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Why Putin Plays Our Presidents for Fools
National Journal ^ | Ron Fournier

Posted on 03/29/2014 11:35:17 PM PDT by nickcarraway

I looked into his eyes once, and what I saw scared me half to death.

In June 2001, George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin ended their first face-to-face meeting with an outdoor news conference beneath a craggy mountaintop in Slovenia. "Is this a man that Americans can trust?" I asked Bush as Putin glared at me.

"Yes," Bush replied, before allowing Putin to answer a separate question. A few minutes later, the American president elaborated: "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul, a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country," Bush said, adding a few sentence later, "I wouldn't have invited him to my ranch if I didn't trust him."

While Bush spoke, Putin fixed his eyes on mine—a look so cold and dark that I wondered whether those eyes were, for some unfortunate Cold Warriors, the last thing they saw.

Disclosure: I don't pretend to read people as well as Bush, nor am I a foreign policy expert. Just three months after the Slovenia summit, Putin cooperated with Bush during the 9/11 attacks, and did so more broadly in the months that followed. Perhaps Bush saw goodness in Putin. And perhaps I spotted something else, because Russia's advances on Georgia in 2008 and on Ukraine today suggest that Putin is an easy guy to misjudge.

In the summer of 2008, Putin and Bush were in Beijing for the Olympics when Russian troops moved into Georgia in response to what the Kremlin called Georgian aggression against South Ossetia. Peter Baker of The New York Times described the U.S. response:

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


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections; Russia
KEYWORDS: bhorussia; coldwar2; obama; presidents; putin; russia

1 posted on 03/29/2014 11:35:18 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

President Putin acted because this was his chance. And he’d have been a fool not to take advantage of it.

He was acting quite rationally and we’re offended that he did.

The West really needs to get over it.


2 posted on 03/29/2014 11:53:29 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: nickcarraway

Nothing happens when I go to the link.


3 posted on 03/30/2014 12:01:01 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The tree of liberty needs a rope.)
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To: nickcarraway

What I believe Bush was saying when he said he could “trust” Putin, was that he could trust Putin to act like Putin, which means he would act in his own or Russia’s self interest at all times and would be just as courteous and just as ruthless as a professional poker player at the table of a high stakes game.

The trick, and this is something that Republicans understand instinctively but Democrats can never seem to grasp, is that it IS a serious high stakes game with long range consequences and that whenever a nation has an opportunity to advance its agenda it has a moral obligation to do so.

Russians prefer Conservative Presidents because they know their limits, they know what they can get away with, they know what they can’t get away with, so things remain stable. And Russians like stability.

Democrats, although they provide much in the way of the above mentioned opportunities for mischief, are still viewed by Russians as contemptuous lickspittles who spend too much time kissing the asses of grubby foreigners and nowhere near enough time tending America’s knitting, which is (in Russia’s view and what should be ours) their only real job.

That’s it in a nutshell. Democrats expect to be loved when they betray America, but strangely, other nations look at as an appalling and revolting characteristic in a leader — even if they are willing to take advantage of it.


4 posted on 03/30/2014 12:02:26 AM PDT by Ronin (Dumb, dependent and Democrat is no way to go through life - Rep. L. Gohmert, Tex)
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To: nickcarraway

Let’s be clear about one thing: Georgia did in fact invade South Ossetia in 2008, in a pre-planned operation. No serious person disputes that. Whatever you think of whether or not that was justifed or of Russia’s response, that’s what happened.

Anyone who would try to mislead about that fact has little credibility.


5 posted on 03/30/2014 12:03:02 AM PDT by Monmouth78
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To: nickcarraway
Interesting article. The main takeaway should be that countries and leaders should be expected to act in their best interests, and once that is understood then the rest is easy to understand. That is what President Bush saw, and this can be proven by reading the entire 'I saw his soul' conversation. Yes, he said he saw his soul, but that he saw a man who was completely focused on HIS country.

Now, when it comes to S.Ossetia and, more recently, Crimea, Putin and Russia had very little to lose. They are more than willing to eat any sanctions for getting that territory, particularly since all they need to do is make peace with the West once the territory is theirs. That is how Georgia lost its territory, and how Ukraine just lost territory (hence the talks between Putin and Obama ....a repeat of the talks between Putin and Bush after the Georgia beating). The West will be all too willing to ignore Crimea is 'no new' moves arise.

This same situation will be repeated in five years. I'm willing to take bets on the next target country ....there are at least four strong options.

6 posted on 03/30/2014 12:41:28 AM PDT by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
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To: goldstategop

Yeah, the west needs to think, feel, and love Putin as you do. LOL


7 posted on 03/30/2014 12:48:35 AM PDT by elhombrelibre (Against Obama. Against Putin. Pro-freedom.)
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To: Carry_Okie
It worked when I checked it, but here it is again: Why Putin Plays Our Presidents for Fools
8 posted on 03/30/2014 12:50:11 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: spetznaz

Certainly, Russia has a tremendous geopolitical interest in Crimea and the Ukraine. That doesn’t mean that they have nothing to lose.Putin has been great at playing weak hands, but they are still weak hands. Grabbing Crimea and the Ukraine is the easy part. At some point, the Ukraine, Chechnya, etc. will likely blow up in Putin’s face.


9 posted on 03/30/2014 12:54:05 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: spetznaz

Since the time of the Mongols (at least) the Ukraine is necessary for Russia to feel secure. Think of it as their Monroe Doctrine. The West may not like it, but they don’t need to get involved until Russia enters Poland.


10 posted on 03/30/2014 12:56:00 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway
Two successive presidents have failed to realize that Putin, a former KGB officer, does not think like them and does not act in accordance with Western rules and customs, and that a fast-changing post-Cold War world is filled with opportunistic leaders who, like Putin, recognize that a retrenched United States creates a leadership vacuum that they can fill, brutally.

Blah blah. We chased Putin to a protective stance for his country. And the first time I was in Russia I do recall finding them to be rather steely in nature. They think we are strange for being so gushy and smiley. Ugly Americanism at its best in this piece. Well yes, rocket scientist, when you visit other countries they do have their own unique culture. They are not western - does everyone have to be a carbon copy of the US?

Putin sent Bush a card just recently as I recall and they still consider themselves to be friends from afar.

11 posted on 03/30/2014 1:02:10 AM PDT by MarMema (Run Ted Run)
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To: goldstategop
The West really needs to get over it.

Agreed.

12 posted on 03/30/2014 1:03:22 AM PDT by MarMema (Run Ted Run)
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To: MarMema

I would be more concerned about trusting odumbo instead of Putin. I see Putin as someone who will tell it to you straight from the shoulder, a “what you see is what you get” kind of guy. Odumbo on the other hand will not look you in the eye when he speaks. He stammers all over the place trying to get his point across (which to me means he is lying)and his history shows us he cannot be trusted.
I think Putin is using odumbo’s weakness as a tool to give himself more credibility and it is working.


13 posted on 03/30/2014 2:59:25 AM PDT by DaveA37
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To: nickcarraway

Those who voted for Obama thought that they were making a statement about racism. These people thought that the world would celebrate this. Unfortunately, the world read this as a sign of stupidity and weakness. All the world needed to do is look at Africa to see what would happen in the US.

The world is not unicorns and rainbows. It is aggressive. When it sees weakness (Obama), it takes advantage of it. The Liberals are finally seeing this, although they will never admit it. The US voluntarily gave up its position as the most powerful and respected country in the world. It will not be easy to regain the world’s respect.


14 posted on 03/30/2014 3:34:56 AM PDT by Cowboy Bob (They are called "Liberals" because the word "parasite" was already taken.)
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To: Progov
I would be more concerned about trusting odumbo instead of Putin.

Yep. Obama has an established record of lying to Americans with an eye on tearing America down.
15 posted on 03/30/2014 4:02:49 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Progov
I personally think we are in deep for something that is coming and with a leader/president who is a complete ding=dong.

The plane disappears (etc, etc), Iran steps out and blames us for kidnapping it almost immediately after it happened, our satellite to protect the east coast was not able to be launched because of a fire in the radar system only hours before the scheduled launch ( and the next launch will not go up for 3 weeks), and now Israel has closed all of their embassies worldwide over a pay dispute. Not sure I am buying the pay dispute to bring home all of your embassy staff worldwide.

16 posted on 03/30/2014 4:06:08 AM PDT by MarMema (Run Ted Run)
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To: Progov

Hi Progov.

Thank you for your thoughts; I agree with them.

Decades ago Robert Ringer wrote a book named “Winning Through Intimidation.” Among other things, he examined different power structures in business. He proposed the theory that there are three types in business:

“a. There are only three types of people in the business world
“Type 1: Lets you know that he’s out to get all of your chips. Then he tries to do just that.
“Type 2: Assures you that he’s not interested in getting your chips. Then he tries to grab all of your chips anyway.
“Type 3: Assures you that he’s not interested in getting your chips, and honestly means it. However, in the end, he tries to grab all of your chips anyway.
“b. In business, no one ever does anything for anybody else without expecting to gain something in return.”

If geopolitics were business, Putin is a Type 1. He will take your chips if not thwarted. Obama is a Type 2. He stumbles over himself with his false protestations, and then seizes your chips.

Gwjack


17 posted on 03/30/2014 4:11:30 AM PDT by gwjack (May God give America His richest blessings.)
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To: MarMema

“Well yes, rocket scientist, when you visit other countries they do have their own unique culture.”

Unique in the the different ways that they suck. We have
our own Russian microcosms right here. Like New York and
Kalyfornia and they suck just the same.

“We chased Putin to a protective stance for his country.”

I don’t think the protective stance was for his country
but his own personal power though he has made total fools
of the Obama and F’n Kerry. But then you don’t have to be
a “rocket scientist” to know that.

Of course having democrat and democrat lite presidents
(the past four) has emboldened him. A good conservative
with some guts will slap the punk around like he does the
current regime.

In other words, Putin is just a punk bully, taking advantage
of a weak American president, again. He fears a conservative
president as much as the liberal left do, here at home.


18 posted on 03/30/2014 4:24:08 AM PDT by Slambat
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To: Slambat
Read much about Ziggy? Under Carter he openly proposed that we attempt to divide Russia into many small countries, so that we could stay stronger and more powerful. I believe he wrote a few books about it as well.

I have spent a lot of time in Russia and had many fun experiences. It doesn't have to be your favorite culture in the world but I enjoy it. Speaking the language helps. Nevertheless it is stupid to expect the entire world to embrace western lifestyles and cultures. Just as there are places I would never go and places I did visit and hated... I would not expect them all to have to be carbon copies of us though.

19 posted on 03/30/2014 4:30:59 AM PDT by MarMema (Run Ted Run)
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To: Slambat

Oh and remember when we led the bombing of and splitting up of Serbia? That was ok but Putin going for Crimea was not.


20 posted on 03/30/2014 4:31:49 AM PDT by MarMema (Run Ted Run)
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To: goldstategop

The tendency is to believe that Putin is a communist KGB dictator bent on taking over the world.

He is none of the above . In reality he is leader of a third rate nation that may still be in serious decline. If not still negative, the curve is so flat to seem in decline. The men are alcoholic. The women are so scared of life they don’t bear enough children to halt the population decline.

Russia has been consistently unable to use the vast resources and people to emerge into the present as a capable nation. Russia has only two strong attributes. Russia has vast natural resources, especially oil, to sell. Russia has the capability to design and manufacture weapons.

Russia was handed the opportunity to be what China is now and then screwed it up. The capital invested was essentially stolen. Those in charge didn’t understands that profits make businesses grow and took the return on sales and spent them on condos in France or Switzerland.

Putain sees his job not as conquering the world but as stabilizing and saving Mother Russia. The success in doing that job is not yet certain.


21 posted on 03/30/2014 4:46:12 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... History is a process, not an event)
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To: Monmouth78
Let’s be clear about one thing: Georgia did in fact invade South Ossetia in 2008, in a pre-planned operation.

Concurring bump.

22 posted on 03/30/2014 5:02:44 AM PDT by mac_truck ( Aide toi et dieu t aidera)
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To: nickcarraway
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3138918/posts?page=19#19
23 posted on 03/30/2014 5:35:07 AM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: nickcarraway


24 posted on 03/30/2014 6:07:04 AM PDT by Iron Munro (The future ain't what it use to be -- Yogi Berra)
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To: nickcarraway
BECAUSE THEY ARE FOOLS!

And even bigger FOOLS are the people who vote them into office.

25 posted on 03/30/2014 6:09:29 AM PDT by Savage Beast (Hubris and denial overwhelm Western Civilization. Nemesis and tragedy always follow.)
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To: bert
In reality he is leader of a third rate nation that may still be in serious decline

That is not correct, they are resurgent. The Russian fertility rates bottomed out in the early 2000's and are now 1.7 and rising. Ours is 1.9 and slowly falling.

I was looking up surge barriers in another thread yesterday where every single poster here thought we should just abandon NYC and northern NJ. That idea has it's merits but that kind of negativity doesn't exist in Russia. Putin just completed the Soviet era barrier to protect St. Petersburg which is 16 miles long. Our barrier from Sandy Hook to Breezy Point would be only 1/3 of that distance and have similar technical challenges although require more armor on the Atlantic side. But unlike modern Russia we will do nothing except blame the Koch brothers for sea level rise.

26 posted on 03/30/2014 6:12:54 AM PDT by palmer (There's someone in my lead but it's not me)
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To: palmer

I said may..... one year or even two does not make a trend


27 posted on 03/30/2014 6:15:51 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... History is a process, not an event)
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To: bert

The city birth rates are still pretty low there (1.5) and the rural rates are probably partly induced by Islam. Still, outside of birthrates, our decline into socialist squalor is precipitous. I drove around some barrios last time I was in California. We have similar conditions developing in Northern Virginia (e.g. Herndon). The birth rates are pretty high there but by illegals. Our economic “growth” has come mainly from Fed-printed dollars. Unless we get a huge change in our politics we are screwed much more than Russia on their trajectory.


28 posted on 03/30/2014 6:24:44 AM PDT by palmer (There's someone in my lead but it's not me)
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To: nickcarraway

Notice how Ron Fournier can’t bring himself to criticize Obama without reaching back into the past and dragging George Bush into it?


29 posted on 03/30/2014 6:24:47 AM PDT by Iron Munro (The future ain't what it use to be -- Yogi Berra)
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To: nickcarraway

30 posted on 03/30/2014 6:35:10 AM PDT by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: nickcarraway
It worked when I checked

I suspect it did. When I tried the home page, that was down too, so I think it was the whole site.

31 posted on 03/30/2014 7:05:47 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The tree of liberty needs a rope.)
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To: goldstategop

From my associations with those that have come to America, to get out of the crumbling Soviet Russia and ukraine, back in the ‘90’s, never has a line from a book, and into a movie, be more true:
“The Russians don’t take a, ahem, dump, without a plan.”
(Thanks to Tom Clancy for that one.)

We try to make political awards out of our future socio/political/no military/financial governmental budgets. WE haven’t really ‘got it’, when coming to anything long term for the country, because of ‘how will it benefit the budgetmakers, first.’ syndrome.

The Russians, don’t.


32 posted on 03/30/2014 7:06:45 AM PDT by Terry L Smith
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To: spetznaz
I'm willing to take bets on the next target country ....there are at least four strong options.

I'm curious, are any of those four NATO members (for example, the Baltic states)? In other words, do you think Putin willing to test NATO?

33 posted on 03/30/2014 7:19:07 AM PDT by Leaning Right (Why am I holding this lantern? I am looking for the next Reagan.)
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To: nickcarraway

ow the left begions to vilify Pution the way Mohamar Ghadaffi was piloried in the MSM press. This is the lefts way of preparing the USA for military action.

Obama should never been allowed to have his hands on our military.He is worse than Putin ever dared to be.Obama escapes consequences and responsibility. Putin demands responsibility and leads his nation, which is more than one can say for Obama.

Obama needs to be gotten rid of, turfed, made to resign.Whatever works.


34 posted on 03/30/2014 7:36:06 AM PDT by Candor7 (Obama fascism article:(http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/barack_obama_the_quintessentia_1.html))
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To: bert
Putain sees his job not as conquering the world but as stabilizing and saving Mother Russia.

In Putin's mind, key to that is rebuilding the idea of the Russian as a he-man: tough, sneaky, chivalrous, indomitable despite the howling cold... Expansionism is an easy way to sell that stasis: Russia on the march, scores of tanks, enemies cowering in fear at being cut off from resources squeezed from the icy distance, from the mechanic to the soldier, men, choruses of men singing... Between reality and propaganda, he might just pull it off.

Somehow, Condi being where she was and when, fits the feminization of this country, and outlines its resulting peril. She is a bright lady, but was in over her head emotionally. We're dealing with chest beaters Condi, and they were weaker then then. We are weaker now (per the Marxist plan) as a result. The bear needs to be a bear. Georgia was a piece of meat. Beat the bear down and it hates your guts forever. Cower before it and it will eat you. Perhaps the best way to deal with Russia was to have found a common foe, but even that is hazardous. Islam made a good candidate in that respect and therewith Iran, but somehow it didn't come off. GHWB warned us that we had to do a better job during the collapse of the Soviet Union, and Congress didn't let him. Yeah, the welfare state again. Marxists.

35 posted on 03/30/2014 7:37:33 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The tree of liberty needs a rope.)
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To: nickcarraway

“ I was able to get a sense of his soul, a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country,” Bush said”

Sounds like Bush got him exactly right!


36 posted on 03/30/2014 8:09:02 AM PDT by aquila48
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To: nickcarraway
"Jeb '16!! Jeb '16!! Jeb "16!!..."

NOT

FMCDH(BITS)

37 posted on 03/30/2014 10:09:05 AM PDT by nothingnew (I fear for my Republic due to marxist influence in our government. Open eyes/see)
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To: MarMema

“Oh and remember when we led the bombing of and splitting up of Serbia?”

Very well. From us bombing tents with heaters, thinking
they were tanks, not bombing airports being fooled by
craters painted on the runways, Russians suddenly appearing
at the Pristina airport and the murder of Milosevic.
I still feel we were on the wrong side on that.


38 posted on 03/30/2014 1:15:34 PM PDT by Slambat
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To: MarMema

“Nevertheless it is stupid to expect the entire world to embrace western lifestyles and cultures.”

Stupid? That’s to say the Constitution is stupid? Stupid
to wish the same rights and freedoms we have on the rest
of the world. Stupid to think that everyone on the planet
should have paved roads, electricity, indoor plumbig and
plenty to eat? America has set a great example to the
rest of the world and its stupid to expect everyone else
should follow in our footsteps?
No. The fact is that they are the ones who are stupid.
Come to think of it it is stupid to expect primitive
cultures to embrace western lifestyles. Like you with
Russia, I’ve spent some time in Mexico. It was fun and
the people are ok but its still a craphole.

A little naive maybe, but not stupid.

Zbigniew Brzezinski

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/zbigniew-brzezinski-after-putins-aggression-in-ukraine-the-west-must-be-ready-to-respond/2014/03/03/25b3f928-a2f5-11e3-84d4-e59b1709222c_story.html


39 posted on 03/30/2014 2:52:21 PM PDT by Slambat
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To: Leaning Right
Russia is not strong enough to challenge NATO. The Russians have made serious investment into their military capabilities - serious enough that I consider those making reference to 'rusting ships' and conscript soldiers to be woefully misinformed. They have moved to professional soldiers, with conscripts used for internal purposes, and have put a lot of money towards training and materiel. With that said, Russia is simply not ready for war with NATO, and there will be no flood over the Fulda Gap.

With that said, NATO is also not ready for a war with Russia. While Obama is technically accurate about Russia being a 'regional power,' the size and scope of that region is considerable and is formidable. It is akin to calling China a regional power as well - a statement that is similarly technically accurate, but in reality foolish. Considering the NATO countries bombing Libya ran out of bombs in under two days, and the British -before deciding not to participate in the Syria attack before the Russians mucked up that US/French plan - didn't have enough tomahawk missiles in their navy to do more than a token gesture, NATO's capabilities would fall solely on the US (with strong French assistance in the air and sea, token British assistance in the sea, strong German presence on land, and a showing by Poland in special forces - Grom - that would prove the Poles to be modern day Spartans). NATO as a group falls to those countries, with the US taking the lion's share of the load. However, Russia's number one anti-NATO weapon is that it knows no US politician, apart from the likes of McCain et al, will ever approve military action against Russia. Period.

This is a belief shared by China as well, and a belief that may be veritable.

My view is that Russia will be pulling the South Ossetia/Crimea move every 4-5 years. As it goes stronger, and the US (depending on leadership) weaker, it will move from the Georgia's to the Ukraine's. It will pick up breakaway regions (Moldova will lose something soon ...although Transnestria, sp, is technically lost). The West will do nothing ....much. For example, the talks going on now have assumed Crimea is a part of Russia. That is not under discussion, just that Russia leave Eastern Ukraine.

Sanctions will be lifted in a week, Europe will breath a sigh of relief, Russia will smile, and Kerry and Obama will claim victory. Similar to the Georgia situation ...without Kerry and Obama to smirk. In essence, gain land, get hit with sanctions for a few weeks, threaten escalation, the West has talks to de escalate the situation, Russia agrees, every one is happy and says Russia has withdrawn, and Russia withdraws with the new territory that got ignored during the talks.

If that is losing it is a great thing Russia is not winning.

America needs a Reaganesque leader. This does not mean a hawk in the likes of a McCain, who thinks air strikes and Manpads solve all situations. I mean a leader who can wield both diplomatic and military strength, and is seen as a capable pair of hands. The Russians don't fear strength ...they respect it. America needs a president that will be respected. Again, I do not mean a hothead ...that is like a madman going to a NRA convention and waving a gun around, sweeping people, with his finger on the trigger. Someone is likely to shoot him as he is putting everyone in jeopardy. No, I mean someone speaking softly and with confidence, and carrying a BIG stick that can land you a month from now. There is a huge difference between crazy hawks like McCain, and a confident strong person like Reagan. The difference between a drunk sot with a gun and a Navy SEAL.

America needs stronger leadership, or this will repeat again in 4 years. Only difference is China may also get on that choochoo train.

40 posted on 03/30/2014 10:05:15 PM PDT by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
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To: spetznaz

Good post (#40), very informative. Thanks.


41 posted on 03/30/2014 10:20:26 PM PDT by Leaning Right (Why am I holding this lantern? I am looking for the next Reagan.)
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