Open thread: Obama to make statement on Ukraine at 4:45; Update: “There will be costs”

posted at 4:38 pm on February 28, 2014 by Allahpundit

Turn on your TV. We’re about to find out what an “intervention line” is and how you cross it.

Does this qualify?

Russian aircraft carrying nearly 2,000 suspected troops have landed at a military air base near the regional capital of the restive Crimean peninsula, a top Ukrainian official said Friday, accusing Moscow of an “armed invasion”.

“Thirteen Russian aircraft landed at the airport of Gvardeyskoye (near Simferopol) with 150 people in each one,” Sergiy Kunitsyn, the Ukrainian president’s special representive in Crimea, told the local ATR television channel, adding the air space had been closed.

Ukraine’s ambassador told the UN this afternoon that 11 Russian military helicopters plus some unknown number of military transport planes landed in Ukraine today. Stand by for updates. While we wait, why not take a stroll down memory lane?

Update: Is this how Putin stays on the right side of the “intervention line”?

A creeping Kremlin takeover of Crimea by ostensibly local ethnic Russian forces is more likely than a military assault on all or parts of Ukraine, U.S. and European intelligence officials and analysts said…

“Moscow knows an army invasion would cause too many problems, so they’re operating just below the waterline to make it look like a bottom-up movement led by ethnic Russians,” Joerg Forbrig, a senior program officer at the Berlin bureau of the German Marshall Fund of the U.S., said in a phone interview. “They’re avoiding the impression of an open military intervention, but that’s what it is.”

“It would be a last resort if there are Russian casualties in Crimea,” Forbrig said. “There could also be provocations aimed at trigging a Russian intervention. Something might happen at an office, a government building, to the infrastructure or even an attack on a military memorial to create a pretext for the Kremlin to move in.”

In other words, to give the west a way to save face in acquiescing in a Russian takeover, Putin’s willing to halfheartedly stage this as some sort of domestic Crimean uprising rather than an invasion by Moscow. (The troops who took over the airports in Crimea are reportedly Russian mercenaries, not regular troops, presumably to sustain this pretense.) Then the EU and Obama can spin it as some sort of ethnic-Russian counterpart in the south to what’s been happening with the Euromaidan protesters in Kiev. Problem is, no one seriously believes it, especially with Ukrainian officials claiming that thousands of Russian troops are being flown in. O may want to play along with Putin’s charade but I don’t think he can get away with it.

Note the bit in the excerpt too about provocations. Joshua Foust made the same point:

Right. If/when some of Russia’s mercenaries are attacked by Tatars, then regular troops can enter to “protect” the ethnic Russian majority there.

Update: It’s not really an invasion until there’s a “We are all __________ians” statement from McCain. Done and done.

Update: A new sternly worded statement:

Update: I guess we’re not playing along with Putin’s “domestic uprising” pageant:

Update: Obama’s late, as usual, so here’s another page from the scrapbook:

Update: He’s “deeply concerned” and sees unspecified “costs” to come for Russia if they violate Ukraine’s sovereignty but the situation is “fluid,” which is his way of giving Putin some room to de-escalate. The one thing that did catch my attention was when he congratulated Ukraine for showing “restraint.” That’s an allusion to Foust’s point about Russia watching and waiting for a pretext to order a wider invasion. If their comparatively small force in Crimea comes under attack, a bigger force is waiting.


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Let me sum it up.

“RUN AWAY!”

PolAgnostic on February 28, 2014 at 4:40 PM

“Let me be clear….”

BacaDog on February 28, 2014 at 4:40 PM

DTM

PolAgnostic on February 28, 2014 at 4:40 PM

While we wait, why not take a stroll down memory lane?

Why do I feel the need to buy gas masks?

upinak on February 28, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Oh, Brother. He is scared shitless of Putin…

OmahaConservative on February 28, 2014 at 4:41 PM

I bet Vlad is wetting his pants now!

novaculus on February 28, 2014 at 4:41 PM

“Let me be clear….”

BacaDog on February 28, 2014 at 4:40 PM

unprecedented.

upinak on February 28, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Obama to make statement on Ukraine at 4:45

4:46…Putin raises middle finger and laughs out loud.

BierManVA on February 28, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Dollar to a donut he’ll be late. Any takers?

Oldnuke on February 28, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Open thread: Obama to make statement on Ukraine at 4:45

Which really means 5:10.

Bitter Clinger on February 28, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Dollar to a donut he’ll be late. Any takers?

Oldnuke on February 28, 2014 at 4:42 PM

can I just have a doughnut… I ran out of popcorn.

upinak on February 28, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Dollar to a donut he’ll be late. Any takers?

Oldnuke on February 28, 2014 at 4:42 PM

C’mon. Has the Supreme One ever been on time?

novaculus on February 28, 2014 at 4:43 PM

From the 18th hole?

Mark1971 on February 28, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Paper Tiger Dog Eater…

PatriotRider on February 28, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Le Sigh

Rich on February 28, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Countdown to the “Red Line”….3…2…

Tyrs Fury on February 28, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Reset Button…

PatriotRider on February 28, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Russian aircraft carrying nearly 2,000 suspected troops have landed at a military air base near the regional capital of the restive Crimean peninsula, a top Ukrainian official said Friday, accusing Moscow of an “armed invasion”.

“Thirteen Russian aircraft landed at the airport of Gvardeyskoye (near Simferopol) with 150 people in each one,” Sergiy Kunitsyn, the Ukrainian president’s special representive in Crimea, told the local ATR television channel, adding the air space had been closed.

How about that? Not even a week after the Olympic closing ceremonies. Who woulda thunk it?

Bitter Clinger on February 28, 2014 at 4:44 PM

RealBreakingNews ‏@real_breaking 2m

#BreakingNews 2 Ukrainian air force jets reported in the air with orders to shoot down intruding Russian aircraft – @EuromaidanPR

davidk on February 28, 2014 at 4:45 PM

OT:

Gautham Nagesh
@gnagesh

FCC has backed down from newsroom survey in face of Republican backlash. Story coming at http://WSJ.com .

sentinelrules on February 28, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Here he comes to save the day run away.

ElectricPhase on February 28, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Doesn’t he have a fund raiser or something…?

Seven Percent Solution on February 28, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Putin’s diaper can speak?

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 4:46 PM

He’ll show his flexibility.

Doesn’t matter, Russia will not give up her one warm water port.

rbj on February 28, 2014 at 4:46 PM

davidk on February 28, 2014 at 4:45 PM

well THAT escalated fast.

upinak on February 28, 2014 at 4:46 PM

So, is he going to say Rommney was right?

Oil Can on February 28, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Mr. President, those A10s you just cut are really useful against APCs.

Just sayin’

xuyee on February 28, 2014 at 4:46 PM

This was posted to day and claims to be Russian (It’s hard not ot type “Soviet”) choppers in Crimea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUthbNCA1nc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

davidk on February 28, 2014 at 1:57 PM

davidk on February 28, 2014 at 4:47 PM

It’s going to be Barry’s surrender speach.
“Let me be clear, we will have peace for our time. Period.”

TX-eye on February 28, 2014 at 4:47 PM

xuyee on February 28, 2014 at 4:46 PM

coincidence? I think not…

affenhauer on February 28, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Wow, no “Red Lines” yet???

BigWyo on February 28, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Middle East News ‏@MiddleEast_BRK 7m

#BreakingNews Ukrainian defense ministry claims it still has loyal army units which are taking positions to defend Simferopol from invaders.

davidk on February 28, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Nobody’s madder about the Ukraine than Obama.

307wolverine on February 28, 2014 at 4:48 PM

it’s sad more ppl on this site support Putin than the sitting American President

sigh

nonpartisan on February 28, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Damn….missed it….

BigWyo on February 28, 2014 at 4:48 PM

While we wait, why not take a stroll down memory lane?

HA! HA! What a knee-slapper. Barack made a “1980s called” joke!!! WHEW! That hilarious Barry….boy, I bet that killed around Professorial water cooler….

Let me take it from here…um…: The late 1970s called…their glad you finished out their work, for a world dominated by Islamic theo-crats and Russian thugs. Just left a message to say thank you.

HDFOB on February 28, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Sure he has been briefed by all the apologizers before hand. On time as always!!

No Time Clock on February 28, 2014 at 4:48 PM

It’s O.K. Obama has more flexibility now.

It’ll be a pink line.

Curtiss on February 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM

well THAT escalated fast.

upinak on February 28, 2014 at 4:46 PM

LOL

sharrukin on February 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Hah, NATO, paper tiger

The EU, the usual yapping weasels.

obama is just Putin’s diaper.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM

What is a “suspected troop”?

GaltBlvnAtty on February 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM

it’s sad more ppl on this site support Putin than the sitting American President

sigh

nonpartisan on February 28, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Sad that you are this obtuse.

NO one supports thug Putin.

Everybody sees obama as his diaper, because the latter made himself one.

Wake up already!

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 4:50 PM

It’ll be a pink line.

Curtiss on February 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM

He use to draw a lot of pink lines in Chicago.

Oil Can on February 28, 2014 at 4:50 PM

It’s OK… one smart advisor predicted all this!

dominigan on February 28, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Ummm…folks….demand….global….Will not accept…allies(snicker)…

Drink!!!!

If he says anything about a line, I’m going to chug.

BigWyo on February 28, 2014 at 4:51 PM

“To the American people, let me be clear. As I’ve always said we need to be clear and to clarify what we’ve said in the past which is that clearness, clarity, and saying things which are clear MUST be said in a clear way. I’ve always said that and I hope I’ve been clear with you. Thank you and God bless me.”

-Dog Eater

Bishop on February 28, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Ukraine is joke to you???!!

Axeman on February 28, 2014 at 4:52 PM

What could he possibly say?

“Err, about that whole red line thing- I was joking.”

He’s been duped by Putin…again. Somebody put a “Kick-Me” sign on his back.

But let’s downsize the military to historically low, dangerous levels say Democrats. Yow know, because they’re so good at this whole diplomacy thing.

Good grief.

Marcus Traianus on February 28, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Wow, no “Red Lines” yet???

BigWyo on February 28, 2014 at 4:47 PM

I think he’d like a blurred line.

WisRich on February 28, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Putin plays obama like a ping-pong.

It’s a direct result of creating a global leadership vacuum.

Putin is a very shrewd thug. He observed and noted the bowing dummy of the USA.

Go Nobel, you utter fools!

Name one foreign policy obama succes.

Weakness invites this.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Palin Mocked in 2008 for Warning Putin May Invade Ukraine if Obama ElectedHT pambi in the gulch…

OmahaConservative on February 28, 2014 at 4:50 PM

She also mentioned that they would try to invade Alaska into Canada for the natural resources. Makes one wonder if what she says on that comes true.

upinak on February 28, 2014 at 4:52 PM

it’s sad more ppl on this site support Putin than the sitting American President

sigh

nonpartisan on February 28, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Let us know when we have one again.

And that’s not a birtherism remark.

BigWyo on February 28, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Obama to Putin “I fart in your general direction”.

Sven on February 28, 2014 at 4:53 PM

She also mentioned that they would try to invade Alaska into Canada for the natural resources. Makes one wonder if what she says on that comes true.

upinak on February 28, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Scary times we are living in…

OmahaConservative on February 28, 2014 at 4:53 PM

it’s sad more ppl on this site support Putin than the sitting American President Putin diaper

sigh

nonpartisan on February 28, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 4:53 PM

Clam down! We are in the very smartest and bestest of hands. Obama, Biden, Reid, and Kerry can put together well over 200 IQ points.

jukin3 on February 28, 2014 at 4:53 PM

He’ll ask Putin and the Russians for “clarification” of their actions– exactly as Carter did after the unannounced Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Carter II. III. IV

de rigueur on February 28, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Scary times we are living in…

OmahaConservative on February 28, 2014 at 4:53 PM

yep.

upinak on February 28, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Ukraine’s UN ambassador says he told UN Security Council that Russian military helicopters, planes entered country, armed forces seized Crimea’s main airport – @AP

davidk on February 28, 2014 at 4:55 PM

sounds like the WH is concerned

runner on February 28, 2014 at 4:55 PM

It’s going to be Barry’s surrender speach.
“Let me be clear, we will have peace for our time. Period.”

TX-eye on February 28, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Hey, that’s Peace Prize MK2 Mod 1

BigWyo on February 28, 2014 at 4:55 PM

In other words, to give the west a way to save face in acquiescing in a Russian takeover, Putin’s willing to halfheartedly stage this as some sort of domestic Crimean uprising rather than an invasion by Moscow.

Not to quibble, but ‘west’ probably should have been capitalized. Also, one could argue that Russia is part of the West, culturally and intellectually speaking. Some might find Russia an unpleasant part of the West, but still.

This would be, for example, as opposed to Islam.

WhatSlushfund on February 28, 2014 at 4:55 PM

America you did this to yourself. YOU have NO one to blame, but selves. You brung/kept an incredible sissy to the top job.

The land and the world will never be the same again, all bad.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Way cool for Killary, the reset-button fool!

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Everybody sees obama as his diaper, because the latter made himself one.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 4:50 PM

.
How Putin the Bear sees the timid Bunny Obama.

PolAgnostic on February 28, 2014 at 4:56 PM

it’s sad more ppl on this site support Putin than the sitting American President duck lame duck

sigh

nonpartisan on February 28, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Cheer up. Majority of us probably support the Ukranians over either.

de rigueur on February 28, 2014 at 4:56 PM

it’s sad more ppl on this site support Putin than the sitting American President

sigh

nonpartisan on February 28, 2014 at 4:48 PM

It’s sad that some hick from Alaska has more foreign policy smarts than a sitting American President… and ALL HIS ADVISERS.

Explain that?

Walter L. Newton on February 28, 2014 at 4:56 PM

it’s sad more ppl on this site support Putin than the sitting American President

sigh

nonintelligent on February 28, 2014 at 4:48 PM

it’s sad more ppl on your side support the sitting American President than support personal freedom.

Fixed.

Del Dolemonte on February 28, 2014 at 4:56 PM

“I am deeply concerned about events in the Ukraine. (just like the IRS Scandal)”

“I’ve called Mr. Putin and (in between his laughing fits), expressed my concern.”

“I want the Ukrainian people to know we stand with them. (and we will talk ceaselessly in order to deflect any responsibility for our feckless policy that helped make the Russian invasion possible)”

“INSERT MEANINGLESS PLATITUDE HERE”

Marcus Traianus on February 28, 2014 at 4:57 PM

nonpartisan on February 28, 2014 at 4:48 PM

What is sad is what the current American president has done to the US.

cozmo on February 28, 2014 at 4:57 PM

The US “will recommend that Putin pull back from the Crimea region”, heh.

“I considered your recommendation, and the answer is nyet” — Putin

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 4:57 PM

oh sheesh…O’s people leaked that he’s going to ask Putin to move troops out of Crimea.

And just why would Putin nicely do that? Good grief.

CoffeeLover on February 28, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Palin said then:

After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.

It’s remarkable the way she nailed Obama. Almost like she’s an astute woman or something.///

INC on February 28, 2014 at 4:57 PM

it’s sad more ppl on this site support Putin than the sitting American President

sigh

nonpartisan on February 28, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Eh, no one is supporting Poot Poot but we’ve seen this game before with one of Dog Eater’s fellow travelers holding the reins, and we know how it all turns out.

Bishop on February 28, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Every Friday afternoon, Putin and Medvedev sit around the Kremlin drinking vodka and making Obama jokes.

Curtiss on February 28, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Walter L. Newton on February 28, 2014 at 4:56 PM

snowbilly. Get it right please.

upinak on February 28, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Dollar to a donut he’ll be late. Any takers?

Oldnuke on February 28, 2014 at 4:42 PM

can I just have a doughnut… I ran out of popcorn.

upinak on February 28, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Missed you! Good to see you.

:)

kim roy on February 28, 2014 at 4:57 PM

I knew Ronald Reagan, you sir are no Ronald Reagan.

redguy on February 28, 2014 at 4:57 PM

it’s sad more ppl on this site support Putin than the sitting American President duck lame duck rhymes with duck

sigh

nonpartisan on February 28, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Hey Barry! The ’80s are calling: They want to know if you’d like to borrow their foreign policy.

Schmuck.

arik1969 on February 28, 2014 at 4:58 PM

But yeah, are any of the Russian troops gay??

redguy on February 28, 2014 at 4:58 PM

How long since sissibama spoke about this?

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 4:58 PM

it’s sad more ppl on this site support Putin than the sitting American President

nonpartisan on February 28, 2014 at 4:48 PM

No one respects a weakling.

sharrukin on February 28, 2014 at 4:58 PM

it’s sad more ppl on this site support Putin than the shitting American President Putin diaper

sigh

nonpartisan on February 28, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 4:53 PM

FIFY

“Russia, If you like Ukraine, you can keep Ukraine.”
-Obama

Effay5 on February 28, 2014 at 4:59 PM

But, but wait. Hillary, the best SecState EVAR, pressed a reset button! Doesn’t Putin know how many frequent flier miles she racked up to push that button? Somebody, please transmit this information to Vladimir.

xuyee on February 28, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Imagine how the wild muzzies rejoice, China too.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Advance press on the speech is saying that Dog Eater will threaten to withhold natural gas shipments to Russia.

Bishop on February 28, 2014 at 4:59 PM

kim roy on February 28, 2014 at 4:57 PM

good to see you as well, on this humble occasion.

upinak on February 28, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Biden has already called for a U.S. boycott of the Sochi Olympics.

Bishop on February 28, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Damn, nonpartisan is AP.

The rest of the trolls are in the education camp today.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Advance press on the speech is saying that Dog Eater will threaten to withhold natural gas shipments to Russia.

Bishop on February 28, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Also, Michelle Obama will go on Russian TV and strip if all Russian forces do not withdraw.

sentinelrules on February 28, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Bishop on February 28, 2014 at 4:59 PM

oh dear…that made me spittle my coffee LOL

CoffeeLover on February 28, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Palin Mocked in 2008 for Warning Putin May Invade Ukraine if Obama ElectedHT pambi in the gulch…

OmahaConservative on February 28, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Bet we won’t hear about that on the nightly news.

davidk on February 28, 2014 at 5:01 PM

I’m guessing Obama will tell Putin to back off or he’ll have the IRS audit him.

JCCentCom on February 28, 2014 at 5:01 PM

UN Ambassador Samantha Power says US is ‘gravely disturbed’ by reports of Russian military movements into Crimea region – @NBCNews

davidk on February 28, 2014 at 5:01 PM

it’s sad more ppl on this site support Putin than the sitting golfing American President

sigh

nonpartisan on February 28, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Fixed it for you

LarryinLA on February 28, 2014 at 5:02 PM

He’ll blame bush and the GOP and the tea party and austerity and the shutdown.

Murphy9 on February 28, 2014 at 5:02 PM

It’s not an invasion. It’s an involuntary, foreign assisted, government change.

Oil Can on February 28, 2014 at 5:02 PM

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