« Open Thread - 21 August 2014 | Main | Russian Aid Rolling Towards Lugansk - TTG »

21 August 2014

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Tyler

When you start wrapping your arms around liberal thought, you see how they arrive at the conclusions they do. Putin is evil because he doesn't support homos, so obviously everything is permitted because he is evil. No matter how many die, all that matters is being on "the right side of history".

"Liberty" to the progs in this country means freedom to watch whatever porno you want, but not being supportive of gays means the firing line. Its a schizophrenic death cult obsessed with pleasure at any cost.

Haralambos

Walrus,

Here is a link to the complete article that I think does not require a subscription to Foreign Affairs: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/141769/john-j-mearsheimer/why-the-ukraine-crisis-is-the-wests-fault

He does not refer to the Monroe Doctrine explicitly, I believe, but the expansion of the west into former Iron-Curtain countries must be very threatening to many in Russia as they see NATO and the US encircling the Russian Federation with bases. As he points out, this is the gateway to many invasions from the west.

I will also note Brigadier F. B. Ali's earlier post in a thread that included a transcription of Putin's address in the Crimea: http://eng.kremlin.ru/news/22820. All of this might be set against the backdrop of Obama golfing and schmoozing off Cape Cod while Ferguson was in flames with tear gas in the streets. This reminds me of Bush the Younger blowing off the warning of a strike before 9/11 and his response and that of his staff during Hurricane Katrina in 2006. If I recall correctly, he was in Crawford clearing brush.

Medicine Man

Walrus:

Our inability to objectively evaluate ourselves continues to be a source of great misery. If another country took the steps that the US has in recent years, we would surely have no problem recognizing the provocation for what it is.

Robert44

Empire propaganda is mostly too stupid to waste your time with. In the real world, (not presented by Empire media) no one, especially Empire thinks of the Ukraine as a nation state.

It was either a no man's land between the Euro branch of Empire and the Russian Federation, (that would mean a cold peace) or it would be a battleground on the Western front in Cold War 2 that the Obamanation has declared against Vlad and Xi.

While Vlad was watching the Winter Olympics and worrying about "terrorists" Empire putsched Kiev. Now the question is whether Vlad will be able to get any counterplay besides the Crimea which he really could not afford to lose.

So far it is not looking good for him.

Of course Walrus this was Empire aggression and that is how the whole world views it apart from the countries that belong to Empire.

And even within Empire reasonably honest politicians like Merkel know the truth, but because her country is still occupied cannot afford to speak it.

Only Empire's very own sheeple media sponges are too dumb to think otherwise.

The Twisted Genius

Walrus,

I couldn't agree more. And I like your Lord of the Rings analogy. I think a lot, but not all, of our problem is summed up in our strategic doctrine of full spectrum domination. How close is that to the "one ring to rule them all" nightmare envisioned by Tolkien? We spent five billion dollars and twenty years to train Pravy Sektor and Svoboda to overthrow the government. Look at them now. We raised an army of Uruk Hai to terrorize the whole region. Yes, this is the West's fault. I'm embarrassed and ashamed if our part in it.

As an aside, I remember when that bastard Alexander was at INSCOM. He dubbed that Star Trek looking showplace he had as the Information Dominance Center. I couldn't help but laugh, I asked them if they wore black leather, fish net stockings and stiletto heels in their "domination center." None of those twits laughed. And they weren't all that domineering, either. I told them about a group of hackers that compromised several of their routers and switches. They snarkily came back that I didn't know what I was talking about. I had to explain exactly what the hackers did and how they modified the routers' configuration files, and point out the exact routers before they realized they were "pwned" by a bunch of drug addled teenage hackers. Dominance my ass!

Babak Makkinejad

Walrus & TTG:

You are not considering the fact that all of this could be quite exciting to flesh-an-blood human beings; the policy instigators, formulators and executors.

There was an ancient Greek idea that one has not lived - or is not alive - until one has engaged in Heroic Deeds and strove with gods.

Surely you can agree that if these people do not engage in these types if shenanigans and decline to exercise the enormous power of the United States on the face of this planet - they by God, they would be like Alexander - crying like a baby since he had run out of places to conquer.

I mean, what is more exciting, tweaking the nose of the Bear or making sure that garbage is collected on the K-Street on time and it is plowed well during heavy snow?

oofda

Colonel,
Many Russians take as gospel,that after the break-up of the Warsaw Pact, the G.H.W. Bush promised Gorbachev that NATO wouldn't expand into Eastern Europe. They take NATO expansion, expecially into the Baltics as a betrayal. What they percieve as attempted expansion into Ukraine is totally beyond the pale- as Mearsheimer notes. Whether promises were really made or not, many Russians, particularly those in the military an intelligence services believe that the West lied to Russia. I have personally heard them bitterly recount what they regard as the failed promises of the West.

Babak Makkinejad

Putin signed a law that would outlaw the teaching of homosexuality as an acceptable life style choice in Russia high-schools.

It is also inconceivable for me that any Muslim would ever dispute that with Putin or would ever endorse the current state of affairs among Euro-American countries in this regard as immoral.

toto

I think this piece describes perfectly the central axiom of the "Russophile" viewpoint : Ukraine is rightfully a dominion of Russia, and it is Russia's right to intervene in its affairs by any means necessary to protect its own interests. From this viewpoint, the West's actions are seen as undue meddling.

By contrast, the European side operates from a different central axiom, which is that Ukraine is "one of us" now and that if the Ukrainians decide to cast their lot with us, Russia is not entitled to tear it apart in retaliation (in short: "tough luck Ivan, it's not 1968 anymore").

These fundamentally different premises may explain much of the vitriol that is apparent in online discussions on the subject.

The conclusions of this article seem at odds with a recent post by FB Ali, which suggested that the situation will eventually settle down along the current lines, with all parties being basically content with what they got. Personally I find FB Ali's prognosis more plausible, but I suppose there may be many more surprises in the near future.

pbj

If the measure of a good foreign policy was non-aggression, the US would be dead last among the entire world. Or am I misinterpreting the meaning of the term? What does it mean anyway?

Eliot

oofda,

Allen Lynch assured me that the promise was real.

- Eliot

PirateLaddie

Mearsheimer's a old style FoPo figure -- one of little if any utility to neocon ilk such as Ms. Vickey and the other masters (mistresses?) of the Empire. If memory serves, he even raised his voice against the Zionist cabal that works, hand in glove, with the neocons. ("Hand in glove"? Hell, they're all in the same skin!!)
Folks back in my old bureaucracy report that Mearsheimer & the League of Rational Analysts once had one of Obama's ears, but that now both of those massive orifices have been securely taken by the neocons. Ora pro nobis!

exomike

Note about the Foreign Affairs Paywall.

If you register you are allowed four free article per month.

Madhu

But how is the Europhile position any different than the Russophile position? Are they not mirror images of each other, within which the Ukrainian state is buffeted? Is there no middle ground? Why should the state belong to either one or the other, because not everyone within the state wishes such a thing. The state has both Europhile and Russophile camps and statesmanship requires thinking about both camps carefully.

Ukrainians ought to look at the example of Kashmir and the way in which the argument became internationalized early on, and so Kashmiris that wished for independence from both India and Pakistan, or wished to resolve things peacefully, were marginalized as the conflict became a larger proxy within the Cold War context.

If they value their sovereignty, they ought to be very careful to become a football between any outside powers. Easy to say, I know, but I really don't understand the conversation making Ukraine "one of us" as opposed to Ukraine, independent and sovereign. And sovereignty of small states sandwiched between large difficult states requires very careful governance and diplomacy.

different clue

Elliot,

The promises were meant to be real when Reagan made them and Bush the Elder repeated them. It was President Clinton the Bill who doublecrossed and betrayed them by beginning the NATO push eastward.

Fred

Tyler,

This is neocon/neoliberal thought. They are just pushing the buttons of the "progs" in a desperate effort to keep them from seeing what is being done in their name.

kao_hsien_chih

toto, Walrus,

I think one of fundamental problems is that we keep trying to assign "blame," try to adduce whose "fault" something is.

Whether it is moral or otherwise, the possibility of a hostile regime in Kiev was going to produce some kind of serious reaction in Moscow. The possibility that the government in Kiev would suppress rights of Russophile populations of Ukraine would lead to some kind of popular unrest. That these consequences were not anticipated and prepared for, assuming that the Western interventionists were sufficiently "serious" about their Ukrainian adventure, smacks of rank incompetence.

Personally, I would not mind morally objectionable people too much. I don't think incompetence is something that we can tolerate among policymakers.

kao_hsien_chih

Madhu, toto,

My understanding is that that was pretty much the way status ex ante was. The government(s) that ruled in Kiev were consistently corrupt and morally questionable, but they were willing and able to do business with both sides without too much trouble. One dimension, I suppose, where the West's hubris becomes apparent is the premise that status quo ex ante was intolerable and that it should "rightly" join the West without further trouble, which the subsequent events have shown to be the product of complete inability (or refusal) to read the facts on the ground.

kao_hsien_chih

pbj,

Personally, I don't think I'll have problem with an aggressive foreign policy if it were done competently, based on realistic understanding of how others in the universe would react. Instead, we have deluded lunatics who think that, because they "mean" well, everything that they wish for (and more) should magically happen. What do they think they are? Joshua before the walls of Jericho?

mistah charley, ph.d.

Babak Makkinejad:

Yes, the human being is not the rational animal, but the rationalizing animal.

In the words of activist/entertainer Wavy Gravy, "As I told my mirror this morning, it's all done with people."

mistah charley, ph.d.

In reply to kao_hsien_chih

Epictetus says about blame, "It is the act of an ill-instructed man to blame others for his own bad condition; it is the act of one who has begun to be instructed, to lay the blame on himself; and of one whose instruction is completed, neither to blame another, nor himself."

Kyle Pearson

@Fred:

Progressives as a whole are quite well aware of what's being done in our (not "their", unless you're not from the US) name.

Generally, Progressives are focused on building strength and cohesion domestically using good, egalitarian policies, and assert a strong anti-imperialist bent in foreign policy.

W/r/t domestic policy, progressives are against the death penalty, the drug war, and things like three strikes laws. They want to reduce the prison population, and reduce sentencing guidelines.

So I hardly think they either believe "the firing squad" is apropos to institutionalized bigotry, nor do they support events like what's being done in Ukraine.

Cee

Pirate Ladde

He's one of the authors of The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy.

Cee

Twisted Genius

You just reminded me of a good book titled Full Spectrum Dominence by F William Engdahl. He writes about the use of these Color Revolutions and much more.

Ishmael Zechariah

The Russians seem to have really sent their convoy into Ukraine this time (http://en.itar-tass.com/world/746211 ). Let us see if the Chocolate One's troops destroy them as quickly as the BTR-80 column.

Ishmael Zechariah

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

July 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  
Blog powered by Typepad