Spin War

This is my brother Daryl and my other brother Darrell

This is my brother Daryl and my other brother Darrell

This is why we can’t have nice things:

Don’t listen to Obama’s Ukraine critics: he’s not ‘losing’ – and it’s not his fight

In the days since Vladimir Putin sent Russian troops into the Crimea, it has been amateur hour back in Washington.

I don’t mean Barack Obama. He’s doing pretty much everything he can, with what are a very limited set of policy options at his disposal. No, I’m talking about the people who won’t stop weighing in on Obama’s lack of “action” in the Ukraine. Indeed, the sea of foreign policy punditry – already shark-infested – has reached new lows in fear-mongering, exaggerated doom-saying and a stunning inability to place global events in any rational historical context.


As in practically every international crisis, the pundit class seems able to view events solely through the prism of US actions, which best explains Edward Luce in the Financial Times writing that Obama needs to convince Putin “he will not be outfoxed”, or Scott Wilson at the Washington Post intimating that this is all a result of America pulling back from military adventurism. Shocking as it may seem, sometimes countries take actions based on how they view their interests, irrespective of who the US did or did not bomb.

Missing from this “analysis” about how Obama should respond is why Obama should respond. After all, the US has few strategic interests in the former Soviet Union and little ability to affect Russian decision-making.

Our interests lie in a stable Europe, and that’s why the US and its European allies created a containment structure that will ensure Russia’s territorial ambitions will remain quite limited. (It’s called Nato.) Even if the Russian military wasn’t a hollow shell of the once formidable Red Army, it’s not about to mess with a Nato country.

That was Michael Cohen at The Guardian, and he wears glasses so he must be smart. Here are his brainiac credentials:

Michael A Cohen is author of Live from the Campaign Trail: The Greatest Presidential Campaign Speeches of the 20th Century and How They Shaped Modern America. A regular columnist for the Guardian and Observer on US politics, he is also a fellow of the Century Foundation.

See? He wrote a book! He’s a REGULAR columnist! He’s a FELLOW! You gotta give mad respect to someone like that. I bet he even went to college and stuff too! (Here’s a more detailed bio.)

But wait! There’s more!

4 Reasons Putin Is Already Losing in Ukraine

Even a week ago, the idea of a Russian military intervention in Ukraine seemed far-fetched if not totally alarmist. The risks involved were just too enormous for President Vladimir Putin and for the country he has ruled for 14 years. But the arrival of Russian troops in Crimea over the weekend has shown that he is not averse to reckless adventures, even ones that offer little gain. In the coming days and weeks, Putin will have to decide how far he is prepared to take this intervention and how much he is prepared to suffer for it. It is already clear, however, that he cannot emerge as the winner of this conflict, at least not when the damage is weighed against the gains. It will at best be a Pyrrhic victory, and at worst an utter catastrophe.

Ruh roh! Vlad done screwed the pooch this time! Here’s why:

At home, this intervention looks to be one of the most unpopular decisions Putin has ever made.


The economic impact on Russia is already staggering.


Even Russia’s closest allies want no part of this.


Russia’s isolation from the West will deepen dramatically.

That was from Simon Shuster at Time magazine. That’s what I said, TIME magazine. They sell that magazine in supermarket checkout lines so you know they are all like important and stuff. And Simon Shuster (not to be confused with Simon & Schuster) is actually based in Moscow so he’s got the inside scoop. That is why he was able to confidently predict just last week that Russia would not invade Ukraine.

Still not convinced? Then try this from Peter Beinart at The Atlantic:

No, American Weakness Didn’t Encourage Putin to Invade Ukraine

If you’ve listened to President Obama’s critics in recent days, you’ve almost certainly heard two claims. First, that under Obama, America is in retreat around the world. Second, that America’s retreat emboldened Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine.

Let’s take the second claim first. Obama’s critics differ as to which moment of White House fecklessness spurred Putin to act. “Ever since the [Obama] administration threw themselves in [Putin’s] arms in Syria … I think he’s seen weakness. These are the consequences,” insists Tennessee Senator Bob Corker. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, by contrast, suggests, “The big one that started this was the absolute retreat on our missile defense system in Poland and Czechoslovakia.” Either way, there’s a causation problem. If it was Obama’s weakness—in the Middle East or Eastern Europe—that encouraged the Russian president to invade Ukraine, then how do Corker and Rogers explain Putin’s decision to do something similar in Georgia in 2008, back when George W. Bush was president?


See? See? Bush did it too!

Back in 2008 when George Bush was the lamest of lame ducks and was really unpopular and we were still fighting two wars that we needed Russia’s support in and the Democrats controlled Congress and we were in the middle of an election, Bush did NOTHING!

Only a complete idiot would say that in both cases Vladimir Putin accurately assessed that he could act with impunity because our president was too weak to stop him.

So keep all that stuff in mind before you go calling Barack Obama a feckless idiot. Obama’s foreign policy is all fecked up.

Clint Eastwood

About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
This entry was posted in #Ukraine, Barack Obama, Foreign Policy, Media Zombies, Worst President Ever! and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

108 Responses to Spin War

  1. The Klown says:
    • The Klown says:

      You can disregard any assessment of the situation in Ukraine that is premised on Vladimir Putin being stupid or acting irrationally.

  2. elliesmom says:

    This is what happens when we stop teaching critical thinking skills.

  3. DeniseVB says:

    Helen posted this in the last thread, the cost of the govt shutdown ….


    I wonder if Putin punishes his people like this? We all know Obama wanted as many people as possible to “feel the pain” when he didn’t get his way, then blame the GOP, especially Cruz and the other whacko birds. Spin that lapdoggers.

    • votermom says:

      Eh, I think Putin is more of an “assassinate the opposition leaders” kind of guy.
      These petty public cruelties that Obama favors are so old-style Soviet.

      • DeniseVB says:

        Yeah, there is that, or throws them in jail …. Pussy Riot comes to mind 😉 But I can still go to the museum can’t I ? I don’t care what the politicians do to each other /snork.

        • votermom says:

          Truthfully, in the long run, whichever leadership can grow a middle class is the one that will end up with a free society.
          So far Russia’s economy under Putin is doing much better than ours under Obama.

    • Constance says:

      The thing that angers me about the government shut down is Republicans were trying to delay the Obama care law with the shut down. Obama was either incompetent or he knew the Obamacare website wasn’t ready to go and he has since ordered one delay after the next in implementing the law. So why didn’t Dems stop the shut down by agreeing to what was apparently a much needed delay of Obamacare? Obama and the Dems in Congress should not have let the shut down happen as they knew they needed delay anyway.

  4. votermom says:

    Kerry just landed in the Ukraine. Can we make a deal with Pootie? He gets to keep Ukraine if he promises to keep Kerry too.

  5. The Klown says:

    Vlad held a presser:

    Russian soldiers have not occupied government buildings and surrounded Ukrainian military bases on the Crimean Peninsula, Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted Tuesday during a news conference near Moscow at which he gave an account of recent events that contradicts reports from the ground.

    Instead, he told reporters that the heavily armed men are “local self-defense forces.”


    What’s more, anything Russia has done, Putin said without offering specifics, has been part of a “humanitarian mission” to protect ethnic Russians in Crimea.

    But even as he said that no Russian troops have been involved in the latest events in Crimea, Putin drew comparisons that would seem to indicate they had been. “Our actions are often described by the West as not legitimate, but look at U.S. operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya,” he said, according to a BBC translation of his comments. “Our actions are legitimate from the point of view of international law, because Ukraine’s legitimate president asked us for help. … Defending these people is in our interests … we do not want to ‘enslave’ anyone.”

    • The Klown says:

      Unlike Obama, Vladimir Putin has never lied to us before.

    • votermom says:

      Putin drew comparisons that would seem to indicate they had been. “Our actions are often described by the West as not legitimate, but look at U.S. operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya,”

      Shorter Putin: “What about your gaffes?”

      I hate how America is the punchline right now.

  6. I know that Mr Cohen is supposed to be smart and all that, especially since he wears glasses and is a “fellow”.

    But it’s NATO, not Nato.

  7. piper says:

    The truth is I’ve had it with tons of snow and subzero temps. And I want to know who is behind it. I’m also fed up with so-called reporters / writers who know nuthin but nuthin but continue to plaster meaningless words to protect their fantasies.
    Now I’m about to go outside and throw snowballs at the snowplow which just plowed in my drive again.

    BTW – Congrats to our new grandparent – Leslie (want pics), Helen’s great grandson’s prize, and praying that Somebody’s dog is recovering.

    • 49erDweet says:

      We had one plow driver who would circle back and throw snowballs at us. His were packed harder and hurt more. Taught us a lesson.

    • leslie says:

      Piper, I think I’m just south of you and even though you all have had all the weather we’ve had, times 2, I feel the same way you do about the snow and cold. The streets are so narrowed from the build up of packed snow and ice that cars have to take turns driving when going in opposite directions. I have built up considerable muscle in my upper arms from shoveling, though.
      Thanks for the well wishes for our new grand baby, I saw her today after work. She has powerful lungs, and then she falls asleep and makes wonderful baby noises and faces. As soon as my dil allows, I’ll take a photo and try to post it. Be warm……….

  8. DeniseVB says:

  9. piper says:

    Votermom –
    Just finished the trilogy by Tom Rob Smith. The first book was the best, didn’t care for the second and cried for Leo and his family in the third book.

  10. swanspirit says:

    The pundits on the left are contradicting themselves , and falling all over themselves defending Obama no matter what he does or does not do , even if it mean twisting themselves into pretzels to do it.
    But the woman who accurately predicted Putin’s actions, and the man who correctly identified Putin as a geopolitical foe , well they are just stupid . And anyone saying anything that might be seen as critical of Obama is immediately labeled a war monger who wants to drop bombs. If Obama drops bombs next week it will be , ” the right thing to do and his position will have evolved” I am learning . Evolving on a position is now spinning 180 degrees , and evolution happens fast where Obama is concerned , but anyone else is either racist, or a war monger , or something .
    I happened to flip the channel onto Morning Joe this morning . I hurt my eyes looking at his imitation of JFK hair .If those are the cool kids , I wanna be uncool .

  11. DeniseVB says:

    Ben Shapiro brings it home with a little 5-step history lesson, which helped me understand why Bush is being blamed, lol !


    • The Klown says:

      As Russian President Vladimir Putin deploys his military forces to Ukraine, the Obama administration continues to wonder just what the benighted dictator is thinking. Understanding that the best strategy for countering military action is undoubtedly faculty lounge-style condescension, the Obama administration has responded with its full array of resources: scorn, sneering, and bemusement.

      I’m gonna print that out and frame it.

    • 49erDweet says:

      In spite of it’s mindboggling hypocrisy, missing from that armchair quarterback analysis of Bush’s tepid response was any mention of the then US/USSR interrelationship on other fronts. Selective recall are fun.

  12. The Klown says:
  13. piper says:

    Stole this from a commenter at No Quarter – Steve Cohen on Pootie

  14. piper says:

    One more before grabbing my shovel. From Kerry’s speech at AIPAC yesterday.
    “We can deliver to Israel the security that Israel needs to make peace,” Kerry said.


  15. votermom says:

  16. DeniseVB says:

    OT: Dancing with the Stars teams announced for new season …


    Weird that they have the gold medal ice dancing team competing against each other. One of them will win for sure, the skaters/olympians always do.

  17. The Klown says:

    Thanks to feminism men no longer have to conform to the sexist rules of The Patriarchy. If he were to assume she needed his help he would be exercising male privilege.

    He is pro-choice, so he chose to run away.

  18. DeniseVB says:

    Cory Booker’s turn to be eaten by the Dems. Rather, the NYTHRC. Funny this didn’t come out during his Senate run ? Imagine if the media vetted Obama like this in 2012 ?


    Meanwhile, Obama’s visiting an elementary school today to give a speech on Y-2015’s budget.

  19. The Klown says:
  20. mothy67 says:

    I am devestated. Had to spend the entire day yesterday in court fighting for custody. No way inhell the judge wiill grsnt the sad sack rights. He is representing himself and actually showed up with walmart reciepts totaling 118 dollars. 118 dollars . The kis is seven and he has spent 118 dollarz.
    Scresmed in the court room that he will piss in a cop but no one is touching his hair. IFit wasn’t costiing me everything I ow. It would be comical. Feeling very sad todsy trying to gigure out how it csme to this when this guy csme o. The local news. HEis walking across the countryto rsise money for mentsl heslth. His brother took his own life at 14 and the kid ssid I know you did whst you did to not be a burden but you leave us every day with this burden. Yep after that I am crawling i to bed and never gettinv up again. $top the world I,’m getting off.

  21. SHV says:

    “What if the alcohol is for a gay wedding?”
    The pecking order for victims is getting complicated. We are headed in the same direction as Canada with their Multiculturalism laws, hate speech laws and Human Rights Commissions/Tribunals. What to do when a Sharia practicing Muslim barber refuses to give a haircut to a Lesbian?

  22. foxyladi14 says:

    I wonder how he knew she was gay. 🙂

  23. The Klown says:
  24. Lulu says:

    For the one of the better explanations of the Obama administration’s (and the EU’s) perfidy is “We Are Speaking Very Loudly. We Are Carrying a Small Stick.” Dmitri K. Simes on why Russia isn’t taking the U.S. seriously” http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116837/dmitri-simes-interview-why-russia-isnt-taking-us-seriously
    “And while those deputies normally belong to the Party of Regions, actually they were controlled by the oligarchs, who were pressured by the West to change sides. So that’s what led to the new government coming to power in Kiev. You could not ignore this process if you wanted to know why the Russians decided to interfere.” The internal politics are rather complicated and the Obama administration does not have a fucking clue.

  25. DandyTIger says:

    The desperate spin is sad. And pathetic for anyone that pushes it. And worse for any schmucks that believe it.

  26. The Klown says:

    Jerry Pournelle:

    Crazy about the Crimea

    The Wall Street Journal this morning in a lead editorial says flatly that the Russian de facto annexation of the Crimea cannot be allowed to stand. That is because they are crazy, and think that there is something the United States can do to prevent it. There is not, of course. We have no ships in the Black Sea, and we certainly would not send SAC even if there were a SAC to send. We have no bargaining points – not that it is much of our business. The Crimea has been conquered and recolonized throughout historical times, and cannot be said to be the ethnic homeland for anyone. It has been held by Greeks, Tatars, Khazars, Venetians, Genoese, Turks, Kievan Russ’, Golden Horde, Mongols, Tamarlane, Russians and most anyone else you can think of, and has been ethnically cleansed several times including during the Twentieth Century. We did northing about Stalin’s ethnic cleansing of the Crimea after WW II. Truman threatened unconditional nuclear war if Stalin did not remove his troops from Iran, but saving the Crimea was beyond his abilities.

    After the collapse of the USSR, the Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in exchange for a guarantee of its territorial integrity from the US, NATO, and Russia. The guarantee is not enforceable and is unlikely to be useful except as a blaming point to use against President Putin. One wonders what might have happened had they kept a few, a force d’ frappe? The lesson will not be ignored by North Korea, which continues to enslave its people and conduct daily atrocities dwarfing anything Russians, Ukrainians, or Tatars would even contemplate; meanwhile South Korea views with alarm the US swing toward Japan as the key to US Far East policy. Much of Korea has the same regard for its Japanese former colonial masters as the Irish Republican Army has for England.

    We can threaten economic sanctions against Russia, but the West is furiously backpedalling on the economic sanctions against Iran even as the lesson of the value of having a few nuclear weapons becomes more obvious. Economic war against Russia is a negative payoff game; not as expensive as war, but not profitable either. Due to the various populations shift in the last seventy years, a large majority of the Crimea would rather be part of Russia than the Ukraine, so the notion of self determination of nations – supposedly one of Wilson’s objectives for America in the Great War – is against out intervention to force the Russian inhabitants of the Crimea to remain subservient to the Ukrainian Republic.

    There is the question of the Eastern Ukraine where there is a large Russian minority; probably a majority in only a few places, but there are a lot of them, far more Ukraine Russians than ever there were Sudeten Deutschen, the ostensible reason for Hitler’s invasion of Czechoslovakia. The Russian occupation of the Crimea will not bring war and possibly no battles; this is not so certain for Eastern Ukraine.

    It promises to be an interesting year for John Kerry, but then it will also be a distraction for Russia A clever and bold enough strategy might obtain some concessions in Syria for an American hands off policy regarding Crimea, and more for the same policy regarding Eastern Ukraine; it is not clear what other objectives the US can achieve. We have no army over there, SAC does not exist and we are not going to send missiles. We have no warships in the Black Sea; and Russia can live without our foreign trade. We make as much profit from that trade as they do.

    The White House spokesman has said that President Obama called President Putin, and “the president was very strong”. One assumes he meant President Obama, but what President Obama was very strong about was not made clear. We await clarification. Meanwhile I have not heard that the Minuteman wings have been put on full alert. And China is watching.

    • 49erDweet says:

      Very Strong phone scammers daily try to separate us from our $. Big deal. Teh Won is clueless re: Strong. He thinks it’s using multi-syllable words.

  27. The Klown says:
  28. piper says:

    Sanctions against Russia and blowback
    Glazyev noted that Russia is a creditor to the United States.
    “We hold a decent amount of treasury bonds – more than $200 billion – and if the United States dares to freeze accounts of Russian businesses and citizens, we can no longer view America as a reliable partner,” he said. “We will encourage everybody to dump US Treasury bonds, get rid of dollars as an unreliable currency and leave the US market.”

  29. votermom says:

  30. votermom says:

    I thought this was a photoshop, or at the very least, an old photo.

    There’s only one explanation:

  31. wmcb says:

    Crazy Harry is ranting and raving about the skeery Koch demons on the senate floor again, non-stop.

  32. DeniseVB says:

    This is cute, first think of the “famous” Ellen Oscar Tweet ….

  33. Lulu says:

    “Farrow was mentored since his mid-teens by the late diplomat Richard Holbrooke. After Holbrooke’s sudden death Farrow was appointed to a murky role as “special adviser” to Hillary Clinton during her tenure at the State Department. He certainly knows how to charm sexagenarian elites, but young people don’t seem to like him much. The New York Times has aptly labeled him “the youngest old guy in the room.” Griffin had hoped the 26-year-old would help draw younger viewers to MSNBC, but after his first week on the air, Farrow’s ratings in the 18–49 demographic fell far below those from the comparable week a year ago, when Andrea Mitchell Reports was running in the same time slot.”

    Poor Ronan has been raised up to be a toady for old Vile Progs or maybe Vile old Progs.

  34. mothy67 says:

    I need to acknowledge all of you. Had a very rough day and was feeling trapped by my own emotions. Then out of the blus
    thought about my mum um. She was .y my ghubreat grandmother and she was Chefokde. Full blooded. Parents sold her when shewas 12′ She worked as a maid.. She ngot pregnant after beiing raped by the oldest son. She had to marry her rapists brother away. 60 years later we meet. Ihad a really bum tickef. Two holes the size of quarters leaky valves aorta too farxfrom shere it should be. That was 1970 iived. Remember the stitchdaes t were supposed yo hold my chest gogethef ripping trhough my skin. Sometimes

  35. The Klown says:

    This here is a smackdown:


    Noah talking about how other pundits are out of their depth? LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL. Noah what are your qualifications as far as foreign affairs? Honestly you are the only guy around who can actually write an article about this and keep a straight face.


    In this case, I have two degrees in the subject of Russian political and military affairs. My grad degree, Seton Hall, 2010, is focused in international security policy in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics. In my undergrad, 2004, my degree is in Russian studies and my graduating thesis focused on Russian military strategy in the East, specifically relating to Japan, China and the Koreas.

  36. The Klown says:

    According to the ad I just saw if you take Xenadrine you will not only lose weight but you’ll grow taller, have better hair and get bigger boobs.

  37. DeniseVB says:

    Just saw the good news, not being deported afterall. I tweeted yesterday…..

  38. The Klown says:
    • The Klown says:

      At Koch, these are the things in which we believe: a government of appropriate size and scope such that it allows Americans the freedom and liberty to pursue happiness and well-being—for themselves and their families. We also believe in a government that operates on a balanced budget and does not burden American taxpayers with things like unfunded liabilities and mandates; a government that respects the integrity of our country’s Constitutional principles; and regulatory bodies that don’t impose needless burdens on entrepreneurs and job creators, both large and small.

      This topic is worthy of vigorous dialogue and civil debate between people who exercise mutual respect for others with opposing viewpoints. We are disappointed that Senator Reid is attacking private citizens rather than the problems facing this nation. It is no wonder that Americans have lost faith in Congress.

      If I had as much money as them I would spend a few million to run some television and print ads with this statement.

  39. The Klown says:

    I’m so old I can remember when colleges and universities emphasized free speech and debate in a “marketplace of ideas.”

  40. The Klown says:
  41. The Klown says:
  42. DandyTIger says:

    If Russia and China decided to bail on our bonds, we’d be toast. If they decided that if you wanted to business with them (EU gets lots of their energy from them), you couldn’t use USD as a base currency, we’d be toast. We’re sitting on a fragile house of cards and the prezzy and Dems are saying Putin’s not being fair. And when they’re not doing that, they’re saying we should go into more debt to eliminate student loans, give another bailout to the insurance industry, and raise the minimum wage. It would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.

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