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Thread: For First Time, Kremlin Signals It Is Prepared to Annex Crimea [W:153]

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    re: For First Time, Kremlin Signals It Is Prepared to Annex Crimea [W:153]

    Like "humanitarian interventionism," which has been used more than once recently as a cover for going to war, "electoral interventionism" has become a tool in Washington's arsenal for overseas manipulation. The instruments of democracy are used selectively to topple particular rulers, and only when a US-friendly successor candidate or regime has been groomed. Countless elections in the post-Soviet space have been distorted by incumbents to a degree that probably reversed the result, usually by unfair use of state television and sometimes by direct ballot rigging. Boris Yeltsin's constitutional referendum in Russia in 1993 and his re-election in 1996 were early cases. Azerbaijan's presidential vote last year was also highly suspicious.

    Yet after none of those polls did the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the main international observer body, or the US and other Western governments, make the furious noise they are producing today. The decision to protest appears to depend mainly on realpolitik and whether the challengers or the incumbent are considered more "pro-Western" or "pro-market." Or, as in Azerbaijan, Washington is happy with the antidemocratic policies maintained by the Aliyev dynasty because it is friendly to US oil companies.

    In Ukraine, Yushchenko got the Western nod, and floods of money poured in to groups supporting him. This one-sided intervention is playing with fire. Not only is the country geographically and culturally divided--a recipe for partition or even civil war--it is also an important neighbor to Russia. Putin has been clumsy, but to accuse Russia of imperialism because it shows close interest in adjoining states and the Russian-speaking minorities who live there is a wild exaggeration.

    Ukraine has been turned into a geostrategic matter not by Moscow but by Washington, which refuses to abandon its cold war policy of encircling Russia and seeking to pull every former Soviet republic into its orbit. The US campaign against Yanukovich accelerated this summer after outgoing President Leonid Kuchma reversed policy and said he no longer aspired to NATO membership for Ukraine. Yanukovich adopted that line.

    Many Ukrainians certainly want a more democratic system. The vast bulk of the demonstrators in Kiev are undoubtedly genuine. Their enthusiasm and determination are palpable. But they do not reflect nationwide sentiment, and the support for Yanukovich in eastern Ukraine is also genuine. Nor are we watching a struggle between freedom and authoritarianism, as is romantically alleged. Yushchenko served as prime minister under Kuchma, and some of his backers are also linked to the brutal industrial clans who manipulated Ukraine's post-Soviet privatization. On some issues Yushchenko may be a better potential president than Yanukovich, but to suggest that he would provide a sea change in Ukrainian politics and economic management is naïve. Putin is not inherently against a democratic Ukraine, however authoritarian he is in his own country. What concerns him is instability, the threat of anti-Russian regimes on his borders and American mischief.

    The European Union has been weak and divided, missing the chance to exert a strong European line in the face of US strategic meddling. It should give Ukraine the option of future membership rather than the feeble "action plan" of cooperation currently on offer. Adapting its legislation and practice to EU norms would set Ukraine on a surer path to irreversible reform than anything that either Yushchenko or Yanukovich would do. The EU should also make a public statement that it sees no value in NATO membership for Ukraine, and those EU members who belong to NATO will not support it. At a stroke this would calm Russia's legitimate fears and send a signal to Washington not to go on inflaming a purely European issue.
    Jonathan Steele December 2, 2004
    Ukraine's Untold Story | The Nation

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    re: For First Time, Kremlin Signals It Is Prepared to Annex Crimea [W:153]

    Quote Originally Posted by Ockham View Post
    Apparently he can. No one, including the US or EU will stop him. We'll threaten, maybe issue sanctions, but little else. Russia knows what they're doing, they picked the right time, and picked the right US president to mess with. He did so with Georgia with no problem. The danger is he may not want to stop and his ego may get the better of him - that is dangerous, as are his reasons, which I have to agree with Hillary, are reminiscent of Germany in the 1930's.

    Couple that with the recent plans to downsize our military - we're relegated to being a cheerleader on the sideline unless a coalition allies have the cajones to stand up to him. I don't see that happening. By the way, that ringing in the background is the telephone and it's the 1980's calling Obama. They want to tell him Romney was right.
    I agree wholeheartedly with your first paragraph. But, I think we may rethink our plans to reduce the military, "just in case".
    If you claim sexual harassment to be wrong, yet you defend anyone on your side for any reason,
    then you are a hypocrite and everything you say on the matter is just babble.

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    re: For First Time, Kremlin Signals It Is Prepared to Annex Crimea [W:153]

    Quote Originally Posted by US Conservative View Post
    Why do you think Russians are removing identifying marks when they invade?
    I"ll ask again, as it seems that you did not understand my question - Why do you think that that footage was taken in Crimea?

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    re: For First Time, Kremlin Signals It Is Prepared to Annex Crimea [W:153]

    Quote Originally Posted by OldWorldOrder View Post
    No, seriously just stop, it's way past silly.
    Ok, so what you think is silly, quit wasting time and space.
    Killing one person is murder, killing 100,000 is foreign policy

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    re: For First Time, Kremlin Signals It Is Prepared to Annex Crimea [W:153]

    Quote Originally Posted by Fallenangel View Post
    I"ll ask again, as it seems that you did not understand my question - Why do you think that that footage was taken in Crimea?

    Fallen.
    The units removed markings when they crossed into Crimea.

    http://www.latimes.com/world/worldno...#axzz2vKYOf1bS

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...g-airport.html

    http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/201...ype=blogs&_r=0

    Do I really need to hold you hand here?
    Last edited by US Conservative; 03-07-14 at 09:32 PM.

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    re: For First Time, Kremlin Signals It Is Prepared to Annex Crimea [W:153]

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    I agree wholeheartedly with your first paragraph. But, I think we may rethink our plans to reduce the military, "just in case".
    It would be prudent to rethink that move, but I'm concerned that money has already been spent in that 3.9T budget that just came out.
    “I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on what’s being proposed here, he’d agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute.” - Chuck Schumer (D). Yet, Madison and Mason wrote the Bill of Rights, according to Sheila Jackson Lee, 400 years ago. Yup, it's a fact.


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    re: For First Time, Kremlin Signals It Is Prepared to Annex Crimea [W:153]

    Quote Originally Posted by Montecresto View Post
    There are people who literally don't give a **** what we do anywhere if it advances "US interests" (which rarely if ever equate to your interests or mine) regardless of who gets hurt or killed along the way, or what gets destroyed or stolen. Literally, these people exist.
    I have often argued that U.S. foreign policy needs to be grounded in U.S. interests. However, one cannot automatically assume that interests exist everywhere and that those interests are always at a level that justifies the use of force when they are at risk.

    As had been noted previously, I did not believe the U.S. should intervene militarily in Libya or Syria, as the U.S. does not have critical interests at stake in either of those conflicts. If threats existed against NATO members, key Asian partners such as Japan and South Korea, etc., I most definitely would favor U.S. military intervention, if needed. Strategic partners are examples of cases where critical interests are involved. I do believe the U.S. should be doing more to shore up the security needs of its NATO partners and East Asian allies than it has been. In Asia, the balance of power is shifting and the nation's key allies face uncertainty. The U.S. can and should do more to alleviate that uncertainty, as it is also a beneficiary of the economic and political successes that have occurred in South Korea, Japan, Singapore, etc.

    At the same time, when it conducts foreign policy, the U.S. needs to be cognizant to respect the critical interests of other states, especially other great powers where the consequences of miscalculation can be greatest. Managing differences is where skillful diplomacy can be particularly valuable.

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    re: For First Time, Kremlin Signals It Is Prepared to Annex Crimea [W:153]

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    Like "humanitarian interventionism," which has been used more than once recently as a cover for going to war, "electoral interventionism" has become a tool in Washington's arsenal for overseas manipulation. The instruments of democracy are used selectively to topple particular rulers, and only when a US-friendly successor candidate or regime has been groomed. Countless elections in the post-Soviet space have been distorted by incumbents to a degree that probably reversed the result, usually by unfair use of state television and sometimes by direct ballot rigging. Boris Yeltsin's constitutional referendum in Russia in 1993 and his re-election in 1996 were early cases. Azerbaijan's presidential vote last year was also highly suspicious.

    Yet after none of those polls did the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the main international observer body, or the US and other Western governments, make the furious noise they are producing today. The decision to protest appears to depend mainly on realpolitik and whether the challengers or the incumbent are considered more "pro-Western" or "pro-market." Or, as in Azerbaijan, Washington is happy with the antidemocratic policies maintained by the Aliyev dynasty because it is friendly to US oil companies.

    In Ukraine, Yushchenko got the Western nod, and floods of money poured in to groups supporting him. This one-sided intervention is playing with fire. Not only is the country geographically and culturally divided--a recipe for partition or even civil war--it is also an important neighbor to Russia. Putin has been clumsy, but to accuse Russia of imperialism because it shows close interest in adjoining states and the Russian-speaking minorities who live there is a wild exaggeration.

    Ukraine has been turned into a geostrategic matter not by Moscow but by Washington, which refuses to abandon its cold war policy of encircling Russia and seeking to pull every former Soviet republic into its orbit. The US campaign against Yanukovich accelerated this summer after outgoing President Leonid Kuchma reversed policy and said he no longer aspired to NATO membership for Ukraine. Yanukovich adopted that line.

    Many Ukrainians certainly want a more democratic system. The vast bulk of the demonstrators in Kiev are undoubtedly genuine. Their enthusiasm and determination are palpable. But they do not reflect nationwide sentiment, and the support for Yanukovich in eastern Ukraine is also genuine. Nor are we watching a struggle between freedom and authoritarianism, as is romantically alleged. Yushchenko served as prime minister under Kuchma, and some of his backers are also linked to the brutal industrial clans who manipulated Ukraine's post-Soviet privatization. On some issues Yushchenko may be a better potential president than Yanukovich, but to suggest that he would provide a sea change in Ukrainian politics and economic management is naïve. Putin is not inherently against a democratic Ukraine, however authoritarian he is in his own country. What concerns him is instability, the threat of anti-Russian regimes on his borders and American mischief.

    The European Union has been weak and divided, missing the chance to exert a strong European line in the face of US strategic meddling. It should give Ukraine the option of future membership rather than the feeble "action plan" of cooperation currently on offer. Adapting its legislation and practice to EU norms would set Ukraine on a surer path to irreversible reform than anything that either Yushchenko or Yanukovich would do. The EU should also make a public statement that it sees no value in NATO membership for Ukraine, and those EU members who belong to NATO will not support it. At a stroke this would calm Russia's legitimate fears and send a signal to Washington not to go on inflaming a purely European issue.
    Jonathan Steele December 2, 2004
    Ukraine's Untold Story | The Nation
    Very interesting article. Still 10 years later.

    And I agree that regarding expansionism, breaking treaties and international law, and geostrategic meddling, Russia is doing nothing fundamentally different than the West has been doing for a while.

    However, I am very much in favor of preparing NATO for the worst case. Because for me, as a central European, it boils down to the simple question: In what kind of system do I prefer to live -- our current Western system, or a Russian style system?
    Last edited by German guy; 03-07-14 at 09:44 PM.
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    re: For First Time, Kremlin Signals It Is Prepared to Annex Crimea [W:153]

    Quote Originally Posted by US Conservative View Post
    The units removed markings when they crossed into Crimea.
    Huh?

    Unfortunately for you, the title of the video states:
    "трасса Краснодар-Новороссийск, колонна войск РФ в Крым"
    /"road Krasnodar-Novorosiysk, Russian army column into Crimea"

    As, I already stated these forces might indeed eventually end up in Crimea, but contrary to what you claimed the footage was taken in Russia.

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    re: For First Time, Kremlin Signals It Is Prepared to Annex Crimea [W:153]

    Quote Originally Posted by Ockham View Post
    It would be prudent to rethink that move, but I'm concerned that money has already been spent in that 3.9T budget that just came out.
    So Obama gets to decide if he takes a hit from shrinking the military in a volatile world, or takes a hit from cuts to his domestic policy.

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