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A Tortured Policy Toward Russia
NYT ^ | March 26, 2014 | By IAN BREMMER

Posted on 03/26/2014 9:45:55 PM PDT by Jim Robinson

THE United States has once again twisted itself into a rhetorical pretzel. As when it threatened military action against Syria if a “red line” was crossed, the Obama administration’s rhetoric about Russia and Ukraine goes far beyond what it will be willing and able to enforce.

Earlier this month, President Obama warned that America would “isolate Russia” if it grabbed more land, and yesterday, he suggested that more sanctions were possible. Likewise, Secretary of State John Kerry said the Group of 7 nations were “prepared to go to the hilt” in order to isolate Russia.

But Washington’s rhetoric is dangerously excessive, for three main reasons: Ukraine is far more important to Vladimir V. Putin than it is to America; it will be hard for the United States and Europe to make good on their threats of crippling sanctions; and other countries could ultimately defang them.

First, the United States needs to see the Ukraine crisis from Russia’s viewpoint. Threats from America and Europe will never be the determining factor in Mr. Putin’s decision making. Ukraine is Russia’s single biggest national security issue beyond its borders, and Mr. Putin’s policy, including whether to seize more of Ukraine, will be informed overwhelmingly by national security interests, not near-term economics.

Furthermore, Russia has provided Ukraine with some $200-$300 billion in natural gas subsidies since 1991. With an anti-Russian government in Ukraine, Moscow is likely to stop these subsidies, lifting a major economic burden just as the West tries to squeeze it financially.

Second, if Russia pushes farther into Ukraine, America’s attempt at tougher Iran-style sanctions, coordinated with allies, will ultimately fail. Indeed, if Mr. Putin pursues a broader military campaign, a similarly robust response from both America and Europe is unlikely.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: epicfail; obama; putin; russia; ukraine

1 posted on 03/26/2014 9:45:55 PM PDT by Jim Robinson
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To: Jim Robinson

Blast that Russian weakness! Would they were strong; then they’d be so nice to us . . . (saith the POTUS)


2 posted on 03/26/2014 9:49:20 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Jim Robinson
Last verbiage of article:
and an end to empty threats.
That is a worry if obama and his minions stop with their threats and actually do something. For every action there is an opposite and equal or greater than equal reaction. With obama and his minions leading a nuclear exchange is not out of the realm of possibility (imho). Would be wonderful to see the lame-stream media go after obama like they went after Nixon. obama is a present and ongoing threat to much of the life on this planet should he misstep again. Nixon is dead, so the media will not be able to blame Nixon.
3 posted on 03/26/2014 9:58:06 PM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: Jim Robinson

Obama is a total putz ....
We need a leadership that will befriend and ally with Russia for the much greater cause of the worldwide defeat of radical islam , not challenge Russia with petty sanctions , over an issue that is none of our business .
Russia is a natural ally in the Global War on Islamist Terror. It is helping curb growing AQ power in Syria by supporting Assad , yet the Obama-Kerry-Powers cabal are clueless to that and could care less .
Obama is going to screw around and we will find ourselves totally cut off from the International Space Station and cut off from the only other reliable route into Afghanistan , other than the on again off again Pak route .

A movement needs to develop in this country that clearly states : OBAMA DOES NOT SPEAK FOR US ( nor any of his ill advising minions ) Say it loud , say it proud . This dude is not our President . He’s a failure and an impediment for America’s future and prosperity .


4 posted on 03/26/2014 9:59:29 PM PDT by LeoWindhorse
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To: All

5 posted on 03/26/2014 10:02:49 PM PDT by kingattax (America needs more real Americans.)
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To: Jim Robinson

“it will be hard for the United States and Europe to make good on their threats of crippling sanctions”

Europe sanctioning them would be us sanctioning Saudi Arabia. Or a crackhead sanctioning his favorite dealer.
And has Obama considered that Russia might return the favor?
They might dump the dollar,, they might decide not to give NASA a seat on the only rockets going to the space station, they might kick us out of the bases they let the US military use for the Afghan logistical effort.

It’s insane to think they can’t hurt us and the EU back in response to any sanctions. And it’s also insane to think they wouldn’t dare respond in some of those manners.

And you are 100% right.
1) They view Kiev as the very cradle of Russian culture. We see it as a checkers piece to move in the board.
2) They have been in Crimea since Catherine the Great.
3) Though it is often denied, there is a strong and open neo-Nazi element firmly in charge in Kiev.
3) Russia will never allow that Nazi seed to grow stronger.
5) Obama,, monkey with a hand grenade.


6 posted on 03/26/2014 10:03:15 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: Jim Robinson

I heard one of FOX News military commentators say that Russia’s oil and gas pipelines traverse all parts of the Ukraine and that Putin needs to occupy the whole country to protect his energy corridor.

http://l.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/FFqt8a8W0PonL0qm7m1L0g—/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7Zmk9ZmlsbDtoPTQyMTtweG9mZj01MDtweW9mZj0wO3E9NzU7dz03NDk-/http://media.zenfs.com/en_us/News/afp.com/bf2059dba2294c8a775b6b62537b57f3ec7d3607.jpg


7 posted on 03/26/2014 10:03:22 PM PDT by Brad from Tennessee (A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.)
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To: Jim Robinson

This author is right: The Marxist can’t punish Putin, but I doubt that he will properly support Kiev. Obama lives in a dream world.


8 posted on 03/26/2014 10:03:27 PM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: LeoWindhorse

Exactly. Though it must not be said,, the 2 big nations of the north have a dire interest in saving the world from islam.

The EU is useless in that effort.


9 posted on 03/26/2014 10:05:58 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: Brad from Tennessee

Yup. Putin is not going to walk away and let this recent coup stand. Wonder how much truth is behind the theory that Obama’s CIA was behind this mess? A Ukranian Spring so to speak.


10 posted on 03/26/2014 10:07:27 PM PDT by Jim Robinson (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God!!)
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To: Jim Robinson

Ironically, the -single- thing Obama could do that would hurt the Russians is the one thing he will utterly refuse to do.

Build Keystone, and utterly unleash fracking everywhere.


11 posted on 03/26/2014 10:07:48 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: onyx

Obama’s dreams are the world’s nightmares. That guy ain’t right in the head.


12 posted on 03/26/2014 10:09:11 PM PDT by Jim Robinson (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God!!)
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To: DesertRhino

Yup. Palin’s been right from the very stat. Drill, baby, drill!!


13 posted on 03/26/2014 10:10:29 PM PDT by Jim Robinson (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God!!)
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To: Jim Robinson

I expect democrats and libtards to be clueless, but I’m seeing, sadly, evidence of major cluelessness on the part of Republicans and conservatives on this issue. Does anybody really believe that George Soros, Victoria Nuland, and John Kerry have suddenly become good people or could even possibly be on the right side of anything?


14 posted on 03/26/2014 10:12:14 PM PDT by varmintman
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To: LeoWindhorse
It is helping curb growing AQ power in Syria by supporting Assad...

There's more to that picture than that. Russians take the protection of Christianity and Christians seriously. Christianity and Christians would have no home in Syria if the people we are supporting there were to win.

15 posted on 03/26/2014 10:15:02 PM PDT by varmintman
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To: Brad from Tennessee

Nope, Putin doesn’t need the pipelines. The EU does desperately though. Who owns the Ukraine pipelines is not a big deal.
What matters is that Russia shoves gas into one end, and that the EU needs it coming out of the other. Owning the pipeline only matters if Ukraine won’t send it on down the line. But if the Ukrainians won’t send it on through to the EU, Russia doesn’t need to lift a finger. They cut off the gas because it is being stolen, and let the EU straighten out the Ukies.
When Tymeshenko the gas billionaire refused to pay market price, Russia turned off the spigot. They got their result without needing to invade.

About the only reason to invade would be in the Uki-nazis start blowing up the lines inside Ukraine. But that turns Russia and Ukraine against them.
And Europe gets cold.


16 posted on 03/26/2014 10:15:56 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: Jim Robinson

Obama is just some idiot dope smoking hippie teenager from Hawaii. He knows nothing about foreign policy, economics, science or anything.


17 posted on 03/26/2014 10:22:59 PM PDT by NaturalBornC1t1zen (Communist, muslim & homosexual. Hey lofo voters... you hit the trifecta with bambi.)
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To: Jim Robinson

I’m seeing a pattern. Farmers in the central valley of California plead for water to save their farms, Obastard declines and offers more welfare. Ukrainians plead for arms and ammo to defend themselves from the Russians, Obastard declines and offers MREs.

Man, that’s one effed up world view right there, Jim. Even FDR would have recoiled at it.


18 posted on 03/26/2014 10:23:32 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: varmintman

roger this

right on


19 posted on 03/26/2014 10:31:25 PM PDT by LeoWindhorse
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To: Jim Robinson

Stupid, stupid, American voters, and I include the GOP primary voters, but dear God, even given the lousy choice between the Marxist and Romney ... at least Romney understood world affairs when compared to the totally inept, arrogant and smug Marxist.

Iran will surely get the bomb, and I can’t barely wait to see him try to work the new Pope and then go on to bow again to the Saudi’s. I hope the Saudi’s treat him like the POS he most assuredly IS.


20 posted on 03/26/2014 10:32:31 PM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: NaturalBornC1t1zen

I know this is hard to get our minds around, but the average person here is more well read and more intelligent. He is little more than an actor reading scripts and “playing” the role of president.

I do not give him credit as some intelligent evil genius. He is simply the hip marketable face of a weather underground cell, of a revolutionary socialist movement, which obtained very good financial backing as they got older.
But he is essentially nothing but a role player, and not very bright. Watch the unscripted moments. He’s a true stoner and it shows.


21 posted on 03/26/2014 10:33:49 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: onyx

“and I include the GOP primary voters,,”

Its time to stop blaming the primary voters for McCain, and then Romney. The GOP by blueprint has built a process to prevent another Reagan ascending to the top. They never want that to happen again.

It’s done with caucuses in Iowa, the most progressive state imaginable. Then it’s off to New England, (the GOPe theme park). It’s open caucuses, and crossover voting in the first states. It’s 25 debates that have 9 participants. It’s the GOP remaining silent when Sarah was savaged, and deliberately letting her deal with utterly vile attacks.

In truth, the voters have very few ways to overcome the GOP structural barriers to conservatism.


22 posted on 03/26/2014 10:41:55 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: Jim Robinson

“Wonder how much truth is behind the theory that Obama’s CIA was behind this mess?”

Lots of it, unfortunately, and the evidence begins with Victoria Nuland, and the US Embassy in Kiev, coordinating with the NGO’s financing the ‘Revolutionary” groups.

All the US Media, but Fox, of course, acted like this call never happened. It never made any of the evening Network News shows.
http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/140207/us-diplomat-sorry-cursing-eu-bugged-ukraine-call


23 posted on 03/26/2014 10:50:25 PM PDT by tcrlaf (Well, it is what the Sheeple voted for....)
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To: Jim Robinson

Putin is going to make sure Iran has a nuclear weapon.


24 posted on 03/26/2014 11:29:00 PM PDT by elhombrelibre (Against Obama. Against Putin. Pro-freedom.)
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To: Brad from Tennessee

” Russia’s oil and gas pipelines traverse all parts of the Ukraine”
________________________________________________
The Druuzhba pipeline came into Slovakia from Ukraine.
I lived at the Slovnaft refinery in Bratislava for three years. Slovnaft was supplied by the Druzhba line.
Disruption of this line could cause considerable problems
for central Europe.


25 posted on 03/26/2014 11:32:02 PM PDT by AlexW
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To: Jim Robinson

I am worried that Putin will go for the whole ball of wax

Ukraine as a strategic buffer is important to Russia

Ukraine is also highly valuable ecenomically iron ore coal huge agricultural sector and big industrial base.

We will run our mouth but won’t actually do anything except draw another red line


26 posted on 03/27/2014 3:57:55 AM PDT by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: Jim Robinson

27 posted on 03/27/2014 5:10:17 AM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan
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To: Jim Robinson

There’s no truth to it at all. That’s just Russian propaganda.


28 posted on 03/27/2014 11:32:40 AM PDT by Red White and Blue patriot (USA all the way. Love it or Leave it. Ted Cruz 2016)
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