Wednesday, May 27, 2015

There is at least one Republican, however, whose counsel should not be scorned, especially by his fellow Republicans. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates — whose glancing criticism of Obama in his memoir was so heavily exaggerated  — now clearly disdains partisan exploitation of the trouble in Ukraine to demean his former boss.

“In the middle of a major international crisis…some of the criticism, domestic criticism of the president ought to be toned down, while he’s trying to handle this crisis,” said Gates on “Fox News Sunday.” He flatly rejected the notion that Obama could somehow have deterred Putin by acting more “decisively.” And having served under Bush before Obama kept him on, he bluntly recalled that other Russian invasion.

“My own view is, after all, Putin invaded Georgia when George W. Bush was president. Nobody ever accused George W. Bush of being weak or unwilling to use military force, so I think Putin is very opportunistic in these arenas. I think that…even if we had launched attacks in Syria, even if we weren’t cutting our defense budget, I think Putin saw an opportunity here in Crimea, and he has seized it.”

Indeed, Obama is doing everything that critics like McCain and Romney would likely do in his place – pull together the allies, bolster Ukraine financially, impose sanctions, isolate and cajole Moscow. He is calibrating the response according to the broad interests of the United States and its allies, seeking to restrain Russian ambitions without incurring grave costs.

So far the hysterical Republican attacks are inflicting little harm on the president. His approach to Ukraine and Crimea is polling higher than his overall approval numbers – and the latest CNN poll showed that his ratings as a “strong and decisive leader” who “inspires confidence” are actually higher than last autumn.

What Putin will do next is hard to predict; what remains perfectly predictable is the political reaction here. If the Russians push deeper into Ukraine, Obama will be blamed again. And if they don’t, he will surely get no credit.

AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    So the Chicken Hawks are cackling again. We have an exhausted army after fighting two pointless wars for the last 13 years. What are they supposed to do?

    • Sand_Cat

      Where was Dick Cheney when his country “needed” him in Vietnam?
      Where was Lindsay Graham?

      • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

        Graham did serve. He was in the JAG. It was Cheney and Rumsfeld that were “too busy” to serve.

        • dpaano

          Yeah, they were too busy hiding!!!

        • JPHALL

          Don’t forget Bush the younger. His father served bravely and when he had to commit troops, he didn’t leave them hanging without a real mission in Iraq while trying to get the oil.

      • midway54

        Let’s not forget Billy Boy Kristol, who, like Cheney a militant draft dodger, looks forward to perpetual wars for perpetual profits as long as others are doing the fighting and dying and their families enduring the sacrifices. He is mouthing off with his “expertise” on foreign relations and particularly now as to Russia and publishing his rot in the Weekly Standard, the necon fish-wrapper.

    • 1standlastword

      The Roman legions met the same fate…over-extended and exhausted

    • 1standlastword

      We might some time soon need a draft and that will include the sons and daughters of senators and congress people. If their chillren died at the rate of ours the chicken hawk might morph into a dove

      • midway54

        Experience has shown that it won’t happen: Those sons and daughters will run off to the universities and collect degrees if they cannot otherwise escape conscription through some rightwing provider that will see to it. The Kennedy family was a notable exception to this practice.

        • 1standlastword

          If integrity and fairness is ever restored to our democracy this will be harder to do in a future call up: we can only hope

          • iamproteus

            “If integrity and fairness is ever restored to our democracy….”
            As long as the right-wing has anything to say about it, that will remain a very loud and resounding “IF”.

    • S.J. Jolly

      How about an army of US volunteers, to defend Ukraine’s eastern border against Russia? Sign up, get a free plane ticket to Kiev, a rifle, set of camies, and all the ammo and MRE’s you can carry. Let all the chicken hawks put up or shut up.

      • Allan Richardson

        Like the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s! The Tea Party Legion, maybe…

        • S.J. Jolly

          Suppose the US border guarding Minutemen might voluteer? Though there are likely few with the cojones to go up against border-crossers that shoot back.

  • Dominick Vila

    The real problem in this case is not that President Obama appeased Putin, but that his condemnations, which include stiff sanctions against Russia and Putin himself, went a bit too far and strained our relations with a country we need to succeed in the pursuit of our geopolitical goals.
    The obvious question to those who insinuate that the administration did not go far enough is to ask them to provide specifics as to what they would have done. Are they suggesting military intervention? Are they proposing breaking diplomatic relations with Russia? What exactly do they want, besides the usual condemnations with nothing positive to offer?
    Russia does not need our permission or support to re-annex a former part their territory, a part where a majority of the population is ethnic Russian. What is happening in that part of the world, especially the behind the scene plotting and jogging for influence, may be reprehensible, but proposing veiled alternatives that could lead to a military confrontation with the second largest nuclear superpower in the world is so insane it almost borders on criminality.

    • Billie

      I say that if there is going to be an armed conflict, it’s Europe’s problem. Why the heck does it always have to be us. He’s their neighbor.

      • dpaano

        You can surely bet that if Mexico tried to come into Texas and take back what was taken from them…..there wouldn’t be a country in the world that would come to our aid!!!

        • Duckbudder

          I’d say let’m have Texass.

          • Allan Richardson

            In fact, sometimes I wish the Constitution had a provision for EXPULSION from the Union by vote of a supermajority of votes in a popular referendum. The first up would be Tex (the ASS is in Washington).

      • 1standlastword

        Your worldview is passé and too small. People have been working overtime and for a long time making other peoples business their business. We have the same propensities as Putin. America is as imperial in its motives as Putin is in his. It’s true that in this matter Putin is acting undemocratically, but American efforts to spread democracy have failed horribly as can be seem in modern history with Iraq

        • JPHALL

          So what do you propose Obama actually do in this situation? Just making general statements is not helpful.

        • S.J. Jolly

          The democracy we’ve been trying to spread should be in quotation marks. E.g., “democracy.” Sure, people get to vote — for a controlled list of candidates — and we reserve the right to try to overturn the results if we don’t like them.

      • DurdyDawg

        Haven’t you discovered the 1%’s philosophy yet Billie? War is profit and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a conflict.. Oh how the elitists misses the cold war. Wait! was that a tree in the forest I heard fall?

    • paulyz

      But, wasn’t Ukraine an independent nation before Russia made it a part of the Soviet Union?

      • Dominick Vila

        So were most of the former Soviet Republics. Putin is not annexing the Ukraine to Russia, he is annexing the Crimean Peninsular, which was a strategic part of Russia until Khrushchev ceded to Ukraine for geopolitical reasons in the Soviet Union era.
        I am not condoning Putin’s actions, I am simply stating facts that are being ignored by those who are calling for unspecified actions against Russia, which along with China are the only countries that could give us a run for our money from a military perspective. It is also important to remember that Russia has a lot more influence than we do in countries like Syria, Iran, China and other parts of the world. Their cooperation in finding ways to settle disputes peacefully and to achieve global stability is far more important than opposing what a majority of the population of Crimea wants to do.

        • idamag

          George Washington advised the US to make friends abroad as it would strengthen the US. Yes, we should be effecting dialogue everywhere. The chicken hawks who want to send the kids to be killed should be out front.

          • 1standlastword

            They’re out front with their rotten misguided opinions and that is as far out front as any of them have ever gone. Not one of the authors of the US led Iraq invasion served but they have more blood on their hands that the greatest of warriors.

          • sigrid28

            As Joe Conason correctly observes, “the inclusion of neo-fascist elements in Kiev’s new government raised real issues of legitimacy and security” for the neo-cons in the GOP. Yet the GOP has their own rabid right-wing in the Republican base, rife with xenophobia and racial animus, with which our own government has to contend on practically every level.

          • 1standlastword

            And given those concerns, my attention is on the millions of dollars of American taxpayer foreign aid our politicians are funneling into the dreadfully busted economy of Ukraine during a time when they can’t get unity on continued support for the millions of long term unemployed here in America who they cut off at “Christmas” and defame as takers.

            Just another perverted twist to the new definition of democracy and added weight to the credibility problem of our current do-nothing-“right”-congress

        • 1standlastword

          And so why doesn’t the Administration see it the way you put it?

          • FredAppell

            Maybe they do but President Obama is afraid to appear weak, especially with the GOP hovering around like vultures. I think the only chance for a peaceful resolution is for us to send ole’ W to Moscow to talk to his little buddy Pootie-Poot. After all, wasn’t it Georgie Boy who said he looked deep into Pootie’s soul and found a good man. Georgie Boy’s never wrong and he’d never lie, right? I don’t envy President Obama but we are about to witness the most important crisis of his presidency.

          • 1standlastword

            See my response to Dominick below

          • FredAppell

            ??? I’m not quite sure what it is you’re trying to say. Just know that my sarcasm was directed at the Bush administration. Some of what has happened may be a result of Bush’s soft but condescending treatment of Putin. I think we’ve been played well by Moscow all because we were led to believe that Putin wants peace with the West. Now President Obama
            is being tested, who knows what Putin is really up to. Forgive me for the cliche but it’s always a chess game with Russia. I think we have to wait and see what kind
            of move Putin makes next. We don’t know yet if this should remain an internal problem with Ukraine or if we should get involved but I definitely see Putin as the clear aggressor here.

          • S.J. Jolly

            Putin does have a point in that the West has greatly disrespected Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

          • FredAppell

            Funny, except for some occasional patronizing, I thought that our relationship with Russia wasn’t too bad after the collapse. We had much better relations with them when Putin wasn’t in power. It’s not as if we were trying to control Russia, I thought we were trying to include them and open them up to the rest of their European neighbors. The problems mostly started when former Soviet states were trying to secede and Democratize. We supported that as we should have, however, apparently Russia viewed that as an affront
            Instead of Russia being an honest broker and supporting the autonomy of the former states, they decided it was in their best interest to try to hold on to
            these states against the will of the people.

            There is a lot of things we can blame our government for, especially our Foreign Policy but this is all Putin this time.

          • S.J. Jolly

            Do some reading on the chaos in Russia after the collapse, thanks to the neo-liberal economic polices forced on it.
            Ditto on the expansion of NATO to include the Eastern European countries that Russia has long regarded as it’s sphere of influence and as a defensive bulwark. How would we feel if the Cold War had gone the other way, with the USA collapsing, and Russia absorbing Canada and Mexico into the Warsaw Pact?

          • FredAppell

            Neo-liberal? You mean Capitalism don’t you? I agree that there was a tremendous amount of chaos both economically and socially after the fall of the Soviet Union, that’s only natural considering the extreme changes that were taking place which were numerous and in some cases disastrous. However, I thought that they wanted a change in economic policy.

            To your second point, I plead guilty, I never considered how we would feel if the tables were reversed, I imagine that we would probably try to reclaim as much of our sphere of influence as possible. I know America would never accept what we’d consider a clear violation of our national security. I guess I’m forced to acknowledge that America hasn’t exactly been an equal broker for peace with the Russians, no wonder Putin is deeply
            suspicious of our motives.

          • Dominick Vila

            This is a midterm election year, and the last thing Obama wants to be accused of being an appeaser. Another factor is the naivete of most American politicians, who don’t seem to understand the historical biases and regional goals that exist the old continent. Countries like The Netherlands, Spain, and Belgium, for example, are not condemning Putin’s actions because the Crimean issue is unprecedented, but because they too have internal problems involving large parts of those countries calling for independence.

          • 1standlastword

            To me you, your response implies that Putin’s autocratic/ dictator philosophy and foreign policy is politically more effective than our dysfunctional democratic philosophy which operates on a principle of popularity for the prize of winning election campaigns.

          • Dominick Vila

            That was certainly not my intention. I lived in Spain in the Franco era, and in Venezuela when Gen. Perez Jimenez was in power. The last thing I would do is endorse dictatorship and autocratic forms of government. Add to that the fact that Putin is now one of the richest men in Russia – not because of savings and wise investments, and definitely not because of his KGB salary – and he can only be categorized as a tyrant.
            My point is (1) the best approach to deal with situations like this is through dialogue. Making threats that we cannot backup with action is not a good idea. (2) We need Russia to serve as an intermediary to help us settle problems in countries like Iran and Syria, where they have more influence than we do. (3) We do not have the resources (regardless of what some Republicans have been saying) to substitute Western Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas, oil, and trade. (4) Most of the population in the Crimean Peninsula are ethnic Russians and Russian Orthodox. Their desire to be part of Russia once again is genuine. (5) Taking sides on a territorial dispute such as this is dangerous. If nothing else because it establishes a precedent that can come back and hunt us in the future. Several European countries, such as Spain, the Netherlands, and Belgium have large ethnic groups seeking independence. How will we react when some of these groups rises and demands independence that may not be in our best interest from a geo-political perspective?
            Putin’s actions deserve condemnation, but let’s not get carried away.

          • 1standlastword

            Dominick, I do understand your love for democracy. I still want to point out the problem of American is staged politics for the sake of winning and retaining power and how posturing and popularity is self seeking and self defeating. It’s all we get from our leaders nowadays!
            I grieve because of our dysfunctional government has made us less effective at home and abroad.
            The “ever-evolving-and-deepening-warfare-between republicans-and-democrats” gives autocracies political advantage that they don’t have harvest from the seeds of democracy.
            Herein lies the problem of the western democracy: that is, it reinforces the authority of autocratic, theocratic, and dictator led nations. We have for too long–and we continue to–practice a perverted form of democracy.
            Our recent preemptive pseudo-legal invasion of a sovereign nation showed us modeling an abuse of power that cannot be denied by anybody with a body temperature of 98.6
            Our government not only has a credibility problem here at home but also abroad. Since the turn of this century we have ushered in REMARKABLE changes in the meaning of democracy that is so broken that it can be faked in Iran, North Korea, on the African continent, in Israel, all over the middle east.
            The fix for America is a new generation of politicians dedicated to giving back to the people what is constitutionally theirs and that is a vote that doesn’t compete against world-institutions in the energy and finance sectors. Those institutions collectively have almost totally corrupted our once fair democracy

          • sigrid28

            Well put, Dominick. When it comes to ethnic groups within European nations “calling for independence,” the neocons conveniently forget that within their own political party the lunatic fringe calls for secession–on a regular basis! Basic ignorance combines with knee-jerk xenophobia to affix blinders on a majority of Americans.

            These Republicans castigating President Obama, however, have no excuse. They pretend to misunderstand European political affairs out of partisan politics and a good deal of racial animus, IMO. They express an unseemly affection for President Putin, based on his open agression–something they admire–while forgetting that he and his nationalist dictatorship have not entered Crimea flailing machetes at those who oppose them, as happened in Rwanda. Putin has been careful to be militarily non-violent in annexing Crimea–relying on speeches and elections to justify his acquisition of Crimea when he might have simply taken it by fiat. He only just went out of his way to be seen applauding international athletes and spending millions by staging both the Olympics and the Paralympics, an honor that he had to earn, in order to put on display his intense desire to be seen as an honorable leader worldwide. In other words, neocons in Congress and Republican has-beens like Romney and Cheney accuse President Obama of being an appeaser, when it is actually President Putin who has gone out of his way to appear as one. Perhaps it is only an act–but they completely misread his performance or ignore it altogether. Why? To attack a Democratic administration they have no other way of defeating. If they want to be players on the world stage, they should win elections.

          • Dominick Vila

            I hope President Obama does not let the war hawks influence his actions on this issue. Europe has been struggling with regionalism and ridiculous disputes for centuries. The best thing we could do is stay out of that mess. I wonder if some of the calls for a stronger response to Putin’s actions are influenced by human rights considerations, opportunism, or ignorance. At this rate, it may not be long before our heroes start praising the virtues of the Ottoman Empire and calling for protection to returning Tartars to their ancient home in the Crimean Peninsula.

          • sigrid28

            I wish our war hawks had enough familiarity with European history to praise “the virtues of the Ottoman Empire,” but my fear is that most of them rely on thumb-nail sketches of current political affairs supplied by staffers whenever they visit countries in the EU or anywhere else in the world, for that matter. By contrast, I think President Obama is protected from being influenced by the pleadings of these self-serving war hawks. He depends on his own staff–a varied group of extremely intelligent people–as well as officials in the Department of State and the Department of Defense, who have true expertise, to which he is more inclined to listen than to the vituperative packaged sound-bites of his avowed political enemies. As with President Obama’s negotiations over Syria and Iran, negotiations take place in secrecy behind the scenes, where I think President Putin has his own staff with deep knowledge of foreign affairs–most European world leaders DO have that. In my view, Putin’s disadvantage is that his advisers may fear him so much that they tell him only what he wants to hear, no matter how deep their knowledge of European history and current affairs.

        • S.J. Jolly

          An internationally supervised election in Crimea, on the question of annexation to Russia, would be a good place to start. The recent one, under the guns of the Russian Army, is highly suspect.

    • elw

      You are right, Russia has a long history of expanding and shrinking its boarders. My grandparent (all four) immigrated from Russia in the early 20th century. They all came from what was Western Russia at the time but two of them claimed that they were not sure of they were Russian because the area they were born in was not always part of Russia.

    • dpaano

      Dominick: They are always long on blame and short on solutions….it’s typical of the GOP!! They can’t seem to figure out how to make more jobs, how to get people back to work, how to deal with those who are on food stamps and welfare, etc., etc., etc. Why would anything think they would be able to come up with a solution to THIS problem? All they have time to do is blame!

  • docb

    The financial and credit agencies will begin to step up on this now…Which will put Mr. Putin in more deep water… What the little repub bagger males squeal about is of no consequence…they have no power or influence..They have shown themselves to be hopeless do nothing cowards and popinjays…Squealing like stuck hogs and lying for years about this President especially but any dem that wants to take action!.. What are they proposing???? NOTHING…just whining and bouncing on their toes for the cameras!

    This is the best site to get real news out of the situation:

    http://www.kyivpost.com/hot/crisis-in-crimea/

    rt.com is owned and run by the putin titushki

  • constancespinney

    The repugs have one answer for EVERYTHING. Bomb. Bomb. Bomb. Get rid of health care – DO NOT REPLACE. Go back to being 37th on the list of health care countries standing. Don’t you just love how THEY hate us all.

    • Sand_Cat

      I’ve always said that if a problem can’t be solved by blowing someone up, putting someone in prison, or cutting taxes for billionaires, it doesn’t exist for the GOP.

      • plc97477

        You forgot making abortion illegal.

    • DurdyDawg

      They don’t hate us, they simply don’t see the profit in it. These toads only think in $$$ signs and health care was created to heal.. not to profit like it had in the past.. On the other hand, bombing is a very profitable investment (ask Chaney).

  • jakenhyde

    So far as Cheney, Graham, and McCain are concerned, I say send them over there with a couple of grenades and an AR15 and let them take Putin out. If they’re so intent on our getting involved militarily in Russia, let them take care of it and leave our young men and women here at home. Their buddy, Dubya, already destroyed the lives of thousands of people by invading Iraq.
    I say, let all those who are rattling their swords go over there themselves. Maybe we could refurbish one of the planes that McCain cracked up and let him fly the whole lot of them over there to tilt at windmills. As Cheney was notorious for saying about the USA’s torture antics: It’s a no-brainder for me.

    • jne4klpk

      I vote for suicide vests and only way tickets.

    • elw

      Amen – well said

    • Sand_Cat

      You should at least grant them AK-47 derivatives rather than AR-15s. After all, we wouldn’t want to lose them.

      • plc97477

        We wouldn’t?

        • Sand_Cat

          Well, actually, I wouldn’t grant them the dignity of dying in battle.

          • plc97477

            Well said, but I don’t think it will ever be a problem.

    • idamag

      Those dippity do’s have a country of the month to drop a bomb on.

    • old_blu

      Not that I agree with anything Senator McCain says or does, he has proved his salt in battle. And if for no other reason than that he deserves our respect.

      • Duckbudder

        At one time I would have agreed with you. Not any more. Fuck
        john McCain.

      • plc97477

        You need to find out a little bit about mccain’s military history.

        • old_blu

          I took your advise and went and studied some of Senator McCain military records. Maybe you know something I don’t, but this is just part of what read.

          “McCain’s plane went into a vertical inverted spin. Bailing out upside down at high speed, the force of the ejection fractured McCain’s right arm in three places, his left arm, and his right leg at the knee, and knocked him unconscious. McCain nearly drowned after parachuting into Trúc Bạch Lake in Hanoi; the weight of his equipment was pulling him down, and as he regained consciousness, he could not use his arms Eventually, he was able to inflate his life vest using his teeth. Several Vietnamese, possibly led by Department of Industry clerk Mai Van On, pulled him ashore. A mob gathered around, spat on him, kicked him, and stripped him of his clothes; his left shoulder was crushed with the butt of a rifle and he was bayoneted in his left foot and abdominal area. He was then transported to Hanoi’s main Hoa Lo Prison, nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton” by American POWs.” Here is something else I found as well.

          “In 1968, he refused a North Vietnamese offer of early release, because it would have meant leaving before other prisoners who had been held longer”.

          I stand by my statement that he deserves our respect, even if he is a crazy old man now. He should be a little crazy.

          • midway54

            The offer he received was based on his father’s being a Navy Admiral. I agree that he is now at times bordering on lunacy, and we should all be grateful that he is not in the White House with Shrieking Sarah Palin as his VP.

          • old_blu

            Oh yes I absolutely agree with you on that.

  • paulyz

    This was the flexibility Obama was caught whispering to Putin a few years ago. Putin knew Obama would really do nothing to oppose him. Now we see the results. Romney was right, Obama was very wrong, and most likely knew he was wrong.

    • John Starks

      Right! As SOON as Putin invaded Georgia, the President should have sent in the tanks…………… and when our embassy was bomb and 200 Marines were killed he should have bombed the HE** out of,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,oh wait, that was Bush and Reagan. MY BAD!!!!

    • Sand_Cat

      Just like we all knew from your first post that you’re an idiot.

  • howa4x

    We are not going to war over Crimea no matter how much the neo cons want to. There will be no tank battles on the Russian steeps so calm down everyone. No matter what the republicans say they wouldn’t have done anything different. Sanctions are the way to go but we have to be careful. If we inflict too much pain on the average Russian they will turn their rage from Putin to us and will want a frosty relationship with America. Visa and MasterCard announced today that they are suspending business dealings with Russian banks and that should wake up some people that the world suddenly is not so friendly. Other business’s should fallow suite. It will be interesting to see what Exxon does, since they are in line for a 500 million contract to develop Russian reserves. Also Obama can add more banks onto the no dollar list which should help devalue the ruble. Obama is smart to not pull out all the sanctions at once. We still have to leave Putin an off ramp. I think Merkeles suggestion of kicking Russia out of the G-8 will dampen Putin’s ego and send the Russian stock market much lower. Time will tell if Russia is willing to pay the price of the empire game.

    • S.J. Jolly

      Empires are invariably financial losers, except for the favored few. If the conquered countries are productive, they are also rebellious.

  • elw

    That the Republicans are hypocrites is clearly recognized by the majority of American voters. It is why they are losing so many National elections and continually show much lower approval ratings than the President. Putting the blame for Putin’s behavior on the President is beyond anything they have done before and in my opinion makes them, at the very least, disloyal Americans and at the worse traders. They may think they are improving the chances in the up coming elections – but I say they are making them worse by making what they have long described as threat into something of hero. It is called “flip-flopping,” a name invented by them. They worst that America has to offer and have shown that over and over again. Shame on them.

    • iamproteus

      The word is “traitors”, not “traders”……but we know what you mean…and agree with you!

  • Sand_Cat

    Wasn’t it George W. Bush who said he looked deep into Putin’s eyes and saw someone he could work with?
    And what did all these morons say then?

    • sn77339

      Q: As president you met and dealt with many
      foreign leader…you write, “I’ve always been able to read people.”
      Vladimir Putin, when you first met him you said you got a sense of his
      soul…

      Bush: I looked in his eyes and saw his soul.

  • idamag

    Every world crisis has been made political by those dipped-in stupidity-and proud-of-it nut jobs. If Obama had sided with Putin, they would still have vilified him. I wonder when they are going to blame him for the missing airplane.

    • Charlotte Sines

      Read “This Week in Crazy”. The top two are blaming our president for the missing plane.

  • dpaano

    Yeah, I find it interesting that the Republicans are ALWAYS blaming President Obama for everything; however, when we rightfully blame Bush for all that he did, we get lambasted! Listen, GOP, if you can’t stand the heat; get the hell out of the kitchen!!! Unfortunately, your candidate didn’t win…..ours did….and most of us approve of his actions in this matter! As for Cheney…..he has little to say and should keep his ugly face off the TV and hide like his cohort, Bush, is doing!!!

  • dpaano

    The big problem is that the GOP ALWAYS blame everything on President Obama, but when we blame things on their demigod, Bush, we get lambasted for it! How quickly they forget! Hey, guys, you lost the election….get over it! As long as President Obama is in charge, he’ll do what’s best for the country! Most of us agree with his actions. As for Cheney, he needs to keep his ugly face off the TV…..he has little to say and nothing of importance. He should keep a low profile like his cohort in crime, Bush!!!

    • 1standlastword

      I agree with all you say with one modification: They haven’t been accused of committing any crimes by our standards here at home.

      So until there is accountability in a court of law they are still and will remain true American heroes in the eyes of probably 40% of Americans

      That is why Dick Cheney still has a microphone…his opinions matter!

      But to me, you and the humane, it’s like consulting Charles Manson on lessons of moral philosophy

  • ChristoD

    Dr. Charles Krauthammer (whom I generally disagree with) is a conservative pundit who did an admirable job of describing a pretty impressive array of ideas moving forward. He reasoned that what is, is but to trying and assure, as much as possible, that the Russians do not invade the Ukraine he outlined a series of steps to take which I found to be credible and reasonably doable. To his credit he spent less time attacking the President and more time suggesting ideas to help. This is the first time that I have read ANYTHING coming from the right that is constructive. They have made ZERO suggestions on what they would do and have become obnoxiously committed to insulting, denigrating, demonizing, belittling and chastising the President and the sad part is they may not only not pay a priced in the House but could take over control of the Senate in 2014 simply because of the states where seats are in contention are primarily RED states where there is no such thing as being too partisan.

  • Angel Perea

    THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH: Is history repeating itself? Apparently Putin does not get it! Putin says “he sees” no need to further retaliate against U.S. sanctions. And he (just like Hitler) now uses “a new conciliatory
    tone reflecting an apparent attempt to gloss over his aggression crises which “Putin hailed the incorporation of Crimea into Russia as his remarkable event” that he created against the West. So now he says let forget about it and be friends again? Hum…So if EU and USA accept this and stops its sanctions on against the two dozen members of Putin’s inner circle and its major bank supporting in Russia, then we become the appeasers just like Neville Chamberlain as the allies did in WWII! Then the international message to the West is that its Putin’s intimidation business with his power strategy against its weaker neighbors for the next future move works! So the lesson that EU and USA must enforce is its sanctions
    to weaken Russia’s economy to such an extent that its feels long term the
    consequences of its Putin’s intimidation business with his power strategy against its weaker neighbors. Anything less would only send the appeasement message to any and all dictator nations that bullying aggression still works!

  • FT66

    Those who want to go to war with Russia, have to wait a little bit when Putin will claim Alaska once belong to Russia and they want it back. This man is not OK upstairs. After getting confused more with sanctions and nothing to do, he is going to place his claims.

  • 1standlastword

    It’s time for the emergence of a great moral philosopher. Someone who can speak with the effect of the profoundest sanity and wisdom so convincing that even the most selfish and petulant among world leaders and politicians of all strip will listen with rapt attention and snap out of their madness. This is a person who has remarkable courage and wants not for fortune nor fame. I write this post with a deep conviction that we have no chance with the players we’ve got. I write this post with the concern that today in the world we have all the ingredients necessary for a 3rd world war. Our problems are numerous and grave and our leaders continue to demonstrate that they are not up to the task of containing their madness but just the contrary condemned to perpetuate and multiply worldwide insanity.

    • JPHALL

      Nice post for fiction. When has such a leader actually existed. Name one or two.

      • DurdyDawg

        Many leaders have attempted that goal and many leaders have been shot down like dogs on the street by psychotic assassins (or worse.. for money).

      • 1standlastword

        Our chief problem is we don’t have a crop of candidates emerging from the humanities and science. We elect too many leaders from the business class who have JDs. D. Eisenhower might have been the first man of the ilk I refer to. His warnings about the industrial complex constantly ring true in today’s world.

  • PWSB

    Give me a break….if the man was guilty of everything the repugnants, and all the right wing nuts accuse him of he wouldn’t have time take a breath…..Putin is a sneaky, little, insecure, (observe the shirtless wonder)…..,man? the kind that causes trouble just by being….

  • GREG SIMPSON

    I WAS THINKING MAYBE THE REASON THE GOP IS RAISING HELL ABOUT PUTIN AND OUR WEAK RESPONSE IS THIS,MAYBE WE SHOULD RESTORE THE CUTS TO THEIR FAVORITE WELFARE RECIPIENT THE PENTAGON .JUST A THOUGHT.OF COURSE WE WOULD NOT HAVE A PROBLEM ENTERING INTO ANOTHER WAR EVEN THOUGH OUR ARMED FORCES ARE BOGGED DOWN IN TWO OTHER WARS.I HAVE AN IDEA TO BOOST OUR ARMED FORCES.WE COULD RECRUIT ALL THOSE GOP SUPPORTERS WHO MISSED THE VIETNAM WAR.HOW ABOUT IT MITT ROMNEY,RUSH LIMBAUGH,DICK CHENEY,GEORGE W. BUSH,DONALD RUMSFELD AND PAUL WOLFOWITZ.FROM A YOUNGER GENERATION HOW ABOUT GLENN BECK SEAN HANNITY AND MICHAEL SAVAGE.WHY WE COULD EVEN BRING BACK FROM THE DEAD RONALD REAGAN WHO VALOR ON MANY WORLD WAR TWO BATTLE FIELDS IS THE STUFF OF LEGENDS.OF COURSE GOP SUPPORTERS WILL SAY WHAT ABOUT BILL CLINTON? OKAY WE WILL ENLIST HIM ALSO.NOW IF ALL THESE WARRIORS FAIL, WE CAN START A NUCLEAR WAR,WOULD THAT SATISFY ALL THE CHICKEN HAWKS.

  • Kenneth Stout

    Weakling in the White House!!!!!!

    • ps0rjl

      Kenneth, maybe you ought to get on that plane with all the other tough guys and show Putin who is boss. You can stand shoulder to shoulder with old ‘5 deferments” Cheney.

      • Duckbudder

        I sure Kenny has other priorities. Like hiding under his bed.

  • charles

    We as a nation, should not interfere in the Crimea situation but this needs to be a wake up call as not to down size our military too drastically, if Putin has bigger ambitions, like returning the former Eastern European Soviet block of nations under Russian rule, then we have a problem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Elliot J. Stamler

    I totally disagree with two articles appearing herein. The American people want strong border security-especially in the southwestern states. I am all for immigration reform but no impoverished latin American has any legal or moral right to unlawfully enter this country, period. This is the exact kind of left-wing ultra-liberal rubbish that gets us Democrats defeated. As to Joe Conason’s similar ultra-liberal article it is a perfect example of the weak-kneed, lily-livered left-wing
    crap that brings into office Tea Party Republicans…Putin’s “questionable tactics” — how about Hitler’s “questionable tactics” in the Sudenland and Czechoslovkia itself; how about Hussein’s “questionable tactics” in Kuwait; how about Stalin’s “questionable tactics” in Poland and the Baltic States. I am proud to be a patriotic centrist Democrat in the tradition of Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Moynihan, Clinton–Conason and the rest of the leftists reading this are toxic to the Democratic Party and should get the hell out of it and join Ralph Nader and his Marxists and assorted freaks.

  • Ann-Marie Poli

    Sorry Dick, but if Obama invited invasion of Ukraine, what did Bush do to invite Georgia? If Putin was emboldened at the end of Bush administration and the beginning of Obama’s term, it is because Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld left this country on it’s knees from two wars and an historic economic crisis. The country as a whole was weakened, a fact that is impervious to the neo-con brain. To them, lying about getting us into a war was not a high crime, telling the truth about it’s failure, and the effects on America is.

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