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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

OTP - March 2014: Russia denies calling shots in Ukraine’s Crimea standoff

Only Babe Ruth calls shots!

At a press conference for Kremlin-controlled media on Tuesday, Putin reiterated his position that Moscow has the right to use “all means” necessary to protect ethnic Russians and vital military assets in Ukraine, first among them the Black Sea fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

 

Bitter Mouse Posted: March 05, 2014 at 08:54 AM | 3254 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: lies, politics, war

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   2101. The District Attorney Posted: March 19, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4674116)
Would anyone dispute that ideally, Crimea would have a free, fair vote to determine its fate?

I'm guessing the answer to that is "no." Now... is anyone willing to pay the price required to make that happen?

If the answer to that is also "no", then I don't think we need to bother calculating how exactly that vote would play out if it happened. If we know that joining Russia could plausibly win, and we know that we're only willing to get ourselves killed over it if it would have no chance to win, then we know what we need to know.

I will say that it's amusing to suggest that the way to address this situation is via a long-term plan to reduce oil dependency. We've been "20 years away from reducing our dependence on oil" for at least 40 years now, and we're still that same 20 years away. I mean, we still need to do it, and I think we will eventually do it, but the straw that breaks the camel's back is not going to be that Russia moved into Crimea.

Re: Malaysian plane: The fact that "the facts don't add up" suggests to me that the "facts" we have are likely wrong. You have several different governments involved here, all of which, like any governments, don't like to get into the details of what their intelligence agencies did or did not notice. And it's possible (unlikely IMO, but surely possible) that one of said governments in fact shot the plane down. I hope that all the cloak-and-dagger BS gets put aside and we can get a better guess of where the heck this thing went, because I don't like the odds of "let's search an area the size of Australia."
   2102. Publius Publicola Posted: March 19, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4674126)
So, Ukraine is conceding loss of Crimea. But the breaking of the treaty will free the remaining part to join the EU. And a new Cool War, if not a cold one, has begun. Sounds like a bad deal for Russia. China will, of course, take advantage.
   2103. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 19, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4674128)
From bad to worse? ObamaCare Premiums To Skyrocket:
Health industry officials say ObamaCare-related premiums will double in some parts of the country, countering claims recently made by the administration. The expected rate hikes will be announced in the coming months amid an intense election year, when control of the Senate is up for grabs. The sticker shock would likely bolster the GOP’s prospects in November and hamper ObamaCare insurance enrollment efforts in 2015.
. . .
"I think everybody knows that the way the exchange has rolled out … is going to lead to higher costs,” said one senior insurance executive who requested anonymity. The insurance official, who hails from a populous swing state, said his company expects to triple its rates next year on the ObamaCare exchange. The hikes are expected to vary substantially by region, state and carrier. 

Remember Obama's promise of savings averaging $2500 per family?
   2104. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 19, 2014 at 04:32 PM (#4674134)
nd nobody is going to say "but we can't do that, because it would upset relations with Putin,"


What's going to happen with the Mistrals is an open question.

   2105. zonk Posted: March 19, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4674145)
Eliana Johnson weighs in on candidate Rauner:

Rauner’s targets didn’t take it lying down: The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, the Illinois Education Association, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, and the Democratic Governors Association spent north of $3 million attacking him and trying to divert votes to one of Rauner’s primary opponents, state senator Kirk Dillard.

That’s far more than Democrats spent — $1.2 million — trying to steer Republican votes to Todd Akin in the 2012 Senate primary in Missouri, where Akin was viewed as the weakest candidate to take on vulnerable Democrat Claire McCaskill.

In the Illinois race, Dillard not only received money and support from some Democrats, but he also earned the endorsement of one big union. “My advice is that, if you are a suburban or downstate Democrat or independent and you care about public education, you should vote in the Republican primary for Kirk Dillard,” Illinois Education Association president Cindy Klickna told union members. The union also sent pamphlets to its members urging them to support Dillard. Almost twice as many votes were cast in the Republican primary this year than the Democratic one — though Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn was essentially unopposed, the healthier GOP turnout suggests some union members may have crossed the aisle to cast votes. Rauner beat Dillard 40 percent to 37. ...

Illinois unions are petrified that a Rauner victory could bring similar reforms to President Obama’s home state, where Democrats have maintained control of the governor’s office and both legislative chambers for over a decade. “Illinois is the last holdout for labor power,” says a senior Rauner adviser. “It has the highest unemployment rate and the worst pension labor debt. Rauner is taking this fight on. None of the other Republicans are willing to do that because they fear the power of labor.” ...

On the stump, Rauner is straightforward, even cheeky. Given his success in private equity, he’s often been compared to his party’s 2012 presidential nominee, even getting tagged the “Mitt Romney of Illinois.”

“I am a very different person from Mitt Romney,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I drink beer. I smoke a cigar. I use a gun. I ride a Harley. My grandparents lived in a double-wide trailer. I’m a salesman. He’s an analyst.” He describes himself as a feisty guy and calls Scott Walker and Mitch Daniels his political mentors.


And this is fundamentally my biggest problem with Rauner and why he won't be getting my vote.

Call it perverse, call it ironic, but what Rauner intends to do would actually be a selfish benefit to myself...

I.e., I'm a private-sector employee at a salary level such that screwing over the public unions more than likely means a short-term benefit to me (lower taxes, etc).

However, I just think it's more of the race to the bottom sort of stuff...

Hey- it's great that there are teachers, firefighters, police, etc who go into those fields because they love the job and genuinely love what 'making a difference' in a positive way... but let's face it - we need millions upon millions upon millions of teachers, firefighters, nurses, and whatnot. We cannot fill all of those spots with people who just "love the field".

We need to draw people into those fields ought of purely mercenary motives, too... and the fact is - yes - job security, generous pension/benefit packages, etc WILL draw qualified, intelligent, and hard-working people into those fields.

You kick the stool legs out - and what happens?

Well... having spent the last couple of months with a grandmother at a senior care rehab facility - not unlike another big Rauner investment - I'll tell you exactly what happens... you try to lower costs, maximize efficiencies, etc and you end up with a lot of very low-paid people doing relatively important work who just aren't very good at it because you're never going to draw qualified, intelligent, hard-working people into jobs that pay $9 an hour without much in the way of benefits or job security.

Rauner tends to think his ideas will "clean up" government -- they won't, they're a cancer. It's a model we need to move away from, not towards.... and like I said, this comes from an Illinois taxpayer with absolutely zero -- beyond what I want from a society -- invested in the benefits, compensation, and job security of the people that would be most screwed by a Rauner governorship.

Perhaps he can carpetbomb people into thinking he's "different from Romney"... but the problem is that he's really not different from Romney - not in the way that actually matters.

I'm sure Rauner is a very smart guy... but not everyone is a very smart guy - and we need to be drawing people that might only be pretty smart into a whole host of fields. You cannot do that when you make the jobs in question less attractive because you're taking away the things (early retirement with generous benefits, etc) that make those fields the sort that someone would choose over a higher paying private sector job.
   2106. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4674157)
Hey- it's great that there are teachers, firefighters, police, etc who go into those fields because they love the job and genuinely love what 'making a difference' in a positive way... but let's face it - we need millions upon millions upon millions of teachers, firefighters, nurses, and whatnot. We cannot fill all of those spots with people who just "love the field".

We need to draw people into those fields ought of purely mercenary motives, too... and the fact is - yes - job security, generous pension/benefit packages, etc WILL draw qualified, intelligent, and hard-working people into those fields.


The reality is that at the current wage and benefit levels, there's a line of people out the door for those jobs. You could cut the total compensation, and still have lots of quality applicants.

And, pratically, you don't really need to cut the current comp, you just need to reduce future liabilities for pensions and retiree healthcare. This could be done by reducing those benefits, or, simply requiring people to work longer, or wait longer to qualify. e.g. pensions vest at 25 years instead of 20, and while you can retire at that point, you can't collect before 65.
   2107. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 19, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4674166)
I'm a private-sector employee at a salary level such that screwing over the public unions more than likely means a short-term benefit to me (lower taxes, etc).

To add to #2106, you're hardly screwing over the public unions by trying to keep wages & pensions at sustainable levels. See Detroit.
   2108. The Good Face Posted: March 19, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4674169)
The reality is that at the current wage and benefit levels, there's a line of people out the door for those jobs.


Yep. Plus it's not like you NEED to be hiring brilliant ubermensch for most government jobs because there's no benefit. What's the point of offering $300k+ a year to make firefighter jobs attractive to HYP graduates? It's just a waste of taxpayer money; fires can be fought perfectly well for a lot less money.
   2109. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 19, 2014 at 06:08 PM (#4674190)
This should be disturbing - Pennsylvania Attorney General Shuts Down Undercover Sting That Snares Philadelphia Democrats:
The Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office ran an undercover sting operation over three years that captured leading Philadelphia Democrats, including four members of the city's state House delegation, on tape accepting money, The Inquirer has learned. Yet no one was charged with a crime.

Prosecutors began the sting in 2010 when Republican Tom Corbett was attorney general. After Democrat Kathleen G. Kane took office in 2013, she shut it down. In a statement to The Inquirer on Friday, Kane called the investigation poorly conceived, badly managed, and tainted by racism, saying it had targeted African Americans.

Those who favored the sting believe Kane killed a solid investigation, led by experienced prosecutor Frank G. Fina, that had ensnared several public officials and had the potential to capture more. They said they were outraged at Kane's allegation that race had played a role in the case.
. . .
Sources with knowledge of the sting said the investigation made financial pitches to both Republicans and Democrats, but only Democrats accepted the payments.

Looks like a coverup.
   2110. bobm Posted: March 19, 2014 at 06:45 PM (#4674196)
[2101] Would anyone dispute that ideally, Crimea would have a free, fair vote to determine its fate?

Should there have been a binding plebiscite in the absence of Putin's invasion? Was it otherwise timely? Can there really be a fair one now?

What does territorial sovereignty mean if the right of self determination is going to be subject to manipulation by outsiders?
   2111. JE (Jason) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 06:50 PM (#4674198)
If President Obama spends more than a half-minute filling out his NCAA brackets as Russia captures a second Ukrainian naval base gets captured and issues an ominous warning regarding Estonia, then it's safe to say that Eastern Europe is on its own.
   2112. Lassus Posted: March 19, 2014 at 06:51 PM (#4674199)
An NCAA bracket argument? Gah.
   2113. JE (Jason) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 06:59 PM (#4674200)
An NCAA bracket argument? Gah.

Lithuania is a basketball-crazy country, Lassus, yet I can assure you its leaders would really, really, really prefer that POTUS pay attention to subjects that matter.

But speaking of "Gah," the "Mission Accomplished" line still gets mentioned -- and misinterpreted -- once or twice a day on this thread.
   2114. steagles Posted: March 19, 2014 at 07:01 PM (#4674201)
The insurance official, who hails from a populous swing state, said his company expects to triple its rates next year on the ObamaCare exchange.
it sounds like this guy is not very good at his job. also, he's a coward for not putting his name to his quote.
Looks like a coverup.
it actually sounds like a shake down. what better way is there to silence your critics than to have discretion over whether or not you prosecute them for corruption.
   2115. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 07:02 PM (#4674203)

A Republican candidate who believes that God dictates weather patterns and that tornadoes, autism and dementia are God's punishments for marriage equality and abortion access won the GOP nomination to challenge Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) in the Chicago-area 9th Congressional District.

Susanne Atanus, of Niles, Ill., garnered 54 percent of the vote in her Tuesday win over David Earl Williams III.

"I am not in favor of abortions, I am not in favor of gay rights," Atanus told the Daily Herald, a suburban Chicago newspaper, in January.

She blamed natural disasters and mental disorders on recent advances in LGBT equality and legal abortions.

"God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions," she said. "Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it's in our military, it will weaken our military. We need to respect God."

Atanus also reached out to the Windy City Times, an LGBT publication, in an attempt to explain her views.

"Everybody knows that God controls weather," she told the news site in January. "God is super angry," she added. "Gay marriage is not appropriate, and it doesn't look right, and it breeds AIDS."


That is not a ... uh ... flattering photo of said nominee.
   2116. steagles Posted: March 19, 2014 at 07:07 PM (#4674206)
If President Obama spends more than a half-minute filling out his NCAA brackets as Russia captures a second Ukrainian naval base gets captured and issues an ominous warning regarding Estonia, then it's safe to say that Eastern Europe is on its own.
now adding estonia to the list of countries republicans want obama to turn into never-ending military quagmires:
iraq
iran
afghanistan
pakistan
north korea
egypt
libya
somalia
cuba
venezuela
ukraine
georgia
estonia
   2117. greenback calls it soccer Posted: March 19, 2014 at 07:13 PM (#4674212)
If President Obama spends more than a half-minute filling out his NCAA brackets as Russia captures a second Ukrainian naval base gets captured and issues an ominous warning regarding Estonia, then it's safe to say that Eastern Europe is on its own.

Yeah, it's disappointing. I doubt Obama could multi-task while working on his NCAA brackets.
   2118. JE (Jason) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 07:25 PM (#4674215)
Yeah, it's disappointing. I doubt Obama could multi-task while working on his NCAA brackets.

Oh, is he planning to kill Osama again this year?
   2119. JE (Jason) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 07:33 PM (#4674218)
A Republican candidate who believes that God dictates weather patterns and that tornadoes, autism and dementia are God's punishments for marriage equality and abortion access won the GOP nomination to challenge Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) in the Chicago-area 9th Congressional District.

As a result of the last redistricting, Schakowsky got rewarded with one of the safest Democrat districts in the country. The Republicans were lucky to find someone with a pulse to run against her.
   2120. starksy Posted: March 19, 2014 at 07:39 PM (#4674220)
A Republican candidate who believes that God dictates weather patterns and that tornadoes, autism and dementia are God's punishments for marriage equality and abortion access won the GOP nomination to challenge Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) in the Chicago-area 9th Congressional District.


Also from article:

Jack Dorgan, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, and Adam Robinson, chairman of the Chicago Republican Party, both condemned Atanus' comments and distanced the party from her candidacy.
   2121. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 19, 2014 at 07:47 PM (#4674223)
From bad to worse? ObamaCare Premiums To Skyrocket:


Normally I would respond in detail, but when I saw the following I knew YC would link to the article and I made a point to bookmark the response article.

“The Sky Is Falling,” Says Anonymous Chicken

In an updated version of the article, Vieback does quote by name two experts—who deny the whole premise of her story.

And the “premiums to skyrocket” claim directly contradicts a variety of on-the-record assessments by health insurance executives—e.g., Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, Wellpoint president Joe Swedish, and Cigna CEO David Cordani—that the Obamacare premium structure is working out relatively well. And the most reliable independent study, from the Kaiser Family Foundation, concluded that the much-feared “death spiral” of premiums that Vieback seems to be predicting as a reality for much of the country is very unlikely to occur.
   2122. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 19, 2014 at 07:59 PM (#4674225)
Oh, is he planning to kill Osama again this year?


You have to admit, it would be even more impressive the second time.

But basically this is a nothingburger. All presidents multitask, respond to critical situations all over the globe and do silly PR stuff. Besides what exactly do you think he should be doing? What exact actions do you think his administration should do that requires his minute by minute participation? I am pretty sure he has a state department for a reason.

The President sets strategy. It is not like this is Diplomacy, where there is data entry somewhere he needs to do or else the Ruskies will be unopposed in the combat resolution phase.
   2123. starksy Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:02 PM (#4674226)
You have to admit, it would be even more impressive the second time.

But basically this is a nothingburger. All presidents multitask, respond to critical situations all over the globe and do silly PR stuff. Besides what exactly do you think he should be doing? What exact actions do you think his administration should do that requires his minute by minute participation? I am pretty sure he has a state department for a reason.


As the article pointed out, both went pretty well; he definitely beat my bracket.
   2124. JE (Jason) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:13 PM (#4674228)
But basically this is a nothingburger. All presidents multitask, respond to critical situations all over the globe and do silly PR stuff.

Except when he has yet to do anything to inspire confidence in his decisionmaking in the wake of what's taking place in Ukraine.

Anytime a Republican POTUS played golf -- from Eisenhower to W -- the left went cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, regardless of whether an international crisis was unfolding.

And, as with "Mission Accomplished," there's still howling in these parts over Bush's refusal to make a mad dash out of the classroom upon Card informing him that an airliner had flown into the World Trade Center.
   2125. Lassus Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:36 PM (#4674233)
Jason, do you have any idea how long a round of golf takes? A foursome is five hours, easy. Obama by himself might play 18 in three, and that's just the golf, not transport to and from. The fact that you're comparing this to a max 20 minute bracket pick that he can do at his damned desk is ridiculous.

Eisenhower? The classroom? Howling in these parts? Jesus, get a grip.
   2126. JE (Jason) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:48 PM (#4674235)
The fact that you're comparing this to a max 20 minute bracket pick that he can do at his damned desk is ridiculous.

I'm not being literal with the time quotient, Lassus. As pointed out above, it's the imagery.
   2127. bobm Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:49 PM (#4674237)
Maybe the Kaiser analysis is not the end-all, be-all, even if the government will reimburse insurers via risk corridors to keep the ACA on life support if necessary.

Well, a team from the Kaiser Family Foundation calculated that if enrollment were only 33 percent young, costs would exceed premiums by about 1.1 percent; if it were 25 percent (i.e. if it doesn’t change much), costs would exceed premiums by about 2.4 percent.

However, Seth Chandler, a law professor who specializes in health and insurance law, disputes that calculation[*]. And as far as I can tell, it's only looking at age -- that is, we’re assuming that if we get fewer young people, we get fewer of every kind of young people.

But what if what we’re witnessing is the broad operation of adverse selection -- older and sicker people buying while the young and healthy stay away? The first place that would show up in the data would be . . . a disproportionately low number of young people, particularly young men. Which is exactly what we do see. This explanation seems more likely to me than the alternative.

So are we definitely due for a death spiral?

No. For one thing, that 38.5 percent number doesn’t come from the insurers; it comes from the government. The government has been talking to insurers, but it isn’t running their actuarial models. If the insurers assumed a worse demographic mix than the government analysts, then we may not need so many young people to keep the markets sound.Insurers also want this to work, so they may be willing to take losses for a few years to keep premiums low -- especially if the government funnels money to them through the risk-corridor program.

What this does tell us, however, is that it is now probably impossible to achieve the demographic mix that the government has been forecasting. And keeping it from happening may well prove very expensive for the federal government.


http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-03-18/young-invincibles-are-killing-obamacare

* http://acadeathspiral.org/2014/01/08/the-kaiser-analysis-of-aca-enrollment-has-problems/
   2128. zonk Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:50 PM (#4674238)
So...

I have to admit... I'm relatively new to paying much mind to Facebook, but it does occasionally have its interesting and amusing moments. I generally accept friend requests blindly - and as such, get a birds eye view of of the lives of folks I knew from HS, etc.

One such fellow has been regularly posting "White History month" posts (for about two months now... apparently, us whites are so awesome we actually have our own calendar)... In between your standard Kenyan Muslim and stock up on ammo posts -- there was this gem today -- word for word, exactly as posted:

"I've learn know one can fix stupid".

I've taken a screen capture for my phone just in case I ever get that legendary interview question "Define irony".
   2129. zonk Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:52 PM (#4674239)

Except when he has yet to do anything to inspire confidence in his decisionmaking in the wake of what's taking place in Ukraine.

Anytime a Republican POTUS played golf -- from Eisenhower to W -- the left went cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, regardless of whether an international crisis was unfolding.

And, as with "Mission Accomplished," there's still howling in these parts over Bush's refusal to make a mad dash out of the classroom upon Card informing him that an airliner had flown into the World Trade Center.


So are you right to complain now and wrong to defend then or are you wrong to complain now and right to defend then...

...because it can't be both.
   2130. Howie Menckel Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:03 PM (#4674241)

I call for a moratorium on anyone ######## about the 'other guy's' bracket pick times, vacations, golf rounds, and general days off.
   2131. JE (Jason) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:09 PM (#4674243)
So are you right to complain now and wrong to defend then or are you wrong to complain now and right to defend then...

...because it can't be both.

Up until one month ago, Zonk, I wouldn't have given a damn about President Obama going on ESPN to discuss his bracket. Similarly, it was a mistake for him to rush off to a rowdy fundraising event in Vegas moments after a terrorist attack on our consulate, which resulted in an ambassador's death, the first to die on the job in nearly a quarter-century.

   2132. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:16 PM (#4674246)
If President Obama spends more than a half-minute filling out his NCAA brackets as Russia captures a second Ukrainian naval base gets captured and issues an ominous warning regarding Estonia, then it's safe to say that Eastern Europe is on its own.

And he also unilaterally, and for no reason, renounced US military involvement in Ukraine.

Completely amateurish.
   2133. Steve Treder Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:18 PM (#4674247)
Oh good god.
   2134. Publius Publicola Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:19 PM (#4674248)
CoB, I thought Suzanne was a woman's name? Who's that ugly guy you linked to?
   2135. JE (Jason) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:24 PM (#4674249)
And he also unilaterally, and for no reason, renounced US military involvement in Ukraine.
Completely amateurish.

My hope that the administration would ultimately rise to the occasion is fading fast. Too bad Victoria Nuland isn't running the show. Even Joe Biden, who I usually defend, committed an unforced error in Vilnius:

I know that President Obama will want to use the upcoming NATO summit in South Wales to generate concrete commitments to ensure that NATO is able to meet its Article 5 obligations to all members, which has been a priority from him and me since the beginning of our administration.

Dear Joe:

1. That summit is in September. No one is certain that Kyiv can withstand Russian pressure for another four weeks, let alone four months.
2. Article 5 is explicit in its self-defense language pertaining to member states. It requires no "concrere commitments to ensure that NATO [meets its] obligations."

Oy.
   2136. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:27 PM (#4674250)
My hope that the administration would ultimately rise to the occasion is fading fast.

Ditto. How can it not be fading?
   2137. zonk Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:30 PM (#4674251)
Up until one month ago, Zonk, I wouldn't have given a damn about President Obama going on ESPN to discuss his bracket. Similarly, it was a mistake for him to rush off to a rowdy fundraising event in Vegas moments after a terrorist attack on our consulate, which resulted in an ambassador's death, the first to die on the job in nearly a quarter-century.


You didn't answer the question.
   2138. Publius Publicola Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:32 PM (#4674254)
Jason, doesn't article 5 refer just to NATO members? Did I miss the memo or is Ukraine still not a member yet?
   2139. JE (Jason) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:43 PM (#4674256)
Jason, doesn't article 5 refer just to NATO members? Did I miss the memo or is Ukraine still not a member yet?

Agreed, Kevin. Thanks for pointing that out. If Ukraine had been in NATO, Article 5 would have been triggered by now. I was referring to Russia's implicit threat to Estonia.
   2140. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:54 PM (#4674265)
I was referring to Russia's implicit threat to Estonia.

Russia of course has no "right" to "protect" Russian speakers in Estonia or anywhere else, any more than the United States has the right to "protect" English or Spanish speakers in Russia.

That's another big lie.

A day after they swallowed Crimea, here come the threats to Estonia. Awesome.
   2141. JE (Jason) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:00 PM (#4674266)
You didn't answer the question.

I did, Zonk. When there's a crisis, Presidents should not do anything visible that gives off the impression that he or she is not giving the matter the attention it deserves. Here's a GOP example: Bush 41's power boat jaunts while America was mired in economic doldrums might have done more harm to his standing with the public than the supermarket scanner incident.
   2142. Publius Publicola Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:10 PM (#4674269)
I'm inclined to agree with Jason and Bear here. We all know Bush II was feckless. That's ancient history. But these Estonia tremors have me really worried now. It is really beginning to appear that Putin is willing to test NATOs mettle. It seems suicidal but autocratic leaders begin to believe their own BS after a while.
   2143. Lassus Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:18 PM (#4674270)
So far you've come up with golf and boat jaunts in comparison to picking an NCAA bracket. You should stick with the fundraiser during Benghazi, because these otherwise are ruining your point, not helping it.
   2144. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:25 PM (#4674275)
It seems suicidal but autocratic leaders begin to believe their own BS after a while.

As noted yesterday, these things take on a life of their own in the minds of the people and the leaders -- that's why they have to be stopped early. Being feckless and weak and doing nothing just makes the frenzied thirst for more victories.

Russia and Putin are today basking in the glow of easy military victory and power projection. We shouldn't expect rationality from them.

   2145. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:38 PM (#4674276)
double post


   2146. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:39 PM (#4674277)
As noted yesterday, these things take on a life of their own in the minds of the people and the leaders -- that's why they have to be stopped early. Being feckless and weak and doing nothing just makes the frenzied thirst for more victories.

Qui desiderat pacem, bellum praeparat; nemo provocare ne offendere audet quem intelliget superiorem esse pugnaturem


Flavius Vegetius Renatus, De re militari (390 B.C.)
   2147. JE (Jason) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:41 PM (#4674278)
So far you've come up with golf and boat jaunts in comparison to picking an NCAA bracket. You should stick with the fundraiser during Benghazi, because these otherwise are ruining your point, not helping it.

You keep checking your wristwatch to see how long it takes to fill out a bracket, then chat about it on ESPN, compared to nine holes of golf. I'm more concerned about the imagery.
   2148. Lassus Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:42 PM (#4674279)
I really do think that if snapper and SBB were in charge, we'd all be in flames at this point.
   2149. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:03 PM (#4674283)
now adding estonia to the list of countries republicans want obama to turn into never-ending military quagmires

Really? Just Republicans? Estonia is NATO member. Didn't know Democrats had renounced our obligations to NATO. Good of you to let us know.
   2150. JE (Jason) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:19 PM (#4674285)
Really? Just Republicans? Estonia is NATO member. Didn't know Democrats had renounced our obligations to NATO. Good of you to let us know.

Steagles being Steagles.
   2151. JE (Jason) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:25 PM (#4674286)
RT @FoxNews: BREAKING: Australian PM says 2 objects in search for #Malaysian jet may have been found #MH370
   2152. OCF Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:26 PM (#4674288)
So what happens if it all does go to hell? What happens if the Russian army rolls towards Donetsk and Kharkiv, and the Ukrainian army gets in their way and opens fire? Ukraine has an army, of course, and an air force. But the Ukrainians are flying MiGs and SUs and ex-Soviet helicopters, and shooting ex-Soviet artillery and rockets. A few of their newer tanks are home-built, but they still have a lot of the old ones. Their infantrymen carry AKs. If the whole thing goes more than two days, where do you go to resupply an army like that?
   2153. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:51 PM (#4674294)
RT @FoxNews: BREAKING: Australian PM says 2 objects in search for #Malaysian jet may have been found #MH370


Assuming that the debris was found anywhere close to the area (see bottom map) where Australia was supposedly concentrating its efforts today, the whole thing just keeps getting weirder and weirder.
   2154. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:56 PM (#4674295)
Assuming that the debris was found anywhere close to the area (see bottom map) where Australia was supposedly concentrating its efforts today, the whole thing just keeps getting weirder and weirder.

If that is the location, it appears that the intent was to put the plane in the spot where it was least likely to be found/recovered. But for what purpose? Especially if it was the pilot or co-pilot that did it?
   2155. JE (Jason) Posted: March 20, 2014 at 12:06 AM (#4674298)
CNN's Don Lemon just now: "It is midnight here in the United States."

Um...
   2156. JE (Jason) Posted: March 20, 2014 at 12:13 AM (#4674301)
I've always wondered why CNN has never given Richard Quest an afternoon or primetime anchor chair....
   2157. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: March 20, 2014 at 12:15 AM (#4674302)
But for what purpose?


Some sort of stab at a twisted legend of sorts? The "greatest unsolved plane crash mystery of the 21st century"? No explanation really seems rational at this point.
   2158. tshipman Posted: March 20, 2014 at 12:35 AM (#4674304)
I think at this point the only possible explanations for MH370 are freaking weird ones.

I wonder if conspiracy nuts will latch on to this one?

***

Also, are some lefties suggesting ignoring the invasion of a NATO country? That is ... not wise.
   2159. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: March 20, 2014 at 01:53 AM (#4674307)
Largest object spotted said to be up to 24 meters long.
   2160. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 20, 2014 at 04:06 AM (#4674313)
You keep checking your wristwatch to see how long it takes to fill out a bracket, then chat about it on ESPN, compared to nine holes of golf. I'm more concerned about the imagery.

I think whether Obama is doing a good job ob imagery, depends pretty much on which message you want him to send. If you want a message of "It's a crisis yes, but not meaningfully different from other crises, and is under control. Keep calm and carry on with your day-today lives," then the imagery is just about right.

Of course, if you want the message of "We are all doomed!!! Stop everything! Stock up on canned food and ammo, and prepare for a post-apocalyptic wasteland now!!!" then his imagery indeed sucks.
   2161. RollingWave Posted: March 20, 2014 at 05:40 AM (#4674315)
Given that the distance between Kiev to the Russian border is less than 100 miles, I suspect that "resupplying" wouldn't be an issue for Ukraine if a full conflict breaks out , (aka Russian forces would already be having dinner in Kiev on day 1.)

Ukraine's geography is about as bad as it gets for a defensive war, especially since Russia border them on either side of their major river. (the Dneiper).

As for the Malaysian flight, yeah its weird as hell. almost certainly some sort of man made foul play was involved.

Meanwhile, opposition operatives students stormed and too over the Parliment in Taiwan. Objecting to a treaty with China that they don't know the detail of, and complaining the lack of transparancy of a process that the opposition filibustered the whole way, welcome to another business as usual day of Taiwan politics
   2162. BFFB Posted: March 20, 2014 at 06:45 AM (#4674319)
It depends on if Putin thinks Russia's longterm alliance is going to turn southeast to China or not. If he's made that calculation, then taking as much of his western near-abroad as possible before pivoting to China and divvying up the 'stans between him and Beijing makes some sense. If he's still thinking he's going to create a Euroasian Union and replace Anglo-Germanic leadership with Russo-Slavic leadership, he's almost certainly lost the war in the first major battle.


Putin isn't concerned with Russia's long term interests (they are ###### no matter what he does) beyond how they influence his short term political goals to enable his continued despotic kleptocracy. And far as I'm aware Putin still has great support from the Russian provinces, which is where his populist power base is.

His Ukranian adventures were more about keeping Ukraine unstable enough to prevent it joining the EU and stopping it from gaining any semblance of energy independence by exploiting the Crimean gas fields.

There is an infrastructure problem that will have to be corrected. Drilling equipment will have to be imported and pipelines and LNG terminals built. But it's just a matter of time. Putin appears to have won this battle but he's clearly lost sight of the war. Or maybe he hasn't, and is grabbing what he can before the reckoning.


There's lots of work on solving that problem going on. Mostly with developing small-scale (think small enough to fit in a 40' container) package plant for gas processing/treating, either for liquefaction or direct feed into local distribution networks. It generally makes more sense to do it small scale on site rather than try to pipe into large existing gas treating plants.
   2163. BrianBrianson Posted: March 20, 2014 at 07:51 AM (#4674321)
   2164. JE (Jason) Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:07 AM (#4674324)
The Greatest Taiwanese parliament fights of all time

Hmmm, I don't see Kevin Towers or Arizona pitchers anywhere.
   2165. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:09 AM (#4674326)
Also, are some lefties suggesting ignoring the invasion of a NATO country?


No. Jason and SBB are circle-jerking about Obama projecting "weakness" because of reasons and stuff and extrapolating their projected spunkenmeyer from there screens into the field of Keyboard Battle.

If Russia invades Estonia, NATO has a requirement to respond to troops with troops.
   2166. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:23 AM (#4674328)
about Obama projecting "weakness" because of reasons and stuff


It all comes down to whether you think Putin is a rational actor (and thug) who is playing power politics within the natural Russian sphere of influence, or if he is a madman ready and willing to embark on a campaign of military expansion which could result in world war.

Needless to say I think the first option is about a million times more likely.
   2167. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:30 AM (#4674330)
It all comes down to whether you think Putin is a rational actor (and thug) who is playing power politics within the natural Russian sphere of influence, or if he is a madman ready and willing to embark on a campaign of military expansion which could result in world war.


Good bit by Fred Kaplan at Slate today.
   2168. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:37 AM (#4674332)
Jason and SBB are circle-jerking about Obama projecting "weakness" because of reasons and stuff

The reasons have been stated. He's backed down at every confrontation point. His unilateral abjuring of US force in Ukraine yesterday was absurd.

With that said, we must also note W Bush's culpability. The lesson of Iraq for Putin wasn't the US's invasion -- he doesn't give two shits about that -- it was the ineffectual deployment of the military. W reduced the deterrent value of our forces with his bumbleheaded adventurism. As Vince Lombardi might say (*), if you deploy American forces, victory isn't everything -- it's the only thing.

(*) And as HW Bush and Colin Powell basically did say.
   2169. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:39 AM (#4674333)
It all comes down to whether you think Putin is a rational actor (and thug) who is playing power politics within the natural Russian sphere of influence, or if he is a madman ready and willing to embark on a campaign of military expansion which could result in world war.

Too binary, failing to understand how these things take on a life of their own.
   2170. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:41 AM (#4674335)
The reasons have been stated. He's backed down at every confrontation point


He's noted, quite rationally and correctly, that the United States has no national interests in Crimea, while Russia does, and has thus wisely not escalated events in the region into shooting wars about a peninsula we don't actually care about.
   2171. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:43 AM (#4674336)
He's noted, quite rationally and correctly, that the United States has no national interests in Crimea, while Russia does, and has thus wisely not escalated events in the region into shooting wars about a peninsula we don't actually care about.

His weakness long predates this episode, going back to the 2009 backdown on the missile installations -- an absurd course of action.
   2172. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:45 AM (#4674337)
You have to wonder about NATO's ultimate resolve when European financial institutions are so closely connected to Russia's oligarchs.

Europe weighs hurting own economy to press Russia amid Crimea crisis

LONDON — To President Vladimir Putin, Russian billionaires are a vital constituency in a state built on cronyism and kleptocracy.

To London’s luxury property dealers and high-flying bankers, the oligarchs play a different but no less exalted role: free-spending customers willing to shell out gobs of cash for everything from fine Mayfair estates to elite soccer clubs.

Relations between Moscow and Europe may be at their lowest ebb in a generation, but the two sides share a common reliance on Russian high rollers.

It’s a dependency that makes Putin vulnerable if the West decides to get serious about sanctions in the coming days. Yet it also means European leaders are less likely to do so for fear of damaging their own fragile economies. To alienate the oligarchs might mean pricking the property bubble in Moscow-on-Thames, as London is sometimes known.

“At almost every level, this is a city in thrall to Russian money,” said Jonathan Eyal, who directs international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute. “We should be able to withstand Russian blackmail. But we can’t seem to resist the sight of suitcases filled with cash.”...

The West’s seeming inability to influence Putin has prompted soul-searching across Europe over whether the continent is putting its commercial interests ahead of its security. Although similar discussions are underway in the United States, the ties with Russia run much deeper here — and the stakes are far higher.

A senior member of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party, Malcolm Rifkind, on Tuesday described the European response as “pathetic” and compared it to the appeasement of Germany on the eve of World War II....

Sergei Guriev, an economist who left Russia under pressure from the government last year and who now teaches in Paris, said there are enough Putin associates with financial interests in the West that U.S. and E.U. sanctions could have a significant impact if properly targeted. “You’re in big trouble if you’re on these lists,” he said. “You can’t travel. Your friends and family will have their reputations hurt. It’s not what you want in a globalized world.”

But that same globalized world also demands open markets and borders for the well-heeled. To suggest otherwise could mean London loses out.

“We need to be willing to harm ourselves to harm Russia,” said Andrew Foxall, director of Russian studies at the London-based Henry Jackson Society. “We’re long past the point where Western financial centers should be enabling Russian kleptocrats. But that’s undoubtedly what’s happening.”




   2173. zonk Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:47 AM (#4674338)
I did, Zonk. When there's a crisis, Presidents should not do anything visible that gives off the impression that he or she is not giving the matter the attention it deserves. Here's a GOP example: Bush 41's power boat jaunts while America was mired in economic doldrums might have done more harm to his standing with the public than the supermarket scanner incident.


That wasn't really my question, though...

Sure - the political optics are always bad... and sure, both sides will always and forever seize on them as really good dirt clods to hurl.

I'm well aware that plenty of folks made a big hullaballoo out of the My Pet Goat thing -- but I thought it was pretty silly... With information still developing, I'm not sure exactly what a President - any President - could have done in those minutes... start ordering jet liners to be shot down? I always thought the "Now watch this drive" was a better movie moment in Fahrenheit 911 anyway.

I was talking more about the practical reality agnostic to politics and optics... Especially in the modern world, I don't care if the President spends 5 hours a day on the golf course -- I have absolutely zero doubt he's got a pretty damn full communications suite at close hand the whole time and the world's greatest transport system at ready hand if it should be necessary to get somewhere quickly.

I'll readily admit, I wasn't in any big rush to say these sorts of things while W was in office... but like I said, neither did I join the OMG! Vacations?!?! chorus.

The NCAA picking stuff is all political, "have a beer with" optics, too -- I'm just saying: Are we talking the fog-peeled back reality or are we talking about the political wisdom of not "looking busy"?
   2174. bunyon Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:48 AM (#4674340)
I think Bear's point about Iraq is a good one. Obama isn't projecting weakness (and I think he is) because Obama the man is weak, in my opinion, he's projecting it because we are weak. Iraq and Afghanistan have drained us of energy, money and force. In that order. The US is in a terrible short term position, I think. Our fighting forces are tired. Our finances are poor and our people, including most of our leaders, are sick of fighting. Of course, I think Obama, all else being equal, is not a guy who imagined himself as a military CiC. Western Europe, from a financial and military perspective, is essentially irrelevant in this discussion.

Now, given our military and given that our finances, poor though they are, are better than most of the players in this game, we probably win a WWIII land war in Eastern Europe. It isn't a certainty by any stretch but we probably do. Hopefully no one gets nuked.

I think, though, if Putin retakes the baltic states or Ukraine, the west throws the dice that Putin is a rational actor just hoping to push the borders back to the Soviet era and stands down. And, yes, I'm saying that "we" ignore the invasion of a NATO state. NATO hasn't been NATO since the fall of the Soviet Union. Anyone who thinks that Estonia is a real ally of the US is crazy. Admitting those guys was a PR move meant to rub Russia's nose in ####. Tell the average American that we're about to fight WWIII over Estonia and they'll ask what an Estonia is.
   2175. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:48 AM (#4674341)
The march of history is also exposing another Clinton era folly -- the denuclearizing of Ukraine, exposing it to the never-ending predations and appetites of Russia. The 1994 treaty, with its worthless guarantees, is the foreign policy bookend to the disasterous fin-de-siecle decision to let derivatives be created and traded virtually unchecked.
   2176. bunyon Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:50 AM (#4674342)
The whole "optics" thing with presidential down time is crazy. Forget optics. I hope that my CiC in a time of war is doing some stuff like filling out brackets or playing an occasional round of golf. For the same reasons infantry get weekend passes even in times of war. People aren't good when they focus 24/7 on single problems, no matter how important they are.

Things like golf and brackets are simply what the out of power party complains about. It would be nice if they didn't, but they always will.
   2177. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:52 AM (#4674343)
I'm well aware that plenty of folks made a big hullaballoo out of the My Pet Goat thing -- but I thought it was pretty silly... With information still developing, I'm not sure exactly what a President - any President - could have done in those minutes... start ordering jet liners to be shot down?


Well you're offering up the false dichotomy of the Dittohead - either Emperor ####### sits there with his thumb up his ass OR he stands up and starts screaming and launching nuclear strikes. How about him doing what any normal adult would do in a critical situation? Stand up, excuse yourself to the children, thank them for their hospitality and continued hard work, and explain that you're needed at your job. Naturally you couldn't expect a simpleton like Dubya to think on his feet like that, he was waiting for a handler to tell him what to do and figuring Uncle Dick had everything covered.
   2178. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:53 AM (#4674344)
You have to wonder about NATO's ultimate resolve when European financial institutions are so closely connected to Russia's oligarchs.

The 1% has significant financial interests in and with Russia, making the sitation materially different than the Soviet era. Doesn't exactly engender confidence.
   2179. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:54 AM (#4674345)
The march of history is also exposing another Clinton era folly -- the denuclearizing of Ukraine, exposing it to the never-ending predations and appetites of Russia.


You have to be a fool of the highest order to have wanted unsecured nukes floating around Ukraine in the 1990s. If those weapons hadn't been returned to Russia 10-12 of them would be in the hands of al-Quaeda today. Well, minus the ones they'd already used in terrorist attacks.
   2180. Lassus Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:55 AM (#4674346)
Tell the average American that we're about to fight WWIII over Estonia and they'll ask what an Estonia is.

A certain small group of Americans will know that it's a country with a very very strong choral tradition. Other than that, yes, no one will have any idea.


The march of history is also exposing another Clinton era folly -- the denuclearizing of Ukraine, exposing it to the never-ending predations and appetites of Russia.

I'll repeat - with SBB and snapper in charge, we're all melting in radioactive fires.
   2181. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:57 AM (#4674347)
You have to be a fool of the highest order to have wanted unsecured nukes floating around Ukraine in the 1990s.

They wouldn't be "unsecured." That's silly.
   2182. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:58 AM (#4674348)
I'll repeat - with SBB and snapper in charge, we're all melting in radioactive fires.

Weakness has caused far more wars than strength ever will.
   2183. Nats-Homer-in-DC Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:59 AM (#4674349)
I can't imagine the EU would want Ukraine without Crimea and its eastern half under significant Russian influence and under threat of secession. The western half is poor in comparison to the eastern half. If they do, it will be as a defensive buffer state. And then do the western/central EU vote for another socially conservative country? And would the eastern EU vote / sign their death warrants by increasing EU's hostilities towards Russia?
   2184. bunyon Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:59 AM (#4674350)
Lassus, I don't think there are any reefs in the Baltic.
   2185. Lassus Posted: March 20, 2014 at 09:00 AM (#4674351)
Weakness has caused far more wars than strength ever will.

Nuclear wars? Hmmm... did weakness cause their only use so far?


Lassus, I don't think there are any reefs in the Baltic.

I... don't understand this. Reefs?
   2186. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 20, 2014 at 09:01 AM (#4674352)
The whole "optics" thing with presidential down time is crazy. Forget optics. I hope that my CiC in a time of war is doing some stuff like filling out brackets or playing an occasional round of golf. For the same reasons infantry get weekend passes even in times of war. People aren't good when they focus 24/7 on single problems, no matter how important they are.


And it would be strategically counterproductive to make Putin think he's the only thing we're thinking about. I know why Jason wants Ukraine to be the most important thing in the world. He has friends over there. He is concerned for their well being. I get that. (SBB just wants some other people to kill and die in the eastern European hinterlands so he can feel like the US is swinging a big dick on the porn set of foreign relations, as far as I can tell.) But blowing up a bit of thuggery in Crimea as if it's going to deeply impact the US at heart is the sort of thing Putin wants us to do. Because that gives him credit in Russia for making Russia a "world power" again. We should continue to fill out brackets and play golf because the hrumphing of Jumped Up Belarus doesn't warrant us taking everything else off the table.
   2187. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 20, 2014 at 09:01 AM (#4674353)
Nuclear wars? Hmmm... did weakness cause their only use so far?

Yes. WWII started because of perceived/actual weakness and appeasement.
   2188. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 20, 2014 at 09:02 AM (#4674354)
(SBB just wants some other people to kill and die in the eastern European hinterlands so he can feel like the US is swinging a big dick on the porn set of foreign relations, as far as I can tell.)

My course will keep them from killing and dying. Your course hasn't and won't.
   2189. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 20, 2014 at 09:03 AM (#4674355)
I actually agree with the lefties on the "optics" thing. Irrelevant.
   2190. Lassus Posted: March 20, 2014 at 09:03 AM (#4674356)
Yes. WWII started because of perceived weakness and appeasement.

All wars start this way. Perceived by the aggressors.
   2191. BrianBrianson Posted: March 20, 2014 at 09:04 AM (#4674357)
I can't imagine the EU would want Ukraine without Crimea and its eastern half under significant Russian influence and under threat of secession.


They went ahead and admitted Cyprus.
   2192. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 20, 2014 at 09:07 AM (#4674359)
They wouldn't be "unsecured." That's silly


Except that at the time, they were going to be unsecured when the Russian troops that guarded them left. Ukraine, when it spun out independently, didn't have the people or the money to properly secure those weapons sites. Leaving 1900 warheads unsecured in an unstable new republic in the Balkans, where ex-generals of the Soviets were looking to cash in and live high on the hog by selling a few to anyone with the money to pay was unthinkable. The Balkans of the 1990s were not where you wanted an asston of old Soviet nukes hanging out on the shelves. You either weren't around at the time, haven't read the history of the region, or are just categorically stupid on the subject.
   2193. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 20, 2014 at 09:08 AM (#4674360)
Except that at the time, they were going to be unsecured when the Russian troops that guarded them left.

And then they would have been secured, by non-Ukrainian organizations if necessary. No one was going to let unsecured nukes lay around. Jesus, get a grip.
   2194. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 20, 2014 at 09:09 AM (#4674361)
Tell the average American that we're about to fight WWIII over Estonia and they'll ask what an Estonia is.


You don't tell them we're going to war over Estonia. You tell them Russia invaded a NATO ally and that the United States defends her NATO allies.
   2195. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 20, 2014 at 09:10 AM (#4674362)
All wars start this way. Perceived by the aggressors.

Exactly. So what's the argument about? When expansionist aggressors perceive the other side(s) as weak, they often start wars. (Or gobble up territory they don't really need to go to war to gobble up.)

That's why you don't appear weak and don't act weak to expansionist aggressors.
   2196. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 20, 2014 at 09:10 AM (#4674363)
And then they would have been secured, by non-Ukrainian organizations if necessary. No one was going to let unsecured nukes lay around.


No, they weren't. That's why they agreed to ship them out of Ukraine back to Russia. You're an idiot on this subject, apparently.
   2197. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 20, 2014 at 09:13 AM (#4674364)
My course will keep them from killing and dying. Your course hasn't and won't.


Fewer people have died in the Russian annexation of Crimea than died in the demonstrations in Kiev. You are just sitting around jacking off to war porn on your desktop, dreaming of sending other men to fight an exciting war in eastern Europe to keep you entertained and feeling manly. Jesus. Buy some ####### Viagra and hire a whore.
   2198. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 20, 2014 at 09:14 AM (#4674366)
No, they weren't. That's why they agreed to ship them out of Ukraine back to Russia. You're an idiot on this subject, apparently.

The idea that securing the nukes drove the disarmament and that treaty is ahistorical and delusional.
   2199. Lassus Posted: March 20, 2014 at 09:16 AM (#4674367)
Exactly. So what's the argument about? When expansionist aggressors perceive the other side(s) as weak, they often start wars. (Or gobble up territory they don't really need to go to war to gobble up.) That's why you don't appear weak and don't act weak to expansionist aggressors.

What is YOUR course of action here, exactly, SBB? What is not acting weak or appearing weak?
   2200. bunyon Posted: March 20, 2014 at 09:16 AM (#4674368)
Lassus, riffing on the "choral" tradition. It's an audio joke in visual form.
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