Crimea is “Putin’s Iraq”

Some people are framing Putin’s so-far bloodless invasion of Ukraine as a repeat of Hitler’s invasions of Austria and Czechoslovakia.

It is worth remembering Marx’s famous quote:

Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

Hillary isn’t wrong: Putin has been performing from Hitler’s playbook

Putin has been performing from Hitler’s playbook for quite a while. In the wake of the first Orange Revolution in Ukraine, Putin created four ‘youth movements’ of thugs whose role is to ‘own the streets’ should a democracy crisis threaten.

The youth movements are conspicuously modeled after the Nazi stormtroopers, and are the primary movers of Putin’s violent attacks on gays. The objective being to remind Russians that Putin is a thug.

But we don’t need to look to the Second World War for a conflict with a strong parallel to the invasion of Ukraine. It is only ten years since the tanks and troops of a former cold-war superpower rolled into a foreign country while the rest of the world stood by.

If anyone needs to ask why Putin feels emboldened to invade Ukraine, they need only look to the response to George W. Bush’s mis-adventure in Iraq.

The most important lesson of the Iraq war was that in the modern era invading a country is easy — but occupation is hard. The NeoCon plan was to turn Iraq into a giant aircraft carrier from which the US would invade Iran and control the flow of all gulf oil. Ten years later, in retrospect, “they sunk our battleship.” The US has no troops in Iraq, and has given up its bases in Saudi Arabia. US influence on Iraq is negligible.

The first problem facing Russia: The possibility of armed conflict

So far no shots have been fired in Ukraine, but that won’t last, unless the occupation ends soon. Russian troops and collaborators are easy targets for Ukrainian partisans. And Russian partisans are just as likely to provoke a confrontation with the Ukrainians.  Then again, it’s entirely possible the Russians want to provoke an armed conflict that they would easily win, at least initially.

Second problem: Russia can pressure Ukraine, but Ukraine can pressure Crimea

Then there’s the fact that Crimea itself is a desert with little water. The peninsula is supported by power, water and transport links that are deeply integrated within the rest of Ukraine. While Putin can cut off gas to Ukraine, Ukraine can cut electricity to Crimea. Gas might have been the winning card in November, but electricity is the stronger card in March. Without electricity the fabric of modern civilization collapses. Gas stations can’t pump gas bringing transport to a standstill. Waterworks can’t pump water or dispose of sewage. Things can easily spin out of control.

Third problem: Occupations cost a lot of money and manpower

While there’s concern that Russia might also make a move for the eastern portion of Ukraine, the scope of the occupation only increases the scale of the problem. Holding more territory requires more troops. Ukraine has a population of 45 million, ten million larger than Iraq. Russia might be able to hold a territory that size, but if it did it won’t be able to threaten similar actions in Georgia, Belarus and the rest of its collapsing ‘sphere of influence’.

The US occupation of Iraq cost upwards of $2 trillion. Russia’s industrial economy is stagnant, the country is kept afloat through sales of oil and gas. Crimea, aka “Putin’s Iraq,” will be costly, and Russia has far less ability to afford it than the US.

There is however a third frame that is foremost in the minds of Western diplomats. This year marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, a was that began as Russia mobilized its troops in response to Austrian mobilization in the Balkans which in turn triggered mobilization of German troops against Russia and the invasion of France. We are as the UK politician Paddy Ashdown stated ‘one mistake from war’.

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48 Responses to “Crimea is “Putin’s Iraq””

  1. Lamia says:

    The new Ukrainian “government” removed Russian as an official language,

    No it did not. The Ukrainian president vetoed that.

  2. Lamia says:

    When you angrily denounce US violation of international law while at the same time excusing Russia for this violation of international law… then you yourself become a hypocrite and your ‘outrage’ and pretensions to some moral superiority has no worth.

    Putin is far more honest and transparent in his machinations and ploys

    He denied that the troops that suddenly turned up in their thousands were even Russian. That’s not ‘honest’, it’s bare-faced lie territory, and borderline lunacy. Just what the world needs.

  3. Dimoper says:

    Putin says no truth and deceives the whole world ….. мебель на заказ.

  4. Alexander Q Bellas says:

    So Russia invades Crimea,,,.So we should show the same respect by invading Cuba!

  5. ThatOneGuy says:

    America didn’t have a valid excuse so that’s makes it ok for everyone, I see…

    “Free and fair” …right. Russian troops and pro-Russian paramilitary groups all over. Anyone counter to the pro-Russia movement is intimidated with a show of force. Yep, free elections.

    Ukraine signs large oil drilling contracts (that oil is conveniently placed around the Crimea peninsula, btw) that would eliminate Russia’s stranglehold on their energy industry. Russia tries to buy off the Ukrainian president but he gets ousted. Russia then moves to annex Crimea. Interesting…

  6. mirror says:

    Well, yes, as it relates to Ukraine, the anachronistic “chicks up front” commies do seem to like Putin. It is quite strange. But I guess it shouldn’t surprise me. Old line true 20th century communists have never dealt well with nation states on the level of theory, even though most of the non-USSR communist states were also created as nation states. For the Ukraine to move away from the old center, instead if toward it, is a disturbing shifted reality for them as the break up of the Soviet dream on the shores of nationhood somehow repeats itself over and over again in the fog.

    You supporters of the Putin dominated Ukraine would have preferred it had they gotten the army to kill hundreds or thousands of those people to clear the square instead of what did happen. Maybe they did call the Ukrainian military and they wouldn’t come because it would have left them open to prosecution for murder later.

  7. mirror says:

    “fascist putsch” didn’t stop you from sending Malatov to throw a lot of “workers” under the bus. But it is kinda cute. Really reminds me of the old days when the Koch brothers and Putin weren’t controlling what is at the top of our priority list for meaningful policy discourse. Was a more hopeful time America…

  8. IAF101 says:

    Putin is far more honest and transparent in his machinations and ploys than the USA has been in its farce of “spreading democracy” and “enforcing peace” through out the world. Be it violations of international law, to foreign occupations the USA is just FAR more pernicious and devious.

    From running a global secret prison and rendition program, to assassinating American citizens through executive order, to using military force and murdering women and children as “collateral damage” half the world away WITHOUT any legal permission, the USA has Russia beat.

    EDIT: The same can be said about every person in the West who blindly swallows the naked hypocrisy of their own government and blindly champions their cause in a fit of blind nationalism while condemning and criticizing “foreigners” for the same. Apparently in the West, people have become all too comfortable in the self-delusion that their country can do no wrong and that regardless of the scale of their offenses they are merely “aberrations” and “excesses” of a fringe minority and ultimately well deserved by those affected since they somehow through action or inaction brought it “upon themselves” and “deserve it” for not “knowing better”.

  9. IAF101 says:

    You’ve ALREADY taken parts of Asia and parts of Cuba through defacto annexation. What “legal” claim does the USA have to Guantanamo Bay ? Or for Guam/Mariana Island chain ? Or for their Diego Garcia “lease” ?? All of them are held onto by the US military through force.

    Similarly if it wasn’t for Philippine nationalism and an anti-american insurgency in the Philippines, the USA would still be “colonial” power there perfecting “water-torture”.

  10. IAF101 says:

    So Gunatanamo Bay,Cuba was “donated” to the USA out of the goodness of Fidel’s heart ?? The question is about “occupying” territory that falls within the sovereign state of another and in that respect Cuba qualifies.

    Germany on the other hand “invited” the Americans to set up a base, much like what Putin claims about Crimea and Ukraine where the former deposed premier invited him in.

  11. IAF101 says:

    Why does Russia need an “excuse” ? What “excuse” did America provide except superficial self righteous platitudes about “freedom and democracy” ? The fact is even militarily the USA/NATO would have hell trying to dislodge the Russians from Crimea and given the fact that they overtly supported the pro-EU Ukranian thugs at the maidan with their diplomats Victoria Nuland being caught pants-down distributing cookies to the molotov cocktail throwing mobs and the Russian intercepting her conversations discussing possible Ukranian stooges the USA could install.

    What is odd is that today, the so-called “champion of the free world” the USA is refusing to recognize the right of the people of Crimea to a free and fair referendum! That is deeply ironic for a country that has repeatedly proclaimed its love of democracy and the “Will of the people”.

  12. IAF101 says:

    Your comparison of Crimea with Kashmir is beyond absurd.

    Kashmir was an independent kingdom before 1947 that belonged to neither side though was a vassal of British India. Further, the Kashmir dispute to Pakistan is about “religion” where as “Religion” has nothing to do with Crimea. Crimea has been part of Russia for over 300 years ever since the Tzars conquered it and then fought by various Western European imperialist attempts to take it from Russia. Crimea has belonged to Ukraine for only the last 50 years on the other hand. Kashmir however legally acceded to India after the partition of British India into Pakistan and India and did so primarily because Pakistan send mujahideen fighters to pillage and occupy the kingdom of Kashmir which the King of Kashmir was helpless to defend against because his own forces defected to the Pakistani side as they were largely Muslim.

  13. IAF101 says:

    Just because America botched a “invasion” doesn’t mean Russia would do the same thing.

    Further, unlike Iraq which has nothing in common with the USA or the West in general, Crimea has significant ethnic Russian base that would make any “occupation” far more easy. The only “rebellious” elements would be the Tartars and they would try to flee Crimea rather than create another Chechnya in Crimea and lets remember that the Tartars were whipped badly in Chechnya – so much so that that place has still to recover nearly a decade later from what the Russian troops did to that place; basically laid waste to Grozny.

    Any comparison of Iraq and Crimea is ridiculous and ignorant to say the least. So far not a single person has been killed and most of these “heavily armed” soldiers have nothing more than assault rifles with them and those are rarely used if ever. The Western “hype” and “lies” machine has done a good job of injecting perverse characterizations and dubious scare mongering to spread their propaganda. The sad thing is the so-called “free press” in the West is just reprinting Washington DC’s propaganda and taking the statements of the American administration at face value instead of recognizing the deep hypocrisy and perverse logic of an administration that runs a secret prison on land it has occupied illegally from a neighboring country and one that has waged illegal wars of conquest and occupation with far less reason to do that Russia has in Crimea[ a territory that is historically Russian from the time the USA became an independent country!]

  14. Badgerite says:

    Oh please. He’s after the Crimea and sees no reason to pretend it is not Russia’s.
    I think Putin is the kind of person who sees democracy with a small d. As a formality whose forms you adhere to while doing what would be the substance of what you would do anyway. He would be happy to adhere to that so long as it was clear that Russia could control the Ukraine.

  15. Badgerite says:

    Well, yeah. And it isn’t as if there weren’t Soviet (Russian) invasions of satellite countries that pre-date Iraq. It was almost a tradition with respect to Eastern Europe.
    Every 10 years, some eastern European country would go a little to liberal and mushy for the Kremlin’s tastes. And then, boom! In came the Red Army. To ‘help’.
    Hungary. Czechoslovakia. Poland. And had the Soviet Union not been falling apart at the time, Germany. Personally, I think this is just a continuation of that. But closer to home.
    I don’t say Bush did not violate international law in invading Iraq. I think he did.
    But so did Saddam and on a regular basis. Certainly he violated all the strictures with respect to human rights in the UN Charter.

  16. Bill_Perdue says:

    Regarding the Hitler analogy it’s something that Democrat/Republicans always bring up to juystify their warmongering. “Had Hitler’s regime been taken out in a timely fashion,” said Rep. Tom Lantos,
    “the 51 million innocent people who lost their lives during the Second World War would have been able to finish their normal life cycles. Mr. Chairman, if we appease Saddam Hussein, we will stand humiliated before both humanity and history. ”

    “From the Vietnam War to the Iraq War, facile and wildly inaccurate comparisons between foreign adversaries and Adolf Hitler have served the interests of politicians hell-bent on propelling the United States into war. Often, those politicians succeeded. The carnage and the endless suffering have
    been vast.”

    Lantos, the Bushes, Obama and the Clintons epitomize the warmongering lies of the Democrat/Republican party.

  17. Bill_Perdue says:

    That’s something real radicals have never forgotten. It’s what I’ve been saying for decades.

    “Actually, Latin America as a whole is beginning to undergo a sea change regarding GLBT rights and that very good news for our GLBT brothers and sisters in that priest ridden continent. The elections of left wing and populist governments in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Brazil and elsewhere have helped spur this change. The corrective initiatives by several sectors of the Cuban government and the Communist Party reflect that. Their admission of past oppression of gays and lesbians, however tentative and timid, are good first steps.

    But they are not yet substantive. They need to repeal much of their penal code and modify it’s more draconian measures. For example Article 299: “pederastia con violencia” is an undefined offence that appears to include consensual sex and mandates penalties of from eight years imprisonment to death. Another, Article 303a: “importune a otro con requerimientos homosexuales,” or creating a “public scandal” includes touching, fondling, kissing and cruising . If someone, for instance your average homophobic cop happens to take offense, the penalties range from three months to a year in jail. These laws and their enforcement by bigoted police and prosecutors mirror the situation in the US and the EU until recently. They need to be repealed and be replaced by a ˜hands off” policy that emphasizes total acceptance of our rights.

    One of the differences between Cuba and the United States is that racist, anti union and misogynist activity is punished there, and that includes hate crimes, discrimination and hate speech. Here racism, the oppression of women and antiunion activities are not only common they’re encouraged by politicians and religious cults. … Given the fact that its common knowledge that the Cuban government and the Communist Party encouraged and later tolerated homophobia the situation won’t change much until these two institutions launch an educational campaign to explain why homophobia is wrong”

  18. GarySFBCN says:

    Next time I’ll remember how Castro murdered gay men and made life for gays in Cuba unbearable.

  19. Bill_Perdue says:

    Regarding Cuba you seem to have forgotten the US history of interference in internal Cuban affairs that began when Castro offered to pay American corporations what they claimed their assets were worth when by paid taxes. They refused and they got their asses nationalized by the Cuban people.

    You forgot the aptly named ‘Bay of Pigs’ invasion by US sponsored gusano forces from Florida, who were swatted like flies by the Cubans. You forgot the embargo. You forgot the myriad CIA plots to murder Castro. You forgot that Democrats like Obama are just there to fool you.

    Forgetting history is why many voters get fooled into supporting Democrat/Republicans.

  20. Bill_Perdue says:

    Your fantasy life is your own, please don’t involve me in your tawdry substitute for a political answer.

  21. GarySFBCN says:

    There’s room in the world for more than one fantasy. So answer the question – did you rub one out?

  22. Bill_Perdue says:

    The new regime in Kiev is the result of a fascist putsch. It’s as illegitimate as it gets.

  23. Bill_Perdue says:

    I didn’t say it was silly, I said the US wars for resource control are monstrous and involved genocide and mass murder and that the Bushes, the Clintons and Obama should be investigated by an International War Crimes Tribunal. They killed hundreds and hundreds of thousands during their genocidal wars in Iraq.

    Bill Clinton alone murdered half a million Iraqi children with his embargo on food, medical and sanitary supplies.The rest, including the deaths of thousands of GIs were murdered by the Bushes.

    In Afghanistan they’ve murdered roughly 15,000 civilians -…

    In Pakistan they’ve murdered about 2500 civilians -…

    In Libya casualties from the US and NATO led war were 30 to 34,000…

    In Bahrain the casualties were in the hundreds as royalist, Saudi and Emirate police and military moved to protect the regional base of the US 5th fleet in Bahrain

    Palestinian civilian causalities range up to a million with millions more forced to leave their homes and their nation by colonizing zionists.

    In Yemen deaths amount to over 400, including a sixteen year old boy from Denver Colo, murdered in a series of racist extra-legal murders by Obama.

  24. Bill_Perdue says:

    Political fantasy consists of voting for Democrats in the hope that they’re not right wing hat’s a mistake made over and over by people who have no understanding of the two party system and the lesser evil theory.

  25. dula says:

    Yeah ’cause we commies on the left love Putin even though Russia is now an oligarchy like the US.

  26. GarySFBCN says:

    You got it exactly right.

  27. mirror says:

    He’s following somebody’s policy line, perhaps his own Reminds me of lots very smart folks I know who submitted themselves to a Marxist part,y or faction thereof, in the late 60s here in the U.S. The overall analysis of events has turned out pretty much as predicted, but on the day to day level and the issues of the day the leaders were often very very wrong, often wildly and wholly irrationally so. This was especially true regarding how the individual party members should run their lives. Mr. Purdue reminds me of this mix of wholly relevant factual analysis mixed with a ideological construct of reality that exists only in the clouds.

  28. mirror says:

    That bill, passed by parliament in the heat of the moment, was vetoed by the new acting president, and is not in effect, and has never for one minute been put in effect.

    Putin propagandists from the left! Everybody under the bus for Putin!

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  30. FLL says:

    If you make your comparison, Myrddin, because Ukraine, like Iraq, could turn into a long, bloody war, then I can see your point. That will only happen if Russia makes the mistake of invading the ethnically mixed eastern provinces of Donetsk, Kharkiv and Luhansk. The result would almost inevitably be the equivalent of mass murder. Russia does not have a good track record regarding mass murder in this region.

    1932-1932: at least 4 million Ukrainians were murdered by the Soviet government in the Holomodor.

    1944: the Soviet government forcibly exiled the entire population of Crimean Tatars (the majority population of Crimea up until that point) to distant parts of the Soviet Union, deliberately killing about half of them through disease and malnutrition.

    Not a very auspicious precedent, is it? After all, the mass murders in Bosnia weren’t too long ago.

  31. FLL says:

    By your measure, the US has invaded Germany and Cuba.

    I can’t see how Myrddin is using that logic. The U.S. has bases in Germany and Cuba, yet has not invaded those countries. Russia has long had a base in Sevastopol, Crimea, yet never invaded Crimea… until recently. When Russia invaded Crimea recently, the situation became drastically different than the previous situation in Crimea, or in Germany and Cuba. Would you mind explaining your claim that Myrddin is equating Germany and Cuba with the present situation in Crimea?

  32. BeccaM says:

    I’m with you, Myrddin, partly in some ways on the analysis but not in others. One that I’ve come in other contexts to disagree with is this notion that scenario X is equivalent to someone’s Y. It limits discussion and reduces a situation to misfit generalizations.

    The Iraq war and occupation was America’s thing, and as many of us suspected, it was a Cheney / Bush plan to invade from day one and it was almost entirely about Iraq’s oil. Everything else was pretext and lies. Hell, now we know why Cheney was so obsessed with hiding his Energy Commission memos and meeting details — they were all about advance planning to seize Iraq’s oil and divvy it up between the oil companies, as coordinated by Halliburton.

    Crimea and the Ukraine are what they are, and are as different from Iraq as Iraq was from Afghanistan.

    That said, yes, Crimea is both uniquely situated and important in the region, and there’s one hell of a long history regarding that peninsula. It has almost no natural resources of its own, and so gas, petroleum, electricity, and food all need to be supplied. However, it’s right there on the Black Sea and so has many harbor towns, including Sevastopol. Since the Ukraine used to be part of the U.S.S.R., not only is Crimea riddled with Russian military bases and shipyards, but earlier ‘ethnic cleansing’ efforts resulted in a replacement population that identifies more with Russia than the Ukraine.

    Thus another difference between Iraq and Crimea is the current replacement Russian-ethnic population, unlike in Iraq, appears to be welcoming to the idea of Russian occupation and annexation. In Iraq, the only ones who welcomed the American (and British and Polish) invaders were those whose pockets were being lined with billions of dollars in cash.

    If in the short run Putin and the Russian government want to begin the process of annexing Crimea, it wouldn’t be impossible. They do have control of all those seaports after all. Pipelines and electricity lines can be built from the east, towards Crimea’s eastern isthmus at Kerch.

    If Russia annexes Crimea, it won’t be an occupation. That’s why Crimea can’t be ‘Russia’s Iraq’. (Actually, it occurs to me a more apt comparison of Russia and Ukraine vis-a-vis Crimea would be India and Pakistan’s squabbling over Kashmir.)

    The real problem of course is even Crimea’s mostly Russian population won’t be 100% onboard with the idea of joining Russia. Then there are the ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine itself who, upon seeing Ukraine annexed, might start agitating for the same. And of course there’s Ukraine, the big loser in all this, seeing its bullying neighbor biting off chunks of its formerly sovereign territory, at will.

    These next few days and weeks are going to be tense, to say the least.

  33. Putting aside the rest of what you wrote, I’m always a bit mystified by folks who claim that going to war over oil is somehow silly. That’s like suggesting that oxygen isn’t a big deal either. Oil is important for people who want to sell it, and it’s equally important for people who want to live in any society advanced beyond the stone age. After all, why are in the Middle East in the first place? It’s always rubbed me the wrong way, as a convenient throw-away line by some on the left, that worrying about silly things like a nation’s energy supply is somehow silly. It’s not. It doesn’t necessarily mean you invade Iraq, but it’s not frivolous either.

  34. That’s a convenient fact some folks keep forgetting – overthrowing Saddam Hussein is a bit different than annexing Ukraine. Regardless of whether one opposes military action generally, the victims here and motivations are slightly different.

  35. FLL says:

    The last several U.S. administrations sure have had a golden opportunity to invade/annex Cuba during the last 23 years, during which Cuba has had no protection or military alliance with any world power. Cuba has been, in effect, a sitting duck. On top of that, there has been the whining of the elderly, right-wing Cuban émigré community here in South Florida (led by Marco Rubio) who continually seek a U.S. military overthrow of Castro’s government. In spite of all of that, the last several administrations have seen the wisdom in avoiding military confrontation with Cuba.

  36. Except that Myrddin doesn’t even live in America, and I’m pretty sure isn’t even American. Other than that, he has a horrible inside-the-beltway syndrome. Which I believe is slang for “I don’t agree, so I’ll look for a reason to discredit him, rather than argue back with facts.”

    Speaking of facts, that’s a rather far-right view of yours that when you have troops in another country it’s per se permission to annex that other country. Great. I’ll take Cuba. And parts of Asia could be fun too. And italy.

  37. FLL says:

    You point out important differences between Crimea and Iraq, which is why the government in Kiev and most Western governments understand that Crimea will most likely remain part of Russia. The differences you pointed out are arguments that support Russia’s continued hold over Crimea. There is another difference between Ukraine and Iraq, however, that justifies the fears of the government in Kiev. Any Russian military invasion into areas of mixed Russian/Ukrainian heritage in eastern Ukraine (e.g., Kharkiv and Donetsk) would inevitably involve both mass murder (aka “ethnic cleansing) and the Kremlin’s intention of permanent annexation of those eastern Ukrainian provinces, none of which was the case in Iraq. I can make conclusions based on both arguments:

    (1) Crimea has been home to Russia’s naval fleet for centuries, from tsarist times up until the present. Most of the world tacitly acknowledges that.
    (2) No repeat of the mass murders in Bosnia by Russia or their paramilitary proxies! The civilized world cannot tolerate that possibility. We have the Yugoslav civil war of the 1990s as an example. Not this time around!

  38. emjayay says:

    I’m pretty sure that Iraq didn’t share a border with the US, wasn’t historically part of the US, wasn’t the gateway to the only way to a warm water port for the US, and wasn’t half full of Americans.

    None of that excuses what Russia is doing. The only thing in common between this and what the US did is the official cover story of Big Lies in each case.

  39. dula says:

    The new Ukrainian “government” removed Russian as an official language, so perhaps the ethnic Russians do feel threatened since this sort of thing has happened before, with nasty consequences (not to mention the neo-Nazi party now paired with that new government. Of course Putin would enjoy that sort of thing).

  40. FLL says:

    Anytime you sit down at a keyboard, you indulge in the art of writing, and writers (fiction and nonfiction) can take all sorts of delightful, adorable, amusing, oh-so-precious twists and turns to keep their readers guessing. Yes, Nicho supports Putin.

  41. Badgerite says:

    You are kidding. Angela Merkel just had a hissey fit because they MIGHT have listened to her cell phone. So, if the US just decided to send a lot of troops to take over the airports in Germany, without her permission, that would be fine with her. I seriously doubt it. Same goes for Korea or any other ally. Cuba, of course, is not an ally and indeed, once tried to have a nuclear arsenal installed to aim at and perhaps use on the United States. And who was involved in that endeavor? Please don’t talk to me about NATO expansions.

  42. GarySFBCN says:

    So you support Putin? I’m not following what you wrote. I didn’t realize that the US is trying to ‘take-over’ Germany and Cuba.

  43. nicho says:

    Would be an interesting piece if it weren’t for the fact that the supposed invading force had already been there. They have been there since the ’90s. Russia has an agreement with Ukraine to keep 25,000 troops there. By your measure, the US has invaded Germany and Cuba.

    I fear America Blog has succumbed to the inside-the-beltway “We Hate Putin” groupthink that is now gripping the blogerati.

  44. Badgerite says:

    The truth is George Bush’s actions in Iraq have absolutely nothing to do with what Putin is doing in the Ukraine. . Putin would be doing this irrespective of what Bush did or did not do in Iraq.
    The Ukraine was not under any kind of international regimen of sanctions for past invasions of or threats to neighboring countries. Had taken no actions to brutalize ethnic Russians or anyone else, for that matter. The Ukraine posed no military threat to any neighboring country or to the Russians within its borders. And Russia clearly proposes to annex the Crimea. They are not leaving. EVER. This will become part of Russia. This is the price he will exact for the Ukrainians not doing his bidding in terms of whom Putin wants running the Ukraine for him.

  45. GarySFBCN says:

    “The Russian left will decide what their strategy is but here we need to campaign for laws making it a capital crime to plot to go to war for the banksters and oil barons, constitutional amendments to declare that the US will permanently end it’s aggression and demobilize the armed forces after an International Peace Congress and will convene an International War Crimes Tribunal to investigate the Bushes, the Clintons and Obama.”

    Were you masturbating while cutting/pasting that tired fantasy of yours?

  46. I disagree about Iraq. Putin is no drunken moron who wants coroporations to control a country. A better analogy is the ill-fated “Brezhnev Doctrine” when the senile fool invaded Afghanistan in 1980. It turned out the Soviet Union’s Vietnam, yet it was worse for them. It reflcted our misadventures in Mexico when Woodrow Wilson was president in 1917. The Soviets found out that they cannot control a country on their own boarder, which they should have learned during the Truman Doctrine when they tried to take over Turkey. It would be Karmic justice should it cause Putin to fall from power.
    As for the comparisons to Hitler. One should note that there were many times that the democracies could have ended Hitler’s career. After the army caved into his purges of the Nazis in 1934, gleichschaltung made it impossible to overthrow Den Fuehrer domestically, but France — which was once again fighting among its people — could have stopped the Nazis when they remilitarized the Rheinland in 1936. It’s quite possible that the army would have overthrown Hitler simply because a demilitarized Rheinland left Germany open to attack from the West. Afterwards it was appeasement until Hitler was deluded into thinking he could invade Poland with impunity.

  47. Bill_Perdue says:

    The header for your post is incomplete. It should read ‘Russia is Putin’s Iraq.”

    As Russian revolutionary socialists put it “It goes without saying that the peoples of Ukraine have a right of self-determination, of full autonomy and independence. But what we are seeing today has nothing to do with the democratic will of the masses. It is a brazen and cynical act of Russian imperialism, aimed at annexing foreign territory and converting Ukraine into part of Russia’s protectorate. … Today, the struggle for freedom in Russia is a struggle against the foreign policy adventurism of the current regime, which seeks collusion in forestalling its own end. The RSD calls on all sincere left and democratic forces to organize anti-war protests.”

    They’re correct of course. And what’s correct for Russia is doubly so for the US. Obama and the Democrats, especially the Clintons, along with Bush and the Republicans, especially McCain, are dangerous warmongers who’ve involved the US in a dozen wars, murdered well over a million civilians with their genocides in Iraq and mass murders elsewhere. They’re directly and solely responsible for the deaths and suicides of thousands of GIs and the maiming of tens of thousands more.

    They are our enemies, just Putin and United Russia are enemies of Russian workers.

    The Russian left will decide what their strategy is but here we need to campaign for laws making it a capital crime to plot to go to war for the banksters and oil barons, constitutional amendments to declare that the US will permanently end it’s aggression and demobilize the armed forces after an International Peace Congress and will convene an International War Crimes Tribunal to investigate the Bushes, the Clintons and Obama.

  48. Indigo says:

    That makes perfect sense. We can sit at home and watch. Popcorn, anyone?

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