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How We Can Make Putin Pay, and Why We Must
National Review ^ | 03/04/2014 | Elliott Abrams

Posted on 03/04/2014 7:15:57 AM PST by SeekAndFind

The usual voices are arguing against any “excessive” American reaction to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

After all, Crimea only became part of Ukraine in 1954. True. And many people there are Russian-speaking and not loyal to Kiev. Also true. And given the geography, we have no military options and neither does the Ukrainian government. Right again. And nothing we can do through sanctions will matter as much to Putin as gaining the Crimea and destabilizing the new, pro-European government in Kiev. Correct.

So why should we do anything? Why throw the Russians out of the G-8, and seek trade and financial sanctions on Russia, and undertake any of the steps that analysts have proposed in the last few days?

There are several powerful arguments for why we must act, even if Putin keeps the Crimea.

First, we don’t know how far he will go — and he probably doesn’t know either. Whether he will seek to break Ukraine in two or place a pro-Putin government in power may depend on the costs we impose. Whether he will in the coming months and years seek to destabilize the Baltic nations — which were also once part of the USSR — may depend on what we do now. It’s wrong to assume Putin has an elaborate plan for 2014 and 2015 that he will follow religiously, and logical to believe that Putin takes advantage of opportunities and weighs costs and benefits.

Second, there is more than Putin to think about. Tyrants in places from Tehran to Beijing will also be wondering about the cost of violating international law and threatening the peace and stability of neighbors. What will China do in neighboring seas, or Iran do in its tiny neighbor Bahrain, if actions like Putin’s go without a response?

Before Obama, there was a sense of world order that relied in large part on America. When Saddam invaded Kuwait and claimed it as his own, we pushed him out. We intervened in the Balkans to restore peace there. Over the decades, we set rules — like “no Soviet missiles in Cuba” and ”no Cuban troops in Africa.” We did not enforce them all by massive military action, but by combinations of large and small military moves, covert action, sanctions, and diplomacy — in any case, we acted. Often it took a long time to achieve our goals, and often we did not achieve the direct goal, but firm responses by the United States and our allies raised the costs of such actions, and thereby deterred nations from copying or repeating them.

The combination of zero action on Syria despite our own declared “red line” and the weakening of the American military sent a dangerous message, and not just to Putin. That makes it all the more important that we make Putin and Russia pay today.

Some actions will be symbolic, like removing Russia from the G-8 (where it should never have been invited anyway), but the symbolism is useful: Russia is a second-rate state, a dictatorship whose economy and demography suggest further decline. We need to hurt the Russian economy and especially those who have gained (or perhaps stolen) the most from it, the oligarchs and Putin himself. This may help restrain future adventurism by Russia, and will be a warning to other leaders and elites. We need to help protect Poland, Georgia, the Baltic states, and the government in Kiev from Russian political and economic pressure. We need to revive NATO, which was after all largely formed to restrain Russia.

All this is important for American interests even if the Crimea situation is viewed as nearly irreversible. In fact, if we think Putin will keep the Crimea, it’s even more important that we make him pay as high a price as possible for his aggression.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Russia
KEYWORDS: historicignorance; neocon; putin; russia; ukraine
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1 posted on 03/04/2014 7:15:57 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

How can we make Putin pay?
Send him a bill?
Tell him to stop what he’s doing or else?
Draw another movable line?
Putin is stitching the USSR back together and obamA is giving him thread.


2 posted on 03/04/2014 7:18:39 AM PST by svcw (Not 'hope and change' but 'dopes in chains')
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To: SeekAndFind

Putin is taking advantage of the power vacuum which is in place... now that the US has a wimp for a President.

Thanks “O”!


3 posted on 03/04/2014 7:19:09 AM PST by SMARTY ("When you blame others, you give up your power to change." Robert Anthony)
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To: SeekAndFind

The reality may be very simple, the Soros Puppets in Washington DC want to “Greece” the Ukrainians.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2014/02/27/washingtons-man-yatsenyuk-setting-ukraine-up-for-ruin/


4 posted on 03/04/2014 7:21:33 AM PST by Grampa Dave ( Obozo Care is a Trinity of Lies! Obozo Care is probably a serious Black Swan event.)
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To: SeekAndFind

A myopic treatise that ignores entirely what the European Union has become.

In any military conflict in which one might become involved you would have to be pretty damned stupid not to consider the motivations and direction of all the parties involved.

Who and what the EU is today is every bit as relevant here as who the Ukrainians and Russians are.


5 posted on 03/04/2014 7:22:37 AM PST by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: MrEdd

Well, number one, they receive all the natural gas they rely on for heating from Russia. Since Germany has decided to close all their nuclear power plants, they would freeze if Russia cut them off.


6 posted on 03/04/2014 7:24:11 AM PST by proxy_user
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To: SeekAndFind
Our Dear Leaders always want to make some foreigner leader "pay".

But guess who really ends up paying.


7 posted on 03/04/2014 7:25:00 AM PST by Iron Munro (Albert Einstein: The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits)
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To: SeekAndFind

Neocons - why do they write such drivel? Stand with Putin.


8 posted on 03/04/2014 7:25:06 AM PST by impimp
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To: SeekAndFind

Unless you are ready to go in there and kick his ass face to face, you can’t do anything at all.

The man is not concerned with sissy western civilization, and neither is anyone else.

We have pissed away respect, strength and fear of that strength, and that is all there is to it.


9 posted on 03/04/2014 7:25:36 AM PST by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Russia has been in Crimea for 3 and a half centuries, and has outright owned it for 2 centuries. It is mostly ethnic Russian population. It is Russia’s warm-water commercial and naval access to the mediterranean. It doesn’t get any more “strategic” for Putin.

Meanwhile, Obama probably had to find Crimea on a map. The choom gang in the Whitehouse is only concerned about his image, and growing America’s welfare state. Besides, its all white people killing each other if a war starts there. Who cares about that?

Obama’s only concern is to get this out of the news as quickly as possible.


10 posted on 03/04/2014 7:26:02 AM PST by PGR88
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To: SeekAndFind

Our politicians found it more important to buy votes and stay in office using our tax money and the resources of the USA.

We really can’t afford to “do anything”. We are 17.3 trillion dollars in debt with a baseline budget that spends one trillion dollars more per year that our government receives in revenue. Our politicians have said with their actions that under no circumstances will spending be cut.

The current generation, our parents and grandparents let our government get out of control. No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size.

We might want to learn some new languages.


11 posted on 03/04/2014 7:26:55 AM PST by listenhillary (Courts, law enforcement, roads and national defense should be the extent of government)
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To: svcw

Putin is not a soviet. What he’s stitching together is the Russian empire. Putin’s a tsar, and has assumed the traditional tsarist task of defining and defending the Christian frontier. I can see why that’s not important to Elliot Abrams, but it is to me.


12 posted on 03/04/2014 7:27:05 AM PST by Romulus
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To: SeekAndFind

Why must we be the only ones making him pay?


13 posted on 03/04/2014 7:27:49 AM PST by DoodleDawg
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To: SeekAndFind
How We Can Make Putin Pay, and Why We Must

Pay for WHAT???

For not allowing the New World Order to be born on Slavic Orthodox soil? For not just sitting there and allowing George Soros, Monsanto, and the US state department to walk off with the Ukraine??

Does anybody actually believe it's possible for Soros to be on the right side of anything??

Unfortunately a lot of people on the right appear to be basically clueless on this one.

14 posted on 03/04/2014 7:29:10 AM PST by varmintman
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To: varmintman

If we try and make him PAY here is what Moscow is contemplating in response.

- dump the dollar as a reserve currency
- stop payments on all loans to American banks
- encourage Russian citizens and others to fire sale any T-bills they hold

Checkmate.

In a nutshell why running up huge debts is lousy national security strategy.


15 posted on 03/04/2014 7:32:08 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: SeekAndFind

If things get really hot, turn the Black Sea into a huge lake, then let’s see ‘em get their fleet out of there.


16 posted on 03/04/2014 7:34:22 AM PST by onedoug
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To: SeekAndFind

Obama has violated the U.S. Constitution since the day he was inaugurated, why would he expect Putin to respect any international agreements? What could possibly give him the moral authority to do so? That is, assuming he had the stones to demand any adherence to those agreements?


17 posted on 03/04/2014 7:35:06 AM PST by EDINVA
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s none of our concern. I don’t see how making Putin pay improves the situation with our tyrannical, out of control government. How do we make Obama pay for destroying this country? That’s a more interesting question.


18 posted on 03/04/2014 7:35:46 AM PST by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: varmintman

Unfortunately, a lot of people on the right also seem to be unaware that sometimes there IS no “right side.”

Putin vs. Soros. To channel Kissinger, it’s too bad they can’t both lose.


19 posted on 03/04/2014 7:37:14 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: SeekAndFind

The first and necessary step in stopping Russia is to replace the white house resident with a constitutionally elected man of Godly character.


20 posted on 03/04/2014 7:38:12 AM PST by Repent and Believe (Promote good. Tolerate the harmless. Let evil be crushed.)
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To: SeekAndFind

When you elect a coward as president, your country is treated like a coward. When you lay your arms down when confronted by an enemy, they consider it surrender.


21 posted on 03/04/2014 7:40:13 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS! BETTER DEAD THAN RED!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Here is another wooly-headed university type (Georgetown) who served in the State Dept. in the Reagan and Bush administrations, but didn’t learn much. It’s really easy to act tough while safely settled in the ivory tower of academia. He should know that your mouth shouldn’t write checks that your actions can’t cash.


22 posted on 03/04/2014 7:42:13 AM PST by txrefugee
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To: SeekAndFind
Why?

Because Putin has been an aggressive imperialist all his life. His burning ambition is to reestablish the Russian empire.

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Poland, Alaska, Finland, and Romania.

All have Russian speaking minorities, all were once a part of the Russian empire, and all have a good reason to fear Russian Military mischief in the future unless the world contest Putin's Military expansionist desires. 1/6 of the worlds landmass once belonged to the Russian Empire. And that is what is really at stake without checking Putin's current mischief in Crimea.

23 posted on 03/04/2014 7:42:36 AM PST by swamprebel (a Constitution once changed from Freedom, can never be restored.)
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To: Romulus

I think he imagines himself a new czar.

He figures Bammy has many czars and he wants to be THE czar.


24 posted on 03/04/2014 7:43:19 AM PST by TurboZamboni (Marx smelled bad and lived with his parents .)
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To: SeekAndFind

We won’t.

And no one will remember Crimea a year from now.

In punishing Russia, we’re really punishing ourselves. We need Putin more than he needs us.

I don’t see the punitive measures against Russia going anywhere anytime soon.


25 posted on 03/04/2014 7:43:56 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: SeekAndFind

The horse has already left the barn. America’s impotence and weakness, courtesy of Obama, invited it. There’s really not much to do. Other than ramp up our energy development big-time.

Besides, as a concern, Putin taking Crimea is small potatoes, compared to the current decay and disintegration of America. Economically, culturally, and morally, this country is in a death-spiral.


26 posted on 03/04/2014 7:44:44 AM PST by greene66
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To: impimp

You don’t have to stand with Putin to despise neocons. What I think is funny is the neocons’ breathless reporting about places like Crimea, Abkhazia, Ossetia, as if they’ve always been thinking about them and concerned about what goes on there. Will Putin move on Moldova, Schizvanli, or Spingali? Who cares? He took over a huge part of Georgia. Great, we have a Marxist in our White House. Will kicking Putin out of Crimea raise my salary or put food on my table? It might lower gas prices, probably not, but a better way to lower prices is to get the Marxists out of DC.


27 posted on 03/04/2014 7:47:00 AM PST by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: demshateGod

I might give anti-Putin rhetoric if two things were true:
1. I thought American long-term interests lie with supporting the EU and its enviro-wackos over the Russians who rightly reject homosexuality.
2. Putin was morally and legally wrong to do what he did.

Neither is the case.


28 posted on 03/04/2014 7:51:36 AM PST by impimp
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To: swamprebel

Oh and when you add in China’s expansionist desires, you create a world economy where the US, is just another thrid world player. Your ability to buy goods and food will be NOTHING like the posterity your used to.


29 posted on 03/04/2014 7:51:56 AM PST by swamprebel (a Constitution once changed from Freedom, can never be restored.)
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To: swamprebel

Poland has very few Russians.


30 posted on 03/04/2014 7:53:47 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: greene66

Amen! We’ve had a coup right here and we’re talking about punishing Putin?


31 posted on 03/04/2014 7:54:06 AM PST by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: SeekAndFind

When’s Elliot Abrams going to start worrying about North Korea? Maybe then I can start taking him seriously.


32 posted on 03/04/2014 7:54:50 AM PST by Romulus
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To: dfwgator

Russian minority in Poland consists of 13,000 people (according to the Polish census of 2011)

In the past - the times of the Second Polish Republic, partitions of Poland and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth - the number of Russians within Polish borders was much higher, over 100,000.

But the current number is enough for Putin to send in troops under the guise of protection.

Poland was a part of the Russian Empire, and that’s Putins goal, to reestablish Czarist Russian Empire.


33 posted on 03/04/2014 7:58:54 AM PST by swamprebel (a Constitution once changed from Freedom, can never be restored.)
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To: demshateGod

Your fierce protection of war criminal Putin makes one wonder if you have any material interest in Russia. We have international obligations, whether you like them or not. One of them is to protect Ukraine in case of invasion. Not keeping our promise just empowers the bully and makes us look weak - the liberal dream. Are you a closet liberal, by any chance?


34 posted on 03/04/2014 7:59:49 AM PST by Samogon (Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. - Plato)
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To: impimp

Well, that’s been America’s prime foreign policy of late... promoting homosex around the globe.

With that level of depravity in the leaders who guide our policies, I’m not about to ever even remotely assume America is going to be on the right side of these conflicts anymore. That is, if Egypt, Libya, and Syria hadn’t already made this argument.


35 posted on 03/04/2014 7:59:52 AM PST by greene66
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To: swamprebel
In the past - the times of the Second Polish Republic, partitions of Poland and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth - the number of Russians within Polish borders was much higher, over 100,000.

In Pre-War Poland, ethnic Poles were 70% of the population....most others were Jews and Ukrainians and some Volksdeutsche. Today it's about 95% ethnically Polish.

36 posted on 03/04/2014 8:01:12 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_minority_in_Poland


37 posted on 03/04/2014 8:03:37 AM PST by swamprebel (a Constitution once changed from Freedom, can never be restored.)
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To: impimp

American long-term interests lie with opposing international war criminals, preferably with military force.
Putin was and is legally and morally wrong invading Ukraine - there is plenty of evidence that “reasons” for invasion were forged, despite your Russian convictions.


38 posted on 03/04/2014 8:04:54 AM PST by Samogon (Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. - Plato)
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To: Samogon

Wow! 10 years on FR and I’ve finally been found out! Fierce protection? You must have me confused with someone else.


39 posted on 03/04/2014 8:09:35 AM PST by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: swamprebel
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/03/04/uk-turkey-russia-idUKBREA2314820140304

Turkey scrambles jets after Russian plane flies near its Black Sea coast.

40 posted on 03/04/2014 8:11:19 AM PST by swamprebel (a Constitution once changed from Freedom, can never be restored.)
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To: svcw; SMARTY; Grampa Dave
Let's say we stepped in...

Then what?

Rebuild some schools - push gay marriage? Kerry would be orchestrating the aftermath of a war - much like Hillary did... think about that one...

Kerry and Obama could easily lose any victory - and would create larger problems.

41 posted on 03/04/2014 8:12:13 AM PST by GOPJ ("Putin's playing chess ... we;re playing marbles" - - Mike Rogers - R-Mich)
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To: Samogon

You will know how the people of Crimea feel if a conservative President from Texas (pretend you also live in Texas) is elected and then an army of homos, envirowackos, welfare cases, and IRS agents stage a coup and force the President to flee to Texas. This army of misfits then makes Sean Penn President.

He was not legally impeached, by the way, in Ukraine.


42 posted on 03/04/2014 8:14:37 AM PST by impimp
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To: swamprebel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZolXrjGIBJs

In a report on the Kremlin-funded Russia Today television station, Abby Martin said she “wanted to say something from my heart about the ongoing political crisis in Ukraine and Russia’s military occupation of Crimea”.


43 posted on 03/04/2014 8:16:41 AM PST by swamprebel (a Constitution once changed from Freedom, can never be restored.)
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To: GOPJ

There is this thing called ‘diplomacy’... that is, a thoroughgoing command of the history and traditions (NOT just personal ideology), political and social niceties and the refined skill of working with your allies and adversaries.

“O”, in his complete and continuous unfitness for the Presidency of the United States of America (a super power), is blissfully unaware that ‘diplomacy’ even exists, MUCH LESS that it is THE primary business of his ‘job’ as President.


44 posted on 03/04/2014 8:22:27 AM PST by SMARTY ("When you blame others, you give up your power to change." Robert Anthony)
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To: impimp

Don’t forget to put some “fascist” and “nazi” in your mix, or it will be incomplete.
Don’t try to make morons out of all of the folks in Crimea - some of them actually see things not through the Russian propaganda glasses.


45 posted on 03/04/2014 8:22:28 AM PST by Samogon (Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. - Plato)
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To: demshateGod

Sorry, it was meant for another commenter.
My apologies.


46 posted on 03/04/2014 8:25:31 AM PST by Samogon (Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. - Plato)
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To: SeekAndFind
A little history, wiki

In 1774, the Crimean Khans fell under Russian influence with the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca and, in 1783, the entire Crimea was annexed by the Russian Empire.

The ethnic makeup comprised the following self-reported groups: Russians: 58.32%; Ukrainians: 24.32%; Crimean Tatars: 12.1%; Belarusians: 1.44%; Tatars: 0.54%; Armenians: 0.43%; Jews: 0.22%, Greeks: 0.15% and others

The Crimea belongs to Russia, they have fought several wars to keep it. They are not going to let it go.

47 posted on 03/04/2014 8:25:40 AM PST by jpsb (Believe nothing until it has been officially denied)
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To: Samogon

Wouldn’t it be cool though, if I really was a Russian propaganda agent and you found me out? Then I would come after you. You could use whatever skill you have for your profession to evade capture, and finally expose a deep plot that goes all the up to the White House!

Actually, I’m just an architect in Kansas City. The guy in the cube next to me is Russian. I’m going to pretend he’s a secret agent.


48 posted on 03/04/2014 8:26:22 AM PST by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: SeekAndFind
The US State Department, American private sector business elites, using public and private resources, have been working on bringing Ukraine into the Western sphere of influence for 20 years.

The US State Department openly admits their efforts to bring Ukraine within the Western sphere of influence.

Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, admitted (on video) that the US has spent $5 billion on making this happen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2fYcHLouXY

Much of the funding undoubtedly went through the typical channel, USAID. USAID has worked in tandem with international corporations to invest and do business in Ukraine for the last 20 years.

Kraft foods has done business in Ukraine for nearly 20 years.

The Black Sea Fleet is considered to have been founded in 1783.
49 posted on 03/04/2014 8:28:05 AM PST by PieterCasparzen (We have to fix things ourselves)
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To: SeekAndFind
"Over the decades, we set rules — like “no Soviet missiles in Cuba”

The Soviets actually won. We promised that we would not invade Cuba and that we would pull our ICBMs from Turkey. The story that Kennedy stared down the Russians is a myth told by the Dems and accepted by Americans to make ourselves feel better.

50 posted on 03/04/2014 8:32:43 AM PST by Pecos (The Chicago Way: Kill the Constitution, one step at a time.)
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