Monday, March 24, 2014

Critics of Obama's Handling of Ukraine Crisis are Disingenuous and Hypocritical

President Obama and Russian President Putin
I've certainly not agreed with everything President Obama has done over the past five years in terms of his foreign policy. But the relentless and callow criticism he's getting from his political enemies for allegedly being weak in his handling of the crisis in Russia and Ukraine is not only unfair and unfounded, it is utterly political and laughably disingenuous. And it shows the selective memory of so many of his critics. 

Obama, who kicks off a two-day summit on nuclear security today at The Hague in the Netherlands, where he'll reportedly meet later in the day with other leaders of the G7 nations, is doing exactly what any responsible, measured U.S. President would do regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin's rogue actions. Nothing more, nothing less. 

The widespread and transparent political shots being fired at the President from many of his Republican adversaries begs the obvious question: Where were these folks in 2008, when Russian forces invaded the former Soviet state of Georgia? Yes, invaded. At the time, President George W. Bush responded with virtually the same words and actions as Obama is giving us now, and no one on the right called Bush weak. 

We were still shooting and bombing the crap out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and that didn't deter Russia from moving in to Georgia. Get my drift? As Russian tanks began rolling into Georgia in the summer of 2008, Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino, now a Fox host and reliable Obama basher, said this: "We call for an immediate ceasefire. We urge all parties, Georgians, south Ossetians, Russians to deescalate the tensions and to avoid conflict. We are working on mediation efforts and to secure a ceasefire, and we are urging the parties to restart their dialogue." 

I'm sure Dana's comments had them Russkies shaking in their boots, eh? Some real fightin' words from the Bush camp. Can you imagine if Obama presser Jay Carney said this very same thing now about the Ukraine crisis? The right would eat him alive. 

And now, most regrettably and inappropriately, former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is weighing in. Say it ain't so, Mitt. He accused Obama of being naive about Putin’s world views and “lacking the judgment” and foresight to have stopped the Russian president from taking over Ukraine’s Crimea region.

"There's no question but that the president's naiveté with regards to Russia, and his faulty judgment about Russia's intentions and objectives, has led to a number of foreign policy challenges that we face," said the former Massachusetts governor and failed presidential candidate on CBS’ Face the Nation.

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the number two Democrat in the Senate, quickly and appropriately responded to Romney’s suggestion that Putin would have been discouraged had the United States first shown military force somewhere else in the world.

“I disagree, and so does history,” Durbin told CBS. “In the midst of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Putin invaded the Republic of Georgia. … He is a bully, and we've got to call him for what he is.”

Durbin also said the idea that sanctions are going to stop a former colonel in the KGB is naive at best. “What the President has done is first, try to negotiate, try to stop the intrigue and the referendum in Crimea. It didn't work,” said Durbin, who praised the diplomatic efforts of Secretary of State John Kerry and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Obama's trip this week was previously planned, but Russia, who was not invited, will now be the hot topic. "We're united in imposing a cost on Russia for its actions so far," Obama said after meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. 

Sounds reasonable and reassuring. But obviously not to the knee-jerk anti-Obama crowd. There's obviously nothing Obama could say or do that would change the mind of his detractors. Why? Because many of them don't really care a lick about the people of Ukraine. They just see this as a golden opportunity in a congressional election year to appeal to the base and blast the White House.

Former Vice President and chicken hawk Dick Cheney, who never met a war he didn't like but who avoided the military draft in the 1960s five times with deferments, recently said there's "no question" that Putin thinks Obama is weak. Cheney, who should just keep his mouth shut when asked about U.S. involvement in a foreign country, also said on Face the Nation recently, “No military. He [Obama] seems to operate that way most of the time. There are military options that don’t involve putting troops on the ground in Crimea." 

Well, no, not really. Pretty much none of that is accurate. But it makes for a great sound byte, doesn't it? 

The equally war-loving John Bolton, who was ambassador to the United Nations in W's administration and who gets giddy whenever he mulls the possibility of a potential war between Israel and Iran, said Obama's handling of the Putin situation proves that he is not "interested in American national security affairs." 

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, whose foreign policy credibility is less than zero, recently said that Obama "left a vacuum that Putin is filling." Other Obama critics say that the President needs to "man up," "get a backbone," and that he has "lost moral authority" and "lost all credibility abroad." 

It should be noted that none of these folks had a single word to say about the Bush administration six years ago when Russia went into Georgia. Cheney certainly didn't. Yes, he obligatorily condemned Russia's invasion, but never connected it with any sort of weakness on Bush's behalf. 

Conservative writer and Bond villain wanna-be Charles Krauthammer made this curiously wimpy statement back in 2008: "Well, obviously it's beyond our control. The Russians are advancing (in Georgia). There is nothing that will stop them. We are not going to go to war over Georgia."

And then there's Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a man I admire greatly for his service to his country. But he's been predictably rattling his rusty saber all over the place in recent weeks. In 2008, while he was on the Presidential campaign trail, he didn't have a single critical word for Bush over the fact that Russia had just invaded a sovereign country. Instead, he said there should be an end to the “partisan sniping” over the issue and called on the country to unite.

Of course, McCain and the rest of these political animals know that no Republican President would do anything substantively different than Obama is doing right now -- especially any Republican President who got millions in campaign money from big oil companies that have multi-billion dollar business deals with Russia. They also know that none of the Republicans who are slamming Obama for being weak has any effective ideas on how to deal with Putin, other than maybe reviving plans for a NATO missile defense shield in Poland. 

Uh, yeah, that'll work. All the NATO talk and Cold War-era silliness about nukes is just a red herring. Putin knows it is very unlikely that any country will intervene militarily in this regional fight. 

Obama's haters say there's a bigger-picture issue at stake here. They say that it's about "peace through strength," and that Putin has the upper hand and is not afraid of Obama and that broadcasting our intentions to reduce troop numbers will only embolden a guy like Putin. But Putin doesn't need us to embolden him. Whether we broadcast our intentions or not, it makes no difference, Putin doesn't care.

Despite what happened in Syria with Obama's "red line" comment - and thank goodness we DIDN'T send troops there, which McCain and others would have done - Obama is actually much more of a hawk than he promised he would be. Putin knows this, and he's also obviously aware of the 100,000-troop surge in Afghanistan under Obama's watch, as well all the drone killings. Neither phase him. He knows no country will militarily oppose his actions in Ukraine, just as Russia knew six summers ago that no one would oppose its actions in Georgia.

As for the notion that we can't reduce our troop level now and in fact should raise it, that's dangerously false. We will still have more than enough troops to invade another country if we choose. Our military budget is the same as the next 10 countries in the world combined. It's obscene, it is unnecessarily high. More of this money should be spent on our veterans who've already fought in wars.

Is Putin dangerous? Probably. Is he an arrogant buffoon who likes to roam around shirtless and steal Super Bowl rings? Definitely. But this is not our war. I am not sure how we stop this but clearly we have to join with most of the other nations around the world and strangle Putin economically and by other means. But we should not and can not get involved militarily. 

Interestingly, the same Republicans who are attacking Obama right now agree that there are no military options. Even McCain admits there are no military options. But he and others continue to bark at the moon.

This is a major international incident, and good Americans are standing by the President. As I said, the Republicans in Congress who are moaning the loudest over Obama's alleged weakness could care less about the people of Ukraine. It's all just more political theater.

A slice of truth: Obama has killed far more of our real enemies - radical Muslim terrorists - than Bush ever did. He is fighting the right enemies, the real threats to America, and he got us out of Iraq, where we should not have been in the first place. And he is about to get us the hell out of Afghanistan. 

Make no mistake: we will always have a robust number of trained troops. Reducing our fighting force won't embolden Putin or anyone. But it will help our economy and our country. We will still be the strongest, most powerful military in the world by a long shot. This is all just political manure from some of the great chicken hawks of our time. And it stinks.

63 comments:

  1. Jamie:

    Very thoughtful as usual. However, there is a difference between what happened in 2008 with Georgia and what is happening now in Crimea. Last week, the citizens of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to join the Russian Federation. While there is no question that Putin is a bully, this does present a political obstacle to the West since we are constantly lecturing other nations about how sacred the right to vote is and how it must be both respected and defended. It becomes even more complicated when we consider that Crimea is part of Ukraine. The truth is, there is very little we can do at this point other than condemn it. Like you, I'm all for calling Obama out when he's wrong but piling on him over this issue is not the way to go. Good job,
    John

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    1. thanks very much for sharing this insight, john. i do understand the distinction you make between ukraine and georgia. but my point of course was to show that the fact that we were deeply involved in bombing iraq and afghanistan when russia moved into georgia. it did not deter russian in the least, and neither would any actions by obama short of 100,000 ground troops in kiev.

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    2. We must respect the Crimean people's right to vote to join Russia. Of course, this is not in favour of US as the strategic importance of Ukraine to US and the West is lesser without Crimea. The got the cake without the cream and they are throwing tantrum and that all the US could do for now.

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    3. I am personally from Osetia, and its not that it was occupied by the Russian troops, your media is making it upside down, Osetia was never a Georgian state, it was allways independent, and most of the people here are thankfull to Russia for protection against Georgian government. It is not secret today for all of Russian folks that it is CIA hands in Osetia crisis everyone knows that CIA agents instructed georgin troops, the same is going on for the last 20 years in Ukraine. Amerika was never demokratic country as it claims to be. All I said shares more than 78 percentage of Russia. Whatever happens around Russia is western devide and rule- this is all about your so called demokracy, this is all about what your wellfare is hangt on, your economics, Get your arms back from Russia

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  2. Excellent insight, Jamie. My father-in-law was a Ukrainian freedom fighter way back in the 30's. We have been to Ukraine and know the country and its history as well as any Americans can. Our biggest failure was to ignore Ukraine when it declared its independence in 1991. America and its European allies should have helped it get on its feet but largely chose to ignore it. And then we spent billions on Bush and Cheney's invasion into a sovereign country. The so-called election in Crimea was illegal under international law and Ukraine's constitution, and there was no place on the ballot to vote no so the outcome was predictable. Finally, thanks, Jamie, for correctly saying Ukraine. Drives me crazy when newscasters and even people in the Congress say "the Ukraine." They should know better! Betsy

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    1. So how legal and constitutional was the takeover by the Nuland-supported cocktail throwing militia? Yanukovich was a constitutionally elected president and the current group is not representative of the East or South of Ukraine where this can be declared a "stolen vote". Deterrence would have been the US not funding NGO's and training militias to overthrow an elected government. None of us would be here but the National Defense Strategy would be in jeopardy. The economic link between Eurasia union and European Union had to be killed to stop any rival from emerging. Read Paul Wolfowitz

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    2. That's the main point of CIA operation in Ukraine reviving local fascists - to cut links between Euroasia and Europe. Mad enough but in action. There are up to 400 CIA contractors in Ukraine already for a month in covered terror actions, but it's not Irak and up to 20 of them are already listed as losses.

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    3. And you know this how...?

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    5. Baloney, Betsy. The illegal government in Kiev ousted a democtratically elected leader and is now singing the blues when Crimea declared its independance. I have friends in Crimea and they are ecstatic that Russia has taken charge. PONCHO is right on the money. BTW I was in Ukraine during the Orange Revolution. Do you have any idea how few the Orange supporters were in Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov & Sevastopol? Like almost zero.

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    6. Napolean's armies and Hitler's armies were both swallowed whole by the vastness of Russia. The same would happen to the US military if we were self-destructive enough to get involved. Both Bush, Jr. and Cheney were draft evader's and neither deserve recognition for their views on our defense strategy.

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  3. As proof that the Russian armies in Ukraine aren't present, watch video, what you on it tell? Where Armies? These are civilians of Ukraine protect itself and want peace life.
    here Video from Kharkov:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLv_OCGhS6g
    Video from Lugansk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkQpmlGc7Ag
    Video from Kramatorsk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-vX12Q8GF8

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    1. How does that prove anything? The Ukrainian secret service has convincingly shown that the take-overs of government buildings in eastern Ukraine were led and coordinated by Russian special forces.

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    2. Any facts of your words?

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  4. We get it Reno, you don't like the right. Okay, but be fair. Both sides tell the same lies as it suits their purpose. We should despise both parties for their dis-ingenuousness. As far as calling those you disagree with, "political animals", says says a lot about how much weight we should put into your words.

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    1. you're way, way off the mark. i'm always fair. bank on it. your take here is pathetically weak, vague and poorly thought out. the term "political animal," for your edification, refers to people who see everything in life through a political prism. I'm not actually calling them "animals." it's amusing and interesting that you criticize me for that, then say that we should "despise" both parties. by the way, disingenuousness is not hyphenated. but you should be. next time you go off on a rant on my news blog, how about showing enough belief in your own convictions to identify yourself?

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    2. True enough - neither side is blameless in the political posturing. The difference is that the Right never has, and never will admit that it's at least half responsible for the problem. The fact is that no President in their right mind would consider actually going to war over another sovereign nation's internal affairs. The difference is that the Republicans blame Obama for doing exactly what Bush did (and should have done) in a similar predicament. It's the blatant hypocrisy of the Right that irritates.

      In the glory days of our infant republic, it used to be that politicians (who were only paid a living wage back then and could only serve two terms) did what they honestly felt was best for the nation, with no thought to feathering their own nests. We have made the Legislative Branch much too attractive to carpetbaggers and charlatans, and now their focus is solely on staying on the Gravy Train.

      Start paying legislators a wage, take away all the perks, and impose term limits, and we may actually see things improve, for the good of us all.

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  5. What are you expecting that Mr Obama start a nuclear war.How is Mr Putin going to leave Ukraine to be a western allied filled with rockets pointing at Russia on it,s border. Remember in the sixties USA did not let Russians to have such nuclear weapons in Cuba.It was good gesture by Kennedy.Be careful what you write, WE want peace not war it is very dangerous to start world war 3.Millions suffer all the world suffers,

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    1. did you even read what i wrote?

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    2. obviously he did not - I did - thanks for reminding me of the Georgia incident. It is true that it is not obviously in our interest to go to war with russia over Ukraine. Then again, it was not obvious to Europe in 1938 that to go to war then with Germany over the Anschluss in Austria, which violated at least 2 major international treaties in effect at the time, might have been better than waiting until Germany steamrollered Poland in 1939 (with Russia's cooperation mind you). Could military action then have prevented the largest war we've ever known? We don't know, because that is not what happened. The problem now, is that Putin is using much the same language and rationale now as Germany did in the 1930's - so when does he stop? what has happened so far in response in fairly meaningless in terms of stopping him. It wouldn't be in anyone's benefit for this to continue and get out of hand. Not that I have any solutions mind you, just noting the problems.

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  6. America is one country with citizens drawn from all over the world making everybody look up to it. However, if you see a boil in a bad place like the scrotum, you apply wisdom to handle it. The war in Ukraine is not in American backyard and cannot affect the security of America in any way. Putin is acting in the only way Russians of all ages have been acting, to protect themselves from a neighbour that is developing a strong and dangerous tooth overnight. In most affairs in this world, things are handled in the language of the strong and powerful. It is only by the grace of God that powerful nations let weak neighbours be. My advice to world leaders is: "What will you do if you were Putin?" In the end, God who made all things and who I believe is not tired of the world he created will see justice prevail. Our hope is in Him.

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  7. the only way that Putin will stop with his reckless bullies is to get involve militarily.sanctions will only trigger Russia more to further invade Ukraine.that being said i think to get involve militarily might be a smaller option but the best option to attained world peace.

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    1. What a dolt. Send your own kids off to die. Better still- go yourself. You can be an army of one!!!!

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  8. Hypocrisy, thy name is...Republican!

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  9. Reno, perhaps your cancer medicine put your head wonky..tell obama to pull his head in..you are messing in the backyard of people that is none of your concern..obama needs a kick up his rear for him to wake up from his dream of presidency dreaming of being a shaka kahn.you want others to mind their own business, its a two edged sword mate..dont get too rah rah with american military with mainly kids..you never ever really won a battle on your own in the last century...if russia wasnt there in WWII, you might have been pushed into the sea by the germans then..

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    1. Thanks for sharing. Our blog welcomes comments from people of all walks of life and all intellectual levels, even those like you who are have absolutely no insight whatsoever and are clearly limited. We welcome input from people like you who were obviously dropped on your head a few too many times when you were a baby. Calling you an idiot would be a gross injustice to idiots.

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    2. same to you Jamie Reno...

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    3. now there's a witty response.

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  10. I agree on most of the things you have said,,But to be honest OBAMA DOES LOOK WEAK,after saying that no one needs a war with the Commisar,,the only other problem is the TSAR of Rissia knows this as well,,and IS taking advantage of the situation,,He needs to be stopped before he geos from bad to worse,,we all are aware you can not trust this guy,So OBAME do something that you can and us be proud of,,stiffle his economy,,all the money goes to him and a select few others anyway,

    STOP HIM NOW,,or you will have a lot more problems in the future,,

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  12. Obama needs all the defending he can get, amazing how he has made Putin look so strong.
    Notice Putin's approval rating is at an all time high and Obama's at an all time low.

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  13. Well said, Mr. Reno. The people ranting and raving about Pres. Obama's "weakness" are just "full
    of sound and fury,signifying nothing". Military action in Ukraine is NOT an option.The idea of economic
    sanctions holds the most promise for the resolution of this crisis brought on by that catastrophe of leaders-"perverted ambition".

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  14. eamonn fitzgeraldApril 21, 2014 at 2:06 AM

    is the Ukraine crisis the checkmate in this political chess game, I think Obama lost a lot of face over the red line in Syria comment which could have embolden putin, in the last few years former countries of the eastern block which have shown interest in the west have had major political changes, Georgia,ukraine and has anyone ever found out what happened the plane carrying the polish political elite afew years ago?

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  15. Well said Reno. Keep it up!

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  16. Is there a diff. in foreign policy between Bush admin and Obama admin or any others?. just details perhaps. The so cold land of the Free and democratic rights is still prisonning people without trials, torturing them in Quantanama Bay and other places we dont know about. Very disappointing but not suprising if you are not naief.

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  17. Russia has never ever invaded any country. Russia only always protected its boarders and its folk! Putin does not need Ukraine as it is imposed to western Ukranians by the US! In Crimea lives 70% of Russian people who by LEGAL elections went in Russia. Crimea was a Russian territory and it has a dark story of becoming Ukranian territory, still it was autonomous! Second there were the Russian fleet which Putin tried to protect from US forces. And what is trying to say the author of this article is only proves the position of US to become the Lord of the World. I quote: "we will always have a robust number of trained troops. Reducing our fighting force won't embolden Putin or anyone. But it will help our economy and our country.

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    1. Russia has invaded several countries, without provacation; Poland (which they took over the eastern part at the start of WW2), Czechoslovakia (1968-1991), Hungary 1956, Afghanistan 1979 - 1989, Ukraine 2014.

      Regarding your comment about there being 70% Russia people in Crimea.. I don't see how that justifies an illegal referendum and invasion of a Soveriegn state. It seems to me what your saying is (for example) that if half the population of a large country moved to live in the neighbouring countries (and make the local a minority), then it would be acceptable for them to hold referendums and therefore invade and annex them?

      In addition 58.8% of the people in Crimea are Russia. 24.1% Ukrainian and 12.1% are Crimean Tatars. As a note of reference The Crimean Tatars, who have lived there prior to it ever becoming Russia. Russia conquered this region in 1783, they did this by violating a treaty (kinda funny, history repeating?). The reason there are so few Tatars by % of the population is because so many died under the pressure of Slavic colonization. I guess my point is that people are very select at picking the point in history that best suits themselves! Russia want Crimea back, something they "gave away" in 1954 to the Ukraine Socalist Party and subsequently to Ukraine in 1991.. but what about the Tatars surely they should have a right to a large portion if not all of the Crimea? All they are missing is an army i guess.

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    2. Does it mean that US must return the country to the native Amewricans - indians?

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    3. Yes indeed they should!

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    4. For anonymous on April 3.55 am. You write nonsense otodoydya from history. You are illiterate and poorly know the story. Of Tatars in Crimea - previously lived there the Greeks and Romans, as well as Russian (together) until they were killed by the Crimean Tatars. Of colonization so is schizophrenia. You are inadequate and reprehensible.

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    5. For anonymous on April 3.55 am. You write nonsense otodoydya from history. You are illiterate and poorly know the story. Of Tatars in Crimea - previously lived there the Greeks and Romans, as well as Russian (together) until they were killed by the Crimean Tatars. Of colonization so is schizophrenia. You are inadequate and reprehensible.

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    6. Love the trash talk about previous administrations and what they would have done...detracting from the matters at hand is the intent. All talk and no action.
      Sanctions haven't worked at all. The mental retard can be spanked silly and still lunges ahead. Economy in the tank already but popularity soaring as he blames the West-US & NATO, & the EU for hating Russia and all Russians categorically. I am living in Ukraine and have been for 3 years with a front-row-seat to the show going from bad to worse. No one has clean hands here. So whip up an insurrection with "freedom cries" and leave the militarily weak Kiev regime to get trampled by the bully neighbor. If you think Crimea happened quickly...write this down geniuses, the East will have their referendum, be annexed or the country embroiled in full-scale war!
      Diplomacy my ass. Since NOBODY wants war...stand up, post up, and arm up....that is the surest avenue to De-escalation! All Putin will understand is force and decisive action.

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  18. I would agree with the strategy employed by Obama so far, but surely a hard line approach and a military option should be placed on the table. Im not suggesting it should be used by any means! but surely the US, European and other allied powers should make a statement to Putin that any further invasion into Ukraine will be a declaration of war that would end the issue, in so far as Russia's military options. There is no way that the Russian people would support a world war surely? I appreciate the Crimea situation is another ball game altogether and will likely remain apart of the Russian Federation for the foreseeable future.

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    1. you can't put something on the table you are not ready and willing to use. If you do, and the other side calls your bluff, your really hosed.

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    2. You all realize how Georgia attacked the minority on Russian territory, holding them hostages?

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  19. The writer makes a poor point and seems more interested in bashing Republicans than facing reality. Obama's comments of "no boots on the ground" removes any concern for the US to do anything to prevent Russia from moving into the Ukraine, so Putin did. The comparison with Georgia is quite different, for Russia did pull out of Georgia, but he has no intention of pulling out of the Crimea and therein lies the difference. With Georgia, Putin wanted to make a point. With Crimea his playing for keeps. Obama did need to keep the balance via a strong response, he failed to.

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  20. The US acted unilaterally in invading Iraq for personal reasons. Their UK followed sheepishly, just tagging along to show allegiance to the US. The bombings in Libya were uncalled for and Libya was taken centuries back, to make it worse, by the time Libya recovers, the oil may be all drained to Europe. Russia has done nothing wrong, they are simply protecting their interests. The west has less than zero moral authority to condemn Russia.

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  21. "violence bread violence". I like a man who said this saying. I think the action of west affect it in long term. Russia is facing to Asia like China and India & can get advanced technology of its own and adapt from China because west can not stop trading with China though they may cease with Russia. Over all it make China more powerful than it helps Russia. I think west will be alarmed by the scale of china business interests esp in Oil and gas. This is possibility in case Russia deny access to companies from west. Africans will continue to look after China as it is a country that want benefit and develop Africa. We africans got chance to grow with China because they helped us to work in development projects not look after west's aid given to us on conditions and promise of emepty democracy and freedom. we no longer listen to voices of maiden activists in African cities. They tried kill our brothers in streets of Nairo, Harare, & Addis Ababa in recent years. They destoryed our brothers in Tripoli. They promised to give protection innocent in Rwanda and allowed genocide and the same true now in CAR. The cause was simly due to inhuman policies of west to achieve their interests. My simply suggestion is that we like a country like China who want to grow with every one. I do not like the policy of either democrats or republicans, they both follow the policy, priority their interest. They both supported the unrest in Ukarine. They both encouraged it. they both should take blame to it. We africans do not like a country that tell others something while it is not abided by it. We rather want to work with a country like Russia that is clear about its interest and strategy. I think this kind of partisan discussion is a good to American politiacians to forget their mistakes and learn from it.

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    1. If you don't have your head up your ass, you would have known that African countries, especially the new so-called Africa's economic power, Nigeria, are mortgaging their existence and their future generations existence to China. They will not be able to pay or meet China's demand when they seek independence or autonomy and sovereignty. If you think China is developing Africa out of the goodness of their heart, you are then stupidier than i thought. They are getting a lot from Africa now, and wait and see what the future would hold for the continent later on. They are not invading Africa militarily but economically. Hard to think which concept is worse now. They are colonizing Africa economically with the help of Africa's corrupt leaders. Has it occur to you why must of the continent don't have comprehensive electric power supply? If they do, where will China be sending and dumping those inferior generators that has become a nusaince with their noise and environmental pollution. Every household tend to have one of those. This is just one example and there are millions more. Any superpower does these things to underdeveloped and developing countries or continents with a vested interest. They don't do it for free. So, you should be carefull in toothing China's horn as the only savior for the continent.

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  22. It is and always has been a tale of spin started a long time ago by a gentile man I think therefore I am.
    I wonder, after reading your article AND all the comments if you would write another article, changing a couple of countries, and see what the great unwashed think of it.
    The heading of the article could be ; On July 25, 1898, during the Spanish–American War, the U.S. invaded Puerto Rico with a landing at Guánica.
    The meat for the article could be ; In 1914, the Puerto Rican House of Delegates voted unanimously in favor of independence from the United States, but this was rejected by the U.S. Congress as "unconstitutional," and in violation of the 1900 Foraker Act.
    I'm sure you could put a spin on it to amuse other readers, just look at what has happened to the truth over the last month.

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  23. So maybe next time US doesn't want to get an international crisis on its hands, it shouldn't declare support for Russia's neighbor becoming strongly anti-Russian overnight. What did you think would happen? Did you even see where Crimea is? Look up Crimea and Black Sea Fleet for better understanding, if you please. Russia was not going to let NATO ICBM subs be parked in Sevastopol. That was not going to happen. Whoever thought this could be pulled off so easily is the one responsible for this mess. Because when Ukraine said "we're now a western country" and West said "YES!", the Bear realized what was going to happen and responded in a proper non-pushover way.

    Imagine if the West instead said "whoa, guys, maybe becoming so openly hostile to Russia isn't that good of an idea. Ok, you ousted the corrupt president, now sit down and let's figure out where we all can go from here". If that happened, Putin wouldn't feel threatened, and Russia wouldn't respond with force. Crimea would still be Ukrainian, and Ukraine would still be a country.

    As it is, Ukraine, that suddenly discovered that saying "we're West now" doesn't pick you up and relocate you into western Europe, woke up to a situation where it's still right next to its unwanted neighbor, except that the neighbor is now really pissed off by Ukraine's open hostility, which, if Putin hesitated, would lead to NATO nukes within an arm's reach of Russian border. Naturally, Ukraine is gonna suffer, and naturally West will only be able to sanction Russia economically, which will only build up the hostility. And this silly deadlock wouldn't happen if the West didn't try to antagonize the living hell out of Russia in the first place.

    Oh, and maybe when you mention Georgia conflict of 2008, you shouldn't conveniently omit how the Georgia started the war, by shelling Ossetian capital and killing Russian peacekeepers stationed there. Because, you know, there was an EU fact finding mission, and it concluded that "the war was started by Georgia shelling Tskhinvali, but that Russia responded with disproportionate measures" and it's all on Wikipedia, and we all can imagine how US would respond if any given country used its regular army to start killing US troops anywhere.

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  24. This means, people can't live peacefully with their own choice/Vote, unless the Big Bullshitts don't like. Human Rights & UN ---- Tamed Bull Dogs???
    In Syria, People are killed alive? In India, even Kashmiries are killed for not participating in Votes?? In Most of the countries -- Big Bullshitts are presiding, making the people slave, indirectly.
    Why UN doen't make any rules & regulations for selection of any president or their Law?? Why West & US are having Poor People's money in the name of their Tamed Presidents & Big Bullshits ---- Beware --- Stop destroying the Natural system/Rights of people given by God!!!

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    1. India is peaceful country for ur information it world biggest democratic state.. as for russia it is protecting its own territory from the west. The west is stage managing in Ukraine..

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  25. IMHO,
    There is no wright or wrong in this story.
    But there SURE is a very strong media propaganda from both sides. From the US and the EU (mostly UK), that it is right for the people to overthrow a government (undemocratically, because all of the democratic options were gone with the change of legislation) that is convenient to the West. But it is not OK to support the pro-Russian government (in the Eastern Ukraine).

    From the Russian medias, that they need to help the endangered Russian ethnical population from the Western Ukrainian Terrorists and Nazis.

    Both are over exaggerating. Both are working for the respected governments in brainwashing its population. One thing for sure, it does repeat the 2008 conflict (btw, an independent Swiss-led and the Human Rights Watch) survey found out that it indeed was an act of aggression from the Georgians on the South Ossetians, the war was mostly media-led.

    What I wanted to say, unless that you know both of the stories, from both of the sides, you cannot say what is wrong and what is right. I reserve the right to not have an opinion, while not knowing what is happening. And I do recommend the same to everyone. And relying on CNN, BBC, SkyNews, Fox News, Russia Today and other Russian channels, is a big mistake. Know your facts, not the opinions given conveniently to you by the medias. You have your own head, use it.

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  26. There is so much BS here. Russia and Putin are natural allies. the mutual global enemy is mad Islamist fascism. please wake up to this.

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  27. Why is everyone saying :annexation of Crimea? Pleas read the Constitution of Ukraine 1996 or 2010. Chapter X: Autonomous Republic of Crimea - Article 138.
    At the time when there was a referendum, Ukraine was left without a "president"(according to West), so Crimea responded quickly and did not violate the Constitution.

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  28. Boring old methods of CIA "Theory of Operated Chaos". Putin outwitted an unexpected mirror course in the Crimea. Obama when learned, was in anger red, as a boiled lobster.

    The clever politician after the Crimea, would give to Putin without fight all Ukraine on the terms of accession to Russia.
    It really would undermine all economy.
    But for uncommon steps politicians from capital letter are necessary.

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  29. Jamie you have done it right once again-Obama has been very cautious in his presidency. At least we have not yet seen him using military intervention in other countries to prove that he is not a coward. In this he has a bigger picture of what America can do in handling wars in other countries. He has distinguished himself in addressing issues of the less privileged and vulnerable among America's population. His Healthcare policy might not have been well received but let us give him a credit for what he has attempted to do with his hands tied by an uncompromising Senate House.

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  30. I really enjoyed reading your article.
    It is spot on.
    The Republicans are not more than a bunch of sabre rattling prats.
    The Democrats under Pres. Obama have resorted to diplomacy, one with a stick.
    I support this manner, especially over Ukraine, which will in the end unravel, hopefully into a Democratic led government for the people.
    Pres. Putin has made his bed, Crimea is a vital strategic port, one that he will not concede to a Ukraine that could become an EU state and thus join NATO.
    NATO is currently 160 Kms from St.Petersburg ( former Leningrad )
    Cheers- Swiss Alps.

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  31. Replies
    1. john, keep your spam crap off my news blog, please.

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