Ukraine Thread

I have no idea what this guy is saying, but I’m surprised he didn’t take in his laundry before addressing the media. This thread is for discussion of how Obama is the Chamberlain of our times, and how Kerry is trying to forge another Munich agreement.

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155 replies
  1. 1
    gene108 says:

    I’m really trying to figure out why I should care about the Russian-Ukraine issue.

  2. 2
    some guy says:

    “Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the ’30s,” Clinton said Tuesday, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram. “All the Germans that were … the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they’re not being treated right. I must go and protect my people, and that’s what’s gotten everybody so nervous.”

  3. 3
    max says:

    This thread is for discussion of how Obama is the Chamberlain of our times

    I totally dig how, in the land of Idiot Elites, also known as Washington, DC, back and forthing about domestic policy is a far more important consideration than a fucking potential nuclear war.

    and how Kerry is trying to forge another Munich agreement, in this thread.

    I tried to listen to his remarks yesterday, and thought I was tuned into a McCain ’08 rally, so I gave up after 15 minutes.

    Meantime Hillary babbled something about Hitler & Munich yesterday because M3 TOO! And no one has any idea what the hell she’s talking about. Thanks for reminding me why I backed Obama, lady.

    max
    [‘The big advantage of a meteor strike is the lack of radiation.’]

  4. 4
    aimai says:

    Its fascinating to me (not) that they don’t refer to more proximate situations of ethnic minorities stranded in new countries ilke, say, the Kurds of Iraq and Turkey, or the Palestinians. Or, hell, just for larffs, what about the Shi’a in Iran and Iraq. Does that kind of example make people think too hard about just how dangerous all this war talk is?

  5. 5
    some guy says:

    @aimai:

    talking about the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, in any way, shape, or form, means you are an anti-semite. end of discussion.

  6. 6
    Mudge says:

    Looks like they could be charged with theft, stealing the Ukrainian navy. I wonder if it was inherited from the Soviet Union.

  7. 7
    Citizen_X says:

    @aimai: Or Mexicans in the US.

  8. 8
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @some guy: Is there any chance that you might ever link to the material from which you are blockquoting?

  9. 9
    Belafon says:

    I have a discussion topic for you sometime, mm: Is the fact that we are abandoning NPR because we don’t like certain topics on there causing it to slide further right?

  10. 10
    some guy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    the Internet has this amazing web page, it’s called Google. If you go to http://www.google.com youcan put a single sentence, even a single word, into the search bar (located in the middle of the page) and this amazing search engine lists a whole slew of results for the sentence, phrase or word you entered.

    Again, that webpage is located at http://www.google.com. You should try it, it’s really cool.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @some guy: So the answer is no. Got it.

  13. 13
    some guy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    is your computer keyboard missing the letter G, perhaps?

  14. 14
    Cervantes says:

    @Mudge:

    Looks like they could be charged with theft, stealing the Ukrainian navy. I wonder if it was inherited from the Soviet Union.

    Dividing up the facilities, equipment, people, and loyalties of the old Soviet Black Sea Fleet was (maybe even is) a long and painful process that began somewhere in ’91 or ’92.

    So no, Ukraine did not simply receive an inheritance.

  15. 15
    PaulW says:

    This is a volatile situation and any flippant remarks we make here is meaningless to the violence and potential further bloodshed that can happen at any moment. The only thing we can do at this time IS push for some peaceful resolution, one that gets troops out of the Crimea and ensures Ukrainian independence while alleviating some of the concerns Russia has about their loss of influence in their neighborhood.

    If Putin thought he could bully the Ukrainian protesters back into the Russian sphere of influence, he badly miscalculated. This will only encourage the pro-Western Ukrainians to join the EU even faster, and get Poland and other Eastern European nations to back them up against an aggressive Russia.

    Just how bad is Russia’s economy right now? I know their markets were taking a huge hit this Monday and Tuesday…

  16. 16
    Mike E says:

    It must be Troll Spring Training.

  17. 17
    Eric U. says:

    I’m glad all the whining here about newsmax headlines has died down and we still get to see things like, “Christies woes multiply with Sandy disapproval”

  18. 18
    Mark S. says:

    In the future, everyone will be Chamberlain for 15 minutes.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    Ash Can says:

    @gene108: You could start with the fact that the guy sending the Russian troops and armaments into Ukraine (and lying about it) is surrounded by a bubble of yes-men and thus kept out of touch with reality. And he openly pines for the lost Soviet Union. And he has one of the world’s largest nuclear arsenals at his disposal. And the American right wing wishes he was our president instead of Barack Obama.

  21. 21
    Mudge says:

    @Cervantes: It would seem the Russians may have chosen a new method for dividing the fleet.

  22. 22
    gnomedad says:

    I don’t have permission to edit this comment? FYWP (or maybe Chrome).

    @Mark S.: Excellent.

  23. 23
    Botsplainer says:

    Interesting – that posting’s captioning is Russian as opposed to Ukrainian.

    I wonder what internal polling in Russia is currently looking like on this.

  24. 24
    C.V. Danes says:

    There is no doubt in my mind that if this had happened during the Bush/Cheney years that we would be sending warships as we speak. Love or hate Obama, he is at least doing what I would expect, which is trying to defuse the situation instead of heating it up.

    @gene108:

    I’m really trying to figure out why I should care about the Russian-Ukraine issue.

    You should care because this is what happens when you put a megalomaniac in charge of one of (still) the world’s most powerful countries, backed by a “puppet” democracy. Thankfully, the autocracy here has been relatively toned down, or else things would be getting pretty live about now.

    That’s why you should care, in my humble opinion :-)

  25. 25
    Chyron HR says:

    @Mike E:

    Come on, imagine what it must be like to be the true progressive version of that guy from Invasion of the Body Snatchers, standing in the middle of the highway screaming, “Obama’s a blood-soaked imperial warmonger,” only to have everyone dismiss you just because the President hasn’t, technically speaking, mongered any blood-soaked imperial wars… YET.

  26. 26
    Comrade Mary says:

    Someone may have already brought this Friedman column here. The Mustache of Understanding — gets it right?

    Why Putin Doesn’t Respect Us

    Just as we’ve turned the coverage of politics into sports, we’re doing the same with geopolitics. There is much nonsense being written about how Vladimir Putin showed how he is “tougher” than Barack Obama and how Obama now needs to demonstrate his manhood. This is how great powers get drawn into the politics of small tribes and end up in great wars that end badly for everyone. We vastly exaggerate Putin’s strength — so does he — and we vastly underestimate our own strength, and ability to weaken him through nonmilitary means.

    Let’s start with Putin. Any man who actually believes, as Putin has said, that the breakup of the Soviet Union was “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century is caught up in a dangerous fantasy that can’t end well for him or his people. The Soviet Union died because Communism could not provide rising standards of living, and its collapse actually unleashed boundless human energy all across Eastern Europe and Russia. A wise Putin would have redesigned Russia so its vast human talent could take advantage of all that energy. He would be fighting today to get Russia into the European Union, not to keep Ukraine out. But that is not who Putin is and never will be. He is guilty of the soft bigotry of low expectations toward his people and prefers to turn Russia into a mafia-run petro-state — all the better to steal from.

    So Putin is now fighting human nature among his own young people and his neighbors — who both want more E.U. and less Putinism. To put it in market terms, Putin is long oil and short history. He has made himself steadily richer and Russia steadily more reliant on natural resources rather than its human ones. History will not be kind to him — especially if energy prices ever collapse.

    So spare me the Putin-body-slammed-Obama prattle. This isn’t All-Star Wrestling. …

  27. 27
    catclub says:

    @some guy: Of course, Czechoslovakia also had significant aircraft manufacturing, that is not a notable aspect of the Crimean economy.

  28. 28
    aimai says:

    @C.V. Danes: I don’t actually think bush/cheney would have been dumb enough to mix it up with Russia over Ukraine. But they would have had a quick line of patter explaining why it wasn’t Dubya “I looked into his soul’s” fault. We kowtowed to the Chinese when they had our plane pretty damned quick.

  29. 29
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @some guy: I’m pretty certain that his computer has all the letters, but it often runs short on commas. Is it really so hard to link to the source, to save us a search? In many circles that would be considered common courtesy.

  30. 30
    raven says:

    @some guy: What’s your problem dickhead? You can’t figure out how to use the simple “link” function and you want to get off one someone else?

  31. 31
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @catclub: Romania had oil.

  32. 32
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Comrade Mary: Cats and dogs, living together…

  33. 33
    catclub says:

    @aimai: What about all the Canadians in Florida right now!

  34. 34
    Belafon says:

    @Comrade Mary: Maybe that’s why Daily Kos didn’t have an Abbreviated Pundit Roundup this morning: Writing “I agree with Friedman” could have created a singularity.

  35. 35
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Way WAY off topic: The gauntlet has been thrown and Colbert has answered.

    “I think what Steve King is saying, gays,” began Colbert, “is he wants you to send photos and/or videos proving to Steve King that you are gay.”

  36. 36
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Mudge:

    Russia leased back, from Ukraine, parts of the facilities that it gave up during the partitioning of the Black Sea Fleet. The lease-back arrangement resulted in Russian and Ukrainian sailors serving on the same bases and that has a been a continual source of friction between the two navies (Up to and including frequent street fights between Russian and Ukrainian sailors) . The leases were to have run through 2017 and Ukraine has, at various times, threatened not to renew them, relented, threatened again, relented, etc.

    The development of oil transit in the region has led Russia to declare that it would expand and modernize the Black Sea Fleet but, to date no newer vessels have been delivered. The current fleet is composed largely of aged vessels designed for sea fighting so its main use has been in bullying and blockading.

  37. 37
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): @raven: some guy recently quoted and misrepresented a bunch of comments I made in an NSA thread back in October without providing links. But enough about that and my apologies for any derailing.

  38. 38
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Can’t do YouTube here right now, but yesterday I posted a quote from a press release from the officers of the Sevastopol brigade of the Ukrainian Navy, in which they stated their allegiance to an independent Ukraine. The Navy’s Web page repeats that today. There is no question about which ship or which base belongs to whom – those questions were settled a long time ago. The Russian ships are blocking the Ukrainian ships, but have not tried to enter any Ukrainian bases nor to board any Ukrainian ships. Those would be acts of war, and Putin is very clearly hoping that the Ukrainians shoot first — which they decline to do.

    Those who are talking about American warships in the Black Sea, whether seriously, or in some kind of alternate-history argument, should read up on the Montreux Convention. Short version: Will Not Happen. Would Not Happen. Not under Bush, not under Obama.

  39. 39
    raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Fuck him if he can’t take a joke.

  40. 40
    catclub says:

    @Gin & Tonic: “The Russian ships are blocking the Ukrainian ships, but have not tried to enter any Ukrainian bases nor to board any Ukrainian ships. Those would be acts of war”

    Isn’t a naval blockade an act of war, too?

  41. 41
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Let us say someone wanted to violate the Montreux Convention, could one get a carrier group through the Dardanelles?

  42. 42
    burnspbesq says:

    @some guy:

    Why are you being a dick about this? Providing links is simply common courtesy. Is this your grand symbolic protest against the constraints of civilized society? Or are you simply being a dick because you can?

  43. 43
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Then-Presidents Yanukovych and Medvedev signed a 25-year renewal of the lease agreement in 2010. That is still in effect.

  44. 44
    Betty Cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: LMAO! Colbert is a national treasure, a worthy heir of Mark Twain and Will Rogers.

  45. 45
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: According to a USN Captain I cited the other day, that would be navigationally extremely difficult and risky. I’m sure the Turks would be very very unhappy.

  46. 46
    Patrick says:

    @max:

    Meantime Hillary babbled something about Hitler & Munich yesterday because M3 TOO! And no one has any idea what the hell she’s talking about. Thanks for reminding me why I backed Obama, lady.

    It is rather rich for Hillary to complain about Russia when Hillary was all for attacking Iraq.

  47. 47
    burnspbesq says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I wouldn’t want to try that unless I had eliminated or neutralized every potentially hostile aircraft and anti-ship missile within a 1,000 mile radius. You’re in Tom Clancy territory here.

  48. 48
    Belafon says:

    @some guy: If you’re going to quote someone, you need to provide the link. Otherwise you deserve what I did to you: I ignored it. Now, instead of discussing Clinton’s Nazi statement, we’re arguing about you.

  49. 49
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @catclub:

    Of course, Czechoslovakia also had significant aircraft manufacturing, that is not a notable aspect of the Crimean economy.

    Almost all of Russia’s large transport aircraft are designed and built by the Antonov State Company located in Kiev. Antonov is the most common aircraft brand in the world with more than 22,000 aircraft built and operating throughout Russia and the former SSRs as well as in developing countries. Antonov specializes in very large aircraft, including the world’s largest the An-225 Mriya, as well as transports designed to land on undeveloped runways. Not the Crimea but, close enough.

  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @catclub: A naval blockade really consists of preventing maritime transport to or from a place. In this case, as I understand it, the Russian ships are simply placing themselves in positions that would cause confrontations if the Ukrainians put to sea. They are not preventing the ordinary flow of shipping.

  51. 51
    muricafukyea says:

    You are way out of your depth glorified reddit poster muckymux. You could not even come up with a stupid song phrase for your title.

    Why are you not asking why Snowden is not denouncing Putin’s disrespect for Ukraines sovereignty?

  52. 52
    Beth in VA says:

    @Ash Can: Yes, this is incredibly important and I don’t understand the sardonic and apathetic responses from so many places. @some guy is not alone in this. Is this because the Cold War was so long ago? Is it because we are too cool to care about some new European WWIII? Perhaps it’s just people of a certain age, but Putin is a dictator invading other countries in Europe and this seems incredibly important to me.

  53. 53
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @catclub: There’s probably a gray area of definition here. Is this an actual blockade? At least publicly, the Ukrainian forces do not believe they are at war. And at least as far as the land-based forces, Russia is, at least publicly, insisting that those are not Russian forces, just volunteer Crimean self-defense groups. I believe the absence of any identifying insignia on their uniforms is an act of provocation on its own, but that’s just me.

  54. 54

    Hillary doesn’t disappoint, she is back on her war horse again. Reason elebenty, I am less than excited at the prospect of her running again. The 90s called and they want the Clintons back. Kthxbai.

  55. 55
    WaterGirl says:

    @some guy: If you don’t care about being courteous, then perhaps you’ll care about the environment?

    The “don’t be evil” search giant is now defending its gargantuan use of energy: about 2 billion kWh per year. Last I checked, that’s somewhere in the neighborhood of one tenth of 1% of U.S. total electricity consumption. It is an astounding amount of energy, enough to power about 200,000 typical homes for a year.

    Every google search uses energy. Let’s say there are a hundred people who might read what you wrote and want to check out the source. So 100 people are supposed to google your phrase or paragraph, every time you post something with a cut and paste? That means google uses that much more energy, and I don’t know why a reasonable commenter would want to do that.

    http://posthumancondition.com/.....earch-use/

  56. 56
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @burnspbesq: Right. At that point your ships are in a lake.

  57. 57
    Roger Moore says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    The Mustache of Understanding — gets it right?

    But still manages to write like Tom Friedman.

  58. 58
    Cervantes says:

    @Belafon:

    I ignored it. Now, instead of discussing Clinton’s Nazi statement, we’re arguing about you.

    From here you get a version and some context — knock yourself out!

  59. 59
    kindness says:

    Well the Munich 38/Chamberlain meme must have been on a listserve conservatives use because that is all I saw repeated at NPR Monday & Tuesday. Today less so but it’s early. And really I can only be a hit & run guerrilla over at NPR now. It is no longer filled with people like me.

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Vaguely bellicose language and saber-rattling is not inconsistent with diplomatic measures being pursued.* Look at Syria, many people were complaining about Kerry’s public statements and wondering if he’d gone nuts; as it turned out, he was pursuing a diplomatic solution on a parallel track.

    *I know that Hillary is a private citizen at the moment.

  61. 61
    magurakurin says:

    @some guy:

    you’re a fucking wanker, mate. a complete dickhead.

    but I mean that in a nice way

  62. 62
    Shakezula says:

    Lies! Obama is Doubleplus Hitler of our times (with Islamoterror sprinkles on top).

  63. 63
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Roger Moore: You get one miracle a day — no more than that!

  64. 64
    Amir Khalid says:

    @max:
    I’ve read the remarks attributed to Hillary. They were not in themselves very different than the speculations about Putin’s motives that have been aired in these threads and elsewhere. And they were made at a private event in Long Beach. A local newspaper group’s executive editor attended the event, and then reported the remarks. Which is not how someone in her position, who has had three decades and counting of worldwide attention, seeks attention for what they have to say.

  65. 65
    WaterGirl says:

    @Belafon: win for some guy!

  66. 66
    Belafon says:

    @WaterGirl: That’s both impressive and yet, we’ve gotten to a point where I could not do without their search database. I would be in favor of declaring Google the search engine winner and requiring us to pay for the electricity through taxes if I could figure out how to make this work in practice.

  67. 67
    WaterGirl says:

    @Amir Khalid: I will say this – public figure has to know by now that there is no such thing as private remarks, even at a private event. If clinton isn’t aware of that, then she really needs to not run for president.

  68. 68
    Mike E says:

    @catclub: Ever watch wolves pick a mate? They play “chicken” to see who’ll flinch, a basic level of self-regulation and maturity. Even animals know that projection is a waste of their time and should be ignored.

  69. 69
    WaterGirl says:

    @Belafon: I’m not saying we shouldn’t do google searches. But what that guy wants everyone to do is the equivalent of turning on the faucet in the sink and then going out for a walk, and that’s just a stupid and unnecessary use of resources.

  70. 70
    rikyrah says:

    @gene108:

    I’m really trying to figure out why I should care about the Russian-Ukraine issue.

    been wondering that myself.

  71. 71
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Tweety had a professor of Russian history (Stephen (?) Cohen, from Columbia?) who criticized Obama for being too bellicose and insensitive to Russia. Tweety played a clip of Pittypat Graham talking about bringing Georgia in to NATO and putting a “noose” around Russia. The professor looked like he wanted to vomit. A bit later, a panel was talking about Lindsey’s “this is all because of Benghazi”, and Dana Milbank chuckled that “we” all need to give Lindsey a break, because after all he is in a primary. The Villager corruption on display is a windmill I’ll pass by at this point, but neither the prattlers nor the professor seemed willing to point out that the man who is considered in Very Respectable circles to be the Opposition’s number two (McCain being number one, god help us) on foreign policy making threatening and inflammatory statements about a situation he doesn’t quite seem to understand might not be helpful.

  72. 72
    Elizabelle says:

    @some guy:

    Your link did not even make it clear WHICH Clinton is speaking.

    It turns out to be former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It could have been former President Bill Clinton.

    Also: it is clumsy to have to check a source when you’re reading on a smartphone, as many Balloon Juicers do. That is why it’s considerate to include the link — or at least identify your source, if you cannot.

    Myself, I follow a link all the way back to its primary source, because otherwise how do you know the linker (or intermediary) got it correct?

    Here is the link pertaining to your comment 2. It actually might not be from the freely available Long Beach Press-Telegram.

    Hillary Clinton Compares Vladimir Putin’s Actions in Ukraine to Adolf Hitler’s in Germany

    Very honestly, if you had included the immediately preceding paragraph, your link would have been more informative.

    Clinton made her comments at a private event benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach.

    “Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the 30s,” she said. “All the Germans that were … the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they’re not being treated right. I must go and protect my people and that’s what’s gotten everybody so nervous.”

    Although: the second paragraph isn’t identical. So who is the intermediary/aggregator who provided someguy’s passage?

    More info from a photo caption in the Press-Telegram:

    Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enters the courtyard at the Union Bank Building where she spoke at the annual Boys and Girls Club fundraiser luncheon in Long Beach, Calif., on March 4, 2014.

  73. 73
    Morbo says:

    I have no idea what this guy is saying, but I’m surprised he didn’t take in his laundry before addressing the media.

    They put their mattresses over the side rails so that it would be more difficult to board the ship.

  74. 74
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @WaterGirl:

    The world uses Google search. We just happen to be the nation that can provide that much energy to Google. My modest experience with data centers is that the servers aren’t the main consumers of power, cooling them is. Servers work best and last longest in refrigerator-like temperatures and they throw off lots of heat so cooling them takes massive amounts of HVAC.

  75. 75
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Morbo:

    They put their mattresses over the side rails so that it would be more difficult to board the ship.

    Not to mention, when I was in the Navy at least, the routine “All hands stand by to air bedding.”

  76. 76
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @rikyrah: A shitload of Europe’s fuel comes from Russia through Ukraine. If things go badly, that flow will shut down. Europe will seek fuel from other sources. Prices will go up here in the US. How is that for a parochial reason? In an interconnected world, when two very large counties with major energy reserves and big armies are possibly going to go to war, consequences are not limited to the region.

  77. 77
    Botsplainer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Let us say someone wanted to violate the Montreux Convention, could one get a carrier group through the Dardanelles?

    Lots of nice slow targets transiting the channel through the Dardanelles. I’m picturing a blood pressure spike on every bridge in the group.

  78. 78
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: O’Reilly was using this argument to bellow for Keystone approval. Also to call for Obama to reverse his proposed Pentagon cuts, because Field Marshall Bill apparently thinks we’re going to send troops to Ukraine.

  79. 79
    Amir Khalid says:

    @WaterGirl:
    Hillary didn’t say anything I found surprising or particularly controversial. Even if she’s the first to say that, she wouldn’t have been the first to think it. And I doubt she would have picked a private event to express a thought — and get it reported in a local paper — if she really wanted the whole world to hear it.

  80. 80
    Fair Economist says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    @Omnes Omnibus: According to a USN Captain I cited the other day, that would be navigationally extremely difficult and risky. I’m sure the Turks would be very very unhappy.

    That’s putting it mildly. The Nimitz carrier has an height (air draft to be precise) of 252 feet. The Bosphorus bridge has a clearance of 210. A US carrier would quite literally not fit through the Bosphorus unless they blew up the bridge.

  81. 81
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: O’Reilly is a moron. We aren’t sending troops to Ukraine: I mean, just look a fucking map. Further, Keystone wouldn’t solve the problem; weaning ourselves off fossil fuels would solve the problem.

  82. 82
    CaseyL says:

    I’m not about to dismiss the Ukraine situation as irrelevant, because Putin is using coercion to attempt an annexation of Crimea, and that is significant.

    One of the reasons it’s significant is precisely because the US invaded Iraq on a dishonest pretext. If that can be used as precedent for any nation to aggressively interfere with another nation, and the treaties meant to prevent such actions aren’t enforced, then we’ve just thrown out nearly a century of work in reducing the chances of major international conflagrations.

    That the US was instrumental in wrecking the international apparatus meant to prevent war when we invaded Iraq does not mean we have to keep our mouths shut when Putin decides, explicitly, to follow that example. If anything, the US has an additional responsibility to re-establish the very institutions it wrecked, to continue to repudiate its own actions.

    I’m very glad Obama is in charge of the US response, because he’s not a reflexive warmonger. He’ll use every other tool available – sanctions, economic assistance, diplomacy – rather than go first to a military response.

  83. 83
    Joel says:

    @some guy: Without context, I thought that was Big Dog spouting nonsense in the quote. Sadly, it’s Hilary.

  84. 84
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Fair Economist: Fair enough. His navigational experience didn’t entail any concern about air draft, if you get what I mean.

  85. 85
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Odd, innit, how in all of the decades since the Arab Oil Embargo highlighted the perils of our dependence on imported fossil fuel no US administration has seen fit to commit us to a Manhattan Project-level endeavor to attain energy independence. It’s almost as if both of our political parties are in the bag for Big Oil. Nah, couldn’t be.

  86. 86
    Botsplainer says:

    @Fair Economist:

    A US carrier would quite literally not fit through the Bosphorus unless they blew up the bridge.

    ‘Murkan exceptionalism sometimes requires some collateral damage to make a point.

  87. 87
    C.V. Danes says:

    @aimai:

    I don’t actually think bush/cheney would have been dumb enough to mix it up with Russia over Ukraine.

    Thankfully, we can relegate that to the “what if” section of history :-)

  88. 88

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: BBC has much better coverage, since they actually have people on the ground and not just Punditubbies playing arm chair generals.

  89. 89
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Get ready for the emails from your crazy old uncles and aunts, and the Facebook posts from your college roommate, a Meme Is Born:

    CNN host Kate Bolduan responded incredulously. “Moving forward with the Keystone pipeline? That development would take years, though, to actually make that happen.”
    “The signal,” Ryan pushed back, “Kate, the signal that America is open for energy business and America will be helping our allies with energy resources so that they can be less dependent on Russian energy resources. The signal is very important.”

    The signal! Putin will piss himself when he sees the Signal!

  90. 90
    catclub says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Or even small bore ‘project’ of gradually increasing the gas tax. Just think what 2-5 cents increase per year (gradual, small, predictable) – starting in 1979 would have done for fuel economy. Lost opportunity.

  91. 91
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    America has already been been sending the Signal for decades in pretty much the same way that a young woman wearing only hot pants and a crop top while standing under a streetlight at 2AM on a cold morning is sending a signal.

  92. 92
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: very true, but the BBC has far less influence on our political discourse than the Pundit-tubbies. Actually when Kristol was bloviating on Morning Joe about the need to “humiliate” Putin, a British reporter (Financial Times, I think) couldn’t even roll her eyes because they were bugged with disbelief.

    I know it shouldn’t be a surprise at this point, but Wrong Way Bill is essentially making the same terrarium argument about Russia they made about Iraq: If we “humiliate” Putin, the Russian people, or the oligarchs, will rise up, or bestir themselves, and install a prudent, Western-friendly, tax-cutting, drill baby drill new President. I wonder if it’s Heritage or AEI that has Bill Kristol’s candidate drawing a stipend and presiding over lunches where he tells Kristol and Krauthammer and Chuck Lane that he will be called home to rule any minute now.

  93. 93
    Roger Moore says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Odd, innit, how in all of the decades since the Arab Oil Embargo highlighted the perils of our dependence on imported fossil fuel no US administration has seen fit to commit us us to a Manhattan Project-level endeavor to attain energy independence.

    ISTR that History’s Greatest Monster declared that the energy situation was the “moral equivalent of war” and tried to implement a whole host of energy independence measures, including conservation, expansion of domestic fossil fuels, and renewable energy including solar. Of course the next President turned around and undid most of what he had done. Obama has pushed reasonably hard on those points, too. But I guess it’s just too tempting to lapse into “both sides do it”.

  94. 94
    Ben Franklin says:

    “The signal! Putin will piss himself when he sees the Signal!”

    I guess it’s no longer a secret who the Pipeline is being built for.

    Sold to the highest bidder; just as we expected.

  95. 95
    Roger Moore says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    “The signal,” Ryan pushed back, “Kate, the signal that America is open for energy business and America will be helping our allies with energy resources so that they can be less dependent on Russian energy resources. The signal is very important.”

    I guess the signal is to spread our legs and apply lubricant.

  96. 96
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Roger Moore:

    But I guess it’s just too tempting to lapse into “both sides do it”.

    Oh my ass. Both sides have done it and continue to do so. We’ve had eight years of Clinton and we’ll have eight years of Obama with neither giving much more than a nod to energy independence. In this instance you can take that comment and shove it sideways.

  97. 97
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Ditto.

    Hey, you know everyone who calls Obama a secret Republican, closet Republican, moderate Republican? (In reality, he’s a tail-end boomer, and has a kinda typical outlook for that generation. Hell, if anything, he’s more liberal than the tail-end boomers in my family, and much less cynical than the GenXers I know socially who are only a few years younger than him.)

    Hilary Clinton was a real, honest-to-gosh Republican from a solid-GOP family who married Bill and two-stepped over to the D side.

    Okay?

    Now, if she were Lincoln Chafee, nihil obstat and all that. But she’s not. She’s talking about the Sudetenland like a fool.

  98. 98
    some guy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    awesome. using direct quotes written on Balloon Juice comments threads from a Balloon Juice commenter is now considered “misquoting” by that same commenter. Amazingly, you do learn something new every day at Balloon Juice.

  99. 99
    Cervantes says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    And I doubt she would have picked a private event to express a thought — and get it reported in a local paper — if she really wanted the whole world to hear it.

    Indeed. Many (47%?) have argued that, in American politics, what you tell the funders in private is more important than what you tell the voters in public.

  100. 100
    some guy says:

    @Joel:

    yeah, context is everything. the long blockquote seemed to have also confused Omnes Omnibus, who apparently can’t access either the Washington Post or Google on his computer.

  101. 101
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Ben Franklin: I guess it’s no longer a secret who the Pipeline is being built for.

    Was it ever?

    @Roger Moore:

    Michael Grunwald ‏@ MikeGrunwald 5h
    US solar power now up 1500% since 2008. Tnx, you-know-what!

  102. 102
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @some guy: Misrepresenting, not misquoting.

  103. 103
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Agree or disagree with the technique, but from a pure economic point of view fracking and related technologies (sideways drilling, etc.) are leading toward energy independence for the US, which is already the world’s leading producer of petroleum and natural gas.

  104. 104
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @kindness: I don’t think it takes too many trolls/conservative activists to disrupt lightly moderated boards to drive the thoughtful commenters away. It’s a goal they have, they’ve done it over and over.

  105. 105
    Anoniminous says:

    @gene108:

    I’m really trying to figure out why I should care about the Russian-Ukraine issue.

    Provides evidence for real world, hard, limits on US foreign (thus military) power.

    Example, if Ukraine had become a NATO member according to Article 5 we’d be at war with Russia right now or at least sending US and other military forces into Ukraine including the eastern territories and Crimea. This would escalate tensions as the Russians, not unreasonably, view NATO as an anti-Russian alliance and they have been firm they are going to start pushing back at NATO expansion along their European border.

  106. 106
    Elizabelle says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    The Washington Post comment threads are a cesspool.

    By design, or outright negligence, I guess.

  107. 107
    some guy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    doesn’t it just suck when someone directly quotes your own words to show your current claims are the exact opposite of the claims you were making a few months before?

    I just hate that.

  108. 108
    maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I know it shouldn’t be a surprise at this point, but Wrong Way Bill is essentially making the same terrarium argument about Russia they made about Iraq: If we “humiliate” Putin, the Russian people, or the oligarchs, will rise up, or bestir themselves, and install a prudent, Western-friendly, tax-cutting, drill baby drill new President.

    What a moron. The oligarchs aren’t doing anything with Putin unless he starts mucking up the works of their sweet money machine by getting his war on too hard. Hell, the Russian markets and their financial concerns are probably the best hedge out there against Vladdy rolling the tanks back into Eastern Europe.

  109. 109
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: You’re full of shit, you know that? Clinton tightened CAFE standards, too bad Bush came in and made the world safe for polluters again for about four years. And Obama and the D Congress 2006-2011 RIP implemented it again and then some, plus they credits for solar which SOME communities took full advantage of. It’s not Obama’s fault that some towns were dumb-dumbs and didn’t make the most of a golden opportunity. Hell, the whole endeavor has had unintended consequences as energy utility cos that overbuilt during Bush II’s anything-goes years now found they have overbuilt and are trying to stick local municipalities with the bill. Oh, and Obama admin is putting the brakes on that Duke (scumballs) Progress merger, dunno how that’s all going to work out but it’s a fucking mess. But both sides do it, right?

  110. 110
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @some guy: If you somehow think that anything I said in the October thread was supportive of warrantless domestic surveillance, then you have reading comprehension problems. As far as this thread goes, if you don’t feel obliged to follow the common courtesy of linking to material that you quote, then so be it.

  111. 111
    DanF says:

    @Mark S.: For the win.

  112. 112
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Great link. Wonder why IN went for solar utility install (I’ve seen it, quite impressive) and not the rest of midwest–are they going for wind, instead?

    Florida is so sad and pathetic. It’s deliberate, state lege interfering again. Nevertheless, there is a solar industry in the swamp, basically kickstarted by those tax credits during The One’s first term, now self-sustaining. Duke/Progress built nuclear plants it doesn’t need. Gainesville built a white elephant biomass plant that is the #2 biggest problem (#1 is that MBTE plume headed straight for the potable water supply).

    GOPers who are doing well are all obsessed with getting “off the grid” and buying their own wind or solar for their property.

    That non-residential will really ramp up if Florida passes a meter-in law*. All those commercial roofs that are basically stormwater aggregators that cost municipalities money? Turn ’em into power generation. Yee-haw.

    *-expect this to happen when GOP has been marginalized in Tallahassee, by which I mean the lege, not the town, where GOP is already marginalized, can’t be around those people half the year and not know exactly what they’re about, bluest part of North Florida/South Georgia.

  113. 113
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    “leading toward energy independence for the US, which is already the world’s leading producer of petroleum and natural gas.”

    That’s good news for the stakeholders.

  114. 114
    Ben Franklin says:

    Gazprom is an effective tool for tamping down dissent.

    Let’s turn that gun on ourselves.

  115. 115
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Ben Franklin: Well, the good news is that you can join the stakeholders, too. It doesn’t take very much. In fact, if you are enrolled in almost any sort of pension plan or 401(k) you probably already are a stakeholder.

  116. 116
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    Kerry is trying to forge another Munich agreement,

    Another Munich? He forged the first one. You do know that he’s a 400 year old vampire, right?

  117. 117
    SFAW says:

    This thread is for discussion of how Obama is the Chamberlain of our times,

    I had the idea that Obama was a half-decent hoops player, but Chamberlain? I mean, even comparing him to CarMEMEMElo Anthony would be a stretch. Although, I can see the parallels, what with Melo leading the Knicks to back-to-back-to-back NBA championships and all.

  118. 118
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    The good news is that my investment dividend might reduce my energy costs by a ruble, when I can fuel.

  119. 119
    Ben Franklin says:

    ‘find’ fuel….

  120. 120
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Back to the topic, it appears that the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy is being held at gunpoint in Simferopol. Kind of a weird standoff, as he is in a coffee shop, along with an ITV news crew, but the doors are being blocked by unidentified armed men who aren’t letting anyone in or out. He went into the coffee shop when his car was blocked, and the armed men insisted he go with them to the airport, and he declined.

  121. 121
    Cervantes says:

    @Gin & Tonic: He’s been waiting there in that coffee shop for help to arrive. It’s kind of amazing!

  122. 122
    mike in dc says:

    I believe the Ukrainian captain has put out the bedding as a clearly fascist, anti-Semitic message. Also, something something pogroms something something RT something something ??? something something Ukrainians are the real Hitler!

  123. 123
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Cervantes: I think you need to do that in every post from now on.

  124. 124
    jl says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I just saw a report that Russia said it considers terms for allowing international observers into Crimea a matter for Ukrainian and local Crimean authorities to figure out. So, maybe that standoff is part of Russian tactic of outsourcing delay and befuddlement on international observers to its local agents in Crimea.

    Anyway, while looking to recover that story, I found this. Looks like action now is wrangling over what kind of ‘special status’ or whatever will satisfy Russia wrt to Crimea.

    Ukraine premier: Crimea will remain in Ukraine
    KIEV, Ukraine (AP) , In his first interview since taking office, Ukraine’s new prime minister vigorously defended the legality of his government against attacks coming from Russia, but said Wednesday that Ukraine would be willing to consider granting more autonomy to the Crimea region to assuage the concerns of the province’s pro-Russian population.
    http://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-.....nance.html

  125. 125
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cervantes: Brilliant.

  126. 126
    Roger Moore says:

    @Anoniminous:

    Example, if Ukraine had become a NATO member according to Article 5 we’d be at war with Russia right now or at least sending US and other military forces into Ukraine including the eastern territories and Crimea.

    Or, possibly, Putin would have been intimidated enough by the possibility of an Article 5 response that he wouldn’t have sent Russian troops into Crimea in the first place. I think the people who claim Putin is trying to take advantage of weakness have a point; it’s just that the weakness he’s trying to take advantage of is Ukrainian weakness resulting from governmental chaos rather than American weakness caused by Obama lacking resolve. I’m not actually advocating bringing Ukraine into NATO, since doing so would increase tensions with Russia and get us involved in Ukraine’s messy internal political problems, but I have to believe that Putin would have acted differently if Ukraine had strong allies who could step in and defend it during its domestic problems.

  127. 127
  128. 128
    PJ says:

    Yeah, it looks like Putin saw an easy opportunity to increase the territory under direct Russian control and went for it. Ukrainian orders not to shoot have so far stymied his justification of protecting Russian minorities; if he has any larger plans for taking control of more Ukrainian territory, they have also been slowed down.

  129. 129
    jl says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I agree that Putin is really taking advantage of Ukrainian weakness, and military and geographic facts on the ground. I think his strategy has been to take some legitimate points and stretch them as far as he could, as I said in an earlier thread, right to the point where they fail the laugh test, and use them to establish a status quo that no one will willing to challenge in order to use Crimea as a bargaining chip.

    Protesters denounce the Feb 21 agreement. Some protester make some wild talk about a coup if Yanukovych isn’t gone by 10 AM the next day, and the Ukrainian army says it stands with the Ukrainian people and won’t fight them. Then there is a day of murk and confusion as Yanukovych goes missing and the parliament has to improvise. So Putin says, obviously it’s an open and shut case that a coup occurred and the current government is illegitimate.

    The Putin sends in several thousand troops that he implausibly explains are local defense forces and Russian security troops and implausibly asserts that the only way he can protect Russian interests in the Crimea is to take control of the whole peninsula.

    I don’t agree that things would necessarily be better in Ukraine were in a stronger security agreement with the West, and I think Ukraine being in NATO quickly given its political instability is not something that could happen. Whether that political instability is entirely Ukraine’s fault doesn’t make any difference.

    Maybe one benefit of this crisis to Putin is that the road to Ukrainian admission to NATO just got a lot longer,and maybe now something that won’t happen.

    I don’t think NATO is a good long run solution to national security in that area, so I don’t mind that Ukraine is not in NATO, and don’t think mutual defense pacts are always the best approach. That might piss off some commenters here, but that is just my opinion.

  130. 130
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Another Holocene Human:
    Did you miss the part where I wrote +a Manhattan Project-level endevor,” browneyes?

  131. 131
    jl says:

    Here’s a summary of current diplomacy on Ukrainian crisis.
    An important point, I think, is that new Ukrainian government indicates it is willing to be veryy patient on solution to Russian occupation of Crimea. Still can’t find link for report that Russia says it is leaving arrangements for international observers in Crimea to Ukraine and local Crimean authorities. Pretty sure I found the article, but it has been updated the text is not there anymore, so I give up.

    Diplomatic exit for Ukraine? Talks, $15B in EU aid

    Outlines of diplomatic solution for Ukraine? Envoys converge as EU offers $15 billion in aid
    .Associated Press
    By Lori Hinnant and Juergen Baetz
    http://news.yahoo.com/diplomat.....22317.html

  132. 132
    Ben Franklin says:

    @jl:

    To join NATO the Ukraine must be an autonomous Nation.

  133. 133
    Suffern ACE says:

    Frankly, I don’t think Kerry has any business trying to negotiate on behalf of anyone in this dispute, let alone Ukraine. If Ukraine wants to play the game of “Give us money or we’ll go to the Russians” with the EU and “Give Us money or we’ll go to the EU” with the Russians, there really isn’t or wasn’t any reason for the US to give two shits about it. Ukraine’s problems are largely of its own making. The previous two leaders have been buffoons. The Nationalists in Parliament with their “Ukraine” official language law (which was apparently passed, and fortunately vetoed) decided to spit in the eyes of other Ukrainians while their country had just ousted their leader. WAY GO UKRAINIAN NATIONALISTS. How’s that Ukraine for Ukrainians thing working out for you.

    I am more than a little pissed that our state department has decided to be involved on a high profile level here. Germany can mediate between the two. We don’t need to be representing anyone, let alone the Ukranian. I think Ukraine was going to have to give concessions to someone at some point and they might as well make them without high-profile “Showdown and Munich II” nonesense that we bring with us. I’m not certain Ukraine knows what it wants except more loans for its elite to steal without making a dent in its corruption problems.

  134. 134
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    WRT German assistance, I think the UDAR, Fatherland and Svoboda joining hands becomes the tail wagging the tail of the People, just like the Tea Party.

    Who knows whether they were invited…

    http://www.german-foreign-poli.....text/58701

    ” The German government is encouraging the protest demonstrations being staged in the Ukraine by the “pro-European” alliance of conservative and ultra-rightwing parties. The “pro-Europe rallies” in Kiev and other cities of the country are transmitting “a very clear message”, according to a government spokesperson in Berlin: “Hopefully” the Ukrainian president “will heed this message,” meaning sign the EU’s Association Agreement, which Kiev had refused to do last week, in spite of massive German pressure. To gain influence in the country, Germany has for years been supporting the “pro-European” alliance in the Ukraine. The alliance includes not only conservative parties, but also forces from the extreme right – because of their strength, particularly in western Ukraine, where a cult around former Nazi collaborators is manifesting itself. The All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda” party is particularly embedded in the national-chauvinist milieu, under the influence of this cult. Over the past few days, the party’s leader has called for a “revolution” in Kiev”

  135. 135

    […] Read the original post: Ukraine Thread » Balloon Juice […]

  136. 136
    Anoniminous says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The Russian “near abroad:’ the Baltic States, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland and the rest of eastern Europe, the ‘Stans,’ don’t much like the Russians for recent and historical reasons. It’s their problem. They are going to have to live with Russia as a 900lb gorilla next door. Let them work it out.

    For good, bad, and silly reasons the Russians consider NATO as an anti-Russian military alliance. Consider how the US would react if the Warsaw Pact was still around and Mexico was thinking of becoming a member. Thus expansion of NATO is viewed, by them, as a threat. (The reason Finland has zero interest in becoming a member.) We have the technology: lots of time, lots of diplomats, and lots of paper, to construct a political/military arrangement with Russia providing a working relationship to dampen these stupid foo-foos or even squash ’em before they start.

    The Cold War is over. The US and Russia have more in common these days than friction points. We need to learn how to work together to solve some gnarly problems.

  137. 137
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Ben Franklin: I know that conspiracy theorists, especially on the left in the US and to some degree in Europe cannot believe that a popular movement can arise anywhere without the hand of Western intelligence agencies, since those spics or bohunks or whatever are too dumb to think for themselves, but the anti-government protests which began in November in Kiev were organic, and were running ahead of the “organized” opposition’s (i.e. UDAR, Svoboda, Batkivshchyna) ability to control for most of the three months afterward. This is amply and eloquently described by knowledgeable observers, such as Timothy Snyder in his NYRB pieces.

  138. 138
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    popular movement can arise anywhere without the hand of Western intelligence agencies

    Venezuela comes to mind, but then that was a Leftist movement, so the other Hand would be the case.

  139. 139
    Ben Franklin says:

    “Allied in Europe with France’s National Front, the British National Party and Hungary’s Jobbik among others, Svoboda was previously known as the Social-National Party, an echo of the National Socialist, or Nazi Party.”

    http://www.thestar.com.my/stor.....sh-in-kiev

  140. 140

    @Ash Can: Gene, you understand what you just did? You gave us Putin’s deepest motives and emotions. That is an incredible gift. How did you arrive at this? Do you have this power with all world leaders? When did you first know that you could read people’s minds?

  141. 141
    WaterGirl says:

    @Bob In Portland: Maybe she read the same article I did?

  142. 142
    AxelFoley says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    @Comrade Mary: Cats and dogs, living together…

    In perfect harmony, side by side on my piano, keyboard, oh lord, why don’t we?

    Wait, what?

  143. 143
    Someguy says:

    I don’t care if Putin drives the Ukranians out into the desert like the Turks did with the Armenians. It’s none of our business. And so what if the Russians snag a warm water port. Ever looked at a Russian? There’s not a one of them, that couldn’t stand some sun.

    Let the Germans figure out what to do about Russia. It’s their continent…

  144. 144
    Liberty60 says:

    I just wanna know- If Kerry is the Chamberlain, does that make Bill O’Reilly the Father Coughlin, and the Tea Party the German Bund of our times?

  145. 145

    @WaterGirl: Maybe, but she spoke with such authority that I was sure that there was some kind of extrasensory perception involved.

    I know this draws attacks, but I’m stumbling around on an iPad and can’t find links. It’s hard enough for my fingers to type on this, and my Mac is halfway between Indiana and the West Coast after repairs. But… Asia Times has two articles today on Ukraine, one specifically about reading Putin’s mind.

    Maybe people are only plundering one lobe at a time, because this one seems to be the non-psychotic side.

  146. 146
    Gravenstone says:

    @some guy: Thanks for clearly showing no one should ever give one fuck, flying variety, about anything you ever say. Ever, again.

  147. 147
    WaterGirl says:

    @Gravenstone: Pretty much my conclusion, as well.

  148. 148
    Bob In Portland says:

    Here’s the link to Escobar’s column:

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/C.....50314.html

  149. 149
    Gin & Tonic says:

    In case anyone is interested, here is an example of the good PR Putin’s actions are buying him in Ukraine. Scene is from Donetsk (heart of the industrialized, pro-Russian East, and where Yanukovych is from.) A week ago you couldn’t gather a crowd one-tenth this size.

    https://twitter.com/novostidnua/status/441311575815647232/photo/1

    Caption just says “Our Donetsk tonight. And it’s only just begun”

  150. 150
    WaterGirl says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    …here is an example of the good PR Putin’s actions are buying him in Ukraine.

    Serious or sarcasm?

  151. 151
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @WaterGirl: Sarcasm. Look at the photo.

  152. 152
    mike in dc says:

    Putin just wasted 51 billion on Sochi to cultivate positive global PR. That’s gone now, and another 54 billion was lost in the Russian stock market due to this. And it’s only the beginning, if he doesn’t budge on Ukraine. We don’t need to fire a shot to seriously hurt Putin. He’s doing a damn good job all by himself.

  153. 153

    I wrote up my thoughts in a post titled Ukraine: The Great Game, v2.0. It’s a bit long; a page or two if it were print, and not easy to summarize. There’s lots of links at the end and I keep adding ore. Here’s a fragment:

    We seem to be back in the multipolar world, where great powers dream of empire and radicals dream of global federalism. I don’t think we get to withdraw from the game without dire consequences. And climate change is the game timer.

  154. 154
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @C.V. Danes:

    There is no doubt in my mind that if this had happened during the Bush/Cheney years that we would be sending warships as we speak.

    Then you need to read up about the Georgia crises in 2008 were Bush egged Georgia on and then did nothing when Russia invaded. Darth Cheney is only up for invading hapless third world countries.

  155. 155
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Way late in a moribund thread, but too good not to post. Not only does it feature the Ukrainian national anthem played on the bagpipes, but several Russian-speaking Ukrainians from Donetsk telling Putin to fuck off.

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