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Roger’s Rules

What Game of Chess?

March 6th, 2014 - 8:42 am

Last week, as the Obama administration scurried to remove the large quantities of egg that Vladimir Putin had deposited on its collective countenance, Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers commented that Putin was playing chess while Obama was “playing marbles.”

I think that was unfair. Marbles are inherently attractive, and their deployment is an innocent pastime that has beguiled the innocent hours of many a boyhood. What’s more, playing marbles takes skill.  What is happening in Ukraine is anything but innocent, and the astonishing incompetence on display in Barack Obama’s hesitant but sullen maunderings has been the opposite of skillful.

Vladimir Putin is playing a dangerous game of chess, all right, but the only thing Obama can be said to be playing is the fool.

This morning, it was revealed that Crimea has just voted to “join” Russia. “Crimea’s parliament voted to join Russia,” Reuters reported, “and its Moscow-backed government set a referendum within 10 days on the the decision.” What do you suppose that means?

The Autonomous Republic of Crimea, to give the history-marinated peninsula (Sevastopol, Yalta) its formal name, has been in but only partly of the Ukraine since the charge of the Light Brigade in 1854. Nearly 60% of the population of the peninsula are ethnic Russians; less than 25% are ethnic Ukrainians.

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All those Russian troops and tanks we’ve been seeing on the nightly news were not imported into  Crimea: they were already there in major military installations that Russia has maintained there before, during, and after the Soviet Union.

Everyone who sees the hand of Comrade Putin behind this prelude to the Russian Anschluss of Crimea is correct.  But here’s a question: what do you propose to do about it? Putin is in Moscow, arranging for his next bare-chested photo op. The Parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea votes to “join” Russia, with a referendum scheduled March 16. Arseny Yatseniuk, the Ukrainian prime minister, says any such decree to make Crimea part of Russia would be “illegitimate.”  “Crimea is, was, and will be an integral part of Ukraine,” he declared. But what if the vote goes the other way? What then?

Nxf6+ i.e., say goodbye to that Knight, and, by the way, Check.

Not all things are possible at all times.  There was a long moment when nimble U.S. diplomacy, combined with the aura of U.S. power and prestige, might have significantly influenced what happened in Ukraine. What Glenn Reynolds has aptly dubbed Obama’s “Smart Diplomacy™” has broken the kneecaps of American diplomatic prowess.  If you doubt that, consider the current of comedy contained in this headline: “Secretary Kerry to meet with Russian counterpart to discuss Ukraine crisis.” Admit it: you tittered slightly. After all, what would a “Russian counterpart” of John Kerry look like? Something like Boris Badenov from the Rocky and His Friends. I doubt that Vladimir Putin maintains a court jester, so it is extremely unlikely that there is a “Russian counterpart” of John “reporting for duty” Kerry.

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Top Rated Comments   
It's plain as the nose on your face that Barack doesn't care much about all this foreign policy crapola and finds it a distraction.

His mission first, last and always is that fundamental transformation thing.

(if things go the least bit the way they should in November, his frustration will grow by orders of magnitude)

Ukraine happened just on the cusp of his black youth initiative, how inopportune. And whatever happened to that other initiative, "5 enterprise zones" ?

That's all community organizers know how to do, propose serial BS "initiatives".

Rush Limbaugh had an apt characterization yesterday of the Ukraine fiasco...

"The KGB versus ACORN"
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Obama can be said to be playing is the fool."

Only if he is honestly in over his head. Is it not more likely that he is playing the Turncoat? His appearance of foolishness is by design, for the rubes.

Kerry now, THERE'S a fool who really rates the full harlequin costume.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Obama plays the fool."

No matter how big a fool Obama is, he will never be as big a fool as the majority of American voters.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (50)
All Comments   (50)
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my buddy's half-sister makes $68 /hr on the internet . She has been laid off for 5 months but last month her pay check was $15993 just working on the internet for a few hours. blog here..................... http://www.works12.com
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
my classmate's step-sister makes *75/hour on the laptop. She has been out of a job for five months but last month her pay check was *13495 just working on the laptop for a few hours.
see post,,,,,,,,,, http://www.pro43.com
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Start working at home with Google! Just work for few hours and have more time with friends and family. I earn up to $500 per week. It's a great work at home opportunity. I can't believe how easy it was once I tried it out. Linked here www.Pow6.com
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Will this humiliation motivate President Obama to put in the time and effort expected of the POTUS or will he be playing cards as he did the night OBL was killed, flying to Las Vegas rather than saving Americans in Bengazi?
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
The US has long had a weakness in international relations, probably stemming from its Puritan heritage through the Ivy League through the Foreign Policy establishment. The US is used to dealing with Rule-of-Law nations and behaves that way with Trader Nations. In Trader Nations, law conforms to the rulers and their view of international relations is like a Wild West saloon poker game. One sits down, putting the money and the six-gun on the table, if one cannot just steal.

Another weakness: Used to dealing in the Rule-of-Law milieu, possible threats are dealt with easily by using Deductive reasoning to put them in the category of “Wouldn’t Happen” or “No Problem.”

When France fell in 1940, this weakened cover of the Strait of Malacca. British troops at Singapore had been replaced by green Australians. The Philippines was basically nude, and Vietnam was now uncovered. Japan, a Trader Nation, was in Theft Mode. Instead of having an old US battleship visit Haiphong and Saigon for shore leave, nothing was done. When later Japan occupied Vietnam and expanded the air bases, FDR immediately rolled out his demand for them to leave as they shall not be allowed to stay there. The format was vigorous, forthright, table-pounding negotiation. No US six-gun was put on the table. Japan grossly underestimated what they were getting into. Had FDR mentioned to the Japanese ambassador something about “having their guts for garters,” Japan may have questioned the basis of their threat analysis.

Currently, the US is doing forthright negotiation while reducing the six-gun and using a lot of Deductive reasoning.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Roger, I looked over an article you wrote about the Invasion of Georgia in 2008. I notice that you did not take the opportunity to attack the sitting president Bush as weakling. What do you see as the difference between the situations?

http://pjmedia.com/rogerkimball/2008/08/09/the-moral-influence-which-may-be-a-powerful-force-with-civilized-countries-is-unlikely-to-to-make-an-impression/
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
He really played the fool yesterday, pontificating before some chanteuses in the East Room.

(Where's Alex Trebek when you need him ?)

(hey Barack RSPECT is earned, independently of what you look like or who you love or whatever. Putin ain't showing any right now.)

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014/03/07/obama-misspells-respect-while-praising-franklin-before-white-house-concert/
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Given his political tendencies, we ought to be thankful that Obama is often disengaged, distracted and incompetent. All the mega-vacations on our dime may be worth it to keep his policy activity to a minimum. Unfortunately, he has some effective operatives working 24/7 to make his perverse dreams a reality.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Damn, "the Ukraine" might interfere with a planned jaunt to Key Largo with the fam this weekend.

Michelle is taking "the girls" and her mom to China later this month.

AF1 used to cost "only" $180,000/hour to operate. That's up under Obama to $228,288/hour.

Facts, revealed reluctantly under the Freedom of Information Act:

— The outbound flight to Honolulu for the Obama 2012-2013 Christmas vacation cost taxpayers $2,214,393.60. The return flight to Washington was $1,871,961.60. The total price for flight expenditures alone came to $4,086,355.20.

— The outbound flight to California in August 2013 for Obama to dine with fundraiser and DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and appear on the “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” cost taxpayers $1,209,926.40. The return flight to Washington was $935,980.80. The total price for flight expenditures alone came to $2,145,907.20.

— The outbound flight to Martha’s Vineyard for the Obama family August vacation cost taxpayers $890,323.20. The return flight to Washington was $273,945.60. The total price for flight expenditures alone came to $1,164,268.80.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's plain as the nose on your face that Barack doesn't care much about all this foreign policy crapola and finds it a distraction.

His mission first, last and always is that fundamental transformation thing.

(if things go the least bit the way they should in November, his frustration will grow by orders of magnitude)

Ukraine happened just on the cusp of his black youth initiative, how inopportune. And whatever happened to that other initiative, "5 enterprise zones" ?

That's all community organizers know how to do, propose serial BS "initiatives".

Rush Limbaugh had an apt characterization yesterday of the Ukraine fiasco...

"The KGB versus ACORN"
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
You said "serial BS initiatives". I love it, brief-concise-true and just a bit coarse.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
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