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Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Possibility Of War With Russia 'Very High' And 'Growing'

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Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Possibility Of War With Russia 'Very High' And 'Growing'

Post by Lighterside on Mon Mar 24 2014, 11:45

This is not good news!  That comparison/observation you made the other day Lorna is starting to bear fruit... I've heard people criticized for using that comparison to Hitler but like you said, if it walks like a duck etc....

HuffPost

Ukraine Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia said Sunday that the likelihood of armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine was "very high" and "growing."

"I would say if you wanted to measure [the possibility of war] somehow, it's becoming higher," Deshchytsia told George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week." "Because the problem is that Russians, and particularly Putin’s administration -- Putin himself is not talking to the rest of the world, he doesn't want to listen to the world, he doesn't want to respond on the arguments."

"We don't know what Putin has in his mind and what will be his decision," Deshchytsia went on. "That's why this situation is becoming even more explosive than it used to be a week ago."

NATO's top military commander said Sunday that Russia had a "very sizable" and "very ready" military force on Ukraine's eastern border. Russian President Vladimir Putin officially annexed the Crimean peninsula on Friday. The next day, Russian forces took control of the remaining Ukrainian military bases in the area.

Vladimir Chizhov, the Russian ambassador to the European Union, said Sunday that Russia doesn't harbor "expansionist views" and didn't have its eye on other Ukrainian territories.

"There is no intention of the Russian Federation to do anything like that," Chizhov said.

Deshchytsia said Sunday that he hoped the standoff could be resolved diplomatically, but added that Ukrainians were ready to "defend the homeland."

"We are trying to use all the diplomatic measures and all the economic, financial and other sanctions, visa sanctions, to stop Russians not to do this," he said. "But it's very difficult to keep people restrained, and they are patriots of their homeland ... [It] would be difficult for them just simply sit or stay and look at Russia invading their country."

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Re: Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Possibility Of War With Russia 'Very High' And 'Growing'

Post by Atalante on Mon Mar 24 2014, 12:37

The warindustry must be hungry for ... money !

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Re: Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Possibility Of War With Russia 'Very High' And 'Growing'

Post by Lighterside on Mon Mar 24 2014, 12:48

Atalante...Dwight D. Eisenhower wasn't just whistling "Dixie" in 1961, when he warned us of the dangers against "the military industrial complex" and their unwarranted influence and penchant to lead us into unnecessary war because they're basically profiteers.  Wink 

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Re: Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Possibility Of War With Russia 'Very High' And 'Growing'

Post by Atalante on Mon Mar 24 2014, 12:51

Mmm, his greatgranddaughter is on facebook ya know.  geek

Interesting: LINK And so ... Amal is a great source of information to G.C.

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Re: Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Possibility Of War With Russia 'Very High' And 'Growing'

Post by Lighterside on Mon Mar 24 2014, 13:36

Thanks Atalante for the link but I don't do FB or twitter.  Thumbs up! I have a twitter account but have never posted. I just use it to follow politicians, pundits and other causes that I'm interested in.

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Re: Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Possibility Of War With Russia 'Very High' And 'Growing'

Post by Atalante on Mon Mar 24 2014, 13:45

That link isn't to a facebookaccount. Try it !  It's about whistleblowers ... Very Happy 

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Re: Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Possibility Of War With Russia 'Very High' And 'Growing'

Post by Lighterside on Mon Mar 24 2014, 14:27

Great article, thanks for posting the link. We're facing a dilemma right now in North Carolina, with the investigations heating up on how Duke Energy has been controlling the legislature there because the current governor was a high ranking employee for 28 years, prior to his entry into politics. One of the worst ecological disasters with a coal ash spill directly into a river which supplies fresh water to a large population occurred and he was ready to give the company a slap on the wrist and practically a "free pass" by trying to settle with them for a pittance, until word got out and he had to withdraw that proposal. He's been using the governor's office to do their bidding and then when the unthinkable happens, he was quite willing to shove the whole thing under the carpet and let the state foot the bill for the horrific clean up!

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Re: Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Possibility Of War With Russia 'Very High' And 'Growing'

Post by Atalante on Mon Mar 24 2014, 14:40

That really is horrible news, ... . Politics & economics, a HELL of a marriage, ...  ruining this planet ! Twisted Evil Maybe you should try to use facebook, twitter & other social media too.
I for one love to bombard those pages with the truth and nothing but the truth to FORCE change. It does work ya know, so you should try this too !  bounce 

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Re: Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Possibility Of War With Russia 'Very High' And 'Growing'

Post by Lighterside on Tue Mar 25 2014, 13:32

Confronting Putin’s Russia

New York Times
By MICHAEL A. McFAUL
MARCH 23, 2014

The decision by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to annex Crimea ended the post-Cold War era in Europe. Since the late Gorbachev-Reagan years, the era was defined by zigzags of cooperation and disputes between Russia and the West, but always with an underlying sense that Russia was gradually joining the international order. No more.

Our new era is one defined by ideological clashes, nationalistic resurgence and territorial occupation — an era in some ways similar to the tragic periods of confrontation in 20th-century Europe. And yet there are important differences, and understanding the distinction will be critical to a successful American foreign policy in the coming decades.

We did not seek this confrontation. This new era crept up on us, because we did not fully win the Cold War. Communism faded, the Soviet Union disappeared and Russian power diminished. But the collapse of the Soviet order did not lead smoothly to a transition to democracy and markets inside Russia, or Russia’s integration into the West.

Some Russians pushed forward on this enormous agenda of revolutionary change. And they produced results: the relatively peaceful (so far) collapse of the Soviet empire, a Russian society richer than ever before, greater protection of individual rights and episodically functioning democratic institutions.

But the simultaneity of democracy’s introduction, economic depression and imperial loss generated a counterrevolutionary backlash — a yearning for the old order and a resentment of the terms of the Cold War’s end.

Proponents of this perspective were not always in the majority. And the coming to power of an advocate of this ideology — Mr. Putin — was not inevitable. Even Mr. Putin’s own thinking changed over time, waffling between nostalgia for the old rule and realistic acceptance of Russia’s need to move forward.

And when he selected the liberal, Western-leaning Dmitri A. Medvedev as his successor in 2008, Russia’s internal transformation picked up the pace. Though Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008 isolated Russia for a time, its integration into the existing international order eventually regained momentum.

In my first years in government, I witnessed President Medvedev cooperating with President Obama on issues of mutual benefit — a new Start treaty, new sanctions against Iran, new supply routes through Russia to our soldiers in Afghanistan and Russian membership in the World Trade Organization. These results of the “reset” advanced several American vital national interests. The American post-Cold War policy of engagement and integration, practiced by Democratic and Republican administrations alike, appeared to be working again.

When Mr. Putin became president again in 2012, this momentum slowed, and then stopped. He returned at a time when tens of thousands of Russians were protesting against falsified elections and more generally against unaccountable government. If most Russians praised Mr. Putin in his first two terms, from 2000 to 2008, for restoring the state and growing the economy, some (not all) wanted more from him in his third term, and he did not have a clear response.

Mr. Putin was especially angry at the young, educated and wealthy protesters in Moscow who did not appreciate that he (in his view) had made them rich. So he pivoted backward, instituting restrictions on independent behavior reminiscent of Soviet days. He attacked independent media, arrested demonstrators and demanded that the wealthy bring their riches home.

In addition to more autocracy, Mr. Putin needed an enemy — the United States — to strengthen his legitimacy. His propagandists rolled out clips on American imperialism, immoral practices and alleged plans to overthrow the Putin government. As the ambassador in Moscow, I was often featured in the leading role in these works of fiction.

The shrill anti-Americanism uttered by Russian leaders and echoed on state-controlled television has reached a fanatical pitch with Mr. Putin’s annexation of Crimea. He has made clear that he embraces confrontation with the West, no longer feels constrained by international laws and norms, and is unafraid to wield Russian power to revise the international order.

Mr. Putin has made a strategic pivot. Guided by the right lessons from our past conflict with Moscow, the United States must, too, through a policy of selective containment and engagement.

The parallels with the ideologically rooted conflicts of the last century are striking. A revisionist autocratic leader instigated this new confrontation. We did not. Nor did “Russia” start this new era. Mr. Putin did. It is no coincidence that he vastly weakened Russia’s democratic institutions over the last two years before invading Crimea, and has subsequently moved to close down independent media outlets during his Ukrainian land grab.

Also, similar to the last century, the ideological struggle between autocracy and democracy has returned to Europe. Because democratic institutions never fully took root in Russia, this battle never fully disappeared. But now, democratic societies need to recognize Mr. Putin’s rule for what it is — autocracy — and embrace the intellectual and normative struggle against this system with the same vigor we summoned during previous struggles in Europe against anti-democratic governments.

And, as before, the Kremlin has both the intention and capacity to undermine governments and states, using instruments like the military, money, media, the secret police and energy.

These similarities recommend certain policy steps. Most important, Ukraine must succeed as a democracy, a market economy and a state. High on its reform list must be energy efficiency and diversification, as well as military and corruption reforms. Other exposed states in the region, like Moldova and Georgia, also need urgent bolstering.

Also, as during the 20th century, those states firmly on our side must be assured and protected. NATO has moved quickly already, but these efforts must be sustained through greater placement of military hardware in the front-line states, more training and integration of forces, and new efforts to reduce NATO countries’ dependence on Russian energy.

And, as before, the current regime must be isolated. The strategy of seeking to change Kremlin behavior through engagement, integration and rhetoric is over for now. No more membership in the Group of 8, accession to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development or missile defense talks. Instead there must be sanctions, including against those people and entities — propagandists, state-owned enterprises, Kremlin-tied bankers — that act as instruments of Mr. Putin’s coercive power. Conversely, individuals and companies not connected to the government must be supported, including those seeking to take assets out of Russia or emigrate.

Finally, as during World War II and the Cold War, the United States and our allies can cooperate with Mr. Putin when our vital interests overlap. But this engagement must be understood as strictly transactional, and not as a means to pull Russia back into accepting international norms and values. That’s how he will see this engagement. So should we.

At the same time, many important differences distinguish this new confrontation in Europe from the Cold War or interwar eras. Most help us. A few do not.

For one thing, unlike Communism or even fascism, Putinism has little appeal beyond Russia. Even inside Russia, brave civil society leaders still defy autocracy, war and nationalist fervor, and have managed to mobilize tens of thousands against Mr. Putin’s intervention, while a larger but quiet section of society will lament the advent of this new era.

I met these silent skeptics — in government, business and society — every day in my last job. Citizens rally round the flag during crises, and propaganda works. But Mr. Putin’s nationalism is fueled primarily by a crude, neo-Soviet anti-Americanism. To continue to spook Russians about American encirclement and internal meddling will be hard to sustain. They are too smart.

Second, Mr. Putin’s Russia has no real allies. We must keep it that way. Nurturing Chinese distance from a revisionist Russia is especially important, as is fostering the independence of states in Central Asia and the Caucasus.

Another difference is that Russian military power is a shadow of Soviet might. A new global conflict is unlikely. But Russia’s military can still threaten Russian border states, so Europeans must bolster their defenses, and Western governments and companies must stop assisting Russia’s military modernization.

One obvious difference is that the Internet did not exist during the last standoff. Recent Kremlin moves to cut off citizens from independent information are disturbing, but the communications revolution ensures that Russians today will not be as isolated as their grandparents.

Greater exposure to the world gives Russians a comparative analysis to judge their situation at home. This is a powerful tool, which needs to be nurtured through educational exchanges, peer-to-peer dialogues and increased connectivity between the real Russian private sector and its international partners.

But there are two important differences that weaken our hand. First, the United States does not have the same moral authority as it did in the last century. As ambassador, I found it difficult to defend our commitment to sovereignty and international law when asked by Russians, “What about Iraq?” Some current practices of American democracy also do not inspire observers abroad. To win this new conflict, we must restore the United States as a model.

Second, we are enduring a drift of disengagement in world affairs. After two wars, this was inevitable, but we cannot swing too far. As we pull back, Russia is pushing forward. Leaders in Congress and the White House must work together to signal that we are ready to lead the free world in this new struggle.

The United States — together with Russians who want to live in a prosperous and democratic Russia — will win this new conflict in Europe. Over the last century, democracies have consolidated at a remarkable pace, while autocracies continue to fall. Especially in educated, rich, urban societies like Russia, democracy eventually takes hold. A democratic Russia will not always define its interests as we do, but will become a more stable partner with other democracies.

We cannot say how long the current autocratic government in Russia will endure. But a sober, realistic strategy to confront this new threat will help to shorten the tragic era we just entered.

Michael A. McFaul, a Hoover fellow at Stanford, served for five years in the Obama administration, as a special assistant to the president at the National Security Council and as ambassador to the Russian Federation.

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Re: Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Possibility Of War With Russia 'Very High' And 'Growing'

Post by Lighterside on Tue Mar 25 2014, 13:50

But there are two important differences that weaken our hand. First, the United States does not have the same moral authority as it did in the last century. As ambassador, I found it difficult to defend our commitment to sovereignty and international law when asked by Russians, “What about Iraq?” Some current practices of American democracy also do not inspire observers abroad. To win this new conflict, we must restore the United States as a model.

Dick Cheney and his Republican apologists constantly say that it's been President Obama who has weakened our status and moral authority in the world when, IN FACT, every time we try to stand on "principle" it's the Iraq War which is thrown back in our faces!

In a perfect world, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld would be in prison for war crimes but we'll never live to see that happen and it's a black eye against us.

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Re: Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Possibility Of War With Russia 'Very High' And 'Growing'

Post by Carla97 on Tue Mar 25 2014, 17:47

Well I hope the title is not true.

I really hope this stays just in Crimea and do not escalate.

Russian equities are in very tempting levels - maybe in 6 months (starting now) some can´t resist, but jump in. Just saying.

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Re: Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Possibility Of War With Russia 'Very High' And 'Growing'

Post by Lighterside on Wed Mar 26 2014, 13:41

Great segment on the Lawrence O'Donnell show last night for anyone interested:

The Last Word 03/25/14
Obama vs. Putin and Romney
Today Pres. Obama was asked if Mitt Romney was right about Russia being our “biggest geopolitical foe.” Eugene Robinson and Charles Kupchan join The Last Word.

Link

Sometimes the direct links don't work so this is the main link for MSNBC and you can find the show under the Watch tab:

Main link

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Re: Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Possibility Of War With Russia 'Very High' And 'Growing'

Post by Carla97 on Wed Mar 26 2014, 14:43

Thanks, good video. Not sure what is meant by "Russian is regional power"?

Personally I don´t think is relevant to dig up who said what about Russia in past circumstances. I think the most challenging thing now is to stop the crisis to escalate from Crimea to other parts of Ukraine.

Everything (and it´s been rather slow news day today) points more to a likelyhood of escalation rather than that it would be just Crimea.

Also, all these banned russian citizens and freezed accounts, well economic measures have not worked before in resolving these type of crises. I doubt they will work this time either.

Something went terribly wrong. And time will tell what the outcome ultimately will be.

May is going to be interesting month with elections in both EU and Ukraine. The way things are going it won´t ease the situation one bit, that´s my bet.

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Re: Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Possibility Of War With Russia 'Very High' And 'Growing'

Post by Lighterside on Wed Mar 26 2014, 14:48

I fear that's a fair assessment of the coming elections...not just in Ukraine and the EU but here as well in November...primary season turns into general election bravado.  We've got some morons who forget they're Americans first and party affiliation second, so they take great delight in proving to the world at large how much they hate the other side of the aisle and to what lengths they will go to paint our President, as weak or whatever their political meme of the day happens to be.  

Even in this grave situation and the immediate and timely need for economic aid to the Ukraine to keep them afloat during this stressful time, our Republican Senators were trying to tie that economic aid to ridiculous demands about the IMF in general.  They NEVER stop their brinkmanship and it gets really old!

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Re: Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Possibility Of War With Russia 'Very High' And 'Growing'

Post by Carla97 on Wed Mar 26 2014, 14:58

For me it´s too complicated to have just to parties; democrats and republicans. What are you guys missing? Far left, Communists, red-green party, green party, nationalists, far right and centre party! And Christian party, don´t forget that! And nobody agrees with anything.  cheers 

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Re: Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Possibility Of War With Russia 'Very High' And 'Growing'

Post by Lighterside on Wed Mar 26 2014, 16:21

You are preaching to the choir, my dear Carla! ahahahaha Just kidding but yes I know what you mean.

If we could just stick with "policy" and it's merits and leave the rest of the "red meat" rhetoric and drama out of it, I'd be a happy camper and the world not to mention the USA would be a much nicer place to exist!

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Re: Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Possibility Of War With Russia 'Very High' And 'Growing'

Post by Nicky80 on Wed Mar 26 2014, 21:25

Thanks Lighterside for the video. I always find it very interesting how the republicans in your country take every little thing and through it against the other side. 

I hope people in America don't forget what republicans did when the W. Bush government was on power. I think that really changed the view about America. 

I don't find Obama weak in this case. He is stricter then the EU at the moment. And Obama is right. Russia is not a direct thread to America. If he would treat Russia like a direct thread to America then Obama would give Putin too much credit. Obama is right when he said Putin does that out of weakness.....

I hope the next US election will reflect Obamas politics and not the republican propaganda

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Re: Ukrainian Foreign Minister: Possibility Of War With Russia 'Very High' And 'Growing'

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