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Obama speaking about Russian sanctions 3-17-14
President Obama announced Thursday that the administration has added another 20 Russians to the list of seven already sanctioned as a consequence of the Russian Federation's annexation of Crimea and other actions in Ukraine. The St. Petersburg-based Bank Rossiya was also added. Four Ukrainians are on the list as well. The sanctions constitute an asset freeze and U.S. travel bans:
“The United States is today moving, as we said we would, to impose additional costs on Russia,” Mr. Obama said in a statement on the South Lawn of the White House before leaving on a trip to Florida.

“These are all choices that the Russian government has made, choices that have been rejected by the international community,” he said.

Mr. Obama also said he had signed a new executive order that would allow him to impose sanctions Russian industrial sectors, presumably including its energy exports—a step that would dramatically tighten the economic pressure on Russia.

Earlier this week, the first targets of sanctions laughed them off. But with a bank now included and the possibility of the crucial Russian energy sector being included, the laughter may die down considerably. But that doesn't mean the sanctions will cause a retreat. In fact, if President Vladimir Putin's tough Russia-is-back speech before the Russian parliament Wednesday is any indication, the sanctions are only likely to harden the Kremlin's stance. As expected, Russia announced its own sanctions against selected U.S. lawmakers Thursday.

Even backed up by further sanctions, the objections of Washington and Brussels to the annexation of the Crimea are unlikely to reverse that fait accompli. Putin's speedy move to bring back into the fold the peninsula that he claims Premier Nikita Khrushchev gave away 60 years ago like a "sack of potatoes" was something the slow consultative processes of the European Union and NATO could not prevent. Restoring Crimea to Ukraine seems out of the question.

What the sanctions may do, however, is put the brakes on any Kremlin moves beyond Crimea, either in Ukraine or elsewhere among the old Soviet republics, assuming Putin has such plans, which he has indicated is not the case.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:03 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm curious as to where (13+ / 0-)

    the executive gets the power to declare sanctions like these. Is there a law that gives it this power? I know that they can declare groups terrorist and apply sanctions, is this related?

    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

    by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:06:52 AM PDT

    •  It is kind of creepy, and if I were a corporado (4+ / 0-)

      master of the universe type, I'd be watching these sanctions closely.

      I'm thinking it might be precedent setting for expropriation of corporate and individual assets. We might just be looking at the new political game in town.

      This is kind of the first I've ever heard of sanctions imposed on specific individuals for diplomatic reasons.

      Apparently it has been done before, but I never realized it until the first round of sanctions over Crimea.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:17:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm pretty sure there have been sanctions imposed (7+ / 0-)

        on other individuals. Zimbabwe is one example

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:25:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hmm, I learn something here every day! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Timaeus, LordMike

          I previously had been living my life under the impression that Zimbabwe was a country, not an individual.

          Oh well, live and learn.

          •  Maybe if you took a second and read the link (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Meteor Blades, k9disc, BelgianBastard, IM

            you'd find out that we don't have sanctions against Zimbabwe, we have sanctions against individuals in Zimbabwe. If you don't have the time to bother to read a link you comment on then maybe you shouldn't comment.

            Let me make it easy for you:

            Fact: U.S. targeted sanctions apply to only 113 Zimbabwean individuals and 70 entities (mostly farms and legal entities owned by the 113 individuals) as of February 18, 2014.  For an up-to-date list, please go to http://sdnsearch.ofac.treas.gov/ and select “Zimbabwe” from the list on the Program menu.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:49:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Life is full of choices . .. . (0+ / 0-)

              and I do have time to do one or the other, but not both . .. .

              If you don't have the time to bother to read a link you comment on then maybe you shouldn't comment.
              D'ohh!!
              •  Fair enough. We all haave to make choices no snark (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Timaeus

                But Mugabe is a selfish thug.

                I won't provide links, to save you time, but he destroyeed his country's economy (I was there when they had a 50 billlion dollar note - poker was fun then; I raise you twenty million dollars, i.e. a few cents American or vanishingly worthless, depending on the day), screwed the white farmers AND the black 'farmers' that replaced them (when high-ranked ZANU-PF officials didn't seize the land for themselves) by not supplying them with the support he promised. Then there's his money-grubbing involvement in the DRC/Zaire's civil wars. Oh, and did I mention his genocidal massacres of the Ndebele in Matabeleland - with the help of North Korean-trained units? Anyone who has a spare few minutes can google it.

                I ride the wild horse .

                by BelgianBastard on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:38:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  That is also quite recent. Anything a bit more (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT

              historical?

              Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

              by k9disc on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:34:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The earliest I can find is 2003 (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                k9disc, Farugia

                I'm pretty sure the idea grew out of the war on terror.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:42:55 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That is what happened with me as well. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT

                  I don't have the skills or access to surf legislation like that.

                  But I do not ever recall hearing about a individual receiving diplomatic sanctions.

                  Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                  by k9disc on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:11:07 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  How about the "sanctions" applied to Japan prior (0+ / 0-)

                  to WW II, which might possibly have had something to do with some of those folks taking it into their heads that were filled with the same Dreams of Empire and Hegemony as our own Rulers' and Kleptocrats', to launch an attack on Pearl Harbor and a bunch of other places in their "sphere of influence," back in the fall and winter of 1941?

                  "Events leading to the attack on Pearl Harbor," http://en.wikipedia.org/....

                   Try squinting and replacing the word "Japan" with "Russia," and "Manchuria" with "Crimea/Ukraine," and remembering that there are about 5,000 nuclear weapons on both "sides" poised for instant "deployment," and lots of Generals still itching for a big ol' fight with them Godless Rooskies. Give you the willies? It should...

                  And Wiki is scarcely the only place this one of many manifestations of imperial sanctions by our Rulers is documented, though of course the Narrative just HAS to read that WE were the Good Guys, right?

                  http://www.independent.org/...

                  If you've got jstor access, there's this more academic article: http://www.jstor.org/.... In which the authors note that of 103 episodes of sanctions by one nation against another from 1914 to the article date of 1985, the US has "participated," or more accurately, in most cases, precipitated 68 of them.

                  Of course us Exceptional Americans, busily expanding our domains all over the place, lay it all to the Evil Yellow People and THEIR militarism and imperialism...

                  I hope that lets us all sleep more soundly tonight, us little ordinary people and our little ordinary wealth-generating, underpaid lives, with our little ordinary potential-megadeath-bugsplat-cannon-fodder little families and groups of friends, busy as we are with our iCrap and the search for the next Zuckerberger technological lottery win, so we can join the Elite ourselves, or at least get a whole lot closer...

                  "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

                  by jm214 on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 12:01:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  It would be way creepier if say POTUS... (2+ / 0-)

        tricked us into war or did nothing when one country decides to take a bite out of another.

        Poppy Bush didn't do the first and stopped the second.

        Baby Bush did the first and neglected the second.

        Of course Poppy Bush was a pre-Reagan Republican. Before they became, variously, batshit innn-sssssane (I mean more insane than those Crazy Eddy commercials) to downright racist and evil.

        I ride the wild horse .

        by BelgianBastard on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:22:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think Poppy Bush was a lot dirtier than that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          I think he gave permission then pulled it on old Saddam.

          I mean we knew that Bush & Reagan really liked the Fundie Islam sects. They're like failed conservative policies. They're the gift that keeps on giving.

          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

          by k9disc on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 03:04:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Dr Strangelove...er uh..Charles Krauthammer will (9+ / 0-)

    follow up with a 'wimp' Op-Ed.

  •  I don't know about this: (12+ / 0-)
    What the sanctions may do, however, is put the brakes on any Kremlin moves beyond Crimea, either in Ukraine or elsewhere among the old Soviet republics, assuming Putin has such plans, which he has indicated is not the case.
    I don't believe anything Putin says.
    •  Nonsense, tovarisch. Trust our glorious leader (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, Timaeus, TofG, IM

      Comrade Putin above all others!

      They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

      by Ponder Stibbons on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:14:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just saying that... (13+ / 0-)

      ...this is what he is saying, not saying I agree. But until there is something overt (or something covert is exposed), there's no reason to give solace to any warmongers in America or Europe who want to ratchet up the stakes.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:18:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Putin is the one ratcheting up the stakes. (11+ / 0-)

        He threatened Estonia just yesterday.  If anything, US observers and politicians are underplaying Putin at the moment hoping that the guy "comes to his senses".  All indications are that the guy is in rampage mode, though.  Who knows what to expect.  I'd prepare for the worst, considering Putin's history, especially recent history.

        "I know you cannot force people to care. Ukraine is far away for many, all have own problems. But even if cynical, realize problem will grow. It isn't only people like me, raised in a dictatorship, who don't want it to happen to others"-Gary Kasparov

        by LordMike on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:23:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He didn't threaten Estonia (9+ / 0-)

          This is exactly the damn problem. There were no war drums. A Russian diplomat was at the UN testifying to the human rights committee about an ongoing problem in Estonia, one that has left around 8% of people in Estonia stateless. The idea that Russia was threatening Estonia is fear mongering. That's exactly the sort of thing that leads us to war.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:33:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So let me get this straight: (13+ / 0-)

            You've spent the past couple of weeks denouncing American commentary about events in Ukraine as war-mongering, but when the government that just invaded somebody using the excuse that they were protecting Russian minorities starts talking about the Russian minorities in yet another country needing protection, it's just commentary on a human rights issue?

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:56:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Let me get this straight (6+ / 0-)

              You think that Russia is threatening to invade a NATO country?

              And yes, when some unnamed diplomat who is testifying in front of the UN Human Rights Committee reiterates something that Russia has been talking about for a long time, as well as Amnesty International BTW, then I don't see it as any sort of threat.

              Was an American diplomat talking about N. Korea's WMD at the UN in 2003 a threat to invade N. Korea?

              People are completely blowing this out of proportion.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:04:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You don't want to answer the question? (8+ / 0-)

                Yup, I think Russia just issued a veiled threat against Estonia. Whether they act on it is another question, but the threat is every bit as clear as those being uttered by the likes of John McCain - and several times clearer than any of what you've denounced as "war-mongering" by Obama and Kerry.

                And yes, when some unnamed diplomat who is testifying in front of the UN Human Rights Committee reiterates something that Russia has been talking about for a long time, as well as Amnesty International BTW, then I don't see it as any sort of threat.
                Um, a little history might be in order here. The 'protection of Russian minorities' in non-Russian countries that used to be part of the Russian empire - you know, like in Crimea - is, indeed something that Russia has been talking about for a long time. Decades. Centuries.

                And we just saw how that worked out in Crimea, didn't we?

                Was an American diplomat talking about N. Korea's WMD at the UN in 2003 a threat to invade N. Korea?
                Yes. As, well, some of us now know, the Bush administration intended to expand its "Axis of Evil" wars beyond Iraq.

                Anyway, you really don't get to talk about other people blowing things out of proportion after your howls about the administration's response over the past couple of weeks.

                Art is the handmaid of human good.

                by joe from Lowell on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:16:54 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  So Bush intended to invade N. Korea? (3+ / 0-)

                  Seriously? Why didn't he do it then?

                  Crimea was a land grab because they wanted to secure the military base there, nothing more. There is no reason to go after Estonia, and all these intimations that Russia is going to attack NATO, which is what you're implying, are idiotic.

                  but the threat is every bit as clear as those being uttered by the likes of John McCain
                  No, it isn't, not by a long stretch. If you think that testifying in front of the UN is the same as singing "Bomb, bomb, Iran" then I don't know what to tell you.

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:30:29 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I can't believe you're only hearing about this now (5+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Bonsai66, IM, eglantine, duhban, Timaeus

                    Bush's global regime change campaign ground to a halt because things went so badly in Iraq.

                    For real, you've never come across this before? That Syria, Iran, and North Korea were going to be next, in that order?

                    So anyway, I think you need to get your story straight. A little while ago, you were talking about Russian aggression being about protecting those poor, beleaguered Russian minorities. Now it's about bases.

                    You know what I think? I think you're tap-dancing, improvising, making up positions and discarding them based on what seems momentarily convenient.

                    Art is the handmaid of human good.

                    by joe from Lowell on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:49:11 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  We were never going to invade N. Korea (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      DeadHead

                      Bush stuck it in the Axis of Evil because he needed another country to bring the number to 3 for that WWII symmetry. In fact, he never talked about invading, nor did anyone in the US. I was there for all of this.

                      A little while ago, you were talking about Russian aggression being about protecting those poor, beleaguered Russian minorities.
                      Now you're making shit up. The ethnic Russian thing has always been a cover and I've never claimed otherwise. What I have claimed is that it is an effective cover and one that won't work in either east Ukraine or Estonia. I think you are confusing what I'm saying if you think I'm claiming Russia has a right to annex Crimea. Given that I say Russia has no right to annex Crimea over and over again I don't see how you can be confused on this point.

                      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                      by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:56:47 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Now don't be contradicting joe from lowell -- (0+ / 0-)

                        he apparently does his typing from somewhere inside the White House, and thus knows all there is to know about what's in Obama's head, and all about how successful our President has been executing a long game that is still playing out (and I can sort of agree with the frame there, though how many folks here like what that means for us?) and all about every bit of history and politics. And of course he has mastered the game of the Authoritative Unsupported Assertion, the Partially True But Too Much Trouble To Refute Assertion, all that stuff, and how to walk silently away when somebody makes a liar out of him, to return another day to work his subtle, not to say sneaky, argumentative magic, part of an apparent and very durable intent and charge to move the discourse back into the narrow trench of the Preferred Narrative. Several diarists have posted schematics on how to divert or pervert a chain of discourse in blogspace, and joe knows all the tricks and a few more.

                        Hi joe, how the heck are you? Lost interest in the other blogplace where you used to appear? Or has that one become sufficiently unimportant to move your efforts elsewhere?

                        "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

                        by jm214 on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 12:17:33 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Meta: this is a rare example of a comment (0+ / 0-)

                      that I recommended after three reads.

                      •  Bush never called for an invasion (0+ / 0-)

                        of North Korea.

                        Not once.

                        And the comment you recommended made up a claim about me saying something I never once said.

                        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                        by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:22:23 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  As usual, evading the main points. (0+ / 0-)
                          •  Not at all (0+ / 0-)

                            The two main points he made were that Bush was going to invade North Korea and that I was "talking about Russian aggression being about protecting those poor, beleaguered Russian minorities." Both of those points are factually wrong. He straight up lied about what I said. You are simply calling me a liar.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:27:50 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  And what question? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DeadHead

                  I answered the question you asked, right there in my second paragraph. Did I miss something?

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:31:12 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I am sorry, but you are waaay of base here (6+ / 0-)

                  The way that Russian-speaking minorities were treated by Baltic nations was shameful and unbecoming of democratic nations.

                  They were disenfranchised and in certain cases stripped of property rights and other civil rights.  And those were the people who lived there for generations.  Ordinary people, workers, engineers, teachers were declared Occupiers overnight.

                  All Russian presidents (Yeltsin, Putin, Medvedev) and other officials raised this issue again and again in any world forum that would listen.  And they were repeatedly laughed off.

                  Even though such treatment of minorities is clearly in violation if not letter, but definitely spirit of European democratic laws, those countries were admitted to EU and NATO without a hitch.

                  Routine raising of this issue by mid-level diplomat in routine UN hearing is as much threatening of Estonia as deportation of Justin Bieber would be a declaration of war on Canada.

                  •  Deportation of Justin Bieber? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AoT, Timaeus

                    Can we do that? Even if it means declaring war on Canada, we should do that.

                    Getting rid of Justin Bieber is definitively worth risking war with Canada.

                    I deal in facts. My friends are few but fast.

                    by Farugia on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 05:10:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm reccing that, with laughter, even though (0+ / 0-)

                      you obviously don't understand the law in this area.

                      Bieber is a Canadian citizen.  He is not a U.S. citizen.  So he has no right to reside permanently, nor to work, within the United States, unless otherwise granted such rights.

                      He is said to be in O-1 nonimmigrant (temporary) status based on supposed "extraordinary" ability as an artist.

                      That status can be revoked at any time for criminal violations.  It can also be revoked if he stops working as an "artist," as he recently announced that he intends to do.

                      I certainly would love to see him arrested, imprisoned, shackled, and forcibly deported back to Canada--just as we treat all the poor people who fall into the clutches of the evil U.S. deportation system.

            •  And I've denounced a couple things as (4+ / 0-)

              war mongering, the comparisons to Hitler and the claims that Russia is going to invade a NATO state. Most of the American propaganda has been about how great the fascists in Ukraine are.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:06:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Self-awareness is not your strong point. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Bonsai66, IM, eglantine, duhban
                And I've denounced a couple things as (0+ / 0-)
                war mongering, the comparisons to Hitler
                the fascists in Ukraine
                As with most things, there is an appropriate Simpsons quote here: "But Marge, when I do it, it's funny!"

                Art is the handmaid of human good.

                by joe from Lowell on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:18:04 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  your continued apologia for fascists in Ukraine (4+ / 0-)

                  is pathetic. "They're not fascist, they just idolize a fascist who was too extreme even for the Nazi occupiers!"

                  But keep pretending like Svoboda and Right Sektor weren't threatening leftists and people espousing progressive ideas during the protests. Ukraine is "free" now!

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:27:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That one stung, I guess. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Bonsai66, eglantine, duhban

                    Good. It was supposed to.

                    I thing you should say "Fascists" a few more times, but make sure you first whine about other people making Hitler comparisons.

                    Art is the handmaid of human good.

                    by joe from Lowell on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:29:07 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So you are going to continue to pretend Svoboda (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Judgment at Nuremberg, DeadHead

                      and Right Sektor aren't fascists?

                      Keep up the apologia.

                      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                      by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:31:58 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  AoT, you have nailed the exact nature of joe's (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        protectspice, AoT, DeadHead

                        activities. Apologia. http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                        "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

                        by jm214 on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 12:19:31 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Nasty nonsense. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          eglantine, duhban
                          •  If the shoe fits (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Judgment at Nuremberg, DeadHead

                            joe has been issuing apologia for the fascists in Ukraine for a while now. It's one thing to claim that the government isn't fascist, the majority of the parties in power aren't, it's another to say that the fascist parties aren't fascist. He's in his specially little shell where fascism is only in the countries that are our enemies.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 01:17:09 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You've really been stinking up this joint, but (0+ / 0-)

                            that's probably your biggest fart yet.

                            It's classic Karl Rove style bullshit.  YOU are the one doing nonstop KGB-style apologism for the Russian aggression.  So you accuse an opponent of the same thing.  You should be ashamed of yourself, but that's not in your repertoire.

                            joe from lowell is courageous in standing up against your extremely ugly bullshit, and now you call him a defender of FASCISTS!

                            That's bullshit.  That's a fucking lie.  That's RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA!  Straight-up Russian propaganda.

                            The whole story about the Ukrainian revolutionaries being fascists is BULLSHIT BULLSHIT BULLSHIT.  And sadly, propaganda works, so many here have bought into the bullshit.

                            (The fact that some anti-Russian Ukrainian nationalist neo-Nazi types have supported the Ukrainian revolution does NOT mean that the revolution itself is fascist.  That's a butt-ugly propaganda lie, that way too many Kossacks have bought into.)

                            All of your posts recently are lies.

                            We're not supposed to accuse other DKos members of being "paid shills," without extraordinary evidence, and I don't have such evidence against you, except perhaps arguably your posting record, so I won't make the accusation explicitly.  But others might reasonably draw different conclusions.  I think you should explain your connection to this geopolitical crisis.

                            MY connection is that I'm a U.S. immigration lawyer with many Ukrainian clients who are out of their minds with fear.

                            I hope you will reconsider, back off, and apologize, after explaining why you're so vehement about this.

                          •  I haven't apologized for shit (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            DeadHead, Farugia, ZhenRen

                            joe consistently claims that Svoboda and Right Sektor aren't fascists, that's bullshit. They didn't "support" the revolution, they were on the front lines and leftists and progressives told of intimidation from them.

                            My connection is that I'm an anarchist and I've been hearing of my fellow anarchists being attacked by fascists in Ukraine for years, and sometimes killed. Other than that I have no connection, I'm merely angry about idiots claiming that Russia is going to invade Estonia and claiming Putin is like Hitler.

                            Annexing Crimea was wrong, and I've said that again and again. You chose to ignore that completely. You also chose to ignore the reality of fascists in Ukraine because Russia said it was true. You'd probably say the sky wasn't blue if Putin claimed it was at this point.

                            All of your posts recently are lies.
                            And yet you refuse to give a link and show where I lied. Because you can't.
                            We're not supposed to accuse other DKos members of being "paid shills," without extraordinary evidence, and I don't have such evidence against you, except perhaps arguably your posting record, so I won't make the accusation explicitly.  But others might reasonably draw different conclusions.  I think you should explain your connection to this geopolitical crisis.
                            I've been here for seven years and it's all been a ruse perpetrated by the Russian government so they could invade Crimea and trick everyone here at daily kos! You found me out! This is what I'm talking about. Stupid claims like this. Fear mongering. Russians are EVERYWHERE!!!! JUST LIKE HITLER!!!!

                            And I'm being vehement about this because people are making absurd claims and acting as if they make any sort of sense. I mean attacking NATO? And I'm suppose to take this fear mongering seriously?

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 04:40:15 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I stand on my comments. You're completely (0+ / 0-)

                            wrong.

                          •  So you're apologizing for the fascist (0+ / 0-)

                            parties in Ukraine as well?

                            You're saying that Right Sektor isn't a fascist party?

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:24:33 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Did you stop beating your wife? (0+ / 0-)

                            Your pro-Russian propaganda posts are all LIES.

                            The anti-Russian Ukrainian revolution is Ukrainian.  It is NOT fascist or Nazi. That's just bullshit Russian propaganda.

                            I must say, you're really working HARD and DILIGENTLY at promoting the pro-Russian, pro-aggression line.  Why is that?

                          •  You have refused to link or quote a single lie (0+ / 0-)

                            I've told. Not even one. You have nothing. All you do is call me a liar and refuse to point to the actual lie.

                            So put up or shut up. Where's the lie?

                            You're saying that Right Sektor isn't a fascist party?
                            You could have just said 'No' and not been another fascist apologist. Instead you claim that every charge of fascism is Russian propaganda and anyone who says the word fascist except as applied to Russia is a shill or an apologist.

                            So again, quote me one lie, just one. You can't do it.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:31:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're pretty persistent, but that doesn't (0+ / 0-)

                            make you right. Your own history of posting here is obvious to all and supports all of my claims.

                            I'm not a newbie here.  I read your posts, and I mean what I say.  Howling and screaming doesn't change reality.

                          •  So you can't offer a single quote (0+ / 0-)

                            Good to know.

                            Go off and uprate some more fascist apologias.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:58:56 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Anarchists (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AoT

                            have stated that they were brutalized by fascistic elements in the Maidan, to the point of having to hide their left wing identifying flags, clothing, etc. It didn't always occur, but the risk was high that it would occur, and it did occur. That is a fact. Fascist flags were hung, the signs of this are all over the place. The thugs tended to have a measure of control. They don't contend the entire numbers of protestors were fascists, but that the fascist and nationalist thugs so aggressive that they were a sort of vanguard, influencing the more moderate members.

                            "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                            by ZhenRen on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:27:10 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Anarchists expressed that they wanted to join (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AoT

                            protests, and they did to some extent, but the fascist and nationalistic elements were a major problem. Anarchists have discussed this, and are examining the situation to learn what they might be able to do in the future to prevent fascists from exerting undue influence on crowds in future uprisings.

                            And when the thugs gain this kind of influence, it drives away people who don't want to be identified with them. This is what happened. I can give sources, but... I have some family stuff to do at the moment.

                            "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                            by ZhenRen on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:32:30 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  Perhaps you could link Putin's threat... (8+ / 0-)

          ...There is no need to be pollyannaish about a guy who was a KGB careerist and we shouldn't be. Nor should the way Crimea was annexed be written off as no big deal. But likewise there is no reason to make of Putin's moves something beyond what they actually are. If there are more threats beyond chest-thumping in parliament, then, yes, that's reason to worry.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:40:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think there are any real warmongers on (15+ / 0-)

        this issue anywhere in the world, except in Russia.

        I've got many beefs with Obama, but I think he's handling this impossible situation very well.

        There is a disconcerting about of pro-Putin rhetoric on both the left and the right.  I think he's a hell of a lot more dangerous than most people think.

      •  but... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Judgment at Nuremberg

        But, Americans love war.   Americans have gotten tired of the failed war in Afghanistan and we now need a new war.

        If not Russia then who else should be attack?

        don't drone me, bro

        by BradMajors on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:43:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What about the warmongers in Russia, MB? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IM, eglantine

        You don't think taking a chunk out of a neighboring state is warmongering?

        Yeah, there was a vote, but it was too soon and deliberately too soon, there was no debate, there was no freedom of the press (Ukrainian and Western news was replaced by Russian stations, Russian stations that notoriuosly parrot the Kremlin (Just ask Anna Politkovskaya, oh wait, you can't. She was murdered.) line. Pro-Ukrainians were manhandled and attacked... in front of cameras. This vote was not free and not fair. It is worthless.

        Seriously, I'm asking; you are a good guy.

        I ride the wild horse .

        by BelgianBastard on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:49:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In the very small amount I've written... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          ...on this subject, you won't find me approving of Vladimir Putin's behavior in Ukraine. Not in this diary either. Imperialism is imperialism regardless of who does it, and Russia has a history of that which goes back a lot longer than U.S. imperialism, even if you start the clock on our side of the pond with the Indian Wars starting in 1790, which I do.

          Arguing that some responses in the United States amounts to warmongering isn't the same as saying Russian leaders are the good guys or that Moscow was right to grab Crimea.

          I've previously sneered at the ludicrous near-unanimity of the outcome in the Crimean referendum (and the lack of a true choice on the ballot itself) and pointed out the potential impacts of the entanglement of Russian and American multinational corporations.

          But saying that Putin isn't trustworthy (which I agree with) is a far cry from making claims that he is bent on recovering the territory of the old Soviet republics starting with the Baltics simply because some diplomat made an off-the-cuff remark about Estonia. When Putin or Foreign Minister Lavrov start saying they want to carve off a hunk of the most ethnically Russian-populated parts of Estonia or moving troops to its borders, I expect there will be a strong NATO response and as long as it's defensive, I'd in all likelihood support that.

          I doubt very much the Kremlin will make any such move, however, just as I doubt that the bona fide fascists in the current Ukrainian government will have much clout when new elections are held.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 06:55:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  So where do you think he's going to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG, Judgment at Nuremberg

      go next?

      Or do you just have a general unease without any specifics?

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:20:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He needs a land connection to Crimea. So it's (8+ / 0-)

        almost certain he will seize much of eastern Ukraine, on the pretext of protecting Russians.

        When we got the very first reports of Russian troops with no insignias operating in Crimea, I said Putin was going to annex Crimea, and that was mocked.  Now I just can't believe that Putin is done.

        Hillary Clinton was exactly correct to compare Putin to Hitler for making a big land grab, right after his own Olympics, on the pretext of protecting his own people.

        •  Right, he's going to seize the rest of Ukraine (3+ / 0-)

          right after he said he wouldn't. Even though he has made no moves to do so, and the East of Ukraine is not majority Russian now that Crimea is gone. There is a possibility he will invade more of Ukraine, but it's tiny. Unless our fascist friends in Svoboda and Right Sektor start going after Russians in the rest of Ukraine. Or attacking Russian troops, god forbid. But minus some provocation Putin isn't gonig to do anything, he got what he wanted and he's smart enough to know when he's won. There's no need for a land route to Crimea, Russia still has significant control over Ukraine through gas deliveries, and that's not going to change any time soon.

          These fear mongering comparisons to Hitler are absurd. I guess  Reagan was like Hitler too because he invaded Grenada to protect Americans, and Bush the Elder for attacking Panama! He said 'Ethic' so he's Hitler!

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:42:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, he said so, did he? That's nice. (9+ / 0-)

            And to think, I was worried.

            Hey, if you can't take Vladimir Putin at his word...

            BTW, I could drive a T-34 through the hole you just inserted into your argument: Unless our fascist friends in Svoboda and Right Sektor start going after Russians in the rest of Ukraine. Or attacking Russian troops, god forbid.

            Ever read about what preceded the German advance into Poland?

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:01:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Putin could totally pull a Gulf of Tonkin. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT, IM, Judgment at Nuremberg

              Or maybe he could claim that Ukraine is hiding weapons of mass destruction and refusing to disarm. He could claim that they are seeking yellowcake from Niger. There's lots of good reasons to wage war. If Putin wants to do so, I'm sure he could come up with an excuse.

              If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

              by HairyTrueMan on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:13:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You remind me of an old joke from the Cold War: (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TofG, Bonsai66, Timaeus, IM, eglantine

                An American goes on a trip to Moscow. The Soviets send a tour guide/handler to keep an eye on him and take him to some Potemkin sites. The first place they go is the new train station. The guide starts pointing out things - the open design, the natural lighting, the marble stair cases, the innovative design and construction techniques - he really gives an architectural seminar.

                After a while, the American says, "You know, this station is really very impressive, but I just realized, we've been here and hour and I haven't seen a single train come by."

                The Russian is silent for a moment, and then says "But what about the Negroes in the South?"

                You'd make a good tour guide.

                Art is the handmaid of human good.

                by joe from Lowell on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:24:42 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  DON'T YOU TALK BAD ABOUT AMERICA!!!!! (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  protectspice

                  We came to protect freedom and blow shit up, and we're just about out of freedom.

                  AND HITLER!

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:46:44 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  DON'T YOU HIJACK THREADS WITH IRRELEVANCIES! (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Bonsai66, IM, eglantine, Timaeus

                    By all means, if we're talking about something where a reference to WMDs would be relevant, throw it out there.

                    But completely changing the subject just because you can't stand it when an American dares to be against something done by another country is just trolling, and deserves to be mocked.

                    Art is the handmaid of human good.

                    by joe from Lowell on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:51:02 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  WMDs aren't the issue, sport. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      protectspice, Claudius Bombarnac

                      The issue is lying about the reasons for war. Or worse, creating a justification to go to war. The United States is really good at that... historically speaking. I think it's relevant when you're pre-accusing Putin of attacking Russians in the Ukraine to justify an invasion.

                      And anyway, you're the one who brought up 1939 Poland.

                      If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

                      by HairyTrueMan on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:52:05 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, if the fascist groups we support (2+ / 0-)

              start attacking Russians then things will change. If the Estonia attacks Russia then Russia will probably attack Estonia also. Ditto with China.

              Ever read about what preceded the German advance into Poland?
              A deal between Russia and Germany to split Poland. Are you suggesting some sort of conspiracy between Europe and Russia to split Ukraine that Russia is going to renege on and take all of Ukraine? Because that's the historical precedent you're citing.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:24:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  LOL, is this parody? (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cryonaut, Bonsai66, IM, eglantine, Timaeus

                The history you don't seem to know about involves the Germans creating a story about German Poles being persecuted by the Polish government, and then the Polish military attacking German forces, as a pretext for their invasion.

                And here you are, making up stories about Russians being persecuted in Crimea, and Estonia (lol) attacking Russia.

                I suppose it's a good thing that propagandists like yourself are so uniformly incompetent and ham-fisted.

                Art is the handmaid of human good.

                by joe from Lowell on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:27:42 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The history is that Russia and Germany (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Claudius Bombarnac

                  conspired to split Poland. Sure, there was more to it. There have been thousands of deceptions of war in history. Many American wars started that way.

                  If you think Russia is going to try an invade a NATO country you're an idiot.

                  It's possible they could invade more of Ukraine, but unlikely. The current situation is entirely different than that in Crimea and they would get no support from any other countries in that case, unlike the tacit support the received for the annexing of Crimea.

                  There is no longer a revolution ongoing in Ukraine and as such they would in fact have a mass casualty situation on their hands if they invaded the rest of Ukraine. It would be foolish and accomplish none of Russia's goals. This was about securing the naval base in Crimea, period. They don't care about the rest of Ukraine.

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:36:48 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Being called an idiot by you is an honor. (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Bonsai66, Timaeus, sweatyb, eglantine

                    I haven't the foggiest idea what ever happened to give you such a lofty opinion of your understanding of history and politics.

                    You've completely littered the thread with derp.

                    Art is the handmaid of human good.

                    by joe from Lowell on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:53:03 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Claiming that Russia is going to attack NATO (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Claudius Bombarnac

                      is idiotic. Full stop.

                      The only reason you and others think it isn't is because you've bought into the "Putin is crazy and Hitler" nonsense.

                      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                      by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:00:32 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  He never made that claim. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        joe from Lowell
                        •  Well then I didn't call him an idiot (0+ / 0-)
                          If you think Russia is going to try an invade a NATO country you're an idiot.
                          Note the 'if' at the beginning. That indicates an if then statement, although I left out the 'then' so maybe that's what confused people. He responded to my comment of that by saying he was happy to have me call him an idiot. So he implied that he did in fact think that.

                          I never said he made that claim, but I have seen it here again and again and he sure as hell implies that my saying that claim is idiotic means I have no knowledge of history or politics.

                          What he, and you, are doing is reading things into what I'm saying that aren't there. You do so when you claim I'm issuing apologia for Russia, and you do so when you claim that I said he made such a statement.

                          I stand by this statement: If you think Russia is going to try an invade a NATO country you're an idiot.

                          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                          by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:04:13 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

              •  He seems to be referring to the Gleiwitz incident. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT

                joe from lowell is preemptively suggesting that any attack on Ukrainian Russians would be a scam by Putin, not to be believed by any rational person.

                If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

                by HairyTrueMan on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:31:47 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Yes what preceded the German advance (0+ / 0-)

              was the western Ukrainian right wing political movements (that Right Sector and Svoboda glorify to this day) and paramilitary engaging in helping their fascist friends in Germany....

              And this included brutal ethnic cleansing of Poles, mixed-Polish-Ukrainian families, and Jews....

               

        •  No problem. Just build a bridge or tunnel (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT
          Russia green lights road and rail bridge to Crimea

          The long delayed Kerch Strait Bridge project, which would connect the Crimean peninsula and mainland Russia, has been given a green light, with President Putin saying the bridge would provide both road and rail links.

          Vladimir Putin held a meeting with members of the government on Wednesday in order to discuss transport links with the Crimea, a day after the treaty of accession of the republic to the Russian Federation was signed.

          “We need both automobile and railway bridges,” the President said about the Kerch Strait Bridge.
          Putin’s proposal received the full backing from Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov, who stressed that the government has already agreed on the feasibility study for the project.

          The survey will take place this year, with several proposals for the bridge ready by the end of 2014, he added.

          If the South Stream pipeline can go overland in Crimea, Gazprom can save 2-3 billion dollars of underwater pipeline. This would more than cover the cost of the $1.4 billion bridge. BTW, Gazprom has it's own development bank so financing is no object.

          Crimea will also get it's own supply of (cheap) gas via pipeline under the Kerch Straight. Russian consumers enjoy subsidized natural gas at $75 tcm while Europe/Ukraine have to pay $350 tcm and up. Combining these savings with gas/oil backed Russian public pensions this will be a welcome boost to the living standards of Crimeans.

          Another proposal is to supply clean water from the huge aquifer on the Russian side of the straight. The water from Ukraine is highly polluted which is expensive to clean.

          Putin has also announced that Ukrainian troops will get triple their pay plus nicely funded pensions with reduced years service if they join the Russian army. It's a deal that is hard to resist. Ukraine has a very poorly paid military. Their officers make what a sales clerk makes.

            •  You don't understad that some of us (2+ / 0-)

              are looking at this in regards to the practical aspects of how Putin ad others will react. The comment you're responding to is not a "Yeah Russia!" comment in any sense, it's a practical look at what's going on and what Russia is likely to do.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:06:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I am not a fan of Putin. All I want to see here in (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT

              DKos is some truth, realty and balance instead of the good/evil dichotomy you keep trying to portray. I find I have to interject on the side of Russia to give some balance to the debate.

              He needs a land connection to Crimea. So it's (8+ / 0-)
              almost certain he will seize much of eastern Ukraine, on the pretext of protecting Russians.
              You are prognosticating on the motives of Putin without having any information of the reality of what is occurring on the ground.

              I can back up every statement I made above with links to the appropriate sources and show quite clearly Crimea does not need the Ukraine at all. Not for gas, not for water, not for access.

              Putin is now free to put the $12 billion and 33% gas discount saved from his December offer to the Ukraine into Crimea. There will be no austerity for Crimeans. They will enjoy cheap Russian gas and bigger pensions plus a lot of new government jobs.

              The Ukrainians will be hit by the IMF reform to remove 70% gas subsidies (costing Ukraine $1 billion/month), accept lower government pensions (already ridiculously low) and large layoffs of government workers (who have sometimes gone weeks without paychecks).

              Just recently there was a spate of posts in DKos saying there was proven fraud in the Crimean referendum because the numbers of the voters didn't jibe with the actual population figures.

              Here's the truth:

              Updated: Russian media distorted the turnout of the residents in Sevastopol

              >Mikhail Malyshev [supposedly] said the following:

              “1 250 426 people have voted in Crimea by 20.00. This is the data not counting Sevastopol. 1 724 563 people voted including Sevastopol”.

              By the 1st November 2013 the population of Sevastopol was 385 462 people. This is including under aged who do not have a right to vote.

              474 137 — 385 462 = 88675 suddenly appeared during the referendum in Sevastopol.

              However, in reality gazeta.ru and other media were mistaken. Malyshev did not say 1.7 million participants. He said 1 524 563 people including Sevastopol. The following video shows this moment.

    •  Oh come now, (8+ / 0-)

      George W. Bush looked into Putin's eyes, found him "straightforward and trustworthy," and "got a sense of his soul."  What's not to believe?

      /snark

      •  I have a hard time with how we position ourselves (0+ / 0-)

        because the U.S. has zero moral high ground, thanks to Dubya, Cheney, and the insane asylum that designed the Iraq debacle.    

        Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

        by notKeith on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:56:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  He's making noises now about Estonia. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timaeus, LordMike, TofG, IM, Bonsai66

      Saw some stuff today and late yesterday. I will try to find a link to post.

      I don't love writing, but I love having written ~ Dorothy Parker // Visit my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet

      by jan4insight on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:30:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, there was a meeting of the UN human rights (0+ / 0-)

        committee(commission?) and a Russian diplomat spoke about the situation of stateless Russian speakers in Estonia. This has been a long time problem, and one that even amnesty international is working on.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:43:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If Putin (who personally has not said... (6+ / 0-)

        ...anything publicly that threatens Estonia) were to actually try to grab Estonia or a piece of it, there is this little thing called NATO that that country is part of. No way NATO lets that happen. If it did, it would be finished and the crisis resulting would reverberate for a generation or two. Putin knows the stakes.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:51:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I believe that Putin thinks gays are pedos... (8+ / 0-)

      because he does seem to have his brain firmly embedded in some 1950s version of Soviet idiocy.

      But yeah, otherwise he's a liar. I think Obama gets this...he certainly won't look into his eyes and see his soul a la Dubya. However, I don't think we've got good options on how to stop it. Hitting them in the pocketbook won't do much. I think we're dealing with a country not unlike North Korea - they'd gladly accept starvation and exploitation if it meant a return to national pride. How do you combat that? It's not even rational.

    •  Just what I was thinking...of course not... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG, LordMike, leftywright, eglantine

      Who me, I'm not  dictator, just ask Pussy Riot.

      I do hope these will have the intended effect on Stalin lite.

      sh

  •  Real sanctions (8+ / 0-)

    I found this quote in a The Hill article that pretty much sums up what/who dictates the appropriate amount of sanctions and why:

    In addition, tightening the sanctions risks hurting U.S. companies.

    ExxonMobil, Citigroup, Ford Motor, General Motors, Boeing, and PepsiCo have made investments in Russia and are worried Putin could expropriate their assets.

    If you stand for nothing you will fall for anything.

    by LieparDestin on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:14:24 AM PDT

  •  Effectiveness seems limited (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, Judgment at Nuremberg

    China is going to need every bit of oil that they can buy, so they will pick up whatever we refuse to buy.  Much of Europe depends on Russian natural gas, and pipelines work a lot better than ships to get it there.

    If Europe and the US coordinate sanctions, it will hurt Putin's cronies who like their European vacations and who have stashed their loot abroad.  But I don't expect any of this to be very effective.

    •  But I think that's exactly why they (0+ / 0-)

      targeted Putin's cronies.

      The people can't get rid of him, nor do they really want to. However, his cronies can certainly do the job, and likely will if his stances cost them too much.

      They're more like us than you suspect. Piss off the 1%, and you're gone.

  •  There need to be carrots added (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, TofG

    That is, carrots dangled in front of Vlad the Shirtless that he could potentially get if he stood down and reverted to the situation ante bellum.

    Or, so it doesn't appear like rewarding bad behavior, a list of things Russia might have gotten that it badly needs or would have really appreciated had it not made these moves, and could still get if it behaves nicely.

    Like (fair) trade deals and better access to western markets.

    Also, whatever steps are taken should cause serious but non-lethal pain to everyday Russians who mostly support these moves. No more of the latest smartphones, TVs and cars, etc. Tourist, student and work visas much harder to obtain (the latter having a side benefit for western workers).

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:16:27 AM PDT

    •  Is the point of sanctions to punish regular (3+ / 0-)

      Russians for the support of Putin?

      What is the point of sanctions?  What escalations?  The only escalation that Putin did was deploying "polite men with guns"  around Crimea.  That was 2 weeks ago.  

      The rest was pretty much building legal framework around the move.

      And ordinary Russians support him.  Polls even by opposition pollsters show 80% support.  Crimean referendum result of 96% is absurd, but pollsters showed support of around 70%.

      In other words, whatever Putin is doing is essentially reflecting the will of the people of his country.  How is different, for example, from the Thatcher's Falklands War (other than no hundreds of dead)?

      I remember Soviet Afghan adventure.  We HATED it in the Soviet Union.  This is completely different.

      The real problem here is NATO.  Is NATO, fundamentally, an anti-Russian alliance?  If it is, then everything that Putin is doing is justified by Russian national security.  He justifiably creates a buffer zone between his country and enemy forces.  If NATO is not anti-Russian, then it has to be anti-somebody, after all it is an explicitly military alliance.   Also, then, there should a set of conditions under which Russia can join NATO.

      My personal feel is that NATO expansion was done haphazardly and without strategic thinking.  And when Poland, Chech republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania were brought in, they came with their mentality Russian=Communist=Occupant.  I mean for them, NATO's goal is clearly to protect them from Russia (and Biden just affirmed that yesterday).

      So, back to my question, what is strategic vision for NATO and Russia?  If, because of geopolitical reasons, Russia will be kept outside and viewed as enemy, then what Putin is doing is justified (yes, his methods are thuggish, but goals are aligned with broad national security interests).  If it is not, then the whole rhetoric of sanctions makes no sense.

      •  It's all about the law (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IM

        100% of Russians could want Russia to annex the Crimea. Does that make it legal, or morally justifiable? Democracy does not make something legal, or else Jim Crow would be alive and well in certain parts of the US.

        And how is NATO Russia's "enemy"? In what way does it threaten it?

        You make very feeble arguments.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:49:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  NATO has missiles pointed at Russia (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Judgment at Nuremberg

          Enemy is probably a bit strong, but they are far from allies.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:53:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And vice-versa (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            IM

            It's just a default position at this point, because the two sides haven't found a way to mutually stand down. Doesn't make us actual enemies. The only reason this hasn't been resolved by now is because Russia refuses to play according to international rules, which might not be "fair", but are how things work. The pursuit of illusory Russian "exceptionalism" in Putin's Russia.

            I'm no fan of ANY national exceptionalism, but at least the US, China, India, Europe, etc., do something beyond extract energy and minerals and promote drugs, prostitution and racketeering around the globe.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 12:01:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Where does exceptionalism comes from? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Judgment at Nuremberg

              This is not a rhetorical question.  Does it come from Putin or from Russian mentality?

              Russia did not behave significantly different under Yeltsin, who was Clinton's BFF (let's not forget that Putin is Yeltsin's hand-picked successor).  It just did not have economic resources to do anything.

              It was very interesting for me to follow Russian opposition view in this situation. Navalny (currently under house arrest, no friend of Putin) essentially approves of Crimea annexation (does not agree with methods).  In fact, Putin quoted Navalny in his speech (without attribution).

              Chodorkovsky (was just released after 10 years in prison, exiled, no friend of Putin) just gave a talk in Kiev after which he will not be invited back anytime soon.  Same general view as Navalny.

              So, if Russian aspirations under those well known and very different politicians would be the same as they are under Putin, what does it tell you?

              •  That annexation is still illegal (0+ / 0-)

                The Crimea could be to Russia was Texas is to Mexico but it still doesn't make seizing it legal. And we all know that this move is not actually about historical, geographical or national "justice", but politics, but internal and external. Putin is asserting his strength to hide his weakness. I liken it to Israel's building settlements in the West Bank to spite the world and assert its dominance.

                I suppose that it could be argued that Putin is acting from strength or else he wouldn't do this. I think he's acting from weakness and felt he had to do this.

                In any case, it's illegal, in its form.

                "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                by kovie on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 02:28:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I am not saying that it is legal (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          or morally justifiable.
          I am saying that military aggression has been used by political leaders all over the world, including countless American presidents, to boost their popularity.  This is exactly what Putin did.

          As far as NATO, it is a military alliance of countries to protect each other against all external threats.  If Russia can not be part of that alliance, then, it is, by simple logic is one of those potential threats.

          Furthermore, certain countries, because of the their historical experience, still equate Russia with Communism and have paranoid fears of occupation.  Since they are now members of NATO, this paranoia seeped into the institutions of NATO.  That of course only serves to confirm Russian suspicions that NATO is anti-Russian military alliance.  So, you get into vicious cycle where mutual fears reinforce each other.

          The way to break this cycle is to finally define what the heck is the purpose of NATO, strategic vision, who can join and who can not.  And if not, why not.  Surely, all NATO engagements since the end of the cold war could have been done as easily through UN (they have been mostly American troops anyways).

          •  Obviously (0+ / 0-)

            Bush tried to assert US power and boost his own sagging popularity by illegally invading Iraq (obviously it wasn't the only reason). Both ultimately backfired, for him, his party and the US, even if they worked for a while. He acted out of weakness. That's what Putin is doing.

            Ironically, a part of me "sort of" sympathizes with Putin, in the sense that the only way for Russia to be invited to join NATO and western economic unions is by neoliberalizing its economy. Which might be good for some Russians, but ultimately bad or neutral for most, substituting one form of oppression and poverty for another. And folks like Putin would lose power as a result.

            I'm not unmindful of the complexities of the situation nor viewing this as pure right vs. wrong, and for all I know the Crimea might actually belong to Russia. Putin and Russia's combativeness and intransigence isn't purely based on the greed and megalomania of tyrants and oligarchs, but also an understandable resistance to western economic and military dominance.

            But that still doesn't make this right, or a good thing.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 02:37:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  John McCain is Dr Strangelove (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BradMajors, TofG
  •  Sanctions aren't going to stop Putin... (0+ / 0-)

    He doesn't care about that shit, even if his buddies are hurt in the process.  He wants glory.  The economic costs are irrelevant.  After all, he could just nationalize everything and go back to the good old days if he wants.

    Until there is actual physical pushback either by the locals he's invaded or someone else, there really is no reason for him to stop expanding his empire.  Putin doesn't care about money.

    "I know you cannot force people to care. Ukraine is far away for many, all have own problems. But even if cynical, realize problem will grow. It isn't only people like me, raised in a dictatorship, who don't want it to happen to others"-Gary Kasparov

    by LordMike on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:18:47 AM PDT

  •  President Obama Signed An Executive Order..... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, TofG, FiredUpInCA, Timaeus

    in consultation w/ European allies giving the US authority to impose sanctions on key sectors of the Russian economy.

    Other Russian industries that could face sanctions include
    financial services, metals & mining, energy, engineering, defense & related sectors.

    Ratcheting it up, I see.

  •  Just make Ukraine a NATO member (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, TofG

    Crimea may be gone but Russia would never attack a NATO nation

    •  I wouldn't count on that... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Judgment at Nuremberg

      I suspect that the alliance would fold like a house of cards if attacked.  I'm sure NATO would issue a sternly worded letter, but no one has ever really tested the alliance like that.  Considering how feebly the West has responded so far, I'd say that NATO would collapse pretty quickly if actually attacked.

      "I know you cannot force people to care. Ukraine is far away for many, all have own problems. But even if cynical, realize problem will grow. It isn't only people like me, raised in a dictatorship, who don't want it to happen to others"-Gary Kasparov

      by LordMike on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:25:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  two problems (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, KJG52, mmacdDE, IM

      1.)  You don't want to put the U.S. in the position where it has to defend militarily a country where Russia has such a strong strategic advantage.  I'm still not 100% convinced letting Poland and Czech Republic in was the best idea.  Here, I'm happy with the targeted sanctions, but there's no way the U.S., UK, France, and Norway want to forcibly kick Russia out of Crimea - we care, but Russia cares more.

      2.)  We can't be in a position of pre-judging the outcome of the interim elections.  Pro-Russian sentiment is still a potent political force in Ukraine, and we don't want long erm to be in an alliance with a country whose leadership might well drift back to Russian influence.  

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:38:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If Ukraine asks for NATO membership (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, TofG

        they will not be turned down

        •  if they ask, it'll look bad (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LordMike, AoT, KJG52

          politically for the askers and reinforce Russian narratives about the impeachment of Yanukovich.  But the line of logic says the secret to world peace is just for the whole world to join NATO.  The current level of military cooperation serves everyone's interest, and it's pretty clear to me Obama's more interested in making sure Ukraine doesn't do anything stupid than actually getting Russia out of Crimea.  Giving them the umbrella of NATO doesn't help with that.

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:44:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  they were denied before... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Loge

          NATO is a little wary of partnering with a destabilized country that has Russian troops massing at the border.

          "I know you cannot force people to care. Ukraine is far away for many, all have own problems. But even if cynical, realize problem will grow. It isn't only people like me, raised in a dictatorship, who don't want it to happen to others"-Gary Kasparov

          by LordMike on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:48:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Ukraine would be turned down (4+ / 0-)

          ... and this would be communicated via back channels so that they do not ask.  NATO membership for the Ukraine would oblige NATO to go to war now, unless we did something like recognize Russian control of the Crimea and only consider the rest of the Ukraine part of NATO.

          Even if American war hawks wanted to admit the Ukraine, enough Europeans have more sense that the move would be blocked.

      •  Well it isn't too late to kick the Baltic states, (0+ / 0-)

        Poland, and the Czech Republic out of NATO.  Perhaps it would be a good idea to do so now so that when Russia attacks we don't end up having to come to their aid?

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:41:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not sure how that would work . . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          you don't want to give Putin the green light, either.

          I'm fairly convinced Poland, Czech, and Hungary are in NATO so Clinton could pick up votes in 1996 in the industrial midwest.

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:59:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This guarantees an attack within DAYS (0+ / 0-)

      I'd give very favorable odds on that...   (If our money would be worth anything in the aftermath)...

      Say hello to missiles in Cuba again possibly as well...

      Bank on it.

  •  I see a Russia-China friendship (4+ / 0-)

    dominating the next years. China would love to have Russia's oil rather than depend entirely on the Middle East. Russia will limit the economic costs from sanctions by trading with China. Thus, pushing Russia away from Europe towards China will have ripple effects for decades to come. Add Pakistan to the mix after the US withdraws from Afghanistan and we have a dangerous reordering of world powers. Important to have good relations with India.  And important to get the response to Crimea right. Because what we see is the first redrawing of borders after the cold-war ended and a reordering of world powers.

  •  The first sentence makes no sense. (0+ / 0-)

    It says that the president has "added 20 more Russians to the list of seven"...did you mean..."added 20 more sanctions?"

  •  a game two can play . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    protectspice

    and if Putin decides to really play the "retaliatory sanctions" game it won't be against the US but against NATO allies (who have more leverage to stop US stupidity than Russia does).
    .

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:29:00 AM PDT

  •  ordinary Russians also retaliate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, AoT

    Ordinary Russians also retaliate to Obama's sanctions:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/...

    * Barack Obama is prohibited from entering the toilet in our office
    * Members of the US Congress are prohibited from using our cafeteria and toilet
    * Barack Obama is forbidden from eating the bananas in our fridge.

  •  These sanctions are more of nothing... (3+ / 0-)

    ...added to nothing. The US ought to back off and walk away, but I guess this is just symbolic in the end. "Look, world--we did something even though we got punked..."

    The US and the EU got what they wanted, sort of--Western Ukraine can now join the US/EU/UMF neoliberal hegemony and austerity regime. I guess they could claim victory or something.

    Russia keeps Crimea and their warm water port, along with oil pipelines and such...so to them this is a good win.

    The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

    by cybrestrike on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:29:59 AM PDT

    •  neutral observer, eh? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IM

      clearly the only two choices are a glorious life of freedom and wealth under Putin's protection or a miserable life of poverty and affliction under a western-style democracy.

      It goes without saying that the only people who could be interested in a responsible government that doesn't steal from them are neo-nazi radicals.

      •  The only ones who win in this... (2+ / 0-)

        ...are the oligarchs on both sides. The working class in Western Ukraine are about to be crushed by austerity, while the working class in Crimea is about to get even more plutocratic corruption. Putin ain't no saint. Neither are Merkel and company.

        The oligarchs in Western Ukraine might have it worse, because once the far right elements get ginned up and start blaming "the other" for their economic problems, things may get ugly.

        The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

        by cybrestrike on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:31:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder how the Big Money mtg at the DoD went (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, KJG52, protectspice

    http://business.financialpost.com/...

    Yesterday:

    Almost 100 chief executive officers [from GE, Boeing, Exxon, etc.] with the Business Roundtable are set to meet in Washington today with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, said John Engler, the group’s president and former governor of Michigan. He said there’s “no doubt” that the sanctions will be on the agenda.

    “The CEOs are obviously very concerned about what is happening in Russia,” Engler said in an interview. “For some companies, it’s a substantial bit of their business. They are watching it very intently, trying to understand what will happen and what the next steps will be.”

    I guess these additional targets were handpicked to cause these masters of the universe less pain.

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

    by The Dead Man on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:30:07 AM PDT

  •  what next (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timaeus, LordMike

    and what do we do when Putin laughs and takes the eastern Ukraine and says he is protecting ethnic Russians?  Just curious... i have a feeling this may not end well

    •  That's what these sanctions are for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG

      Without using force, which sadly for Ukraine will not happen (I don't think saving Ukraine from an invasion would be worth the effort, but it sucks to be Ukrainian), the only way to prevent Russia from doing that is to make it costly.  If they actually invade Ukraine now, I don't think you'll see the Ukrainian soldiers walking around without guns.  Hopefully tightening sanctions will start making things expensive for those that keep Putin in his job.

      "Harass us, because we really do pay attention. Look at who's on the ballot, and vote for the candidate you agree with the most. The next time, you get better choices." - Barney Frank

      by anonevent on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:56:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  there's nothing to do (3+ / 0-)

      Ukraine is Russia's plaything. They want to beat it up and play war, the rest of the world can only shake their heads.

      The sanctions aren't designed to stop Putin, they're designed to embarrass him.

  •  I don't think the sanctions are intended to... (6+ / 0-)

    reverse the Russian annexation of Crimea. Sadly, that ship has sailed.

    President Obama keeps talking about "costs," and I think that's the purpose here: to make sure that this act of aggression has serious costs for the Russian ruling clique, a cost high enough that they, and other governments watching this unfold, will have to take those costs into account in the future.

    This applies to Putin and the rest of Ukraine, but it applies beyond that as well.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:38:26 AM PDT

  •  The most impactful thing we could do (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, TofG, mmacdDE

    Would be to offer something to China that pulls them closer to us and further from Russia.  Russia has always been terrified of war with China.

    "Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but us can free our minds." - Bob Marley

    by nightsweat on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:47:10 AM PDT

  •  Putin Wrestles Bear Market (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG

    Why the headlines practically write themselves.

  •  Without their energy exports Russia would fold (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, TofG

    like a deck of cheap playing cards. They got nothing else but vodka and caviar.
    They make nothing else. Hell, they even buy the ships in their Navy and weapons from the French.
    Weaning the EU off Russian gas should be #1, even if it takes 1-2 decades.

    •  Russia sells more weapons abroad than anybody... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, KJG52, cpresley, Claudius Bombarnac

      ...but the U.S. It sells nuclear power plants to China, India and Finland and has set its sights on 75 other countries. Its space-launch industry outpaces the U.S., which depends on Russia to get its astronauts to and from the international space station and will continue to do so for years.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:13:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  F*ck the space station. (0+ / 0-)

        And Im thinking Russia can forget about selling any power plants to the EU.
        Tx for the additional tidbits tho.

        •  Russia is a major supplier of rocket engines for (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          American space corporations.

          Pentagon Asks Air Force About Russia Rocket Engine

          Pentagon officials have asked the Air Force to review whether the use of Russian engines on rockets from a Lockheed Martin Corp.-Boeing Co. (BA) team creates a national security risk.
          ...
          Pentagon officials estimate it would cost U.S. companies as much as $1 billion to produce the engine domestically and take as long as five years, Schumann said.
          ...
          Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of Space Exploration Technologies Corp., a company that’s trying to break into the military launch market, said at a March 5 congressional hearing that launches may be at risk because of Boeing’s and Lockheed’s dependence on the Russian engine.

          Musk, who also is chairman and chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), said the Atlas V rockets should be phased out for the “long-term security interest of the country.”

      •  none of the above (0+ / 0-)

        changes the fact that Russia's economy is fundamentally a natural resources one. It has a very high level of technological capability but that capability is also only skin deep. DrT may be overstating his case, but not by much.

      •  The US also depends on Russian rocket engines (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT

        as the first stage in the Atlas V to launch satellites. The Russian RD-180 has one million pounds of thrust and costs $10 million. This allows the cost of launching a satellite to be in the $100 million range. American made rocket engines of similar thrust are much more expensive.

        There have been about 45 launches to date - mostly for military satellites. All had successful burning of first stage. There are 35 more launches scheduled to 2019.

        See my post for Pentagon concerns.

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

  •  At last, Obama has found some rich folk he wants (3+ / 0-)

    to go after.

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

    by Wolf10 on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:10:11 AM PDT

  •  The Cold War - first as tragedy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT

    ...then as farce.

    So Putin gives Boehner and McCain some of the recognition they so lust for and Obama places sanctions on some of Putin's enemies.  What exactly does Harry Reid have that is subject to sanctions?

    And then the world moves on.  To an Iran agreement, a Syria agreement, and normalization of diplomatic relations with Iran.  Still time before January 2017 to accomplish all of this.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:59:15 AM PDT

  •  After reading some of the comments on this diary (4+ / 0-)

    I've come to the conclusion that the educational system and  general system of information (the news media etc...) have done a horrible job of presenting the historic foundations of this situation for the Russians, Ukrainians, EU and America.

    The suggestion that Russia is unstoppable is ridiculous, the idea that Ukraine should be offered membership in NATO to forestall further Russian aggression would play into the Putin narrative of NATO's expansion as an act of "Neo-Cold War," containment by America and its allies.

    Crimea is now a part of Russia, Putin believes that the "West," is trying to encroach on Russia's security zone by economically and politically enmeshing Ukraine with the EU and IMF. After the overthrow of the Ukrainian President, the rejection of Russia's economic aid package and the promotion of anti-Russian sentiment in Ukraine, by both internal political groups and external political cheer-leading, the Russians took action.

    The action that Russia took is naked aggression; however, it was predictable and could have been forestalled by cooler heads in the Ukraine and the EU. The coup d'etat in Ukraine was a direct security and economic threat to Russia, to think Russia wouldn't act to restrain the new government of the Ukraine is naive. To think that Russia would depend on Ukraine to maintain the security and cooperation agreements that gave Russia basing rights in Crimea is absurd.

    To think that sanctions without a stated aim will restore the status quo ante is also foolish policy. What will be accomplished by escalating sanctions? Bringing Russia to the bargaining table? What are we going to bargain for...? Punishing Russia by creating an economic situation that could destabilize Russia politically is just the result we don't want.

    Ukraine is not getting Crimea back without a war and Russian security guarantees are meaningless if Ukraine's government continues on its current course. America's position of "incurring costs for Russia," will allow Putin to manipulate his population and use Ukraine as an example of American and European attempts to contain and crush Russia. Unbridled intervention in Russian internal economic and political affairs will be Putin's answer to his people and it will play.

     

    "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

    by KJG52 on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:24:00 AM PDT

  •  Russians responds with counter sanctions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Judgment at Nuremberg
  •  Sanctions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Claudius Bombarnac

    You would never see a President Romney or McCain sanctioning oligarchs, they are oligarchs themselves. I hope this starts a trend, don't sanction the entire country, sanction the money-men who put the decision maker in power. Imagine if that concept were around when Bush was starting his wars......

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