“Obama rules out ‘military excursion’ in Ukraine” Reuters

""We need do not need to trigger an actual war with Russia," he told KSDK, a St. Louis station owned by Gannett in a separate interview. Obama, who imposed sanctions on 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials on Monday, said the United States will push diplomatic efforts to bring pressure on Russia to loosen its grip on the Crimea region of southern Ukraine. "There is a better path, but I think even the Ukrainians would acknowledge that for us to engage Russia militarily would not be appropriate and would not be good for Ukraine either," Obama told KNSD."  Reuters


Thank God.  Now he needs to shut Biden up.  A summit with Russia should be a top priority.  pl  


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89 Responses to “Obama rules out ‘military excursion’ in Ukraine” Reuters

  1. patrick lang says:

    Having escaped for now the calamity of nuclear war, we should offer human sacrifice on the mall to appease the wrath of Ares and father Zeus. Nominations? pl

  2. Charles I says:


  3. confusedponderer says:

    America could without loss and further ado sacrifice in descending order Nuland, the Kagans, Kristol, McCain, Biden, Kerry and, while at it, the whole bunch of neocon lunatics.
    Simply because it was their original intent and idea to sacrifice Ukrainians, Russians and lord knows who else on the altar of their outsized egos and, naturally, their outsized ideas of more or less benevolent American Overlordship over the places where these people happen to live.
    I will, on the occasion, break fast and have one of my best scotch tonight. The toast will be: To sanity!

  4. toto says:

    My bet is that Europe will not take any “painful” sanctions if things say as they are. Crimea is special, we get it. Laurent Fabius explicitly acknowledged that the delivery of French warships to Russia was merely “suspended” rather than “cancelled”.
    If Putin goes crazy and invades Eastern Ukraine, then drastic economic retorsion is very likely to happen, partly to defend our new BFF in Kiev, and partly out of sheer fear for our own (there were unhelpful noises in Moscow about Baltic countries recently).
    But… he won’t! So the “crisis” phase is essentially over. Champagne!

  5. CK says:

    So having escaped killing lots of people, we should now kill some people to celebrate? There is a lacuna there that escapes my decrepit mental processes.
    Although, as Stalin is purported to have said: “no man, no problem.”
    It is funny how progressive and socialist nations find it necessary to kill many or their own and others to enforce their ideals. And yet no matter how much the killing, their ideals just never take. I guess the only acceptable answer is to kill even more. If the Ukrainian Holdomor was not enough, bring on the Stalin purges and murders, if that was insufficient bring on Mao and the great leaps, if that is still to statistically unsatisfying, bring on Pol Pot and genocide.
    War can temporarily defuse issues. The Civil war defused the tariff issues that the north wanted to impose, WWII defused the world wide depression.

  6. Medicine Man says:

    Col.: Kristol, Krauthammer, the Kagans, basically all of the unreconstructed Neocons; the fact that there were no consequences to any of these people after Iraq may yet cost us all dearly.
    Like confusedponderer I may sacrifice a bottle of JD to my liver after this mess.

  7. turcopolier says:

    I am not a pacifist like you. I would placate the ancestral gods with the blood of those who almost destroyed us. pl

  8. kyooshtik says:

    Can we start by burning Kerry’s wig?
    Seriously, though, the nonchalance with which this statement is issued makes me wonder if the strategy isn’t to lure Putin into an occupation of the Ukraine; to swallow a poison pill of sorts in retribution for meddling with the plans for Syria. The Ukraine was good for Russia so long as it was “off the books” but in its loose control. If Putin puts it on the books and absorbs its costs and cash flow and is now responsible for policing it fulltime, it will be a major burden, not to mention al Qaeda is fond of the Tatars and al Qaeda now works for the U.S. as is witnessed in Syria.
    And Biden…I don’t even listen to him anymore and I have to believe the Russians think he’s a clown and laugh at him. Even with a sock in his mouth he’d be intolerable. What a perfect pick for VP. What is it with VPs?

  9. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    I nominate Bill Kristol. From an item at TalkingPointsMemo this week:
    …The forever-bellicose Kristol writes in the latest issue of The Weekly Standard that all this talk of the country’s “war-weariness” is nothing more than “an excuse to avoid maintaining our defenses or shouldering our responsibilities.”
    “…Will no brave leader step forward to honorably awaken us from our unworthy sleep?” he writes.
    You can’t make this stuff up.

  10. CK,
    ‘War can temporarily defuse issues.’
    Not uncommonly, war can definitively settle issues. Sometimes this unambiguously for the better, sometimes unambiguously for the worst, sometimes it is difficult if not indeed impossible, to reach any conclusion.
    The defeat of Hitler is I think a clear case of an issue well settled by war. But the intellectual, and moral, shallowness of contemporary American, and British, elites is revealed in the way that they obsessively portray their adversary of the moment as the new Hitler.
    In so doing, they both trivialise some of their own people’s most important historical achievements, and make it virtually inevitable that they will make one egregious foreign policy blunder after another.
    Sooner or later, these blunders may lead us into catastrophe. In relation to Ukraine, I have been relatively sanguine about the short-term possibilities of escalation to apocalypse involved in the current situation. Looking longer term, however, the prospect seems to me much bleaker.
    I would have thought that it ought to be clear to anyone reading Putin’s speech that he was endeavouring to bring out the special nature of the Crimean situation. Quite patently, he was seeking to explain that his readiness to reabsorb the peninsula into Russia did not mean he was all agog to send tanks into the remainder of Ukraine, let alone the Baltics, Georgia, Poland, Germany, France etc etc.
    However, it seems clear that Western establishments simply cannot grasp what he is trying to say, and attribute to him ‘revisionist’ aspirations that he quite patently does not have.
    It is also in my view now reasonably clear that underlying the current crisis is the fact that there are important sections of U.S. elites who do quite genuinely aspire to something that might be called ‘world domination’. Moreover, important sections of European elites are happy to collude with them – with the British being particularly salient offenders, perhaps due to the difficulty of shaking off ‘Connie Sachs syndrome.’
    Such aspirations seem liable to end, sooner or later, in apocalyptic conflagration.
    Some sense of danger needs to be reintroduced into American, and British, political arguments. Something has to be done to stop the apparently pervasive assumption that failure, in those in high office, has no consequences.

  11. Tyler says:

    Cass Sunstein, and Samantha Powers in addition to those other R2P idiots mentioned.
    Oh and Sen Juan McCain as well.

  12. kyooshtik says:

    “…’Will no brave leader step forward to honorably awaken us from our unworthy sleep’ he writes.”
    `readerOfTeaLeaves quoting Kristol
    Kristol’s an ass and metaphors, whilst a love them, don’t always work as intended. You never know what you’re going to get when you wake someone up. My wife and children are prime examples. They’re Col. Kurtz’s kind of soldiers when you try to wake them up in the morning. Vaccinated arms are just a warm up. I wrote about waking the wife up a while back. Here’s what I said:
    “The bedroom was a tomb, cold and dark, and the sleep machine filled it with the sound of bacteria hard at work amplified a million times. You do not jar my wife awake. She must be gently roused with a slight wiggle of the toe, and a languid “it’s time to get up.” If you are abrupt with her in any way, you’ll pay dearly for your transgression. Think Lorena Bobbitt on Angel Dust (PCP). Over the years, I perfected a method of rousing her without losing my penis and I employed that tried and true method before exiting the room.”
    If Kristol values his penis, assuming he has one and its workable, he might want to be careful about waking people up.

  13. rjj says:

    The ancestral gods have their own devices.
    The most destructive of The Furies is Gelomene** (she who ridicules); leave it to her.
    ** spelled variously

  14. Rd. says:

    “we should offer human sacrifice on the mall to appease the wrath of Ares and father Zeus. Nominations? pl ”
    congress (perhaps with some exceptions), and the major lobbyist in DC. then we can fix some of the internal issues too! like having a real and accountable government.

  15. Fred says:

    After the neocon hierarchy and their press mouthpieces and retweeters make sure to include the PhD political scientist professors who indoctrinate the ideology. Oh, and don’t forget to invite Jane Fonda.

  16. blue says:

    Here here. Let that be a lesson to the rest of you.

  17. Fred says:

    “The Civil war defused the tariff issues that the north wanted to impose…”
    Are you serious? Obama’s hero Lincoln didn’t try for a political solution to a tariff issue, he started a war – one war killed close to 10% of the male population of the Republic if not more. It destroyed the economies of all the Southern states and most of the infrastructure as well. What a way to solve a ‘tariff’ issue. Of course the Russian Federation has 10,000 nuclear weapons and we have 14,000. A war would kill most of us in the Northern Hemisphere. I don’t know about you but I don’t give a damn about the Ukrainians nor do I feel I have any moral obligation to free them, democratize them or fix their corrupt economic system. Let all those neocons and assorted do-gooders feel free to move over there and spend their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to help create a government of, by and for Ukrainians (and the Estonians, Latvians and – no offense to TTG – the Lithuanians too).

  18. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You wrote:
    ” that there are important sections of U.S. elites who do quite genuinely aspire to something that might be called ‘world domination’. Moreover, important sections of European elites are happy to collude with them – with the British being particularly salient offenders”
    Yes Mr. Habakkuk: the Iranian Government calls it “the Global Arrogance”.

  19. Tyler says:

    A false assumption: that anyone in the WH plays a deep game.

  20. Dismayed says:

    @ toto
    “If Putin goes crazy and invades Eastern Ukraine, …”
    I doubt he will need to. I suspect the vast majority of Ukrainians who aren’t fascists are waking up to the neo-Nazi horror our neo’s have foisted upon them. I hope that there is truth in reports that the Ukrainian army is working to intercept arms shipments to the ‘national guard’, the new Pravy Sektor/Svoboda Waffen SS. As soon as enough anarchy and fear set in, patriotic elements of the Ukrainian army can strike, rounding up neo-Nazi leadership, establishing an interim government, and announcing a hard-date for free elections.
    Civil war? Not if a decisive majority of the people view the current government as not only illegitimate but unable to govern the country. I can’t imagine the Russians aren’t trying to do what they can to facilitate such an outcome.
    How much control does Yatsenyuk have over his neo-Nazi ministers? Are they going to obey his orders, relayed from foreign masters? It seems to me that there is a fundamental and irreconcilable divergence of interest there. Are the neo-Nazis smart enough to bend until Western money starts flowing in and too much Western ‘prestige’ is on the line for Yats’ backers to change course? They have a significant bargaining chip in the not necessarily explicitly articulated threat of a reprise of the 2nd Russian Revolution.

  21. Bobo says:

    Brennan, Clapper and Alexander are only fitting for Zeus. The others previously mentioned would be tossed back as strictly garbage by Ares.

  22. steve g says:

    Charles I and Tyler:
    I would add the nom de guerre to
    the “Senior Senator of Arizona the
    uncontested Jack D.Ripper McCain”,
    he who has steadfastly protected the
    nation and its bodily fluids from
    contamination by the various proxies
    of the unclean and misbegotten not soon
    or ever to be remembered. Cigars
    for all, Mandrake!!

  23. tv says:

    Putin makes a move toward one of the Baltic states, all NATO members.
    Then what?

  24. Joe100 says:

    And let’s not forget the neocon funders like Sheldon Adelson. I assume there are others…

  25. VietnamVet says:

    You’ve nailed it. How did the Western Elite not think that a neo-nazi coup in Kiev would not threaten Armageddon?
    First, they have a true believers faith that they are doing God’s work spreading democracy and faith east. Second, more subjects and more war mean more wealth. Finally, they have ascended above evil government and retarded state bureaucrats. They are the Masters of the Universe; especially, this place, right now, when they no longer have to worry about jail time.

  26. walrus says:

    “Peace in our time”? I don’t think so. We have awoken the Bear. Col. Lang is right, hang the Neocon bastards from the nearest lamp posts.
    So Russia gets Crimea, we impose economic sanctions on Putin and his advisors, “naughty Russians”! Golf claps all round now lets talk about the death of L’wren Scott and grieving Mick Jagger…..
    Today, we are one assassination away from a Russian ultimatum to Ukraine. Putin has called the West for its total hypocrisy, to the approval of the entire non western world. He has labeled the new Ukrainian Government for what it is: “Banderastan”. He has successfully mobilised the forces of Russian nationalism by reminding them of the sacrifices they made the last time fascism reared its head. Russia is going to come out of this stronger, assuming we all come out instead of being reduced to radioactive ash.
    As the blogger “The Saker”, David Habakkuks brilliant find, explained, we have galvanised Russia:
    “Unlike the the USA or Europe, Russians have a much longer attention span. While in the West nobody cares to ever remember that, Russians do remember the promise made to Gorbachev not to move NATO to the East, they remember the US bombing and invasion of Bosnia and Kosovo, they remember the West’s support for Chechen Wahabis and Jewish oligarchs like Berezovsky, they remember the West’s full support for Saakashvili’s attack on Russian peacekeepers and the people of South Ossetia, they remember the deployment of missiles all around Russia and they remember the war on Libya, and the US and EU sponsored butchery of Syria. And as one commentator put it yesterday, “this time it is not about Syrians or Ukrainians, it’s about us, we are next in line”.
    Read Putins speech:
    Who do we blame for this state of affairs? THe usual Neocon suspects of course, plus the “responsibility to protect” idiots; don’t they understand that their first duty of protection is to the citizens of the United States?
    Then of course there are the vengeful morons still trying to give effect to their parents and grandparents revenge fantasies:
    Senator Durbin: “My Lithuanian-born mother would be proud her son made Vladimir Putin’s American enemies list.”
    The only good to come out of this mess is that these political children and their supporters have exposed themselves for what they are. Hopefully the American people will know what to do with them.

  27. NancyK says:

    I agree with you completely. I didn’t have to break a fast but my husband and I did share a very good bottle of wine.

  28. crf says:

    Kerry and Putin. Putin ought to retire in 6 months. He is probably the most important sacrifice for Russia to make in order to begin mending relations with its neighbours.
    Another question is whether it’s America’s policy for Russia to have good relations with its neighbours. Putin’s speech plainly states he doesn’t believe it. Looking at the US influence in the events in Ukraine and Georgia, I don’t believe it either! And I can’t for the life of me think of why America would have such a policy. Does it want Russia to fail? (Of course, Russia, with no interference from America, has not been the best of neighbours: it is culpable too.)
    This is scary. Because China is also watching. And Putin’s characterization of America as something of a malevolent force with impossible to understand policies, even in dealing with countries packed to brim full of nuclear weapons, will be very sobering to the Chinese.
    If Russia falls too far, the world goes boom. If it is America’s policy to make Russia fall, then that’s insane. America needs to explain its policy, and explain how its recent actions further that policy. (The push for only very limited Russian sanctions are a good sign that America is not led by the insane! Whew.)
    The most welcome explanation would be that America felt Russia had insulted it over Syria. So America thought, being the unthinking bully that it can be, it ought to punch Russia a little harder, and destroy its influence in Ukraine, and its nascent trading bloc. Then things got a little out of hand with the Fascist takeover and the Crimea thing, and Russia over-reacted. And in 50 years times Russia and America, being friendly again, can look back and laugh at how we came within days of world war three. But if that is what happened, America could never publicly admit it.
    It is most essential that American and Russia as soon as possible come to a clear understanding of what these recent events represent. Even if it would be extremely difficult for the Democratic party to retain its influence in congress should it be seen as “going soft” on Russia, the threat of war is right now still far too real. Judging from rhetoric, there are too many Republicans and Democrats who would unthinkingly trade the threat of armageddon for a political office.

  29. Mark Logan says:

    I’m a little worried about how the sending to them of Bill Kristol might be perceived. This should not be a garbage dump.
    Otherwise, two thumbs up (down?).

  30. Medicine Man says:

    Amen. The fact that Kristol continues to fail upwards after 10 years of being horrible is a clear indication of the state of things.

  31. Medicine Man says:

    David Habakkuk:
    It isn’t a raging endorsement of Obama but he seems to recognize a disaster when it is staring him in the face; conversely, it is a measure of his weaknesses that he needs to get a close look before he makes up his mind.
    What worries me is that I can imagine someone even less suitable than Obama being elected President — for one BS cultural reason or another — and then where is the Northern Hemisphere? We’ve seen how momentum for involvement in almost any imminent disaster can be generated, how such disasters can be manufactured, and how they will be covered in the most sophomoric fashion by the media (Are we showing strength? Are we losing Ukraine? etc.). Is it only a matter of time before are dangerously disconnected US leader well and truly steps in it?
    I truly hope the divisions and rivalries in the US political system continue. In the long term, I think our only hope is for the rest of the US leadership to howl “stop” when the inevitable anointed imbecile walks the country up to the brink.

  32. Tyler says:

    If this state sends McCain back to the Senate, it just shows HL Mencken was a prophet when he said “Democracy is the idea that people know what they want – and deserve to get it good and hard.”

  33. Tyler says:

    Prepare a safety parachute for you and your loved ones. Its all going downhill and its going to be a bumpy ride.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Zeus says he’ll only settle for the fairest thing in your realm. Since you don’t have Eowin with you there I’m affraid he wants the next best thing and that would be Dempsey the demi-god.
    He says those you offer instead, the girls, the Kagan jews, senator Juan, the black MacDonald’s manager, Hitlery Clinton, the neofools, neoclowns, pierrots, harlequins and the like were always supposed to be just a dancing party in a mardi gras parade instead of being involved in imperial foreign policy. That it has become an american policy to confuse the value of people for their gender, colour, religion, social network, lobby affiliation, doesn’t mean that it also has become Olympian policy. He says he’s not yet offended by your less than quality offer because it was Col. Lang who started the sacrifice call in the wrong direction, but he warns the colonel that if Dempsey is noncompliant he’ll settle for his soul instead. Zeus only savours the best.
    Says the humble oracle of Zeus… a most dangerous occupation…

  35. turcopolier says:

    I await my nemesis. pl

  36. optimax says:

    I nominate John Stewart and Stephen Colbert. They provide a safe zone for the young hipsters to smugly enjoy their apathy by equating gay rights with national security, for selling the dangerous idea that the EUSA has the right to dictate political and moral terms to Russia. Neither one has the guts of a George Carlin to call our leaders insane, or in Obama’s case, childishly dangerous.

  37. Alba Etie says:

    Also too..Sen McCain’s well known office wife Sen Lindsey Graham

  38. John Gavin says:

    I would be a little bit pleased if I thought the President and his ilk recognized that protecting the territorial integrity of Ukraine was not worth a shooting war with Russia, but also reflected on the actions/inactions of NATO and the EU over the last decade that have contributed to this current mess…and, resolved to move forward in an intelligent manner.
    Instead, Shotgun Joe is running around the region reassuring Obama (but not the allies) that all is well and we will protect them, though I don’t believe we have a clue how we will deter Putin, riding on his wave of nationalism, from eyeing Estonia or other countries with ethnic Russian populations.

  39. Alba Etie says:

    Saker also stated that Russians when threatened do not get angry – they concentrate.

  40. Alba Etie says:

    Col Lang .,
    Can we wait with you ? We might remind anonymous you are our mentor , curator ,professor , and referee hear at SST . And if when nemesis should come after you – he/she /it might discover to late that it would actually be coming after the “whole trailer park” . Wonder if we should post a no trespassing sign in Classic Greek at the front gate ?

  41. Brad Ruble says:

    Drop them off at Bagdad International and let them walk to town.

  42. nick b says:

    Would we not be wiser to worship at the altar of Athena, most favored child of Zues? Athena, goddess of strategy and wisdom in battle. Athena, who brought Ares to surrender, not once but twice. The Spartans made human sacrifice of prisoners of battle to Ares, and in this case, we have none.
    Zues always seemed partial oxen, a few hundred head would be proper.

  43. ALL: US power at least soft power was built on domestic piece and prosperity. This is about to end IMO. And since those the Gods would destroy they first make crazy I would lead some below the horizon to the mall–perhaps Eliot?

  44. confusedponderer says:

    My suggestion rests on Kristol’s deserving it, and not so much on them derserving it. The same goes for the rest of the crew.
    What really irks me about these failures, lunatics and incopmetents is that they bluster, boast and blunder without consequence.
    Obama is probably addressing political necessities for himself but …
    So Kerry is an idiot, his foreign policy and his foreign policy staff is dangerous and ridden by delusions of American Exceptional Overlordship and generally violent impulses, and Kerry cannot possibly brought to reconcile himself to the idea that peace must be made with Iran?
    He isn’t fired for that. Instead Obama had some adult set up the NSC as a yecond state department and has Iran negotiations run out of that shop.
    Same for Nuland. Still not fired, despite outright torpedoing US-Russian relations almost single handedly? What about her overseers? They must be just as dumb to give her so much leash.
    Her extended family, the Kaganses, have, just like Kristol, yet to find a country they wouldn’t like to bomb. Their pet projects have probably by now killed a million people over the last one and a half decades.
    Powers and her like are IMO in it for personal-actualisation, which is IMO still worse than all that neocon nuttery.
    Samantha Power was quoted of complaining that all that aiding refugees was merely “rinkey-dink do-gooder stuff”, and something without consequence – much unlike her current activities that seem to have focused on inciting possibly nuclear war with Russia. Plenty of cosequence there. Happy now?
    I think in the absence of any accountability for incompetence, rank dangerousness or failure sacrifice to ancestral god is simply better than nothing.

  45. Fred says:

    For 238 years the USA has had no obligation to protect Ukraine. Can Barrack Obama please explain why that needs to change now? What has Ukraine provided to the United States in the time to justify our defending them?

  46. shepherd says:

    We signed a piece of paper called the Budapest Memorandum that vaguely committed us and some other countries to preserve Ukraine’s borders. This was in exchange for the quite prudent policy of removing nuclear weapons from the hands of the Ukrainians. They have justified our caution many times over, not least by giving up their weapons for a memorandum that obligated no one to do anything.

  47. Babak Makkinejad,
    At the Valdai Club meeting last September, there was a – slightly slapstick – exchange between Putin and the Soviet-era Russian émigré to the United States Dimitri Simes, about European double standards, in which Simes quoted Henry Kissinger:
    “And I must tell you honestly, as President Putin’s friend and admirer Henry Kissinger says, it’s a well-known double standard in international relations when you differentiate between friends and adversaries; this double standard is normal, but you must know when to stop.”
    (See http://eng.kremlin.ru/news/6007 )
    Both in the U.S. and also the U.K., elites no longer know ‘where to stop.’

  48. Fred says:

    Since the Russian Federation is a signatory are their actions not compliant with the memorandum since Victoria Nuland et.al and their $5 billion has destabilized the lawful government as recognized by the signatory states of said memorandum? However, as you point out we did sign some memorandu, so please tell me where in the Constitution memorandums are binding lawful agreements requiring action by the United States? I don’t know of any. We went from 1776 to 1994 with zero commitment to defend Ukraine, however its borders are drawn, I’m quite happy to ‘vaguely assure’ the government of Ukraine of the inviolability of said borders; especially since they are not pointing ICBMs at the US.
    I’m quite willing to send Victoria and all here colleagues to be the ‘tip of the spear’ in defense of Ukraine – as long as they spend their own sweat, tears, toil, money and yes, their own lives. Otherwise to damn bad for the Ukrainians. Perhaps we would be better advised to sign an agreement with the Russian Federation to not interfere with states on their borders and they can adhere to the Monroe Doctrine – regardless of Swiftboat John’s statements that it’s no longer in effect.

  49. Mark Logan says:

    Quite. My main concern is I suspect Obama delegated foreign affairs to Hillary though, I see nothing in his resume that indicates any knowledge of the subject. Nearly all of these folks rose under her tenure, which is disconcerting to put it mildly. Kerry took the organization over because…I don’t know…I guess it was just “his turn”. He’s a phony. A politician with a self-delusion of being a statesman.
    Lavrov undertook the ordeal of arguing with him for nearly six straight hours last week, and when he came out there seem to me to have been indications in John’s statements he was scratching around for a face-saving way out. At least a bit, here and there. It seems plausible to me both Kerry and Obama are slowly discovering their advisers have not been giving them wise advice but are a little trapped by their earlier statements.
    Our Constitution attempted to create a system of selecting a chief executive that would insulate it, at least to a degree, from populism. It failed. Utterly.

  50. Thomas says:

    You have been sounding the alarm over the years on Narcissists, so of course these people in charge believe what they are doing is ‘protecting America”. Us goobers of yokeldom are just not seeing light of their superior intellect and fail to understand that saving the world for Freedom and Democracy is our manifest destiny.
    They want war in such a bad way that they are doing and saying everything in their influential power to bring it about this year. This is why Bibi is claiming Hizbullah caused the recent attack in Golan, when any sentient being knows Nasrallah would even think of such an action. Well, if the US won’t be tricked into providing Qadea Corp with air support, the Most Moral Military amongst Mankind (in their own minds) can be through their self delusions.
    Hope for the US would be a presidential challenger running as an Independent to galvanize the support of the country’s common sense center. On election, a revamping of executive department with new capable people would restore a semblance of sanity and rationality to policies.

  51. shepherd says:

    I think we’re in agreement, though I may have misled you slightly. It’s not a document in which we promise to protect Ukraine. For the most part, it’s a promise not to attack it. There some vague commitments about its security, but nowhere do we say we’d intervene militarily to protect it.
    The document is somewhat absurd in that it doesn’t contain anything that isn’t in other conventions, etc. to which many are signatories. Oh, yes, except for my favorite clause, the one in which we all solemnly swear not to nuke Ukraine. Like I said in an earlier post, I knew a Ukrainian involved in the negotiations. He must feel very proud today.

  52. Anna-Marina says:

    Thank you. There is a Russian proverb, “a bad peace better than a good war.” Not surprisingly, the main cheerleaders for a war are the acknowledged cowards (chicken hawks) that have am orgasmic joy when envisioning, sadistically, other people’s children maimed and dead.
    The greatest problem is indeed the dangerously weakened democratic institutions, which translates into the unaccountability on the top. How come that Helen Thomas was swiftly removed from White House Press Corps for a side phrase in a private conversation, whereas Krystol and Kagans, which influence inflicted great cost on the US, continue polluting the air with their putrid speeches? Something is badly broken in this country when truth and justice are totally ignored.

  53. Anna-Marina says:

    The neocons are not interested in protecting the citizens of the United States. Until this simple fact is not a common knowledge, the US citizens continue suffer from the snooty stupidity of Krystol, Kagans and Co.

  54. Anna-Marina says:

    “I’m quite willing to send Victoria [Nuland] and all here colleagues to be the ‘tip of the spear’ in defense of Ukraine – as long as they spend their own sweat, tears, toil, money and yes, their own lives.”
    Very reasonable idea.

  55. shepherd says:

    I keep seeing people throwing around the idea that we somehow spent $5 billion to fuel the street protests that undermined the government of Ukraine. Doesn’t that strike anyone as an awful lot of money to be spent on motorcycle helmets and baseball bats?
    This has been debunked in many places. $5.2 billion is the total amount of aid for democracy-building programs given to the Ukraine by the State Department since 1992. For a full discussion on Politifact see: http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/mar/19/facebook-posts/united-states-spent-5-billion-ukraine-anti-governm/

  56. turcopolier says:

    It takes a lot of money to support political action groups. In addition to NED, there is also Freedom House. What do you think of that one. Its president was on the Newshour last night, a neocon through and through. pl

  57. Augustin L says:

    Censorship ???

  58. shepherd says:

    I don’t think we disagree. I was only talking about the $5 billion said to have been spent directly by the US government in support of the street protesters. That didn’t happen. We did spend about $235 million per year over the last 22 years to help Ukraine build a democratic electoral process that delivered us a leader we didn’t like and thus tried to undermine.

  59. walrus says:

    “Democracy building programs”? As someone who was subjected to Twenty years of this I have to react. It is most definitely NOT benign and I don’t care what Politifact has to say.
    As I have said before, perhaps None of you have experienced this stuff because it was illegal to do it in America under the Smith Mundt Act.
    America ran its own version of the defunct Politburo through foundations, “charities” and quasi non government organisations and no doubt has been mobilising these same techniques in Ukraine.
    THe purpose of this activity is not to “educate”, it is to identfy current and future leaders and opinion makers and get them to accept American versions of democracy and at the same time American values and an American worldview while rejecting your opponents worldview.
    On a more general level it is designed to sway public opinion towards a favourable opinion of American institutions and the American worldview. While at the same time creating an unfaourable opinion of your opponenent.
    The methods I have seen used include:
    – endless TV, newspaper and internet product that always portrays America in a good light and Russia in the reverse.
    – A sophisticated “capture” program aimed at Academics, with a stream of free Ameican conferences, research programs and appointments to Ivy league Universities available for the asking.
    – Capture programs for identified young leaders in business and the community often via scholarships and participation in free “fact finding” missions.
    Much of this is delivered via “friendship societies” and “committees for” exactly like the Politburo model.
    I would expect all of this and more will have been deployed in Ukraine and it is expensive. That is how Nuland and others could discuss which politician suited them.
    The first questoin asked to any Ukrainian politician right now is “have you ever been to THe United States and if so, in what capacity”?

  60. shepherd says:

    Freedom House in particular has been active in the Ukraine and criticized for intervening in electoral processes there. I don’t dispute at all that we’ve spent heavily to influence elections in Ukraine–as have many others.

  61. turcopolier says:

    Augustin L
    If you are referring to my banning of people, yes, I am the censor here. If I think your comments are not worthy of publication they will not be published. pl

  62. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Has anyone been able to follow the state of Ukrainian armed forces, especially its troops in Crimea? There are persistent stories of large scale defections or, at least, of indifference to the orders from the Kiev gov’t. Very few of the these stories seem credible. The story of the “national guard” being formed from ultranationalists seem to suggest that the Kiev gov’t does not trust its police forces, but not even they could delude themselves into thinking that an armed mob can take the place of an army…

  63. Fred says:

    You mean there is a document of less value today than used toilet paper yet our media and professional political class continue to spout “the Budapest Memorandum” as an obligation? Surprising how the uninvolved yet morally superior flog the public into obedience to their agenda.

  64. Fred says:

    Why is it the obligation of the people of the Untied States of America to give any money to the people of Ukraine for anything?
    “Doesn’t it strike anyone as an awful lot of money to be spent on motorcycle helmets and baseball bats?”
    The only one posting here to make such a disingenuous remark is you.
    Thanks for the link. it’s great to know that in 1992 Ukraine was not a democracy and needed the US Government to support it.
    1993, Ukraine still not a ‘democracy’ 1994, Ukraine still not a ‘democracy’; 1995,6,7,8,9 2000….. 2014 – Democracy! We need to support that democracy, we even get Obama saying he wants to give them $1 billion. Ain’t that great, Detroit you deserve zero, Ukraine deserves a billion. Hurricane Sandy victims, you don’t deserve resbuilding, Ukraine deserves rebuilding.
    Even better is how the reporter in that Tampa Bay Times article points out
    “And Obama was elected in 2008, so any connection between $5 billion and Obama also is inaccurate.” He was a United States Senator and apparently not responsible for all those votes he made – including ones ratifying funding bills originating in the House of Representative.
    Great to see how that democracy building works. Time for a few reporters to figure out who’s supposed to be representing ‘we the people’ and that it is the United States of America, not the United States of Europe, or Ukraine.

  65. Mark Logan says:

    This seems credible and has been widely reported:
    The Russians are offering the Ukrainian military in the Crimea membership in the Russian army with full pensions, which works out to better than 5x what they make now. The nations police fled from Kiev to Crimea, and since the new government has demonized them their defections seem understandable.

  66. different clue says:

    Just earlier I heard a news report about how Rasmussen of NATO has called the Russian conquest of Crimea ” the most dangerous threat to world peace and order in the world today”.
    If Rasmussen is not a neocon or neocon fellow-traveler specifically or even influenced by such, then who IS he influenced by and whom DOES he work for and with? Is this the general opinion of the European governating class? Is this simply an effort to re-invigorate NATO and restore Russia to permanent-enemy status in a new Cold War designed to take Euro-American public minds off of the economic sabotage and decay being spread throughout parts of Europe and America today?

  67. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think you meant “Com-Intern” and not Polit-Bureau.

  68. walrus says:

    Sheperd. We did NOT “spend about $235 million per year over the last 22 years to help Ukraine build a democratic electoral process.”
    We spent it to put in place a Ukrainian government that would reject Russia and cleave to the United States.
    Take a look at the programs of the U.S – Ukraine foundation where your 5 billion went – this is political indoctrination:
    ” The network of CSR Europe has played a key role in fostering dialogue and cooperation between business, policymakers and other stakeholders to advance the CSR movement in Europe and globally. The Centre for CSR Development, Ukraine became the first organizational member of CSR Europe for Ukraine and the post Soviet states. ”
    “The Foundation assists the development of Ukraine’s legal sector by providing informational resources, holding seminars at Ukrainian law schools, offering travel grants for Ukrainians to attend international legal conferences, and facilitating communications between American and Ukrainian legal professionals. ”
    “Ukraine 2020, an initiative of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation in Washington and the Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy in Kyiv, is designed to support Ukraine’s European integration which President Yanukovych has declared as a priority goal for Ukraine.
    Ukraine 2020 has three important components – Policy Dialogue, Advancing Ukraine’s Image and Competitiveness, and People-to-People Exchanges. ”
    “In 1997, the POID in cooperation with the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation started implementing a three-year USAID-funded Community Partnerships Project for Training and Education. The POID identified and selected 18 Ukrainian partnership cities, as well as established and staffed five regional training centers (RTCs), whose mission is to train and educate Ukrainian local government officials. Today, the RTCs work with approximately 2000 cities, towns and villages, including every city officially classified under oblast and regional subordination. Most workshop participants come from smaller cities and towns, where they have limited access to practical information. ”
    “The 40 Under 40 Initiative isdesigned to annually identify 40 outstanding Ukrainians under the age of 40 who demonstrate leadership within their profession while making a significant contribution to the development of their community and Ukraine. Those selected represent a cross section of professions, whether they are in business, the arts, education, science, sports, etc., and regions of Ukraine……..
    ..Participating in these sessions were individuals from the Bush School of Government and Public Service and the Clinton School of Public Service. Former U.S. diplomats and U.S. governments officials who participated in these sessions and throughout the overall conference included Ambassadors William Green Miller, Steven Pifer, John Tefft, and Roman Popadiuk, as well as Andy Card, former Chief of Staff for President George W. Bush, and General Colin Powell, who as served in President George W. Bush’s Administration as Secretary of State.”
    “The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation recently awarded $64,000 in scholarships to 78 Ukrainian college students along with $21,000 for English language books to schools in Dubno and Slavuta for the 2007-2008 academic year through its Sutaruk Scholarship Program. ”
    “Youth Leadership Program 2008 will give U.S. students a “Washington experience” to the public policy process – appreciating the components of the process, discussion with “players,” developing important leadership skills and understanding how to take a more active role.
    Students will develop an increased awareness of Ukraine in the global perspective and will learn the importance of the Ukrainian-American community in U.S.-Ukraine relations. By meeting professionals in government and non-profit sectors, students will better understand the various Washington career choices available to them.’
    “The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation welcomes applicants for its Internship Program! Encouraged to apply are undergraduate and graduate students who have a wide variety of interests, such as international relations, public administration, political science, history, journalism, law, public health, web design, economics, and finance.
    The Foundation makes every effort to provide a mutually beneficial internship that is tailored to each intern’s interests and the needs of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation.
    Possible duties include:
    Reporting: Cover Congressional testimony and hearings on Capitol Hill; track U.S. Government statements and provide an anlysis of the current political situation in Washington; compile reports and summaries of conferences and lectures.
    Communications: Support public relations activities by writing press releases and news stories; provide research for U.S.-Ukraine Foundation publications; and assist with website development.
    Projects: Work on various U.S.- Ukraine Foundation projects or initiatives.
    Administrative: Help provide financial management overview; and provide general office support.
    Research: Assist in research for special projects and Foundation development initiatives; and respond to research questions relating to U.S.-Ukraine relations.”
    “Open World has introduced more than 16,500 current and future decision makers from Ukraine, Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union to American political and civic life, and to their American counterparts. Open World delegates range from first-time mayors to veteran journalists, from nonprofit directors to small-business advocates, and from political activists to judges at all levels. ”
    “Dr. Lee Edwards, Chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, announced that the Foundation would be launching the online Global Museum on Communism in June, coinciding with the 2nd anniversary of the opening the Memorial. He drew attention to the inscriptions on the stone pedestal of the Monument: To the more than one hundred million victims of communism and those who love liberty. Since the unveiling of the Monument, representatives of various nations and ethnic groups visited the Memorial to honor the memory of those victimized by Communist regimes.
    The next speaker was Dr. Greta Uehling, an anthropologist, who lived with Crimean Tatars in Uzbekistan and Crimea while conducting research for her award winning dissertation at the University of Michigan. Author of a book, Beyond Memory: Crimean Tatars’ Deportation and Return (2004), Dr. Uehling noted that Crimean Tatars’ yearning for and “memory” of their homeland sustained them during a 50 year movement for repatriation and described their recent efforts to reestablish their lives in Crimea.
    A member of the Parliament of Ukraine, the Honorable Yurii Miroshnychenko, who happened to be visiting in Washington, was also in the audience. He wanted to participate in the ceremony and spoke briefly. The Ukrainians had also suffered under the Soviet regime. The Famine of 1932-33, which claimed the lives of millions of people, he stated, was a crime of genocide committed against the Ukrainian people. The ceremony ended with a moment of silence, led by Inci Bowman, who summarized what the date May 18 or Black Day means to Crimean Tatars”

  69. William Herschel says:

    It’s now tanks versus banks in Ukraine. Unless, of course, the British House of Commons can be convinced to put British troops into Eastern Ukraine.
    Tanks versus banks. I seriously wonder which will prevail. Western history since 2007 would seem to give the upper hand to banks.

  70. Fred says:

    “U.S.-Ukraine Foundation”
    that sounds allot like the Iraqi National Congress front group that Ahmed Chalabi used to bilk us out of hundred of millions.They were both founded in 1991. Surprise, surprise. I’m sure it is now time for congress to pass the Ukrainian Liberation Act, especially since the Iraqi Liberation Act worked out so well for the United States.

  71. Fred says:

    Let me know when Obama sanctions Ford for its JV – Ford Sollers, which operates in Russia.
    How about those Europeans? Paging Angela Merkel:
    Maybe the House of Commons can shut down JPMorgan:
    We won the cold war, we should get over it. The USA had no obligation to defend Eastern Europeans for over two centuries, we have no obligation now.

  72. kyooshtik says:

    Thanks for that information. Just as we all expected. That’s a great deal of money, resources and effort. It sounds like a deep, long game to me. Maybe it’s not this WH’s deep, long game but it sure is someone’s or something’s.

  73. Norbert M Salamon says:

    pleas listen to:
    Forget Russia dumping US treasuries.. here is the REAL economic treat: at Zerohedge.com March 21 [today”s]

  74. Thomas says:

    “As Prime Minister, Rasmussen strongly supported the 2003 Iraq War.”
    Another member of the Incestuous Club of Internationalists.

  75. Thomas says:

    “As I have said before, perhaps None of you have experienced this stuff because it was illegal to do it in America under the Smith Mundt Act.”
    No, we are experiencing it now.

  76. crf says:

    pl, can Ukraine remain a united country?

  77. turcopolier says:

    That seems unlikely in the long run. pl

  78. Charles I says:

    you guys have so disillusioned me!

  79. Charles I says:

    You’re not watching the show I’m watching however hip and smug the rest of the viewers mght be.

  80. Charles I says:

    Changing of the guard, means change uniform or ditch it and get out of Crimea. Anybody seen any further reports on the few soldiers who barricaded themselves as their base was overrun?

  81. Charles I says:

    Even a post Crimea entity will be riven with conflict, latent and stoked. There’s got to be Russians everywhere by now. Territorial integrity will not equal internal unity for quite some time. During which there is sure to e constant domestic maneuvering and foreign meddling.

  82. turcopolier says:

    Charles I
    Ah, but you are a better person for it. “Neither fear nor hope.” pl

  83. Alba Etie says:

    We should have Bill Kristol & Robert Kagan walk point for the Nuland ‘tip of the spear” and have them on Adelsen’s payroll while doing so ..

  84. shepherd says:

    That’s a pretty solid refutation, thanks.

  85. shepherd says:

    As a reply to everyone, I made a minor, circumscribed point here. There’s a story that we somehow arrived in Ukraine a few months ago with $5 billion in a bag to support street protests. I did not argue that we and everyone else didn’t try to buy our way into the Ukrainian political process. This is Ukraine, after all.
    For the record, I’ve done business in Ukraine and Moldova over the years. I’ve also worked with lots of foreign aid organizations. The only thing that surprises me is the degree of coordination and intent that Walrus outlines. In my experience, which is admittedly limited, things tend to be more messy than that. I definitely learned something from him.

  86. ALL: Apparently Ukrainian officials requested today that the UN dispatch peacekeepers to the Ukraine [April14th]!

  87. Fred says:

    Great, maybe they can move the Nepali’s who brought (or were at least blamed for bringing) cholera to Haiti. Why the UN could even send women! I’m sure that will bring peace in our time.

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