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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Clausewitzian Congress

One would think that the experience of Napoleon and Hitler would be sufficient to convince anyone that getting into a land war with Russia is something that you simply do not do. But apparently the military geniuses in the US Congress know better:
Yesterday, in a vote that largely slid under the radar, the House of Representatives passed a resolution urging Obama to send lethal aid to Ukraine, providing offensive, not just "defensive" weapons to the Ukraine army - the same insolvent, hyperinflating Ukraine which, with a Caa3/CC credit rating, last week started preparations to issue sovereign debt with a US guarantee, in essence making it a part of the United States (something the US previously did as a favor to Egypt before the Muslim Brotherhood puppet regime was swept from power by the local army).

The resolution passed with broad bipartisan support by a count of 348 to 48.

According to DW,  the measure urges Obama to provide Ukraine with "lethal defensive weapon systems" that would better enable Ukraine to defend its territory from "the unprovoked and continuing aggression of the Russian Federation."

"Policy like this should not be partisan," said House Democrat Eliot Engel, the lead sponsor of the resolution. "That is why we are rising today as Democrats and Republicans, really as Americans, to say enough is enough in Ukraine."
Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. That's the thought that ran through my mind when I read this.

Labels:

119 Comments:

Anonymous Alexander March 25, 2015 10:15 AM  

Well to be fair, the Caa3/CC is a bit of a red herring, as the same Congress... liberated... Ukraine's gold reserves. So perhaps this lethal aid is a master move - fund the complex, while at the same time laundering the transfer of Ukrainian gold into the right pockets.

Blogger Aquila Aquilonis March 25, 2015 10:16 AM  

Never get in a land war in Asia ...

Anonymous Alexander March 25, 2015 10:22 AM  

Well you know, these things take time. If we are going to invade Russia, late March is the perfect time to get the ball rolling. With a bit of luck, we'll arrive just in time for the autumn rasputitsa.

Blogger JartStar March 25, 2015 10:24 AM  

What's the argument for American interest in the Ukraine besides the fact that we are already involved?

Blogger Josh March 25, 2015 10:25 AM  

What's the argument for American interest in the Ukraine besides the fact that we are already involved?

Russia is bad because homophobia and Putin is the new Hitler of the Month.

Anonymous Alexander March 25, 2015 10:29 AM  

Hah! He actually is. Thanks Porky, that made my day.

Anonymous Mike M. March 25, 2015 10:29 AM  

I'm not sure I agree, Vox.

The real question is the degree to which we can or should prevent Putin from reestablishing the Soviet Union. Russia has always been a difficult neighbor, prone to grabbing other nations' land as a defensive glacis. The breakup of the USSR was like the breakup of Germany after World War II - it took a problem country and broke it into manageable pieces. There is a good case for keeping them manageable. Both to keep the threat minimized, and to exercise leadership...you will recollect that the failure of Sparta to take the lead in the Persian Wars led directly to the Athenian Empire and the Peloponnesian War. Leadership is not a sometime thing.

On the other hand, there is also a case for informing the Europeans that as long as the former Warsaw Pact countries are not endangered, Russia is a European problem. Only with the added resources of Eastern Europe do they pose a threat to us.

In any event, the US is not deploying troops to fight. At most, we're sending arms...IF Obama can be bothered. More likely he doesn't, and it's all a sham.

Anonymous Alexander March 25, 2015 10:31 AM  

Not true. We have troops there. On exercises.

I suspect that troops in training exercises + lethal assistance = American troops in combat. Course by then, we'll have to fight cause we were attacked by an aggressor, right?

Anonymous Anubis March 25, 2015 10:35 AM  

First the jewish bolshevicks kill 60+ million white Christians in the Ukraine by taking their guns then taking all their food during the Holodomor & now the US is supporting Soros's coup d'état against the Ukraine.

"What's the argument for American interest in the Ukraine besides the fact that we are already involved?"
Joe Biden's cocaine snorting son is in charge of the nations natural gas. We already took 33 tons of their gold, they should get something to show for it.

Anonymous Cash March 25, 2015 10:37 AM  

This just goes to show you cannot control war, no matter how small the intervention.

Blogger Giraffe March 25, 2015 10:45 AM  

This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it.

Anonymous Harsh March 25, 2015 10:46 AM  

At least they're not going up against a Sicilian when death is on the line.

But seriously, why are we getting involved in this other than Russia is still perceived as the bad guy? Natural gas rights?

Anonymous ZhukovG March 25, 2015 10:48 AM  

Mike,

Putin helped deconstruct the Soviet Union, he isn't going to try and rebuild it. He wants Russia to be accorded the respect due a Great Power.

His actions have been entirely in keeping with maintaining the security of the Russian nation. He wants friendship with The West but he will not be our catamite.

Anonymous Steve March 25, 2015 10:48 AM  

"That is why we are rising today as Democrats and Republicans, really as Americans, to say enough is enough in Ukraine."

Hmmm.

Do Americans actually give a shit about the Ukraine? Or know where it is on a map? How many American lives is it worth?

Mike M. - Russia is a European problem. Only with the added resources of Eastern Europe do they pose a threat to us.

What sort of threat do they pose to you?

Is Putin trying to erase your nation through mass immigration?

Is he trying to promote homosexuality and transgenderism to your kids through the school system?

Is he inciting your black people to riot?

Is he bankrupting your public treasury?

What, exactly, are you afraid Putin might do if he is foolish enough to try to incorporate the begging bowl that is Ukraine into his already troubled domestic economy?

Who needs to go abroad to seek monsters to destroy when you have so many at home?

Blogger stats March 25, 2015 10:48 AM  

The real question is the degree to which we can or should prevent Putin from reestablishing the Soviet Union.

Stupid neo-con talking point. There is no evidence that Russia is trying to re-establish the Soviet Union. Putins actions in the Ukraine are a reaction to Washington's overthrow of the legitamately elected president in Ukraine.

Anonymous Jack Amok March 25, 2015 10:49 AM  

The real question is the degree to which we can or should prevent Putin from reestablishing the Soviet Union...There is a good case for keeping them manageable. Both to keep the threat minimized, and to exercise leadership

There's always a good case to be made for going to war, if you're inclined to go to war. But the key word you mentioned above is "can". We're not really in much shape to boss other countries around. Our finances are crumbling, our military is over-deployed, and our leaders, such as they are, are incompetent. We have our own troubles coming soon enough.

Besides, Russia would be a good ally in the coming war.

Blogger jay c March 25, 2015 10:50 AM  

These people truly are insane. Where can we get a list of who voted in favor of this?

Anonymous Harsh March 25, 2015 10:51 AM  

The real question is the degree to which we can or should prevent Putin from reestablishing the Soviet Union.

Is that really a thing?

Blogger JCclimber March 25, 2015 10:53 AM  

Anubis is correct.

The American people have absolutely zero interest in Ukraine. Our leaders have very personal pocket book interests.

It's almost as if our leaders WANT America to fail, to bleed the death of a thousand cuts, to expose to the whole world what bullies and tyrants we are with our gunboat democracy, our morally bankrupt entertainment, our invasive banking regulations, and our despicable spying.

We are truly revealing to all who have eyes to see that we now "speak like the dragon".

Blogger jay c March 25, 2015 10:55 AM  

I found it: Roll Call 131

Anonymous Alexander March 25, 2015 10:58 AM  

Well look at that: I'm on the side with Hank "Guam" Johnson!

First time for everything.

Blogger darkdoc March 25, 2015 10:59 AM  

The war is the distraction, and also the punishment for shedding the dollar as reserve currency. Russia, and a good part of the East, is becoming more economically independent, putting together their own "IMF". They are simply giving the US government the middle finger.

This is what can not be tolerated. If US defense contractors can squeeze more cash out of Ukraine, that helps too. Economic indepedence from the US dollar is the supreme crime. Loss of reserve status means no more massive deficits and inflation sent out of the US for others to manage. Considering our debt, that is the final chapter if they can't stop it. So, 348 vote for war.

Blogger Quadko March 25, 2015 11:00 AM  

Never get in a land war in Asia ...
But we have an airforce and drones now, and that makes it totally different, because air superiority means we can take territory without using or risking ground troops. Technology trumps tactics every time in history, doncha know.

(And if you believe that, it's time to reread Riding the Red Horse.)

I still wish we'd sent a note to Russia when this first started, "Dear Putin,et al, We didn't realize you considered Russia's borders open for change. While we certainly respect your boundaries, if you are contemplating changes, the US would be interested in controlling both sides of the Bering Strait. Maybe the Vladivostok region, and everything east of it's longitude? We could hold a vote; see if all those Russians want to become Russo-American citizens? Indicate acceptance by annexing Ukraine. Respectfully awaiting your reply, U.S.A."

Anonymous zen0 March 25, 2015 11:04 AM  

Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.

One Disgruntled Polish Aristocrat Runs US Foreign Policy

The United States is pursuing a strategy that follows the playbook outlined several months ago by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the national security adviser under President Jimmy Carter. At a conference sponsored by the Wilson Center, Brzezinski, a leading figure in the US foreign policy establishment, made clear that the aim of the US is to draw Russia into prolonged combat in Ukraine. Arming Ukraine would allow it to engage in “urban short-range fighting” in the major cities of Kiev and Kharkiv, Brzezinski said, ensuring a “prolonged and costly” war for Russia.

Brzezinski pioneered just such a strategy in the 1980s, when he initiated the arming of Islamic fundamentalist forces in Afghanistan as part of a proxy war against the Soviet Union. The US is seeking to do to Russia, via Ukraine, what it did to the Soviet Union via Afghanistan


This is why Obama is Carter 2.0

Bryziznki's hate fueled madness.

In an interview on the Afghan Trap, he says:

Interviewer: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

Satan: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?


And how is that working for America? I don't remember having to be searched before getting on a plane during the Cold War, do you?

Anonymous Salt March 25, 2015 11:05 AM  

I just do not see Obama caring one way or another. I suspect the neocons are getting so Obama can have his immigration. Obama's flexible when it comes to his fundamentally transforming America.



Blogger Quadko March 25, 2015 11:05 AM  

The real question is the degree to which we can or should prevent Putin from reestablishing the Soviet Union.
We should be so lucky; there's a reason it collapsed in the first place. Though we'd have to live through leftist adoration of their hallowed heaven of "a working future society we should be imitating" again, and who wants to put up with that sanctimonious crap?

Blogger darkdoc March 25, 2015 11:13 AM  

"I suspect the neocons are getting so Obama can have his immigration."

I doubt there are 348 neocons in Congress, but you could convince 348 to vote that way if you convinced them it was to save the dollar reserve monetary system.

Anonymous Mike M. March 25, 2015 11:14 AM  

Make no mistake, Putin is trying to reestablish the Soviet Union. More precisely, he is trying to gain control of the "near abroad" states that broke away from the USSR...the Baltic States, etc. Russia has ALWAYS been a problematic neighbor. This isn't new, their national psyche was heavily scarred by the Mongol occupation and they have been paranoid ever since. And grabbing at their neighbors ever since.

On top of this, Putin is clumsy. He can make a strong case that the Crimea is not historically part of Ukraine - it was taken from the Tartars. Stalin grafted it onto the Ukrainian SSR for administrative convenience. Putin has a case...but has not made it to the West. And the last person who made this sort of claim was Hitler - Western Europe remembers this as a prelude to war.

There's a case for not intervening...but it is not as open-and-shut as many people here think.

Anonymous ZhukovG March 25, 2015 11:17 AM  

Quadko,

I believe it was in one of Putin's usual, no teleprompter, open forum, press conferences. That he said that even if he wanted to annex the Ukraine, the Russian economy would not be able to handle the burden.

He allowed Crimea to rejoin Russia because its ethnic Russian majority wanted it and because it's the HQ of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

He has denied the Eastern Ukraine's request to rejoin Russia, which may have been a mistake, but he probably knows what he is doing.

The USA is the clueless bad guy here.

Anonymous Harsh March 25, 2015 11:17 AM  

Make no mistake, Putin is trying to reestablish the Soviet Union.

I repeat: is that really a thing?

Anonymous Alexander March 25, 2015 11:20 AM  

... What on earth are you talking about?

Making a case to the west would undermine his position. The whole argument is that it's none of our bloody business.

The case for not intervening is that we have no business sending out blood and treasure halfway round the world to determine whether slavs are ruled by slavs* in Kiev or ruled by slavs in Moscow, over a border that for centuries prior to Stalin being an itch in his father's jock was undisputededly within the realm of Russia's sphere of influence.

* Or in this case, a conglomerate of foreigners who have been handed Ukranian passports.

Anonymous Cheddarman March 25, 2015 11:20 AM  

Yeah,

I want my nephews and the young men in my very large extended family to fight and die for the profits of Goldman Sachs and the rest of Wall Street.

It is obvious that the members of congress with a few exceptions are complete whores, willing to sell out the American people for a few bucks.

Anonymous zen0 March 25, 2015 11:22 AM  

> And the last person who made this sort of claim was Hitler - Western Europe remembers this as a prelude to war.

Since 1996, NATO = Hitler.

Anonymous Alexander March 25, 2015 11:22 AM  

This is like expecting the US Congress to ask for Russia's permission if we want to make some change to laws governing Indian reservations.

Anonymous cheddarman March 25, 2015 11:24 AM  

Mike M.,

you little neocon turd, if you want to fight this filthy war, man up and join the Ukrainian foreign Legion. They need idiot cannon fodder like you.

Anonymous Leonidas March 25, 2015 11:25 AM  

Yeah, we got involved in a land war in Asia in October 2011, so we're kind of poked there.

Eddie Izzard on Invading Russia:

And then Hitler, "I've got a better idea, got a better idea... Oh, it's the same idea! It's the same idea, it's the same idea..."

Anonymous Gecko March 25, 2015 11:27 AM  

In any event, the US is not deploying troops to fight.
Ignoring for the moment that we do actually have troops there, (Congress is just, ahem, DYING for one of them to be shot by a rebel, I'm sure) I suppose the weapons we send are going to shoot teddy bears out of the muzzles? People are going to die because of this, but as long as it's not U.S. troops it's totally cool, eh?

The other facet that irks me is that people seem to think that has anything to do with freedom. Aside from the fact that working against the rebels is the exact opposite of freedom, someome please tell me why we U.S. citizens with a cut and dried Secomd Amendment cannot have these same weapons?

The real question is the degree to which we can or should prevent Putin from reestablishing the Soviet Union.
Is that really a thing?

Indeed. I recently had a conversation in person with a neocon who spouted all the exact same crap. The ministry of propaganda is doing a great job of getting the official story out there. Rebuild the Soviet Union? Putin? Lay off the vodka, komrades.

Anonymous cheddarman March 25, 2015 11:27 AM  

Zen0,

Brzezinski only does the bidding of his masters, he does not run the show.

Blogger Cogitans Iuvenis March 25, 2015 11:29 AM  

I believe it was in one of Putin's usual, no teleprompter, open forum, press conferences. That he said that even if he wanted to annex the Ukraine, the Russian economy would not be able to handle the burden.

Bullshit..pure unadulterated bullshit and I say this as someone who thinks we shouldn't be involved with Ukraine. Russia's entire history has been grabbing as much territory as they can before the inevitable hordes come and threaten the Russia people, be it the east or the west. Nothing has changed since the days of Mongolian hordes or the Polish Lithuanian commonwealth.

Blogger stats March 25, 2015 11:31 AM  

Make no mistake, Putin is trying to reestablish the Soviet Union.

Idiot. And your evidence is?

Anonymous ZhukovG March 25, 2015 11:35 AM  

Mike,

Are you seriously suggesting that the average modern Russian is psychologically scarred by the fact that several medieval Russian states were vassals of the Mongols?

With apoligies to Monty Python...

Gales of derisive laughter!

OpenID simplytimothy March 25, 2015 11:38 AM  

Make no mistake, Putin is trying to reestablish the Soviet Union.

This commenter at Doug Wilsons offers a robust argument to the contrary

...As Peter Hitchens points out, since the fall of Communism, Russia has given up control of over 700,000 square miles of territory. Furthermore its current President has peacefully ceded control of several major islands in the Ussuri River to the Chinese, reached agreement with Norway over disputed territory in the Barents Sea, come to mutually agreed borders with Estonia and Latvia, and offered to return two of four Kurile Islands to Japan. Be very afraid!

Meanwhile, what about the West? Well since 1991, the European Union has acquired 400,000 square miles, moving stealthily up to Russia’s borders. The US unilaterally pulled out of the 1972 ABM Treaty in 2002 – a clear portent of its intentions towards Russia. And what has effectively become the armed wing of the EU – NATO – has swallowed up country after country, moving steadily eastwards, despite assurances that this wouldn’t happen, and despite clear and repeated warnings from Russia that this would be seen as a direct threat to their security. In fact these warnings – especially over Georgia and Ukraine – were scorned and ignored in Bucharest in 2008.

I fully grant that Eastern Europe countries had a right to be suspicious of Russia during and after the Cold War. They can retain that suspicion for all I care. But this is not how post-Cold War foreign policy ought to have been conducted. The question that those who designed foreign policy in the US and other Western countries ought to have asked is this: “How do we deal with an empire that has just fallen, which expresses a desire to be on friendly terms, which is trying to talk to us as a potential partner, but which has a standing army of over 1,000,000 and 8,000+ nuclear missiles?”

The answer they could have come up with is: “Respect their sovereignty and their dignity, seek to treat them as partners, and above all avoid provoking them.” There’s a good chance that had they done this we might have seen lasting peace – certainly we wouldn’t have had the Ukraine crisis – and those well-earned suspicions in Eastern Europe may, with time, have gradually receded.

Yet the answer they came up with was very different and went something like this: “Pillage their country with oligarchic shock-therapy bringing it to an even worse state than even Communism could manage, treat them like they are the eternal Mordor no matter what they do or say, portray their leader as Satan’s younger brother, and proceed to move troops, weapons and nuclear missiles right up to their border.” Wow. Some foreign policy that. Great way of providing security to those little countries along the Western border of Russia and alleviating their suspicions!

Anonymous Gecko March 25, 2015 11:39 AM  

It is obvious that the members of congress with a few exceptions are complete whores

There are exceptions? Make no mistake: if their votes actually mattered, they would have fallen in line just like Roberts.

The case for not intervening is that we have no business sending out blood and treasure halfway round the world to determine whether slavs are ruled by slavs* in Kiev or ruled by slavs in Moscow, over a border that for centuries prior to Stalin being an itch in his father's jock was undisputededly within the realm of Russia's sphere of influence.

This. This, a thousand times.

Blogger Josh March 25, 2015 11:42 AM  

There is a good case for keeping them manageable. Both to keep the threat minimized, and to exercise leadership...you will recollect that the failure of Sparta to take the lead in the Persian Wars led directly to the Athenian Empire and the Peloponnesian War. Leadership is not a sometime thing.

Is there any intrinsic value in exercising leadership?

Our last attempt at exercising leadership was our multinational coalition that invaded Iraq. How did that turn out?

Anonymous Mike M. March 25, 2015 11:47 AM  

"Are you seriously suggesting that the average modern Russian is psychologically scarred by the fact that several medieval Russian states were vassals of the Mongols?"

It certainly affects their mindset. I took a Russian history course in college, and it was shocking just how much of their current (or then-current, this was 1985) actions were traceable to habits picked up 500+ years ago.

National personalities DO exist...and they are very predictable.

Blogger Josh March 25, 2015 11:48 AM  

National personalities DO exist...and they are very predictable.

Just because the Russians are paranoid doesn't mean someone isn't out to get them.

Anonymous Harsh March 25, 2015 11:51 AM  

I took a Russian history course in college, and it was shocking just how much of their current (or then-current, this was 1985) actions were traceable to habits picked up 500+ years ago.

Are you offering your single Russian history course as evidence of expertise in all things Russian? Just asking.

Anonymous JI March 25, 2015 11:51 AM  

Well, at least there are 48 representatives who are not quite so crazy. That's very heartening.

Anonymous Alexander March 25, 2015 11:53 AM  

Right. Okay so:

How many times in Russian history has the goal to control the Crimea and the Dnieper also been a sign that Russia intended to attack Paris, London, and New York?

The predictions say: never.

The only non Eastern European power with any historical credence whatsoever to see this as a sign of concern based on history would be Turkey.

And fuck Turkey, too.

Anonymous Gecko March 25, 2015 11:56 AM  

I took a Russian history course in college
... and there's a good clue that he's just trolling for lols.

Blogger Josh March 25, 2015 12:00 PM  

Are you offering your single Russian history course as evidence of expertise in all things Russian? Just asking.

I believe the standard has just been lowered from bachelor's degree in philosophy of language.

Anonymous ThirdMonkey March 25, 2015 12:03 PM  

Porky March 25, 2015 10:25 AM

Eliot Engel = Ukranian Joooooo.


This Engel fellow also introduced legislation banning M855 ammo. I wonder how much ammo we are sending to the Ukraine. We need to box him up and send him back. He can take my congressman, Frank Lucas, with him.

Anonymous Roundtine March 25, 2015 12:06 PM  

I don't see how this is different from other proxy wars. It isn't about to start a land war in Asia, but it is about to restart the Cold War.

Blogger Cogitans Iuvenis March 25, 2015 12:06 PM  

Are you seriously suggesting that the average modern Russian is psychologically scarred by the fact that several medieval Russian states were vassals of the Mongols?

It's not the average modern Russian psychology but the worldview. I mean for fuck sake you the impacts of the Napoleonic and Nazi invasions are still brought up consistently. It seems that only Americans are un-fucking able to grasp that other cultures have long memories.

The only non Eastern European power with any historical credence whatsoever to see this as a sign of concern based on history would be Turkey.

So suddenly the Baltics and Poland don't count? Look, the US is sticking it's nose were it doesn't belong, but let's not pretend that Russia doesn't have a history of bullying and/or subjugating her weaker neighbors but that alone is not a good reason for the US to get involved half a world away. Ultimately, the simple fact of the matter is that as far as US interests are concerned, outside of some tarnish to NATO, which is of dubious value to America to begin with, whether or not Russia dominates part, or all, of Ukraine doesn't affect us either economically geopolitically. This is what makes this posturing by the United States Government so stupid because it is abundantly clear that Russia see's keeping Ukraine under her influence as vital, self evident given that Russia has shed Russian blood over the issue, whereas for the United States it would be nothing more than a kudos and a byline for some American bureaucrat.

Anonymous Anonymous March 25, 2015 12:07 PM  

"National personalities DO exist...and they are very predictable."

And revealing, ?ike.

Anonymous Mike M. March 25, 2015 12:08 PM  

"Are you offering your single Russian history course as evidence of expertise in all things Russian? Just asking."

No. I merely point out that the actions of states often have roots that go back far deeper than people realize.

Anonymous ZhukovG March 25, 2015 12:12 PM  

Cogitans Iuvenis

If Russia is always seeking to expand its territory, as you suggest. Why, when Russia held Georgia, a former part of the Soviet Union, helplessly in its grasp, did Putin let it go?

The US was in no position to force the issue. In fact we had to face the humiliating fact that a US supplied, Israeli trained Georgian Army, was easily swept aside by by a few units of the Russian Army.

Blogger Thucydides March 25, 2015 12:12 PM  

While Gecko is correct in that this is really a European problem, the borders of Ukraine have not "always" been in Russia's sphere of influence. This area has been caught between Europe and Russia (Ukraine translates roughly as "Borderlands") for centuries, with the Polish and Lithuanians holding sway at one point, and much of Ukraine being pretty much an annex of the Austro-Hungarian Empire much more recently.

And the Ukrainian people are not very keen to be part of Russia or in its sphere of influence; Ukrainians fought a savage insurgency against the Russians reoccupying Ukraine during the Second World War and that didn't end until 1950.

If there is a "natural" divide or border it is the Dnieper river, much of the population west of the river is European and Catholic (and these are the people who rose in protest against Victor Yanukovich rejecting the EU trade deal in 2013). Simple self interest motivated the protest, a trade deal with the EU provided access to one of the world's largest trade blocks, Victor Yanukovich turned his back on that for access to Russia's economy; which is roughly the size of Italy's.

Having the Berkut gunning down people in Maiden square for protesting sealed Yanukovich's fate, he was corrupt but not ruthless enough to supress the pro EU protests, and the pro western/anti-Russian half of the population rapidly overwhelmed the ability of the Berkut to stop the protests from spreading west of the Dneiper (do a little map study of where the protests spread to).

Personally, I believe we should simply stand fast at this point. Russia is economically overextended withy their own reanament program, suffering from then loss of oil revenues due to Saudi Arabia flooding the market (and yes, the Saudis have their own reasons to attack Russia, mostly for supporting Iran and Syria) and hobbled by the huge costs of their adventures in Ukraine. Putin may want to be treated as a Great Power, and may be motivated by the political philosophy of Eurasianism, but realistically, he does not have the resources to do more than keep Ukraine locked in a "frozen conflict" and hope it keeps the attention and resources of NATO and the West focused there as well.

Anonymous Tallen March 25, 2015 12:13 PM  

The only non Eastern European power with any historical credence whatsoever to see this as a sign of concern based on history would be Turkey.

Funny you bring this up. Turkey has every right to be concerned between their support for the Islamic State and the precarious position of the Syrian regime. I don't think Putin would hesitate to trample all over Turkey to ship support to Assad if needed.

Anonymous no one of consequence March 25, 2015 12:14 PM  

Porky, the "JOOOOO" rhetorical device is prohibited here.

Anonymous Heh March 25, 2015 12:14 PM  

No doubt Putin realizes that House Resolutions don't actually mean jack shit. They do not command the government to do anything. They are merely an expression of opinion.

Putin obviously knows that the US military is in no position even to defend Ukraine, let alone attack Russia.

Anonymous fish March 25, 2015 12:18 PM  

Well look at that: I'm on the side with Hank "Guam" Johnson!

You might want to be on the opposite side....of Guam....not the vote.....less chance of tipping that way.

Anonymous clk March 25, 2015 12:21 PM  

The main point of the post is agreed with and I think the sentiment that the US should not see itself as the worlds police is probably shared here .. but the introductory statement ...

"One would think that the experience of Napoleon and Hitler would be sufficient to convince anyone that getting into a land war with Russia is something that you simply do not do"

Would seem to be something worth discussing in the future .. not because I beleive any sort of conflict with Russia is likely .. but because I am geneually interested in what the comparisons are between the French and German invasions of Russia are and whether we can really say that they failed for the same reasons AND whether these same reasons would be valid today...

No State is invading Russia .. certainly not the US or EU .. it is the one thing that nuclear weapons provides is stability against invasion from another country .. it doesn't prevent hords of immigrants and/or non state actors but it will prevent the US and EU from direct involvement.. at best we get is a proxy fight with EU supporting Western Ukraine and Russia supporting easrtern side...

Russia has already pulled the nuke card twice in the last month - once in a Putin speech talking about the Ukraining actions and more recently regarding Danish ship -- this tells us alot... but probably is most telling is that Russian's themselves do no beleive they have the reasources to win a direct conventional war.

Anonymous ZhukovG March 25, 2015 12:44 PM  

clk,

I believe Putin has mentioned nukes mainly to try and get the regular people of The West, particularly Western Europe, to realize that the US Government is trying to restart the Cold War.

The recent ceasefire agreement was of great interest because it involved three historically Great Powers of Europe and not the USA. So, the US is bending every effort to undermine the tenuous peace. But it appears that Europe is practicing for the day when the US is irrelevant.

Anonymous Ostar March 25, 2015 12:58 PM  

Another appropriate "gods" quote for this story:

Against stupidity, the gods contend in vain.

Anonymous Alexander March 25, 2015 1:09 PM  

So suddenly the Baltics and Poland don't count?

Did I say they didn't? I am talking about the United States reaction to Russia, and pointing out that only one country that is not in Eastern Europe has reason to be concerned, and that country is Turkey.

Tell me: Are Poland and the Baltics in Eastern Europe? Then clearly, I am not including them in the list of 'countries with no concern.'

That being said, with regards to US foreign policy, they don't count. We should no more send Americans to die for Estonia as we should for Ukraine.

And in fact, given that the western Europeans can't even be bothered to reproduce at replacement rate and don't appear to care about being the majorities in their own countries, we shouldn't send Americans to die in Berlin, Paris, or London either. Because dying to prevent western Europe being overrun by Russians so that it can be overrun by Arabs (or anyone else) makes no sense.

Anonymous clk March 25, 2015 1:21 PM  

"So, the US is bending every effort to undermine the tenuous peace. But it appears that Europe is practicing for the day when the US is irrelevant.."

The word irreventant is perhaps misused here ...

I think the majority in the US would like nothing more for Europe to stand on its own two feet and be responsible for its own defense and its future.... its is about time for the US to pull back and worry only about its own issues .. theres plenty of problems here for us to work on without defending the rest of the world too.

Blogger ajw308 March 25, 2015 1:35 PM  

Doesn't matter who you are, poking a tiger with a stick is a bad idea. Poking a bear isn't any better.

I believe Obama wants to destroy the US. It's crazy who's helping him.

Anonymous BigGaySteve March 25, 2015 1:56 PM  

"willing to sell out the American people for a few bucks."

I have confidence that they only sell out their constituents for lots of bucks. If only Bath House Barry was as concerned for US borders as he is about Russian ones. Perhaps we can get the SJWs riled up by pointing out Joe Biden's son's (white privileged) punishment for being busted with cocaine was to have to go to the Ukraine and be on the board of the company controlling their petrol reserves. Poor Jamal cant even get off with community service for crack.

"Porky, the "JOOOOO" rhetorical device is prohibited here."

I thought what was prohibited had extra OOOOOs at the end. Its hard to keep it straight.

Anonymous Gecko March 25, 2015 2:01 PM  

@Thucydides

Alexander said that; I was just agreeing. Regardless, your thoughts don't seem to contradict his much. He wasn't making a case for all of the Ukraine belonging to Russia. Rather the reverse - pointing out why the U.S. has no business enforcing the borders on today's map. When he said "border", I assumed he was referring to the rebellious region, which is certainly east of the Dneiper.

Anonymous BigGaySteve March 25, 2015 2:01 PM  

"I took a Russian history course in college"

Does having a Russian ex boyfriend count towards that credentialization? Does having an ex boyfriend whose great grandfather escaped Turkey when the moslems genocided the Armenian Christians, credential me to speak of moslems?

Anonymous Porky March 25, 2015 2:05 PM  

I thought what was prohibited had extra OOOOOs at the end. Its hard to keep it straight.

I know. Nate gets to pick how many o's he puts in his words. Why can't I?

The privileges of membership, I suppose.

Blogger automatthew March 25, 2015 2:16 PM  

Nate also gets to use ellipses erratically, because seniority.

Anonymous Alexander March 25, 2015 2:17 PM  

Gecko has the right of it.

And going further just reinforces the point. The area has - long before Stalin, long before the USA even existed - been a battle ground between catholic/orthodox, russia/ottomans/poles/Lithuanians... going back to bloody Mongols and Genoans!

So obviously, it is false to say that group X controlling that particular ground is indicative of an early warning of an attempt to invade elsewhere. Or that such action is obviously aimed against the United States.

It is not our fight. No more now than in 1783, or 1362.

Anonymous BigGaySteve March 25, 2015 2:19 PM  

"Nate also gets to use ellipses erratically, because seniority."

What...is...stopping...us...from...doing...as...well?

Anonymous Harsh March 25, 2015 2:21 PM  

Nate also gets to use ellipses erratically, because seniority.

There are certain things we simply shouldn't tolerate around here.

Blogger hadley March 25, 2015 2:28 PM  

What's the argument for American interest in the Ukraine besides the fact that we are already involved?

The Wolfowitz (aka Brzezinski) Doctrine, now some 20+ years old. America cannot allow the rise of any competing power on the Eurasian landmass. This competition, whether military or financial, would threaten American hegemony. We are seeing the results of tolerating Russia in the new development banks that are being created as well as the Chinese and Russian SWIFT equivalents that will be rolled out shortly as well as the rise of other currencies for investment, oil purchases and international trade.

We dare not threaten the Chinese, given our lack of technology, hollowed out industrial base, and utter reliance on Chinese manufactures, but we can certainly threaten Russia.

Given our unwillingness to recognize China as the ultimate threat, the end of American imperial hegemony is inevitable, however.

Anonymous zen0 March 25, 2015 2:52 PM  

> Nate also gets to use ellipses erratically, because seniority.

Nate is using ellipses rhetorically, not dialectically............

Blogger JCclimber March 25, 2015 2:53 PM  

"e are seeing the results of tolerating Russia in the new development banks that are being created as well as the Chinese and Russian SWIFT equivalents that will be rolled out shortly as well as the rise of other currencies for investment, oil purchases and international trade."

Of course, they wouldn't have bothered to develop the SWIFT alternative if we hadn't explicitly threatened them with blocking their banking access to the world banking system, now would they?

American imperial hegemony is doomed regardless. All empires except one will fall.

OpenID cailcorishev March 25, 2015 2:59 PM  

Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.

I can't think of a better explanation. My 13-year-old history students know better than this, having read recently about the Athenian debacle in Sicily. These guys seem determined to get a good hot war going; and other than population reduction, there don't even seem to be any cynical reasons for it.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza March 25, 2015 3:03 PM  

Putin prevails

What is in it for the neocon$ and war companies?

Blogger LP 999/Eliza March 25, 2015 3:05 PM  

Also neither Merkel nor Putin is Hilter. American talk radio is insanely, foolishly stating either/or are like Hilter.

Bullfeathers. Germany failed due to multiculti islam but can turn things around. Russia brought back God, nationalism and does not want the IMFs hooks into Ukraine. Did Russia join the EU? No.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza March 25, 2015 3:07 PM  

Where is Loki and Floki when we need them!

Anonymous Stilicho March 25, 2015 3:13 PM  

The only plausible reason I can come up with is that this isn't a proxy war for Ukraine, it's a proxy war for influence over Europe. The thinking could be that Europe will kowtow to a resurgent Bear unless the Bear is stopped in Ukraine. After all, would it be that much of a stretch for the Eurocrats to turn over the reigns of power to Russia in some form after the Eurocrats have put together such a nice little fascist empire that's in danger of dissolving and taking their perks and influence with it. Better to answer to the Russians than to the people, N'est ce pas?

It's a bit of a stretch though.

Anonymous DavidKathome March 25, 2015 3:25 PM  

One commentator, Eric Zuesse, was saying this was so dumb that if Obama actually follows through with this suggestion it would cause so much distrust of US politicians that most of Europe will abandon the US as allies.

Anonymous Frank Brady March 25, 2015 3:58 PM  

Mike M." 'Make no mistake, Putin is trying to reestablish the Soviet Union.'"

WTF? And you believe this why? Looks to me more like Washington is trying to establish the 4th Reich.

Anonymous Curtis March 25, 2015 4:22 PM  

Just look at a map - http://iranpoliticsclub.net/maps/images/192%20Southwest%20Asia%20Map.jpg - and between ME/Persia/Ukraine, it becomes quite clear. Of course we want to dominate the Black Sea, Caspian Sea, Mediterranean Sea.

Blogger Derrick Bonsell March 25, 2015 4:30 PM  

The Russophobes seem to not realize that if Russia wanted to acquire Ukrainian territory tanks would have rolled into Kiev long ago. In fact at the least the Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts would be firmly under Novorossiyan control.

Blogger RobertT March 25, 2015 4:36 PM  

What are these idiots thinking?

Anonymous Curtis March 25, 2015 4:38 PM  

And, once we have acquired that domination, here's the deal considering Russia's vast resources: Look, why don't you just be our bitch? It's better for us, and it's good for you.

Anonymous Alexander March 25, 2015 4:57 PM  

Ah yes, the Caspian: the gem of any maritime empire.

Anonymous Curtis March 25, 2015 5:16 PM  

Ah yes, the Caspian: the gem of any maritime empire.

Resources. Google, sometimes your friend.

The good Lord didn't see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratically elected regimes friendly to the United States. Occasionally we have to operate in places where, all things considered, one would not normally choose to go. But, we go where the business is. - Dick

And:

Although the U.S. needs Russian assistance in its campaign against Afghanistan, when AFP asked Alex Chorine of Caspian Investor what kind of relationship existed between the Russian and Western/Israeli energy companies doing business in the Caspian Basin, Chorine said, "They act as enemies."

And:

"Those that control the oil routes out of Central Asia will impact all future direction and quantities of flow and the distribution of revenues from new production." - Energy expert James Dorian, Oil & Gas Journal.

Try, Dick Cheney and Caspian Sea.

Wake up and smell the Corporate Fascism. Otherwise known as the New World Order.

https://youtu.be/Rc7i0wCFf8g - ;-)

Anonymous Alexander March 25, 2015 6:11 PM  

If after Iraq and Afghanistan, Fed.gov seriously sees itself holding and commercially exploiting large tracts of landlocked Central Asia, only with an actively (instead of covertly) hostile Russia and China... then they deserve more credit in chutzpah and stupidity than even I credit them.

So I don't see the Caspian being an American Lake any time soon.

Blogger Dewave March 25, 2015 6:49 PM  

"The real question is the degree to which we can or should prevent Putin from reestablishing the Soviet Union. "

What if he wants instead to reestablish the russian empire? It has a far longer history and was no worse than any other European state.

Anonymous jack March 25, 2015 7:04 PM  

@ jay c March 25, 2015 10:50 AM

One answer is to sign up with govtrack.us. I have it and it delivers a vote by vote tally of the reps and senators in dc and my state reps voting. You can tabulate these emails into a folder for record and reference in the future.

My rep in the house voted for this assistance to Ukraine and I will be sending him a still email of displeasure.

Anonymous Curtis March 25, 2015 8:09 PM  

So I don't see the Caspian being an American Lake any time soon.

We have "friends" around there already. We just need more southerly friends. Ya know, bitches who get benefits. You have to think full spectrum dominance. It might not happen soon, but they are not going to give up. It's a work in progress. You don't think the bankers and oilmen want to bring the Gap into the Core just because they are a bunch of really neat guys, do you? Peace to them means, well, see Orwell.

Anonymous p-dawg March 25, 2015 8:27 PM  

@Jack: Well, I expect your house rep will immediately straighten up and fly right upon receipt of your strongly-worded letter.

Blogger Azimus March 25, 2015 8:37 PM  

I am no scholar on Russia, but it seems that the primary, possibly only thrust of Russian military and diplomatic efforts since Peter the Great has been to create/maintain a belt of loyal vassal states between themselves and the West. The efforts taking place in Ukraine are a low-cost counter-punch to efforts of the EU/NATO/US/West to take Ukraine out of that belt. All the other shenanigans - the no-transponder bomber flights, the sub chases, mentions of nuclear missiles, etc., are same. Russia has the same strategy as Imperial Japan of World War 2: build up a modest empire, then hold it against the onslaught. With some ebb and flow, this has worked for them for 300 years.

Anonymous Curtis March 25, 2015 8:38 PM  

If after Iraq and Afghanistan, Fed.gov seriously sees itself holding and commercially exploiting large tracts of landlocked Central Asia...

It's manageable. Besides, now that we are officially flying sorties for Iran in Iraq now, maybe we worked out a deal? We are already doing metals and minerals (and poppies) in Afghanistan. We don't need to have the appearance of absolute rule.

Anonymous Curtis March 25, 2015 9:33 PM  

BTW, there is a solution for land-locked countries with gas/oil. Pipelines. Which by the way, was in the planning for Afghanistan long before Dial Emergency 9-1-1. Playing chess with commodities. Feints, counters, flanking, and boobus Americanus. Look! Shiny stuff! Shriek! Swoon! Faint! Freedumb! Who do you think writes our laws? Congress?

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus March 25, 2015 9:55 PM  

It's "defensive".

"If he fires one, I'll fire one." "Fire one!"

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus March 25, 2015 10:15 PM  

Leonidas: "And then Hitler, "I've got a better idea, got a better idea... Oh, it's the same idea! It's the same idea, it's the same idea...""

The Kaiser did better: he beat the Russians, but lost his war anyway, because it was all too much. He had too many other problems at the same time.

As does America.

A small part of the German policy of busting up Russia was sending Lenin there in a sealed train, to get Bolshevism going. And my didn't that come back to haunt us all, especially the Germans.

Attacking Russia is one of those ideas that often works out very badly in a variety of ways, even if it looks like it's all going great at first.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus March 25, 2015 10:22 PM  

Azimus: "With some ebb and flow, this has worked for them for 300 years."

Why would they stop? Especially why would they stop when the necons are proving beyond doubt that "paranoid" or not the Russians have real enemies?

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus March 25, 2015 10:48 PM  

Mike M.: "National personalities DO exist...and they are very predictable."

Another vote for the theory that nations can have natural friends and enemies?

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus March 25, 2015 10:54 PM  

Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. That's the thought that ran through my mind when I read this.

As much as I admire the Jews, I don't normally think of them as gods.

But they are playing the part in this case. Eliot Engel, the lead sponsor of the maddening resolution, is of course Jewish.

Blogger bob k. mando March 25, 2015 11:34 PM  

BigGaySteve March 25, 2015 2:19 PM
What...is...stopping...us...from...doing...as...well?



you don't seem to understand what 'erratic' means. did wrf3 instruct you in English?

Blogger JaimeInTexas March 25, 2015 11:41 PM  

"Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad."

I have made that statement with more frequency than I care to remember.

Anonymous Don March 25, 2015 11:57 PM  

Their hand is being forced a bit. With the financial attacks against them by this administration and NATO creeping closer, we are backing the bear into a corner. A hard-ass like Putin will attack if it comes to it, and we are treating Russia like they're Iran. By that, I mean we treating them like a third tier power, instead of a major player in the world.
If we had a flare up with Mexico and Russia started threatening us, making pacts in central america, and moving weapons systems near our borders, we would be rightly pissed.
I honestly believe this may set the stage for another world war.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus March 26, 2015 12:27 AM  

Don: With the financial attacks against them by this administration and NATO creeping closer, we are backing the bear into a corner."

Same clip as before.

Ben Munceford: "You're not chasing whales now, Finlander; you're pushing him too far."

Commodore Wolfgang Schrepke: "He's right, Captain. You must stop this madness."

Captain Eric Finlander U.S.N.: "So you still think I'm 'frightening,' eh, Commodore?"

Commodore Wolfgang Schrepke: "The sub captain and his crew will act now like animals, fighting for survival."

Cptain Eric Finlander U.S.N.: "This is my job."

Commodore Wolfgang Schrepke: "It is not your job. Break off this action, or you'll force him to fight."

Captain Eric Finlander U.S.N.: "So you think he's going to fire on us, do you?"

Commodore Wolfgang Schrepke: "I would in his place; so would you."

Captain Eric Finlander U.S.N.: "CIC."

CIC: "Sir?"

Captain Eric Finlander U.S.N.: "What's the target aspect?"

CIC: "Target showing minimum surface area, Sir. Bow on."

Captain Eric Finlander U.S.N.: "Thank you."

Captain Eric Finlander U.S.N.: "Fire Control!"

Fire Control!: "Sir!"

Captain Eric Finlander U.S.N.: "Arm Number One ASROC."

We'll meet again. Don't know where,don't know when, but I know we'll meet again, some sunny day.

Anonymous rho March 26, 2015 3:51 AM  

I really like the idea that the Ukraine is currently an international hotspot. Prior to now it was Ground Zero for 2nd- and 3rd-tier fashion models, but it has become our present day Midway entirely because some people think Putin is a dick.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus March 26, 2015 4:29 AM  

rho: "I really like the idea that the Ukraine is currently an international hotspot. Prior to now it was Ground Zero for 2nd- and 3rd-tier fashion models, but it has become our present day Midway entirely because some people think Putin is a dick."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Engel was born in the Bronx, the son of Sylvia (née Bleend) and Philip Engel, an ironworker. His grandparents of Ukrainian Jewish roots immigrated from Russia.

If the people who rule over you are extremely ethnocentric, what they regard as their ethnic interests may be very important, whereas your ethnic genetic interests, if different from theirs, may be unimportant.

If the people who rule over you have an aggressive temperament, you may be uncomfortable with the way they choose to pursue their interests.

I know I am.

Anonymous rho March 26, 2015 4:56 AM  

If they ruled over me as you suggest, I would be conscripted to fight in Ukraine.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus March 26, 2015 5:36 AM  

rho: "If they ruled over me as you suggest, I would be conscripted to fight in Ukraine."

Why?

Anonymous rho March 26, 2015 6:13 AM  

If the people who rule over you are extremely ethnocentric, what they regard as their ethnic interests may be very important, whereas your ethnic genetic interests, if different from theirs, may be unimportant.

If the people who rule over you have an aggressive temperament, you may be uncomfortable with the way they choose to pursue their interests.

I know I am.


It's your apocolypse, not mine.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus March 26, 2015 6:54 AM  

rho: "It's your apocolypse, not mine."

So for you this is "our Midway" -- meaning a great victory / a good thing?

Anonymous Heaviside March 26, 2015 8:32 AM  

>The breakup of the USSR was like the breakup of Germany after World War II - it took a problem country and broke it into manageable pieces. There is a good case for keeping them manageable.

I seriously hope that one day when everything south of Nebraska belongs to Mexico people will say that the US was a "problem country" which was broken up into manageable pieces.

Anonymous BigGaySteve March 26, 2015 12:08 PM  

"If they ruled over me as you suggest, I would be conscripted to fight in Ukraine."

With affirmative action low standards for non Asian minorities & Low IQ black/brown eligible for all scholarships that don't require merit, joining the military might be the only way for non-rich whites to pay for schooling.

Anonymous American Kulak March 26, 2015 7:14 PM  

"March 25, 2015 4:30 PM" "The Russophobes seem to not realize that if Russia wanted to acquire Ukrainian territory tanks would have rolled into Kiev long ago. In fact at the least the Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts would be firmly under Novorossiyan control." This. Even with a lightweight force of say 40,000, the Russians would have VDV and spetsnaz blocking the escape routes and capturing or blowing key bridges over the Dnieper in 24 hours. They would have their air dropped BTRs/arty/rocket systems at the big river to complete a gigantic encirclement of every dumb Ukrainian bastard and NATO soldier who wasn't supposed to be there (primarily from Poland and Lithuania, though you never know now with these idiots in charge) within a week. Donbass encirclement after Russian air strikes and Iskander supersonic missiles decaptitate some of the better Ukrainian units by wiping out their CPs (with again, CIA/NSA spooks who were never there inside) completed within 48 hours, 72 hours tops. Donbass citizens for the most part would welcome the Russians or go underground. Kharkov would simply be bypassed as its too damn big for the Russians to bother with, they would probably turn the city over to the NAF which means all the local SBU, Right Sector and Porkyshenko gauleiters get strung up from lampposts or run for their lives.

Tens of thousands of Ukrainians would surrender like Iraqis to our guys in 1991. Neocons would go absolutely apeshit and demand Polish and US air strikes on the Russian bridgeheads, only to be slapped down by the Germans and told if they want to launch strikes from Ramstein they cut off the power and electricity to US bases in Germany and also allow them to be picketed by thousands. End game: Germany and France negotiate the ceasefire, Russian forces withdraw with Novorossiya militias overstretched over a huge territory (one of the main reasons Russia hasn't invaded, along with the economic costs). US humiliated, Carl Bildt's favorite neo-Nazi sniper Mikael Skillt dead in the first 24 hours after Naval spetsnaz storm Mariupol and kill or capture most of the Azov Battalion Nazis, NATO broken up by America's own stupidity in making Ukraine a red line, and only a few Lithuanian and Poles fighting for Kiev in the teeth of opposition from their own publics.

That's the scenario I see and still hope can be avoided by Obozos' waffling under German and French pressure.

Once again, these morons tweeting #RussiaInvadedUkraine have no freaking clue what an actual invasion to destroy the Ukrainian army east of Dnieper and humiliate NATO by capturing Polish, Lithuanian and US operators and mercs in Donbass would look like.

Anonymous American Kulak March 26, 2015 7:23 PM  

Again, I don't want the above scenario to happen. I think in the long run it would probably be bad for Russia, the Novorossiya militias don't have the manpower to hold a huge territory east of the Dnieper and the Russians don't want to actually occupy Ukraine and give Z. Big his wet dream of Afghanistan 2.0. But make no mistake: the Ukrainian army which cannot even beat Moscow's junior varsity or foreign legion and whose Commander in Chief engages in pathetic lies about 1,700 vs. 12,000+ KIA since last April would get crushed. The Ukrainian Army hasn't been able to defeat the NAF despite not having to face a single air strike or inbound cruise missile. These Congress critters have no freaking clue and frankly don't care, they're ready to fight Putin to the last Ukrainian. The only sane people left in our government might be in the military who understand that the Ukrainian army against the Russians directly with the gloves off wouldn't be much different than Saddam's army against ours in 1991. The Russians would probably lose about 300 KIA in a one week blitzkrieg and kill 4,000-5,000 Ukrainian soldiers and several dozen Poles/Lithuanians and NATO contractors at the wrong place at the wrong time.

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