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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I just turned on the TV a few minutes ago and he was already finished speaking! How long was he even at the podium? Text, anyone?

INC on February 28, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Two min. and you missed nothing at all. It just lets him go golfing, media talk about something other than domestic problems…he’s Putin’s diaper and the world knows it, for shame to the entire land.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 5:16 PM

FOX said NATO had no contingency plans.

It’s for sure Obama doesn’t.

INC on February 28, 2014 at 5:16 PM

I just turned on the TV a few minutes ago and he was already finished speaking! How long was he even at the podium? Text, anyone?

INC on February 28, 2014 at 5:15 PM

“Blah, blah, blah.”

davidk on February 28, 2014 at 5:16 PM

OmahaConservative on February 28, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Dang, when even the newsies ignore him.

cozmo on February 28, 2014 at 5:16 PM

‘There will be costs’ if Ukraine is subjected to ‘deeply destabilizing’ military violation, President Obama says – @BBCBreaking

So caviar is on Michelle’s banned food list if the Russians occupy Kiev?

sharrukin on February 28, 2014 at 5:16 PM

The phone is ringing off the hook.

Dog Eater quietly removes the handset and covers it with a pillow.

Bishop on February 28, 2014 at 5:16 PM

So. What did I miss?

Bmore on February 28, 2014 at 5:17 PM

So. What did I miss?

Bmore on February 28, 2014 at 5:17 PM

Nothing. Do me a big favor – photoshop obama as Putin’s diaper. It’s really the truth, unfortunately.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 5:17 PM

How will the State Run Media ignore this…?

d1carter on February 28, 2014 at 5:17 PM

Crimean airports ‘blocked’ in Ukraine
1m
Report Crimea’s main airport closed, several Russian military transport planes seen arriving – @BillNeelyNBC
end of alert

canopfor on February 28, 2014 at 5:17 PM

Matt Boyle ‏@BigTunaMatt 6m

Barack Obama just said nothing about Ukraine.. #BreakingNews

davidk on February 28, 2014 at 5:17 PM

cr666 on February 28, 2014 at 5:18 PM

So. What did I miss?

Bmore on February 28, 2014 at 5:17 PM

Bmore:

Obama’s LollyGagging on Ukraine!!:)

canopfor on February 28, 2014 at 5:18 PM

The red line comment turned everything red….LOL.

d1carter on February 28, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Hah, HA turned red, like Russia.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 5:18 PM

What costs? Are the Russians going to have to listen to a stern lecture or get a strongly worded letter?

rbj

Gonna go all out … ZERO will do both.

BD57 on February 28, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Vladimir Putin just made Barack Obama his sookie again.

Mike Honcho on February 28, 2014 at 5:18 PM

I’m seeing red.

cr666 on February 28, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Close the fond color, please!

ajacksonian on February 28, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Red State font

sentinelrules on February 28, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Oh gawd we are all RED now!

Brat on February 28, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Holy Red Ink Batman!!!

JohnGalt23 on February 28, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Sorry about that Crimea red line comment..? LOL

d1carter on February 28, 2014 at 5:19 PM

I thought the red font thing only happened at Ace

offroadaz on February 28, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Allah, with this font change, welcomes our new Soviet overlords.

sentinelrules on February 28, 2014 at 5:19 PM

“The situation remains fluid”, wow

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Translation: That mean old Putin cat just made me pee down my leg.

CyberCipher on February 28, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Red Dawn

DarkCurrent on February 28, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Red Alert! Red Alert! Warning! Warning!

Mark1971 on February 28, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Someone needs to start a rumor that the Ukraine population consists entirely of unionized gays, he’ll have ICBM’s launching toward Russia before dinner.

Bishop on February 28, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Thanks for the accurate summary!

INC on February 28, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Just saw some video of what’s going on in the streets over there.
Meh.
Looks the same as any American city whose sports team just won the Superbowl/World Series/Stanley Cup/NBA Championship.

dentarthurdent on February 28, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Update: Red is in.

I always wanted to do that….

Electrongod on February 28, 2014 at 5:20 PM

The good news is he learned his lesson and didn’t set another silly line in the sand to further embarrass us when Putin moves forward and we watch and whine.

tej on February 28, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Vlad knows Barry will give him anything he wants if he will allow Barry to save face on the international stage. Knowing that, Vlad will finesse his way through this without breaking a sweat.

butch on February 28, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Whew that was close.

Brat on February 28, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Wolverines!

Mark1971 on February 28, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Did Russia just invade us…?

Seven Percent Solution on February 28, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Jeebus Crist! We’re all commies now!

Bishop on February 28, 2014 at 5:20 PM

I just turned on the TV a few minutes ago and he was already finished speaking! How long was he even at the podium? Text, anyone?

INC on February 28, 2014 at 5:15 PM

He said: “C’mon, we all know I’m not going to do a damn thing about this. Russia can do whatever the hell it wants. It’s just a tiny country anyway, and it hasn’t been a real threat to the U.S. since the 1980′s, no matter what Mitt Romney or that snowbilly Sarah Palin said about it. Now, it’s nearly time for my dinner, and I need to get to bed early tonight because I have an early tee-time tomorrow. So no questions, good night.”

AZCoyote on February 28, 2014 at 5:21 PM

“HotAir: The En-Reddening”

Eric in Hollywood on February 28, 2014 at 5:21 PM

What is a “suspected troop”?

GaltBlvnAtty on February 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Apparently they are guys with guns in cammo but not Russian uniforms.

TX-eye on February 28, 2014 at 5:21 PM

“HotAir: The En-Reddening”

Eric in Hollywood on February 28, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Never mind. LOL

Eric in Hollywood on February 28, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Jeebus Crist! We’re all commies now!

Bishop on February 28, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Nope…we are all colored now…

Electrongod on February 28, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Thanks for the commentary!

davidk on February 28, 2014 at 5:16 PM

I have yet to listen to a complete speech by that man.

AZCoyote on February 28, 2014 at 5:21 PM

You know that is what he was thinking!

INC on February 28, 2014 at 5:21 PM

I don’t know what are the Ukrainian rights to bear arms for it’s citizens, however they need to adopt a pro-second amendment type policy quickly.

Oil Can on February 28, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Putin can’t even be bothered to be civilized enough to declare war to annex a province. That slips him pretty far into the barbarism scale…

I can remember a time when the world was civilized.

ajacksonian on February 28, 2014 at 5:22 PM

I can’t believe that the NATO Supreme Commander said yesterday that NATO did not have any contingency plans if Putin intervened. What an utterly stupid statement to make. That gave Putin the green light to fly Russian troops into Crimea.

SC.Charlie on February 28, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Nope…we are all colored now…

Electrongod on February 28, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Better dead than red.
But black is beautiful….

dentarthurdent on February 28, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Vlad knows Barry will give him anything he wants if he will allow Barry to save face on the international stage. Knowing that, Vlad will finesse his way through this without breaking a sweat.

butch on February 28, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Yup, or at least save face domestically.

the_nile on February 28, 2014 at 5:22 PM

My wife said it was an NSA screen capture.

davidk on February 28, 2014 at 5:22 PM

All underwater ships have been alerted.

Bishop on February 28, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Red Dawn

DarkCurrent on February 28, 2014 at 5:19 PM

For a while we were all Russians, Chinese, Cuban and Venezuelan.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Dark Horizons

upinak on February 28, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Dang, when even the newsies ignore him.

cozmo on February 28, 2014 at 5:16 PM

America has not seen a weaker leader moment since Jimmah Carter was attached by a bunny rabbit.

Just utterly pathetic. And we are stuck with this clown for 2 more years?? God help us all.

Norwegian on February 28, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Red Dawn

DarkCurrent on February 28, 2014 at 5:19 PM

For a while we were all Russians, Chinese, Cuban and Venezuelan.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 5:23 PM

The prophetic red font!

It’s been a while since it struck.

INC on February 28, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Bark has offered a battalion of corpse men to assist the Ukrainian Army with any casualties.

Bishop on February 28, 2014 at 5:23 PM

he’s Putin’s diaper and the world knows it, for shame to the entire land.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 5:16 PM

.
Hilarious!

ExpressoBold on February 28, 2014 at 5:23 PM

I guess I should be glad I like the color red!

CoffeeLover on February 28, 2014 at 5:23 PM

I have yet to listen to a complete speech by that man.

INC on February 28, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Same here, but this one ended before it even started…no Q & A either. “The smartest man on Earth” is scared silly.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 5:23 PM

HotAir goes all “RedSkins” on us.

NFL hardest hit.

CyberCipher on February 28, 2014 at 5:24 PM

butch on February 28, 2014 at 5:20 PM

What face?
He lost his face a long time ago.

dentarthurdent on February 28, 2014 at 5:24 PM

I thought it was an appropriately meaningless statement.

MJBrutus on February 28, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Norwegian on February 28, 2014 at 5:23 PM

I remember Jimmy Carter.

0bama does not rise to even that pathetic level.

cozmo on February 28, 2014 at 5:25 PM

As ACE points out, MSNBC’s big story is “Who is the Bridgegate Rabbi?”

The Notorious G.O.P on February 28, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Yup, Clinton Library has released a bunch of Hillary! documents:
http://news.yahoo.com/90s-documents-show-clintons-health-care-concerns-210433476–politics.html

Convenient crisis.

rbj on February 28, 2014 at 5:26 PM

John Ekdahl ‏@JohnEkdahl 5h

.@MSNBC Hey guys, Russia is closing one lane on a Ukrainian bridge.

davidk on February 28, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Same here, but this one ended before it even started…no Q & A either. “The smartest man on Earth” is scared silly.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Someone above mentioned that he hardly made eye contact. Any reads on his demeanor?

INC on February 28, 2014 at 5:26 PM

BHO to Crimea: C ya…

d1carter on February 28, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Saying “there will be costs” to a guy you mistakenly gave an overcharge button is…well we can laugh while he destroys the country.

Murphy9 on February 28, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Any reads on his demeanor?

INC on February 28, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Sorry, I didn’t watch, just listen. I can’t stomach either, but this is a big deal.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Someone above mentioned that he hardly made eye contact. Any reads on his demeanor?

INC on February 28, 2014 at 5:26 PM

He didn’t make eye contact, he was looking down for most of the speech and was looking over peoples heads.

upinak on February 28, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Someone above mentioned that he hardly made eye contact. Any reads on his demeanor?

INC on February 28, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Probably pissing his pants over this one – and vomited on himself backstage afterward – that’s the Dem way….

dentarthurdent on February 28, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Retweeted by David Burge
Beach Bum ‏@wjqjr 2h

@iowahawkblog Russia wins final gold medal in “Country Takeover”. The final Olympic winter sport.

davidk on February 28, 2014 at 5:28 PM

is “there will be cost’ diplomatic speak for ” i made a f….ing mess and don’t know how to get out ?”

runner on February 28, 2014 at 5:28 PM

BHO to Crimea: C ya…

d1carter on February 28, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Ya – we’re gonna go all Benghazi on you guys….

dentarthurdent on February 28, 2014 at 5:29 PM

cozmo on February 28, 2014 at 5:25 PM

I kinda/sorta remember Carter. But now the feeling is worse. I guess I know better now. I was still pretty young for Carter. I remember peanuts, his brother, his daughter and the sweater along with high food prices and gas lines.

This is definitely worse.

CoffeeLover on February 28, 2014 at 5:29 PM

So Obama will write them a very stern letter.
Once again Obama is King Joffrey playing a stupidly dangerous game just so he doesn’t lose face.

I’m all for supporting Obama if he decides the Ukraine isn’t our fight. But he should sit down and shut up if that’s the case.

On the other hand I’m all for supporting Obama if he decides to send in the troops and defend the Ukraine. But with him firing half I our army I don’t see that happening.

But no… It’s mealy mouthed forceful tones followed by “or else” and Obama’s got his poker hand turned face up… As usual.

Skywise on February 28, 2014 at 5:30 PM

I was hoping for an appearance by President Kick-Ass.

Mallard T. Drake on February 28, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 5:26 PM
upinak on February 28, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Thanks!

dentarthurdent on February 28, 2014 at 5:28 PM

I imagine he headed straight for the bar. I can’t imagine him doing anything responsible.

INC on February 28, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Palin Mocked in 2008 for Warning Putin May Invade Ukraine if Obama Elected
HT 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

Not expecting to…

OmahaConservative on February 28, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Erick Erickson just played it on his talk radio show. I can hear liberals’ wailing and gnashing of teeth from here…

slickwillie2001 on February 28, 2014 at 5:30 PM

This is definitely worse.

CoffeeLover on February 28, 2014 at 5:29 PM

The only thing that keeps this from being worse is the relative size of the Russian military compared to the late 70′s.

cozmo on February 28, 2014 at 5:31 PM

This just in from Bob Costas:

“Putin has taken the Gold, Silver and Bronze”

gwelf on February 28, 2014 at 5:31 PM

No worries…the FBI is investigating and will report back when the investigation is complete.

d1carter on February 28, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Thanks!

INC on February 28, 2014 at 5:30 PM

np

upinak on February 28, 2014 at 5:31 PM

This must be the flexibility I was waiting for.

steveracer on February 28, 2014 at 5:31 PM

He didn’t make eye contact, he was looking down for most of the speech and was looking over peoples heads.

upinak on February 28, 2014 at 5:27 PM

‘Thousand-yard stare’?

slickwillie2001 on February 28, 2014 at 5:31 PM

CCTV 1 is reporting Russian incursions into Heilongjiang province

DarkCurrent on February 28, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Hows that nuclear arms reduction treaty that Obama made with Russia working out for us?

canditaylor68 on February 28, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Flashback: When Colin Powell Trashed Mitt Romney For Calling Russia Our Number-One Geopolitical Foe: “C’mon Mitt, Think. That Isn’t The Case”

And that was one of the main reasons he endorsed Obama in 2012, Powell was “uncomfortable” with Mitt Romney’s views on foreign policy.

http://www.hapblog.com/2014/02/flashback-when-colin-powell-trashed.html

davidk on February 28, 2014 at 5:33 PM

More laughs

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Wow, I sure am late to this party !!
Just catching up.

In case not previously posted .. a word from some ‘idiot’ who hails from the frozen north …

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2014/02/28/Flashback-Palin-Mocked-in-2008-for-Warning-Putin-May-Invade-Ukraine-if-Obama-Elected-President

pambi on February 28, 2014 at 5:33 PM

The good news is that once we find out which YouTube video has upset the Russians we can resolve this whole thing.

gwelf on February 28, 2014 at 5:33 PM

I kinda/sorta remember Carter. But now the feeling is worse.

yeah, at least that carter wasn’t black…

nonpartisan on February 28, 2014 at 5:33 PM

If only half of the reports that I am reading coming out of the Ukraine are true, eastern Ukraine has already been invaded. It’s not just military exercises, it’s not just Russia protecting it’s Navy there, it’s not business as usual except for a few nosy Russians… it’s an invasion plain and simple.

Walter L. Newton on February 28, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Watch the foreign press for accurate reports…

d1carter on February 28, 2014 at 5:33 PM

CCTV 1 is reporting Russian incursions into Heilongjiang province

DarkCurrent on February 28, 2014 at 5:32 PM

You can’t be serious.

sharrukin on February 28, 2014 at 5:33 PM

have been repulsed

DarkCurrent on February 28, 2014 at 5:34 PM

DarkCurrent on February 28, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Huh?

Dude, elaborate.

cozmo on February 28, 2014 at 5:34 PM

‘Thousand-yard stare’?

slickwillie2001 on February 28, 2014 at 5:31 PM

5 thousand mile kick to the groin.

upinak on February 28, 2014 at 5:34 PM

Obama’s gonna totally rescind his offer to help the Russian Federation with the font on their nutrition labels if Putin doesn’t stop being meanies.

youknowit on February 28, 2014 at 5:34 PM

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