“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, November 10, 2014

Russia supporting East Ukraine-Crimea is a done deal - We have to accept this and come to terms with Russia - The Germans know this - We made a deal with the Russians on Nato expansion and need to live with it


Roger Cohen - NY TIMES

Have you heard about the Iran-Ukraine affair?
It goes like this. Vladimir Putin’s Russia makes nice over an Iran nuclear deal. It is helpful in every way. A recent headline on a piece by my colleague David Sanger read, “Role for Russia Gives Iran Talks a Possible Boost.” In return, the United States turns a blind eye to the big Russian military build-up on the Ukrainian border and in areas under the control of Moscow-backed rebel separatists.
I am not suggesting there is any such formal Iran-Ukraine trade-off between the Obama administration and Putin. I am suggesting that the Russian leader has a keen eye for American weakness and an exquisite sense of timing. The abrupt flaring of new fighting in eastern Ukraine, and the abrupt Russian readiness to help on Iran ahead of the Nov. 24 deadline for nuclear talks, are not a mere coincidence. They are part of a Russian strategy and, for now, the United States is playing along.
An Iran nuclear deal would be good for the United States, Iran and the world. President Obama understands its importance, hence his recent reported letter to the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. An accord could place all Iran’s irreversible nuclear capacity in a limited and verifiable box, ensuring there is never an Iranian bomb, while ushering the last sizeable emerging market nation into the global economy. It would change the blocked politics of the Middle East, confounding America’s enemies and forcing sometimes manipulative allies to think in new and perhaps constructive ways. The deal, at this point, represents the last hope for any significant Obama legacy in the Middle East. It is clear that he wants it.
But the unspoken price of an Iran deal, vital as it is, cannot be the loss of Ukraine and the unraveling of NATO. Putin has already annexed Crimea despite Russia’s signed agreement in 1994 “to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.” There is every reason to believe he has designs on all Ukraine. The West’s mistake has been to think that Putin is not serious in wishing to reconstitute the Soviet Union in new guise.
The current Russian buildup has all the signs of preparation for an offensive. Large, unmarked convoys of heavy weapons and tanks manned by personnel without insignia on their uniforms (like those who took over Crimea) have been seen rumbling toward the front lines in rebel-held territory. Sophisticated artillery and ground-to-air missile systems have been moved into position. Units all the way from the east and far north of Russia have been massed. You don’t move military units thousands of miles for nothing.
A retired NATO general who recently held talks with the Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, told me that intelligence estimates are of some 45,000 regular Russian troops on the border; tens of thousands of Russian irregulars of various stripes inside Ukraine organized by a smaller number of Russian officers and military personnel; some 450 battle tanks and over 700 pieces of artillery.
“Ukraine has no real fighting capacity to face all this,” he said. “They think we’re their friends and don’t understand why we won’t help them. They are frustrated and afraid because they can see a hammer coming at them.”
In response to Putin’s hammer, the West has expressed concern. The United States National Security Council spokeswoman has said, “We are very concerned.” The European Union has called the reports of convoys of heavy weapons “very worrying.” Concern and worry do not stop a hammer. Poroshenko’s requests to Obama for substantial American military assistance should not have been rejected.
Watch Putin’s actions. Be very wary of his words. That is the lesson of the past year. It has not been learned. It is nice that the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, and Secretary of State John Kerry have just agreed to exchange information on Ukraine and called for respect for a September cease-fire that is unraveling in the smoke and fire of Donetsk. It is also meaningless. Lavrov feigns the innocent on the military buildup. That’s his good-cop role.
The reality is dangerous. A quarter-century after the fall of the Berlin Wall, as balloons go up in the German capital, a nation of 45 million people that wants to enjoy the fruits of European freedom is being abandoned to Russian dismemberment. If that happens, if Ukraine is lost, America’s promise to its NATO allies in the Baltics and Eastern Europe is not going to be viewed as credible. A core Russian strategic objective since 1945 — the decoupling of American and European defense — will be on its way to realization.
I just hope the refrain inside the White House is not: “We can’t annoy the Russians on Ukraine. They’re being helpful on Iran. We won’t get a deal without them.” But I wouldn’t bet on it. An Iran-Ukraine affair is plausible.


  1. Just got in and took a quick look at the previous thread.

    My God, Rat Shit's been at it all day long again.

    You got to get out sometime, Crapper.

    Your hateful lifestyle is not good for the long term health of your spirit.

    1. I know enough of Hinduism, Buddhism and meditation that I could instruct Crapper how to, with practice, observe how his hateful thoughts arise, manifest, dissipate, only to be replaced in turn by another round - and round and round - of the same.

      With perseverance he would be able to overcome these hateful thoughts, and prevent them from arising.

      This would be progress.

      He wouldn't even try it though, so it's a waste of time.

      Little does he know that his hateful thoughts are both his, and not his, at the same time. Driftwood from previous lives, so not his 'today' and yet his, as he does nothing to overcome them today.

      So his cycle will continue........

    2. The Draft Dodger continues to say nothing, as I continue to quote his remarks

      BobSun Jun 22, 01:42:00 PM EDT

      When did I ever say I was a scholar??

      I don't recall saying that.

      I have a college degree in English Lit. from U of Washington.

      To avoid being drafted in part. ...

      Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, just does not know when to admit he is a Draft Dodger

    3. it's amazing rat's daily, if not hourly, distortions of words and meanings.

      tonight they were talking about how the Democrat party did the same towards Rush Limbaugh's statements, and are getting sued...

      Just proves the point Jack's a liar.

  2. Here's a good article -

    Pathological Iran
    E. Jeffrey Ludwig
    Iranian society is pathologically devious, deceptive, and hateful. This, more than anything, is why the Iranians must never achieve nuclear capability. More.........

    1. >>>Further, the wise leftists in the U.S. government know that if the Iranians were even to think about using any nuclear weapon against the USA, they know they would be wiped off the face of the Earth. With the American nuclear arsenal and its distance from Iran, the U.S. does not have to worry. So let them have a few missiles. Putin has over 1,600. We have over 1,600. So goes the reasoning: other countries have pretty serious numbers of nuclear weapons and have had them for a long time, so a few more on the scene won't make that much difference. We live in a dangerous world, so the increase in danger is minimal anyway. And, at the same time, our willingness to accept this marginal increase in danger will be a way of winning hearts and minds in the Muslim world (especially the Shi'ite world). They might begin to trust us more, and be less willing – little by little, of course – to call for our collective death or refer to us as "the Great Satan."

      What is wrong with this line of reasoning? It is totally erroneous, because (1) it will set off an arms race for nuclear missiles among countries within the Muslim world that presently are not armed with those weapons – e.g., Saudi Arabia and Egypt; (2) it will increase exponentially the possibility (nay, the likelihood) that Israel will be attacked with nuclear weapons; (3) it will pose an existential threat to our European allies far greater than the threat now posed by Russian weapons, Israel's weapons, and China's weapons combined; and (4) Iran is a backward country morally, intellectually, and spiritually. Therefore, its values, priorities, and mindset in politics cannot be understood or predicted by the West.<<<

    2. A Draft Dodger that wants to lecture others on values, priorities and mindset?

      There is no more morally backward, intellectually and spiritually bankrupt American than a Draft Dodger.
      Especially one that will not 'fess up' to his own lack of civic responsibility.

    3. .

      There is no more morally backward, intellectually and spiritually bankrupt American than a Draft Dodger.

      Nonsense, the is always that slimy little anti-Semitic toady pumping out constant drivel on his XP from his mom's basement in Arizona.


    4. Jack Hawkins: Especially one that will not 'fess up' to his own lack of civic responsibility.

      Like when you used to taunt Bob for not killing his daughter's rapist?

      You are slime

  3. An Iranian nuclear deal would be of immense importance. Ukraine? Meh.

    1. I wouldn't discount the importance and treacherous nature of USA/Russian relations. If things go hot, errrr cold, economic icebergs lurk - especially via Europe.

    2. Clinton made a huge mistake in expanding Nato, as opposed to constructing a new treaty of a demilitarized buffer zone. We are stuck with the results and some modifications will need to be made. It won’t be easy.

    3. Clinton also made a huge mistake in making a nuclear deal with North Korea...

  4. Major banks knowingly funded Hezbollah terror operations: suit

    Dozens of victims of Hezbollah​ ​violence ​filed suit Monday against Barclays, HSBC, Credit Suisse, Standard Chartered Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland​ for purposefully “stripping” information from the deals​ allegedly​ to obscure the involvement of Iranian banks.

  5. The head of Iran's nuclear program is expected on November 11 to finalize a deal with Russia to build two nuclear power plants.

  6. .

    In a recent poll, 81% of Americans said they thought Obama lied to the American public about important things.

    I would have though it would have been a much higher percentage that said so.

    In the following video, one of the architects of the Obamacare individual mandate in a rare moment of honesty comes clean on the elitist pols opinion that Americans are 'too stupid' for the truth.


  7. I posted the video to the next post.