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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5820

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bard, are you going to be joining the John Birch Society any time soon?
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youwindsurf



Joined: 18 Aug 2012
Posts: 590
Location: North Shore High School

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
And when O'Reilly asked him what he plans to do about his biggest problem (I forget which one), his extremely revealing answer was, "Bill, I've given five speeches on it". SERIOUSLY!


You mean kinda like when old Iso tells a forum member to use the search function to look up what Iso has pontificated in the past because Iso is too lazy to repeat himself?

If it's good for the almighty Iso, why ain't it good for the Prez?

You used these little symbols in your post "". Do you know what they mean? Perhaps you can provide a source for your alleged quote.

It's like shootin' fish in a barrel.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5223

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is possible to have a more nuanced, and informed outlook. The first is from a very smart, and well read friend. You won't mistake him for NW. The second is from the NY Times.

Quote:
There is a good front page article in today's NY Times titled "Three Presidents and a Riddle Named Putin." Putin was KGB colonel, and his closest advisors are KGB alumni, who thinks that the worst catastrophe of the 20th Century was the breakup of the Soviet Union (I can think of a few other like the Holocaust, WWI and WWII). Plus my mother's parents emigrated from the western Ukraine 100 years ago, so I have an emotional connection with the Ukraine - they were devastated first by Stalin's collectivization and then by Hitler. The Ukraine doesn't deserve any more tragedy.

But we do have a tendency to see the world solely from our perspective. The Times had a short video where Putin referred to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Kosovo as Western interventions without any international sanction (NATO doesn't count). So the hypocrisy of the West bridles someone who has a KGB outlook to begin with. Ho Chi Minh liked Americans (he and Truman got along well) until Eisenhower reneged on the post Dien Bien Phu Peace Treaty's assurance of re-unification elections for Viet Nam because the North would have won. We wonder why much of the Iranian leadership hates us when we forget that Eisenhower was the one who engineered the overthrow of the democratically elected president of Iran and installed the Shah (read the recent book about the Dulles brothers). .

But the one thing we regularly overlook is that George Bush proposed including Georgia and the Ukraine in NATO which would have brought NATO to the borders of Russia (we already did that with Poland). Putin is also threatened by the appeal of joining the EU for Eastern Europeans - Slovenia and Croatia have joined the EU and Bosnia and Serbia would like to. I think these two factors are much more significant than Western hypocrisy (remember the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan) and have much more to do with Putin's anger than the West merely being hypocritical (though that does fuel his personal anger). As in negotiating, we don't have to agree with our adversaries, but I think we do need to try to understand why they have contrary views. No one would confuse Putin and his inner circle with our Founding Fathers, but it is helpful to try to understand factors other than autocracy that motivate them.



Quote:
Confronting Putin’s Russia
By MICHAEL A. McFAULMARCH 23, 2014

The decision by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to annex Crimea ended the post-Cold War era in Europe. Since the late Gorbachev-Reagan years, the era was defined by zigzags of cooperation and disputes between Russia and the West, but always with an underlying sense that Russia was gradually joining the international order. No more.

Our new era is one defined by ideological clashes, nationalistic resurgence and territorial occupation — an era in some ways similar to the tragic periods of confrontation in 20th-century Europe. And yet there are important differences, and understanding the distinction will be critical to a successful American foreign policy in the coming decades.

We did not seek this confrontation. This new era crept up on us, because we did not fully win the Cold War. Communism faded, the Soviet Union disappeared and Russian power diminished. But the collapse of the Soviet order did not lead smoothly to a transition to democracy and markets inside Russia, or Russia’s integration into the West.

Some Russians pushed forward on this enormous agenda of revolutionary change. And they produced results: the relatively peaceful (so far) collapse of the Soviet empire, a Russian society richer than ever before, greater protection of individual rights and episodically functioning democratic institutions.

But the simultaneity of democracy’s introduction, economic depression and imperial loss generated a counterrevolutionary backlash — a yearning for the old order and a resentment of the terms of the Cold War’s end.

Proponents of this perspective were not always in the majority. And the coming to power of an advocate of this ideology — Mr. Putin — was not inevitable. Even Mr. Putin’s own thinking changed over time, waffling between nostalgia for the old rule and realistic acceptance of Russia’s need to move forward.

And when he selected the liberal, Western-leaning Dmitri A. Medvedev as his successor in 2008, Russia’s internal transformation picked up the pace. Though Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008 isolated Russia for a time, its integration into the existing international order eventually regained momentum.

In my first years in government, I witnessed President Medvedev cooperating with President Obama on issues of mutual benefit — a new Start treaty, new sanctions against Iran, new supply routes through Russia to our soldiers in Afghanistan and Russian membership in the World Trade Organization. These results of the “reset” advanced several American vital national interests. The American post-Cold War policy of engagement and integration, practiced by Democratic and Republican administrations alike, appeared to be working again.

When Mr. Putin became president again in 2012, this momentum slowed, and then stopped. He returned at a time when tens of thousands of Russians were protesting against falsified elections and more generally against unaccountable government. If most Russians praised Mr. Putin in his first two terms, from 2000 to 2008, for restoring the state and growing the economy, some (not all) wanted more from him in his third term, and he did not have a clear response.

Mr. Putin was especially angry at the young, educated and wealthy protesters in Moscow who did not appreciate that he (in his view) had made them rich. So he pivoted backward, instituting restrictions on independent behavior reminiscent of Soviet days. He attacked independent media, arrested demonstrators and demanded that the wealthy bring their riches home.

In addition to more autocracy, Mr. Putin needed an enemy — the United States — to strengthen his legitimacy. His propagandists rolled out clips on American imperialism, immoral practices and alleged plans to overthrow the Putin government. As the ambassador in Moscow, I was often featured in the leading role in these works of fiction.

The shrill anti-Americanism uttered by Russian leaders and echoed on state-controlled television has reached a fanatical pitch with Mr. Putin’s annexation of Crimea. He has made clear that he embraces confrontation with the West, no longer feels constrained by international laws and norms, and is unafraid to wield Russian power to revise the international order.

Mr. Putin has made a strategic pivot. Guided by the right lessons from our past conflict with Moscow, the United States must, too, through a policy of selective containment and engagement.

The parallels with the ideologically rooted conflicts of the last century are striking. A revisionist autocratic leader instigated this new confrontation. We did not. Nor did “Russia” start this new era. Mr. Putin did. It is no coincidence that he vastly weakened Russia’s democratic institutions over the last two years before invading Crimea, and has subsequently moved to close down independent media outlets during his Ukrainian land grab.

Also, similar to the last century, the ideological struggle between autocracy and democracy has returned to Europe. Because democratic institutions never fully took root in Russia, this battle never fully disappeared. But now, democratic societies need to recognize Mr. Putin’s rule for what it is — autocracy — and embrace the intellectual and normative struggle against this system with the same vigor we summoned during previous struggles in Europe against anti-democratic governments.

And, as before, the Kremlin has both the intention and capacity to undermine governments and states, using instruments like the military, money, media, the secret police and energy.

These similarities recommend certain policy steps. Most important, Ukraine must succeed as a democracy, a market economy and a state. High on its reform list must be energy efficiency and diversification, as well as military and corruption reforms. Other exposed states in the region, like Moldova and Georgia, also need urgent bolstering.

Also, as during the 20th century, those states firmly on our side must be assured and protected. NATO has moved quickly already, but these efforts must be sustained through greater placement of military hardware in the front-line states, more training and integration of forces, and new efforts to reduce NATO countries’ dependence on Russian energy.

And, as before, the current regime must be isolated. The strategy of seeking to change Kremlin behavior through engagement, integration and rhetoric is over for now. No more membership in the Group of 8, accession to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development or missile defense talks. Instead there must be sanctions, including against those people and entities — propagandists, state-owned enterprises, Kremlin-tied bankers — that act as instruments of Mr. Putin’s coercive power. Conversely, individuals and companies not connected to the government must be supported, including those seeking to take assets out of Russia or emigrate.

Finally, as during World War II and the Cold War, the United States and our allies can cooperate with Mr. Putin when our vital interests overlap. But this engagement must be understood as strictly transactional, and not as a means to pull Russia back into accepting international norms and values. That’s how he will see this engagement. So should we.

At the same time, many important differences distinguish this new confrontation in Europe from the Cold War or interwar eras. Most help us. A few do not.

For one thing, unlike Communism or even fascism, Putinism has little appeal beyond Russia. Even inside Russia, brave civil society leaders still defy autocracy, war and nationalist fervor, and have managed to mobilize tens of thousands against Mr. Putin’s intervention, while a larger but quiet section of society will lament the advent of this new era.

I met these silent skeptics — in government, business and society — every day in my last job. Citizens rally round the flag during crises, and propaganda works. But Mr. Putin’s nationalism is fueled primarily by a crude, neo-Soviet anti-Americanism. To continue to spook Russians about American encirclement and internal meddling will be hard to sustain. They are too smart.

Second, Mr. Putin’s Russia has no real allies. We must keep it that way. Nurturing Chinese distance from a revisionist Russia is especially important, as is fostering the independence of states in Central Asia and the Caucasus.

Another difference is that Russian military power is a shadow of Soviet might. A new global conflict is unlikely. But Russia’s military can still threaten Russian border states, so Europeans must bolster their defenses, and Western governments and companies must stop assisting Russia’s military modernization.

One obvious difference is that the Internet did not exist during the last standoff. Recent Kremlin moves to cut off citizens from independent information are disturbing, but the communications revolution ensures that Russians today will not be as isolated as their grandparents.

Greater exposure to the world gives Russians a comparative analysis to judge their situation at home. This is a powerful tool, which needs to be nurtured through educational exchanges, peer-to-peer dialogues and increased connectivity between the real Russian private sector and its international partners.

But there are two important differences that weaken our hand. First, the United States does not have the same moral authority as it did in the last century. As ambassador, I found it difficult to defend our commitment to sovereignty and international law when asked by Russians, “What about Iraq?” Some current practices of American democracy also do not inspire observers abroad. To win this new conflict, we must restore the United States as a model.

Second, we are enduring a drift of disengagement in world affairs. After two wars, this was inevitable, but we cannot swing too far. As we pull back, Russia is pushing forward. Leaders in Congress and the White House must work together to signal that we are ready to lead the free world in this new struggle.

The United States — together with Russians who want to live in a prosperous and democratic Russia — will win this new conflict in Europe. Over the last century, democracies have consolidated at a remarkable pace, while autocracies continue to fall. Especially in educated, rich, urban societies like Russia, democracy eventually takes hold. A democratic Russia will not always define its interests as we do, but will become a more stable partner with other democracies.

We cannot say how long the current autocratic government in Russia will endure. But a sober, realistic strategy to confront this new threat will help to shorten the tragic era we just entered.

Michael A. McFaul, a Hoover fellow at Stanford, served for five years in the Obama administration, as a special assistant to the president at the National Security Council and as ambassador to the Russian Federation.


The comments are very enlightening as well. Some point out that McFaul is a neocon, perhaps selected with the intent of incorporating such views into Obama's circle of advisors. Others note that the overtures to Ukraine brought the European Union and American military might to the very doorstep of Russia, and thus the comment that we did not seek this conflict is misleading.

Not the standard Obama hatred.
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nw30



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 1712
Location: The eye of the universe, Cen. Cal. coast

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mac: "It is possible to have a more nuanced, and informed outlook. The first is from a very smart, and well read friend. You won't mistake him for NW."

Who is ??????????

I find it interesting that Putin didn't do a thing like this while Bush was in office, he waited.
Which begs the question, why did he wait, if he so wanted to stick it to Bush?

_________________
I don't drink the 'cool' aid, I drink tequila, it's more honest.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5223

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who is ??????????

A nit wit

Quote:
I find it interesting that Putin didn't do a thing like this while Bush was in office, he waited.
Which begs the question, why did he wait, if he so wanted to stick it to Bush?


Quote:
Georgia 'overrun' by Russian troops as full-scale ground invasion begins
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER


Georgian officials tonight claimed the country had been 'overrun' by Russian troops after a full-scale ground invasion.

Amid reports that Moscow forces had taken the town of Gori - and were marching on the capital Tsblisi - Georgian soldiers appeared to be in full retreat.

Troops were apparently in complete chaos as a full-scale rout pushed them back through the countryside.


Wrong again nitwit. I couldn't invent someone as uninformed as you.

Meanwhile, the civilian crisis intensified with thousands of refugees fleeing th
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frederick23



Joined: 24 Dec 2013
Posts: 409

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dont see us doing this with China, North Korea, Iran, India, Pakistan...

Our relationship isn't as bad as some would think.

http://www.space.com/25209-soyuz-rocket-launches-us-russian-crew.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+spaceheadlines+%28SPACE.com+Headline+Feed%29&utm_content=My+Yahoo
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3371

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

White House has a lot more info than windsurfers.
Russia is predicting ZERO growth as a result of the sanctions.
This will continue for the indefinite future because capital is fleeing at a record rate.
Russia might not recover from this. The Crimean war is costing billions on top of the pending economic collapse.
Sometimes well selected sanctions are a better option than war.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14179

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nw30 wrote:
I find it interesting that Putin didn't do a thing like this while Bush was in office, he waited.
Which begs the question, why did he wait, if he so wanted to stick it to Bush?

A. Cheney.
B. Rumsfeld.
C. Obama has proven beyond all doubt that he is a naive, gutless, pushover who actually believes that speeches read from teleprompters will save the nation and the planet.
D. Obama told the Russians on stage to "Tell Putin to wait until my second term, when I'll have more freedom to [kowtow to] him."
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5223

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The latest hate points, directly from talk radio. No thought required. Could have come from NW just as well. They both seem to forget the intervention in Georgia. Anything to hate Obama. But they aren't biased.
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youwindsurf



Joined: 18 Aug 2012
Posts: 590
Location: North Shore High School

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
nw30 wrote:
I find it interesting that Putin didn't do a thing like this while Bush was in office, he waited.
Which begs the question, why did he wait, if he so wanted to stick it to Bush?

A. Cheney.
B. Rumsfeld.
C. Obama has proven beyond all doubt that he is a naive, gutless, pushover who actually believes that speeches read from teleprompters will save the nation and the planet.
D. Obama told the Russians on stage to "Tell Putin to wait until my second term, when I'll have more freedom to [kowtow to] him."


Facts and history my friend will always prevail:

http://www.nationaljournal.com/white-house/why-putin-plays-our-presidents-for-fools-20140302

In June 2001, George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin ended their first face-to-face meeting with an outdoor news conference beneath a craggy mountaintop in Slovenia. "Is this a man that Americans can trust?" I asked Bush as Putin glared at me.

"Yes," Bush replied, before allowing Putin to answer a separate question. A few minutes later, the American president elaborated: "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul, a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country," Bush said, adding a few sentence later, "I wouldn't have invited him to my ranch if I didn't trust him."

While Bush spoke, Putin fixed his eyes on mine—a look so cold and dark that I wondered whether those eyes were, for some unfortunate Cold Warriors, the last thing they saw.


Disclosure: I don't pretend to read people as well as Bush, nor am I a foreign policy expert. Just three months after the Slovenia summit, Putin cooperated with Bush during the 9/11 attacks, and did so more broadly in the months that followed. Perhaps Bush saw goodness in Putin. And perhaps I spotted something else, because Russia's advances on Georgia in 2008 and on Ukraine today suggest that Putin is an easy guy to misjudge.

In the summer of 2008, Putin and Bush were in Beijing for the Olympics when Russian troops moved into Georgia in response to what the Kremlin called Georgian aggression against South Ossetia. Peter Baker of The New York Times described the U.S. response:

Bush confronted Mr. Putin to no avail, then ordered American ships to the region and provided a military transport to return home Georgian troops on duty in Iraq. He sent humanitarian aid on a military aircraft, assuming that Russia would be loath to attack the capital of Tbilisi with American military personnel present. Mr. Bush also suspended a pending civilian nuclear agreement, and NATO suspended military contacts.

Baker, an expert on the Bush presidency and Russia, reported that the White House considered more aggressive action, such as bombing tunnels to block Russian troops and arming Georgia with antiaircraft missiles. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice bristled at what she called "chest beating," Baker reported, and Bush's team voted against military action. Russia stopped short of Tbilisi, but it left troops in areas it promised to evacuate under a cease-fire.

"We did a lot, but in the end there was not that much that you could do," said James F. Jeffrey, Bush's deputy national security adviser.

and:

http://themoderatevoice.com/192167/ukraine-what-a-difference-partisanship-makes/

As Russian troops entered neighboring territory the president of the United States, in an address to the nation, expressed his deep concern at reports that Russian troops have “invaded a sovereign neighboring state.” “Such an action is unacceptable in the 21st century,” the President said.
Referring to how Russia’s actions have raised serious questions about its intentions in the region, the President said, “These actions have substantially damaged Russia’s standing in the world. And these actions jeopardize Russians’ relations — Russia’s relations with the United States and Europe. It is time for Russia to be true to its word and to act to end this crisis.”

At this point I have to disclose that the president making the remarks, above, about the Russian invasion is not President Obama but rather President Bush in August 2008, during the Russian invasion of Georgia.
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