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Vladimir Putin provided a glimpse into what he thinks the map of Eurasia should look like when he offered this thought on the current crisis in eastern Ukraine: Those territories, the Russian president noted, were part of Russia "in czarist times." One can almost hear him thinking to himself: And so why shouldn't they be part of Russia today? After all, the lands he referred to as "New Russia" only became part of Ukraine in 1920, and only "God knows" why that happened.

It is one thing to cite (false) accounts of ethnic Russians being abused as a pretext for intervening in a neighbor's sovereign territory. It is another to cite the historical borders of a country that was twice as large not that long ago.

Know who else was Russian "in czarist times?" How about NATO members Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, not to mention much of Poland, as well as non-aligned Finland. Know who else in Europe had larger borders before 1918 (i.e., in czarist times) than they do now? Hungary, Serbia, Germany, Turkey, Austria ... you get the picture. For example, I don't trust Hungary's semi-authoritarian, sharply nationalist government to resist the opportunity to restore its Habsburg-era borders if it got the chance, something that would tear NATO apart.

But let's keep the focus on Russia. Putin's citing of historical borders created by czarist conquest (which, of course, altered even older, more "historical" borders) opens up another justification for him to wreak havoc all over the area of the former Soviet Union.

As a historian, I can tell you that virtually all of today's borders (including our own) resulted in part from conquest and often resettlement. War has long been how disputes over territory are settled. But since the establishment of the United Nations, countries are not supposed to be allowed to take land from one another. More specifically, Russia agreed to respect Ukraine's borders when Kiev gave up its nuclear weapons 20 years ago. Putin has shredded that historical document.

And since we are on the subject of history, please remember that Putin once described the breakup of the USSR as the "greatest geopolitical catastrophe" of the previous century. I guess he likes some parts of history better than others. That's what concerns me about the future.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is why I call him Tsar Vladimir and have for (17+ / 0-)

    many years now, long before the Crimea takeover.

    Find out about my next big thing by reading my blog. Link is here: http://bettysrants.wordpress.com

    by Kimball Cross on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 10:33:37 AM PDT

  •  Putin just wants "New Russia" back. (17+ / 0-)

    And he doesn't listen in on anyone's phone calls.

    And he didn't send masked Special Ops troops to Eastern Ukraine, except that now "of course" he did.

    What a peach of a guy. He just loves peace and is only acting to protect his own people. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 10:35:56 AM PDT

  •  Uh oh, you're not allowed to criticize Putin here. (17+ / 0-)

    Because America and history and stuff.

    While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 10:36:01 AM PDT

      •  Thank you for the diary. (12+ / 0-)

        We have a lot to make up for, re: our past mistakes. None of those failings affect whether or not Putin and Russia are way out of line.

        While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 10:49:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's exactly right. Our past mistakes don't have (9+ / 0-)

          much to do with Putin now.  Don't know if the old Soviet Union's past mistakes have much to do with him, either, though he did come up through the KGB.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:19:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  But is this about our past mistakes? (5+ / 3-)

          The sniper event pinned on the former President of the Ukraine and that cost him his job appears to have emanated not from that office but from some more diabolical force (hint: CIA.)

          CIA dollars have helped to get the organized protests going as well. (This is not to say that some of the protesters are not sincere.)

          As an analogy: Imagine if Cuba managed to prop up the Occupy movement to the extent that the mayor of Miami and the governor of Florida had to resign. You don't think there would be a lot of reaction from Obama on that, once he was told this was outside interference at hand?

          Meanwhile the World Bank/IMF plus EU banks and money managers have created a debacle for the Ukranian society. http://ian56.blogspot.com/...
          Fromt he above link:
          The "lifeline" of the IMF/EU/US loading down Ukraine with billions of even more debt to pay the bankers and Gazprom will actually be a yoke around Ukraine's neck for decades to come - see Spain and the civil unrest in both Spain and Greece from the IMF and banker bailouts in those countries.

          This new debt is not going into productive investments to revamp Ukraine's extremely out dated and inefficient industry.

          The hope given (snip) that Ukraine will benefit from EU industries relocating to the Ukraine is nothing but pie in the sky. Why would any business want to relocate to the Ukraine when the Ukraine is going to continue to be used in geopolitical games between the US and Russia for years to come?

          Why would a business want to relocate to the Ukraine given the current unstable political situation and massive corruption? All Ukraine's leaders since independence have been massively corrupt and the new Presidential candidates are just the same.

          Why would a EU business want to relocate to the Ukraine when the EU already has an average of 12% official unemployment?  (The real number is higher.) There are already massive sources of under utilized cheap labor in the EU.

          •  Let me get this straight: (9+ / 0-)

            you are accusing the CIA of hiring snipers to fire on protesters, with the objective of toppling the Yanukovich government in a false-flag operation?

            This is a conspiracy theory, plain and simple.

            •  I find it more plausible that (3+ / 0-)

              the attacks were intended to topple the Yanukovich government than that they were done by the Yanukovich government.   Who did it is not really relevant, since there will never be a real criminal investigation.

              •  "I find it more plausible" (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bear83, Lawrence

                is not evidence, sorry. If people are going to make extraordinary claims, they'd better have something to back it up besides their own gut.

                •  I have ben mentioning Der Spiegle, but here is the (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  CharlesII, Alhambra, protectspice

                  Actual link to the der Spiegle article:

                  http://www.spiegel.de/...
                   Will Ukraine Investigate Killings?

                  Her suspicions became public when, in early March, a recording of an intercepted telephone conversation between Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton was posted on the Internet -- by the Russians. In the conversation, Paet said that Bogomolets questioned whether former President Yanukovich was responsible for the massacre. "There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers it was not Yanukovich, it was somebody from the new coalition," Paet said in remarks later confirmed by the Estonian Foreign Ministry. "Olga told that, well, all the evidence shows that people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides."

                  You will have to read quite a ways down the page though.

                  •  I doubt I'm going to convince you (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Lawrence

                    to back off the wild accusations, but Bogomolets denied it. See the entry timed 15:17, here.

                    •  Look, I am not over there to witness any of this. (0+ / 0-)

                      I am as open to your side of it as to the other side, but which is true, I don't know.

                      Over at DU, here is a guy whose grandparents are from the area, and he has had interesting things to say.

                      But even so, I don't know whether he is believable either. (He could, after all, be an alphabet agency troll, for all I know. Not to say I know he is - but I am now a total cynic.)

                      If you visit various  diaries, here at Kos, as I have, you will see why I am a skeptic -

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

                      In any event, I feel most Americans are far more concerned about their ability to hold down a well paying job, avoid being foreclosed on, feed their families nutritious food, express  free speech (I just avoided arrest yesterday narrowly, but may be arrested later this week, simply for trying to gather signatures for an ordinance,) etc than once gain engaging in massive warrior efforts "to bring democracy to this beleagured spot on the globe."

                      Of course, the people we have in office are much more obliged to the big MIC than to us lower middle class bits of trash, so we will see how this all works out. I sure do wish we had a President someone of JFK's integrity and abilities, as he understood that there is not a good reason to incinerate tens of millions of people in order to show the world that our nation is the stronger nation.

                      •  Look... (0+ / 0-)

                        General cynicism is one thing, and you're entitled to it. But posting conspiracy theories about the CIA is against site rules. There are plenty of sites on the Internet where you can post conspiracy theories about the CIA to your heart's content. (Some of them are even conveniently linked to in this thread!)

                        •  Oh sigh. The actual link in the post (0+ / 0-)

                          I most recently posted is based on actual hard sweat and to0il and research, but like every other KOS-er out there, you didn't bother to read it.

                          It pertains to how the "media" is a culture under the control of the Big Monied powers.

                          But how much better to get out that all inclusive conspiracy label  and pini t on me than to actually read Truedelphi's well documented and truly excellent bit of research.

                •  Why do you care? (0+ / 0-)

                  It's a comment on a website.  I never said my view as to plausibility was evidence, but my view is not uninformed.  
                  What he said was not an extraordinary claim, it was just an unproved claim that you didn't like.  Your claim that his claim is "extraordinary" is unproved.

            •  Don't know about the snipers (5+ / 0-)

              but US backed NGOs definitely helped topple Yanukovych.

              … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

              by mosesfreeman on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 01:08:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  The US has made its mistakes. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bear83, Justanothernyer

          But you can't compare Putin's current actions to Iraq. Saddam himself invaded another nation (Kuwait) and after that was foiled, he cheated international weapons inspectors for a decade. The Iraq war was unjust, but not exactly unexpected.

    •  every country has blood on its hands (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bananapouch1, Alhambra

      Most people don't want to feel bad about their country and implicitly about themselves.  Some of them turn into comparatively harmless Pollyannas selectively promoting what is good about their people, their country, and their history and current events.  Others own up to the dark pages of their history and either cynically try to turn villainy into victimhood or worse, dive headfirst into the abyss.

      The problem is that tribalism doesn't distinguish between "good Germans" and "bad Germans", and people raised with a narrative of how all their problems are caused by people like you aren't going to care how apologetic and compassionate you yourself are.  You're always safer sticking with your own people because even tribal warriors can justify people who don't fight but still contribute, but nobody likes traitors and weak or strong, both sides will always struggle to tolerate even a friendly alien in their midst.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:49:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The logic of paranoid expansion requires (16+ / 0-)

    the subjugation of border states; you need a buffer zone to protect from invasion.  Which in turn needs a buffer zone.

    That's more my worry.  

    The dossier on my DKos activities during the Bush administration will be presented on February 3, 2014, with an appendix consisting an adjudication, dated "a long time ago", that I am Wrong.

    by Inland on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 10:37:32 AM PDT

  •  So the US should not play into Putin's delusions (10+ / 0-)

    Putin could not hope to rally the Russian people behind him for these insane adventures were it not for (a) the squandering of American influence on ventures like Iraq, and (b) the fact that the US has repeatedly stirred up "democratic" revolutions which are in fact neo-conservative in nature.

    The US has expanded NATO to the point that it is close enough to Moscow to trigger rational fears among their military planners. It was in US, not in Soviet military circles, that plans for a first strike were first developed. Senior US officials openly discussed military intervention in Georgia. Hundreds of millions in US aid has gone to destabilize the corrupt and despotic--yet democratically elected--government of Ukraine.

    The Ukraine was, I think, on track to form a tripartite agreement between Russia, the West, and Ukraine. This would have gotten Ukraine the funding to avoid financial catastrophe. The overthrow of the government  has taken that country in the wrong direction, away from elections that would have cemented its legitimacy as a nation separate from Russia and toward a situation where it will be forced to accept Russian hegemony rather than freeze to death.

    Our foreign policy is blind and destructive, both to our friends and to ourselves.

    •  Do you have a source (11+ / 0-)

      for this quote?

      Hundreds of millions in US aid has gone to destabilize the corrupt and despotic--yet democratically elected--government of Ukraine.
      You're alleging that hundreds of millions in US aid went to destabilizing Yanukovich's government before he left power. As far as I understand it, we only sent a significant amount of aid to the new government after Yanukovich was lawfully (with the support of most of his own party in parliament) removed from power. Where's the support for your claim?
      •  Putin Ukraine (5+ / 0-)

        "Do you have a source(2+ / 0-)

        for this quote?

        Hundreds of millions in US aid has gone to destabilize the corrupt and despotic--yet democratically elected--government of Ukraine."

        yes, phone conversation between F**k the EU Neuland, and the US ambassador to Kiev during the uprising.

        the US has spent at least 5billion dollars destabilizing Ukraine, not to talk of US senators going there personally and formenting the crisis.

        You need to follow current events.

      •  Here is an article (5+ / 0-)

        from before the fall of Yanukovich that suggests that violence was being encouraged by some unknown force, and that Yats was being promoted/supported.

        Kiev

        Money and resources for this would come from an intelligence or diplomatic source, if it were not domestic. By definition it won't be published or obvious. The question is who benefits?

        I vote for the lady passing out the cookies and saying "F*ck the EU!", the wife of PNAC co-founder Kagan, Vicki Nuland.

        Pretty much everyone except for the US press is calling this a coup backed by the US. It's been SOP for over 60 years.

        … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

        by mosesfreeman on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:42:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here is one example (3+ / 0-)

          of US-backed NGO influence.

          … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

          by mosesfreeman on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:54:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The article you linked (4+ / 0-)

          does not support your claim at all. I see the paragraphs you're referring to, and there is no evidence whatsoever that the violent provocateurs were funded by the US. In fact, most people seemed to think the violent provocations would benefit the Yanukovich government - i.e. the exact opposite of your hypothesis. Here are the paragraphs in question:

          Who is starting this violence? Ukraine's pro-European demonstrations were peaceful at their inception, and—until this weekend—had largely remained so. There are rumors that the clashes have been caused by provocateurs known as titushki, who arrive with the intention of stirring up anger and fighting cops. It is unclear where they come from or what their motivations are. Many of the peaceful protesters who've been caught up in the violence have openly questioned whether the titushki are, in fact, being guided by pro-government forces.

          Though paranoia spreads quickly in situations such as these, there seems to be a belief among those gathered in Kiev that violence on the streets is in the authorities' interest. It could, they argue, give Yanukovych all the pretext he needs to initiate a further crackdown [...]

          •  One example (0+ / 0-)

            … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

            by mosesfreeman on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 01:11:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is nuts. (5+ / 0-)

              Following the links through something called "Project Censored" leads to an original report from something called "Boiling Frogs Post", which even the folks at "Project Censored" warned wasn't necessarily true. The original report was posted by William Engdahl, a diehard LaRouchie known for claiming that climate change is a hoax.

              So, um, not exactly reliable sources.

              •  When one goes far enough left or right, he/she (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bananapouch1, DiesIrae, Drocedus, sunbro

                usually meets his opposite from the other side, and the meeting place is a conspiracy theory gossip center.

              •  Project Censored (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tsk, truong son traveler

                is quite well known. Let folks decide for themselves, take a look.

                It's pretty typical and disgusting though that you absolutely don't address the facts, and instead attack the messenger.

                Typical neocon, war mongering bullshit.

                … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

                by mosesfreeman on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:34:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Read (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  dfsly, sunbro, happymisanthropy

                  my comment more carefully. Engdahl's post was thoroughly debunked in the comments at Project Censored. Too crazy even for them.

                  As far as attacking the messenger: if the messenger's a LaRouchie, yes, I do reserve the right to ignore them without listening to what they're saying. I don't have time to debunk every crazy argument of theirs. And in this case, someone else did it for me.

                •  Also: (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  dfsly, sunbro, hyperstation

                  Project Censored is a conspiracy site. As evidence, it lists as "Validated Independent News", on page 6 of the most recent news, an article entitled "Was the Federal Government Involved in Boston Bombing?". The article is pure CT. It can be found by clicking the top link on this page (might change to a later page eventually).

                  You should be embarrassed to link to such sources.

                  •  There is far less CT on that site (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    truong son traveler

                    than there is at the NYT.

                    … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

                    by mosesfreeman on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:56:36 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  To quote Barney Frank: (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      dfsly, sunbro, Justanothernyer

                      if you think that there is more conspiracy theory at the New York Times than there is at a site that speculates that the federal government might have been behind the Boston Marathon bombings....

                      On what planet do you spend most of your time?
                      •  I didn't quote anything about Boston (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        mickT, tsk, truong son traveler

                        that was you.

                        The NYT's lies are epic and numerous, or perhaps you haven't listened to any of their war-mongering BS for the last dozen years or so?

                        The US and its media have relied on lies all along, in the Ukraine, in Syria, in Iraq, etc.

                        The most recent piece of bovine excrement was the claim that Jews in Ukraine would need to register... yet another hoax to whip up war fever.

                        … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

                        by mosesfreeman on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 03:13:15 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  mosesfreeman (0+ / 0-)

                  For most people here any news sources other than the public relations arm of TPTB (the corporate media) is considered to be conspiracy theory.

                  Suckers for propaganda. It has been going on for a long time. Here's an example from the late 80's.

                  It's much worse today.

                  Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

                  by truong son traveler on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 08:36:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Coup by the US? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DiesIrae, sunbro

          This is just complete nonsense. Not even the Russian-backed media has called it that way. The (free) Central/Eastern European media views this as Russian aggression, which is what it is.

          •  Now you are lying (3+ / 0-)

            You think people can't research this themselves? Russian press calls this a coup, as do significant portions of the rest of the world. The least reliable US media (the part that routinely fictionalizes foreign policy, Fox, CNN. etc) and the east european media that jumps when then US says "jump" (think Poland) are the ones that claim Russian aggression.

            Even those depend on a readership shielded from facts.

            … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

            by mosesfreeman on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 03:07:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So all the European media (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sunbro

              Are just listening to the orders of the US? Never mind that those are free nations with a free media, and somehow the Russian media living in a dictatorship tells the truth.

              The theory that the U.S. is primarily responsible for the Ukrainian crisis (and not Russia) is about as reliable as the theory that Obama was born in Kenya.

              •  I'll believe Marcy Wheeler (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                truong son traveler

                over your Neocon talking points any day of the week.

                … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

                by mosesfreeman on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 03:29:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Putin is the neocon here. (0+ / 0-)

                  Please, explain me your logic here. Russia shares a long border with Ukraine, has troops near the country, millions of Russian-speaking individuals in Ukraine. And somehow all of this is ... the fault of the U.S.? When there are almost no Americans, or English-speakers in Ukraine? When there is no U.S. military presence there?

                  I'm trying to see the logic of the America-haters but I can't find it.

                  •  The America-haters (0+ / 0-)

                    are those traitors that use lies and propaganda to manipulate us into conflicts that ultimately steal our freedom and our prosperity.

                    The US/EU machinations in Kiev have started this BS, but the American people want no part of it.

                    Your blather about border length and language sounds desperate.

                    … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

                    by mosesfreeman on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:01:01 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I don't see your point here. (0+ / 0-)

                      "Put us into conflicts.". Ok, who exactly wants war with Russia? No one.

                      And please, explain me your reasoning. Are you somehow suggesting that the aloof U.S. is primarily responsible for the crisis? That when the protests broke out, the U.S. was somehow paying people to come out? That the deal reached to hold free elections - negotiated by the foreign minsters of Poland, France and Germany - was somehow a cover for a U.S. takeover?

                      You're the one who sounds desperate here, pushing a theory so outlandish that even the Russians haven't backed it (for some reason all the Russian media coverage is limited to "fascists/Neo-Nazis" and "persecution of the Russians").

      •  Why, yes. I do have a source. (3+ / 0-)

        I have the USAID itself, which lists $207 M in 2012 alone.  

        If you know that little about this situation, I can see why you need someone else to find your facts for you.  
         

        •  That's foreign aid. (0+ / 0-)

          Your claim that the US has spent "hundreds of millions" on destabilizing Ukraine remains unsupported.

          •  Since the US obscures how much it spends on... (3+ / 0-)

            The US does a very good job of concealing how much money it spends on influence, and people like yourself use that as a means to stop thinking. But in fact the magnitude of the amount spent on influence, if not the precise dollar amount, is pretty obvious.

            The GDP of Ukraine is $176B. That is roughly 1% of US GDP. So, spending $200M in the Ukraine--which is only the US governmental spending and not all Western spending--is like spending 100 times as much ($20B) in the US.  That is an enormous sum, one roughly equivalent to all political spending in the US (broadcast media alone was $6B in 2012)--that cannot fail to influence things. Total Western spending is vastly larger than the nominal 200M spent by the USG.

            How much of this spending is, in effect, part of an influence operation?   As Paul Blumenthal of Huffington Post says,

            The U.S. State Department operates an online database, ForeignAssistance.gov, but names of foreign recipients are often left out, and entire sections are blank. Furthermore, the disclosure often comes long after the money has been distributed.

            "It is incredibly hard to find this kind of information," Nicole Valentinuzzi, communications manager for Publish What You Fund, an international organization promoting transparency for foreign aid.

            But what we do know is enough to develop a good guess at the magnitude of the aid. Blumenthal:
            From 2007 through 2012, the National Endowment for Democracy spent $16.8 million to stimulate civic activity and fund election watchdogs and non-state run reporting outlets in Ukraine.
            Extrapolate this over 20 years and one comes up with about $50 million dollars. And, as anyone who follows NED knows, their spending tilts the playing field toward parties that are (supposedly) pro-US (though actually neo-conservative/oligarchic in nature). This does not promote democracy. It promotes a point of view, one that has been disastrous in countries like Iraq.

            But NED is not the only agency engaged in funding. Blumenthal:

            The USAID Country Development Strategy 2012-2016 for Ukraine explains that the agency provides extensive funding to support the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) and "is also the largest donor in providing support to political parties and election observation."
            How would we feel if Russia were paying for the operations of our Congress and the Republican and Democratic Parties? Would we call this neutral in nature, or would we call it an attempt to control the political situation?  Paying for the Parliament and supporting the political parties is not democratic. It distorts democracy.

            And this is not the full extent of US influence operations  This is what Stephen Cohen, a Russian-area expert says:

            Beginning with the Clinton administration, and supported by every subsequent Republican and Democratic president and Congress, the US-led West has unrelentingly moved its military, political and economic power ever closer to post-Soviet Russia. Spearheaded by NATO’s eastward expansion, already encamped in the three former Soviet Baltic republics on Russia’s border—and now augmented by missile defense installations in neighboring states—this bipartisan, winner-take-all approach has come in various forms.

            They include US-funded “democracy promotion” NGOs more deeply involved in Russia’s internal politics than foreign ones are permitted to be in our country...

             

            These "'democracy promotion'" NGOs" are funded in part by corporations and have no more interest in real democracy than the Koch brothers, the Club for Growth, and Americans for Prosperity.  

            You can continue to blow off the estimates of hundreds of millions of dollars. But I've already showed you how one can estimate $50M for just one arm of the extensive "public diplomacy" machine. It is far less reasonable to believe that the US is not spending hundreds of millions to influence the Ukraine than it is to believe that it is.  

    •  The Russian people aren't as fixated on America (3+ / 0-)

      as you seem to think.  

    •  Adding... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dfarrah, Jim P, agnostic, native, mickT

      If you want to see what American foreign policy looks like from the outside, read Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, by the late Syed Saleem Shahzad, one of the few journalists to actually talk to senior Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders. What he describes, rather than the happy talk from Washington, is how a fragmented and mostly locally-focused radical Islam centered in Afghanistan has been knitted together into a global terrorist movement whose aims are to wreck the western economy from which our military might derives. They have been aided in this by the blindness and ineptitude of American foreign policy, not just under Bush, but also by the present Administration.

      I hope Shahzad is wrong, but it's very hard to look at Iraq and Afghanistan and think that American policy is really successful.

      If we succeed in starting a civil war in Ukraine, radical Islam will be very, very happy.

    •  Please not the NATO expansion argument. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy

      NATO expansion is the key protector for Central Europe today. Do you think that Putin's imperialism would be stopped if NATO hadn't expanded? No, Putin would then have an open road to expand west and seize the Baltic states, which have significant Russian minorities. True to be said, if Russia is not stopped now, they might come after Tallinn and Riga if they feel they can get away with it.

      •  How does Ukraine qualify... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mosesfreeman

        How does Ukraine qualify as being part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization? Perhaps Japan could join next.  

        Historically, Russia has far more reason to fear invasion from the west than vice-versa. There is no reason to think that Russia is going back to its imperialist ways except in Putin's mind. Any suggestion to the contrary is conspiracy theorizing.

        •  Is Ukraine even planning to join NATO? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lawrence

          A majority of the country's population is critical, and the current government has shown no plans of joining the alliance. As to the geography argument, what is Turkey then doing in NATO?

          Yes, Russia can fear invasion, at the same time there have historically been many waves of Russian expansion to the west, not all of which were preceded by legitimate invasion threats:

          early 19th century (Poland, Finland, obviously Baltic states and Ukraine)

          1918-1920 (invasion of Belarus and Ukraine, attempted invasion of Poland)

          1939-1940 (invasion of Poland, the Baltic States, Finland, Moldova)

          1945 onwards (Poland, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and the remainder of the Eastern bloc).

          Needless to say, Russia's neighbors have a right to feel uneasy given the history.

          •  Russians believe Ukraine planned to join NATO (0+ / 0-)

            See, for example, Edward Walker, LAT:

            The fundamental problem with the project from the beginning was that, at some point, it would inevitably run up against the countervailing power of Russia. We reached that point initially in 2008, when NATO officials indicated at a NATO summit in April that Ukraine and Georgia would soon be offered membership plans, a decision that helped precipitate the brief war between Russia and Georgia that August. We have reached it again, with far more at stake, today in Ukraine.
            As for Russian invasions, they have generally been pre-emptive, with the goal of creating a buffer zone. The invasion of the 19th century  was part of chasing Napoleon out after he burned Moscow.

            But I am not here to defend Russian imperialism, merely to point out that they aren't the only --or the most aggressive--empire.

    •  blind and destructive (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mosesfreeman, protectspice

      and becoming very reckless by screwing around with Russia in Russia's back yard. This is not untypical behavior for empires in decline.

      If the petrodollar suffers seriously, and there are signs that it could, especially pending an energy agreement between Russia and China which would be paid for in other currencies, the world had better beware.

      Greed is a huge motivator, always has been. This combined with hubris, can lead to disastrous results.

      Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

      by truong son traveler on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 08:47:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Apologies, but I have to step away for a while. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VirginiaJeff, ER Doc

    I will check back later on to read and reply to your comments. Thanks for stopping by.

  •  So the policy prescription is what? (0+ / 0-)
    •  I think the Obama administration is gradually (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DiesIrae, doroma, JayBat, vcmvo2, Ian Reifowitz

      getting the policy right - it's containment 2.0. We're not going to get in a war (or even a proxy war) with Russia over eastern Ukraine but we'll persistently keep the economic pressure on over that. The military line comes at NATO and that signal needs to be clear. I don't believe Putin wants war with NATO. He's just pushing wherever he thinks he can short of that.

      "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

      by jrooth on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:00:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. It's a new Cold War. (0+ / 0-)

        Where Putin is trying to recreate his old sphere of influence. Containment 2.0 should mean an aggressive sticks-and-carrots approach to Ukraine, covert support for democratization in places like Belarus, and ultimately, democratic rollback of Russia's government.

        This is Putin's biggest fear - if Ukraine moves closer to the West, cracks down on corruption, democratizes, then his own regime will be challenged. We are witnessing a huge geopolitical struggle here.

  •  Maybe it's time for Germany to annex Kaliningrad (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laura in NY, dfarrah, ER Doc, tarminian

    In loyalty to their kind, they cannot tolerate our minds. In loyalty to our kind, We cannot tolerate their obstruction.

    by mojave mike on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 10:46:52 AM PDT

  •  Of course this argument cuts both ways: (4+ / 0-)

    Does Crimea "belong" to Ukraine by historical right? Do South Ossetia and Abkhazia "belong" to Georgia?

  •  While we're on the bandwagon of Putin-bashing.. (18+ / 0-)

    (driven of course by our fond love of Democracy and eagerness to help Ukraine achieve 'self-determination')..

    Perhaps we should take a closer look at Ukraine.

    A few choice excerpts which will surely whet every pro-Democracy Freedom Lover's appetite:

    Despite the turmoil within Ukrainian politics after Yanukovych rejected a major trade deal with the European Union just seven weeks earlier, Cargill was confident enough about the future to fork over $200 million to buy a stake in Ukraine's UkrLandFarming.
    ....
    As Reuters reported in May 2013, Monsanto - the largest seed company in the world - plans to build a $140 million "non-GM (genetically modified) corn seed plant in Ukraine."

    And right after the decision on the EU trade deal, Jesus Madrazo, Monsanto's Vice President for Corporate Engagement, reaffirmed his company's "commitment to Ukraine" and "the importance of creating a favorable environment that encourages innovation and fosters the continued development of agriculture."

    Gee Wally, what do you think Monsanto means by "creating a favorable environment"?  
    Just two days after Cargill bought into UkrLandFarming, Global Meat News reported a huge forecasted spike in "all kinds" of Ukrainian meat exports, with an increase of  8.1% overall and staggering 71.4% spike in pork exports.
    Oh wow!  No wonder Ukraine needs Freedom and Putin is bad...
    As President of the US-Ukraine Business Council, Williams has access to Council cohort - David Kramer, President of Freedom House. Officially a non-governmental organization, it has been linked with overt and covert 'democracy' efforts in places where the door isn't open to American interests - aka US corporations.

    Freedom House, the National Endowment for Democracy and National Democratic Institute helped fund and support the Ukrainian 'Orange Revolution' in 2004. Freedom House is funded directly by the US Government, the National Endowment for Democracy and the US Department of State.

    Well, well, well.. what have we here?
    That puts Kramer and, by one degree of separation, Big Ag fixer Morgan Williams in the company of PNAC co-founder Robert Kagan who, as coincidence would have it, is married to Victoria "F*ck the EU" Nuland, the current Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.
    Oh, that's rich!  It's like our Corporate owned government thinks the American people are too dumb to connect the dots.  

    And the Democratic Administration is so confident in the loyalty of its base, it doesn't even try to hide the underlying corporate interests driving its "pro-democracy" policies.

    What a series of coincidences!  But never mind those, Putin is out to remake a Czarist Empire!  

    Quick!  Someone get Sarah Palin!  We need to keep a sharp eye on that Putin character.

    The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

    by Johnathan Ivan on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 10:47:47 AM PDT

    •  Putin is an evil dictator. Nuff' said. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      charliehall2, vcmvo2
      •  Let the Freedom Bombing commence. n/t (6+ / 0-)

        The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

        by Johnathan Ivan on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 10:58:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  NOBODY is calling for war against Russia (6+ / 0-)

          not here, nor anywhere else.

          •  Not at the moment at least. (5+ / 0-)

            We're still settling down from the warmongering about Iran.  

            Give it a couple of months.

            Weren't there more than just a few people on this site saying that we needed to send troops to Ukraine?  Am I misremembering something?  And wasn't that in March?

            Maybe give it a couple of weeks instead.

            The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

            by dfarrah on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:38:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Just sanctions, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Johnathan Ivan, protectspice

            and war games near Russia's borders, aid to its opponents and Naval maneuvers off its coast.

            The US  would never perceive these acts as an act of war were the roles reversed, right?

            More neocon BS!

            … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

            by mosesfreeman on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 12:01:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Please, no more Putin propaganda. (3+ / 0-)

              What would you think about what Russia is doing? Sending covert militants into Ukraine? Massing troops on the border? Issuing various threats?

              Russia is the neocon here.

              •  What do you think about American "Diplomats" (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mosesfreeman, tsk, protectspice

                caught plotting an overthrow of Ukraine's government and publicly encouraging said overthrow?

                As I recall, things were fine until.. suddenly.. oh look! Regime Change!  And down goes a Democratically elected government.. what a lucky lucky day for the American Empire.

                And Russia dared to react? How very un-Democratic of them.

                The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

                by Johnathan Ivan on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:50:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Democratically elected government (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Lawrence, Justanothernyer

                  Which murdered its own people, jailed its opponents, and was subservient to a powerful bully.

                  But no, somehow I am to believe that the U.S. did all of this, that thousands of Americans pretending to be Ukrainians swarmed in, seized government buildings, raised the American flag everywhere. And Russia is just a bystander.

                  Yeah right. I don't see how anyone can believe the pro-Putin propaganda anymore.

                  •  Yeah well, that excuse pretty much applies to any (0+ / 0-)

                    country we want, right?

                    Except when it's the Shah of Iran.
                    Or Saddam of Iraq.
                    Or General Pinochet of Chile.
                    Or Afghanistan in the 80's.
                    Or Ghadaffi's Libya.
                    Or Baby Doc.
                    Or the Contras.
                    Or the Taliban in the 90's.
                    Or any number of other countries where the U.S. has actively put into power, propped up, or defended brutal dictators, generals, and other "heads of state".

                    Hey, how's our good friends in the House of Saud doing these days?  Still jailing their opponents, murdering their own people?

                    Funny, that.  So no, I am not moved by the broken-record excuse of "bad man in charge, U.S. needs to take over".

                    In fact, I rather recoil when I see the Mighty Empire, drenched in blood, reaching forth a greedy hand to take yet another Geopolitical Piece on the Board, shedding crocodile tears of how bad that country's government is.

                    The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

                    by Johnathan Ivan on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 04:33:31 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Who cares about that? (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Lawrence, jiffypop, DiesIrae

                      Do some questionable US activities in the past legitimize Putin's aggression towards Ukraine? No they don't. I don't think the people of Ukraine think that "it's fine for Russia to invade us because the U.S. maybe did something bad too".

                      •  Isn't it odd.. that we weren't talking about Putin (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        mosesfreeman

                        until after the fall of the Ukranian government?

                        A fall which our "Diplomats" - one of whom is married to a Neocon - helped encourage and plotted who would be in power next?

                        Gee, you don't suppose the U.S. was doing anything else over there other than verbal encouragement, do ya?  Heavens no!  Not with America's Freedom Loving Track Record.

                        Nope.  Doesn't matter.

                        Putin bad.

                        Obama / D = Good.

                        Besides, I hear several corps have some interesting ideas on investment for Ukraine.  Aside from those wonderful Austerity policies - er I mean "aid" - that we're "giving" Ukraine.  For having sided with the West.

                        After their government was deposed.

                        Because.. Freedom & Democracy.  And there's a Democrat in office.

                        Not like the bad ol' days when Bush claimed to care about the Iraqi people when he invaded.  WMD.  Saddam killed his own people!  Oh no - Bush was full of all sorts of lies.  

                        But now it's a Democrat doing it.  So it must be all good.

                        I get it.  Brand Loyalty.  No matter what.

                        The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

                        by Johnathan Ivan on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 05:08:42 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  We were talking about Russia's involvement before. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Lawrence

                          Reminder how the crisis started: Ukraine was planning to sign off to the association agreement with the EU, until Russia pressured Yanukovych into forgoing it: http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

                          During the 3 months of sometimes violent protests, Russia's hand was visible 24/7, especially when "aid" was given on the (secret) condition of cracking down on protesters: http://www.nytimes.com/...

                          And as to the brand loyalty, I have serious doubts as to how the Obama administration handled the crisis (and relations with Russia in general). So yes, I am critical towards Democrats as well.

                •  Still carrying water for Putin's neo-totalitarian (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jiffypop, happymisanthropy

                  Russia, ey Jonathan?

                  A corrupt, kleptocratic billionaire President fled the country.

                  The Parliament was still in place and it removed him.

                  Good to see that you approve of one country unilaterally deciding to invade another country, though.....

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

                  by Lawrence on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 03:25:30 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You want to talk about corrupt governments? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mosesfreeman

                    Wow.

                    Nice rebuttal, by the way.  I noticed you didn't challenge any of the facts I raised.

                    I wonder why?

                    The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

                    by Johnathan Ivan on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 04:39:06 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Spot On! (7+ / 0-)

      Instead of truth we get mindless sabre-rattling and demonization from the same media shills that dragged us falsely into previous wars. They won't be satisfied until the whole world is in flames.

      For some fascinating coverage of the situation on the ground, check out Vice News

      … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

      by mosesfreeman on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 10:59:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think it's both these things. (0+ / 0-)

      International mega-corps like Monsanto were set to exploit Ukraine any way they could (and their in was that agricultural exports is actually one of the better options available to Ukraine to try and dig their way out of the desperate economic hole they're in) and at the same time Putin has dreams of a revived Russian empire.

      Sucks for Ukraine either way - but it'll such for a lot of other countries in central Europe also if Putin isn't stopped.

      "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

      by jrooth on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:07:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Putin? (6+ / 0-)
        but it'll such for a lot of other countries in central Europe also if Putin isn't stopped.
        Which countries has Putin bombed, invaded, or instigated Regime Change in?

        Now line up those that the U.S. has bombed, invaded, and instigated Regime Change in.

        You know who I worry more about?

        The one whose armies are constantly on the march.

        The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

        by Johnathan Ivan on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:12:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Putin is really (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Johnathan Ivan, native, Sophie Amrain

          slacking in that regard.  How does his population put up with it?

          The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

          by dfarrah on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:20:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think one can both be opposed (5+ / 0-)

          to our "American Exceptionalism" approach to war and also be opposed to Putin's expansionist plans. I have opposed a great deal of our military adventures but I am not a pacifist and thus I have supported some of our military actions. And I do think there's a proper role for NATO today just as there was at the height of the cold war.

          "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

          by jrooth on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:22:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It wasn't Putin who sponsored a coup (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Johnathan Ivan, native

            in the Ukraine.

            The US started this mess, Putin is just reacting to it.

            … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

            by mosesfreeman on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:46:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Pay no attention to our "diplomats" who were (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mosesfreeman, native, mickT, tsk, protectspice

              caught openly (and covertly on the phone) planning "regime change".

              Irrelevant.  Never happened.  Meaningless.

              Just keep repeating how bad Putin is and how he wants to create a Czarist Empire.

              In 10 years, the Democrat Brand will show its true marketing prowess when it gets its base to not only support Empire's foreign policy aggression, I'm betting it will convince them to march in support of them.

              The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

              by Johnathan Ivan on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:53:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, he just invaded a sovereign country. (4+ / 0-)

              That wasn't OK when it happened in Iraq. Why is it OK now?

              While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

              by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 01:24:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  He's just helping them out, American-Style. And (0+ / 0-)

                who started it?

                Oh yeah...

                The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

                by Johnathan Ivan on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:51:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Who 'started' it? Lolol (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jiffypop, happymisanthropy

                  Tell us again about the Ukrainian invasion of Russia, from the Crimea.

                  While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

                  by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 04:57:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Tell us again about the American involvement (0+ / 0-)

                    in the coup against the Ukrainian government?

                    Tell us again whose diplomats were plotting who would be in power prior to the coup?

                    Oh yeah.

                    The U.S. Empire's Diplomats.

                    Tell me again who was beating the war drums for getting involved in Syria?

                    Who was it that beat the war drums for getting involved in Libya?

                    The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

                    by Johnathan Ivan on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 01:05:08 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Putin started the mess. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dfsly, happymisanthropy

              He pressured Ukraine into rejecting the association agreement, and that started off protests. During the Euromaidan revolution, Russia repeatedly pressed Ukraine into shooting protesters and deploying snipers on rooftops.

              It is borderline delusion to blame the Ukrainian crisis on the U.S. (which played an arguably smaller role than the EU in it).

        •  Some of the dictators we've opposed were awful (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JayBat, vcmvo2, Ian Reifowitz

          such as Ghadafi. Too bad we weren't able to get regime change in North Korea.

          The reason Putin hasn't had a more aggressive foreign policy is that the west has contained him. But ask the Chechens what they think of Russian aggression.

          •  But in other cases (5+ / 0-)

            we've gotten just the dictators we wanted, i.e. Honduras, where the US-backed military overthrew the elected government of Zelaya.  But we were defending vital American national interests--Zelaya was going to implement a 10 cent a crate raise for banana pickers.  Thank God we stopped that menace to our way of life!

            Oh, like your good friends in the Ukrainian Pravy Sektor Party, you support the Chechen Islamists.  Interesting.  

            Pay no attention to the upward redistribution of wealth!

            by ActivistGuy on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:36:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Being elected does not make you a liberal Democrat (0+ / 0-)

              See for example Chavez in Venezuela or Erdogan in Turkey, both of which made the opposition suffer. Erdogan still is.

              And Zelaya was no saint, either.

              •  Unfortunately Gaddafi (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Johnathan Ivan

                Was "our Guy" from 1969 until 1971, when he started nationalizing the holdings of Western Companies in Libya.

                He was a pia during the 70's but the West worked with him as needed, up until 1979. At that point in time , Lybia started to be referred to as a rogue nation.

                In 2003, a combination of internal reforms, regional foreign policy changes that contributed to African stability, a three year program of reaching out to The West, and the abandonment of his CBW programs, (which were an utter joke), made him "our Guy" again and he was feted, lauded, and hyped as an example of how to come into the fold.

                In 2009, the NGO's Freedom House and the IRI started "teaching democracy" in Libya, when the Arab Spring Hit in 2010, the Libyan Government made many concessions in the hopes that this would forestall similar protests in Libya.

                They didn't. Protests started in Feb 2011, turned violent  by the end of February , with both sides shooting each other, and a Civil War in the east. The UN brought in sanctions and a No Fly Zone, the Lybian Government offered a ceasefire and negotiations, the Rebels refused. NATO came in to enforce the No Fly Zone on March 2nd and was bombing Libyan Forces by March 18th, and conducting Decapitation strikes against the regime.

                Another case of you break it, you bought it, in theory. I haven't seen any solid commitment from the West, in helping the Libyans put their country back together, and I suspect that as long as the oil and gas fields, and the refineries and tanker terminals are under "nominal" Government control, we won't pitch in very much to help.

                Btw, during all this history, the West was the major consumer of all Libya's energy exports, even when Qafaddi was not "our guy".

                •  He was never "our guy" (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Lawrence

                  King Idris was. We had planned to leave Wheelus AFB anyway, but Ghadafi took over and we were out less than a year later.

                  We should be doing more to help Libya's new government, though. They are moderate and pro-Western, and have a huge number of problems.

                  •  His Government was recognized (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Johnathan Ivan

                    By the US and Britain, 24 hours after the coup,

                    (The CIA was actually siding with the Black Boots, a different group of Military Plotters, but they were made irrelevant by the Gaddafi coup)

                    And he was enough of "our Guy" for the CIA to warn him in late 1968 and early 1969 of two coup plots by the remains of the Black Boots.

                    King Idris was our guy, during WWII and in the early years of post colonialism, but his Monarchy was hopelessly corrupt and an anachronism  by the early 1960's.

          •  The Chechens were asked - and decided to stay with (0+ / 0-)

            Russia.

            But ask the Chechens what they think of Russian aggression.
            There was a referendum 2003.

            He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

            by Sophie Amrain on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 04:44:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, that's the thing about aggression: (3+ / 0-)
              Russia installed a pro-Moscow Chechen regime. In 2003, a referendum was held on a constitution that reintegrated Chechnya within Russia, but provided limited autonomy. According to the Chechen government, the referendum passed with 95.5% of the votes and almost 80% turnout.[56]
              if the aggression is sufficiently thorough, you're able to have a referendum pass by 95.5% of votes.

              The dossier on my DKos activities during the Bush administration will be presented on February 3, 2014, with an appendix consisting an adjudication, dated "a long time ago", that I am Wrong.

              by Inland on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 05:14:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Or just impost a government, American-Style: (0+ / 0-)

                IE, in the name of human rights.

                Or just do it covertly.  Or overtly.  In the name of fighting (Communism, Terrorism, or a Bad Boogeyman).

                The U.S. Empire made its move.  Now Russia is responding.

                America isn't used to opposition that it can't easily ignore or swipe away.

                The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

                by Johnathan Ivan on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 01:08:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Let me think. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dfsly, Justanothernyer

          Putin has fought back against democratic change in Georgia when Saakashivili was president. He supports the Stalinist dictatorship in Belarus. He supported Yanukovych, and is now trying to take back Ukraine.

    •  Great post, falling on many deaf ears and (5+ / 0-)

      blind eyes. Pity they don't follow the third monkey as well.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:18:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm no putin fan nor am I a russiophile but (9+ / 0-)

      this article is so blatantly propagandist in it's attempts to stir up trouble with Russia that I can't take it serious.

      And first off some historical context. Why does putin consider the breakup of the USSR as a great tragedy? Cause it resulted in the crippling lose of major resources, money, industry, population, power, and prestige it gave Russia. It would be the equivalent of the US losing the entire west coast, New England and New York and suffering a economic collapse as well.

      What's more the loss of the USSR basically removed (In putin's eyes) any restraint the US might have had in even pretending it gave a rat's ass about democracy and not protecting it's economic interests and maintaining it's global hegemony. Without the power projection the USSR's economy presented, Russia was reduced to playing to Washington's tune at the cost of it's own interests and prosperity. And it's not like several of our government members weren't actively cheering on guy's like Yeltsin who were basically destroying what little was left of Russia's economy.

      What's more, as you and other's have said, The US specifically agreed not to expand NATO after the breakup of the USSR and did anyway so why should Putin respect anything the west or the US says when they've proven time and time again, without exception, that it will never follow any agreement it has.

      As much as the man is a brutal authoritarian, I honestly feel he's totally spot on in every criticism he's leveled against the US and it's foreign policy.

      “They act as they please: here and there, they use force against sovereign states, building coalitions based on the principle ‘If you are not with us, you are against us.’ To make this aggression look legitimate, they force the necessary resolutions from international organizations, and if for some reason this does not work, they simply ignore the UN Security Council and the UN overall.”

      •  Thank you. Spot on. And the diarist is a (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        native, Deward Hastings, Pluto, mickT, tsk

        Professor...his diary is nothing more than what I would expect on MSNBC, New York Times, or Faux News.

        He may as well have photo-shopped a picture of Putin with "BAD" written on it and published that, instead.

        But it will play well.  Because our Empire's Foreign Policies of Aggression are being advanced under cover of the D brand.

        The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

        by Johnathan Ivan on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:56:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting Viewpoint (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence

        I like your opposing viewpoint to the diary, seems well thought out.  However, I think you seem to be overlooking some salient points.

        First, Historical Context:  If Russia was so crippled by the breakup of the USSR, why is it the major supplier of oil/ natural gas to Europe?  The Ukraine is a transit corridor for the natural gas they don't have their own.   Your example of a loss of US territory brings up this point: The breakup of the USSR was voluntary, executed by the leadership at the time with Treaties put in place respecting borders, your example of a breakup of the US has historically been categorically rejected (US history 1860-1865) violently.  

        The NATO expansion happened at the instigation of those governments that requested admission the US did not seek or encourage this, and that is not prohibited by treaty to my understanding.  These states applied for membership for their own internal stability as well as from perceived external threats. (Sidebar: seems that no one trusts Russia much.)

        I agree that Putin is spot on in some of his criticisms, however most of the transgressions he points to came under Bush, we have new leadership.

        Now, for what you missed.

        What you fail to mention is this:  Putin is the aggressor in this.  No matter what he says about 'popular uprising' and protecting 'ethnic Russians' and 'New Russia' does not diminish his role as aggressor in the international community.  

        This is what the international community is afraid of.  

        Perhaps since Putin is so enthusiastic about tearing up treaty obligations, perhaps we should help shred them by letting NATO supply Kiev with a few thousand Cruise Missiles (for self defense of course).  The beauty of Cruise missiles is that they can be snuck in without Russian satellite detection.  Same thing for set up and launch. Of Course, since Ukraine gave up its Nukes when the breakup treaties were signed, there should be no trepidation about allowing Kiev to to have a few dozen of the missiles with Nuclear warheads, just to re-establish the balance of power that Kiev gave up in signing the treaty that has been ignored by Putin (Example: Crimea).

        I would hope that Putin would realize that beyond the Crimea, ANY further Russian expansion becomes another Afghanistan for Russia.  It does not matter how much unrest he sows.  Russia invades and it's Afghanistan for Russia again.  

        Perhaps Putin's real goal here is to create a buffer zone with the west by the Eastern Ukrainian states (hence his whining for a new Ukrainian constitution regarding its states.  

        This is the Realpolitik. Vladimir Putin is the Aggressor in this.  The past is now not the present, nor is the past being respected.  Everything is now on the table, EVERYTHING!  Is this were Putin wants to go?  Does he really want a Nuclear tipped Ukraine who doesn't really like him much on his doorstep?  

        ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

        by NevDem on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 01:17:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yes (11+ / 0-)

    This is why we in the Daily Ko community must continue to beat the war drum with regard to Russia.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 10:47:56 AM PDT

  •  If Ukraine hadn't given up their nuclear weapons (9+ / 0-)

    Russia never could have invaded Crimea or anything else they're doing now. It would have been too risky to attempt that against a nuclear-armed state.

    So the lesson that the world is learning from the Ukraine crisis is simple: Keep your nukes. Get nukes if you don't have them already.

    I'm sure Iran is paying close attention.

    It's very unfortunate that it has come to this, but it appears we live in a world where being part of the nuclear club is the only guaranteed way to prevent foreign countries from violating your territory. I have a feeling that nuclear proliferation is going to increase as a result of the Ukraine example.

    The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

    by Eric Stetson on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 10:49:55 AM PDT

    •  That, or being part of a strong alliance like NATO (10+ / 0-)

      And people wonder why so many eastern European countries want to join NATO....

      I'd say that Japan's Govt. likely is having a close look at their nuke problem right about now.

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

      by Lawrence on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:00:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dude, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sophie Amrain

      Given how everything has been for sale in the Ukraine since 1992, if the Ukraine had been allowed to keep their nuclear weapons, 9/11 would not have been three planes crashing into buildings, it would of been 400 megatons of nuclear explosions along the Eastern Seaboard.

      The whole reason everybody at the time, US, EU, Russia, other than the Ukraine decided that the Ukraine nukes should go back to Russia or be dismantled, was that nobody trusted that the Ukraine Government or military, could, how shall we say,.......
      "Keep it in their pants".

      The Right Sector and Sloboda's calls for the Ukraine to be a nuclear power again, and Fatherhood's hints that this might be a policy, has a lot of people concerned. In the entire political history of the Ukraine , there hasn't been a single Ogliarch President who wouldn't sell off nukes to get enough money to gold leaf their Mansions.

  •  Dude. You're having a fever dream. (7+ / 0-)
    Those territories, the Russian president noted, were part of Russia "in czarist times." One can almost hear him thinking to himself: And so why shouldn't they be part of Russia today?
    Get a grip.
  •  Okay then (10+ / 0-)

    so since Kaliningrad (née Königsberg) wasn't annexed to the RSFSR until the end of WWII, Imperial Russia having not even the remotest of claims to it, no doubt Vladimir Vladimirovich more than understands why it will have to be ceded ...

    -- Stu

    "Oh me oh my oh me oh my What a lot of funny things go by!" - T. Geisel

    by sdf on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 10:51:12 AM PDT

  •  I'm still waiting for the UN to do the right thing (0+ / 0-)

    concerning other countries being exploited and abuse, genocide in Rwanda, etc.

    Europe Border Changes During 1000 Years
    https://vimeo.com/...

  •  I see a pattern here: (7+ / 0-)

    Putin:  "Crimea was part of Russia until 1954"

    He sends special forces, national chauvinist Cossacks, and criminals to take over Crimea.

    Putin:  "Novorossija was part of Russia until the 1920s"

    .......

    Guess what happens next?

    What baffles me is just how shocked and unprepared Western leaders seem to be about all of this.  And - I hate to have to say this - that includes President Obama.

    One thing is clear:  The NSA and other U.S. intelligence agencies need to spend less time and energy on spying on Americans and allies, and more time and energy doing their actual job, which is spying on antagonistic states like Russia.  They have failed badly in this case.

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

    by Lawrence on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 10:55:22 AM PDT

  •  It's kind of funny (0+ / 0-)

    that Americans of all people would want to go there.  You run into certain ermm, epistemological problems really quickly.

    Pay no attention to the upward redistribution of wealth!

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 10:56:52 AM PDT

  •  Anything? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, ER Doc
    Anything Russian 'in czarist times' is fair game in Putin's mind
    Rasputin?

    Wonder if Vlad has a food-taster. Yet.

    And he'd best bear in mind what happened to Alex II.

    Great Questions of Western Philosophy: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

    by Mnemosyne on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:00:19 AM PDT

  •  Vlad's just (4+ / 0-)

    putting the band back together.

    What an asshole.  Someone set him up at the Chateau Marmont and send him some speedballs.

  •  Let's not. (13+ / 0-)
    But let's keep the focus on Russia.
    I mean, sure, Putin had the nerve to plop Russia right in the middle of all our military bases, but since this here nation we live in is spiraling down -- economically, politically, and morally (and no, there is no meaningful recovery going on) -- maybe we could find ways to do something useful for American citizens instead of 'fighting monsters abroad' -- you know, the thing Founders warned against.

    I mean, in the end, all of our meddling around the world isn't done for our own national security but is done for Corporate/Bankster gain of assets. Although WE pay for it, THEY get the gains.

    We got our own row to hoe, and it ain't thousands of miles from our shores. Maybe it's time we recognize that our own propaganda -- and when was the last time you saw the US media not promote war and conflict? --  is a more relevant concern than the Monster Abroad.


    A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned. -- Firefly

    by Jim P on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:05:01 AM PDT

    •  I'm always amazed by the callous selfishness (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bananapouch1

      Of American citizens.

      http://jasonluthor.jelabeaux.com/

      by DAISHI on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:14:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ??? What the fuck good has our meddling done (6+ / 0-)

        for Ukrainian human beings lately? Or Libyan? Or Syrian? Or Iraqi? Or Afghani? Or Yemeni? Or Pakistani? Or Greek? Or Italian? Or Haiti? Or most of Central and South America?

        Ask people in those parts of the world how their lives have improved due to our global hegemonic policy.

        And you sure as hell aren't going to address what good it's done the people of the US. Because we all know the answer to that, and it ain't pretty.

        But: what callous selfishness? Did you mean to say 'passive gullibility when propagandized'? because there's a thing truly amazing, after all these decades.


        A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned. -- Firefly

        by Jim P on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:39:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not much good at all. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto, Jim P

          The United States is like the resident who was attempting to assist a senior surgeon in the operating room. At last, the surgeon turned to him and said, "Son, if you're ever in the woods and you see me rasslin' a bear, help the bear."

        •  What meddling? (0+ / 0-)

          Has the U.S. been invading parts of Canada recently and annexing them? Are separatists seizing government buildings in Cuba and demanding a referendum on annexation.

          The only country guilty of meddling is Russia here.

          •  Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Somalia, (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mickT, mosesfreeman, protectspice

            Yemen, Bolivia, Venezuela, Pakistan, Iran ... this is just the last few years. We can add Brazil, Guatemala, Chile, ... there's another 50 or so countries in the last 40 years we've meddled in. And not for the people's advantage; nor for the American people's advantage.

            How can anyone not know this?


            A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned. -- Firefly

            by Jim P on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 03:56:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Let me go through the list. (0+ / 0-)

              Afghanistan was post-9/11. Libya was to prevent a murderous dictator from slaughtering his people. In Syria the U.S. didn't do anything (unfortunately). Bolivia and Venezuela are socialist dictatorships. The only one on the list which holds up is Iraq, and even there you had a dictator who flouted international observers for over a decade.

              Russia? Transnistria, Chechnya, Georgia, now Crimea and Ukraine. And that's leaving out the crimes of the Soviet era.

              •  You don't want to live in any of the places we've (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Alhambra

                meddled in -- and if you think giving weapons to rebels isn't meddling!??? -- and Libya and Iraq and Afghanistan and Yemen Venezuela Bolivia, all these are going on in much much worse shape than before we screwed with them. It's almost willful blindness to pretend we've been doing all this for noble reasons. Qaddafi wasn't giving us a cut of his oil, and so on and so forth.

                OF COURSE Russia is a bad actor. Why? Because any nation which is seeking hegemony, whether worldwide like the US, or regional, like Russia, does bad things.

                But Russia ain't doing shit to America. Certainly not anything like our political and financial establishments are doing.

                Monsters Abroad, dude. Fighting Monsters Abroad is what the Founders warned about. With the exception of the Nazis and Imperial Japan, we've been stomping on people for three generations now to benefit our rich. We've been getting screwed as we fund all the foreign adventurism, and not for our advantage.

                After all this time, how can anyone swallow the pro-war propaganda they've been feeding us?


                A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned. -- Firefly

                by Jim P on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 04:24:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  What (5+ / 0-)

      And keep all of the naive drivel about the Russian Threat off of the front page of Daily Kos?

      "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

      by bink on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:20:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, if only, if only, some way could (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        native, Pluto, bink, mosesfreeman

        be found to elect Better and More Democrats. Some policy that would enthuse the voters.

        But, sigh, the law we passed five years ago is the only thing we have to enthuse voters, so let's focus on that.

        And Putin. And whatever tomorrow's threat will be. And there will be threats, threats aplenty for this New American Century.


        A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned. -- Firefly

        by Jim P on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:43:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't get why people (3+ / 0-)

      whose primary concern is the banksters are suddenly all pro Putin.  If anything, Russia is more of an economic oligarchy. More Putin= even less economic opportunity for average people.  

      •  Who's pro-Putin? Where do people get such silly (4+ / 0-)

        ideas? Russia is a distraction from the nation here swirling down the toilet bowl. Ukraine doesn't matter a shit to the people here; but it DOES matter to the Western Bankers, Ukraine being another country to emiserate and rob. Just like all the rest.

        If it weren't Putin, there'd be another Monster Abroad to be afraid of. Seriously, have people not been following US politics for the last 20 years?


        A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned. -- Firefly

        by Jim P on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 03:52:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sadly, this adds no information of any kind to (8+ / 0-)

    our understanding of the situation, since it is all seemingly nothing but inept mind reading. One can almost hear the author thinking to himself, "what can I attribute to Putin based on this?.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:06:36 AM PDT

    •  What can we attribute to Putin (6+ / 0-)

      Based on his words and recent actions? Because human beings aren't supposed to have frames of reference for future actions amirite

      http://jasonluthor.jelabeaux.com/

      by DAISHI on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:16:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is a ridiculous comment. And insulting, (9+ / 0-)

      to boot.

      There is precedence here.  Putin used exactly that logic to claim Crimea for Russia.

      That some of you will rush to Putin's defense when he acts like a Russian version of Cheney makes me wonder why exactly you were up in arms against Bush/Cheney?

      Is it some kind of inverted formula of the logic on the right, ie. it's not ok for the U.S. to be imperialistic but it is fine and dandy if quasi-totalitarian Russia is imperialistic?

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

      by Lawrence on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:17:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What exactly would (0+ / 0-)

        you do if Russia was your country?

        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:28:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd work hard to try and make it more democratic, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          high uintas, jrooth, happymisanthropy

          just like I've done at home all my life....

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

          by Lawrence on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:31:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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

            So if some other countries kept blocking you in, you wouldn't be concerned?

            If your neighborhood was surrounded by well-armed groups of people insisting that for their safety, they needed to move right next door, point their guns at you, and oh, move in 5 feet of your property, you wouldn't be concerned?

            Further, in case you hadn't noticed. the 'democracy' in the US hardly exists [or our republic, as some like to quibble].  A recent study showed that regular people have little to no influence on legislation; it's driven largely by the moneyed interests.

            So we aren't doing such a hot job on that front, much less trying to export 'democracy' elsewhere.

            The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

            by dfarrah on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:53:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hmmm (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              happymisanthropy
              So if some other countries kept blocking you in, you wouldn't be concerned?
              Only if you're thinking of movin' on out into those areas.

              If you aren't happy in your own neighborhood at least buy a new house instead of going and claiming one, even if you used to live there.

              Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. They lie through their teeth with their head up their behind. You open up their hearts and here's what you'll find - Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. John Prine

              by high uintas on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 12:06:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Did you know that (0+ / 0-)

                according to surveys external to the US, the US is considered the biggest threat to world peace?

                What do you make of that?

                The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

                by dfarrah on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:33:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I wasn't talking about the US (0+ / 0-)

                  I was talking about Putin and the fact that I live here does not mean I can't have an opinion about over there. Why would you bring up unsourced surveys?

                  It's taxing to hear things like "I know what you are but what am I" in an honest discussion.

                  Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. They lie through their teeth with their head up their behind. You open up their hearts and here's what you'll find - Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. John Prine

                  by high uintas on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 06:13:26 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  None of the former Soviet Republics wants (4+ / 0-)

              to invade Russia.

              Neither do any E.U. nations.

              Nor does the U.S.

              Russia's problem is that its model of Putinist Klepto-capitalism is bankrupt and that - as the democratic nations move strongly towards renewables - his Big Oil fed quasi-totalitarian system won't be able to keep up anymore.

              Note how Russia's annexation of little Crimea has led to Russia having multiple times the amount of renewables that it had before....

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

              by Lawrence on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 12:23:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The US has had a (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pluto, Alhambra

                consistent pattern of expansion towards Russia since the fall of the SU. Look at any map, the US has them surrounded and keeps encroaching. The US pledged that it wouldn't expand NATO into the former SU... a lie.

                The US has never stopped fighting the cold war, and this latest US sponsored coup in Kiev is just one more encroachment.

                … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

                by mosesfreeman on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 12:57:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That you use the word "coup" shows that you (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jiffypop, DiesIrae, Tony Situ

                  can't be taken seriously.  I know that Russia's many Faux News like TV channels love to use that word in regards to what happened in Kiev, yet that doesn't make it true.

                  Their corrupt, kleptocratic President fled.

                  Parliament replaced him.

                  New elections are set to take place in May.

                  If I lived in a former Soviet Republic in Europe, I'd want it to be in NATO, too.  They have a long history of being subjugated by Russians, so it's no surprise that they want an out.

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

                  by Lawrence on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 01:02:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Bullshit (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    dfarrah, Alhambra

                    Yanukovich himself calls it a coup right here on the BBC. Most of the rest of the world concurs, it's mainly the US media that promotes the fiction that the current regime has any legitimacy.

                    The US has worked hard for this coup, and it doesn't want to see it unraveled now.

                    … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

                    by mosesfreeman on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 01:27:49 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Maybe the Ukraine will return (0+ / 0-)

                    the favor and they can come over here and help OWS overthrow our corrupt kleptrocrats who we [the population] voted into office.

                    We apparently can't get rid of them through the 'democratic' process.

                    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

                    by dfarrah on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:28:59 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The Maiden Coup (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Alhambra

                      Did not get rid of the Ogliarches and Kleptocrats.

                      It just swapped the ones in power for the ones out of power.

                      Instead of the RegionMan being in power, The CandyMan is now in power.

                      •  I can't keep up with it all. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Alhambra

                        Apparently, posters on this site believe that since Yanukovych was corrupt, his overthrow was justified.  [hope I got the right guy named here]

                        So, I figure the people over there can help us out here in the US, and the above-mentioned posters would not object to the assistance.

                        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

                        by dfarrah on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 08:20:10 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  No, the US doesn't (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Alhambra

                want to invade in the technical meaning of the word.

                But it does want to control everything economically.  "It" is defined as the oligarchy in charge of the government.

                So, whether it's a military invasion, or just a takeover of politicians and businesses, it really doesn't matter. The end result is the same.

                The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

                by dfarrah on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:36:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lawrence
              So if some other countries kept blocking you in, you wouldn't be concerned?
              How dare those other countries keep existing between me and wherever I want to go!  Russia Fuck Yeah!

              What do the Defend-NSAers-at-any-cost hope for society to gain from Snowden turning himself in and standing trial? I suspect it'll be a cold day in hell before any of them finally give a reasonable, coherent answer to that question.

              by happymisanthropy on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 06:28:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  3 Suggestions: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto

        Read Ukranian History
        Read Crimean History
        Read formal logic.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:44:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's a twsted form of "enemy of my enemy is my (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence, happymisanthropy

        friend".

      •  Not insulting, btw, the author right off the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        native, Pluto

        top states that he is putting words in Putin's mouth, or ideas in his mind as it were. Thus it is not an insult to claim that he did so.

        It has nothing to do with Putin, just the political and historical reality as opposed to all of the cold-war political noise that has welled up since the Euromaiden Revolutionaries overthrew their elected government. Facts, not fantasies, are what is called for.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:50:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Russians marched thru Paris "in czarist times" (4+ / 0-)

    I'd prefer to not see that repeated either.

    "Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down." Bill Clinton

    by irate on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:08:37 AM PDT

    •  This Is True (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      native, Azazello, Pluto, martinjedlicka, irate

      But I think we should consider how likely it is that Putin will be invading France. Indeed, this would be a serious situation, but it is also extremely, extremely unlikely.

      On the other hand, it is almost guaranteed that millions more Americans will lose their jobs this year. Hundreds of thousands will lose their homes. Many will be reduced to poverty. And wages and benefits for the rest of us will stagnate at the same time government discontinues valuable programs and starves the economy of investment it needs to stay healthy.

      "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

      by bink on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 12:07:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry Ian, but you have some more (14+ / 0-)

    cogitating to do.

    Being born of Baltic state survivors of the soviet era, I certainly fear for their future . . .

    BUT

    US myopia is obscene. We promised the soviets that
    A. We would never move NATO east
    B. We would never incorporate Poland into NATO
    C. We would never expand NATO to the Baltics
    D. We would never place defensive missiles in Poland.

    We violated each and every promise we made to Gorbie, and if you ignore the disdain and mistrust that decades of our lies have caused, you are missing a huge point.

    Lastly, look at a map. A current one. We've been eating away at former USSR territory since 1994, and while proclaiming that Russia is our friend, many in our congress have gone out of their way to insult and belittle Russia. How ineffably stupid is that to a former superpower that still has its nukes?

    Lastly, Russia and we agreed to work to remove nukes from Ukraine. The end result was the entire world was safer, and Russia no longer had a potential nuke terror threat on its border. Just a few years after we accomplished this goal, we began meddling in  Ukraine.

    Every US president is to blame for this mess, not just Putin. Obama made things worse by keeping that feral Neo-con-ette in State and giving her power to run amuck and cause trouble, with NATO, EU, Russia, and of course Ukraine.

    You can blame Putin all you want, but start looking at the longer term source of today's problems there.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:14:00 AM PDT

    •  Yep, when Putin flattened Chechnya it was all (11+ / 0-)

      our fault, too....

      Putin's actions today and in the past show exactly why former Eastern Bloc and Soviet Republics want to be part of NATO.

      Can't say that I blame them for it.

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

      by Lawrence on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:25:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  To know where my heart is, (9+ / 0-)

      I was the first professor asked to teach in a Baltic law school from the USA. USAID financed the trip.i walked on the street where some months before protesters died from soviet tanks. I was there when they opened the concrete floor of a military building, and found dozens of corpses, relics of KGB interviews.

      I have no blinders about Russia today, but our hands are blood-stained and our policies have been pathetic so far. Keeping that neocon bimbette in place is simply insane. Obama should get better advice or read up more about current history.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:26:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Was a University Student (4+ / 0-)

        In a former Communist country in Central Europe right after the fall of the Soviet Bloc.

        I lived there for eighteen months and I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what the Cold War mentality did to people in those countries. I have no delusions about Soviet Communism and am in no means a Russophile.

        But, Lord Jesus ...

        This saber-rattling about event in the Russian sphere doesn't seem like it is going to get us anywhere.

        "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

        by bink on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:38:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've been living in what used to be a part (3+ / 0-)

          of the Eastern Bloc for over a decade, have traveled to and have friends in multiple former Eastern Bloc nations and I find your attitude of saying that Eastern Europe is the "Russian sphere" highly insulting to those people.

          We are in the 21st century and those are independent nations with independent peoples and they have every right to have a decent and free life as every Western European, or U.S. American, or Canadian.

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

          by Lawrence on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 01:40:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Some are mad at Putin for brokering peace in Syria (7+ / 0-)

      with Obama.  

      Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

      by CIndyCasella on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:27:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  All those promises (3+ / 0-)

      were verbal ones made between Bush Sr.'s people and Gorbachev's in 1989 and 1990, all of whom were out of office by 1993.   And the promises were kept, situationally.  NATO certainly didn't chase the Soviet retreat.  NATO expansion occurred when Poland, Hungary, etc. applied for it with popular support for so doing 5-10 years later.  Retroactively we're told these situationally appropriate and situationally kept verbal promises have the standing of treaty provisions, lasting forever.  And what Eastern Europeans think and want in that regard, well...that was all traded away in 1989-90 by NATO for free.  We got scammed and since we're such decent people, we'll let the scam stand.   Otherwise Russia will have to pitch a fit and stomp its feet and storm off too its room.

      I think it's strange that you think Russia for practical purposes entitled to regional empire status.  I see no reason why it's wrong for its conquests and fiefdoms to rebel and fall away, one by one, as the last rationales for the status quo there lose their warrants.  This is upsetting to people with a desire for a stable division of eastern Europe, but that's not the world we inherited.  What reason do we have to prefer stability...some sort of conservatism, basically, and pessimism about the maturity and competence of peoples of the region.  Well, they do perceive themselves as becoming more mature and competent as generations change.  Moldova was the first to go, back in 2010-11.  Ukraine this year.  And if you think Belarus is not going to rebel, topple Lukashenka, cut its fealty to Russia, and try to join EU/NATO within the next decade, you're not in touch with the reality of generational change there.  

      It's not of Victoria Nuland's making that Russia's hegemony sphere is unstable and decaying as the world around it Modernizes.  It's not her fault that Russia went from a brief 'European face' government- Gorbachev's- to governments that are 'Asian face' again, e.g. Putin's.  As for the endgame, in Brussels and elsewhere in western Europe strategic planners think ethnic Russian society will socially develop- heal, mature, become competent enough, have enough die out of embittered generations, Modernize culturally- enough by 2040 to 2050 that it will be possible to integrate it into the EU.   Whether Russia will by then have economically developed out of petrostate condition and spun off its large Muslim Asian territories and their populations remains to be seen.  

  •  So, is it time to retire Godwin? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sam I Am

    Hitler remains the closest historical parallel I know of to Putin. Seems like a shame to put comparisons off-limits.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:17:57 AM PDT

    •  you need (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, Algernons Labyrinth

      to read a little about hitler and the nazis.

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

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:47:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've read an awful lot about Hitler and the Nazis (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy

        I suspect that many people who sniff about Hitler comparisons probably need to do more reading.

        There seems to be some unspoken belief that Hitler was some supernatural evil being whose name must not be spoken, and that Germans of the day were his uniquely evil minions.

        Neither is true, and there is a lot to be learned in studying the events that led to the horror that Hitler became.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 03:16:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  actually (0+ / 0-)

          those of us who know the context of hitler understand what he preached and when, how he came to power, and what he did immediately upon taking power. you apparently know none of it.

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

          by Laurence Lewis on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 04:25:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, you're wrong. (0+ / 0-)

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 05:39:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  i know this is hard (0+ / 0-)

              but even skipping right over his munich era, what had hitler accomplished after ten years in charge? and that's pretending that medvedev was independent of putin, which otherwise would make it fourteen years. but, gee- what did hitler do in his first ten years?

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

              by Laurence Lewis on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 05:46:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Other than, starting with an abysmal economy, (0+ / 0-)

                putting people to work (whether they liked it or not), building about a quarter of the current Autobahn -- enough to turn it from a test place for fast sports cars to a usable road system, and employ more than 100,000 people in the process, commission the original Volkswagen,  broadcast the first regular television programs and make them available to ordinary Germans by means of public viewing rooms, commission and cause to be built/distributed affordable radios for the population, (for your PETA friends) banned vivisection while introducing restricted hunting seasons and animal conservation, re-armed and raised military forces, invigorating both the German industrial base and employment, brutally won the support of the German army by purging his own supporters (night of the long knives), stage a huge propaganda coup with the 1936 Olympic games, retook and remilitarized the Rhineland without firing a shot,  annexed Austria, executed a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union, and I'm sure there are many things of which I am completely unaware.

                Rather remarkable considering how inept Hitler actually was.  Probably a reflection of where he started from and how brutal he was willing to be.   Certainly helped along by all that the Nazis stole from German Jews.

                Most amazing is that he came within bad luck, bad weather, and a couple of bad calls of  dominating Europe.  I can't help but wonder what might have happened had he listened to his generals and invaded Moscow before Stalin was able to field the T-34.  All from a man who forced Rommel to commit suicide.

                But I have to wonder: What is the point of your question?
                Russia is not Germany.
                Putin is not Hitler.
                His accomplishments are his accomplishments and Hitler's are Hitler's.

                We all understand that.
                That doesn't make them dissimilar:

                Two brutal men, willing to assassinate and brutally oppress opposition, forging alliances as convenient with local industrialists, each fostering a cult of personality in a near-mythical "leader", each willing to use military force to reclaim territory and assuage the sting of past humiliations.

                If you insist on mirrors to find similarity, you never will.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 07:04:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  people cite hitler for specific reasons (0+ / 0-)

                  hitler did specifc things that set him apart from most brutal men. those specific things are what gives hitler's name its totemic power. to ignore those specific things while still trying to use that totemic power is... to be generous... curious.

                  michael tilson thomas, the gay jewish conductor of the san francisco symphony, is like hitler.

                  a) michael tilson thomas loves wagner.

                  b) hitler loved wagner.

                  c) therefore, michael tilson thomas is like hitler.

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

                  by Laurence Lewis on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 10:19:27 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Sure. On the other hand, brutal suppression (0+ / 0-)

                    of opposition, military incursions into neighboring countries, ethnic cleansing, etc, goes a bit beyond the love of Wagner.

                    Could Putin (or Hitler, for that matter) truly become a Hitler in today's world?
                    Would he if he could?

                    I suspect not, but I also believe the question is not out of bounds.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 12:16:22 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  again (0+ / 0-)

                      if you knew anything at all about hitler and the nazi era, you would understand that hitler didn't "become" hitler. he was hitler, from the start. he went to prison for being hitler. he wrote about being hitler. he ran for office as hitler. from the moment he arrived in public, hitler already was paradigmatically worse than putin.

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

                      by Laurence Lewis on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 12:22:45 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Sigh. (0+ / 0-)

                        Yes. Hitler was always Hitler, just as you have always been you.  But the Hitler that invaded Poland was not the Hitler that began speaking to small groups for the German Worker's Party, or the Hitler that was decorated for valor while running messages in WWI.  For that matter, he wasn't
                        quite the same Hitler who orchestrated that sad little putsch.
                        That Hitler almost gave up at trial before realizing the nature of the stage he held.  The seeds were in place and, ironically, his biggest defeat (at the time) set the stage for his ultimate triumph.

                        And "paradigmatically worse"?

                        Impressive use of syllables without much meaning.
                        Paradigm is a generic term, so I would need to know to which paradigm you refer.

                        Putin is certainly less bombastic and more subtle than Hitler was, but I have no sense of what goes on inside his head.  The Cult of Putin with Bears and shirtless horseback rides doesn't quite square with my image of the old-school Soviet apparatchnik.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 12:39:32 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  let me make this very simple for you (0+ / 0-)

                          hitler was a violent revolutionary thug nearly a decade before taking power. he wrote about gassing jews before he even entered national politics. he ran explicitly on anti-semitism and militancy. people voted for him knowing his agenda. within months of taking office he had begun his anti-semitic campaign and began building concentration camps. it took all of two years for the nuremberg laws. putin is not just less bombastic and less subtle, he is not genocidal. i know this is hard.

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

                          by Laurence Lewis on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 12:52:48 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

    •  I dont think Putin is like Hitler (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Algernons Labyrinth

      completely different motivations for roughly similar acts regarding territorial expansion.

      Hitler wanted all of Europe.  Putin wants buffer zones.

      I won't defend Putin like many seem to want to do. It's still wrong, but I think Godwin still applies.  Putin is nowhere near Hitler.

      •  Are you sure about that? (0+ / 0-)

        I have trouble seeing the difference in motivations -- former empire broken up, humiliation by Western powers. Cult of the leader prepared to take military action to reclaim glories of the past.  Brutal suppression of opposition (et tu, Pussy Riot?).

        There are always differences, of course. No two periods and no two leaders are ever the same. But, I find it hard to ignore the similarities.

        At least there is, as of yet, no genocide.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 12:44:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And Putin has no more right to buffer zones (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TofG

        than Hitler had to all of Europe.

        What do the Defend-NSAers-at-any-cost hope for society to gain from Snowden turning himself in and standing trial? I suspect it'll be a cold day in hell before any of them finally give a reasonable, coherent answer to that question.

        by happymisanthropy on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 06:33:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He could have had one for free: Ukraine (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Alhambra, Lawrence, TofG


          Had he not annexed Crimea, which was given to Ukraine by Russia in 1954, all he would have to do is wait until IMF austerity kicked in, just in time for the elections of 2015 and 2016.  

          Ukraine's neighbors to the west were not overly fond of Ukraine.  The Ukrainian SSR contained bits of Hungary and Romania;  Hungary's fascists want their bit back and are gaining power.  Poles smarted over the ethnic cleansing of Poles from Lwow/Lviv -- only recently has that wound healed.  

          Instead, Russia annexed Crimea and sent Russian nationals, both military and tourist, to grab a bunch of civic buildings in Donbass in alliance with local teahadis who miss being Soviet or fear Kiev.  Imagine how happy Americans outside the Teahad would have been to see Russia's little green men on the Bundy ranch.  

          Instead of becoming a bridge state like Yugoslavia was, Ukraine now has to choose between two masters.  On the west lie the European social democracies.  On the east, Russia.  
           

          "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

          by Yamaneko2 on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 08:12:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  not sure the relevance of that comment (0+ / 0-)

          to whether or not he's like Hitler.

          Unless you are saying everyone who ever steps outside their borders is "like Hitler."

  •  The thing that's funny about the (5+ / 0-)

    "pure Russia" meme is that the people of eastern Russia resemble Asians, not Russians.  Does China have a right to invade Russia then?

    Seriously, thought, the play to ethnicity is a very bad turn for the world.

    "You cannot win improv." Stephen Colbert (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6tiaooiIo0 at 16:24).

    by Publius2008 on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:18:19 AM PDT

  •  Alaska was a part of Czarist Russia. (5+ / 0-)

    All the way up to the point where Alexander II sold it.

    Libertarianism is just Fascism with a facelift. Scratch the surface of Libertarianism and you will find the notion that corporations should rule supreme, just as it was with Fascism..

    by Walt starr on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:18:31 AM PDT

  •  I know one thing for sure (7+ / 0-)

    Putin better keeps even his eyes off Finland. mr.u's bf in high school came from a Finnish family. Dad was a geologist working in teh Canal Zone and Mom was also a professional, memory escapes me right now as to what her field was.

    They hated Russians with a white hot heat and talked all the time about the Finns and their views of Russian imperialism. I think they were fairly representative of their fellow countrymen and I don't think I'd mess with them.

    Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. They lie through their teeth with their head up their behind. You open up their hearts and here's what you'll find - Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. John Prine

    by high uintas on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:18:49 AM PDT

    •  the Finns are still angry about Karelia (7+ / 0-)

      Karelia was part of Finland and full of Finns even when the Grand Duchy of Finland was part of the Russian Empire.  Though Finland including Karelia became independent in 1917, the Soviet Union went on to invade Karelia in 1939, which got handed to them in the 1940 peace treaty.  This was a major economic blow to Finland.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:30:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bbbbbbut he gave asylum to Snowden! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leevank, cryonaut, bear83, TofG

    Therefore he must be a great guy!!!

  •  that means Finland, Baltics, Caucasus, E. Poland (6+ / 0-)

    Belarus, Moldova, and even Mongolia.

    The interesting thing is that Poland also has a similar East/West divide as Ukraine.  Most of western Poland was ruled by Prussia and then Germany for centuries, was developed by Germans, and integrated into the German economy.  The legacy of that is a continued Western orientation in parts of Poland that used to be part of the Kaiserreich.  Polish 2007 legislative election map with Imperial Germay border overlaid

    Not to mention the religious divide: historically the Slavic nations that professed Catholicism (Poles, Czechs, etc.) looked west, ironically towards the German world, not east towards Orthodox Russia which considered itself the big brother of all the Slavs.

    Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

    by Visceral on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:21:14 AM PDT

    •  Read a book about Poland (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence, ER Doc, native

      Poor mofos got attacked by east and west continuously. They used to wedge ax heads in tree limbs and let them grow around them, ready made weapons.

      Tatars, Mongols, Germans, you name 'em they all wanted a piece of Poland.

      Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. They lie through their teeth with their head up their behind. You open up their hearts and here's what you'll find - Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. John Prine

      by high uintas on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:39:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And the same thing happened to Ukraine before, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc, high uintas, happymisanthropy

        during, and after WW2.

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

        by Lawrence on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:45:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Poland's just one big plain (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bear83, high uintas

        Easy to march and ride across.

        The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is all but forgotten today, but for centuries Poland was the center of what by the 17th Century had become a large, wealthy, and remarkably progressive country.  But the development of an oligarchical quasi-democracy where every aristocrat held a veto over collective policy meant the Commonwealth was hopelessly divided internally, and slowly and steadily lost ground until it was finally partitioned outright by Prussia, Austria, and Russia in the late 1700s, ceasing to exist as an independent country until 1918.

        Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

        by Visceral on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 03:38:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe Putin should welcome NATO... (0+ / 0-)

          The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, aided by thousands of Kossacks from modern Ukraine and points east, actually invaded and held Moscow for two years.  Had the Poles decided that Moscow was worth a Divine Liturgy (i.e. had the invading king converted to Orthodoxy as King Louis the Good decided that "Paris was worth a Mass" outside the walls of Paris) Muscovy would be in the Commonwealth.  

          In 1618 they besieged Moscow again, but a peace was declared that left Smolensk, Russia in the Commonwealth.  

          "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

          by Yamaneko2 on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 08:31:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  moldova and belarus, maybe (0+ / 0-)

      but he won't touch nato.

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

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:41:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My grandmother was from Poland, (0+ / 0-)

      from the north east part. She said that the Germans were horrible, but not quite as bad as the Russians.

      •  That's what many don't understand. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Visceral

        Large parts of eastern Europe were the very worst place in the world to be during WW2.  People there literally were stuck between a rock and a hard place, between a monster and a beast.

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

        by Lawrence on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:44:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Progressives have lost moral high ground (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence

    by defending Putin.

  •  putin's a syncretist (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, vcmvo2, Ian Reifowitz

    he takes what he likes best from soviet and tsarist times. and the republicans love him.

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

    by Laurence Lewis on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:38:05 AM PDT

  •  GOP Glee (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto

    The warmongers (surprisingly people who should know better- McCain, and well, his boy toy Lindsey) are getting plenty of mileage from this.  Nothing short of armed intervention will shut them up.  Then, they could criticize the low number of troops committed, etc.

    "The more firearms a man owns, the smaller his member"-- Abraham Lincoln

    by truthronin on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:44:14 AM PDT

  •  I've Re-Read This Diary Twice (4+ / 0-)

    And I have concluded that this is the silliest thing I've read here in the last couple of weeks. Thanks, everyone.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:50:14 AM PDT

    •  why do you think it's silly? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83, happymisanthropy

      exactly?

      Those who quote Santayana are condemned to repeat him. Me

      by Mark B on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 01:09:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because Foreign Policy Isn't Black and White (0+ / 0-)

        Putin makes decisions based on what his politic/economic support will accept. People like to pretend that dictators can just make edicts and everyone will always follow them.

        Putin must balance his nation's oil revenue with having open markets. He must decide if a the peoples of a nation will accept Russian association or not (see Afghanistan).

        Meanwhile, we are to believe that the entire corporate establishment in Washington, with corporate lackies bouncing between corporate think tanks and positions of power in the State Department or staffers in Congress has all changed. Decades of entrenchment in every aspect of our foreign policy decision policy has been reversed because first war-hawk Hillary, and now Kerry are 'leading' the State Department.

        Our special ops forces in Africa are NOT there to secure mineral rights. Just like France is not propping up African governments that supply it cheap Uranium.

        But hey, I'm sure within a month we will be supporting a militia leader and convicted murderer as president of Lebanon (Ja'Ja'). And people here will defend us supporting a right-wing criminal as 'democracy'.

        Not to mention this military take over of land is evil. Unless of course it is Israel. Then the excuses fly wild...you know, the ones being mocked here about buffers and archaic thinking....

        •  all of that's a far reach, mick (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ian Reifowitz, dfsly

          para a) nobody said Putin could do whatever he want's. But he favor's a right-wing kleptocracy over the interests of Russian citizens.
          para b) generally open markets with a system of laws is a favorable economic system. Look around you.
          para c) We elected an intellectual academic to the Presidency. He doesn't do everything I'd like him to, but politics is the art of the possible. Hillary and Kerry are highly flawed by their FP ideas, but hey, who isn't. It's why I favored BHO over Hillary. We are out of Iraq, soon out of Afghanistan, and took a pass everywhere else.
          para d) Our special ops aren't in Africa for minerals, that's just silly. France can get U anywhere, and I'm in favor of that. If we had more nukes, we'd have less AGW.
          para e) great that you can predict the future. Gte back to me in a month on that.
          para f) wtf. What take over of land. And why drag Israel into this?
          Have a nice evening,
          Mark

          Those who quote Santayana are condemned to repeat him. Me

          by Mark B on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 08:56:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Says the country that's trying to rule the world. (7+ / 0-)

    It's funny watching people demonize Putin and Russia while they sidestep their own "motes".

    "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:55:40 AM PDT

  •  Cold War nostalgia ? (4+ / 0-)

    I wasn't scared of the Russians during the last Cold War. And how come there's a NATO when there is no longer a Warsaw Pact ? Are we still worried about T-55s pouring through the Fulda Gap ?

    The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

    by Azazello on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 11:56:21 AM PDT

  •  Putin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence

    This is a very interesting and prescient opinion piece.

    Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. They lie through their teeth with their head up their behind. You open up their hearts and here's what you'll find - Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. John Prine

    by high uintas on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 12:21:51 PM PDT

    •  An opinion piece on Putin by Mikheil Saakashvili? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      native, mickT, Sophie Amrain, protectspice

      It has the same validity as one done by John McCain or Marco Rubio, Saakashvili's bosom buddies. All three have been publicly touting Hillory's, Putin is Hitler, meme.

      •  Admittedly (0+ / 0-)

        but as I said it was opinion. He knew that Putin's fate was going to be changed in Kiev and he was right.

        That said, I swear one would have to be an idiot and a fool not to see Putin as a bad force in the world. His treatment of people who don't like him shows that, and for those who try to make the false equivalence argument as if one act sanctions another, double idiots.

        Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. They lie through their teeth with their head up their behind. You open up their hearts and here's what you'll find - Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. John Prine

        by high uintas on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 06:08:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  70% of Russians don't think he is a (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          protectspice

          "bad force in the world". Are these people idiots and fools?

          Putin's first presidency

          Between 2000-2008, Russia's economy saw the nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) double, climbing from 22nd to 11th largest in the world. The economy made real gains of an average 7% per year ( 1999: 6.5%, 2000: 10%, 2001: 5.7%, 2002: 4.9%, 2003: 7.3%, 2004: 7.2%, 2005: 6.4%, 2006: 8.2%, 2007: 8.5%, 2008: 5.2% ), making it the 6th largest economy in the world in GDP(PPP). In 2007, Russia's GDP exceeded that of 1990, meaning it has overcome the devastating consequences of the recession in the 1990s.[33]

          The industry grew by 75%, investments increased by 125%,[33] and agricultural production and construction increased as well. Real incomes more than doubled and the average salary increased eightfold from $80 to $640.[citation needed] The volume of consumer credit between 2000–2006 increased 45 times,[34][35] and during that same time period, the middle class grew from 8 million to 55 million, an increase of 7 times. The number of people living below the poverty line also decreased from 30% in 2000 to 14% in 2008.

          That said, I swear one would have to be an idiot and a fool not to see Putin as a bad force in the world. His treatment of people who don't like him shows that, and for those who try to make the false equivalence argument as if one act sanctions another, double idiots.
          Care to back up those rather vague and meaningless accusations with something of substance?
          http://www.thenation.com/...
          Distorting Russia

          How the American media misrepresent Putin, Sochi and Ukraine.
          ...
          The history of this degradation is also clear. It began in the early 1990s, following the end of the Soviet Union, when the US media adopted Washington’s narrative that almost everything President Boris Yeltsin did was a “transition from communism to democracy” and thus in America’s best interests. This included his economic “shock therapy” and oligarchic looting of essential state assets, which destroyed tens of millions of Russian lives; armed destruction of a popularly elected Parliament and imposition of a “presidential” Constitution, which dealt a crippling blow to democratization and now empowers Putin; brutal war in tiny Chechnya, which gave rise to terrorists in Russia’s North Caucasus; rigging of his own re-election in 1996; and leaving behind, in 1999, his approval ratings in single digits, a disintegrating country laden with weapons of mass destruction. Indeed, most American journalists still give the impression that Yeltsin was an ideal Russian leader.

          Since the early 2000s, the media have followed a different leader-centric narrative, also consistent with US policy, that devalues multifaceted analysis for a relentless demonization of Putin, with little regard for facts. (Was any Soviet Communist leader after Stalin ever so personally villainized?) If Russia under Yeltsin was presented as having legitimate politics and national interests, we are now made to believe that Putin’s Russia has none at all, at home or abroad—even on its own borders, as in Ukraine.
          ...

  •  Eeny meany Miny mo (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, martinjedlicka, mickT

    Let's see... hard choice   EU/US bankster austerity  Cargill Monsanto, corporate lizard overlords vs Sharp toothed Vlad heritage commie gangster capitalism. What is poor broke debt serf Ukraine to do?

    skip the light fandango, turn cartwheels across the floor

    by radicalink on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 12:34:51 PM PDT

    •  ask them. You ought not be surprised at their (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DiesIrae

      answer; but I bet you won't like it. The demos in Maidan Square give a hint

      Those who quote Santayana are condemned to repeat him. Me

      by Mark B on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 01:01:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yanukovich and pals (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83, Lawrence

      drafted 8-10 billion Euros equivalent to themselves out of the Ukrainian treasury each of the past 3 years at least.  No receipts given or asked for, of course.  And loaded up the country with debt.  Then fled when no one would loan them more and the payoffs had to stop.  

      It's called a 'bustout' in mafia lingo.  It leaves the victim bankrupt.  You should look it up.  

      In this austerity thing a lot of big government-subsidized companies on their last legs go bankrupt.  Disemploying all sorts of former regime-affiliated incompetents, cronies, relatives, and gangsters.  It was considered a bug for some time, but experience in post-Soviet eastern Europe showed it to be a feature and necessary to decorrupting the economy and political culture.  Despite all the unfortunate innocents who lost employment too.  

      •  No wonder Romney approved of Putin... (0+ / 0-)


        Romney just practiced vampire capitalism on hapless corportations.  Yanukovich practiced it on a country.

        "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

        by Yamaneko2 on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 08:50:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You are trying to infer Putin is going to rebuild (5+ / 0-)

    the Soviet Union.

    And since we are on the subject of history, please remember that Putin once described the breakup of the USSR as the "greatest geopolitical catastrophe" of the previous century. I guess he likes some parts of history better than others. That's what concerns me about the future.
    There was nothing in Putin's remarks that should cause concern for the rebuilding of the Soviet Union. He goes on to explain his reasoning.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/...

    He said the break-up of the USSR in 1991 was "a real drama" which left tens of millions of Russians outside the Russian Federation.

    He also said Russia must develop as a "free and democratic" country.

    But he stressed that Russia "will decide for itself the pace, terms and conditions of moving towards democracy".

    "We are a free nation and our place in the modern world will be defined only by how successful and strong we are".

    Here's a Putin quote to put things in perspective. "Anyone who doesn't regret the passing of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who wants it restored has no brains."
  •  As a thought experiment, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native

    pretend that the U.S. bases its foreign policy on national self-interest.  

    What, then, should be its attitude toward current event in Ukraine?

    Play chess for the Kossacks on Chess.com. Join the site, then the group at http://www.chess.com/groups/view/kossacks.

    by rhutcheson on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 12:47:15 PM PDT

    •  Simple. Cut a deal with Putin. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rhutcheson

      For example, Putin can have all of Ukraine with zero opposition (no economic sanctions, no diplomatic isolation, etc) if Putin, say, cuts prices on natural gas exports.  

      I'm sure there are better deals that can be made, but that's just off the top of my head.  My main point is that such a deal would be one example of acting purely in self-interest.  Make a deal with Putin that sells out the Ukrainian people and benefits both Putin and the US/West.  I'm not advocating it, I'm just answering your challenge.

      •  The U.S. national interest (0+ / 0-)

        is foremost to avoid an all-or-nothing confrontation with anyone.  Long- or short-term there's no consequence for the U.S. in that way whether Ukraine becomes a loose confederation or even if the eastern portions of Ukraine amalgamate with Russia.  The U.S. has no international obligations with Ukraine which would block portions of that country from voluntarily associating with the Russian Federation.

        Play chess for the Kossacks on Chess.com. Join the site, then the group at http://www.chess.com/groups/view/kossacks.

        by rhutcheson on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 03:21:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So, you're agreeing with my proposal, right? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happymisanthropy

          One way to avoid all-or-noting confrontation (confrontation that nobody is advocating, btw) is to cut a deal with Putin.  The other way is to just let Putin have Ukraine and we get nothing out of it.  It's better, from a self-interest standpoint, to cut a deal with Putin so that he gets Ukraine but we also get something out of it.

          One thing about just letting Putin have Ukraine and not even getting anything out of it by cutting a deal wit him, is that he then takes a long look at Moldova, Belarus (his puppet there is on shaky ground and Putin might want to shore up his position there by just taking it), Kazakhstan, Mongolia, etc.  Then he takes a look at Lithuania, a NATO member, and figures, "They've done nothing to stop my taking all these other countries, let me test their resolve wrt Lithuania, using security of Kaliningrad as my pretext".  Then WWIII begins.  Which is not in the US interest.  That's just a hypothetical scenario, but it might not be the case that just letting Putin have Ukraine is in the long term interest of the US or world in general.

          And screw it, I'm going Godwin: UK and France thought the best thing to do wrt Hitler was to avoid confrontation with him, thus they let him have the Sudetenland.  It led, not to peace, but to war.

  •  Mark Twain on irredentism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sophie Amrain, Ian Reifowitz

    "There isn't an acre on the face of the Earth in the possession of its rightful owner."

    There's no such thing as a free market!

    by Albanius on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 01:40:05 PM PDT

  •  If German reunification was celebrated by the West (0+ / 0-)

    then why not the same for the territory encompassed by the old USSR - minus the Baltic states.

    That's the debate that Russia's policy makers want with the West, but it's drowned out by competing fictions delivered by mass media in the US, EU, and even in Russia, to some extent.

    I'm not here to sell this for Russia, or endorse it. I'm not here to agree or disagree with anybody or anything. The diarist refers to borders and borders are fundamental to the policy gurus of Russia. The Czarist Era? Not so much.
    The former USSR republics that joined the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are the lands that were formerly joined in a single state that Russia wants to reunite. The Baltic states didn't join the CIS and are therefore excluded.

    What do Americans know about Kyrgyzstan? A couple of years ago a Presidential candidate campaigned on his ignorance of Uzbekistan-stan. Now Russia wants to know the specific reasons why it shouldn't be reunited with the "stans."

    That doesn't mean Russia has an airtight argument. For one thing, there's the cost of reunification which Merkel could explain to Putin. (He's not much of an economist.) He's talking about incorporating areas that are stuck in the post-Soviet era. Incredibly, and humorously, he said in a cabinet meeting last week that the US should contribute more to Ukraine because it was going to take more than handing out pies (not cookies?) at the Maidan.

    With all the talk about the IMF loan, no funds have been paid. Lagarde's statement from last week is here. She said the board would be in a position to consider it in late April - early May. I hope no one is holding their breath. No doubt the IMF is hesitant to start payments of a $27 billion loan program to a country that may not even exist in a year.

    •  Well, the majority of Germans on both sides (9+ / 0-)

      wanted to be reunited.

      That's not the case with most of the former Soviet Republics.

      Germans were forced apart, the Soviets forced others to join their empire.

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

      by Lawrence on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 01:58:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right. I don't know enough about each one of those (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sophie Amrain

        countries to say if they do or don't want reunification. I think enthusiasm varies from place to place.

        That's where additional arguments are layered on top of the basic question. What about reunification based on ethnic nationality? Assuming that Russians in the near abroad want to be reunited, what objection is there? The West says borders are borders and they can't be redrawn to incorporate ethnic Russians. (David Brooks ran this generic argument in WaPo today.)

        Russia doesn't buy this because borders were redrawn in Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia to correspond to ethnic nationalities. Why not for Russians?

        This argument dead-ends with a unilateral declaration that Russia is the sole master of its own fate and the question of its borders isn't up to the US or any external country to decide. It seems obvious to Russia that the US wouldn't consider Russia's best interest in the matter.

        Russia argues effectively that its borders are an existential matter of its own survival and full potential. It follows self interest, not abstract principle. The US doesn't have a consistent principle anyway, that was applied in Eastern Europe or the Caucasus. It's only consistent in its goal to diminish Russia. There's resentment here that's been festering for 20 years.
  •  Watch out Putin they still dream of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, happymisanthropy, Ian Reifowitz

    Genghis Khan in Mongolia and the Return of The Mongol Empire.

  •  Ian, we know President Putin is an oligarth? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, Lawrence

    It does concern me that Russian, and Ukrainian peoples' futures will be determined by a man who "tinkers with the flow".  That doesn't mean I'm blind to President Obama's ties to the EU and NATO.

    •  I'm confused (0+ / 0-)

      Obama is too close to the EU, and as proof his appointee said "fuck the EU." Which is it?

      What do the Defend-NSAers-at-any-cost hope for society to gain from Snowden turning himself in and standing trial? I suspect it'll be a cold day in hell before any of them finally give a reasonable, coherent answer to that question.

      by happymisanthropy on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 06:50:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  At any rate: The Russians shall not have (0+ / 0-)

    Constantinople

  •  Yeah, well, at one point "Russia" meant the Kievan (4+ / 0-)

    Rus, a confederation of slavic states ruled from Kiev.  Don't think the Ukrainians are going to claim title to Moscow based on that history, though.

    You can tell Monopoly is an old game because there's a luxury tax and rich people can go to jail.

    by Simian on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 03:06:37 PM PDT

  •  So how'd that work out for the Czar anyway? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, Ian Reifowitz

    Haven't seen one around since sometime around 1917.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 03:33:09 PM PDT

  •  Putin has a level-headed imperialist approach to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    politics. The US should be familiar with the imperialist part. Every sufficiently large nation is.

    please remember that Putin once described the breakup of the USSR as the "greatest geopolitical catastrophe" of the previous century.
    That sounds about right. It would have been much preferable for the Soviet Union to evolve democratically as one state instead of dissolving into dozens of more or less dictatorial and islamistic states.

    He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

    by Sophie Amrain on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 03:40:37 PM PDT

  •  How much of this is just Putin rhetoric? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    I still maintain Crimea was really about the fact it's:

    1) Small, population of 2 million mostly ethnic Russians

    2) Putin didn't want to pay rent and negotiate leases with a potential EU member state. Once Ukraine joined the EU it would be harder to bully.

    3) Crimea is Russia's only large warm water port in the Atlantic. If in 10-20 years a stronger Ukraine decided not to lease the port to Russian, their naval forces would be significantly constrained.

    4) His continued destabilization of Ukraine is a warning to Belorussian people, living in Europe's last true dictatorship.  

    Yes Putin is a nationalist, but I think some of his nationalism is just window dressing, to cover up his real aim of grabbing Crimea.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

    by dopper0189 on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 06:12:43 PM PDT

    •  Well, these type of conflicts have occured... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ian Reifowitz, dopper0189

      in Europe for many centuries.  Trying to get "ports" or "access".  It's human nature.  Where to begin?  Ummm....hmmm...Phoenician holds to southern Sicily?  Carthaganian holds to Southern Spain?  Romans access to the Elbe (resulting in disaster in 9 AD), Perhaps the Caliphs of Spain wanting access to France).  Mongols all the way to the West, conquering Western Europe in Whole?  Kievan Rus to the Black sea?  Vikings to hold all the way to North Africa?  Perhaps England in Keeping their hold in France?  Ottomans advancing to Vienna?  Napoleon to England?  Russia and Crimea in the Crimean war? Unified Germany to more land in France?  Austro-Hungarian to keep more and more of Serbia and other areas of the Balkans?  Poland to continue to take over larger swaths of Western Ukraine and Belarus?  Obviously Hitler and Sudetenland and Austria? (obviously wanted much more).....list is endless...

      Should add, welcome to the modern era, EVERYONE on this planet will be involved.  Europe, the source of humanity's misery since 1000 AD....

    •  The suddenly very organized and well armed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG, Ian Reifowitz

      unrest in eastern Ukraine, led by green men, seems to indicate that this is more than rhetoric.

      And btw, Sevastopol, Crimea, lies on the Black Sea and not the Atlantic.  And it is not Russia's only large Black Sea port.  Novorossiysk is nearby. and it is actually better-connected to mainland Russia.

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

      by Lawrence on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:53:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Green men? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence

        Is there the same kind of evidence for "green men" in eastern Ukraine that there was for them in Crimea?
        I haven't seen it the same kind of claims, but I'm no expert. Doesn't mean Russia isn't backing them, but it seems more subtle now.

        The Empire never ended.

        by thejeff on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 08:44:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's more subtle this time around, since there are (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ian Reifowitz

          no Russian military bases nearby.

          The pattern seems to be Russian Spetznaz and/or mercenaries storm a govt. building, then armed local thugs and/or Russian "tourists" take over.

          Here's a good example from Kramatorsk:

          Obviously not exactly credible to call these guys spontaneous protesters.  ;)

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

          by Lawrence on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 08:54:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I know Sevastopol is on the Black Sea (0+ / 0-)

        but it leads to the Atlantic (which was my point) and why the Russians covet it. When talking about navigation, all seas connected to major Oceans are considered to be part of it (The Mediterranean is part of the Atlantic, Persian gulf part of the Indian, etc). Russia's only other major warm water port is Vladivostok which lies on the Pacific, which was my second point.

        I wrote "large" warm water port. Because Novorossiysk although obviously a port city is not "large" on the scale Sevastopol is.

        -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

        by dopper0189 on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 10:03:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, but you are wrong here. The warm water (0+ / 0-)

          port thing is used as a false justification to explain away Russia's invasion of Crimea, but it is simply not true:

          Novorossiysk (Russian: Новороссийск, IPA: [nəvərɐˈsʲijsk]) is a city in Krasnodar Krai, Russia. It is the country's main port on the Black Sea and the leading Russian port for exporting grain. It is one of the few cities honored with the title of the Hero City. Population: 241,952 (2010 Census);[3] 232,079 (2002 Census);[6] 185,938 (1989 Census).[7]

          The Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port–with the market capitalization of $1,110,000,000 and shares listed at Moscow Exchange and London Stock Exchange–serves Russian sea trade with regions of Asia, Middle East, Africa] Mediterranean, and South America. It is the busiest oil port in the Black Sea and the terminus of the pipeline from the Tengiz Field, developed by the Caspian Pipeline Consortium.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

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

          by Lawrence on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 11:37:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your information is correct but it is (0+ / 0-)

            my understanding that Sevastopol is both a deeper and larger port, allowing for larger ships to dock there. Yes Novorossiysk  is very busy, I just don't think it can handle ships with the draft tonnage of Sevastopol.

            -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

            by dopper0189 on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 04:34:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  On the Other Hand (0+ / 0-)

    *

    Anything American in the Gay (18)90's is just peachy with corporations and all three branches of the federal government.

    FREE AMERICA

    DIRECT DEMOCRACY

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