Skip to main content


March 13, 2014

Joseph Chez

The dreadful 3 am call is ringing at the White House and President Barack Obama answers the call as expected - status quo ante.  Of course, being the President of the United States of America comes with the assumed title of, Leader of the World. At least that is what all Americans have grown up to understand and believe.  Accordingly, the President must thus answer to any and all incidents, in any part of the world, whether it concerns national security or not.  The NOT part is when any one party may challenge US prestige or attempt to topple US from the top of the hill. After all, this nation is exceptional and endowed with the grace of God.

However, we must ask why Liberal Democrat presidents feel the need to act like Republican hawks, when in fact, their liberal credentials placed them in office in order to establish a more tolerant and peaceful foreign policy.  That is not to say, that liberals can’t kick butt. They can, just that liberals by nature should, first exhaust all the possible remedies before relying on physical force.  After all, intellect and reason is mightier than the sword. Thus, armor is simply not in their style.

Conservatives hawk Republicans on the other hand, react with the greatest of sincerity, to love of flag, country and God.  They have the solid held-belief that our nation is exceptional like no other, thus granting the nation and president inherent rights to be the leader of the world and take action as deemed fit to our wishes.  As absurd as it sounds, the caveat for the world is that Republicans mean what they say and they do what they mean, even if acting unreasonably.  So don’t tread on them.

In the United States of America, two distinct political philosophies thus prevail; Liberal Democrat vs. Conservative Republican. However, it is the conservative Republican mantra that seems to afflict Democrats, especially concerning issues of national security and use of the military as an option to further American destiny.  Thus, it is expected of Liberal Democrat presidents, to at least thump their chest and climb the hill.  Antithetical perhaps, but the pseudo nationalistic fever is in full display these days, as is the case today with the crisis in Ukraine.  

So what drives our Democrat presidents to act like a Republican? Is it fear of being seen as too weak, unpatriotic or just plain, un-American?  Consistently, Democrat presidents have put on a suit of armor which is uncomfortable and does not fit their core political and philosophical beliefs. Yet, they wear it… and onto war we go.  F-16s to the Baltic, frigates to the Black Sea, Crimea for you we die, bluster and thunder. It is not to let Russians win, it is not for US to ask why, but to do … and die. On ward foolish brigade, bluster and thunder.

In the immediate crisis in Ukraine, history will record that the US government seeded the insurrection and ultimately midwifed the coup d’état. And while the European Union was partially to blame, by pushing them to consider militarily and economically association with the European Union, the US was using the dire economic situation in Ukraine to bolster a Maidan Square insurrection against the democratically elected Ukrainian government, whose leader had strong ties with Russia.  That’s right, US official Victoria Nuland advised US ambassador to Ukraine, to f_ _ k the EU and for US to midwife the situation.  That is to say, that the US must give birth to a new government, one that would follow Washington’s orders. US hubris notwithstanding, little did we not understand or consider, were the unexpected events that followed.  Russia responded methodically and with precision; militarily encapsulating the entire Crimean Peninsula.  Sure, we strongly protested Russia’s intervention, but do we have any justification for our premeditated actions on the matter? Conversely, are Russia’s excuses any better than ours?  In the end, the Russians have justified their actions as coming to the aid of the ethnic and Russian speaking residents of Ukraine, especially in the Crimea peninsula.  More importantly however, is that perhaps, the Russians decided not to take more of the West encroaching on Russian’s Near Abroad, comprising of the tier of former Soviet republics bordering Russia, or risk loosing their premier naval seaport at Sevastopol, in the Crimea.  

As expected from a status quo ante US president, the Obama administration reacted with indignation and bluster. Its Secretary of State, John Kerry tirelessly attempted to get unanimity support from Europeans, but few want the confrontational approach the Obama Administration was blustering. So what dire consequences will the US put in place? Well, to show resolve and a US stalwart foreign policy, F-16 are now patrolling the Baltic, US Navy Frigates are in the Black Sea, US and Poland are conducting war maneuvers on the Western front, plus  other “planned war maneuvers” are to be initiated with Bulgaria and Romania, on the Eastern front.  How is that for resurrecting old grudges with the Russians?  Needles to say, President Obama assumed his role as leader of the world and took to the pulpit to address the situation in Ukraine.  But wait a minute, are disputes between nations not come under the jurisdiction of the United Nations? So why is UN Sec. Ban Ki-moon not out-front addressing the situation? The one thing that is clear is that our presumptuous world leadership compromises the prestige and role of the United Nations.  Further, speaking in behalf of Ukraine and all of Europe exacerbates the crisis by making it a US vs. Russia issue.  Therefore, it must be asked of our government, why would an economic issue in Ukraine is now a potentially military confrontation with Russia?  Further, why must any more American soldiers as well as civilians’ lives, be place in the harms way, or be used as battlefield fodder?

Clearly, Ukraine’s economic woes are now a world crisis, with implications that may have catastrophic results.  The moral imperative before us all is whether the American public should allow this self-destructive course to continue?  For if this Liberal Democrat president believes wearing armor is the appropriate tool for diplomacy in resolving the Ukraine crisis, I can tell you right away, that Republicans will not give him one iota of credit for his perceived well intended actions.   However, Liberal or conservative hawks should keep in mind the ol’ saying; you break it, you own it.  Onward goes the foolish brigade, bluster and thunder…

This last weekend, at a bar, I heard some boys at the bar say; “those Russians want to invade US in Ukraine and we should kick their ass!” Later that night, one of them asked me if I shoot. I replied, “Hell yeah man!” He then proceeded to tell me he just got a new M16A1, but then asked me what I shot. I told him that I got me a D600 – Nikon, which I use to shoot a lot.  “Camo”, he asked? I said, “Its black.”  And with beer in hand, we both bumped fists.  He then said, “alright bud … 2nd Amennnndment!” And with a big smile and looking up to the ceiling, he robustly yelled, “God bless America, land of the free!” But, whether he understood the context of what I shoot is simply endowed with his political beliefs.  Mine? Liberal.

So you see folks, it’s important we liberals, know our style of shootin’.  Diplomacy, tolerance, and being a role model for the world, is the way to spread a free and open society, rather than impose our American destiny beliefs in other places where we have no dog in the yard.


Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Obama admin. isn't for use of force in Crimea... (8+ / 0-)

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 05:34:23 PM PDT

  •  Who is that depicted in your cartoon? (4+ / 0-)
  •  Obama /is/ using restraint and diplomacy. (10+ / 0-)

    And he's working with Europe.

    Only Republicans are insane enough to think that a military conflict in this particular ethnic powder keg would be a good idea.

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    by OllieGarkey on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 06:25:11 PM PDT

    •  Pres Obama wearing armor (0+ / 0-)

      Ukraine, a powder keg is right. Yet acting tough with armor is consistent with every president, democrat or republican.  It's up to all of us to stop this foolishness by not giving Democrat presidents a pass on issues we as liberals would crucify republicans.

      •  I /wish/ a Republican President would do (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc, fcvaguy, doroma, howarddream

        exactly what Barack Obama is doing, right now. Specifically, focusing on diplomacy.

        The military movement is only there to calm allies who are freaking out and could act in a truly destabilizing way.

        It's not posturing or saber rattling. He has made NO military threats. He isn't talking about bombing anyone.

        He's using restraint, answering the requests for support from NATO allies, and focusing his actions entirely in the diplomatic sphere.

        What, exactly, is Obama doing wrong in your estimation?

        An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

        by OllieGarkey on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 09:46:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And yet, the US is putting on a show of force. (0+ / 0-)
      •  The US is responding to the calls of our NATO (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        howarddream, Mark Lippman

        allies because if we don't do something to calm them down they can help destabilize the entire region.

        Poland has the capability to send troops to Ukraine. It has the capability to destabilize this whole thing further.

        And a good portion of the Polish population thinks that a certain national tragedy was a successful Assassination of their president, planned by Putin, and they want Putin dead.

        We have to calm these people down. The show of force is entirely about Poland and the other nations that are terrified of Russia. It has nothing to do with trying to saber rattle with the Russians.

        An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

        by OllieGarkey on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:43:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Just to be clear, I don't think there's much (0+ / 0-)

        evidence Putin had anything to do with that plane crash, but a lot of Poles blame Putin for it.

        An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

        by OllieGarkey on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 01:44:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  thank you! standing up applauding!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joseph Chez, dallasdunlap

    The media machine is so frankensteinian on ratcheting up hype for war and demonization of Russia. Low information citizens readily bobble their heads and take the bait.

    You would think that Vietnam and Iraq and all the other historical shameful US fiascos would have made this citizenry wise up, but no.

    What about paying real attention and exercising one's conscience to the plight of citizens of other countries and their right to self-determination.  What about that right in our own country?

    So many Democrats still trying to pretend they are progressive, but they are pitifully lost still in the five stages of post 2008 election of Obama grief, having elected a charming but profoundly mendacious president with troubled arrested development who is continuing on from Bush cabal in dismantling democracy and garrisoning the world for corporate hegemony. It is 2014 and they are still in denial and bargaining stages.  How parthetic is that?

    Repubs put the knives smack dab in your front.  Dems put the knives in your back.  Lesser evil placement?  Nah.

    Wait until Hillary is at the helm and has to overcompensate for not being male as well as being a wimpy Dem and has to out-hawk the crazy hawks!!!

    best, libby

    •  Democrat President wearing armor (0+ / 0-)

      There you go; self determination, what about in our country.
      It is incongruent for US to not recognize the eventual wish of the Crimean people wanting to separate, while our govt was quick to recognize the break-away soviet republic of Ukraine.

      •  The USSR was dissolved and the constituent (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Texas Lefty, Joseph Chez, Tony Situ

        republics became independent sovereign states at that time. Ukrainians decided in a 1991 referendum to remain an independent nation. Voters in Crimea chose semi-autonomous status within Ukraine in the 1991 referendum and followed by a 1992 decision of its elected parliament.

        There is no existence without doubt.

        by Mark Lippman on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 07:33:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ukraine and US involvement (0+ / 0-)


          What you cite is correct although it is inconsequential when or how they became sovereign. The core issue at hand is whether the West can continue to isolate Russia until it becomes toothless? NATO EU and US have been in constant aggression agains a sworn enemy of the West- Russia. But to what end? Now we see Russia fighting for its own survival. Clearly, my views only reflect history and reality and not an apology for Russia's intervention. Yet, this conflict can get very ugly for all of us in the globe. A mere economic issue in the Ukraine and now a potential military confrontation - just so the West can be the unquestionable military block in the world? Plain silly, but with great risk of a nuclear winter.

          There is a solution. The 2014 Yalta Accord. Pending post.


        •  Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union (0+ / 0-)

          . . . the practice of successive U.S. administrations has been to mouth platitudes about "partnership" or "cooperation" or whatever, but the real (if unwritten) policy has been to roll back Russian power & influence whenever & wherever possible - NATO expansion, Serbia/Kosovo, all those "color revolutions" in former Soviet republics. This has been a matter of firm bipartisan consensus within the U.S. foreign-policy establishment. The machinations of the U.S. & Victoria Nuland with regard to Ukraine fit right into this pattern. A democratically elected, legally constituted government that was friendly to Russia was overthrown & replaced with a government hostile to Russia & friendly to the U.S. Then & now, the goal is to surround Russia with hostile states, to render Russia at a strategic disadvantage in its own neighborhood & to strip Russia of its ability to project power globally. And we expect Russia to simply accept this.

          Now that Russia is pushing back, U.S. officials are apoplectic & outraged. In August 2008, when Russia launched a brief invasion of Georgia in direct response to a military provocation by Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, the U.S. media went into overdrive bashing the big bad Russian bear. Bush administration officials protested loudly, but since the U.S. was bogged down in Iraq, all it could do was protest. And now that Russia has launched a quasi-invasion of Ukraine/Crimea on a trumped-up pretext, U.S. officials pound their fists & demand that Russia do as we say & not as we do.

          •  I was answering the assertion that Ukraine is a (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            breakaway republic. It isn't. The larger entity of the USSR ceased to exist. You've gone off on another matter entirely.

            What else have you got with that shtick about neo-cons?
            A gotee and a Nirvana record?

            The dissolution of the Soviet Union pre-dates the neo-con era. Go back to whomever hands out the liberal progressive starter kits and ask them if the hawkish Reagan foreign policy of the 1980s ("Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.")
            is as objectionable as neo-con thought.

            That's what I want to know.

            There is no existence without doubt.

            by Mark Lippman on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 09:34:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Neoliberal/neoconservative (0+ / 0-)

              It's always been a difference of degree rather than kind. Both foreign-policy camps believe in using American military power to achieve foreign-policy objectives. With regard to Russia, both camps espouse aggressive containment.

              As everyone knows, communism collapsed & the USSR ceased to exist in 1991. So why, then, was NATO expansion such a high priority for Sec. of State Madelaine Albright in 1996? One suspects that it had something to do with her personal experience & her Czech heritage. But implicit in the eastward expansion of NATO was a redefinition of its mission - from containing communism to containing Russia. There is a direct line from that seminal policy decision to what is happening in Ukraine today. It established, well before Putin came into power, the paradigm of hostility in relations between the U.S. & Russia.

              Aside from that, what "shtick about neo-cons" does one refer to? I never even used the term "neoconservative" in that original post. And what's with the ad hominem attack? I'm talking strictly about policy.

  •  And when Russia invades Ukraine proper look for (5+ / 0-)

    more dailyKos Putin apologists to give the party line again.

    •  show us one (0+ / 0-)

      Putin apologist.  show us a comment that you consider an apologist for Putin.  

      •  This comment is straight Russian propaganda . . . (4+ / 0-)
        In the immediate crisis in Ukraine, history will record that the US government seeded the insurrection and ultimately midwifed the coup d’état.
        It overlooks Russia's history in the Ukraine, including mass murder going back to Stalin's time.  More recently there was the attempted assassination of Victor Yuschechenko.

        There is also the reality that Putin's Russia has almost no free press, that it hires bloggers to write propaganda.

        I get that someone might object to U.S. military involvement in Ukraine, but asserting that the U.S. is somehow responsible is to ignore a long-standing history of grievances against Russian domination in the region.  This holds true for large parts of Ukraine as well as former Soviet satellite states.

        •  is it false? (0+ / 0-)

          if so, which part?

          •  The claim that the U.S. exerts . .. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            huge influence on Ukraine is absolutely false.

            Russia has a history of military involvement in the country, it has a history of using economic blackmail against Ukraine -- through gas and trade, there's the military role, there's the Russian training of Ukrainian police forces, the presence of the Russian military, there's the fact that it probably spends about 10 to 20 times what the U.S. spends in the information war in the country, there's the Russian history of meddling in the internal affairs of Ukranian that goes across decades.

            To the extent that there is an "insurrection" it is an insurrection against attempts by Russia to dominate the internal affairs of Ukranian.  Russia's heavy handed tactics have done more to drive the protests than any action by the U.S. -- that's reality.

            What Russia is doing is akin to what the U.S. was doing within the western hemisphere during the early and mid 20th century.  The difference is, the U.S. never negotiate a deal with a neighboring country that it would respect the territorial integrity of the country if it gave up its nuclear weapons stockpiles.  Now that Russia has violated the terms of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, all bets are off.  It is Russia at this stage that is driving the conflict by attempting to steal land from Ukranians -- even the fact that Russia can't own up to the presence of its military in Crimea, and the information blackout within Crimea, speaks to the degree of Russian meddling and interference in the country.  

        •  Ukraine US involvement (0+ / 0-)

          It would be impossible for me not to consider the history of a police state and its tactics. But that is no reason for giving support to a mutually total-destruction conflict. Let's percolate all the issues and discern what brought us to this point. Certainly it was not any sort of Stalin tactics.
          I urge you to look up what Princeton U and NYU professor Stephen Cohen has to say about this crisis and what led to it.

          •  I have read Cohen's comments . . . (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mark Lippman, howarddream

            and he comes off sounding like some Russian stooge from the 1950s defending the Soviet Union.

            What brought us to this point is Russian insecurity, and the desire of Putin to reconstitute the old Soviet Union.  Russia is the destabilizing force that is using its military inside the Ukranian right now and if Russia continues down this path the crisis will continue to escalate in ways that no one should want.  If not with this president then with future American presidents.  

            At an absolute minimum, Russia can't expect to enjoy the benefits of the global economy and act like a bunch of thugs like it is right now.  

            You talk about the media blackout in the U.S., but Cohen is given a platform -- he can publish his articles in Nation, he can argue his position to millions of listeners on NPR.  

            In contrast, Putin is so weak that those kind of dissenting voices aren't even given a place for expression in Russia -- at least not when it comes to mass media.  Hell, Russia doesn't even allow those voices to be expressed WITHIN parts of Ukraine in the Crimea -- this reveals the degree of his insecurity.  

            Putin does something crazy and stupid, eventually someone is going to up the ante and show him what crazy and stupid really looks like.  I don't think anyone should want this, but in the end, this is the path that he is pushing things.

          •  Cohen is a point blank liar and a disgrace to NYU. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            howarddream, NotGeorgeWill

            Why he shills for Putin I have no explanation. He lived in Russia during the Soviet era and it would be understandable to be sentimental for personal reasons. But he's practicing the same propaganda tactics the Soviets perfected. To make it worse, his wife is Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation.

            This is propaganda written to spec for the liberal, progressive left in the West. It can succeed in the US because there's a void where knowledge, facts, and information are supposed to be when it comes to Ukraine.

            For propaganda to be successful, it needs a receptive audience. It works best if it confirms beliefs and it seems plausible, even if completely false, because in the absence of knowledge, people don't know any better.

            There is no existence without doubt.

            by Mark Lippman on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 10:55:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm less skeptical about his impact . . . (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mark Lippman

              I didn't realize that he was the husband of the Nation's editor in chief, but I don't see a publication like the Nation as having really major influence.  

              1.  It "only" has 200K readers, and there are also other perspectives on this issue within the magazine.  

              2.  Americans generally tend to be somewhat insular and disinterested in foreign affairs.  There is a tendency to outsource foreign policy to political leaders.  A guy like Cohen likely has zero influence within political and foreign policy circles in DC, and I don't think pressure campaigns from outside are going to have much of an impact either, because there isn't a critical mass willing to stand with Putin on this issue.

              3. Also, there is a pretty well-conditioned distrust of Russia within the U.S. amongst most voting age adults and Putin in particular.  There probably are people on the left who are receptive to Cohen's pitch, but none of these folks have much direct influence on U.S. policy.

        •  While the actions of Stalin certainly affect the (0+ / 0-)

          views of some Ukrainians, the Putin government has nothing to do with Stalin. Putin, at least in his public persona, is a nationalist conservative and Russia has a plutocratic capitalist economy.
             "...almost no free press..." is an overstatement. It's more accurate to say that it's dangerous for journalists to report on certain subjects, which is also true here, though not to the same extent.
             As to bloggers writing propaganda: Same here, although it's corporations, not govt, that does the hiring.
            Sure, there is legitimate fear and resentment of Russia among its nearest neighbors. The same can be said about the US and its neighbors (the rest of the world.)
            The issue is whether the US should be involved in the politics of Russia's neighbors.
            IMHO, to oppose US intervention == being a Putin apologist.

          •  Memories tend to be pretty long . . . (0+ / 0-)

            as evidenced by statements from Tartars in the Crimea, and with respect to the Poles as well.  Stalin may have been several generations ago, but Soviet domination is still within living memory.  The assassination attempt of Yuschenko is also in living memory.  And now there are the Russian actions within Ukraine which only reinforce the most negative historical views for many.

            A person can be opposed to a U.S. intervention without being a Putin apologist.  But when I hear people rationalizing Putin's actions saying "but the US is just as bad or worse", or when they try to dismiss the existence of legitimate grievances within Ukraine against foreign interference from Moscow, they start to sound more like Putin's puppets.

    •  US President wearing armor- Ukraine (0+ / 0-)

      Apologist, not in my vocabulary. Although the possibility for a full Russian invasion is looking more likely, still, rest assure I would condemn such incursion.

      I would like to see the united Nation play a more robust role in mediating this crisis. However, we should keep in mind that our govt has rendered the UN weak and irrelevant.  
      The issue of civil liberties in Russia is a separate issue, but one that requires the world attention. No police state is acceptable.

  •  Its not our fight; it is our embarasment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joseph Chez

    There is no sane way to intervene.  There is also no sane way to not look foolish because of the Budapest Memorandum.  

    I heard on NPR that the Ukrainians are raising a 60,000-man national guard.  And read reports that Russia has suspended export of small arms ammunition to the American market.  

    There isn't anything we can do militarily.  

    I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

    by DavidMS on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 06:51:53 PM PDT

    •  And anyway it's a quarrel in a far away country (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joseph Chez

      between people of whom we know nothing.

      •  You are, of course, quoting Chamberlain. First, (0+ / 0-)

        the situations are not the same.
           Second, I disagree that Chamberlain really had the chance to stop Hitler. The most likely outcome of a war at that time would have been a British defeat in middle Europe.
           Postponing war gave the British the chance to gear up for war. They were in a much better chance when war finally happened than they would have been at the time of Munich.
           The "Munich example" has been a dangerous meme, and led to Kennedy and his advisers contemplating a nuclear first strike on the USSR over the building of the Berlin wall, and is the foundation of the "domino theory" that was the basis for our disatrous intervention in Vietnam.

    •  Ukraine... US President wearing armor (0+ / 0-)

      Completely agree with you that there is no military solution to the Ukrainian crisis. So we must ask why the US is blustering. This issue has too many angles and it can only be adjudicated at the United Nations.  

      While my article was meant to be critical of our involvement , I would be foolish not to provide possible answers to the crisis. I will be posting a ten point plan for resolution in the coming days. .THE 2014 YALTA ACCORD.

  •  What should the US response be, then? (4+ / 0-)

    I'm super-duper curious to know.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 06:57:20 PM PDT

    •  Support the Germans (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joseph Chez

      our NATO allies.  Anything but troops, unless Putin moves on a NATO ally

    •  Economic pressure first . . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joseph Chez

      and yes, if Russia expands the threat to other former Soviet states, or attempts to invade western Ukraine, the U.S. has to act in concert with its allies in the region.

      •  Ukraine (0+ / 0-)

        After economic sanctions which are futile, the only option is to nuke it out-- right? Inconceivable at best. I'm trying to suggest to our govt that there is only one solution; diplomacy. So why the military blustering?

        •  It would take about 18-24 months . . . (0+ / 0-)

          to bring the Russian economy to its knees.  We already saw a preview of this a few weeks ago, when the Russian stock market lost 10 percent of its value in a single day, and the Russian central bank had to step in to keep the market from collapsing.

          Russia has a stockpile of foreign reserves, now.  It has the ability to inflict some damage on parts of Europe -- especially through its gas exports.  

          But ultimately, it is much more reliant on trade with foreign partners, than the rest of the world is reliant on anything that it or its oligarchs produce.  e.g. a $2 trillion economy in a global economy that produces about $70 trillion a year with Russian economic growth being driven largely in part by a trade surplus thanks to its gas and oil exports.

          And how will Russia react to these moves?

          Right now Russia is sending the signal that it has no interest in negotiating -- that it will seize land by force and it will only accept its own handpicked puppet in Ukraine -- as is the case now in Chechnya and former break-away Georgian states.  

          Will there be a further escalation?  

          Yes, this seems very likely, because neither side is going to back down.   The west probably will be willing to give Putin a face saving way of stepping down, but I don't think his view of the world is grounded enough to recognize the value of the exit at this stage.

          So where does it end?  Do the math.  The nature of a guy like Putin is that he will continue to push the envelope, because he will never be secure in his own mind in his position.   Even within his own country he can't tolerate any dissent.  So what are the odds that his views of the world are going to based on an accurate risk assessment?

          In his own mind he thinks that this revolt against foreign rule inside Ukraine is being driven by the outside forces, and not be forces internal to Ukraine, he is not living in reality.  How would any nation feel if a foreign power invaded it, or poisoned its leaders, and tried to buy off its leaders -- especially if that country had a history of invading and interfering in that country's internal affairs, as Russia has done with the Ukraine?  

          Who is next on the list?  Eventually, Putin will hit the trip wire as autocratic leaders often tend to do when they get too old and paranoid.  The chemicals that he is probably taking at this stage in life too, probably don't help him make realistic risk assessments.

          •  In real life, regardless of the percentage of the (0+ / 0-)

            EU's economy attributable to the Russian trade, an interruption of Russian oil and gas supplies would devastate Europe economically.
               And, a European energy shortage/recession would have serious knock-on effects on the US economy.
               As for Russia: In the short run, the loss of the European market would be devastating but a pivot toward China could probably offset the loss of the EU in the long run.
               In the short run, though, a trade war with Europe/US would drive Russian xenophobia and nationalism. The results of that are unpredictable and dangerous.

            •  China is a net exporter too . . . (0+ / 0-)

              And it isn't exactly enthusiastic about Russia's actions in Ukraine either -- as it shares a border with Russia, and Ukraine is one of its trading partners as well.

              Yeah, Russia could probably sell its gas to China, as Iran does at a steep discount.  How is the Iranian economy fairing?  Ten years ago, it was larger than the Russian economy, now its about half the size.  

              In real life, these kind of sanctions would hurt Europe, but they would hurt Russia even more.  And yes, it probably would lead to an escalation in tensions.  

              What are the alternatives?  Let Russia invade its former satellite states at will and ignore its international commitments?  Let it act like a lawless thuggish regime and enjoy the benefits of global trade without any of the responsibilities?

              At a certain point, you have to push back and deal with the consequences.  This is the challenge in dealing with lawless authoritarian regimes.  

              It's not a question of what either of us wants, it is a question of what typically happens when authoritarian states like Russia push things too far.  Relationships change dramatically and things tend to get worse -- sometimes significantly worse -- before they get better.

          •  One clearly doesn't understand Putin. (0+ / 0-)

            There's been a long chorus of demonization in the American media. And once someone has been labeled the "bad guy", fact-checking gets thrown out the window. Putin taking "chemicals"? Really? This notion that he is delusional or megalomaniacal or somehow unhinged just doesn't reflect reality. Putin is nothing if not clear-headed & disciplined. Authoritarian to be sure, but by no means a tyrant or a madman. His long-term aims are simple - to reverse the decline of the Russian state, to restore it to economic prosperity & return it to what he regards as its rightful place in world affairs. By all indications he is willing to respect the sovereignty of Russia's neighbors, but he's not going to simply stand down in the face of provocations from the West or its proxies. And yes, what the U.S. has done in Ukraine would justifiably be regarded by Russia as a provocation.

            With regard to Crimea, I suspect that Putin miscalculated on one key aspect. Perhaps he intended it to send a message to the new Ukrainian government & the West. He knew that the U.S. & NATO either couldn't or wouldn't respond militarily. But once the quasi-invasion took place, events there overtook him, & enthusiasm among the ethnic-Russian population there as well as public opinion in Russia proper have made it politically impossible for him to back down.

            •  The guy is pretty paranoid . . . (0+ / 0-)

              I have absolutely no doubt that he believes that the current situation in Ukraine is a U.S. plot -- never mind the fact that a lot of groups in former client states have strong animosity towards Russian domination and that Russian actions on their own are enough to generate a backlash.

              The way that Putin treats dissent within Russia reveals his insecurity as well.

              In terms of his behavior I wonder if he is taking steroids or some other drug along those lines.  Even in a relatively low dose it would tend to change behavior and impact judgment.

              As far as the quality of his judgment goes, I don't really buy the idea either that he is making a great strategic move.  I think there's some calculation that he's making, which in the very short run might hold true (e.g. a military confrontation over the Crimea with NATO is highly unlikely), but longer term this has the potential to be a major blunder, because this move will isolate Russia and Russia doesn't have many allies at this stage.  The long-term economic cost from these moves -- especially as they escalate and likely result in a tit-for -tat, are likely to be significant.  

              Putin is taking bigger and bigger risks -- like a gambler at a casino who seems determined to play until he goes broke.  The nature of his actions is that he won't be able to pull himself back, because he will never feel secure in his position.  

              I also don't buy the idea that the "ethnic Russian population" is driving the situation on the ground.  You literally have Russian troops patrolling the Crimea.  Ukrainian media have been shut out.  Even in terms of the ballot question, it is being framed in a way that sounds more like it was being coordinated from Moscow.   The former Ukrainian PM is being held in Russia, Russia is busing people into eastern Ukraine as well.  

    •  Ukraine, now a US mega problem (0+ / 0-)


      Yes. It would seem silly if I only criticized  but not provided possible answers to the conflict. Tomorrow or the following days I will be posting a ten point plan for resolution- really.

    •  Ukraine and US response (0+ / 0-)

      The simplest way to resolve this crisis is for all parties to accept Status Quo Ante. And as simple as it sounds, it would be the most reasonable position to take. Thereafter, have the UN mediate the dispute, and not US or NATO as such meddling will only complicate matters.

  •  How much do people get paid for writing this kind (2+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Joseph Chez, howarddream
    Hidden by:

    of propaganda?

    I read these diaries from people who have almost no real history with this site.  And then all of a sudden we get transparent b.s. recapitulating talking points that sound like they are coming straight out of Moscow.

    History will record the actions of Putin apologists as being worthy of nothing but condemnation.

    •  Ukraine and US involvement (0+ / 0-)

      I'm sorry you feel that way. A Putin apologist, I'm not. If you must extrapolate the truth, one must see it from all sides, but not limited to looking yourself in the mirror. Still, I respect your position.

      Please look up what Princeton & NYU professor has to ash about this issue.

      •  The side that you are presenting . . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        is not even halfway credible.

        The only country that is pushing the line that events in Ukraine are being driven by the U.S. are the Russians.  

        Ukranians who aren't aligned with Putin and Russian, clearly don't believe it.  Neither do the Poles, or the Hungarians or anyone else who lived under the influence of the Soviet dictatorship.   No one in Europe buys the line -- at least not at the official levels.  The question is more one about "how do we deal with Russian provocations"?

        I doubt even the Chinese buy the Russian line, because it is so absurd.

    •  No Joke. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There was an account that has been dormant for 6 years that became active yesterday and is already churning out pro-Russia BS.

      I miss Speaker Pelosi :^(

      by howarddream on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 09:40:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So, your post suggests... (0+ / 0-)

      Our media is free of propaganda. Do dream on.

      •  It's a lot harder to generalize (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        about our media because there is a lot less explicit state control.

        There is no hyperpartisan mass media that is allowed to exist in Russia.  e.g. Fox and Limbaugh are a kind of conservative propaganda, but they are still allowed to exist in the U.S.  The same is true of left wing equivalents during a GOP administration.  These represent ideological and private corporate interests, but they are not the official state media.

        Large media conglomerates have their own biases, but it isn't state propaganda along the lines of what Russia is doing.

        Russia has quite literally blocked Ukrainian media from Crimea which is still recognized as part of Ukraine.  Imagine the U.S. doing the equivalent to Canadian or Mexican broadcast media.

        There is no equivalent in the U.S.  We don't assassinate or poison journalists, as Russia has done to its own journalists either.

  •  Democrat is a noun, never an adjective. A diary (6+ / 0-)

    posted on this site asked members to learn the difference between Democratic and Democrat.

    When the word Democrat is used as an adjective, instead of Democratic, (as in Democrat President), it's considered by to be a pejorative by members of the Democratic Party.

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 07:59:48 PM PDT

  •  The military in Crimea is Russian. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OllieGarkey, ER Doc, howarddream

    The Yanukovych government cancelled its EU Affiliation Agreement on November 21 and protesters filled the square known as Maidan that night. It was Putin who gave Yanukovych an ultimatum to cancel the Affiliation Agreement or else Russia would cut off Ukraine’s natural gas supply and stop all other trade as well. That’s the story Putin told at a press conference on Dec 19. The transcript is posted on the Kremlin’s English language website.

    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?

    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.

    Ukraine depends on Russia for its supply of natural gas. There was no choice but to cancel the EU Affiliation Agreement. The protests began immediately and they escalated with each heavy-handed reaction by the Yanukovych government.

    In January, Yanukovych suspended basic civil liberties like freedom of speech and freedom of assembly to criminalize the protests at Maidan. He backed down later and offered Arseniy Yatsenyuk a position as Prime Minister in his government on January 25.

    That’s what Nuland and Pyatt were discussing during the intercepted phone call. 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.  Ban and Serry were in Kyiv January 28-30 and Yatsenyuk didn’t accept the position. (This isn’t a defense of Nuland. It just provides the context for the call. By erasing the context and ignoring the detail about  Ban and Serry, propagandists were able to claim that the recording was evidence of a coup.)

    Nuland: OK... one more wrinkle for you Geoff. I can't remember if I told you this, or if I only told Washington this, that when I talked to Jeff Feltman [United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs] this morning, he had a new name for the UN guy Robert Serry did I write you that this morning?

    Pyatt: Yeah I saw that.

    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, F***  the EU.

    On Feb 1-2, Kerry and Nuland met with Yatsenyuk, Klitschko, and Tyahnybok, the “big three” opposition leaders, at the Munich Security Conference. This was not a clandestine operation.

    Yatsenyuk, Klitschko, and Tyahnybok had formed an opposition coalition in Parliament as the leaders of the political parties with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th largest number of seats which they won in the 2012 election.

    Escalating violence led to the bloodbath on Feb 19-20 when Yanukovych security forces fired on the protesters, killings scores, wounding hundreds. On February 23, Yanukovych’s own political party released a statement about his responsibility for what had happened.It is posted on the party's website in Ukrainian, Russian, and English.

    Ukraine is deceived and robbed, but even that is nothing compared to the grief, which dozens of Ukrainian families faced, which lost their family members on both sides of the confrontation. Ukraine is betrayed, and people were set at loggerheads. All responsibility for this lies on Yanukovych and people closest to him.
    There’s no justification for Russia stealing part of Ukraine’s land territory. The Putinistas who try to replace facts with fiction don’t speak for the Left.  In other countries that actually do have a functioning and active Left, it won’t go near this propaganda because it’s well known that Russia is a corrupt, crypto-fascist petrostate run by oligarchs.

    Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States are calling for de-escalation.

    The President of the European Commission with 28 member states is calling for a peaceful solution.

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 09:43:17 PM PDT

    •  Evidence (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I am amused by this website, and I have been around for awhile. I am amused that content relating to Ukraine is obviously being filtered, and fits of hilarity ensue when I read your neo-con defending tripe supporting Nuland. Putin apologist is a criticism that fades in comparison to your support of Nuland, whose background is well known. I certainly encourage you to substantiate your claim that the snipers were under the employment of Yanukovych. You will not, because you cannot. In fact, evidence exists to the contrary, sir, and you are revealed to be no less of a shill, than those you accuse.

      Let me tell you exactly what will happen in Ukraine, with respect to sanctions and military intervention - absolutely nothing. Neocon agitation and the work of economic hit men supporting the cabal of Central bankers, the IMF, and Bank of International Settlements is well understood, and the hypocrisy stops at the doorstep of a fellow nuclear power.  If Vlad turns off the nat gas to Europe, the term "Cold War" will be given a new meaning. They and we will fluster and raise a fuss, but nothing will be done.  We have no dog in this fight, and the weapons makers in this country deserve a big FU to their contribution to "creative destruction."

      You are welcome to side with McCain and the other aging hawks, but it is time to move beyond conflict on this small planet. Your shite bores me. In fact, this site bores me, as dissent and the associated critical thinking is discouraged.

      BTW whoever the hell you are, you certainly do not speak for "the left," either. When the current disparity in wealth plays out its ultimate course globally, we shall see who truly is "left." It certainly must be a relief that the USA bears no resemblance to a "corrupt crypto-fascist petrostate run by Exxon, er, I mean oligarchs." Haha ROFL yeah I get the old accuse your adversary of what you, yourself, are guilty of, routine. That's a well-understood and wearisome tactic. Please do keep it up. As I said at the onset, Kos continues to amuse. Pay no attention to the hypocrisy, kiddies, now where did that big jet airliner go.......?

      •  My record is in the diaries I post to this website (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and you're welcome to read what I wrote about Nuland over a month ago.

        Showing the major flaws in the conspiracy theory about a coup, doesn't imply support for neo-cons. This isn't an either/or choice.  

        I don't have the luxury of being illogical. Each individual statement I make has to have proof and I provided links to primary sources. This is an expository style of writing that uses logic. You can't refute anything I say, so you use every logic fallacy in the book.

        That's too bad because it doesn't make a good conversation. If you bring facts, that you can prove, and superior logic, you can convince me that I'm wrong. It's not a pissing contest.

        About Yanukovych, I'm reporting what his own party said on February 23 about who was responsible in an official statement with a link to their own website. They were there.

        If you want to make a counter claim about snipers,  that's yours to prove. You left it unsubstantiated and tried to make it my business.

        If you read my writing, you'll see that I work to discover truths. I'm not on anybody's bandwagon because I have my own sources and I always link to the primary parties that are directly involved.  In commenting, I don't attack partners who have the same interests I do, because division is not our friend.

        There is no existence without doubt.

        by Mark Lippman on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 11:41:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Because it makes me laugh.. (0+ / 0-)

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site