An Essential Read By Lee Smith: Ukraine’s Deadly Gamble

WeR0206

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Apr 9, 2014
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This excellent read provides some crucial context to current events:


“Russian President Vladimir Putin chose this war, Joe Biden said in his Thursday afternoon speech to America regarding the conflict in Ukraine. That is true, but U.S. elites also had something to do with Putin’s ugly and destructive choice—a role that Democrats and Republicans are eager to paper over with noble-sounding rhetoric about the bravery of Ukraine’s badly outgunned military. Yes, the Ukrainian soldiers standing up to Putin are very brave, but it was Americans that put them in harm’s way by using their country as a weapon, first against Russia and then against each other, with little consideration for the Ukrainian people who are now paying the price for America’s folly.

It is not an expression of support for Putin’s grotesque actions to try to understand why it seemed worthwhile for him to risk hundreds of billions of dollars, the lives of thousands of servicemen, and the possible stability of his own regime in order to invade his neighbor. After all, Putin’s reputation until this moment has always been as a shrewd ex-KGB man who eschewed high-risk gambles in favor of sure things backed by the United States, like entering Syria and then escalating forces there. So why has he adopted exactly the opposite strategy here, and chosen the road of open high-risk confrontation with the American superpower?

Yes, Putin wants to prevent NATO from expanding to Russia’s border. But the larger answer is that he finds the U.S. government’s relationship with Ukraine genuinely threatening. That’s because for nearly two decades, the U.S. national security establishment under both Democratic and Republican administrations has used Ukraine as an instrument to destabilize Russia, and specifically to target Putin.

While the timing of Putin’s attack on Ukraine is no doubt connected to a variety of factors, including the Russian dictator’s read on U.S. domestic politics and the preferences of his own superpower sponsor in Beijing, the sense that Ukraine poses a meaningful threat to Russia is not a product of Putin’s paranoia—or of a sudden desire to restore the power and prestige of the Soviet Union, however much Putin might wish for that to happen. Rather, it is a geopolitical threat that has grown steadily more pressing and been employed with greater recklessness by Americans and Ukrainians alike over the past decade.

That Ukraine has allowed itself to be used as a pawn against a powerful neighbor is in part the fault of Kyiv’s reckless and corrupt political class. But Ukraine is not a superpower that owes allies and client-states judicious leadership—that’s the role of the United States. And in that role, the United States has failed Ukraine. More broadly, the use of Ukraine as a goad against enemies domestic and foreign has recklessly damaged the failing yet necessary European security architecture that America spent 75 years building and maintaining.

Why can’t the American security establishment shoulder responsibility for its role in the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine? Because to discuss American responsibility openly would mean exposing the national security establishment’s role in two separate, destructive coups: the first, in 2014, targeting the government of Ukraine, and the second, starting two years later, the government of the United States.

In the last year there have been two attempted “pro-democracy” inter-elite coups in pro-Kremlin states on Russian borders: Belarus and Kazakhstan. Both of those so-called “color revolutions” failed, but Ukraine represents a much more pressing concern, especially given the country’s push for NATO membership, which Biden officials like Secretary of State Antony Blinken publicly encouraged last year with no intention or possibility of actually making it possible. Yet rather than compelling the United States to rethink the wisdom of planting the NATO flag on Russia’s border, Putin’s escalating rhetoric—and troop movements—only made the Biden team dig in deeper.


This is a game that Biden and key figures in his administration have been playing for a long time, beginning with the 2013-14 Obama administration-backed coup that toppled a Russia-friendly government in Kyiv. This was the so-called Maidan Revolution, a sequel of sorts to the George W. Bush-backed Orange Revolution of 2004-05. Much of that same Obama foreign policy team—Blinken, Jake Sullivan, Victoria Nuland, Susan Rice, and others—is now back in the White House and State Department working in senior posts for a president who personally ran Obama’s Ukraine policy.

What did all these figures have in mind for Ukraine? The White House and U.S. foreign policy experts from both parties are united in claiming that Ukraine is a U.S. ally, a democracy, and a beacon of freedom, which are no doubt fine words to hear when you have been left to fight Vladimir Putin on your own. But to understand what Ukraine truly is, we must start where all geopolitics begins: by looking at a map.

Ukraine is situated between two greater powers, Russia and the European Union. That makes Ukraine a buffer state. Geopolitical logic dictates that buffer states cultivate and maintain cordial relations with the greater powers that surround them, unless they want to be swallowed up by one of those powers. That’s because siding with one great power against another often leads to catastrophe. No less an authority than the prophet Isaiah tells us so. He warned the Jews not to side with the pharaoh—a broken reed, he called Egypt, which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it—in the dynasty’s conflict with the Babylonians. Isaiah was right: The Jews bet wrong and were dragged off into exile.

Today Israel is no longer a buffer state; rather, it’s a regional power. But geography didn’t change, which means that Israel is still a tiny country surrounded by larger entities, like Turkey and Iran.

So how did the Jewish state transcend buffer-state status? Because it acquired what is reportedly a large nuclear arsenal with air, land, and sea delivery capabilities—the vaunted nuclear triad—which render it immune to an enemy’s first strike, and ensures, for the time being anyway, that Israel is no longer a stomping ground for empires. Conversely, Ukraine gave up its nuclear arsenal in 1994 in exchange for U.S. security guarantees in the event its neighbors, Russia in particular, turned hostile.

What kind of strategy dictates that a state hand over its security vis-a-vis local actors to a country half the world away? No strategy at all. Ukraine was not able to transcend its natural geography as a buffer state—and worse, a buffer state that failed to take its own existence seriously, which meant that it would continue to make disastrously bad bets. In 2013, the European Union offered Kyiv a trade deal, which many misunderstood as a likely prelude to EU membership. Young Ukrainians very much want to join the EU, because they want access to Europe so they can flee Ukraine, which remains one of the poorest countries on the continent.

The trade deal was an ill-conceived EU project to take a shot at Putin with what seemed like little risk. The idea was to flood the Ukrainian market, and therefore also the Russian market, with European goods, which would have harmed the Russian economy—leading, the architects of this plan imagined, to popular discontent that would force Putin himself from office. Putin understandably saw this stratagem as a threat to his country’s stability and his personal safety, so he gave Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych an ultimatum: either reject the deal and accept Moscow’s $15 billion aid package in its place, or else suffer crippling economic measures.

When Yanukovych duly reneged on the EU deal, the Obama administration helped organize street demonstrations for what became history’s most tech-savvy and PR-driven regime change operation, marketed to the global public variously as Maidan, EuroMaidan, the Revolution of Dignity, etc. In February 2014, the protests forced Yanukovych into exile in Moscow. Consequently, Nuland and other Obama administration officials worked to assemble a new Ukrainian government friendly to the United States and therefore hostile to Russia.

In late February, the Russians responded to the American soft coup in Ukraine by invading Crimea and eventually annexing it and creating chaos in Eastern Ukraine. The Obama administration declined to arm the Ukrainian government. It was right to avoid conflict with Moscow, though by leaving Kyiv defenseless, it showed that the White House had never fully gamed out all the possible scenarios that might ensue from setting a client state on course for conflict with a great power. Instead, Obama and the Europeans highlighted their deadly miscalculation by imposing sanctions on Moscow for taking advantage of the conditions that Obama and the Europeans had created.

The White House seems to have taken a perverse pride in the death and destruction it helped incite in Eastern Europe. In April 2014, CIA Director John Brennan visited Kyiv, appearing to confirm the agency’s role in the coup. Shortly after came Vice President Biden, who took his own victory lap and counseled the Ukrainians to root out corruption. Naturally, a prominent Ukrainian energy company called Burisma, which was then under investigation for corruption, hired Biden’s son Hunter for protection.

By tying itself to an American administration that had shown itself to be reckless and dangerous, the Ukrainians made a geopolitical blunder that statesmen will study for years to come: A buffer state had staked its future on a distant power that had simply seen it as an instrument to annoy its powerful neighbor with no attachment to any larger strategic concept that it was willing to support. Russia then lopped off half of the Donbas region on its border and subjected Ukraine to a grinding, eight-year-long war, intended in large part to underline Russian capacity and Ukrainian and American impotence.

Ukraine then made a bad situation even worse. When the same people who had left them prey to Putin asked them to take sides in an American domestic political conflict, the Ukrainians enthusiastically signed on—instead of running hard in the opposite direction.
In 2016, the Hillary Clinton campaign came calling on Ukrainian officials and activists to lend some Slavic authenticity to its Russia collusion narrative targeting Donald Trump. Indeed, Russiagate’s central storyline was about Ukraine. Yes, Trump had supposedly been compromised by a sex tape filmed in Moscow, but Putin’s ostensible reason for helping Trump win the presidency was to get him to drop Ukraine-related sanctions. Here was another chance for Ukraine to stick it to Putin, and gain favor with what it imagined would be the winning party in the American election.

With the CIA’s Brennan and a host of senior FBI and DOJ officials pushing Russiagate into the press—and running an illegal espionage campaign against the Trump team—Ukrainian political figures gladly joined in. Key participants included Kyiv’s ambassador to Washington, who wrote a Trump-Russia piece for the U.S. press, and a member of the Ukrainian parliament who allegedly contributed to the dossier. The collusion narrative was also augmented by Ukrainian American operatives, like Alexandra Chalupa, who was tied into the Democratic Party’s NGO complex. The idea that this game might have consequences for Ukraine’s relations with its more powerful neighbor doesn’t seem to have entered the heads of either the feckless Ukrainians or the American political operatives who cynically used them.

Of course, Ukraine was hardly the only American client state to involve itself in domestic political gamesmanship. By appearing before the U.S. Congress to argue against Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took sides with Republicans against a sitting American president—which seems like an even bigger potential faux pas.

The differences between the two situations are even more revealing, though. The Iran deal touched on a core Israeli national interest. As a U.S. ally, Israel was challenging the wisdom of handing nuclear weapons to its own (and America’s) leading regional competitor and rival. By contrast, Ukraine had no existential or geopolitical reason to participate in the anti-Trump operation, which allowed it at best to curry favor with one side of the D.C. establishment while angering what turned out to be the winning party. Russiagate was the kind of vanity project that a buffer state with a plunging GDP and an army equipped with 40-year-old ex-Soviet weapons in a notoriously risky area of the world can ill afford—especially one that lacked a nuclear arsenal.

And that was only the beginning. Just as Russiagate seemed to be coming to a close in July 2019, U.S. national security officials injected yet another Ukraine-related narrative into the public sphere to target the American president. This one appears to have been initiated by Ukrainian American White House official Alexander Vindman and his colleague Eric Ciaramella, a CIA analyst who had served as Vice President Biden’s point man on Ukraine during the Obama administration. When Vindman told Ciaramella about a phone call in which Trump had asked the Ukrainian president for information regarding allegations about the Biden family’s corrupt activities in Kyiv, they called on help from U.S. intelligence services, the State Department, the Pentagon, Democratic Party officials, and the press. Quick, scramble Team Ukraine—Trump is asking questions!

In order to cover up for what the Bidens and perhaps other senior Obama officials had done in Ukraine, a Democratic Congress impeached Trump for trying to figure out what American policymakers had been doing in Ukraine over the past decade. As for the Ukrainians, they again put themselves in the middle of it, when they should have stayed home.

The end result was that the Ukrainians had helped weaken an American president who, unlike Obama, gave them arms to defend themselves against the Russians. More seriously, they reinforced Putin’s view that, especially in partnership with the Democrats, Ukraine did not understand its true place in the world as a buffer state—and would continue to allow themselves to be used as an instrument by policymakers whose combination of narcissism and fecklessness made them particularly prone to dangerous miscalculations. The 2020 election victory of Joe Biden, a man whose family had been paid by the Ukrainians to protect them, can have done little to quiet Putin’s sense that Ukraine needed to be put in its place before it was used yet again as a weapon against him.

From the perspective of the U.S. national security establishment, Biden’s victory over Trump signaled that its actions in Ukraine would stay hidden. So long as the media continued to bark that the 45th president of the United States is Putin’s stooge, no one would be held accountable for anything. Except, as it turns out, D.C. political operatives aren’t the only people who can make history. Putin can, too. And the people of Ukraine will come out much the worse for both of their efforts.”
 
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WeR0206

Well-Known Member
Apr 9, 2014
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2020evidence.org
Bump. Great lil summary by George Webb. Some important names to remember: Nuland, Zelensky, Kolomoyskyi, and Pinchuck

Kolomoyskyi owns PrivatBank and through them owns Burisma. They share the same address in Cyprus. PrivatBank is where billions of our tax dollars went missing through a web of shell companies all sharing that Cypress address. He is at the heart of this entire thing

 
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JeffClear

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Oct 15, 2017
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This excellent read provides some crucial context to current events:


“Russian President Vladimir Putin chose this war, Joe Biden said in his Thursday afternoon speech to America regarding the conflict in Ukraine. That is true, but U.S. elites also had something to do with Putin’s ugly and destructive choice—a role that Democrats and Republicans are eager to paper over with noble-sounding rhetoric about the bravery of Ukraine’s badly outgunned military. Yes, the Ukrainian soldiers standing up to Putin are very brave, but it was Americans that put them in harm’s way by using their country as a weapon, first against Russia and then against each other, with little consideration for the Ukrainian people who are now paying the price for America’s folly.

It is not an expression of support for Putin’s grotesque actions to try to understand why it seemed worthwhile for him to risk hundreds of billions of dollars, the lives of thousands of servicemen, and the possible stability of his own regime in order to invade his neighbor. After all, Putin’s reputation until this moment has always been as a shrewd ex-KGB man who eschewed high-risk gambles in favor of sure things backed by the United States, like entering Syria and then escalating forces there. So why has he adopted exactly the opposite strategy here, and chosen the road of open high-risk confrontation with the American superpower?

Yes, Putin wants to prevent NATO from expanding to Russia’s border. But the larger answer is that he finds the U.S. government’s relationship with Ukraine genuinely threatening. That’s because for nearly two decades, the U.S. national security establishment under both Democratic and Republican administrations has used Ukraine as an instrument to destabilize Russia, and specifically to target Putin.

While the timing of Putin’s attack on Ukraine is no doubt connected to a variety of factors, including the Russian dictator’s read on U.S. domestic politics and the preferences of his own superpower sponsor in Beijing, the sense that Ukraine poses a meaningful threat to Russia is not a product of Putin’s paranoia—or of a sudden desire to restore the power and prestige of the Soviet Union, however much Putin might wish for that to happen. Rather, it is a geopolitical threat that has grown steadily more pressing and been employed with greater recklessness by Americans and Ukrainians alike over the past decade.

That Ukraine has allowed itself to be used as a pawn against a powerful neighbor is in part the fault of Kyiv’s reckless and corrupt political class. But Ukraine is not a superpower that owes allies and client-states judicious leadership—that’s the role of the United States. And in that role, the United States has failed Ukraine. More broadly, the use of Ukraine as a goad against enemies domestic and foreign has recklessly damaged the failing yet necessary European security architecture that America spent 75 years building and maintaining.

Why can’t the American security establishment shoulder responsibility for its role in the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine? Because to discuss American responsibility openly would mean exposing the national security establishment’s role in two separate, destructive coups: the first, in 2014, targeting the government of Ukraine, and the second, starting two years later, the government of the United States.

In the last year there have been two attempted “pro-democracy” inter-elite coups in pro-Kremlin states on Russian borders: Belarus and Kazakhstan. Both of those so-called “color revolutions” failed, but Ukraine represents a much more pressing concern, especially given the country’s push for NATO membership, which Biden officials like Secretary of State Antony Blinken publicly encouraged last year with no intention or possibility of actually making it possible. Yet rather than compelling the United States to rethink the wisdom of planting the NATO flag on Russia’s border, Putin’s escalating rhetoric—and troop movements—only made the Biden team dig in deeper.


This is a game that Biden and key figures in his administration have been playing for a long time, beginning with the 2013-14 Obama administration-backed coup that toppled a Russia-friendly government in Kyiv. This was the so-called Maidan Revolution, a sequel of sorts to the George W. Bush-backed Orange Revolution of 2004-05. Much of that same Obama foreign policy team—Blinken, Jake Sullivan, Victoria Nuland, Susan Rice, and others—is now back in the White House and State Department working in senior posts for a president who personally ran Obama’s Ukraine policy.

What did all these figures have in mind for Ukraine? The White House and U.S. foreign policy experts from both parties are united in claiming that Ukraine is a U.S. ally, a democracy, and a beacon of freedom, which are no doubt fine words to hear when you have been left to fight Vladimir Putin on your own. But to understand what Ukraine truly is, we must start where all geopolitics begins: by looking at a map.

Ukraine is situated between two greater powers, Russia and the European Union. That makes Ukraine a buffer state. Geopolitical logic dictates that buffer states cultivate and maintain cordial relations with the greater powers that surround them, unless they want to be swallowed up by one of those powers. That’s because siding with one great power against another often leads to catastrophe. No less an authority than the prophet Isaiah tells us so. He warned the Jews not to side with the pharaoh—a broken reed, he called Egypt, which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it—in the dynasty’s conflict with the Babylonians. Isaiah was right: The Jews bet wrong and were dragged off into exile.

Today Israel is no longer a buffer state; rather, it’s a regional power. But geography didn’t change, which means that Israel is still a tiny country surrounded by larger entities, like Turkey and Iran.

So how did the Jewish state transcend buffer-state status? Because it acquired what is reportedly a large nuclear arsenal with air, land, and sea delivery capabilities—the vaunted nuclear triad—which render it immune to an enemy’s first strike, and ensures, for the time being anyway, that Israel is no longer a stomping ground for empires. Conversely, Ukraine gave up its nuclear arsenal in 1994 in exchange for U.S. security guarantees in the event its neighbors, Russia in particular, turned hostile.

What kind of strategy dictates that a state hand over its security vis-a-vis local actors to a country half the world away? No strategy at all. Ukraine was not able to transcend its natural geography as a buffer state—and worse, a buffer state that failed to take its own existence seriously, which meant that it would continue to make disastrously bad bets. In 2013, the European Union offered Kyiv a trade deal, which many misunderstood as a likely prelude to EU membership. Young Ukrainians very much want to join the EU, because they want access to Europe so they can flee Ukraine, which remains one of the poorest countries on the continent.

The trade deal was an ill-conceived EU project to take a shot at Putin with what seemed like little risk. The idea was to flood the Ukrainian market, and therefore also the Russian market, with European goods, which would have harmed the Russian economy—leading, the architects of this plan imagined, to popular discontent that would force Putin himself from office. Putin understandably saw this stratagem as a threat to his country’s stability and his personal safety, so he gave Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych an ultimatum: either reject the deal and accept Moscow’s $15 billion aid package in its place, or else suffer crippling economic measures.

When Yanukovych duly reneged on the EU deal, the Obama administration helped organize street demonstrations for what became history’s most tech-savvy and PR-driven regime change operation, marketed to the global public variously as Maidan, EuroMaidan, the Revolution of Dignity, etc. In February 2014, the protests forced Yanukovych into exile in Moscow. Consequently, Nuland and other Obama administration officials worked to assemble a new Ukrainian government friendly to the United States and therefore hostile to Russia.

In late February, the Russians responded to the American soft coup in Ukraine by invading Crimea and eventually annexing it and creating chaos in Eastern Ukraine. The Obama administration declined to arm the Ukrainian government. It was right to avoid conflict with Moscow, though by leaving Kyiv defenseless, it showed that the White House had never fully gamed out all the possible scenarios that might ensue from setting a client state on course for conflict with a great power. Instead, Obama and the Europeans highlighted their deadly miscalculation by imposing sanctions on Moscow for taking advantage of the conditions that Obama and the Europeans had created.

The White House seems to have taken a perverse pride in the death and destruction it helped incite in Eastern Europe. In April 2014, CIA Director John Brennan visited Kyiv, appearing to confirm the agency’s role in the coup. Shortly after came Vice President Biden, who took his own victory lap and counseled the Ukrainians to root out corruption. Naturally, a prominent Ukrainian energy company called Burisma, which was then under investigation for corruption, hired Biden’s son Hunter for protection.

By tying itself to an American administration that had shown itself to be reckless and dangerous, the Ukrainians made a geopolitical blunder that statesmen will study for years to come: A buffer state had staked its future on a distant power that had simply seen it as an instrument to annoy its powerful neighbor with no attachment to any larger strategic concept that it was willing to support. Russia then lopped off half of the Donbas region on its border and subjected Ukraine to a grinding, eight-year-long war, intended in large part to underline Russian capacity and Ukrainian and American impotence.

Ukraine then made a bad situation even worse. When the same people who had left them prey to Putin asked them to take sides in an American domestic political conflict, the Ukrainians enthusiastically signed on—instead of running hard in the opposite direction.
In 2016, the Hillary Clinton campaign came calling on Ukrainian officials and activists to lend some Slavic authenticity to its Russia collusion narrative targeting Donald Trump. Indeed, Russiagate’s central storyline was about Ukraine. Yes, Trump had supposedly been compromised by a sex tape filmed in Moscow, but Putin’s ostensible reason for helping Trump win the presidency was to get him to drop Ukraine-related sanctions. Here was another chance for Ukraine to stick it to Putin, and gain favor with what it imagined would be the winning party in the American election.

With the CIA’s Brennan and a host of senior FBI and DOJ officials pushing Russiagate into the press—and running an illegal espionage campaign against the Trump team—Ukrainian political figures gladly joined in. Key participants included Kyiv’s ambassador to Washington, who wrote a Trump-Russia piece for the U.S. press, and a member of the Ukrainian parliament who allegedly contributed to the dossier. The collusion narrative was also augmented by Ukrainian American operatives, like Alexandra Chalupa, who was tied into the Democratic Party’s NGO complex. The idea that this game might have consequences for Ukraine’s relations with its more powerful neighbor doesn’t seem to have entered the heads of either the feckless Ukrainians or the American political operatives who cynically used them.

Of course, Ukraine was hardly the only American client state to involve itself in domestic political gamesmanship. By appearing before the U.S. Congress to argue against Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took sides with Republicans against a sitting American president—which seems like an even bigger potential faux pas.

The differences between the two situations are even more revealing, though. The Iran deal touched on a core Israeli national interest. As a U.S. ally, Israel was challenging the wisdom of handing nuclear weapons to its own (and America’s) leading regional competitor and rival. By contrast, Ukraine had no existential or geopolitical reason to participate in the anti-Trump operation, which allowed it at best to curry favor with one side of the D.C. establishment while angering what turned out to be the winning party. Russiagate was the kind of vanity project that a buffer state with a plunging GDP and an army equipped with 40-year-old ex-Soviet weapons in a notoriously risky area of the world can ill afford—especially one that lacked a nuclear arsenal.

And that was only the beginning. Just as Russiagate seemed to be coming to a close in July 2019, U.S. national security officials injected yet another Ukraine-related narrative into the public sphere to target the American president. This one appears to have been initiated by Ukrainian American White House official Alexander Vindman and his colleague Eric Ciaramella, a CIA analyst who had served as Vice President Biden’s point man on Ukraine during the Obama administration. When Vindman told Ciaramella about a phone call in which Trump had asked the Ukrainian president for information regarding allegations about the Biden family’s corrupt activities in Kyiv, they called on help from U.S. intelligence services, the State Department, the Pentagon, Democratic Party officials, and the press. Quick, scramble Team Ukraine—Trump is asking questions!

In order to cover up for what the Bidens and perhaps other senior Obama officials had done in Ukraine, a Democratic Congress impeached Trump for trying to figure out what American policymakers had been doing in Ukraine over the past decade. As for the Ukrainians, they again put themselves in the middle of it, when they should have stayed home.

The end result was that the Ukrainians had helped weaken an American president who, unlike Obama, gave them arms to defend themselves against the Russians. More seriously, they reinforced Putin’s view that, especially in partnership with the Democrats, Ukraine did not understand its true place in the world as a buffer state—and would continue to allow themselves to be used as an instrument by policymakers whose combination of narcissism and fecklessness made them particularly prone to dangerous miscalculations. The 2020 election victory of Joe Biden, a man whose family had been paid by the Ukrainians to protect them, can have done little to quiet Putin’s sense that Ukraine needed to be put in its place before it was used yet again as a weapon against him.

From the perspective of the U.S. national security establishment, Biden’s victory over Trump signaled that its actions in Ukraine would stay hidden. So long as the media continued to bark that the 45th president of the United States is Putin’s stooge, no one would be held accountable for anything. Except, as it turns out, D.C. political operatives aren’t the only people who can make history. Putin can, too. And the people of Ukraine will come out much the worse for both of their efforts.”
There are multiple inaccuracies in this piece.
First of all, the Trump administration wasn't trying to figure out what American policymakers were doing in Ukraine.
They explicitly said they wanted the Ukraine to publicly announce they have launched an investigation into the Biden's.
It was a political ploy, pure and simple.
The article said Ukraine gave up its nukes in exchange for security guarantees. That is not exactly true, Ukraine gave up its nukes in exchange for security guarantees from the USA and Russia.
As for the trade deal between the Ukraine and the EU that flooded the Ukraine with European goods therefore flooding Russia, destabilizing its economy.
That is the nature of free markets, you compete or die.
It is not justifiable to invade a country because they have a trade deal with Western Europe.
The article says as a buffer state, if the Ukraine become too close to the west it threatens Russia's security but other than that trade deal, it never says how it threatens Russia's security.
I have a better explanation.
During most of Putin's life, Ukraine was under Russia's wing.
Having the Ukraine move into the USA's and the EU's orbit is a blow to Russia's prestige and power.
I think Putin views the USA and the EU as a rivals in a grand game and losing the Ukraine would be a win for the west and a loss for Russia and he doesn't want Russia to lose or lose its great power" status.
The thing is, Putin's view of Russia is bigger than reality. Pre invasion Russia's economy was roughly the same size of Australia, and is probably smaller now.
And per capita GDP Russia is a lot poorer than Australia.
But Putin can't accept that Russia is no longer a great power and believes it has the right to bully its neighbors.
 

LMTLION

Well-Known Member
Mar 20, 2008
2,494
2,588
1
There are multiple inaccuracies in this piece.
First of all, the Trump administration wasn't trying to figure out what American policymakers were doing in Ukraine.
They explicitly said they wanted the Ukraine to publicly announce they have launched an investigation into the Biden's.
It was a political ploy, pure and simple.
The article said Ukraine gave up its nukes in exchange for security guarantees. That is not exactly true, Ukraine gave up its nukes in exchange for security guarantees from the USA and Russia.
As for the trade deal between the Ukraine and the EU that flooded the Ukraine with European goods therefore flooding Russia, destabilizing its economy.
That is the nature of free markets, you compete or die.
It is not justifiable to invade a country because they have a trade deal with Western Europe.
The article says as a buffer state, if the Ukraine become too close to the west it threatens Russia's security but other than that trade deal, it never says how it threatens Russia's security.
I have a better explanation.
During most of Putin's life, Ukraine was under Russia's wing.
Having the Ukraine move into the USA's and the EU's orbit is a blow to Russia's prestige and power.
I think Putin views the USA and the EU as a rivals in a grand game and losing the Ukraine would be a win for the west and a loss for Russia and he doesn't want Russia to lose or lose its great power" status.
The thing is, Putin's view of Russia is bigger than reality. Pre invasion Russia's economy was roughly the same size of Australia, and is probably smaller now.
And per capita GDP Russia is a lot poorer than Australia.
But Putin can't accept that Russia is no longer a great power and believes it has the right to bully its neighbors.
Correct, and in addition it is rapidly losing population as well. It is hard to look out in the long term and see Russia maintaining territorial integrity in the east without an immediate and sizable increase in fertility rate this generation and the next. Is more than likely to lose eastern territory to China.
 

LionDeNittany

Well-Known Member
May 29, 2001
44,769
18,535
1
DFW, TX
There are multiple inaccuracies in this piece.
First of all, the Trump administration wasn't trying to figure out what American policymakers were doing in Ukraine.
They explicitly said they wanted the Ukraine to publicly announce they have launched an investigation into the Biden's.
It was a political ploy, pure and simple.
The article said Ukraine gave up its nukes in exchange for security guarantees. That is not exactly true, Ukraine gave up its nukes in exchange for security guarantees from the USA and Russia.
As for the trade deal between the Ukraine and the EU that flooded the Ukraine with European goods therefore flooding Russia, destabilizing its economy.
That is the nature of free markets, you compete or die.
It is not justifiable to invade a country because they have a trade deal with Western Europe.
The article says as a buffer state, if the Ukraine become too close to the west it threatens Russia's security but other than that trade deal, it never says how it threatens Russia's security.
I have a better explanation.
During most of Putin's life, Ukraine was under Russia's wing.
Having the Ukraine move into the USA's and the EU's orbit is a blow to Russia's prestige and power.
I think Putin views the USA and the EU as a rivals in a grand game and losing the Ukraine would be a win for the west and a loss for Russia and he doesn't want Russia to lose or lose its great power" status.
The thing is, Putin's view of Russia is bigger than reality. Pre invasion Russia's economy was roughly the same size of Australia, and is probably smaller now.
And per capita GDP Russia is a lot poorer than Australia.
But Putin can't accept that Russia is no longer a great power and believes it has the right to bully its neighbors.

Why would you even bother?

WeR had to bump his own post because his posts are pure $hit
 

JeffClear

Well-Known Member
Oct 15, 2017
9,712
3,856
1
Correct, and in addition it is rapidly losing population as well. It is hard to look out in the long term and see Russia maintaining territorial integrity in the east without an immediate and sizable increase in fertility rate this generation and the next. Is more than likely to lose eastern territory to China.
Yea, in many ways the future is bleak for the Russians.
Oil and gas are the only things propping up its mediocre economy and as Europe moves away from fossil fuels Russia's economy is going to suffer.
And Putin probably accelerated the Europeans move away from Russian energy with his little military expedition in Ukraine.
And now Russian companies are facing massive sanctions world wide. It doesn't look good for Russia no matter what happens in the Ukraine.
And if the war drags on for months or years they are screwed.
 

Jerry

Well-Known Member
May 29, 2001
4,464
9,379
1
There are multiple inaccuracies in this piece.
First of all, the Trump administration wasn't trying to figure out what American policymakers were doing in Ukraine.
They explicitly said they wanted the Ukraine to publicly announce they have launched an investigation into the Biden's.
It was a political ploy, pure and simple.
The article said Ukraine gave up its nukes in exchange for security guarantees. That is not exactly true, Ukraine gave up its nukes in exchange for security guarantees from the USA and Russia.
As for the trade deal between the Ukraine and the EU that flooded the Ukraine with European goods therefore flooding Russia, destabilizing its economy.
That is the nature of free markets, you compete or die.
It is not justifiable to invade a country because they have a trade deal with Western Europe.
The article says as a buffer state, if the Ukraine become too close to the west it threatens Russia's security but other than that trade deal, it never says how it threatens Russia's security.
I have a better explanation.
During most of Putin's life, Ukraine was under Russia's wing.
Having the Ukraine move into the USA's and the EU's orbit is a blow to Russia's prestige and power.
I think Putin views the USA and the EU as a rivals in a grand game and losing the Ukraine would be a win for the west and a loss for Russia and he doesn't want Russia to lose or lose its great power" status.
The thing is, Putin's view of Russia is bigger than reality. Pre invasion Russia's economy was roughly the same size of Australia, and is probably smaller now.
And per capita GDP Russia is a lot poorer than Australia.
But Putin can't accept that Russia is no longer a great power and believes it has the right to bully its neighbors.

Jeff, with all due respect, your above dissertation has more holes than a block of Swiss cheese.

Yeah, imagine that, Trump had the gall to want Ukraine to properly investigate the now proven shady dealings of the Bidens. The nerve of the big guy! Like he doesn't know that the Bidens belong to that clique of favored persons above the law in this country? And apparently in Ukraine too?

About the security guarantees, I don't get your point or see how it changes the basic argument now.

Regarding the EU trade deal and your "it is not justifiable to invade a country because they have a trade deal with Europe," the reality is the duly elected President of Ukraine nixed the trade deal in question...and was therefore overthrown in a coup supported by Washington. So here's a question for you: is it "justifiable" to overthrow a democratically-elected government because it makes a policy decision of which you disapprove?

As for how Ukraine could possibly threaten Russia's security, here's another question for you: If a hostile foreign country overthrew the government of Mexico and began to explore the possibility of a military alliance with the new (anti-American) leadership, do you think that would fly in Washington?

Your psychologizing about Putin has become standard fare these days, but quite honestly, it's bullshit. The Powers That Be and their propaganda tools need a rationale for why they walked Ukraine into a disaster, so on cue they've come up with the line that Putin is trying to reconstitute the Soviet Union, and the next thing you know, Russian troops will be on the streets of Wabash. Right.

The fact is, Putin wanted a guarantee of Ukrainian neutrality and non-membership in NATO. It was a deal that could have been done and also benefited Ukraine in the bargain. Too late now.

As for Russia's paltry status as a nation that can no longer claim to be a great power and has an economy smaller than that of Australia, true enough, but there's one little problem with that analysis: 5000 nuclear warheads. 5000 nuclear warheads tend to be a pretty significant equalizer.

As I've said many times, yes, Putin's a bad guy and the invasion of Ukraine is a moral atrocity. But in recent months he telegraphed his intentions and laid some negotiable conditions on the table. We should have taken him seriously rather than being blinded by the arrogant mentality exemplified by your post...for which Ukraine is now paying the highest price of all.

However, before this is over, it won't be just Ukraine. In fact, we here in the land of fruited plains and purple mountain majesties will likely end up owing a large portion of that bill.
 

JeffClear

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Oct 15, 2017
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Jeff, with all due respect, your above dissertation has more holes than a block of Swiss cheese.

Yeah, imagine that, Trump had the gall to want Ukraine to properly investigate the now proven shady dealings of the Bidens. The nerve of the big guy! Like he doesn't know that the Bidens belong to that clique of favored persons above the law in this country? And apparently in Ukraine too?

About the security guarantees, I don't get your point or see how it changes the basic argument now.

Regarding the EU trade deal and your "it is not justifiable to invade a country because they have a trade deal with Europe," the reality is the duly elected President of Ukraine nixed the trade deal in question...and was therefore overthrown in a coup supported by Washington. So here's a question for you: is it "justifiable" to overthrow a democratically-elected government because it makes a policy decision of which you disapprove?

As for how Ukraine could possibly threaten Russia's security, here's another question for you: If a hostile foreign country overthrew the government of Mexico and began to explore the possibility of a military alliance with the new (anti-American) leadership, do you think that would fly in Washington?

Your psychologizing about Putin has become standard fare these days, but quite honestly, it's bullshit. The Powers That Be and their propaganda tools need a rationale for why they walked Ukraine into a disaster, so on cue they've come up with the line that Putin is trying to reconstitute the Soviet Union, and the next thing you know, Russian troops will be on the streets of Wabash. Right.

The fact is, Putin wanted a guarantee of Ukrainian neutrality and non-membership in NATO. It was a deal that could have been done and also benefited Ukraine in the bargain. Too late now.

As for Russia's paltry status as a nation that can no longer claim to be a great power and has an economy smaller than that of Australia, true enough, but there's one little problem with that analysis: 5000 nuclear warheads. 5000 nuclear warheads tend to be a pretty significant equalizer.

As I've said many times, yes, Putin's a bad guy and the invasion of Ukraine is a moral atrocity. But in recent months he telegraphed his intentions and laid some negotiable conditions on the table. We should have taken him seriously rather than being blinded by the arrogant mentality exemplified by your post...for which Ukraine is now paying the highest price of all.

However, before this is over, it won't be just Ukraine. In fact, we here in the land of fruited plains and purple mountain majesties will likely end up owing a large portion of that bill.
There are numerous inaccuracies in your post.
The Trump administration specifically asked the Ukrainian government to publicly announce they were investigating the Biden's.
The only reason he wanted that was to politically damage Biden.
He wanted a replay of the 2016 election announcement by Comey.
And you are wrong about what the Russians want from the Ukraine.
They just don't want neutrality they want domination over Ukraine.
Even now, Putin is openly saying as a condition for a ceasefire, Ukraine must "demilitarize."
He doesn't want them to have a military so they won't be able to resist pressure from Moscow.
Because without a military, they would be forced to do Moscow's bidding.
That is also why he doesn't want Ukraine in nato.
If it were in nato, they would have no leverage over the Ukrainian government.
Putin has also openly stated that Ukraine does not have the right to be an independent state and was always subservient to Russia.
He said these things just before the invasion.
This was not a coincidence. This is not psychoanalysis, this is taking Putin at his word.
And the old puppet regime in the Ukraine was not democratically elected, it was selected by Moscow.
I'm sure Putin wasn't happy about having politicians he bought and paid for tossed out and living in Russia.
I'm sure he was furious.
It's funny too how Trump's former campaign manager worked for those Putin stooges who fled to mother Russia after their government was overthrown.
And the Mexico comparison is ridiculous. American leaders are not making speeches saying Mexico doesn't have the right to exist.
Even Trump isn't that stupid.
 

WeR0206

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Apr 9, 2014
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There are numerous inaccuracies in your post.
The Trump administration specifically asked the Ukrainian government to publicly announce they were investigating the Biden's.
The only reason he wanted that was to politically damage Biden.
He wanted a replay of the 2016 election announcement by Comey.
And you are wrong about what the Russians want from the Ukraine.
They just don't want neutrality they want domination over Ukraine.
Even now, Putin is openly saying as a condition for a ceasefire, Ukraine must "demilitarize."
He doesn't want them to have a military so they won't be able to resist pressure from Moscow.
Because without a military, they would be forced to do Moscow's bidding.
That is also why he doesn't want Ukraine in nato.
If it were in nato, they would have no leverage over the Ukrainian government.
Putin has also openly stated that Ukraine does not have the right to be an independent state and was always subservient to Russia.
He said these things just before the invasion.
This was not a coincidence. This is not psychoanalysis, this is taking Putin at his word.
And the old puppet regime in the Ukraine was not democratically elected, it was selected by Moscow.
I'm sure Putin wasn't happy about having politicians he bought and paid for tossed out and living in Russia.
I'm sure he was furious.
It's funny too how Trump's former campaign manager worked for those Putin stooges who fled to mother Russia after their government was overthrown.
And the Mexico comparison is ridiculous. American leaders are not making speeches saying Mexico doesn't have the right to exist.
Even Trump isn't that stupid.
JO0XEmW.jpg
 

The Spin Meister

Well-Known Member
Nov 27, 2012
22,988
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An altered state
Jeff, with all due respect, your above dissertation has more holes than a block of Swiss cheese.

Yeah, imagine that, Trump had the gall to want Ukraine to properly investigate the now proven shady dealings of the Bidens. The nerve of the big guy! Like he doesn't know that the Bidens belong to that clique of favored persons above the law in this country? And apparently in Ukraine too?

About the security guarantees, I don't get your point or see how it changes the basic argument now.

Regarding the EU trade deal and your "it is not justifiable to invade a country because they have a trade deal with Europe," the reality is the duly elected President of Ukraine nixed the trade deal in question...and was therefore overthrown in a coup supported by Washington. So here's a question for you: is it "justifiable" to overthrow a democratically-elected government because it makes a policy decision of which you disapprove?That “duly elected”was a Putin stooge put in place by a crooked run off elections. Then he cancelled trade deals with the west which pissed off a lot of people. While the CIA and others helped the people rise up were millions in the streets against him. And in the streets for weeks. It was the people that ran him out.

As for how Ukraine could possibly threaten Russia's security, here's another question for you: If a hostile foreign country overthrew the government of Mexico and began to explore the possibility of a military alliance with the new (anti-American) leadership, do you think that would fly in Washington? This China analogy is so weak as to hardy warrant a response. But since it keep,showing up in thread after a thread I will expose its huge fallacies in a separate thread.

Your psychologizing about Putin has become standard fare these days, but quite honestly, it's bullshit. The Powers That Be and their propaganda tools need a rationale for why they walked Ukraine into a disaster, so on cue they've come up with the line that Putin is trying to reconstitute the Soviet Union, and the next thing you know, Russian troops will be on the streets of Wabash. Right. Criticise one for ‘psychologizing’ Putin yet you say the world should take him on his word? I would rather judge him on his actions.....invading Georgia, invading and seizing Ukrainian Crimea, invading the Donbas sections of Ukraine, destroying Grozny in Chechnya, destroying Aleppo in Syria. The guy is a stone cold killer.

The fact is, Putin wanted a guarantee of Ukrainian neutrality and non-membership in NATO. It was a deal that could have been done and also benefited Ukraine in the bargain. Too late now.

As for Russia's paltry status as a nation that can no longer claim to be a great power and has an economy smaller than that of Australia, true enough, but there's one little problem with that analysis: 5000 nuclear warheads. 5000 nuclear warheads tend to be a pretty significant equalizer. Yes Russia is small economically. Which is a big reason he coveted Ukraine, the largest country in Europe, so much. Ukraine’s huge oil and gas reserves threatened his main income source. Ukraine is a hug agribusiness center that would diversify Putin’s economy. Ukraine has great ports and ship building that was built under Russia/ USSR and he wanted them back. Let him take all that and suddenly Russia isn’t so small or weak.

As I've said many times, yes, Putin's a bad guy and the invasion of Ukraine is a moral atrocity. But in recent months he telegraphed his intentions and laid some negotiable conditions on the table. We should have taken him seriously rather than being blinded by the arrogant mentality exemplified by your post...for which Ukraine is now paying the highest price of all. Giving him want he wants....again...isn’t taking him seriously.

However, before this is over, it won't be just Ukraine. In fact, we here in the land of fruited plains and purple mountain majesties will likely end up owing a large portion of that bill.
 

Jerry

Well-Known Member
May 29, 2001
4,464
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There are numerous inaccuracies in your post.
The Trump administration specifically asked the Ukrainian government to publicly announce they were investigating the Biden's.
The only reason he wanted that was to politically damage Biden.
He wanted a replay of the 2016 election announcement by Comey.
And you are wrong about what the Russians want from the Ukraine.
They just don't want neutrality they want domination over Ukraine.
Even now, Putin is openly saying as a condition for a ceasefire, Ukraine must "demilitarize."
He doesn't want them to have a military so they won't be able to resist pressure from Moscow.
Because without a military, they would be forced to do Moscow's bidding.
That is also why he doesn't want Ukraine in nato.
If it were in nato, they would have no leverage over the Ukrainian government.
Putin has also openly stated that Ukraine does not have the right to be an independent state and was always subservient to Russia.
He said these things just before the invasion.
This was not a coincidence. This is not psychoanalysis, this is taking Putin at his word.
And the old puppet regime in the Ukraine was not democratically elected, it was selected by Moscow.
I'm sure Putin wasn't happy about having politicians he bought and paid for tossed out and living in Russia.
I'm sure he was furious.
It's funny too how Trump's former campaign manager worked for those Putin stooges who fled to mother Russia after their government was overthrown.
And the Mexico comparison is ridiculous. American leaders are not making speeches saying Mexico doesn't have the right to exist.
Even Trump isn't that stupid.

Jeff, half your above comment is deflective bullshit. Half of it is Regime propaganda. And none of it refutes my argument, which I have no intention of repeating for, like, the 15th friggin' time since December when I predicted this disaster. Seriously, look it up.

Unfortunately, actual facts, evidence, logic, and history don't register with you guys. You have a story and by gum, you're sticking with it. It's created a historic catastrophe, but you ain't gonna let that minor detail deter you from fighting until the last Ukrainian.

Listen, Zelensky is looking for volunteers. Why not put your money where your mouth is, hop on a plane, and join the fight against the Russians. Take Lindsey Graham with you. You guys would make a dynamite team!
 

JeffClear

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Oct 15, 2017
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Jeff, half your above comment is deflective bullshit. Half of it is Regime propaganda. And none of it refutes my argument, which I have no intention of repeating for, like, the 15th friggin' time since December when I predicted this disaster. Seriously, look it up.

Unfortunately, actual facts, evidence, logic, and history don't register with you guys. You have a story and by gum, you're sticking with it. It's created a historic catastrophe, but you ain't gonna let that minor detail deter you from fighting until the last Ukrainian.

Listen, Zelensky is looking for volunteers. Why not put your money where your mouth is, hop on a plane, and join the fight against the Russians. Take Lindsey Graham with you. You guys would make a dynamite team!
My post certainly does refute your argument. You argued that all Russia wants is neutrality, which is totally wrong.
They want far more than a neutral Ukraine, they want a "demilitarized" Ukraine as a condition of withdrawal.
The Ukrainians said they would be willing to discuss neutrality prior to the invasion but Russia wanted more .
They essentially want to strip Ukraine of its sovereignty and Putin does not hide this fact.
"Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday said Russia is demanding Ukraine demilitarize and will write a specific list of what weapons the nation cannot possess."


"Putin said in a Monday speech: "Ukraine has never had its own authentic statehood. There has never been a sustainable statehood in Ukraine."
He argued that Ukraine was a creation of the Soviet Union under Vladimir Lenin, its first leader, despite extensive evidence of a distinctive Ukrainian culture before that.

Putin also made a claim that Ukraine was a part of Russia's historic territory.

He said in his speech: "Let me emphasize once again that Ukraine for us is not just a neighboring country. It is an integral part of our own history, culture, spiritual space.

"These are our comrades, relatives, among whom are not only colleagues, friends, former colleagues, but also relatives, people connected with us by blood, family ties."
 

Jerry

Well-Known Member
May 29, 2001
4,464
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My post certainly does refute your argument. You argued that all Russia wants is neutrality, which is totally wrong.
They want far more than a neutral Ukraine, they want a "demilitarized" Ukraine as a condition of withdrawal.
The Ukrainians said they would be willing to discuss neutrality prior to the invasion but Russia wanted more .
They essentially want to strip Ukraine of its sovereignty and Putin does not hide this fact.
"Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday said Russia is demanding Ukraine demilitarize and will write a specific list of what weapons the nation cannot possess."


"Putin said in a Monday speech: "Ukraine has never had its own authentic statehood. There has never been a sustainable statehood in Ukraine."
He argued that Ukraine was a creation of the Soviet Union under Vladimir Lenin, its first leader, despite extensive evidence of a distinctive Ukrainian culture before that.

Putin also made a claim that Ukraine was a part of Russia's historic territory.

He said in his speech: "Let me emphasize once again that Ukraine for us is not just a neighboring country. It is an integral part of our own history, culture, spiritual space.

"These are our comrades, relatives, among whom are not only colleagues, friends, former colleagues, but also relatives, people connected with us by blood, family ties."

Sorry, that was a cheap shot about you going to Ukraine. It's just that I've covered this ground a number of times here since December, and it's frustrating because to me the train wreck could so clearly be seen coming. I mean, if some random schmuck on the Internet could see it, I don't know why the Best and Brightest in our government couldn't figure it out.

Re "demilitarization," right, the rhetoric and the demands got ratcheted up when the Russians crossed the Rubicon of an invasion. Wars tend to do that. But in the lead-up to the war, before things spun out of control and the point of no-return was reached, the Russians demanded a pullback of forces in Eastern Europe, which was an obvious non-starter, and a legally binding commitment on Ukraine's non-membership in NATO and status as a neutral nation, which could have and should been a starter.

I mean, it could at least have been seriously discussed, since it was no secret that Ukraine's entry into the alliance was a very unlikely prospect in any case. Personally, I think Moscow was hoping for a trade-off: drop the Eastern Europe demand in exchange for a Western concession on Ukraine's status. All this was doable and should have been done. As I said in a recent post, if one month ago the parties could have known what they know now and seen what they see now, could any rational person have chosen not to make the deal that would have headed off this nightmare?
 

JeffClear

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Oct 15, 2017
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Sorry, that was a cheap shot about you going to Ukraine. It's just that I've covered this ground a number of times here since December, and it's frustrating because to me the train wreck could so clearly be seen coming. I mean, if some random schmuck on the Internet could see it, I don't know why the Best and Brightest in our government couldn't figure it out.

Re "demilitarization," right, the rhetoric and the demands got ratcheted up when the Russians crossed the Rubicon of an invasion. Wars tend to do that. But in the lead-up to the war, before things spun out of control and the point of no-return was reached, the Russians demanded a pullback of forces in Eastern Europe, which was an obvious non-starter, and a legally binding commitment on Ukraine's non-membership in NATO and status as a neutral nation, which could have and should been a starter.

I mean, it could at least have been seriously discussed, since it was no secret that Ukraine's entry into the alliance was a very unlikely prospect in any case. Personally, I think Moscow was hoping for a trade-off: drop the Eastern Europe demand in exchange for a Western concession on Ukraine's status. All this was doable and should have been done. As I said in a recent post, if one month ago the parties could have known what they know now and seen what they see now, could any rational person have chosen not to make the deal that would have headed off this nightmare?
The problem was the USA said no on giving a permanent guarantee that the Ukraine would never join NATO but did say Ukraine wasn't going to join NATO anytime soon.
That demand is not feasible because who knows what the situation would be in the future.
The Russians were also demanding Nato remove all of its nukes from Europe.
Especially since the Russians weren't offering to remove its nukes.
These are all unacceptable and remember it was the Russians who picked the time to invade, not the USA or NATO. They invaded days after the NATO response instead of negotiating further.
And it really is Russia (and Ukraine) who are in the hot seats now, much more than NATO.
Russia now has massive sanctions on it and if they hold, in the coming months as supplies dwindle it is going to get really difficult for the Russian people, especially if they are still fighting in Ukraine.
 

WeR0206

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Apr 9, 2014
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Sorry, that was a cheap shot about you going to Ukraine. It's just that I've covered this ground a number of times here since December, and it's frustrating because to me the train wreck could so clearly be seen coming. I mean, if some random schmuck on the Internet could see it, I don't know why the Best and Brightest in our government couldn't figure it out.

Re "demilitarization," right, the rhetoric and the demands got ratcheted up when the Russians crossed the Rubicon of an invasion. Wars tend to do that. But in the lead-up to the war, before things spun out of control and the point of no-return was reached, the Russians demanded a pullback of forces in Eastern Europe, which was an obvious non-starter, and a legally binding commitment on Ukraine's non-membership in NATO and status as a neutral nation, which could have and should been a starter.

I mean, it could at least have been seriously discussed, since it was no secret that Ukraine's entry into the alliance was a very unlikely prospect in any case. Personally, I think Moscow was hoping for a trade-off: drop the Eastern Europe demand in exchange for a Western concession on Ukraine's status. All this was doable and should have been done. As I said in a recent post, if one month ago the parties could have known what they know now and seen what they see now, could any rational person have chosen not to make the deal that would have headed off this nightmare?
You’re still operating under the assumption putins main goal is to seize territory . Sounds like his focus is a demilitarized Ukraine/destroy Ukrainian forces. The globalists are telling Zelensky not to do this so their war can drag on.

 

JeffClear

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Oct 15, 2017
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You’re still operating under the assumption putins main goal is to seize territory . Sounds like his focus is a demilitarized Ukraine/destroy Ukrainian forces. The globalists are telling Zelensky not to do this so their war can drag on.

He wants a demilitarized Ukraine so he can dominate them.
Ukraine isn't going to invade Russia but a Ukrainian military can resist Russian influence. As we are seeing now.
Putin believes the Ukraine is a Russian vassal state and not a real country. He has said this openly.
 

Obliviax

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Aug 21, 2001
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There are multiple inaccuracies in this piece.
First of all, the Trump administration wasn't trying to figure out what American policymakers were doing in Ukraine.
They explicitly said they wanted the Ukraine to publicly announce they have launched an investigation into the Biden's.
It was a political ploy, pure and simple.
The article said Ukraine gave up its nukes in exchange for security guarantees. That is not exactly true, Ukraine gave up its nukes in exchange for security guarantees from the USA and Russia.
As for the trade deal between the Ukraine and the EU that flooded the Ukraine with European goods therefore flooding Russia, destabilizing its economy.
That is the nature of free markets, you compete or die.
It is not justifiable to invade a country because they have a trade deal with Western Europe.
The article says as a buffer state, if the Ukraine become too close to the west it threatens Russia's security but other than that trade deal, it never says how it threatens Russia's security.
I have a better explanation.
During most of Putin's life, Ukraine was under Russia's wing.
Having the Ukraine move into the USA's and the EU's orbit is a blow to Russia's prestige and power.
I think Putin views the USA and the EU as a rivals in a grand game and losing the Ukraine would be a win for the west and a loss for Russia and he doesn't want Russia to lose or lose its great power" status.
The thing is, Putin's view of Russia is bigger than reality. Pre invasion Russia's economy was roughly the same size of Australia, and is probably smaller now.
And per capita GDP Russia is a lot poorer than Australia.
But Putin can't accept that Russia is no longer a great power and believes it has the right to bully its neighbors.
Here are my questions. Why did Ukraine give Biden’s kid millions along with China? Why was Biden allowed to extort Ukraine to get rid of a ‘corrupt’ judge?
 

JeffClear

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Here are my questions. Why did Ukraine give Biden’s kid millions along with China? Why was Biden allowed to extort Ukraine to get rid of a ‘corrupt’ judge?
It is obvious why various companies gave money to Hunter Biden, they did so with the hope it would gain them access to his father.
It is the same reason lobbyists give politicians huge amounts of money to attend campaign events.
As for the “corrupt judge” many of our European allies believed he was corrupt and needed to be removed.
It wasn’t just Joe Biden, a lot of people wanted him removed.
And neither of these things justify Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
 

Obliviax

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It is obvious why various companies gave money to Hunter Biden, they did so with the hope it would gain them access to his father.
It is the same reason lobbyists give politicians huge amounts of money to attend campaign events.
As for the “corrupt judge” many of our European allies believed he was corrupt and needed to be removed.
It wasn’t just Joe Biden, a lot of people wanted him removed.
And neither of these things justify Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Doesnt justify it but certainly tells you why he invaded. And your post sounds like you are ok with it.

i am profoundly upset at the USA. We have no more rights than Russian citizens. We are censored, conscripted and our money stolen. Our nation has bald faced lied to us for at least five years
 

Jerry

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May 29, 2001
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The problem was the USA said no on giving a permanent guarantee that the Ukraine would never join NATO but did say Ukraine wasn't going to join NATO anytime soon.
That demand is not feasible because who knows what the situation would be in the future.
The Russians were also demanding Nato remove all of its nukes from Europe.
Especially since the Russians weren't offering to remove its nukes.
These are all unacceptable and remember it was the Russians who picked the time to invade, not the USA or NATO. They invaded days after the NATO response instead of negotiating further.
And it really is Russia (and Ukraine) who are in the hot seats now, much more than NATO.
Russia now has massive sanctions on it and if they hold, in the coming months as supplies dwindle it is going to get really difficult for the Russian people, especially if they are still fighting in Ukraine.

Disagree. The NATO non-membership demand was very feasible. Hell, the Germans outright said there was no chance Ukraine would be joining NATO. So this disaster was unleashed over an issue we knew was moot but refused to say in a legally binding form. That's the definition of madness.

As I said, Moscow's demand for a pullback of forces and weapons in Eastern Europe was an obvious non-starter, but I think it was mainly negotiations bait. It would have been dropped if we'd taken their other terms seriously and negotiated on them in good faith. Instead we stonewalled.

Regarding "hot seats," sure, Russia and Ukraine are bearing the brunt, but is this really what we wanted? Ukraine in ruins? Is that a "win"? Meanwhile, gas jumped another 20 cents at the pump here yesterday, the fourth consecutive day of increases as energy and food prices skyrocket. If this goes on much longer, we could be looking at a recession in this country. Is that a "win"?

Not only that, but you're delusional, Jeff, if you think Putin is going to go quietly into that good night. He's not a good loser. Moscow will escalate, and when that happens, you and your friends within and outside the government may be shaken free of your blithe delusions. But probably not. And even if you are, it may well be too late by then. In fact, it's probably too late now.

One other thing. I didn't have time yesterday to refute your non-refutation of my earlier post, but just one issue is illustrative. Harkening back to events of 2014, in a total non sequitur, you asked whether a country is justified to invade another country because the second country has a trade deal with Europe.

I replied by asking whether it was justified to launch a coup against a democratically-elected government because it makes a policy decision (rejecting the trade deal) of which you disapprove. So you fell back on the trusty oh-that-election-didn't-count line...basically saying that if we don't like the results of an election, we get to say it was not legitimate. Spoken like a good Dem-Mediacrat who spent four years claiming the same thing about Trump.

No seriously, this entire mentality of "if we do it, it's good, but if you do it, it's bad...if we take down a government, it's a noble revolution, but if you do it, it's a coup...if we like the results of an election, it was free and fair, but if we don't like them, it was illegitimate...if we launch an unnecessary and destructive war, it's a noble fight for liberation, but if you do it, it's a war crime"...and so forth...that's a fine attitude for 11-year olds on a school playground, but in the realm of life-and-death affairs among nations: not so much. Sooner or later that kind of arrogance will bite you in the ass, and when it does, well, what you see now in Ukraine is what you get.
 
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JeffClear

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Disagree. The NATO non-membership demand was very feasible. Hell, the Germans outright said there was no chance Ukraine would be joining NATO. So this disaster was unleashed over an issue we knew was moot but refused to say in a legally binding form. That's the definition of madness.

As I said, Moscow's demand for a pullback of forces and weapons in Eastern Europe was an obvious non-starter, but I think it was mainly negotiations bait. It would have been dropped if we'd taken their other terms seriously and negotiated on them in good faith. Instead we stonewalled.

Regarding "hot seats," sure, Russia and Ukraine are bearing the brunt, but is this really what we wanted? Ukraine in ruins? Is that a "win"? Meanwhile, gas jumped another 20 cents at the pump here yesterday, the fourth consecutive day of increases as energy and food prices skyrocket. If this goes on much longer, we could be looking at a recession in this country. Is that a "win"?

Not only that, but you're delusional, Jeff, if you think Putin is going to go quietly into that good night. He's not a good loser. Moscow will escalate, and when that happens, you and your friends within and outside the government may be shaken free of your blithe delusions. But probably not. And even if you are, it may well be too late by then. In fact, it's probably too late now.

One other thing. I didn't have time yesterday to refute your non-refutation of my earlier post, but just one issue is illustrative. Harkening back to events of 2014, in a total non sequitur, you asked whether a country is justified to invade another country because the second country has a trade deal with Europe.

I replied by asking whether it was justified to launch a coup against a democratically-elected government because it makes a policy decision (rejecting the trade deal) of which you disapprove. So you fell back on the trusty oh-that-election-didn't-count line...basically saying that if we don't like the results of an election, we get to say it was not legitimate. Spoken like a good Dem-Mediacrat who spent four years claiming the same thing about Trump.

No seriously, this entire mentality of "if we do it, it's good, but if you do it, it's bad...if we take down a government, it's a noble revolution, but if you do it, it's a coup...if we like the results of an election, it was free and fair, but if we don't like them, it was illegitimate...if we launch an unnecessary and destructive war, it's a noble fight for liberation, but if you do it, it's a war crime"...and so forth...that's a fine attitude for 11-year olds on a school playground, but in the realm of life-and-death affairs among nations: not so much. Sooner or later that kind of arrogance will bite you in the ass, and when it does, well, what you see now in Ukraine is what you get.
It's speculation to say the Russians would have accepted a no nato pledge alone and we will never no because Russia launched an invasion.
And such a pledge is unacceptable, countries pick their own allies and shouldn't let Russia bully them into surrendering this choice.
And you sound like Chamberlain by trying to appease Moscow by giving them Ukraine.
As for the overthrow of the pro-Moscow government, the CIA assisted but it was the Ukrainian people who overthrew the government.
And they certainly don't want them back.
And can you blame them?
Who would you rather have close ties with Russia, who offers you nothing but subjugation and poverty or the EU who offers them freedom and prosperity?
Even if Russia didn't have a brutal regime running it, it's economy is no match for Western Europe so the Ukrainian people would naturally be drawn to the USA and Western Europe.
You could see Putin's dilemma, he believes the Ukraine belongs to Russia, but the Ukraine threw out his conies and is now independent and is being lured westward with the promise of freedom and prosperity.
There is nothing Russia can offer them to keep them aligned with Moscow willingly so he is forcing them to do it unwillingly.
 

Jerry

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May 29, 2001
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It's speculation to say the Russians would have accepted a no nato pledge alone and we will never no because Russia launched an invasion.
And such a pledge is unacceptable, countries pick their own allies and shouldn't let Russia bully them into surrendering this choice.
And you sound like Chamberlain by trying to appease Moscow by giving them Ukraine.
As for the overthrow of the pro-Moscow government, the CIA assisted but it was the Ukrainian people who overthrew the government.
And they certainly don't want them back.
And can you blame them?
Who would you rather have close ties with Russia, who offers you nothing but subjugation and poverty or the EU who offers them freedom and prosperity?
Even if Russia didn't have a brutal regime running it, it's economy is no match for Western Europe so the Ukrainian people would naturally be drawn to the USA and Western Europe.
You could see Putin's dilemma, he believes the Ukraine belongs to Russia, but the Ukraine threw out his conies and is now independent and is being lured westward with the promise of freedom and prosperity.
There is nothing Russia can offer them to keep them aligned with Moscow willingly so he is forcing them to do it unwillingly.

That response misses the point and hardly even addresses let alone "refutes" my argument.

Yes, everything is speculation now except the horrific suffering of the Ukrainian people and the historic disaster of a war that brings very serious risks not just to the region but potentially to the whole world. That's a reality.

If, as I believe, there was a chance to avert this catastrophe by offering a concession on an issue that was largely moot anyway, why not take the shot? What did we have to lose, Jeff? We've already seen what Ukraine had to lose.

You and others have tried to rationalize this insanity and the American blunders that set the stage for it by conjuring scary fairy tales: If we don't stop Putin in Ukraine, he'll take over the world!!! The choice was between this or an enslaved Ukraine with all the gay people thrown into concentration camps!!! Please. Just stop already.

How's Finland doing these days? Seems to be a happy, healthy, prosperous, neutral country. Evidently it didn't feel the need to join NATO to achieve this excellent state of affairs. The Finland solution, not the nonsensical propaganda you're regurgitating here, is the road not taken with Ukraine.

Honestly, you people could be sitting in nuclear ashes a month from now, and y'all would still be spouting the same line. Better that the country of Ukraine should be destroyed...its people ravaged...our own economy badly damaged...and the peace of the whole world threatened...than that the Powers admit their mistakes. Instead, they double down, which is what they usually do. Except this time they may make a very bad situation a whole lot worse.
 
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JeffClear

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Oct 15, 2017
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That response misses the point and hardly even addresses let alone "refutes" my argument.

Yes, everything is speculation now except the horrific suffering of the Ukrainian people and the historic disaster of a war that brings very serious risks not just to the region but potentially to the whole world. That's a reality.

If, as I believe, there was a chance to avert this catastrophe by offering a concession on an issue that was largely moot anyway, why not take the shot? What did we have to lose, Jeff? We've already seen what Ukraine had to lose.

You and others have tried to rationalize this insanity and the American blunders that set the stage for it by conjuring scary fairy tales: If we don't stop Putin in Ukraine, he'll take over the world!!! The choice was between this or an enslaved Ukraine with all the gay people thrown into concentration camps!!! Please. Just stop already.

How's Finland doing these days? Seems to be a happy, healthy, prosperous, neutral country. Evidently it didn't feel the need to join NATO to achieve this excellent state of affairs. The Finland solution, not the nonsensical propaganda you're regurgitating here, is the road not taken with Ukraine.

Honestly, you people could be sitting in nuclear ashes a month from now, and y'all would still be spouting the same line. Better that the country of Ukraine should be destroyed...its people ravaged...our own economy badly damaged...and the peace of the whole world threatened...than that the Powers admit their mistakes. Instead, they double down, which is what they usually do. Except this time they may make a very bad situation a whole lot worse.
There is talk that Finland joining Nato.
War in Ukraine: Russian invasion fuels Finnish support for Nato
Prior to the invasion, the Finnish people didn’t want to join NATO, which is their right, and now because of Putin’s actions, if they want to join NATO, that is their right as well.
(If it were up to me, I would let them in.)
And why is it on the USA and NATO to offer concessions?
Putin could have easily made a counter offer, but instead he launched an invasion.
And do you blame Ukraine for wanting to join NATO when Russia is right next door and it’s leader doesn’t think you have a right to exist as an independent country.
The Russian people are not free themselves, do you think Putin would allow Ukrainians to be free?
History has shown that the Ukrainian people were right not to trust Russia.
 

WeR0206

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Apr 9, 2014
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2020evidence.org
That response misses the point and hardly even addresses let alone "refutes" my argument.

Yes, everything is speculation now except the horrific suffering of the Ukrainian people and the historic disaster of a war that brings very serious risks not just to the region but potentially to the whole world. That's a reality.

If, as I believe, there was a chance to avert this catastrophe by offering a concession on an issue that was largely moot anyway, why not take the shot? What did we have to lose, Jeff? We've already seen what Ukraine had to lose.

You and others have tried to rationalize this insanity and the American blunders that set the stage for it by conjuring scary fairy tales: If we don't stop Putin in Ukraine, he'll take over the world!!! The choice was between this or an enslaved Ukraine with all the gay people thrown into concentration camps!!! Please. Just stop already.

How's Finland doing these days? Seems to be a happy, healthy, prosperous, neutral country. Evidently it didn't feel the need to join NATO to achieve this excellent state of affairs. The Finland solution, not the nonsensical propaganda you're regurgitating here, is the road not taken with Ukraine.

Honestly, you people could be sitting in nuclear ashes a month from now, and y'all would still be spouting the same line. Better that the country of Ukraine should be destroyed...its people ravaged...our own economy badly damaged...and the peace of the whole world threatened...than that the Powers admit their mistakes. Instead, they double down, which is what they usually do. Except this time they may make a very bad situation a whole lot worse.
This ^^^!
 

Jerry

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May 29, 2001
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There is talk that Finland joining Nato.
War in Ukraine: Russian invasion fuels Finnish support for Nato
Prior to the invasion, the Finnish people didn’t want to join NATO, which is their right, and now because of Putin’s actions, if they want to join NATO, that is their right as well.
(If it were up to me, I would let them in.)
And why is it on the USA and NATO to offer concessions?
Putin could have easily made a counter offer, but instead he launched an invasion.
And do you blame Ukraine for wanting to join NATO when Russia is right next door and it’s leader doesn’t think you have a right to exist as an independent country.
The Russian people are not free themselves, do you think Putin would allow Ukrainians to be free?
History has shown that the Ukrainian people were right not to trust Russia.

Interesting article but irrelevant to my point, which is not about the current Finnish state of mind after the shock of the Ukraine invasion but rather about the fact that neutrality and non-membership in NATO worked wonderfully for Finland and would have been an excellent model for Ukraine, sparing the country and its people from the current nightmare.

There's only one way this can end in any way that could be called a "win" for Ukraine and the West...and that's regime change in Moscow. To my mind, that's unlikely. Not only that, but if it were to become a real possibility, then the danger of existential escalation would go up. Helluva chance to take.

Still, if Putin were overthrown, I'd rethink my entire analysis...depending on who replaced him. Unlike you guys, Jeff, my ego doesn't let me get in the way of saying I was wrong. Though it rarely happens of course... ;)
 

JeffClear

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Oct 15, 2017
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Interesting article but irrelevant to my point, which is not about the current Finnish state of mind after the shock of the Ukraine invasion but rather about the fact that neutrality and non-membership in NATO worked wonderfully for Finland and would have been an excellent model for Ukraine, sparing the country and its people from the current nightmare.

There's only one way this can end in any way that could be called a "win" for Ukraine and the West...and that's regime change in Moscow. To my mind, that's unlikely. Not only that, but if it were to become a real possibility, then the danger of existential escalation would go up. Helluva chance to take.

Still, if Putin were overthrown, I'd rethink my entire analysis...depending on who replaced him. Unlike you guys, Jeff, my ego doesn't let me get in the way of saying I was wrong. Though it rarely happens of course... ;)
I admit it when I am wrong. No one is perfect. The big difference in our opinions on this is I don't think Putin thinks of Finland in the same way he looks at Ukraine.
Finland is an independent country not dominated by Moscow and a member of the EU.
While Putin doesn't even think of Ukraine as a country.
And Ukrainians would not be free if their country is under the thumb of Moscow.
Our ancestors went to war with the British for far less so we shouldn't expect them to live under tyranny either if they don't want to.
But you are probably right that it would take regime change in Russia for this to end well.
Putin is in too deep to retreat now and he is probably toast if he does.
If loses the war he will probably need to flee the country and live in exile somewhere or die in Russia.
 

The Spin Meister

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Nov 27, 2012
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An altered state
He seized some territory to the east but if that was his main goal why has he just been sitting around Kiev and other areas no doing anything when he had a chance?
Two reasons. One, he captures the Donbas plus all the ports he has control of all the key parts and will starve the rest of the country. While Kyiv can get food and supplies overland from the west it will lose all its power with out those areas.

Second, his essay in July talked about Kyiv being the birthplace and heart of Russia like it is a sacred city. He is hoping to starve out its defenders and capture it in whole.
 

ao5884

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Oct 1, 2019
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There are multiple inaccuracies in this piece.
First of all, the Trump administration wasn't trying to figure out what American policymakers were doing in Ukraine.
They explicitly said they wanted the Ukraine to publicly announce they have launched an investigation into the Biden's.
It was a political ploy, pure and simple.
The article said Ukraine gave up its nukes in exchange for security guarantees. That is not exactly true, Ukraine gave up its nukes in exchange for security guarantees from the USA and Russia.
As for the trade deal between the Ukraine and the EU that flooded the Ukraine with European goods therefore flooding Russia, destabilizing its economy.
That is the nature of free markets, you compete or die.
It is not justifiable to invade a country because they have a trade deal with Western Europe.
The article says as a buffer state, if the Ukraine become too close to the west it threatens Russia's security but other than that trade deal, it never says how it threatens Russia's security.
I have a better explanation.
During most of Putin's life, Ukraine was under Russia's wing.
Having the Ukraine move into the USA's and the EU's orbit is a blow to Russia's prestige and power.
I think Putin views the USA and the EU as a rivals in a grand game and losing the Ukraine would be a win for the west and a loss for Russia and he doesn't want Russia to lose or lose its great power" status.
The thing is, Putin's view of Russia is bigger than reality. Pre invasion Russia's economy was roughly the same size of Australia, and is probably smaller now.
And per capita GDP Russia is a lot poorer than Australia.
But Putin can't accept that Russia is no longer a great power and believes it has the right to bully its neighbors.
How many years did you serve on President Trumps staff. I mean you have all this knowledge regarding what Trump was doing and what his motives were. Or maybe you are doing what you always do. Presenting your opinion without any first hand knowledge as fact.
 
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JeffClear

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How many years did you serve on President Trumps staff. I mean you have all this knowledge regarding what Trump was doing and what his motives were. Or maybe you are doing what you always do. Presenting your opinion without any first hand knowledge as fact.
There are first hand accounts from Trump’s staff who said Trump wanted to pull out of NATO.
 

bourbon n blues

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Jeff, half your above comment is deflective bullshit. Half of it is Regime propaganda. And none of it refutes my argument, which I have no intention of repeating for, like, the 15th friggin' time since December when I predicted this disaster. Seriously, look it up.

Unfortunately, actual facts, evidence, logic, and history don't register with you guys. You have a story and by gum, you're sticking with it. It's created a historic catastrophe, but you ain't gonna let that minor detail deter you from fighting until the last Ukrainian.

Listen, Zelensky is looking for volunteers. Why not put your money where your mouth is, hop on a plane, and join the fight against the Russians. Take Lindsey Graham with you. You guys would make a dynamite team!
I'm sure they need someone to clean toilets, so yeah he might be useful.
 
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bourbon n blues

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There are first hand accounts from Trump’s staff who said Trump wanted to pull out of NATO.
People who now you chose to believe who you wouldn't believe before. He wanted them to carry their own weight nothing more, we are NATO. They are nothing without us. And they weren't doing their share , their readiness is not up to par, and they made strategic energy decisions that were stupid.
And Trump is not President Stump. Potato is.
 
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bourbon n blues

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How many years did you serve on President Trumps staff. I mean you have all this knowledge regarding what Trump was doing and what his motives were. Or maybe you are doing what you always do. Presenting your opinion without any first hand knowledge as fact.
Stump is an idiot.
 

JeffClear

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Oct 15, 2017
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People who now you chose to believe who you wouldn't believe before. He wanted them to carry their own weight nothing more, we are NATO. They are nothing without us. And they weren't doing their share , their readiness is not up to par, and they made strategic energy decisions that were stupid.
And Trump is not President Stump. Potato is.
Trump did nothing except take credit for something that already happened. And there are multiple sources in Trump’s own administration who said Trump wanted to leave NATO.
This didn’t come out recently, these reports go back to 2019, so this isn’t a new revelation that came out after the invasion.
And thank god Trump isn’t president, I’m sure Putin isn’t happy though.
Trump is his biggest fan.
Putin blunders his way into a war and Trump calls it genius. Now there is a real fanboy for you.
 

bourbon n blues

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Nov 20, 2019
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Trump did nothing except take credit for something that already happened. And there are multiple sources in Trump’s own administration who said Trump wanted to leave NATO.
This didn’t come out recently, these reports go back to 2019, so this isn’t a new revelation that came out after the invasion.
And thank god Trump isn’t president, I’m sure Putin isn’t happy though.
Trump is his biggest fan.
Putin blunders his way into a war and Trump calls it genius. Now there is a real fanboy for you.
You are you, my sources which are better and not morons do not believe he wanted to leave NATO. My own brother in law was offered a cabinet post by the man FFS. I'll trust his take over yours and some source you use to make that claim.
NATO was not paying what they pledged to pay. We were carrying nearly the entire load. He threatened them, he warned them to not depend on Russian oil. They didn't listen. Hell the German PM is a loon.
 

ao5884

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Oct 1, 2019
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Trump did nothing except take credit for something that already happened. And there are multiple sources in Trump’s own administration who said Trump wanted to leave NATO.
This didn’t come out recently, these reports go back to 2019, so this isn’t a new revelation that came out after the invasion.
And thank god Trump isn’t president, I’m sure Putin isn’t happy though.
Trump is his biggest fan.
Putin blunders his way into a war and Trump calls it genius. Now there is a real fanboy for you.
Making factual statements does not equate to being a fanboy. Putin is smart enough to remain in power for how long now? Stop thinking with emotions.
 

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