“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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…she’s talking to the kettle!

KOOLAID2 on March 3, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Putin is very real.

Merkel is, unfortunately, the cow of Europe.

Kirstin Stupid Powers “it’s not obama’s fault; he’s just like GWB”.

Schadenfreude on March 3, 2014 at 11:24 AM

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.

He is a pronoun. Is Merkel referring to Obama?

faraway on March 3, 2014 at 11:24 AM

That’s one way to explain his otherwise inexplicable invasion of Crimea.

Inexplicable? Pull up your pants, your naivete is showing again.

NotCoach on March 3, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Obviously the WaPo Editorial Board didn’t get the talking points in time: President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy

Drained Brain on March 3, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Never forget this – it’s the cause of everything.

obama enabled Putin.

Recall how very pis*ed off Putin was when the US moved into:

Iraq
Afghanistan
Libya
overthrew Egypt’s Mubarak
meddled in Syria and on-going clusterfark, siding with the terrorists

Sure, you do. That was when the world, especially the US, ignored Putin, because of the mic with Medvedev.

Kirstin, you dummy, don’t tell us that Obama is GWB. Plus, when in Hell will obama become the US president, you gnatbrain?

Schadenfreude on March 3, 2014 at 11:26 AM

The safe way to bet is that Putin is crazy like a fox.

myiq2xu on March 3, 2014 at 11:27 AM

The Cold War is Over” — Child in Chief

Schadenfreude on March 3, 2014 at 11:27 AM

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

I gotta hand it to the guy. It sounds like he took the entire Crimea using little more than a bunch of Russian Hell’s Angels.

What balls…

JohnGalt23 on March 3, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Putin is well in touch with the reality of Obama world… He knows that the welfare queens agitator from Chicago is too incompetent and too weak to stop him…

mnjg on March 3, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Merkel better be listening for that sound of Russian tanks. They’ve rolled into Berlin before, and we seem to be destined to repeat the 1930′s (we have the economy, the clueless Chamberlain (Obama), and a dictator with European Conquest on his mind who’s getting away with it).

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 11:27 AM

I wonder if the term “Blitzkrieg” came up in that conversation?

Old and busted: “Nazi”

New hotness: “Edinaya Rossiya”

Marcus Traianus on March 3, 2014 at 11:28 AM

“In another world”,

There is a lot of that going around lately.

Joseph OHenry on March 3, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Too funny. The media is trying to Palinize Putin.

What’s next? Carney: “I know three Putins”

faraway on March 3, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Too funny. The media is trying to Palinize Putin.

What’s next? Carney: “I know three Putins”

faraway on March 3, 2014 at 11:28 AM

The media can’t accept that King Barry is weaksauce in the world and has been rolled by Putin MULTIPLE TIMES.

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Putin is no fool nor is he crazy. He looked West and saw weakness and in weakness he saw opportunity.

This is the price the world pays for American weakness and the execution of Liberal fantasy based policy in which we could all get along if we hold hands and sing kumbaya together. It’s driven by the same rejection if fact based reality as is Obamacare and the rest of the Utopian agenda.

I only hope the American people are ready in 2014 and 2016 for hard headed realists.

Charlemagne on March 3, 2014 at 11:30 AM

I think Merkel is trying to create a reality in which she’s not the one heading a country that destroyed its own energy sufficiency and is one price shock away from having its export market collapse — and its economy along with it.

Of course Putin would have preferred that his crony keep Ukraine under control and pacified, but now that it hasn’t, he’s willing to use force, secure in the knowledge that the only thing that will happen to him is a sternly-worded letter and some sniping from feckless leaders like Obama and Merkel.

northdallasthirty on March 3, 2014 at 11:30 AM

I can no longer sit back and allow fascist indoctrination, fascist infiltration, fascist subversion, and the international fascist conspiracy to sap and impurity all of our precious bodily fluids.

-Vladimir Putin, March 3, 2014

HugoDrax on March 3, 2014 at 11:31 AM

…that Putin really has talked himself into believing that Ukraine is ground zero for some next-gen Nazi assault on Russia.

Huh?

What’s next- that aliens are invading Moscow?

Marcus Traianus on March 3, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Check the guy for syphilis.

It always get blamed in the end on that poor, misunderstood spirochete.

WryTrvllr on March 3, 2014 at 11:32 AM

What’s next- that aliens are invading Moscow?

Marcus Traianus on March 3, 2014 at 11:31 AM

The illegal aliens are invading DC.

So it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Obama wins again or something!

/ MSNBC

Good Lt on March 3, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Check the guy for syphilis.

It always get blamed in the end on that poor, misunderstood spirochete.

WryTrvllr on March 3, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Maybe that explains Obama?

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 11:33 AM

northdallasthirty on March 3, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Maybe energy reality will set in and the eco-Marxist driven fantasies of renewable energy displacing nuclear, coal, and natural gas will finally be dispelled. The West gas been terribly weakened by its refusal to exploit its own fossil fuel reserves because of the chimera of “climate change”.

Some day history will address the foolishness of the climate change hysteria and the geo-political problems it has wrought.

Charlemagne on March 3, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Time to start contemplating how you can keep the rest of the dominoes from falling. Obama: “That’s above my pay grade!” So is zipping up your pants you idiot!!

Deano1952 on March 3, 2014 at 11:35 AM

nato is weak now, what better time to expand?
whos going to stop him?

dmacleo on March 3, 2014 at 11:35 AM

D eating BEATING swords into food stamps…

OmahaConservative on March 3, 2014 at 11:36 AM

OmahaConservative on March 3, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Putin will just shut off the gas to western Europe.

thedevilinside on March 3, 2014 at 11:39 AM

The primary weapon that the West has to combat Putin’s agenda to re-establish a Russian empire, similar to the old Soviet one, is with economic warfare.

However, it’s not going to be easy because like Britain and France of the 1930′s, we’ve not prepared for that war. As evidenced by the incredibly naive ‘reset’ effort – our foreign policy has pretty much been based on what our leaders wanted to see and believe as opposed to seeing and believing what was actually happening.

My fear is that Europe and Obama will take steps far too weak and far too slowly to effectively use economics as a leverage to Putin’s sabre rattling and expansionism. Furthermore, in one of the biggest economic weapons we can use, energy (with our Canadian allies), Obama’s fecklessness towards Canada and willingness to embrace the watermelon’s of his political base, he’s not going to develop or use that weapon.

Obama is so narcissistic, he will expect that he, by the force of his ‘charisma’ and ‘rhetoric’, can control Putin just as Chamberlain thought he could Hitler.

If I were in Poland, Belarus, the Baltic states, and the rest of Eastern Europe, I would be very very worried.

Athos on March 3, 2014 at 11:39 AM

nato is weak now, what better time to expand?
whos going to stop him?

dmacleo on March 3, 2014 at 11:35 AM

From Putin’s point of view, if not now, when? The West will never have leadership any more feckless than it has now. His ambition has always been to re-create the Soviet Empire. This is his best chance. He might even be able to achieve the Soviet’s ultimate dream: conquest of Europe. Who is there to stop him? There isn’t even a shadow of the military of the 1980′s that stared back across the Iron Curtain at them.

World War III has begun.

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 11:40 AM

How about the simple fact that Putin is a communist? Crimea is the Russian Navy’s gateway to the Black Sea and eastern Ukraine has a strong manufacturing base makes them both valuable to the Federation.

Why does there always have to be some deep philosophical reason behind people’s thirst for power?

BKeyser on March 3, 2014 at 11:41 AM

I look at what may happen in our own Southwest someday, and think to myself, “Go, Putin, go!”

dhimwit on March 3, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Obama is so narcissistic, he will expect that he, by the force of his ‘charisma’ and ‘rhetoric’, can control Putin just as Chamberlain thought he could Hitler.

If I were in Poland, Belarus, the Baltic states, and the rest of Eastern Europe, I would be very very worried.

Athos on March 3, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Those who fail to learn History are doomed to repeat it. That is an old cliche, but unquestionably true.

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 11:42 AM

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.

What did Merkel expect Putin to say? That he invaded Ukraine so that it continues to be under Russia’s control? He would be nuts to say that. The best way to put it is for him to portray the Russians as victims which he did very well.

As far as reality is concerned, he is very much in command over it. Apart from the cities in eastern provinces which has raised Russian flags over pretty much all its local administration buildings, now there are southern ones that are doing the same. Yeah, now Putin is going to ‘rescue’ Russian speakers in all those places and merge the south and west to Russia.

CoolAir on March 3, 2014 at 11:43 AM

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.

What did Merkel expect Putin to say? That he invaded Ukraine so that it continues to be under Russia’s control? He would be nuts to say that. The best way to put it is for him to portray the Russians as victims which he did very well.

As far as reality is concerned, he is very much in command over it. Apart from the cities in eastern provinces which has raised Russian flags over pretty much all its local administration buildings, now there are southern ones that are doing the same. Yeah, now Putin is going to ‘rescue’ Russian speakers in all those places and merge the south and west to Russia.

CoolAir on March 3, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Allahpundit,

Can you make a breaking news post with this event?

Thanks,

Oil Can

Oil Can on March 3, 2014 at 11:45 AM

damn. screwed up the quotes

CoolAir on March 3, 2014 at 11:45 AM

As far as reality is concerned, he is very much in command over it. Apart from the cities in eastern provinces which has raised Russian flags over pretty much all its local administration buildings, now there are southern ones that are doing the same. Yeah, now Putin is going to ‘rescue’ Russian speakers in all those places and merge the south and west to Russia.

CoolAir on March 3, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Something that Merkel, as a German, should be very familiar with… Putin is doing the same thing her country did in the 1930′s, up until September 1939 completely uncontested…

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Nation of Idiots

Hация идиотов

World of Idiots too.

Schadenfreude on March 3, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Putin is in another world where the Cold War has never occurred. Obama is in another work where he thinks he is relevant

Brock Robamney on March 3, 2014 at 11:47 AM

World War III has begun.

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 11:40 AM

No. The Muslim Brotherhood will sit this one out like last time, and clean up later.

WryTrvllr on March 3, 2014 at 11:48 AM

I fear people are missing the end game here for Putin. The fact “western Ukraine” is not pro Russia and holds commodities and energy isn’t a “pause” for Putin — but a continued justification to roll over Ukraine.

Once he establishes the territory, he then holds the pipeline and commodity cards.

It’s a feature, not a bug.

Warm ports are already in Russian control, that’s a red herring – and I don’t think playing “he’s crazy” matters to anyone – except a convenient soundbite for the MSM and Dems to provide cover for the weakest President in the history of the USA, along with handcuffed Euro’s trying to play “power”

I do not believe Putin is in any way “crazy” – but in fact is a shrewd chaos theory believer. His chaos will go unchecked – he has been paying attention to the failure of the West and knows exactly how to slap around Beta leaders in an Alpha world.

Odie1941 on March 3, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Putin will likely have Yanukovich executed…for releasing the snipers on the population, two days before the Sochi Olympics ended.

Schadenfreude on March 3, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Kinda scary we have two of the most narcissistic people ever squaring off to see who vision future of the world is correct.

They both need to go.

Tater Salad on March 3, 2014 at 11:51 AM

“Nation building at home…aka handouts got me elected, twice, hah, hah, hah” — Child in Chief

Schadenfreude on March 3, 2014 at 11:51 AM

No. The Muslim Brotherhood will sit this one out like last time, and clean up later.

WryTrvllr on March 3, 2014 at 11:48 AM

In World War II, islam was on the side of the Nazis (because of their common goals). Iran, in fact, had to be occupied by the British to prevent them from sending their oil to Hitler.

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Yeah, now Putin is going to ‘rescue’ Russian speakers in all those places and merge the south and west to Russia.

CoolAir on March 3, 2014 at 11:44 AM

What a shock. People of a given national origin being more loyal to their country than the one in which they reside and willing to resort to violence against their current countrymen.

Who could have seen that coming?

northdallasthirty on March 3, 2014 at 11:52 AM

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.

What a load of hooey!

It’s almost laughable…But then there’s Syria.

Putin seems pretty prepared for an unhinged lunatic and the EU and the US look caught with their pants down.

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 11:52 AM

In this world, Zimbabwe is better than the US at enforcing its immigration laws.

Schadenfreude on March 3, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Too funny. The media is trying to Palinize Putin.

What’s next? Carney: “I know three Putins”

faraway on March 3, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Isn’t it interesting how the media always ‘circles the wagons” to protect Obama even when he attacks them (e.g. least open President to the media and wanting to put the FCC in newsrooms). No one experiences white guilt like a liberal (is there any other kind) member of the media.

bw222 on March 3, 2014 at 11:53 AM

KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine says Russian forces controlling the strategic region of Crimea are demanding that the crew of two Ukrainian warships must surrender. Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Maksim Prauta said four Russian navy ships were blocking Ukraine’s anti-submarine warship Ternopil and the command ship Slavutych in Sevastopol’s harbor. He said the Russians ordered the crew to surrender within the hour or face Russians storming and seizing the ships and crew.

yahoo news post

Oil Can on March 3, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Forgot to say that soon Mexico will take over the South “to protect its Spanish-Speaking” people.

Schadenfreude on March 3, 2014 at 11:53 AM

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.

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

Opportunities to increase your territory are extremely rare in today’s world. He sent in the military and now there will be a declaration from the locals there that they want to join Russia or have their own little nation, which would be a vassal state of Russia.

cimbri on March 3, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Kirstin Stupid Powers “it’s not obama’s fault; he’s just like GWB”.

Schadenfreude on March 3, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Every time I think Kirsten may not be as dumb as I suspect, she says or does something that’s really, really stupid.

bw222 on March 3, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Seems fairly simple. What better time to take back old Soviet states since the U.S. has no leadership to fear? Obama isn’t going to stop him. He knows this. Putin is having a private chuckle as he watches the world hyperventilate about this and then do nothing to stop him.

Once again, Romney was right.

goflyers on March 3, 2014 at 11:55 AM

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.

What did Merkel expect Putin to say? That he invaded Ukraine so that it continues to be under Russia’s control? He would be nuts to say that. The best way to put it is for him to portray the Russians as victims which he did very well.

As far as reality is concerned, he is very much in command over it. Apart from the cities in eastern provinces which has raised Russian flags over pretty much all its local administration buildings, now there are southern ones that are doing the same. Yeah, now Putin is going to ‘rescue’ Russian speakers in all those places and merge the south and west to Russia.

CoolAir on March 3, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Because those Germans have such a great history in assessing the sanity of world leaders…

OOF!

Sounds like Merkel lost the first round of negotiations with Kiev…

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 11:56 AM

I do not believe Putin is in any way “crazy” – but in fact is a shrewd chaos theory believer. His chaos will go unchecked – he has been paying attention to the failure of the West and knows exactly how to slap around Beta leaders in an Alpha world.

Odie1941 on March 3, 2014 at 11:48 AM

This “crazy” man took Crimea in a few days without firing a shot. And the troops are still moving North and West without casualties. (Popular Mechanics: How to Annex Another Nation’s Territory: The Crimean Invasion in 6 Steps.)

Kaffa on March 3, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Forgot to say that soon Mexico will take over the South “to protect its Spanish-Speaking” people.

Schadenfreude on March 3, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Mexico can’t even take over their OWN northern provinces from the drug cartels.

I could see a scenario where the illegals seize parts of California though, in a situation where DC starts losing control due to general Rebellion against the increasingly Imperial Regime…

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Oh yes….”Western Observers”……

what could go wrong??

ted c on March 3, 2014 at 11:57 AM

I do not believe Putin is in any way “crazy” – but in fact is a shrewd chaos theory believer. His chaos will go unchecked – he has been paying attention to the failure of the West and knows exactly how to slap around Beta leaders in an Alpha world.

Odie1941 on March 3, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Bingo.

This all rolls down to control of energy.

Putin knows very well that no one will intervene militarily, and that control of the pipelines and energy supply into Western Europe gives him the ability to ballast the Russian economy even as he crashes theirs.

Putin knows full well the degree of influence he has over the country sitting at the opening of the Straits of Hormuz — and that the stupid black child and his idiot Secretary of State are desperate to grovel before said country, even if it throttles the movement of oil in and out of the Persian Gulf.

And Putin also knows that the stupid black child is not ever going to allow the US to tap its own energy resources, much less export them.

He has the ability to bring the West to its knees and he fully knows it.

northdallasthirty on March 3, 2014 at 11:57 AM

It does not matter one iota if Merkel or Kerry or Obama thinks Putin has “lost track of reality.”

Putin is acting as to his reality…Russia and the near-abroad are within Putin’s purview. Putin is taking advantage of a situation to settle once and for all a nagging problem vis-a-vis Ukraine…the presence of Russian bases on Ukrainian soil, primarily in the Crimea, but let’s look at Odessa and Nikolayev as well.

In the end, despite Obama’s stern warnings, Merkel’s dismay, and Kerry’s pronouncements that Putin is acting in the manner of a Genghis Khan…in the end, if Putin secures the Crimea and forces Ukraine to allow for Russian bases in perpetuity…even if bloodshed is required…Putin and Russia win.

Ukraine and the West lose.

Now…about losing grip with reality…that has happened in Washington DC over the past six years as the Obama-Jarret-Power-Kerry Team have failed time and again to actually deal with reality…be it Libya, Egypt, Ukraine or anywhere else Obama has tried to push his idea of social-justice.

Putin has a completely lucid perception of reality.

Team Obama does not. Never had. Never will.

coldwarrior on March 3, 2014 at 11:59 AM

In World War II, islam was on the side of the Nazis (because of their common goals). Iran, in fact, had to be occupied by the British to prevent them from sending their oil to Hitler.

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 11:52 AM

At this juncture, if you were Iran, wouldn’t you want to prolong any conflict and increase their casualties?

But thanks. I didn’t know that.

WryTrvllr on March 3, 2014 at 11:59 AM

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

Putin is talking about Svoboda.

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

Meanwhile Merkel is still trying to prop up a failing EU.

Putin exploited a weakness.

We’ll need to wait and see how far Merkel and Obama will go to save face?

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

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

Putin is a Russian nationalist. Russia’s whole history is of autocratic leaders. Putin simply sees himself as the newest Tsar (I doubt he actually believes in any political theory, especially marxism — he’s cozy with the Russian Orthodox Church) and simply wants to rebuild the Russian Empire. A couple slices of Georgia here, part of Ukraine there, next will be Belarus and perhaps Moldova. Let that stew for a few years and then start adding in other areas.

rbj on March 3, 2014 at 12:02 PM

At this juncture, if you were Iran, wouldn’t you want to prolong any conflict and increase their casualties?

But thanks. I didn’t know that.

WryTrvllr on March 3, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Iran has much in common with Russia too. Russia is building their reactors…

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 12:02 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.

Then I sure wish we could find our way into Putin’s reality because he’s running circles around Obama and accomplishing everything he’s set out to do.

tommyboy on March 3, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Putin is evil, but he is not in any sense crazy or in “another world”. Of course he doesn’t actually believe the propaganda his country is spewing, but he has to pretend like he does. And he’s not going to tell Merkel or Obama what he’s actually thinking. Not about this. It’s Obama and Merkel who don’t understand reality in this case.

DisneyFan on March 3, 2014 at 12:04 PM

He has the ability to bring the West to its knees and he fully knows it.

northdallasthirty on March 3, 2014 at 11:57 AM

He certainly has the short term ability to bring the EU to it’s knees…and China has his back.

Both China and Russia would like the US to indulge the current isolationist sentiment trend while they expand their influence and build up their navies.

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Putin is a Russian nationalist. Russia’s whole history is of autocratic leaders. Putin simply sees himself as the newest Tsar (I doubt he actually believes in any political theory, especially marxism — he’s cozy with the Russian Orthodox Church) and simply wants to rebuild the Russian Empire. A couple slices of Georgia here, part of Ukraine there, next will be Belarus and perhaps Moldova. Let that stew for a few years and then start adding in other areas.

rbj on March 3, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Putin might even be willing to partition Poland with Germany… Like they did around 1800…

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 12:06 PM

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.

Disagree, Ed.

The best explanation I can think of is simple opportunism. Putin is quite firmly grounded in the reality that the USA is being led by a naive tyro who has surrounded himself with “advisors” who are equally naive. When the opportunity arises to do some land-grabbing in the Ukraine, Putin knows he can seize it with no real consequences. If the Americans won’t do anything but bluster, it’s a sure bet that the Euro-weenies won’t do anything, either. Besides, he has them by the balls because they depend on his natural gas pipeline to keep their teeth from chattering.

Every bad actor in the world knows that there are three years left in the window of opportunity — maybe longer if Evita Clinton succeeds King Barry-O the First, but that can’t be completely counted on. So, they’re all sizing up their opportunities to start putting checks in check-boxes with their neighbors.

Russia is just the edge of the wedge. The Iranians, the North Koreans and the Chinese will certainly act as well, when the moment is right.

Spurius Ligustinus on March 3, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Iran has much in common with Russia too. Russia is building their reactors…

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 12:02 PM

definitely, but unless they become directly involved, they still come out ahead.

WryTrvllr on March 3, 2014 at 12:07 PM

That’s one way to explain his otherwise inexplicable invasion of Crimea.

Did Jazz Shaw write this?

Russia wants and needs a warm weather seaport. 58% of the people in Crimea are ethnic Russians and the Muslim Tartars are returning to Crimea in large numbers. Putin knows Obama is weak. It’s a win-win for Putin and Crimea.

bw222 on March 3, 2014 at 12:08 PM

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

Putin is a Russian nationalist. Russia’s whole history is of autocratic leaders. Putin simply sees himself as the newest Tsar (I doubt he actually believes in any political theory, especially marxism — he’s cozy with the Russian Orthodox Church) and simply wants to rebuild the Russian Empire. A couple slices of Georgia here, part of Ukraine there, next will be Belarus and perhaps Moldova. Let that stew for a few years and then start adding in other areas.

rbj on March 3, 2014 at 12:02 PM

If Putin can hasten a fracturing of a fragile EU…why not?

As far as he’s concerned he’s building a counterpart coalition and China is sympathetic.

This was bound to occur with the moon bats running the show in both Europe and the US.

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 12:09 PM

I think there is one very important element that is not being discussed. China. China must see this as another opportunity to bring the West further under its influence, is naturally allied with Russia, and complements Russia very well strategically. Russia has vast natural resources that China wants. China has military strength access to important oceans. China will not need Russia’s military support to engage with Japan over those stupid islands, but it will have Russia’s backing on the UN Security Council and cheap oil and other mineral resources. And NATO won’t have any role there. It will be the US and Japan, and the US will already be facing the crisis in Europe and most likely new turmoil in the Middle East from Russia’s allies there.

Maybe I am fantasizing, but I see a WWII situation developing all over again. A seemingly irrational dictator in Putin simply taking what he wants with hardly a whimper from the West (and that has allies in the Middle East that can cause regional havoc, especially with regard to Israel, to put the West in more upheaval), and a Far East almost superpower with an appetite for more influence and control in the Pacific (that also happens to be entrenching itself in Africa). Putin cannot stop now that he has started. If Ukraine does not surrender in Crimea as has been demanded by Russia, there is no reason to expect Russia to do anything but follow through with its threat. Sadly, I trust Putin’s word more than any Western leader including our president. If Ukraine does surrender… well, it was so easy, next stop is eastern Ukraine. The train has left the station, and the track only goes in one direction.

kclibby on March 3, 2014 at 12:12 PM

I am guessing, based on GWB’s reaction after 9/11, Putin must have figured he couldn’t wait any longer into Tsar Obama’s regime, lest someone competent win in 2016.

That, or “flexibility”

WryTrvllr on March 3, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Putin will likely have Yanukovich executed…
Schadenfreude on March 3, 2014 at 11:50 AM

I think he should be executed for recording ‘Eat It’.
Oh,…wait….that’s weird Al.
Never mind.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on March 3, 2014 at 12:15 PM

About that Blacksea Pipeline…

“She also cites the varying levels of trust as particularly interesting for her, particularly towards the EU.

“Broadly speaking, the further away a country is from Brussels, the less trust there is, which is probably about lack of familiarity. So I think there are some challenges for the EU in terms of how it positions itself in relation to projects like this.”

Ms. Cooke says the survey has provided a baseline as to where people are at at the moment. “This was more to help, I think, shape the kind of starting position so that people can think about how they communicate, how they negotiate. I think there were some quite clear signs and signals in terms of the best way to take this forward in terms of what kinds of communications need to be shared, what kind of questions the public need answering, what kind of questions the stakeholders need answering.

“It is more in the context of a fair degree of skepticism, frankly with some quite big questions about the Russians’ relationship with perceptions of the Russian government, and there is quite a fear that it ultimately can be about Russian power and influence,” she offers.

Moreover, she notes the results show a lot of support for natural gas in the energy mix – somewhere in the middle of the spectrum (with renewables topping the ranking). “People see natural gas as something that’s much more acceptable than coal, oil and nuclear. It also connects to the sentiment that gas is a good fuel: it’s clean,” she adds….”

http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/south-stream-gas-dialogues-viki-cooke

Map graphic of the Southstream Pipeline:

http://www.bbj.hu/images2/201311/south-stream_20131129140115441.jpg

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Putin is very real.

Merkel is, unfortunately, the cow of Europe.

Kirstin Stupid Powers “it’s not obama’s fault; he’s just like GWB”.

Schadenfreude on March 3, 2014 at 11:24 AM

The Dingbat Powers has no family relatives involved in this particular crisis, and it doesn’t affect her family budget directly, so she is free to toe the Democratic Party lines.

She’s so stupid she needs to be mugged on every single issue before she catches on.

slickwillie2001 on March 3, 2014 at 12:18 PM

When Kevin Drum says Putin “fumbled Ukraine away,” he means he failed to bring the boot down hard well before the Olympics. So when you endorse Drum, you are in effect echoing his belief that Putin needs to be MORE like the Soviet General Secretaries of the past, not less.

Putin may be out of touch with the Merkel-Obama reality, where Western liberal academics felt his tottering economy, falling ruble, and threatened long-term revenue streams from oil and gas would restrain his adventurism. That’s because liberal academics are idiots.

Just like the Soviets, bad domestic economic problems actually make foreign troublemaking MORE attractive, as it diverts the attention of the public and rallies them to a nationalist stance where the economy is no longer the top issue.

~~~~

Ah yes, what great strategic thinkers we have in Obama, Hillary, Biden, Kerry, and Drum!

God save the Republic, and the world, from the follies of these fools.

1053 days, and counting.

Adjoran on March 3, 2014 at 12:19 PM

I think there is one very important element that is not being discussed. China. China must see this as another opportunity to bring the West further under its influence, is naturally allied with Russia, and complements Russia very well strategically. Russia has vast natural resources that China wants. China has military strength access to important oceans. China will not need Russia’s military support to engage with Japan over those stupid islands, but it will have Russia’s backing on the UN Security Council and cheap oil and other mineral resources. And NATO won’t have any role there. It will be the US and Japan, and the US will already be facing the crisis in Europe and most likely new turmoil in the Middle East from Russia’s allies there.

Maybe I am fantasizing, but I see a WWII situation developing all over again. A seemingly irrational dictator in Putin simply taking what he wants with hardly a whimper from the West (and that has allies in the Middle East that can cause regional havoc, especially with regard to Israel, to put the West in more upheaval), and a Far East almost superpower with an appetite for more influence and control in the Pacific (that also happens to be entrenching itself in Africa). Putin cannot stop now that he has started. If Ukraine does not surrender in Crimea as has been demanded by Russia, there is no reason to expect Russia to do anything but follow through with its threat. Sadly, I trust Putin’s word more than any Western leader including our president. If Ukraine does surrender… well, it was so easy, next stop is eastern Ukraine. The train has left the station, and the track only goes in one direction.

kclibby on

March 3, 2014 at 12:12 PM

In a Ukrainian Partition…Putin keeps the bread flowing to China. China buys a good amount of grain from the Ukraine. The current instability has them worried.

Eastern and southeastern Ukraine is where the heavy wheat production is concentrated.

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Pootie: Strong horse.

Dog Eater: Rocking horse.

Bishop on March 3, 2014 at 12:20 PM

He is a pronoun. Is Merkel referring to Obama?

faraway on March 3, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Yes. He’s the only delusional loser involved.

dogsoldier on March 3, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Re: Obama the smartest guy in the room.

Not.

coldwarrior on March 3, 2014 at 12:22 PM

definitely, but unless they become directly involved, they still come out ahead.

WryTrvllr on March 3, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Russia has lots of former Soviet states with “-Stan” in their names… Kazakhstan will be likely be the first Putin deals with. It, after all, contains the Soviet space facilities, for one thing…

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Out of the two, Putin is the only one acting in reality. Obama is acting as if the regressive lies about the goodness of evil are true.

astonerii on March 3, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Delusional Child in Chief

Schadenfreude on March 3, 2014 at 12:24 PM

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.

Disagree, Ed.

The best explanation I can think of is simple opportunism. Putin is quite firmly grounded in the reality that the USA is being led by a naive tyro who has surrounded himself with “advisors” who are equally naive. When the opportunity arises to do some land-grabbing in the Ukraine, Putin knows he can seize it with no real consequences. If the Americans won’t do anything but bluster, it’s a sure bet that the Euro-weenies won’t do anything, either. Besides, he has them by the balls because they depend on his natural gas pipeline to keep their teeth from chattering.

Then there’s this…

Dated 2013:

“European Union rules are calling into question the legality of agreements signed between member states and Russian energy monopoly Gazprom relating to the South Stream natural gas pipeline set to deliver fuel to Europe. Member states in the east of the bloc are actively lobbying in order to allow the investment to progress.

Nabucco is out of the picture, giving all the more impetus to its Russian-backed rival, South Stream…”

http://www.bbj.hu/politics/south-stream-hindered-by-eu-legal-restrictions_72732

Nabucco was the Turkish overland pipeline. Putin has been constructing the undersea pipeline.

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 12:25 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

ConstantineXI on March 3, 2014 at 12:22 PM

I think Putin far too smart to risk alienating the Islamic world.

He doesn’t want Afghanistan redux.

WryTrvllr on March 3, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Dated Nov. 2013

“Serbia was the latest country to announce it had started construction of the South Stream natural gas pipeline, a project backed by Russian energy giant Gazprom. The news follows a similar announcement from Bulgaria at the end of October, while Turkey announced it would be launching work on its own territory in 2014.

The pipeline is planned to be 2,385 kilometers long, realized in partnership with nine countries, including Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Italy and Russia, and has already called for far-reaching agreements between national governments as well as private sector participants involved in the implementation. The total investment required would be €17 billion, and it will provide a total annual capacity of 63 million cubic meters of gas.

It is planned to be up and fully operational by 2017.

However, the European Union’s Third Energy package has raised concerns about the viability of the investment on legal grounds. Many of the numerous bilateral and multilateral agreements related to South Stream have come under scrutiny by the European Union on grounds that they do not comply with the package, which is meant to unbundle ownership of natural gas production and transmission, something that very much applies to Gazprom…

“Natural gas today represents the most important source of energy in the European Union,” said Alexander Syromyatin, deputy head of Gazprom’s project management department. “Demand in the near future will quickly overtake supply, because of the falling extraction capacity in Europe. The South Stream project will solve the problem of this deficit for the future,” he added underlining hopes of an agreement.

The affected EU countries are aiming to intensify lobbying on the matter and to exert pressure on EU decision makers….”

http://www.bbj.hu/politics/south-stream-hindered-by-eu-legal-restrictions_72732

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Plus something like 20% of the Russian military is now muslim.

WryTrvllr on March 3, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Putin may be out of touch with the Merkel-Obama reality, where Western liberal academics felt his tottering economy, falling ruble, and threatened long-term revenue streams from oil and gas would restrain his adventurism. That’s because liberal academics are idiots.

Adjoran on March 3, 2014 at 12:19 PM

“Shale gas, the energy source which has shaken up world oil markets, could soon be flowing in Poland after changes in government policy.

Shale gas drilling has a chequered history in Poland. International oil giant Exxon Mobil tried to extract the controversial energy source in the country and gave up in 2012.

Instead, Poland’s first shale gas extraction will start within months, or even weeks, according to Dennis McKee, chief executive of United Oilfield Services, which is providing equipment for shale gas exploration in Poland….”

http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/shale-gas-poland-dennis-mckee-united-oilfiield-services

GAZPROM Southstream status report link:

http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/content/14170/Gazprom%20Nov%2014%202013.pdf

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 12:36 PM

I don’t get the benefit of leaking Merkel’s words on Putin.

Update: You know, I don’t either.

Sure you do.

It is an attempt to make Putin look like a bumbling idiot and to distract attention from Obama, who happens to be the real bumbling idiot (or worse) in this situation.

chuckh on March 3, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Dated February 27th, 2014

“The roundtable debate opened at London’s ESCP Business School and Research Centre for Energy Management (RCEM) on Monday 17th February.

Investments in infrastructures are needed

Indeed, urgent decisions need to be made over the energy related infrastructure projects across Europe. According to Dr Voudouris, countries are lacking gas and electricity connections in order to achieve a single European market. He went on to say, ‘I don’t see any obstacles arising by 2035 in terms of natural gas supply. I believe we’ll be able to meet these demands at a global level, with less dependence on the Middle East’s supply.’ However, Dr Voudouris illuminated that there are some supply access inequalities and unbalances at regional levels. This is because not enough investors are participating in qualitative gas infrastructure development. Investigating the current infrastructure landscape, depressed economies such as Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal need priority investments.

On 14 October 2013, the European Commission has allocated a €5.85 billion funding budget for a list of 248 qualified key energy infrastructure ‘projects of common interest’, including gas infrastructure projects. Dr Voudouris argued that there is a serious need for a central pipeline network in these southern Mediterranean countries. ‘We need to think of connecting Western Europe with Southern Europe through Serbia and Croatia.’

Recently new gas producers in the East Mediterranean regions have sprung forth including Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon,Israel and Egypt. These countries feel under pressure to boost domestic natural gas discoveries before natural gas prices fall further. A study from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) published in August 2013 underlined the investment needed for these countries with the assumption of an expected 32% population growth between 2012 and 2030. However, these countries represent less than 1% of the world’s total proven reserves of oil and gas…”

http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/oil-gas-perspectives-21st-century-escp-europe

More at the link…Europeans are still trying to adjust from the groupthink of the envirofascists.

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 12:43 PM

I don’t get the benefit of leaking Merkel’s words on Putin.

Update: You know, I don’t either.

Sure you do.

It is an attempt to make Putin look like a bumbling idiot and to distract attention from Obama, who happens to be the real bumbling idiot (or worse) in this situation.

chuckh on March 3, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Yep!

Both Merkel and Obama have a serious case of egg face blindness?

workingclass artist on March 3, 2014 at 12:44 PM

coldwarrior on March 3, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Thank God that you have finally weighed in on this situation (and the others) with a dose of reality.

onlineanalyst on March 3, 2014 at 12:47 PM

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

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