Obama: The media’s misleading people by reporting this Russian invasion of Crimea as a clever strategic move

posted at 2:01 pm on March 4, 2014 by Allahpundit

Before we get to the substance of it, here’s a wider shot of the backdrop for today’s statement. Kneel before Zod, Vladimir.

Anyway. Is O right that the Crimea walkover is more a sign of Russian weakness than of strength? And is there any way to answer that question dispassionately knowing how self-serving his spin here is? There’s nothing more Hopenchangey than watching this guy try to frame western impotence in the face of Russian aggression as some sort of image problem that can be corrected by his pals in the media, especially knowing that his “red line” humiliation last year in Syria surely emboldened Putin internationally. Plus, I don’t quite follow his read on what Russian satellites are apt to do now that Moscow’s brought a boot down on Ukraine. If you’re a Russian border state that’s intrigued by closer ties to the EU, what does Moscow have to offer you except the threat of invasion (or, at a minimum, turning off the gas/oil tap) if you get too frisky with the west? Clamping down on Crimea is a quintessential “pour encourager les autres” move by Putin, and surely his best bet to keep those satellites in Russia’s orbit.

But then, that’s Obama’s point. Only a state with comparatively little to offer economically would feel obliged to roll into Crimea when there was no Ukrainian threat to the peninsula and certainly no Ukrainian threat to Russia’s base in Sevastopol. They can’t offer their satellite states a more attractive political model than the EU so they’re reduced to gratuitous muscle-flexing to keep them in line. Like Ross Douthat said a few weeks ago, the striking thing about Putin is that, despite his reputation as a geopolitical grand master, he struggles to keep Ukraine in line in a way that earlier Russian autocracies never did. The fact that the Euromaidan was able to chase Yanukovych, his puppet, across the border is proof enough of his blundering. Putin’s near-term grand ambition is to build a Eurasian Union with Russia’s satellites as an economic counterweight to the EU, but not even the prospect of that was enough to lure Kiev to Russia’s side peacefully. He runs a fantastically corrupt, rapidly depopulating kleptocracy — George Will likes to call Russia a third-world country with a first-world army — and, go figure, his neighbors aren’t keen to gamble their national futures on an alliance with it unless they’re forced. (If you believe a poll taken in mid-February, before Yanukovych was toppled, only 41 percent of Crimeans want to become part of Russia.) That’s what Obama means by weakness, and that’s why you see him here hammering the point that nations should be free to choose their destiny via elections. Given a truly free choice, how many of Russia’s neighbors would opt to partner with the Moscow Mussolini instead of the EU? He can’t win the battle of ideas. He can only win wars.

But that’s what makes Putin dangerous. The more insecure he feels, the bolder he might get. And the bolder he gets without paying a price for it, the bolder other powers might get. That’s really why O’s mumbling about sanctions and other penalties — not because he cares much about Ukraine but because the things he does care about, like making a deal with Iran, get harder every time something like this happens.


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If you like your Union of Soviet Socialist states, you can keep your Union of Soviet Socialist states.

Murphy9 on March 4, 2014 at 2:10 PM

More like the Greater Reich. And before certain trolls round on me for going “1939″ again,look at the actual geopolitical comparisons.

1. Putin claims the right to intervene in other polities in defense of “oppressed ethnic Russian minorities”. Change “Russian” to “German”, you have the excuse for Austria and Czechoslovakia.

2. Treaties (or at least “understandings”) with Iran and China. See “Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact”. This one is important- see below.

3. Relying on a feckless major power (United States/The One, England/Chamberlain + France/Deladier) to do nothing, simultaneously revealing the toothlessness of the supposed “international community” (League of Nations/UN).

So, what’s the endgame?

Look at the map. Putin is very likely “securing his rear”, not against aggressive European military action (which he doesn’t believe will happen), but against the loss of his economic/logistic base. He is also securing his internal lines of communication in the areas nearest to his south-western borders. Because he cannot count on the areas further south and east (notably Georgia) to remain secure against…Iran and the “local” Islamists they back (Tajikistan, Chechnya, etc.).

Putin is a Russian nationalist, not a communist (although The One and his cronies fervently believe he’s really “one of us” in a sort-of-mystical-socialist way). As such, his strategies are motivated by essentially trying to establish, not a “new USSR”, but the sort of Russian Empire Catherine the Great or Ivan the Terrible would have understood.

(NB; keep in mind that Ivan’s actual “classic epithet”, Ivan Strozniy, translates more accurately as “Ivan the Awe-Inspiring“; yes, people feared him, but that was normal for the era. They respected him for what he did, and considered how he did it to be “just the way things are done” by a strong leader.)

Putin’s strategy does not “ignore” his military’s weakness; it’s based on it. He knows he cannot fight more than one adversary at a time, if it comes down to actual war. And that as history shows time and again, any war he finds himself fighting (open, guerrilla, or otherwise) will most likely be fought on Russian soil, not the OPFOR’s.

So, he’s basically dealing with the minor problems now, and counting on the results to reduce the potential avenues of infiltration, while simultaneously ensuing that he has the strategic and especially economic “depth” to mount an effective defense if and when it finally drops in the pot.

Yes, Putin is an SOB. But never mistake him for a trendy, one-world socialist. Or an idiot.

I can’t say I’d want to be pals with him, but I have to respect him. KGB, or GRU, or somebody, taught him well. Especially in the area of Russia’s history.

He knows how Russia has nearly been erased from the map in the past, and he’s not about to make the same mistakes several of his predecessors did.

Whether anybody else likes the results, or not.

clear ether

eon

eon on March 4, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Unfortunately we are learning Obama’s lesson the hard way. It is one thing to gather over cocktails and wax poetic about diplomacy and world peace, and another to put them into practice against a KGB veteran megalomaniac.

tdarrington on March 4, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Exactly… Every liberal idea has been crushed by reality, every single one of them…

mnjg on March 4, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Yulia The Ukraine Grizzly Momma:

Newsweek ‏@Newsweek 6m

Exclusive: Yulia Tymoshenko on how to counter Putin in #Ukraine http://j.mp/1dYrjiF pic.twitter.com/YdcMJ7c0Zc
======================================

Exclusive: Yulia Tymoshenko on How to Counter Putin
By Anna Nemtsova / March 4, 2014 2:20 PM EST
********************************************

http://mag.newsweek.com/2014/02/28/exclusive-yulia-tymoshenko-counter-putin.html

canopfor on March 4, 2014 at 2:52 PM

I disagree AP, on a couple levels.

One, Obama has no interest in foreign policy; everything that happens outside of his (ever decreasing) sphere of influence is a nuisance. The middle east wars, Israel/Palestine, the Arab Spring, Libya, Syria, Venezuela, and Ukraine were all Hillary’s -and now Kerry’s problems. He’s only concerned with his image domestically.

Putin isn’t operating out of weakness, and he’s clearly indicating he can strengthen his position if he so chooses. Obama, on the other hand, cannot counter him. (Also, Putin may or may not be as clever as his predecessors, but he thus far has been the one communist leader unable to use overwhelming force to implement his policy. That may be changing, however.)

Two, a minor point, but I also don’t think Obama is all that interested in a deal with Iran; at least one that requires a great deal of compromise on our part. Either he gets them to back off -which I think he’s given up on- or he pays them off to drag this out to 2017 or beyond. He just doesn’t want a nuclear Iran on his watch for legacy reasons.

BKeyser on March 4, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Obama’s sure sounding a lot like Presidente Maduro, isn’t he?

steebo77 on March 4, 2014 at 2:25 PM

The only difference between the US under Obama and Venezuela under Maduro is five to ten years.

Doomberg on March 4, 2014 at 2:53 PM

“Let me make this perfectly clear;The only reason Putin did that “uncontested arrival”thingy in the Ukraine was just to try and make me poop in my Mom jeans.Period”…..President Poopypants

SweetSensationalist on March 4, 2014 at 2:54 PM

I understand he quieted the room by saying
‘One, two, three – eyes on me’.

verbaluce on March 4, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Pretty much sums up his governing philosophy. But quite a come down from the days when heads turned, worshipful eyes glowed reverentially, and awed silence descended upon the crowd when he entered a room like sort of a God.

de rigueur on March 4, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Why make a deal with Iran…. its pointless IMHO

cmsinaz on March 4, 2014 at 2:41 PM

cmsinaz:Fully agree,….America has to hit the Reset Button:)

canopfor on March 4, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Obama also says Putin must be guided by a different set of lawyers making different determinations about his actions.canopfor on March 4, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Must be the firm of Ivan Grozny, Rasputin and Stalin

kcewa on March 4, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Even more important than strength, Putin is showing resolve!!

Deano1952 on March 4, 2014 at 3:03 PM

** The Children **:

Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 2h

Before his remarks, Pres Obama dropped by reading lesson for pre-schoolers. (TV pool photo by Bryan Cole/Fox News) pic.twitter.com/V5ZGYdrPha

https://twitter.com/markknoller/status/440907449403318272/photo/1/large

canopfor on March 4, 2014 at 3:04 PM

I actually thought verbaluce was being sarcastic. It seemed that even verbaluce thought the picture looked pathetic and was tossing out the only possible explanation that could be provided – without actually believing it himself.

The problem is that so many of verbaluce’s serious excuses aren’t any more ridiculous than this one that it’s difficult to know when he’s being sarcastic.

blink on March 4, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Dishonesty is his bread and butter. Everything he posts is dishonest tripe. Obama has made a fool of himself, and he can’t bring himself to admit that fact, so instead he tries to laugh it all off. This performance, and its setting, is so bad that not even the perpetually dishonest one can do anything but throw out some canned laughter.

NotCoach on March 4, 2014 at 3:04 PM

I actually thought verbaluce was being sarcastic. It seemed that even verbaluce thought the picture looked pathetic and was tossing out the only possible explanation that could be provided – without actually believing it himself.

blink on March 4, 2014 at 2:56 PM

I was, yes.
It was a bit of a lazy Maxwell Smart ref, as well.
The pic is hysterical.

verbaluce on March 4, 2014 at 3:04 PM

I understand he quieted the room by saying
‘One, two, three – eyes on me’.

verbaluce on March 4, 2014 at 2:37 PM

ok I laughed as I pictured that one.
one ah ah ah two uh uh uh three
all eyes mmm ahh mm ahh on me

dmacleo on March 4, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Obama also says Putin must be guided by a different set of lawyers making different determinations about his actions.canopfor on March 4, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Must be the firm of Ivan Grozny, Rasputin and Stalin

kcewa on March 4, 2014 at 2:59 PM

kcewa:Now that was funny,…nearly choked on my imported Bush Beans, haha:)

canopfor on March 4, 2014 at 3:06 PM

He runs a fantastically corrupt, rapidly depopulating kleptocracy — George Will likes to call Russia a third-world country with a first-world army — and, go figure, his neighbors aren’t keen to gamble their national futures on an alliance with it unless they’re forced.

No, Russia is not “rapidly depopulating”. It has had positive population growth for several years now, and its fertility rate is now higher than the EU and Canada.

And Will’s description of Russia as “third world” is just ignorant. Russia is a middle income country.

Jon0815 on March 4, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Before his remarks, Pres Obama dropped by reading lesson for pre-schoolers. (TV pool photo by Bryan Cole/Fox News) pic.twitter.com/V5ZGYdrPha

https://twitter.com/markknoller/status/440907449403318272/photo/1/large

canopfor on March 4, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Except the kids read the book to Dog Eater while he sat on the floor, wide-eyed and staring at the pictures.

Bishop on March 4, 2014 at 3:07 PM

I was, yes.

verbaluce on March 4, 2014 at 3:04 PM

And I actually thought your comment was kinda funny.

blink on March 4, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Well, thanks.
I needed a moment of levity.
A lot of swingin’ & duckin’ here lately.

verbaluce on March 4, 2014 at 3:09 PM

eon on March 4, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Woah, somebody was paying attention in history class. Well done Eon.

JusDreamin on March 4, 2014 at 3:12 PM

“Watch, as I cleverly beat our opponents’ fists with my face, demonstrating my strength and cleverness.”

–Dear Leader

orangemtl on March 4, 2014 at 3:21 PM

Well, thanks.
I needed a moment of levity.
A lot of swingin’ & duckin’ here lately.

verbaluce on March 4, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Come to the dark side, you know Obama is ridiculous, you know socialism never works, you know self reliance and individual liberty is the way out. Come to the dark side, you know you want to.

Fenris on March 4, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Keep talkin Obozo and it won’t be the Ukraine being invaded it will be on our own shores. What a wuss

neyney on March 4, 2014 at 3:25 PM

For once O has a backdrop that befits his level of competency…

Pest on March 4, 2014 at 3:26 PM

This reminds me of that Cadillac commercial where one brother, Kyle keeps taking things away from his other brother and at the end, the other brother tells, Kyle…that is mine. And all Kyle(Obama) can do is just stare at the car. Just like now, Putin takes Crimea and all Obama can do is just stare at it and….trying to think of a way to blame Bush or the useless GOP.

One_If_By_Land on March 4, 2014 at 3:27 PM

The Crimea walkover is a sign that Putin doesn’t give a crap what Obama says.

OxyCon on March 4, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Follow the money:

The recent escalation of military tensions in between Ukraine and Russia have caused the currencies of both countries to dive against the dollar. Firms in these countries with large proportions of external debt issued in dollars are now facing an increase in the value of their debts relative to the value of their assets, increasing somewhat the risk of default.

In short, when the dollar strengthens, dollar liquidity decreases, and credit risk goes up.

“The U.S. dollar global liquidity measure occupies a special place, and we may attribute its special status to the role of the U.S. dollar as the currency that underpins global capital markets through its role as the pre-eminent funding currency for borrowers,” write the economists in the IMF paper.

This could become a major problem for local banking systems in emerging markets

jake-the-goose on March 4, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Obama can Crimea river.

steebo77 on March 4, 2014 at 3:33 PM

I guess “Happy Hour” is officially over….

tanked59 on March 4, 2014 at 3:35 PM

Well, thanks.
I needed a moment of levity.
A lot of swingin’ & duckin’ here lately.

verbaluce on March 4, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Come to the dark side, you know Obama is ridiculous, you know socialism never works, you know self reliance and individual liberty is the way out. Come to the dark side, you know you want to.

Fenris on March 4, 2014 at 3:22 PM

It can’t. Personal responsibility outside mom’s basement is just too taxing… in more ways than one.

viking01 on March 4, 2014 at 3:36 PM

He looks and sounds like he’s telling us a bedtime story. How many times did he nearly smile?

Seriously.. this is such a joke. He’s talking like he doesn’t even know or care what he’s saying. I bet he couldn’t even point out the Ukraine on a map.

JellyToast on March 4, 2014 at 3:39 PM

blink on March 4, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Seriously, this guy can’t handle this. He will be on drugs soon, I’m not joking. Be illegal or legal, I bet he is using now.

Oil Can on March 4, 2014 at 2:21 PM

I’m pretty sure he gets high several times a week, and has for most of his privileged life.

slickwillie2001 on March 4, 2014 at 3:42 PM

It can’t. Personal responsibility outside mom’s basement is just too taxing… in more ways than one.

viking01 on March 4, 2014 at 3:36 PM

There’s always hope. Should i have said “follow the light” instead?

Fenris on March 4, 2014 at 3:45 PM

The little boy who gets whacked good by the bully and then the little boy says (long after the bully is gone), “It did not hurt and the bully was not smart to do that.”

albill on March 4, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Just my thought: 0bama thought he was so smart by sending all those gays over to the 0lympics to rain on Putin’s parade. I guess Putin is boxing his ugly ears back!

So sad for the Ukrainians – I pray God protects them.

Bambi on March 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Again, obama is 100% correct, and all of you know it.

This is an act of desperation and last resort by a man unable to influence his neighbours and barely holding onto his own people. A man who just sacrificed any tenuous int’l cred he may have earned with a useless gambit for inconsequential gain. He’s lost the ukrainian people permanently now, and probably some of his russian support, too. He may also be in the process of sacrificing his country’s only growing industry – natural gas exports – to the united states and its booming natural gas industry.

Putin has no possible endgame here other than a military state, and everybody knows russia no longer has the finances for that.

And no, this does not indicate any weakness of obama, just like georgia didn’t for bush.

If anything, it shows that putin has lost power within his own sphere, which is a compliment to the western powers.

Its such a shame that the spoiled adolescent mindset of current conservative politics responds only to Bully Cowboy Diplomacy, and thinks that is the only way to demonstrate strength. Grow up, people.

everdiso on March 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM

What is really scary is China, Iran and North Korea are looking at this and are probably wondering when it will be their turn for some land grabbing because they know The One will never do anything except to send Lurch(Kerry) and so he can draw a new red line and bombard them with some really tough words. That should put the fear of God in those countries.(after they stop laughing at us)

One_If_By_Land on March 4, 2014 at 3:49 PM

The Ukraine has called 911. Now, how long before the police arrive? Even if they do live in a rough neighborhood, it’s too bad that they have been disarmed by the hall monitors who really believe that 19th century tactics have no place in the 21st century, and that Putin needs to go to bullying classes because he was raised wrong.
Is the Ukraine the next Kitty Genovese? Will no one help? When will the police arrive? Will Georgia ever be freed from these 19th century tactics?

DublOh7 on March 4, 2014 at 3:50 PM

America has nothing to prove to Putin. Obama has nothing to prove to Putin. When you have power you don’t need to prove anything.

coolrepublica on March 4, 2014 at 3:52 PM

eon on March 4, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Fantastic post, and spot-on. Unfortunately, not enough people understand this.

USNCVN on March 4, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Its such a shame that the spoiled adolescent mindset of current conservative politics responds only to Bully Cowboy Diplomacy, and thinks that is the only way to demonstrate strength. Grow up, people.

everdiso on March 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM

If you think ‘cowboy’ is an insult and synonymous with military intervention then you may as well be a European.

Fenris on March 4, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Now I know what this reminds me of… Michael Dukakis when he was asked if he would favor the death penalty if his wife was raped and murdered.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DF9gSyku-fc

Putin just invaded the Ukraine pushing us towards WWIII and Obama debates the finer parts of international law.

JellyToast on March 4, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Again, obama is 100% correct, and all of you know it.
everdiso on March 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM

HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa
That’s funny man! Tell us another one!

JusDreamin on March 4, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Its It’s such a shame that the spoiled adolescent mindset of current conservative politics responds only to Bully Cowboy Diplomacy, and thinks that is the only way to demonstrate strength. Grow up, people.

everdiso on March 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Says the pupil who doesn’t know its from it’s.

Schadenfreude on March 4, 2014 at 4:19 PM

America has nothing to prove to Putin. Obama has nothing to prove to Putin. When you have power you don’t need to prove anything.

coolrepublica on March 4, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Your premise is wrong.

Schadenfreude on March 4, 2014 at 4:20 PM

For a moment i thot this was Venezuela slamming the media

Mr Jaua, who is in Geneva for a meeting of the UN’s Human Rights Council, said Venezuela was the victim of a “psychological war” perpetrated by the media.“The propaganda carried out by some national and international media corporations conveys the wrong idea that there is widespread chaos in our country and indiscriminate repression against the people,” he said.It was aimed, he said, at portraying Venezuela as a country that violates human rights to “justify foreign intervention”.

But it’s just oboobi. Funny how tyrannical minds think alike.

AH_C on March 4, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Again, obama is 100% correct, and all of you know it.
everdiso on March 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM

It’s comedy gold in here today.

USNCVN on March 4, 2014 at 4:30 PM

And Hitler dreamed of a united Prussia.

ButterflyDragon on March 4, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Again, obama is 100% correct, and all of you know it.
everdiso on March 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM

None of us are as delusional as you are.

Bmore, did you fish this one?

Schadenfreude on March 4, 2014 at 4:34 PM

eon on March 4, 2014 at 2:47 PM

This, x1000.

mrteachersir on March 4, 2014 at 4:37 PM

Before we get to the substance of it, here’s a wider shot of the backdrop for today’s statement.

Golly Gee Whiz! A blue carpet with toy letters of the alphabet around the edge, from the set of Sesame Street.

Today’s broadcast is brought to you by the letter U, for Ukraine, and by the letter V, for Vladimir. Since V comes after U, Vladimir has come after Ukraine. Vladimir is a very bad, bad boy, and should live in the trash like the Cookie Monster.

Steve Z on March 4, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Aww, geeze. I missed today’s Obama the Klown Show. Boo Hoo.

What a bummah.

Key West Reader on March 4, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Its such a shame that the spoiled adolescent mindset of current conservative politics responds only to Bully Cowboy Diplomacy, and thinks that is the only way to demonstrate strength. Grow up, people.

everdiso on March 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Putin is an expert at Bully Cowboy Diplomacy.

Obama-livious has no hat and no cattle.

Steve Z on March 4, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Obama can Crimea river.

steebo77 on March 4, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Ding! Ding! Ding! Thread Winner!!!

Steve Z on March 4, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Putin is taking the strategic region of Crimea that he needs. That hardly seems to be dealing from a position of weakness.

He has military and commodity pressures which require he control things. He bought the presidency of Ukraine but when that fell apart he went to plan B – I will just take it saying I am protecting native Russians from Nazi’s. He is taking it and knows he will not be driven back or coerced into changing direction. He will take all of eastern Ukraine in all likelihood, increasing his reach and annexing it into Russia – or even better creating East Ukraine.

Can’t wait to see what kind of wall he builds.

If you think Putin’s hand is weak, it requires Obama to call him on it. Obama won’t because he hasn’t got the guts. Airborne units should have been in Kiev in 48-72 hours for joint military exercises with the Ukrainian forces. Obama should have announced the approval of 10 more LNG terminals. He may have quietly said we are going to cut you off from the banking system and dry up your access to capital. We should have worked with Turkey to slow down Russian Naval access and we should have a carrier group heading to the Black Sea now. Russia is not a first world country. Hit Putin where it hurts. In the wallet. And show the world that he is a little man, if you can. Doesn’t take a bullet. But it does require some skill. Obama seems lacking.

Zomcon JEM on March 4, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Hey, second time Putin owns Obama. And I’m not even sure that Mr. Smartypants, knows of grasps it. Its so far over his head.

Sharr on March 4, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Obama also says Putin must be guided by a different set of lawyers making different determinations about his actions.canopfor on March 4, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Must be the firm of Ivan Grozny, Rasputin and Stalin

kcewa on March 4, 2014 at 2:59 PM

THIS is what caught my ear today. For Obama to say that is literally jaw-dropping–he thinks that Putin surrounds himself with a team of lawyers to determine ways to wiggle around the law?!?! I’m nobody and I know that Putin doesn’t give a rat’s butt about what any lawyer says. He’s a power hungry commie thug, for crying out loud. He consult a lawyer about anything, he’s a DICTATOR, you MORON! THis is just as bad as that loser John Kerry saying that “Putin can’t do that” after he just did that.

The word “feckless” has been tossed around lately. The comparison of Putin playing chess while Obama is playing marbles had been made…these are gross understatements. Obama continues to embarrass all of us with this drivel, and anybody who voted for him should just be ashamed.

Jackalope on March 4, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Oh and John Kerry – just makes you feel overwhelmed with his competence “19th century tactics in a 21st century world.”

No you dumbass – he showed you and Obama what utter idiots all who proclaim leftist smart power as the way to go.

Hillary is toast.

Zomcon JEM on March 4, 2014 at 4:54 PM

He is going to do the State of the Union from a three ring circus next year, it is much mor appropriate.

Sven on March 4, 2014 at 4:54 PM

When you have power you don’t need to prove anything.

coolrepublica on March 4, 2014 at 3:52 P

Oh, yes: peace is strength and strength is peace, or something. I’m sure that means a lot to Ukrainians right about now.

Hold your heads up high, conquered people! Sleep well knowing that you’re much stronger than your captors.

crrr6 on March 4, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Putin knows he has Obama wrapped around his finger. He can do what he wants and know Obama will show up in sissy clothes

jaywemm on March 4, 2014 at 5:09 PM

I wouldn’t describe Putin as being insecure, that’s a lack of understanding of the history and culture. A more correct term would be paranoid, which would have been highly reinforced based on his previous form of employment. What might they be paranoid about? Napoleon and Nazis primarily (threats come from the West)… it doesn’t have to be rational. Further, from a weakness argument, he might very well be in love with the idea of a Eurasian union, and not necessarily be in tune with the common rabble (that Russia doesn’t have anything to offer) – that guy hasn’t hobnobbed with the common rabble since probably his secondary school days.

John_G on March 4, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Obama told Putin he’d have more flexibility once he was re-elected. Maybe this is what he was talking about.

Socratease on March 4, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Man, Putin is really pissed that USA beat them in Hockey in Sochi.

portlandon on March 4, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Plan b: Convince the public he is winning.

jhffmn on March 4, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Again, obama is 100% correct, and all of you know it.

This is an act of desperation and last resort by a man unable to influence his neighbours and barely holding onto his own people. A man who just sacrificed any tenuous int’l cred he may have earned with a useless gambit for inconsequential gain. He’s lost the ukrainian people permanently now, and probably some of his russian support, too. He may also be in the process of sacrificing his country’s only growing industry – natural gas exports – to the united states and its booming natural gas industry.

Putin has no possible endgame here other than a military state, and everybody knows russia no longer has the finances for that.

And no, this does not indicate any weakness of obama, just like georgia didn’t for bush.

If anything, it shows that putin has lost power within his own sphere, which is a compliment to the western powers.

Its such a shame that the spoiled adolescent mindset of current conservative politics responds only to Bully Cowboy Diplomacy, and thinks that is the only way to demonstrate strength. Grow up, people.

Jeanne-Claude Kerri on March 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Why the long face, Thurston? Tax bill for the yacht come in the mail today?

And is it true that you served in Vietnam and in Cambodia simultaneously?

Del Dolemonte on March 4, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Man, Putin is really pissed that USA beat them in Hockey in Sochi.

portlandon on March 4, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Quit giving MSNBC, CNN, CBS, ABC and Telemundo their talking points!

Hahaha!

Key West Reader on March 4, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Its such a shame that the spoiled adolescent mindset of current conservative politics responds only to Bully Cowboy Diplomacy, and thinks that is the only way to demonstrate strength. Grow up, people.

everdiso on March 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Would really love a small list of examples of President ‘Show me who’s a$$ to kick’ Boyfriend ‘SHOWING STRENGTH’.

He’s a bumbling imbicile. You know it, I know it, the world knows it….

What a joke….

Wait, did he forget to bow to Putin???

BigWyo on March 4, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Only a state with comparatively little to offer economically would feel obliged to roll into Crimea when there was no Ukrainian threat to the peninsula and certainly no Ukrainian threat to Russia’s base in Sevastopol.

This is just flat out wrong. Yanukovitch accepted Russia’s offer at the last minute because it was a better deal, and did not come with politically unpalatable IMF “austerity” strings attached. It is the West that cheaped out and lost. The Ukranian nationalists and neo-fascists who are controlling the protests spoke openly of reneging on the treaty granting Russia the base at Sevastopol. Putin is correct, the West, including the U.S., has been funding and supporting the opposition in Ukraine. There would be no Russian troops in the Crimea had we not interfered where we have no business.

Joseph K on March 4, 2014 at 6:17 PM

Obama Sweats Strength

BigWyo on March 4, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Its such a shame that the spoiled adolescent mindset of current conservative politics responds only to Bully Cowboy Diplomacy, and thinks that is the only way to demonstrate strength. Grow up, people.

everdiso on March 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM

What’s really a shame…is that you can’t see that having a ‘weak-sister’ President, leads to war.

Argue all you want…it’s happening. Now. Right now.

Neville Chamberlain was wrong, and so are leftists. No matter how very badly you want it to be this way, you can not be nice to bullies and bad guys, put your hands over your ears, shut your eyes, and *wish* the monsters away. Grow up yourself.

And no, there is no way barry can recover. The whole world watched, and your messiah came up lacking. Sleep well knowing this; the left have finally gotten what they’ve always wanted…America on it’s knees.

a5minmajor on March 4, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Seriously. Whomever the current WH spin doctor is he/she or 48 other designations, needs to get their salary raised. At this point in time, the only kind term I can think of regarding Obama is he has nice teeth.

BelleStarre on March 4, 2014 at 6:25 PM

To all you leftist, Answer me this: If your messiah is telling the enemy when the US is ending military campaigns, fires many of the military generals and replaces them with non-combat personnel, wants a reduction of our armed forces and our military tanks and equipment, takes the missile defense shield out of Poland and other countries and pretty much projects weakness to the world, and oh, I almost forgot about the numerous red lines that are drawn…. who are you going to blame, if (God forbid) the US is attacked? Let me guess…does the answer begin with a “B”?

One_If_By_Land on March 4, 2014 at 6:54 PM

I disagree AP, on a couple levels.

BKeyser on March 4, 2014 at 2:53 PM

More than a couple. This is way off. Let’s see…your biggest geopolitical rival just announced defense cuts down to pre-WWII levels.

Hmmmmm…..

This is really not that hard, people. It’s telegraphing weakness and disinterest. Maybe that’s just the 21st Century way, though…

98ZJUSMC on March 4, 2014 at 6:59 PM

Its such a shame that the spoiled adolescent mindset of current conservative politics responds only to Bully Cowboy Diplomacy, and thinks that is the only way to demonstrate strength. Grow up, people.

everdiso on March 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Why don’t you have some hot cocoa and discuss that with your fiends?

98ZJUSMC on March 4, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Its such a shame that the spoiled adolescent mindset of current conservative politics responds only to Bully Cowboy Diplomacy, and thinks that is the only way to demonstrate strength. Grow up, people.

everdiso on March 4, 2014 at 3:48 PM

One day there will be a video of everdiso emitting a constant stream of “yes sir” and “no sir” during a routine traffic stop.

Why? Because cops use “bully cowboy diplomacy”.

Everdiso understands that, he just doesn’t want to admit it.

BobMbx on March 4, 2014 at 8:07 PM


Will the Kremlin Net Billions from the Crisis in Ukraine?

“A cheaper ruble and more expensive oil could actually go a long way in improving Russia’s economy, possibly offsetting other potential aftershocks of the Ukraine crisis,” writes Anatoly Medetsky in the Moscow Times. He points out that higher oil prices help the Kremlin because it is so dependent on energy exports for cash. And a weaker ruble will help make Russian companies more competitive in international markets. He argues that the crisis will actually net the Kremlin billions of dollars.

Maybe all this was just a way to pay for the Olympics.

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 8:27 PM

IT Pro @ITPro_au

Ukraine hit by cyber attacks, MPs’ phones blocked #infosec #ukraine http://lnkd.in/bfSxg52

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 8:40 PM

Why don’t you have some hot cocoa and discuss that with your fiends?

98ZJUSMC on March 4, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Okay, now that was FUNNY Marine!

JusDreamin on March 4, 2014 at 8:40 PM

Misleading, you don’t say?

Bmore on March 4, 2014 at 8:52 PM

Russian special forces on Crimea frontline: experts

London: The soldiers who took control of Crimea without firing a single shot are likely to be Russian special forces, airborne units, and possibly commandos from the elite Spetsnaz force, London-based military experts say.

Igor Sutyagin, a specialist on Russia at RUSI (Royal United Services Institute), said the soldiers in unbadged uniforms who have fanned out across Crimea were using kit only handled by elite divisions.

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 9:05 PM

The EU is considering paying the $2bn which Ukraine owes to Russia in gas bills, said EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger.

Maybe this was just Russia trying to collect a debt. /s

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 9:25 PM

That’s quite an awe-inspiring photograph. Looks like he’s running for school board in our town of 800 families. Has he really learned how to speak to Kindergarteners without the TOTUS, or was it just carefully rolled back out of view for the photo op? And was this a photo op at all, or was this just another carefully posed White House photographer portrait ?(Can’t see a photo credit there.)

Like Ross Douthat said a few weeks ago, the striking thing about Putin is that, despite his reputation as a geopolitical grand master, he struggles to keep Ukraine in line in a way that earlier Russian autocracies never did. The fact that the Euromaidan was able to chase Yanukovych, his puppet, across the border is proof enough of his blundering.

If you’re quoting Ross D-bag to us, then you’ve already lost the argument. Putin hasn’t been pleased with Yanukovich’s little-talked-about shale-gas deal with Chevron, for instance: Ukraine signs $10 billion shale gas deal with Chevron. Not such a good little puppet. Do you really believe that Putin had nothing to do with the agitation that resulted in Yanukovich’s departure and conveniently opened the door to Russion arrivals?

bofh on March 4, 2014 at 9:34 PM

The fact that the Euromaidan was able to chase Yanukovych, his puppet, across the border is proof enough of his blundering.

Blunderbus Putin then sent 16,000 Russian troops back across that border.

Ukrainians will be overjoyed once they learn that this is all just a gigantic blunder (except the ones who will be dead in the 4 weeks)

BobMbx on March 4, 2014 at 9:42 PM

Remember @SenJohnMcCain & @GrahamBlog along with the majority of GOP Senators voted AGAINST Veterans! #Ukraine pic.twitter.com/Gl5ynAzInc

We have to wait a couple of years to get rid of McCain, but we have a shot Graham this year.

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 9:51 PM

Russian invasion of Crimea as a clever strategic move

In response Obama announced he will no longer allow the Russians to ride on the space shuttle up to the International Space Station.

Oh wait….

MichaelGabriel on March 4, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Russian propaganda and Ukrainian rumour fuel anger and hate in Crimea. The Russian media is serving up a crude portrayal of events as a patriotic fight against fascists in Kiev and spurring its own far-right into action

Unlike CNN,NBC,ABC,MSNBC, et al. I’m sure glad that we have an unbiased press here. /s

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 10:17 PM

Blink? This isn’t just about Obama. It is also about our country. So much “schadenfreude” laughing at the president of the United States is not all that becoming.

rlwo2008 on March 4, 2014 at 2:15 PM

The nation of idiots who brung/kept him, deserve NO more than mockery and laughter.

Schadenfreude on March 4, 2014 at 11:26 PM

It only looks clever because this buffoon is so crashingly stupid and inept that he made a troglodyte look like a tactician. Barry is the president of a small Utopian village inside his own head and thinks the world lives in there with him.

AppraisHer on March 5, 2014 at 1:29 AM

If he does a “March Madness” Bracket this year on espn. His mind is not on world events. (Ukraine)

Gedge on March 5, 2014 at 4:24 AM

This guy’s skin is a thin as tissue paper and he needs to man up.

rplat on March 5, 2014 at 7:24 AM

Wow, just under 5 minutes this foppish dunce “spoke”- and he clocked out at over 100 uhs, ums, yaow, and eh eh ehs. Which is about 20 a minute, or one every 3 seconds or so.

Yet again- take away his bestest buddies, telebinky left and telebinky right, and he shows as the stuttering imbecile we all knew he was.

Pathetic. Moronic. Feckless. Failure.

GrassMudHorsey on March 5, 2014 at 7:49 AM

‘Putin is violating the 1994 Treaty signed by Bill clinton, John Major (GBR Prime Minister),Boris Yeltsin (Russian PLeader), and Leonid Kuchma (Ukraine’s President)’?!

He’s not the only one guilty of violating that treaty — That treaty stated Russia wuld not invade the Ukraine and GREAT BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES WOULD PROTECT UKRAINE’S BORDERS – BY FORCE IF NECESSARY – in exchange for the Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons. Obama has violated that treaty as well by NOT protecting the Ukraine’s borders, allowing Russia to invade the Ukraine, and now doing little more than declaring the United States will not go to the Planning Meeting for the ‘Super 8′ Meeting.

Putin took advantage of Obama’s inexperience, ignorance, naivety, and weakness to invade and seize Crimea. Both, in the end, violated the treaty – one out of weakness and failure and the other through strength and power.

easyt65 on March 5, 2014 at 9:21 AM

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