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1 Rocky-in-Connecticut  Tue, Mar 18, 2014 6:20:29am

Ukraine is an economic and tribal/ethnic basket case and part of me says “Let Putin have it and deal with the long term consequences.”

The downside of this is I can sense an overall malice Putin has for anyone who is not ethnically Russian and could grab more and more Ukrainian territory and force out to the West a huge refugee population. This would cause problems for the EU and Poland in particular. The Russian Arms Industry aligned with Putin I feel is the direct instigator of this Russian Neo-Fascism on display.

The Oligarchs are making money hand over fist and Putin is their Man. It amazes me that the right wing meme that has gained traction here is that “Obama is Weak” as if the right wing offers any sort of realistic solution to Russian aggression at their own border. If they have a plan, I would like to hear it. All I hear is “Obama weak” …then … nothing. It’s as if they all but forgot Russian aggression towards Georgia under THEIR man Bush jr. and Russian troops making off with a whole fleet of brand new US Hummers and light tanks. Bush then had to crawl to Putin and beg for them back. I didn’t hear a peep of “Bush is Weak” from Fox News then.

2 nines09  Tue, Mar 18, 2014 6:40:39am

re: #1 Rocky-in-Connecticut

The GOP has no answers or ideas beyond “Obama bad.” Just remember that the right wing “Christians” and the GOP and all their hacks and hired mouths praised Putin as a “true leader” and admired his “handling” of gays. Putin calls this grab of Crimea “self determination” just as the GOP calls their bigotry “freedom and liberty.”

3 Political Atheist  Tue, Mar 18, 2014 8:02:19am

Obama is not weak. but the west is. At least from some perspectives. Our military is engaged and what is not engaged is kinda played out hardware wise. The defense budget news for troops and pay and ordinary gear like guns and tanks is cut cut cut. Afghanistan and Iraq have sapped the will to go to war. in many ways that’s a good thing, I’m happy we don’t have troops in Syria, Libya and or Egypt apart from advisers and liaisons.

But the other shoe is dropping. Many may disagree but Vladimir Putin obviously thinks he has more than enough to gain by his actions. His perception is that opposition will be minimal and temporary. And as the aggressor he has the initiative, a hard thing to reverse.

Historians will ask if the west (or arguably US policy) precipitated this by expanding NATO or if a major re assertion of power by Russia a certainty anyway as their economy gained resources. In any case they will ask in the future. We have a little dictator with a superpower military to deal with. How far will he test NATO in reasserting power on his very own borders?

Vladimir Putin defends Crimea vote in Moscow speech

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