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U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to the media in the State Dining Room after meeting with BP executives about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, at the White House in Washington, June 16, 2010. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES  - Tags: POLITICS DISASTER
President Obama addressed the "fluid" situation in Ukraine in a brief statement to the press this evening.
“We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine,” Obama said, speaking at the White House. “Any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing.”
Obama also stated that the United States would stand with the international community "in affirming there will be costs from any violation," but did not elaborate on what those costs would be.

3:20 PM PT: A transcript of Obama's remarks can be found here.

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Comment Preferences

  •  NOTE: Costs do not always mean thermonuclear war. (15+ / 0-)

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 02:44:09 PM PST

    •  A shame you even had to point that out!!!!! (0+ / 0-)

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 10:58:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  And the effing saber rattling continues (10+ / 0-)

    Though this administration has been much better than the last one in regards to actually doing more than rattle the damn thing I'm sick of it. Our international policy is "We've got a sack of hammers and everything looks like a nail."

    Food processed to be nothing more than simple starches with two dozen flavorings and stabilizers added to make it appear to be food isn't "food". It's "feed" -- what you give to livestock to fatten them up for slaughter.

    by ontheleftcoast on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 02:44:22 PM PST

    •  Thanks otlc (5+ / 0-)

      you type fast. spot on. i was thinking all afternoon that this was going to happen. it did.

      A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

      by onionjim on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 02:46:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, the warmongers are already flocking (6+ / 0-)

        Or should I say "circling like buzzards"?

        Food processed to be nothing more than simple starches with two dozen flavorings and stabilizers added to make it appear to be food isn't "food". It's "feed" -- what you give to livestock to fatten them up for slaughter.

        by ontheleftcoast on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 02:55:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  rubs hands together... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ontheleftcoast, jilikins

          this could be a good one.

          A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

          by onionjim on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 02:58:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Foolish statement. Putin is a classic bully and (13+ / 0-)

          aggressor. The knee jerk preference of some on DailyKos for total pacifism is counter productive, as a Gandhist effort to resisr an anti-Democratic aggressor like Putin would be.

          •  Yeah, let's get behind the fascist supported (6+ / 0-)

            Ukranian opposition in the name of democracy. This is pretty much a pig fight. Do you really feel it necessary to take a side?
            .

            The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

            by Wolf10 on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:33:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ya (9+ / 0-)

              the Russians are definitely trying to label this revolution as a fascist revolution. But, by all accounts, its anything but. Parliament seems to be still clearly in charge in forming a new government and it voted 328-0 to impeach Yanukovich, including his own party members.

              Here's a good article on the subject of whether or not its a fascist revolution:

              http://www.slate.com/...

              KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

              by fcvaguy on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:49:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Still, no dog worth dying for in this fight (3+ / 0-)

                unless of course you actually live there and we don't.  Without a clear class perspective kleptocrats, plutocrats and olligarchs of one stripe or another will remain incharge while the common folk compete for scraps and occasionally slaughter each other in the name of identity politics.

                The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

                by Wolf10 on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 04:07:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Right Sector (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Jim P, Alhambra
                the Russians are definitely trying to label this revolution as a fascist revolution. But, by all accounts, its anything but. Parliament seems to be still clearly in charge in forming a new government and it voted 328-0 to impeach Yanukovich, including his own party members
                Hey now.  It bears repeating just what Wolf10 actually said:
                Yeah, let's get behind the fascist supported
                Ukranian opposition in the name of democracy. This is pretty much a pig fight. Do you really feel it necessary to take a side?
                The article that you link to tries to put concerns about the new government solely onto Svoboda, which as it points out glorifies Nazi collaborator cum Ukranian Nationalist Stepan Bandera. Svoboda is not jewel, having ties to far right European nationalists.
                The Svoboda party also has excellent ties to Europe, but they are different from the ones that Klischko might prefer. It is allied with France's right-wing Front National and with the Italian neo-fascist group Fiamma Tricolore. But when it comes to the oppression of homosexuality, representative Myroshnychenko is very close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, even if he does all he can to counter Moscow's influence in his country.
                The thing is that when it comes to the actual making of the revolution, Svoboda are moderates.  When neo-fascist parties marched throughout Europe in support of the "revolution" last Saturday, it wasn't Svoboda they were heiling. It was Right Sector, the militants who abjured political participation in favor of political violence to overthrow a democratically elected government. Whatever Yanukovych's flaws, he was brought to power through a democratic election, and removed from it by armed thugs that removed him from it.

                When the "revolution" seized government buildings it was Right Sector at the front, and they had been stockpiling weapons since at least the start of the year. When Western foreign ministers managed to secure a peace agreement, it was Right Sector that refused to abide by it. Now they are in government, and threatening collective punishment on the families of police officers associated with the old regime.  

                Yanukovych may have been a cad, but there was a way to remove him using the institutional means provided in a democracy.  The "revolution" decided that was to much trouble. Now that the precedent has been set that government can be seized by armed men with guns, does anyone really believe that a democratic election and the rule of law are in the offing for Ukraine in the near future?  There are no heroes here, only dumb men with guns. And it is their stupidity which lead others to their graves. Now.... I believe.... is a bad time to get in line.

                http://www.economicpopulist.org

                by ManfromMiddletown on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 05:17:30 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Your last paragraph (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tony Situ, erichiro, fcvaguy

                  I hate to be pedantic, but that's exactly what the Rada did. Yanukovich was impeached by a unanimous vote -- which took place weeks after he began issuing orders for riot police to use force against peaceful demonstrators, journalists, and medics.

                  Yes, there was undoubtedly a radical element on the Maidan. But it's hard to blame people for fighting back. It is up to the interim government to ensure the rule of law still applies in Ukraine, and there have been positive signs -- the lack of looting, for instance, and the largely peaceful disbanding of riot police groups loyal to the old regime.

                  Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

                  by SaoMagnifico on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 05:31:13 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    dallasdunlap

                    if we are going to be pedantic, I'd have to point out that having thousands of armed and angry protestors in the streets shouting for blood, and having already taken several government buildings, is hardly a fair context for a vote.   From some of the stories that I've heard, Right Sector was actually occupying the the building at the time of the vote.

                    For all those who praise the protestors, I'd point out that the American equivalent of what happened in Ukraine would be armed members of the Tea Party taking to the streets, demanding that Obama be removed from office.  After months of protesting, police attempt to remove then, making them only angrier.  Finally, they start making armed occupations of government buildings.  When things begin to spin out of control, the European foreign ministers come to arrange a deal were Obama will accept new elections if only the Tea Party will leave the government buildings.  The Republican party signs off on the deal, but the Tea Party just won't have it and announces that the "revolution" is on.  Finally, Congress agrees to impeach President Obama, and announces that he's a wanted man.

                    I'd wager that you would find that objectionable. Why is it ok to do the same in Ukraine?

                    http://www.economicpopulist.org

                    by ManfromMiddletown on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 08:04:26 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yanukovych Was Corrupt (0+ / 0-)

                      Yanukovych was totally corrupt, a Russian puppet, and his election was a sham.  The US equivalent here would not be the tea party overthrowing the liberal president; rather, it would be the progressives overthrowing some sham Koch brothers/teagbagger president.

                      "Art is a lie that makes you realize the truth." - Picasso

                      by she the technocrat on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:46:28 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fcvaguy, Subterranean, jilikins, Tony Situ

            There's obviously nothing the United States can do here, but it would be even more pathetic than making a toothless speech to just remain silent while Russia violates a European state's sovereignty.

            Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

            by SaoMagnifico on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:35:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  it's not about total pacifism, it's about (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bananapouch1, jilikins

            balanced reality.

            we want to softly support democratic movements,
            but, if we can't escalate out of that, our
            influence is twitter, internet and
            training and Tor.

            Look in Bosnia, I advocated force because people
            were dying and it was on the edge of NATO.

            Here, it's behind Russian defense lines and we
            need russia to balance china.  

            It's just a pity, i'd keep encouraging a democratic ukraine
            and a democratic russia but, force is just not on the table.

          •  Exactly. Pacifism is nonsense. (6+ / 0-)

            Maybe if everyone in the world was a pacifist, it would work. But Putin is a dictator who is hell bent on reestablishing something resembling the Soviet Union, and he should be called out for it, period. Ukraine is fighting for democracy and for closer relations to Europe and the West.

            We all saw what Russia did in the 19th century, what they did in 1918-20 (Warsaw Miracle), 1939-40 (Ribbentrop-Molotov), 1945 and later (Iron Curtain and Warsaw Pact). Putin is trying to carry out another wave like that.

            •  In this case we can't intervene though (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jilikins, fcvaguy, Tony Situ

              not in that fashion. We can call them out diplomatically, possibly threaten their G8 status but no more

              •  I'm not calling for intervention. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fcvaguy

                I am though advocating calling out Russia's lies, and taking a firm stand against the lawlessness. Let Ukraine know that they have every right to reenter and take control of their sovereign territory.

                •  Be realistic (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  fcvaguy

                  There's a reason Ukraine hasn't fired on the Russians as they have occupied Crimea. Kyiv would rather let Crimea go, have its military personnel there peaceable returned, and carry on with its plans for early elections than go toe-to-toe with a great power that could and would brutally subjugate it.

                  Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

                  by SaoMagnifico on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 04:49:15 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That seems right. I hope it happens. Things like (0+ / 0-)

                    this require a steady hand and thoughtful action.  We know Putin isn't capable of that, so it's the new gov and the rest of the world that must.

                    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

                    by cany on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 11:06:08 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Total pacifism? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Alhambra

            I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 05:34:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  We have no moral authority to demand anything (5+ / 0-)

            We no longer have the moral authority to demand anything

            We invaded IRAQ for no reason in violation of international law

            We created Guantanamo in violation of international law

            We drop bombs from drones on INNOCENT civillians everyday in violation of international law

            We sent troops into Pakistan in violation of international law

            We killed an American Citizen in Yemen in a strike in violation of international law

            Pacifism is different than saying it's time for America to step back and let those in the international community that still have moral authority to be the ones to make the demands.

            As bad as Putin is he can simply point at America and say go glean up your own backyard before you point your finger at me. That is one of the real travesties of The Bush Doctrine. When we get on the international soap box the dictators of the world get a good laugh out of our MINDBOGGLING HYPOCRISY and literally brush the criticsm aside like it was lint on their suits.

            Until we are willing to do the right thing and lead by example, it does more harm than good when we act like we still have the moral high ground.

            WE DON'T

          •  Seriously? Have you looked at a map of the area? (0+ / 0-)

            Look at the location of Crimea.
               Ukraine was part of Russia for many years. Crimea was made part of Ukraine during the rule of the Communist dictator Nikita Khruschev in the 1950s. The majority of Crimeans are of Russian origin. Russia has a major naval base at Sebastopol in Crimea.
               The Russians are apparently taking measures, involving their armed forces, to prevent Crimea from falling under the control of the new Ukrainian government headquartered in Kiev.
                Keep in mind that one of the first moves of the new government was to drop Russian as one of Ukraine's official languages.
                From Russia's POV, an elected government with close ties to Russia has been overthrown by an anti-Russian mob with dubious popular support. The safety of Russian citizens and ethnic Russian-Ukrainians is in question. The national security of Russia itself is threatened by possible loss of its basing rights.
               I would venture to say that even if Putin were a liberal Democrat, he would feel moved to protect Russian interests in Crimea.

        •  the PNAC wants another war (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jilikins, oldhippie

          no doubt.

        •  asdf (0+ / 0-)


          You don't have no money?
          He'll get you some
          You don't have no car?
          He'll get you one
          You don't have no self-respect,
          you feel like an insect
          Well don't you worry buddy,
          'cause here he comes
          Through the ghettos and the barrio
          and the bowery and the slum
          A shadow is cast wherever he stands
          Stacks of green paper in his
          red right hand

          I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 05:25:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  They rattled it with Syria and that was a total (5+ / 0-)

      mess.

      Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

      by commonmass on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 02:46:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So no taking a stand when one country threatens (15+ / 0-)

      another country? Looks to me that Russia is rattling the sabre, or yielding the hammer...

    •  Saber Rattling is what's needed. If you don't (7+ / 0-)

      Putin is a serious threat, you've got something else coming. In fact the administration has bumbled dealing with Putin, too much soft power wielded when hard power is required.  

      •  Ahh, the warmongers arise (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cany

        Go pound sand on RedState. I'm sure your bloodlust will be well received over there.

        Food processed to be nothing more than simple starches with two dozen flavorings and stabilizers added to make it appear to be food isn't "food". It's "feed" -- what you give to livestock to fatten them up for slaughter.

        by ontheleftcoast on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 02:53:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Serious threat to who? (4+ / 0-)

        I don't think he's a threat to us or our NATO allies. Who the fuck else matters?

        •  Ask Martin Niemöller. nt. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rikon Snow, SaoMagnifico

          "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

          by auron renouille on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:38:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, up yours. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cany

            Yes, because of Hitler and Pastor Niemoller, we need to be involved in every military altercation on the globe. Or else we're just like selfish cowards who didn't stand up to the Nazis soon enough.

            I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 05:38:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Well, the countries NATO has defended (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nickrud, fcvaguy, FG, mmacdDE, cany

          Kosovo, which wouldn't exist if not for the United States Air Force (and if Russia had its way), comes to mind.

          That being said, it's obvious the solution to this crisis isn't military, and there is no feasible way to get into a shooting war with Russia that doesn't end with us hurling radioactive rocks at each other.

          Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

          by SaoMagnifico on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:40:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No one is calling for war with Russia. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fcvaguy

            At the same time, Ukraine should try to resolve the crisis itself, maybe in a similar style as the Cuban Blockade, and hopefully stare Russia down into withdrawal. Obama should make it unequivocally clear that Russia has to GTFO out of Crimea ASAP.

            Imagine what would happen if armed Russians started taking over government buildings in the U.S. - if let's say they occupied the Capitol and refused to leave unless Alaska is granted back to them.

            •  Not quite comparable (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fcvaguy, mmacdDE

              It's more like, say, if Alaska was dominated by ethnic Russians who wanted to rejoin Russia, and Russia took advantage of political instability in Washington, D.C., to unilaterally take control of Alaska. Only Crimea is about 65 times smaller than Alaska, and it already has a major Russian military installation there under legal leasing terms.

              I'm not approving of Putin's actions, and I think there should be consequences for them. But this incursion is hardly coming out of left field here, and Ukraine doesn't really have any effective tools to reassert control over Crimea.

              Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

              by SaoMagnifico on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 04:31:00 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  True to an extent. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fcvaguy

                But ethnic Russians aren't the only people in Crimea, the Tatars are there too and they want to be in the Ukraine. Not to mention that the Russians in the region are mostly transplants who were moved there during the Soviet era (just like the Russian minorities in Latvia and Estonia).

            •  Then what the hell does "force" mean if not (0+ / 0-)

              getting into it?

              202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

              by cany on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 11:16:38 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Our NATO allies are completely dependent on (0+ / 0-)

          Putin's Russia for their energy supplies. Don't expect their help if the US gets into a confrontation with Russia.

      •  I called your local ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cany

        military recruiting office. They are expecting you bright and early tomorrow morning.

        If you don't watch the news, you're uninformed. If you watch Fox news, you're mis-informed. (paraphrasing Mark Twain)

        by edg on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:09:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  really? (16+ / 0-)

      i thought the more interesting comment was his muted plea to the interim Ukraine government not to do anything rash while the U.S. keeps in communication with the Kremlin.  There's nothing remotely suggesting military action from Obama, and this is not a question on which international law urges just letting Russia violate the territory of an independent country.

      It's the total flip side to the right wing who are using this to call out Obama as weak for not doing anything more concrete than express concern, as if Russia would worry about a threat they know the U.S. won't -- and shouldn't -- back up.  This wasn't that, but a statement that the admin is aware of the situation and trying to diffuse it, as best as possible.

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 02:59:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, this is the correct read, I think (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fcvaguy, Subterranean, mmacdDE, cany

        I don't think Kyiv is inclined to risk all-out war with Russia over Crimea. If Putin gets bold and tries to push beyond Crimea, the situation gets a lot murkier -- and much more dangerous.

        Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

        by SaoMagnifico on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:41:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Timaeus

          Best US position is to insist Russia withdraw from Crimea and then insist a referendum occur in Crimea to let the people decide.

          KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

          by fcvaguy on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:54:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  A crucial factor is that Ukraine and Russia (8+ / 0-)

            currently have a treaty that grants Russia a lease on its giant naval base at Sevastopol until 2042.  

            Tymoshenko, the western-oriented politician who ran for president in 2010 (and then got jailed after she supposedly lost) has declared she would insist that the Russians withdraw from Crimea by 2017.

            No way Putin will permit that.

            Many comments in the thread so far are ridiculous, because Obama wasn't threatening military force against Russia, and NATO and the EU would never support that.  It wasn't saber-rattling.  It was high stakes diplomacy.

            •  The Sevastopol lease... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fcvaguy, Timaeus, FG

              For all intents and purposes is now a moot point. Russia has decided it can no longer afford to continue calling its grip on Ukraine's balls a "lease", and it's just going to take all of Crimea and leave Kyiv and the West to hope it stops there.

              Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

              by SaoMagnifico on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 04:02:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Actually, Putin will probably agree to a (0+ / 0-)

                compromise where he only keeps Sevastopol and leaves the rest of Crimea alone. If he's forced to.

                •  Forced by what, exactly? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  fcvaguy

                  Crimea is extremely defensible geographically, the population is mostly pro-Russian (and in fact mostly ethnically Russian themselves, thanks to Stalin's purges), and neither Kyiv, Washington, nor Brussels have many cards to play here. Ukraine can't even afford to completely divorce itself from Russia, because it relies on Russian gas exports, despite how abusively Moscow treats it.

                  Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

                  by SaoMagnifico on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 04:44:44 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Good info Timaeus (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Timaeus

              I was aware of the lease extension, not aware of Tymonshenko's position.

              and I agree about some of the comments in the diary. I've been following the story closely for the past few weeks and lots of people in the comments here talking through their asses.

              KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

              by fcvaguy on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 04:05:26 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Why should Putin be allowed to keep Crimea? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fcvaguy

          This is a sovereign part of Ukraine, and he has no right to be there. I don't support war between Ukraine and Russia, but if Russia's troops violate Ukraine's sovereignty, than that's a form of war already. And why would Russia stop at Crimea? Why wouldn't they try to seize Kharkiv, Donetsk, and maybe the entire eastern part of the country as they're at it?

          •  One word: realpolitik (5+ / 0-)

            There's no question of "allowing" Putin to do anything. There is no effective means of forcing Russia to relinquish control of Crimea. Putin appears to have taken control of the entire peninsula without a shot fired, and while he'll have to reckon with the Tatars and any ethnic Ukrainians who choose to take exception with their "new" Russian overlords, he knows as well as President Obama, President Turchynov, President Gul, Chancellor Merkel, and Secretary-General Rasmussen do that Ukraine is unprepared to fight for Crimea and NATO sees no point in it.

            Russia very well may try to seize other parts of Ukraine -- but it knows an incursion into mainland Ukraine carries far greater risks (ethnic Russians tend to be concentrated in the cities, while ethnic Ukrainians in the countryside have been resisting invaders for centuries) for relatively little gain. The worst-case scenario, in which Putin tries to occupy all of Ukraine, is likely to be an all-around disaster.

            Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

            by SaoMagnifico on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 04:40:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It is still unresolved (0+ / 0-)

              The Russian thugs have taken over many state buildings in Crimea, but the final result is unclear - wider autonomy (a referendum is planned for May), a separate unrecognized state, or an attempt to combine with Russia? Will the upcoming presidential campaign take place in Crimea at all? If it is boycotted, it will just be a bigger blow to the pro-Russia crowd, as it will be harder to ever elect a president supported by them.

    •  Hopefully "costs" means we (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Simplify, SaoMagnifico, bananapouch1

      we'll stop buying Russian oil.

      "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

      by jfern on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:06:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is the run-up to the invasion of Russia (0+ / 0-)

      Makes sense. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Russia.

      War Pigs need their trough, and an invasion of Russia is just what the doctor ordered.

      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:10:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Something tells me you would said the same thing (8+ / 0-)

      regardless of what Obama's statement would be.

  •  not sure this isn't just impotence (13+ / 0-)

    because we aren't invading and fighting Russia to protect Ukraine.

    Heck, Russia could invade and take over Ukraine and we wouldn't respond militarily.  Maybe economic sanctions but I suspect Russia wouldn't be too hurt by it consider how much of Europe's energy needs they provide (plus all of the emerging markets in the middle east).

    •  I don't think this is about Ukraine (13+ / 0-)

      Its about Crimea. Russia probably wants it back after Kruschev gave Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 as a gift to celebrate 300 years of Ukraine being part of the Russian Empire.

      Crimea is already semi-autonomous, its 50% Russian and 20% Tatar. Culturally, their loyalties lie with Russia rather than Ukraine. And if Ukraine is headed to the EU, Crimea will probably want to stay with Russia.

      Complicating matters, there's 1994 agreement between Britain, US, Russia and Ukraine that says we will help protect Ukraine's sovereignty in exchange for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons.

      At this point, there probably needs to be a referendum in Crimea which allows the people to decide where they want to go - part of Ukraine, part of Russia, or totally independent. It shouldn't be decided by a Russian invasion which appears to be whats happening as we speak.

      KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

      by fcvaguy on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 02:57:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is also about enforceability of the 1994 treaty (7+ / 0-)

        If it turns out to be not worth the paper it's written on, nuclear proliferation will accelerate. If Ukraine is forced to give up Crimea, it will have the bomb in a few years. They know how to make it and have plenty of uranium and plutonium. Many other countries are likely to do the same.

        •  Hmm. (0+ / 0-)

          The good ol' Domino Effect. I thought your type gave up on that one after it failed to materialize when we lost in Vietnam.

          If you don't watch the news, you're uninformed. If you watch Fox news, you're mis-informed. (paraphrasing Mark Twain)

          by edg on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:11:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I haven't given that much thought (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FG, TofG, dpinzow, SaoMagnifico, Subterranean

          If Ukraine heads to the EU, which definitely looks that way at the moment, I don't see them pursuing nuclear weapons, but I could be wrong. They will look to the EU to protect them from any threats from Russia.

          Interestingly, diplomats from the UK, EU and US are all saying Ukraine needs to make sure it maintains good relations with all its neighbors including Russia. I think what that really means is that Ukraine needs $35B and the US and EU aren't that committed to Ukraine to pay that bill for them. They are pointing towards the IMF.

          Back to Putin. Putin has definitely crossed a line though. He's made it clear that he plans to take Crimea back by force. And, I just can't imagine the EU and US just allowing that to happen without some sort of repercussions.

          KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

          by fcvaguy on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:11:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It will take decades for them to join EU. (0+ / 0-)

            NATO may be an option though.

            We'll see what kind of repercussions. Given that the treaty is pretty vague and no one is going to actually fight Russia, they can end up being pretty mild.

          •  EU accession will take a while. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fcvaguy

            It has on average lasted about a decade. Even a country like Croatia, which everyone knew would enter the union one day, took until 2013 to join.

            And of course, Ukraine would need to carry about many reforms. So it's a while off. At the same time, EU pressure can push the country into making the necessary difficult decisions. This is how Poland/Hungary/Slovakia managed to become relatively normal countries after decades of Russian-sponsored Communist rule.

        •  Some recent data points: (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nickrud, CaliSista, FG, Subterranean

          Iraq:   No nukes, regime change

          Libya:  gave up WMD voluntarily, regime change

          Ukraine, maybe:  gave up nukes for "no invasion" promise, invaded

          Iran:  nearly nuclear, unlikely to be invaded

          N. Korea:  nukes, left alone

          On the plus side, South Africa and Kazakhstan have done OK after giving up nukes, though S.A. in particular faces no plausible security threat.   On the minus side, India and Pakistan fighting actual wars with each other after each got nukes.

          Sadly, not exactly a record to convince proliferators to give up....

          •  India/Pak STOPPED actual fighting after nukes (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nickrud, Subterranean

            Sorry, lost a key word when typing

            •  Mutually assured destruction. (0+ / 0-)

              They knew they would be both wiped off if they let another conflict start.

            •  1999 Kargil begs to differ. (0+ / 0-)

              Pakistan had nukes. India had nukes. They engaged in a border conflict (with Indian and Pakistani soldiers shooting at each other) and no nukes flew.

              Pakistan has nukes to deter an all-out invasion by India. India has nukes because China has nukes and a rocky history with them.

              "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

              by Australian2 on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 08:43:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Libya was not attacked due to nukes. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fcvaguy

            Intervention took place because of the civil war. I don't see why many people don't get it. If the no-fly zone hadn't been imposed, we would have Gadhafi boasting about how he eliminated the rats and cockroaches.

            •  Qaddafi probably wished he'd kept WMD (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bananapouch1

              The point is that had Libya pursued nuclear weapons, Qaddafi would probably still be in charge today, just as the Kim family is in North Korea despite even worse abuses of their people.

              Cutting deals with dictators to give up their WMD programs and then later engaging in military intervention for regime change against that same dictator is a pretty sure way to convince other dictators that they'd better hang onto or acquire their own nukes.  Do you think the Libya regime change makes Iran feel more comfortable striking a nuclear deal with the US?

              You can have non-proliferation, or you can have "responsibility to protect", but trying to have both means a whole lot of fighting.

              •  This is an interesting perspective. (0+ / 0-)

                At the same time, the nuclear deals weren't struck with the expectation that the country would be invaded a few years later. Most people expected Qaddafi to stay on for the foreseeable future. The Libya bombings weren't technically equivalent to regime change, given that Qaddafi was overthrown by his own people. I understand though why this could make Iran wary of giving up its nukes, even though it would be far more difficult to intervene in Iran.

                •  Of course not with 'expectation of invasion' (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bananapouch1

                  The deal was struck in the wake of the 2003 Iraq invasion, and was largely seen as Qaddafi agreeing to come clean about any WMD programs before Libya too became a target -- with the expected quid pro quo that Libya would not in fact become a target, and indeed Bush and EU largely left Libya alone after the deal.

                  Obviously, only an idiot would have made the deal had they expected invasion would happen anyway.  If you don't offer some sort of security benefit in exchange, why would anyone ever give up their nuclear or chemical/bio/whatever weapons?    

                  W/o the NATO intervention Qaddafi would almost certainly have been able to put the rebellion.  And it wasn't long after our  intervention started that we were pretty up front about the removal of Qaddafi being one of our goals.

                  Libya offers an object lesson for Iran and other countries:  give up your weapons, and the US will pocket that concession and attack you anyway.  In the non-proliferation policy community, the 2011 Libya intervention is largely seen as a terrible mistake.

                  •  The message could also go the other way. (0+ / 0-)

                    If the U.S. had not intervened while Qaddafi massacred his people, the morale could me "the international community doesn't care about avoiding egregious violations" and Iran would not have reason to believe that it will be invaded due to its alleged nuclear program. I view the 2011 Libyan civil war as a somewhat separate issue than the WMD program that existed a decade earlier. Obviously, it will never be easy to encourage Iran to give up its nuclear program. At least there is an interim agreement which hopefully won't get scuttled by either side (yes, I'm looking at you Senator Chuck Schumer).

        •  Two, three, many Chernobyls (0+ / 0-)

          Yes they have uranium and plutonium and a fleet of reactors. I would not so much worry they will manage to build a bomb as they will not be able to safely manage their reactors in the midst of a civil war and bankruptcy and societal breakdown. Please bear in mind that decommissioning a reactor takes decades and many billions. In the best possible case.

          I realize I am posting this on a board where every discussion of things nuclear is invaded by zombie trolls asserting that Chernobyl caused not even a single death. However it is the case that most in Europe have not forgotten Chernobyl. There are no-go zones across Europe from Samiland to Bavaria still contaminated by Chernobyl. Hospitals and orphanages and hospices are full of Chernobyl children. Only utter total morons would stir up a hornets' nest in Ukraine. That is what our State Department did. This chapter of the game was initiated by the US.  

          The US started this and now the party loyalists and nationalists want to just walk away. Pretend it's not US and Ukraine. No, it's Putin and Crimea. Putin is bad. Any person making any comments which have any possibilty of being twisted as pro-Putin will be trashed. Have at it. The US sat down at the table and wanted to play. It is overwhelmingly clear our leaders cannot play standard two-dimensional chess. They cannot play even one move ahead. Yet we insist on playing again and again. When Obama uses a word like "destabilize" he needs to look in the mirror.

      •  Forget to add.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nickrud, bananapouch1

        Lets remember that Russia's only warm water ports and access to the Med is via its port at Sevastopol in Ukraine (Crimea), which they just negotiated a lease extension to like 2042. Geopolitics is always a factor in everything. Ukraine moving towards the EU puts that at risk.

        KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

        by fcvaguy on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:14:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Might also point out (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fcvaguy, Subterranean, bananapouch1

        that western Ukraine was absorbed into the USSR as part of the disgraceful Stalin-Hitler pact of 1939.

        Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

        by Anne Elk on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:24:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ribbentrop-Molotov (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fcvaguy, Anne Elk

          Those parts of Ukraine often had a mixed allegiance between Poland and Ukraine. Their inhabitants were often deported to Siberia, and unbelievable atrocities took place just after the Soviets invaded in 1939. In fact, many Ukrainians were welcoming the German "liberators" after Operation Barbarossa started.

      •  well Crimea is in Ukraine (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FG, Subterranean

        so, it's about the Ukraine.  I mean I know we all don't like Texas, but if Mexico invaded to take it back, we'd probably, begrudgingly, consider it an invasion of the US.

      •  My guess is Crimea does hold a referendum... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fcvaguy, bananapouch1, whizdom

        Under Russian "protection" to rubber-stamp its own annexation.

        Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

        by SaoMagnifico on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:44:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  We should war for Ukraine! Bring back the Draft! (0+ / 0-)

      Ha yeah no. We'd probably fight WW3 for Taiwan before we do it for Crimea. lol

      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:21:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This president's foreign policy of late as being (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rikon Snow, fcvaguy, bananapouch1, bobdevo

    A disaster on many fronts, and what's happening in the Ukraine is another example. While there's barely a coherent policy to deal with the Ukrainian problem, Putin is moving. I know many on our side keep saying the Cold-war is over, we need to deal with Russia differently. But Putin doesn't think the cold war is over, the man is a thug intent on running roughshod over Europe. We either take a tough stance against him now, or deal with serious consequence down the road.

    •  What do you want? A war with Russia? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheHalfrican, ER Doc

      Solutions please. Otherwise you sound like any other neocon critics of President Obama's foreign policy.

      •  See me calling for a war? Just saying sitting on (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TofG, fcvaguy

        The sidelines doing nothing is a disaster. We need to return to a cold war like stance with Russia, in which our aim is to collapse Putin's government without firing a shot. Putin's goal is too reign supreme over many parts of Eastern Europe, if you don't think that's a threat to the United States then I don't know what else to say.

        •  US is doing its share of mischief too. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Subterranean, oldhippie

          Read the link below in comments about who funded the revolutionaries who toppled the Ukraine president.

          They are not going to announce all the dirty tricks.

        •  not a lot of options (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CaliSista

          if Russia takes all or part of the Ukraine, the options are doing nothing, do something impotent, or respond militarily.

          Not advocating option c, just suggesting that in reality, it really is do nothing or respond militarily, assuming Russia really is about to take all or a chunk of Ukraine.

        •  So what would you have him do? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SaoMagnifico

          Channel Reagan by calling for Putin to tear down, er, to pull out of the Ukraine?  

          If Obama calls for more than is possible without war, then he risks making the US look impotent.  

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 04:37:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  So do you have inside information that we ARE (0+ / 0-)

          doing nothing?

          If so... please, do share.

          Does the pres need to put on speakerphone all his conversations with allies and security?

          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

          by cany on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 11:29:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Disaster? Should he launch a pre emptive war? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      middleagedhousewife, Trix, jj32, ER Doc

      I am really unsure what you mean with this. What exactly should he be doing? I thought we were the smart ones who think pre emptive attacks are silly? And are we resposible for defending evrry country to begin with?

    •  Russia can have the whole country for all I care. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Reston history guy

      Ukraine is not a NATO member. Life is hard for them. That's unfortunate.

      •  Budapest Agreement, 1994 (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fcvaguy, harvarddem, Subterranean

        We did sign a treaty in which we pledged that Ukraine's territorial integrity would be protected, specifically in exchange for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons.  While nowhere near as binding as the language for NATO or the US-Japan treaty, neither is this the same as a fight between two random non-ally countries in South America, or even the same as Georgia 2008.

      •  Japan can have Manchuria, for all I care. (4+ / 0-)

        China isn't in our alliance, life is hard for them.  That's unfortunate.

        Yeah, actually that does sound as bad as I thought it would.

        I'd replace it with "Germany" and "Czechoslovakia" but people would scream "Godwin!"  And yet it would be so true.

        "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

        by auron renouille on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:42:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  not every thug (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fcvaguy

          is Hitler. Not every nasty act is a prelude to global war. Not every quarrel between nations calls for American intervention. Surely, if Vietnam's 50,000 American (and countless Vietnamese) dead had any purpose, it was to teach us that the sequence of diplomatic events in the late 30s was not the template for all future international activity.

          "Something has gone very wrong with America, not just its economy, but its ability to function as a democratic nation. And it’s hard to see when or how that wrongness will get fixed." Paul Krugman and Robin Wells

          by Reston history guy on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 04:43:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Mexico can have Texas, Arizona and California. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SaoMagnifico, fcvaguy, chancew

        I don't care. I don't live there, it's all unfortunate.

    •  Putin. But is he ... (0+ / 0-)

      WORSE THAN HITLER!!!???!!! BENGHAZI!!!!!

      If you don't watch the news, you're uninformed. If you watch Fox news, you're mis-informed. (paraphrasing Mark Twain)

      by edg on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:12:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with you. Obama's policy is incoherent. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fcvaguy

      The U.S. seems indecisive and easy to roll over. Putin is clearly fighting a new Cold War, seeking to influence if not outright control all the countries in his surroundings. We need to stand up to him, and make it clear that we know what he is doing and we're willing to aid the nations he is bullying. Meanwhile some people here are saying they "don't want a cold war" etc...

  •  I generally support the President, but (2+ / 0-)

    I am not so sure this is a productive statement.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 02:47:39 PM PST

  •  Essentially a completely meaningless statement (5+ / 0-)

    Guess he felt obliged to say something like politicians are wont to do.

    So he did.

    Yawn.

  •  I'm sure that Vlado is (0+ / 0-)

    quaking in his boots.

    "The monstrous evils of the twentieth century have shown us that the greediest money grubbers are gentle doves compared with money-hating wolves like Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler..." -Eric Hoffer

    by MajorMinor on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 02:50:29 PM PST

  •  The last two world wars have started in (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    collardgreens, Voodoo king, TofG

    Europe.  Anything that destabilizes Europe is . . . Not good.

    Hard to have a government when one-third of your representatives are insane and the other two-thirds have been sold to the highest bidder.

    by Rikon Snow on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 02:50:52 PM PST

  •  Putin will put Crimea under defacto Russian (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, fcvaguy, bananapouch1, SaoMagnifico

    control. The locals want it and there is nothing the world can do to stop this from happening. Yanukovich will resume his presidency of a rump state.

    To any NSA contractor reading this; FU

    by Himself on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 02:51:01 PM PST

    •  Actually, sounds like... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fcvaguy

      The Duma may approve a draft law to allow Russia to annex Crimea. Might require a show vote of Crimeans to join Russia, but it would circumvent the "requirement" that the Ukrainian government sign off on it. (It's not hard to envision Russia deciding to use this new law to "formally" scoop up South Ossetia and Abkhazia while it's at it, too.)

      Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

      by SaoMagnifico on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 04:58:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just read this (6+ / 0-)

    http://pando.com/...

    Pierre Omidyar co-funded Ukraine revolution groups with US government, documents show
    Heh, wonder if the intrepid journalists at the new place will cover it.

    So, awkward.................................

    We should attack now when they'd least expect it #WarOnChristmas

    by AnnetteK on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 02:53:21 PM PST

    •  Well (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnnetteK, Subterranean

      That whole story is similar to what happened in Egypt. We've been pumping money into their "civil society" for decades. What happened?

      Mubarak gets run out, Brotherhood wins the vote (we pout), and surprise, surprise we see new leadership more US friendly.

      I'm not saying Ukraine's gov't wasn't corrupt. However, it seems like elections/negotiation could have solved the issue. Clearly we were meddling in Russia's sphere of influence and their reaction (as well as large portion of the Ukrainian population) is understandable.

      •  I'm not so sure (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fcvaguy

        elections/negotiations would have solved anything but to be honest I'm more interested to see how Omidyars new jounalists will report on this, or if they will.

        We should attack now when they'd least expect it #WarOnChristmas

        by AnnetteK on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:22:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Russia's sphere of influence? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fcvaguy

        The Ukrainians don't consider themselves part of Russia's influence zone. In fact, they were fighting the recent revolution precisely to avoid being under Russia's influence, which is what Yanukovych wanted.

        •  So you don't believe that the Russian majority (0+ / 0-)

          in Crimea would vote to go with Putin?  Really?

          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

          by cany on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 11:35:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bananapouch1

    whether I believe the President or not.

    I would rather this statement come from the EU or something of that nature...with the support of the President.

    Or...I would like to hear the Ukraine blatantly ask for the help and the alliance.

  •  None of our business. Life is hard. nt (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Trix, PatriciaVa, Chitown Kev, ferg, Apost8
  •  I wonder what our reaction would have been (0+ / 0-)

    If the Ukrainian protestors had overthrown a western leaning government...

  •  Who are the armed troops with no insignia (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, TofG, northerntier

    Occupying the Sebastopol airport and speaking Russian?

  •  This is no big deal. Obama's statement is (6+ / 0-)

    on the level of routine, imo, and Putin's not that stupid, anyway. It would become a continuing albatross around his neck.

    "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

    by Wildthumb on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 02:59:28 PM PST

    •  This! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wildthumb, fcvaguy, mmacdDE, Subterranean

      What, did ya'll expect the President of the United States to remain utterly silent during a international crisis? I know this can be hard to remember sometimes, but just because the U.S President talks about a foreign country on TV doesn't mean he's about to launch cruise missiles and drones at it. xD

      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:50:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Neocons at it again? (0+ / 0-)

    I found this article by Robert Perry very interesting.

    http://consortiumnews.com/...

  •  Freedom costs $1.05... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fcvaguy
  •  This is an EU problem (4+ / 0-)

    and they need to deal with it, but it DOES need to be dealt with.

    Anyone who thinks Putin isn't itching to rebuild the old Soviet Empire is deluding themselves.

    We will see what happens.

    You can get animals addicted to a harmful substance, you can dissect their brains, but you throw their own feces back at them, and suddenly you're unprofessional. -Amy Farrah Fowler/The Big Bang Theory -7.50, -5.03

    by dawgflyer13 on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:03:40 PM PST

  •  This was like one sentence (5+ / 0-)

    Calm down folks.  I find most people's comments about foreign policy to be completely nonsensical.

    Obama said one sentence.  That's it.  If he does something, none of us will see it or know about it until he decides to act.

    Please don't give me Syria.  What option their benefited our country?  Russia can talk and mediate all it wants, but it didn't send troops in on Al-Assad's side because wasting money and Russian lives doesn't benefit Russia.  If Obama is working off the calculus of what is best for America, then he's probably already calculating that.  

    "Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal."

    by sujigu on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:05:55 PM PST

  •  The problem is that... (3+ / 0-)

    ...we allow certain parts of the world to fester into traps from which it's hard to get out of.

    Crimea is Ukrainian today because of a recent historical incident never meant to define national borders. Its populace is 90% Russian and politically split similarly. Russia from their perspective have no choice but to walk in to a territory that considers themselves Russia as it is, with a populace who think they have no representation in Kiev.

    Now, what's next? Here's the problem: the Ukrainian government has little choice than to act if it wants to claim any legitimacy. This was not arrived to by any negotiation but is naked aggression, from their perspective.

    And then what? Well Russia will have no choice but to attempt a counter attack which will certainly bring them beyond Crimea.

    What does the US do then?

    This is pretty scary.

  •  Cue John Bolton in 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chrississippi, Anna M

    So this West Virginian walks into a bar and says, "Fix me a Green River."

    by Omir the Storyteller on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:07:51 PM PST

  •  This is how nuclear proliferation will resume (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nickrud, FG, TofG, riprof, Rikon Snow, SaoMagnifico

    I am from Ukraine, I still have family there, and I want Putin's hands away from it, but that's not the point!

    Russia, USA, and UK jointly signed the Budapest memorandum guarantees Ukraine's security and territorial integrity in exchange for giving up the nukes.

    If there guarantees aren't upheld -- by USA and UK, since Russia had violated them already -- this will send a loud and clear signal to other countries: only your own nukes can protect you, international accords are worthless.

    So all of you complaining about hawks and saber rattling -- STFU. The entire modern world order of nuclear containment is on the line here, not just Ukraine.

    Ceterum Censeo: Veritas et Libertas Ultra Omnis Sunto

    by Victor on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:09:05 PM PST

  •  there will be more than costs... (0+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:16:31 PM PST

  •  The problem is that this kind of talk (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wolf10, northerntier, Apost8

    is almost daring Russia to do something. It makes the Russians feel resentful about western encroachment and it doesn't achieve anything. Whatever happened to quiet diplomacy? Why do we see the Administration on page 1 about this? They are breaking rule 1 of international politics: don't make idle threats. Amateur hour.

    What would have been more helpful - it seems to me - would have been for the EU and Russia to forge a Ukrainian understanding that might include Russian guarantees of long-term natural gas contracts, an EU program of infrastructure support, and both parties agreeing that Ukraine would not be pulled into the EU or the Russian customs union. Once we had that agreement, the eastern and western portions of Ukraine would realize that, like it or not, they were stuck with each other and have to make the best of it. Otherwise, partition is the only realistic alternative. However, I don't see how this EU-Ukraine-Russia situation necessarily needs the USA sounding off.

    Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

    by Anne Elk on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:20:44 PM PST

  •  Sovereignty (7+ / 0-)

    The US will not tolerate violations of sovereignty.....unless it's the US violating the sovereignty of Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq...

  •  I think this is about economic retaliation not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    auron renouille

    military. The GDP of Russia is the size Italy and most of it is exports are crude oil and gas.
    What happened in Georgia was outrageous (South Ossetia and Abkhazia) so I'm glad Obama is being firm.
    Putin as the Russian's Capo di capo is just as corrupt as Yanukovych. Nobody deserves to live under that.

  •  Obama is overstating the costs. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Apost8

    1)  NATO isn't going to invade.

    2) The US isn't going to invade.

    3) Nobody is doing any bombing from outside.

    4) Nobody wants to start a trade war on this

    5) this is silly and sad.
         silly because Putin is on the edge of his borders,
         sad because if it escalates a lot of people are going to die.

    It's a pity, all around, but, Russia is basically an exporter,
    and they don't need us that badly.

  •  I hope these (0+ / 0-)

    warnings carry more weight than the red line in Syria.

  •  This only becomes a serious crisis... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dpinzow, imsleepy, ferg, fcvaguy

    If the Russians decide to occupy more of Ukraine beyond Crimea. They can probably get away with annexing parts of the Donbas, although it's less clear those citizens of Ukraine want to be absorbed into Russia (I don't doubt there's majority support for a bloodless Russian takeover in Crimea). If they try to cut off Ukraine's access to the Black Sea in Kherson or Odessa, though, I don't think Kyiv will take that lying down; if Russian troops march on Kyiv itself, all bets are off.

    It really seems the Ukrainian government and its allies (including President Obama) are telegraphing that while they're extremely unhappy about Russia swooping in to take control of Crimea, they're willing to accept it (and it's worth noting at this point that the loss of Crimea's overwhelmingly Russophilic voting population deals a devastating blow to pro-Russia factions in Ukraine's closely divided political landscape). The posturing is mostly about warning Putin off trying to grab more -- although no one has pledged to send troops to defend any geographic "red line", so we'll see what happens.

    There are more than a few shades of Afghanistan in the idea of Russia trying to invade and hold all of Ukraine.

    Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

    by SaoMagnifico on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 03:56:09 PM PST

  •  Let the true leader of Europe handle it (0+ / 0-)

    I would easily believe Putin is more scared of Merkel than Obama. How much is this about the fear in Moscow about Germany making Ukraine bend the knee to Berlin instead of Moscow.

    •  Sure makes it easy for Putin... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fcvaguy

      To trot out the "Nazi" and "brownshirt" crap.

      That being said, I've never really accepted the idea that Chancellor Merkel is the "leader" of Europe. At most, she's one corner of the triumvirate that also includes the leaders of France and the United Kingdom. And on Eastern issues, Poland and arguably Lithuania play a larger role than the UK these days.

      Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

      by SaoMagnifico on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 04:16:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "There will be costs." (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldhippie

    Ill-advised statement. There will be no cost exacted by the United States and we should not pretend otherwise.

    "Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself." - Robert G. Ingersoll

    by Apost8 on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 05:00:07 PM PST

    •  Sure there will! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldhippie

      We might boycott the G-8 meeting in Sochi this year, for example. Maybe we will even propose a Security Council resolution condemning the occupation of Crimea by Russian troops. Hell, if we get really crazy, we could even threaten targeted sanctions against a select few Russian officials!

      Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

      by SaoMagnifico on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 05:22:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is Bush's fault (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    auron renouille

    He took US in long unnecessary wars and drained the country of money and energy, and stretched military thin. Now when US really needs some ass kicking to do, we have no money and energy to do so.

    •  Bush on Putil (0+ / 0-)
      "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue.

      "I was able to get a sense of his soul.

      "He's a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country and I appreciate very much the frank dialogue and that's the beginning of a very constructive relationship,"

      "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

      by jfern on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 07:53:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Some advice for Obama (0+ / 0-)

    Please do NOT play chess with Vladimir Vladimirovich.  He's been playing it a lot longer than you have.  Besides, we lost the moral high ground a long time ago.

    •  And that's why Kyiv... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dpinzow

      Is no longer in Putin's back pocket.

      It's important to keep this in perspective: Crimea is basically Russia's consolation prize for losing control of the rest of Ukraine.

      Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

      by SaoMagnifico on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 05:24:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wouldn't be so sure (0+ / 0-)

        Wait until the Ukrainians get a taste of IMF neoliberal capitalism for awhile.   They may end up very disillusioned with it, like many parts of the world are.  That and their Slavic background ties them more to Russia than to the West.

      •  I thought the Orange Revolution was 2004? (0+ / 0-)

        Putin may have had a lot of influence in Ukraine. In many senses Ukraine was in Russia's sphere of influence. But it has also been in a Western sphere of influence. And formally sovereign for a decade.  Ukraine has been a dysfunctional neighbor and a burden for Russia. Every leader they get is a greedy clown who couldn't successfully accomplish an errand on behalf of Vladimir if they wanted to. Commercial relations continue as a matter of course. Commercial relations would continue regardless of who leads or what system prevails in Moscow and Kiev.

        Putin has lost nothing. He has gained the Crimea. When the West wearies of Ukraine the battered corpse of a nation will be offered to Putin.

        •  I don't think so (0+ / 0-)

          Without Crimea voting in Ukrainian elections, pro-Russia factions will be forced to either moderate substantially or will be reduced to a permanent minority. Meanwhile, anti-Russian sentiments are very likely near to an all-time high in Ukraine, and there is momentum in Western capitals to shore up the interim government and get Ukraine back on track to closer formal ties with the EU and NATO.

          The Orange Revolution was significant, but I'd argue this revolution is bigger. Time will tell.

          Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

          by SaoMagnifico on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 12:11:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Could "costs" please not mean another war? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany

    And BTW, I'm sick of this new Cold War you guys keep stirring up.

    I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 05:23:29 PM PST

  •  "There will be costs", huh? (0+ / 0-)

    Is that like the "red line" on Syrian use of chemical weapons?

    Obama has lost all credibility on the international level. When you make a threat, be prepared to back it up - or don't make it at all.

    "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

    by Australian2 on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 06:32:51 PM PST

  •  Did CIA funding of the coup in the Ukraine (0+ / 0-)

    violate Ukrainian sovereignty?  The guy was the lawfully elected president.

    Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

    by bobdevo on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 06:35:12 PM PST

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