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Putin calls Obama’s bluff, exposes him as the impotent imperator

01 Mar

Heh-heh.

Following President Obama’s statement yesterday afternoon, which warned Russia that “there will be costs for any intervention in Ukraine,” Russian President Vladimir Putin responded with a shrug as he asked the upper house of the Russian parliament to authorize the deployment of troops in Ukraine. The request was passed unanimously.

Amusing. Putin may be an autocrat, and one who unites left and neo-cons against him (which is great, actually), but hey, when you compare him to Obama… There’s no comparison. And he’s a social conservative.

Go Putin! Just because. :)

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22 Comments

Posted by on March 1, 2014 in Fuck Yeah!

 

22 responses to “Putin calls Obama’s bluff, exposes him as the impotent imperator

  1. Novaseeker

    March 1, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Obama is getting his clock cleaned, which is deserved.

    On the substance, Crimea is Russia. The Donbass is pretty much Russia as well. There’s no way the Russians would permit Crimea to enter to the EU (which is where it appears Ukraine is headed) without a real fight. Remember they fought the Crimean war about the place in the 1850s. They will go to war over it again if they feel the need to do so to protect their deep-harbor warm water port, which allows them to project power down into the eastern Med.

    Obama has no cards to play, here, really … Direct war against a nuclear power (has never happened) over a place that is clearly in Russia’s direct sphere of influence? Economic sanctions, when Russia holds huge “hand” in terms of resources over all of Eastern Europe and much of Central Europe as well? Diplomatic isolation, when Russia’s vote is needed on things like Syria, Iran and so on?

    Obama is effed. He put himself here with his own naivete and stupidity. Frankly, Putin is a much more effective leader than any US president we have seen in a long time. Yes, autocratic, but that fits more or less in Russia, really. His effectiveness is why the Russians generally like him (as compared to the chaos they suffered in the 1990s when the West was basically hoping Russia would collapse into the ocean).

     
  2. Sanne

    March 1, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    I pray every night it won’t come to real war….

     
  3. Novaseeker

    March 1, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    I think there may be some military confrontation between the Ukrainians and the Russians, but I don’t think that either the EU or the US will get involved other than in a very indirect way (maybe some advisors at the most), but there will be a lot of jaw-boning of course.

     
  4. Will S.

    March 1, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    @ Novaseeker:

    Obama is getting his clock cleaned, which is deserved.

    Exactly. Hence my schadenfreude; it is delicious! :)

    On the substance, Crimea is Russia. The Donbass is pretty much Russia as well. There’s no way the Russians would permit Crimea to enter to the EU (which is where it appears Ukraine is headed) without a real fight. Remember they fought the Crimean war about the place in the 1850s. They will go to war over it again if they feel the need to do so to protect their deep-harbor warm water port, which allows them to project power down into the eastern Med.

    Indeed; Russia has always believed in ‘balance of powers’ between regional superpowers, same as Germany used to. None of this ‘liberty’ ideological crap like the ideological ‘proposition nation’ buys into; the Russkis are more realist, and self-serving. Frankly, I find it refreshing; no pretending to hold to high ideals, just matter-of-fact ‘this is ours, we’re claiming it’, shrug shoulders, get ‘er dun.

    Obama has no cards to play, here, really … Direct war against a nuclear power (has never happened) over a place that is clearly in Russia’s direct sphere of influence? Economic sanctions, when Russia holds huge “hand” in terms of resources over all of Eastern Europe and much of Central Europe as well? Diplomatic isolation, when Russia’s vote is needed on things like Syria, Iran and so on?

    Exactly; bluff, bluff, bluff. Putin knew Obama would be powerless to stop him, so he just boldly went ahead, gave Obama the equivalent of a middle finger. I love it. :)

    Obama is effed. He put himself here with his own naivete and stupidity. Frankly, Putin is a much more effective leader than any US president we have seen in a long time. Yes, autocratic, but that fits more or less in Russia, really. His effectiveness is why the Russians generally like him (as compared to the chaos they suffered in the 1990s when the West was basically hoping Russia would collapse into the ocean).

    Exactly. Obama is the shittiest leader America has had for a long time, esp. as regards foreign affairs; makes Dubya look like a genius in comparison. It’s amusing watching the bumbling fool bumble, and the sharp ex-KGB agent act like the professional he still is. :)

    @ Sanne: Oh, it won’t; what Novaseeker said, both comments: if it’ll be war, it won’t be a worldwide one, just a local one, even Western Europe won’t have to worry, surely.

    @ Novaseeker: America will never go up against any nation that either is known to have, or truly believed to have, nuclear weapons. That’s why America will never really challenge the North Korean regime, despite loud talk, and that’s also why, despite the claims originally made about Iraq having ‘weapons of mass destruction’ under Saddam Hussein, some of us knew those were trumped up charges, all bullshit, and weren’t surprised when none were found – as the U.N. had said, all along. No, American presidents will talk tough against weak nations, but anyone that actually has nukes, or is truly feared to have nukes, will never be touched. They can do whatever they want, with impunity.

     
  5. Peter Blood

    March 2, 2014 at 12:27 am

    Eventually USG will think it a good project to swap the populations of Japan and Madagascar. Just because.

     
  6. evilwhitemalempire

    March 2, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Heh, how does Obama expect to fight a war with Russia when all the defense money is going to welfare moms and illegal aliens?

     
  7. Will S.

    March 2, 2014 at 1:00 am

    @ Peter Blood: ?

    @ evilwhitemaleempire: Indeed. He can’t. Just bluffing. Now his bluff has been called.

     
  8. evilwhitemalempire

    March 2, 2014 at 6:51 am

    Everyone needs to read this link if they haven’t already.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euromaidan

    “The demonstrations began on the night of 21 November 2013, when protests erupted in the capital, Kiev, after the Ukrainian government suspended preparations for signing an Association Agreement and a Free Trade Agreement with the European Union, in order to seek closer economic relations with Russia.[71] The president had asked for 20 Billion USD in loans and aid.[72] The EU was willing to offer 610 million Euros (838 million USD) in loans,[73] however Russia was willing to offer 15 Billion USD in loans.[73]. Russia also offered the Ukraine cheaper gas prices.[73] In addition to the money, the EU required major changes to the regulations and laws in the Ukraine, Russia however did not.[72] On 24 November 2013 first clashes between protesters and police began.”

    “the EU required major changes to the regulations and laws in the Ukraine”

    We all know what THAT’S all about don’t we!

     
  9. Novaseeker

    March 2, 2014 at 8:24 am

    The US military has a bigger budget than the next 14 countries behind it combined, and that includes China and Russia. It’s not a size/capability issue, it’s an issue of not going to direct war with a nuclear power. That has never happened. That’s why other countries want nukes — it provides a deterrent against the US pushing them around with its gargantuan military budget and super-expensive toys that no-one else can afford.

    The Maidan was really mostly driven by Western Ukrainians (who were part of Poland prior to WWII, are Eastern Catholic, and hate the Russians to the death) and the usual rabble of anti-government, pro-Western stuff you can dredge up in most world capitals. The “gas” behind it came from the Western Ukrainian nationalists — groups like Svoboda ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svoboda_(political_party) ) and Pravii Sektor ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pravy_Sektor ), both of which are heavily Western Ukrainian. There’s a reason why the cities of the Donbass are up in arms about what just happened in Kiev. The Western Ukrainians are trying to jack the government, with the help of the US and EU.

    Partition would be the most rational solution, but because it is a rational one, it will be the last one we come to, likely after clashes between the Russians and Ukrainians.

     
  10. Will S.

    March 2, 2014 at 9:20 am

    @ evilwhitemaleempire: Abortion, gay marriage, no-fault divorce, the usual prog bullshit.

    @ Novaseeker:

    The US military has a bigger budget than the next 14 countries behind it combined, and that includes China and Russia. It’s not a size/capability issue, it’s an issue of not going to direct war with a nuclear power. That has never happened. That’s why other countries want nukes — it provides a deterrent against the US pushing them around with its gargantuan military budget and super-expensive toys that no-one else can afford.

    Exactly. I wish Canada had nukes, too.

    The Maidan was really mostly driven by Western Ukrainians (who were part of Poland prior to WWII, are Eastern Catholic, and hate the Russians to the death) and the usual rabble of anti-government, pro-Western stuff you can dredge up in most world capitals. The “gas” behind it came from the Western Ukrainian nationalists — groups like Svoboda ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svoboda_(political_party) ) and Pravii Sektor ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pravy_Sektor ), both of which are heavily Western Ukrainian. There’s a reason why the cities of the Donbass are up in arms about what just happened in Kiev. The Western Ukrainians are trying to jack the government, with the help of the US and EU.

    Partition would be the most rational solution, but because it is a rational one, it will be the last one we come to, likely after clashes between the Russians and Ukrainians.

    Crimea has only been part of the Ukraine since 1954, when, for administrative reasons, the Soviets transferred it from being part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. It’s not naturally a fit with the Ukraine; its history places it with Russia, frankly.

     
  11. Novaseeker

    March 2, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Right, it’s Russia. Kruschev gave it to Ukraine to buy some votes in the Central Committee, really. It wasn’t considered to be a real transfer, anyway, because it was all the Soviet Union, so it wasn’t considered a big deal at the time. I don’t think the Russians would care if it stayed in Ukraine as long as Ukraine wasn’t going down the path of EU/NATO membership, because that clearly means they would be getting kicked out of the key strategic bases in Sevastopol. It was folly by the West to think that Russia would ever let that happen — folly and greed. I think they thought they could just take Ukraine, all of it, and screw the Russians out of Sevastopol in the process — someone seems to have forgotten about the Crimean war.

     
  12. Will S.

    March 2, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Folly, indeed. And no historical memory, either…

     
  13. Eric

    March 3, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Will S: “some of us knew those were trumped up charges, all bullshit, and weren’t surprised when none were found – as the U.N. had said, all along.”

    The UN did not, and could not have, made that claim about Iraq’s proscribed weapons. You misunderstand the WMD issue in the 1991-2003 US-led enforcement of the Gulf War ceasefire and related UNSC resolutions. I don’t fault you – many people were misdirected by the false narrative of the US-led enforcement with Iraq. Here’s the truth:

    The accusation that Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) was based on manufactured intelligence or the ‘confirmation bias’ of Bush officials relies on revisionist premises.

    First, the Iraq enforcement procedure that Bush inherited from Clinton did not pivot on the intelligence. Intelligence only colored the argument. Intelligence was not a required element of the operative enforcement procedure. The Iraq enforcement pivoted on Saddam’s compliance to a mandated standard on a range of requirements, including but not limited to accounting for proscribed weapons.

    Second, Iraq’s guilt on WMD was established and presumed in 1991 as the basis of the Gulf War ceasefire and UNSC resolutions. From that point, the US and UN carried no burden of proof to demonstrate Iraq’s WMD. The presentation of intelligence did not and could not trigger OIF because the burden of proof was entirely on Iraq. OIF was triggered by Saddam’s failure to meet Iraq’s burden of proof on a mandated standard of compliance. Among other requirements, Iraq needed to account for its proscribed weapons.

    A pervasive, fundamental misunderstanding of UNSCOM and UNMOVIC is the belief their role in Iraq was to discover whether Iraq possessed proscribed weapons. Actually, on the basis that Iraq’s possession of proscribed weapons was established and presumed, the UNSCOM and UNMOVIC role in Iraq was not to find anything, but rather to verify whether Iraq had sufficiently accounted for its proscribed weapons. With UNSCOM and UNMOVIC, Iraq failed to satisfactorily account for its proscribed weapons.

    Third, based on Iraq’s history, track record of deception, defiance, and belligerence, established and presumed guilt, and the stakes involved, Clinton and later Bush officials with the added threat considerations in the wake of 9/11 were _obligated_ to view any intelligence on Iraqi WMD in an unfavorable light for Iraq. Saddam had squandered all benefit of the doubt during the Clinton administration, and with Iraq, we had to be certain. As former President Clinton explained in 2004, “I thought the president had an absolute responsibility to go to the U.N. and say, ‘Look, guys, after 9/11, you have got to demand that Saddam Hussein lets us finish the inspection process.’ You couldn’t responsibly ignore [the possibility that] a tyrant had these stocks”.

    In fact, because of Iraq’s established and presumed guilt and burden of proof, our ignorance of the state of Iraq’s WMD – as Clinton framed his cause for war with Iraq in 1998 – was legally sufficient to trigger military enforcement. If all of the intelligence on Iraqi WMD was mistaken, then that only returned our enforcement on Iraq to the lower bar of unaccounted for Iraqi weapons that triggered Operation Desert Fox in 1998. Solving our ignorance about Iraq’s weapons was Saddam’s duty.

    In other words, the presentation of intelligence was irrelevant as a cause of war. The failure of Saddam to comply and cure his presumption of guilt was the cause of war both in 1998 and 2003.

    President Bush was faithful to President Clinton’s Iraq and counter-terrorism policies, and it’s unfortunate that Bush deviated from Clinton’s public case against Iraq by citing intelligence in an affirmative claim rather than using Clinton’s lower bar of dangerous ignorance induced by Iraq regarding the status of proscribed weapons. Nonetheless, Bush’s public presentation did not change the parameters of the Iraq problem, the established enforcement procedure Bush used to resolve the Iraq problem, Iraq’s established and presumed guilt on WMD, and the urgency added by 9/11 to resolve the Iraq problem.

    To summarize, within the operative enforcement procedure, it did not matter whether the CIA had said, ‘Mr. President, it is a slam dunk that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction’ or ‘Mr. President, we have not known for sure since 1995′ – because the US and UN held no burden of proof on Iraq’s weapons. The entire burden of proof was on Saddam. Within the operative enforcement procedure, Saddam was guilty until Saddam proved Iraq was fully rehabilitated. Within the operative enforcement procedure, until Saddam fully accounted for his proscribed weapons, Saddam was presumed to possess them – regardless of whether Iraq’s possession was demonstrable by intelligence services.

    The notion that the CIA and other intelligence services held a responsibility to prove Iraq’s WMD, when Iraq’s WMD had been an established fact at the basis of the Iraq enforcement since 1991, is a false premise foundational to the false narrative of the Iraq enforcement. If the CIA had said, ‘We don’t know’, that would not have changed the Iraq enforcement procedure, because anywhere Iraq lacked account of proscribed weapons meant possession.

    After the fact, the 2004 CIA DCI Special Advisor Report on Iraq’s WMD, commonly called the Duelfer Report, confirmed that Iraq was in violation of the UNSC resolutions related to weapons, though not entirely as suggested by the pre-war intelligence. There is, of course, no disagreement that Saddam remained in violation of UNSC resolutions related to humanitarian and terrorism standards that were also triggers for the military enforcement.

     
  14. Will S.

    March 3, 2014 at 12:45 am

    Certainly, Iraq had chemical weapons, and had gassed the Kurds. Actually, during the Iran-Iraq war in the ’80s, the U.S. had helped arm Saddam Hussein. Anyway, certainly, it’s understandable that Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait raised Washington’s ire against their former ally, and that they felt it necessary to end the Kuwait occupation and restore Kuwait’s sovereignty; I can understand that. The Gulf War in 1991 made sense. But Washington should have removed Hussein at THAT time, as Schwarzkopf had wanted to do, as Powell had wanted to do, rather than leaving Hussein in power. But why was it suddenly necessary a decade later to ‘finish unfinished business’ when it hadn’t been pressing in 1991, when Saddam Hussein wasn’t even occupying a neighbouring nation any more? But then, on the other hand, why leave a dictator who takes over a neighbouring country, in power rather than dealing with him after having driven him out of said country?

    I don’t trust the Dubya regime any more than I trusted his father’s regime. Or Clinton’s. Or Obama’s.

    I don’t believe it is America’s duty to be the World Police, deciding who should and shouldn’t have nuclear or other dangerous weapons. Who made America the judge of the nations?

    Nor do I believe that’s the U.N.’s role, either.

    It’s Christ’s.

    Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?

    I trust Him more than I trust any earthly kingdom, especially ones that appoint themselves the world’s guardians.

     
  15. Eric

    March 3, 2014 at 4:10 am

    Will S: “why was it suddenly necessary a decade later to ‘finish unfinished business’ when it hadn’t been pressing in 1991, when Saddam Hussein wasn’t even occupying a neighbouring nation any more? But then, on the other hand, why leave a dictator who takes over a neighbouring country, in power rather than dealing with him after having driven him out of said country?”

    To answer your 1st question, there was no ‘suddenly’ about it. We had reached the point of ‘necessary’ with Saddam, as determined and set in US policy by Clinton, 4 years before his successor followed through on Clinton’s 1998 declaration that “Iraq has abused its final chance”.

    By the close of the Clinton administration, we had only 3 choices on Iraq: maintain the toxic status quo indefinitely (default kicking the can), free a noncompliant Saddam (out of the question), or give Saddam a final chance to comply under credible threat of regime change (resolution).

    The penultimate military enforcement step, bombing Iraq, had been passed with Operation Desert Fox in 1998.

    The cause of action was set; what we lacked between Clinton’s ultimate judgement on Saddam in 1998 and the delayed follow-through by Bush in 2002 was the political will.

    9/11 filled the gap in political will.

    Note, contrary to the false narrative, the Bush administration did *not* claim Saddam was behind the 9/11 attacks. In fact, the Saddam problem, which included Saddam’s guilt on terrorism in the bundle of UNSC resolutions and US laws, and procedures to resolve the problem were mature by the close of the Clinton administration – before 9/11. However, the 9/11 attacks did significantly boost the urgency and political will to resolve the problem expeditiously. In 2004, former President Clinton explained the link between 9/11 and Iraq:

    Noting that Bush had to be “reeling” in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, Clinton said Bush’s first priority was to keep al Qaeda and other terrorist networks from obtaining “chemical and biological weapons or small amounts of fissile material.”

    “That’s why I supported the Iraq thing. There was a lot of stuff unaccounted for,” Clinton said in reference to Iraq and the fact that U.N. weapons inspectors left the country in 1998.

    “So I thought the president had an absolute responsibility to go to the U.N. and say, ‘Look, guys, after 9/11, you have got to demand that Saddam Hussein lets us finish the inspection process.’ You couldn’t responsibly ignore [the possibility that] a tyrant had these stocks,” Clinton said.

    President Bush concurred with his predecessor that the 9/11 attacks increased the urgency to resolve the Iraq problem:

    Some citizens wonder, after 11 years of living with this problem, why do we need to confront it now? And there’s a reason. We’ve experienced the horror of September the 11th. We have seen that those who hate America are willing to crash airplanes into buildings full of innocent people. Our enemies would be no less willing, in fact, they would be eager, to use biological or chemical, or a nuclear weapon.

    Knowing these realities, America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof — the smoking gun — that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud. As President Kennedy said in October of 1962, “Neither the United States of America, nor the world community of nations can tolerate deliberate deception and offensive threats on the part of any nation, large or small. We no longer live in a world,” he said, “where only the actual firing of weapons represents a sufficient challenge to a nations security to constitute maximum peril.”

    Lest I give Bush too much credit for resolving the Saddam problem, Al Gore as US President likely would have acted to resolve it, too, in the wake of 9/11. Vice President Gore was in the Clinton administration as the Saddam problem matured, so Gore was more sensitized to the Saddam problem than Bush was. As is, Bush’s case against Saddam was really Clinton’s case against Saddam.

    The short answer to your 2nd question is the Iraq enforcement from 1990 onward was the defining post-Cold War UN mission.

    In the UN context, from 1991 to 2003, we gave Saddam every opportunity to rehabilitate and stay in power without regime change. Recall that, to support the UN mission, we declined to support the Shia revolt in 1991 even though US military and UN forces were still on the ground and capable of ‘finishing unfinished business’. The Shia *only* revolted because they trusted the US with their lives. Instead, our soldiers were ordered to stand down, and they watched while Saddam killed the rebellion. Many Shia who lost loved ones, such as Muqtada al Sadr, didn’t forgive us. UN procedures and politics, and post-Cold War goals were insufficient justification and the belated US no-fly zone and added-on UNSC resolutions were insufficient compensation for what they considered our ultimate betrayal.

    The post-Gulf War disarmament of Iraq’s proscribed weapons was meant to be concluded by the close of 1992, if not 1991. But Saddam refused to comply. Thereafter, the failure to resolve what devolved to a provocative, festering, indefinite stalemate with no solution in sight until Bush acted in 2002 is emblematic of the joint failure of the UN as an international regulatory body and the US as leader of the free world after the Cold War. Second-order harms of the Saddam problem included al Qaeda, which from its inception cited the Iraq enforcement, starting with Desert Shield, as the primary cause of its world war against the West. Our failure to resolve the Saddam problem as it worsened boosted al Qaeda throughout the 1990s.

    By 2002, there was a bundle of reasons that were long past due to resolve the Saddam problem. Among them, Bush stated his hope to restore the UN as an effective international regulatory body, like his father had pinned his hope on the UN with Iraq in 1990-1991. Unfortunately, as the UN had disappointed his father and Clinton, Bush’s hope for the UN failed. Note, though, that the US-led peace operations in Iraq following the ouster of Saddam’s regime were fully sanctioned by the UN, following the precedent of the US-led NATO mission in the Balkans.

     
  16. Eric

    March 3, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Add: The UN controversy over the US invasion on Iraq was not over the question of Iraq’s guilt. Iraq’s guilt was established and presumed at the outset, and UNMOVIC had confirmed Iraq remained out of compliance.

    Rather, the UN controversy was procedural: whether the US had sufficient legal authority under international law to act ‘unilaterally’ to enforce the Gulf War ceasefire and UNSC resolutions without a new specific and explicit UN directive.

    (Note: The US-led coalition was multilateral in practical terms; the ‘unilateral’ label only applied to the UN procedural question. The false narrative, however, conflated the UN procedural and practical aspects of the Iraq enforcement.)

    The false narrative claims the Iraq enforcement was illegal. Actually, the Iraq enforcement falls in a gray area of international law, one that favors the US position.

    The UN lacks enforcement capability and its authority is by consent. The UN relies on the sovereign authority and capabilities of member nations for enforcement. Starting in 1990, the UN mission in Iraq relied on US sovereign authority and capability.

    (Note: Within US sovereign authority, there is no domestic legal controversy. Under the Bush Sr, Clinton, and Bush administrations, the Iraq enforcement was developed into one of the best, perhaps the best, legally grounded military missions in US history.)

    Clinton’s military actions in Iraq, such as the no-fly zone and Operation Desert Fox, were conducted without new UN approvals. Clinton cited to the Gulf War UN and US authorizations he inherited from the Bush Sr administration. Congress continued passing laws boosting the Iraq enforcement during the Clinton administration. The UN and US legal authorities cited and added by Clinton carried over to the Bush administration.

    Furthermore, Clinton’s intervention in the Balkans had been conducted without any UN directive while the post-war military occupation was approved by the UN. Operation Iraqi Freedom followed that precedent.

    As the Russians complain, any critic of the US-led Iraq enforcement who had approved of the US-led Balkans interventions is a hypocrite because the analogous Balkans intervention had a weaker legal basis than the Iraq enforcement.

     

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