Saturday, July 19, 2014

Vlad The Self-Impaler

Europe and even America never cared that much about Crimea. It is difficult to dislodge an annexation when a majority of the population likely really did support it. And the Europeans, as long as the big red lines weren't being crossed, are too tied to Russian fuels and their myriad other concerns to care that much about mischief on Ukraine's eastern border. But having a passenger plane, filled with EU citizens, shot out of the sky above what is presumed to be the bubble of first world safety that is "Europe" is a game changing event not only in the Ukraine crisis but much more broadly about Putin's role in Europe generally.

In a paradoxical way, I think the future ramifications of this are almost greater because it is about Russia's recklessness and bumbling than it would be if it were more clearly a matter of intent. This is a f'-up on Putin's part of almost mind-boggling proportions. Yes, a tragedy. Yes, perhaps an atrocity. But almost more threatening, a screw up. Malign intent is one thing. So is aggression. But goofs of this magnitude by someone who controls a massive military arsenal and nuclear weapons are in a way more threatening.

Which of course was the argument later made about Bush and 9/11.   Like Bush in 2001, Putin assumed this wasn't going to happen and it did, spectacularly and tragically, despite the numerous warnings to the contrary.  "Well, Putin doesn't have any control over all of the pro-Russian separatists" isn't an excuse that absolves Putin in the least, in fact it should frighten the hell out of basically everyone.

The Ukrainian situation is no longer an exercise in "what if".  We now know what the consequences are, and they are bloody and dire.  And the hand behind all of this controls Russia's military and nuclear arsenal pretty much exclusively.

This is not a good situation to be in.  Putin is a real problem and will now have to be dealt with.

I Can't Imagine How The Guy Got Voted Out Of Office

Former Republican Congressman Allen West apparently doesn't know much about anything, but he knows everything is Obama's fault, including downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine.

"The blood on Vladimir Putin’s hands was poured by Barack Obama, who is indirectly responsible, accountable and no different than Neville Chamberlain’s weakness in the face of the 20th Century maniacal dictator Adolf Hitler," West, who maintains a relatively large following among conservative activists, wrote in a new post on his blog Friday.

"So much for no drama Obama," West added. "He is purposefully creating drama globally."

To substantiate his claim, West cited Obama's 2012 hot mic moment when he told Russian President Dmitri Medvedev he would have more "flexibility" to negotiate with Russia on missile defense after the U.S. election.

"Sadly, hundreds of Ukrainians and 298 souls on MH17 have paid the price for the weakness and abject cowardice of Obama’s 'flexibility,'" West wrote. "And here in America we quibble over a lawsuit against this charlatan."
Yeah Allen, let's talk about charlatans, who con people into believing them when they have materially misrepresented themselves.  Sort of like what you did proclaiming yourself an American military hero when you actually resigned in disgrace from military service when the soldiers under your command beat an Iraqi man senseless because you thought, without any evidence mind you, that the man was involved in an attempt on your life.

That's the definition of charlatan to me.  No wonder Obama was re-elected, and you sir, were not.

Crawl under your rock and trouble this country no more.  You're as unqualified a foreign policy expert as you are a soldier.

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