Putin wants Finland, Baltic states, says former top adviser

Russian President Vladimir Putin has his eyes on eventually reclaiming Finland and the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, according to Putin’s former top economic adviser, Andrey Illarionov.

Illarionov’s warning was reported in an interview with the Swedish paper SvD Nyheter (Svenska Dagbladet), which my Swedish political friends tell me is one of the most reputable papers in Sweden.

Illarionov, who was Putin’s top economic adviser and served as Russia’s representative to the G8, says that Putin isn’t planning on taking Finland and the Baltic states right now, but long-term those are his plans.  He says Putin also has his eyes on Belarus, located north of Ukraine and south of the Baltic countries.

The Baltic countries were annexed by the USSR in the early 1940s, and became free after the Soviet Union fell, while Finland was basically neutered by the Soviets.

If you look at the map below, it’s clear what Putin is doing. He wants to create a buffer between Russia and Europe.

map-of-europe

Andrey Illarionov at the World Economic Forum in Russia, 2 October 2003, Moscow (Credit: World Economic Forum)

Andrey Illarionov at the World Economic Forum in Russia, 2 October 2003, Moscow (Credit: World Economic Forum)

Illarionov laments that the West let Putin get away with invading and annexing parts of former-Soviet Georgia, and says more is to come. “The west let him do it with impunity, and now he has got Crimea,” Illarionov told Svenska Dagbladet. “And now, eastern and southern Ukraine are being destabilized so that the ‘self-defense forces’ can take power there. If the situation allows, it may mean a Russian military invasion. The goal is a pro-Russian puppet government in Kiev.”

Illarionov goes on to warn that “Putin claims to have ownership” of “significant parts of Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States and Finland.”

While the Baltic states are now part of NATO (since 2004), and any Russian aggression towards those countries would entail all out war with NATO, Finland is another story.  While NATO has close ties with Finland, the country is not a member of NATO.  And while any Russian attempt to undermine Finland, or even take its land, would probably be met with even more western sanctions, it’s not clear whether the west would react militarily.  And that’s what Putin is betting on, according to Illarionov.

Some are blaming NATO’s expansion into Poland and the Baltic countries with putting Putin in a position where he felt he had to strike back and take Georgia and Ukraine.  Then again, the Baltic countries’ accession to NATO is the only thing guaranteeing that Russia will never again be able to Crimea-ize those small countries in the future. The same can’t be said of non-NATO Finland.

Specifically regarding Finland, Illarionov says the country “is not on Putin’s agenda today or tomorrow – but if Putin is not stopped, it will be.”

The problem for the US, and the west generally, is that while Ukraine and Georgia might not be strategically important enough to warrant risk going to war with Russia, empowering and enabling Putin by permitting him to annex his neighbors could lead to strategically important implications later on.  It could enable him to test NATO’s and the EU’s mettle by going after a non-NATO European country like Finland, or worse, NATO- allies Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

President of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves

President of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who I met at a conference in Greece a few years back, wrote a scathing piece about Russia’s intention in the Washington Post a few days ago. In addition to arguing that Europe must provide immediate assistance to Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, Ilves hits on Russia’s peculiar, and dangerous, practice of handing out Russian passports willy-nilly to any “ethnic Russian” who will take them:

The Russian Federation’s practice of instant citizenship, whereby Russian passports are distributed willy-nilly to ethnic Russians abroad so they can be “protected” in their current homeland, is unacceptable. Passports are travel documents, not a tool to justify aggression.

The first problem: Russia is using the passport to justify an invasion.  “Those are Russian citizens – look, they even have Russian passports!”  But a second problem is national security in the west.  Russian passports are no longer legitimate travel documents, Ilves argues to the Daily Beast, and they should be met with skepticism at nations’ border crossings:

Ilves also raises the idea of reviewing Europe’s recognition of Russian passports as “trustworthy travel documents.” A key element of Moscow’s game plan in the territories it wants to take is “passportization,” the cynical—not to mention illegal—distribution of Russian passports to citizens of other countries. That’s what it did in the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the run-up to the 2008 War. Earlier this month it did the same thing in Crimea. “If it were some other country that was a passport mill, there would be a reaction to that,” says Ilves.

“This document [the Russian passport] is now being thrown all over the place, to everybody, it means nothing.”

Without getting into specifics, Ilves says EU countries should “review” their entire approach to dealing with Russian passports. “This document is now being thrown all over the place, to everybody, it means nothing, and therefore we have to cease—until we come up with a new policy—recognizing this as a legitimate travel document.”


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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Terskac

    Oh yes they were invaded but they were not occupied. That is the difference. They also lost 10% of their territory by the end of it and 50,000 people. That is an invasion. The comment made it sound as if Stalin never invaded when in fact Rusia did invade. It just wasn’t very successful.

  • Pihi

    Terskac, Russia try to invade Finland 1939, but they were stopped at eastern Finland. They get some areas, but Finland was not invaded during WW2. There is one article at wikipedia how finns hanlde situation…
    Regards, Pihi

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Raate_Road

  • Terskac

    FYI Stalin infamously invaded FInland in 1939.

  • Bill_Perdue

    I’m not interested in what people who know nothing about the realities of American history think about me. I’m a socialist and have been defending revolutionary socialist politics and LGBT equality for decades.

    Get a clue and read about McCarthyism. That’s what Putin’s homophobia is based on.

  • Bam

    Please, now I think your just a troll agitator or maybe even working for Putin the way are so quick to defend him and are obsessed with hating Obama for no rational reason. Russia today is absolutely positively Fascist. Every single indicator is there. What does it take to reach fascism in your book? A genocide. I mean my god his followers themselves claim to be fascist. Go on the russian site vk and do some research. It’s not my responsibility to educate you. For a socialist you sure do some to like a rightwing hellhole. If that’s what you believe is socialism go live in your utopia then. I just hope you blend in well with the Russian youth because sooner or later they get to everybody. Anyway, this is just like conversations with the russians on youtube. It’s like you’re in a differently reality than I am so it’s a waste of time. Good luck with your “non-fascist” friends who chant racist slogans use minorities as scapegoat to anger the public into a warlike frenzy so they invade their neighbors for the glory of motherland russia and slavic race led by Great Leader Putin, the ideal slavic man who will cleanse our culture of degenerate western perversion and restore the russian empire. Nah, nothing fascist about that.

  • Bill_Perdue

    I’ve seen the videos. They’re run frequently here. Still, Putin is not a fascist. He’s an ordinary run of the mill capitalist very much like the Bushes, the Clintons and Obama.

    “the vast majority of Orthodox believers do not attend church on a regular basis.” Just like members of the catholic cult.

    “Russian youths spew racist and homophobic epithets constantly, the public has become a playground for neo-nazi thugs to beat anyone who isn’t Russian-acting or looking enough. Proof? I mean real proof, not just claims.

    “Neo-nazism is wildly popular with the youth and nationalism in general is the predominant ideology in the country.” Nationalism has most definitely risen since the fascist putsch in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. Putinj, as he did in Syria, played Obama and Merkel to consolidate his own power. “In a 2007 news story, the ABC News reported, “In a country that lost more people defeating the Nazis than any other country, there are now an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 neo-Nazis, half of the world’s total.” That is an indictment of the Putin regime and of the Stalinist regime before, but it is not an indication that fascism is a mass movement in Russia.

    If you think that Russia is a fascist country then you’re as confused as American ulltraleftists who claim that Obama, the Bushes and the Clintons are fascists.

    “The Russian Orthodox church has become another social behavior enforcement tool for the Putin regime and Priests even join in attacks on anyone appearing to be promoting homosexuality which they claim is the result and cause of pedophilia. The demonization is on a level we’ve never seen in the U.S. even at our worst.” I take it you’re too young to have experienced pre-Stonewall American society. You should look up the anti-gay witch hunts of the 1950’s to get a clue. It was very similar to the situation in Russia today and neither are examples of fascist states.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Obama is a bigot who opposed marriage equality for about a decade.

    1996: In response to a questionnaire from Outlines newspaper (now part of Windy City Times), Obama, a candidate for the Illinois state senate seat representing the wealthy Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, writes, “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.”

    1998: Responding to an Illinois State Legislative National Political Awareness Test: “Q: Do you believe that the Illinois government should recognize same-sex marriages? A:”Undecided.”

    2004: In an interview with Windy City Times, Obama mentions the religious dimension of the gay marriage debate, says he supports civil unions, and indicates that his stance is dictated in large part by political strategy…

    2006:In his bestseller, The Audacity of Hope, Obama, now a U.S. senator, explains his support for civil unions, again mentioning religion and noting the strategic problems that the push for gay marriage poses.

    2008: At Rick Warrens bigotfest Obama said ”For me as a Christian, it is a sacred union. God’s in the mix…” and repeated it on MTV, sabotaging the defense of same sex marriage and promoting passage of Prop 8.

    In an interview with MTV, Obama says he opposes Prop 8, but also gay marriage. Civil unions, the candidate says, are sufficient: “I have stated my
    opposition to [Prop 8]. I think it is unnecessary. I believe that marriage is
    between a man and woman and I am not in favor of gay marriage…”
    Barack Obama

    2008 to 2010:Defends DOMA in the courts using vile, bigoted language.

    2011: Refuses to support same sex marriage in NY and continues to prefer that we be second class citizens deserving only civil unions.

    2012 Obama saw the way the wind was blowing – the polls switched in favor or marriage equality – and he decided to rebrand. ‘Supports’ same sex marriage but wants to leave it up to the states, most of which ban it. Now Obama is a rebranded bigot who refuses to keep his promise.

    I think partisanship may be clouding the issues.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Next time try to offer proof that the emergent police state in Russia and the US are not similar and based on suppressing the anger of workers, the LGBT communities, women and others.

  • Bam

    Okay I have to another thing. Saying Obama is a bigot as much as Putin is and they’re about the same on gay rights issues? OMG lol that’s such an extreme misrepresentation of reality that I can’t even begin to understand where you’re coming from. Putin demonizes gay people as the number one internal enemy who are working for the west to spread pedophilia across Russia to destroy it. Then his thugs unleash huge mobs of enraged men including off duty uniformed officers, priests etc. The police just stand there. and when a defenseless gay person is bashed by putin’s thugs the response is that they are arrested for being pedophiles. And the overwhelming majority of the population angrily screams about stopping the gay menace.

    Meanwhile Obama’s offense is for several years he said he favored civil unions for gay couples but hadn’t arrived yet at supporting full marriage. When he did he became not only the first president to openly support it, but also one of the first elected officials. Now almost every other politician in this country had the same stance as him or were opposed. Before that he ended DADT and was considered having solid records on support of LGBT rights by orgs that monitor how supportive candidates are. So how in the world do you come to the conclusion that he was bigot and now a reformed bigot. I find that to be not only totally without basis in fact, but also showing a subjective bias in your view of Obama and an attempt to exaggerate so as to strengthen the validity of your opinion.

  • Bam

    I don’t think it’s fair to say Obama is as bad as Putin on free speech. I understand how you come to that conclusion if you’re looking at top issues like fish, supporting patriot act and drone. But this shows how easy it can be to come to conclusions that don’t tell the whole story. If you spend some time just studying what Russians are posting on vk dot com and youtube videos from Russia, along with talk shows etc. You will start to get a picture that is impossible to get from news sources, even Russian news sources. I’ve been avoiding watching much news lately and just focusing on life in Russia, trying to get a perspective on things. What I am seeing there is startling. I don’t have the time or energy to even go into detail, but after hours and hours of Russian videos and conversations with Russians on discussion boards I have to say that my idea of what is going on is very different now than a couple of weeks ago.

    I can agree that Obama has been a disappointment on a lot of things. The drones and bombing Libya were inexcusable and criminal. I do think that we have Hillary to thank for that though and Obama was pushed hard to go in that direction. It’s frustrating in the U.S. to have this two-party system because it forces both sides to the center and makes it difficult to make progress if you step out too far.

    Our system makes it nearly impossible for the extremes to compete. However, when I look at Russia, whose political system does allow extremes to flourish, it makes me wonder. Since delving in deep into Russian culture and seeing what it’s like makes me glad I don’t live there. The antics of the Obama administration, while major issues involving freedom of speech, we have to remember that when things like that happen here they become public knowledge and there is a dialog and discussion and actions taken.

    What I’m seeing in Russia these days is a total disregard for any rule of law, no right to equal protection, a media which is almost uniformly controlled by one political movement, an orchestration of demonizing minorities and unleashing mobs on them with police being slow to respond if at all and always arresting the victims not the pro-putin gangs who attacked them. in some cases crowds of 50 men kicking and spitting and throwing things at one lone small female, knocking her to the ground so they take away a rainbow flag she was holding. That was her crime. Holding a flag and Putin’s mobs of neanderthal muscle men will beat a teen girl down. And then the police pull her out of the mud and arrest her for promoting pedophilia. And it goes on an on.

    I can’t fathom how anyone could even begin to compare life under Obama with life under Putin. We have freedom of assembly here, no one’s going to beat us just for what we say, we have police protection, there is a rule of law here, minorities aren’t in constant danger of mobs beating or killing them while the government does nothing, the state isn’t attempting to erase any signs of any ethnicities except the dominant one while it is commonly accepted to shout racial slur at minorities, humiliate them etc., Russian slavs frequently attack the caucus ethnic group if they catch them alone, Obama is not demonizing his own citizens and giving approval for physical violence, we don’t have gangs nationalist, fascists and neo-nazis marching on the streets shouting racist chants and vandalizing and attacking while police and state say nothing. It’s a nightmare in that country and if that is what Putin is about then I’ll take Obama any day. Hell, I’d even choose Bush who I abhor, but even he looks good compared to Putin. And I didn’t have negative feelings about Putin until I saw what was happening in his country while he stands by and manipulates how Russians perceive things. It is becoming truly Orwellian and that’s no exaggeration. I have no agenda in this. I used to think it a good idea to have Russia as check and balance against the US, but to see so much hatred and open disregard for any fairness while no one speaks up, only a uniform chorus of approval and call for more. No compassion or empathy whatsoever from the public. At least in the U.S. people have the right to express outrage and bullying behavior. Despite its faults, the US government are driven by a hatred bordering on being sociopathic. Even the rage after 911 is tempered compared what one sees in Russia. Our abu ghraib was terrible, but in Russia they would have broadcast that as nightly comedy show and people love it. Politics aside, Russia is headed in a dark direction and I see nothing good coming of it.

  • Bam

    I’ve run into lots of these types on youtube comments. They all have a similar technique and the same arguments, which are irrational and they come to conclusions that no sane person is possible of. And they refuse to concede an inch no matter how logical an argument you offer they flip it around and want you to admit that you know you are wrong. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are Putin propagandists because it was always the same kind of aggressive tone with absolute confidence that they were 100% right. Some of the posters claiming to be Christians were enraged that homosexuals had destroyed Russia and were persecuting the church through bullying Christians. I was like OMG could anyone be that delusional. Beginning to wonder if there are any sane people left in Russia. It’s fascinating but pointless conversations with Orwellian conclusions. If people there really think that way then it makes me wonder if they’re drugged or something. It’s surreal.

  • Bam

    Bill, I would urge you to check out the videos coming from ordinary citizens in Russia. Especially the anti-gay ones and the Occupy-pefilya Putin youth groups who kidnap gay boys and torture, humiliate, shave their heads and pour urine all over them, then turn them into the police who charge the victim as a pedophile. And the whole thing is videotaped and broadcast as a reality show which is wildly popular. And nobody stops it. There are hundreds of these. And the leaders of this movement are openly neo-Nazis who say they admire Hitler. Putin has demonized gays as agents of the west trying to undermine Russian values and promote pedofilia. People get beaten simply for holding a rainbow by huge crowds holding whips. Russian youths spew racist and homophobic epithets constantly, the public has become a playground for neo-nazi thugs to beat anyone who isn’t Russian-acting or looking enough. It goes on and on. There is no doubt in my mind that Russia is now fascist. Putin may not go around in an army uniform calling himself a fascist, he’s not that foolish, but the environment in Russia today is rife with Nationalism and intolerance for the slightest nonconformity. The more I learn the more I’m convinced. Putin is very clever in keeping himself separate from these groups, but they force the gay guys they kidnap to praise Putin. Some of these are shocking. Nothing less than a fascist state would allow the things going on there. Of course, I’m focusing on the domestic situation to come to this conclusion. Anyway, I’m shocked at what’s happening to the Russian people. Neo-nazism is wildly popular with the youth and nationalism in general is the predominant ideology in the country. The Russian Orthodox church has become another social behavior enforcement tool for the Putin regime and Priests even join in attacks on anyone appearing to be promoting homosexuality which they claim is the result and cause of pedophilia. The demonization is on a level we’ve never seen in the U.S. even at our worst.

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  • Bill_Perdue

    You find talking to anyone politically educated difficult.

  • Badgerite

    Well, I find talking to a wall a singularly unproductive endeavor.
    “All in all your just another brick in the wall.”

  • Bill_Perdue

    Terrified to answer, you go into denial.

  • Badgerite

    Uh Huh!!!!!!

  • Bill_Perdue

    Obama was a right wing pol then and he is now. The truth doesn’t change just to make it easier for you to support his policies of war and austerity.

  • Badgerite

    You know, you might try working up some new material. You are repeating yourself. I had this exact same response from you some months ago.
    Which is why I just say, Uh huh, and just don’t really bother.
    See ya.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Carter used deregulation in telecommunications and transportation to bust unions, causing the loss of hundreds of thousands of union jobs.

    Clinton elbowed NAFTA through Congress and quickly signed. Democrats often do the dirty work for Republicans because until recently they were better liars.

    Democrat politicians are the enemy – they’re Republicans in drag. At least some of them admit it. “The truth of the matter is that my policies are
    so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s,
    I would be considered a moderate Republican.” Obama

    http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/Politics/obama-considered-moderate-republican-1980s/story?id=17973080.

  • Badgerite

    Uh HUH!

  • Badgerite

    Uh huh. Breaking up a monopoly under anti trust legislation, ( and the problems that AT&T had with anti trust laws dates WAAAAAY back) is not the same as attacking unions. Except in your bizarro world. Lilly Tomlin used to do a skit about an AT&T operator. The point being “Sir, we are AT&T. We are omnipotent.” AT&T was actually broken up during the Reagan presidency since 1984 would be DURING the Reagan presidency. The lawsuit was started in 1974. It’s conclusion came 10 years later under a different president and the issue had been on the burner dating back to 1956 and beyond.
    NAFTA was negotiated and signed by Bush the Elder. Clinton led the push to get it through Congress but the overwhelming majority of the votes to pass NAFTA came from the GOP. They managed to peel off a few Democratic votes. A few.
    But pretty much ALL OF THE GOP VOTED FOR IT TO A MAN. (or woman)
    Frankly, I think Clinton put his name on a lot of crap, but since it was Bush the Elder’s treaty, his re-election would have brought about the same result.
    I don’t defend that at all. But his first action in office was to try to go after the ban on gays in the military as well as get NAFTA through. And the unions sat out the mid terms ( they were not particularly pro gay rights at the time) and got what?
    Gave control of Congress to the party that, originated and voted (to a man) for NAFTA, repealed Glass Steagall Act, and basically spent the next couple of years ‘investigating’ Clinton’s crotch.

    As to the Jack Lew article, I think you missed something. Quoting directly from the article:
    “Soon after Lew joined NYU in 2004, a BUSH APPOINTED MAJORITY ON THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD ISSUED IT’S BROWN UNIVERSITY DECISION DENYING GRADUATE STUDENT TEACHERS THE RIGHT TO UNION RECOGNITION. That was A REVERSAL OF A CLINTON-APPOINTED MAJORITY’S NYU DECISION. WHICH FOUR YEARS EARLIER HAD DECLARED FOR THE FIRST TIME THAT GRADUATE STUDENT WORKERS WERE COVERED UNDER THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT (in the US Senate, Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton both co-sponsored legislation to restore graduate student employee rights.)”

    The FAA story? Again, a few things you missed. Quoting from the article:
    “The FAA bills primary purpose is to fund the national aviation system through 2014, BUT REPUBLICANS ATTACHED OTHER MEASURES TO SATISFY EMPLOYER DEMANDS.
    The contention started two years ago when the Federal National Mediation Board, which oversees airline and rail labor, CHANGED IT’S RULES FOR COUNTING VOTES IN REPRESENTATION ELECTIONS.
    Before, ANY NO-SHOWS WERE COUNTED AS NO VOTES AGAINST THE UNION, CREATING A HIGH HURDLE.
    After June 2010, NMB elections were DETERMINED BY A MAJORITY OF VOTERS, the same as the National Labor Relations Board votes- and every congressional, mayoral, and dog catcher election. It was one of labor’s few victories under the OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, DELIVERED BY HIS APPOINTEES.
    RESPONDING TO INTENSE LOBBYING BY THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY, REPUBLICANS THEN ATTEMPTED TO REVERSE THE ELECTION RULES BY AMENDING THE FAA BILL. ——”
    (Aside: Gee, that sounds familiar. Republicans attempting to mess with voting rules so as to rig the outcome. )
    “Last July the FAA WAS TEMPORARILY SHUT DOWN BECAUSE DEMOCRATS WOULDN’T GIVE REPUBLICANS THEIR AMENDMENT – SO REPUBLICANS DENIED THE AGENCY NEEDED FUNDS.”
    (Aside: Gee, shutting down a government agency. What an unusual thing for the GOP to do to get their way.)

    To say that you are shading the truth in your comments is an understatement. Either that or you have some serious reading comprehension issues. Either way, not voting or voting for some ideologue who has not a ghost of a chance of actually winning an election does not sound like much of a remedy to the GOP running amok in Congress.
    I should think more democrats and less republicans would be a step in the right direction.
    Love to spend the rest of my day correcting your reading comprehension errors but I have things to do. Maybe later.

  • Phil Blank

    Nope, it was dated 3/31/2014, a whole day before April 1st!

  • Bill_Perdue

    I proved that Carter was a union buster. You proved you loyalty to the Democrats.

    The worst union buster since buster since Carter wasn’t Reagan, it was Bill Clinton who signed NAFTA and the deregulation bills of 1999 and 2000. Bush2 did a bit of union busting after 9-11, refusing to make loans to airlines with unions but Obama has been much worse. And many Democrat governors have been just as bad as Republican governors.

    Unions get busted by both parties. In point of fact Obama and the Democrats are doing their best to woo the .01% and attack unions, pandering and duplicating their betrayals of the antiwar movement, the Bill of Rights, the fight for socialized medicine and what they did to the LGBT communities for decades.

    Obama appoints another union busters as his chief of staff: In these Times 01 29 12 “Obama’s Union-Busting New Chief of Staff? Jacob Lew Helped Destroy Grad Students’ Union at NYU When Obama’s new Chief of
    Staff was NYU executive vice president, school ceased recognizing the grad
    students union” http://www.alternet.org/story/153935/obama’s_union-busting_new_chief_of_staff_jacob_lew_helped_destroy_grad_students’_union_at_nyu?page=entire

    Obama attacks airline and rail workers : LABORnotes 02 15 12 “Two years after President Obama and Democrats abandoned labor’s much-anticipated Employee Free Choice Act, they have refused to block
    Republicans intent on making life miserable for airline and rail workers. A
    bill reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration, voted up 75-20 in the
    Senate, changes federal labor law to make organizing more difficult for
    railroad and airline unions. New rules will make it easier to decertify unions
    and harder to win elections when employers merge.” http://labornotes.org/2012/02/obama-democrats-deal-setback-airline-workers

    Obama attacks the UAW HuffPo 09 03 2010 “The White House is forcefully pushing back on former (Obama) car czar Steve Rattner’s upcoming book about his time in Washington, specifically the allegation that Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel once blurted “Fuck the UAW” when told that tens of
    thousands of autoworkers’ jobs were at stake in the restructuring of the auto industry.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/24/steven-rattner-interview-_n_737966.html

    NY Democrat Cuomo attacks unions AlterNet “On Tuesday, a group of nearly 2,000 union members and their supporters met Governor Andrew Cuomo in Albany, New York to protest his 2012-2013 budget proposal cutting pensions and benefits for workers…” http://www.alternet.org/rss/1/826218/unions_protest,_mic-check_pension-cutting_ny_governor_andrew_cuomo/

    California Democrat Brown attacks state workers Sacramento Bee 05 16 2012 “Questions swirl around Jerry Brown’s plan to cut state workers’ hours… Brown wants to move most of California’s 214,000 workers to
    four-day workweeks and 9.5-hour shifts starting July 1. The change would reduce state workers’ hours and pay by 5 percent each month and cut state payroll by about $839 million, $401 million of it from the deficit-ridden general fund…” http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/16/v-print/4493111/questions-swirl-around-jerry-browns.html

    Obama attacks federal workers and postal workers LABORNotes 03 06 2012 “During the Obama administration, and especially during its
    first two years when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, the alliance between unions and their political patrons began to wither. The Employee Free Choice Act, the law that would have eased union organizing drives, was shelved.When the administration bailed out the auto companies, it dictated wage cuts, plant closings, and tens of thousands of layoffs, and stripped workers’ right to strike. The health care bill attacked union-negotiated plans. A green-job transformation for the economy stalled. Then Obama announced in December 2010 that salaries for federal workers, already low compared to those of private-sector workers with similar education and longevity, would be frozen for years into the future, as part of sharing the sacrifice in austere times.”
    http://labornotes.org/blogs/2012/03/labor-overlooks-bipartisan-attack-federal-workers

  • Badgerite

    You might want to go after Teddy Roosevelt also, since he was a rather famous ‘Trust Buster’. Or the president who signed the Sherman Anti Trust Act into law, Benjamin Harrison. In fact, the US Department of Justice had a long history of anti trust suits and actions against the monopoly held by AT&T and as I recall, AT&T also had a long history of ‘campaign contributions’ to affect those actions.
    (See Richard Nixon and ITT (International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation which included AT&T) Dita Beard and the Dita Beard memo on that point.
    The president who went after the unions as a target was Ronald Reagan. Once he got into office the National Labor Relations Board was never the same. The people he appointed tipped their rulings heavily toward business and away from protecting union organizing rights. He set the tone of his administration by firing all of the striking airline traffic controllers and it all went downhill from there. Reagan’s political mantra was deregulation. Of everything and anything. “Government doesn’t solve the problem. Government IS the problem”, he said. Carter may have been anti trust, but he was hardly anti union. In short, you are full of it as usual.

  • bridget

    I was online looking for ways to improve my business. That is when I came across this web site. I wanted things to start to improve rapidly and so I thought about asking [email protected] a spell. Here I am 1 years later and we now have 3 new locations. THANK YOU! Without the help of hep powerful spells I would not be here so happy today! Peter Swan, USA.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Carter deregulated Ma Bell and busted their union. Do try to keep up.

  • Badgerite

    Ronald Reagan was president in 1984 and 1986. He beat Carter in 1980.
    Looks to me like you got a ‘broken record’ there. You ought to look into getting that fixed.

  • Bill_Perdue

    It is illegal and we oppose it just as we oppose lies.

  • Bill_Perdue

    As usual, reading from a DNC playbook means ignoring reality. Not vedryh interesting, just very wrong.

    Orlando Sentinel 05 25 1986
    “The Jan. 1, 1984, breakup of the giant Bell System shrunk what
    had been the world’s largest telephone monopoly to one-third its previous size.
    AT&T was sent spinning into a world of non-union competitors and cheap
    imports…. Bearing the brunt of that cost-cutting has been the CWA, which
    represents 155,000 AT&T workers. Since 1983, the company has reduced its
    non-management work force by 42,000 through layoffs, attrition and early
    retirement.”

    Railway Age (a management magazine) “By
    stripping away needless and costly regulation in favor of marketplace forces
    wherever possible, this act will help assure a strong and healthy future for
    our nation’s railroads and the men and women who work for them…”

    Jimmy Carter, on signing the Staggers Act
    http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/blog/Page-3.html

    Mac Fleming, President, Brotherhood Of
    Maintenance Of Way Employees” The railroads used the Staggers
    Act to massively cut jobs throughout the industry, shamelessly shedding
    thousands upon thousands of miles of track, creating short lines that were
    thinly disguised creations of the big roads at that time.

    http://www.bmwe.org/journal/2001/05may/C2.htm

    Reagan followed up on what Jimmhy Carter, loyal lap dog of the rich, began.

    Obama is a rebranded bigot and a racist who orders the non-judicial murders of US citizens. That is undoubtedly what some, especially Republicans and many Democrats, want in a President but the left and civil libertarians disagree.

  • Badgerite

    Carter didn’t ‘bust’ any unions. That particular movement had to await the arrival of Saint Ronald of Reagan, whom I notice you never mention at all.
    Interesting.
    A lot of people have changed their minds on gay rights, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Military. I believe Obama, acting behind the scenes had something to do with that. And a lot of those people who changed their minds were people who actually have gay children. Some of them GOP. And certainly the public has been changing its mind on the issue. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. That means that you are open to idea and persuasion and that, quite frankly, is what you want in a president.
    The link to the ACLU you posted actually relates to their objections over “shifting standards” for killing of American citizens abroad who are involved in Al Qaeda. The “shifting standards” part has to do with assessing what actual danger this person poses to US forces or US citizens. They are challenging the standards used for targeting of American citizens in Al Qaeda. The Pentagon has signed off on targeting of some people that the ACLU does not consider a grave and imminent threat of harm to US personnel of citizens.
    Which is required by the Constitution and international law. I don’t know if the ACLU is right about that. I know Al Awlaki was a threat.

  • Badgerite

    Your bleating, not mine. I notice you didn’t say anything about the rainbow flag that would now be illegal to carry in Russia.

  • Alex

    Um….April Fools?

  • Bill_Perdue

    I’m glad to see you’re no longer willing to defend the warmongering of the Clintons and Obama.

    Putin is not a fascist, like Obama and the Clintons, he’s just an ordinary, run of the mill right wing union buster, Bill of Rights buster and a war criminal.

  • Bill_Perdue

    And there are giant underground concentration camps and all the reporters in Russia are in on the secret but won’t tell us.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Putin, in his attempts to stifle democratic free speech, is a mirror image of Obama and his NDAA, his murder of American citizens and his support for FISA and the Paytriot Act.

    Carter did a lot of reactionary things beginning with busting unions.

    Putin is most certainly anti-LGBT. Leftists have been saying that since he launched his anti-gay campaigns. He’s a bigot. So was Obama until he rebranded and ended his bigoted and decade long opposition to marriage equality and rebranded. Now he’s a rebranded bigot.

    Our difference is that leftists criticize both and you remain loyal to Obama no matter what he does or who he murders with drones. The left and civil libertarians will continue to fight against these murders. The ACLU is one of those groups, but then you probably
    think they’re Republicans. http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/02/10-3

  • Badgerite

    What’s more, this picture is of the protests in 2012 complaining of ‘voting irregularities’ and protesting of Putin’s return to power. You do not see that today. People from that demonstration were tracked down after the fact and arrested and imprisoned. Not all certainly, but many and probably the leadership. And you will notice the multi-colored flag in the corner. Now, that would be illegal and you would be subject to arrest.
    That is, if someone didn’t beat you on the street first while the police watched.

  • Badgerite

    Ah, the false equivalency machine strikes again. No. If you think that Russia does not have an active and highly engaged intelligence service, both foreign and domestic, you have a hole in your brain. The only difference is that in America, that intelligence service operates under certain restrictions, like the FISA and the 4th Amendment. In Russia, there is no such thing. Not only does Obama support FISA but, you know, pretty much all of Congress does as it was passed and in existence long before Obama showed up in the Senate. In fact, Jimmy Carter was president when FISA was first enacted (1978). He signed the bill. It was AMENDED in 1994 and in 2008. But it was first voted and signed into existence during the Carter Administration. So even a peaceful and manifestly decent man like Jimmy Carter saw the need for foreign intelligence and surveillance as a legitimate state interest. And the 2008 Amendments brought what the NSA was doing out of exclusive control by the executive and expressly put their programs under the oversight of Congress and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. American citizens who are in Yemen or the the tribal areas of Afghanistan or Pakistan and are members of Al Qaeda are engaged in combat against the US. Period.
    As to active dissent in Russia, here are some links for you.
    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/europe/article4013261.ece
    “Two hundred people have been arrested for taking part in a protest near a Moscow court where eight defendants were convicted of taking part in anti-Putin riots. The eight were found guilty of participating in demonstrations and hitting policemen at an opposition rally the day before Putin returned to the Kremlin for a third term in 2012. The hearing was last night called a “show trial” by Amnesty International, which added: “Today’s guilty verdict against defendants in Bolotnaya Square is a hideous injustice.”
    If people are allowed to be kidnapped and beaten for being or suspected of being gay or beaten on the street for the mere intimation that they MIGHT speak or act in support of gays, how is that free speech? The government stands by and watches and supports this. How is that not intimidation looking to stifle free speech? That has been clearly documented at this site and is beyond dispute.

  • Sean

    I’ll stick to the main point here, which is Russia and the Ukraine. The Obama administration has not demonized Putin and his regime. I would be happy to do that, however. He’s the fascist, and it is only right and just for the U.S., and the world, to criticize him and to push back when he invades smaller countries on his borders.

  • Nathanael

    Hell, I, living in the US in 1984, wondered whether Mr. Reagan wanted nuclear war. Reagan was actually demented.

    So that doesn’t really count for anything — that was just common sense. On the other hand, it’s pretty clear now that nobody except possibly Putin wants nuclear war.

  • Nathanael

    Invading Finland would be barking mad. The Finns have proven extremely good at defending themselves since 1917. Even Stalin refused to mess with it, despite Finnish neutrality.

    Also, the general approach of the international community has been different for post-WWII countries and pre-WWII countries — invasions of pre-WWII countries are treated much more seriously (don’t ask m exactly why).

  • Bill_Perdue

    He and Obama, as the left continue to point out, are much the same. Centralizing and attacking dissent with Obama’s NDAA, the murder of Arab and muslim Americans on a whim and his support for FISA and the Paytriot Act.

    The difference is that the anti-Putin left is much more organized and energetic the anti-Obama left, although happily that’s beginning to change.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The left criticizes both Putin and Obama and defends neither although we do make the point that Obama is far, far worse. I don’t regard Democrats, Stalinists or social democrats to be part of the left. They’re reformists and this is the age when reforms are being taken away.

    The article from AlterNet was not a defense of Putin – it was an attack on the Obama regime which is trying to demonize him and Russia, often in the crudest terms. The crudeness of their attacks is what gives them away.

    The protests began with a great deal of participation by workers and leftists but then were taken over by the right and fascists, all supported by the US. That’s been reported in dozens of posts by several people. Did you miss those posts or does your loyalty to the US and it’s right wing regime cloud your judgement.

    Democrats and Republicans, especially the rabid warmonger Hillary Clinton were totally wrong about Clintons murder of half a million Iraqi children and Clintons claims about WMDs. It was about oil and nothing else.

    Republican Senator CHARLES HAGEL: “People say we’re not fighting for oil. Of course we are. They talk about America’s national interest. What the hell do you think they’re talking about? We’re not there for figs.” (Speaking at Catholic University, Sept. 24, 2007)

    Former Federal Reserve Chairman ALAN GREENSPAN, in his book The Age of Turbulence; Adventures in a New World: “I’m saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: The Iraq war is largely about oil.”

    Democratic Senator JOHN TESTER: “We’re still fighting a war in Iraq and people who are honest about it will admit we’re there over oil.” (Associated Press, Sept. 24, 2007)

    General JOHN ABIZAID, retired commander of CENTCOM: “Of course it’s about oil, we can’t really deny that.” (Speaking at Stanford University, Oct. 13, 2007)

    You seem have missed all the debate about oil and WMDs that helped create the massive anger with the Clinton, Bush Obama wars against Iraq. You’re going to have a hard time proving that the sanctions prevented the Iraqis from acquiring WMDs. All the sanctions did was murder children. It’s sad that you think that was justified in any way.

    Opposition to the massive murder of Palestinian civilians, the theft of their land and the terrible apartheid they impose on Palestinians is not anti-Semitism and pretending that it is a lie. As Desmond Tutu, a recognized advocate for LGBT rights says “The Nobel peace laureate said he was “very deeply distressed” by a visit to the Holy Land, adding that “it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa. … Archbishop Desmond TutuIn a speech in the United States, carried in the UK’s Guardian newspaper, Archbishop Tutu said he saw “the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about. … Archbishop Tutu said his criticism of the Israeli Government did not mean he was anti-Semitic.
    “I am not even anti-white, despite the madness of that group,” he said.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/1957644.stm

    I didn’t mention Qaddafi one way or the other. I’m sorry that you feel that the murderous attacks on Iraq. Yemen, Palestine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Bahrain and Libya were somehow justified. We’ll just have to disagree.

    US support for right wing and military dictatorships and for the zionist colony in Palestine are indeed war crimes. The following photos showing the use of US made white phosphorous by zionist IDF thugs against Palestinian civilians – they’re from Reuters, a collection of Tumblr photos, the BBC and the Guardian.

  • eggroll_jr

    John, usually you’re a focused kind of guy, but this stuff needs to be toned down a bit. Russians are not happy at the moment because their economy, which boomed in the 2000s, has gone flat. Somebody has to be blamed, and Putin certainly doesn’t want it to be him. Zero investment growth at the moment. Foreign direct investment, in particular, is a big deal for political leaders in emerging economies like Russia and China, because it’s a big driver of growth and diversification of the economy (a VERY big deal in Russia’s case). If things pick up in Russia over the next two years, then the nationalistic sword-rattling will calm and Russians will go back to redistributive kleptocracy as usual. Russia’s long-term issue is not expansion west or coveting Finland and the Baltics, but loss of its land in the far eastern parts of the country to Chinese aggression. The Chinese on the other side of the border outnumber the Russian population 100 to 1, and China is hitting the resource wall.

  • Janus303

    Russia was offered NATO membership in 2000 and Putin toyed with the idea. He could have chosen to integrate fully with the democratic world, leading to a safer, more prosperous Russia–not to mention oodles of NATO assistance fighting terrorism in Chechnya and Dagestan. Instead, he chose the path Russia is on today. Oligarchy and dictatorship, allying only with the most despotic regimes in the world.

  • Sean

    Thanks for the response. OK, here we go:
    1. Regarding your charge that your part of the Left (I’m also a Leftie by the way. Not a radical, but a Leftie.) – isn’t defending Putin (or rather, holding the U.S. to a higher standard): I looked at the headline of your first post – “Why the US Turned Vladimir Putin into a Villain – If you don’t
    play ball with the West, they’ll turn you into a villain in no time
    flat.
    2. I agree with you, in that I am also opposed to Europe’s austerity madness.
    3. However, I strongly disagree that the protests in Ukraine were a fascists putsch. The thousands of people who launched the protests that brought down the Kleptocrat Yanukovych had many just reasons. Did you see the lavish palaces he built for himself from graft? And you are defending his government because you are a Friend of the People!?!? (Please don’t let your hatred of the U.S cloud your judgement.)
    4. Regarding the Iraqi embargo: this is a serious charge, and I can’t argue with your horror that children died. But Hussein was a tyrant who, in his wars against Iran and Kuwait, proved he held human life as worthless. Bringing on sanctions to keep weapons out of his hands was justified, in my opinion. And I’m not just talking about WMD.

    5. Of course this brings us back to Bush & Co., and the crime of their war against Iraq. The sanctions were cruel, but they were working. But then, Bush’s war wasn’t about WMD, it was about oil. And to circle back, the sanctions were working, so there was no need for a war. (BTW: wouldn’t you approve of sanctions against the U.S.? Wouldn’t it be worth the suffering of children if they brought down the Imperial U.S. government?)
    6. Are you talking about the drone strikes? I oppose those too. I think I would support some sort of international action against this kind of undeclared war.

    7. Hmm – you used the word Zionist. This speaks to me of bigotry. But at any rate, the relationship of the Palestinians in Israel is a tortured one, at least for me. I support Israel, but it’s right wing drives me crazy. And as far as U.S. supplying WMDs like white phosphorus, I admit I don’t know anything about this.

    8. Regarding the Franco Italian attack on Libya – are you asking me to shed tears for Gaddafi? (I’ll shed tears for all of the people who suffered in the conflict, but not for him.)

    9. U.S support for the military junta in Egypt – troubling, but not a war crime. I don’t like the military, but the Muslim Brotherhood, yikes. I’m gay, so religious fundamentalists using law & government to enforce their code of “virtue” scares the crap out of me. As in Israel, this is not a simple Good vs. Evil situation.

  • Silver_Witch

    Now we into the right and wrong of a thing – rather than just a difference of opinion. Well since you are right all of the time discussion with you is futile.

    I am happy to have someone disagree with me – but when you get preachy and determine that you are right and I am wrong (another way of saying that you are the only one with the right answer and all others fail) than there can be no discussion.

    And I will be ignoring your comments from time to time.

  • Badgerite

    He saw himself.

  • Badgerite

    It’s a point.

  • Badgerite

    Your opinions don’t “feed my fear or rage”. I just think they are sometimes wrong. And when I do think they are wrong I will probably say so.
    If you can’t handle someone disagreeing with you, well, that’s too bad.
    You are free to ignore my comments, if you wish. But I will be making them from time to time. Have a pleasant evening.

  • Badgerite

    Well, that is what I was wondering. Is this a real concern for a ‘buffer zone’ or is this just an rationale behind actions that are really designed to regain their former position in the world back when the world seemed to be ‘bi-polar’ ( sort of )?

  • Badgerite

    Well, good. I think Europe, particularly eastern Europe, has to maintain a united front against incursions.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The first question is about the left defending Putin. We don’t and you have no shred of evidence that we do. Please address that question.

    “Getting back to the Crimea – how is it that you make the U.S. a bigger villain than Russia?” We don’t – read my comment above.

    Socialists oppose both Putin and Obama and equate them as empire builders. As to the central role of the US in looting the Ukraine, which is what I said, the Obama regimes role in fomenting a fascist putsch and the imposition of US/EU austerity measures will destroy the standard of living of Ukrainian workers.

    Clinton murdered half a million Iraqi children with his embargo and his Secretary of State, Madeline Albright admitted it and defended it. Bill Clinton used lies about WMDs as an excuse to murder those children and Hillary Clinton repeated them when she endorsed Bush2s invasion and occupation of Iraq, which murdered as many as a million more. I don’t know anything about your situation but how could you have conceivably missed all that.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbIX1CP9qr4&noredirect=1

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wyCBF5CsCA&noredirect=1

    Obama, in addition to the crimes he’s committed ordering the racist and illegal murders of Arab and muslim Americans escalated in Afghanistan, made dozens of illegal attacks on Pakistan, supplied with zionist colonists in Palestine with WMDs like white phosphorus which they use in densely packed Gaza, aided the Franco Italian attack on Libya, supported the Egyptian military junta and the mass murders of it’s opponents,attacked Yemen and Bahrain and held out until the last minute in Iraq.

  • Sean

    I’m all for a War Crimes Tribunal for the Bush people. (Regarding Clinton & Obama, what acts are you referring to?) Getting back to the Crimea – how is it that you make the U.S. a bigger villain than Russia? – Do you realize that this lope-sided accounting makes the U.S. the only adult in the room, while the rest of the world is composed of squabbling children?

  • Bill_Perdue

    The Obama, Clinton and Bush regimes deserve a bit more than criticism. They deserve to be investigated by an International War Crimes Tribunal for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    You’re barking up the wrong tree. Socialists and revolutionaries in the US will always make the empire building mass murderers in the WH and Congress the central focus of our criticism, just as we and our brothers and sisters in Russia are the harshest critics of Putin.

    Pointing out the rancid hypocrisy of Democrat and Republican politicians is not a defense of Putin, it is however equating him with Merkel and Obama. All of them are enemies of workers in the Ukraine but not equally. Those, like the Obama regime, who support the fascist coup there are the central enemies as are the thugs who comprise the Ukrainian looter class.

    “The OpenLeft.ru site in Russia has published the following statement on the military moves towards Ukraine by Russia in the Crimea region. … “Crimea: Not ‘ours’, and not ‘yours’ Crimea has found itself unlucky to be at the intersection of Russia’s imperialist ambitions, and the rough nationalist politics of the “new” Ukraine. The “Open Left” declares: the movement for self-determination in Crimea is more important in its significance than both, imperialist games and nationalist fervour. Today, as never before, it is necessary to call things by their proper names: what is happening these hours and days in the Crimea is a classic act of imperialist intervention by the Russian state. It is an intervention marked by stupidity, cowardice, and inconsistencies; naturally, these are the very same defining features of Vladimir Putin’s regime.” http://links.org.au/taxonomy/term/822

  • caphillprof

    Perhaps Obama is using Putin to counter the Neo-cons embedded in the State Department

  • Sean

    Look, no question the U.S. deserves plenty of criticism. But defending Putin at this time is like defending North Korea. You are not doing the downtrodden of the earth any favors by doing either.

  • Swami_Binkinanda

    There were a couple Russian jokes from when I was in East Europe that are echoing now.
    First was that Russia should declare war on Japan and then immediately surrender in the hopes that Japan would then have to occupy Russia and make it efficient, clean, etc.
    Second joke-where is the new capital of reunited Germany going to be?
    Paris.

  • Swami_Binkinanda

    Neville Chamberlain bought time to rebuild Britain’s military and defense infrastructure in anticipation of another world war, much as Stalin did at the expense of Poland. Britain was still fielding biplanes in 1937 when aircraft makers elsewhere had started making monocoque low wing and high wing monoplanes that were fast and flew high. France, which typically hosts these shindigs along with Belgium, regrets that it did not have an opportunity to stall longer and consolidate political and industrial forces for its defense

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neville_Chamberlain's_European_Policy

    http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/lesson31.htm

    http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/raftimeline_19301939.cfm

  • Bill_Perdue

    The same Democrat and Republican politicians who murdered over a million people each in Vietnam and Iraq and now trying to demonize Putin for daring to do what they’ve do – engage in an imperialist foreign policy.

    Why the US Turned Vladimir Putin into a Villain – If you don’t play ball with the West, they’ll turn you into a villain in no time flat. – Once again, it seems that Russia and the United States are finding it difficult to agree on how to deal with their respective ambitions. This clash of interests is highlighted by the Ukrainian crisis. The provocation in this particular instance, as the leaked recording of a US diplomat, Victoria Nuland, saying “Fuck the EU” suggests, came from Washington…. One reason Gorbachev has publicly supported Putin on the Crimea is that his trust in the west was so cruelly betrayed.

    The attitude of the US and NATO in the Crimean situation versus their attitude toward events in Chechnya makes their hypocrisy blindingly clear. In Chechnya “Grozny, the capital, was virtually reduced to dust as 85 percent of its housing was destroyed. In February 1995 two courageous Russian economists, Andrey Illarionov and Boris Lvin published a text in Moscow News arguing in favour of Chechen independence and the paper (unlike its Western counterparts) also published some excellent critical reports that revealed atrocities on a huge scale, eclipsing the siege of Sarajevo and the massacre in Srebrenica. Rape, torture, homeless refugees and tens of thousands dead was the fate of the Chechens. No problem here for Washington and its EU allies.

    “The White House’s reaction has been the opposite of its reaction to Chechnya. Why? Because Putin, unlike Yeltsin, is refusing to play ball any more on the things that matter such as Nato expansion, sanctions on Iran, Syria etc. As a result, he has become evil incarnate. And all this because he has decided to contest US hegemony by using the methods often deployed by the west.” http://www.alternet.org/world/why-us-turned-vladimir-putin-villain?page=0%2C1&paging=off&current_page=1#bookmark

    What’s happening in Greece, South Africa, Spain, Brazil, Portugal and Egypt will now happen in the Ukraine

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    He’s gone now. I don’t mind people disagreeing on this topic, as it’s complicated, and Bush’s little misadventures hardly helped put people in the mood for further military conflict. And I also can accept that some people are simply pacifists, or at least don’t believe in war, and that’s totally cool. But we’ve given this guy a lot of leeway, and he just keeps posting comments mocking people rather than simply engagin in a respectful discussion. And at some point, it starts to detract from the folks who are here to honestly discuss and debate among friends. Thanks for jumping in FLL, but he’s gone.

  • FLL

    That implies that no one could possibly disagree with you in good faith. You’re implying that if anyone disagrees with you, someone else must have put them up to it. The most extreme form of that rationale is “Who paid you to disagree with me?” I think you would do best to abandon that line of reasoning.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Now that you’ve just denied that Russia invaded and annexed Crimea two weeks ago, something the entire world witnessed live, I’m no longer going to engage with you on this. I don’t know if you’re Russian, one of the Putin sockpuppets or what, but if you’re going to disagree by denying obvious truths like the annexation of Crimea, then there’s really no point in trying to discuss this.

  • FLL

    Laughter and name calling, with no argument attached, is just a waste of keystrokes. Personally, I only type “LOL” when I’m responding to someone I have no disagreement with, and something the person wrote is humorous and I’m sharing the humor. I do not type “LOL” or any synonymous phrase as a substitute for “I disagree with you.” If you disagree, state why.

  • wearing out my F key

    all i wonder is if this is something you came up with by yourself.

  • wearing out my F key

    no argument, just laughter. simply ridiculous.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Again, so your argument is that Putin didn’t annex part of Ukraine not two weeks ago? It’s a lie – that’s your contention? Huh.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    So the Russians didn’t invade George and Ukraine and annex their land. That’s what you’re arguing. Huh.

  • Samson Benard

    Hello let me give this testimony to the public about a great man who help me out in serious illness I have HIV AID for good 5year and I was almost going to the end of my life due to the way my skin look like all I have in my mind is let me just give up because life is not interesting to me any longer but I just pray for god every day to accept my soul when ever I’m gone lucky to me my kids sister run to me that she found a doctor in the internet who can cure HIVAID she help me out on everything the man ask for my picture, so he can cast a spell on me from his temple after all he ask is done 45mins later I started getting more stronger my blood start flow normally for 4 to 5 days I start getting Wight before a month my body start developing my skin start coming up after 2month I went for HIV test and I was tested negative I’m so happy that I can say I’m not a HIV patient if you have HIVAID or any sickness please for your save contact him for cure now [email protected] +2348148342218

  • Samson Benard

    I was been suffering hardshiply from HIV/AIDS since 9yrs now, and i happen to have 2 kids for my husband, and now we cannot proceed to have another kids all because of my disease and now i have do all what a human like i and my husband can do just to get my disease healed, i have went to several places to seek for help not even one person could ever help, until i melt a comment on the daily news paper that was commented by Miss Marilyn about how this powerful traditional doctor help her get cured of the disease (HIV-AIDS) ” my fellow beloved” i firstly taugh having a help from a spiritual traditional healer was a wrong idea, but i think of these, will i continue to stress on these disease all day when i have someone to help me save my life?” so i gather all my faiths and put in all interest to contact him through his Email address at [email protected] , so after i have mailed him of helping get my disease cured, i respond to me fast as possible that i should not be afraid, that he is a truthful and powerful doctor which i firstly claimed him to be. So after all set has been done, he promise me that i will be healed but on a condition that i provide him some items and obeyed all his oracle said. I did all by accepting his oracolous fact and only to see that the following week Dr atakuma mail me on my mail box that my work is successfully done with his powers, i was first shocked and later arrise to be the happiest woman on earth after i have concluded my final test on the hospital by my doctor that i am now HIV- Negative. My papers for check are with me and now i am happy and glad for his miraculous help and power.
    With these i must to everyone who might seek for anyhelp, either for HIV cure or much more to contact him now at these following email now,
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    His Email address is:
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  • Samson Benard

    hello world, i cant believe that this is real and genuine, i was an hiv patient for 2years when i get in touch with Dr [email protected] the great healer after reading how he have been curing people with hiv, at 1st i thought it was a scam but at last i chose to contact him and give him a trial, he told me what to do and i simply do it and he gave me his medication and ask me to go for check up after two months i agree with him, i took this medication and went for check up after two months to my greatest surprise my result was negative after the treatment of Dr atakuma, i am really happy that i am cured and healthy again. and i want to use this opportunity to tell you all that is suffering from hiv to hurry up and contact him now [email protected] cause the solution to your problem has come. once more here is the email of this great healer. [email protected]
    samson from canada

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Actually, they already went into Georgia and stole territory, and they’ve already made noise about Maldova and Belarus. I mean, you’re arguing that the Russians, who occupied Eastern Europe until 20 years ago, who annexed their neighbor’s lands six years ago, and then annexed another neighbor’s land two weeks ago, would never invade and annex their neighbor’s land.

    Other than laughter, I’m not getting an actual argument from you that counters the facts.

  • Samson Benard

    Glory Be To The Lord Almighty
    join me to thank this man worthy to be called my great and powerful father called Dr atakuma. Last time i met a comment online against the great and powerful work Dr atakuma has done with her HIV/AIDS ailment.
    Firstly:
    i will thank Mrs Bernille for letting the world knows the powerful man that help her from AIDS disease. This was what i have all my life been waiting for since i was infected by HIV last 6 months. I always spend money for drugs always but still yet my weight becomes poorer and my joint always getting painful and inching all day. But when i met this comment last 3 days, i quickly contacted Dr atakuma the Traditonal helper. He is from the western part of africa, i did’nt spend much as i spent for drugs each day, and i for the fact truly reason this because my life was already as take by this disease called AIDs. Truly, when it was 9 oclock on monday this week he called me that his oracle urgently required some few life items to enable the disease wipe out successfully, then i was asked to send down 200 usd ($). Which i did. He trully bought the items and suprisingly, yesterday afternoon Dr atakuma called me that my work has been finally done and it work out well. I was glad and he told me to rush down to my hospital for checkup. Which i really did, my brothers and sisters i went down crying because no one has ever done this to a person in life. Dr atakuma truly healed me. I was crying it was a dream to my eyes when the doctor said to me that I am HIV NEGATIVE. I am now a free born in life, am now like other people who now think things like human. For these days and forever, i will accept Dr atakuma as my father and my healer and helper. He is a great man. Thank you sir. I know i cant reward you. But my God in heaven can. Thank you sir once again.
    Regards.
    Email him now for your problem solve at: [email protected]

  • Samson Benard

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  • Samson Benard

    MY HIV HEALING TESTIMONY
    My mouth is short of words, i am so so happy because Dr atakuma has healed me from HIV ailment which i have been suffering from the past 5years now, i have spend alot when getting drugs from the hospital to keep me healthy, i have tried all means in life to always i can become Hiv negative one day, but there was no answer until i found Dr atakuma the paris of african who provide me some healing spell that he uses to help me, now i am glad telling everyone that i am now HIV Negative, i am very very happy, thank you Dr atakuma for helping my life comes back newly without anyform of crisis, may the good lord that i serve blessed you Dr atakuma and equip you to the higher grade for healing my life. i am so amazed. so i will announced to everyone in this whole world that is HIV positive to please follow my advice and get healed on time, because we all knows that HIV disease is a deadly type,contact Dr atkuma for your Hiv healing spell today at: [email protected]…. He will be always happy to assist you online and ensure you get healed on time, contact Dr atakuma today for your healing spell immediately, thank you sir: [email protected]

  • Samson Benard

    Truthfully, i was tested HIV + positive last 3years. I keep on managing the drugs i usually purchase from the health care agency to keep me healthy and strenghtful, i tried all i can too make this disease leave me alone, but unfortunately, it keep on eating up my life, this is what i caused myself, for allowing my fiance have sex with me insecurely without protection, although i never knew he is HIV positive. So last few 4days i came in contact with a lively article on the internet on how this Powerful Herb Healer get her well and healed. So as a patient i knew this will took my life 1 day, and i need to live with other friends and relatives too. So i copied out the Dr atakuma the traditional healer’s email id: [email protected] and I mailed him immediately, in a little while he mail me back that i was welcome to his temple home were by all what i seek for are granted. I was please at that time. And i continue with him, he took some few details from me and told me that he shall get back to me as soon as he is through with my work. I was very happy as heard that from him. So Yesterday, as i was just coming from my friends house, Dr atakuma called me to go for checkup in the hospital and see his marvelous work that it is now HIV negative, i was very glad to hear that from him, so i quickly rush down to the nearest hospital to found out, only to hear from my hospital doctor called Browning Lewis that i am now HIV NEGATIVE. I jump up at him with the test note, he ask me how does it happen and i recede to him all i went through with Dr atakuma I am now glad, so i am a gentle type of person that need to share this testimonies to everyone who seek for healing, because once you get calm and quiet, so the disease get to finish your life off. So i will advice you contact him today for your healing at the above details: Email ID: [email protected] CONTACT HIM NOW TO SAVE YOUR LIFE: [email protected] AS HE IS SO POWERFUL AND HELPFUL TO ALL THAT HAVE THIS SICKNESS…

  • Samson Benard

    Good morning everyone, my name is joan from pakistan, I have been suffering from Hiv/Aids for over 4years now, and sauddenly, i have spent all my money all to make sure i get healthy all day, but happily, last month january 12th 2013, I came in contact with a traditional doctor also known as a chief priest on a newspaper who is called Dr atakuma who has help much people to cure their aids disease, firstly i taught it was a joke until i contacted him ” ‘[email protected]’ ” and he said that if i am ready for this work, i told him yes, and he collected my details and told me that after he has finished consulting his oracle he will run back to me on when to go for a medical check up, i was unhealthyling surprise. And truly last week monday Dr atakuma called me to quickly go for a medical checkup, which I did, only to find out that I was not with any HiV disease anymore, my friends and families who left me before run back to me. I now found out that God in Heaven is using this man to bless and heal us all, he is a great and powerful man, again I say to you sir, that God almightly will uplift you and your great work you did for I and other people. Pls i will sincerely advice all Hiv patient to contact this great powerful man called Dr atakumaoracle for your solutions now at :[email protected] he will help you on your Hiv problems…..email:[email protected]

  • FLL

    Before the invasion of Crimea, Merkel had a more cordial relationship with Putin than any other Western leader. After the eye-opening events of the past month, Merkel became the first leader to demand the presence of international monitors in eastern Ukraine. I think she’s wised up, and probably most of her countrymen have too.

  • PeteWa

    why is everyone worried?
    don’t you remember when Gee Dubya Bush looked deep into Putin’s eyes, saw his soul, and fell in love?

  • ktrimbach

    I don’t think that this administration would do anything to help the Baltic nations if they were invaded regardless of their status within NATO. The complete lack of (effective) response to the Ukraine demonstrates that and will only hasten Putin’s push into the Baltics. So much for “Reset”.

  • jm2

    why do i have this image in my head of Putin posing with Neville Chamberlain for a photo?

    oh, wait! Chamberlain did this with another short fascist who needed his cajones jacked. sorry…

  • wearing out my F key

    Not only are the Russians going to Ukraine… they’re going to Georgia and Moldova and Belarus and they’re going to Lithuania and Latvia and Estonia… And then they’re going to take the White House! BHWYYYYYYYYEEEEAAAHHHH!

  • wearing out my F key

    let us know when Putin tries to by yellow cake from Niger. Haha

  • wearing out my F key

    Yeah, better check under your bed, Putin may be hiding there!

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    That’s the problem of launching illegtimate war(s). You waste money, future publish support, and world support when it might actually be needed and appropriate.

  • lynchie
  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I know, seriously, who could ever imagine the Russians invading and then annexing one of their neighbors. I mean that hasn’t happened in weeks.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    When I was in Moscow in early 1984, a very creepy time, I’ll never forget this man on the bus, who nuzzled up right behind me, got next to my ear, and whispered “does Mr Reagan really want nuclear war?” (They weren’t supposed to be seen talking to westerners.) I was a bit blown away by the question. I wouldn’t underestimate the “threat” that they perceive. I agree, it’s absurd to think anyone in Europe, or that we in fact, would be invading Russia. From their perspective, who knows.

  • Silver_Witch

    Oh I see I had a typo and that is perhaps why you did not see my last statement…here let me help you.

    Perhaps from now on you could just avoid my posts, or ignore then completely – so that my opinions do not feed your fear and(or) rage.

    Our prime purpose in life is too help others ~ if we can not help them, at least then do not harm them. ~ Dalai Lama

  • Sean

    I think you’re probably right about most Russians not signing on to gobble up a buffer zone. But this reminds me of passages in William Shirer’s “Berlin Diary.” Stationed there in the 30’s, he reported that most Germans didn’t want any war. But they were loyal to Hitler when he moved.

  • Badgerite

    How exactly did we get from prudent ‘push back’ and preparation, to war. No one is advocating attacking Russia or making Russia fell insecure in terms of its current borders.
    But borders are how we organize ourselves right now. The nation state is not gone yet. And Russia’s recognized borders should remain its borders. They don’t get to take back all those states that sought and achieved independence when the Soviet Union fell apart. What’s more, the role Putin has outlined for Russia in the future is not one of peacemaker, as such. Obama and his State Department had objections to the recent events in Egypt. Putin did not. He came out and publicly embraced the military leadership there. And what this calls to mind is the Russian involvement in Egypt prior to Sadat kicking them out because he felt they were trying to control him.
    Disagreeing with you is not ‘judging’ you. It is just disagreeing with you.

  • Sean

    First, thanks to Silver Witch for responding to my comment – but her first two points merely repeat what I said. Her 3rd, that we should let Russia trample over smaller neighbors – in the name of pacifism – is well-intentioned, but wrong. That’s the same thinking that gripped Europe in the 1930’s when Hitler kept promising he would stop misbehaving – if he got what he wanted this one last time. Europe was legitimately war-weary after the catastrophe of World War I, but in avoiding a real threat they gave us World War II. A knee-jerk response that war is always wrong just cannot work. Like Badgerite I too like the Dalai Lama, but the point about the state of Tibet is well taken.

  • Silver_Witch

    I did not ask you to subscribe to anything, nor did I judge you for your opinion and yet you come here and judge and lecture me re mine. Interesting, eh? I find the reason we can find no other resolution to war is because of people who see no other answer. I hope for us all that tomorrow will bring such answers.

    Perhaps from now on you could just avoid my posts, or ignore then completely – so that my opinions do not fear your rage.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    It’s actually more like 22-25%… and the agreement was that individual member countries would spend at least 2% of GDP on their own defense, not just funding NATO. The 72% figure is the our percentage of defense spending on the whole… not just what is funding the alliance. It shouldn’t be a real surprise, considering we spend more than what, the next 15 nations combined? Not to say you are incorrect. At least 15 nations in NATO comprise less than 6% of overall funding… and if those nations need defending, the money and materiel is going to have to come from somewhere. Most of it will probably come from the US, but Germany, France and the UK should also have significant contributions, if the alliance works the way it is supposed to work.

  • Badgerite

    I don’t think it is even clear that the majority of Russians sign on to this kind of expansionist policy and a buffer zone between Russia and the EU. To me that seems kind of dumb. In the 30 years since the Soviet Union fell, all of their military problems have come from within. Not from NATO or from the EU.
    No European country has even thought to themselves, “Let’s invade Russia.” So isn’t this just a territory grab?

  • Badgerite

    I like the Dalai Lama but I do not subscribe to that viewpoint. Neither did the people of Tibet when they were initially invaded by the Chinese. They just had no military that could withstand the Chinese. The Han Chinese have basically colonized what used to be Tibet. The treatment of Tibetan monks in what used to be Tibet has been an ongoing horror story.
    I guess you got a bit of a lecture, after all. I view it as historical accuracy and having to defend you positions and its real world implications.
    But, whatever.

  • wearing out my F key

    this is hysterical, in every sense of the word.

  • Badgerite

    I think Putin views the ‘democratic process’ as a show to be put on to satisfy PR and propaganda concerns and that is all. He has been on a consistent path of centralizing power and marginalizing dissenting political voices dating back to his first stints in office. This is just the next phase or his idea of reconstruction of Russian power. At least what his true intentions are is becoming more obvious and I think that should constitute a wake up call to the EU and to NATO.

  • Silver_Witch

    Thanks Badgerite…not much of a lecture this time. We shall agree to disagree on this one eh?

    All forms of violence, especially war, are totally unacceptable as means to settle disputes between and among nations, groups and persons. ~ Dalai Lama

  • Badgerite

    No. With Russia it would be conventional arms build up.

  • Badgerite

    I don’t know. I think the Ukraine crisis might have been a wake up call to Merkel.

  • Badgerite

    It never works that way. You cannot disassociate from the smaller countries of the world because they are small anymore then you can ignore it when the rights of a minority are trampled here at home. The world is the neighborhood you live in.

  • GlennF

    I agree. And you don’t even have to go back centuries to understand Putin’s recent aggression against Russia’s neighbors.

    I just don’t understand the claims of surprise from U.S. politicians and U.S. mainstream media at Vladimir Putin’s recent aggressive actions against Ukraine.

    From Putin’s history as a spy in the old Soviet KGB to his not so long ago aggression against Chechnya and Georgia, Putin’s strong desire to rebuild the old Soviet empire, just minus the communist economic system, should be well known to anyone that has even a passing interest in European/Russian affairs.

  • Silver_Witch

    I have a few dozen people you can add to your list to include with McCain…Ted Nugget jumps to the foreground as do all the hosts on Fox News!

  • Silver_Witch

    Perhaps we are war weary for just cause, and perhaps it is time for other nations to defend themselves and their neighboring countries in the resistance of Russia.

    Perhaps Putin has lit a fire, or perhaps it is just another fire like we here in America are enduring with the “wounded pride, patriotism, religious-bigotry and racism” that is the GOP, Christians, and Republicans.

    Perhaps it is time that we resist their saber rattling and external expression of self-loathing and let the sharks eat themselves as they are now doing in this country.

  • 4th Turning

    1. What is the Front National?
    The Front National can fairly be described as a nationalist party and aggressively anti-immigration party. The party has a diverse platform, often hard to pin down, that includes “law and order,” anti-immigration, and “anti-government” positions (tax cuts for small businesses, elimination of some local and regional government, hostility to the political class in general). It also includes a certain “high Statism,” economic protectionism and hostility to the European Union and the euro. However, the most distinctive plank remains an aggressive hostility to immigration and immigrants, despite a certain mainstreaming of rhetoric and the increasing use of anti-immigration rhetoric by the main center-right party, the UMP.
    http://www.craigwilly.info/2013/04/30/the-front-national-a-rough-guide/

    French voters stayed away from polling stations in record numbers for the second round of local elections. (One guess as to who the default winner was…)
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/30/anne-hidalgo-socialist-first-paris-mayor-front-national

  • lynchie

    And it caused untold trillions of $ to be pissed into the wind. Except for the $9 Billion stolen by Bremmer and his pals.

  • lynchie

    The U.S. currently covers 72% of the cost of NATO. The agreement was that each country would contribute 2% of its GDP. Only 8 countries are. The decreases in supporting NATO will come back to haunt all these small countries who will again ask the U.S. to step up and help protect them. We will be drawn financially and personnel wise into this dispute and that will continue to bankrupt this country.

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    I have 2 points to make:

    1. I refuse to accept at face value the words of anyone (Illarionov) goading us into war. Some among of us did that in Iraq.

    2. The passport thing: We bought a place in Barcelona and the seller was Russian. On the final day when the title and cash was supposed to be exchanged, the attorney recording the transaction needed the Russian’s passport. The number on the 1st one he presented did match the deed; neither did the 2nd. But the 3rd passport he presented did match.

    The point is that I think one must first suspect that it is a stupid bureaucracy that allows so many passports to be issued rather than some deliberate attempt to take-over a country.

  • Sean

    I hear “war weary” on the Left alot these days – and I share that feeling after our fiascoes in Iraq and Afghanistan. But this isn’t the time to soak in that emotion. Putin has lit a fire in Russia; it burns with wounded pride, patriotism, religious-bigotry and racism. This is pretty much the same thing that fuels Tea Party America, and look at how they have reacted to Obama’s many overtures of peace. Bullies interpret compromise as defeat, so now is the time to do some legitimate saber rattling. (Again I find myself cursing Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld & Co. Their deceitful abuse of power caused untold destruction, and now it might push us not to act when we should.)

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    Belarus already has a defense agreement with Russia, and has requested further equipment from Russia because NATO has been increasing forces in Poland and Lithuania in response to the Ukraine situation. As long as they remain Putin’s lackeys, he won’t mess with them. Ukraine is still the one that should be the most afraid. Unstable government, poorly organized military, and not many friends… though, my suggestion is that we shove an M16 into John McCain’s hands, strap a parachute onto his back (and anyone who agrees with him) and throw them out of a C130 near the border and tell them to go help.

  • S1AMER

    If you know European history of the past few centuries, you’re probably like me in feeling deja vu all over again. Names of leaders may change, but Russian aims do not.

  • FLL

    From your post: “…the Baltic countries’ accession to NATO is the only thing guaranteeing
    that Russia will never again be able to Crimea-ize those small countries
    in the future. The same can’t be said of non-NATO Finland.”

    This is exactly the argument in favor of the Baltic republics joining NATO and, in addition, an argument for Finland and Ukraine to join NATO. The European Union has an economic focus, not a military one. There is no substitute for NATO concerning protection from future Russian aggression. That is not to say that Eastern European countries will be in danger of Russian aggression forever, but it sure means they’ll be in danger as long as a Putin-style neo-Soviet dictatorship or semi-dictatorship is running things in the Kremlin.

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    Here’s what the Eastern European states need to be doing now.

    1) Announcing massive increases in military spending.
    2) Forming a military alliance that is not dependent upon Germany. They’re unreliable as a partner.
    3) Building a LNG infrastructure to stop funding Russia through imports of Russian oil
    4) A ban on native born dual nationals if both parents were born in the country. Or if neither parent has resided outside the country for less than 5 years.

    Poland ain’t no joke as a partner. They’re not happy with Russia. They’ll be a lot more reliable than Merkel.

  • Indigo

    Then we must stop him, drones to alert!

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