Clinton) would have sent paratroopers by now.

    And I have a poll:

    http://aquariusmoon.info/whitehouse/

  2. 2
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @CarolDuhart2: Carter?

  3. 3
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Here’s a photo of people being bussed to a pro-invasion protest, in Russian government vans. https://twitter.com/lauraphylmills/status/440099237016379393/photo/1

    I’ll note, as I did late last night, that the “Russian Unity” party of the fellow who installed himself as “Prime Minister” of Crimea and asked for the fraternal assistance of Russia, received a whopping 4% of the vote — in Crimea, not in all of Russia — in the 2010 Parliamentary elections.

    Here’s a picture of the mass popular protests in Moscow in support of the invasion.
    https://twitter.com/howardamos/status/440128242620825600/photo/1

  4. 4
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    Thanks for the maps. It’s still complicated but the images are easier to understand.
    Vlad must feel this is a slam dunk or he wouldn’t have rolled the troops out. He’s probably right.

  5. 5
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Oh, and here is how terrified ordinary citizens in Simferopol are by events.
    https://twitter.com/herszenhorn/status/440098641530060800/photo/1

  6. 6
    Amir Khalid says:

    John Kerry can, and should, attribute the invasion of Iraq to the previous management. In any event, if the UN Security Council is to have any credibility it must start by imposing sanctions on Russia if it invades of Ukraine. Its powerlessness against the US invasion of Iraq was quite bad enough. Nothing is gained by its continuing down a path of feebleness in the face of big nations’ misconduct.

  7. 7
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Maybe Carter would have hesitated-bu his execution probably would have been fair at best.

  8. 8
    c u n d gulag says:

    Of course Kerry’s right, but did he sleep through the build-ups to the invasions he was for, before he was against them?

  9. 9
    kbuttle says:

    In our (meager) defense as pot there, Ukraine didn’t put a hit out on the Russian President within the last decade, or unilaterally move on a neighboring a few years earlier . . .

    Not that Iraq made a damn’s worth of sense, but Ukraine is no Iraq here.

  10. 10
    gogol's wife says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    God, I took you seriously when you said there were “mass popular protests in Moscow in support of the invasion.” I thought the world had turned upside down.

  11. 11
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I love Jimmy Carter, but I love President Obama in the White House.

  12. 12
    gogol's wife says:

    @kbuttle:

    The historical analogies that get made around here are really doozies sometimes. Yesterday a guy showed up in the comments who actually had some knowledge of Ukrainian history, and I nearly fainted.

  13. 13
    Belafon says:

    @CarolDuhart2: Who’s president matters a great deal. Which is what annoys me about people viewing every geopolitical decision made by Obama through the lens of Iraq: At what point do you look at those decisions through the previous decisions of Obama?

  14. 14
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I wonder how many Villagers– hell, how many Americans– made the whole pot-kettle-WTF? connection. Not too high a percentage in either camp, I’d sadly wager.

    I have been thinking, as tragic as this is going to be for a lot of people who just want to live their lives as best they can and don’t care who claims the real estate, as destabilizing as it may be for the next few months, maybe years, does anybody really think that Russia is going to come out of this stronger than they went in?

    also, too, if you have a bicarb handy, take a look at this for the Voices in the Village Head.

  15. 15
    Tripod says:

    Hey now, they got white folks living there in the Ukraine, and they have cousins that vote back in the states.

    I need the idiots guide to the crises in Thailand, the Central African Republic and Venezuela. Or Bob Costas on the telly letting me know who to cheer for or against.

  16. 16
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Also wanted to add that the notion that Putin wants to reinstall Yanukovych as President is ludicrous. He despised him before, and must now despise him even more as he cut and ran last week. Putin doesn’t like weakness. And Yanukovych is now fatally damaged goods among all Ukrainians, regardless of ethnicity or primary language, once pictures of his place got out. He may have some residual support in Donetsk, but that’s it. It is hard to describe how hated he is.

  17. 17
    Cermet says:

    @Amir Khalid: Really?! You need to recall that Russia is on the Security Council and has veto power. So, the issue isn’t that the UN is incapable of leading but that the design of the UN precludes any action when a member of the Security Council does shit.

  18. 18
    gogol's wife says:

    This article by an actual historian might help:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/c.....-centuries

  19. 19
    Bargal20 says:

    It’s always funny to see Americans act as if they have moral currency beyond their own borders. In 1775, the first major military initiative of the newly-formed Continental Army was an invasion of Canada.You guys haven’t looked back since.

  20. 20
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @gogol’s wife: The picture makes the joke.

  21. 21
    gogol's wife says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Yes, the picture is good. I just had a mini-heart attack when I saw your sentence.

  22. 22

    Umm .. someone is completely lacking in self-awareness here.

  23. 23
    liberal says:

    @kbuttle:
    LOL.

    The stupid, it burns…

  24. 24
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Cermet:
    I’m well aware of that. The UNSC would be credible if it had the power to punish any nation for stepping out of line, but as you point out it just isn’t set up that way, certainly not with regard to permanent UNSC members. Failing that, then I guess the US must seek the imposition of sanctions through some other international framework, which just isn’t going to work as well

  25. 25
    Davis X. Machina says:

    I’m concerned about the repercussions on the price of central London real estate. If Russian petro-spivs have difficulty expatriating their loot, that could crater the market.

  26. 26
    dslak says:

    @Bargal20: Canada was British territory at the time, making it a potential staging area for attacking the colonies, and therefore a valid target for securing the colonies’ defense. You’d have a better case if you used the attempted invasion of Canada in the War of 1812.

  27. 27
    liberal says:

    @Bargal20:
    What’s really funny is the idiots here and elsewhere who think that states pursue international policy partly based on humanitarian concerns.

  28. 28
    liberal says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Why “must” the US do anything?

  29. 29
    aimai says:

    @Davis X. Machina: petro spivs is a great term.

  30. 30
    Cermet says:

    AS far as the Ukraine – game over. Maybe Europe can boycott the 90% or so gas they import from Russia (LOL) or rather, Russia can turn it off (due to pipeline issues) yo teach them exactly who is who, here. As for us, please; Russia’s greatest naval base is there and there is zero chance they will allow that critical base be lost or endangered. The Ukraine needs to accept that its Eastern half is what really matters or else, matters will get far worse. The Crimea is a lost cause; as for what we can do – really? Last I checked Russia is the second most powerful nuclear armed State in the world and that VERY much means it does as it pleases – period.

    This is a lot of nothing – who gives a shit about Ukraine? Wow, it is not of ant strategic value to anyone but Russia; and for them, safety of the Crimea is critical. So bottom line, we, Europe and Ukraine will either live with a face saving gesture from Russia (where they withdraw leaving control really in there hands) or the status currently existing remains.

    If Ukraine dares fight with Russia, bye-bye independent Ukraine.

  31. 31
  32. 32
    MattF says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Here’s the WaPo on cue, with ‘Condemnation Isn’t Enough’:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....story.html

  33. 33
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @dslak:

    You’d have a better case if you used the attempted invasion of Canada in the War of 1812.

    When Canada was British territory and a potential staging area for attacking the US, thus making it a calid target for securing the country’s defense. We can also go back tot he various incursion into French Canada by the the British and their American colonies prior to the end of the Seven Years War (aka in the US, the French and Indian War).

    Find me a country that has a history as a great power and I should be able to find more than a few instances of aggressive behavior in its history.

  34. 34
    Cermet says:

    @Amir Khalid: Just wanted to point out that the UN isn’t the issue here. Overall, the UN is a good organization and it does some things very well and is well worth its cost; the one thing it was NEVER designed to be was an international enforcer – that is, and unless, the big three (Amerika, Russia, and China) agree on the issue at hand; yes, France and UK matter but they follow us on any real issue.

  35. 35
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Unlike W, I can’t peer into Putin’s soul, so I dunno what lurks there. However, there is a sentiment (dunno how widely held it is) for his return and for Putin to make it happen. For example:

    Pixie, Sligo, West Ireland emails: I am from Sevastapol working in Ireland. My family are still at home. Best that can happen now is that President Putin moves fast to crush the mob-rule “illegitimate so-called government” in Kiev and restore our President Yanukovych to power. And to protect the Black Sea Fleet, Crimea should now go back to being part of Russia.

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  36. 36
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cermet: Why do you put a “k” in America?

  37. 37
    MattF says:

    @Bargal20: There’s also the Mexican War, where the moral imperative was, I guess, ‘Annex California’. Grant had a few things to say about that in his memoirs:

    http://www.sewanee.edu/faculty.....Grant.html

  38. 38
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Let’s just call the whole thing off. Failing that, can we take our toys and go home?

  39. 39
    Amir Khalid says:

    @liberal:
    Well, the US calls itself a leader among nations, doesn’t it?

  40. 40
    Alex S. says:

    This whole situation has me a little worried. I do want to notice though that the Ukraine is Russia’s ‘backyard’. Russia is the defending party here, strategically. Samuel Huntington and his clash of cultures was at least right about the Ukraine. This country will split up eventually into a european and a russian part.

  41. 41
    muddy says:

    I can’t wait for the Republican heads exploding when they want to criticize Kerry for saying that, but then they would have to admit W and his war were fuckups.

    I’m sure they will be able to hold both positions simultaneously as usual though, and there will be no amusing explosions for me. Life is hard.

  42. 42
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @gogol’s wife: Vaguely related question: Did you take Mike Hittle’s History of Russia course at LU?

  43. 43
    dslak says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I only said the case would be better with the 1812 invasion of Canada, not that it would be plausible. Given that both countries had been taking an aggressive posture for a while already, a pre-emptive defensive action by either in that case also would not be sufficiently aggressive to establish a history of imperialism.

  44. 44
    Davis X. Machina says:

    In April 2008, France, the UK and Germany all told the US that maybe this isn’t really the right time for Ukraine and Georgia to begin the process of joining NATO.

    This is obvious evidence of aggressive intent by the West, at the behest of its banksters, to hand over the Ukrainian people bound hand and foot to the Russians. Or the Germans. Or the IMF, or someone. And clear evidence of American aggression. And Obama perfidy.

    I’m sure I’ll have it worked out shortly. All the inputs I need are in blog comment sections.

  45. 45
    RepubAnon says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: The talk shows don’t compare Russia’s current actions to previous US actions for a very good reason: we’re the good guys on US talk shows – so any actions a Republican president takes are by definition “good.” (If they’re taken by a Democrat, they can be questioned.) It just isn’t right for the Russians or the Chinese to act as though they’re led by a Republican President, so polite Villagers don’t make that glaringly obvious comparison

    It is instructive to compare Vladimir Putin’s actions to the US invasions of Grenada and Panama under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush. We invaded Grenada (and, to a lesser degree Panama) to show that our post-Vietnam malaise was over. These small wars boosted the political standing of the hawks, encouraging them down the path leading to Afghanistan and Iraq.

    I daresay Vladimir Putin studied Ronald Reagan, and is using the Crimean Peninsula situation to battle “post-Chechnya malaise.” In essence, the Russians are acting as though they had elected a Republican as their leader – with no pesky Supreme Court to get in the way.

    Of course, Vladimir Putin acting like Ronald Reagan or either of the Bush Presidents is really President Obama’s fault.

  46. 46
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Alex S.: The Russian part ain’t all Russian, not even close. Language map of Kharkov Oblast. Partition that.

  47. 47
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Tripod:

    Hey now, they got white folks living there in the Ukraine, and they have cousins that vote back in the states.

    Like me, but frankly I would think it be a lot better for my cousin if this was settled diplomatically.

  48. 48
    Davis X. Machina says:

    This is all the inevitable result of allowing our national strategic reserve of Dulles brothers to dwindle to zero.

  49. 49
    Alex S. says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    I think there are also religious and cultural differences, i.e. some Ukrainians who still feel closer to Russia than to Europe, depending on religion and history, which parts belonged to Austria-Hungary, orthodox christianity vs. catholic and others…

  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Well, when their kids are doing things like becoming cardinals, the supply does tend to dry up.

  51. 51
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: On the other hand, Avery had a lot of work on the remission-of-temporal-punishment front just to bail out the brothers….

  52. 52
    Tripod says:

    Maybe we can send in Hillary Clinton and Sinbad to dodge sniper fire at Simferapol airport.

  53. 53
    danielx says:

    @muddy:

    I’m sure they will be able to hold both positions simultaneously as usual though, and there will be no amusing explosions for me. Life is hard.

    Got it in one.

    W may be about as popular as the clap, but you will never, ever get Republicans to admit that George and Dick’s Excellent Adventure(s) was a gross and egregious fuckup. The only real failure they see is B. Barry Bamz’ failure to keep troops in Iraq for the next seventy years to continue bringing the benefits of Jeffersonian democracy to the Middle East – staying the course, don’t you see.

    Not to mention all that sweet, sweet Iraqi light sweet crude oil.

  54. 54
    danielx says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Where is Kermit Roosevelt when you need him? Getting so you can’t even mount a decent coup d’etat these days.

  55. 55
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @danielx: Kermit III is teaching law at Penn.

  56. 56
    PJ says:

    @Cermet: I’m not sure about the “ant strategy” (no ants were consulted in drafting this post), but it seems to me that the Ukrainians might give a shit about what happens to their country, and, indeed, the current crisis exists because they were determined to have some say in what happens to their country. Neither the Crimea nor any majority ethnic Russian areas of the country were threatened by anyone; Putin just saw this as his opportunity to expand the boundaries of Greater Russia. He took a page from Hitler’s playbook and paid “protestors” and small time politicians to request Russian “fraternal assistance.”

    No one here, or in Moscow, for that matter, knows how this is going to end, but my best guess is that 45 million Ukrainians will take some part in whatever happens.

  57. 57
    PJ says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Hmm, I wonder in which language do the native speakers spell “America” with a “k”?
    The level of misinformation being spread — even on this lovely website — by people who are repeating Putin’s talking points (and who are, perhaps, being paid by Putin) is way above Soviet levels.

  58. 58
    gogol's wife says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Mais bien sur. (Don’t know how to do diacritics.) I’ve never been so afraid as when I had to go to his office for a conference. You had to sit in this futuristic chair that made you 3 feet lower than him.

    I have a funny story about a comment he put on my paper on the Pugachev rebellion.

  59. 59
    Cacti says:

    I know mistermix’s observations probably got him a round of high fives in dudebro land, but “I know you are, but what am I?” makes for pretty terrible foreign policy outside of the internet.

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @gogol’s wife: I took the course during the first term of my freshman year; I don’t quite think I was ready for it. My C+ in that course versus my A in Freshman Studies with Povolny was a factor in my decision to major in government not history.

  61. 61
    Jay C says:

    @MattF:

    Actually, US Grant’s comments from that link mention a lot about Texas and slavery as motivators for the Mexican War, but nothing about California – which, as far as US designs on it went, seemed to more-or-less of an afterthought.

    @PJ:

    True: but it’s likely that in Putin’s calculations, the wishes of the Ukrainians count for less than zero in his calculations. He seems to have reverted (though that’s probably the wrong term, since he’s surely held the opinion forever) to the traditional Russian geopolitical attitude about the country’s neighbors: that they have to either be satellites/puppets, or enemies. And get dealt with accordingly.

  62. 62
    mike in dc says:

    Ethnic Ukrainians, who constitute 77% of the country, want to be independent of Russian domination and to be a free, democratic, sovereign state. What’s the counter-argument in favor of doing absolutely nothing to support that aspiration? I’m aware of arguments against military intervention and generally consider that a strawman, anyway. But there are other options available here–international opprobrium, economic assistance to Ukraine, even potentially imposing some economic consequences upon Russia.

  63. 63
    PJ says:

    @mike in dc: It drives me crazy that the discourse is reduced to whether the US will reassert its masculinity and intervene militarily, or else is consigned to timid handwringing by the bold, bare-chested Putin.

  64. 64
    Cacti says:

    @Jay C:

    True: but it’s likely that in Putin’s calculations, the wishes of the Ukrainians count for less than zero in his calculations. He seems to have reverted (though that’s probably the wrong term, since he’s surely held the opinion forever) to the traditional Russian geopolitical attitude about the country’s neighbors: that they have to either be satellites/puppets, or enemies. And get dealt with accordingly.

    I’m guessing that every former Warsaw Pact nation that decided to join NATO is feeling pretty damned good about that decision right now.

  65. 65
    El Caganer says:

    Russia sending troops in makes no sense to me. If it wants to exert control over Ukraine, all it has to do is raise the price of gas.

  66. 66
    gogol's wife says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    When I was doing the research for my term paper, I came down the stairs of the library storming about how I couldn’t do anything in “this goddamned library!” (A group of terrified Slavic majors ended up doing a snowy roadtrip to Madison for this purpose.) Coming up the stairs was Bertrand Goldgar of the English Department. When I got my paper back from Hittle, it said, “Well researched, despite the goddamned library.” I still have that — it will never get thrown out!

  67. 67
    gogol's wife says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    And by the way, I didn’t do well with Povolny!

  68. 68
    msj says:

    @dslak: Same logic applies in 1812 as well.

  69. 69
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @gogol’s wife: So you were one of Yatzeck’s and Smalley’s people.

    @gogol’s wife: He was my faculty advisor – I always did reasonably well in his courses. He also made a really good potato salad for the Gov’t Dep’t picnics.

  70. 70
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Cacti: It’s not up to the suitor, not solely. In April of 2008, France, Germany and the UK told George Bush they had no intention of going along with his plan to fast-track NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia.

    It’s not like no one saw this problem coming…. Hell, in 2003 Putin had Russia begin work on a major expansion of the naval base at Novorossiysk, on the assumption that there wasn’t any guarantee the Black Sea Fleet would always have Sevastopol…

  71. 71
    gogol's wife says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Yes, I’m still in touch with Yatzeck. Povolny was a very nice guy, I just couldn’t make myself concentrate on the Politburo. It’s still the same with me — anything that has to do with Putin makes me physically ill.

  72. 72
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @gogol’s wife: I always found the make up of the the Government department to be interesting. A Czech emigre who focused on the Soviets; an Indian who was obsessed with the British and colonialism, Korean who focused on Japan, and Larry Longley as the token American and electoral college abolition fan.

  73. 73
    Jay C says:

    @Cacti:

    I’m guessing that every former Warsaw Pact nation that decided to join NATO is feeling pretty damned good about that decision right now.

    YA THINK??!!

    And it’s stuff like this that merely feeds Russian paranoia: the idea that anti-Russian sentiment gets stoked, rather than suppressed by heavy-handed attempts to expand/exploit their “sphere of influence” never seems to occur to them: or, more likely they just don’t care.

  74. 74
    gogol's wife says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Memory lane! Adenwalla . . .

  75. 75
    dr. luba says:

    One thing not being mentioned is the Budapest Memorandum, and what effect the current situation will have on on countries. In 1991 Ukraine was the world’s third largest nuclear power. In 1994 they gave up their nukes in exchange for promises of respect for their national sovereignty and borders from Russia, the US and the UK.

    Given Putin’s behavior, and the results, is there any reason now for Iran to not proceed with a nuclear program, or for any currently nuclear country to ever consider giving up it nukes?

  76. 76
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @dr. luba: There’s no more, and no less, reason now for Iran to not proceed with a nuclear program. All the incentives that they had, for and against, are the same that they were last week. All the incentives that Ukraine had to de-nuclearize in 1994 were the same whether there is a Budapest Memorandum, or not.

    It’s a pimple on the side of the Helskini Final Act. It’s not a defense treaty. And if it were? Ask the Czechs and Slovaks how often great powers get pulled into armed conflicts they have no interest in joining on the strength of even full-blown defense treaties.

  77. 77
    Mike G says:

    @kbuttle:

    In our (meager) defense as pot there, Ukraine didn’t put a hit out on the Russian President within the last decade

    The Kuwaitis arrested a couple of Iraqi agents while GHW Bush was visiting (in 1993 or thereabouts, after he left the White House), and tortured them into confessing they were targeting Bush. The FBI thought the whole story was dubious, but the Bush Crime Family found it very useful to propagate the fib that Saddam had tried to kill GHW.

  78. 78
    Heliopause says:

    The list of invasions that didn’t have a trumped-up pretext is short indeed.

    I hate to say this but it’s awfully rich of the western powers to spend years coaxing Ukraine in this direction, knowing full well that it was something of a red line for the Russians, then react with shock — shock! — at the Crimean invasion. The crisis in Ukraine is real, the reactions to it strictly theater.

  79. 79
    Origuy says:

    The comparison to the US invasion of Grenada appears particularly apt. I have some Russian-speaking friends in my Facebook feed. One is very anti-Putin, and posted a link to this (in Russian; translation by Google.)

    Russian President stressed the existence of real threats to life and health of Russian citizens and compatriots multiple repositories on Ukrainian territory. Vladimir Putin stressed that in the case of the further spread of violence in the eastern regions of Ukraine and Crimea Russia reserves the right to protect their interests and living there speaking population.

    My friend asks if Putin claims the right to defend Russian-speakers anywhere.

  80. 80
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Well, of course the vermin of the Village don’t get the pot/kettle thing here. We are ALWAYS the good guys, even when we’re dusting off the Gestapo manual for enhanced interrogation techniques.

  81. 81
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Origuy:

    Aide rushes in to the room: President Putin, there are some Russian speakers in Ghana who are being oppressed by the locals!

    Adviser: Yes, it’s a few natives who picked up Russian as a second language, they want to be translators for one of our enterprises there

    Putin: It doesn’t matter! They speak Russian! Send in the Spetsnaz!

  82. 82
    Bob says:

    I’m probably several days late with this comment, but it was a nice touch that Putin had the Russian Parliament pass an “authorization to use military force” in Ukraine. There Amerikanskis, now it’s legal.

  83. 83
    Cervantes says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    Anybody (cept Kennedy and Clinton) would have sent paratroopers by now. … Maybe Carter would have hesitated-bu his execution probably would have been fair at best.

    Carter was president when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan.

  84. 84
    Origuy says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I don’t know about Ghana, but Latvia and Kazakhstan better watch their borders.

  85. 85
    Cervantes says:

    “mass popular protests in Moscow in support of the invasion.”

    Er … how can one “protest” … “in support of” something?

  86. 86
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Heliopause: Many Ukrainians, even pretty nationalist types, are pretty sanguine about this. Sure, there’s the whole territorial-integrity thing, but from the realpolitikside, Crimea is not like the engine of the Ukrainian economy. It imports all of its fresh water, all of its electricity and around 70% of its food from the mainland. It was already pretty well Russian-influenced, and bad treaty about naval bases or not, Russia’s been there for 250 years and wasn’t about to leave any time soon anyway. If Russia takes some form of more active control, they still have a major logistics problem getting the bases resupplied, and there may be room for renegotiation of electricity rates, water rates, etc. Unless you presuppose that they also take control of the Donetsk, Zaporizhya and Kherson oblasts.

  87. 87
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Origuy: Latvia is in NATO. The Kazakhs, however….

  88. 88
    Cervantes says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Also wanted to add that the notion that Putin wants to reinstall Yanukovych as President is ludicrous.

    Given Putin’s plans for “Eurasia,” and Russia’s role therein, I’m sure he wants a person in Kiev who can actually control things, and Yanukovych is not that person.

  89. 89
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Cervantes: Sorry, “demonstrations.” I was on my first coffee.

  90. 90
    Cervantes says:

    @Bargal20:

    It’s always funny to see Americans act as if they have moral currency beyond their own borders.

    “Funny” isn’t the word I’d use but I agree otherwise.

    (Inside our borders is a complicated story as well, needless to say.)

  91. 91
    Cervantes says:

    @Davis X. Machina: That may be the best joke about the Brothers Grim that I’ve ever heard. Thanks.

  92. 92
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Noisemax strikes again:

    Rogers, GOP: Obama ‘Pontificating, Indecision’ on Ukraine

    “Do something, you stupid ni*CLANG*! Do something we can criticize you for!”

  93. 93
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Kermit III is teaching law at Penn.

    Before which he was at that law firm the Australians were spying on with the approval of the NSA.

    (Just saying.)

  94. 94
    MikeBoyScout says:

    When life serves you lemons it’s useful to know how to make lemonade.

    #Ukraine (with help and support of “non-interventionist” USA and the EU) should offer to sell #Crimea to Russia for $35B plus xfer costs.

    know when to walk away, know when to run.

  95. 95
    Cervantes says:

    @Mike G:

    The Kuwaitis arrested a couple of Iraqi agents while GHW Bush was visiting (in 1993 or thereabouts, after he left the White House), and tortured them into confessing they were targeting Bush. The FBI thought the whole story was dubious, but the Bush Crime Family found it very useful to propagate the fib that Saddam had tried to kill GHW.

    Yes, it was in ’93. Seventeen were arrested.

    Do you recall that in June of ’93, to retaliate, and on the orders of President Clinton, there was a cruise missile strike on a government intelligence facility in Baghdad?

    Why do you say “the FBI thought the whole story was dubious”?

  96. 96
    Paul in KY says:

    If Sec. Kerry was able to say that quote without laughing, it shows what a professional he is.

  97. 97
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Dead thread, but …

    Putin talked about his BFF Yanukovych today:

    Defending Yanukovych

    Referring to the overthrow of Mr Yanukovych, Mr Putin said the ousted leader had agreed to all of the opposition’s demands.

    He insisted that Mr Yanukovych was still the legitimate president, and accused the West of encouraging the street protests that had ousted him.

    There were only three legal means to remove a president, he said: death, personal resignation or impeachment.

    Mr Yanukovych fled to Russia, and Mr Putin told the news conference: “I don’t think he has a political future.”

    Russia had helped him for “humanitarian” reasons, he said, “otherwise he’d just have been killed”.

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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