Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | March 1, 2014

Palin warned Russia could invade Ukraine – back in 2008

Some things are just way too delicious.  Tony Lee, blogger of excellence at Breitbart’s Big Peace, reminds us of a point Sarah Palin made during the 2008 campaign:

After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.

And, as Lee recounts, Palin was roundly ridiculed in the foreign-affairs media for such “far-fetched” comments.

But, of course, she was as correct then as she would be today, for the following reasons:

1.  Indecision and moral equivalence from the liberal West transform the basic conditions of geopolitical relations and encourage the worst from the non-liberal nations, like Russia – always and invariably.

2.  By doing this, indecision and moral equivalence change what makes sense to the non-liberal nations.  The change in conditions changes how the non-liberal nations see their needs as well as their options.Palin 2008

In 2008, when George W. Bush was president, Putin and Dmitry Medvedev didn’t see either a possibility of, or a need for, securing Ukraine in a Russian military hammerlock.  The stability of the status quo looked too difficult to challenge – and that meant Russia didn’t have to worry about major challenges to it from other actors, like Islamists getting hold of whole nations and armies in the south.

In 2014, none of that is still true.  The reasons why it isn’t map back, in each case, to Obama’s indecision and moral equivalence.

The world always does a lot of things for its own reasons.  But Obama has done what no other American president has, in failing over and over again to react in any useful way, or act at all on an articulated, predictable policy of his own.  Even before the U.S. took a prominent place on the world stage, American presidents prosecuted actual, identifiable policies.  Obama doesn’t.

Five years into his presidency, it is his fault that Russia sees the status quo as inconvenient, unreliable, and negotiable.

Ukraine herself, meanwhile, was at the center of a key dispute between Russia and the Atlantic West only some three years prior to the 2008 election, and concerns were still fresh in 2008 over the possibility that Russia had been involved in poisoning Ukrainian politician Viktor Yushchenko.  Ukraine still sat athwart one of Russia’s most sensitive geographic interfaces with the non-Russian world, a position of historic vulnerability at a time when Russia had just invaded another nation – Georgia – in a similar position.

Palin didn’t just pull this one out of her posterior.  She was right – and not through luck, but because she was wiser than her critics about security, peace, and the use of national power.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard online. She also writes for the new blog Liberty Unyielding.

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Responses

  1. I wonder how much Putin made off the Olympics?

  2. Indeed. The legendary prescience and wisdom of (ex) Governor Palin is in stark contrast to our irresolute President. And as (ex) Governor Palin would (no doubt) also observe, Obama’s reluctance to send the Marines to the Crimea is in sharp contrast to the resolute actions of his predecessor in sending our troops to defend Georgia and imposing stiff economic sanctions on Russia for invading our ancient ally, Georgia.
    BTW, I can’t find any trace of the “foreign affairs media” having made any observation whatsoever on (ex) governor Palin’s words of wisdom. But I’m sure they must have and my search-engine is at fault.
    American mothers demand our boys be sent to secure the territory of our vital ally, the Ukraine. We will also be honoured to help pay the €80 billion necessary to rescue the Ukraine from immediate bankruptcy – and whatever extra billions will be necessary to keep it afloat now that it will have to pay world-market rates for the Russian gas on which it depends.

    How ungrateful and short-sighted we were to turn down the offer of this brilliant foreign-policy thinker to run our country.

    • If sarcasm, your comment fails… if serious, nice try at obfuscation. Palin’s prescience and wisdom provably exceed the great deceiver’s and Palin has not advocated sending marines to the Ukraine. Nice try at a strawman argument. Neither Georgia nor Ukraine has ever been an ally so try try at historical revision. The foreign media failure to mention Palin’s prescience is of course intentional. When has the left ever admitted to error? No one is asking American mothers to send their sons to the Ukraine. More strawman argument. Both the EU and America are broke, Ukraine like the rest of the West is bankrupt. Your ingratitude and shortsightedness are obvious and you greatly deserve the consequences. That you have also condemned millions of innocents to misery is karma that many lifetimes will be needed to clear or perhaps you’ll just be sent to a very dark and hot place.

      • Could you then enlighten me as to what alternative action the brilliant ex-governor of Alaska is proposing the US adopt in relation to the Russian invasion of Crimea? Because if she did propose one I seem to have missed it.

        And she might also hypothesize what alternative actions the respective Bush’s might have taken in the early 90s and again in 2008 when we did nothing (other than ritual hand-wringing) when the Russians did similar things in South Ossetia and Abkhazia

        • There is no proposal Palin can make given the utter mess Obama has made of things. There’s no use to shutting the barn door, after the horse has run out. Palin is pointing out why we are in the mess we’re in and what the policies of Obama have and are leading us to, so that thoughtful Americans (of which you obviously are not one) may reevaluate their support for Obama.

          • Palin “predicted” the invasion of the Crimea. By the same measure Rasputin must have been an even wiser foreign-policy pundit. He predicted the 1st World War years before it happened.

  3. Had Palin and McCain had their way back in 2008, the United States would have declared war on Russia, North Korea, Iran, and the country of Africa (Sarah’s personal pick).

    • Thank you for an early warning as to your foolishness. “If you would have peace, prepare for war” does not mean that one seeks war. Bullies do not pick on the strong. Aggressors only prey upon the weaker. That you haven’t learned this is an indication that you’re an appeaser. One who hopes the crocodile is satiated with others before it gets to him. Moral cowardice is always the motivation of those who would appease.

      • Pardon me for remarking on it, Geoffrey, but I notice when you don’t have any coherent argument to make you resort to abusiveness and call people who make points which discomfort you “appeasers” and “moral cowards”.

        Now, Geoffrey, tell me what message do you think the two Bush’s gave to the Russians when they did nothing in response to those little affairs in South Ossetia and Abkhazia?
        And could you tell me, in the context of Russian actions in the Crimea and the Caucasus, what exactly do you mean by your injunction of “prepare for war”.
        And having “prepared for war” and presumably threatened it, and if you then don’t actually do it, but back down (as anyone who had threatened war in a region which has never been a vital strategic interest to the US would), what message would that send to the Russians?
        And, Geoff, have you ever had your IQ tested?

        Now, Geoff, if you would address the above with reasoned argument, and without resorting to personal invective.

        • Nice try at projection. Someone who runs away or counsels it as their default position is an appeaser and the root of appeasement is moral cowardice.

          That’s not an accusation but an observation. If the shoe fits…

          The message that ‘cowboy’ Bush and Bush senior gave was that there was a limit to how far America could be pushed and that Russia asserting itself within its sphere of influence was the limit to how far Putin could push. No one believes that Obama has an actual red line, least of all Putin.

          “Prepare for war” does not, as you disingenuously imply, mean seeking war, as I made quite clear. It means being prepared for war should it become necessary and doing so in an unmistakable manner, so as to lessen the likelihood that aggressors will mistakenly evaluate our resolve.

          My IQ speaks for itself and that you attack it through implication; “Geoff, if you would address the above with reasoned argument, and without resorting to personal invective” reveals your own hypocrisy.

  4. The disparity between Palin and Obama is a perfect reflection of how badly this country is offtrack. Of how badly the deprivations of the left have been in indoctrinating the country into the evil memes of the left.

    We now know Putin’s response to Obama’s warning.

    Kremlin Clears Way for Force in Ukraine; Separatist Split Feared

    “SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — As Russian armed forces effectively seized control of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula on Saturday, the Russian Parliament granted President Vladimir V. Putin the authority he sought to use military force in response to the deepening instability in Ukraine.

    The authorization cited a threat to the lives of Russian citizens and soldiers stationed in Crimea and other parts of Ukraine, and provided a blunt answer to President Obama, who on Friday pointedly warned Russia to respect Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty.”

    Though I too think Obama is cooperating with Putin while pretending otherwise, in this case, it doesn’t really matter whether Obama is a fool or knave. As even if he wished to, there’s nothing Obama can actually do to dissuade Putin.

    We no longer honor our treaties and our allies are on their own, no way is Obama going to threaten war with Russia now or in the future with China. Obama is downsizing our military with the express aim that we shall lack the conventional resources to project power outside our borders. That effectively leaves us with a binary set of options; nuclear war or passive acceptance. Since nuclear war is not actually a sane option, passive acceptance of whatever tyranny dictates is now our and the world’s lot.

    • No worries, GB. If Russia misbehaves, Obama may cancel his trip to the international summit. And, given the entourage and regiments of Party planners he brings with him, the economic impact of such a loss could be devastating.

      • Obama may well cancel his trip to Sochi. So too may other Western leaders. But the truth is that Obama will be able to do just as little about any Russian takeover in the Crimea as his predecessors were able (or willing) to do about the Russian invasion of Georgia, or the earlier invasion of Afghanistan by the USSR (We took the awesomely futile action of ordering the US Olympic team not to participate in the Moscow Olympics). Mind you, it was no more or less than the Ruskies were able to do when we overthrew the governments of Chile, Iraq and half a dozen other places within our own sphere, and invaded Iraq.

        What the Obama-haters here have failed to notice is that the big loser here is Putin. His man has been ousted and he has lost most of Ukraine to the West with him. He is trying to make the best of it by putting on a show of force in the Crimea – a Russian enclave which he effectively controlled anyway, and whose population would probably vote to secede back to Russia if given a vote on the question.

        The other big loser will be the EU, which negotiated a deal between the ousted (and fairly elected) president and the insurgents, and then did nothing when the insurgents turned around and repudiated the deal. The EU (with the debt crisis in it’s southern periphery still far from resolved) is now on the hook to keep the hugely insolvent Ukraine from going bankrupt. To make matters even worse, the Russians are in the position to make the cost of rescuing the Ukraine infinitely more expensive for the EU by insisting it pay spot-market rates for its gas supplies from Siberia. The EU now needs some face-saving formula to get out of the mess it blundered into.

        By keeping out of it (other than voicing disapproval) our President has avoided the pitfall of putting both our feet into a swamp that is beyond our interests or capability to do anything about. We should be grateful.

        • No one here is disagreeing with you that Obama’s options are essentially non-existent. No one here is insisting that we have any compelling strategic interest in the Ukraine. Everyone here understands the strategic interest that Russia has in the Ukraine. So stop the strawman arguments.

          I do disagree that “the big loser here is Putin”. Below you state, [Putin’s] “strategy will be to bide his time and allow the Ukraine to stew in its own juice. He knows the Ukrainian economic mess is beyond the current resources of the EU to fix. Sooner of later the EU (or Ukrainians, who will soon tire of the extreme austerity they are now facing) will come looking for a deal that will satisfy Russian interests and concerns.” if Putin follows that strategy (and events allow him to) there is no reason to presume that he cannot come out the winner because you’ve just argued that it is Putin who has the leverage. Putin doesn’t need formal dominance of Ukraine just enough de facto control that it remains within Russia’s sphere of influence. His ‘man’ Yanukovych is easily replaced, having never been anything beyond a proxy pawn available for sale. Such men are easily found. In fact, Ukraine’s parliament is filled with them.

          Your analysis of the EU is spot on so they are not a factor. And now that the US has pulled its financial backing of the EU, they will have neither the time nor the fiscal resources to be involved in any future Ukrainian resolution.

          Yes, as far as immediate considerations go, it is true that“By keeping out of it (other than voicing disapproval) our President has avoided the pitfall of putting both our feet into a swamp that is beyond our interests or capability to do anything about” but…Obama’s recurrent weakness and his gelding of our military will not go unnoticed by our enemies and at a future date the repercussions for America will be profound.

      • I appreciate the satirical sarcasm CV. If only Putin valued economic factors as much as we would like him to.

  5. There is nothing to be happy about today. From anyone and anywhere..

    We will never learn.

  6. GB — you’ve nailed it: it doesn’t matter whether Obama has been intentionally or unintentionally complicit in handing Putin exploitable situations. The point is that he has kept doing it.

    We’ve reached the point now at which there is no going back. Even if a wiser president took over in the Oval Office tomorrow, we have no means to deter Russia in the situation in Ukraine. There are other limitations on Putin’s freedom of action, but they are not imposed by the US or the West. Europe is as out of position as the US is to affect Putin’s course.

    Welcome to Popper and labman57. For Popper, the mockery of Palin for her 2008 comment is linked in the Tony Lee piece.

    Sarcasm about Palin rings hollow at this point, since she has turned out to be exactly right. Weak responses from America encourage predators, and Russia remains one.

    If you care to read more at TOC, you’ll see that the view of Russia here is nuanced, historical, and not unsympathetic. Russia isn’t ONLY a predator. But it requires a constant, ideally good-humored strain on the lines to keep her borders in stasis when she isn’t occupying her neighbors. Obama has simply let go of the lines.

    • Your lame reply rather illustrates the brain-numbing effect of blind prejudice – and in your case, laced with a tincture of visceral hatred for your president.
      Did not the complete failure by the two Bush’s to do anything whatsoever about the two wars in South Ossetia and the related one in Abkhazia (other than stamp up and down a bit and threaten to hold their breath until they went blue in the face) set the pattern in how the US would respond to these sort of incidents in Russia’s back-yard? And didn’t the failure of these two Republican heroes not signal clearly to Russia that (save for some minor ritualistic protests) the Ruskies would have a free hand in their former provinces? Of course, given the limitations of having to operate in the real world, neither the two Bush’s or Obama, or anyone else for that matter, would have done anything else. Or perhaps the Great One has proposed some alternative strategy that the three aforementioned presidents could have pursued? If she has, I must have missed it.

      And I just loved the bit where you implied the foreign policy media had poured scorn on your heroine. I presume this bit of fancifulness was yet another attempt to flog that long expired mule: The imagined persecution of Palin and her ilk by mainstream commentators who have somehow failed to grasp that behind the mask of a shallow, self-promoting media-celeb lies a foreign-policy genius. For Heaven’s sake!

      • It is not visceral hatred you detect but reasoned observation.

        No major nuclear power’s sphere of influence can be challenged without the risk that the confrontation could go nuclear. That reality places a hard limit on how much of a military challenge to a major nuclear power can be safely applied.

        What your ‘visceral hatred’ (and since its emotion based rather than intellectual that categorization applies) of the right prevents you from appreciating is an eternal truth, “if you would have peace, prepare for war”.

        Our enemies ‘adventurism’ is self-restrained when faced with a strong America. That aggression is invited when they sense weakness. It is ever so with the predator. And if you don’t see that Islam, Russia under Putin and his cronies and the Chinese totalitarian leadership are predators, then it is a case of willful blindness and nothing that can be said can awaken you from the motivating moral cowardice that underlies that willful blindness.

        It is her willingness to face our external reality which separates Palin from Obama and even to a lesser extent, George Bush…

  7. I find myself in a very uncomfortable position on this topic. Very briefly (there are many facets) the Syrian debacle was tangential result of serious miscalculation on the part of the US with respect to Libya.
    Gaddafi was obviously a very bad guy. Did terrible things, but he was a realist and was keeping his head down and using a very heavy hand on Islamic Fundamentalist types. He probably used some of them , killed some and paid some off, but he tamped them down.
    The Europeans, along with the Beta Male in the White House, burned that situation to the ground.
    The Syrian embarrassment was simply naive political types (including the President) showing ignorance and a spectacular desire to make fools of themselves.
    There are many parts to Egypt/Libya/Syria that we all know very well.
    Ukraine is different. Very different.
    Tough talk from the US does not change the fact that Russia has serious interests in eastern Ukraine. The country is in their sphere.
    Before GB gets all over me on lots of guns and ammunition, I love nothing more than a good armored division beat down with cannon cockers and flyboys laying it on thick. ( Beehive and Bumble Bee shells were a dark work of art). Backed up by the Navy of course. I really do love napalm in the morning.
    John Wayne could be President and it would not change one thing that is happening in Ukraine.
    I do think the whole macho man of the woods thing is not going to restore Russia. The tide of history is flowing the other way. In fits and starts no doubt, but flowing against Putin in the long run.
    I would not be surprised if he knows this also.
    Clinton was able to goof around for 8 years because of the collapse of the Soviet Union, peace dividend and all that.
    If you have to have a fool in the White House, now is not the worst time for a deeply un-serious person. Pulling away from two wars and a tough economic climate at home.
    We will have to regroup and find ourselves again. We will. We always have.

    • From a Russian viewpoint, it would be imprudent to not deploy forces in or near the Crimea to protect its interests there. The question is whether Russian actions will be limited to that. It does not appear that the US or Europe has any ability to prevent Russia from moving into central Ukraine.

      • Nato’s move into Eastern Europe is a quiet and very strong checkmate on Russia. I think ( but I defer to JE) the Russian move in Ukraine is defensive in nature. Putin is concerned with Russian geographic loses not gains.
        Rusty Russian ships sailing around to 3rd world pariah ports is a sign of weakness.
        Russia and the United States should be at least grudging allies in many areas of common interest.
        Sorry for what is happening jgets. I have no emotional attachment there and cannot see the situation from a personal perspective.
        Regards Cousin and jgets.

        • Thanks, WR

        • You actually have it pretty much correct, except that Putin’s situation is even worse. He has just lost the Ukraine to the West. His actions (in addition to signalling his intentions to secure local Russian interests as you correctly say) are also a bit of face-saving for the folks at home. It may even extend to doing a “South Ossetia” with the Crimea, though I doubt it. But he has no intention whatsoever of invading the Ukraine “proper” (so to speak). His strategy will be to bide his time and allow the Ukraine to stew in its own juice. He knows the Ukrainian economic mess is beyond the current resources of the EU to fix. Sooner of later the EU (or Ukrainians, who will soon tire of the extreme austerity they are now facing) will come looking for a deal that will satisfy Russian interests and concerns. But, in the end, he has still lost the Ukraine.

          Oh, and our interests are best limited to expressions of concern and a few gestures – and to keep well out of it.

    • walt,

      “Tough talk from the US does not change the fact that Russia has serious interests in eastern Ukraine. The country is in their sphere.
      I entirely agree.

      “John Wayne could be President and it would not change one thing that is happening in Ukraine.”

      I partially agree. As things stand now, from Clinton forward to today, the US is in far too weak a position to do anything but bluster.

      “We will have to regroup and find ourselves again. We will. We always have.”
      I wish I could agree or even be hopeful that more than minor chance of that happening was possible. The country is deeply divided and arguably, irreconcilably. “A house divided, cannot stand” is as true today as it was in Lincoln’s time. But today we have three external threats (Islam, China & Russia) and a huge internal threat, the hard core American Left. Without internal cohesion, external threats are much more difficult to survive. The situation is NOT comparable to 1861’s simplicity or 1941’s ‘awakened giant’.

      • “From Clinton forward to today”……
        You have such a short span of attention, Geoffrey. Where were you back in 1991 when the Russians were doing the same thing (and worse) in South Ossetia, and Daddy Bush was doing absolutely nada except wring his hands and threaten unspecified (and soon forgotten) action?

        • Actually in 91 I was a liberal in transition, though fortunately I had started to awaken enough not to vote for Clinton.

          Never having been a particular fan of Bush senior’s leadership I feel no need to defend it. A President who respects the Constitution is limited in what he can do by the political support he enjoys. H.W. Bush had little congressional support for imposing consequences upon Russia and given that he was running for reelection was almost certainly advised that Clinton would point to any sanctions Bush might have imposed as ‘counter-productive’. Political calculation trumps all during reelection years.

          Clinton used the peace dividend to weaken the military, Bush Jr. rebuilt it to the degree possible in the face of vociferous and unrelenting democrat and MSM opposition and Obama is now taking a hatchet to our military. Such that we now face a binary set of options when faced with aggression. Verbal bluster or threatening the possibility of nuclear war. Since that threat is empty as well, its all bluster and our enemies are free to do as they will.

          Wolves don’t restrain themselves when the sheep have ‘retired’ their sheepdogs. And a shepherd with only a staff is helpless to defend his sheep. You either simply don’t believe wolves exist or favor the appeaser’s solution. Just out of curiosity, which is it?

      • GB, it is always good to read your comments. My comment, at the end, did sound a bit like sunshine and Sunday picnic with good things happening in the end.
        My meaning was and is this: The Warriors always come forward when needed. Not killers, but Warriors. People with purpose, grit, backbone, and not much fear of everyday life.
        People that support their families, give their children everything they can in life. Warriors don’t whine about every challenge that confronts them in life. Warriors carry their own water so to speak.
        When serious times collect again, in whatever fashion, the unserious, weak, and self absorbed will again move to the background and take care of their knitting until Warriors have provided safety and wealth for them to live off of for a little while longer. The unserious will return to the limelight when the coast is clear.
        I have known Warriors from street people to to CEO offices. They are everywhere. They are not interested in 15 minutes, but life.

  8. The underlying problem to Obama’s approach is that he is unprepared. The formative years of high school and college that many world leaders spend burrowing through thousands of tomes on history, politics and fiction, learning languages and preparing for life, he spent getting stoned. Many American politicians today are woefully uneducated, he’s far from the only one. But forget what he read thirty years ago. What books has he read since he came into office? Has anyone ever heard him say anything interesting, or that reflects any deeper understanding of the countries and cultures we have to to share the planet with? His grades are kept sealed for a reason, and it’s not to spare the rest of us feelings of inferiority.

    • I get the feeling your grades wouldn’t give me feelings of inferiority either.

      • Grades issued by leftist professors are worse than useless, they’re deceitful. The better the grade, the greater the self-delusion.

      • But I didn’t volunteer to lead America. I am not brilliant. Nor am I, or have I ever been, a pothead.

    • I have no idea about his grades, but I will lay odds he attended at least one elite Eastern academic institution as a foreign student. Evidence? His ambiguous background, which he has been shown to use to his benefit, even if some literary license was required. And at this point, it makes no sense to try to hide less-than-stellar grades.

      (Unlike current climate change theory, which cannot be disproven by any set of data, the above theory could be easily disproven if it were erroneous.)

      As to the President’s reading habits, he may think that what he has read qualifies him as President and Commander in Chief despite a lack of real world experience.

  9. Can anybody verify this report?

    The entire Ukrainian fleet has raised Saint Andrew’s Flag.

    • The fleet may have been ordered to do that by the Ukrainian navy chief, who has now defected to the Russia-loyal Crimean parliament. I haven’t seen anything other than Russian-media reporting to confirm the flag-raising, however.

      I’m sure you’ve seen that the Navy chief (Berezovsky?) has been relieved of duty and replaced by the interim government in Kiev. The interim govt is calling up the Ukrainian armed forces now, including reservists.

      • I just saw the flash about Berezovsky. His building was surrounded and the electric cut? Switch over or die? Your family dies? Everybody in the building dies? OR he may just have cut a deal? Save himself/himself and the Navy?

        • Maybe, but not necessarily. I just verified his name, Denis Berezovsky. Undoubtedly he’s an ethnic Russian, almost certainly a resident of Crimea from childhood.

          (Nations with small navies typically have a coastal population with strong naval traditions, but no one else in the country has a passion for the seagoing life. Ukrainian conscripts would come from all over; their naval leaders would be predominantly Russian and Crimean.)

          He may have made his move from conviction, rather than having to be forced into it.

          He may have been threatened with the lives of his men and the safety of his ships, as you suggest.

          His future sucks, regardless. The Russians will never trust him.

      • Yes, I was aware of the Admiral’s defection. From what I’ve been told today from within eastern Ukraine on the mobilization, some will comply, most will not. At least in the Donbas

        It’s on the vessels that I’ve got conflicting info on.

        Right now I’m trying to verify if the (ex?)-Ukrainian navy’s flagship Hetman Sahaidachny is docked in Souda Bay. Supposedly, she has defected but still has Ukrainian colors raised.

        I have no good info on the location of the rest of the fleet.

        • jgets, in the future, some sort of partition, split, accomodation between Crimea/easter sections and central/western sections of the country?
          I am afraid I don’t know enough to ask the question in a more specific ethnic or political way.

          • That depends on many factors that haven’t played out yet and it’s gonna be too long to answer.

            I’m not gonna proofread my habitually bad grammar Expect it to be disjointed. I’ll just outline it a little and try to get back to it. I’m gonna leave stuff out. So please excuse the errors and incompleteness. It’ll take me to long to make it presentable.

            First, all the interested parties are gonna have to sit around a table and talk. We ain’t there yet. though the Germans did hit the speed dial button to Moscow today, so that’s encouraging.

            There was some talk of a federal model. But Ukraine has got cultural problems of the type similar to what the Serbs and Croats had. They’ll have to find some way to avoid the money sharing and power pitfalls.

            If any single state formula that takes into account both the aspirations for closer ties with the West and preservation of Russian interests can be agreed to, then, there is no reason why the country shouldn’t remain intact, even after recent events. Ironically, that was pretty much exactly what was in the cards before extremists dynamited the deal. Whether the Ukrainian nationalists like it or not, their neighbors aren’t Belgium or Holland. Russia will have a big say. Russian language rights will have to be respected and (here is the rub) dual nationality will have to be constitutionally allowed . You want EU? Ok, but same trade deal rules apply for us, you keep your LGBT propaganda away from our kids, and we’ll build democracy on our own model. You want NATO? no way, unless we’re in it too.

            Now some bad news

            The current interim goverment in Kiev is not likely to rise to the occasion and compromise. They are already exhibiting signs of serious internal disagreement. They also (literally) have a big gun held to their head by the extreme nationalists (as well as the Russians). Even their handlers, a combination of Western NGO’s, corrupt oligarchs and State actors who shall remain unnamed are losing control Tymoschenko with one or more of the oligarchs might be able to overcome this.

            Accommodation is impossible with Kiev. Unless, they are persuaded (forced actually) by their Western backers to deescalate and appoint more Easterners to key ministries till the next general election. And, they’ll have to accept a new status quo in the Crimea. Something the nationalists will find impossible to accept.. They’ll be lynched by their own power base in Lvov. Putin is trapped (in a way) as well. He cannot possibly return the Crimea now, without expanded self rule for her inhabitants along with fleet basing rights (in perpetuity) guaranteed by an international treaty. And, the aspirations of Russian nationalists have also now been raised..

            The likeliest scenario now is partition along the lines of how far west Russia can draw the line without overextending herself and inviting insurgency. It’s not going to be done in some caricaturish brutal Soviet throwback fashion (I believe). The Crimean operation was a good indication of that. They”ll use there own NGO’s, media, banks, etc. along with the troops.They are learning the techniques to be a viable alternative to the Western narrative.

            It would have been best if they had stuck to deal brokered by the Germans, Poles and French with a little help from the Russians.

            • Thank you jgets!!!!!

        • As most of the Ukrainian coast IS the Crimea, it seems the Ukraine won’t have much use for a navy in the future.

        • Thanks, jgets. Hetman Sahaidachny was on antipiracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden, if I recall correctly, Presumably she was ordered to head toward home after Yanukovych fled. But of course it would have been unwise for her to simply go right back to Ukraine. A stop in Crete certainly seems prudent.

          It won’t matter in the end. The Ukrainian navy is no match for Russia’s, and it would be suicidal to go up against the Russian fleet. I don’t anticipate any tactical action at all between the navies. Depending on the outcome, a rump Ukraine with her capital in Kiev may even need to park Hetman Sahaidachny in a foreign port for some time rather than bring her home — if her crew remains loyal.

          • You are welcome. As always

  10. 1. Looks like a good week for Putin. Happiness at home, I’m sure, with this demonstration of Russian power. And no need to waste that $15 billion on corrupt Ukrainian officials. The idea that his invasion of Crimea shows that he has “lost” Ukraine seems silly — are we to believe that Ukraine is now closer to the West???

    2. I must say that sending in the Russian troops without insignia was more than a bit creepy.

    3. I agree with almost all the posters here that Ukraine is not in the US’s vital interests, so as to justify any military response.

    4. Also, in the words of our recent mileage-queen Secretary of State: What at this point in time does it matter, given Barry’s abysmal foreign policy over the last 5 years? Is it really that much worse than: abandoning the 2009 uprising in Iran; literally kowtowing to every dictator, ancient communist and Islamist extremist he meets; dithering on Libya; doing God knows what in Egypt; red-line drawing/ignoring in Syria; snatching defeat from the jaws of at least more honorable resolutions in Iraq and Afghanistan; abandoning the sanctions against Iran, screwing with Israel; and the multiple lies of Benghazi ?

    5. The only possible positive that I see coming out of the unveiling of Putin the Wolf is that Putin’s Ukraine putsch will make it a wee bit more difficult for Barry — as the final feather in his moth-eaten foreign policy cap — to unilaterally cripple, if not totally abandon, our nuclear capabilities. Although Barry promised Putin that he would have more flexibility after the fools re-elected him, the fools might just rebel against such a blatant disarmament effort.

    • Indeed, Darkness. I would just point out one more time that Putin was emboldened to make his move in Ukraine BECAUSE of the litany of unfulfilled threats, diplomatic defeats, and gratuitous kowtowing from Obama.

  11. Morning tactical update: now hearing from Ukraine that Russia has ordered the ships of the small Ukrainian navy to surrender.

    http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/russias-invasion-of-ukraine-march-3-live-updates-338232.html


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