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Washington Puzzled as Putin Doesn’t Back Down

Consider an analogy to get a sense of how Russia might perceive America’s Ukraine policy. It is imperfect of course, because unlike Russia, America has no history of being invaded, unless you count the War of 1812. But a comparison might be instructive nonetheless:

By 2034, China’s power position has risen relative to America’s. America has evacuated its East Asian bases, under peaceful but pressured circumstances. The governments of Korea and Japan and eventually the Philippines had, by 2026, concluded it was better off with a “less provocative” more neutral arrangement. The huge naval base at Subic Bay became home to a multilateral UN contingent. China’s economy had been larger than America’s for a while, though American per capita income is still somewhat higher. American technological innovation edge has largely disappeared, America still has a lot of soft power—people over the world prefer Hollywood movies to Chinese and America’s nuclear arsenal exceeds the Chinese. But the countries are far more equal than today, and throughout much of the world it is assumed that China will be tomorrow’s dominant “hyperpower.”

A political crisis erupts in Mexico. Mexico has a freely elected but typically corrupt government, whose leading figures are linked to Wall Street and Miami Beach by ties of marriage and money. But many in Mexico—where anti-gringo nationalism remains a potent force—want to become the first “North American partner” in the China led Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere. Young Mexicans proclaim defiantly they are “people of color” and laud the fact non-white China is rising while America, country of aging white people, is in decline. Their sentiments, materialistic and infused with personal ambitions are so permeated with anti-American, anti-imperialist “third worldist” rhetoric that it is difficult for outsiders to sort out the true motivations. When the Mexican government, under American pressure, rejects a Chinese invitation for candidate membership in China’s East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere, long prepared protests erupt in Mexico City.

The core group of protest leaders and organizers have been on the Chinese payroll for some time, as the heads of various civic action and popular democracy initiatives, many with an obvious anti-gringo flavor. Soon Chinese politicians and movie stars begin flocking to Mexico City to be photographed with the protesters. Thus encouraged, protester demands escalate, including not only the resignation of the government, Mexico’s adhesion to the Chinese economic bloc, but a military alliance with China. The NSA captures a cell phone conversation of the Chinese ambassador discussing who will hold what posts in the next Mexican cabinet. Three days later, sniper fire of undetermined origin riddles the protestors and police, and any semblance of order breaks down. Mexico’s president flees to Miami.

The above scenario parallels pretty directly the run-up to the Ukraine crisis, before Russia began to respond forcefully. One can of course see the ambiguities of right and wrong. Why should America have anything to say about whether Mexico has a revolution and joins an anti-American military alliance, some would ask. Mexico is sovereign, and should be able to join any international grouping it wants.

What is most striking about the Ukraine crisis is how much the Washington debate lacks any sense of how the issue might look to other interested parties, particularly Russia. Putin is analysed of course—is he, as Hillary Clinton suggested, following Hitler’s playbook? Or is he merely an aggressive autocrat? Or perhaps he is “in his own world” and not quite sane? But in open Washington conversation at least, and perhaps even at the more reflective levels of government, all talk begins with the premise that Russia’s leader is somewhere on the continuum between aggressive and the irrational. That he might be acting reactively and defensively, as any leader of a large power would be in response to threatening events on its doorstep, is not even part of the American conversation. Thus in the waning days of American unipolarism, America diplomacy sinks into a mode of semi-autism, able to perceive and express its own interests, perceptions, and desires, while oblivious to the concerns of others.

A rare and welcome exception to blindness was the publication in Foreign Affairs of John Mearsheimer’s cogent essay [1] on the Ukraine crisis, which with characteristic directness argues that Western efforts to move Ukraine in the Nato/EE orbit were the “taproot” of the present crisis. Prior to Mearsheimer, one could find analyses tracing how various neoliberal and neoconservative foundations had, with their spending and sponsorship of various “pro-Western” groups, fomented a revolution in Ukraine, but they were generally sequestered in left-liberal venues habitually critical of American and Western policies. In the Beltway power loop, such voices were never heard. The policy of pushing NATO eastward, first incorporating Poland and Bulgaria and then going right up to Russia’s borders moved forward as if on mysterious autopilot. That such a policy was wise and necessary was considered a given when it was discussed at all, which was seldom. Was Obama even aware that a leading neoconservative, [2] a figure from Dick Cheney’s staff, was in charge formulating American policy towards Ukraine—with designs on igniting revolutionary regional transformation? One has to assume not; confrontation with Russia had not been part of Obama’s presidential campaign or style, and since the crisis began his comments have always been more measured than the actions of the government he purportedly leads.

As Mearsheimer points out, there remains still a fairly obvious and quite attractive off-ramp: a negotiation with Russia which settles formally Ukraine’s non-aligned status. There are useful precedents for this: Eisenhower’s negotiation with Krushchev that brought about the withdrawal of foreign troops from Austria in 1955 is one, and so of course is Finland. No one who contemplates where the Ukraine crisis might lead otherwise—with a war that devastates the country or perhaps brings in outside powers to devastate all of Europe, or even explodes the entire northern hemisphere—could sanely consider Austria or Finland—prosperous and free countries—to be bad outcomes. Nevertheless the entire conversation in Washington revolves around measures to make Putin back down, and accept the integration of Ukraine into the EU and eventually NATO. People act baffled that he won’t.

There is a mystery to the way Washington works—how an entire political class came to see as American policy that that Russia be humiliated at its own doorstep as logical, without ever reflecting upon whether this was a good idea in the larger scheme of global politics nor whether the West had the means and will to see it through. Because to see it through likely means war with Russia over Ukraine. (The West-leaning Ukrainians of course, be they democratic or fascist, want nothing more than to have American troops fighting beside them as they become NATO partners, a tail wagging the dog). America’s policy makes sense only if it is taken for granted that Russia is an eternal enemy, an evil power which must be surrounded weakened and ultimately brought down. But very few in Washington believe that either, and virtually no one in the American corporate establishment does. So it’s a mystery—a seemingly iron-clad Washington consensus formed behind a policy, the integration of Ukraine in the West, to whose implications no one seems to have given any serious thought.

Russia’s leaders and diplomats have been telling America to butt out of Ukraine in unambiguous terms for a decade or more [3]. Did American diplomats and CIA agents push for an anti-Russian coup d’etat in Kiev knowing that and pursue it anyway? The sheer recklessness of such an action would border on criminal—but oddly enough, no one who truly counts in Washington, Republican or Democrat, seems even to consider it even slightly misguided.

Scott McConnell is a founding editor of The American Conservative.

33 Comments (Open | Close)

33 Comments To "Washington Puzzled as Putin Doesn’t Back Down"

#1 Comment By bob On September 4, 2014 @ 6:21 am

Now they want to negotiate after Ukraine failed military attempt encouraged by USA / NATO / EU.
Wait, is not yet over, NATO will begin military exercises in Ukraine in this month, an escalation.

NATO leaders will discuss the crisis in Ukraine with President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday.

…They are expected to approve a package of support, setting up trust
funds expected to be worth around 12 million euros ($15.8 million) to
improve Ukrainian military capabilities in areas such as logistics,
command and control and cyber defense.

As part of a stepped-up program of war games, a dozen countries will take part in an exercise in
Lviv, Ukraine, later this month, co-hosted by Ukraine and the U.S. Army. …
[4]

#2 Comment By barb newberg On September 4, 2014 @ 6:31 am

As the aggressor sets forth a “peace plan”, is anyone surprised that it is not to be taken seriously. Please consider the facts on the ground before you propose another peace plan. The world wants peace, certainly, and we are not seeing that for sure on the ground in east Ukraine.

By the way, President Putin should realize that his “body language” speaks volumes. When you greet the President of the Ukraine and dip your chin very low…charming…not.

#3 Comment By John Sobieski On September 4, 2014 @ 7:34 am

The analogy is skewed. China is too far away from Mexico and has little to do with its history. Rather, a South American trading bloc might be more appropriate. Add to that a few centuries in which Mexico was ruled and colonized, etc., by some South American powers, say Brazil at one point, then Colombia, then Venezuela. You would also have to add centuries of brutal domination of Mexico by the United States, culminating in totalitarian rule, genocide, and finally a grossly corrupt regime. Neighboring Guatemala, which escaped the rule of the US, made great economic strides after allying with the far less corrupt South American trading bloc.

#4 Comment By Fran Macadam On September 4, 2014 @ 7:44 am

“America’s policy makes sense only if it is taken for granted that Russia is an eternal enemy, an evil power which must be surrounded weakened and ultimately brought down. But very few in Washington believe that either, and virtually no one in the American corporate establishment does.”

What they do believe, intensified and distilled, made necessary since 2001, is that America is the “essential nation” which must run the world, so “exceptional” that it is excepted from the normal restraints that every other nation must follow. That end must justify any and all means. For the sake of American security (one might ask though, just which Americans?), every nation on earth – and as Kerry put it in Kiev, there is no place on the earth so remote as to not be essential to American interests – there can never be allowed anywhere, any competing power that could ever conceivably challenge American policy anywhere, or potentially, even in the far future, become a threat to American dominance. Unfortunately, this comic-book thinking really is official policy.

#5 Comment By Fran Macadam On September 4, 2014 @ 7:46 am

Well worth reading from Europe’s best commentator as to why this mistaken policy has Europe sleep-walking into war:

[5]

#6 Comment By AnotherBeliever On September 4, 2014 @ 9:17 am

“There is a mystery to the way Washington works—how an entire political class came to see as American policy that that Russia be humiliated at its own doorstep as logical, without ever reflecting upon whether this was a good idea in the larger scheme of global politics nor whether the West had the means and will to see it through.”

That sums up the whole situation rather succinctly. Especially the last part.

I don’t think the CIA played a role in taking down Ukraine’s government. It’s more likely that diametrically opposed promises were made by political backers in Russia and the West. Regardless, the end result is the same.

I must add to your little analogy, that the media goes crazy as politicians, talking heads, and bloviators decry the threat on our border. The National Guard is called up and volunteer militias muster in the Rio Grande Valley. Because that has already happened under much less alarming circumstances. It would be no great leap from there to Spec Ops types deploying, and calls for conventional military action, economic sanctions, and one presumes cyber attacks. Your analogy is not perfect, but it’s pretty useful.

#7 Comment By collin On September 4, 2014 @ 9:42 am

This still does not change the fact although all the steps Russia is taking are reasonable but still dangerously imperialistic. Eastern European nations are not freaking out for no reason here and causing The Ukraine to turn to the West. And Putin is inserting Russia into another nations politics and I am hoping Russia economy continues to suffer for this decision. (The Western sanctions are minor and signaling impact more than the Russian billionaires moving assets out of Russia.)

That said the US did have a small bailout of Mexico with the Tequila crisis (although the name might considered offensive today) and did not stop them trading with other countries.

#8 Comment By spite On September 4, 2014 @ 10:16 am

“America diplomacy sinks into a mode of semi-autism”

More like American diplomacy has sunk into brain death.

#9 Comment By Will in Mississippi On September 4, 2014 @ 10:43 am

A question I have is what the United States has to gain from a forward position in Ukraine as Scott describes. Ditto France and the United Kingdom as other key NATO members. The EU seems less relevant. Answering the question I pose would explain the underlying dynamic. A lot of Americans–and French or British–are pretty apathetic and disengaged from the question. Many informed people rightly see Russia as a deeply corrupt and therefore problematic country, but that doesn’t provide a positive case for an active policy. It’s more a reason for distance and disengagement. Maybe a follow up post to enlighten us?

#10 Comment By Bill Jones On September 4, 2014 @ 11:09 am

We’re back to the old, old issue.

The Neocon’s are the worlds biggest serial F*ck-ups.

With every disaster swiftly to be forgotten and on to the next catastrophe.

#11 Comment By JohnG On September 4, 2014 @ 11:18 am

Oh, if only it was about “humiliating” Russia! Somewhere, some cold warriors have much more serious aspirations, which is ironic given that they are about to lose even UK and France as willing (read: obedient) allies, just give elections in Europe another round or two.

They, meaning the whole “we create our own reality” crowd, are yet to face how wrong they have been all along. This would be a fun thing to watch if it was only about them, but the sad and “real” reality is that we all get to pay for their delusions. I just hope and pray we don’t end with neocon Hillary as next president, as this would multiply the already huge bill by orders of magnitude.

PS As far as Ukraine, the country is now broken similarly to Iraq. I’d say federalize and hope it can function and stay together. Otherwise, admit that it’s now broken, let it fall apart, and learn your lesson: don’t repeat a similar nonsense again!

#12 Comment By Andrew On September 4, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

There is a mystery to the way Washington works—how an entire political class came to see as American policy that that Russia be humiliated at its own doorstep as logical, without ever reflecting upon whether this was a good idea in the larger scheme of global politics nor whether the West had the means and will to see it through

No mystery whatsoever. Triumphalist school of thought which is responsible for 20th Century history narrative in general, and “Russia narrative” in particular. Needless to say, both “narratives” have as much touch with the reality as Star Wars is a documentary. The rest is pretty much derivative of that.

#13 Comment By Jack Shifflett On September 4, 2014 @ 1:04 pm

Too much complicated analysis. It’s still the American Century, isn’t it? It’s our world and we’ll run it the way we see fit, thank you very much. We don’t need historical analogies or futuristic hypotheticals or counterfactuals; we’re the good guys, end discussion, case closed, QED.

#14 Comment By Kurt Gayle On September 4, 2014 @ 1:49 pm

A very fine, comprehensive analogy and analysis, Scott McConnell! Thank you!

Thank you, too, for the link to “Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault” in which John Mearsheimer writes:

“Abstract rights such as self-determination are largely meaningless when powerful states get into brawls with weaker states. Did Cuba have the right to form a military alliance with the Soviet Union during the Cold War? The United States certainly did not think so, and the Russians think the same way about Ukraine joining the West.”

The October 1962 Cuban missile crisis occurred in the context of the Cold War. Yet the then basic U.S./Soviet great power relationships and the negotiated solution of the ’62 crisis offer promising parallels for a negotiated solution of the current Ukraine crisis.

In 1962 the U.S. had stationed intermediate-range Jupiter missiles on the southern flank of the Soviet Union — in Turkey and in Italy — well within range of important Soviet targets.

Alarmed, the Soviets reasoned that Soviet stationing of Soviet intermediate- and medium-range missiles in Cuba might serve as a proportionate response to the U.S. Jupiter missiles. In addition, the Soviets likely thought that stationing offensive missiles in Cuba could deter the U.S. from attempting another Bay-of-Pigs-style invasion of Cuba.

In the negotiated diplomatic solution of the Cuban missile crisis, the U.S. got most of what it wanted: The Soviets agreed to remove all its offensive missiles from Cuba. Furthermore, all parties agreed that Cuba would not join a military alliance with the Soviet Union – not then, not ever.

For their part, the Soviet Union and Cuba got a public U.S. guarantee that it would not invade Cuba again. Privately (but not publicly), the Soviet Union received a U.S. pledge to dismantle all U.S. Jupiter missiles in Turkey and Italy.

A parallel settlement of the current Ukraine crisis might involve these sorts of guarantees:

NATO would pledge not allow Ukraine into the alliance – not now, not ever.

Ukraine would adopt an Austrian-style neutrality and (like Austria) not undertake foreign relationships of any sort that would compromise Ukrainian neutrality.

Russia would guarantee that it would not invade Ukraine. Russia would not allow Ukraine to join any military alliances with Russia or to join in other relationships with Russia that would compromise Ukrainian neutrality.

#15 Comment By Tony D. On September 4, 2014 @ 2:19 pm

“…unlike Russia, America has no history of being invaded, unless you count the War of 1812.”

Well, of course to a small minority of Americans, the very existence of “America” is the result of invasion…

#16 Comment By EliteCommInc. On September 4, 2014 @ 2:56 pm

I have really appreciated the data sets from Russia Direct.

Perhaps pushing against Russia in an attempt to quell her future ambitions.

[6]

This article neglects to point out that it was the Georgians who launched the first strike.

I hate to sound ‘unamerican’, but pretending that the nexus of the Ukraine scenario was the encouragement and support of a violent revolution against a government that was elected with a fairly popular vote in a process labeled fair by international observers.
[7]

#17 Comment By Pace On September 4, 2014 @ 5:03 pm

@collin – ‘… Eastern European nations are not freaking out for no reason here and causing The Ukraine to turn to the West…’

Considering the fact that, in 2010, Ukraine elected a pro-Russia president and the current civil war there, it is probably more accurate to say that only about half of Ukraine turning to the West.

How do you know eastern European nations are freaking out? Are citizens there freaking out or their leaders?

#18 Comment By apc27 On September 4, 2014 @ 6:34 pm

@Kurt Gayle,

I think you are missing the economic dimension of the Cuban Crisis, just as so many people are missing the economic dimension of the Ukrainian Crisis.

When Castro tore Cuba out of the American orbit, economic consequences were devastating. However, these consequences would have been even more dire without massive continuous support of the USSR for DECADES to come.

When we tore Ukraine out of the Russian orbit we pretty much ensured that its basket case economy will get even worse and the only thing that could keep it from complete collapse are continuous inflows of tens of billions of dollars for year after year after year after year.

Without these inflows, collapse would follow and Ukraine may well swing back towards Russia or split apart even if (a BIG if) Russia were to stick to the neutrality agreement you have suggested. And then the whole crisis just restarts anew.

The most important questions, from the very beginning of this crisis all those months ago, have always been the same and they still remains unanswered.

Ukraine is unable to pay for itself.

Russia is prepared to pay for “its” Ukraine (though they do cringe at the price, hence no real invasion so far).

Is America prepared to pay for “its” Ukraine?

Is Europe prepared to pay for “its” Ukraine?

Once we have an answer to these questions, we would finally have our strategy, instead of an embarrassing farce that we have today.

#19 Comment By Rossbach On September 4, 2014 @ 9:23 pm

Of the major European countries, Russia is the last remaining independent state. If it is allowed to succeed politically and economically, it serves as a model for European nationalists who don’t like the EU and want out of NATO. The puppet masters in Brussels and Washington cannot allow that.

If the manufactured crisis in Ukraine does not bring down the Putin regime, other gambits will be tried until Russia eventually becomes a US vassal state, as nations like Germany and the UK did nearly 7 decades ago.

#20 Comment By Clint On September 4, 2014 @ 10:30 pm

Obama’s former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,
“This is a clash of values,and it’s an effort by Putin to rewrite the boundaries of post-World War Two Europe … If he’s allowed to get away with that, you’ll see a lot of other countries either directly facing Russian aggression or . . . transformed into vassals, not sovereign democracies.”

Senate Democrat, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Robert Menendez,
“We should be providing the Ukrainians with the type of defensive weapons that will impose a cost upon Putin for further aggression. We have to give the Ukrainians the fighting chance to defend themselves.”

Democrat interventionists are down for the struggle.

#21 Comment By melprofit On September 5, 2014 @ 12:03 am

Exactly right.

#22 Comment By george josiban On September 5, 2014 @ 12:17 am

The CIA engineers a coup that deposes a freely elected president of the Ukraine, corrupt though he may be, and the installs a Washington puppet. Western Ukraine then begins to rain bombs down on East Ukraine as a prelude to an invasion, destroying cities and killing civilians. Invade they do, but are repelled by the Eastern militias whom the US press calls aggressors and separatists. America has become the Evil Empire.

#23 Comment By Jaylib On September 5, 2014 @ 10:21 am

We need to remove foreign policy from the realm of Washington elites. They have proven their incompetence and/or bad faith. “Diplomacy” apparently has no place there; it’s either war or a prelude to war. Diplomacy needs to go private and do an end- run around the state. I’m encouraged to see efforts in this direction, such as Ron Paul’s Center for Peace & Prosperity.

#24 Comment By c matt On September 5, 2014 @ 11:53 am

The analogy is skewed. China is too far away from Mexico and has little to do with its history.

I thought China was the US in the analogy, Mexico was Ukraine, and the US was Russia. If so, your criticism makes no sense. China is not significantly farther away from Mexico than the US is from Ukraine. China has as much to do with Mexico’s history compared to the US as the US does with Ukraine’s compared to Russia. It may not be an exact match, but it is close enough to make the point.

#25 Comment By Myron Hudson On September 5, 2014 @ 1:32 pm

‘Thus in the waning days of American unipolarism, America diplomacy sinks into a mode of semi-autism, able to perceive and express its own interests, perceptions, and desires, while oblivious to the concerns of others.”

Of course this applies primarily to our ruling class, and as someone else points out, is evidence of continued neocon delusion and incompetence.

#26 Comment By JimL On September 5, 2014 @ 2:32 pm

Putin knows Russia is going to have economic problems sanctions or no sanctions as oil prices decline. The Russian ‘Tea Party’ (back to the good old days) is growing in power especially in the military. Putin sees he could have political problems with the general public as the economy goes south. How can he get and keep high approval of the masses and blame all the coming economic problems on someone else. Ah, create a crisis in which he can 1) look tough on perceived external enemies (NATO) and 2) blame those enemies for all the coming economic problems. He knows NATO won’t fight but apply economic pressure which the general public will have a hard time understanding. The icing is that he gets to co-opt the craziest radicals, shuts down any anti-Putin wing and if he gets anything at all it will be called a great victory for Russia who you can’t push around anymore. Putin has restored our honor forget the costs.

This is probably part of what is going on. Remember to some extent all politics is local. Washington should understand this. As long as Putin backs off short of any real wider war he wins at least in Russian eyes. He is the man who solved the crisis. The Russian press will never point out he started the crisis.

#27 Comment By Aaron On September 5, 2014 @ 8:11 pm

“Did American diplomats and CIA agents push for an anti-Russian coup d’etat in Kiev knowing that and pursue it anyway?”

The author’s entire line of reasoning is built upon an assumption. There are many valid critiques of American foreign policy that don’t require make believe.

The fact is that Russia annexed part of a sovereign state and is, at the very least, supporting those actors destabilizing the rest of it. The West has responded non-militarily in a measured way considering the downing of a commercial plane and the capture of Russian soldiers within Ukraine.

I’ll believe in a conspiracy when it’s more than a theory.

#28 Comment By Pace On September 5, 2014 @ 8:18 pm

“But in open Washington conversation at least, and perhaps even at the more reflective levels of government, all talk begins with the premise that Russia’s leader is somewhere on the continuum between aggressive and the irrational…”

Anyone that has read Putin’s letter to American people on Syria published in NYT could hardly argue about Russia’s leader’s ability to think rationally and realistically about global issues – whether or not one agrees with his ideologies.

Here are some actions of the two sides – 1) Ukraine + U.S.+ EU and 2) Eastern Ukraine rebels + Russia – during the Ukraine crisis.

1. Putin took Crimea after an anti-Russian government was installed follwing a U.S. backed coup.
2. Instead of negotiating with rebels in eastern Ukraine, Ukraine government sent almost its entire army east to crack down on the rebels, who then chose to fight, just as rebels in Syria and Libya did.
3. After two rounds of U.S. and EU’s sanctions against Russia, Putin responded with the sanctions on the West.

So, indeed, like the author reasoned in the article: “That he (Putin) might be acting reactively and defensively, as any leader of a large power would be in response to threatening events on its doorstep,is not even part of the American conversation.”

#29 Comment By John Sobieski On September 5, 2014 @ 8:50 pm

@c matt
And which one is Europe? The analogy conflates the US and Europe, another problem with it. Typical American viewpoint. Ukraine wasn’t looking for a trade deal with the US, but with Europe. Ukraine’s ties to Europe are much older and deeper than those to Russia.

#30 Comment By Robert Bruce On September 5, 2014 @ 11:34 pm

The whole economic problems thing is why this is a crisis in the first place. A big chunk of the West’s debt comes due next year, and that is when it will get bad for everyone. The Russian economy is down, but Russia doesn’t have much of a debt problem. IF what I read on Barron’s.com is correct a full 30% of our debt comes due in 2015. The you know what might be hitting the fan. Nothing like a good WW to get the people thinking about something else. The hate that this anti Russian propaganda has created is absolutely amazing. Just from responses to the various news websites” comment sections I have looked at with regards to the Ukraine debacle is scary. I would gather a full 90% of respondents to the MSM comment sections wouldn’t mind if a full blown war would come from this regardless if it goes nuclear. People are just loony anymore!!! No thought proceeses going on at all.

#31 Comment By seamus_padraig On September 6, 2014 @ 5:28 am

In explaining the situation, Scott, you don’t need to be completely hypothetical. Back in the 80’s, the Soviets backed the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. The US backed the Contra rebels to the hilt, with money, arms and military advisers. I don’t remember hearing any talk coming from Washington about the ‘sovereignty of small countries’ in those days. I mostly remember hearing about how the Soviets were trying to establish a ‘beachhead’ in mainland Central America, and about how ‘the commies are now a day’s drive from the Mexican border!’

Well, Ukraine IS on Russia’s border, and a sizable percentage of the population is ethnic Russian and wants nothing to do with NATO. Why is that so hard to understand?

#32 Comment By Fred Burns On September 6, 2014 @ 10:00 am

Again it seems very clear to me that the Neocons need to be arrested and charged with treason. This will solve the problem with no violence and send a strong message to everyone both within and outside the US borders.

#33 Comment By Leo H On September 6, 2014 @ 10:02 pm

And what exactly is so impressive to Putin about the decayed EU ? Rotherham-England, a disgusting “politically correct” rape pad for Pakistanis ? If Europeans wake up to shake off their disgusting slavery to the US (Greater Sodom) and its demands for the eradication of European identities, Russia will be standing still. No legitimate European nationalist can side with Greater Sodom and its anti- Russian, anti- Christian fake traditionalists like Senator John McCain and his consort, Ms. Graham.