Quotes of the day

posted at 8:01 pm on March 2, 2014 by Allahpundit

President Obama has warned Russia that “there will be costs” for a military intervention in Ukraine. But the United States has few palatable options for imposing such costs, and recent history has shown that when it considers its interests at stake, Russia has been willing to pay the price…

The administration could impose the same sort of banking sanctions that have choked Iran’s economy. And yet Europe, with its more substantial economic ties, could be reluctant to go along, and Mr. Obama may be leery of pulling the trigger on such a potent financial weapon, especially when he needs Russian cooperation on Syria and Iran.

“What can we do?” asked Fiona Hill, a Brookings Institution scholar who was the government’s top intelligence officer on Russia during the Georgia war when Mr. Putin deflected Western agitation. “We’ll talk about sanctions. We’ll talk about red lines. We’ll basically drive ourselves into a frenzy. And he’ll stand back and just watch it. He just knows that none of the rest of us want a war.”

***

A president who has made clear to the American public that the “tide of war is receding” has also made clear to foreign leaders, including opportunists in Russia, that he has no appetite for a new one. What is left is a vacuum once filled, at least in part, by the possibility of American force.

“If you are effectively taking the stick option off the table, then what are you left with?” said Andrew C. Kuchins, who heads the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “I don’t think that Obama and his people really understand how others in the world are viewing his policies.”

Rarely has a threat from a U.S. president been dismissed as quickly — and comprehensively — as Obama’s warning Friday night to Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.

***

Why did Obama publicly state that aggression in Ukraine would trigger “consequences”? Clearly he was telling Putin to recalculate the potential costs and benefits of an invasion. But Obama was ignoring a simple fact: Putin would incur almost any risk to avoid losing Ukraine. To put it another way: There are no consequences—none that the United States could credibly threaten—that would keep Putin from doing whatever it takes to hang on to Ukraine.

More often than not, Obama has acted like a foreign-policy realist in the five years of his presidency. In his public statements on Ukraine these past 24 hours, he has not. Rather, he has drawn another “red line” that the threatened party feels it’s worth the risk to ignore

Neither side wants an escalation in violence and disorder. The question is how much each side is willing to accept an escalation in the pursuit of its vital interests. And in that equation, Obama and the EU do not hold strong hands.

***

“Stop going on television and trying to threaten thugs and dictators,” Graham said. “It is not your strong suit. Every time the president goes on national television and threatens Putin or anyone like Putin, everybody’s eyes roll, including mine. We have a weak and indecisive president that invites aggression.”

“President Obama needs to do something. How about this — suspend Russian membership in the G8 and the G20, at least for a year, starting right now. And for every day that they stay in Crimea, add to the suspension. Do something.”

***

“Yesterday, from various media, we heard how U.S. President Obama declared that Russia would dearly pay for her politics,” Yury Vorobyov, the body’s deputy speaker, told an emergency session called to hold the war vote. “I think these words of the U.S. president are a direct threat, and he crossed a red line, he insulted the Russian people.”

The phrase “red line” was no accident, and not one thrown around often in Russia. It was a direct reference to Obama’s much pilloried foreign policy disaster over Syria, something largely forgotten at home but constantly referenced abroad — from Moscow to Tel Aviv to everywhere in between…

The question now is whether Obama can look towards the long-term. Obama has tried to play nice with Russia, and been rebuffed at every turn. Russia will never cooperate on Syria. It will eventually try to disrupt Obama’s “reset” with Iran. Putin has turned anti-LGBT into a tool of foreign policy. Now he is sending troops into Ukraine.

Obama has made dialogue and cooperation a cornerstone of his approach to the world. But what if some countries don’t reciprocate?

***

Too much of the Washington policy establishment looks around the world and sees only reflections of its own enlightened self. That’s natural and perhaps inevitable to some degree. The people who rise through the competitive bureaucracies of American academic, media and think tank life tend to be those who’ve most thoroughly absorbed and internalized the set of beliefs and behavioral norms that those institutions embody and respect. On the whole, those beliefs and norms have a lot going for them. It would not be an improvement if America’s elite institutions started to look more like their counterparts in Russia or Zimbabwe.

But while those ideas and beliefs help people rise through the machinery of the American power system, they can get in the way when it comes to understanding the motives and calculations of people like President Putin. The best of the journalists, think tankers and officials will profit from the Crimean policy fiasco and will never again be as smug or as blind as so much of Washington was last week. The mediocre majority will go on as before.

***

We didn’t think Putin would do this. Why, exactly? This has often puzzled me about Western analysis of Russia. It is often predicated on wholly Western logic: surely, Russia won’t invade [Georgia, Ukraine, whoever's next] because war is costly and the Russian economy isn’t doing well and surely Putin doesn’t want another hit to an already weak ruble; because Russia doesn’t need to conquer Crimea if Crimea is going to secede on its own; Russia will not want to risk the geopolitical isolation, and “what’s really in it for Russia?”—stop. Russia, or, more accurately, Putin, sees the world according to his own logic, and the logic goes like this: it is better to be feared than loved, it is better to be overly strong than to risk appearing weak, and Russia was, is, and will be an empire with an eternal appetite for expansion. And it will gather whatever spurious reasons it needs to insulate itself territorially from what it still perceives to be a large and growing NATO threat. Trying to harness Russia with our own logic just makes us miss Putin’s next steps…

Putin and those around him are, fundamentally, terminal pessimists. They truly believe that there is an American conspiracy afoot to topple Putin, that Russian liberals are traitors corrupted by and loyal to the West, they truly believe that, should free and fair elections be held in Russia, their countrymen would elect bloodthirsty fascists, rather than democratic liberals. To a large extent, Putin really believes that he is the one man standing between Russia and the yawning void. Putin’s Kremlin is dark and scary, and, ultimately, very boring…

Russia’s next target is eastern Ukraine. Because pessimism conquers all, don’t bet that Putin is going to stop once he wrests Crimea from Kiev’s orbit. Eastern, Russian-speaking Ukraine—and all its heavy industry—is looking pretty good right now. And if you’re thinking “Why would Putin take eastern Ukraine?,” well, you haven’t been reading very carefully.

***

Any [Russian] invasion—which is what it would be—of a vast country of 46 million in the heart of Europe, sharing borders with NATO allies Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania, would pose a major security challenge for the United States and other key European powers. Even without further Russian action, allies such as the Baltic countries will be seeking U.S. reassurance. Lithuania has already asked for Article IV consultations under the NATO Treaty in response to a clear threat to its security. These countries likely will also ask for hard reassurances—such as deployments of U.S. and other allied troops and equipment on their territory—as Turkey did in 2012 when Syria shot down a Turkish jet. They will also need help to shore up their eastern borders and prepare for possible flows of refugees from Ukraine. The Baltic states will probably ask for similar reassurances. One can also expect cyber attacks and intrusions, false alarms and an atmosphere of tension the likes of which have not been seen since the worst days of the Cold War…

The break in the West’s relations with Russia is bound to be deep and lasting. The G-8 will be its first casualty with the Western powers likely to reconstitute the G-7 in its original form as a direct rebuff to Putin. Other important international mechanisms —the U.N. Security Council, ad hoc diplomatic efforts on Syria, the P5+1 process on Iran, the Six-Party talks on North Korea, and so on—will be filled with renewed acrimony and dysfunction. Some may break down entirely. Inevitably, there will be congressional calls for sanctions against Russia, which the White House will be hard-pressed to resist no matter how much it may want to preserve the shreds of cooperation with Russia on Iran, Syria or Afghanistan. The West and Russia are in uncharted waters.

***

The Crimea crisis will not pass soon. Kiev is unlikely to agree to Crimea’s secession, even if backed by clear popular will: this would be discounted because of the “foreign occupation” of the peninsula. The crisis is also expanding to include other players, notably the United States. So far, there has been no military confrontation between Russian and Ukrainian forces, but if they clash, this will not be a repeat of the five-day war in the South Caucasus, as in 2008. The conflict will be longer and bloodier, with security in Europe put at its highest risk in a quarter century.

Even if there is no war, the Crimea crisis is likely to alter fundamentally relations between Russia and the west and lead to changes in the global power balance, with Russia now in open competition with the United States and the European Union in the new eastern Europe. If this happens, a second round of the cold war may ensue as a punishment for leaving many issues unsolved – such as Ukraine’s internal cohesion, the special position of Crimea, or the situation of Russian ethnics in the newly independent states; but, above all, leaving unresolved Russia’s integration within the Euro-Atlantic community. Russia will no doubt pay a high price for its apparent decision to “defend its own” and “put things right”, but others will have to pay their share, too.

***

Born in tandem with the nuclear age, the Cold War was defined from the outset less by outright confrontation than by caution. And with caution came adjustment, compromise, improvisation and at times retreat. As often as not, both sides blinked…

A year later [in 1956], when Moscow sent two Red Army tank divisions to quell anti-Communist protesters in Budapest, killing as many as 30,000 people, the cry went up for action. “What are the West and the United Nations going to do?” one despairing protester asked an American reporter.

The answer: nothing. Counteraction would only provoke Moscow to tighten its noose and perhaps “go back on de-Stalinization,” Eisenhower explained…

Calculations like these are the true prologue to the approach that Mr. Obama seems to have adopted in trouble spots from Syria to Ukraine.

***

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…

What should we do (or what should we have done)? It’s obvious that the Ukrainians have no faith in their democratic institutions, having staged a coup against a democratically elected president. In that case, the next step is constitutional reform. The existing system has broken down and the people should choose a new one. But constitutional reform has to take into account the prospect of partition. Lviv and Sevastopol have about as much in common as, say, Bogota and Montreal. The West should encourage the Ukrainians to amend their democratic institutions in order to achieve a national consensus, which might mean a different sort of nation. If Crimea, for example, were to vote for partition, why object? If it voted against partition, that would put Putin on the spot. The West would have come off better by getting in front of the events rather than chasing them.

***

Russia sees an America distracted: Putin’s Ukrainian gambit was a shock to the U.S. foreign policy establishment. They prefer talking about China, or participating in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Russia sees an America vulnerable: in Afghanistan, in Syria and on Iran—a United States that desperately needs Russian support to continue shipping its supplies, host any peace conference or enforce its sanctions…

[Putin] knows that millions of Russians will cheer him as a hero if he returns them Crimea. He knows that European bureaucrats will issue shrill statements and then get back to business helping Russian elites buy London town houses and French chateaux. He knows full well that the United States can no longer force Europe to trade in a different way. He knows full well that the United States can do nothing beyond theatrical military maneuvers at most.

This is why Vladimir Putin just invaded Crimea.

He thinks he has nothing to lose.

***

“He is not going to gain by this,” Kerry continued. “He may be able to have his troops for some period of time in Crimea unless he resolves this. But the fact is, he’s going to lose on the international stage, Russia is going to lose, the Russian people are going to lose. He’s going to lose all of the glow that came out of the Olympics, his $60 billion extravaganza. He is not going to have a Sochi G8. He may not even remain in the G8 if this continues. He may find himself with asset freezes on Russian business, American business may pull back. There may be a further tumble of the ruble. There’s a huge price to pay. The United States is united, Russia is isolated. That is not a position of strength.”

***

“Do you have any indication at all that President Putin is taking heed of what President Obama is saying?”

***

If you look at the White House read out, which I encourage everybody to read and try and piece through the gobbledegook, Obama said Russia was “violating international law.” That’s just about the most serious thing in the world to Barack Obama and its probably on a long list of priorities for Putin, something pretty close to the bottom.


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Pooty

Murphy9 on March 2, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Ratso!

OmahaConservative on March 2, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Calling all Rude Buffoons…

OmahaConservative on March 2, 2014 at 8:02 PM

VLAD!

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:05 PM

What is the Putin topic?

Aren’t there any Gay marriages planned at the Oscars? Or traffic jams in New Jersey?

kcewa on March 2, 2014 at 8:05 PM

Putin has sized up Dear Leader and he knows the risk or repercussions is Zero…pun intended.

d1carter on March 2, 2014 at 8:07 PM

I wonder just how close world destabilization heeds to come to America before the obama lovers wake their asses up and begin to denounce the fake Jesus.

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:07 PM

Maybe bayum will try defending 0bama again. What he wrote a bit ago was one of stupidest tries yet.

cozmo on March 2, 2014 at 8:07 PM

Flexibility is such an overrated quality…

d1carter on March 2, 2014 at 8:09 PM

Aren’t there any Gay marriages planned at the Oscars? Or traffic jams in New Jersey?

kcewa on March 2, 2014 at 8:05 PM

kcewa: Speaking of the Oscars:)
================================

2014 Academy Awards
10h
Russian TV will not air the Oscars ceremony live due to seriousness of the events in Ukraine’s Crimea region – @MiriamElder

canopfor on March 2, 2014 at 8:09 PM

I wonder just how close world destabilization heeds to come to America before the obama lovers wake their asses up and begin to denounce the fake Jesus.

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:07 PM

You’re kidding right?

kcewa on March 2, 2014 at 8:10 PM

The State Run Media is furiously trying to define “invasion”…LOL.

d1carter on March 2, 2014 at 8:11 PM

I wonder just how close world destabilization heeds to come to America before the obama lovers wake their asses up and begin to denounce the fake Jesus.

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:07 PM

It’ll just be Bush’s fault anyway.

Obama’s going to change the world!

Murphy9 on March 2, 2014 at 8:11 PM

cozmo on March 2, 2014 at 8:07 PM

What did he write, and where?

OmahaConservative on March 2, 2014 at 8:11 PM

He was in the Red Arrow brigade.

wolly4321 on March 2, 2014 at 8:11 PM

OmahaConservative on March 2, 2014 at 8:11 PM

The playing marbles one at 7:45.

Too stupid to repost here.

cozmo on March 2, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Putin has sized up Dear Leader and he knows the risk or repercussions is Zero…pun intended.

d1carter on March 2, 2014 at 8:07 PM

Not what I heard. An elder statesman told me he had steel in his spine. And he must be an elder statesman. The people of his state saw fit to continually re-elect him.

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:12 PM

Putin looks like a serious man

Obama looks like Barny the Purple dinosaur..

Electrongod on March 2, 2014 at 8:12 PM

President Obama has warned Russia that “there will be costs” for a military intervention in Ukraine.

…and, Oh, by the way, I almost forgot…it’s happy hour! Then tee-time! Where does the time go?

AUINSC on March 2, 2014 at 8:12 PM

up on huffpoo

Michael O. (moboyle110)
143
2,291 Fans·Audentes Fortuna Juvat
And, unfortunately, thanks to the last GOPer administration’s unjustified invasion of Iraq, Putin is probably thinking that the U.S. has no business telling him what he can or cannot do in Ukraine.

And the same situation now exists in the case of torture since the last GOPer administration violated International treaties in authorizing “enhanced interrogations.”

The legacy of failure left behind by that GOPer administration continues to plague the nation.
2 MAR 9:24 AM

Its booooshes fault.

renalin on March 2, 2014 at 8:12 PM

The State Run Media is furiously trying to define “invasion”…LOL.

d1carter on March 2, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Obviously, it’s a synonym for “uncontested arrival” …

ShainS on March 2, 2014 at 8:13 PM

Ukraine will become part of the Russian federation, as it historically has been. And yeah, we made promises when Ukraine gave up their nukes, but this won’t be the first time that the US has welched on a deal.

And in a totally unrelated thought, Happy Texas Independence Day.

NativeTexan on March 2, 2014 at 8:13 PM

“Stop going on television and trying to threaten thugs and dictators,” Graham said. “It is not your strong suit. Every time the president goes on national television and threatens Putin or anyone like Putin, everybody’s eyes roll, including mine. We have a weak and indecisive president that invites aggression.”
=======================

Comforting to US Military personnell,..world wide, no doubt!!!

canopfor on March 2, 2014 at 8:13 PM

It’ll just be Bush’s fault anyway.

Obama’s going to change the world!

Murphy9 on March 2, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Thanks for that. Why don’t you post ‘barack insane obama, mm mm MM!’ to thoroughly piss me off?

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:14 PM

You clearly have little to no understanding of Russian intentions and motivations. If Putin had any intention of re-creating the old Soviet empire, why did he acquiesce to the Baltic states joining NATO? It’s not so simple.

bayam on March 2, 2014 at 7:45 PM

CHALRES KRAUTHAMMER: If you’re Vladimir Putin, the dictator of Russia, you never left the Cold War. Remember who the guy is… He was a KGB agent in East Germany of all places in the Soviet days. He has destroyed completely the democracy he inherited. It is now a dictatorship. He’s got stability like the Czars had stability. And he has said publicly that the greatest calamity in the 20th Century was the collapse of the Soviet Union. And he wants it back. And Ukraine is part of that empire. And that, I think, is why we’ve had all this sabre-rattling. It is amusing that the head of NATO today said that the mobilization of the army that Putin has ordered on the borders of Ukraine has nothing to do with Ukraine. I mean, who are we kidding here? Ukraine was a part of the Soviet Union. Putin wants it back.

Murphy9 on March 2, 2014 at 8:14 PM

The playing marbles one at 7:45.

Too stupid to repost here.

cozmo on March 2, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Wow. That was really stupid…

OmahaConservative on March 2, 2014 at 8:16 PM

KGB….Community Organizer, KGB…..Community Organizer, KGB…Community Organizer…who is the tough guy?

d1carter on March 2, 2014 at 8:16 PM

I wonder just how close world destabilization heeds to come to America before the obama lovers wake their asses up and begin to denounce the fake Jesus.

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:07 PM

My brother told me yesterday that this was all happening because the US is using more than it’s share of the world’s natural resources.

So going by that the wakeup will happen…never.

kcewa on March 2, 2014 at 8:17 PM

Thanks for that. Why don’t you post ‘barack insane obama, mm mm MM!’ to thoroughly piss me off?

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:14 PM

AAAa aaa aaa aaa aa aa a aaaa aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa

This one better?

Murphy9 on March 2, 2014 at 8:18 PM

What did he write, and where?

OmahaConservative on March 2, 2014 at 8:11 PM

This one’s pretty craven:

Russia has seen Crimea as critical to its strategic security for over a century. Losing it is politically and militarily unacceptable. You could also argue that Crimea destabilizes an independent Ukraine- with Crimea in the hands of Russia, the Ukrainian electorate is less divided.

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

This one merely stupid:

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

bayam on March 1, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Ukranian navy has already sided with Russia.

de rigueur on March 2, 2014 at 8:18 PM

kcewa on March 2, 2014 at 8:17 PM

My condolences…

d1carter on March 2, 2014 at 8:18 PM

The legacy of failure left behind by that GOPer administration continues to plague the nation.
2 MAR 9:24 AM

Its booooshes fault.

renalin on March 2, 2014 at 8:12 PM

Oh Jesus Christ, here we go! Will somebody please remove these people from the earth?

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:19 PM

I mean, who are we kidding here? Ukraine was a part of the Soviet Union. Putin wants it back.

Murphy9 on March 2, 2014 at 8:14 PM

That should be obvious to anyone, and it’s becoming more obvious by the day, but I suspect it never occurred to Obama. If he bothers to think about Europe and Asia at all.

Fenris on March 2, 2014 at 8:19 PM

de rigueur on March 2, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Stop it man!

That much stupidity at one time could overload the internet.

cozmo on March 2, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Ukraine.

The price of free contraception.

Ben Hur on March 2, 2014 at 8:20 PM

This one better?

Murphy9 on March 2, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Just what I need to see. A stupid white child. I blame the parents.

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:22 PM

cozmo on March 2, 2014 at 8:19 PM

You’re right. Tip over Guam at a minimum.

de rigueur on March 2, 2014 at 8:22 PM

And in a totally unrelated thought, Happy Texas Independence Day.

NativeTexan on March 2, 2014 at 8:13 PM

Congratulations

kcewa on March 2, 2014 at 8:22 PM

The last round he sent downrange was in my yard. he hadn’t shot a round since the war.

CMP M1 Garand. They sent him a fine one. Grade A.

I’ll never forget it. Out of the box. He teared up. He never cried before, but there he was.

Loaded it, two shots from the shoulder. Hits.

Then he dropped it to his waist. 8 shots ringing the target, and his eyes changed.

I can’t explain what I saw that day. Scary and beautiful.

I hope I never know, never can have that look. But with this jackwad in office,

Who knows?

wolly4321 on March 2, 2014 at 8:23 PM

It’s hard to see what Putin’s endgame is here.

He’s basically just handed the entire euro natural gas market over to the americans now, and it’s hard to believe he actually thinks he can just keep an armed guard over Crimea indefinitely.

Reeks of desperation.

everdiso on March 2, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Calling all Rude Buffoons

OmahaConservative on March 2, 2014 at 8:02 PM

Present and accounted for!

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Resist We Much on March 2, 2014 at 8:25 PM

This one better?

Murphy9 on March 2, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Is it too late to report those parents for child abuse?

Fenris on March 2, 2014 at 8:26 PM

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Resist We Much on March 2, 2014 at 8:25 PM

WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN!!!!

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:26 PM

Present and accounted for!

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Resist We Much on March 2, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Now Axe will show back up.

RickB on March 2, 2014 at 8:27 PM

Resist We Much on March 2, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Where u been..?

d1carter on March 2, 2014 at 8:27 PM

And I don’t get the whole “world destabilization” thing.

Putin did the same thing in 2008 in georgia. This is no more a symbol of world destabilization now than it was then.

unless by “destabilization” you mean democratic uprisings against dictators around the world….in which case, much like with the french and american revolutions, this “destabilization” is a good thing, not a bad thing.

everdiso on March 2, 2014 at 8:27 PM

RWM!!!

22044 on March 2, 2014 at 8:28 PM

I’ll admit it, I may be paranoid, but how events are playing out in a world economy like this REALLY worry me.

dmacleo on March 2, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Putin looks like a serious man

Obama looks like Barny the Purple dinosaur..

Electrongod on March 2, 2014 at 8:12 PM

The purple LIPPED dinosaur.

captnjoe on March 2, 2014 at 8:28 PM

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Resist We Much on March 2, 2014 at 8:25 PM

THIS is the QOTD.

de rigueur on March 2, 2014 at 8:28 PM

“He is not going to gain by this,” Kerry continued. “He may be able to have his troops for some period of time in Crimea unless he resolves this. But the fact is, he’s going to lose on the international stage, Russia is going to lose, the Russian people are going to lose. He’s going to lose all of the glow that came out of the Olympics, his $60 billion extravaganza. He is not going to have a Sochi G8. He may not even remain in the G8 if this continues. He may find himself with asset freezes on Russian business, American business may pull back. There may be a further tumble of the ruble. There’s a huge price to pay. The United States is united, Russia is isolated. That is not a position of strength.”

Kerry is a complete idiot. In exchange for the Crimea I’m pretty sure Putin would give up Olympic glow, let some Russian businesses experience the threat of freeze, and isolate Russia by taking a break from the G8 fiasco. The United States is not united on anything.

tej on March 2, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Present and accounted for!

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Resist We Much on March 2, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Where the hell were you darlin’ we have been worried sick!

OmahaConservative on March 2, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Please catch us up, Sophie!

22044 on March 2, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Present and accounted for!

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!
Resist We Much on March 2, 2014 at 8:25 PM

OMG!! Where have you been????
We have all missed you soooooo much Sophie!!

Welcome back, :) {{hugs}}

Scrumpy on March 2, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Resist We Much on March 2, 2014 at 8:25 PM

You gotta’ note?

cozmo on March 2, 2014 at 8:30 PM

Resist We Much on March 2, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Flora kinda filled in for you.

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:32 PM

It’s a real good evening now folks!!

Good Evening everyone :)

Scrumpy on March 2, 2014 at 8:32 PM

By the way, are the idiots verby and federaty going to try to defend Obama here?

22044 on March 2, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Scrumpy on March 2, 2014 at 8:32 PM

Now we need Ken, B.More, KOOLAID, MERM and a few others. Dire will show up in about 4 hours.

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Resist We Much on March 2, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Flora kinda filled in for you.

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:32 PM

I prefer having both of these savvy conservative babes here at the same time…

OmahaConservative on March 2, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Present and accounted for!

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Resist We Much on March 2, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Yay!

Fenris on March 2, 2014 at 8:33 PM

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Resist We Much on March 2, 2014 at 8:25 PM

I didn’t know whether to post bail or send flowers ?

Welcome back.

viking01 on March 2, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Now we need Ken, B.More, KOOLAID, MERM and a few others. Dire will show up in about 4 hours.

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Ain’t that a fact jack!! :)

Scrumpy on March 2, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Ain’t that a fact jack!! :)

Scrumpy on March 2, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Yes! And Jackson and B9!

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:35 PM

RWM

Welcome back from a noob!! You were missed.

No Time Clock on March 2, 2014 at 8:35 PM

Champagne all round!!

** CLINK **

Scrumpy on March 2, 2014 at 8:35 PM

Resist We Much on March 2, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Hagfish accused us of being cliquish Rude Buffoons for posting vid links and talking off-topic in the QOTD thread…

OmahaConservative on March 2, 2014 at 8:35 PM

They said that if voted for Romney, that the military-industrial complex would get its beloved Cold War back.
And they were right!

22044 on March 2, 2014 at 8:35 PM

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Resist We Much on March 2, 2014 at 8:25 PM

HI THERE! Good to see you!!!

captnjoe on March 2, 2014 at 8:35 PM

What can Obama do? He can’t sic his IRS on Putin like he does with American citizens who don’t support him. He can’t have his EPA send a swat team to Putin’s house. He can’t have his TSA Gropestapo sexually assault him. He could accuse Putin of being a racist, I suppose, but somehow I don’t think Putin would be cowered in the least smidgen by that.

I think all Obama can do his huff and puff, go golfing, and have ValJar tuck him into bed with his Mohammad doll.

VorDaj on March 2, 2014 at 8:36 PM

What can Obama do?

VorDaj on March 2, 2014 at 8:36 PM

He can take it out on us.

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:38 PM

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:35 PM

williamg, CL, AXE too and Sparky, alt, fred, omg too many to name !!

And some of the noobs and socks as well, ya’ll know who you are!!

Time to celebrate oh wow!!

Scrumpy on March 2, 2014 at 8:39 PM

I’m with you on that sentiment Scrumpy.

captnjoe on March 2, 2014 at 8:39 PM

I’m not sure what the US is getting in an uproar about.

The most we can do is some saber rattling, and Obie & Mr Theresa Heinz suck at saber rattling.

Where’s Hill and her reset button?

NativeTexan on March 2, 2014 at 8:40 PM

Scrumpy on March 2, 2014 at 8:39 PM

I knew I’d miss a lot of folks.

Sophie will love frank.

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:40 PM

Present and accounted for!

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Resist We Much on March 2, 2014 at 8:25 PM

She’s alive!

Welcome back, RWM!

ShainS on March 2, 2014 at 8:40 PM

VorDaj on March 2, 2014 at 8:36 PM

He could send him an iPod with his greatest speeches on it. Except Obama says he doesn’t believe in torture, so I guess he won’t do that.

Fenris on March 2, 2014 at 8:40 PM

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:40 PM

You were missed too when you left for so long :)

Scrumpy on March 2, 2014 at 8:41 PM

You were missed too when you left for so long :)

Scrumpy on March 2, 2014 at 8:41 PM

Why thank you! I guess I did take a long break.

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:42 PM

I had surgery on my back in early December. Once I was well enough to travel, I flew to Cabo where I spent 4 weeks recuperating at a friend’s oceanfront villa. I went completely off grid. No cellphone. No Twitter. No posting. Intermediate glances on the internet just to see what was happening in the world. Apart from the Ukraine and Venezuela, it seems the only things that I missed were the Duck Dynasty brouhaha, Melitha Harrif-Perry’s on-air meltdown, Bridgegate, Leno’s moving on, Fallon’s failing, ‘I’ve got a phone and a pen,’ blah, blah, blah. All-in-all, a purrfect time to hang out in the Gulch.

I also went home for a while to see the fam. Spent a lot of time with my brother (and some power tools and paint) working on his new (Regency-era) pile.

I haven’t even watched television – OF ANY KIND – since 4 December 2013. What Heaven.

I’ve even retrained my sleep clock. Lovely!

Thank you all for your kind words. I’ve been reading them this evening. I love you, too.

XOXO, SoRo

Resist We Much on March 2, 2014 at 8:42 PM

And l2g. Can’t forget about him.

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:43 PM

Since she ain’t sayin’, I’m betting jail.

Or a whirlwind relationship.

cozmo on March 2, 2014 at 8:43 PM

The most we can do is some saber rattling, and Obie & Mr Theresa Heinz suck at saber rattling.

Where’s Hill and her reset button?

NativeTexan on March 2, 2014 at 8:40 PM

Not true. Kick them out of the G-8, back to G-7. Freeze all Russian corporate and personal assets. Cancel all visas of Russian citizens.

Hit him where it hurts, take away the money, privileges of the monied elite he relies on for support.

Then open up our natural gas exports to compete with his. Hit him where it hurts, his crony support network.

captnjoe on March 2, 2014 at 8:43 PM

Greetings. Am watching BoB with the husband-faaaar from my first viewing-BBL.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 2, 2014 at 8:44 PM

ShainS on March 2, 2014 at 8:40 PM

“marbles” thread. 3 Baltic states among the 7 new NATO members. my bad.

de rigueur on March 2, 2014 at 8:44 PM

Am watching BoB with the husband-faaaar from my first viewing-BBL.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 2, 2014 at 8:44 PM

BoB?

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:44 PM

Resist We Much on March 2, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Welcome back!!! Maybe you can get this place back in some kind of order.

The kids have all been acting up without your guidance.

Barred on March 2, 2014 at 8:45 PM

Resist We Much on March 2, 2014 at 8:42 PM

OMG! Dang lady, we were beginning to think the worst!

Yep, we noticed you went off the ‘grid’ for far too long!!

Cozmo may dole out some punishment lmao…

I will pray that you fully recover Sophie, it is so good to have you here with us all again :D!!

Scrumpy on March 2, 2014 at 8:47 PM

The kids have all been acting up without your guidance.

Barred on March 2, 2014 at 8:45 PM

Don’t blame that on us noobs, you old farts started it.

captnjoe on March 2, 2014 at 8:47 PM

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:44 PM

While I’m waiting for the Kuerig to brew my joe…Band of Brothers.
I’m a HUGE military history chick.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 2, 2014 at 8:48 PM

The kids have all been acting up without your guidance.

Barred on March 2, 2014 at 8:45 PM

And I’ve had 2 girlfriends since. Pickles dumped me and my new squeeze brushingmyhair isn’t speaking to me unless I bake some cakes.

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:48 PM

Thank you all for your kind words. I’ve been reading them this evening. I love you, too.

XOXO, SoRo

Resist We Much on March 2, 2014 at 8:42 PM

Resist We Much:

Good Gawd Girl,

*********** WELCOME BACK RWM ************************!!

Happy to see you back and communicating,

and a Speedy Recovery:

Canopfor——————————-:0

canopfor on March 2, 2014 at 8:48 PM

A plot to further humiliate Barky is instigated and RWM suddenly emerges from the shadows?

Coincidence? I don’t think so …

ShainS on March 2, 2014 at 8:48 PM

Resist We Much on March 2, 2014 at 8:25 PM
About EFFING TIME!
*Hug*

annoyinglittletwerp on March 2, 2014 at 8:48 PM

captnjoe on March 2, 2014 at 8:43 PM

LOL…You think O and Company are going to do any of that?

NativeTexan on March 2, 2014 at 8:49 PM

Band of Brothers.
I’m a HUGE military history chick.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 2, 2014 at 8:48 PM

Oh.

Lanceman on March 2, 2014 at 8:49 PM

ShainS on March 2, 2014 at 8:48 PM

Hmmmm…I like the way you think.

cozmo on March 2, 2014 at 8:49 PM

Ha! I watched Saving Private Ryan last night with kids, good flick. It had an effect on the 13 yr old… a good, sobering one.

captnjoe on March 2, 2014 at 8:49 PM

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