March 1st, 2014

No doubt Putin is quaking in his boots…

…at this warning from President Obama:

“We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine,” Obama said in a hastily arranged public statement from the White House briefing room.

“Just days after the world came to Russia for the Olympic games, it would invite the condemnation of nations around the world. And indeed, the United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine,” the president warned.

Costs…costs…what could they be?

Here are some possibilities:

It was unclear what sort of action Obama might take or what limited approach would deter the Russians.

The United States is consulting with its European allies on next steps, a senior administration official told Yahoo News. One option: Boycott the Group of Eight summit due to be held in June in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Another option: Reject Russian efforts to promote trade with the United States. Putin sent a team of officials to Washington this week for just that purpose.

And Russia will face other possible costs, such as a worsening of its already shaky international reputation, and a drop in the value of its currency, the ruble, making imports more expensive and reducing the relative value of its exports.

It’s not as though previous presidents would have gone to war over Putin’s actions. But Obama’s warnings on this—or anything except his phone and his pen—have an especially hollow ring.

I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis, which happened when I was young. It came about in part because Khrushchev was emboldened by what he perceived as JFK’s youth and naivete; in other words, Kennedy’s weakness. Khrushchev had taken Kennedy’s measure at a previous summit, and found him wanting in cojones:

By all accounts, including Kennedy’s own, the meetings were a disaster. Khrushchev berated, belittled, and bullied Kennedy on subjects ranging from Communist ideology to the balance of power between the Soviet and Western blocs, to Laos, to “wars of national liberation,” to nuclear testing. He threw down the gauntlet on Berlin in particular, all but threatening war.

“I never met a man like this,” Kennedy subsequently commented to Time’s Hugh Sidey. “[I] talked about how a nuclear exchange would kill 70 million people in ten minutes, and he just looked at me as if to say ‘So what?’” In The Fifty-Year Wound, Cold War historian Derek Leebaert drily observes of Khrushchev in Vienna, “Having worked for Stalin had its uses.”…

Immediately following the final session on June 4 Kennedy sat for a previously scheduled interview with New York Times columnist James Reston at the American embassy. Kennedy was reeling from his meetings with Khrushchev, famously describing the meetings as the “roughest thing in my life.” Reston reported that Kennedy said just enough for Reston to conclude that Khrushchev “had studied the events of the Bay of Pigs” and that he had “decided that he was dealing with an inexperienced young leader who could be intimidated and blackmailed.” Kennedy said to Reston that Khrushchev had “just beat [the] hell out of me” and that he had presented Kennedy with a terrible problem: “If he thinks I’m inexperienced and have no guts, until we remove those ideas we won’t get anywhere with him. So we have to act.”

Kennedy may have been young and inexperienced enough to have given the wily old Soviet leader an impression of weakness, but Kennedy was not so young and inexperienced that he didn’t understand how dangerous that was. He went about trying to correct the impression as best he could. One of the ways he did this (especially interesting in light of Obama’s recent request for large military cuts) was to seek “congressional approval for an additional $3.25 billion in defense spending, the doubling and tripling of draft calls, calling up reserves, raising the Army’s total authorized strength, increasing active duty numbers in the Navy and Air Force, reconditioning planes and ships in mothballs, and a civil defense program to minimize the number of Americans that would be killed in a nuclear attack.”

As might be expected, Khrushchev decided to call the young leader’s bluff, and erected the Berlin Wall and then resumed atmospheric nuclear tests. The Cuban Missile Crisis followed, and there it was Khrushchev who ended up backing down. Some people are also of the opinion that Kennedy’s intervention in Vietnam was part of a pattern designed to prove to the Soviets that he was willing to fight.

The whole thing began with a perception of Kennedy’s weakness at the summit. But early on, Obama had not appeared to have learned anything from that piece of history:

In Portland on May 18 [2008], Obama cited John F. Kennedy’s 1961 summit with Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna among the series of negotiations that led to America’s triumph over the Soviet Union in the Cold War. The Vienna summit, however, disproves Obama’s assertion regarding the unvarying value of meetings between enemy heads of state about as decisively as any historical episode can refute a thesis. In addition to poor judgment, Obama has demonstrated that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

The situation now is different than in the Cold War, but not all that different. And telegraphing weakness and naivete is never a good idea—especially when dealing with the Russians, but anywhere on the geopolitical stage.

Speaking of not knowing what he’s talking about:

Here was Romney’s original statement, prior to the debate:

And here’s Romney’s response to Obama during the debate:

And then there’s a little thing called the Budapest Memorandum. The Daily Mail calls it a “forgotten treaty,” and my guess is that it will remain forgotten. It has become more and more clear that our agreements have become worthless and meaningless under this president. And by the way, that memorandum was signed by Bill Clinton, back in the days.

The Budapest Memorandum was “part of the denuclearization of former Soviet republics after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.” We promised to defend Ukraine if it were invaded by Russia, and Ukraine promised not to pursue nuclear arms. But the current action is not an invasion; it’s an uncontested arrival.

[NOTE: A question here is the old "fool or knave" one. Is Obama cooperating with Russia and just pretending not to, or is he just weak and clueless and would rather stop them? I go for curtain #1.]

59 Responses to “No doubt Putin is quaking in his boots…”

  1. Ymarsakar Says:

    Obama: I’m very good at killing people.

  2. Ymarsakar Says:

    The question for me is one of intent. Is he intentionally helping evil or is he unintentionally aiding evil.

    Nations of the world, responsible for their own people’s survival, would be fools indeed to trust America to walk a single yellow dog these days.

    And those patriots that want to fix America, will never get anything done so long as they are blinded to what’s been really going on in the US for centuries.

  3. CV Says:

    I think he’s probably cooperating and/or unconcerned while pretending otherwise (in yet another empty speech).

    After all, he’s got “more flexibility” now…

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    We know 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.

  5. KLSmith Says:

    How about #3. They’re competing for leadership of the new Comintern.

  6. Cornhead Says:

    Clear to me what can be done: crank up oil and gas production and export it to Europe so they don’t freeze.

    But very disturbing that not only is Obama clueless, he is surrounded by the likes of Hagel and Kerry.

    And the term “uncontested arrival” must have been cooked up by the Ivy League genius who gave us “leading from behind.”

  7. Don Carlos Says:

    Hagel (R-NE) is what you get from a Big Tent GOP.

    Obama ain’t clueless, far from it.

    As to the Euros, they need to spend some time between a rock and a hard place. They need a good chill of reality. In future the antiSemitic Euros may have to buy oil & gas from Israeli fields in the Eastern Mediterannean, a consummation devoutly to be wished.

  8. blert Says:

    Barry is the gift that keeps on grifting.

    He deems this travesty as so serious —

    it’s a Democrat Party Happy Hour!

    &&&

    A while back I posted a long rant — a snap shot of Ukraine —

    And now I read that what’s old is new again:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/01/world/europe/ukrainian-cities-reflect-nations-deep-divisions.html

    Even to this day, the (met) coal of the Donbas/ Donets Basin is still a huge factor in the calculus.

    Digging down into the article — the single most important factoid is buried: 25% of Ukraine’s export income is coming from the met coal mining in the Donbas.

    I’d have thought that the place had been mostly mined out. As far back as 1994 it was acknowledged that many Donbas coal seams were uneconomic — being only 18″ thick! That’s tough even if you’re mining met coal.

    And it’s more than a little bit claustrophobic!

    The WSJ had an article on the situation. The miners were striking. The Big Man had volunteered to go into the mine and reach the work face. He had to be hauled out, feet first, the claustrophobia got to him.

    He won high praise, though. He showed more nerve than any Soviet era boss ever had. He moved to shut down that particular mine as hopelessly uneconomic. It had soldiered on because of forced labor — Soviet style.

    It was a warmer prison than the Gulag in Siberia!

    Now what really strikes me as odd: methane can substitute for coke in the iron reduction process. Indeed, Mexico’s iron is now produced this way — going back two generations.

    So, it’s baffling that Donbas coal is even being pursued.

    BTW, it’s coming out that Ukraine is already producing her own natural gas, and has been for quite some time. Her production just gets buried in the staggering volumes of nat gas coming across Russia and on to Europe.

    &&&&

    If Putin confines himself to snapping off the Crimea, this will die down. The Crimea has never been considered the heart of Ukraine.

    It’s separateness goes back into antiquity. Some scholarship places Trojan trading outposts in Sevastopol as far back as 600BC. Indeed, the economic power behind Troy more or less consisted of the Black Sea. It had been Troy’s private lake. Like modern Istanbul, Troy had a stranglehold on the shipping nexus.

    The Crimea has never had a great reputation for cereal grains. Perhaps the Tartars regard it as ideal horse country.

    (I’m reading that the Tartars are spitting blood about coming back under the boot-heel of Moscow.)

    &&&

    And in other news: apparently the NY Times writer is completely unaware of the concept of an agent provocateur.

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

    “…when a bearded man in dark glasses took the microphone:

    “If we want peace,” the man proclaimed, “we have to get ready for war!”

    Naturally, no-one falls for it.

    You’re looking at a straight-up KGB/ SVR operation. The scheme is to start a totally farcical anti-Russian movement so that Putin is totally justified in coming to the aid of the Sudeten Germans… I mean Westish Russians… or some such.

    Say,… haven’t we seen this play before?

    The first stage is Sudetenland/ Westish Rodina….

    THEN… after the pause that refreshes… the national capital is swept up.

    Yeah, that’s it.

    Can’t Putin come up with ANYTHING new?

    Fascist is as fascist does.

  9. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “In future the antiSemitic Euros may have to buy oil & gas from Israeli fields in the Eastern Mediterannean”

    They’ll buy it and still hate the Israelis because hate is not influenced by reason and logic.

  10. blert Says:

    It must have passed under the radar…

    But Bibi has ALREADY signed a natural gas distribution deal with Moscow!

    Jerusalem and Moscow are co-joint members of a natural gas cartel — and are NOT going to compete at cross purposes.

    This entirely suits the higher purposes of Bibi’s foreign policy.

    For all of the Israeli reserves, they will never amount to anything but a minority position in the massive European gas market.

    Indeed, the high policy of Paris and Berlin is to completely eliminate sourcing from such a capricious and dominating supplier as Putin.

    In the case of Israeli nat gas, who knows what’s going through the European brain? Perhaps they fear that OPEC, especially AOPEC will spank them.

    As for cartel economics, neither Jerusalem nor Moscow wants their expensive undersea pipe networks selling gas at a loss.

    In sum: there’s no chance that Europe is going to shift their dependency to Israel.

    What’s much more likely is that we’re looking straight at Peak OPEC. That’s all.

    This is no small thing. Quicker than you can imagine, KSA’s ability to pack in the profits — and afford jihad — will evaporate under its exponential population growth.

    On present trends, KSA is doubling its population every twenty-years — perhaps even less.

    (Projections, especially about the future, are pretty iffy.)

    It’s need to pamper the tribe is growing even faster than the tribe. (!)

    ***

    IIRC, Baghdad is trying to reach 9,000,000 bpd in NET exports within the next generation.

    Iran, courtesy of Barry, is trying to get back to 3,000,000 bpd.

    Right now, Iran is exporting less than half of what Iraq is exporting!

    Its fall off has been — largely — displaced by the unexpected fracking boom in America. This boom seems set to lift American production another 1,000,000 bpd before 2014 is out.

    When combined with American (Gulf) exports of refined motor fuels, the entire flow of energy is being spun around.

    Maduro, in Caracas, has felt the impact. His cash is not flowing.

    &&&

    Israel has built its economy on expensive energy. Now that she has her own methane, amazing opportunities abound.

    “Plastics!”

  11. Mac Says:

    Anybody else remember this cartoon from many years ago?

  12. Artfldgr Says:

    So much for the idea, other than surface appearances, that they have changed their spots… same thing, same goals, same ways, with one of those ways disarming opposition by the ability to change structure and form to appear differently, and so be what its apologists want it to be (as they wont question seeing what they want to see). in that way, they will argue and prevent action cause to them appearances are substance, not substance. and ambiguity, when used on them effectively, is like hunting deer with high beam spotlights as they just stand there without knowing which way to move.

    same excuse as is always used to (and why stalin moved in ethnic russians into every place, so as to rescue them and take over when needed a premise).

  13. Artfldgr Says:

    the larger question is this
    with nothing pushing, will they just stop at the ukraine? or will they finish georgia and maybe another? then if no opposition, will they tire and vacation in the volga?

  14. Artfldgr Says:

    It has become more and more clear that our agreements have become worthless and meaningless under this president.

    yeah, i made a mistake when i mentioned it, the treaty is for IP, the memorandum is the other one..

    but thats the same reputation that russia has in its treaties and agreements… if one actually knows the history, of which i doubt the majority do given their penchent for che and other things in a surface way too

  15. Rick Caird Says:

    I pick curtain number 2. Obama is not an intelligent man. He is an ideological man. Just ask Simpson and Bowles. Obama is incapable of thinking strategically and foreign policy just hurts his head.

    Obama has no interest in foreign policy. He just floats along hoping nothing will upset the Democratic Friday night happy hour. Unlike Kennedy, he is just so arrogant, he does not even realize when he is being taken advantage of.

  16. Sam L. Says:

    If Pooty’s quaking in his boots,,,it’s from laughing.

  17. DNW Says:

    Manchurian Candidate gets my vote, just barely.

    On the other hand it’s remarkable to think that if in fact he’s merely a socialist incompetent who’s bent on destroying our traditional system of liberties, and who winds up getting hosed by Putin, there will be multitudes of us grimly laughing at the humiliation of “our own” chief executive, despite the danger that it poses to our own families.

    Imagine Putin slapping Obama around and kicking him as he crawls along the ground whimpering. Then imagine how hard it would be to even care.

    But on balance I figure he’s the guy who spends his life figuring out how to throw the keys to the city gate to the barbarians because he resents anyone who doesn’t come from a dysfunctional family like his.

  18. rickl Says:

    I just found this comment by “goozer” at Ace of Spades.

    “The Charge against the Light Bringer”

    Half a world, half a world,
    half a world over,
    While our President dithers,
    Our enemies grow bolder.
    ‘Forward! Hope and Change!’
    ‘Confiscate their guns!’ He said:
    While our nation grows weak
    Our enemies grow bolder.

    ‘Forward! Hope and Change!’
    Who knew that we were play’d?
    Not those bumpersticker’d
    With that mantra display’d:
    “Because shut up,” their reply,
    “We don’t need a reason why,”
    “Why don’t you f-off and die!”
    While our nation grows weak
    Our enemies grow bolder.

    Reid to the left of him,
    Pelosi to the other left of him,
    Maddow in front of them,
    Hector’d and scold’d;
    Peddling the lies they had to sell,
    Bald faced and shameless to tell,
    While jawboning us to death,
    While our nation goes to Hell
    Our enemies grow bolder.

    Rhetoric empty and bare,
    Rhetoric hangs in air,
    Red lines that aren’t really there,
    Waiting and watching while
    All the world wonder’d:
    Far from the tear-gas smoke,
    Through your ‘red line’ they broke,
    Fascist and Russian
    Delver’d the fatal stroke;
    A nation now sunder’d.
    While our nation dither’d
    Our enemies grew bolder.

    Reid to the left of him,
    Pelosi to the other left of him,
    Maddow in front of them,
    Hector’d and scold’d;
    Peddling the lies they had to sell,
    While our ambassador fell,
    With those who fought so well,
    “What difference does it make?”
    From hearts darkened by Hell,
    And our nation goes to sleep,
    Our enemies grow bolder.

    Why does our glory fade?
    O the promises made!
    All the world wonder’d.
    Dishonor’d ‘Hope and Change’,
    Dishonor’d to our shame,
    Our enemies embolden’d!

    ***

    I think that’s brilliant, and I would like to see it go viral. I’m no English major, but I know it’s difficult to parody a poem and make it work. I think he or she did an excellent job.

  19. Promethea Says:

    I’m sorry, there are other paid people in government besides our anti-American leader. If there aren’t enough patriots among them to do something about the perversion of leadership, then they all deserve to get nuked.

    BTW, I also personally blame “Justice” Roberts for every person who dies because he personally wrecked our medical system.

    Our government has been corrupted, and it’s time to do something about it. I’m sure we all have many ideas.

  20. Artfldgr Says:

    This is literally Obama’s Yalta, since Yalta is where on the map? :)

  21. Promethea Says:

    Re my comment above. Please don’t think I advocate doing anything about this Ukrainian takeover. The people in that area can take care of themselves. Their borders change every twenty or fifty years anyway.

    I actually prefer Putin to Obama. At least he has one or two useful goals for his country. Obama and his handlers just want to destroy our country.

  22. parker Says:

    BHO’s reported rationale for selecting Biden as VP was his foreign policy expertise. That pretty much explains the recklessness of this (mis)administration’s policies or lack thereof.

  23. Artfldgr Says:

    weaken the military, and what happens?
    weaken the kind of person picked as president, and what happens?

    Russian Troops Take Over Ukraine’s Crimea Region
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/crimean-leader-claims-control-asks-putin-22729336

    will it stop? will it keep going?
    will china grab something while the grabbing is good

    Russia approves troops…
    High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5e71a73c-a12a-11e3-b721-00144feab7de.html#ixzz2ulBT142d

    The decision by the Russian parliament on Saturday to authorise the deployment of troops into Ukraine has raised the spectre of war on the European continent for the first time since the Russia-Georgia conflict of 2008.

    ‘Military intervention would be the beginning of war’, says Ukraine as its armed forces are put on full alert and Obama calls Kremlin hotline to condemn Putin for ‘clear violation’ of national sovereignty

    word has it that Putin said “who? me?”

  24. rickl Says:

    Promethea Says:
    March 1st, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    I actually prefer Putin to Obama. At least he has one or two useful goals for his country. Obama and his handlers just want to destroy our country.

    Agreed. I have much more respect for Putin than I do for Obama. Putin wants Russia to be strong, respected, and/or feared. Whatever else we may think of him, those are pretty much normal goals for any national leader.

    Obama, on the other hand, is anything but “normal”.

  25. Artfldgr Says:

    Now can we list out the things from drawing down officers, replacing them in key positions, and a bunch of other stuff our dear leader has done?

    note that each time we have lowered our forces, we had conflicts either directly or indirectly in the later years…

    with our finances where we are, we cant borrow to pay for a direct defensive conflict… nor will we want to get into a third huge war in europe… but wars have a way of resetting finances

    while this is noisy and in our faces
    look to the pacific as well

    Clausewitz depicts war as a trial of moral and physical forces waged through the medium of physical force. The struggle in the East China Sea is a contest waged through the medium of perceptions of political steadfastness and the balance of physical forces. Whoever key constituencies think would win in wartime stands the best chance of prevailing in peacetime controversies.

    For Japan and the U.S.-Japan alliance, then, the problem is not just preserving adequate material strength but telegraphing their resolve to use that strength should things turn truly grim, and drawing up strategies that convince observers of the alliance’s tactical and operational dexterity.

    This is about persuading as much as it is about constructing ships and aircraft.

    applies to europe as well..

  26. Artfldgr Says:

    Russian units disarming ukranian units including SAM batteries in Yevpatoriya

    11 MI-24 spotted near saki flying towards kacha AB

    at least 15 il-76 spotted near gvardeyskaya

    armed men seize government parliment hq in simferopol

    4 251 sph spoted

    up to 13 il-76 landed near sevastapol

    tarantul class corvett patrolling balaklava bay
    russian soldiers disarming ukranian frontier forces balaclava

    2000-10,000 ru infantry around 40 rotary wings between 40-100 afv

    zubr class hovercraft repored in feodosiya

    soldiers taking control of kerch straight

    12 mi-28 and mi-8 were spoted

    5-400 battery moved toward ukraine

    multiple spotting of BTR-80 Ural and Kamaz Trusk and Gaz tiger MRAP

    and more…

    meanwhile. back at the white house…
    the idea of NATO is dissolving fast as meaningful
    and by the time someone makes up their minds, it will be over…

  27. blert Says:

    rickl…

    To respect Putin more than 0bama is slight praise, indeed.

    My ‘mouser’ has more fight in him than the Wan.

  28. Beverly Says:

    Re Biden as having “foreign policy expertise”: remember this?

    Power Line points out an example of the Biden “prowess” on foreign relations that first appeared in The New Republic’s profile of Biden from October 2001. In a vignette at the end of the article, Biden ponders mightily over how the US should respond to 9/11:

    “At the Tuesday-morning meeting with committee staffers, Biden launches into a stream-of-consciousness monologue about what his committee should be doing, before he finally admits the obvious: “I’m groping here.”

    “Then he hits on an idea: America needs to show the Arab world that we’re not bent on its destruction. “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran,” Biden declares. He surveys the table with raised eyebrows, a ‘How do ya like that?’ look on his face.

    “The staffers sit in silence. Finally somebody ventures a response: “I think they’d send it back.” Then another aide speaks up delicately: “The thing I would worry about is that it would almost look like a publicity stunt.” Still another reminds Biden that an Iranian delegation is in Moscow that very day to discuss a $300 million arms deal with Vladimir Putin that the United States has strongly condemned.

    “But Joe Biden is barely listening anymore. He’s already moved on to something else.”

    http://hotair.com/archives/2008/08/23/bidens-foreign-policy-chops/

    There are no words.

  29. Beverly Says:

    So this fool doesn’t have any stones at all — reacting to the massacre of thousands of Americans by sending a BRIBE — and to the WRONG PEOPLE, on top of that.

    Oh, God, please send us a functioning FOURTH ESTATE!!!!

  30. rickl Says:

    We’re being ruled (not governed) by children.

  31. Ymarsakar Says:

    Has the Last Judgment happened yet? Wake me up when the Zombie Apocalypse goes up. I’ll be practicing kenjutsu in the meanwhile.

    Promethea,

    the fundamental American weakness was that it was fine declaring war and nuking the Islamics. But people shyed away from carving out the evil in the heart of America.

    Only a person that can nuke their own nation’s capital, can speak of justice in nuking anybody else’s country. That’s just yin and yang balance.

    When Russia invaded Georgia, the entire world was going on about the corrupt Georgians. That level of propaganda for Ukraine isn’t even necessary any more. Naked power alone is enough.

  32. Ann Says:

    Just got around to reading the Budapest Memorandum and it actually doesn’t say we’d defend Ukraine if it were invaded by Russia. Here’s what it does say:

    The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used.

    It relies on the UN Security Council to do the defending.

    Oh, well. It really didn’t seem likely that Bill Clinton would have done anything as forceful as promising protection by the U.S.

  33. Don Carlos Says:

    Ann-
    A promise by a Democrat is worth a wooden nickel at best. Even if Clinton had promised, Baraq would not come through. The word of a Dem has no value.

  34. blert Says:

    Don…

    A wooden nickel is a collectable — and at least stacks up.

    Democrat promises are discards — and fall flat.

    The Wan’s mouthings aren’t even worth the paper they’re not written on.

  35. southpaw Says:

    I go for curtain number 2. Meaning he’s got no idea what to do. As much as Neo believes he’s deliberately trying to weaken the USA’s influence – which I don’t disagree with, the giveaway that he’s incompetent is his statement. If he simply wanted to reduce or minimize our influence, he wouldn’t issue an empty threat. The empty threat does not make America look weak, it makes Obama look personally weak. Assuming he’s as clever as Neo believes, he would offer a different explanation or statement to avoid intervention- for example point out what the media has been running with – the Russian point of view and all the excuses they have for thinking they’re justified to keep the Ukraine a Russian satellite. They’ve all but handed him a meme – even Fox continues to report it.
    But Instead of picking up on the theme, Obama issues another silly warning that makes him look like a dummy. If anyone believes that Obama’s empty threats have convinced the world that America is weak, it’s a farce. They know under another president, this country and it’s military are formidable and capable of serious action.
    And If Obama believes that his empty threats will be remembered historically as anything but nonsense, he’s a fool.
    While he may not care much about increased Russian influence, one thing he cares about more than anything is Obama. Ridicule and criticism for continuing to issue empty warnings aren’t in line with his ego. If you honestly believe he is content to have the world laugh at him as Putin continues to bitch-slap him, you have misjudged him.
    He may want to weaken US influence, but he did not plan to do so at the expense of his own inflated ego. He’s in over his head, but he’s too arrogant to even realize it. There were a lot of other things a clever man could have said to avoid getting dragged into the debate in the first place.

  36. Promethea Says:

    Let’s all think about the following:

    Commenters on neo’s website generally agree that Obama is too lazy or stupid to inform himself about any facts that take more than two minutes of thought. He’s a knave, a fool, and a puppet.

    Valerie Jarrett seems to be the actual chief executive, but we don’t know much about her except that she’s very leftwing and very greedy.

    Maybe we should spend more time thinking about Valerie Jarrett and what her game plan is.

    Just a thought.

  37. parker Says:

    “Maybe we should spend more time thinking about Valerie Jarrett and what her game plan is.”

    VJ’s plan is the Chicago way…. corruption of the ‘process’, personal enrichment, and to hell with everyone and anything that does not promote her power to influence events that further her aggrandizement. She is the puppet master manipulating events for the grand puppet master Soros. Follow the money.

  38. KLSmith Says:

    southpaw: surely you’ve noticed the damage he’s doing to our military. And sorry, but when he looks weak – America looks weak. And as for the nonsense he spouts, the left loves it.

  39. Eric Says:

    southpaw,

    I agree with KLSmith. Obama is the President of the United States and Commander in Chief of the US military. When Obama’s foreign affairs fail, America fails, with real consequences.

    As far as perception of Obama’s foreign affairs, the Democrats only care about it as far as the effect on votes, and that’s a function of public interest, partisan loyalty, media, and the prevailing Narrative. Not critical truth.

    As long as any long-term consequence that is serious enough to affect votes is plausibly deniable or at least spinnable by the time it manifests, then the cost is acceptable to the Dems.

    It’s already proven to work for the Dems.

    Consider, both the al Qaeda and Saddam problems escalated during the course of the Clinton admin. In response, Clinton developed the counter-terror and Iraq enforcement laws, policies, and precedents that Bush used to take on both problems decisively after 9/11. Clinton could have but declined to act decisively to resolve either problem on his watch. He kicked the can, instead.

    Does Clinton get blamed in any significant way for our traumatic treatments of the Afghanistan and Iraq problems, though he holds at least as much presidential responsibliity for them as Bush?

    Despite the easy and open availability of Clinton’s record, no, he doesn’t.

    Consider, too, that Obama lost the winning hand in the War on Terror he inherited from Bush that was extremely hard-earned by our soldiers, diplomats, CIA, contractors, etc, with much American and allied blood and treasure.

    We were never going to win the War on Terror in Afghanistan. Even if we somehow nation-built Afghanistan, it was just a staging area, not a source. Under Bush, we had dismantled the staging area in Afghanistan and al Qaeda had been cut down. Meanwhile, the COIN ‘surge’ won us post-Saddam Iraq, which doubled as a huge defeat for the terrorists. In contrast to Afghanistan, a reformed Iraq could and should have been the cornerstone piece of our long-term victory. From strategically central Iraq, we could win the War on Terror with a transforming Middle East.

    But Obama fumbled away the win and pivotal building block we had earned with dear cost in Iraq. Obama egregiously mishandled the Arab Spring despite that Bush had given him the Freedom Agenda ready-made.

    Even in the Afghanistan mission, which Obama had foolishly prioritized over Iraq mission, despite the obviously higher strategic importance of Iraq, Obama approved a ‘surge’ while hamstringing it.

    My point being, has Obama been held to task for fumbling away the winning hand he inherited from Bush? Has Bush been credited for the winning hand, that was so hard-earned, he gave to Obama?

    The answer is no. The harsh reality is how you personally – and I – judge Obama’s foreign affairs is not how Obama and the Dems by extension are judged where it counts.

    If you want Obama to be judged properly by America, you’ll need to build an insurgent Marxist-method activist popular-political movement that’s effective enough to change the American social-political ecosystem and counter the competitive Marxist-method movement working with Obama and the Dems.

  40. Eric Says:

    * Correction: Does Clinton get blamed in any significant way for our traumatic treatments of the *AL QAEDA* and Iraq problems, though he holds at least as much presidential responsibliity for them as Bush?

    Despite the easy and open availability of Clinton’s record, no, he doesn’t.

  41. Artfldgr Says:

    will it stop at the Ukraine, as it stopped with Georgia?

    just cause they put out a different appearance doesn’t mean their substance has changed… Gorbachev even pointed it out and what things were coordinated around.

    but if ya cant remember the stuff happening in your own country a year ago, doubtful one would remember what happens in the others!!!

    Gentlemen, comrades, do not be concerned about all you hear about Glasnost and Perestroika and democracy in the coming years. They are primarily for outward consumption. There will be no significant internal changes in the Soviet Union, other than for cosmetic purposes. Our purpose is to disarm the Americans and let them fall asleep. Gorbachev

    In October 1917, we parted with the old world, rejecting it once and for all. We are moving toward a new world, a world of Communism. We shall never turn off that road. Gorbachev

    Those who hope that we shall move away from the socialist path will be greatly disappointed. Every part of our program of perestroika … is fully based on the principle of more socialism and more democracy. … I would like to be clearly understood … we, the Soviet people, are for socialism. … We want more socialism and, therefore, more democracy. … More socialism means more democracy, openness and collectivism in everyday life. …

    We will proceed toward better socialism rather than away from it. We are saying this honestly, without trying to fool our own people or the world. Any hopes that we will begin to build a different, non-socialist society and go over to the other camp are unrealistic and futile. Those in the West who expect us to give up socialism will be disappointed.

    It’s my conviction that the human race has entered a stage where we are all dependent on each other. No other country or nation should be regarded in total separation from another, let alone pitted against another. That’s what our communist vocabulary calls internationalism and it means promoting universal human values. Gorbachev

    he of course does not define his odd definition of promoting universal human values…

    but i wonder if anyone thinking that they changed remembers all the speeches by the guy they think changed it, saying it did not change, it just looks like it (and its for advantage)?

  42. Artfldgr Says:

    In our discussions here at the forum there was no trace of the futile debate about what is better, capitalism or socialism…We should seek a synthesis of ideas and values that have proven their viability… Gorbachev

    Capitalism is war; socialism is peace.
    Karl Liebknecht

    suggest reading new lies for old, and the perestroika deception by defector Golitsyn … even if just for entertainment… “Anatoliy Golitsyn Perestroika Deception” http://archive.org/stream/AnatoliyGolitsyn/Golitsyn-ThePerestroikaDeception-TheWorldsSlideTowardsTheSecondOctoberRevolution1995_djvu.txt

    “There is no such thing as a former KGB man”.
    – Vladimir Putin, Russian Federation President, 2005

    “Russia has ceased being a free and democratic country”.
    – Andrei Illarionov, Putin’s former economic advisor, 2005

    Beverly: Oh, God, please send us a functioning FOURTH ESTATE!!!!

    “Yet it was, in reality, one of the shrewdest pieces of international hoodwinking in historical record . . . So the Comintern was dissolved [in 1943], and the misguided democratic world rejoiced . . . A glance at your newspaper will show that the former Comintern officers had little difficulty in finding new employment. The Comintern was never dissolved . . . Military Intelligence took over the old chores of the Comintern. It became an active part of the Soviet Fifth Column in democratic countries”.
    – Igor Gouzenko, This Was My Choice, 1948

    A fifth column is a group of people who undermine a larger group, such as a nation or a besieged city, from within. The activities of a fifth column can be overt or clandestine. Forces gathered in secret can mobilize openly to assist an external attack. This term is also extended to organized actions by military personnel. Clandestine fifth column activities can involve acts of sabotage, disinformation, or espionage executed within defense lines by secret sympathizers with an external force.

  43. Ymarsakar Says:

    The Leftist alliance isn’t evil because of Obama. Obama is the way he is because of the LA.

    There are dictators a thousand times worse than Hussein waiting to take the throne in the US.

    What the Left spent 90 years creating, won’t be destroyed with a few elections. The problem caused by 90 years worth of work by evil, cannot be cleansed without dramatic measures.

  44. Don Carlos Says:

    Incrementalism, the way of the termites, is the winning way.
    Poof! One day the entire structure, the one that looked so sound, collapses.

  45. KLSmith Says:

    Don Carlos: yes, and how busy and effective those termites have been. A secret society operating in plain sight.
    Their success hastened by a country grown fat, dumb, and happy.

  46. NeoConScum Says:

    What has History taught us over & over & over & over & over??

    This: WEAKNESS is Provocative. 5+years of the Testicular Concavity known as Obama has taught our enemies and potential enemies that his high-chair pounding is entirely empty and meaningless.

    With David Petraeus gone from CIA there isn’t a set of cojones ANYWHERE in this sorry ass administration. Our friends are distancing themselves from us and have no trust of The Boy King’s words.

    AND…The airhead electorate is seemingly primed to replace His Infantile Majesty with an awful, sick joke named Hillary.

    I tremble for the Land I Love.

  47. Eric Says:

    Ymarsakar: “The Leftist alliance isn’t evil because of Obama. Obama is the way he is because of the LA.

    There are dictators a thousand times worse than Hussein waiting to take the throne in the US.”

    Yep. Obama is just an avatar, a company rep.

    Obama is not the creator/origin/source/driver of the problem. Obama is merely a manifestation, an expression of it.

    Obama is not effective on his own. He is, however, part of an effective movement. People on the Right who focus on Obama are focusing on a symptom, not the cause of the disease.

    Similarly, people on the Right who pin their hopes on individual Republican candidates to be messianic saviors also miss the point.

    The solution lies not with individuals nor even with the party. The movement is the thing, first, non-stop, and always. If the GOP could work with an effective movement, then individual Republicans and their party could then be made effective by the movement. The GOP won’t be effective while missing effective movement holding them up. That’s just the social-political game as it is now.

    A Marxist-method activist movement is needed to win the collective consciousness, the general will of We the People, on the level of cultural Zeitgeist and The Narrative. This is the necessary contest because the Marxist-method activist game is the only social-political game there is.

  48. Mike Says:

    Sarah Palin was right. They mocked her. Heck, people on our side mocked her and still do. Shame on them.

    Romney was right. They mocked him too.

    Let us never let them forget this. This should be page one at Fox et al every day.

    In the end, the Ukrainian thing is probably no big deal. Russia rules it or Berlin does. DO I really care? No.

    But what is bad for Obama is good for America and so I hope Putin humiliates him on this one.

    At this point in time Putin, a dictator, is one of the best things to happen to America since Ronald Reagan. Odd but true.

  49. Ann Says:

    If there’s anything good that comes out of this it may be that it will put to rest any notion about not stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons, and it should reignite the drive for more and harsher sanctions.

  50. Will in the ATL Says:

    Re Russia: Here’s my advice to Obama that he will never take (unfortunately).

    It’s ridiculous to say we have no real cards against Russia geo-politically. The clear play is economics and energy, not military. It’s oil. It’s our ace in the hole.

    Call Putin by driving the price of oil down and down hard. Commit to a world oil price down by 30-40% and watch Russia’s hard currency resources dry up. Russia is vulnerable but Putin is betting Obama won’t go against his green ideology.

    Embrace fracking, subsidize clean coal through Appalachia. Move on Keystone. And double down on green energy sources to play the long game to appease your base. Mobilize America. Make us the world’s energy powerhouse. Introduce urban training programs to fast track America’s underprivileged into these high paying jobs. Ironically, this could transform Obama’s currently poor standing in the history books almost immediately. But, Obama has to pivot hard to set politics aside and go all in. It requires putting America first.

    Then, watch the Middle East freak and come calling. Use a chunk of the extra revenue to pay down the debt and stick it to China as a lucky strike extra. Tip the balance sheets back in our favor. Overnight, investment would flood the US and the economy would ignite and the subsequent revenues would be the foundation for our 21st century renaissance and budget woes.

    That’s how you check mate Putin. Can we find the national will to do it?

    If Obama does it, he’s a hero. If he doesn’t have the stones, consider it as a GOP American renaissance strategy for 2016

    (Long time reader, first time commenter)

    PS – how much of a wuss was Kerry today – unbelievable.

  51. Ann Says:

    Didn’t watch them but I guess Kerry did wuss-out on the talk shows today. But later in the afternoon, it was announced that he’s going to Ukraine on Tuesday to meet with the new government there. For the Obama administration, that seems like a pretty big move.

  52. Mike Says:

    Will in Atl: You just advised Obama to be a Republican.

    That’s the whole problem. That he’s not. The entirety of America’s problems today canned be summed up in one sentence: It elected and suffers under Democrats.

    Obama is an insane, irrational and malicious ideologue. So is every Democrat there is today. You can’t reason with malicious maniacs. You have to let reality educate them the way gravity educates people who are falling down…

  53. Brooklyn Boy Says:

    America was the big loser when Mitt Romney failed to win the presidency.

  54. Ymarsakar Says:

    A Republican can’t initialize an American energy policy that’s sane because the Left will sabotage it and stab the guy in the back and front, like Caesar.

    We’re not in a situation where we have a functional hierarchy.

    And it’s not one movement or organization backing Obama. The Leftist alliance is composed of several thousand differently orientated factions, not all of them Marxist in nature, origin, or even method.

  55. Ymarsakar Says:

    The Left and all its members no longer understand human reason. The only thing it understands is fear, the base instincts of animals and insects.

    Only that will convince them. Nothing else will. Although pain will work on the same level as instinct if it breaks through their resistance and self denial.

  56. Sergey Says:

    No doubt Putin is quaking in his boots, just not because of Obama. And the costs of intervention are ruinous, but, again, it has nothing to do with Obama. This morning Moskow stock exchange collapsed, and this downfall still under way. Annual GDP gowth rate this year is 0.71% officially, and capital flight from the country in January and half of February comprises 3/4 of the amount expected for the whole year. There was a panic at currency exchange offices yesterday, in one day ruble lost 1/7 of its value. Inflation is galloping, and all this happened mostly even before Ukrainian crisis erupted. If real invasion would take place, economy will fold in two monthes. But Putin lives in reality of his own, and it has little in common with the reality in which almost everybody else lives. A paranoid delusion also known as Caeserian insanity.

  57. Mike Says:

    Sergey – Two delusional Caesar’s here. Let’s hope they mutually ruin each other.

    Putin is great for America since he shows liberals for what they are.

    But the truth is that Russians put Putin in, and Americans – to our eternal disgrace – put Obama in. The majority of the ever-vaunted “people” did this one and the “people” are now paying the price. Of course the rest of us are too, and that’s a total shame unless we take it as an object lesson for a kind of moral recalibration we are sorely in need of.

  58. southpaw Says:

    KLSmith and Eric- I can only give my perspective from here in Norway where I’ve been hiding out. And it’s Obama who’s is perceived the fool and the weakling. The EU is asking why the American people are not mor engaged, but the lumping together of a president and the people is not as automatic as the MSM would have you believe.
    That goes in both directions- when Bush was a very unpopular president, the rest of the world did not consider Americans to all be GWB, but they did wonder what had possessed us to elect him. That’s the case to some extent with Obama too- while he once appeared to be a reasonably intelligent guy to them, he now appears to be a bafflingly naive leader. And the world does not think Americans are Obama- they think Americans are bad judges of character.
    And for the record, I know he’s doing damage to the military and a lot of other things too- including things he planned to make better – like health care. The argument that he wanted it to be a disaster so he could get single payer is purely speculation and doesn’t add up. He could have had that too when he had the house and senate. I reject the arguments he wants to bungle everything up and appear incompetent to accomplish his true agenda. He is a narcissist first and foremost. If you argue that his true agenda is to screw up everything he touches, then you also believe he’s a brilliant planner who’s fooled everyone about his narcissism. You cannot have it both ways- he cannot truly be a narcissist and continue to operate as a fool. He’s either a fantasticly selfless actor, who will suffer the criticism of being supremely lazy and incompetent leader in order to advance a leftist agenda, or he’s simply an incompetent, lazy narcissist. And a person Who has benefitted from a compliant press, who to some extent, are like yourselves, unable to accept the fact that he’s not a complex, deeply intellectual character with a grand plan, just a below average lawyer who knows how to make the most of his minority status.

  59. Ymarsakar Says:

    He could have had that too when he had the house and senate.

    Not even most Democrats believed it was time to drop the mask, even though Obama declared himself the Left’s Messiah.

    The Leftist alliance is not in full agreement. Even though the centralized blackmail strategy works well in keeping the fools and child molestors on a leash.

    You reject the argument because you haven’t accepted the evidence of the True Nature of the Left.

    The idea that Hussein like GWB is some tin pot dictator doing everything on his own, is a grave strategic miscalculation.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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