The Futility Of Our Media

There is a very serious disconnect between the public and our news media, and the most immediate example of which is the frothing headlines about Crimea and the opinion leaders need for action as compared to the responses I have gotten around here.

And mind you, I am in West Virginia, where almost half of us it seems are veterans, and the resounding response to the Crimea issue around here is “Who the fuck cares? Are they shooting at us?”

I’m hard pressed to disagree.

129 replies
  1. 1
    MikeJ says:

    C’mon, who doesn’t want to recreate the charge of the light brigade with American troops? Riding on horseback into cannon fire? What could be more valorous?

  2. 2
    Nunca el Jefe says:

    All that world’s policeman shit runs deep. American id.

  3. 3
    Chris says:

    Crimea: occupied by Russia.

    Russia: the possessor of either the world’s first or second largest nuclear arsenal (I can never remember who has more between them and us), capable of burning human civilization to a cinder many times over.

    It really is that simple.

  4. 4
    NotMax says:

    Thinking that we should “care” only if fire is being exchanged is rather empty and short-sighted thinking, too.

  5. 5
    pacem appellant says:

    I think this Borowitz report should be the US response for real:
    U.S. Freezes Putin’s Netflix Account

  6. 6
    PurpleGirl says:

    A certain number of “them” want to recreate the Cold War. Since the end of the Cold War, they have been adrift, with no sense of purpose or goals. They see this as an opportunity to re-engage the Soviet Union in a fight.

  7. 7
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Crimea? Everyone I know would rather speculate where that fucking plane went. I’m going with either inter-dimensional convergence or Jersey.

  8. 8
    karen says:

    Because they constantly have to come up with reasons why Obama is a pussy because real men go to war.

  9. 9
    Violet says:

    @Hunter Gathers: Yeah, the plane is the top story. Crimea gets second billing.

  10. 10
    catclub says:

    Wa Monthly analysis was pretty good. If this is such a disaster – and a looming disaster, how come the stock markets are shrugging it off? Except for the Russian stock market, of course.

  11. 11
    NotMax says:

    @Hunter Gathers

    There’s nothing to speculate about as to where it went.

    It went into the ocean.

    Where, whether it did so whole or in pieces, and why it did so are the questions unanswered yet by evidence.

  12. 12
    Kevin says:

    Honestly, i’m with John. Why should I care? 92% of the citizens voted to join Russia. That same percentage voted to stay with Russian in 1992 or so. The majority of them consider themselves Russian.

    So why should I be outraged? Honestly, the west (Europe, the US) brought this on themselves with their “hey Ukraine, join us in Nato, join us in the EU, don’t worry about Russia, we tots got your back!”, knowing full well that:

    a) Russia wouldn’t accept this, and

    b) When Russia didn’t accept it, oops, our bad, we actually don’t have your back!

    There was no scenario where we would ever go in there and protect them from Russia. But we had to keep poking at it with a stick. Well, I hope everyone learnt a lesson (but I sadly know that no one did).

  13. 13
    Cacti says:

    @Kevin:

    So why should I be outraged? Honestly, the west (Europe, the US) brought this on themselves with their “hey Ukraine, join us in Nato, join us in the EU, don’t worry about Russia, we tots got your back!”, knowing full well that

    Yeah, Ukraine never should never have worn that short skirt.

  14. 14
    dr. bloor says:

    @Hunter Gathers: @Hunter Gathers:

    Sharing an end zone in the Meadowlands with Jimmy Hoffa.

  15. 15
    danielx says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    Actually, “they” had pretty free rein during the administration of He Who Must Not Be Named (Especially By Republicans) – you know, during the period 2000-2008. And we’ve all noted how well things worked out then. But you know, it’s a situational deal. Remember when Russia invaded Georgia in 2008 and the neocons/cold warriors/etc got all up in GWB’s grille because he didn’t order the 82nd Airborne dropped in Tbilisi?

    Yeah, me neither.

    But you’re right, they do pine for the good old days, understandably. Why, even I can remember exactly how much fun duck-and-cover drills were, crouching there thinking about being turned into a Chicken McNugget.

  16. 16
    Thomas F says:

    Not just the MSM. Jackasses like Tom Ricks froth at the mouth to have Greenwald & Snowden “prove” their patriotism by denouncing Putin (for some reason TBogg retweeted this bullshit)

    Digby says all that needs to be said about this neo-McCarthyite tactic: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com.....n.html?m=1

  17. 17
    Cacti says:

    @Thomas F:

    Not just the MSM. Jackasses like Tom Ricks froth at the mouth to have Greenwald & Snowden “prove” their patriotism by denouncing Putin (for some reason TBogg retweeted this bullshit)
    Digby says all that needs to be said about this neo-McCarthyite tactic:

    Yes, FSM forbid anyone should expect a guy who appointed himself the head of an org. called the “Freedom of the Press Foundation” to actually have something to say about Russia actively censoring opposition media.

    That might require some intellectual consistency.

  18. 18
    Roger Moore says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    I’m going with either inter-dimensional convergence or Jersey.

    Area 51.

  19. 19
    Mike E says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    They see this as an opportunity to re-engage the Soviet Union in a fightrepeal Obamacare.

    fix’t.

  20. 20
    Mike in NC says:

    @pacem appellant: Putin is clearly taking his clues from Frank Underwood. He probably even pushed one of his girlfriends in front of a Moscow Metro train.

  21. 21
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Kevin: Neither Nato membership nor EU membership was offered. Also, the loser here is actually Ukraine. The West has not lost anything, so it’s hard to say we’ve brought this on ourselves. What happened to us? Well nothing really.

  22. 22
    Cervantes says:

    @Kevin:

    92% of the citizens voted to join Russia. That same percentage voted to stay with Russian in 1992 or so.

    Are you sure about any of these numbers?

  23. 23
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    @Kevin:

    Honestly, i’m with John. Why should I care?

    BECUZ CHECKOSLOVAKIA! CHAIMBERLIN! APPEASEMENT! AAAAAAAAAGGGH!

  24. 24
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mike E:
    I don’t think the neoconservatives really care about Obamacare, but they desperately need an external enemy to justify the MIC. If such an enemy does not exist, we must create one.

  25. 25
    Cacti says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Neither Nato membership nor EU membership was offered. Also, the loser here is actually Ukraine. The West has not lost anything, so it’s hard to say we’ve brought this on ourselves. What happened to us? Well nothing really.

    Putin has also painted himself into a corner with the annexation of Crimea. Ukraine remains vitally important for Russia’s gas exports to Europe, but by lopping off Crimea, he’s taken the most objectively pro-Russian part of Ukraine out of the equation.

    Now that he’s lost leverage on the inside, look for him to gin up excuses to grab more Ukrainian territory in the coming months.

  26. 26
    Suffern ACE says:

    I don’t think neocons, as slavishly hawkish as they are, are acting all pissed at the president and at the same time are giddy for the Cold War. The Cold War was actually hard work. What the neocons want, outside of all the oil in the world and the US to support Israel at all costs, is the US to remain the sole unipolar imperial almighty superpower of all things visible and invisible. They believe this state existed until last month. They would like to not have another Cold War because no other power is supposed to exist to be on the other side playing the game.

  27. 27
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Kevin: Putin is worried about Ukraine becoming close to the West, but it has more to do with them partnering/hiring western oil companies to developing their oil. The less Europe depends on Russia for energy, the less leverage Putin retains.

  28. 28
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Suffern ACE: Their only goal is to destroy Obama(and Democrats) at all costs.

  29. 29
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    From what I can tell, CNN is all Lost-plane, all the time.

    As for Crimea, it’s tricky, and is as likely to bite Putin on the arse over time. But that requires sufficient time for Crimeans to get annoyed at foreigners (i.e. non-Crimean Russians) in town, which in turn implies a passage of time that the American news media generally aren’t prepared to grant these days because if it’s Sunday, it’s John McCain.

  30. 30
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Cacti: Ukraine was broke. I can’t see them stopping russian pipelines. Much like I can’t see Russia embargoing it’s own gas shipments. I can see them trying to nab more territory.

    I’m not certain what I’d do at the moment if I were Ukraine. I could see myself trying to get Russians to love me. I could see trying to force as many Russians as I could to leave.

  31. 31
    trollhattan says:

    Putin’s nose under the tent? Hell if I know, but there’s nothing we can or could have done to prevent it. Inadequate belligerence from our follower-in-chief per Fox, I suppose.

    Basically, something somewhere occurs, chat for ninety seconds, blame Obama.

    None of this is intended to construe Putin is not a psychopath. If I lived anywhere near Russia I’d be nervous as fuck.

  32. 32
    burnspbesq says:

    @Chris:

    Russia: the possessor of either the world’s first or second largest nuclear arsenal (I can never remember who has more between them and us), capable of burning human civilization to a cinder many times over.

    You’re assuming that they have maintained their ICBMs so that they can (1) get out of their silos, (2) find a target, and (3) detonate. There is very little evidence to support that assumption.

  33. 33
    Cacti says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Ukraine was broke. I can’t see them stopping russian pipelines. Much like I can’t see Russia embargoing it’s own gas shipments. I can see them trying to nab more territory.

    I think the former Warsaw Pact states that are non-NATO should be very nervous.

  34. 34
    FlipYrWhig says:

    By the same token as the OP, the rest of the world had no reason to give a shit when the US invaded Iraq, amirite? Who the fuck cares, are they shooting at _us_?

    I mean, look, my instincts are to side with popular uprisings against authoritarian regimes, even though I know that the aftermath is always ugly, and that it can lead to more problems than were the case before the uprising, and so forth. So that first instinct needs to be tempered with cold hard cost-benefit analysis. But, still, the vox populi is a hell of a thing, and the “who the fuck cares” test condemns a lot of people to suffering unacknowledged, from East Timor to Johannesburg to Chiapas.

    I’d rather ask “what’s to be done?” than “who the fuck cares?” Maybe the answer to what’s to be done is… Nothing. But, come on, there are reasons to care, even if none of them are also reasons to take dramatic action.

  35. 35
    BubbaDave says:

    @burnspbesq:

    You’re assuming that they have maintained their ICBMs so that they can (1) get out of their silos, (2) find a target, and (3) detonate. There is very little evidence to support that assumption.

    The problem is that I’m unwilling to bet a few million lives that they haven’t. Because I lack the stalwart manliness of a True American ™.

  36. 36
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    either inter-dimensional convergence or Jersey.

    It’s stuck in traffic on the GW bridge.

  37. 37
    danielx says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Judging from fairly recent reports, I’m not too sure about our ICBM force.

    Not that it matters, especially. If only ten percent of Russian ICBMs were successfully targeted and launched at us, that would be quite enough to set this country back a hundred years, and leave a lot of places where nobody would be able to live or visit for quite some number of years.

  38. 38
    MikeJ says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Except the popular uprising in Ukraine was roughly half the population against the other half. It wasn’t Libya where there was an 80/20 or 90/10 split, it was much closer to 50/50.

  39. 39

    @BubbaDave: I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed. But no more than 15, 20 million tops.

  40. 40
    Cervantes says:

    @Cacti:

    Yes, FSM forbid anyone should expect a guy who appointed himself the head of an org. called the “Freedom of the Press Foundation” to actually have something to say about Russia actively censoring opposition media.

    You know, I keep hearing this sort of thing. Are you quite sure the Foundation has said nothing about press freedom in Russia? It took me just a few seconds to find comments on: (1) Russia escalating its censorship of the Internet by blocking access to news sites; (2) Russian hacking and surveillance of journalists in Sochi and what to do about it; (3) the existence, and translation into Russian, of a security guide for journalists; (4) the expulsion of a US journalist living in Moscow; and so on. Also, are you aware that the Foundation helps raise money to support WikiLeaks, which has in turn made revelations about (among other things) (5) corruption in Russia as well as (6) the activities of Russian intelligence agencies?

    Granted, there’s more one could say about Putin’s regime — but even an elementary moral calculus suggests there’s far more we should say about our own government’s questionable activities.

    That might require some intellectual consistency.

    I’m not sure that means what you think it means.

  41. 41
    fidelio says:

    Has anyone linked to Pierce’s teardown of Bill Kristol? It’s going to be a classic in the literature of invective (short form). Right now in Ranter Heaven Demosthenes and Cicero are grinding their teeth and weeping in envy, Jeremiah and Isaiah are taking notes, and H. L. Mencken is nudging people and saying “The kid’s got promise.”

    I’m thinking the last time I saw so much venom on the page, Ahab was giving the whale his parting thoughts.

    Of course people in West Virginia are more interested in the plane than in the Crimea. They aren’t going to be expected to pay for the plane for the next fifty years, their retirement money will not vanish as a result, and no friends, neighbors, or relations of theirs need to die or be horribly maimed on the plane’s behalf. We are unlikely to be plunged into economic chaos over a downed 777. They can honestly feel sorry for anyone who died (and for those who loved them) without having to figure out which side they ought to be on. If someone caused this by screwing up, it wasn’t us. Plus there’s a mystery to speculate about, which is always good.

    If the best the pundit class can do in the face of this preference is to deploy misquoted Shakespeare, maybe our pundits should take up work as earthworm census enumerators.

  42. 42
    The Dangerman says:

    @burnspbesq:

    There is very little evidence to support that assumption.

    While it’s known that Russia’s conventional military is a shell of it’s former self, I think it’s safe to assume their strategic forces are well cared for; last thing they want (or we want) is some loose nukes.

  43. 43
    Cervantes says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    the “who the fuck cares” test condemns a lot of people to suffering unacknowledged, from East Timor to Johannesburg to Chiapas.

    It’s an especially useful test when the depredations in question are caused by our own government.

  44. 44
    Bob In Portland says:

    The best theory I heard was from my girlfriend (who got it from someone else) that there was a fire, the pilots turned the plane around to get to the nearest airport but passed out from the smoke. The plane kept flying on autopilot until it ran out of fuel somewhere short of Mozambique. The cell phone reception isn’t very good in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

  45. 45
    Eric U. says:

    John McCain not withstanding (did you know he was a POW? he never talks about it), I would think veterans would be the last people that would want to go fight in Crimea.

  46. 46
    CaseyL says:

    I can see reasons to be nervous, esp. people in areas around Russia. I can see there being an argument to Do Something, because states should not be encouraged to invade one another whenever they feel like it.

    But we’re not in a position to Do Something, and it’s not only because we violated international law ourselves when we invaded Iraq. The Bush Administration also un-signed the International Criminal Court treaty, pulled the US out of it. The ICC had the potential to be a viable international law enforcement agency. Bush made sure that didn’t happen. So that’s one less tool for dealing with nations breaking laws, another non-military option no longer available.

    Yippee ki-yay, mofos.

  47. 47
    GregB says:

    I’m surprised that the political right think that Putin thinks Obama is weak, they have been saying for some time that Obama is a greater tyrant than Hitler.

  48. 48
    Cervantes says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    The best theory I heard was from my girlfriend (who got it from someone else) that there was a fire, the pilots turned the plane around to get to the nearest airport but passed out from the smoke. The plane kept flying on autopilot until it ran out of fuel somewhere short of Mozambique. The cell phone reception isn’t very good in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

    Does this theory take into account the following reports?

    The chief executive of Malaysia Airlines has revealed that the final words from missing flight MH370 were a simple “alright, good night” to ground control, 12 minutes after the key signalling system was manually switched off.

    And:

    The missing Malaysia Airlines jet’s abrupt U-turn was programmed into the on-board computer well before the co-pilot calmly signed off with air traffic controllers, sources tell NBC News. The change in direction was made at least 12 minutes before co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid said “All right, good night,” to controllers on the ground, the sources said.

  49. 49
    Chris says:

    @burnspbesq:

    You’re correct. Let me gamble on the assumption that their nukes are a paper tiger instead.

    ETA: DAMN it, Bubba. I mean, well done.

  50. 50
    cokane says:

    im kind of at a loss to understand why taking crimea is so awful anyways. being part of ukraine sucked, with one of the lowest per capita GDPs in Europe. The majority of Crimean ppl seem to want it, even if you accept that the vote was a complete sham. Russia gets to get back one of its old vacation/tourism provinces. Ukraine loses that, and that sucks. But Ukraine also overthrew its democratically elected government which set this whole thing off in the first place.

    I’m not saying it’s ideal, but i really fail to see any US interests and really don’t even see a human rights interest either.

  51. 51
    Cacti says:

    @Cervantes:

    You know, I keep hearing this sort of thing. Are you quite sure the Foundation has said nothing about press freedom in Russia? It took me just a few seconds to find comments on: (1) Russia escalating its censorship of the Internet by blocking access to news sites; (2) Russian hacking and surveillance of journalists in Sochi and what to do about it; (3) the existence, and translation into Russian, of a security guide for journalists; (4) the expulsion of a US journalist living in Moscow;

    Really, where?

    Serious question. I looked through their entire blog archive at their web page and found zero mentions of the state of press freedoms in the Russian Federation, going back to December 2012.

    In contrast, there were 19 about Bradley Manning.

  52. 52
    J.Ty says:

    @Cacti: That’s what an energy expert friend of mine said, although he included most of Europe in that equation.

  53. 53
    mclaren says:

    What you’re seeing, Cole, is the failed effort at the manufacture of consent for another excuse to increase funding to America’s now economically dominant military-surveillance-prison-police-torture complex. America currently spends a trillion dollars per year of government money on our military-surveillance-prison-police-torture complex, which makes the military-surveillance-prison-police-torture complex one of the single biggest political constituencies in our country.

    To keep that river of gold flowing, the military-surveillance-prison-police-torture complex will do anything and say anything. So much of the U.S. economy now depends on the military-surveillance-prison-police-torture complex that no excuse is too absurd, no propaganda too blatant, to trot out.

    For details on just how big a part of the U.S. economy the military-surveillance-prison-police-torture complex really is, see “America’s $1 Trillion National Security Budget,” 13 March 2014.

    Any and every foreign event must now be used as a pretext to ramp up military spending. Because, with the USSR gone, the U.S. military-surveillance-prison-police-torture complex is desperately and frantically scrambling to find some excuse to maintain its budget. And America’s leaders are equally desperate to give that funding, because…what’s the alternative?

    America has hollowed out its manufacturing and its education system and its economy to the point where, aside from prisons/police, the U.S. military and associated manufacturing and contractors, plus America’s broken collapsing medical-industrial complex, we don’t have much of an economy. All those wonderful measures of “manufacturing” and “profits” mostly boil down to building aircraft carriers and tanks — if you look at the country that builds most of the world’s refrigerators or washing machines or oil derricks, it’s South Korea, not America. If you look at the countries that build most of the world’s consumer electronics, it’s China and the Asian little tigers, not America.

    America is only Number One is prison cells and prison guards and boondoggle military spending on white elephants like nuclear attack subs and the non-functional Osprey tilt-rotor helicopter.

    Oh, and useless medical spending on insanely overpriced medical procedures that cost 300% to 700% what the exact same medical procedures cost in Europe or Japan.

  54. 54
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @CaseyL:

    Pretty much this. It’s a serious situation, and it does underscore just how much of a tinpot dictatorial dick Putin seems to aspire toward becoming. At the same time, there seems to be precious little we can do aside from the sanctions we’ve already laid down. We can’t really afford another military boondoggle, and our moral authority isn’t exactly the best anymore. Not to mention heavyhanded involvement would just give Putin and his cronies even more ammunition about the ‘West’ instigating in Ukraine.

    I really do hope it bites Putin in the ass, but until then, we’re going to have to weather the same assholes trying to simultaneously shit on Obama for being too much and/or too little like Putin.

  55. 55
    mclaren says:

    @cokane:

    I’m not saying it’s ideal, but i really fail to see any US interests and really don’t even see a human rights interest either.

    The U.S. interest is maintaining Pentagon spending.

  56. 56
    Cacti says:

    @The Dangerman:

    While it’s known that Russia’s conventional military is a shell of it’s former self, I think it’s safe to assume their strategic forces are well cared for; last thing they want (or we want) is some loose nukes.

    In a conventional conflict, Russia would be hard pressed to win a war with Turkey in 2014.

  57. 57
    Cervantes says:

    @CaseyL:

    But we’re not in a position to Do Something, and it’s not only because we violated international law ourselves when we invaded Iraq. The Bush Administration also un-signed the International Criminal Court treaty, pulled the US out of it. The ICC had the potential to be a viable international law enforcement agency. Bush made sure that didn’t happen. So that’s one less tool for dealing with nations breaking laws, another non-military option no longer available.

    Both the US and Russia signed but have not ratified the Rome Statute, which did enter into force in 2002. The US has informed the UN that it has no intention of ratifying, and so it is not subject to the ICC. Russia has not (yet) made the same notification and is therefore still legally (or technically) obliged to refrain from bringing the treaty into disrepute (which means absolutely nothing to the likes of Putin, obviously).

  58. 58
    J.Ty says:

    @Cervantes: Forgive me for not giving a lot of esteem to the statements of the guy who runs the airline and “sources”, but I don’t think those should be in consideration at this point.

  59. 59
    Anne Laurie says:

    @burnspbesq:

    You’re assuming that they have maintained their ICBMs so that they can (1) get out of their silos, (2) find a target, and (3) detonate. There is very little evidence to support that assumption.

    They don’t need to get anywhere near all of their birds where they’re supposed to go, really. Even a few warheads, coming down in the wrong place, could fvk up global geopolitics most very successfully. You think Merkel, for instance, wants to be downwind if Putin feels required to give a nuclear demonstration of his manliness?

    Heck, look at Pakistan. I’ve seen plenty of articles asserting none of their nukes could be delivered successfully, but just having them on hand has kept the country from being turned into Afganistan, Pt. II. And Putin’s got moar better material, experience, and technicians than Pakistan by a factor of how many?

  60. 60
    Ash Can says:

    Yeah, why should we care about anything outside of our own households?

  61. 61
    Cervantes says:

    @J.Ty:

    Forgive me for not giving a lot of esteem to the statements of the guy who runs the airline and “sources”, but I don’t think those should be in consideration at this point.

    Oh, I was just querying Bob In Portland re his commitment to his girlfriend’s source’s theory. I don’t myself spend a lot of time on this airplane story — not enough hours in the day.

    For what it’s worth:

    The Malaysia Airlines flight that vanished nearly two weeks ago was already 12 minutes into its diverted course when the plane’s co-pilot calmly told air traffic controllers that things were “all right,” former FAA spokesman Scott Brenner said Tuesday.

    Not sure Brenner is any more reliable than the chief executive of Malaysia Airlines, but have at it.

  62. 62
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @cokane: Hey, can we manufacture a crisis by which Spain can take back Florida? I hear the state’s Spanish-speaking populations are being mistreated, wink.

  63. 63
    Cacti says:

    Top Newsmax Headline:

    Ron Paul: Why Should US Care About Crimea?

    Cole finds himself agreeing with the Libertoons as usual.

  64. 64
    Redshift says:

    @MikeJ: Only if you buy our media’s narrative that it was all about whether to align with Russia or the EU. While that was one spark that got people back out into the streets, from what I’ve read from Ukrainian sources the big thing keeping them there was the massive corruption and consolidation of power by the Yanukovich government. It’s all well and good to talk about “overthrowing a democratically elected government,” but in countries without well-established democratic institutions, there are also plenty of examples of “one man, one vote, one time.” While it would be nice and clean if people could wait until their elected government has proven to everyone’s satisfaction that it’s become authoritarian before throwing it out, in the real world, that can mean losing the chance, or making the transition much more bloody.

  65. 65
    J.Ty says:

    @Cervantes: Ah, was skimming, apologies. There’s new (and often crap) info out every hour or two, but before I saw that 12 minute thing (which was when you posted it), what I’d seen was that the diversion happened a few minutes after the co-pilot’s sign-off, and that “everything’s cool, have a good one” or whatever is pretty much what the person who’s not holding the stick says when they’re leaving the ATC jurisdiction.

  66. 66
    Bob In Portland says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Here’s what’s to be done: Nothing.

    It’s not worth a war. The great majority of Americans have no interest in Ukraine, and would not support a land war with Russia on Russia’s border. Supporting Kiev with enough weapons to fight Russia will only give Putin an excuse to take back Kharkiv and Donetsk and burn everything to the west.

    It is a massive clusterfuck, so much so that I wonder if it was an intentional move by people in the permanent government to embarrass Obama. Maybe as payback for not bombing Syria. It serves no other purpose that I can see. Ukraine lost the rent money from Crimea, lost its discount for natural gas from Russia and in their place come IMF bankers to enforce austerity.

    Freezing assets aren’t going to change things. I doubt that Europe is willing to cut off its nose to spite its face. Ukraine is poor and doesn’t buy much from Europe. Apparently, Exxon is poking around looking for shale oil in Ukraine (surprise!), but even if it’s an enormous field, that doesn’t help for the five years it’ll take to get things running and pumping.

    I realize it’s a tough thing for Ukrainian Americans to face, but their saber-rattling means nothing to Russia. It’s pretty much over unless Kiev gives Russia an excuse to take more.

  67. 67
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Cacti: Confusingly, there are a lot of groups with similar names. The Greenwald & co. “Freedom of the Press Foundation” is different from the longer-standing “Free Press” activist organization that includes Robert McChesney, and I feel like there’s at least one more, but I can’t find it.

  68. 68
    Cervantes says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Señora Cracker might have something to say about that.

  69. 69
    Anton Sirius says:

    @Thomas F:

    Digby says all that needs to be said about this neo-McCarthyite tactic: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com…..n.html?m=1

    I mean, it’s not like there’s a very public connection between Snowden and Russia or anything.

  70. 70
    PhilbertDesanex says:

    @burnspbesq: Well they seem to be doing OK on rocket the launches we are dependent on for the Space Station.

  71. 71
    Aleta says:

    I guess the ‘defense’ industry cares. I guess that even when the US does not actually get involved somewhere new, it’s useful to remind us about all those scary countries out there.

    Besides, if the public stops worrying about ‘defense’, who knows what might happen? We might think we could afford more of those socialist programs like food for kids.

    My honest belief is that every time we do engage, even if minimally in some country that’s not a threat or an ‘interest,’ it’s very beneficial to weapons designers and military strategists. They’re collecting data on real-life operation of new weapons, and the effects on real landscapes and buildings and people. More accurate and useful data than modeling, and simulations, and training scenarios can provide.

  72. 72
    moderateindy says:

    Putin is an opportunist. That’s why he’s in Crimea, and why he went into Georgia. He knows he’ll get no real pushback. The US public has finally become war-weary after Afghanistan and Iraq, not that we would bother risking a hot war with Russia over either Crimea or the Ukraine in the first place.
    Europe doesn’t even want anything to do with economic sanctions for a variety of reasons. Obviously, energy, but also things like the trade Germany does with Russia, or all the cash that the russian oligarchs have sitting in the British markets. The world simply doesn’t see Crimea as worth risking war or economic hardship to defend.

  73. 73
    🍀 Martin says:

    Well, Obama’s decision is which is more important: Syria and Iran, or Crimea. Because if he pushes Russia, they’ll drop their sanctions against each nation just to piss us off. So there’s really nothing much we can do because we know what’s more important here.

  74. 74
    Anton Sirius says:

    @Cervantes:

    Oh, I was just querying Bob In Portland re his commitment to his girlfriend’s source’s theory. I don’t myself spend a lot of time on this airplane story — not enough hours in the day.

    Maddow had a crash investigator on tonight who made it clear that having a plan B route (to take the plane to the nearest safe landing spot, or back to its departure point) pre-programmed in the event of an emergency was fairly SOP.

    So no, the fact that the route with the U-turn was already programmed in does not contradict the idea that there was an electrical fire.

  75. 75
    MikeJ says:

    @moderateindy:

    Europe doesn’t even want anything to do with economic sanctions for a variety of reasons.

    They’re already hurting. How else do you explain Chelsea losing to Aston Villa?

  76. 76
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bob In Portland: Like I said, I’m perfectly well resigned to the fact that the answer to What is to be Done? is nothing, or little at any rate. But that’s not at all the same as saying Why the Fuck Should I Care? I care, and yet there is little or nothing to be done.

    Frankly, a lot of stuff that people around here genuinely care about does not affect them in any way personally. Why the fuck should I care about Medicaid expansion or voting rights in some other stupid state full of jerks I’ll never meet? ETA: And yet, for some reason, I do. So It’s a lousy litmus test.

  77. 77
    Redshift says:

    @Anne Laurie: Yes, and that guarantees that no one will try to invade Russia, which no one would try to do anyway.

    I’m trying to understand what the point of all this “Russia has nukes!” talk is. Does anyone seriously think that the reason we’re not fighting the Russians is that we’re afraid Putin might lob an ICBM at us? Are you actually imagining an American official saying, “Well, we’d go in there and stop him, but he’s got nukes, so we have to let him do whatever he wants”?

    ICBMs are just not a significant factor in a situation like this. Talk about a Cold War fantasy!

  78. 78
    srv says:

    Obama’s legacy will be the rolling back of the victories won by Reagan.

  79. 79
    Cervantes says:

    @srv:

    Obama’s legacy will be the rolling back of the victories won by Reagan.

    Guess which American president backed and signed into law the largest peace-time tax increase.

  80. 80
    Redshift says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    From what I can tell, CNN is all Lost-plane, all the time.

    Apparently it’s been a huge ratings bonanza for cable news, so I’m not surprised. I guess that’s better than another Trial of the Century of the Week.

  81. 81
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Okay, John, just pretend the rest of world doesn’t exist. Everything is Bethany. No California. No Virginia. No any other state. Should anyone ever do anything? Or, fuck it, it’s foreign, let them die on their own?

  82. 82
    GeneJockey says:

    @srv:

    One can only hope.

  83. 83
    Gian says:

    OK, can we just stipulate the “West” isn’t going to send our kids to die there?
    this patch of dirt has historical and strategic import to Russia
    that the folks in Ukraine have been the poor bastards in a zone where every 30 years or so, someone else takes over
    going back a long time? I think in the 1500s the grand duchy of lithuania ruled this place.

    and that in the stalinist genocide of the 1930s survivors and their kids might hate Russians. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor

    and other might hate germans because they didn’t want Ukrainian allies as they were either inferior races or commies. and killed millions (not as many but faster) as well.
    frontline on pbs did a story on human trafficking a couple years ago – out of Ukraine it’s a fucking tear jerker. one of the main people is a girl who went back to sex slavery to earn money to try and save her brother’s life (medical treatment) he died before she could get home from Turkey.

    to steal from a mexican, poor ukraine, so far from god, so close to germany and russia

  84. 84
    MikeJ says:

    @srv: From your lips to the FSM’s orecchiette.

  85. 85
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gian: Of course the West isn’t going go die there. Welcome to Realism as an international political concept. Why should it?

  86. 86
    srv says:

    @Cervantes: We could use a liberal like that again.

  87. 87
    trollhattan says:

    @fidelio:

    Holy moly, take the hickory to him, Mister Pierce.

    Blow me, you monstrous, bloodthirsty fraud, you silly, stupid chickenhawk motherfker who plays army man with the children of people who are so much better than you are, and who would feed innocent civilians in lands you will never visit into your own personal meatgrinder to service your semi-annual martial erection. You and the rest of your cowardly cohort helped prepare the ground for the worst geopolitical mistake the country has made in 30 years. You fought the battle of the Green Rooms and the think tanks while other people’s sons and daughters died for your fantasy of how the world would work if you really were the pimply, adolescent Zeus you see when you look in the mirror every morning. The country does not need you lectures any more. The country does not need your counsel. The country does not need your advice. And, as sure as human beings have become dead because of your lectures, and counsel, and advice, human beings about whom you otherwise care nothing, the country does not need your hectoring that it has become insufficiently bellicose to fulfill your newest, blood-drenched fantasies. Even here, even now, you hide behind the skirts of a woman from Indiana who, while I believe her to be wrong, seems to be genuine in her beliefs. You are unworthy of her intellectual camouflage. You should be driven from polite society, consigned to an ideological Molokai so you can no longer infect the rest of us. People should shun you. You should wear the bell for the rest of your miserable days.

  88. 88
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Redshift:

    Are you actually imagining an American official saying, “Well, we’d go in there and stop him, but he’s got nukes, so we have to let him do whatever he wants”?

    No, what I’m saying is that Russia is a very big nation with, among its assets, a plethora of nuclear weapons that nobody wants to see in action, even if they wouldn’t perform up to Tom Clancy’s standards. The ICBMs don’t make Putin invulnerable, but having those ICBMs is one marker of Putin’s ability to resist outside political pressure. It’s one of many reasons why “we” are not going to do much about Crimea at this point in time.

    It’s like the advice to hikers and bears — you’re supposed to try and look big to frighten away a black bear, but if you have the misfortune to cross paths with a grizzly, curl up small & hope he goes away. Putin (Russia) is a grizzly. A mangy, broken-toothed grizzly whose best days may well be past, but still, nobody who plans on a long life wants to get up in his grill just to prove anything.

  89. 89
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @trollhattan: Yeah, we got it from the first link. Why did you blockquote the whole damned quote?

    @Anne Laurie: The Cold War is actually over.

  90. 90
    Cervantes says:

    @srv: Funny!

    Reagan and company enacted that supply-side nonsense in ’81. It failed miserably, even on its own terms. In ’82 the Democrats were able to force the issue; taxes went back up; the economy recovered somewhat. The Reagan years were not quite as victorious for Reagan as many would like us to believe.

    But yes, if Obama ends up doing even a tiny bit to reverse four decades of grimness for the 99%, daiyenu.

  91. 91
    trollhattan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Part the first-link didn’t work for me & sent me to some “html.com” joint.
    Part the second-so the fuck what, is there a rule kit I’m missing?

  92. 92
    Mandalay says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Here’s what’s to be done: Nothing. It’s not worth a war.

    I vote for you as our next president.

    Not every problem is a problem that must be addressed and solved.

  93. 93

    @Cervantes:
    Not quite as victorious, no, but Reagan successfully cut taxes across the board overall during his presidency, and in particular shifted the tax burden towards the poor. The top tax rate went from 70% at the beginning of his presidency to 28% at the end. He was probably the greatest wielder of racist culture wars to benefit the rich. Conservatives miss him for very good reasons.

  94. 94
    🍀 Martin says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    It’s one of many reasons why “we” are not going to do much about Crimea at this point in time.

    Not really. We’ve gone further in against Russia/USSR with more nukes on the line. Hell, they used to even have working submarines back then.

    Honestly, Iran defines what we are willing to do here. The sanctions are only working because Obama got Russia and China on board, and having worked so hard to get here, he’s not going to let that go. Crimea has no strategic value to us, Iran has quite a lot. Everyone knows this from McCain to Putin. We’re not going to sacrifice a rook for a pawn, even though we’ll miss the pawn. And if the EU decides to step up, we’ll talk them down because Iran is more important. And Syria is more important.

    Putin will take Crimea because he can. We’ll posture and protest and take some token measures. We’ll talk Ukraine down from defending Crimea, while encouraging them to threaten and pound heir chest. Putin will recognize these moves for what they are take his prize and move on. He won’t try for Ukraine because that’s a step too far. Putin will offer us something else we want on Iran or Syria or elsewhere, we’ll give Ukraine some aid or some such to soften the blow, and the world will get back to where it was. And that, unfortunately, is how things work.

    Ukraine won’t get into NATO but they’ll jump all over an EU trade deal. NATO would be a step too far for us.

  95. 95
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @trollhattan: Yeah, FYWP fucks thing up sometimes. No biggie.

  96. 96
    Cervantes says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Conservatives miss him for very good reasons.

    Sure — and let’s give them several more.

  97. 97
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🍀 Martin: Ukraine is stunningly unlikely to qualify for the EU in the next 10 years.

  98. 98
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Bob In Portland: Good god, really, how much do they pay you?

  99. 99
    Anton Sirius says:

    @🍀 Martin:

    He won’t try for Ukraine because that’s a step too far.

    The entire conflict was precipitated by Putin losing his grip on Ukraine when Yanukovych got the boot.

    There’s no reason to think he’ll be satisfied by just taking back a little chunk of the country.

  100. 100
    mclaren says:

    @moderateindy:

    Putin is an opportunist. That’s why he’s in Crimea, and why he went into Georgia.

    You do realize that 96% of the population of the Crimea voted to rejoin Russia? You do realize that the Crimea is the only warm-water port available year-round to Russia? You do realize that the Western part of the country where the Crimea is located has a completely different ethnic and linguistic make-up than the Eastern part where Ukrainian is spoken and there’s a totally different culture and ethnic make-up?

    Take a look at this map from CNN to see the claims of “opportunism” about Putin are pure bullshit.

    The Crimea region is 75% Russian speakers. 50% to 75% voted for Yanukovich. In the Western part of the country, all those numbers are exactly reversed: 75% Ukrainian language, 50% to 75% voted for Tymoshenko.

    This is an ethnic cultural issue, exactly the same as the Quebec separatist votes that keep coming up in Canada.

  101. 101

    @Cervantes:
    There, I agree with you completely. I am all for wiping out his legacy.

  102. 102
    mclaren says:

    @🍀 Martin:

    He won’t try for Ukraine because that’s a step too far.

    Nonsense. Look at those CNN maps. Putin won’t try for the Ukraine because they don’t view themselves as part of Russia, while the Crimea does. Three quarters of the population of the Ukraine speaks Russian.

    What does that tell you?

  103. 103
    mclaren says:

    @Anton Sirius:

    There’s no reason to think he’ll be satisfied by just taking back a little chunk of the country.

    Unbelievable bilge. The Crimeans think of themselves as Russian. That’s what they speak, that’s their culture. Putin knows this — he’s not interested in the Ukraine, it’s a different culture, and more to the point, once he’s got the warm-water ports in Crimea, there’s no need to take the rest of the country.

  104. 104
    🍀 Martin says:

    @Anton Sirius:

    There’s no reason to think he’ll be satisfied by just taking back a little chunk of the country.

    Sure there is. At some point we’re going to care more about this than we do about Iran/Syria, and EU will care more than they do about their gas prices. Annexing 2 million mostly friendly Crimeans is very different thing than annexing 48 million mostly unfriendly Ukrainians. Again, everyone knows this. You take what you can afford to take and what the likely opposition can afford to give up. Ukraine as a whole is too much. It would be a shooting war, even if the EU and US stayed out, and it wouldn’t be an easy one for Russia – it has ⅓ of Russia’s population.

  105. 105
    Anton Sirius says:

    Annexing 2 million mostly friendly Crimeans is very different thing than annexing 48 million mostly unfriendly Ukrainians.

    Because of course those are the only two options available to Putin – annexing all of Ukraine, or just letting them do whatever they want.

  106. 106
    mclaren says:

    @srv:

    Obama’s legacy will be the rolling back of the victories won by Reagan.

    Victories of ignorance over knowledge. Victories of superstition over the scientific method. Victories of dementia (as when Reagan scheduled the announcement of appointments by consulting an astrologer, or when Reagan wandered the West Wing corridors muttering “Klaatu barada nicto!”) over sanity.

  107. 107
    mclaren says:

    @🍀 Martin:

    You take what you can afford to take and what the likely opposition can afford to give up.

    This notion of “taking” is entirely wrong when the population of the Crimea think of themselves as Russians. That’s their language. That’s their culture. This isn’t Hitler marching into Poland, it’s more like the 13 colonies absorbing the Louisiana Purchase.

  108. 108
    🍀 Martin says:

    @mclaren: Yeah, it’s really not, mainly because we don’t accept colonialism as an acceptable national viewpoint in the 21st century.

    And the population of Crimea didn’t think of themselves as Russians just one month ago when polling showed that 60% didn’t want to join Russia. Funny how an occupying army can move the polls.

    I never equated this to Hitler marching into Poland, by the way. It’s neither that nefarious, nor as innocent as you and Bob wish it to be.

  109. 109
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Only a few of them have to work properly to ruin your whole day. You may also want to recall that it’s the Russians who are providing transport and resupply to the ISS using liquid fuel rockets adapted from the designs for their ICBMs.

  110. 110
    EriktheRed says:

    Ed Kilgore:

    If Russia’s annexation of Crimea is a world-historical disaster exposing the West to unparalleled danger from a revived Russian Empire laughing at Obama as a weakling, why is the stock market up today? Just wondering.

  111. 111
    dr. luba says:

    1. In 1991, Crimea, along with every other region of Soviet Ukraine, voted to leave the USSR. It was 54% for, not 91 percent against.

    2. In 1994, in exchange for guarantees from the USA, the UK, and Yeltsin’s Russia, Ukraine agreed to give up its nukes (it was then the 3rd largest nuclear power in the world) in exchange for them guaranteeing to respect and defend the integrity of its borders.

    Tell me again why any nation would ever again 1) give up nukes or 2) not become a nuclear power. I suspect Iran is learning a valuable lesson about now.

  112. 112
    NorthLeft12 says:

    “Who the fuck cares? Are they shooting at us?”

    This sounds like a solid base question to ask whenever the subject of military involvement comes up.

  113. 113
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @dr. luba: I partially agree with you. Iraq is another country that serves as a showcase for what the lack of WMDs will do for your security. Once the US knew [they probably knew all along] that they did not have operational WMDs, the invasion was on.
    North Korea is the flip side as to how nukes can insure that no matter what you do, no one will be crazy enough to mess with you.

    Overall, I just think nukes are not worth the investment and trouble. Unfortunately, a strong case can be made that they are.

  114. 114
    BobS says:

    @cokane: There are “US interests”, it’s just that they aren’t necessarily synonymous with the interests of the American people. Russia has watched NATO approach their western border for over 20 years, despite the (less than ironclad) assurance Gorbachev received from Bush I that would never occur. Then there’s the not insignificant role that the US has and continues to play- now largely through the NED- in trying (& sometimes succeeding, like in Kiev) to illegally overthrow elected governments. And of course, why would Russia be apprehensive about a government in Ukraine with important ministries and the security apparatus populated by representatives of organizations who’ve been pretty candid about their fascist leanings?
    @mclaren: You forgot the rigged ‘virtual’ casino that is the FIRE sector of the economy.

  115. 115
    Cervantes says:

    @dr. luba:

    1. In 1991, Crimea, along with every other region of Soviet Ukraine, voted to leave the USSR. It was 54% for, not 91 percent against.

    Yes, it’s disturbing how these numbers are so often replaced by nonsense.

    2. In 1994, in exchange for guarantees from the USA, the UK, and Yeltsin’s Russia, Ukraine agreed to give up its nukes (it was then the 3rd largest nuclear power in the world) in exchange for them guaranteeing to respect and defend the integrity of its borders.

    Yes. Would you agree that this made sense for Ukraine at the time?

    Tell me again why any nation would ever again 1) give up nukes or 2) not become a nuclear power. I suspect Iran is learning a valuable lesson about now.

    In an alternate history where (2) above had not occurred, what else would or would not have happened in the intervening 20 years?

  116. 116
    dr. luba says:

    @NorthLeft12:

    Overall, I just think nukes are not worth the investment and trouble. Unfortunately, a strong case can be made that they are.

    That may depend on who your next door neighbor is, and if he believes that you’re not a “real country” but just one of his wayward provinces.

  117. 117
    moderateindy says:

    @mclaren:

    Take a look at this map from CNN to see the claims of “opportunism” about Putin are pure bullshit.

    So how exactly does the map discount the idea that Putin is an opportunist? Just because Crimea is largely Russian in culture, doesn’t negate the fact that his actions are determined by a set of conditions that allowed him an opportunity to take back Crimea. It is something he wanted to do for a long time, but needed an excuse, along with the favorable geopoloitical atmosphere to put into action. That is pretty much the definition of opportunism. My guess is that he has also made the calculations about whether or not he can get away with going into Ukraine as well, and if he thinks he can get away with it, he’ll go in there too.

  118. 118
  119. 119
    J R in WV says:

    @danielx:

    <blockquote cite="I can remember exactly how much fun duck-and-cover drills were, crouching there thinking about being turned into a Chicken McNugget. flaming charcal briquet!”>

    FTFY

    And I especially remember the shelter symbols, nuclear stars with a number of people the basement would hold, and under the basement steps a big pile of Civil Defense containers of water, bandages, and some kind of rations.

    As it a basement were a radioactive dust proof shelter, prepared to keep the occupants from inhaling enough radioactive dust to glow in the dark for decades. Research near Chernobyl shows that dead things don’t even decay in a highly radioactive environment, because the organisms that promote decay are DEAD TOO!

    The 1960s were not good for children who watched the evening news with Oncle Cronkite… I tried to dig a shelter with a pick and shovel at the age of 11. Problem was our soil was only about 14 inches deep, covering a hard cap rock ridge top, all my efforts were a small start on a hole in which a shelter might have been built.

    But it led to me becoming stronger physically, and the fact that we didn’t all become flaming charcoal was good for me mentally. Still alive, 50 years later!

  120. 120
    J R in WV says:

    @burnspbesq:

    No, Burns, I’m assuming that they could load warheads into cargo containers and ship them to various sea ports, where the cargo containers would be vaporized, along with 85% of the industrial capacity that lies on the edges of the dry continents.

    No high technology required, other than that of actually touching off the warhead. A dedicated “rocketeer” with a field toilet and hald a container of water and rations takes care of that w/o high tech.

  121. 121
    Cervantes says:

    @J R in WV:

    But it led to me becoming stronger physically, and the fact that we didn’t all become flaming charcoal was good for me mentally. Still alive, 50 years later!

    Sometimes it’s difficult to believe anyone survived the 20th century.

  122. 122
    El Cid says:

    @🍀 Martin:

    And the population of Crimea didn’t think of themselves as Russians just one month ago when polling showed that 60% didn’t want to join Russia. Funny how an occupying army can move the polls.

    It wasn’t just that. I think it was also seeing the crowd who gained power in the new government in Ukraine. Both the obvious avoidance of Ukrainian constitutional procedure as well as the somersaulting by the outright hard and ultra-nationalist right into office on the backs of many regular protesters against corruption, incompetence, and authoritarianism.

  123. 123
    dr. luba says:

    @El Cid:

    It wasn’t just that. I think it was also seeing the crowd who gained power in the new government in Ukraine. Both the obvious avoidance of Ukrainian constitutional procedure as well as the somersaulting by the outright hard and ultra-nationalist right into office on the backs of many regular protesters against corruption, incompetence, and authoritarianism.

    Perhaps it has something to do with cutting off all the media except Russian media, which has been running anti-Ukrainian propaganda 24/7? People in Ukraine who’ve called their relatives in Crimea say they are convinced that there are pogroms going on against the Russians and that they are being murdered.

  124. 124
    PJ says:

    @mclaren: There are so many false assumptions in your post it’s hard to know where to begin.

    Even the Russians report that around 80% of eligible voters voted to join Russia. Of course, that didn’t stop 123% of residents from voting in at least one district. And, of course, all this voting was done at gunpoint and with publicly visible ballots.

    Russia has more warm water ports than those in Crimea, e.g., Novorossiysk on the Black Sea, and Vladivostok on the Pacific.

    The western part of Ukraine is predominantly Ukrainian speaking, while the far eastern part has more Russian speakers.

  125. 125
    BobS says:

    @dr. luba: Well ok then- if ‘people say’, that would be all the proof we need.

  126. 126
    PJ says:

    @BobS: The revolution in Ukraine did not overthrow the government, just the President, who elected to flee – the Parliament remained in power. The whole fascist propaganda thing that Russia is promoting is just the justification for invading Crimea and, possibly, other parts of Ukraine. Putin has zero fear of a military conflict with Ukraine. What he wants is to shore up his power at home and maintain as much control over Ukraine (and other former Soviet republics) as possible.

  127. 127
    BobS says:

    The coup in Ukraine removed the President- the head of the executive branch of the Ukrainian government- illegally (Ukraine is a country with a constitution defining the conditions of presidential succession). Many of the ministries (economic affairs, environment, education, agriculture), as well as important security & national defense posts, are now headed & populated by members of Svoboda and Pravy Sector, neo-Nazi parties who were instrumental in the putsch that removed the president and who were themselves abetted by our own NED.
    I appreciate you spending time inside Putin’s head so that we know what he is or isn’t afraid of and what his true motivations are, however despite your assurances I think it’s reasonable to assume that many Russians- possibly even him- share an apprehension and dislike of fascism and the potential repercussions of having a fascist regime on their western border, particularly one that’s only in power thanks to the meddling of the country that’s spearheaded the relentless push of NATO to the east.

  128. 128
    Svensker says:

    Does anyone here really know what the hell they’re talking about? Does anyone here bloviating really have any idea what went on in Ukraine/Crimea and what has gone on in the past, and what is going on now? No? Does any of it threaten us here at home? No?

    Well, then, I think the response should be bloviation and that’s about it.

    We’re not the boss of them. We don’t even know where they live.

  129. 129
    dr. luba says:

    @Svensker: Yes, actually, some of us do.

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