Russian Bear Rising

putThe Russian Federation has annexed Crimea following its full-scale military occupation of the peninsula.  Ukrainian soldiers are exiting and pro-Russian soldiers have assumed control over the last ships and bases once controlled by Ukraine’s military. Russia is now massing thousands of forces just across the Ukraine border, posing a clear and present threat to the eastern portion of Ukraine, at the very least.

Despite empty promises that he has no intention of seizing additional parts of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin laid down the pretext for just such an action in his speech last week to the Russian Parliament announcing his decision to annex Crimea. Commenting on the devastating effects of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Putin said “Millions of people went to bed in one country and awoke in different ones, overnight becoming ethnic minorities in former Union republics, while the Russian nation became one of the biggest, if not the biggest ethnic group in the world to be divided by borders.” It’s the same rationale he used in justifying the occupation of parts of Georgia in 2008, and would be the same rationale to justify occupation of eastern Ukraine and areas of the Baltic States such as Estonia.

The United Nations today, at its highest levels, is showing timidity in confronting head-on Russia’s violation of the United Nations Charter, specifically Article II (Clause 4) which states: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

The Security Council is paralyzed by Russia’s exercise of its veto power to defeat a resolution that would have affirmed the UN Charter principles and declared the Crimean referendum held under the watchful eyes of armed Russian soldiers to be invalid. Even so, the Secretary General of the United Nations has the moral authority to speak out and bring truth to power when he sees the shredding of the UN Charter in front of his eyes. Sadly, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has refrained from declaring Russia’s actions illegal, preferring instead to speak more obliquely about the need for each member state to abide by all of the principles of the UN Charter including respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and unity of all member states.

By contrast, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan saw no problem in denouncing the entry of military forces from the United States and its coalition partners into Iraq in 2003 as “illegal.” The military action “was not in conformity with the UN Charter from our point of view,” Kofi Annan said during a 2004 interview with BBC.

Why can’t Secretary General Ban Ki-moon make as clear and direct a statement about another Security Council Permanent Member’s actions, which involved both the threat and the actual use of force against the territorial integrity and political independence of a sovereign nation?  In reply to repeated questions by UN correspondents asking for clarification of the Secretary General’s position on whether Russia’s actions conformed with the UN Charter, the response from the Office of the Spokesperson of the Secretary General has consisted of ambiguous generalities, such as the following: “both SGs, dealing with different situations and different circumstances, made clear the importance of resolving disputes in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter. That is what Kofi Annan was indicating when he talked about
how the actions in Iraq were not taken in conformity with the Charter, and that is what Ban Ki-moon has been emphasizing when he pushes for the current crisis to be resolved in conformity with the Charter’s principles.”

That answer sounds as if Russia had not already acted, ignoring Ban Ki-moon’s entreaties. But Putin has swallowed Crimea and is maneuvering for more territory at Ukraine’s expense.

Russia and its defenders argue that the United States is hypocritical when it raises international law concerns. How, they argue, can the U.S. square its self-proclaimed adherence to international law with its actions in Kosovo and Iraq?

As to Kosovo, the answer is simple. The United States did not occupy Kosovo. Kosovo is under United Nations administration pursuant to a UN Security Council resolution that Russia supported.  Putin’s Russia, on the other hand, occupied and then absorbed Crimea on the basis of a local referendum that was neither permitted under the Ukraine constitution nor was conducted in a free, transparent manner without the presence of Russian occupying soldiers.

As for Iraq, the question isn’t why self-interested countries, whether the United States or any other member state, could be accused of violating international law when it was in their national interest to do so.  The question, from the standpoint of the UN Charter, is why one Secretary General provided his opinion as to the legality of what the United States did in Iraq in forthright terms, while the current Secretary General is effectively giving Russia a free ‘get out of jail’ card with regard to its actions in Ukraine. This is all the more disturbing since Iraq today is a free country while Crimea is now in the belly of the Russian bear. The U.S. and its coalition partners at least tried to work through the United Nations Security Council and believed they had the legal authority under international law to act pursuant to a succession of Security Council resolutions culminating in Security Council Resolution 1441. Resolution 1441 found Saddam Hussein’s regime to be in material breach of all its obligations under the many previous Security Council resolutions and gave Hussein a final opportunity to comply or face “serious consequences.” In this context, since the resolution was brought under Chapter VII of the UN Charter which allows for the use of military force to enforce compliance with Security Council resolutions, “serious consequences” could only mean military force, since sanctions had already failed to pressure Saddam Hussein into full compliance.

Russia, on the other hand, had no basis for its actions in any previous Security Council resolutions. Indeed, it stood alone in voting no to veto a proposed Security Council resolution that opposed what Russia was planning to do in Crimea. Russia also violated its own agreements with Ukraine, including the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 under which Ukraine agreed to give up nuclear weapons on its territory in return for guarantees of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Russia, along with the United Kingdom and the United States, agreed to the following:

“1. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine;

2. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.”

Russia has violated just about every pertinent clause of the Budapest Memorandum. Moreover, the basing agreement between Ukraine and Russia in Crimea, which Putin has cited as a rationale for Russian military forces being in Crimea in the first place, limited the deployment of Russian forces outside their base except for specified areas and under the Ukrainian military supervision. Russia blatantly violated this agreement by moving its troops around Crimea at will and using them to interfere in Ukrainian domestic affairs.

All of this is academic as far as Crimea is concerned. It’s now part of Russia by virtue of Russia’s “might makes right” strategy for territorial expansion. The problem is what Putin may choose to do in the future after already starting to feel the rush of restored Russian glory. This will depend in part on what he sees as the likely U.S. and European responses.

President Obama has imposed sanctions on a number of individuals, some of whom are close associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and on a Russian bank. He said that more sanctions may be on the way if Russia does not de-escalate, including sanctions that could target Russia’s energy, finance, arm sales and trade sectors. The European Union has also imposed some sanctions. The G-8 countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Russia — are now the G-7 with the suspension of Russia from the exclusive economic club. There will be no G-8 summit meeting in Sochi, as Russia had hoped, after its success in pulling off the Sochi Winter Olympics Games.

However, President Obama evidences little sense of urgency in addressing the growing geopolitical danger that Russia poses.  For example, speaking at a brief news conference in The Hague on March 25th where he was attending a summit meeting on nuclear security, his first news conference since Russia moved to annex Crimea, Obama said:

“Ukraine has been a country which Russia had enormous influence for decades, since the break-up of the Soviet Union, and we have considerable influence on our neighbors, we generally don’t need to invade them in order to have a strong cooperative relationship with them. The fact that Russia felt compelled to go in militarily and laid bare these violations of international law indicates less influence not more.”

Obama believes that Russia is too weak today to be more than one of many challenges he has to worry about.  He added that he is “much more concerned when it comes to our security with the prospect of a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan.”  I couldn’t agree more, especially as one who lives in Manhattan. However, Obama’s willingness to negotiate for months on end with the Iranian regime while the mullahs move forward on their nuclear and missile delivery programs does not instill confidence that he has any more sense of urgency in dealing decisively with the Iranian nuclear threat than he does with Russia’s geo-political threat. Nor does his decision to drastically reduce U.S. military spending.

Russia is certainly weaker than it was in the heyday of the Soviet Union. But it is still a nuclear power in its own right, and Putin has shown little hesitancy in dealing with rogue states like Iran and Syria in addition to his expansionist moves closer to home. His willingness to break agreements to which Russia was a party, dealing with nuclear proliferation and the use of military force such as the Budapest Memorandum, should put a kibosh on any “flexibility” that Obama might have liked to show on missile defense to continue his failed “re-set” of relations with Russia.

Nobody is seriously calling for the United States to invade Russia or to put U.S. boots on the ground in Ukraine. But in addition to ramping up economic sanctions that begin to take a real toll on the Russian economy and expelling (not just suspending) Russia from important multilateral economic groups like the G-8, there are other meaningful signals that Obama could send Putin to make him think twice before making more aggressive moves.

For example, the U.S. can provide some arms to the Ukrainian military for self-defense purposes as well as accelerate the delivery of much needed economic aid.  As discussed in an insightful Stratfor report dated March 25, 2014 entitled “Russia Examines Its Options for Responding to Ukraine,” the U.S. could embark on a new containment strategy by providing support for a regional alliance of countries bordering or relatively close to Russia that may consider themselves more vulnerable to Russian pressure in the foreseeable future than the further away nations of Western Europe.  Candidates for such a regional alliance, as an overlay on the much larger NATO alliance, could include Poland, Romania, and Azerbaijan, as suggested in the Stratfor report.  The regional alliance might also include the Czech Republic, Hungary, and the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. American support could include financial aid, funding for their own military defenses and the installation of missile defense systems in strategic locations within the territory of the members of this regional alliance. Finally, the Obama administration should reinforce the strategy of energy independence from Russia by easing the way for exports of natural gas to Ukraine and Western Europe and contributing funding (possibly with the assistance of multilateral organizations such as the World Bank or the UN Development Programme) to develop environmentally safe European energy sources and to construct a pipeline from energy-rich Azerbaijan to Ukraine and other parts of Europe.

What is happening instead? The United States appears weaker than Russia. While not true, of course, perception is often the reality on the world stage.  Our allies are losing confidence in American leadership and our enemies are unafraid. Respect for U.S. resolve is alarmingly low among friend and foe alike. Adding insult to injury, even Hamid Karzai, the petulant president of Afghanistan – a country that itself was invaded by the Soviet Union and for which the U.S. has sacrificed lives and treasure to help secure the Afghans’ own future – is piling on. Siding with the likes of Syria and Venezuela, Karzai has publicly supported Russia’s occupation and absorption of Crimea. How low we have sunk on President Obama’s watch!

  • Bamaguje

    “As to Kosovo, the answer is simple. The United States did not occupy
    Kosovo” – Joseph Klein.

    You are missing the point… United States and NATO allies did not respect Serbia’s territorial integrity. Yet they hypocritically whine about Russia respecting Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

    “…Iraq today is a free country while Crimea is now in the belly of the Russian bear” – Joseph Klein.

    With the interminable Shiite-Sunni sectarian violence tearing Iraq apart, occasioned by America’s illegal invasion on false WMD pretext, are Iraqis really free?

    Since we are talking about freedom, should Crimeans be forced to remain in Ukraine if they don’t want to? Particularly as Crimea is not historically nor ethnically part of Ukraine, but of Russia.
    This is largely why Ukraine agreed for up to 25,000 Russian troops in Crimea. In so doing Ukraine tacitly recognized historical sovereignty over Crimea.
    No other former Soviet republic agreed to such Russian troop presence.

    • Claes Henrikson

      About missing the point: Russian troops occupied the territory of another sovereign nation. The “fact” that ethnic Russian in the Crimea said that is OK, does not change that fact. (Comparison: It´s OK for the Germans to invade Norway in 1940, because Quisling´s “National Unity”-party invited their fellow Aryans.)
      The Russian Federative Socialist Republic gave away Crimea to Ukraine (after Tsarist Russia occupied it in the 19th Century). If that´s wrong, it´s Russia´s mistake, not Ukraine´s fault.
      The agreement You refer to only established the Russian Federations right to maintain and operate bases in the Crimea. It had nothing to do w/ ownership.

      • Bamaguje

        You are seriously misinformed.

        First of all Tsarist Russia did not seize Crimea from Ukraine. Over 200 years ago Russia won Crimea fair and square from invading Ottoman Jihadists.
        Furthermore Russia did not give Crimea away. In 1954, then former Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev – who was Russian Ukrainian – merged Crimea with Ukraine for administrative reasons, and to cement the historic bond between the two peoples. .

        It didn’t matter then because Ukraine and Russia were part of the same country – USSR.

        Crimea should have reverted back to Russia after break up of Soviet Union. Moscow didn’t make a fuss back then so long as Ukraine allowed Russian navy continued access to the strategic Crimea.

        But with Ukraine scheming to join EU/NATO, Russia is right to reclaim Crimea… lest she has NATO on her doorstep. If Ukraine no longer wants to be part of USSR, why does she want to hang on to Russian property?
        Crimeans are historically and ethnically Russians, if they want to reunite with mother Russia, what’s wrong with that?

        West Ukrainians caused the problem by unceremoniously sacking a democratically elected pro-Russian president. In so doing Ukraine rode roughshod over the feelings and sensitivities her Russian population. Any surprise many of Ukraine’s Russians want to secede?

        • A Z

          “First of all Tsarist Russia did not seize Crimea from Ukraine. Over 200 years ago Russia won Crimea fair and square from invading Ottoman Jihadists.”

          Yup.

        • A Z

          NATO is not a threat Russia unless Russian wants it to be a threat.

          The general proclivities of the Europeans is to decide, who is going to run the welfare state. I would be hard pressed to find a European who wants to invade Russia.

          Heck Russian even buys European politicians to this day.

          • Bamaguje

            “NATO is not a threat Russia…” – A Z.

            Then why does NATO keep expanding to Russia’s frontiers? Bear in mind that the reason NATO was established – Soviet communism – is no more.

            Poland, Romania, Estonia, Bulgaria – all former Russian allies – are now in NATO. From Russia’s viewpoint such NATO expansionism is provocative and threatening.

          • A Z
          • A Z

            I have only 4 problems with NATO, Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya and they are slackers.

            The Serbs were being irrendentist in regards to Slovenia and Croatia. That said we should not have gotten involved on the side of the Muslims. For one we got nothing for it except a new crop of Jihadis. But I blame “you” for this mistake. Bubba Clinton is one of yours. He is the result of you “influence operations form the 1960s.

            We also got involved in Libya for some reason. the French and Italians were already getting Libyan oil. so why get rid of Gaddaffi? At any rate they could not do it without Obama. Again he is your fault. He is the result of Russian influence operations.

            Kosovo and Bosnia are the result of Russian influence operations changing the culture of Europe. It is blowback.

          • Claes Henrikson

            NATO expands because countries want to join up. There is a need for mutual security and NATO provided, at least in the old days. Russia also had the chance to become a member, but backed off. Wonder why…

        • Claes Henrikson

          Two points.
          One: Merging – giving away. Same difference. Should have reverted (Why?)? It didn´t. It became part of the Ukraine. Which makes the Russian annexation illegal.
          Two: USSR was NOT one country, but a “Union of Soviet Socialist Repuplics”, and NOT a union a la the USA, since each state – at least formally – had their own administration (including a Foreign Office) and their own Party. The fact that Russia ran the show is a different matter, but this administrative split made the foundation for the actual split of USSR in 1992.
          I visited Poltava in eastern Ukraine in 2009. Can´t say I found people longing for the Old Days.

          • BagLady

            From what I read, there is a split between the old timers and the young hopefuls. We will see what transpires. I see Putin creeping in from the East. Don’t let’s forget the IMF intends to hit the people with an ‘austerity plan’. That might change a few minds.

          • Claes Henrikson

            The IMF has also “hit” the Ukraine w/ a substantial loan, to prevent it from going bust. The Ukraine is in a tough economic situation, mostly because Russia reneged on its natural gas deal, using vital gas supply as an economic (political) weapon. Therefore the risk of austerity. Same thing applies to other EU nations, such as Greece, but in those cases we see countries that has granted themselves a life beyond their means. Much like the USA.

        • Bluetwo
      • BagLady

        (Comparison: It´s OK for the Germans to invade Norway in 1940, because
        Quisling´s “National Unity”-party invited their fellow Aryans.)

        Was it by referendum?

        • Claes Henrikson

          Irrelevant to the point.

    • A Z

      Check out the Cartoon at SOFREP. Obama has done worse then send up a creek without a paddle.

      “Swimming With Sharks”

      http://sofrep.com/34234/swimming-with-sharks-malaysia-taiwan-crimea-putin-china/

  • Gamal

    I also disagree with Joseph Klein’s attempts to refute Russian arguments that the U.S. is being hypocritical. The U.S. had no business bombing the Serbs and as a result of U.S. actions Serbian land is now being occupied by extremist Muslims. The Russians begged the U.S. to stop and the U.S. refused to listen. Now the shoe is on the other foot.

    Serge Trifkovic, in his outstanding book The Sword of the Prophet wrote that:

    “Acting Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger made it clear that a goal in Bosnia was to mollify the Muslim world and to counter any perception of an anti-Muslim bias regarding American policies in Iraq.”

    America bombed the Serbs so that the Muslims would like America. That is beyond outrageous. Compared to American actions, Putin’s invasion of Crimea is the pinnacle of morality.

    • Drakken

      In a very ironic turn, Putin has over 1,800 Russian “advisors’ in Serbian areas of Bosnia and Serbia proper. They are getting ready for anther go round in the Balkans and this time Putin is betting that NATO and the US won’t do a damn thing to stop them, I do hope that the Serbs and Croats enjoy their spoils for they will deserve it. The criminal network in Kosovo will deserve the wrath of the Serbs.

    • Bamaguje

      I totally agree with your analysis. In addition to Iraq, I would add another reason for sucking up to Muslims – America’s half-hearted support for Israel.

      The West was so eager to show it wasn’t anti-Muslim that it bullied Serbia into giving up the cradle of her civilization – Kosovo. As far as dhimmi Western leaders were concerned Serbia was an expendable Christian nation, in their appeasement of Muslims.

  • RMthoughts

    From Moscow’s point of view the new government in Kiev might reasonably
    be regarded as a US puppet which will not be heedful of Russian
    interests. The “Nuland tapes” revealing a phone conversation
    between senior State Department official and noted neocon Victoria
    Nuland and US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt describing how
    Washington would form the new government suggests that Moscow’s
    assessment is likely correct, that the American policy both was and is
    geared towards moving Ukraine away from Russia and towards Western
    Europe. Why the United States should feel compelled to do that is not at
    all clear as the Cold War ended in 1991 and Russia has generally been a
    responsible player on the world stage since Putin gained power.

    • Claes Henrikson

      Bad mistake to slap down the new Kiev governement just because Obama agrees with it´s point of view.

      • RMthoughts

        Bad move is to overthrow a democratically elected government just because you don’t like it.

        • Claes Henrikson

          It was the democratically elected parliament that elected a new governement when the old one fled the country.

          • RMthoughts

            Get out the whitewash….go to work.

          • Claes Henrikson

            Ah, grow up, will ye.

          • Bamaguje

            “the basic democratic tenent is that you can oust a government “you don´t like”” – Claes Henrikson.

            Really?? So what are you waiting for?
            Why not organize a mob to oust Obama who is ruining America?
            Democracy is underpinned by the rule of law. If you don’t like a government, vote it out in the next election.
            Democracy is subverted when irate Molotov cocktail throwing mobs forces out an elected leader as just happened in Ukraine.

          • Claes Henrikson

            Well, I did take part in “ousting” the ruling Social Democrats here in Sweden in 2006. I can´t do your job for you.
            “The elected Leader” chose to leave after being unable to subdue his protesting people with the thugs of his special police. The Ukraine Parliament elected a temporary replacement untill such time new elections can be held. This is in accordance w/ Ukraine law, according to international experts. But you (and Putin) presumably know better?

          • BagLady

            The Ukraine Parliament elected a temporary replacement untill such time new elections can be held.

            Do you suggest that there will be free and fair elections?

          • Claes Henrikson

            At the VERY least as fair and free as those on the Crimea last Sunday. Don´t You agree?

        • BagLady

          Define democracy.
          .
          How long did it take Putin to set up a democratic referendum in Crimea? How long would it take for your government to do the same?

    • A Z

      If the Russians had more on Nuland, they would have released by now.

      I suppose democratic elections are the end all be all for RMthoughts (Russian Media Thoughts?). So once Yanukovich got elected all is fair? He got his mansion, estate and gold bars by playing by democratic rules?

      What we know is that 2 or 3 months before Maidan, the Russians had decided to invade Crimea. All the military & financial preparations point to it. To me Crimea is Russian, but it stinks to high heaven how Russian went about it and it speaks ill for the future. It should have been done by a plebiscite. For you to support the action, speaks ill of you.

      “Russia has generally been a responsible player on the world stage since Putin gained power.”

      That is utter shiesse.

      • Bamaguje

        “What we know is that 2 or 3 months before Maidan, the Russians had decided to invade Crimea” = A Z

        Who’s the “we” that knows?
        Can you substantiate your allegation that Russia all along intended to “invade Crimea”? Because all available reports indicate that the so-called invasion was triggered by sacking of Yanukovich.
        I said “so-called invasion” because the Russian troops were all along based in Crimea in accordance with Ukraine-Russia agreement.

        • A Z

          Check out ZeroHedge. The oligarchs had moved all their money out 2 or 3 months before.

          Either they did or they did not.

          There might be some properties that are stranded but let’s look at the bulk of their wealth

        • A Z

          The energy deal with China happened in February and March? Maybe it did and maybe it did not.

          Check out Sol Invictus at PJMedia. He was in Russia not too long ago.

        • BagLady

          From what I read in blogs on the ground, the students called for the protest no more that 24 hours in advance, which would have given foreign powers no opportunity to interfere. However, organising an army to ‘battle readiness’ is not an overnight thing and, given the speed of Putin’s assault, it is highly probable that the invasion was planned well in advance and the student rally was but a fortuitous coincidence.

    • BagLady

      From Moscow’s point of view the new government in Kiev might reasonably be regarded as a US puppet which will not be heedful of Russian interests”

      A far right neo-nazi party seems to be acceptable to many on here so long as the US and NATO continue their self-destructive hegemonic march east..

      • RMthoughts

        The Cold War that divided the East and West maybe over but
        the old rivalry still lingers. The rivalry between the West and Russia is no
        longer one over diverging political philosophies, but purely over resources –
        and the capitalistic gains they produce from mainly oil, gas and pipelines.

        There is also another reason for Putin’s intervention in
        Ukraine and that has to do with Russia elbowing for dominance of the very
        lucrative and strategically important “energy corridors.”

        That is very likely to be the major reason why Putin is willing to risk going to war with the West over Crimea, the pipelines that traverses the Caucasus and the oil and natural gas these pipelines carry westwards to Europe.

        Given the geography of the region there are only so many
        lanes where the pipelines can be laid; and most of them transit through Ukraine. Others travel across Azerbaijan and Turkey. Most of Western Europe’s gas and much of Eastern Europe’s gas travels through Ukraine.

        If Russia has vested interest in “recolonizing” Ukraine, the United States on the other hand has its own interests in Ukraine

  • Texas Patriot

    We should all hope the Russian bear remains wise enough and strong enough to be an effective partner with us in the ongoing struggle with the forces of Islamic jihad. With Russia and China on board with the rest of the civilized world, we have a realistic hope of winning and neutralizing the global forces of Islamic jihad which have never been stronger than they are today.

    Without Russia and China on board with us, such a realistic hope of survival does not in fact exist. Only America, Russia, and China have a global scope sufficient to put the brakes on the tsunami of Islamic jihad which is now racing around the world with ever greater destructive force. Therefore, nurturing and developing an effective strategic relationship among America, Russia and China and the other civilized nations of the world should be regarded as being of the highest imperative by all civilized nations everywhere. By the same token, anyone who seeks to sabotage, undermine, or destroy that relationship should be regarded as an enemy of the entirety of the civilized world.

    There is no question that there will be those who cannot see beyond the lies and hatreds of the Cold War. Unfortunately, those individuals are no longer relevant in the dynamic and dangerous world of the 21st Century. The truth of the matter is that the bonfire of WWIII is well underway, and it has been getting stronger and stronger since its inception at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

    • Habbgun

      We don’t need Russia and China in the war against terror. Terrorists don’t work through states. This is not balance of power. We have terror because we don’t really fight it. We have too strong a Leftist population to fight it. If we didn’t the terrorists would soon learn they are against a united front and that it is not good for their health to be terrorists. Working with authoritarian Russia and Communist China only strengthens what is wrong with America.

      First step. Get out of the United Nations.

      • Texas Patriot

        Habbgun: We don’t need Russia and China in the war against terror.

        First step. Quit calling it terror, and call it by its true name, Islamic jihad. Second step. Quit thinking of it as a localized phenomenon solely related to Israel. Israel could be swallowed up entirely by its neighbors, and it would have no effect in stopping the global tsunami of Islamic jihad. The truth of the matter is that Islamic jihad is based on a 1400 year old ideology of world conquest and world domination, and Russia and China are just as much in the bullseye as we are.

        • Habbgun

          I know what Islamic Jihad is…I don’t think Israel is the real issue but a fake alliance is just that …. a fake alliance. Let the countries that want to fight Jihad fight it and those that don’t get overrun. Running to false allies only weakens a country. It does not strengthen it.

          • Texas Patriot

            In the event America is required to destroy Iran’s nuclear weapons complex, we will need the acquiescence of Russia and China in what may necessarily involve the use of tactical nuclear weapons in order to effectively reach Iran’s deeply buried facilities, and it would be absurd to assume otherwise. That’s the kind of strategic cooperation we will need, and that’s the kind of alliance with Russia and China we should be nurturing. As an example, allowing Russia to annex historically Russian areas of the Ukraine is an infinitesimally small price to pay for their cooperation with us on Iran.

          • Habbgun

            That was the logic we used to work with Pakistan. How well does that work? Sorry but you can’t create alliances where everyone is out to screw each other in other conflicts.

          • Texas Patriot

            Pakistan is a Muslim-majority country. There was never any chance of an effective alliance with them.

          • Habbgun

            China is Communist expansionist, Russia is unstable authoritarian…..same difference…..however they can fight the war on terror. Don’t tolerate terror and mutually share info on terrorists which leads to actionable intelligence (really cool words that just mean kill ‘em). The geopolitical crap is just crap…..

          • Drakken

            Again for your benefit as it bares to be repeated, your hero Obummer is not, and will not under any circumstance, attack Iran to stop their nuke program, period, end of story, and I bet you a cool grand on that.

          • Texas Patriot

            Drak, you sound like a broken record, and a boring one at that. As Daniel Greenfield says, the real wager is millions of lives. Keep your money in your pocket where it belongs, because I don’t want it. What I want to see is the New Grand Canyon in Iran where the Iranian nuclear weapons complex was located.

          • BagLady

            The so-called “Jihad sweeping the world’ certainly plays into the hands of the powerful who seek to sway our opinion.

          • Texas Patriot

            What plays into their hands is allowing the phenomenon of Islamic jihad to go on indefinitely. Basically we just need to demonstrate a firm “zero tolerance” attitude toward it in Western civilization, and that will be that.

    • Drakken

      Son, you really need to step away from the bong pipe, because your delusions, pipe dreams, rainbows and unicorns go against pure unadultered, cold, brutal, harsh reality. With Obummer at the helm, an alliance with Russia is impossible.

      • Texas Patriot

        Drak, the difference between you and Truebearing is that you’re funny and he’s not. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. Neither Putin or Obama is going to be talking about it publicly in the event a deal has already been cut, and if Iran submits to completely unlimited inspections to verify the peaceful nature of their nuclear program, we may never know if I was right or not. But my guess is that Iran thinks Obama is bluffing, just like you do and many other people do. In that event, we’ll all get to see who’s right and who’s not.

        • Drakken

          Here let me help you out with your faith in Obummer problem, I know for a bloody fact that Obummer isn’t going to do a damn thing about Iran and is doing everything that he can to stop the Israeli’s from dealing with the problem. Putin despises Obummer as the weak and feckless leader that he is, and will not do anything to help Obummer with the problems of his own making. Iran will not under any circumstances, subject themselves to nuke inspections on their military bases. Unicorns will fly before your wishful thinking comes true, and I’ll bet good money on it.

        • BagLady

          if Iran submits to completely unlimited inspections to verify the peaceful nature of their nuclear program,

          Imagine the scenario: You’re working away at your scientific work when the UN ‘inspection team’ announces its imminent arrival. I ask you to consider the ‘jobsworths’ that make up this team, all on ridiculous allowances.

          Is it any wonder the scientists do their best to thwart these idiotic attempts to find hidden agendas.

          • Texas Patriot

            BL: Is it any wonder the scientists do their best to thwart these idiotic attempts to find hidden agendas.

            The agenda of the Islamic Revolutionary Party of Iran is anything but hidden.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n-STlCzn8s

    • BagLady

      Hear, hear….for the most part

  • RMthoughts

    “Millions of people went to bed in one country and awoke in different
    ones, overnight becoming ethnic minorities in former Union republics,
    while the Russian nation became one of the biggest, if not the biggest
    ethnic group in the world to be divided by borders.” A bureaucrat drawing a line on a map does not a country make. As we learned from the Treaty of Versailles after WWI – a badly drawn peace leads to the next war.

    • Habbgun

      The Russians chose Communism. Bad choice. Maybe there are repercussions from that? They don’t get the Warsaw Pact back just because.

      • RMthoughts

        “Russians chose Communism” — a quick history of the Communist Revolution in Russia would be a good refresher.

        • Habbgun

          So you are all for the Warsaw Pact coming back? I’ve heard of nostalgia but that’s a bit much.

          • RMthoughts

            No, not at all, but I don’t want to see one ounce of American blood spilled over in a place we have no business getting involved.

          • Habbgun

            Neither do I but at some point countries have to accept minorities (you can be sure there is a Ukranian minority in Crimea). Ukraine seemed to be willing to. The protest was against the government and not Russians. Funny how the world is worrying about Russians who don’t seem to be under attack and allowing atrocity everywhere else. That won’t lead to peace. Obviously Ukraine should have been armed, the Poles and other countries now too. Otherwise America will somehow be dragged in. Hopefully, Crimea, Russia and Ukraine can somehow learn to function and this will be a blip in history.

    • Drakken

      To the victors go the spoils, as it has always been, as how it will always be.

      • RMthoughts

        Oh, I agree, but we shouldn’t be surprised when the losers raise their ugly heads and want to address perceived wrongs. Nothing is static, everything changes. It is the way of the world, always was and always will be.

        • Drakken

          History is never kind to the weak, and always favors the strong.

    • BagLady

      They learn nothing, these arrogant idiots. Look at the hastily drawn line between India and Pakistan that haunts us to this day.

      • RMthoughts

        When Ukraine became independent with Russia’s agreement when the Soviet Union collapsed, had the Russian territories first been put back into Russia from whence they came, Washington’s coup would not have resulted in the same level of crisis.

  • Crimea

    Well, Russia is still a nation-state, while the US…exactly what IS the USA? A market place? A Latin American state to-be?

    Russia is driven by a robust but not unhealthy nationalism, the wish that Russians live united in their own state, while the USA…heck, their Mexican experience shows they don’t even know what a border is.

    So how do you explain to an American the concept of a nation-state?

  • Rebel

    i don’t agree that Russia is our enemy.. well maybe now that obama has poked the bear to bite

    • RMthoughts

      Soviet communism was our mortal enemy to our way of life. Russia is not communist, Putin is a nationalist, Obama and his minions are the communists and the threat to our way of life.

  • Claes Henrikson

    In democracies, the rulers are not above the law. A corrupt or criminal ruler can (and should) be thrown down. (eg Nixon – was that illegal?). And a kleptocrat who choses to run to a foreign nation, can and should be replaced by the same authority that placed him/her in power, in this case the Parliament. Which is what happened.
    The whitewash, sir, is on your hands.

    • talbertwv

      1. The US is not a Democracy. It’s a Republic.
      2. Nixon Resigned.
      3. Your logic is circular, therefore false.

      • Claes Henrikson

        1. The two are not exclusive.
        2. So did the Ukrainian president.
        3. Your definition of circular logic is false. Sorry. Try again.

        • talbertwv
        • talbertwv
          • Claes Henrikson

            “Interesting” site. It does not add upp w/ the courses in governement I´ve taken. Let my just add that in Sweden, which I (and You) hold as a democracy, parliament or governement cannot violate the constitution and can only change the constitution in two votings, with a referendum between. (We can change the constitution, so we don´t make amendments to it, like You in the USA). The popular definition of “democracy” as I see it is: 1. rule by law, 2. basic freedoms (speech, thought, etc), 3. governement by the people (free elections, non-violent change of governement). Which should make the US a democracy (as opposed to a dictatorship). Republic as by definition is a governement where the head of state is elected as opposed to being hereditary. But thats just my academic way of looking at it. The Internet is always true, right?

          • talbertwv

            You must have a problem with reading comprehension. I never said anything about Sweden being a democracy. I corrected you on the USA being one. Where did you get your definition of a Republic, from the comic books? Your “academic way of looking at it” statement is laughable, as is your made up definitions of Democracy.

          • Claes Henrikson

            Said he who took it from the Internet. Think we´re done, here.

        • talbertwv

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question

          I have a suggestion, go back to school before you try to refute someone that doesn’t deal in BS.

          • Claes Henrikson

            I see. Run out of arguments, have we?

  • RMthoughts

    When Ukraine became independent with Russia’s agreement when the
    Soviet Union collapsed, had the Russian territories first been put back
    into Russia from whence they came, Washington’s coup would not have
    resulted in the same level of crisis.

    Instead, under Washington’s pressure, the Russian territory was
    retained by Ukraine, and in compensation Russia was given a 50-year
    lease on Sevastopol, Russia’s Black Sea naval base.

    The purpose of the Washington financed and orchestrated coup in Kiev
    was to put Ukraine, with its artificial boundaries, into the EU and NATO
    and to evict Russia from its
    warm water port and ring Russia with US missile bases. Washington and
    its European puppets described this as “bringing democracy to Ukraine.

    • BagLady

      Congratulations. Well researched.

      • Rebel

        that is actually taken from
        Ukraine Crisis: How Much War Does Washington Want?
        By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

  • RMthoughts

    . My concern at this impasse is who is willing to fight the Islamic
    fundamentalist tide now that Ukraine has encouraged Chechen Islamist
    fighters into the pictures to tie up Russian resources.

  • BagLady

    Without reading it all in one go, on the face of it, I feel the world would be a ‘better place if Putin controled Kiev. Let’s please stop the stupid NATO forces from moving one centimeter further towards the East. Always looking for trouble and control. The only thing that impedes international trade is these idiot posteurs

    • mollysdad

      If you Google “Ivan Ilyin” and “Mikhail Yuryev” you’ll find that Putin wants all of Europe, not just the former Soviet Union. To get what he wants, he need subdue only Ukraine, Poland, Germany and France.

      So the United States and the major NATO powers ought to turn Poland into a fortress and station armored units in that country as they were once stationed in Germany.

  • BagLady

    Not sure we should take it as a given that we dislike Russians.

  • Drakken

    I despise Obummer because he is making the US weak, and I am not too happy with the current crop of repubs as well.
    I really don’t know what kind of delusions your experiencing but if you want to know for a fact that Comrade dumbazz Obummer isn’t going to do a bloody thing, look at what the military is doing, there is zero preparation, zero training, zero acquisitions, zero troop movement in that direction and an operation to hit Iran takes about a year to gear up, there AIN”T any! So Son, get a clue.

    • Texas Patriot

      Drakken: I really don’t know what kind of delusions your experiencing but if you want to know for a fact that Comrade dumbazz Obummer isn’t going to do a bloody thing, look at what the military is doing, there is zero preparation, zero training, zero acquisitions, zero troop movement in that direction and an operation to hit Iran takes about a year to gear up, there AIN”T any! So Son, get a clue.

      It’s a paradigm shift, Drak. We’re not going to send any armies into Iran, so it’s not going to take any troop movement or anything else like you’re used to seeing the form of pre-invasion preparation. What we’re going to do is design and build some special bunker busting technology just for the purpose of destroying the Iranian nuclear weapons complex, and after we give Iran every chance to open up their laboratories and centrifuges for inspection (which of course they will never do), we’re going to blow their nuclear weapons complex completely out of the ground with one surgical strike, probably by submarine launched cruise missiles, with whatever force is necessary to do the job. The Iranians will go to bed one night with their nuclear weapons complex intact, and they’ll wake up the next morning and it will be gone. And no will be happier than the United States Marines and their families, because we will not have have had to needlessly sacrifice even one drop of American blood. Starting to get the picture yet?