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Geneva

April 18th, 2014 - 2:16 am

The BBC reports that pro-Russian separatists are already violating the Four Party Geneva agreement before the ink is dry on the paper.

Pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk say they will not leave the government building there, defying the Kiev authorities and threatening a new international deal on Ukraine.

The separatists’ spokesman told the BBC that the Kiev government was “illegal”, so they would not go until the Kiev government stepped down.

Russia, Ukraine, the EU and US earlier agreed that illegal military groups in Ukraine must leave official buildings.

They reached the deal in Geneva.

What’s a deal if nobody respects it? Barack Obama himself seemed to know the deal he reposed such hope in wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on. USA Today reports:

President Obama expressed skepticism Thursday over a possible diplomatic deal over Ukraine and indicated that he remains ready to impose new sanctions on Russia if necessary.

“My hope is that we actually do see follow-through over the next several days, but I don’t think — given past performance — that we can count on that,” Obama said during a White House news conference.

But he authorized it anyway and went straight to the press declaring he didn’t even believe in his own deal.  To paraphrase Groucho Marx, Obama should warn everybody to stay clear of a deal negotiated by himself.

Many Ukranians didn’t think Geneva would make much difference either.

Reflecting the complexity of the situation, a rally was earlier held in the heart of rebellious Donetsk but this time by supporters of a united Ukraine.

Dmitry Durniev is an activist and journalist:

“We are living under threat, but we are not afraid, we are tired of being afraid. You see, when you are told every day that you are gonna be killed, when one is constantly under pressure, that pressure blows up. Look at these people, everyone was afraid to come here, but they came here anyway. This is the tip of the iceberg.”

Another attending the rally had come from Kyiv:

“I came here to support my friends, I came to support the unity of Ukraine. And, well, to feel the thrill, because it is not dangerous in Kiev anymore and it is bloody dangerous over here.”

An administration which came to office promising to use diplomacy to solve every international crisis has come very close to destroying its chosen instrument. They are within an ace of wrecking the credibility in agreements themselves.  His deal with Putin, like his forgotten “deal” with Assad and his hoped for “deal” with Iran are worth less than Mickey Mouse money.

Ironically the demolition of diplomacy began when Obama declared his intention to rely upon it to the near-exclusion of everything else. Diplomacy is an expression of real politics, not a substitute for it. It relies upon governance, competence, strategic savvy. It is the expression of sagacity and power, not a thing in itself.

Take away the governance, remove the competence, declare yourself wiser than George Kennan, abolish your instruments of military strength, and what have you got? Obama. Once Putin understood just what he was up against, he knew he wasn’t up against anything.

Will the Geneva agreement survive or will it go the way of the Budapest accord? It will survive until its replacement. Obama will soon replace Geneva with the Paris Pact, the Brussels Bond, the London Legislation and the Milan Manifesto, the Prague Paper, the Warsaw Writ, etc. etc. because he doesn’t know how to do anything else. And each will last just as long as the previous.

And so the sad parade will shamble along until it goes right around the world. But the problem won’t be solved by changing locales. The solution to the problem lies at its root: in Washington DC.

Putin is, properly considered, Obama’s dual.  He is Obama’s policy doppelganger; the shadow which exists only because of a corresponding hole in Washington.  There’s really nobody in the White House; that is the core of the problem.  Perhaps there hasn’t been these last five years. And the expression of that void is Putin.


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Top Rated Comments   
It's now Europe's fault that Obama's Ukraine policy is failing.

"It look fewer than 12 hours for Obama's pessimism on the deal to be vindicated: early on Friday, pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine announced they would not recognize the agreement's mandate that they surrender the government buildings they'd occupied and declared to be an independent country. The separatists are widely thought to be backed by the Kremlin and to include unmarked Russian troops in their ranks"


http://www.vox.com/2014/4/18/5625460/obama-seems-awfully-skeptical-putin-will-make-good-whats-his-plan-b

That's a wonderful observation. Obama was right about being wrong.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
O/T but today is April 18th, a day of remembrance for those of us old enough to remember, and for the vast majority, a day of recognition.

SHANGRI-LA

James Hilton wrote a best selling novel in the Thirties called The Lost Horizon, in which there was a peaceful, wonderful land called Shangri-la. but the real Shangri-la was the USS Hornet CV-8. On 18 April 1942, with the Japanese running wild in the western Pacific from the Philippines to the Dutch East Indies, with everyone expecting Japanese carrier raids on the west coast of the United States at any moment, in the midst of disaster after disaster, defeat after defeat at the hands of the Japanese, the Hornet carried sixteen B-25 Mitchell medium bombers under command of Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle to within six hundred and fifty miles of Tokyo and launched a raid that galvanized the country. When asked by reporters where the planes took off from, President Roosevelt laughingly said, “Shangri-la.”

The stormy North Pacific skies
Had hid her well from prying eyes
She launched the bombers one by one
Who set off for the Rising Sun
The Mitchell boys, Doolittle pa
Now for all time in Shangri-la

45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Diplomacy is an expression of real politics, not a substitute for it. It relies upon governance, competence, strategic savvy. It is the expression of sagacity and power, not a thing in itself."
These are possibly the best two lines that wretchard have ever cranked out. They should be chiseled in stone in the entrance to Foggy Bottom.

Permit me to repeat myself from the last thread: "Who gets to decide what is legal?" The only difference between this and Munich is that at Munich the Czechs were not invited to sit at the table and dissect themselves. The Yurps and their American grifter partners are now at the point where they feel that the cost sunk by them in worthless activity imposes a debt on the victim. This is like when the guards pointed at the fake paperwork detailing Jews for future "relocation and resettlement" and said "Get in the cattle car" or handed out a piece of stone that looked like a bar of soap and said "Go take your shower and stop bothering me."

Re: "the Paris Pact, the Brussels Bond, the London Legislation and the Milan Manifesto"
This clanking machine will stumble from venue to venue slowly shedding parts and energy. It is fueled by fear greed ignorance inertia and money. The money will run out first. Eventually it will arrive in the Holiday Inn in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (102)
All Comments   (102)
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Xennady: "No thanks. I see no reason why the US should be the combination of lapdog and hired muscle for the EU."

Damn right! Except that you meant to say the EU treats the US as a "spittoon", not a "lapdog".

The EU's actions have been aggressive -- expanding eastwards towards Russia, and engineering a coup to overthrow the unpopular but elected government of Ukraine. Russia's actions have apparently been defensive, in reaction to that foolish European aggression.

Let's leave Europeans to deal with problems that they themselves created!
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Exactly!
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Walt Erickson "the USS Hornet CV-8. On 18 April 1942...When asked by reporters where the planes took off from, President Roosevelt laughingly said, 'Shangri-la'."

In 1944, the USS Shangri-La, CV-38, was commissioned.

45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
30 fleet carriers built in two years?
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Seems I disagree with just about everyone else here.

Ukraine is no concern of the United States. If Putin hadn't reacted, and Ukraine was now on the way to joining NATO and the EU would we then have moved on to Byelorus? Would we be attempting to attach that basket case to the EU? And guarantee its security with American blood and treasure? While the incipient tyrants of the EU gained another satrapy?

No thanks. I see no reason why the US should be the combination of lapdog and hired muscle for the EU.

Since Barry has been in office we've overthrown the government of Libya, which had done everything we'd asked of it, at the behest of the EU. We've helped France intervene in Mali. We've meddled in Syria, and would have meddled much more, except those cursed isolationists who comprise the American people were so overwhelmingly against it. By some accounts the primary but unstated reason for this was to enable the construction of a pipeline to the EU from not-Russia.

Meanwhile, back in the actual United States, the Keystone pipeline is still not built. ANWR is still undrilled. Barry has done everything he can to stop drilling everywhere here, while loaning Petrobras billions so they could drill off Brazil.

Why? Why is the political class of the United States so worried about the problems of the European Union, yet so unconcerned about the problems of the country they supposedly represent?

One of the most disgusting political scenes I had to witness was watching the house GOP "leadership" attempt to round up the votes to take the US to war against Syria. They failed, obviously.

But I wonder. What if the leadership of the EU wasn't so ambivalent about Ukraine? What if they wanted a military confrontation with Russia?

Would Barry and his lapdogs in the house GOP be even now attempting to put the US military in the service of the EU?

Would anyone want to make the case that this would be popular with the American public?

I don't, obviously. NATO was founded as a defensive alliance. It will not last as the engine of EU imperialism. Nor should it.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I submit that the argument is not over defending Ukraine. Ukraine is indefensible by us. We have neither the forces, the capability to deploy them, nor the logistics to maintain them there. And technically, we have no legal obligation to do so.

The argument is over how credible our commitment is now to those allies we have signed formal defense treaties with will remain. Despite the melanin content involved, our diplomatic effort, such as it has been, is what I refer to as a Caucasian Cluster Copulation. Our every step seems to have been designed to reduce both any deterrent effect the United States had AND to terrify any US allies. As Wretchard, others here, and I have listed; there are means to improve our position, reassure our allies, and introduce doubt into the calculations of Russia. None of these are confrontational.

But the fact that they are off the table completely, and we have signed on to the defacto partition of Ukraine [if it was going to happen anyway, why did we place our seal of approval on it?] encourages the next Russian aggression. And we will be in even a worse position to deal with that.

The recent announcement of a supposed deployment of US troops to Poland is not reassuring. I did a piece too long to add in here over at INSTAPUNDIT explaining why.

Right now, Europe is on its own. They need to get used to that, and react accordingly.

Subotai Bahadur
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Any possibility of a link to that post?
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's an excellent analysis, yours over there @ Instapundit. You're bound to've scared some folks silly, but better now than later.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I read your comment at Instapundit, and added the third "like." As always, your comment was well worth reading, and I can't claim to disagree too much with what you wrote, either.

But I find it incomplete, and that's where I find our disagreement.

I think we've been taken for a ride. The wealthy nations of the Western World seem to take for granted that the US will solve their security problems for them, no matter what the cost, no matter what else.

Forgotten in that calculation was that the American people also have a voice- and that voice has grown increasingly weary of doing nice things for foreigners who hate America, despise American culture, and just generally despise Americans, too.

Latest anecdote about all that: I work with someone, about to visit Germany. He was told to claim to be Canadian, because Germans don't like Americans. Yeah, that makes me want to pay any price, bear any burden for Deutschland. Not.

I recall a long time ago the slogan that either NATO went out of area, or out of business.

I'd say it seems to have done both. You can't hold together an alliance when the members have divergent interests and goals- and when one group strives to become the superpower rival of the other.

We're seeing that now. Europe is on their own- and they deserve to be. They've worked hard to get there, God bless them. They've spent my lifetime scrubbing away the ties that bound us- and now, they can sail off into the sunset- or oblivion.

Good luck in either case, but don't send me the bill.







45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
We aren't too far off. We cannot defend the world, especially conventionally. It is very much in our interest that the world believe that any conventional attack on those we consider to be allies [and there are interdependencies in the world between ourselves and countries we don't like, but have a need for for various reasons] would be met with a unified conventional response, and the possibility of a nuclear response.

Right now, such belief is fantasy, and everyone now knows it. Further, at least as long as the current regime holds power that specific and growing number of adversaries who have or will have WMD can now consider that it might be possible to get away with a WMD attack on our country. That specifically endangers us.

Parallel to that, those countries who depended on our nuclear umbrella now have every incentive to develop their own WMD's as they have no other defense. Aside from the dangers of proliferation and loose nukes, there is the possibility of a change of regime in those countries, and they may not be too happy with us and view us as having betrayed them. Not a good thing.

Then there is an additional factor. We view ourselves as being unique and special in many ways. Not so much now. Aside from an irresolute and incompetent NCA, our adversaries have to consider that such may be a long term condition. Which raises the risk to us.

Looking at the activities of both parties, the bureaucracy, the militarization of the "civilian" Executive Branch, the failure of the courts to stand by the Constitution, and the substitution of Executive whim for settled law, Constitutional procedures, and the legislative process .... if you were looking at us like you would any other country; at best you would say that a coup was in progress, or had taken place. This may be viewed, as buggered up as it is, as being the permanent state of the US. And they will act accordingly.

And to be honest, looking at our country from the inside, it would not be hard to draw the same conclusion.

Subotai Bahadur
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't disagree too much here, either.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Has anyone seen the Reset Button lately?

See RWE3 below.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
mistake posting a reply to Dr. Mabuse
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"“My hope is that we actually do see follow-through over the next several days, but I don’t think — given past performance — that we can count on that,” Obama said during a White House news conference."

Trust in spite of reality.

Verification is Ugly Business.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry, I'm too busy washing feet with the Pope and Aborting Babies to comment.

Signed,

Nancy Pelosi
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
She was not washing feet with the pope, nor with any Roman Catholic priest. She engaged in that photo-op with an Episcopal (non-Christian leftist) bishop. The MSM, of course cooperated in her deceptive little drama.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Poland and the United States will announce next week the deployment of U.S. ground forces to Poland as part of an expansion of NATO presence in Central and Eastern Europe in response to events in Ukraine. That was the word from Poland’s defense minister, Tomasz Siemoniak, who visited The Post Friday after meeting with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon on Thursday.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2014/04/18/u-s-ground-troops-going-to-poland-defense-minister-says/
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why did Poland announce it instead of Washington? My guess is Poland wanted it out before Obama could change his mind.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
All we know of what was agreed to we learn from the WH and they have a habit of telling lies to make themselves look productive. We find out how unproductive they actually are later.

Obama reminds me of the operative in Serenity. He doesn't care how much damage is caused by his actions, it is all for the cause. And he doesn't really expect to live in the aftermath anyway. Perhaps he learned what happened to most of the revolutionists once Communism was realized.

The Operative: I'm sorry. If your quarry goes to ground, leave no ground to go to. You should have taken my offer. Or did you think none of this was your fault?

Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: I don't murder children.

The Operative: I do. If I have to.

Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: Why? Do you even know why they sent you?

The Operative: It's not my place to ask. I believe in something greater than myself. A better world. A world without sin.

Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: So me and mine gotta lay down and die... so you can live in your better world?

The Operative: I'm not going to live there. There's no place for me there... any more than there is for you. Malcolm... I'm a monster.What I do is evil. I have no illusions about it, but it must be done.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
The one problem with your comparison, and it's a quibble, is that however monstrous, Guy is (A) man enough to do his killing personally, which is not true of Oba; and (B) Guy is capable of learning.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
The other day Amb John Bolton was asked what he would do about the Ukraine and he replied that that in the first place being a diplomat would be a tough job given that America is now so isolationist.

And I suppose we are, too. The Right is disgusted not only with most of the world but that the Left won't let us do what it takes to win. The Left is focused on those black women out in the street waving their Obamaphones and waiting in line for their share of The Stash. And so any action is Okay as long as the Dems say it is, and the Dems mainly want to do nothing in terms of international relations because they they know they are no damn good at doing anything relative to international relations.

But I wonder. If on 8 Dec 1941 the mainly isolationist U.S. had the power to vaporize Berlin and Rome and Tokyo would we not have done so in a New York Minute, regardless of consequences? And so in another way does not the Left bring Armageddon that much closer?
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Read Wretchard's "Three Conjectures".
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just listened to a two Hour Hewitt interview of the author of a book on Hillary's tenure at State, and though I hate to give praise to Hillary, I guess saying she was less bad than Obama is less than faint praise, so there it is.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I just learned that Putin has never returned the Reset Button, see RWE3 below.

Speculation is he's got it on his desk.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
right next to that Super Bowl ring he stole from wazzizzface.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's now Europe's fault that Obama's Ukraine policy is failing.

"It look fewer than 12 hours for Obama's pessimism on the deal to be vindicated: early on Friday, pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine announced they would not recognize the agreement's mandate that they surrender the government buildings they'd occupied and declared to be an independent country. The separatists are widely thought to be backed by the Kremlin and to include unmarked Russian troops in their ranks"


http://www.vox.com/2014/4/18/5625460/obama-seems-awfully-skeptical-putin-will-make-good-whats-his-plan-b

That's a wonderful observation. Obama was right about being wrong.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
So his skills have improved to the point that he can predict his own failure in advance - and yet proceed on the same course of action, undeterred.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's a simple CYA variation, 'your ass covers YOU'.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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