Skip to main content

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a phone conversation with German Prime Minister Angela Merkel, said that Ukraine was on the edge of civil war. We can argue back and forth about whether whether Russian troops are involved in the Eastern Ukraine protests. It turns out that the "Russian Colonel" was a local Mafia crime boss.

But the real question is, whether Putin is a rational or irrational actor. If he is rational, then he will not invade Ukraine. After all, Ukraine is offering Russia what they want -- dialogue with the east and southeast parts of the country, federalization, and protection of Russian minorities. If he is irrational, then he will invade with the troops that NATO says he has massed behind the border.

The problem is that Putin is not the kind of person who is willing to back down. He is even less so than George W. Bush. On the other hand, he has not (up to this point) entered a battle unless he has already won it. But if he follows through and he invades and occupies Ukraine, he will be making the same tragic mistake that numerous conquerors in the past have made. Foreign Policy Magazine explains:

But for all the justifiable fear that Putin is contemplating sending Russian troops into Ukraine, doing so would be a monumental blunder. As it is, Russia's annexation of Crimea is proving costly. Single-handedly, Putin has put the shaky Russian economy at peril; brought down international scorn, suspicion, and shame; awakened Europe from its strategic coma; revived NATO's fortunes; and boosted foreign competition for one of the few commodities Russia can produce and sell: natural gas. If Putin thought seizing Crimea would make the rest of Eastern Europe deferential to Moscow, the opposite is occurring, as anti-Russian/pro-NATO sentiment surges throughout the region.

And yet, Putin seems not to have intuited this lesson. Or perhaps he thinks he's already paid the price, and that taking eastern Ukraine now is worth suffering a bit more opprobrium. But this would be a major strategic misstep -- it would bring much greater harm to Russia's people. The problem is that Putin shows all the signs of following in the footsteps of history's most infamous blunderers, and the decision-making traits he exhibits are both familiar and ominous.

Leaders who make big strategic mistakes are often afflicted with excessive hubris. Both Napoleon in 1812 and Hitler in 1941 had gained a string of decisive battlefield victories which gave them a sense of invincibility, if not destiny. Both, of course, invaded Russia and lost massive armies. Putin's hubris is not based upon a string of military victories, however, but upon a conviction that he knows how to intimidate Russia's neighbors. He has occupied two provinces of Georgia, directed cyberwarfare against Estonia, threatened Poland with nuclear missiles, manipulated the dependence of customers on Russian gas, and sought to provoke unrest among Russian minorities in other countries. He appears to think that the seizure of Crimea is a great success -- ignoring the self-harm it will do -- which reinforces his belief that he is in control, and that he can write a script in which others will meekly play their assigned roles. Such unwarranted confidence is a classic cognitive flaw that correlates strongly with a potential to commit blunders.

Fred Kaplan of the Council on Foreign Relations says that Putin will not invade because Ukraine is already offering him what he wants.
Contrary to appearances, the crisis in Ukraine might be on the verge of resolution. The potentially crucial move came today when interim President Oleksandr Turchynov said that he would be open to changing the country’s political system from a republic, with power centered in the capital Kiev, to a federation with considerable autonomy for the regional districts.

That has been one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s key demands. It would weaken the political leaders in Kiev, many of whom want a stronger alliance with the West, including membership in the European Union—and it would strengthen those in southern and eastern Ukraine, many of them ethnic Russians who want to preserve and tighten their ties to Moscow.

If Putin can win this demand—and the political, economic, and cultural inroads it would provide—an invasion would be not just be unnecessary, it’d be loony. War is politics by other means, and a revamping of Ukraine’s power structure would accomplish Putin’s political aims by less costly means.

Putin, for all his bluster, acted in his conversation with Merkel today as though the talks for later this week are still on. While Putin is not the kind of person to back down, if he can get what he wants diplomatically, he will take it.
"While there were differences in the interpretation of current events, preparations for the planned meeting in Geneva...were the focus of the talks," Merkel's office said in a statement.

Putin meanwhile expressed hope that the Geneva talks will help to de-escalate the situation, and return it to peaceful cooperation.

The president also reiterated the importance of stabilizing the Ukrainian economy, and ensuring the supply and transportation of Russian natural gas to Europe.

It will be in all parties best interest to come to a deal at the upcoming talks. That means that all parties have an obligation to show restraint. If a deal comes about in which Ukraine is a federalized state that is neutrally aligned similar to Switzerland or Austria or Sweden, Ukraine will get bailed out of bankruptcy, the US and the EU will have a buffer against further Russian aggression, and Putin will be able to say to his people that he successfully stood up to the West. But if worst comes to worst and Putin decides that he is "forced" to invade and occupy Ukraine, I would say let him. If he wants to make a blunder of colossal historic proportions, then we can go in and pick up the pieces in 10 years when Russia is shattered and $1 trillion in debt and thousands of their troops' lives are lost or permanently shattered.
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

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


More Tagging tips:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comment Preferences

    •  unintended consequences from WWII /nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

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

      by annieli on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 05:46:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Chances are slim to none (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      From your link:

      For now though, despite a more positive attitude toward NATO in a Swedish public opinion poll, the chances for full Swedish and Finnish NATO membership remain slim. Public opinion might change if Russia were to continue its behavior as we have seen in Crimea, Zandee said.

      What's next?

      According to Tuomas Forsberg, a professor of International Relations at Finland's University of Tampere, more people argue in favor of NATO membership these days. However, "a defence union with Sweden is more popular [even] though everyone knows that it cannot replace NATO," he told DW in an email.

      While Olsson says that NATO membership is feasible in the next 10 to 15 years, according to Kupchan, the ball is in Putin's court. "My guess is that if this crisis [in Crimea] passes without further Russian military action in Ukraine, these discussions about the possibility of Finland and Sweden joining NATO will probably recede."

  •  There is only one party (4+ / 0-)

    and that is the people of Ukraine as a whole. It is they and only they who have the right to decide their nation's future.

    A second Yalta conference would be a betrayal of them. The era of "great powers" carving up areas of land should have ended in 1945 (if not before).

    Putin is bankrupting Russia. An estimated $34 billion has been expatriated since the start of this manufactured crisis according to his own economy minister. Growth might struggle to reach 0% although the claim is a mere 0.5%. It was 4.3% in 2011.

    The capital flight, according to Mr Siluanov, was the result of the mass conversion of roubles into foreign currencies.

    The continued slowdown in growth has also been linked to a dependence on energy exports and an economy in need of modernisation.

    "Continuing capital flight lowers the opportunities for economic investment and creates risk of an unbalanced budget. The main reason for capital flight is instability in the way the geopolitical situation develops," said Mr Siluanov.

    The immediate question is who needs Russian energy exports more - the EU or Putin? With big stockpiles after a warm winter, the answer appears to be Putin. Longer term a combination of renewables, increases in conventional exploitation and fracking in various EU countries will replace the need for Russian gas. Putin is already getting trouble at home:
    More than 10,000 people have turned out in Moscow for an anti-Kremlin rally to denounce Russian state television's news coverage, particularly of the crisis in neighboring Ukraine.

    In promoting the Kremlin line, state television has portrayed the new pro-Western government in Ukraine as a "fascist junta" under the control of the U.S. government and determined to oppress Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine. The broadcasts have taken on a harsh anti-American tone.

    Some of the participants in Sunday's demonstration, called a "March of Truth," carried blue and yellow Ukrainian flags. One woman, wearing a traditional Ukrainian wreath of flowers on her head, held up a sign with President Vladimir Putin's picture and the words: "Stop lying."

    Clearly the playing with the big cat just before Sochi was not enough to bolster his self image as Russia's strong man. I am never too sure if his macho exploits are designed to cover up his height, impotence or homosexuality but I am sure we will see another one soon. Having gone through almost all of the Village People costumes, I think the only one he has left is the Indian.

    What the West needs to do now is to openly plan for a post-Putin Russia.  Frankly I cannot see even his hand picked Dumas changing the constitution yet again so he can remain in power after 2020. I even have doubts if he will make it much past the 2016 elections - "Yon Medvedev has a lean and hungry look" to misquote Shakespeare. My only doubts are whether I have Medvedev wrongly down as a treacherous, scheming, advantage grabbing fraud because of his remarkable resemblance to a young Nigel Farrage,  the leader of UKIP.

    "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 04:43:27 PM PDT

  •  In case you are wondering (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whizdom, native, Lepanto, Sandino, protectspice
    David C. Gompert officially joined the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on November 10, 2009 as the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence following his November 9 confirmation by the U.S. Senate. President Barack Obama nominated him for the position on August 6, 2009.

    The appointment made Gompert the ODNI's second-highest-ranking official after Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper. The Principal Deputy DNI, who may act on the Director's behalf, assists the DNI in efforts to promote greater collaboration and information sharing among the 16 agencies that make up the Intelligence Community.
    Dr. Hans Binnendijk is a Senior Fellow at the SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations. Until July 4, 2012, he was the Vice President for Research and Applied Learning at the National Defense University and Theodore Roosevelt Chair in National Security Policy. He was also Director of the Institute for National Strategic Studies. From 2001 to 2009 he was the founding Director of the Center for Technology and National Security Policy at NDU. He previously served on the National Security Council staff as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Defense Policy and Arms Control (1999-2001). From 1994 to 1999, he served his first tour as Director of the Institute for National Strategic Studies. Prior to that, he was Principal Deputy Director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff (1993-1994). He was Deputy Staff Director and Legislative Director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (1980-1985) and a senior staff member of the Committee from 1977 to 1980. He served his first tour at the National Security Council from 1976 to 1977 and at the Office of Management and Budget from 1974 to 1976. He has received numerous awards for his government service, including three Distinguished Public Service Awards and a Superior Service Award.

    Who wrote the FP article.

    •  It read like a lot of bullshit to me. (5+ / 0-)
      •  Would you accept a unitary government like the (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandino, fran1, Lepanto, native, protectspice

        one in the Ukraine? If Americans lived in East Ukraine every last one would have grabbed their guns and descended upon the Kiev government and shot or hung the pack of corrupt bastards - especially the central banker in charge.

        Putin is asking for a federation in the Ukraine, just like the US has,  where the regions (states) have a measure of self government just as in the US.

        Unitary state

        A unitary state is a state governed as one single unit in which the central government is supreme and any administrative divisions (subnational units) exercise only powers that their central government chooses to delegate. The great majority of states in the world have a unitary system of government.

        Unitary states are contrasted with federal states (federations) and confederal states (confederation):

        •  Yes, that's the lie spread by Alexander Dugin (2+ / 0-)

          and his cohorts of propagandists:

          Putin is asking for a federation in the Ukraine, just like the US has,  where the regions (states) have a measure of self government just as in the US.
          We saw how that whole "federation" principle turned out in Crimea....

          BTW, you sure have a lot of time on your hands.... I think you have posted the most comments in diaries about Syria, Ukraine, etc. of any poster here on DailyKos.  And you always seem to be supporting Russia's position.

          Do you not feel strange continually boosting the position of a totalitarian state on a Democratic website?

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 05:11:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That explains the combination (0+ / 0-)

      of concern trolling Putin while patting the west on the back for a fait accompli, and subsequent diplomatic prowess.

      •  In a Civil and Responsible Press (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Pundits with a Dog in the Fight, state they have a Dog in the Fight.

        Alas, even the CBC, has caved, to the point that Peter Mansbridge and Rex Murphy, who earn tens of thousands of dollars a year shilling for the Tar Sands, get nary a mention on CBC of their other income and their Masters Voice.

  •  Springtime For Putin indeed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    how nice for him

    "The country I really want to carve up is about to have a most convenient civil war which I will intervene in and that is also being manipulated by me!"

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 05:19:09 PM PDT

  •  Putin thinks Ukraine is on the brink (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, wu ming, whizdom, Lawrence

    of civil war because he is controlling the strings.  It's really not much different from what Milosevič did in Croatia and Bosnia in the early 90's under the guise of protecting ethnic Serbs.  Even the propaganda coming from Russia is just recycled 1990's Serbian nationalist propaganda. Check out this article from 1991 about the situation in the then Yugoslavia.  Replace Milosevič with Putin and Serbia/Croatia with Russia/Ukraine and it's the same shit.  

    Nevertheless, Milosevic is widely feared for his ruthlessness and respected for his skills as a political tactician. In his steadfast quest for a Greater Serbia, he has followed a single strategy. Each step begins with a propaganda campaign stressing injustices -- usually grossly exaggerated -- done to Serbs.

    For example, throughout the recent violent confrontation between Serbian rebels and Croatian militias, Belgrade television has hammered away at Croatia's un-savory wartime history. It recently broadcast vintage footage of a meeting between Adolf Hitler and Croatia's quisling, Ante Pavelic. The next shot was of Croatia's current president, Franjo Tudjman, shaking hands with Helmut Kohl. The Yugoslavian Government, dominated by Serbia, has repeatedly accused Croatia of scheming with Germany to impose "a Fourth Reich."

    Serbia is routinely -- and, to an outsider, somewhat comically -- depicted as under siege from conspiratorial enemies abroad, ranging from the Central Intelligence Agency, to Germany and Austria, to the Vatican, the Masons and Comintern.

    Having stoked the fires with propaganda, Milosevic then pressures his target, either through organized demonstrations, military action or diplomacy. These tactics forced the governments of Vojvodina and Kosovo to abandon their powers to Serbia last year. More recently, the same tactics have sent the republic of Croatia reeling and now threaten Bosnia-Herzegovina, a divided republic that is 45 percent Moslem Slav, 35 percent Serb and 18 percent Croat. Serbia and Croatia have contested Bosnia-Herzegovina for nearly a century.


    "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

    by Texas Lefty on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 05:49:30 PM PDT

  •  Looks like I was right about the lieutenant (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, Lepanto, fran1, Sandino, protectspice

    The grins on the cops faces was a giveaway. Twitter is not a reliable source of information.

    Some of the police have big grins on their faces (0+ / 0-)

    Doesn't make much sense to have a Russian soldier seemingly in control of the local police and allow it to be videoed complete with his description as a lieutenant. All he is apparently doing is introducing the new police chief using a very long contrived appearing salute. No one salutes back. They just smile.

    The uniform is different from the ones worn in Crimea and the cap doesn't appear to be military issue.

    I'd not give this much weight.

  •  Kaplan is mostly right. (5+ / 0-)

    Putin would much rather negotiate than fight.

    But I notice that news reports refer to Ukrainian Army units and to "special forces" and newly formed militia -- which I take to mean the hard-core right wing types. If these troops start mixing it up with civilians, for whatever reason, all bets are off.

    •  I don't think they can trust the regular army to (6+ / 0-)

      do their bidding.

      The ultra-nationalists are itching to get into the fight.

      Appeal Of The Right Sector Leader Dmytro Yarosh To The People Of Ukraine

      In these moments, in the east of Ukraine, in particular in the cities of Donetsk and Slavyansk, a repeat of the Crimean scenario is transpiring.
      Criminal groups encouraged by Moscow have been seizing governmental security and law-enforcement buildings, take police hostage, force security and law-enforcement officials to resign.
      This anti-Ukrainian insurgency is supported by some local government officials and because of total inactivity of central authorities (in Kyiv), especially the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVS).
      I call on all Ukrainian security and law-enforcement agencies to not only stop averting our activities, but also help the Right Sector restore lawful order on the Ukrainian land.

      There is a great danger that the current authorities (in Kyiv) will continue the policy of collaboration.

      Due to this, I appeal to all citizens of Ukraine to be ready to put pressure on the current government through protests, assemblies, etc.

      In the war time, governments should not be criticized. That is right.

      But it is also important to remember that in the war time, traitors are executed.

      All of the Ukrainian society now must show the greatest unanimity.

      Panic, pacifism, hysteria about avoiding provocations, and the need to finding peaceful solution to the situation plays only into the hands of our enemies.

      Say Yes to national unity, say Yes to readiness of the decisive resistance to the invaders.

      Say No to pacifism and capitulation.

    •  Putin doesn't care whether he fights or (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      negotiates. Winning beats the hell out of losing. Putin will negotiate when he has to, fight when he must, just so long as he wins.

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

      by Anne Elk on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 07:13:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When it comes to Eastern Europe, Putin has lost (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        more than he has won.

        •  In the short-term. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          native, fran1

          In the long-run, Europe still has a big bear in its backyard. Putin is playing a longer game. I think Russia may do better than people imagine.

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

          by Anne Elk on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 07:18:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Have you ever considered that the Ukraine is in (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Russia's backyard and that Crimea was it's back porch?


            One of the things that I find most mystifying about Western coverage of Russia is the tendency to treat obvious facts as wild-eyed conspiracy theories. So you have people saying “Putin and his lot are crazy, they think we’re trying to start a color revolution! Where on earth did they get that idea?” Meanwhile, in the plain light of day, the Obama administration makes a push to use tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to support various anti-regime civil society groups. The, unstated, but nonetheless obvious, goal of using that money is to change Russia’s government. Indeed when someone wonders out loud “where could the Russians have possibly gotten such a crazy idea?” nine times out of ten the answer is “the newspaper.”
            I spotted a particularly stark example of this phenomenon the other day in Time. Stephen Blank, a professor at the army war college and an oft-quoted expert on Russian affairs, said the following about NATO expansion (emphasis added):

                There are attempts to sound out possibilities for expanding NATO further eastward. That tells me that they have bought an intelligence assessment that doesn’t exist, that is basically fabricated.There is nobody in this town or in Brussels talking about expanding NATO. It’s not going to happen anytime soon. Yet Russian intelligence and the government obviously believe this. And that’s already a sign of something dangerous.

            What obscure sources could the Russians be using to come to such a wacky conclusion? How could their intelligence analysts have possibly determined that NATO is going to expand?

        •  Seems like he's winning big time to me... (0+ / 0-)

          No one is even lifting a finger to stop him...

          "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 Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 09:43:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Forbes gets punked with YouTube video (4+ / 0-)
    You Tube Shatters Russian Lies About Troops In Ukraine: Putin Denies Truth To Obama

    The second propaganda disaster is a You Tube that captures a “Green Man” military officer in the Ukrainian town of Gorlovska. His uniform bears no insignias as he addresses about 20 local police, identified as having come over to the “side of the people.” Beside the officer stands a silent portly man in his 40s dressed in the black leather jacket attire of local mafia. The uniformed officer introduces himself as a “Podpolkovnik [lieutenant colonel] of the Russian Army.” He does not give his name. He then proceeds to appoint “black leather jacket” to lead the local ministry of interior, e.g. as the local chief of police. The lieutenant colonel then instructs the police officers to maintain order against those “who have not yet come over to the side of the people.” He instructs them to pin St. George ribbons on their uniforms to signify that they are fighting for the pro-Russian forces. One young policeman asks where the ribbons are. The Russian colonel answers dismissively that they are being “arranged.”

  •  Given Russia's position that Crimea is now theirs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I am thinking the generals have Putin's ear..

    Ukraine isn't happy with Russia now, and they control the only land route into the Crimea. I believe Putin will open a land corrider through what is now eastern Ukraine.

    Without his buddy/henchman in control now, the generals surely must be pointing out how close the border is to Rostov..the gateway to the Caucuses and all that oil..

    The strategic needs are therefore twofold and far too great too resist making the play to open the land corridor and push the border back from where it is now..

    If the Ukraine can't be their buffer, they will carve out a piece of it and create the buffer themselves, while securing land route into Crimea.

    I think the odds favor the land invasion.. the only question is when and how far they will roll the border back.

  •  You have to admire the way Putin played this. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eternal Hope, LordMike, Lawrence

    Who are people talking about? Putin. Who is the person everyone wonders about? Putin. What will he do? Is he nuts? Is he going to invade? Maybe not. But what if he does? For any leader, this is a great position to be in. Putin has the initiative. He has Ukraine intimidated. He has the West cowed. He has the President of the United States uttering hollow threats, but calling him like a nervous girlfriend. It's quite remarkable to see a Bismarck suddenly appear in the middle of 21st Century politics. His goal is to restore the Russia of old in much the same way as Bismarck created modern Germany. No one knows what to make of someone like Putin who acts with malign intent in such a single-minded, cool way. Putin is a cynic and cynics often get their way. Ukraine must accept the inevitable while pretending otherwise. I have never felt more contempt for Europe than I do today.

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

    by Anne Elk on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 07:10:46 PM PDT

  •  Am I the only one who saw that title... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...and was reminded of the Yiddish joke about the guy who killed his parents and asked for mercy because he was an orphan?

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

    by Rich in PA on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 07:14:01 PM PDT

  •  CIA Director in Kiev just for tea and a chat (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eternal Hope, Sandino, fran1, protectspice
    The Intoxicating Pull of Proxy War Will Worsen Ukraine

    The White House has just confirmed what had been reported in Russian media that CIA Director John Brennan was in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev over the weekend.

    “Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is accusing the CIA of being behind the new government’s decision to turn to force,” AP reports. “But the CIA denies that Brennan encouraged Ukrainian authorities to conduct tactical operations.”

    One would have to be incredibly gullible to believe that the CIA Director was in Kiev for benign reasons, just to catch up and have tea with the new leadership.

    Coming alongside this news is word from the State Department that, “the United States is considering supplying arms to Ukraine,” to fight against pro-Russian militias and protesters in the east.

    This looks like the beginnings of a new proxy war. If the U.S. goes down this road, even in a limited fashion, Ukraine will descend into even worse chaos and Eastern Europe will become a resource sinkhole for an already indebted U.S.
    Commentators left and right can holler all they want about Moscow’s transgressions, but it doesn’t change the fact that the U.S. has no right or legal sanction whatsoever to meddle in Ukraine.

    If it’s true that Brennan was conducting tactical operations in Ukraine and that the State Department is going to send in weapons to Kiev, then Americans can wait for Ukraine to get much, much worse, as both eastern and western Ukraine become emboldened by their respective backers in Moscow and Washington, neither of which are apparently willing to back down themselves.

  •  Obama Urges Ukraine's Military To Not Get Involved (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Obama says the U.S. urges Ukraine's military not to get involved in a conflict that must be resolved politically. He's expressing outrage about images of Ukrainian security forces firing automatic guns on Ukrainian people.

    Obama says in a statement that Ukraine should respect the right of protest and that protesters must be peaceful. He's calling for dialogue to reduce tensions and address the people's grievances.

  •  I think Putin is now irrational (0+ / 0-)

    I think pro unity, soviet nationalism is ruling the day in Moscow. I think they're now where we were in 2002, and that's a problem.

    The Russians will direct their agitators to create strife between Eastern and Western Ukrainians, and then when violence occurs, they'll move in with a "peacekeeping" force to protect the Russian speaking minority class from oppression.

    I think neighboring nations in the area, including Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Poland are getting nervous, and would rather see this play out in Ukraine, rather than in Warsaw or Minsk, or in Vilnius, so expect shipments of Romanian AKs and planeloads of Blackwater mercenaries to magically appear and help bolster Kiev's forces.

    If it kicks off, I think Russia will have a difficult time occupying the entire country, the street by street fighting would be a bloody free for all, so I imagine it will be a smash and grab...they'll cleave off oil and gas fields for themselves, and abandon the rest.

    This revolution is not scheduled!

    by harrylimelives on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:52:01 PM PDT

  •  it's becoming a farce (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pro-Russian armed separatists have seized five armoured personnel carriers and a tank from the Ukrainian army, which they then drove in a victory lap through the centre of Kramatorsk in Ukraine's east, where government forces are attempting to wrest back control of the city.

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 01:36:52 AM PDT

  •  Will we have the wisdom (0+ / 0-)

    to stay the hell out of this mess?

    The neocons want to drive us into whatever war they can find, the bigger the better. Stay the hell out.

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 07:23:05 AM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site