“In another world”: Merkel tells Obama she thinks Putin’s losing touch with reality

posted at 11:21 am on March 3, 2014 by Allahpundit

Buy gold. Lots of it.

The Russian occupation of Crimea has challenged Mr. Obama as has no other international crisis, and at its heart, the advice seemed to pose the same question: Is Mr. Obama tough enough to take on the former K.G.B. colonel in the Kremlin? It is no easy task. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany told Mr. Obama by telephone on Sunday that after speaking with Mr. Putin she was not sure he was in touch with reality, people briefed on the call said. “In another world,” she said.

I don’t think she means he’s had a mental break, I think probably she means that he’s starting to believe his own BS about the Kiev uprising being an American-backed plot and the Euromaidan protests being driven by Nazis. My assumption, like yours, is that Moscow pushes propaganda like that knowing full well that it’s false yet irresistible as a fig leaf for invasion. Merkel’s comment raises the possibility that Putin really has talked himself into believing that Ukraine is ground zero for some next-gen Nazi assault on Russia. That’s one way to explain his otherwise inexplicable invasion of Crimea. No one was threatening Russia’s naval base in Sevastopol; if the new Ukrainian government had been stupid enough to try to boot Russia off the peninsula, Putin would have rolled right over them. Invading Crimea preemptively makes sense only if he’s convinced himself, against all available evidence, that the ethnic Russian majority there — and in eastern Ukraine — is genuinely under threat from rampaging CIA-backed Ukrainian fascists.

Alternate non-crazy explanation for the invasion: He did it simply because he can.

Because he can. That’s it, that’s all you need to know. The situation in Kiev—in which people representing one half of the country (the Ukrainian-speaking west) took power to some extent at the expense of the Russian-speaking east—created the perfect opportunity for Moscow to divide and conquer…

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.

To spin that out a little, maybe Putin feared (rightly or wrongly, probably wrongly) that the EU would put together a big aid package for the new Ukrainian government. As the country stabilized and the economy improved, even Russian strongholds in the east and in Crimea would take a second look at closer ties with the EU. Once that happens, Putin’s in trouble at home from Russians who want a taste of the same thing. “If Ukraine’s a success, a smooth transition, a nice government, doing nice reforms—for Putin, it’s the end of him,” said former Georgia prez Mikheil Saakashvili to the Journal this weekend. By squatting on Crimea and eastern Ukraine now, he’s making sure that there’ll be no western tilt in his buffer zone.

That’s a more rational explanation for invasion, but that has problems too. Managing Crimea, with its large Tatar minority and its dependence on northern Ukraine for power in the short-term, is a potential headache. And if he’s ultimately worried about unrest in Russia itself, the economic warfare that might be waged on him by the west (assuming Eurocrats aren’t too greedy to cut off easy Russian money) in retaliation for invading may carry more risk than staying out of Ukraine would have. Despite his reputation for 10-dimensional chess-playing, this guy does miscalculate: Kevin Drum is right that the reason we’ve reached this moment in the first place is because Putin and Yanukovych fumbled the country away. They would have preferred to short-circuit Ukraine’s flirtation with the EU through bribes, aid packages, and other below-the-radar measures that didn’t involve western sanctions. They’re landing troops now because Putin needs to show the natives that he’s still in control after a humiliating loss of control. Or, alternatively, because he’s nuts, of course.

Merkel and Obama are trying to give him a way to back down while saving face by letting western observers enter Crimea to see if there really are packs of wild Nazis staging pogroms against innocent Russians there. Will Putin go for it? Hmmmmm.

Update: You know, I don’t either.


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Buy gold. Lots of it.

I bet that’s what Putin told His cronies a week before the invasion. They’re getting rich now watching the price go up.

kcewa on March 3, 2014 at 12:47 PM

As I recall, Russia is 2nd only to South Africa in gold production.

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Well, on the plus side, I hear the AR platform is the number one selling rifle in America.

But I am sure Obama will deal with us shortly. Frickin clingers.

WryTrvllr on March 3, 2014 at 12:27 PM

That’s been true for quite a while now, the M4 is a Barbie doll for men.

http://www.gunslot.com/files/gunslot/images/51839.jpg

Bishop on March 3, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Leaking Merkel’s words, if she really said them, buys room for further Obama inaction because we have to be really careful with crazy people, see? We can’t just go rushing headlong into a military response like cowboy Bush.

Pretending Putin is crazy also provides cover for the fact that Obama has been enabling Putin every step of the way.

Missy on March 3, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Well, on the plus side, I hear the AR platform is the number one selling rifle in America.

But I am sure Obama will deal with us shortly. Frickin clingers.

WryTrvllr on March 3, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Obama has to disarm us before he can declare himself President for life.

Then again, the attempt of either will lead (justifiably!) to Revolution.

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 12:55 PM

I doubt merkel even said this about Putin; just another Obama lie to align w Kerry’s ridiculous comments yesterday.

Whether merkel said it or not, she’s going to be livid about the leak.

matthew8787 on March 3, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Overall, the trend of the past couple of decades seems to be toward expanding gun rights, just as the trend in the 1950s and 1960s was toward expanding free speech rights. America has more guns in private hands than ever before, even as crime rates fall, and, after a half-century or so of anti-gun hysteria, the nation seems to be reverting to its generally gun-friendly traditions.

This is a state of affairs that seemed almost inconceivable a mere two decades ago, and therein lies a reminder: It often seems as if the deck is stacked, and change is inconceivable. Twenty years ago, the prospect of this kind of expansion in constitutional freedom seemed very dim. But in America, change, when it comes, can be sudden and dramatic — even when, as here, the general current of punditry and political opinion seems set in stone. Keep that in mind, as you contemplate other political issues.

Americans not listening to the Child

Schadenfreude on March 3, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Another take on Putin’s preemptive use of military force in Crimea: expose the disorganization and weakness of the fledgling Kiev government by showcasing its inability to muster a military counter. The ultimate goal being to cause loss of faith in the upstart regime in Kiev and to re-unite eastern and western Ukraine under Russian hegemony. I see a “unity government” (beholden to Putin, of course) in Ukraine’s future.

Barnestormer on March 3, 2014 at 1:03 PM

They leaked Merkel’s words on Putin to justify Obama’s lack of action. He’s not going to make any moves when this isn’t really anything but a show put on by a crazy guy.

Cindy Munford on March 3, 2014 at 1:03 PM

One of the underlying assumptions about Putin and what the Russians would or would not do has a lot to do with the politicized mindset inside the Beltway. Indications and warnings no longer mean much. We’ve spent trillions over the past decade expanding our intelligence collection abroad and here at home…for what? We have fdar fewer actual operations officers on the ground, and far fewer seasoned analysts who have not been tainted by the newthink in DC than we had a decade ago.

So, when Putin openly masses troops, alerts his air force (forward fighter units and heavy transport units) and our reaction was “he won’t do anything, that’d be silly.”

After a mealy-mouth stern warning from Obama…Putin merely took advantage of what he and his spies understood as a non-reaction reaction from the United States and the EU.

But, wait for a reaction in DC over the next week or so and how our intelligence agencies run by Jim Clapper “failed” us. A scapegoat needs to be found. Might as well slash the HUMINT budget. Use the money saved on other things…an expanded NSA,or maybe a womb-to-tomb welfare system for disadvantaged illegal aliens or some such nonsense.

But, Barry will come out of this looking like a true Statesman among the worshipful followers. After all…he issued a stern warning and Putin was crazy or something…so none of this can ever be blamed on Barry.

coldwarrior on March 3, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Time for Obama to send in Dennis Rodman…

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Sky news confirming Chinese support for Putin.

“At a news conference with Mr Yatseniuk, Mr Hague said: “If this situation cannot resolve itself, if Russia cannot be persuaded to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, there will have to be other consequences and other costs.”

Mr Hague added: “The UK is not discussion military action, our concentration is on diplomatic and economic pressure.”

Prime Minister David Cameron will later chair a meeting of the National Security Council on the “British and international response to the grave situation in Ukraine”, where he will press for a European summit on the crisis.

European foreign ministers are holding an emergency meeting on Ukraine in Brussels to table a joint response to the military incursion.

Mr Yatseniuk heads a pro-Western government that took power in the former Soviet republic when its Moscow-backed president, Viktor Yanukovych, was ousted last week.

US Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Kiev on Tuesday to show “strong support for Ukrainian sovereignty”.

Meanwhile, Ukraine launched a treason case against its new navy chief after he switched allegiance to the pro-Russian Crimea region.

Rear Admiral Denis Berezovsky was appointed head of Ukraine’s navy on Saturday.

But a day later he appeared before cameras, alongside the pro-Russian prime minister of Crimea’s regional parliament, saying he had ordered Ukrainian naval forces there to disregard orders from “self-proclaimed” authorities in Kiev.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday won parliament’s authorisation to use force in Ukraine…”

http://news.sky.com/story/1219922/russia-and-china-in-agreement-over-ukraine

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 1:10 PM

I think probably she means that he’s starting to believe his own BS about the Kiev uprising being an American-backed plot

I don’t think Putin is all that far off.

http://www.omidyar.com/portfolio/new-citizen-centre-ua

eBay founder Pierre Omidyar

New Citizen is a coalition of more than 50 civil society organizations that mobilizes civic participation in Ukraine and serves as the country’s primary forum for government transparency and accountability.

Why We Invested

Established prior to the February 2010 presidential elections in Ukraine, New Citizen seeks to enable citizen participation in national and regional politics by amplifying the voices of Ukrainian citizens and promoting open and accountable government. Using technology and media, New Citizen coordinates the efforts of concerned members of society, reinforcing their ability to shape public policy. Additionally, the organization monitors the performance of government, giving people access to valuable information to hold their leaders to account.

In a nation where civic action historically has been fragmented, New Citizen provides Ukrainians with a platform to collectively advocate for positive social change, from defending human rights to solving problems of local governance, the environment, and healthcare. With support from Omidyar Network, New Citizen will strengthen its advocacy efforts in order to drive greater transparency and engage citizens on issues of importance to them.

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2012/03/10/in-ukraine-how-little-has-changed-even-after-orange-revolution/

“People are not afraid. We now have 150 NGOs in all the major cities in our ‘clean up Parliament campaign’ to elect and find better parliamentarians….The Orange Revolution was a miracle, a massive peaceful protest that worked. We want to do that again and we think we will.”

“… Center UA received more than $500,000 in 2012, according to its annual report for that year, 54 percent of which came from Pact Inc., a project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. Nearly 36 percent came from Omidyar Network, a foundation established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife. Other donors include the International Renaissance Foundation, whose key funder is billionaire George Soros, and National Endowment for Democracy, funded largely by the U.S. Congress.”

sharrukin on March 3, 2014 at 1:11 PM

From The Guardian:

The White House has canceled a presidential delegation to the Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia, National Security Council spokesman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement on Monday, quoted by Reuters.

U.S. athletes will participate in the games, which begin on Friday. We’ll have more shortly.

US is sending athletes to Sochi on Friday. I guess they feel safe.

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Gee…

“U.S. intelligence agencies recently confirmed China’s development of a new intermediate-range nuclear missile (IRBM) called the Dongfeng-26C (DF-26C), U.S. officials said.

The new missile is estimated to have a range of at least 2,200 miles—enough for Chinese military forces to conduct attacks on U.S. military facilities in Guam, a major hub for the Pentagon’s shift of U.S. forces to Asia Pacific.

As part of the force posture changes, several thousand Marines now based in Okinawa will be moved to Guam as part of the Asia pivot.

In April, the Pentagon announced it is deploying one of its newest anti-missile systems, the Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) to Guam because of growing missile threats to the U.S. island, located in the South Pacific some 1,600 miles southeast of Japan and 4,000 miles from Hawaii.

And on Feb. 10, the Navy announced the deployment of a fourth nuclear attack submarine to Guam, the USS Topeka.

Chinese military officials said the Topeka deployment is part of the Pentagon’s Air Sea Battle Concept and posed a threat to China…

Disclosure of the new Chinese IRBM follows the announcement this week by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that the U.S. military is sharply reducing its military forces.

“How can [U.S. policymakers] possibly justify such reductions in defense spending when American forces as far away as Guam, Korea, and Okinawa are targeted by these nuclear missiles,” said one official familiar with reports of the DF-26C.

It was the first official confirmation of China’s new IRBM, which officials believe is part of the People’s Liberation Army military buildup aimed at controlling the Asia Pacific waters and preventing the U.S. military entry to the two island chains along China’s coasts.

Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, told a congressional hearing this week that missile and other nuclear threats from China and Russia continue to grow.

“The current security environment is more complex, dynamic, and uncertain than at any time in recent history,” Haney said in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Advances of significant nation state and non-state military capabilities continue across all air, sea, land, and space domains—as well as in cyberspace. This trend has the potential to adversely impact strategic stability.”

Russia and China in particular “are investing in long-term and wide-ranging military modernization programs to include extensive modernization of their strategic capabilities,” Haney said. “Nuclear weapons ambitions and the proliferation of weapon and nuclear technologies continue, increasing risk that countries will resort to nuclear coercion in regional crises or nuclear use in future conflicts….”

More at the link:

http://freebeacon.com/china-fields-new-intermediate-range-nuclear-missile/

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 1:14 PM

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Oh, puhlease. Thomas Friedman promised.

WryTrvllr on March 3, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Who did China steal their nuke and missile tech from?

Well we know they purchased some missile tech from a sitting democrat president. Bill Clinton (D).

Murphy9 on March 3, 2014 at 1:19 PM

If Putin is that delusional, we got a serious problem (i.e. WW3) on our hand.

Sure, the whole “Ukrainans are nazis” spiel works on the dumbed down Neanderthal base of United Russia which Putin relies on to retain power. But I doubt he honestly believe this propaganda BS himself.

Then again, Hitler believed that the Jooohs were destroying Germany. You never know with these despots.

Norwegian on March 3, 2014 at 11:54 AM

He’s also using Russian Nationalism in his propaganda…and this is surprising?

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 12:01 PM

It is not surprising, and it is a common strategy from despotic regimes.

I wonder how long until Pravda reports that “Ukrainians” have attacked a radio station within Russian territory.

Norwegian on March 3, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Meanwhile, in Arlington, Chuck Hagel is pressing forward on his plan to reduce the size of our armed forces, not just the Army, to “save” money.

Having a credible military capability is a lot more vital today than too many in this Administration wish to believe.

That old liberal/progressive meme that other countries hate us because we are such a threat to them clearly shows that a major world leader has lost touch with reality.

And it is not Putin.

coldwarrior on March 3, 2014 at 1:23 PM

“A few things to consider:

Ukraine is a major trading partner of Russia.

It was to be a cornerstone in Putin’s customs union which was/is to be an alternative trading bloc to the EU. When Ukraine flirted with joining the EU and wrecking the Russian plan things began to escalate.

Many of Russia’s gas pipelines, carrying the source of Russia’s wealth, run through Ukraine.

Russia has been fanatical about access to a warm water port since Peter the Great. Do you really think they were going to risk losing access to their outlet to the Black Sea and from there the Mediterranean?

In general, the Russians have spent the last 20 or so years watching areas that they think are rightly part of their sphere of influence aligning more and more with the west. Now the largest, most important, and historically closest part of the former empire is wrecking your economic dreams and throwing in with their opponents, the Russians were going to simply shrug because Obama threw some missiles at Syria or Mitt Romney was in the White House? That’s fanciful at best.

Putin made a very simple and accurate calculation…no US President or European leader was going to go to war over Ukraine.

International relations are much simpler than people want to make them out to be. Countries have interests and goals. If you want to oppose them and stop them from perusing a particular goal, you either have to offer them something of greater value or make the cost of doing it prohibitive.

When you look at the Russian interests in Ukraine (and Putin’s domestic standing), there’s almost nothing the west has to offer that’s more valuable than a friendly and pliant Ukraine. That leaves making the cost too high.

Sure you could exact some toll on Russian oligarchs by going after their money in Europe but it seems likely Putin has a better handle on what that would mean to them and their support for him than most people in Europe or the US.

Aside from the financial penalties and possible sanctions, you are left with using military force to stop Putin’s military moves. Again, no American President, past, present or future is going to go to war with Russia over a non-aligned, non-treaty obligation nation right next to Russia.

Too many administration officials steeped in the ways of forging policy conferences, college coffeehouses and faculty lounges. They may think that military action is anachronistic in the 21st century and that because “spheres of interests” are frowned upon in 600 level IR classes at Harvard real policy makers agree. As we see from Iran, China and Russia both of those concepts are alive and well. We cannot wish them away or think what motivates us is shared universally.

Whether we like it or not, Russia sees itself as having real and important interests in Ukraine. That they protect them in ways that we don’t like doesn’t factor into the conversation.

So assuming that Putin succeeds in Crimea and in either taking over the rest of Ukraine or installing leadership friendlier to his vision (and he will because he has real interests at stake, while while we have nebulous concepts to defend), what’s next? Let’s not kid ourselves about Putin and his project. He wants to pull back as much of the non-NATO aligned old Soviet Empire as possible. And he’s going to be successful for the most part because we in the west don’t really care.

But there are limits to how far he can push us and we need to make it clear to him what they are…NATO aligned countries like the Baltic nations, Poland and The Czech Republic.

I don’t think Putin is crazy enough to try and pull the Baltics back inside a reconstituted Russian empire or have enough to offer to lure former Warsaw Pact nations into his customs union. We need to make it clear to him treaty obligation nations are a wholly different matter. This is a lesson that we need to make sure China observes and understands regarding Japan…” – Drew M at AOSHQ

http://minx.cc/?post=347573

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 1:27 PM

http://minx.cc/?post=347573

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 1:27 PM

That is someone who gets it!

The happy crap mumbling from the western media and governments is meaningless.

sharrukin on March 3, 2014 at 1:33 PM

This is a lesson that we need to make sure China observes and understands regarding Japan…

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Japan must be wondering how good our defense commitments are. This could cause Japan to change their constitution and re-militarize against Chinese aggression.

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 1:33 PM

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Keep in mind Putin killed Poland’s heads of state before. Now O’Bozo ignores the Budapest agreement. Does Putin need to do much more to get Poland into his sphere. Would you bank on the US?

WryTrvllr on March 3, 2014 at 1:35 PM

I’ sorry, what ? who exactly is Bandera loving Dmitry Jarosh, curent deputy of the security council? someone cannot fathom that the cia for years, sine 1945, have been funding the ukranian nationalist movement, with its xenophobia and anti-semitism, just to grab ukraine and make it free for all like the rest of europe has become? it is very simple, europe and US want to own ukraine, miserly 35 billion for trillions worth of wealth seem to be worth it. putin’s thinsk – you are welcome guests, but i own it. all this other crap about caring for ukranian aspirations to be part of europe is a fig leaf. current posturing is all about being caught with the hand in a cookie jar and saving face. mostly obama’s, because i surely would like to hear what merkel told putin about obama & co.

runner on March 3, 2014 at 1:35 PM

My point being, they will realign by themselves over time.

WryTrvllr on March 3, 2014 at 1:38 PM

He doesn’t want the Ukraine to join the EU. This keeps them from doing it, primarily by making the EU decide that they dont the trouble. That’s all. Its the same objective he had in Georgia.

Ursus on March 3, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Back in 1933 the League of Nations “strongly condemned” the Japanese expansion into Manchuria. Letters flew. A conclave met in Geneva. Harsh words were said. The civilized nations of the world were unified and stood as one…against Japan.

The Japanese reaction?

The Japanese delegate to the League of Nations, Yosuke Matsuoka, approached the podium, essentially told the League of Nations to “f off”…and walked out of the chamber.

And the League of nations could do nothing from that point onward.

Putin has told the EU and the US to “f off.”

Stern words are meaningless drivel if those words cannot be backed up.

The time backing up those words was years ago…not this week.

Sure, a number of nations are discussing sanctions or pulling out of economic agreements with Russia…but none of this will hurt Russia in the short term…nearly a trillion in reserves thanks to exports of oil, gas, gold, chromium, nickle, among other commodities. It will hurt those nations that will abrogate economic agreements with Russia. In the short and long runs. China, on the other hand, can now broker deals for these commodities as well as grain, at a reduced price since demand has plummeted thanks to the EU and others.

And Kerry’s going to Kiev? Will make comic relief on Moscow television. Will also play into Russian propaganda, showing clearly that Ukraine and the US and EU are in a cabal to hurt Russia.

coldwarrior on March 3, 2014 at 1:46 PM

As I recall, Russia is 2nd only to South Africa in gold production.

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Wrong.

Russia is not even in the Top 3. Both US and China are bigger gold producers. Wouldn’t be surprised if Australia tops Russia too.

Norwegian on March 3, 2014 at 1:51 PM

BBC:

18:44: The BBC’s political editor Nick Robinson has more on the official document that reveals that the UK government will not curb trade with Russia or close London’s financial centre to Russians. The document also says British ministers should “discourage any discussion (eg at Nato) of contingency military preparations

Looks like the UK is onboard with Russia keeping Crimea.

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Japan must be wondering how good our defense commitments are. This could cause Japan to change their constitution and re-militarize against Chinese aggression.

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Keep in mind Putin killed Poland’s heads of state before. Now O’Bozo ignores the Budapest agreement. Does Putin need to do much more to get Poland into his sphere. Would you bank on the US?

WryTrvllr on March 3, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Barack Obama has expressed “deep concern” over the situation in Ukraine:

U.S. President Barack Obama spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin for 90 minutes on Saturday and expressed “deep concern over Russia’s clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, which is a breach of international law,” the White House said.

Putin must have been deeply concerned by Obama’s use of this phrase, since Obama doesn’t express “deep concern” lightly. It’s not like it’s a pet phrase he trots out every time something happens overseas.

Or . . . maybe it is.

Darfur, April 2008:
IN APRIL 2008, candidate Barack Obama expressed “deep concern” that the Bush administration was making an unseemly deal with the Khartoum regime as a means to bolster the fledgling but already failing UN/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

Gaza, January 6, 2009:
Barack Obama, who takes over as U.S. president from George W. Bush on January 20, broke his silence about the violence in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, calling the loss of civilian lives in Gaza and in Israel a “source of deep concern for me.”

Taliban, March 5, 2009:
Taliban havens Obama’s deep concern

THE terrorist attacks have greatly heightened US concerns about the political stability of Pakistan, already under pressure from a weakened economy and increasingly assertive militant groups.

In a joint press conference with the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, President Barack Obama expressed his “deep concern” about the attack.

Iran, June 16, 2009:
As Iran’s Guardian Council announced a partial recount of Friday’s contested presidential election results, and mass protests rocked the capital of Tehran for a second day Tuesday, President Barack Obama used a press conference with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak to again express his “deep concerns about the elections.”

“I have said before that I have deep concerns about the elections, and I think the world has deep concern about the election,” Obama said.

Libya, February 5, 2011:
In separate phone conversations with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and British Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama “expressed his deep concern with the Libyan government’s use of violence which violates international norms and every standard of human decency, and discussed appropriate and effective ways for the international community to immediately respond,” the White House statement said.

Sudan, June 16, 2011:
U.S. President Barack Obama Thursday met with his special envoy for Sudan to express “deep concern” over the violence and humanitarian crisis in the country.

Syria, August 12, 2011:
President Obama, for his part, expressed deep concern about Assad’s continued use of violence in a phone call with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Edrogan, said the White House. The two leaders agreed violence should end now, US officials said.

Of course, it’s not just international issues where Obama is deeply concerned. He shows deep concern about domestic issues as well.

Tucson, January 9, 2011:
Obama “was updated on the investigation around 9 a.m. by (national security aide) John Brennan,” said a White House statement. “The president will continue to be updated as appropriate in the coming days.”

He is not expected to speak today on the tragedy.

The statement also said that Obama did connect with Giffords’ husband, astronaut Mark Kelly.

Obama “expressed his deep concern and full support,” the statement said.

There are more. I just got tired of documenting them all.

Because Obama so often expresses deep concern, it stands to reason that he is, of course, deeply concerned. Confirming this deduction, the blog I Hate the Media in April 2011 collected over a dozen examples of Obama being deeply concerned.

So when Obama tells Putin of his deep concern, well . . .” – Patterico

http://patterico.com

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 1:55 PM

Sky news confirming Chinese support for Putin.

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 1:10 PM

I think you mean ‘Sky news report says Russia claims Chinese are supporting the invasion, but provides zero information to back it up’

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2014 at 1:49 PM

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Russia is not even in the Top 3. Both US and China are bigger gold producers. Wouldn’t be surprised if Australia tops Russia too.

Norwegian on March 3, 2014 at 1:51 PM

You are correct. Russia is number 4 behind the US and ahead of South Africa. Gold Investing News:

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 1:57 PM

18:44: The BBC’s political editor Nick Robinson has more on the official document that reveals that the UK government will not curb trade with Russia or close London’s financial centre to Russians. The document also says British ministers should “discourage any discussion (eg at Nato) of contingency military preparations

Looks like the UK is onboard with Russia keeping Crimea.

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Prelude to a partition solution?

He’ll want to keep East and Southeastern Ukraine because of his border.

UK asserting itself a bit…much to the chagrin of Merkel perhaps?

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 2:00 PM

I think you mean ‘Sky news report says Russia claims Chinese are supporting the invasion, but provides zero information to back it up’

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2014 at 1:49 PM

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Ok

“Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said: “China has always upheld the principles of diplomacy and the fundamental norms of international relations.

“At the same time we also take into consideration the history and the current complexities of the Ukrainian issue.”

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Good show.

Peace in our time, what?

coldwarrior on March 3, 2014 at 2:04 PM

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Subtext…Tibet is ours, and the Crimea is Russia’s.

coldwarrior on March 3, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Putin’s Reckless Ukraine Gambit

President Barack Obama’s handling of the Western response to the Ukraine crisis is now arguably the biggest test of his presidency. It is a crisis that no one anticipated and that the West has been frustratingly divided over since the European Union’s original, misguided attempt to force Ukraine to make an either-or choice about going east or west.

This is from Politico: “a crisis that no one anticipated”. I guess they’re talking about our intelligence agencies.

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Dated Aug. 2013

“Ukraine’s State Food and Grain Corporation and China’s Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) have signed a memorandum on cooperation in supporting priority projects in agriculture. Chinese investment in Ukraine’s agricultural sector will reach more than $2.6 billion.

This was announced at a meeting between Ukrainian farmers and XPCC representatives in Kyiv on August 3.

Chairman of the Board of Directors at KSG Agro Sergiy Kasianov, who will participate in the investment program, named the amount of investment unprecedented for domestic agriculture…”

https://www.kyivpost.com/content/world/china-to-invest-26-billion-in-ukraines-agriculture-328002.html

Map of China Ukraine land deal:

http://static5.businessinsider.com/image/5242e88f69beddf9776cd2d2-800-600/ukraine%20map_05.jpg

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 2:09 PM

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Even those couple of short excerpts from the Chinese statement don’t sound much like a ringing endorsement of Russia’s intervention do they?

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Dated Feb. 27,2014

” China is seeking compensation of US$3 billion from Ukraine for the breach of a loans-for-grain contract signed in 2012, Russian media reported yesterday.

Under the deal, the Export-Import Bank of China provided the loan to Kiev in exchange for supplies of grain.

Citing a Ukrainian parliament official, the ITAR-TASS news agency reported that the State Food and Grain Corporation of Ukraine has used part of the US$3 billion Chinese loan to instead provide crops for other countries and parties, including Ethiopia, Iran, Kenya and Syrian opposition groups.

So far, Chinese importers have only received US$153 million worth of Ukrainian grain, or 180,000 tonnes, the report said.

The report was carried by the Chinese-language service of The Voice of Russia radio. There has been no official comment from China Exim Bank on the report.

The Ukrainian parliamentary official said China has already lodged a case against Ukraine at the London Court of International Arbitration. The report did not mention the date or any further details on the case.

In March, the Worldwide News Ukraine news agency reported that the first half of the Chinese loan was delivered to Kiev, and Ukraine planned then to export four million tonnes of grain last year.

The loan contract stipulated the supply of Ukrainian grain over 15 years. The annual volume of grain exports would vary but would not exceed six million tonnes a year.

The Ukrainian parliament would provide state guarantees for the loan-for-grain contract, the report added.

China has stepped up agricultural co-operation with Ukraine in recent years. The Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps said last year it had reached an agreement with KSG Agro, a leading Ukraine agricultural company, on a 50-year programme to secure produce from three million hectares of Ukrainian farmland for Chinese consumers.

But KSG later denied it was “selling” any land to any Chinese companies, and that the agreement was a “letter of intent” concerning a transfer of irrigation technology from Xinjiang…”

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1435976/china-sues-ukraine-breach-us3b-loan-grain-agreement

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Even those couple of short excerpts from the Chinese statement don’t sound much like a ringing endorsement of Russia’s intervention do they?

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2014 at 2:11 PM

They sound Chinese….which is to say Opaque.

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Subtext…Tibet is ours, and the Crimea is Russia’s.

coldwarrior on March 3, 2014 at 2:06 PM

I’m sure you realize Xizang Province has been a part of China since before the US even existed.

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Chinese are pretty awesome at saying something yet saying nothing.

they need to continue dumping all kinds of cheap crap here, and at the same time that sweet oil from eastern siberia is nice, closer than africa.

runner on March 3, 2014 at 2:21 PM

“Chinese internet users on Monday accused the United States of double standards after Washington condemned a deadly knife attack in southwest China but refrained from calling it a terrorist incident.

The US embassy in China said on social media that it condemned the “terrible and senseless act of violence in Kunming” and expressed condolences to those affected in what it said was a tragedy.

The attack on Saturday night saw masked assailants stab civilians at a train station, killing 29 and wounding more than 130.

China has blamed separatists from the restive region of Xinjiang for what it described as an act of terror, with state media dubbing the incident “China’s 9/11”…

In typical mocking response, another user wrote: “I express my condolences for the setting off of fireworks and burning incident at the Boston Marathon.”

The US statement came after the UN Security Council condemned the killings and said that it “underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of this terrorist attack to justice”.

It added: “Any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivation.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin also described the attack as “terror” in a message sent to China’s President Xi Jinping, state media reported on Monday.

Following the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, the US placed the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which China blames for unrest in the vast Xinjiang region, on its official list of international terrorist organisations.

But the group’s strength and links to global terrorism are murky, and some experts say China exaggerates its threat to justify tough security measures in Xinjiang, home to the mainly Muslim Uygur ethnic minority.

Several Uygurs were detained in the US-operated Guantanamo Bay facility, although nearly all were later released without charge.

But the US has refrained from labelling recent clashes between Uygurs and security forces in Xinjiang as terrorism, while condemning China’s treatment of the minority, prompting the foreign ministry in Beijing to repeatedly accuse Washington of a “double standard”.

Chinese social media services are subject to strict censorship, with posts and responses critical of China’s official stance regularly deleted…”

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1439338/chinese-netizens-slam-us-refusing-call-kunming-attack-terrorist-act

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Chinese are pretty awesome at saying something yet saying nothing.

they need to continue dumping all kinds of cheap crap here, and at the same time that sweet oil from eastern siberia is nice, closer than africa.

runner on March 3, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Yep!

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 2:25 PM

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2014 at 2:16 PM

However, there are voices in the halls of power here that are still pushing for a free and independent Tibet…and have been for decades.

China is and has been a long game player. They know that isolation (proven by their own history) does them no good. They also realize that to be a top end player, they have to be credible. They are. They intend to remain so. This Crimea crisis is good for them. More than a test of wills, East versus West, it is harbinger of what may become, with Russia and its near abroad, and with China, from the Spratly’s, Senkaku’s and other rocks in the Pacific, as well as Pacific Rim interests.

face it, if you are in Moscow or Beijing and you see an opportunity to advance your own national interests and know that the West will do nothing, one would have to be pretty dense to not push onward.

Having a justification, and an ally, makes it easier. Russia is merely reclaiming Russian lands (Crimea) and China would much rather have the West back off with this Tibet and freedom nonsense, in the name of securing lands that belong to China.

coldwarrior on March 3, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Pro-Russian protests outside Crimea

In Donetsk:
At about midday, some 100 people broke into the building of Donetsk regional administration from the back door and hoisted Russian flag atop the building. Several hundred people were also waving Russian flags and proclaiming separatists slogans at the square by administration

In Lugansk:
In Lugansk in the morning, some 400 people broke into the local administration waving Russian flags and also the flags of the Russkoye Edinstvo pro-Russian block. The captors claimed they didn’t recognize Kiev’s authority and called on Putin to bring Russian troops to Ukraine.

In Odessa:
A crowd of an estimated 3,000 pro-Russian demonstrators rallied outside a government building in the port city of Odessa. Led by head of “People’s alternative” Anton Davydchenko, the crowd chanted “Referendum!”

The pro-Russia movement is heading North. I’m sure they’ll meet more resistance from the pro-Kiev people than they did in Crimea.

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 2:29 PM

“Chinese internet users on Monday accused the United States of double standards after Washington condemned a deadly knife attack in southwest China but refrained from calling it a terrorist incident.

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Of course these internet users are right. It was clearly a horrific terrorist act, but the US somehow can’t seem to call it one.

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2014 at 2:30 PM

However, there are voices in the halls of power here that are still pushing for a free and independent Tibet…and have been for decades.

coldwarrior on March 3, 2014 at 2:29 PM

These ‘voices’ certainly don’t include the US or any other significant country in modern times, none of which recognize Xizang as anything but a part of China.

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2014 at 2:34 PM

This is a map showing cities in Ukraine were the Russian flag has been raised. It’s from Russia Today, but it seems to coincide with what other sources are reporting.

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 2:37 PM

“Chinese internet users on Monday accused the United States of double standards after Washington condemned a deadly knife attack in southwest China but refrained from calling it a terrorist incident.

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Of course these internet users are right. It was clearly a horrific terrorist act, but the US somehow can’t seem to call it one.

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2014 at 2:30 PM

So was Ft. Hood

Being a Texan I know how p*ssed off I am still over the Ft. Hood workplace violence scamola of the feckless asses in this administration.

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Being a Texan I know how p*ssed off I am still over the Ft. Hood workplace violence scamola of the feckless asses in this administration.

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Indeed. The only promise that Obama has kept is when he said “I’ll stand with the muslims.”

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 2:42 PM

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2014 at 2:34 PM

It was the official policy of the US government for decades to enable a free Tibet, and we were involved in a number of, albeit ill-fated, attempts to not only provide material comfort but also weapons and training to “fighters” to go into Tibet and start a “democratic” revolution there, and the Dali Lhama was a figure who sub-rosa offered encouragement. And, there is the celebrity thing, from Richard Gere and others on the Left, to make Free Tibet a major US policy plank year after year.

If we and the EU do nothing about Crimea, then precedence has been set.

Personally, Crimea is none of our damn business. Neither is Tibet. Both Russian and China have vested interests, if not out right claim, to in these regions and consider them fully part of their respective countries.

That we here in Washington cannot fathom this simple truth makes it all the more difficult to deal with the issue.

But, bluster and send strong signals and maybe another stern warning…well…pretty much the new standard.

coldwarrior on March 3, 2014 at 2:43 PM

So was Ft. Hood

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Certainly.

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2014 at 2:43 PM

The pro-Russia movement is heading North. I’m sure they’ll meet more resistance from the pro-Kiev people than they did in Crimea.

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 2:29 PM

See how close this aligns with the region that voted for Yanukovich?

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 2:44 PM

See how close this aligns with the region that voted for Yanukovich?

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Yes, I do. I’m wondering if Putin will stop advancing and consolidate his gains along those lines. I’m not sure that he wants the North and all it’s financial problems.

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 2:49 PM

It was the official policy of the US government for decades to enable a free Tibet, and we were involved in a number of, albeit ill-fated, attempts to not only provide material comfort but also weapons and training to “fighters” to go into Tibet and start a “democratic” revolution there, and the Dali Lhama was a figure who sub-rosa offered encouragement. And, there is the celebrity thing, from Richard Gere and others on the Left, to make Free Tibet a major US policy plank year after year.

coldwarrior on March 3, 2014 at 2:43 PM

No doubt the US was covertly trying to stir up trouble in Xizang for decades, but it was never official policy, since the US has never officially recognized Xizang as anything other than a part of China.

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Maybe, America and the EU are upset that Putin ‘beat them to the punch’. Perhaps they’re afraid he will slam the brakes on the New World Order? Wouldn’t it be nice if our ‘leaders’ actually had to take time out from their banquets and parties and actually lead?

Frankly, Putin is making the rest of the world look like buffoons.

Let’s see, he has China’s backing, who has the ability to hit our bases in Guam. There’s an Iraq warship heading toward the American eastern seaboard, Russia has a spy ship in Cuba and where there’s a spy ship, there’s probably a submarine or two lurking around.

Obama has fired more than 200 of his most seasoned military leaders and is cutting the military budget, along with pay and benefits. How about Obama take his private army (TSA/DHS) that’s ‘funded as well as the military’ and send them in the first wave in the Ukraine? And oh, BTW – Obama and the rest of the American ‘leaders’ should all pack up and lead by leading those troops into combat.

xmanvietnam on March 3, 2014 at 3:00 PM

“Because he can”. Because no one will challenge him. Because he has been able to up to this point, and no one is going to stop him now. Ms. Merkel’s analysis is wrong. Putin is not losing touch. This is exactly the same as we have seen for decades. Anyone watching the last two weeks knew that the moment the flags were lowered on the Olypics the tanks would be rolling. Ukraine must learn a lesson. All ex Soviet clients must learn a lesson. “There is no escape. No one will help you. You belong to Putin and live or die at his will. He knows where you live. He knows where your children go to school. And he can reach you today. Obama and Merkel are nothing to him.”

There are a few things the US should learn from this.
1. The US interests are in making Vlad’s life difficult. Not in up front protecting the Ukranian people. It may be time to reconsider some good old Cold War arms running and distribution. Ukraine, Georgia, Venezuella, Cuba, Tibet, Western China. A whole bunch of places ending in Stan. These could all you a number of containers of discreetly dropped light and medium arms. A steady flow through back channels. Instead of arming the criminals and terrorists on our border, arm the ones on our enemies and let them deal with the mess.
2. Acknowledge and adapt the clearly stated “Putin Doctrine”. Putin takes Ukraine. Ok fine, not much we can do about it. But under his own rules now deny him Cuba. Deny him Venezuela. We no longer have a reason for playing nice. We no longer have a reason for letting these problems fester in our sphere on influence. Deny Putin the Atlantic. No friendly harbor age.
3. Bankrupt the bastard. Energy is power. Energy is the heart of global ego politics. Open the floodgates. Start shipping gas to Europe.
4. Deny Putin China. See above about Energy. Well it applies triply so to China. China is an export economy save one thing. Energy. We sit atop some of the worlds best energy reserves. Start selling into China at a reasonable price. It evens the trade imbalance. Strengthens the dollar. China would much rather buy energy from a stable source like the US than unstable ones like Venezuela or the big sandbox. Use soft power. Use energy power. Better to have customers than enemies with China. Even if China still buys from Vlad’s it forces his prices and profit down. And that’s all he has.

Here end etch the lesson.

patches on March 3, 2014 at 3:02 PM

1. The US interests are in making Vlad’s life difficult.

How so?

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2014 at 3:09 PM

“Russia’s state-run energy giant Gazprom says it is mulling over whether to increase gas prices after the first quarter of this year because of a lack of payments from Ukraine.

According to a statement by Gazprom’s chief financial officer, Gazprom is looking to hike prices for Ukraine, despite Vladimir Putin previously pledging to potentially lower gas bills in the event of a new government.

“The situation with payments is worrying. Ukraine is paying but not as well as we would like it to … We are still thinking about whether to extend the pricing contract into the next quarter based on current prices,” said Andrei Kruglov.

On 21 February, Gazprom has quelled market concerns over the impact the Ukrainian crisis has on European gas exports after declaring that the Russian state-owned energy giant has “pumped [gas] in full volumes” through its pipeline via the embattled country…”

http://weaselzippers.us/177977-russian-state-run-energy-co-looks-to-increase-gas-pricesover-ukrainian-payment-issues/

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 3:16 PM

This is why China supports Russia’s approach to Crimea/Ukraine *in general*. Read the whole article, pretty interesting, but here’s the crux of it:

If Russia excludes its own borders from the general international standard of inviolability, it might face some unwanted challenges down the road. If Russia’s external frontiers are flexible zones, to be pushed in various ways with appeals to the rights of ethnic brethren and passport holders, then what will happen, down the line, in Russia’s eastern Siberia? There, Russia holds major natural resources along its border with China, the world’s longest. Some 6 million Russian citizens in eastern Siberia face 90 million Chinese in China’s bordering provinces.

[ ... ]

It seems rather risky for Russia to develop, on its own border, a challenge to the basic premise of territorial sovereignty. Beijing and Moscow currently enjoy good relations, and Chinese leaders are too sophisticated to consider open threats to eastern Siberia. But down the road, as demographic pressures mount and Russian resources beckon, a Russian doctrine of the ethnic adjustments of Russian borders could provide Beijing with a useful model.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/02/26/dear_kremlin_careful_with_crimea

fabrexe on March 3, 2014 at 3:18 PM

BBC:

20:15: The International Paralympic Committee has said it is not expecting a boycott by athletes. “All the countries are happy to come here,” said IPC spokesman Craig Spence.

This starts Friday in Sochi, Russia, and the US athletes will be attending according to earlier reports. Interesting.

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Massive Military Imbalance Between Russian and Ukraine

This plus earlier reports indicated that the Ukrainian air force only had 4 planes actually ready to fly.

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 3:32 PM

The Guardian:

A European diplomat tells Guardian Washington correspondent Paul Lewis (@PaulLewis) that there may be some daylight between the US thinking on sanctions and the EU version. “I expect we will not be 100% in line with the suggestions made by the US so far in relation to sanctions,” the source said:

The UK has already said that they would impose no sanctions.

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 3:35 PM

But down the road, as demographic pressures mount and Russian resources beckon, a Russian doctrine of the ethnic adjustments of Russian borders could provide Beijing with a useful model.

fabrexe on March 3, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Excellent analysis

DarkCurrent on March 3, 2014 at 3:37 PM

In Donetsk:
At about midday, some 100 people broke into the building of Donetsk regional administration from the back door and hoisted Russian flag atop the building. Several hundred people were also waving Russian flags and proclaiming separatists slogans at the square by administration

In Lugansk:
In Lugansk in the morning, some 400 people broke into the local administration waving Russian flags and also the flags of the Russkoye Edinstvo pro-Russian block. The captors claimed they didn’t recognize Kiev’s authority and called on Putin to bring Russian troops to Ukraine.

In Odessa:
A crowd of an estimated 3,000 pro-Russian demonstrators rallied outside a government building in the port city of Odessa. Led by head of “People’s alternative” Anton Davydchenko, the crowd chanted “Referendum!”

The pro-Russia movement is heading North. I’m sure they’ll meet more resistance from the pro-Kiev people than they did in Crimea.

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 2:29 PM

LOL. You Russians are becoming a parody of your own propaganda.

Odessa has a population of over 1 million. 3000 protestors is 0.3%
Lugansk has a population of 450k. 400 protestors is less than 0.1%
Donetsk has a population of nearly 1 million. 100 people is < 0.01%

So if a thousand hippies protest in Seattle, that means the Pro-Hippie movement is really taking off?

Norwegian on March 3, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany told Mr. Obama by telephone on Sunday that after speaking with Mr. Putin she was not sure he was in touch with reality, people briefed on the call said. “In another world,” she said.

Says who? Obama? I believe him less than I believe Putin!

ctmom on March 3, 2014 at 3:44 PM

So if a thousand hippies protest in Seattle, that means the Pro-Hippie movement is really taking off?

Norwegian on March 3, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Yes, if it’s backed up by 150,000 troops. It’s taking off.

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Watch for this latest tapdance from the REB’s apologists:

This afternoon eR was mercilessly mocking Mark Halperin at Time magazine for saying “(President Ronald) Reagan never had it anywhere near as tough a Soviet leader as Putin,” to deal with.

He pointed out the obvious, that President Ronald Reagan dealt with Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov, and Constantin Chernenko, all old-style Soviet hardliners, and in fact Putin’s mentors.

slickwillie2001 on March 3, 2014 at 3:47 PM

LOL. You Russians are becoming a parody of your own propaganda.

Odessa has a population of over 1 million. 3000 protestors is 0.3%
Lugansk has a population of 450k. 400 protestors is less than 0.1%
Donetsk has a population of nearly 1 million. 100 people is < 0.01%

So if a thousand hippies protest in Seattle, that means the Pro-Hippie movement is really taking off?

Norwegian on March 3, 2014 at 3:43 PM

…and they were probably professional protesters hired by Putin’s goon squads.

slickwillie2001 on March 3, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Have to wonder if anyone in Washington fully understands that China has more leverage than Russia when it comes down to it.

coldwarrior on March 3, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Thinking people understand the power of propaganda…we call it advertising…but, when a small group of revolutionaries can topple a government and then lay claim to an entire nation, well, it worked before, and it’ll work again. 1917 to 2014, same methodology. Probably the same results.

coldwarrior on March 3, 2014 at 3:53 PM

slickwillie2001 on March 3, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Saw that. See what happens when the Left lowers the bar.

coldwarrior on March 3, 2014 at 3:54 PM

This generation of leaders in the US and Europe is a complete failure and a joke.

Another Libertarian on March 3, 2014 at 5:01 PM

This generation of leaders in the US and Europe is a complete failure and a joke.

Another Libertarian on March 3, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Mr. Barasso is no joke!

Murphy9 on March 3, 2014 at 5:31 PM

This plus earlier reports indicated that the Ukrainian air force only had 4 planes actually ready to fly.

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 3:32 PM

The taliban and AQ don’t have any. If Ukraine decides to fight, Putin will have Chechnia, Georgi and Ukraine to deal with. Russia got their azz handed to them in Afghanistan.

dogsoldier on March 3, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Flirting with an old fling like the Russkie Commies is way simpler than that “nightmare blind date from hell” with Islam.

BL@KBIRD on March 3, 2014 at 8:42 PM

If anyone is out of touch with reality, and history, it is Dear Leader and Merkel.

Russia’s interest in the Crimea, and hence in the Ukraine, goes back to the time of Peter the Great and Catherine The Great.

Did anyone really think Russia would give up without a fight the only year round warm water port it has west of Vladivostok? Only someone completely ignorant of Russian history could think that.

farsighted on March 3, 2014 at 9:32 PM

But of course. Merkel wants Ukraine in the EU. As if the EU hasn’t caused enough economic hardship on it’s members.

Putin is representing his country’s self interest.

Imagine that.

Lee Jan on March 4, 2014 at 9:40 AM

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