Friday, March 7, 2014

Beautiful Takedown

I apologize for the autoplay.


Johnny Got His Pun said...

Meanwhile back to our President:

"The proposed referendum on the future of Crimea would violate the Ukrainian constitution and violate international law,"

Until the moment the referendum actually passes of course. At that moment the only standard of international and constitutional law that applies is "look forward not back." Right?

We've also got Hillary Clinton stating:

"Now if [the Russian invasion of Crimea] sounds familiar, it's what Hitler did back in the '30s."

Clarifying, Clinton stated:

"I just want everybody to have a little historic perspective. I'm not making a comparison certainly"

Certainly not!

I suppose that our certainty depends, though, on what our definition of "comparison" is is.

What's odd about Clinton's non-denial denial, is that the comparison of the Anchluss, Sudetendland appeasemenent, and invasion of Poland are not wholly inapt; German language areas were Hitler's excuse for occupation.

But, we also need a little contrast with the comparison, professor Clinton. Russia has a large standing army. But so does Ukraine, unlike WWII Poland's ineffectual force. The US plus NATO dwarfs Russia, unlike the Allies-Axis comparison in WWII. Also unlike WWII, both US/NATO and Russia have heavy nuclear armaments.

We may also want to compare and contrast the WWI "powderkeg" model, in its full scope, including the Russian revolution. Again we have warring families of Oligarchs, east and west, and ossified ruling classes.

Clinton and Putin themselves are both oligarchs and both powerful manipulators of political process. They are intrinsically interchangeable in all but media image.

If we fight this new war to end all comparisons, will we ask, as we did in 1918, what the hell was that for?

If the President and Hillary want to fight appeasement and enforce international and constitutional standards, they might start by putting Clapper and Cheney in prison here at home.

Hey, just joking.

Non-Plussed said...

This is so much better than Putin's conversation. Let's all now praise Ukraine for "not escalating." (WaPo)

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel telephoned Ukraine’s defense minister earlier Friday to stress “the firm commitment of the United States” to support Ukraine, and to praise “the performance and the restraint [of] the Ukrainian armed forces, who have not allowed this situation to escalate,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John F. Kirby said.

Kirby confirmed that aircraft would be sent to Poland to “plus-up” an existing U.S. aviation attachment based in Poland but said that decisions on numbers and timing have not been made. The Defense Department sent six F-15 fighter jets to Lithuania this week after Baltic nations requested additional defense assets as part of an existing air patrol mission.

Kirby also clarified that the USS Truxtun, a guided-missile destroyer, was in the Black Sea as part of a routine deployment scheduled before the upheaval in Ukraine.

Again, do we really want this war? Meanwhile, Putin is stopping inspections of his strategic nuclear arms.

Think it through, fellow Americans. Because our elites are not.

Helen Thomas's Ghost said...

US Presidents rarely give pressconferences anymore. When they do, reporters rately interrupt or demand followups or answers. Most of our ideas of adverserial press relationships come from the seventies. Stewart could make the same video on Obama or Secretary Kerry. Often they just march off after announcing their latest illegal war.

Anonymous said...

When Obama swore to defend the Constitution, he must have meant the Ukrainian constitution...

We better have a Congressional declaration on any further escalation, or stop the loose talk of "constitutions"

I feel empathy with the Ukranian people, but US military force will likely not help their cause.

It helps nothing to pretend our military stand is about democracy, constitutions or international law, considering the US disregard of all of the above.

Looks more like a war to make the world safe for plutocracy.

The Americans truly on the side of the Ukrainian people equally oppose our own ruling junta.

World Island said...

Russia is at an historically low territorial ebb. Germany (and Middle Europe) at an historic high. Putin, and Russians, must feel bemused by Clinton's Hitler comparison.

The Ukraine has often been more Russia than Russia, and the further historical irony here must be that both Putin and the Ukrainian protestors might characterize themselves as wanting greater European integration.

Putin cannot, for historical geopolitical or domestic political reasons, give up Sevastapol. Neither does he want a war. So he lies about his troops identity to allow Obama to save face.

Obama sees only the agression and misunderstands the deception. So, he replies with ultimatums.

Putin has a sad laugh here, because, short of war, Obama has no leverage over Crimea. Here, Middle Europe--Germany--will back the US only so far. Putin knows Russian and German interests align, and he has offered Mitteleuropa the bulk of Ukraine.

Clinton is wrong--this is mutual appeasement, compromise, between the most relevant geopolitical players. The Obama-Kerry-Clinton-GOP ultimatums are foolish and dangerous.

Is it so awful for the Crimea to vote willingly go to Russia, allowing an otherwise Europeanized Ukraine? Might the long term perspectives for peace improve by de-escalation and further economic integration of Russia into Europe?

The US is doing just the opposite.

Thucydides said...

In what appears to have been a coordinated attack, Russia cut off Germany's natural gas while Greece withdrew all its gyro trucks to the Adriatric.

Cold and starving, Germany soon accepted Putin's terms for Crimea.

And their armor crashed around them.

Ich bin ein Berliner mit Marmalade said...

So, does Obama's stance mean that the US will pressure Israel to return all lands confiscated from the Palestinians?

Will the US itself grant independence to Puerto Rico and Hawaii? Allow them a referendum?

Will we return all Native American lands acquired through force and fraud?

Will we give up our bases in Hokkaido, Guantamano Bay, and other disputed locations?

You know American elites have fucked up when they make Putin look relatively reasonable.

Auto von Bismarck said...

Diplomacy has lost its mystique, and elites count on a bellicose knee-jerk nationalism. The elite media never much gets beyond Democrats and Republicans saying the exact same postures and then disagreeing with each other for points.

Today in WaPo, former Secretary Rice says Putin is losing his young people. Yeah, but so is Obama and the GOP. There is a major elite-public split on both sides of this one.

We're talking NUCLEAR confrontation here over a small territory that would likely vote to go to Russia in a free election!

Speaking of which, I wish the UN Secretariat would offer some alternative that isn't just nationalistic power posing. Like, Russia takes out its troops, UN peacekeepers go in (like from Bangladesh or something), UN oversees a Crimea referendum with options 1) join Russia 2) stay with Ukraine 3) Crimean independence.

Wrap it up in six months, including voluntary, protected population transfers, if any.

Russia gets to keep the same port privileges it had.

Russia wants to build bridges to Ukraine? Great! Bridges everywhere. Russia bridges. Ukraine bridges. Crimea bridges. UN bridges. Open up a trade zone and get the posturing down to low buzz like in the Balkans.

As Rice inadvertently points out, this conflict has everything to do with the Keystone pipeline and multi-national oligarchs and basically zero to do with security.

Anonymous said...

It's probably too late, Auto. Putin has upped the rhetoric to include Kiev. Cue Americans to say that's what he wanted all along. However, it looks more like reactive escalation on both sides.

I think any hope on the diplomatic front must come from the EU, or some people to people initiative.

Obama has been looking for a villian, now he has one. Did he create him?

The US now looks at another long period of domestic militarism. Another election full of bombast.

We're screwed?

nyeti said...

So much for the military budget cuts I'd imagine. And any surveillance reform.

Clapper always wins.

sasqwitch said...


I'm game. Think of all the US and Russian actors with everything to gain from Cold War Deux.

abominable knowman said...

Our disintegration into conspiratorial thinking has proven we are all Russians now.

We need an epithet like "truthers." Since we are talking mutual wag the dog, how about "waggers"?

"He thinks Putin and Clapper are in cahoots. He's such a wagger."

Anybowwow, Slate comes late to the "what's wrong with a referendum" party, with more juicy factoids about Crimean history:

If Crimea were to vote to stay with the Ukraine, then the West has a international law rationale to stand on.

That said, Putin has allow Jimmy Carter or international equivalent to oversee the balloting. Make it fair and swear to honor the result, Putey-poot. Don't feed the waggers.

Blondi said...

Used to be conspiracy theory was for us outcasts. But now, Diane Feinstein, who we certainly wouldn't mean to compare to Eva Braun, has accused the CIA of spying on, and removing documents from, Congressional computers.

If provable, such an action would be a severe breach of the Constitution. And proof shouldn't be too hard, since the CIA has already admitted it. Hell, Brennan, who we certainly wouldn't mean to compare to Heinrich Himmler, is proud!

In fact, the CIA , with admirable hubris, wants the Justice Department to prosecute Senators and staff for investigating the CIAs illegal detention program. In other words, they want the executive to prosecute the Senate for performing its Constitutional duty of oversight.

That's what happens when we "look forward not back." Rather than CIA officers going to prison, the people who investigate CIA crimes go to prison.

We have to support Braun, er, Feinstein, on this one , no matter her support of Göring, er, Clapper.

Meanwhile Goebbels, er Obama, would like to make a speech on the constitution of the Ukraine...

Alsatian Bitch said...

I think we shouldn't mean to compare Hillary Clinton to Eva Braun. Feinstein is still Mother Focker to me.

Also, the "detention program" was a straight-up torture program, in violation of the Geneva Conventions. We've executed enemies for this stuff. Heck, we've executed American soldiers for this stuff.

Since President not-Goebbels is all about international law these days, he might want to go all not-Nuremberg on CIA Director not-Himmler's heinie. Brennan is a war criminal, and admits it.

I guess we can all agree Eric Holder is not Robert H. Jackson.

White Rose said...

Whatever her motives, excellent speech in the well by Feinstein. I think this must have a domino effect, even on the programs Feinstein has supported.

Maybe Feinstein herself sees the real analogies to the Nazis.

Anonymous said...

Historic blockbuster.

Maybe we should call Feinstein "Ms Smith Goes To Washington."

(Multiple ironies noted.)

Now we know why Obama ginned up the Crimea thingy.

Will Obama declassify the torture report? Or is he a total monster?


And Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) also praised Feinstein's decision to go public. "I know she has tried to address this discretely through a constructive dialogue with the administration, but a steady stream of inaccurate and off-the-record anonymous leaks to the press have made that effort impossible," he said in a statement.

Anonymous said...

Obama isn't just making illegal smears on torture investigators, he has returned the country to torture:

So much for looking forward.