New York Times Still Clueless About Putin

"Mr. Putin acted out of a deep sense of betrayal toward the United States."


Between John Kerry babbling that this isn't the 19th century anymore and the New York Times clinging to the popular leftist thesis that Putin was just angry at us, it's time to ask whether anyone on the left should ever be allowed to discuss foreign policy again.

One prominent member of the council, Valentina I. Matviyenko, chairwoman of the upper house of Parliament, emerged from the meeting declaring that it was impossible that Russia would invade Crimea, yet a couple of days later Russian troops were streaming into the peninsula.

When Mr. Putin made his first public remarks on the crisis on Tuesday, he said that Russia would not support Crimea’s efforts to secede. On Friday, the Kremlin allowed a mass pro-secession rally in Red Square while senior lawmakers loyal to Mr. Putin welcomed a delegation from Crimea and pledged support to make it a new province of the Russian Federation.

An informed commentator on Russian politics would conclude rightly that this was misdirection. And the New York Times actually used to have those. But not anymore.

So the New York Times instead "logically" concludes that Putin just threw together an invasion.

An examination of the seismic events that set off the most threatening East-West confrontation since the Cold War era, based on Mr. Putin’s public remarks and interviews with officials, diplomats and analysts here, suggests that the Kremlin’s strategy emerged haphazardly, even misleadingly, over a tense and momentous week, as an emotional Mr. Putin acted out of what the officials described as a deep sense of betrayal and grievance, especially toward the United States and Europe.

So yes, it's America's fault. When in doubt the left reverts to what it knows. To the only thing it knows. America Bad.

The decision to invade Crimea, the officials and analysts said, was made not by the national security council but in secret among a smaller and shrinking circle of Mr. Putin’s closest and most trusted aides. The group excluded senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the cadre of comparatively liberal advisers who might have foreseen the economic impact and potential consequences of American and European sanctions.

“It seems the whole logic here is almost entirely the product of one particular mind,” said Fyodor Lukyanov, a Russian analyst and editor of the quarterly journal Russia in Global Affairs.

It's like the New York Times is unfamiliar with how authoritarian countries work.

Some of Russia’s plans were clearly years in the making, including one to sever Crimea from Ukraine through Moscow’s political support for sovereignty and even reunification. Nevertheless, Mr. Putin’s strategy in the last two weeks has appeared ad hoc, influenced by events not always in his control.

So this was a policy years in the making... that Putin suddenly threw together because he was angry at America. Go home New York Times, you're drunk.

Because of Mr. Putin’s centralized authority, Russia’s policies and actions in moments of crisis can appear confused or hesitant until Mr. Putin himself decides on a course of action.

That's how Russia has always worked. It doesn't mean that its actions are ad hoc, but that it's authoritarian.

The group, the officials and analysts said, included Sergei B. Ivanov, Mr. Putin’s chief of staff; Nikolai P. Patrushev, the secretary of the security council; and Aleksandr V. Bortnikov, the director of the Federal Security Service. All are veterans of the K.G.B., specifically colleagues of Mr. Putin’s when he served in the organization in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, during the 1970s and ’80s.

The New York Times is trying to pretend that this is a new phenomenon, but this is how the country was always run under Putin. It's been a KGB organized crime ring.

It's not random and it's not improvisation except to the extent that every military operation is. There was doubtless a plan on the table for such an eventuality that is now being carried out. It's not even inconceivable that Putin engineered Yanukovich's collapse, which is probably more plausible than the conspiracy theories about the EU, an organization that couldn't catch a mackerel with an aircraft carrier, for exactly this outcome.