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We Progressives and other factions on the Left have often decried the Mainstream Media's lazy journalistic use of false equivalency to generate controversy, or in outright disseminating of disinformation. We see this in climate change, in evolution, etc. Or my personal favorite: when followers of Glen Beck try to equate socialism with national socialism (Nazis) simply because they share the term 'socialism', but in fact the two systems couldn't be more different.

So it was with great surprise that I began to read the views of some on the left equating, falsely, Putin's invasion of Ukraine with Bush's invasion of Iraq.

First, a few disclaimers. I was against the Iraq war. I wrote about my misgivings on the Washington Monthly blog when Steve Bennen ran the joint (now with Rachael Maddow).

Second disclaimer. I performed volunteer work in Ukraine a number of years ago after their peaceful separation from the Soviet Union. I have friends in Ukraine to this day, so this Russian invasion isn't some opaque, meaningless act of aggression in an unfamiliar country.

Now one may agree or disagree on whether we should act on behalf of Ukraine. Fine. But to cite Bush's Folly as a reason we should mind our business is the worst possible reason, and is an utterly false equivalent to what is happening in Ukraine.

1) The False Pretense comparison

Many are chiding, or openly deriding Secretary Kerry for his comments about Putin's blatant false pretense for invading Ukraine. They try to brand him as a hypocrite, pointing out that the US went to war with Iraq under false pretenses as well.

The problem with this comparison is that we didn't know the pretense was utterly false in Iraq until many months later. Many Democrats I respect voted for war, even though I was against it. But I was against the action because the Iraqi people didn't ask us to intervene with any huge outcry. I am to this day against pre-emptive strikes.

On the other hand, as Kerry has said, Putin's pretense to action is openly false. There was absolutely no evidence that any ethnic Russians were in danger in Crimea. The 'leader' who asked for Putin's help had only secured 4% of the popular vote in the last election. In Putin's calculation, as long as there is 1 ethnic Russian to defend, he will use it as an excuse. This is essentially what he did in Georgia as well with the break away districts.

Not only that, the "Law of Languages" that Putin also cites -- the need to preserve Russian language, is a ridiculous claim. The Ukrainian parliament had recently tried to void the so-called "law of languages" in order to allow Crimean-Tartars (12% of the population) to use their own language. This is the 'threat' to Russian language Putin talks about.

2). Illegal Invasion

Some want to compare the Iraqi invasion and Ukrainian invasion as both illegal. This could not be further from the truth. Russia is in clear violation of many treaties itself had signed.

Furthermore it attacked Ukraine without any provocation.

Russia used force as a first resort, and didn't bother to seek any diplomatic resolution through UN or any other body (this is what the chicken hawk Republicans really adore about Putin, that he didn't bow to any UN intermediaries).

Regardless of what you (or I think) of Bush, he did attempt to go through the UN first. There were attempts to use diplomacy. There were months long debate on going to war. Bush assembled a coalition (however feeble) to support the war.  Whatever his faults (and they are legion) he didn't simply decide one day to go to war and have a rubber stamping Kremlin okay his dictatorial wishes. Putin decided, and he did it. Within a span of days (the chickenhawks love this too). And he might have wrestled a bear as a way to relax during those few days, I dunno.

Only after the fact did we the American People get a glimpse into how we were manipulated. But even in this case, we at least had a chance to prevent the invasion and time to debate it.

3) Ukraine is pleading for our help. Iraq did not.

The Ukrainian leaders are asking, pleading, for help from the West. They echo the voices of a very large portion of the Ukrainian people--possible half or more. Ukraine has suffered for over a century under the heal of Russia. Genocide in the East, where 10 million Ukrainians were starved to death by Stalin and the region then repopulated with ethnic Russians...Russians that claim they love Putin so much today. And Putin will use this Russian pretext of coming to the aid of ethnic Russians again and again unless something is done.

Need I remind everyone that Iraq didn't ask for our help, didn't ask for any invasion or military assistance.

So my friends, I ask that you consider these points and see that equating Putin's expansionist desires in Ukraine with Bush's revenge Folly is an utterly false comparison. My hope is that this can end peacefully. My hope is that the US and the West will use all the economic pressure they can to finally remove the boot of Russia from the neck of Ukraine once and for all.

Thanks for reading.

Poll

What should be the response from the West to Russia?

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| 33 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

    by JWK on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:10:28 PM PST

  •  Here's another False Equivalency (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    Putin is like a modern Lincoln, trying to salvage "the Union" at all costs.

    I suppose it's just as valid.

  •  I agree with much of what you wrote, however... (10+ / 0-)

    ...I have serious issues with this part of your post...

    ...Regardless of what you (or I think) of Bush, he did attempt to go through the UN first. There were attempts to use diplomacy. There were months long debate on going to war. Bush assembled a coalition (however feeble) to support the war.  Whatever his faults (and they are legion) he didn't simply decide one day to go to war and have a rubber stamping Kremlin okay his dictatorial wishes...
    To fully respond in light of what I just stated could easily take a full doctoral thesis to do my sentiments justice. (And, I know many books have been written along these lines, too.) That being said, you'll just have to settle for this (in a comment in a blog): "Oil Co's Were Negotiating w/UK, US Gov't's Over Iraqi Oil One Year BEFORE 2003 Invasion,"Daily Kos 4/20/11

    Long story short, to posit that there was ANY legitimacy, whatsoever, with regard to our country's entry into Iraq in 2003, is just fiction/revisionist history.

    You support your positions quite well, elsewhere in your post. But, as far as this aspect--which I highlighted above--of it's concerned, it's disappointing, to say the least, IMHO.

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:25:05 PM PST

  •  Oh, dear. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Involuntary Exile, dougymi, Kevskos

    I was hoping for something substantive.

    There really are substantial cultural ties between Russia and Crimea - even greater than those between America and Baghdad!

  •  Bullshit. 100 lbs in a 50 lnb sack. (5+ / 0-)

    You need to do some reading on the subject.  Start with this:

    NED (USAID/CIA program), a $100 million-a-year agency created by the Reagan administration in 1983 to promote political action and psychological warfare against targeted states, lists 65 projects that it supports financially inside Ukraine, including training activists, supporting “journalists” and promoting business groups, effectively creating a full-service structure primed and ready to destabilize a government in the name of promoting “democracy.”...

    State Department neocons also put their shoulders into shoving Ukraine away from Russia. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, the wife of prominent neocon Robert Kagan and the sister-in-law of the Gates-Petraeus adviser Frederick Kagan, advocated strenuously for Ukraine’s reorientation toward Europe.

    Last December, Nuland reminded Ukrainian business leaders that, to help Ukraine achieve “its European aspirations, we have invested more than $5 billion.” She said the U.S. goal was to take “Ukraine into the future that it deserves,” by which she meant into the West’s orbit and away from Russia’s.

    But President Yanukovych rejected a European Union plan that would have imposed harsh austerity on the already impoverished Ukraine. He accepted a more generous $15 billion loan from Russia, which also has propped up Ukraine’s economy with discounted natural gas. Yanukovych’s decision sparked anti-Russian street protests in Kiev, located in the country’s western and more pro-European region.

    Nuland was soon at work planning for “regime change,” encouraging disruptive street protests by personally passing out cookies to the anti-government demonstrators. She didn’t seem to notice or mind that the protesters in Kiev’s Maidan square had hoisted a large banner honoring Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist who collaborated with the German Nazis during World War II and whose militias participated in atrocities against Jews and Poles.

    By late January, Nuland was discussing with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt who should be allowed in the new government.

    “Yats is the guy,” Nuland said in a phone call to Pyatt that was intercepted and posted online. “He’s got the economic experience, the governing experience. He’s the guy you know.” By “Yats,” Nuland was referring to Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who had served as head of the central bank, foreign minister and economic minister — and who was committed to harsh austerity.

    As Assistant Secretary Nuland and Sen. McCain cheered the demonstrators on, the street protests turned violent. Police clashed with neo-Nazi bands, the ideological descendants of Bandera’s anti-Russian Ukrainians who collaborated with the Nazi SS during World War II.

    With the crisis escalating and scores of people killed in the street fighting, Yanukovych agreed to a E.U.-brokered deal that called for moving up scheduled elections and having the police stand down. The neo-Nazi storm troopers then seized the opening to occupy government buildings and force Yanukovych and many of his aides to flee for their lives.

    With these neo-Nazis providing “security,” the remaining parliamentarians agreed in a series of unanimous or near unanimous votes to establish a new government and seek Yanukovych’s arrest for mass murder. Nuland’s choice, Yatsenyuk, emerged as interim prime minister.

    Yet, the violent ouster of Yanukovych provoked popular resistance to the coup from the Russian-ethnic south and east. After seeking refuge in Russia, Yanukovych appealed to Putin for help. Putin then dispatched Russian troops to secure control of the Crimea.

    The CIA and administration neocons funded a coup d'etat in Ukraine, driving out the elected government. There are no good guys.

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

    by bobdevo on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:27:48 PM PST

    •  I'm sorry but (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doc2, Hey338Too, FG, Mindful Nature

      you link to a blog that is short on facts and long on innuendo.
      Try harder.

      Obama 2012 http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/

      by jiffypop on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:49:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah. That is a bunch of Russian Propaganda (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doc2, Hey338Too, Mindful Nature

      at worst, and a deliberately cynical examination at best.

      Promoting democracy...what a sin that is. So you support allowing a dictatorial Russia to install even LESS democracy than would be allowed under a move to the West?

      What a sickening stance you have. You can quote all the quasi-conspiratorial bullshit you want, I actually KNOW people in Ukraine. All you got is an article written by God knows who. The people WANT to join the EU. Period.

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

      by JWK on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:52:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  USAID/NED/CIA "promoting" democracy? (0+ / 0-)

        Yeah, right.

        Here's just one example of USAID/NED democracy building:

        It was USAID money that helped a CIA agent persuade Emmanuel "Toto" Constant to organize the murderous FRAPH in 1991. That terrorist organization was responsible for some 5,000 murders in the wake of the military coup that removed Aristide from his first term as elected president.

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

        by bobdevo on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:20:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  An alternate fact-based analysis: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FG
      By late January, Nuland was discussing with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt who should be allowed in the new government. “Yats is the guy,” Nuland said . . .
      Yanokovich had already offered the Prime Minister position to Yatsenyuk which was announced on January 25.

      Nuland and Kerry went to Europe to meet Merkel around Jan 31 and to meet Ukraine's opposition leaders at the Munich Security Conference Feb 1-2.

      The content of the call obviously doesn't demonstrate a democratic ideal. Given the Yanokovych offer which hadn't been accepted it would have been normal to talk about the State Dept's preference. If they were planning a coup like Stephen Cohen says, somebody has to explain Ban Ki Moon and Robert Serry's role in it. Does the UN get involved in coup-plotting too now. You can't just ignore this part of the call.

      Nuland: OK. He's now gotten both Serry and [UN Secretary General] Ban Ki-moon to agree that Serry could come in Monday or Tuesday. So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and to have the UN help glue it and, you know, Fuck the EU.
      And if there was a plan to overthrow Yanukovych, why does Pyatt say a moment later:
      The other issue is some kind of outreach to Yanukovych but we probably regroup on that tomorrow as we see how things start to fall into place.
      Every single individual who held high office in Ukraine for years has been part of the problem. Why so coy if you want to promote Klitschko? Or whomever.

      The story about the cookies is cute but it's wearing thin. Does anyone know what kind they were? What's the point? Ukrainians can be bought for a cookie? I'd rethink that.

      The 5 bills was spread over 22 years.

      Let's pause here because you left the beginning out of your story. What made the student protesters hit the street at the end of November? Yanukovych's cabinet of ministers cancelled the EU Affiliation Agreement. But why?

      The answer came out in a press conference Putin gave on December 19. The transcript is on the Kremlin English language website. This is an excerpt but it's clear.

      QUESTION FROM ROMAN TSYMBALYUK, UKRAINIAN INFORMATION AGENCY
      I just wanted to clarify something regarding the discount on gas. How can you explain this? You choked Ukraine with high gas prices for three years and then suddenly reduced it. Does this mean that the price was not “fraternal” before but inflated and unfair for Ukraine? You said that even now we have only a temporary arrangement and must move forward. What does that mean? Also, could you please clarify if these $15 billion are the price for Ukraine’s rejection of the EU association agreement? How much would you be willing to pay to permanently discourage Kiev from looking in Europe’s direction?

      VLADIMIR PUTIN:
      No one was trying to strangle anyone here. It was said from the start, including in Ukraine itself, and quite fairly too, that, “if we want to be independent, we have to pay for it, behave like an independent country and follow the norms of European and global practice.” The contract that we signed back then was based on precisely these norms.

      So, why have we decided to make changes to the contract now? Why have we decided to offer Ukraine these loans? Let me say again now that today’s decisions, which you all know, were taken in response to the difficulties the Ukrainian economy currently faces. These difficulties, as I said, are due to a number of different reasons.

      We are not against [EU] association, but are simply saying that we will have to protect our own economy because we have a free trade zone with Ukraine, and we will not be able to leave those doors wide open in the present situation if Ukraine opens its doors wide to the European Union. We will have no choice but to close our doors.

      Putin used extortion. If you read the rest at the link he reiterated it. If  Yanukovych didn't cancel the EU Affiliation Agreement Russia would close its doors on trade. This was a question about natural gas. Ukraine depends on Russia for its supply. Could it be any clearer?

      These are Putin's own words on his government website.

      There is no existence without doubt.

      by Mark Lippman on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 05:25:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Extortion. As if the World Bank and/or IMF (0+ / 0-)

        don't extort compliance with their programs.

        If  Yanukovych didn't cancel the EU Affiliation Agreement Russia would close its doors on trade. This was a question about natural gas. Ukraine depends on Russia for its supply. Could it be any clearer?
        That's politics.  Putin does it.  We do it.  In other words, Putin said he there would be consequences if Ukraine did not toe the line.  How is that any different than Obama promising sanctions against Russia if they don't toe OUR line?

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

        by bobdevo on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:22:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is between Russia and Ukraine, and it has (0+ / 0-)

          nothing to do with the World Bank and the IMF.

          Changing the subject still leaves Russia with a violation of the treaties it signed.

          This isn't business as usual.

          American misdeeds don't give Russia any cover. The US, Russia, Ukraine, and other countries signed a treaty specifically to protect Ukraine from its current situation with Russia. It has called upon the signatories to fulfill the terms.
          How exactly do America's past misdeeds get absolved by refusing to honor an existing agreement?

          You want to draw equivalence where there is none. The line to be towed is the one that Russia accepted when it agreed to refrain from interfering with its neighbors.

          There is no existence without doubt.

          by Mark Lippman on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:53:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, no, it does have a lot to do with Western (0+ / 0-)

            plans to get their hands on Ukraine.  One of the things the former Ukrainian prez did to piss off the neocons was to turn down strings attached funds from the West.

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

            by bobdevo on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 01:20:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The IMF & Ukraine negotiated from 2008-2010 over (0+ / 0-)

              a loan. Payments began in 2010 with a requirement to reform the fiscal management related to natural gas subsidies. The budget amount indicated gas consumption way over the amount for a country that size and there was no recordkeeping to show how or why the gas bill was so high. Instead of reform, the situation worsened a little more each year.

              A World Bank study concluded that the subsidies were a welfare program for the rich. Russia stopped delivery in 2009 claiming Ukraine owed billions in overdue bills and siphoning. When Yanukovych defeated Tymoshenko (aka 'The Gas Princess') he was expected to eliminate corruption but nothing changed. The IMF eventually discontinued the loan amounts to Ukraine. By 2012 gas consumption dropped by half but expenses still increased. Russia consistently claims it discounts its price for Ukraine but there's no transparency.

              Average income is only $3500. Life expectancy is 64 years. There's no apparent evidence to show where the country's wealth went. When the interim government took over it said the treasury is empty.

              I get the cynicism and skepticism about the bankers. I've written about neo-liberal economic and austerity imposed on specific countries like France. The situation in Ukraine is unlike anything the EU has ever seen. There are countries like Turkey that the EU tried to re-make but Ukraine is so far gone it's in a class by itself.  

              There is no existence without doubt.

              by Mark Lippman on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 02:58:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So you're "on the record" as saying Yanukovych's (0+ / 0-)

                reluctance to get in bed with predatory Western financial interests had NOTHING to do with USAID/NED/CIA attempts to overthrow his administration?

                There were merely concerned with turning Ukraine into Jeffersonian democracy?

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

                by bobdevo on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 03:10:01 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Those are outside the scope of my work. (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm not pushing a point of view or selling propaganda, which is just another name for biased opinions.

                  There's an excess supply of that which makes it worthless. Factual information is getting scarce. The mass media hardly delivers any. It has to be collected and that's what I do using primary sources.

                  Here's an example.

                  Here's another with text that talks about the $16 Billion loan that fell through in 2010. It's a bridge too far for me to say Yanukovych resisted the IMF. He inherited a country that was on a definite track and he played along for a while. In December 2011 he hosted the 15th Summit on the EU Affiliation in Kyiv and he signed on to continue the deal.

                  Ukraine has troops in Afghanistan with the US as part of ISAF. They've participated for years. They could have pulled out like France did around 15 months ago but they're still there.

                  In 2012 Shell and Exxon Mobil and/or Chevron negotiated contracts giving them hydraulic fracking rights for the shale gas deposits that were discovered in Ukraine. The deal was touted as energy independence for Ukraine.

                  This makes a picture that seems complete to me. The neo-con agenda comes to fruition with some of the most powerful corporations in the world making profitized foreign policy in a country they can easily dominate while giving two middle fingers to VVP. The weather changed after the deal was announced because this is an offense he cannot tolerate.

                  What I do is like forensics. I don't paint my opinions on top of the factual information I gather. I let the facts speak for themselves. As I said at the top of this message, the most important piece of the story is simply left out. But it seems to me that when the missing info is revealed, the whole story makes a lot more sense.

                  There is no existence without doubt.

                  by Mark Lippman on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:28:10 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Just so you know there are opposing opinions: (0+ / 0-)

                    LINK.

                    the western powers have also played a central role in creating the Ukraine crisis in the first place.

                    The US and European powers openly sponsored the protests to oust the corrupt but elected Viktor Yanukovych government, which were triggered by controversy over an all-or-nothing EU agreement which would have excluded economic association with Russia.

                    In her notorious "fuck the EU" phone call leaked last month, the US official Victoria Nuland can be heard laying down the shape of a post-Yanukovych government – much of which was then turned into reality when he was overthrown after the escalation of violence a couple of weeks later.

                    The president had by then lost political authority, but his overnight impeachment was certainly constitutionally dubious. In his place a government of oligarchs, neoliberal Orange Revolution retreads and neofascists has been installed, one of whose first acts was to try and remove the official status of Russian, spoken by a majority in parts of the south and east, as moves were made to ban the Communist party, which won 13% of the vote at the last election.

                    It has been claimed that the role of fascists in the demonstrations has been exaggerated by Russian propaganda to justify Vladimir Putin's manoeuvres in Crimea. The reality is alarming enough to need no exaggeration. Activists report that the far right made up around a third of the protesters, but they were decisive in armed confrontations with the police.

                    Fascist gangs now patrol the streets. But they are also in Kiev's corridors of power. The far right Svoboda party, whose leader has denounced the "criminal activities" of "organised Jewry" and which was condemned by the European parliament for its "racist and antisemitic views", has five ministerial posts in the new government, including deputy prime minister and prosecutor general. The leader of the even more extreme Right Sector, at the heart of the street violence, is now Ukraine's deputy national security chief.

                    MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

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

                    by bobdevo on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 08:22:05 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Opposing viewpoints are good. I learn from people (0+ / 0-)

                      on this site. When I start researching info on a topic, I have no idea what the conclusion will be. And every claim needs proof. The story needs chronological integrity too.

                      I wrote a diary quickly when the intercepted call was released and I said I wasn't sure what to make of it. It was released Feb 7, but Yanukovych had already offered Yatsenyuk the PM job on Jan 25. He didn't respond publicly.  Ban Ki Moon and Robert Serry from the UN were mentioned at the end of the call because they were lined up for a trip to Kyiv to "glue" the arrangement.  Nuland and Pyatt were probably talking about the offer and pulling diplomatic strings. I don't see a secretly plotted coup with the UN involved.

                      Yatsenyuk, Klitschko, and Tyahnybok had formed an opposition coalition in Parliament. Nuland downplayed Klitschko. They said very little about Tyahnybok. He's Svoboda far-right nationalist but he wasn't promoted. Voters elected Svoboda members to Parliament. It happens in a democracy.

                      If I examine something and it doesn't hold water, I file it and move on. What I see is people getting attached to a particular view for whatever reason and it prevents them from seeing something that's just outside the frame of their picture.

                      The US isn't into the heavy-handed grimy neo-nazis of the gutter. Watch the Bill Moyers interview about the"Deep State." Besides the fracking for shale gas, an open Ukraine gives the US something else that it doesn't have right now.

                      There is no existence without doubt.

                      by Mark Lippman on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 10:49:07 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

  •  We knew Iraq was bullshit when it happened (11+ / 0-)

    not "several months later."  Only the sheeple bought Bush's shit.

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:29:57 PM PST

    •  Uhm...no we didn't... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hey338Too

      or I should say, yes I did, and a small percentage of the populaiton. But 70% of Americans felt it was justified at the time. And regardless of what you say, it took months of debate to reach that cause for war.

      You're in love with the false equivalency because your hatred of Bush. I'm not letting my disgust with him cloud my judgment here. Thus this diary.

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

      by JWK on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:54:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Try harder (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        Your judgment is clouded by your effort to make a distinction which does not stand scrutiny.

        "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

        by Paleo on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 05:18:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, good word, sheeple. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mindful Nature

      Except that our star candidate, the next POTUS, was one of those sheeple. And she still insists it wasn't a mistake on her part.

      •  That's why she won't get my vote. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, The Dead Man

        A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

        by slatsg on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 06:02:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Huh? You'll contribute to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tortmaster

          electing an actual Republican to avoid voting for a Democrat who once blindly believed a Republican?

          •  IMO she didn't blindly believe a Republican. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo

            The information was available. If she didn't avail herself to the information then she isn't smart enough to be POTUS.

            If she did see the info but voted for the AUMF out of political expediency, at the cost of thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, then she doesn't deserve to be President.

            And no, I won't ever vote for a Republican.

            A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

            by slatsg on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 06:24:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I'm glad to see that even you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Dead Man
        And she still insists it wasn't a mistake on her part.
        admit to Our Next President's devastating lack of judgment.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:37:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  the sheeple, and those who stood (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Dead Man, Bluesee

      to make a killing on the war.

      That, and plenty of cold-blooded political opportunists, including Our Next President.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:33:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  False equivalency or not, it's not our problem (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos, tidalwave1, corvo

    Look, the US has and will continue to intervene as it pleases in countries in the western hemisphere. The various invasions of Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Grenada, the assassination of Allende in Chili, helping to foment unrest in Venezuela, etc, etc.

    You don't see the UK, France, Russia, Japan, China or any other country ever threatening war, sanctions, or even recalling an ambassador over this.  And you never will. It's our backyard, and it's no threat to their security or national interests.

    Same thing here. Sorry, but what happens in the Ukraine stays in the Ukraine, as far as our security or national interests go.  It's Russia's backyard, not ours.

    Because one equivalency isn't false:  intervening in foreign disputes does us no good in the long run, being the world's policeman has cost us trillions to no avail.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by absdoggy on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:31:50 PM PST

    •  Let's see (0+ / 0-)

      We supported dictators in the past which is an argument against taking action against a dictator now. The US has intervened in several disputes that had significant benefits.  I'd say WWII and Korean are good places to start.  Haiti also, Kosovo, and Libya stand as examples (I expect to hear a liberal defense of how great Ghaddafi was now).  And yes Lithuania has recalled its ambassador.  Not sure what anyone else will do yet.

      Of all the arguments I have seen this is definitely the weakest

  •  Your poll needs a "several of these" option. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JWK, Hey338Too, jan4insight

    I could get behind both diplomatic and economic sanctions, and possibly bringing Ukraine into NATO.

    Diplomacy works best when pursued on multiple fronts.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:32:44 PM PST

  •  If you want to compare the Ukraine invasion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    to an American action, then compare it to how we forced Colombia to give up Panama.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:36:37 PM PST

    •  Hell, why don't we go back to the American (0+ / 0-)

      Revolution! You old Liberals can't let anything go can you? Keep fighting the same arguments you've been fighting for decades--just like the old Cons who keep fighting the Cold War over again by invoking the Communist scare.

      No. I'd rather compare it to Libya. If Putin really wants to re-unite the old Soviet Union, than this is in fact a protracted civil war. A dictator is going to bring the resistance to heel no matter what. The resistance asks the West for help.

      That is essentially what is happening. Do we need military? No. We can proceed with diplomatic and economic pressure, but it needs to be significant.

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

      by JWK on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 05:01:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm just trying to show a more apt comparison (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        Libya doesn't work because we never actually grabbed any territory, unlike Putin  and Teddy R. Both of whom want/wanted a military base for the navy.

        None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

        by gjohnsit on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 05:05:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  We don't let it go because it continues today (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, Bluesee

        We continue to intervene in the internal affairs of other countries and then condemn others when they do it. It's wrong when they do it and it's equally wrong when we do it. Leaving aside the morality of the question (those supporting US intervention in Ukraine can't decide if this is a moral or national interest issue), our behaving like an outlaw nation reduces the credibility and legitimacy when label another country as an outlaw nation.

        Bush preemptively invaded a sovereign country, a clear violation of international law. So both invasions were illegal.

        The invasion of Iraq followed a long propaganda campaign by Bush built on lies. Even if the some people and the spineless politicians didn't find out the truth until later, the invasion was still based on deception.  Thus both invasions were based on falsehoods.

        Even after the propaganda campaign the support for the Iraqi invasion was not as widespread as you claim. In the week before the invasion support was only at 54%. After the initial invasion, even with all the war porn in the media, support was only 62%. Only in May, after it appeared that we would accomplish our mission largely unscathed, did support surpass the 70% figure you mention. Source

        A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

        by slatsg on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 06:45:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  flat wrong (9+ / 0-)
    The problem with this comparison is that we didn't know the pretense was utterly false in Iraq until many months later.
    many people knew it. remember joe wilson? even john kerry himself had spent months criticizing the "rationale" for war, before making the boneheaded political calculation to vote for it.
    Regardless of what you (or I think) of Bush, he did attempt to go through the UN first.
    yeah, and the u.n. said no. which made it an illegal invasion.
    Need I remind everyone that Iraq didn't ask for our help, didn't ask for any invasion or military assistance.
    actually, the bushies had pet "iraqis" like chalabi, so they could pretend to have been asked. remember how our troops were going to be greeted with flowers?

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:45:26 PM PST

  •  Clearly, you spent your time in Western Ukraine. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paleo, Alhambra, corvo

    I have the opposite experience from you. I am Orthodox and know several Russian-speaking Ukrainian immigrant families. We are members of the same church. According to them, Russian-speaking Crimea and Eastern Ukraine want to keep close ties to Russia. So many Russian-speaking Ukrainians have family in Russia, they do business with Russia, they depend on Russian trade. They want the tensions resolved without bloodshed and without sanctions. The Crimean Russians want Crimea to break away from Ukraine. So do some, maybe even a majority, of the Eastern Ukrainians.

    If the Ukrainians I know are indicative of Crimeans and Eastern Ukrainians generally, the country will wind up partitioned

  •  I don't understand your first argument (6+ / 0-)

    How is it that many of us knew that the whole Iraq PR machine was full of utter bullshit but the people with the access to the intelligence did not? There seems to be some revisionist history going on here.

    We DID know right away that it was bullshit. Do you remember Hans Blix and how he was smeared in the media BEFORE the invasion because he never found WMDs in Iraq? It was BS. They deliberately convinced people that Iraq was somehow tied to 9/11 in order to get to Iraq. That was always painfully clear to people who were following the story.

    Yes, Bush went to the UN first, but they didn't buy what he was selling, and I still cringe when I think about that sideshow.

    I understand that the Iraq war is a national embarrassment to us now (and to many of us from day one), but let's not rewrite history about it. We must own it. It was and is a disgrace.

    I have a couple nitpicks with some of your other points, but I'm going to stop here because now I'm kind of riled up.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:54:02 PM PST

  •  Your title is heresy, and cannot be allowed (0+ / 0-)

    to stand, irrespective of your arguments.

  •  You're right there is a false equivalency (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    The U.S. invasion of Iraq was far, far worse.

    And how many thousands were killed in that war.  So far there have been 0 killed in Crinea.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 05:10:28 PM PST

  •  I call your false equivalency and raise with (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    rank hypocrisy.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 05:12:45 PM PST

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