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Ukraine: Russia's Weakness, Not Obama's (Here comes the spin)
The National Interest ^ | March 2, 2014 | Jacob Heilbrunn

Posted on 03/02/2014 10:57:30 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

Sarah Palin knows what's wrong with President Obama's approach to Ukraine. In a Facebook post, she said that she had predicted that after Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, Obama's "moral indecision" would prompt Vladimir Putin to tackle Ukraine next: "Yes, I could see this one from Alaska. I’m usually not one to Told-Ya-So, but I did." The Washington Post editorial page also knows what's wrong.

"Mr. Obama," it says, "has been vague about the consequences of continued Russian aggression." An aggression that is taking place, we are told, in "the center of Europe." It suggests that the most forceful measure Obama could take would be to threaten to...well, to threaten to exclude Russia from our banking system.

It's time to get real. Ukraine may be about to get sundered in half. If it does, the reaction will be consternation but little more because 2014, as Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger writes in an astute column, is not 1914. Nor is the Crimea Danzig. And few in Europe were even prepared to sacrifice themselves in May 1939, the year an article appeared in Paris called, "Who Will Die For Danzig?" Contrary to Senator John McCain, who seems to adopt a new country every few months, we aren't all Ukrainians now. And Crimea is not suddenly at the "center of Europe," no matter what the geographers at the Post are now decreeing.

Nor is Obama displaying a pussillanimity dating back to his refusal to intervene in Syria. The blunt fact is that he has few tools at his disposal to compel a change in Russian behavior. Refuse to attend the G-8 summit? America needs Russian cooperation in Aghanistan and elsewhere. Europe needs Russian natural gas.

No, the main constraint on Putin's freedom of movement in Ukraine will be that it's dangerous for him to enmesh himself in a prolonged war in Ukraine. If he seeks to occupy the eastern Ukraine, all bets are off--Ukraine is not Georgia. It has 200,000 troops--ten times, Elke Windisch notes, as many as Tbilisi did. And it is calling up a million reservists. Still, Ukraine would be unlikely to be able to withstand a full-scale Russian invasion. Its tanks, for example, consist mostly of fifty-year-old Soviet era T-64s. The real trouble would come in occupying Ukraine. It would likely become not only a geopolitical but also a military nightmare for Putin, on the order of Iraq or Afghanistan.

Rather than threatening Putin, Obama should continue to seek to offer him an exit strategy--just as Putin offered him one out of Syria. By all accounts, this is what Obama is seeking to do. Such a course won't satisfy the nostalgic cold warriors in Washington, but it would defuse a conflict that should not be allowed to jeopardize the West's relations with Moscow. The truly dangerous course isn't if Obama seeks to treat with Putin. It's if he doesn't. Then the cold war that neoconservatives and liberal hawks have been dreaming about for decades would be reconstituted, with America and Europe facing off against an emboldened and truculent Russia and China.

It is more likely that Russia carves up Ukraine. This will be hailed by Putin as a triumph. In fact, it will serve as further testimony, not to Russia's strength, but rather its weakness. Russia was once an empire that stretched all the way to Berlin. Now the best it can do is to divide Ukraine, thereby creating a permanent wound in its relations with Kiev. The Crimean Peninsula would become a new Kashmir. Putin has embarked upon a course that is probably more dangerous for himself than for the West.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; Politics/Elections; Russia
KEYWORDS: demagogicparty; jacobheilbrunn; mccain; memebuilding; obama; palin; partisanmediashill; partisanmediashills; putin; russia; ukraine; viktoryanukovich; yuliatymoshenko
What is Russian for balderdash and humbug?
1 posted on 03/02/2014 10:57:30 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
What is Russian for balderdash and humbug?

--- Heilbrunn

2 posted on 03/02/2014 11:00:16 AM PST by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
What is Russian for balderdash and humbug?

Russia Today

3 posted on 03/02/2014 11:00:58 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
We all know it was 0bama that led to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, right?

Does this help?

вздор и вздор

4 posted on 03/02/2014 11:01:31 AM PST by SkyDancer (I Believe In The Law Until It Intereferes With Justice.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Obama need to be impeached for gross negligence and ineptitude . He is unworthy to lead our country . Let him return to social activism in South side Chicago


5 posted on 03/02/2014 11:02:37 AM PST by LeoWindhorse
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To: SkyDancer

Heilbrunn is a Communist—a die-hard Soviet loyalist from the days of the Red Empire. My guess is that’s why he’s also loyal to Ubama. To unworthily borrow a Gospel phrase, “To whom will we go, Lord?”


6 posted on 03/02/2014 11:06:21 AM PST by SamuraiScot
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To: SamuraiScot
Heilbrunn is a Communist—a die-hard Soviet loyalist from the days of the Red Empire. My guess is that’s why he’s also loyal to Ubama.

Commies hate Putin. Putin is a lot of things, Commie isn't one of them.

7 posted on 03/02/2014 11:07:08 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

a bowl of cold borsht


8 posted on 03/02/2014 11:09:28 AM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

My prediction is that there will be one, and only one person who will be found to be able to deal with Putin, and at the same time protect the sovereignty of Ukraine, while simultaneously keeping the world safe for women and children. Yes folks, this orchestrated drama, this crisis in World history, can and only be resolved by the one, the only, bullet dodging, commodities trading, healthcare impressario of every totalitarian left wing dream, that globetrotting great communicator of peace, Hillary Rodham Clinton, The Savior.


9 posted on 03/02/2014 11:11:25 AM PST by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

That is some serious spin. I became dizzy just reading the headline.


10 posted on 03/02/2014 11:13:33 AM PST by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: dfwgator
Commies hate Putin. Putin is a lot of things, Commie isn't one of them.

You know you're preaching to the new Useful Idiots?

11 posted on 03/02/2014 11:13:41 AM PST by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
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To: SamuraiScot

Actually all this is very interesting watching 0bama play at being a leader of some sort. Putin in playing chess while 0bama is shooting marbles.


12 posted on 03/02/2014 11:22:41 AM PST by SkyDancer (I Believe In The Law Until It Intereferes With Justice.)
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To: SkyDancer

More like Obama is playing Tiddlywinks.


13 posted on 03/02/2014 11:23:07 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: Talisker

I think I’m gonna puke.


14 posted on 03/02/2014 11:24:20 AM PST by 2111USMC (Aim Small Miss Small)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“Pravda” and “ Izvestia”...


15 posted on 03/02/2014 11:25:11 AM PST by Kozak ("Send them back your fierce defiance! Stamp upon the cursed alliance! To arms, to arms in Dixie!)
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To: dfwgator

Ah, but Tidlywinks takes a bit of finesse - some accuracy. I’m still thinking past marbles to him watching an ant farm and taking his cue’s from them.


16 posted on 03/02/2014 11:27:13 AM PST by SkyDancer (I Believe In The Law Until It Intereferes With Justice.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Living rent-free in Commie heads every day...that “ditz” Palin.


17 posted on 03/02/2014 11:30:35 AM PST by wac3rd (Somewhere in Hell, Ted Kennedy snickers....)
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To: dfwgator
Putin is a lot of things, Commie isn't one of them.

Putin is the former head of the KGB. He knows exactly how to behave as something that is different from what he really is. He has been quite adept at having people to believe that he isn't what he really is.

The peak of the Soviet Empire is what Putin is looking to bring back. That empire was built under the force of communism and tyrannical rule. Putin is still a communist, even if he's managed to convince a lot of the world that he isn't. Obama, on the other hand, has been as adept as Putin about convincing a huge part of a country that he is not a communist either. Both present a persona that is quite different from their real sinister selves.
18 posted on 03/02/2014 11:31:09 AM PST by adorno (Y)
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To: adorno

More “Russian Empire” than “Soviet Empire”. The Soviets weren’t Nationalistic, like Putin is.


19 posted on 03/02/2014 11:32:35 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Jacob Heilbrunn is a writer. People who are writers are generally only that, they have no other apparent skills, avocations, or accomplishments. They write. It seems that Heilbrunn does not even do that very well, except when he uses other people’s words.

http://coreyrobin.com/2012/01/04/houston-we-have-a-problem-a-jacob-heilbrunn-problem/

I don’t know whose words he is using this time, but no doubt he got them over the transom from the Obama story tellers over at the White House busy spinning another fantasy tale about their dear leader.


20 posted on 03/02/2014 11:33:12 AM PST by centurion316
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“Nor is Obama displaying a pussillanimity dating back to his refusal to intervene in Syria. “

First, the misspelled “p@ssy.” Second, I don’t recall Obama refusing to attack Syria. If memory serves he tried very hard to convince Congress and the public that such a move needed to me made to save his cred’ and the unanimous answer was “don’t be stupid.”


21 posted on 03/02/2014 11:34:02 AM PST by FAA
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To: SkyDancer

Shooting marbles is too aggressive for The Won.


22 posted on 03/02/2014 11:36:29 AM PST by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: dfwgator

Bingo.


23 posted on 03/02/2014 11:37:34 AM PST by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I see Kerry issued the journolist talking points: Kerry: Putin now acting out of 'weakness' and 'desperation'
24 posted on 03/02/2014 11:40:27 AM PST by raybbr (Obamacare needs a death panel.)
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To: raybbr

Guys like Heilbrunn make their living by loyally and reliably taking Democrat talking points and repackaging them as their own thoughts. Most, including this guy, are too lazy to find a few synonyms and rearrange the sentence structure to disguise their source. He’s just another useful idiot.


25 posted on 03/02/2014 12:25:08 PM PST by centurion316
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To: dfwgator
The Soviets weren’t Nationalistic, like Putin is.

There are still a large number of Russians that bemoan the loss of the "stature" that the USSR had before the Soviet Empire crumbled, and Putin is using that sense of Russian entitlement to power, in order to work his agenda into place.

It also doesn't matter if there are people in Russia that were not nationalistic, since, they're powerless, and have no control over what Putin does.
26 posted on 03/02/2014 12:52:45 PM PST by adorno (Y)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Uyghur, PLEASE!
27 posted on 03/02/2014 12:57:22 PM PST by Feckless (I was trained by the US << This Tagline Censored by FR >> ain't that irOnic?)
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To: Navy Patriot
You know you're preaching to the new Useful Idiots?

Just positioned where the neo-cons want them. And that position is to be calling for more Obama led aggression even after, Libya, Egypt, Syria and god knows what else. The last thing conservatives should be doing right now is trying to get Emperor Zero to intervene anywhere. He should be tied up in the impeachment court proceedings. Not playing golf and attending parties as the Ukraine burns.

28 posted on 03/02/2014 1:29:52 PM PST by justa-hairyape (The user name is sarcastic. Although at times it may not appear that way.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Russian for humbug? Try “Gavno”


29 posted on 03/02/2014 1:31:23 PM PST by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Obama tells Putin ‘if you like Ukraine you can keep Ukraine’


30 posted on 03/02/2014 6:10:40 PM PST by ncfool (Obama's aMeriKa 2012 The land of entitlement for the 51% crowd.)
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To: dfwgator
Commies hate Putin. Putin is a lot of things, Commie isn't one of them.

That's kind of my point. For Heilbrunn, with the Soviet Empire gone, where can he place his loyalty? 0bama is easily the logical successor for his allegiance.

31 posted on 03/02/2014 9:00:36 PM PST by SamuraiScot
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