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The Louder They Come, the Harder …

April 17th, 2014 - 5:18 pm

A surprise deal has been reached at the Four Party talks in Geneva, which the president touted as his diplomatic option. Nothing had been expected to come of the talks and the standoff had been predicted to continue. The Daily Telegraph reports that a decisive movement occurred instead.  ”Vladimir Putin has secured key concessions from Ukraine and its Western supporters as the Kremlin was offered a central role in determining the future of its neighbour and former client state.”

In return the West gets to send observers who can watch as Russian agents relinquish their hold on public buildings. The price: Russian say-so over the future of Ukraine.

Well, not really such a surprising deal.

If the agreement holds, a monitoring mission of the Organisation of Security and Co-operation in Europe would oversee the handover of occupied government buildings by protesters in return for an amnesty for anyone not facing capital crimes.

Ukraine’s interim government in turn agreed to accept future talks on far-reaching constitutional reform that would grant the Russian-speaking east the extensive autonomy demanded by the Kremlin. …

There was little detail however on how the parties could meet the challenge of persuading the pro-Russian protest movement to withdraw from public buildings as well as convince the anti-Russian militia groups in western Ukraine to accept Russia demands for all armed groups to disband.

The administration is selling the agreement as an Obama victory. The LA Times says Russia has avoided sanctions for now, as if Putin had just dodged the wrath of Obama. But the Times admits Russia gets to keep troops inside Ukraine.

The eight-paragraph statement offers few details on what changes are expected to come out of the national dialogue, only that it be “inclusive, transparent and accountable.”

It omits any mention of the 40,000 troops Russia has massed along Ukraine’s eastern border. U.S. and European officials have criticized the Kremlin deployment as an attempt to intimidate Ukraine.

As the diplomats met in the Swiss city, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated what he called his nation’s right to send troops into Ukraine to protect ethnic Russians.

“We know quite well that we must do our best to protect their rights and help them independently decide their fate, and we will struggle for that,” Putin said during his annual call-in show at a Moscow studio.

In the four-hour live broadcast, he reminded the world that Russia’s parliament had authorized him to use armed force in Ukraine, although he said he hoped such a move wouldn’t be necessary.

Maybe they’ll eat the MREs that the administration provided to the Ukrainians as military aid.

Obama was trying to manage expectations, probably to inoculate the public against harder and heavier tidings to follow. The Washington Post quoted the president as having misgivings about the deal, even as his emissaries embraced it.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama conveyed skepticism Thursday about Russian promises to de-escalate a volatile situation in Ukraine, and said the United State and its allies are ready to impose fresh sanctions if Moscow doesn’t make good on its commitments. …

Obama did not say what additional sanctions might be in the offing if commitments made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva do not materialize. U.S. officials have prepared penalties on wealthy Russians in President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, as well on the entities they run.

The president and Vice President Joe Biden discussed the developments in a round of calls Thursday to foreign leaders. Obama called British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose support for additional sanctions would be crucial given her country’s close economic ties with Russia. The White House said in statements that the leaders agreed that they were prepared to enact further penalties on Russia if it does not de-escalate the situation “in short order.”

This doesn’t sound very victorious. But the president’s style is to bluff his way to victory. Recently he claimed that the Obamacare debate was over even though he’s ordered the census bureau to revise its metrics so nothing can be measured. He’s even reserved the right to make changes to the program,  claiming the Republicans have no right to input until they change their attitude.

The Champeen of the World

The Champeen of the World

Too bad that doesn’t work with Putin.

But he’s always winning — or so you would think if you listened to his hagiographers. The low information voters think he’s the baddest and smartest puncher on the planet, who doesn’t even have to fight, just point out that it is pointless to fight him, to emerge triumphant. Why, only two days ago he said that it was not in Russia’s interest to carve up the Ukraine, a process for which he has just provided the carving-knife. Perhaps the only conclusion to draw is that anyone who hands Obama the slicer is subconsciously a turkey.

Obama’s won again. But a  few more victories like that — and what would you need a defeat for? A big hand for Mr. Unbeatable.  And remember, there’s worse to come.


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Top Rated Comments   
LITTLE CAESAR

The American voters have elected an irresistible force for good in the magnificent personage of Barack Hussein Obama. How lucky we are to have him protecting us from harmful evildoers. Tyrants tremble at his merest glance, his smallest gesture of displeasure. A man of the people, yes, but larger than the people, larger than life itself, more god-like than man-like, the very embodiment of the meaning of Easter.

He wins with just a stony stare
A smirk, a wink a nod
Defy him Putin if you dare
And you will feel the rod
As wrathful righteousness lays bare
The bruises on your bod
So Mister Putin have a care
You face ALMIGHTY GOD

32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
The fact that Hillary is the Democratic frontrunner -- perhaps the frontrunner, period -- suggests that it is futile to expect the LIV public to learn from mere events. Saul Alinsky was completely correct in one respect. Nothing except experience, preferrably shocking experience, convinces true believers.

And like it or not, it's up to the true believers now. We are now on the road to Damascus, hoping the light from above doesn't burn us to a crisp.

Alinsky called it the "radicalizing moment". Therefore the LIVs can be expected to believe, as only fanatics can believe, in Obama until some horrible eye-opening event descends on their world. And then it's "oh s**t".

Ironically the fate of America, perhaps the world, is now reposed in the hands of the Left and the LIVs. Those who can see Obama for what he is based merely on indirect proof is maxed out. About 45% of the public will require a baseball bat upside the head to wake up.

The conservatives can never provide this awakening blow. Only Obama can provide it. Sooner or later a big chicken will come home to roost where people live and on that day -- but not before -- people will open their eyes. Things have to run their course. It will have to show up at the doorsteps in a chicken suit, with a sign saying "chicken" and a boombox going 'cluck-cluck' before the LIVs get the idea.

As for those who already see it coming, we can only hang on, knuckles white, and pray that when the moment comes, it won't be too bad.
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32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's worse than it appears. What chance now of Obama's Syrian and Iranian diplomacy working? What happens to the logistical lines to Afghanistan? What happens to reset and a "world without nuclear weapons"?

Obama has been suckered, completely and comprehensively. It is a defeat so gigantic that it is only in its first stages of unfolding. And I think for the first time in his miserable public career, the Lightworker is genuinely scared. He now understands where he is.

If he had the slightest decency, he would do a Nixon and resign. But he has none. And therefore, when the shock of the moment is over, Obama will emerge to the acclamation of his worshipers to double-down on some tomfoolery yet again ....
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (41)
All Comments   (41)
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"Illegally occupied" buildings and squares must be evacuated. Who gets to decide what is illegal? If this is victory then imagine what a defeat looks like. Putin gets what he said he wanted and we get to send someone to watch the celebration.

Lurch is really angry now though at the Russian frontmen promulgating Nuremberg laws to register the Jews in Donetsk. This may drive us to send someone as lowly as a 3rd Deputy Assistant Secretary, a level so low the aforementioned Secretary may even know how to type, to join the festivities.

People are slipping into wishful and magical thinking when they say that Putin or someone else will just miscalculate and cross a line by committing some outrage, like detonating a nuke on Martha's Vineyard, that will wake up the LIVs and even fill Obama with remorse such that he resigns and does penance as water carrier and lackey in the coming GOP lead rescue government. Don't bet the family farm on it. Salami tactics are not new. Putin knows how to do this. Each move is calculated to not force the LIVs to wake up.

In 1939 if Hitler had done what had worked for him before and allowed the British and French a fig leaf by only occupying the Danzig Corridor but "settling" for the demilitarization of Silesia and the introduction of neutral Observers to guarantee the rights of the German minority he could have delayed the start of the war by another year and been far stronger.

Why should Putin kick in the door when it pays so well not to? What will stop him from digesting the Ukraine and then pressuring the Baltics. Is there a Polish version of Joe Kennedy Jr ready to tout the generosity of his friends in GAZPROM? Perhaps Poland can be offered a golden opportunity, in return for very little. A friendly government free of the corrupting pushy influence of the unreliable Americans and a safe passage or corridor not under Russian control but simply monitored by neutral independent international inspectors to ensure the security and prosperity of Kaliningrad. That would provide a precedent, both in creating a corridor and in validating some but not all territorial arrangements based on expelling a prior population. That model could soon be urged for replication by the G-8 in the case of Gaza and Israel.

Short course; things are bad but they will get worse.
"For that which we are about to receive we thank thee, O Lord."
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Above: The West gets to send observers who can watch.

This may become known as the Voyeur Compromise. Russia effs Ukraine while the US gets to watch.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
“But he's always winning – or so you would think if you listened to his hagiographers. The low information voters think he's the baddest and smartest puncher on the planet, who doesn't even have to fight, just point out that it is pointless to fight him, to emerge triumphant.

If your propaganda machine is good enough, defeat can start to look like victory – especially when that defeat is far, far away. Although France's Egyptian Campaign was a military fiasco, Napoleon was able to parlay it to his political advantage. Napoleon Bonaparte's reputation wasn't destroyed by the ignominious defeats of the Egyptian Campaign; it was buoyed by stories of French soldiers marching and French scientists surveying in exotic Egypt. Napoleon went on to bigger and better things – he became Emperor. Never mind that a failed general who abandoned his troops in Egypt became a failed general in Spain and then a failed general in Russia – Napoleon brought glory to France!

For the more chauvinistic Obama supporters, it's the same situation. To them, his speeches bring glory and righteousness to the United States. To them, his diplomacy is always politically correct. Even if he doesn't deliver results, he “does the right thing”. To them, the only reason why someone could possibly oppose or disagree with Obama is racism. To them, Obama is so perfect and he is so messianic that only racism could explain that some people might not see him as they do.

Is Obama all bad? No. He's human. He bleeds. If only Obama's followers could see him as human.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Now Obama has out-Monty- Pythoned Monty Python.

In the episode of the Black Knight at the bridge, the Knight was full of bravado even when he had lost both arms and legs. After that, he tried to bite his opponent in the knee.

At least the Black Knight engaged in the contest albeit in a foolish way. All that Obama does is have his teleprompter issue vague threats that no-one understands nor pays attention to. Obama's teleprompter declares there is no contest, therefore there will be no engagement.

Given the corner that the EU and Obama have backed themselves into, physical military engagement, or even threat of the same are not possible. Even so, there are other ways of engaging - for example taking steps to re-institute the missile shield that Obama took away from Poland.

As Richard says, the full consequences of past Obama-foolery have yet to arrive. Who knows what new Obama-foolery will take place over the next 18 months? How long will the doleful consequences of that wash against the shores of North America, after Obama has gone to his reward as an MSNBC sportscaster?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
"It's just a flesh wound."
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Steve Smith: Only in this case it is pResisent stompy-feet who has cut the arms and legs off of our own military and still expects them to fight.
Such an absolutely BRILLIANT move to get into a confrontation with the country that sits astride the supply lines of our guys in Afcrapistan. Maybe they can fight their way out all the way to the Ukraine and whup the Russians in the process. (Of course he would be too scared of offending Putin by supplying our guys with ammunition for the fight.) Maybe Vlad will be a sport and leave one lone survivor to tell the story like the Afgans did for the British once upon a time in the distant past (it would probably be a brave "embedded" reporter from NBC to give it the correct "spin" for Obama)
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Run away, run away!" King Arthur, sounding the retreat at the cave of the dread Killer Rabbit
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
LITTLE CAESAR

The American voters have elected an irresistible force for good in the magnificent personage of Barack Hussein Obama. How lucky we are to have him protecting us from harmful evildoers. Tyrants tremble at his merest glance, his smallest gesture of displeasure. A man of the people, yes, but larger than the people, larger than life itself, more god-like than man-like, the very embodiment of the meaning of Easter.

He wins with just a stony stare
A smirk, a wink a nod
Defy him Putin if you dare
And you will feel the rod
As wrathful righteousness lays bare
The bruises on your bod
So Mister Putin have a care
You face ALMIGHTY GOD

32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I will not say that Buraq Hussein and the regime do not have a learning curve. You will not see either Obama or Kerry waving a copy of the Geneva 4 Party Talks Declaration and proclaim "It is Peace in our Time!". Because that would leave their indelible fingerprints on what is to come. I am sure that as it becomes blatantly apparent what has transpired; that somehow the blame will be placed by the regime, by Hillary, and the MSM [and our various minders and foreign Putin advocates] on the evil, warmongering Conservatives. I have been saying here for a while that 2014 would be the Year of Consequences.

They are coming.

Foreign and domestic.

Blow, wind! come, wrack! At least we'll die with harness on our back.

Subotai Bahadur
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
What chance now of Obama's Syrian and Iranian diplomacy working?

Nothing from nothing leaves nothing.

This could be Obambus' theme song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQ5-BTdcqjk

wretchard, you keep bemoaning the failure of the US as hegemon, but Obambus announced years ago he wanted no such role, and I bemoaned the cost to the US of being hegamon with Europe free-riding, much less Japan and China and yes Russia. Europe here is not helping, when they could and should be carrying much of the load, at least. For the US to play the role of hegamon INSIDE OF EUROPE is perhaps a step too far and always was.

So I don't really have any pragmatic suggestions as to what Obambus should have done, other than to stop running his mouth and dissipating the credibility of the United States, because that will have to be bought back some day at high cost while he's off playing golf or carrying Hillary's luggage or whatever he's doomed to do. Or will the bill for his fecklessness come from Syria or Iran while he's still occupying the white house? And yes, the answer is that the US must still stay strong, even if we are not using it as freely as some might wish. Even Obambus may, perhaps, have learned some of this over the last five years - though if so, it's hard to point to it.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
From the Geneva declaration: "All illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners; all illegally occupied streets, squares and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated."

The #1 unanswered question is, of course, who will do the "disarming"? Barry did not even offer to send the crack forces of the BLM, so presumably it will be up to some unarmed 65-year old Belgian soldiers. Or, to translate it into normal speech, the "disarming" is not going to happen.

The EU imports as much fossil fuels as China & the US combined, much of it from Russia, and a lot of the rest from places that will henceforth be paying increasing attention to what Russia wants. There are not going to be any meaningful sanctions from the EU.

One has to admire Putin. He has run rings around the women & metrosexuals of the EU and the Soetero Administration, while giving them just enough of a fig leaf to cover their sagging privates. Good thing those dumb Norwegians (Talk about LIVs!) gave Barry his Noble Peas Prize before he actually squatted in the once-proud Oval Office.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I also remember seeing a story about the Norwegian government giving millions to leftist groups in the US. As I recall the government functionary interviewed was quite unapologetic about meddling in US internal affairs.

With that in mind, I sincerely hope that the EU gets it good and hard from Putin, over and over again. They richly deserve it.

Welcome to blowback, EU. You got the guy you wanted as president, and it appears he was even willing to have the CIA overthrow the elected government of Ukraine for you.

But not only is he a stuttering cluster**** of a miserable failure domestically, he's also an incompetent disaster internationally too.

He was just too much of a fool to scare Putin away from the Ukraine.

Too bad for you, Europe.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Chamberlain had the sense of shame to act, too late of course, but to act and to take a position in Churchill's cabinet. Would anyone ever expect that OBama would concede he was wrong ?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
A couple of weeks ago de-escalation meant Russia relinquishing its claim on Crimea. Now de-escalation means Russia not gobbling up even more of Ukraine. Forward!

As far as sanctions go, can anyone name a single Russian who has had any assets actually frozen by the US? Is there any reason to believe that more toothless sanctions will have any effect?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sanctions, my butt. And see penthouse prices drop in Bloomie/Blasio's Manhatten?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
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