Putin pushes forward with Crimea annexation; Update: Agreement signed?

posted at 8:01 am on March 18, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Vladimir Putin made a triumphant appearance in the Russian Duma today, speaking to loud cheers and thunderous applause as he defended the Russian seizure of Crimea.  Calling the 96.7% result from the plebescite on Sunday “an extremely convincing figure,” Putin at once hailed Crimean independence, and almost in the same breath exhorted the parliament to begin the process of its annexation into Russia:

President Vladimir Putin put the annexation of Crimea on a fast track Tuesday morning, ordering the drafting of an accession agreement between Crimea and Russia. …

Members of the State Duma, or lower house of parliament, taunted the West over financial sanctions that the United States, the European Union and Canada have put in place against several dozen individuals. Some of those on the lists, which are intended to punish officials involved in the Ukrainian crisis, said they were proud to be included.

The Duma drew up a draft response denouncing the sanctions Tuesday morning. Olga Batalina, of the ruling United Russia party, said in presenting the statement, “The U.S. has gotten so absorbed with playing the policy of double standards that it has stopped distinguishing black from white and patriots from fascists. They are so convinced of their own impunity that they allow themselves to pursue any stance just for the sake of it.”

Later, Putin talked about the Russian nature of Crimea in his speech to the Duma:

Putin, speaking to a joint session of Parliament in Moscow, also stressed the historical and cultural ties between Russia and Crimea, and said Crimea is an inalienable part of Russia.

“In our hearts we know Crimea has always been an inalienable part of Russia,” he said.

Crimean independence may be more complicated than the Crimeans or the Russians realize. CNN reports on the amount of economic support the peninsula gets from the rest of Ukraine:

A secession would mean transferring banks, public utilities and public transport from Ukraine to Russia in what would undoubtedly be a costly operation.

Crimea is entirely integrated into Ukraine’s mainland economy and infrastructure: 90% of its water, 80% of its electricity and roughly 65% of its gas comes from the rest of country. It also depends heavily on the Ukrainian mainland to balance its books. About 70% of Crimea’s $1.2 billion budget comes directly from Kiev.

That may end up being a relief to the new government in Kyiv, if still a bitter humiliation. The new Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, continues to strike a hopeful note for relations with Moscow, hoping to keep the rest of Ukraine’s territorial integrity intact. Yatsenyuk offered a speech — in Russian rather than Ukrainian — pledging not to seek NATO membership and to protect the ethnic-Russian populations in the east:

Yatsenyuk took office after mass demonstrations ousted a pro-Russian government. His quickly developing ties with the U.S. and Europe upset Russian officials and helped prompt a Russian push into Crimea.

Now, with Crimea apparently on the verge of becoming part of Russia, Yatsenyuk said he knows there are limits.

“Association with NATO is not on the agenda,” he said, offering the possibility of reforms that would give the country’s regions more power, something Moscow has suggested.“Despite the armed aggression of Russia against Ukraine, I will do everything possible not only to keep the peace but also to build a genuine partnership with Russia and good neighbor relations.”

Putin seemed to respond in kind, claiming that Russia wanted no further division of Ukraine:

President Vladimir Putin says that Crimea should be part of Russia.

At the same time, he said in a televised address to the nation Tuesday that Russia doesn’t want to move to other regions of Ukraine, saying that “we don’t want division of Ukraine.”

Putin said that Russia had to respond to what he described as a Western plot to take Ukraine into its sphere of influence. He said that protests that drove out Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych were encouraged by the West.

Once again, Putin used Kosovo as his precedent for recognizing Crimean independence:

In a televised address to the nation, he said Crimea’s vote Sunday to join Russia was in line with international law, reflecting its right for self-determination.

To back the claim, he pointed to Kosovo’s independence bid from Serbia – supported by the West and opposed by Russia – and said that Crimea’s secession from Ukraine repeats Ukraine’s own secession from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Ukraine may end up counting itself fortunate if it only loses Crimea in this exchange. On the other hand, the last country in Europe to demand pieces of other countries on the basis of ethnic self-determination didn’t stop at just one bite. We’ll see if Putin does, but if I were in other former Soviet republics, I wouldn’t bet on it.

Update: Well, that didn’t take long:

Did Putin even bother with a Duma vote?


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And preezy looks like a fool.

rightside on March 18, 2014 at 8:03 AM

Calling the 96.7% result from the plebescite on Sunday “an extremely convincing figure,”

kim Jong-Un scoffs at 96.7%. Anything less than 100% and you aren’t sufficiently thuggish enough.

Dear Liar’s plaintive “I’ll have more flexibility” is not merely comical weakness, it’s ominous. Just how much collusion is there to resurrect a Soviet state?

rbj on March 18, 2014 at 8:08 AM

R-set.

TimBuk3 on March 18, 2014 at 8:10 AM

The constant comparisons between Putin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany fail. It’s America, not Russia, that just backed a neo-nazi coup that overthrew Ukraine’s elected government.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:13 AM

Anyone know what time Barry is teeing off this morning?

RandallinHerndon on March 18, 2014 at 8:14 AM

The Sudetenland always belonged to Germany anyway…what harm can come?

tdarrington on March 18, 2014 at 8:14 AM

The constant comparisons between Putin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany fail. It’s America, not Russia, that just backed a neo-nazi coup that overthrew Ukraine’s elected government.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:13 AM

Prove it? I’ll wait.

Walter L. Newton on March 18, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Hey…Austria voted to be annexed to Germany! It was the people’s will! What harm can come?

tdarrington on March 18, 2014 at 8:16 AM

On the other hand, the last country in Europe to demand pieces of other countries on the basis of ethnic self-determination didn’t stop at just one bite.

That last country was America, and the case of ethnic self-determination was Kosovo.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Prove it? I’ll wait.

Walter L. Newton on March 18, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Did you not hear the phone call of Victoria Nuland picking out her government?

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:17 AM

Hitler only wants Poland for the lebensraum. After that, he’ll stop. What harm can come?

tdarrington on March 18, 2014 at 8:17 AM

…JugEars is going to be mad…when he reads about that…when he gets off some golf course!

KOOLAID2 on March 18, 2014 at 8:18 AM

This is nuts. There is no American interest in this. It’s like people in the Department of State have gone nuts and are pulling America along behind them.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:18 AM

That last country was America, and the case of ethnic self-determination was Kosovo.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:16 AM

America is a European country and demanded to add Kosovo as a state (is Kosovo the 56th or 57th state)?

Pat Buchanan, how much is Vladimir Putin paying you?

rbj on March 18, 2014 at 8:18 AM

Did you not hear the phone call of Victoria Nuland picking out her government?

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:17 AM

And who did she speak to?

Walter L. Newton on March 18, 2014 at 8:19 AM

And preezy looks like a fool.

rightside on March 18, 2014 at 8:03 AM

Nonsense. Seven Russian cronies of Putin had sanctions imposed on them yesterday (after plenty of time to get their money out of the United States control).

Even now at Foggy Bottom they’ve upped the defcon and are hammering out a strongly worded letter. There are basically two camps. Those that want to break out the bold font and those who think Times New Roman’s serifs are too aggressive at this stage in the diplomatic process. But there is common ground with unversial agreement that the letter should be printed on a good mid-grade cotton stock, white and recycled.

In the meantime Putin is pulling out his map of Eastern Europe and his darts to pick which ethnic Russians are going to be under threat next. And, of course, the rat-eared wonder will be disclosing his NCAA brackets.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 8:19 AM

On to the Baltic.

OldEnglish on March 18, 2014 at 8:20 AM

China is on the brink of implosion, the Middle East is on fire, Russia is returning to the USSR, and the US is bloated with debt and self indulgent sillines. The world will be a completely different place in 10 years.

tdarrington on March 18, 2014 at 8:22 AM

Olga Batalina, of the ruling United Russia party, said in presenting the statement, “The U.S. has gotten so absorbed with playing the policy of double standards that it has stopped distinguishing black from white and patriots from fascists. They are so convinced of their own impunity that they allow themselves to pursue any stance just for the sake of it.”

How much does it suck to read something like this and say, “hey, wait a minu… oh, well… yeah, pretty much.”

Pretty well describes the Obama administration domestically, too.

Midas on March 18, 2014 at 8:22 AM

I’ll cop to being a Pat Buchanan fan. I think he proved to be more correct than the ruling foreign policy establishment. The final straw is, or should have been, Barack’s Great Libyan Adventure. This is not like the attack on Afghanistan, which had to come, or the war on Iraq, which was a bad idea, but an idea. Starting with Libya, it’s as if America is pushing for wars on whim, or “just because”.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:23 AM

I’ll cop to being a Pat Buchanan fan. I think he proved to be more correct than the ruling foreign policy establishment. The final straw is, or should have been, Barack’s Great Libyan Adventure. This is not like the attack on Afghanistan, which had to come, or the war on Iraq, which was a bad idea, but an idea. Starting with Libya, it’s as if America is pushing for wars on whim, or “just because”.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:23 AM

Where in the phone call between Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt do they agree to support putting a neo-nazi party into the possible mix of a new Ukrainian government.

Back up your statement above. I’ll wait.

Walter L. Newton on March 18, 2014 at 8:25 AM

This is nuts. There is no American interest in this. It’s like people in the Department of State have gone nuts and are pulling America along behind them.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:18 AM

As I posted on the other thread:

As to vital interests, the United States has a moral obligation to live up to the Budapest memorandum. No matter how inconvenient that is to the left, Paulbots, and idiot listeners of Michael Savage.

And sorry, but the ousted government lost all legitimacy the minute Viktor Yanukovych sanctioned mass murder. That alone merits humanitarian intervention.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 8:26 AM

Anyone know what time Barry is teeing off this morning?

RandallinHerndon on March 18, 2014 at 8:14 AM

He’s busy filling in his NCAA bracket. With the help of the NSA’s computers no doubt. Will be on ESPN later today.

kcewa on March 18, 2014 at 8:26 AM

I’ll cop to being a Pat Buchanan fan. I think he proved to be more correct than the ruling foreign policy establishment. The final straw is, or should have been, Barack’s Great Libyan Adventure. This is not like the attack on Afghanistan, which had to come, or the war on Iraq, which was a bad idea, but an idea. Starting with Libya, it’s as if America is pushing for wars on whim, or “just because”.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:23 AM

Anyone who’s a fan of someone who thought an alliance with Hitler wasn’t a bad idea . . . well I’m done with you. Remember, Adolph was a progressive.

rbj on March 18, 2014 at 8:26 AM

Libya, it’s as if America is pushing for wars on whim, or “just because”.

Obama, like Clinton, thinks wars will boost his poll numbers. At least Clinton wasn’t a complete ass when it came to foreign policy (only half).

tdarrington on March 18, 2014 at 8:26 AM

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:23 AM

No, it was Obama saying “me too!”

OldEnglish on March 18, 2014 at 8:27 AM

China is on the brink of implosion, the Middle East is on fire, Russia is returning to the USSR, and the US is bloated with debt and self indulgent sillines. The world will be a completely different place in 10 years.

tdarrington on March 18, 2014 at 8:22 AM

You forgot the part about the US gifting the internet to the United Nations. What harm could come from that? /

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 8:27 AM

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 8:19 AM

Extremely funny, if it weren’t so true.

TXUS on March 18, 2014 at 8:29 AM

And sorry, but the ousted government lost all legitimacy the minute Viktor Yanukovych sanctioned mass murder. That alone merits humanitarian intervention.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 8:26 AM

Yes. And Yes it is in our vital interests to see that international order is upheld. Especially in Europe and East Asia – don’t think for a minute that China isn’t watching this carefully in relation to Taiwan and Japan.

kcewa on March 18, 2014 at 8:29 AM

Even now at Foggy Bottom they’ve upped the defcon and are hammering out a strongly worded letter. There are basically two camps. Those that want to break out the bold font and those who think Times New Roman’s serifs are too aggressive at this stage in the diplomatic process. But there is common ground with unversial agreement that the letter should be printed on a good mid-grade cotton stock, white and recycled.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 8:19 AM

A letter? Pfft, that’s soooooo 20th century. This hip “with-it” mom jeans Prez makes major foreign policy announcements via Twitter.

RandallinHerndon on March 18, 2014 at 8:31 AM

What, exactly, can we do to force the Russians out of Crimea? All we can do is take action to discourage Putin from further adventurism.

oldennis on March 18, 2014 at 8:31 AM

You forgot the part about the US gifting the internet to the United Nations. What harm could come from that? /

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 8:27 AM

Sometimes I can’t figure out if this administration’s destruction of the country is incompetence or planned. Are they smart, but good at acting incompetent, or did we really re-elect the dumbest, most rank-amateur government in history?

tdarrington on March 18, 2014 at 8:32 AM

Anyone who’s a fan of someone who thought an alliance with Hitler wasn’t a bad idea . . . well I’m done with you. Remember, Adolph was a progressive.

rbj on March 18, 2014 at 8:26 AM

Just to avoid misunderstandings: Pat does have some very bad ideas, and that’s at the top of the list.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:32 AM

What, exactly, can we do to force the Russians out of Crimea? All we can do is take action to discourage Putin from further adventurism.

oldennis on March 18, 2014 at 8:31 AM

At this point not much except sanctions and international isolation. But we should put NATO troops in the other ex-soviet countries that want them. We should have done that earlier and this wouldn’t be happening.

kcewa on March 18, 2014 at 8:34 AM

Where in the phone call between Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt do they agree to support putting a neo-nazi party into the possible mix of a new Ukrainian government.

Back up your statement above. I’ll wait.

Walter L. Newton on March 18, 2014 at 8:25 AM

It looks like David Blue can’t answer this question. He makes a pronouncement…

The constant comparisons between Putin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany fail. It’s America, not Russia, that just backed a neo-nazi coup that overthrew Ukraine’s elected government.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:13 AM

And then he can’t back up his statement. Buchanan troll.

Just to avoid misunderstandings: Pat does have some very bad ideas, and that’s at the top of the list.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:32 AM

And you make some very dumb statements which you can’t back up.

Walter L. Newton on March 18, 2014 at 8:35 AM

Biden’s in Poland right now, in part, to reassure them that America stands with them. I’m guessing the government there still remembers the missile defense shield that was cancelled when the rat-eared wonder took office. Reassurances from DC are meaningless as Putin is seeking the Russian equivilent of lebensraum. What could possibly go wrong?

To paraphrase Mooch, for the first time in my life, I am ashamed of my country and all the stupid people who voted this rat-eared SOB into office because they wanted free condoms or something. Parasites all.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 8:36 AM

Yes. And Yes it is in our vital interests to see that international order is upheld. Especially in Europe and East Asia – don’t think for a minute that China isn’t watching this carefully in relation to Taiwan and Japan.

kcewa on March 18, 2014 at 8:29 AM

No, a “vital interest” is something like what Sevastopol is to Russia.

“International order” is not a “vital interest”. That’s more like “war on poverty” stuff.

What’s a “vital interest” for America? Something like not letting Cuba have nukes. When it comes to stuff like that, it’s not a question of legality, it’s do what you’ve got to do.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:36 AM

Where in the phone call between Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt do they agree to support putting a neo-nazi party into the possible mix of a new Ukrainian government.

Back up your statement above. I’ll wait.

Walter L. Newton on March 18, 2014 at 8:25 AM

They don’t say that.

I think the fact that she was handing out cookies in the square, and spending a five billion dollar budget behind the scenes, and then later picking out the government, is enough to establish my point.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:39 AM

President Feckless yells loud but has no dick.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 8:39 AM

To paraphrase Mooch, for the first time in my life, I am ashamed of my country and all the stupid people who voted this rat-eared SOB into office because they wanted free condoms or something. Parasites all.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 8:36 AM

Soon Americans are going to have to stand up to save ourselves and the rest of the world from tyranny. I wonder if we have it in us?

tdarrington on March 18, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Sometimes I can’t figure out if this administration’s destruction of the country is incompetence or planned. Are they smart, but good at acting incompetent, or did we really re-elect the dumbest, most rank-amateur government in history?

tdarrington on March 18, 2014 at 8:32 AM

I think it’s something in between incompetence and planned destruction. These “people” have adopted everything they’ve been told about America by academia and the radical left. In their world we are the bad guys who must be taken down a few pegs so that we are “no better” than some third-world dictatorship. For example, the look on Christina Romer’s face when she finally realized that the crap she had taught at Berkeley for decades didn’t work in real life was priceless. I think Romer sincerely believed all the economic policies she pushed but nevertheless, her dogma to socialism did real harm.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 8:41 AM

“International order” is not a “vital interest”. That’s more like “war on poverty” stuff.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:36 AM

“International order” (defined as a framework of agreements to provide peaceful and friendly international relations) is what prevents war and allows trade. I think those are vital interests.

kcewa on March 18, 2014 at 8:42 AM

Sometimes I can’t figure out if this administration’s destruction of the country is incompetence or planned. Are they smart, but good at acting incompetent, or did we really re-elect the dumbest, most rank-amateur government in history?

tdarrington on March 18, 2014 at 8:32 AM

I think it’s a mixture of both. While I’m sure the wrecking of our economy is planned, I don’t think Obama planned to be a laughingstock on the world stage and repeatedly humiliated by Putin.

“International order” is not a “vital interest”. That’s more like “war on poverty” stuff.

What’s a “vital interest” for America? Something like not letting Cuba have nukes. When it comes to stuff like that, it’s not a question of legality, it’s do what you’ve got to do.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:36 AM

No, international order is absolutely a “vital interest.” A huge reason for our prosperity today is because we don’t have to worry about key trading partners being at war with each other. I’m not sure if you’ve thought through what a full-blown hot war between China and Japan, where they’re bombing each others’ cities to smithereens, would do to our economy.

Doomberg on March 18, 2014 at 8:43 AM

A letter? Pfft, that’s soooooo 20th century. This hip “with-it” mom jeans Prez makes major foreign policy announcements via Twitter.

RandallinHerndon on March 18, 2014 at 8:31 AM

Yeah well the 1980′s called Obama this morning. Just to gloat and say “told you so.”

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 8:44 AM

I still think the end result will be a partition of the Ukraine.

I guess we’ll see how things develop.

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 8:44 AM

And preezy looks like a fool.

rightside on March 18, 2014 at 8:03 AM

Preezy IS a fool. He’s long been exposed as a feckless intellectual lightweight, only slightly more intelligent than Sheila Jackson-Lee, to anyone paying attention.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 8:45 AM

President Feckless yells loud but has no dick.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 8:39 AM

HA!

But then he settled down with his bong…and all was well in the Kingdom of Choom…

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Using Putin’s logic shouldn’t we annex Mexico?

Or maybe even Canada? After all, we’re all Americans (North).

PappyD61 on March 18, 2014 at 8:45 AM

What’s a “vital interest” for America? Something like not letting Cuba have nukes. When it comes to stuff like that, it’s not a question of legality, it’s do what you’ve got to do.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:36 AM

Having a Western-leaning nation and NATO alliance on the Black Sea next to Russia IS an American vital interest.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 8:46 AM

The constant comparisons between Putin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany fail. It’s America, not Russia, that just backed a neo-nazi coup that overthrew Ukraine’s elected government.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:13 AM

America, not Russia, provided heavy diplomatic support to the rioters, quickly taking one side and pressuring the elected premier to remain passive and conciliatory. (Which was catastrophic for democracy in Ukraine.)

And yes it was obvious all along that neo-nazism was a strong part of the riots.

And when the government finally did sign a compromise, backed by the US and America, the neo-nazis took this as the signal to attack and finish the job – and the US and the EU had zero interest in enforcing the guarantees of the agreement they had just brokered.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:46 AM

Using Putin’s logic shouldn’t we annex Mexico?

PappyD61 on March 18, 2014 at 8:45 AM

It would make more sense than threatening Syria and Russia.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:47 AM

I still think the end result will be a partition of the Ukraine.

I guess we’ll see how things develop.

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 8:44 AM

No doubt. Outright annexation of all the Russian speaking parts of Ukraine, if not the whole of it is clearly coming next.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Soon Americans are going to have to stand up to save ourselves and the rest of the world from tyranny. I wonder if we have it in us?

tdarrington on March 18, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Yes. I think of the young men and women who served on Iraq and are still serving in Afghanistan. I know many of them as my son and several of my nephew’s were among them. I trust our Freedom with their generation.

kcewa on March 18, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Old Hotness “I wish I could rule like they do in China…” – Preezy Choom

New Hotness “Wow…That Duma situation is cool and I like Putin’s fancy chair…Can we get one of those?” – Preezy Choom

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 8:48 AM

Having a Western-leaning nation and NATO alliance on the Black Sea next to Russia IS an American vital interest.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 8:46 AM

No it’s not. And this is our fundamental disagreement.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:49 AM

They don’t say that.

I think the fact that she was handing out cookies in the square, and spending a five billion dollar budget behind the scenes, and then later picking out the government, is enough to establish my point.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:39 AM

So the answer is no, you can’t back up your statement with ANYTHING. Cookies, give me a break. He’s exactly what Nuland said in the phone call…

I’m just thinking in terms of sort of the process moving ahead we want to keep the moderate democrats together. The problem is going to be Tyahnybok [Oleh Tyahnybok, the other opposition leader] and his guys and I’m sure that’s part of what [President Viktor] Yanukovych is calculating on all this.

Oleh Tyahnybok is the nationalist. Tyahnybok is the neo-nazi. Tyahnybok was a candidate for President of Ukraine in the 2010 presidential election for the All-Ukrainian Union “Freedom” party. He received 352,282 votes, or 1.43% of the total..

You said…

The constant comparisons between Putin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany fail. It’s America, not Russia, that just backed a neo-nazi coup that overthrew Ukraine’s elected government.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:13 AM

You’re wrong on all counts and you lied. You’re the fail.

Walter L. Newton on March 18, 2014 at 8:49 AM

So, when Russia claims control of the Bosphorus Strait, does it become a vital national interest?

tdarrington on March 18, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Using Putin’s logic shouldn’t we annex Mexico?

PappyD61 on March 18, 2014 at 8:45 AM

An argument could be made that having Mexico as a Failed State on our border is a Cassius Belli for occupation.

But that description doesn’t fit Ukraine or Crimea.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 8:50 AM

So, when Russia claims control of the Bosphorus Strait, does it become a vital national interest?

tdarrington on March 18, 2014 at 8:49 AM

To whom?

Practically everything is vital to somebody. But not to everybody.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:52 AM

An argument could be made that having Mexico as a Failed State on our border is a Cassius Belli for occupation.

Mexico might say the same of California, but I don’t think they want to deal with Californians.

tdarrington on March 18, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Using Putin’s logic shouldn’t we annex Mexico?

PappyD61 on March 18, 2014 at 8:45 AM

It would make more sense than threatening Syria and Russia.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Not as far fetched as you might think.

Although we wouldn’t formally annex Mexico…we might be securing their Guatemalan Border as an expansion of our own security policy.

And Mexico would likely welcome the help…especially since they have opened up foreign investment in PEMEX. Mexico needs foreign dollars badly…their infrastructure is literally crumbling.

The Drug Cartels siphon off from the pipelines and seek it on the black market and most of these cartels aren’t Mexican…but from down south.

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 8:52 AM

So, when Russia claims control of the Bosphorus Strait, does it become a vital national interest?

tdarrington on March 18, 2014 at 8:49 AM

We do seem to be repeating the history of Russia in the 18th and 19th Centuries. And the United States is the collapsing Ottoman Empire.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 8:52 AM

This is nuts. There is no American interest in this. It’s like people in the Department of State have gone nuts and are pulling America along behind them.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:18 AM

It is our interest because we have a country annexing a part of another country by force… It is the the ultimate violation of the of sovereignty of nations… If we do not act then other evil forces around the world will start doing the same… That is how WW II started…

mnjg on March 18, 2014 at 8:53 AM

So, when Russia claims control of the Bosphorus Strait, does it become a vital national interest?

tdarrington on March 18, 2014 at 8:49 AM

If it protects Putin’s Southstream Pipeline…sure why not?

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 8:53 AM

America’s whole diplomatic line on Ukraine has been very aggressive.

And it’s not necessary. There just isn’t enough at stake for America to justify this.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:55 AM

To whom?

Practically everything is vital to somebody. But not to everybody.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:52 AM

So tell us when it become our interest? What should Russia or any evil power do to become our interest to interfere…

mnjg on March 18, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Practically everything is vital to somebody. But not to everybody.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:52 AM

About the time you think one of their actions is vital to our interests, it will be too late to do anything about it, or the price will be unbearable high. We know Putin is not a benevolent leader. We know totalitarians like to expand. We know he is cozy with Iran. I’d rather not wait until Putin has a Dacha on the French Riviera before we decide to stop him.

tdarrington on March 18, 2014 at 8:56 AM

As to vital interests, the United States has a moral obligation to live up to the Budapest memorandum.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 8:26 AM

I think I would have phrased that as nato not the us.
although thats a minor distinction.

dmacleo on March 18, 2014 at 8:56 AM

We do seem to be repeating the history of Russia in the 18th and 19th Centuries. And the United States is the collapsing Ottoman Empire.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 8:52 AM

I posted this on the other thread…for those interested…Maps and link at the bottom.

I guess it would depend on the perspective

Putin is using the ancient Russian argument.

Here’s a brief timeline with link on key events…Maps at the link

Mention of Rus’ in the Bertynsky chronicles associated with the mission to Ludwig I of the Frankish kingdom.
MAP: Eastern Europe, 250-800

840 Magyars and khazars attacking Kyiv.

853 Askold becomes Kyiv’s Prince.

877 Novgorod’s Prince Oleh annexes Kyiv, kills Askold and brings the capital of Rus’ from Novgorod to Kyiv.

890 Pechenegs advancing to Black Sea steppe. Ugrians (Hungarians) move to Danube.

907-911 Prince Oleh travels to Byzantine’s capital Constantinopol (Ukrainian “Czarhorod”) with a big army and demands an annuity to Kyiv.

945 Prince Ihor signs a treaty with Byzantine Empire – ready to accept Orthodox Christianity.

957 Princess Olha (Ihor’s wife) becomes a ruler of Kyiv.

960-972 Svyatoslav (Olha’s son) becomes a Prince of Kyiv. He confrontates with Khazars, then attacks Bulgaria and fights with Byzantine Empire. At the time Svjatoslav is in the offensive on Bulgaria, Khazars attack Kyiv. He returns but gets killed in a skirmish with Pechenegs.

980 Volodymyr The Great becomes a Prince.

988 Official Christianization of Kyiv Rus’. Volodymyr accepts Orthodoxy and marries Byzantine Princess Anna.

1015 Death of Volodymyr The Great. Sons are struggling to rule the country until 1019.

1019 Yaroslav The Wise – one of Volodymyr’s sons becomes a Prince.
MAP:
Kyivan Rus is 11th century

1027 Construction of Svyata Sofia (St. Sophia) Cathedral.

1054 Death of Prince Yaroslav.

1068 Polovtsi army attack Kyiv state for the first time.

1098 – 1099 Magyars attack Halychyna.

1111 Kyiv Princes conquer Polovtsi.

1113 Volodymyr Monomakh – the last of great princes of Kyiv.

1152 Yaroslav Osmomysl becomes a Prince of Halychyna.

1155 – 1157 Suzdal (Russian) Prince Yuriy Dovgoruky (founder of Moscow) attacks Kyiv and becomes a prince for a short period of time.

1155 – 1169 Destruction of Kyiv by Andrey Bogoliubsky, the Vldimir-Suzdal prince

1187 The word Ukraine (Ukrayina) first used to describe Kyiv and Halychyna lands.

1223 Ukrainians first battle Tatars in a battle near Kalko River in treaty with Polovetz – Tatars win.

1238 Danylo Halytsky becomes a Prince of Halychyna. Next year he unites Halychyna with Kyiv.

1240 Tatars capture Kyiv.

Lviv is founded by King Lev.

1320 Yuriy becomes a King of Halychyna.

1330 Yuriy marries Lithuanian Princess, daughter of Gedymin.

1360s Lithuanian Prince Olgerd frees Kyivschyna and Podillya from Tatars. They fell under Lithuanian control.

1378 Last Halychyna King Volodyslav dies.

1387 – XVIII century Poland rules Halychyna.

1414 Prince Fedir Koryatovych of Mukachevo.

1475 – 1774 Crimea (Krym) under Turkish (Osman) Empire’s rule.
MAP:
Ukrainian lands 1400

1490 First mentioning of cossacks (kozaks).
(More)

1550 Dmytro Vyshnyvetsky establishes a fortress of Zaporizhzhya (Zaporizhia).

1569 Lyublinska Uniya (Lublin Union) – All Ukrainian territory under Lithuanian rule (except Polissia and Beresteyshchyna) transfers to Poland.
MAP: Ukrainian lands after 1569

1576 Foundation of Ostroh Academy – first University-like school in Eastern Europe.

1590 First Kozak uprisings (Kostynsky, Mazyvako).

1596 Union of Brest (Beresti) – beginning of religious struggles.

1608 Fall of Ostroh Academy.

1610 – 1622 Het’man Sahaydachny is a het’man (the arch) of Zaporizka Sich.
MAP:

Zaporizka Sich

1630 Kozak uprising against Poland.

1637 Petro Mohyla establishes a Collegium in Kyiv.

1648 Beginning of liberation of Ukraine from Polish rule headed by kozak het’man Bohdan Khmelnytsky
MAP: Kozak state after 1649

(more info)

1654 Bohdan Khmel’nytsky signs Pereyaslav treaty with Muscovy
(more)

1657 Swedish-Ukrainian coalition against Russia.

1663 Two het’mans in Ukraine. Het’man of the Left bank of Dnipro – in coalition with Russia; het’man from right bank – against Russia.

1665 – 1676 Het’man Petro Doroshenko.

Establishment of Russian control under the right-bank kozaks.

1685 Kyiv Orthodox Church Metropolitan (Patriarkhat) becomes a division of Muscovite Metropolitan.

1687 – 1709 Het’man Ivan Mazepa – period of palingenecy of Kozak state.

1708 Treaty had been signed between Ukraine and Sweden.

1709 Battle in Poltava (Ukraine). Russians defeat Swedish-Ukrainian army and execute Kozak troops after the surrender of Swede army

1709 Death of Ivan Mazepa.

1710 Pylyp Orlyk becomes a het’man.

1720 Russians prohibit the use of Ukrainian language – still preferred by Ukrainians.

1722 – 1727 First het’man of Ukraine appointed by Russian Czar.

1734 Het’man Danylo Apostol’s uprising on the Right Bank (Haydamaky).

1744 Construction of St. George Cathedral in Lviv.

1745 Oleksa Dovbush – legendary Ukrainian hero.
MAP:
Ukrainian lands around 1750

1764 Abolition of Zaporizhzhya Het’manate (Zapiriz’ka Sich).

1765 Slobodzhanschyna falls under Russian control.

1772 Russian, German and Austrian empires divide parts of Poland among themselves.(First division) Halychyna falls under Austrian control.

1775 Second division of Poland. Austria annexes Bukovyna

1775 Zaporizka Sich destroyed by Russians.

1787 Russians rebuild a village of Kodak into a city and name it after queen Ekaterina II (Katerynoslav). During Ukrainian Republic of 1917 – 1920 the city was renamed into Sicheslav (“In Honour of Sich”). In 1924 communists gave it a present name – Dnipropetrovsk (Combination of words “Dnipro” (main Ukrainian river) and “Petrovskij” (The last name of major of city, a Stalinist)).

1789 Establishment of Mykolayiv (Nikolayev)

1780 End of Het’manate.

1794 Establishment of Odesa (Odessa).

1793 Transfer of lands on the Right Bank to Russia from Poland excluding Halychyna, Bukovyna, Volyn and a part of Polissya, already annexed by Austria.

1798 Ivan Kotlyarevsky publishes “Eneyida”.

1831 Repnev attempts to renew kozak army.

Establishment of The University of Kyiv.

1840 Taras Shevchenko’s first publication of “Kobzar”, probably the most popular book in Ukrainian.

1861 First railroad on Ukrainian territory (Peremyshl – Lviv).

1861 Abolition of slavery in Russia.

1863 Ukrainian language is officially prohibited to use by Russian government.

1890 First Ukrainian Political Party (Halytska)

1905 Annulment of restrictions on the usage of Ukrainian language in Russian empire.

1917 Revolution in Russia. Ukrainian writer and historian Mykhaylo Hrushevsky becomes the president of newly proclaimed Ukrainian state (Ukrayinska Narodna Respublika). The power of the new government is very weak, Russian czarists, communists and Germans try to conquer Ukraine again. Symon Petlyura becomes a commanders of Ukrainian armed forces. President signs a treaty with Germans, but it was annulled in 1919 in Brest, Belorussia, where Germany signed a treaty with Communist Russia. Ukrainian lands are united after Western Ukrainian Republic and Ukrainian republic unite.
MAP:
Ukrainian lands 1914-1919

1918 Austrian empire breaks up. Newly established West-Ukrainian Republic is annexed by Czechoslovakia and Romania.
MAP:
Western Ukraine 1772-1914

1921 Formation of Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine.

1929 Collectivization starts. All lands that belonged to Ukrainian farmers are taken away and put into a large “kolhosps” (co-operative farms.) People, who didn’t want to give their land away are arrested and murdered.
MAP:
Ukraine in interwar years

(more)

1933-1934 Artificial Famine in Ukraine, caused by Stalin’s policy. At least three million people die in result.
(more)

1939-1940 Annexation of Western Ukraine by Soviet Union according to a secret treaty with Nazi Germany.

1941-1944 1941-1944 German occupation of Ukraine. Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). SS Division “Galizien”.
MAP:
Ukraine during WW2

(more on division “Galizien”)

(more on UPA)

1943-1944 Russians return. Massive immigration to the west (England, France, Canada, USA.)
(Ukrainians in Saskatchewan, Canada)

1945-1947 Discrimination and murders of Ukrainian population in Poland by Polish army and police.

1945-1955 Continued fight for liberation of Ukraine in the western regions.

1950′s Illegal anti-communist literature begins to appear.

1986 Nuclear reactor explosion in Chernobyl, Ukraine.
(picture)

1980′s National movement for the liberation of Ukraine “Rukh” is formed.

1990 Human chain protests for Ukrainian independence.
(more)

1990 Ukrainian sovereignty is proclaimed.

1991 Ukrainian independence is proclaimed. Elections of Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) and the President Leonid Kravchuk.

1994 Ukraine signs an treaty with NATO

1996 Constitution is proclaimed.

http://ukraine.uazone.net/history.html

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 8:57 AM

America’s whole diplomatic line on Ukraine has been very aggressive.

And it’s not necessary. There just isn’t enough at stake for America to justify this.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:55 AM

I’m still trying to get Blue to tell us when Nuland was supporting the neo-nazi for the Ukrainian opposition government.

David is juggling a lot of balls on this thread, and dropping them.

Walter L. Newton on March 18, 2014 at 8:58 AM

The Drug Cartels siphon off from the pipelines and seek sell it on the black market and most of these cartels aren’t Mexican…but from down south.

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 8:52 AM

I hate auto correct

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 8:59 AM

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 8:52 AM

This is the sort of stuff that makes sense to me.

Not stuff like George W. Bush’s second inauguration speech about struggling around the world endlessly till tyranny is no more.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:59 AM

So, when Russia claims control of the Bosphorus Strait, does it become a vital national interest?

tdarrington on March 18, 2014 at 8:49 AM

To whom?

Practically everything is vital to somebody. But not to everybody.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:52 AM

But Turkey is a member of NATO. Are you now suggesting that we should abandon our international treaties in the face of Russian aggression?

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 9:00 AM

I’m still trying to get Blue to tell us when Nuland was supporting the neo-nazi for the Ukrainian opposition government.

David is juggling a lot of balls on this thread, and dropping them.

Walter L. Newton on March 18, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Not only Nuland but John McCain visited the square, showing they were on one side, the side with the 88 / Heil Hitler helmets, and not the side of the (incompetent, unpopular) democratically elected ruler.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Biden’s in Poland right now, in part, to reassure them that America stands with them. I’m guessing the government there still remembers the missile defense shield that was cancelled when the rat-eared wonder took office. Reassurances from DC are meaningless as Putin is seeking the Russian equivilent of lebensraum. What could possibly go wrong?

To paraphrase Mooch, for the first time in my life, I am ashamed of my country and all the stupid people who voted this rat-eared SOB into office because they wanted free condoms or something. Parasites all.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 8:36 AM

I’m sure after 5 minutes listening to him…The Poles are nervous…

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 9:03 AM

I think I would have phrased that as nato not the us.
although thats a minor distinction.

dmacleo on March 18, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Fair enough but when the Ukrainian government specifically asked the Pentagon for military equipment, they were denied. We’re sending rations instead. Unless you can stop Russian tanks heading into Kiev with MREs that’s hardly an adequate response.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Having a Western-leaning nation and NATO alliance on the Black Sea next to Russia IS an American vital interest.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 8:46 AM
No it’s not. And this is our fundamental disagreement.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:49 AM

So you’re basically saying that the defeat of the USSR was not of vital interest to the U.S.

RandallinHerndon on March 18, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Did Putin just annex the West Bank because it’s ethnically and historically Russian?

So, then he’d be fine with Israel following the same policy?

Whhhheewwww, got that finally cleared up. Let’s move along, next crisis please.

PappyD61 on March 18, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Not stuff like George W. Bush’s second inauguration speech about struggling around the world endlessly till tyranny is no more.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Tyrants don’t like democracies or free economies – their people might get ideas.

kcewa on March 18, 2014 at 9:04 AM

But Turkey is a member of NATO. Are you now suggesting that we should abandon our international treaties in the face of Russian aggression?

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 9:00 AM

No.

I do suggest taking the Turkish alliance with less than full seriousness though. They blocked 4th Mechanized in the run-up to the Iraq war, blackmailing America, then after getting huge bribes saying no anyway.

Those who don’t act like real allies don’t have the right to be treated as real allies.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 9:05 AM

I do suggest taking the Turkish alliance with less than full seriousness though. They blocked 4th Mechanized in the run-up to the Iraq war, blackmailing America, then after getting huge bribes saying no anyway.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Iraq wasn’t a NATO operation.

kcewa on March 18, 2014 at 9:07 AM

So you’re basically saying that the defeat of the USSR was not of vital interest to the U.S.

RandallinHerndon on March 18, 2014 at 9:04 AM

The smart ones, like the Red Chinese, prefer free-er economies, because they work, unlike socialism. It’s only the stone crazies like the Kims of North Korea that believe in Communism all the way.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Jug ears Barry “referendum vote in Crimea illegal or illegitimate” yet the government created by a coup in Kiev which overthrew a democratically elected government is “O’TAY”

You Go Vlad

roflmmfao

donabernathy on March 18, 2014 at 9:10 AM

This is the sort of stuff that makes sense to me.

Not stuff like George W. Bush’s second inauguration speech about struggling around the world endlessly till tyranny is no more.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:59 AM

When Gov. Perry was running in the last presidential race he floated the idea of expanding the Monroe Doctrine throughout the hemisphere for security reasons.

His proposal which was on his website (I read it) was well thought out…but didn’t get much attention and his campaign fizzled…

Recently he predicted that immigration reform wouldn’t be as much of an issue because Mexico would reform it’s constitution and by doing so would have an economic boom…The Mexicans did that a month later allowing foreign investment in PEMEX.

Perry’s thinking is that more young adults that were educated here will seek opportunity in Mexico…and will likely have an advantage because of their education here in the US.

If Mexico offers incentives to attract them…that would be a smart thing.

The OTM’s are another story and Mexico has got to stop funneling their OTM’s into the US and I think that is what Gov. Perry was focused on in terms of expanding our security.

He recently said “Border Security might have to extend all the way down to Guatemala”

The recent immigration/amnesty push is about securing voters for the democrats and cheap labor pool for the chamber of commerce…but it’s the wrong approach.

Border Security must come first before there is any immigration reform proposals….and Amnesty aint’ the answer.

But nobody listens to Texans on Border issues…

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Nice to see Mitt has weighed in.

Bmore on March 18, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Not only Nuland but John McCain visited the square, showing they were on one side, the side with the 88 / Heil Hitler helmets, and not the side of the (incompetent, unpopular) democratically elected ruler.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Are you nuts. Have you ever been to Europe? Have you ever been in a European city when there is a parade, a political rally or some sort of demonstration?

I have, too many times to count. I love watching parades and political rallies in other countries, on holidays or during one of their election seasons. It’s a wonderful insight and education in the politics and social society in another country.

There are small neo-nazi nationalist parties in every European country, even in Germany where they are banned.

For that matter, they haunt our own political rallies, gatherings and public affairs.

You can’t get away from them, especially in Europe. You talk about democracy but you want any country to exclude the fringe groups that want to participate in their political process? We don’t even do that here.

So since Nuland and McCain were attending a political rally for freedom, and there was were nationalist in the group, that means they/we were supporting a neo-nazi government for the Ukraine?

That’s you proof, even after Nuland made note of Tyahnybok and the fact that he/his party was a problem?

I’m just thinking in terms of sort of the process moving ahead we want to keep the moderate democrats together. The problem is going to be Tyahnybok [Oleh Tyahnybok, the other opposition leader] and his guys and I’m sure that’s part of what [President Viktor] Yanukovych is calculating on all this.

Your analysis of this situation is wrong and you have no grasp of national or international politics.

Get off your ass and visit another country. Study. Stop reading the pap that passes as political discourse.

This is guilt by association, which has no merit, and is the same tactic that the left in this country (and other countries) uses to slander and obscure a person or political situation.

Your answers are one BIG FAIL and prove squat. (how old are you?)

Walter L. Newton on March 18, 2014 at 9:15 AM

BREAKING NEWS US Vice President Joe Biden, speaking in Poland, accuses Russia of a “blatant violation of international law” in Crimea. He says Russia made a “brazen military incursion”, “ratcheted up ethnic tensions” in Ukraine and is making “a continuing assault on Ukrainian sovereignty”.

Mr Biden warns there will be more US and EU sanctions against Russia if Moscow continues to annex Crimea.

norman smith
@BBCNormanS
William Hague accuses Putin of “a land grab..with no respect for international law” #ukraine

kcewa on March 18, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Iraq wasn’t a NATO operation.

kcewa on March 18, 2014 at 9:07 AM

So what. It was a test of who was loyal and who wasn’t.

The Poles were loyal. They deserve extra protection and consideration. (And they are not getting it.) The Turks weren’t, and don’t.

This isn’t about laws or the bogus sacredness of treaties.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Unless you can stop Russian tanks heading into Kiev with MREs that’s hardly an adequate response.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 9:03 AM

heh obligatory mre joke here.
you ever eaten one? can foul a tank tread easily if planted like a claymore.

dmacleo on March 18, 2014 at 9:20 AM

I still think the end result will be a partition of the Ukraine.

I guess we’ll see how things develop.

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 8:44 AM

No doubt. Outright annexation of all the Russian speaking parts of Ukraine, if not the whole of it is clearly coming next.

ConstantineXI on March 18, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Merkel might settle for a partition…but Putin can be patient.

The EU can’t sustain the Ukraine indefinitely…they got their southern neighbors to support.

Putin probably sees the days of EU Unity as numbered.

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 9:20 AM

This isn’t about laws or the bogus sacredness of treaties.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Isn’t about laws? Bogus sacredness of treaties? Please go do something else.

kcewa on March 18, 2014 at 9:21 AM

America, not Russia, provided heavy diplomatic support to the rioters, quickly taking one side and pressuring the elected premier to remain passive and conciliatory. (Which was catastrophic for democracy in Ukraine.)

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 8:46 AM

So because the US diplomatically supported the protestors, this makes the Russian annexation of at least Crimea and potentially the entire Ukraine “okay?”

If the US used such feeble excuses to annex another country, such as Mexico, I have no doubt you would be frothing at the mouth about “American imperialism.” Indeed, apparently providing even mild diplomatic support for protestors apparently counts as “US intervention” and “US imperialism.” Meanwhile, an actual Russian military invasion is just “Russia protecting its interests.”

Doomberg on March 18, 2014 at 9:22 AM

BREAKING NEWS US Vice President Joe Biden, speaking in Poland, accuses Russia of a “blatant violation of international law” in Crimea. He says Russia made a “brazen military incursion”, “ratcheted up ethnic tensions” in Ukraine and is making “a continuing assault on Ukrainian sovereignty”.

Mr Biden warns there will be more US and EU sanctions against Russia if Moscow continues to annex Crimea.

norman smith
@BBCNormanS
William Hague accuses Putin of “a land grab..with no respect for international law” #ukraine

kcewa on March 18, 2014 at 9:15 AM

*yawn* – Putin

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 9:23 AM

No.

I do suggest taking the Turkish alliance with less than full seriousness though. They blocked 4th Mechanized in the run-up to the Iraq war, blackmailing America, then after getting huge bribes saying no anyway.

Those who don’t act like real allies don’t have the right to be treated as real allies.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Iraq wasn’t a NATO operation.

kcewa on March 18, 2014 at 9:07 AM

So what. It was a test of who was loyal and who wasn’t.

The Poles were loyal. They deserve extra protection and consideration. (And they are not getting it.) The Turks weren’t, and don’t.

This isn’t about laws or the bogus sacredness of treaties.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 9:15 AM

That request to move through Turkey was NOT some sort of a loyalty test. It was a complicated issue which pitted the government against popular unrest that Turkey would be helping attack another Muslim nation.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2014 at 9:24 AM

So what. It was a test of who was loyal and who wasn’t.

The Poles were loyal. They deserve extra protection and consideration. (And they are not getting it.) The Turks weren’t, and don’t.

This isn’t about laws or the bogus sacredness of treaties.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Oh stop with your phony interest in all this. Your comment below belay your far-left agenda.

Not only Nuland but John McCain visited the square, showing they were on one side, the side with the 88 / Heil Hitler helmets, and not the side of the (incompetent, unpopular) democratically elected ruler.

David Blue on March 18, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Nuland and McCain weren’t supporting neo-nazis and because they were hanging around the Maidan where there so happened to be some doesn’t prove anything.

But thanks for playing.

Walter L. Newton on March 18, 2014 at 9:24 AM

The US is led by an anarchist aka as Obama who regularly flouts our own constitutional laws.

Putin is exploiting the weakness…both our own and the disarray in the EU.

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 9:26 AM

At this point not much except sanctions and international isolation. But we should put NATO troops in the other ex-soviet countries that want them. We should have done that earlier and this wouldn’t be happening.

kcewa on March 18, 2014 at 8:34 AM

You might want to read The Third World War: August 1985 by General Sir John Hackett. The war described in it starts more-or-less that way, except in the MidEast, not the Baltics.

People keep overlooking probably the most important fact about Crimea, and Putin’s policies in general. That is, that the possession of strategic nuclear weapons and delivery systems makes a Third World country a superpower.

The Russian military today is about where Germany was in 1919, compared to where it was a quarter-century ago. It’s still fairly powerful compared to its neighbors, but it doesn’t have effective force projection capability on land, which was always its main strength. In 1990, even after Afghanistan, a Soviet leader seeking to “pacify” the Crimea would have send Third and Fourth Guards Tank Armies in, not “militias” that aren’t even wearing Russian insignia.

In terms of throw-weight, the Russian Army today has about rough parity with Germany and Poland combined. That’s a long way down from when, even without the WARPAC countries (then including Poland and half of Germany), they had enough tanks, artillery, and etc. to stomp the living crap out of NATO, including the British, the U.S., and even the French if they wanted to throw in with the alliance they pulled out of in 1965.

There are probably single-nation armies in the Islamic Crescent that can put as big an army in the field as Russia can now. Egypt and Iran come to mind off the top of my head. (I suspect the latter is one big reason for Crimea, at least in Putin’s mind.)

The difference is that Russia can threaten to “turn America into radioactive dust”, as one propaganda outlet over there put it, and generally be believed.

The fact that however badly “downsized” its army is, Russia still has strategic nukes, changes the equation where “intervention” is concerned. Simply put, you don’t “do a Kosovo” against the equivalent of Slobodan Milošević if he has SS-18s to throw around if you piss him off.

This throws the whole concept of “nuclear non-proliferation” into the trash can. To understand why, consider these facts;

1. There are aggressive nation-states around the world that either covet their neighbors’ land (Algeria vs. Mali), covet their neighbors’ resources (PRC vs. Japan and Philippines), or just want to kill everybody across the border because they hate their chromosomes (Islamic countries vs. Everybody Else On The Planet But Especially Israel).

2. The only thing which keeps most of them on their own side of their borders is the threat of military intervention by a superpower against them. Said intervention can be direct (Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm) or by strictly materiel’ assistance to the country being attacked (U.S. resupply of Israel from U.S. NATO forces war stocks during the 1973 Yom Kippur War). Generally, once said intervention begins, the party’s over for the aggressor.

3. But, if said aggressor has nuclear weapons with which it can threaten the homeland of said superpower… they get “strongly-worded notes” instead of the World falling in on them.

Pakistan and India are good examples of this. Nobody wants them to go to war again, but if they do (which is pretty much inevitable considering how much they dislike sharing a subcontinent with each other), nobody is going to “intervene”, on either side. Because both sides have nukes and have frequently officially stated their willingness to use them. And not just on each other, either.

Right now, every Islamist country, not just Iran, is looking at Crimea, and seeing not just a “threat” to the spreading of the Ummah, but a way of ensuring that nobody intervenes when they spread it by the sword.

This knocks any attempt to get Iran to cease nuclear enrichment into a cocked hat. They aren’t about to give up the one thing they can be reasonably sure will give them a shield when they decide to renew their conquest of Iraq, etc.

It does, however, make the transfer of nuclear weapons from a nation-state to terrorists less likely. (Assuming the rulers are rational- a dangerous assumption with Iran.) An aggressive but rational nation-state or polity will want to keep its nukes as a threat, not hand any over to someone who might decide to blow up Paris because they dislike the Eiffel Tower. The most likely outcome of that has already been covered- see Wretchard’s Three Conjectures.

Don’t be surprised if every country with designs on its neighbors (or just a delusion about reducing said neighbors to dust) starts trying to acquire nukes with the same mania that a junkie gets when trying to acquire his next fix.

The only thing more addictive than conquest is being able to pull it off without any fear of adverse consequences.

Hitler was willing to gamble about France and England when he pulled off his “annexations”. Mussolini knew nobody was going to come to the defense of Ethiopia or Albania. Mao knew nobody was going to risk war over Tibet.

There are countries around today that are willing to roll the same sort of dice.

Having nukes loads those dice.

clear ether

eon

eon on March 18, 2014 at 9:27 AM

donabernathy on March 18, 2014 at 9:10 AM

The Obama regime was democratically elected, too.

OldEnglish on March 18, 2014 at 9:29 AM

eon on March 18, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Hmmmm….

workingclass artist on March 18, 2014 at 9:31 AM

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