Patterico's Pontifications

2/22/2022

Open Thread: President Biden’s Update on Russia-Ukraine

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:49 am



[guest post by Dana]

I’m going to open a fresh thread on the Russia-Ukraine situation. Things are pretty fluid right now. Journalist Dimitri Alexander Simes sums up Putin’s demands:

Putin lays out three conditions for normalizing relations between Russia and Ukraine. They are:

1. Ukraine recognizes Crimea as part of Russia
2. Ukraine renounces NATO aspirations and pledges neutrality
3. “Demilitarization of Ukraine”

Mitch McConnell responds to the ongoing crisis with a level head:

“Through his rhetoric and actions, Vladimir Putin has turned his back on the Minsk process and diplomacy in favor of escalation and invasion of a sovereign country.

“Every indication suggests these actions will almost certainly be used as a prelude to even further aggression and an even larger invasion. If that occurs, many Ukrainians could die. The humanitarian consequences could be catastrophic. And the threat will not stop with Ukraine. All the free nations of the world will be affected if Putin’s aggression is allowed to stand unchallenged.

“The world is watching. Our allies, our adversaries, and neutral countries will all judge the West by our response — and plan their futures accordingly.

“As he escalates his war against Ukraine, Putin must be made to pay a far heavier price than he paid for his previous invasions of Georgia and Ukraine. This should begin, but not end, with devastating sanctions against the Kremlin and its enablers. The President should waste no time in using his extensive existing authorities to impose these costs.

“Our NATO and EU allies must likewise take action to impose significant costs on Putin. Germany’s suspension of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a welcome but overdue announcement and must be turned into permanent cancellation.

“We must also stand by the brave Ukrainians fighting to protect their sovereignty. The United States and all friends of Ukraine must ensure a pipeline of support, including arms, flows to Ukrainians resisting Russian aggression.

“We must also shore up NATO’s defenses along its eastern flank and make clear that aggression against NATO countries will be met with an overwhelming collective response.

“Finally, the United States and our allies across the world must fully acknowledge the growing threats posed by decades of Chinese and Russian military modernization. We need to rebuild our atrophied ability to deter and defend against aggression by these adversaries. That means we must invest more robustly in our own military capabilities to keep pace. Our budgets have to reflect reality.

Prior to President Biden addressing the Russia situation today, the White House called Russia’s actions an “invasion”:

[T]he White House signaled it considers Moscow’s actions in Ukraine to be an invasion. A US official noted a “severe response” is in the works.

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday recieved authorization from the upper chamber of parliament to use Russian troops outside of the country. He told reporters this was necessary to formalize the military’s deployment in two rebel regions of eastern Ukraine, which Russia recognized as independent on M+onday.

The White House called the provocations an invasion of Ukraine.

“I am calling it an invasion,” deputy national security adviser Jon Finer told CNN. He said, “sanctions on Russia will be rolling out in a matter of hours.”

And just now:

On a side note:

Hey, Barack Obama . . .2012 called, and it wants Mitt Romney back.

Others are admitting that Romney was right:

At the time, the attack worked. Obama cast himself as the candidate who understood the current threats — led by al Qaeda. Romney was the candidate still stuck in the Cold War age, a black-and-white figure in a colorful — and complex — world.

But today, after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops into eastern Ukraine, Romney’s comments look very, very different. And by “different,” I mean “right,” as even some Democrats are now acknowledging.
“This action by Putin further confirms that Mitt Romney was right when he called Russia the number one geopolitical foe,” California Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu said on CNN Monday night.

What looked like a major flub during the 2012 campaign — and was used as a political cudgel by Obama — now looks very, very different. It should serve as a reminder that history is not written in the moment — and that what something looks like in that moment is not a guarantee of what it will always look like.

–Dana

231 Responses to “Open Thread: President Biden’s Update on Russia-Ukraine”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (5395f9)

  2. Democrats are anti putin/russia because trump wasn’t hence the collusion charge. Communist china is a bigger threat ;but to many democrats have ties and $$$ with china.

    asset (574947)

  3. One, Putin’s three demands are non-starters. The only counter-offer to that is for Putin to get the f–k out of the Crimean peninsula and Donbas.
    Two, McConnell’s comments are spot-on.
    Three, so were Romney’s in 2012.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  4. Candy Crowley – paging Candy Crowley – Candy Crowley Please pick up the white phone

    mg (8cbc69)

  5. 81 million cellar dweller voters is the worlds biggest concern
    thanks a million you people will get everyone killed
    🥂

    mg (8cbc69)

  6. But, but Trudeau!!

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  7. Word Salad Joe– and with every line, the market ticker plummets.

    Utterly, totally reactive; not proactive.

    The consequences of the Confluence of Incompetence.
    ___

    RE- ‘side note.’

    Not really. Russia remains a regional power. The flaw lay in repeated rubbing the former superpower’s nose in it for 20 years. President GHWBush handled the USSR collapse the best; no gloating, help made available if asked…[but no peace dividend for us.] Today, it is to Putin’s credit that he is playing the superpower game w/t resources of a regional power at hand and repeatedly winning pots with a pair of deuces. That speaks to the layers of incompetence in the Western powers. Go-to-favorite Kasparov himself noted similar musings in CSPAN spot a few weeks ago in a reveal all its own. By his own analysis, in short, Garry is a chess player, can observe all the pieces on the board available to his opponent and anticipate the moves available. It’s all there. But Putin is a poker player, with his cards in a hidden hand, thus an opponent only knows for certain the cards held in their own hand, and is kept guessing on what the opponent has and how it will be played.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  8. Am I glad that Biden is handling this and not Trump? Only in the sense that it isn’t Trump. It would be easy to improve upon Biden. Hopefully he’s listening to more advice this time, instead of going it alone with his legendary geopolitical gravitas.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  9. It doesn’t matter that Romney was right. It doesn’t matter that Putin invaded Ukraine when Obama/Biden were in office in 2014. It doesn’t matter that Putin is invading Ukraine again in 2022 with Biden in the White House.

    All that matters is that Trump was a Putin puppet and Biden has foreign policy chops or something.

    Democrats and media keep telling me that Trump emboldened Putin but when you look at it, Putin only invades when Biden is in office.

    Discuss.

    Hoi Polloi (998b37)

  10. @2: I more or less agree. In a conventional war in Europe, we clobber Russia, starting with air superiority.

    In Asia, against the Chinese, I think they have the numbers and they aren’t the untrained cannon-fodder they were in Korea. Even with Taiwan, I see no way to defend it without serious involvement. I’d not care one whit about Taiwan EXCEPT that it is home to the leading chip-making company and I’d rather not see China get that.

    The Russia thing is mostly tactical. China is a long-term strategic problem.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  11. Does Putin know that he’s a pipsqueak compared to Xi? I bet you that Xi knows.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  12. Two, McConnell’s comments are spot-on.

    Mitch is a very smart man with solid understanding of the world. I can understand those who dismiss Jeb! but I really don’t get the demonizing of McConnell.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  13. US embassy trolls Russia with meme after Putin’s revisionist history rant on why Ukraine is not a real country
    ……….
    A photo posted to Twitter by the embassy shows four photos of religious sites in Kyiv from the years 996 to 1108. Underneath is four photos of a forest with “Moscow” written underneath, and marked with the same timeline.
    ………
    And as the meme from the US Embassy in Kyiv alludes to, the present-day Ukrainian capital was a major player in the region long before Moscow even existed.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  14. Putin is playing – ” Hey Hold My Beer”

    mg (8cbc69)

  15. Putin says: Lets Go Brandon

    mg (8cbc69)

  16. Trump celebrates Putin’s moves against Ukraine as ‘genius’ and ‘savvy’

    Former president Donald Trump on Tuesday hailed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s move to recognize two breakaway regions of Ukraine and deploy troops into the rebel-held territory as “genius.”

    In an interview with the conservative “Clay Travis and Buck Sexton” radio show, Trump said he was impressed by news of Putin’s actions.

    “Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine — of Ukraine. Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful,” Trump said. “So Putin is now saying, ‘It’s independent,’ a large section of Ukraine. I said, ‘How smart is that?’”

    Trump said Putin will now “go in” to Ukraine “and be a peacekeeper.”

    ……“That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen. They’re gonna keep peace all right. No, but think of it. Here’s a guy who’s very savvy … I know him very well. Very, very well.”
    …….
    The former president then went on to say that Russia’s incursion “would have never happened” if he had been in office, and accused Biden of not having a proper response to Putin’s moves.

    Comedy gold!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  17. mg:

    Still believe that Russia won’t attack Ukraine?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  18. By the way, here is Trump praising his buddy Vlad for the “genius” way he invaded Ukraine.

    I went in yesterday and there was a television screen, and I said this is genius. Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine–of Ukraine. Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful. So Putin is now saying it’s independent – a large section of Ukraine. I said how smart is that? And he’s gonna go in and be a peacekeeper. That’s the strongest peace force. We could use that on our southern border. That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen. They’re gonna keep peace all right.

    My contempt for this anti-American putz has only grown.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  19. Democrat older white and minority woman don’t care now that trump is not president and they control democrat presidential primaries as bernie sanders found out the hard way. Democrat blue dogs and moderates are endangered, 30 house democrats have already retired. They are almost all blue dog/moderates. Thanks to gerrymandering the democrats will lose less then if there were a lot more swing districts. About a third of democrats are bernie/AOC supporters and unless they are voting for the squad or other “real’ progressives biden turns them luke warm at voting for moderate democrats. Minorities will vote democrat for their own protection ;but how many will vote? Clinton learned this the hard way in 2016. Progressive democrats will control democrat minority in the house and take over the democrat party.

    asset (574947)

  20. @16 yeah, putin thought trump was such a compliant lackey that he waited until trump left office before launching an invasion

    that’s a good one

    JF (e1156d)

  21. @20, Trump was actively trying to abolish NATO. That’s a goal of Putin’s. Makes sense Putin wouldn’t take actions that might force NATO to come together and push back on him.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  22. Trump’s praise of Putin over time.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  23. @18. Donald Trump weighed in on the Russian invasion of Ukraine by calling Vladimir Putin’s maneuvering “genius” and lamented that the United States doesn’t have a similar “peace force” on its southern border.

    =mike-drop=

    … and DCSCA smiled.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  24. #18 —

    I can’t believe that you would slander Trump by quoting him. He’s not praising Putin at all. He’s just saying he’s a genius for his country, just like Trump was a genius for our country. (DCSCA, call your office for further instructions)

    Appalled (1a17de)

  25. Ooops, never mind DCSCA. I see you already paced the call…

    Appalled (1a17de)

  26. Trump was actively trying to abolish NATO.

    What he pushed for was the Europen deadbeats to cough up and help PAY for it. And he was right. He called out Germany to their faces on it for hooking up to Russian energy and then have stupid Americans pay to keep them defended. Europe can have a grand, modern infrastructure and free healthcare for their citizenry if you let the suckers in the USA mired with a 20th century mindset pay for your defense well in to the 21st century.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  27. Ukrainian-Americans turn out to be an important voting bloc in Ohio. Where there is a key Senate race this fall,

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  28. Trump also said (on the EIB Network) that if he had been president, it wouldn’t have happened.

    He said he got the number of troops in Afghanistan down to 2,000. He said he would have withdrawn – but he would have kept Bagram Air base because it has the longest runway in the world and is only 100 miles from where China has missiles.

    If you stay in Bagram how are you withdrawing from Afghanistan?

    He would, every so often, remember to reiterate some familiar lies.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  29. The former president then went on to say that Russia’s incursion “would have never happened” if he had been in office, and accused Biden of not having a proper response to Putin’s moves.

    Comedy gold!

    Comedian Zelinsky would agree. Funny, though… he’s not laughing.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  30. Only one former secretary of state is praising Putin and criticizing Biden in Ukraine crisis

    Of all the former secretaries of state under Democratic and Republican presidents, only one is taking to cable news and social media during a moment of peril in Europe to praise Russian President Vladimir Putin and chastise the Biden administration.

    Mike Pompeo has lauded the Russian strongman over the past month as a “talented,” “savvy,” “capable statesman,” offering his praise during a slew of interviews after his political action committee spent $30,000 on improving his performance in media appearances.

    “He is a very talented statesman. He has lots of gifts,” Pompeo told Fox News in January. “He was a KGB agent, for goodness sakes. He knows how to use power. We should respect that.”
    ……….
    Someone wants the Trumpist right to back him for President.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  31. 20. JF (e1156d) — 2/22/2022 @ 1:37 pm @16

    yeah, putin thought trump was such a compliant lackey that he waited until trump left office before launching an invasion

    They wondered at that on Meet the Press this Sunday.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/meet-press-february-20-2022-n1289396

    CHUCK TODD:

    Bill,

    [Taylor, the person Mike Pompeo named as the top diplomat in Ukraine after Trump had ordered the firing of Ambassador Yovanovitch after Putin (probably) had successfully slandered her to Rudolph Giuliani – Pompeo knew that Trump would never name him ambassador but he could appoint him chargé d’affaire – he had previously been the Ambassador dujring the Bush Administration and the beginning of the Obama Administration and he is usually referred to as Ambassador even though he wasn’t under Trump]

    address the question that I said to the secretary [of State, Anthony Blinken] about what’s the assessment of why Putin didn’t do this while Trump was in office.

    WILLIAM TAYLOR:

    You know, I think the question of why now is a very good one. He may think that he’s running out of time. Maybe he thought he had more time when President Trump was in office. But he’s running out of time. The secretary made this point, that is Ukraine’s moving inevitably, inexorably to Europe, away from Russia because of all his actions, among other things. So I think he’s running out of time in that way. Also, this is probably the peak strength of his military. His economy is not in good shape, and it’s going to go down from here.

    They couldn’t figure it out.

    The Afghanistan debacle is a possible reason. Lies by subordinates or by foreign powers are also a possible reason.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  32. Trump is big on unprovable hypotheticals, like Putin never invading Ukraine in his fictional second term, etc.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  33. ZEarlier:

    CHUCK TODD:

    Let me ask this question: In your assessment, why did Putin – why is he escalating with Ukraine now? Why didn’t he do this under the previous administration, who wasn’t as supportive of NATO? If you just look at it observationally, if he really wanted Ukraine and he didn’t want the United States getting in the way, he perhaps had a – more of a friendlier administration in the previous one. Why do you think he didn’t act then?

    SEC. ANTONY BLINKEN:

    I hope you get a chance to ask him. But look, here’s what I can say. I think, and I really don’t want to put myself in his mind because that’s very hard to do, but I think it’s reasonable to think that, as President Putin sees it, Ukraine was slipping further and further away from his grasp over time – increasingly Western-oriented, desirous of a future with Europe. And as that was continuing year after year – by the way, largely again, as a result of his actions in alienating Ukrainians by seizing Crimea and invading via separatists the Donbass – as that was happening, it no doubt got to a point where he thought if he didn’t do something to change the dynamic, it was just going to happen.

    Blinken says ask Putin!

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  34. “We must also stand by the brave Ukrainians fighting to protect their sovereignty.” – Turtle McConnell.

    We’re ‘standing by’ all right.

    Just like LBJ did with Dubcek’s Czechoslovakia in 1968.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  35. @33. Sammy, Blinken has the gravitas of a saltshaker in a corner booth at Denny’s. There’s a locker in ever U.S. HS w/his name on it just waiting for him to be slammed into it.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  36. Why now? One possible explanation is that Putin expected Trump to cling to power, and was surprised when Trump lost. (Putin, having fixed so many elections, may have been expecting his acolyte to do the same. As Trump tried to do.)

    That, plus Putin’s increasing age — he’ll be 70 in October — and increasing mental problems.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  37. (Assuming that Ukraine was the actual end-goal rather than something else)

    Putin is a tactician, not a strategist. He thought Trump would win, giving him more time with Trump under his thumb undermining NATO. When Trump didn’t win, his old tactics were out the window. When the Afghan withdrawl happened he probably thought it was a good time to move since his position wasn’t going to get any better and ours wasn’t likely to get worse, but the withdrawl was too late in the year for him to ramp up and take Ukraine quickly enough. This was as fast as he could go in the spring, but our sources were too good and we have too much information about his plans, so he had to change tactics again to this peace-keeping feint.

    Frankly, without Trump, I don’t know that he ever would’ve tried for Ukraine at all. International diplomacy was in a pretty stable place before Trump started destablizing our relationships and Putin had been quiet for a while.

    Nic (896fdf)

  38. For those who would like data on European/Russian natural gas ties, I recommend this set of graphics from Reuters.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  39. Mr Montagu wrote:

    One, Putin’s three demands are non-starters. The only counter-offer to that is for Putin to get the f–k out of the Crimean peninsula and Donbas.

    Yeah, that’s going to work! The only counteroffer is for President Putin to accept a military defeat no one has inflicted on him!

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (eb8d62)

  40. @37. Nic, Trump really has nothing to do w/this – other than his exiting opening up prime timing for Vlad to play some cards. As noted from another thread, it is a good plan. Because it is working. Vlad’s had his eyes on Ukraine and any flotsam he could rescue to restore some semblance of the USSR since it sank in 1991. Joe just made for the perfect storm. A plan admirably disciplined, defiantly resolute, flexibly timed and executed when the opportunity materialized.

    Thank Joe for that last bit thanks to the Afghan withdrawal debacle. A decade-plus in planning; and intent has been telegraphed repeatedly by President Putin since the collapse of the USSR. This should be no surprise to anybody paying attention. The consequences of the Confluence of Incompetence. The sabers will rattle and Article 5 will deter any assault on a NATO member. NATO/Europe are his BEST energy customers.

    Forget about Ukraine- it’s done a la Dubcek’s Czechoslovakia in ’68. Focus on Taiwan: that’s where American interests are most at risk now– and the U.S. have commitments there we may likely be challenged to honor. Xi Jinping is watch. Hell, Iran, Afghanistan and North Korea are watching. China has telegraphed intent on a shift to a ‘New World Order’ along w/ dear ol’Vlad. Joe’s shuttered two U.S. embassies in six months. Don’t be surprised if a move is made to make Taiwan number three by Christmas.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  41. Yeah, that’s going to work! The only counteroffer is for President Putin to accept a military defeat no one has inflicted on him!

    I didn’t say it was going to work. If Putin’s opening gambit is that kind of extreme, then the appropriate response is that opposite extreme, which isn’t actually an extreme because Putin is illegally occupying those regions. It’s basic negotiating strategy.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  42. I was wrong again, Rip Murdock.
    Hate to see people die, was hoping for the best.
    Lets Go Brandon

    mg (8cbc69)

  43. @41. “What’s mine is mine; what’s yours is negotiable,” is ‘basic negotiating strategy’ in the Kremlin, Paul.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  44. Mr M wrote:

    I more or less agree. In a conventional war in Europe, we clobber Russia, starting with air superiority.

    Germany held off practically the whole world for 5½ years, operating on interior supply lines. In any land war, the Russians are right there, while we would have to bring our conventional forces across 3,000 miles of the Atlantic, and another 1,000 miles of Europe just to get to the fighting.

    Of course, we would never invade Russia itself, but would restrict our army to Ukraine, devastating it. Europe would get no more natural gas, and while they have the reserves to make it through the rest of this winter, the next winter is coming. While Americans tend to think of Europe as being straight across, the UK, part of France, most of Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic States are all at Canadian latitudes. Next winter, with no Russian gas? We can send LNG ships to Europe, but they are all privately owned, and just one LNG tanker, sunk by just one Soviet Russian sub, and none of the rest will make the trip. No insurance company would cover such shipments.

    Of course, to actually defeat Russia in a conventional war, we would have to invade the country. It has been tried before.

    Would a land war stay conventional? We have developed what we called tactical, battlefield nuclear weapons, and Russia has them, too. We start to win on the ground, and Russia might just use a few tactical nukes. Are we going to go with a strategic nuclear response to that?

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (eb8d62)

  45. Of course, we would never invade Russia itself

    And yet, we did- in 1917– and any Russian will bring it up in a discussion, too.

    nk really mailed it on another thread; Russians are a proud people who mask a deep inferiority complex when it comes to the West. Scratch them deep enough and it surfaces in nearly every venue:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CaMUfxVJVQ

    Don’t kid yourself- this sort of stuff bugs them– and stays with them.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  46. @DCSA@40 The state of the world power structure ALWAYS has to do with any kind of power’s aggressive moves and Trump destabilized it. Also, someone in the Pentagon has about 5 plans regarding what to do in the case of China moving on Taiwan. There has been some kind of plan about it since Taiwan started to exist.

    @LibertarianDana@44 I’ve lived in Western Europe. The weather is mostly like Washington state. Scandanavia is cold, yes, but Norway is an oil exporter. We don’t have to invade Russia, we just have to confine them. Russia doesn’t have a strong economy. Freeze their outside assets and ability to take in western investment, block their ports and they would be stuck transporting overland to China or the middle east, neither of which is ideal. Siberia has a lousy road system and traveling over the Himalayas sucks. They also don’t have enough native food resources, which is part of the reason Ukraine is important.

    Nic (896fdf)

  47. Putin is invading Ukraine and half the comments here are about Trump. Trump is not president. Biden is. What Trump says is immaterial to what Biden says, and does. So far, Biden is kinda falling asleep at the wheel. Hope he got a double scoop tonight after dinner. He’ll need the energy for the late nights ahead.

    Hoi Polloi (998b37)

  48. The state of the world power structure ALWAYS has to do with any kind of power’s aggressive moves and Trump destabilized it.

    No, he did not. W/respect to Europe, He simply pushed NATO/Europe to start paying to protect itself, whicvh is the best interests of the U.S. taxpayer– and we both know Europe can afford it. But if you’re looking for ‘destabilization’– look to the southern border of the United States, completely ‘destabilized’ by Joe.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  49. @47. Given his humiliating experience w/Camilla representing the United States, he’s likely lactose intolerant. He pooped out on the Pope, too.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  50. Putin’s live” show wasn’t.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  51. the Pentagon has about 5 plans regarding what to do in the case of China moving on Taiwan

    That’s not particularly encouraging as they had plenty of ‘plans’ in Vietnam and Afghanistan, too: neither of which ended well. FWIW, my neighbor, a USMC Lt., was deployed to Palau over the summer/autumn of 2021 for three- then extended to six months- literally ‘war gaming’ scenarios confronting China. He’s concerned, given he has a family, he’ll be deployed that way again given current events. And he mentioned the basic geography is an issue; the supply lines are long for starters. Taiwan is about 7,000 miles from the U.S. mainland but just 100 miles off mainland China; easy pickings.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  52. @DCSCA@48 Time and time again you’ve made statements like that without showing any understanding about how US power works in the world. We provide significantly more financing for NATO because it gives us better leverage in the EU. Another part of that is that we allow the various countries of Europe to save face by pretending they have the same international influence that they had 100 years ago (and we better hope they don’t get motivated to get it together as the EU or they could increase their current influence significantly). The reality is that we could big-foot our way through most of the world if we wanted to, most of the time, though, it’s just not worth it to us.

    (and the Southern border is no more unstable currently than it has been for most of my lifetime. Trying to change focus to there is just a slight of hand trick.)

    Supply-lines would undoubtedly be a problem and probably if China really really wanted Taiwan, they could take it easily. They haven’t done so because the consequences for doing so would, so far, be too extreme for what would amount to little gain and a troublesome population.

    Nic (896fdf)

  53. Nic (896fdf) — 2/22/2022 @ 2:51 pm

    When the Afghan withdrawl happened he probably thought it was a good time to move since his position wasn’t going to get any better and ours wasn’t likely to get worse, but the withdrawl was too late in the year for him to ramp up and take Ukraine quickly enough.

    It takes many months to plan a military operation, so if he decied then, we would be n the timetable we are in now..

    It could be that, with Trump in the White House, Putin wasn’t worried that Ukraine would undermine his regime. Ukraine is like an alternate Russia. Or it could be that he hoped he could Trump to undermine Ukraine if he only waited some more. He had gotten Trump to quietly cut off aid to Ukraine, in 2019 but it didn’t last long enough to have any effect. Also in 2020, he was preoccupied with Covid.

    I don’t think Putin could have counted on Trump winning, and he didn’t do anything to help Trump in 2020.

    In 2014, when he lost control of Ukraine he seized Crimea, because of the base. Then he also created these two small conflicts.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  54. News: President Biden seems to be regarding this as the start of a war. At least enough to cancel the two summits – between the foreign secretaries Thursday, and between the presidents to take place at an unspecified time later.

    The Russian duma went through the motions of authorizing Putin to use military forces outside the boundaries of Russia.

    Russia has begun evacuating its embassy in Kiev.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  55. How do you defeat a country with nukes if they don’t want to be defeated.

    asset (fc19f7)

  56. 45 I think it was more like 1918 or 1919. The USA shouldn’t have abandoned the effort.

    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/forgotten-doughboys-who-died-fighting-russian-civil-war-180971470/

    …When 1919 dawned, the U.S. forces had been in Russia for months. World War I was not yet over for the 5,000 members of the 339th U.S. Army regiment of the American Expeditionary Force deployed near the port city of Archangel, just below the Arctic Circle, nor for the 8,000 troops from the 27th and 31st regiments, who were stationed in the Pacific Ocean port of Vladivostok, 4,000 miles to the east….

    ….Russia had begun World War I as an ally of England and France. But the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, led by Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, installed a communist government in Moscow and St. Petersburg that pulled Russia out of the conflict and into peace with Germany. By fall 1918, Lenin’s year-old government controlled only a part of central European Russia. Forces calling themselves the White Russians, a loose coalition of liberals, social democrats and loyalists to the assassinated czar, were fighting the Communists from the north, south, east and west.

    Two months after the November 11, 1918, armistice that officially ended the war for the rest of Europe, as one million Americans in France were preparing to sail home, the U.S. troops in Russia found that their ill-defined missions had transformed into something even more obscure. Historians still debate why President Woodrow Wilson really sent troops to Russia, but they tend to agree that the two missions, burdened by Wilson’s ambiguous goals, ended in failures that foreshadowed U.S. foreign interventions in the century to come.

    When Wilson sent the troops to Russia in July 1918, World War I still looked dire for the Allies. With the Russian Empire no longer engaged in the continental struggle, Germany had moved dozens of divisions to France to try to strike a final blow and end the war, and the spring 1918 German offensive had advanced to within artillery range of Paris.

    Desperate to reopen an Eastern Front, Britain and France pressured Wilson to send troops to join Allied expeditions in northern Russia and far eastern Russia, and in July 1918, Wilson agreed to send 13,000 troops. The Allied Powers hoped that the White Russians might rejoin the war if they defeated the Reds.

    To justify the small intervention, Wilson issued a carefully worded, diplomatically vague memo. First, the U.S. troops would guard giant Allied arms caches sent to Archangel and Vladivostok before Russia had left the war. Second, they would support the 70,000-man Czechoslovak Legion, former prisoners of war who had joined the Allied cause and were fighting the Bolsheviks in Siberia. Third, though the memo said the U.S. would avoid “intervention in [Russia’s] internal affairs,” it also said the U.S. troops would aid Russians with their own “self-government or self-defense.” That was diplomacy-speak for aiding the White Russians in the civil war….

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  57. The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (eb8d62) — 2/22/2022 @ 3:22 pm

    Would a land war stay conventional?

    That’s one reason for avoiding it.

    The United States and Russia are like two kings in chess. They cannot get net to each other.

    There have been some close calls, or temporary conflicts, like in Syria.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  58. The biggest problem is we have the absolute capability to use air power to stand off and completely decimate the armored/artillery forces with BLU-108/CBU-97/CBU-105 versions of the skeet dispensers. with minimal losses. The problem with air power is that it doesn’t occupy land and once you have a mixed up ground situation, you need close air support, which we’ve gotten out of the business of without drone forces, and they aren’t A10’s, which need some on the ground support in region, which means human losses.

    Also, Russia has a tactical nuclear escalation policy as part of their basic tactical doctrine. Everyone else on the planet sees it as a massive escalation. NATO want’s nothing to do with that type of escalation with so much land border from Norway, Estonia, all the way to Bulgaria. And we have no desire to put in 500k troops with 20 hours of supply line flights…for Ukraine, because maybe we can count on the UK for supply assistance, but they’d run out in about an hour.

    So, Ukraine, you’re F’d. You were F’d when you decided to give up your nuclear arsenal. Estonia, Latvia are NATO members at serious risk (Belarus has already capitulated, and they are a more strategic problem for NATO, specifically the Baltics.)

    This gives China an opportunity to do their hearts desire and take back Taiwan while Europe is worried about Europe and the US preoccupied with NATO being pu$$ies.

    I don’t think Romney was right in 2012, but no one knew that 2016 was going to produce a pro-Russian American President. In 2012 it was China, 4 years later…

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (62a436)

  59. DCSCA wrote:

    The state of the world power structure ALWAYS has to do with any kind of power’s aggressive moves and Trump destabilized it.

    No, he did not. W/respect to Europe, He simply pushed NATO/Europe to start paying to protect itself, whicvh is the best interests of the U.S. taxpayer– and we both know Europe can afford it. But if you’re looking for ‘destabilization’– look to the southern border of the United States, completely ‘destabilized’ by Joe.

    President Trump realized something that no one wants to admit: the entire premise of NATO has fallen apart. The North Atlantic Treaty, stating that an attack on one was an attack on all, was signed on April 4, 1947, 4½ months before the USSR tested its first atomic bomb. It was a conventional alliance, designed to deter a conventional attack.

    When the borders of NATO were primarily in West Germany, far from the USSR itself, it sort of made sense. But with the breakup of the USSR, NATO started adding members, including members that bordered Russia. The NATO leaders breathed a collective sigh of relief that Ukraine had declined NATO membership, when Vladimir Vladimirovich sent the troops in in 2014. We are now committed to come to the defense of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Estonia is slightly smaller than San Bernadino County! If the Russians wanted to take it, we couldn’t stop it, and I’m thinking that going to war with nuclear-armed Russia over Estonia might not be the wiser idea.

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (eb8d62)

  60. Red Storm Rising would be a good read right now.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  61. There are a lot of people here who pretend not to know a lot of things.

    Also, is this Joey’s minor incursion ?

    Hatari somewhere on Ventura Highway (18e8bb)

  62. the Pentagon has about 5 plans regarding what to do in the case of China moving on Taiwan

    According to a recent post at Marginal Revolution, DoD war games show the US losing to China every time.

    Hoi Polloi (998b37)

  63. Veterans of the U.S. interventions in Russia wrote angry memoirs after coming home. One Polar Bear, Lieutenant Harry Costello, titled his book, Why Did We Go To Russia? Graves, in his memoir, defended himself against charges he should’ve aggressively fought Bolsheviks in Siberia and reminded readers of White Russian atrocities. In 1929, some former soldiers of the 339th regiment returned to North Russia to recover the remains of 86 comrades.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  64. Of course, once we shoot our wad on sanctions over Ukraine, we’ll have nothing left if President Putin decides to take the Baltic States, too.

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (eb8d62)

  65. “We slid, bit by bit into perdition, greased by imbecile
    theories that abolished competence, design margins,
    borders and finally common sense. The wonder was it
    took so long to happen but it finally did.”

    —- Richard Fernandez

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  66. Hoi Polloi (998b37) — 2/22/2022 @ 4:39 pm

    DoD war games show the US losing to China every time.

    Pentagon war games always have the US losing.

    They had us losing to Iraq, if I remember correctly.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  67. 64.

    once we shoot our wad on sanctions over Ukraine, we’ll have nothing left if President Putin decides to take the Baltic States, too.

    They could kick Russia out of the SWIFT system. That’s off the table, for now.

    As it is they have now hampered the Russian government’s ability to borrow.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  68. Of course, once we shoot our wad on sanctions over Ukraine, we’ll have nothing left if President Putin decides to take the Baltic States, too.

    As the Baltic states are NATO members, all bets are off.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  69. “and the Southern border is no more unstable currently than it has been for most of my lifetime.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  70. You must’ve been asleep 💤 during the period of 2017-2020.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  71. Of course, once we shoot our wad on sanctions over Ukraine, we’ll have nothing left if President Putin decides to take the Baltic States, too.

    Don’t shoot a wad, load a ball on top of it! If Putin wants a Soviet Union, let him have the Soviet economy too. Freeze the kleptocrats’ assets and cut off all hard currency trade with the West.

    nk (1d9030)

  72. Two cheers for Germany for shelving the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in response to Russia’s sally into Ukraine. Now the real trick will be to see if Germany remains resolute should all of this lead to an impasse, or whether they wiggle free and find a reason to determine that whatever measly steps Putin takes to deescalate just happen be good enough to resume the partnership. In any case, I wonder if Germans are now wondering if that decision to decommission nuclear plants and go all-in on renewables and natural gas might have been way premature.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  73. And use idioms the way Daniel Boone did, and not the way the Hollywood smut industry does.

    nk (1d9030)

  74. @52. Time and time again you’ve made statements like that without showing any understanding about how US power works in the world. We provide significantly more financing for NATO because it gives us better leverage in the EU.

    Pfft. Stop waving the flag for the MIC, Nic. You’re better than that. A 20th century mind set doesn’t work these days. The U.S. can’t buy itself ‘leverage’ financing NATO/Europe… for God’s sake, there’s little American leverage at all over any NATO nation getting the bulk of its energy resources hooked up to Russia– short of begging, which is precisely what Trump was flagging. That didn’t happen overnight– so any so-called “leverage” to inhibit it wasn’t very effective, was it. It certainly didn’t stop NATO/Europe from doing it. And 21st century Americans taxpayers have had it with this crap.

    ‘The reality is that we could big-foot our way through most of the world…’

    Spending other people’s borrowed money, as usual- fro0m China these days. Howe much has it cost the United States Treasury to deploy airborne troops from the continental U.S. to saber rattle in Eastern Europe?? Tell the ‘folks’ getting stuck with the bill. Your braggadocio would be news to the Vietnamese, the Afghans… and 19 Arabs w/$500,000 defeating a multi-trillion dollar DoD on 9/11, too. Americans are lousy occupiers, Nic. They always go home- and the Treasury can’t afford to even entertain financing ‘bigfooting the world’ — let alone occupying the conquered.

    “Did I step on your old school tie, Colonel”?” – Christopher Todd [George Macready] ‘Seven Days In May’ 1964

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  75. @72. Two cheers for Germany for shelving the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in response to Russia’s sally into Ukraine

    Meh. You notice nobody is crowing about what it is going to cost “us” to get them to shelve the deal– for now.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  76. @59. Yep.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  77. Supply-lines would undoubtedly be a problem and probably if China really really wanted Taiwan, they could take it easily

    Earth to Nic; Earth to Nic: they DO want it. It’s simply a matter of when to make the move. Timing is everything… ask Vladimir Putin.

    … and Putin smiled.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  78. I wonder if Germans are now wondering if that decision to decommission nuclear plants and go all-in on renewables and natural gas might have been way premature.

    JVW- Angela Merkel was the East German girl who pushed to crater the nuke plants. Gee… maybe she’s been a Kim Philby/Anthony Blunt-type plant all along. Make a helluva screenplay. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  79. Putin is invading Ukraine and half the comments here are about Trump.

    Trump is the leader of my party, and if he would’ve kept his piehole shut, I wouldn’t have commented about his un-American unpatriotism.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  80. Insurrection, racism, appeasement: Call it the Hawley Trinity
    As Russian troops pour into eastern Ukraine, provoking what may become the most dangerous shooting war in Europe since World War II, Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley is the disgraceful voice of appeasement.

    “America has an interest in Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity,” he recently wrote. “And we have a strong interest in deterring Russian adventurism. But these interests are not so great that we should commit ourselves to fight Russia over Ukraine’s future.”
    ………
    ……… His public two-step about the Russian threat — amplified by countless tweets and television appearances — has clearly provided aid and comfort to Putin and hard-liners in Russia. Yes, even as he now hypocritically complains that the sanctions President Joe Biden has announced are “not enough.”
    ……….
    “By now the cast of Putin’s useful idiots is familiar,” wrote Charlie Sykes, a one-time conservative talk show host. He included Hawley in the group.
    ……….
    Missourians should be outraged by Hawley’s behavior, but they can’t be surprised.

    He tried to throw out nearly 7 million presidential votes from Pennsylvania. He raised his fist on Jan. 6, encouraging insurrection at the Capitol.

    He’s said the “woke left” is responsible for President Joe Biden’s commitment to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court. He was the only vote against a bill designed to protect Asian Americans from hate crimes.

    Racism, insurrection, appeasement: The Hawley Trinity.

    He is not alone, of course. We’ve also been appalled at statements from former secretary of state and Kansan Mike Pompeo, who has called Putin a “very talented statesman” and “very shrewd.” Well, he’s also a bloodthirsty, antidemocratic dictator, Mike. Say that, too.
    ………
    ……… [I]n giving aid and comfort to Vladimir Putin as Russia invades Ukraine, he’s sold out democratic values yet again.
    #########

    Rip Murdock (d67a00)

  81. Gee… maybe she’s been a Kim Philby/Anthony Blunt-type plant all along. Make a helluva screenplay.

    Provocative. But’s it’s a thousand times more likely that she’s simply a scold who grew addicted to being the favorite Western European leader in all of the posh salons, editorial board rooms, and faculty lounges, and chucked common sense out the window in exchange for various Person of the Year awards.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  82. Trump is the leader of my party, and if he would’ve kept his piehole shut, I wouldn’t have commented about his un-American unpatriotism.
    Paul Montagu (5de684) — 2/22/2022 @ 5:21 pm

    Technically, the leader of the party at this point is McConnell. Trump is a washed-up one-term GOP president who only gets heard because the media wants clicks and the Democrats need a nice orange squirrel to distract from their own incompetence.

    Hoi Polloi (998b37)

  83. @DCSCA@74 We exercise soft and hard power in a wide variety of ways to give our country and businesses advantages in other countries. You may not like NATO being one of them, but it is.

    As far as China is concerned, it wants Taiwan, but it hasn’t wanted it enough yet to deal with the consequences of taking it. China is strategic rather than tactical. They will wait until they want it more than they don’t want the consequences.

    And we spend other people’s borrowed money because we choose to. We just like to pretend we can pay for our current national budget with the level of taxes we collect. It would help if we quit buying sucky weapons systems though.

    Nic (896fdf)

  84. Technically, the leader of the party at this point is McConnell. Trump is a washed-up one-term GOP president who only gets heard because the media wants clicks and the Democrats need a nice orange squirrel to distract from their own incompetence.

    If only.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  85. Provocative. But’s it’s a thousand times more likely that she’s simply a scold who grew addicted to being the favorite Western European leader in all of the posh salons, editorial board rooms, and faculty lounges, and chucked common sense out the window in exchange for various Person of the Year awards.

    LOL

    JVW:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angela_Merkel#/media/File:Angela_Merkel_and_Vladimir_Putin_in_Moscow_2002.jpg

    ‘Don’t Cry For Me, Vlad’mir Putin’

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  86. trump threat level red

    JF (e1156d)

  87. Technically, the leader of the party at this point is McConnell……

    Morning Consult Poll 2/16/22

    Favorable/Unfavorable (Republicans Only)

    McConnell 41/38

    Donald Trump 80/17

    Who are the Republicans following-it isn’t McConnell.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  88. @83. Know that. But NATO is an expensive, redundant, European defense alliance, not the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  89. Technically, the leader of the party at this point is McConnell.

    McConnell doesn’t control the RNC, Trump does.
    McConnell has no influence over CPAC and who gets to speak there.
    McConnell doesn’t end the careers of those elected officials who displayed “disloyalty” to him.
    McConnell doesn’t have a double-digit lead over the field for 2024 nominee.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  90. 18. Trump, on the EIB network today:

    Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine–of Ukraine. Putin declares it as independent.

    Of course, it’s a small portion, and that’s a significant fact, but probably Trump is winging it more than he is lying.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  91. It would help if we quit buying sucky weapons systems though.

    Like $15 billion aircraft carriers that can be sunk by $2 million Exocet missiles? 😉

    Came across an article from a WW2 era Saturday Evening Post on weapons procurement during the war and the cost/loss analysis was quite interesting in that the objective was to purchase weapon systems that were designed to be affordably ‘disposable’- fighter planes, rifles etc. – even ships. They had a formula for it and were always on the watch for potential war profiteering.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  92. That’s a clownish editorial from the Kansas City Star editorial board, Rip Murdock. They quote Hawley as saying this:

    “America has an interest in Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity,” he recently wrote. “And we have a strong interest in deterring Russian adventurism. But these interests are not so great that we should commit ourselves to fight Russia over Ukraine’s future.”

    They deem it “appeasement,” yet then they immediately lay this profundity upon the reader: “No one is talking about sending U.S. troops to fight in Ukraine, of course.”

    So when Hawley says we shouldn’t “fight Russia” over Ukraine it’s appeasement to the editorial board, but in the next paragraph they acknowledge that we shouldn’t actually fight Russia over Ukraine? In other words, they follow-up their umbrage at Hawley’s point by actually agreeing with the Senator. Then, as if they haven’t already dug a hole, they ding him for wanting even stronger sanctions against Russia than what the Biden Administration has proposed or, it would seem, what the editorial board thinks prudent. Some kind of appeasement that is. (And no, citing Jennifer Rubin, Alexander Vindman, and Jen Psaki doesn’t mollify me one bit.)

    Hawley probably hasn’t been a model of consistency or cogent thought, but this mess of an editorial which tries to manufacture a silk purse from all of the sow’s ears of shrill voices from the establishment left ought to be an embarrassment to any competent journalist. But those sure are in short supply these days.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  93. As Trump Hammers McConnell, the Kentucky Senator’s Approval Rating Dropped 29 Points Since Election Day

    Cocaine Mitch doesn’t face the voters of the Bluegrass State again until 2026. I don’t think he is at all worried about what his polling numbers read 54 months before his next election.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  94. @79. Trump is the leader of my party, and if he would’ve kept his piehole shut, I wouldn’t have commented about his un-American unpatriotism.

    This is leadership, Paul: telling the Krauts to their face how the cow ate the cabbage:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu57D9YcIk0

    And quite patriotic, too.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  95. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu57D9YcIk0

    =mike-drop=

    Joe could never do this.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  96. Hawley basically wanted to appease Putin about NATO membership for Ukraine, which is a decision for Ukraine to make, not Putin or Hawley.
    And going by his FoxNews op-ed, he’s being disingenuous about it, because NATO isn’t about “expanding an empire of ‘liberal order’ around the world”, which is ironic because the person trying to establish–actually reestablish–an empire is Putin.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  97. McConnell turned 80 on February 20th. (I hope DCCCP sent him a nice birthday card.) It seems likely that he will retire in 2026, so likely that there are already quiet discussions about a possible successor. John Thune, John Cornyn, and John Barrasso have gotten mentions in the press.

    In any case McConnell is probably not making any long-term plans, just now.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  98. @90

    Off the top of my head, here are a few other things McConnell isn’t; context which could lead a reasonable person to find Trump’s Putin-fluffing comments today especially noxious:

    – the only ex-POTUS who, while running for President spent months trying to close a deal to build an eponymous skyscraper in Moscow, all while lying to the American people about it;

    – the only ex-POTUS who publicly solicited and privately welcomed Putin’s help against their common enemy, Hillary;

    – the only ex-POTUS for whom Putin declared (post hoc) his support against their common enemy, Hillary;

    – the only ex-POTUS who repeatedly expressed more admiration for Putin than he did for his POTUS predecessors and the elected leaders of our NATO allies;

    – the only ex-POTUS who on a stage in Helsinki took the word of Putin over that of our own intel agencies.

    lurker (59504c)

  99. trump stole my potato

    JF (e1156d)

  100. -the only ex-POTUS who should be in office

    mg (8cbc69)

  101. NATO isn’t about “expanding an empire of ‘liberal order’ around the world”

    This is one of the oddest notions to come out of the New Right: that the USA, perhaps along with its closest allies, has been forcing “liberalism” upon “traditional cultures” all over the world, pulling them into an “American empire” that’s just as oppressive as the Soviet empire ever was — or maybe more so, because the commies never put a McDonald’s on the Champs-Élysées, did they?

    The New Right sometimes sounds a lot like the Old Left. People who claim to love America more than you do have painted the actually existing America as mostly a destructive power.

    Radegunda (c970ff)

  102. Heh, lurker!

    – the only ex-POTUS who sued a hooker for a refund while he was POTUS.

    nk (1d9030)

  103. – who sued a hooker for a refund while he was POTUS.

    one of his very few high points

    Dustin (47bccc)

  104. 81 million

    mg (8cbc69)

  105. –the only ex-POTUS to have flushed official documents down White House toilets.

    Radegunda (c970ff)

  106. Don’t get me started again on Trump and toilets.

    lurker (59504c)

  107. The decision to put Soviet missiles in Cuba is a decision for Cuba to make, not the US.

    mikeybates (c22064)

  108. Trump will be in jail before 2024. Maybe before the midterms. I think the Democrats think that will help them, but it will help the GOP more. Maybe the next person will do Trumpism right.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  109. This is one of the oddest notions to come out of the New Right: that the USA, perhaps along with its closest allies, has been forcing “liberalism” upon “traditional cultures” all over the world, pulling them into an “American empire” that’s just as oppressive as the Soviet empire ever was

    I think they are thinking about traditional cultures like Jim Crow.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  110. I think they are thinking about traditional cultures like Jim Crow.

    There is a bit of “everything was great until about 1964” among them (some of whom weren’t born until after 1964). I’ve also seen the idea that America would be much better if women hadn’t entered the workforce, and if the founders had established an official church and if the schools and other institutions told people what religion they should follow. Then we would be all unified, you see? Like in the old days.

    Radegunda (c970ff)

  111. On Ukraine, Republicans are united on criticizing Biden, but not on how to counter Russian threat
    The Ukraine crisis has served to highlight the growing divisions among Republicans on foreign policy that began with Donald Trump’s presidency and continues after his electoral defeat as adherents to his “America First” approach clash with the party’s remaining hawks who for several decades rallied the party around the idea of projecting a muscular U.S. presence abroad.

    This divide has been on stark display over the last 24 hours as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ordered incursion into Ukraine creates chaos in Eastern Europe and Republicans rally around the idea that it is Biden’s fault, calling him weak, but failing to provide a coherent party position on what the White House should to counter Moscow’s aggression.
    ………
    But the influence of (Trump’s rhetoric about Putin) is evident in today’s GOP.

    One long-shot GOP candidate for a House seat from New York followed Trump’s lead by praising Putin for protecting “the church, tradition and Russian culture” better than Western governments protect these institutions. ……..
    ………
    On Monday, as Putin was declaring his intent to send troops into the disputed regions, eight Republicans joined more than a dozen Democrats in issuing a joint statement condemning the Russian president and vowing a unified response working with the Biden administration to provide any new funding needed to bolster the defenses of U.S. allies in Europe.
    ………..
    ………..(Senator Lindsay) Graham, who has remained a Trump ally despite decades of traditional GOP orthodoxy on foreign policy, faulted Biden on Tuesday for not moving quicker to defend Ukraine and other Eastern European nations despite his claims during the 2020 election that Russia preferred Trump remaining in office.
    ………..
    When it comes to Russia, a clear majority of voters see Putin as a military threat. But when it comes to Biden’s decision to bolster our allies in Eastern Europe with more U.S. forces, just 43 percent of Republican voters backed this move, as opposed to 56 percent of independents and 70 percent of Democrats, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released last week.
    ……….( House Minority Leader Kevin) McCarthy’s caucus is littered with members who see the Ukraine matter as a diversion from their focus on issues here at home. “We should just call ourselves Ukraine and then maybe we can get NATO to engage and protect our border,” Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-AZ Insurrectionist) tweeted over the weekend.
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (d67a00)

  112. The New Right sometimes sounds a lot like the Old Left. People who claim to love America more than you do have painted the actually existing America as mostly a destructive power.

    I swear, Rad, the commenters at some of these Trumpy websites sound like subscribers to The Nation and activists for CodePink, chickenhawk epithets and all.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  113. Instead of DC, maybe the Trucker Convoy should do their next gig in downtown Moscow, see how that turns out.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  114. Actually, I’d say that in the current partisan circumstances 43% of Republicans approving of Biden’s sending more troops to E. Europe to counter the Russian aggression is pretty high.

    Nic (896fdf)

  115. Trump will be in jail before 2024.

    I wish you were right, but I’d bet against it. Literally. I’d offer to bet a donation to the winner’s charity, but I won’t embarrass our host by even asking if he’s OK with it. So how about a gentleman’s bet, no money involved?

    I think the Democrats think that will help them, but it will help the GOP more.

    As long as we’re imaginary-just-for-fun betting, add that to the mix. Not that it can be proven, but I’d bet the Dems haven’t wasted a neutrino of energy gaming the consequences of Trump being in jail before 2024. Because as Dana Carvey’s Poppy Bush would say, “Ain’t gonna happen.”

    Out of curiosity, which crime will he be convicted of?

    lurker (59504c)

  116. your site is simply beautiful and superb. Kudos to you and keep going.

    voyance par mail rapide offerte

    Dia (087a08)

  117. 114. In Aug 2021 NYT column:

    The account, now suspended

    For impersonation?

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  118. One Russian ruble is now worth 0.012 dollars. I believe that Putin is competent enough (as a thief) to bring it down to a penny, but will not make any predictions as to whether that will happen.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  119. Out of curiosity, which crime will he be convicted of?

    Loan fraud and tax evasion in NY state. I also believe he’ll be tried on some Jan 6th thing federally, but I can’t say they’ll convict him. If they do, he’s disqualified.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  120. Then we would be all unified, you see? Like in the old days.

    Ein volk.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  121. @18

    By the way, here is Trump praising his buddy Vlad for the “genius” way he invaded Ukraine.

    I went in yesterday and there was a television screen, and I said this is genius. Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine–of Ukraine. Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful. So Putin is now saying it’s independent – a large section of Ukraine. I said how smart is that? And he’s gonna go in and be a peacekeeper. That’s the strongest peace force. We could use that on our southern border. That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen. They’re gonna keep peace all right.

    My contempt for this anti-American putz has only grown.

    Paul Montagu (5de684) — 2/22/2022 @ 1:36 pm

    I don’t know if you were doing this purposely, as much of the media and the left were doing the same thing.

    You’re cherry-picking there.

    Here’s the part you left out:

    By the way, this never would have happened with us. Had I been in office, not even thinkable. This would never have happened. But here’s a guy that says, you know, “I’m gonna declare a big portion of Ukraine independent,” he used the word “independent,” “and we’re gonna go out and we’re gonna go in and we’re gonna help keep peace.” You gotta say that’s pretty savvy. And you know what the response was from Biden? There was no response. They didn’t have one for that. No, it’s very sad. Very sad.

    I know Trump being sardonic/sarcastic isn’t everyone’s tea…but cherry picking in a manner to make the worst possibility interpretation only feeds the “fake news” mantra by the MAGA crowd.

    whembly (fd0490)

  122. whembly (fd0490) — 2/23/2022 @ 10:34 am

    Had I been in office, not even thinkable. This would never have happened.

    Why would have Putin invaded Ukraine when Trump was doing his dirty work and got what he wanted from without doing anything? Trump continually undermined the Ukraine government by insisting they provide “evidence” against the Bidens (remember his “perfect” phone call). Trump also delayed approximately $390M (in violation of the law) in security assistance to the Ukrainians, again, undermining their ability to stave off the Russian-supported rebels. It’s called coercion.

    Interviews with current and former officials show how the Trump administration’s hold-up of aid to Ukraine was irregular and likely violated U.S. law, and has far-reaching consequences at home and overseas…….The 1974 Impoundment Control Act says a U.S. president can’t unilaterally withhold funds designated for spending by Congress.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  123. “Had I been in office, not even thinkable.”

    What do you suspect that he would have done to prevent it? What would have been his response to Putin’s “peacekeepers”? I understand that this is what politicians will do, but maybe instead of sarcasm, maybe the leader of the GOP talks like a statesmen and treats the situation seriously. Ex-Presidents usually don’t cut out the legs of their successor on important foreign policy questions for cheap gain….especially in real time.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  124. Curious: In Britain, most of the support for “Czar” Putin comes from the left. In France, most of the support for Putin now comes from the “far right”, from leaders like Marine Le Pen.

    I suppose most of that difference can be explained, simply, by the old “the enemy of my (domestic) enemy is my friend” principle. Which often leads to idiotic results. As it has in both nations.

    (Not everyone here knows that her party received a timely loan from the Russkies:

    The FN had difficulty finding funding because of the refusal of French banks to provide credit. Instead, the FN borrowed €9 million from the First Czech-Russian Bank in Moscow in 2014, despite European Union sanctions placed on Russia following the annexation of Crimea.

    The FN is the “Front National”. Or was. They have since changed their name to “Rally National” (Rassemblement national).)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  125. Ex-Presidents usually don’t cut out the legs of their successor on important foreign policy questions for cheap gain….especially in real time.
    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 2/23/2022 @ 10:50 am

    LOL

    LOL

    LOL

    JF (e1156d)

  126. @125 Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/23/2022 @ 10:50 am

    I’m just highlighting something that drives me up the wall. Be precise in your criticisms. Trump gives ample opportunities for legit criticism so that you don’t need to push a cherry-picked narrative simply because “it fits”. It’s a literal Rorschach test and failing that only feeds the “fake news” beast that needs to die in a spectacularly fiery death.

    @126 AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 2/23/2022 @ 10:50 am
    I have no idea. You don’t know either.

    We don’t know how Trump would have reacted. Sure, it might’ve been a disaster, but you’d only be spitballing.

    We only know, that during Trump’s tenure Putin didn’t invade Ukraine, as those “little green men” were already there. However, strangely enough, Putin *did* invade Ukraine (Crimea) under the Obama/Biden administration and, again strangely enough, has now invaded Ukraine (Donbass/others) under Biden/Harris administration.

    Trump’s actual Russia polices* vis-a-vis Ukraine, in spite of Trump’s own bumbling tendencies, were tougher on Russia than Biden’s.

    *Let’s be honest: It isn’t Trump’s policies as it was moreso his own’s staff’s policies.

    Much of Biden’s foreign policy is a dumpster fire, and we shouldn’t let the Biden administration “wag the dog” to divert blame before the next election.

    As Davish Krail attacking the Death Star said… “stay on target!“.

    whembly (446c04)

  127. Polling from YouGov conducted for the Economist January 22-25
    All Percentages Republican Only

    Favorable/Unfavorable

    Putin 15%/72%

    Trump 82%/16%

    Biden 9%/89%

    Harris 9%/88%

    Pelosi 7%/88%

    McConnell 40%/44%

    Schumer 11%/72%

    Marjorie Taylor Greene 41%/18%

    Matt Gaetz 35%/18%

    The Republican Party 81%/16%

    Ukraine-US Interest

    To take a strong stand so that Russia does not take over Ukraine by force 56%

    For the U.S. to maintain good relations with Russia 24%

    Ukraine Ally/Friend 63%

    Unfriendly/Enemy 12%

    Russia Ally/Friend 10%

    Russia Unfriendly/Enemy 81%

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  128. I don’t think Putin wants any heavy fighting. Or time consuming fighting. He wants to take control of Ukraine all at one time. This war of nerves could go on for an extended period of time.

    After taking over, if he gets that, Putin probably expects a shortage of food in Ukraine. The easternmost part would be supplied, and annexed by Russia

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  129. 16. 18. 91. Trump:

    “Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine — of Ukraine. Putin declares it as independent.

    It was a small portion

    But Biden also, incorrectly, called it big:

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2022/02/22/remarks-by-president-biden-announcing-response-to-russian-actions-in-ukraine

    To put it simply, Russia just announced that it is carving out a big chunk of Ukraine.

    No, it’s a tiny piece, smaller than Crimea. (and definitely when you consider he hasn’t crossed the line of contact)

    https://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/map/ukraine-political-map.htm

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/world/europe/ukraine-maps.html

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  130. Joe and his minions figure him to be ‘another LBJ’… this might be a smart time to start:

    ‘The United States and NATO largely ignored the situation in Czechoslovakia. While the Soviet Union was worried that it might lose an ally, the United States had absolutely no desire to gain it. President Lyndon B. Johnson had already involved the United States in the Vietnam War and was unlikely to be able to drum up support for a potential conflict in Czechoslovakia. Also, he wanted to pursue an arms control treaty with the Soviets, SALT. He needed a willing partner in Moscow in order to reach such an agreement, and he did not wish to potentially risk that treaty for Czechoslovakia. For these reasons, the United States made it clear that it would not intervene on behalf of the Prague Spring, giving the USSR a free hand to do as it pleased.’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warsaw_Pact_invasion_of_Czechoslovakia#:~:text=The%20Warsaw%20Pact%20invasion%20of%20Czechoslovakia%2C%20officially%20known,Hungary%29%20on%20the%20night%20of%2020%E2%80%9321%20August%201968.
    __________

    Quite by accident last evening, was perusing some old CNN videotape from June 6, 2014 which had coverage of 70th anniversary celebrations which happened to have some heavy reports about Putin, the Ukraine situation, Russian sanctions then and Obama encountering Putin in Normandy w/all the other WW2 nation heads. The most chilling bit was a clip with CNN’s Acosta interviewing Susan Rice on the topic at hand and her responses were virtually word-for-word identical to what ol’Joe saisd in his televised address yesterday.

    Rice is running the show, kids.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  131. JF,

    LOL1: Bush: “Discontent deepened and sharpened partisan conflicts. Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication. We’ve seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. At times it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. Argument turns too easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization.”

    Certainly calling out Trump…if not by name…by action…but it has no foreign policy implication and did not cut out his legs at a critical juncture

    LOL2: “Obama signaled he would give the new president some deference but that he wouldn’t hesitate to speak up if he believed the country’s “core values may be at stake,” including “systematic discrimination being ratified in some fashion.” The former president apparently felt that was in fact happening with Trump’s executive order, which blocked travelers from seven countries, all of which are Muslim-majority — Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia — for 90 days. New refugee admissions are suspended for 120 days, while Syrian refugees are banned indefinitely. Trump also signaled in a weekend interview with the Christian Broadcast Network that he would give priority to Christian refugees over Muslim refugees.”

    Also, not a foreign policy issue that undercuts the President’s ability to negotiate with world leaders and make tough calls. A Muslim ban was unprecedented and later found unconstitutional.

    LOL3: “President Donald Trump sold out United States allies and gave ISIS “a new lease on life” by withdrawing troops from Syria, former Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday. Biden, who is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, used a speech in Davenport to criticize the Republican president’s foreign policy. Speaking in hushed tones, Biden lamented Trump’s trade war with China and the president’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, while emphasizing his own foreign policy experience.”

    Closer to relevance but also Joe wasn’t exactly a former President….and it was a year out from an election. I suppose Trump is sadly a candidate too and this is sadly his way of doing policy…mainly talking about how great he is. Of course Syria was the breaking point for Gen Mattis as well where the Atlantic summarizes the events

    “Mattis often seemed burdened in his role. His aides and friends say he found the president to be of limited cognitive ability, and of generally dubious character. Now Mattis was becoming more and more isolated in the administration, especially since the defenestration of his closest Cabinet ally, the former secretary of state Rex Tillerson, several months earlier. Mattis and Tillerson had together smothered some of Trump’s more extreme and imprudent ideas. But now Mattis was operating without cover. Trump was turning on him publicly; two months earlier, he had speculated that Mattis might be a Democrat and said, in reference to NATO, “I think I know more about it than he does.” (Mattis, as a Marine general, once served as the supreme allied commander in charge of NATO transformation.)”

    I’m not sure why you need to do what-aboutism to protect Trump. Really?!

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  132. No, it’s a tiny piece, smaller than Crimea.

    We’ll see.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  133. I’m not sure why you need to do what-aboutism to protect Trump. Really?!
    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 2/23/2022 @ 1:59 pm

    the post had nothing to do with trump, so calling out whataboutism is comical

    and pointing out your hypocrisy has nothing to do with protecting trump

    JF (e1156d)

  134. Trump siding with Putin is pretty terrible. Is it “treason”? Well, we are not technically at war, so probably not. But it’s right up there with Kucinich praising the Assads, or left-wing Congressmen going to meet Saddam.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  135. Can Biden send Trump to negotiate with Putin, then pull his passport once he’s there?

    Kevin M (38e250)

  136. Flashback:

    President Donald Trump appeared to equate US actions with the authoritarian regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview released Saturday, saying, “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”

    Trump made the remark during an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, saying he respected his Russian counterpart.

    “But he’s a killer,” O’Reilly said to Trump.

    “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?” Trump replied.
    ……..
    It was an unusual assertion coming from the President of the United States. Trump himself, however, has made similar points before.

    “He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country,” Trump told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in December 2015.

    He continued, “I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe, so you know. There’s a lot of stupidity going on in the world right now, a lot of killing, a lot of stupidity,” Trump said.

    Russia would “prefer to receive apologies from such a respected TV company” following O’Reilly’s remarks, according to Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

    “We think that such words from a correspondent of the Fox News network are unacceptable, offensive, and we would, honestly, prefer to receive apologies from such a respected TV company,” Peskov said in a response to a CNN question during a telephone news conference. “As to the statement of the US president, in this case I would prefer to leave it without any comment.”
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  137. Flashback II:

    Trump’s U.N. Envoy, Nikki Haley, Condemns Russia’s ‘Aggressive Actions’ in Ukraine
    ………
    During her Senate confirmation hearing last month, Ms. Haley also expressed support for continuing the sanctions and accused Russia of committing war crimes in the Syrian conflict. But her strong criticism of the government of President Vladimir V. Putin put her at odds with President Trump, who has expressed a desire for warmer relations with the Kremlin.
    ……..
    I wonder what Darling Nikki’s position is now, aside from blaming Biden?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  138. Send Biden over to Russia – Joe is a Coughing Covid Storm.

    mg (8cbc69)

  139. #139 – An excellent idea. And that would give Trump the opportunity to build a hotel in Moscow — paid for by Putin. Win-win.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  140. Putin’s Right-Wing Shills

    Flashback to July, 2018.

    After the summit between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, this is what I wrote for the now-deceased Weekly Standard:

    It seems only moments ago that Republicans derided Barack Obama’s “apology tour.” But that has been replaced by Donald Trump’s Groveling Tour, a peculiar combination of bullying our friends and fawning on our enemies. Monday’s summit seems destined to be recorded in the annals of diplomatic folly, with geopolitical consequences that will last far longer than our own frenetic attention spans.

    What we have learned again is that at the heart of every truculent and strutting bully is a craven sycophant eager to cower before a bigger bully.

    On Monday, Trump found that bigger bully and his cowering was the embarrassment heard round the world.

    The president did not merely insult and dismiss members of his own administration (Dan Coats) and attack the institutions of his own government on foreign soil (the FBI and DoJ), he also demeaned his own country, all in order to curry favor with a bloody martinet, who is aggressively attacking us.

    ………
    By now the cast of Putin’s useful idiots is familiar, ranging from Tucker Carlson and Josh Hawley to Candace Owens, MTG, and Maria Bartiromo.

    Fiona Hill, the former senior director for Europe and Russia at the National Security Council, calls them “the ultimate stooges,” but at least for now, these right wing voices do not speak for most congressional Republicans, who have tended to take a far more hawkish stance.
    …….
    The loudest defender of the Kremlin’s view is, of course, the loudest voice in right wing media, Tucker Carlson, whose anti-Ukraine commentary has become a running feature of Russian State television. The loudest defender of the Kremlin’s view is, of course, the loudest voice in right wing media, Tucker Carlson, whose anti-Ukraine commentary has become a running feature of Russian State television.
    ………
    The Russians are, of course, thrilled.

    Julia Davis
    @JuliaDavisNews
    #Russia’s favorites, Tucker Carlson and Josh Hawley, are again being featured on state TV. Their efforts to undermine U.S. support for Ukraine are much appreciated in Moscow.
    Quote Tweet
    Julia Davis
    @JuliaDavisNews
    · Feb 9
    THE RED PACK:

    Russia is thrilled with the split within the Republican party and thankful to Tucker Carlson, Josh Hawley & Co.

    Russia’s state TV is predicting Trump’s triumphant return: “Having elected him the first time… we can manage to do it again.”

    Here he is with former Representative Tulsi Gabbard (who has become a fixture on the right), asking why Americans should want Ukraine to join NATO.

    TULSI GABBARD: I’ve looked at this carefully, Tucker, and I have yet to find any benefit that a political leader has used or could use to justify this to the American people. All you hear is like, ‘well we have to defend democracy. We have to defend this democratic country of Ukraine.’…….

    ……..
    The conspiracy maven formerly known as the “money honey,” Maria Bartiromo, insists that the whole Ukraine-Russia threat has been fabricated to distract from (checks notes) Hillary Clinton.
    ………
    Laura Ingraham also tells her viewers that the whole thing is a distraction from the real crisis.
    ………
    Ben Shapiro’s Candace Owens has not only defended Putin’s position, she has also suggested that we should be be invading Canada instead:
    ……….
    Marjorie Taylor Greene has also deployed her deep knowledge of international affairs to lie about Ukraine:

    Tweet

    Ron Filipkowski
    @RonFilipkowski
    Marge Greene yesterday told a complete lie that “Ukraine was the number one donor to Hillary Clinton when she was running for president.”

    J.D. Vance, who has been desperate to establish his MAGA bona fides, thinks that it is “ridiculous that we are focused on this border in Ukraine.”
    ……….
    Former Trumpster A.J. Delgado is pushing the Putin’s-not-so-bad line…..

    A.J. Delgado
    @AJDelgado13
    Expand your mind, you’re almost there.
    If Putin wants to throw some cold water on American expansionism and interventionism, for whatever reason, that’s a good thing.
    We’re overly aggressive sometimes and NEED another bully on the world stage, to check our worst impulses

    (Note: Sounds just like DCSCA-plagiarism?)
    ………
    What is Putin making of all of this? I think it’s reasonable to assume that he thinks these are the authentic echoes of the Once and Future MAGA king.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  141. @140. It’s true, Rip.

    Case in point; November 1969. Kaddafi had just nationalized the oil fields in Libya, which at the time were being managed/leased/operated by a group of U.S. oil firms out of London. The fields were a rich find at the time, producing high grade, highly profitable, light sweet crude, a preferred grade for refining ops. The chief customer for much of the production loads at the time was the United States government- mainly for end use as refined to fuel the Vietnam war machine. The sudden nationalization by Kaddafi disrupted the production flow, tanker trafficking schedules and such to refinery hubs in Rotterdam where it was then offloaded to smaller tankers and trafficked to the U.S. The U.S. government was quite concerned- as were the oil companies execs- about the future of their investment and how to keep the oil flowing. U.S. government officials quietly suggested the high level oil company execs meet offshore [due to anti-trust regs] to discuss “resolving the situation” ASAP– and the U.S. government offered to make available any necessary “assets” as needed. So the top execs flew to London for discussions… and literally met in MY living room. They chatted, then huddled, broke for dinner and left for Bechtel House for a final executive meeting and a vote– on whether corporate executives would make use of government assets to have Kaddafi- a head of state- killed by way of those covertly offered U.S. ‘assets’ – or leave him in place and see how events plays out. The result: the only reason Kaddafi was left alive was due to a persuasive argument from the then head of Standard Oil, who said before the vote that they at least know who they’re dealing with; bumping him off would only add more uncertainty and instability as they’d not be sure who’d replace him in such a volatile region. And the only reason I know about this was due the loud argument my late mother had with my late father the morning after the meeting when she found out that in the meeting when they took the vote, my Dad had voted to have Kaddafi killed. And for the next 30 years, we could only get Dad to discuss the meetiong and the incident twice– for less than five minutes.

    Grow up, Rip.

    “I suppose we’ll have to kill him. I don’t suppose you have any ideas on that, Diana?” – Frank Hackett [Robert Duvall] ‘Network’ 1976

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  142. R.I.P. Gary Brooker, singer, songwriter & keyboardist on “A Whiter Shade of Pale”

    Icy (6abb50)

  143. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 2/23/2022 @ 3:58 pm

    Uh-huh.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  144. @147. That’s right, kid.

    Grow up.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  145. Isn’t the first rule of covert actions is that you don’t talk about covert actions?

    Then again, I believe you worked in advertising, enough said.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  146. @149. Dad was a top oil exec, which is why we were in in London then, Rip. And today, half-a-century later, everybody involved at the time is dead.

    Grow up, kid.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  147. Uh-huh.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  148. Whatever.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  149. @151/152. Uh-huh, indeed.

    Grow up, kid.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  150. the post had nothing to do with trump, so calling out whataboutism is comical

    That’s incoherent. Whatabouting is whatabouting, regardless of the topic.

    and pointing out your hypocrisy has nothing to do with protecting trump

    As AJ explained, contrary to what Trump did today and to what AJ criticized him for, neither Bush nor Obama nor Biden was an ex-President cutting the legs out from under a current president concerning an ongoing foreign policy crisis. So no, AJ committed no hypocrisy. Not that you let that stop you from making the accusation. After all, he said something you disagree with. That’s more than reason enough, right?

    lurker (59504c)

  151. lurker,

    Obama sent Kerry to Iran to stop Trumps foreign Policy, and Obama tried to intervene in North Korea and Clinton was actively seeking Russian support.

    EPWJ (0fbe92)

  152. I will say that kids of people in significant positions learn more than perhaps the general public might realize. I learned more than might’ve been public due to more than one speculative military discussion during the fall of the Iron curtain.

    Nic (896fdf)

  153. @156. Yep. Exactly, Nic. My experience, likely not unlike yours, was quite an eye-opening education– and all you had to do was stay quiet, watch, listen… and learn.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  154. Loan fraud and tax evasion in NY state. I also believe he’ll be tried on some Jan 6th thing federally, but I can’t say they’ll convict him. If they do, he’s disqualified.

    Kevin M (38e250) — 2/23/2022 @ 10:26 am

    Proving criminal intent of someone who doesn’t email, doesn’t text, and shreds all his meeting notes is very difficult. I’ll be shocked if he’s charged with anything 1/6 or election-related. Loan fraud and tax evasion are easier lifts, though without seeing the documents and how they’re tied to Trump personally, predicting criminal prosecution is conjecture at best.

    On that effectively fact-free basis, I’ll conjecture that civil loan and tax fraud cases against the Trump Organization seem highly plausible. Criminal charges less so, though I suppose still within the realm of possibility. But criminal prosecution of ex-President Donald Trump? Requiring his criminal intent be proven beyond a reasonable doubt? Unless there are as yet unreported smoking gun documents, I’ll be extremely surprised if those cases are brought, and more so if he’s convicted.

    Finally, in the highly unlikely event that all those hurdles are cleared, i.e., Trump is charged, convicted, and all his appeals exhausted, the chances he’ll ever see the inside of a jail cell, and if so before 2024, are IMO approaching zero.

    lurker (59504c)

  155. 136. All I’m talking about is “so far”

    Both Biden and Trump are describing what Putin has recognized now as a “big chunk” (Biden) or a “big portion” (Trump) of Ukraine. It isn’t.

    Putin hasn’t even crossed the line of contact in Donesk and Luhansk and the only thing that’s happened is intensified shelling, although he is accusing Ukraine of planning an offensive (which it isn’t) and he’s closed the embassy in Kyiv (but that could be a precaution against a seizure of the embassy before an attack.)

    His troops are getting readier and readier.

    I think he’s waiting for the situation to be just right in his estimation, since he probably wants this over very quickly.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  156. 145. Jim Miller (406a93) — 2/23/2022 @ 3:23 pm

    . And that would give Trump the opportunity to build a hotel in Moscow — paid for by Putin. Win-win.

    Putin never had any intention of letting Donald Trump operate a hotel in Moscow (which Trump wanted for the glory, not the money, because were plenty of ways for him to make money – he didn’t need to waste his time on this if it was about money.)

    TThink. If Trump had control of a hotel in Moscow, he’d know where the bugs were!

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  157. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/23/nyregion/trump-ny-fraud-investigation.html

    2 Prosecutors Leading N.Y. Trump Inquiry Resign, Clouding Case’s Future

    The resignations came after the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg, was said to have expressed doubts about the case.

    …..Without Mr. Bragg’s commitment to move forward, the prosecutors late last month postponed a plan to question at least one witness before the grand jury, one of the people said. They have not questioned any witnesses in front of the grand jury for more than a month, essentially pausing their investigation into whether Mr. Trump inflated the value of his assets to obtain favorable loan terms from banks.

    The precise reasons for Mr. Bragg’s pullback are unknown, and he has made few public statements about the status of the inquiry since taking office, but the prosecutors had encountered a number of challenges in pursuing Mr. Trump. Notably, they had thus far been unable to persuade any Trump Organization executives to cooperate and turn on Mr. Trump….

    …In mid-January, reporters for The New York Times observed significant activity related to the investigation at the Lower Manhattan courthouse where the grand jury meets, with at least two witnesses visiting the building and staying inside for hours.

    The witnesses were Mr. Trump’s longtime accountant and an expert in the real estate industry, according to people familiar with the appearances, which have not been previously reported. Mr. Dunne and Mr. Pomerantz also made regular appearances at the courthouse….

    ….But in recent weeks, that activity has ceased, and Mr. Dunne and Mr. Pomerantz have been seen only rarely….

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  158. There are two other criminal investigations: Into whether Trump tried to threaten Raffenperger, the Georgia Secretary of State, or tried to get him to commit fraud in regard to the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia; and whether he fraudulently undervalued the value of a golf course in Westchester County in New York, in order to reduce its property taxes.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  159. CNN Live- explosions near Kviv; Kharkiv; the Russian liberation of Ukraine has begun!

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  160. Russia has decided to carry out a ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, Putin says

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that the Kremlin had decided to carry out a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

    “The situation requires us to take decisive, swift action,” he said in an early morning speech, adding that Moscow would carry out the “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukraine and end eight years of war in eastern Ukraine, where Kyiv government forces have been fighting pro-Moscow separatist militants.

    Explosions could be heard in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, and Kharhiv, in the country’s northeast. Putin told Ukrainians to give up their weapons and to return home.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d67a00)

  161. DCSCA Cheers!

    Rip Murdock (d67a00)

  162. #128 JF, I want to thank you for bringing the piece on that George W. Bush speech to our attention. It will remind anyone who reads the article just how much we have lost since he left office.

    Can we assume that you agree with everything in the piece? (For example, what decent person could disagree with this:

    Discontent deepened and sharpened partisan conflicts. Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.

    Or this:

    We’ve seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. At times it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. Argument turns too easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization.)

    Again, thanks.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  163. Shouldn;t “liberation” be in quotation marks?

    All I cna find here is: (headlines)

    In reverse chronological order:

    Putin tells Ukrainian forces to lay down arms and go home

    CNN team reports explosions near Ukrainian capital 8 -> 9 -> 16 min ago.

    Text:

    The CNN team on the ground is hearing several loud explosions near Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.

    That’s it.

    Aviation authorities restrict Ukraine airspace

    BREAKING: Putin announces a “special military operation” in Donbas

    UN Secretary General: “President Putin, stop your troops from attacking Ukraine”

    US ambassador to the UN urges Russia to “back away from the brink before it is too late”

    US State Department warns of Russian false flags, including claims that Ukraine is attacking Donetsk

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  164. The FN had difficulty finding funding because of the refusal of French banks to provide credit.

    French banks are regulated, if not run, by the state. For them to refuse credit to a legal political party impugns the fairness of French elections in that it guarantees unequal access to media and political discourse.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  165. @165. Rip, Rip, Rip-Van-Murdock… 12 years in planning… you musta been asleep.

    All our gadgets come from China, our bread from Kansas wheat… and our underwear from Vietnam. Don’t give a damn about Ukraine, Rip. But you seem to.

    Camo up, kid: join Liz and Lindsey and Garry- join the Ukranian Freedom Fighters defemnding Kyiv, kiddo! Joey sent his prayers about 5 minutes ago– but we know God helps those who help themselves… and Vlad’s helping himself to Ukraine. Grow up, Rip.

    … and Putin smiled.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  166. What should biden do? Asking for a friend.

    asset (dce9b7)

  167. Requiring his criminal intent be proven beyond a reasonable doubt

    To a DC jury anyway.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  168. Camo up, kid:

    Been there, done that.

    Rip Murdock (d67a00)

  169. Ukraine Interior Ministry says invasion has begun; missile strikes.

    Tough luck Zucker: war always helps CNN’s ratings; but you’re gone. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  170. @172. So? Do it again. Zelinsky needs you! “Remember the Alamo!”

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  171. At least he didn’t call you a russian bot!

    asset (dce9b7)

  172. Some networks have broken into special coverage. NBC has. CBS, not so far.

    The Oentagon has nor commented yet on the scale of the operation.

    Biden will announce new sanctions tomorrow – important to him that they are united sanctions, will addrress American people on television tomorrow, sanctions described as — severe and swift – I guess that’s their idea of crippling.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  173. ABC: No booms heard in Lviv, but heard in Kyiv and in the east.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  174. Remember the Alamo!”

    Losers.

    Rip Murdock (d67a00)

  175. @176. The Pentagon are 9 to 5ers, Sammy.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  176. @178. Freedom fighters, Rip!

    Go Nixonian for Ukraine: “Eternal Peace With Honor!” 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  177. @170. What should biden do? Asking for a friend.

    Go with the French vanilla with a little hot fudge tonight; he did the chocolate cone last night. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  178. “I don’t let my mouth right a check my ass can’t back up! Joe biden president sort of.

    asset (dce9b7)

  179. Fox reports Odessa amphibious landing.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  180. @DCSCA@179 Not really. Though in this case, most of the military intelligence and commands are probably running through SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) and the SACEUR (Supreme Allied Commander, Europe) and maybe Ramstein.

    Nic (896fdf)

  181. Ukranian UN Ambassador just went full Adlai Stevenson to Russian Ambassador – who is president at UN tonight.

    Probably the best UN TV moment of the week.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  182. @184. The intel guys, yeah. But the paper shufflers; the PR guys, likely need to craft their PR statements before going to camera and clear w/the WH. Sure hope the intel guys and gals are gathering ‘performance’ data from overhead on them there Rooskie gadgets.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  183. Martha Radditz: Sees to be carrying out the playbook. U.S. picking up signals int. Putin was deeply disturbed by it. (the US knew that too?) Somehow they thought this would stop Vladimir Putin.

    There is a belief that this altered Putin’s plans somewhat and may have delayed it. I guess he doesn’t believe that’s why Russia lost the Battle of Tannenberg in August, 1914, or didn’t believe Ukraine would be able to use it, or believed some was secure.

    Russian special forces throughout the country.

    She got a text) from US official that she may be in last hours of peace on thr European continent for some time.

    Explosions could be heard around 5 am – it is now near sunrise.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  184. What should biden do? Asking for a friend.

    Get the reborn Soviet Union off to a good start by gifting it a Soviet economy.

    nk (1d9030)

  185. Biden;s been staying up late (for him anyway) reading old court decisions as he tries to decide which of 3 (or more_ African American women he wants to nominate to the Supreme Court. (Best or least bad would be the one from Spith Carolina)

    He had set a deadline of Feb 28 and probably wanted it before the State of the Union message next Tuesday March 1.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/22/us/politics/biden-supreme-court-candidates.html

    ….Mr. Biden is now under pressure to announce his selection, who he has promised will be a Black woman, somewhere between a rapidly devolving diplomatic effort to contain Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine and plans to deliver his first State of the Union address, scheduled for next Tuesday….In the past few weeks, Mr. Biden has stayed up late reading court decisions…

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  186. What should biden do? Asking for a friend.

    Watch a movie.

    “…our glorious Fuhrer has taken a sleeping pill and is not to be awakened.” – The Longest Day, 1962

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  187. @DCSCA@186 The last time I was inside a command bunker was 30 years ago, but even having visited that many years ago, I can confidently say that, er, yes, the, um, intel guys and gals are certainly gathering data and passing their analysis on directly to whatever command officers are currently on alert in the various command bunkers. Our bases aren’t going to be quiet tonight.

    Nic (896fdf)

  188. @191. Dear Ol’Vlad issued a more or less direct threat to NATO and the U.S. tonight, too- saying if anybody intervenes, they’ll face a response the likes of which they’ve never experienced before. Hope Joe has a fresh pair of Depends on.

    Xi has to be watching how our guys react to this and manage a response as it will play into their plans for Taiwan.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  189. The person who texted ABC News correspondent in Lviv earlier tonight (and told her to be safe) evidently didn’t think this would be over very soon.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  190. What if Iran intervenes – on the Russian side.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  191. Totally unnecessary threat by Putin. Biden has internalized it, and Putin may be avoiding doing anything near the Polish or Lithuanian or Romanian border.

    He probably won’t attempt to take far western Ukraine because Ukrainian defense there is better as Russia cannot target Ukrainian positions as incoming could fall into Poland resulting in who knows what.

    On second thought maybe in Putin’s mind maybe it’s not so unnecessary.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  192. @194. Don’t think Vlad needs their help on this one, Sammy. It’s gonna end up being a proxy war and a boom -literally and figuratively- the MIC $$$. Move over Big Pharma, the MIC’s coming to town!$$$$

    _____

    Did Joe really ask, “Are those Russian troops wearing their masks?” Asking for a friend. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  193. The text to Maetha Raddatz in Lviv came from “a senior Pentagon official.” Said: “You are likely in the last hours of peace on the European continent for a long time to come. Be careful.”

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  194. @DCSCA@192 If they were paying attention in 1989 or 2001, they already know.

    At one point during the fall of the iron curtain, 8 enlisted men in 2 black SUVs showed up at our door and my dad left with them. They then went down the street and around the corner and picked up the brigadier general who lived near us. We didn’t see my father for a week. I won’t say what the other security measures were, but they were many and what I heard later regarding the international response at the time was not… casual, because no one knew how the USSR would respond.

    I suspect that anyone else who was military in Europe at that time (or in 2001) has some not entirely pleasant memories popping up now.

    Nic (896fdf)

  195. Putin can bluff and bluster all he wants, but the timing of the attack, so the Russian armed forces can get back to do the Spring planting to grow their food, speaks for itself.

    nk (1d9030)

  196. @198. Wow. What an experience, Nic. For me the most sobering moment was one weekend when the folks sat us down on the sofa and told us that if we were ever ‘taken’ – that’s the term they used; the plan was to consider us dead- and anything above that was what they, the company and the government would work toward– but we were to understand that right then and there. We literally burst out laughing– though it was some kind of joke; but they were dead serious. As family of U.S. corporate execs, we were considered prime targets for kidnapping and ransom scenarios- something we’d never ever thought about as teenagers. But that was the world then.

    ‘Course we were living there in the UK in the late 60s-mid 70s before your time there and my HS set up a trip to the ol’ Soviet Union when so we got to meet and greet the Bears up close and personal for several weeks. Some truly eye-opening and memorable experiences; and a helluvan education, too just getting in and out. Best memory remains the street level Russians who aren’t that different from the rest of us; want the same basic things in life. But the Soviet bureaucrats we dealt with- on a whole other level.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  197. Dear Ol’Vlad issued a more or less direct threat to NATO and the U.S. tonight, too- saying if anybody intervenes, they’ll face a response the likes of which they’ve never experienced before. Hope Joe has a fresh pair of Depends on.

    Glad to know whose side you’re on, bub.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  198. Laura Ingraham had to disabuse Trump on the air of his belief that the amphibious landing at Odessa was by American troops.

    No, I’m not joking.

    Yes, he was President of the United States.

    lurker (59504c)

  199. “Why do I care what is going on in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia? I’m serious. What shouldn’t I root for Russia. Which by the way I am.
    –Tucker Carlson, supporter of bullies, 11/25/19

    BTW, there isn’t a conflict between Ukraine and Russia, there is aggression and acts of war against Ukraine by Putin, starting in 2014 and under full display right now.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  200. Laura Ingraham described Zelensky’s speech as “pathetic display”. Jonah Goldberg:

    Laura Ingraham says president of Ukraine asking Putin not to invade his country was a “pathetic display.” Then has to explain to Trump that America wasn’t launching an amphibious attack on Ukraine. (Which Trump thought should be kept secret).

    Laura Ingraham is a pathetic display.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  201. Laura Ingraham described Zelensky’s speech as “pathetic display,”

    Whistling past the graveyard usually is; see Alexander Dubcek for details.

    But you’re looking for a Ukranian with balls, look no further than Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN, Sergiy Kyslytsya, who delivered a blistering speech tonight rivalling Adlai Stevenson’s Cuban Missile Crisis moment in 1962 condemning Russia for launching a military operation against his country and ended the meeting with a sharply-worded parting shot. Watched it live. Truly a courageous in your face moment in history.

    Find it on the web and watch it.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  202. @201 Glad to know whose side you’re on, bub.

    Back at ‘ya: certain where your banner flutters- with the bevy of knee-jerkers who deliberately or inadvertently confuse acknowledging and recognizing competence with rooting for the bad guys. But then, their guilt-ridden angst backing an incompetent simply due to a peevish objection to the persona of their party’s nominee is quite a burdensome price to pay- especially at the grocery store, the gas pump… and now on the world stage.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  203. Don’t put this back on me, DC. You showed your true colors.
    Here’s another lie tonite from Tucker Carlson, proxy spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry.

    “Ukraine is a pure client state of the United States State Department…Don’t tell us it’s a democracy.”

    It’s a democracy, way freer than PutinLand.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  204. @207. It’s ALL on you, ‘Bub”- watch it and weep:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCA2vODnL3M

    “You bought him. You own him.”

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  205. Russian losing armored forces now

    EPWJ (0fbe92)

  206. @209. Lost armor? Link?

    Plenty of gas stations in Ukraine to pick up a map– maybe a cola, a coffee and some beef jerky for a nosh on the roll into Kyiv…

    https://cng-stations.net/Ukraine.en.htm

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  207. Remember what an easy time we and soviet union had in afganistan at first.

    asset (dce9b7)

  208. More Jonah:

    Amazing how so many of the self-proclaimed American nationalists talk such a big game about the importance of nationalism, the morality of nationalism, the necessity of nationalism, just don’t care very much when an imperial power tries to erase a nation.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  209. Timothy Snyder on Putin’s latest unhinged warmongering, and Zelensky’s response to it.

    Putin absurdly claims he has to invade Ukraine to protect Russian-speakers. Russian speakers in Ukraine are far more free than Russian speakers in Russia.

    For example, a Russian speaker in Russia who thought of running for president would be imprisoned, as Alexei Navalny has been. A Russian-speaker, meanwhile, can run for president of Ukraine and win.

    Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky in this video speaks in Russian (beginning at 2:00) directly to the citizens of Russia.

    He addresses Putin’s propaganda: “How can you call us Nazis when we gave millions of lives in the Second World War?”

    “Tell it to my grandfather, who fought in the Soviet infantry and died as a colonel in independent Ukraine.”

    President Zelensky does not mention that his grandfather’s father and much of his family were murdered in the Holocaust.

    President Zelensky says that Russian culture and culture in general should unite people, not divide them.

    He says that the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian government want peace, but will defend themselves.

    He says that he trusts that there are Russians who will understand him and understand the horror and sorrow of war.

    “Do Russians want war? I would very much like an answer to that question. It depends upon you, citizens of the Russian Federation.”

    President Zelensky ask Russians to disregard war propaganda and to take responsibility.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  210. “You bought him. You own him.”

    I didn’t vote for Biden, nitwit.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  211. I see that Tucker Carlson has gone full traitor. It is really unbelievable the way Fox News and the Trumpists are adhering to Putin.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  212. Michael Beschloss:

    Putin now pledging “denazification” of Ukraine, whose President Zelenskyy is Jewish.

    More:

    Trump is angrily denouncing a President right now on Fox News, and it’s not Putin.

    Trump on Fox News: Putin attack on Ukraine happened “because of a rigged election” in the United States.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  213. @214. Nitwit?

    You didn’t vote for Trump which is the point.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  214. Laura Ingraham had to disabuse Trump on the air of his belief that the amphibious landing at Odessa was by American troops.

    Maybe next time.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  215. Again: Our proper reaction right now is Reforger. Put an armored division into Poland by Friday.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  216. @212. Has the Wailing Jonah been fitted for his stretch camo and joining the Ukranian Freedom Fighters yet? Or just clucking from the peanut gallery and letting Joe hold his coat and beer…

    Didn’t think so.

    “Velcome back to za fight. This time I’m sure our side vill vin.” Victor Laszlo – [Paul Henreid] ‘Casablanca’ 1943

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  217. Our proper reaction right now is Reforger. Put an armored division into Poland by Friday

    Golly Kevin! When do the Ukranian Relief War Bonds go on sale for you to buy?! Heaven forbid any conservative forget about not paying for the deployment byborrowing from China and adding to the national debt. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  218. Remember what an easy time we and Soviet Union had in Afganistan at first.

    Remember your geography and demographics first: Ukraine ain’t Afghanistan… nor Texas.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  219. Glenn Greenwald’s pro-Putin comments today aged poorly:

    The problem is that the CIA told the US media to tell everyone that they knew exactly what Putin was saying and deciding, and that he had decided on a full invasion of Ukraine, so they have to call it an “invasion” otherwise this whole media/government act will see like a fraud.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  220. You didn’t vote for Trump which is the point.

    And now you’re lying, because you clearly insinuated that I supported Biden.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  221. Any discussion of the invasion should take place at my post about the invasion, which I have been updating constantly.

    Patterico (7e54d1)

  222. @DCSCA@200 The two we had were that 1. if an airplane we were on was hijacked, we were to pretend we were unaccompanied. Our parents would hide our passports and we weren’t to make a noise if we were taken away and I was to protect my brother the best I could. 2. (on visiting E. Berlin) if we were arrested and separated from our parents I was to demand to talk to the Russians, because they were the people in power and the people who had motivation keep American children safer. I was 12.

    Nic (896fdf)

  223. @226. Nic, we flew to the Soviet Union from Gatwick to the then Leningrad aboard Aeroflot– then an overnight train to Moscow. And it was such an odd aircraft, too. You know how a Boeing has windows at shoulder height so all you have to do is look left or right to see out, well the Aeroflot jet had windows set in higher up in the fuselage, so you had to literally stand up to look out- and once we passed over Polish airspace we were forbidden to look out or take photos out the windows. When we landed, they taxied us out to an isolated spot on the tarmac, the door opened and a Soviet Army officer boarded w/a pillow case and went up the aisle collecting everybody’s passport and medical papers. We were then led to a bus, taken to Soviet customs and had to pass through that to get IN; they went through every piece of luggage; confiscated every newspaper, magazine and paperback book we brought along to read and we had to fill out a customs form declaring what we were bringing IN [still have a copy of the form] -everything from the number of pairs of blue jeans, shirts, shoes, sweaters and such- to the amount of money. And when we left a few weeks later, they compared the incoming declaration forms to the outgoing one to be sure we hadn’t sold anything. I watched them rifle through one of mt friends bags for 30 minutes– just because he had ‘long hair.’ One of my prized possessions are the two fragments of the Kremlin Wall I swiped from ground from behind their war memorial– I hid them inside the toe of my shoe I was wearing along with some Soviet money, which was also prohibited from leaving.

    That was all in the first three hours… It took us 5 days to get our passports and medical books back as we needed then to do currency exchanges to buy w/rubles away from the official ‘dollar stores.’ It was an amazing experience.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  224. @DCSCA@227 Yeah, my mother has some interesting stories about the wives’ diplomatic trip she went on during the glasnost period. It wasn’t as bad as you are describing (they didn’t count things on the way in and out, so many of the wives took extra lipstick and hosiery and jeans and such and left them or traded them) but it was still pretty controlled.

    Nic (896fdf)

  225. @228. We had “people” trailing us the whole time literally trying to buy our blue jeans off our bodies. Willing to pay us $50-$100/pair which was big money for jeans back then– but we were told never to do it. They were state police. We were tipped to bring with us and allowed to trade ballpoint pens and rolls of toilet paper – yes TP– for Communist Party badges- so we did that and I have a nice batch of ol’CCCP badges. A friend years later, who worked w/NASA, sent me some insulation from Gagarin’s Vostok 1 spacecraft he was gifted- so I framed that and the badges up together– and use a large spring from a Soyuz Baikonur launch pad assembly he gave me as a paperweight.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  226. Here’s the part you left out

    I left it out, whembly, because Trump’s only answer is to engage in a hypothetical that can’t be proven one way or the other, which is a bullsh-t argument.
    We can’t slide into an alt-universe and know what Trump would’ve done in his fictional second term. For all we know, he could’ve started WWIII or appeased Putin by greenlighting his takeover. That scenario is just as legit as Trump’s puffery.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  227. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 2/23/2022 @ 9:32 pm

    Find it on the web and watch it

    Is this all of it?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQWS4QTRQ8g

    From this:

    KYSLYTSYA: So when I was coming here an hour ago or so I was intending to ask the Russian ambassador to confirm on the record that the Russian troops will not start firing at Ukrainians today and go ahead with the offensive. It became useless 48 minutes ago…

    To NEBENZYA: ….. And this isn’t called a war. This is called a special military operation in the Donbass.:

    He asked if he should play a video of the Russian president declaring a war (Russia was denying it.)

    I guess that is what resembles Adlai Stevenson during the Cuban missile crisis.

    The transcript appears as a comment in the YouTube video.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)


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