Kerry: “All options are on the table” in response to Russian invasion of Crimea

posted at 11:01 am on March 2, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Maybe the Obama administration is taking the Budapest Memorandum more seriously than we imagined — or at least want Russia to think we are. Secretary of State John Kerry told ABC’s This Week that “all options are on the table” for a response to Vladimir Putin’s Crimean invasion, including military options:

Secretary of State John Kerry said that “all options are on the table” when it comes to steps the U.S. can take to hold Russia accountable for its military movements in Ukraine, including economic sanctions and potentially military action.

In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos today on “This Week,” Kerry said Russian troops moving into the Ukrainian region of Crimea was “a military act of aggression” and that the U.S. will move swiftly to impose penalties if Russian President Vladimir Putin does not withdraw his troops.

While military force is among the options President Barack Obama is considering, Kerry said the U.S. and its allies hope they can avoid such action.

“The hope of the U.S. and everybody in the world is not to see this escalate into a military confrontation,” he said.

Sounds like tough talk, but would Russia buy it? Moving troops into Ukraine from the west would all but declare war between NATO and Russia, including the US. If Putin thought for a moment that the West would fight over Crimea again, he wouldn’t have taken it over this week in the first place.

That’s not to say that we have no options, and even some military signals can have an impact on the situation, argues retired Admiral James Stavridis at Foreign Policy:

In the military sphere, these include ordering the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), led by U.S. General Phil Breedlove, to conduct prudent planning and present options in response to the situation. While such planning should be left to the current commanders and military experts, some ideas to consider would include:

  • Increasing all intelligence-gathering functions through satellite, Predator unmanned vehicles, and especially cyber.
  • Using the NATO-Ukrainian Council and existing military partnerships with the Ukrainian military to share information, intelligence, and situational awareness with authorities in Kiev.
  • Providing advice to Ukrainian armed forces to prepare and position themselves in the event of further conflict.
  • Developing NATO contingency plans to react to full-scale invasion of Ukraine and to a partial invasion likely of Crimea. NATO contingency planning can be cumbersome, but in Libya it moved quickly. …

Many will consider any level of NATO involvement provocative and potentially inflammatory. Unfortunately, the stakes are high and the Russians are moving. Sitting idle, without at least looking at options, is a mistake for NATO and would itself constitute a signal to Putin — one that he would welcome.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, put it another way on Fox News Sunday. The problem is that we’re reacting instead of driving events, while Putin has moves figured out several steps ahead:

“Putin is playing chess and I think we are playing marbles, and I don’t think it’s even close” the Michigan Republican said on “Fox News Sunday.”  “They’ve been running circles around us. And I believe it’s the naïve position on the National Security Council and the president’s advisers that, if we just keep giving things to Russia, they’ll wake up and say, ‘the United States is not that bad.’ That is completely missing the motivations of why Russia does what Russia does.”

Putin intends to expand Russia’s “buffer zones,” as it has in Ukraine, Rogers said, predicting the next former Soviet republic to see a Russian invasion will be Moldova.

“It is in their interest to continue to push out that buffer zone,” Rogers said. “And, by the way, the big one that started this was the absolute retreat on our missile defense system in Poland and Czechoslovakia, caused us huge problems for our allies and emboldened the Russians and it really has been a downhill slide.”

Ethnic Russians only comprise 6% of the Moldovan population, compared to 18% in Ukraine. Moldova is also land-locked on the other side of the north shore of the Black Sea and has no common border with Russia, and wouldn’t even in a partitioned Ukraine. If I were Latvian (26% ethnic Russian) or Estonia (25% ethnic Russian), I’d be a lot more concerned than the Moldovans at the moment.


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Putin calls all opposition to him in Ukraine, Nazis.

VorDaj on March 2, 2014 at 4:10 PM

They call themselves Nazis.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQtrXGMbraY

sharrukin on March 2, 2014 at 4:15 PM

So they would be tasked to move down the P13 roadway directly towards Kiev…about 250 kilometers.

sharrukin on March 2, 2014 at 4:10 PM

That would seem logical. Perhaps, it is just a threat. I’m not sure that Putin wants all of Ukraine. It’s a financial mess that he could leave to the EU/US to deal with. Crimea is the prize.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 4:23 PM

John, do you think you really have any credibility at all? How do such morons, achieve such high office in our government? This is the Peter Principle on steroids.

kjatexas on March 2, 2014 at 4:23 PM

They call themselves Nazis.

sharrukin on March 2, 2014 at 4:15 PM

And who is “they”? One or two percent of the opposition to Putin and his communist henchmen?

VorDaj on March 2, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Here’s one of Putin’s “Nazis” speaking

VorDaj on March 2, 2014 at 4:20 PM

When the video you post has ‘mood music’, you know its propaganda.

sharrukin on March 2, 2014 at 4:26 PM

And who is “they”? One or two percent of the opposition to Putin and his communist henchmen?

VorDaj on March 2, 2014 at 4:23 PM

The communist are in Washington DC these days. The world has moved on. Putin is more of an autocrat.

sharrukin on March 2, 2014 at 4:28 PM

For Putin to be “still fighting the Nazis after all these years” is a very easy way to get power and loot, just as “still fighting the Racists after all these years” is a very easy way to get power and loot for Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton.

VorDaj on March 2, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Ukraine’s president says Russian forces issued ultimatum on Crimea

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — The Russian military set an ultimatum Sunday for Ukrainian army and navy units “to surrender weapons and leave their bases” in the Crimean peninsula, Ukraine’s acting president, Olexandr Turchinov, said in televised remarks.

This is from the LA Times quoting the acting president of Ukraine so I don’t know how accurate it is.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 4:32 PM

The communist are in Washington DC these days. The world has moved on. Putin is more of an autocrat.

sharrukin on March 2, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Herr Obama and the fascist-democrat party are even more like fascists than like communists. And Putin and his auxiliaries use “Nazis” like Obama and his auxiliaries use “Racists”.

VorDaj on March 2, 2014 at 4:33 PM

When the video you post has ‘mood music’, you know its propaganda.

sharrukin on March 2, 2014 at 4:26 PM

I’m sure Putin would agree with you and think that young woman was a Nazi.

VorDaj on March 2, 2014 at 4:37 PM

For Putin to be “still fighting the Nazis after all these years” is a very easy way to get power and loot, just as “still fighting the Racists after all these years” is a very easy way to get power and loot for Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton.

VorDaj on March 2, 2014 at 4:29 PM

I can tell you that “after all these years” is not operative in Crimea.

WW II is like yesterday to many. The Nazi collaborators of Northern Ukraine (See Bandera) participated in the 8 month siege of Sevastopol. The Nazis and their collaborators destroyed Crimea on their retreat from the Russian liberators.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 4:38 PM

VorDaj on March 2, 2014 at 4:33 PM

They are Nazis and they say that very clearly.

They use a form of the Swastika and admire Hitler. In the video I posted they clearly say they want to make the Ukraine ‘something like Hitler’.

sharrukin on March 2, 2014 at 4:38 PM

When the video you post has ‘mood music’, you know its propaganda.

sharrukin on March 2, 2014 at 4:26 PM

I’m sure Putin would agree with you and think that young woman was a Nazi.

However, the Founding Fathers … not so much.

VorDaj on March 2, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Well…

… at least teh gheys are happy in Arizona.

Anyone else watching the Oscars tonight…?

Seven Percent Solution on March 2, 2014 at 4:40 PM

I’m sure Putin would agree with you and think that young woman was a Nazi.

However, the Founding Fathers … not so much.

VorDaj on March 2, 2014 at 4:39 PM

What does one have to do with the other?

We were told how the Muslim Brotherhood wanted to be free and not under a dictatorship as well. We were told the same thing about Syria. The founding fathers were mentioned in association with them as well.

sharrukin on March 2, 2014 at 4:44 PM

They are Nazis and they say that very clearly.

They use a form of the Swastika and admire Hitler. In the video I posted they clearly say they want to make the Ukraine ‘something like Hitler’.

sharrukin on March 2, 2014 at 4:38 PM

You keep on repeating the word “they” and so you are clearly trying to broad brush smear the whole of the Ukrainian opposition to Russian and Russian lackey tyranny as Nazis. You even did it with that young woman. Now that’s propaganda.

VorDaj on March 2, 2014 at 4:45 PM

We were told how the Muslim Brotherhood wanted to be free and not under a dictatorship as well. We were told the same thing about Syria.

You weren’t told that be me. I think that may have been Obama or McCain. I am not Obama and I am not McCain. You seem to have a penchant for broad brushing people and in the extreme.

The founding fathers were mentioned in association with them as well.

sharrukin on March 2, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Not be me. Maybe you said that. I never said that.

VorDaj on March 2, 2014 at 4:50 PM

From the Guardian:

The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, has said on Twitter that he is going to the Ukrainian capital tomorrow night:

I guess by sending Kerry to Kiev they hope to prevent Russia from taking it for a couple of days.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 4:52 PM

I really like this sharrukin. He has almost as good an eye as I do for seeing how all those Ukrainian running dogs are Nazis.

PootyPoot on March 2, 2014 at 4:53 PM

Airheads or azzholes?

VegasRick on March 2, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Those aren’t mutually exclusive.

dogsoldier on March 2, 2014 at 4:54 PM

You keep on repeating the word “they” and so you are clearly trying to broad brush smear the whole of the Ukrainian opposition

No I am not. There were really liberal groups in the Egyptian uprising but the radicals pushed them out and took center stage as radicals tend to do.

It happened in the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the German troubles that gave rise to Hitler, in Syria, in Libya, and on it goes. It almost always happens.

to Russian and Russian lackey tyranny as Nazis. You even did it with that young woman. Now that’s propaganda.

VorDaj on March 2, 2014 at 4:45 PM

That lackey as you call him was ELECTED BY UKRAINIANS.

He was then DEPOSED BY ARMED GANGS.

A cute smile and a pair of perky ones doesn’t alter reality.

sharrukin on March 2, 2014 at 4:54 PM

He was then DEPOSED BY ARMED GANGS.

A cute smile and a pair of perky ones doesn’t alter reality.

sharrukin on March 2, 2014 at 4:54 PM

If you’re referring to Yanukovych he was impeached by the Ukrainian parliament.

dogsoldier on March 2, 2014 at 4:57 PM

If you’re referring to Yanukovych he was impeached by the Ukrainian parliament.

dogsoldier on March 2, 2014 at 4:57 PM

An armed mob surrounds parliament and tells each member to vote for impeachment or else. I believe I’d vote to impeach as well.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 5:00 PM

This is from the LA Times quoting the acting president of Ukraine so I don’t know how accurate it is.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 4:32 PM

So you have as much faith in the MSM as the rest of us.

agmartin on March 2, 2014 at 5:02 PM

When the video you post has ‘mood music’, you know its propaganda.

sharrukin on March 2, 2014 at 4:26 PM

I’m sure Putin would agree with you and think that young woman was a Nazi.

VorDaj on March 2, 2014 at 4:37 PM

There’s a LOT of propaganda in our Ukraine threads, from both sides. I don’t give any of it any credence.

slickwillie2001 on March 2, 2014 at 5:02 PM

If you’re referring to Yanukovych he was impeached by the Ukrainian parliament.

dogsoldier on March 2, 2014 at 4:57 PM

After he was deposed.

And this guy resigned.
http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/zyalt/10761149/354224/354224_600.jpg

I wonder why?

sharrukin on March 2, 2014 at 5:06 PM

The US Invasion of Panama:

The official U.S. justification for the invasion was articulated by President George H. W. Bush on the morning of 20 December 1989, a few hours after the start of the operation. Bush listed four reasons for the invasion:[20]
Safeguarding the lives of U.S. citizens in Panama. In his statement, Bush claimed that Noriega had declared that a state of war existed between the U.S. and Panama and that he threatened the lives of the approximately 35,000 U.S. citizens living there…

I’m sure that there is not a direct correlation between Panama and Ukraine. I just want to point out that the “protecting citizens” excuse has been used before by both sides. (Emphasis is mine.)

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 5:09 PM

So you have as much faith in the MSM as the rest of us.

agmartin on March 2, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Indeed.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 5:10 PM

What a choice! Nazis or being liberated by the Red Army.

TRB on March 2, 2014 at 5:14 PM

1. hope that while in ukraine, russian special forces kidnap and keep kerry.
2. nuke putins swiss bank where he hides his billions
3. make Ukraine 58th state of US.
4. expel all obama voters to Osteria.
5. nuke Osteria.

problem solveved!

the above is for laughs only.

losarkos on March 2, 2014 at 5:26 PM

From the Guardian:

The US has signalled that it could give as much financial support as Ukraine needs to get the country’s economy back on track.

So, we’re going to borrow money from China to support Ukraine?

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 5:32 PM

An armed mob surrounds parliament and tells each member to vote for impeachment or else. I believe I’d vote to impeach as well.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 5:00 PM

I just had an incredible feeling of deja vu reading that, literally as though I’d read it a few years back already, but I can’t remember what it would’ve been about.

This is truly weird.

Midas on March 2, 2014 at 5:46 PM

Ukrainian political crisis
6m
Editor’s note: Very difficult to make sense of reported explosions in Simferopol, Crimea; @InterpreterMag tries to sort it out here: http://www.interpretermag.com/ukraine-liveblog-day-13-beatings-in-kharkiv-defections-in-crimea/#2218 – Tom
end of note
==============

Asaf Ronel ‏@AsafRonel 14m

@BreakingNews @WSJ Hence: “@russian_market: Reports that explosions in Simferopol occured as #RU Army stormed Ukrainian ammunition units.”
====================================================================

Ukrainian political crisis
50m
We heard a loud explosion in Simferopol, unclear what is was and where it was from – @paulgypteau
see original on twitter.com
============================

Ukrainian political crisis
6h
Deputy Commander of naval base in Simferopol, Ukraine, says he will not surrender and is ready to fight – @MarquardtA
end of alert

canopfor on March 2, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Russia
1m
UK Prime Minister David Cameron: ‘I spoke to @BarackObama tonight. We agreed Russia’s actions are unacceptable & there must be significant costs if they don’t change course’ – @David_Cameron

canopfor on March 2, 2014 at 5:49 PM

US Ships Approaching Sevastopol? Mapping US Naval Assets

…the most important unknown is whether indeed the US is entering the black sea in what would be a direct confrontation with the Russian fleet.

You can follow movements of ships through the Bosphorus here.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 5:52 PM

You can follow movements of ships through the Bosphorus here.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Kaffa: Veddy nice Intell scoopy:)

canopfor on March 2, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Matt Lee @APDiploWriter

Senior US officials on conf call with reporters argue that #Ukraine developments show Putin weak, Obama strong. Suspect #Moscow disagrees.

Obama is “strong”? LOL. George Orwell would be proud.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Kaffa: Veddy nice Intell scoopy:)

canopfor on March 2, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Thank you.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Update #Ukraine: USS Obama on its way for confrontation with Putin. #tcot Russia pic.twitter.com/TCu0GOWyCF
=================================

https://twitter.com/palmaceiahome1/status/439604175404412929/photo/1/large

canopfor on March 2, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Belbek Airbase seems to have been taken by the Russians.

“Russian military, using ‘stun’ grenades, seized nearly all the buildings of the Ukrainian military in Belbek.”

sharrukin on March 2, 2014 at 6:03 PM

canopfor on March 2, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Thank you.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Kaffa:Looks like things are still murky on the situation,
in regards to WTF is really happening!:)

canopfor on March 2, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Russia
4m
British Prime Minister David Cameron: He and President Obama agree there must be ‘significant costs’ to Russia unless it changes course on Ukraine – @Reuters
end of alert
==============

Russia
21m
UK Prime Minister David Cameron: ‘I spoke to @BarackObama tonight. We agreed Russia’s actions are unacceptable & there must be significant costs if they don’t change course’ – @David_Cameron
see original on twitter.com

canopfor on March 2, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Ukraine’s president says Russian forces issued ultimatum on Crimea

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — The Russian military set an ultimatum Sunday for Ukrainian army and navy units “to surrender weapons and leave their bases” in the Crimean peninsula, Ukraine’s acting president, Olexandr Turchinov, said in televised remarks.

This is from the LA Times quoting the acting president of Ukraine so I don’t know how accurate it is.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Poster bayam has already assured us that will never happen.

Ukraine’s army is professional, disciplined, and will fight an invasion to the bitter end.

bayam on March 1, 2014 at 10:20 AM

The exchange in full:

As long as Russia can view a land grab in Crimea as victory in the face of a larger defeat, the outcome is acceptable to the West.

bayam on March 1, 2014 at 1:02 AM

Why should it stop with grabbing Crimea? Or Georgia? Putin regards the break-up of the Soviet Union as “the greatest political tragedy of the 20th century,” and has already proposed the creation of a supranational (Russian dominated) “Eurasian Union” as a counter to the EU. The Ukraine is crucial to such an alignment, as it was to the existence of the U.S.S.R. Putin wants it back. He wants all of the old republics back.

If he’s allowed to succeed, Putin’s grab for Crimea is to this century what Hitler’s was for the Sudetenland in 1938. Just the beginning.

de rigueur on March 1, 2014 at 2:34 AM

You can look to Grozny for an answer to your question. Ukraine’s army is professional, disciplined, and will fight an invasion to the bitter end. Crimea isn’t ethnically Ukraine although the Tartar minority can turn a Russian occupation into hell if it chooses to do so.

bayam on March 1, 2014 at 10:20 AM

de rigueur on March 2, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Kaffa:Looks like things are still murky on the situation,
in regards to WTF is really happening!:)

canopfor on March 2, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Indeed. There really is nothing from the MSM. All sources are from Europe and Twitter. Thank goodness for the internet.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Obama is “strong”? LOL. George Orwell would be proud.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Kaffa: Speaking of strong,..lol:0
==================================

Nick Sutton ‏@suttonnick 25m

Monday’s Sun front page: “Come ‘n have a go if EU think you’re hard enough” #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers #Ukraine pic.twitter.com/OLj8ksua1B
=====================================================================

https://twitter.com/suttonnick/status/440256120985112576/photo/1/large

canopfor on March 2, 2014 at 6:12 PM

canopfor on March 2, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Indeed. There really is nothing from the MSM. All sources are from Europe and Twitter. Thank goodness for the internet.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Kaffa: Amen on that, I’m bouncing twitter site to twitter site!:)

canopfor on March 2, 2014 at 6:14 PM

de rigueur on March 2, 2014 at 6:09 PM

That might be true of the ones who do not defect or resign. I guess it doesn’t include the Ukrainian Navy. Oh wait, I believe that the Ukrainian Navy has already defected and become the Crimean Navy.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 6:14 PM

13 MINs ago Photo
Demonstrators Against Russian Military Action in Ukraine March in New York

http://stream.wsj.com/story/deadly-clashes-in-ukraine/SS-2-457850/#

canopfor on March 2, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Indeed. There really is nothing from the MSM. All sources are from Europe and Twitter. Thank goodness for the internet.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Obama hasn’t told them what to report yet so they are waiting for direction.

tej on March 2, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Edward Lucas:
“Out of our own self-interest we promised to protect Ukraine.

Now we have failed the country – and I fear we will suffer for it.

Putin’s attempt to recreate the Soviet empire threatens not only Ukraine, but the peace of Europe. Our supine reaction is suicidally risky.

Britain, the US and Russia signed the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 – a deal in which Ukraine gave up its ex-Soviet nuclear weapons, thus ensuring they would not be stolen or misused.

In return the three outside powers promised that Ukraine would not be subject to aggression or economic coercion and that its borders would be inviolable.

Ukraine had no need for doomsday weapons and gave them up gladly.

Memories of the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986 were still raw.

Boris Yeltsin’s Russia was friendly in those days.

Nobody had heard of a quiet bureaucrat in St Petersburg called Vladimir Putin with close links to the city’s organised crime groups. Nobody knew that he would one day rule Russia.

Even in 1994, Ukrainians wanted to be safe not sorry.

Soviet rule had been nightmarish: millions perished in the artificial famine of the 1930s.

After the war, Stalin crushed resistance with brutal repressions.

So Ukraine sought solemn assurances that in exchange for abandoning nuclear weapons, the country’s borders would be inviolable.

Imagine if the Ukrainian negotiators could have seen the news of the past few days.

The Budapest Memorandum has been flagrantly breached by Russia.

First by a series of targeted and crippling trade sanctions against Ukraine to prevent it signing a deal with the European Union, which is backed by a clear majority of the population.

Second, by backing the regime’s crackdown in the capital Kiev. And then with the occupation of Crimea.

The Russians broke their word – but so did we. Britain has spinelessly funked even mild measures such as visa bans and asset freezes to punish the Kremlin for its behavior.

Would the Ukrainian government of the day have blithely given up their nuclear weapons in exchange for our solemn assurances had they known Russia would attack and we would do nothing?

Of course not. Mr Putin has learned that aggression goes unpunished. Which country will he menace next?”

VorDaj on March 2, 2014 at 6:21 PM

The Guardian:

The Guardian’s Shaun Walker has been given exclusive access to the inside of a Ukrainian marine base in Feodosia, Crimea, which has been surrounded by Russian troops.

Shaun describes how confusion has descended at times:

Inside the base at Feodosia, word came that the order had come from Kiev that all marines should give up their weapons voluntarily to the Russians.

One of the marines then read on Facebook that the news was apparently fake, and rushed off to inform his superiors who were in negotiations with Russians.

Many of the marines were on the phone to friends at other bases, asking whether they had been forced to give up their weapons.

Talk about confusion. It looks like the Ukrainian military is depending on Facebook for their orders.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 6:23 PM

MeanWhile:

https://twitter.com/KyivPost

KyivPost ‏@KyivPost 1h

New York Times: Kerry to visit Kyiv to show support for Ukraine #Kerry #Putin #Russia #Crimea #Ukraine http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine-abroad/new-york-times-kerry-to-visit-kyiv-to-show-support-for-ukraine-338152.html

canopfor on March 2, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Ukraine
52s
Ban Ki-moon is dispatching Deputy Jan Eliasson to Ukraine; the latest @UN_Spokesperson statement here – @UN
read more on http://www.un.org
========================

Latest Statements

New York, 2 March 2014 – Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Ukraine

Following the Security Council’s consultations and given the developments on the ground in Ukraine, the Secretary-General is dispatching Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson to the country this evening.

While in Ukraine, the Deputy Secretary-General will be personally apprised of the facts on the ground and will subsequently brief the Secretary-General on the next steps the United Nations could take to support the de-escalation of the situation.
=============================================

http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=7494

canopfor on March 2, 2014 at 6:29 PM

http://pjmedia.com/spengler/2014/03/01/ukraine-is-hopeless-but-not-serious/?singlepage=true

There isn’t going to be a war over Ukraine. There isn’t even going to be a crisis over Ukraine. We will perform our ritual war-dance and excoriate the Evil Emperor, and the result would be the same if we had sung “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” on a road trip to Kalamazoo. Worry about something really scary, like Iran.

Ukraine isn’t a country: it’s a Frankenstein monster composed of pieces of dead empires, stitched together by Stalin. It has never had a government in the Western sense of the term after the collapse of the Soviet Union gave it independence, just the equivalent of the family offices for one predatory oligarch after another–including the “Gas Princess,” Yulia Tymoshenko. It has a per capital income of $3,300 per year, about the same as Egypt and Syria, and less than a tenth of the European average. The whole market capitalization of its stock exchange is worth less than the Disney Company. It’s a basket case that claims to need $35 billion to survive the next two years. Money talks and bullshit walks. Who wants to ask the American taxpayer for $35 billion for Ukraine, one of the most corrupt economies on earth? How about $5 billion? Secretary of State Kerry is talking about $1 billion in loan guarantees, and the Europeans are talking a similar amount. That’s not diplomacy. It’s a clown show.

Clearly a lot of Ukrainians got together at Maidan square, ranging from democratic idealists to rent-a-mob demonstrators paid by Ukrainian oligarchs to the sort of hoodlums who think the other side should have won the Second World War. What sort of regime do we have now? As CNN reported Feb. 27, there is

Arseniy Yatseniuk, 39, named as Prime Minister and a practiced politician who has been the chief opposition voice at Maidan Square. While closely associated with former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko — who was freed from prison in the wake of last week’s protests — he can at least do business with the West and talk tough with hard-nosed IMF suits. A realist, on Wednesday he warned that the new government will need to invoke some very unpopular decisions, given the dire state of the economy. “We are a team of people with a suicide wish — welcome to hell,” he said.

Ukraine’s economy is close to Egypt’s in per capital GDP, and its governance is similar: desperately poor people can’t make it through the day without government subsidies, especially for energy.

Putin bungled things badly: he thought a bailout would solve the problem. That blew up in his face. The West bungled things badly: it has a $35 billion bill on its desk and no intention of paying it. John McCain went to Maidan in December and said the American people were with the Ukrainian demonstrators. He meant in spirit, not in their capacity as taxpayers. The Ukrainian opposition didn’t bungle so much as take a collective bungee jump without a cord. Just what do they propose to do now?

As for the Crimea: Did anyone seriously think that Vladimir Putin would let the main port of Russia’s Black Sea fleet fall into unfriendly hands? Russia will take the Crimea, and the strategic consequences will be nil. We couldn’t have a strategic confrontation if we wanted it. How would we get troops or ships into the Black Sea area in the first place in order to have a confrontation? Perhaps the Belgiums will send in their army instead. I suppose we need to denounce the Russians for violating Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

sharrukin on March 2, 2014 at 6:30 PM

“All options are on the table,” is what we say about Iran, too. Apparently it is a meaningless verbal tic for this administration.

Sheerq on March 2, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Secretary of State Kerry is talking about $1 billion in loan guarantees, and the Europeans are talking a similar amount. That’s not diplomacy. It’s a clown show.

sharrukin on March 2, 2014 at 6:30 PM

A loan guarantee is what you do when you don’t want to leaned your relatives cash money. Wait until Ukraine sees the restrictions attached to those loans. Clown show indeed.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 6:34 PM

leaned = loan

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 6:35 PM

How would we get troops or ships into the Black Sea area in the first place in order to have a confrontation? Perhaps the Belgiums will send in their army instead. I suppose we need to denounce the Russians for violating Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

sharrukin on March 2, 2014 at 6:30 PM

sharrukin: Just Boinking lovely:)

canopfor on March 2, 2014 at 6:36 PM

A loan guarantee is what you do when you don’t want to leaned your relatives cash money. Wait until Ukraine sees the restrictions attached to those loans. Clown show indeed.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 6:34 PM

The Obama crowd are a day late and a dollar short.

sharrukin on March 2, 2014 at 6:37 PM

Loyal to Ukraine, Tatars lie low as Russia seizes Crimea

(Reuters) – Only five days ago, Tatars of Ukraine’s Crimea came out in their thousands, chanting Allahu Akbar in a show of loyalty to the new authorities in Kiev and opposition to separatist demands by the region’s Russian ethnic majority.

But now, with Moscow’s military forces having unexpectedly seized control, the indigenous Muslim people of the isolated Black Sea peninsula have all but vanished from the public square, keeping their heads down to avoid being sucked into war.

The muslim-Tartars could be a 5th column against Russia, but I guess they didn’t get the support they expected from Turkey.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 6:39 PM

It looks like the Ukrainian military is depending on Facebook for their orders.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 6:23 PM

And the Russian military depends on Tzar Putin I for theirs.

And the American military depends on Obumbler and GLAD and CAIR for theirs.

VorDaj on March 2, 2014 at 6:41 PM

de rigueur on March 2, 2014 at 6:09 PM

That might be true of the ones who do not defect or resign. I guess it doesn’t include the Ukrainian Navy. Oh wait, I believe that the Ukrainian Navy has already defected and become the Crimean Navy.

Kaffa on March 2, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Exactly. The very point I made to the assertion that “Ukraine’s army is professional, disciplined, and will fight an invasion to the bitter end when I replied (/s): “Right. The Maginot Line will hold.”

de rigueur on March 2, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Isn’t he that guy who served in Vietnam?

Galtian on March 2, 2014 at 7:14 PM

Russian Navel vessel sighted off the beach at Brighton Beach NY. Russian US ambassador says it’s there to protect the interest of Russian speaking residents. /S

Walter L. Newton on March 2, 2014 at 7:19 PM

The problem is that we’re reacting instead of driving events, while Putin has moves figured out several steps ahead

When this kind of idiotic mentality end? The US cannot dictate and drive events on remote continents, or in counties that fall into the orbit of other world powers.

The neo-cons actually believed that it was possible for the US to control events in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East, nearly resulting in total US defeat. Today’s Iraq is nothing more than an Iranian satellite state with many decisions passed down from Tehran. And people are still talking about the US ‘driving events’ abroad? This kind of stupidity is exactly what’s given rise to Rand Paul’s flavor of isolationism.

bayam on March 2, 2014 at 8:00 PM

bayam on March 2, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Throughout ALL of history, weakness invites aggression, and your comments invite a smackdown.

WryTrvllr on March 2, 2014 at 8:16 PM

Mark Levin says it best- John Kerry is mashed potato face due to his recent Botox injections. I would blame his recent injections for his lack of judgement and ignorance; however, Kerry never has had a lick of sense. He’s just another leftist loser.

mobydutch on March 2, 2014 at 8:43 PM

I’m really beginning to not like this Obama fellow.

307wolverine on March 2, 2014 at 9:13 PM

bayam on March 2, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Translation:
“Leave my cult love object alone!!!!”

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on March 2, 2014 at 9:24 PM

bayam on March 2, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Translation:
“Leave my cult love object alone!!!!”

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on March 2, 2014 at 9:24 PM

You are going to force brayam to say an extra prayer at his Obama shrine tonight.

slickwillie2001 on March 2, 2014 at 9:30 PM

The only option for Kerry is sit down and shut up. There is no foreign policy from the U.S.

TfromV on March 2, 2014 at 9:51 PM

“Ha. Haha. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!”
~ Vladimir Putin

Dopenstrange on March 2, 2014 at 9:54 PM

“To say that (U.S. President) Jimmy Carter was surprised by the Soviet’s Christmas invasion of Afghanistan would be a gross understatement.” Walter Mondale, Carter’s vice-president, put it a bit more bluntly…”

http://content.time.com/time/magazine/0,9263,7601800114,00.html

Still clueless. Oscars boring…..

Rea1ityCheck on March 2, 2014 at 10:18 PM

It sounds like what’s on Kerry’s table are some stiff drinks and an opium pipe.

claudius on March 2, 2014 at 10:40 PM

Kerry: “All options are on the table” in response to Russian invasion of Crimea.
——————
Putin: ‘We are now taking Alaska back’
————————————-
Obama: ‘Sorry, I am going golfing today’.
————————
Kerry: ‘As I have said all options are on the table, including giving some or all of the US to Russia’
——————————-
O.K. all kidding aside, I said many years ago that if I were the leader of Russia, I would invade the US, because Obama has no idea what he is doing.

free on March 2, 2014 at 11:37 PM

Ukraine’s army is professional, disciplined, and will fight an invasion to the bitter end.

bayam on March 1, 2014 at 10:20 AM

RT Headline: Ukrainians dispatched to Crimea switch to region’s side.

oops.

de rigueur on March 3, 2014 at 12:17 AM

OT/
Are we getting a Walking Dead thread? Or is that for tomorrow?

If Allah Pundit writes a new Walking Dead post, he’s guaranteed not to like this most recent episode.

There was some zombie killing in it, but there was lots and lots of talking and emotion and some crying. All the stuff AP hates about the Walking Dead.

Even the Daryl Dixon character cried in the episode.

TigerPaw on March 3, 2014 at 12:39 AM

When this kind of idiotic mentality end? The US cannot dictate and drive events on remote continents, or in counties that fall into the orbit of other world powers.
 
The neo-cons actually believed that it was possible for the US to control events in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East, nearly resulting in total US defeat. Today’s Iraq is nothing more than an Iranian satellite state with many decisions passed down from Tehran. And people are still talking about the US ‘driving events’ abroad? This kind of stupidity is exactly what’s given rise to Rand Paul’s flavor of isolationism.
 
bayam on March 2, 2014 at 8:00 PM

 
+1
 
It’s almost as bad as using the near-defeat and troop deaths as little more than a means to drive events like the November elections in this country:
 

“December 2014 is a big date. That’s the date that’s been mandated that we get out of country. So we are on track to meet that date,” said the official…
 
The defense official said withdrawal effort would have three periods of heightened activity: October 2013, the spring of 2014 and October 2014.
 
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/13/us-usa-afghanistan-withdrawal-idUSBRE98C05L20130913

 
Lousy neo-cons. Great point, btw.

rogerb on March 3, 2014 at 5:46 AM

Like Cry, Whimper, and Do Nothing?

Brock Robamney on March 3, 2014 at 5:56 AM

‘All Options’ … as in Bluffs, Bull$h!t, lies, obfuscation, excuses, blaming others…

easyt65 on March 3, 2014 at 7:43 AM

The NYT editorial board has a different take …

There was a lot to criticize about the way President Viktor Yanukovych’s government was thrown out in Ukraine and hurriedly replaced with an interim team. The victorious opposition should have known how critical it was to reassure all groups in that country that their rights would be respected in any new order; instead, one of the Parliament’s first actions was to abolish a law that ensured a legal status for Russian and other minority anguages, thus raising fears among Russian speakers that Ukrainian nationalists were taking over.

… thank God that we never made English the official language of the US, as we might get invaded by Mexico (wait a second .. that is happening now).

Not once during the weeks of death in the streets of Ukraine were language preferences mentioned.

J_Crater on March 3, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Yep.

Bmore on March 3, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Option 1 – Another red line.
Option 2 – Said red line moved.
Option 3 – Red line morphed into pink line so as to not offend Putin.
Option 4 – …..

TfromV on March 3, 2014 at 9:35 AM

I bet a lot of countries are dusting off their treaties with the US and wondering if those agreements are still good…Check the expiration date: Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Israel, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, etc…it’s a long list. I am sure these countries will start looking to accelerate military growth…world-wide military escalation. World peace? probably not.

If the US allows Putin to make the case for invading Crimea, what stops him from making the same argument for invading Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania…Baltic access is nice too. Thus, this could start a domino effect.

Obama made fun of Romney saying the ’80s are calling and they want their foreign policies back…laugh is on you Obama those ’80s policies are still relevant and even more important today because the stakes are higher.

She Walks In Beauty on March 3, 2014 at 10:41 AM

bayam on March 2, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Wow, you’re a genius.

I mean, really – all of these people, throughout the entirety of history, have had things called ‘diplomats’, ‘ambassadors’, ‘secretary of state’, and the like – all because they thought they could influence and ‘drive’ activity in foreign countries. Hell, they were even so stupid as to think a country needed a ‘foreign policy’!

To think, if only you had been around to tell them how stupid it was to even bother, well… think of all of the free birth control and EBT cards that could’ve been had!

Midas on March 3, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Obama made fun of Romney saying the ’80s are calling and they want their foreign policies back…laugh is on you Obama those ’80s policies are still relevant and even more important today because the stakes are higher.

She Walks In Beauty on March 3, 2014 at 10:41 AM

… and the ’10′s are calling the ’80′s, wondering if they can borrow a foreign policy because, well, we’ve apparently got f*ck all at the moment.

Midas on March 3, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Russians Moving Self Propelled Artillery Into Ukraine

Alert @JakeTapper: Tell CNN these aren’t tanks – they’re SP-artillery. That’s a bigger deal than tanks. @jimgeraghty pic.twitter.com/Rve55MUa3I

— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) March 3, 2014

Resist We Much on March 3, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Lousy neo-cons. Great point, btw.

rogerb on March 3, 2014 at 5:46 AM

Smackdown.

Resist We Much on March 3, 2014 at 10:57 AM

But we don’t need big land armies anymore. Chuck promised.

WryTrvllr on March 3, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Kerry better check with Congress before he thinks about using our military.

mixplix on March 3, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Secretary of State John Kerry said that “all options are on the table”

He says that because he probably wants to envision himself as a tough Secretary of State or to not appear too wimpy a Secretary of State that would be bad for self-image.

It is cheap talk buttressed by the actions of the Administration and the current and previous Secretary. What is meant by “options” is ambiguous and, in no case, does he imagine that anything other than talking tough and maybe some sanctions would be the result.

If your image is a wimpy one and then, just this once, you get the fortitude to actually do something major and significant then you often surprise the opposition and that is one way wars get started because one side is doing something (i.e. resorting to real substance versus style) that most everyone thought it would never really do and the other side thinks it cannot afford to back down to wimps.

Russ808 on March 3, 2014 at 1:21 PM

Here is what I am predicting on this……

Russia takes Crimea, then when they begin attacking the Ukrainian troops (because they will not surrender), they will claim to now have the right to take down all of the Ukrainian forces and therefore..Ukraine. If the Ukrainian forces do surrender, they will be opening the door for the Russians to waltz right in and take Ukraine anyway.

The US will do absolutely nothing as a result of this (except depriving a bunch of exceptional athletes from competing in an international competition).

China, seeing our inability (unwillingness) to act, will make a physical move to take and occupy the Senkaku Islands. Japan will shoot, and if it is just a naval war, Japan will utterly destroy the Chinese fleet. China will then move on Japan. The US will only watch.

This is only my suspicions (most likely just a conspiracy theory).

Hammie on March 3, 2014 at 1:32 PM

China, seeing our inability (unwillingness) to act, will make a physical move to take and occupy the Senkaku Islands. Japan will shoot, and if it is just a naval war, Japan will utterly destroy the Chinese fleet. China will then move on Japan. The US will only watch.
This is only my suspicions (most likely just a conspiracy theory).
Hammie on March 3, 2014 at 1:32 PM

When self serving cowards are in charge, it doesn’t sound that implausible.

EssieLou on March 3, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Obama is holding a Press Conference RIGHT NOW about the Ukraine…and he said, “What Russia can NOT do is violate international law, invade another country unprovoked, and put troops on the ground in that country.”

Really?! …’Cause I am pretty darn sure PuUTIN JUST DID! ROFLOL!

This guy is so delusional that he believes his own bull$hit! The WORLD did not issue the ‘Syrian Red Line’…but it sure realized that when Obama did and then almost broke his cowardly @$$ by back-tracking on it that Obama is a coward and the U.S. with Obama in control is WEAK. Putin laughed and marched right into Cremia without the slightest worry of what Obama would do. Since he started both Obama and Kerry have issued SEVERAL more ‘red line’ declarations…and have failed to follow up on any of them.

Obama’s 1st idea of ‘punishment’ for Putins actions was ‘We will NOT be attending the Super 8 Planning Meeting in Sochi’. SERIOUSLY? And that didn’t make Putin wet himself and quake with fear? Remarkable!

easyt65 on March 3, 2014 at 2:42 PM

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