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(War on the Rocks)   Putin is playing chess in Crimea... and losing   (warontherocks.com) divider line 240
    More: Interesting, Vladimir Putin, Crimean, Black Sea Fleet, al Assad, satellite state, Warsaw Pact, Cold War, Russian Bear  
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13194 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Mar 2014 at 10:23 AM (18 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-19 11:12:52 AM

Dr Dreidel: Laobaojun: Even if we "win", the US and NATO looks ineffective and like a poor choice as an ally because Ukraine was "invaded" in the first place.

This is silly.

"I punched you, and even though I need a doctor now, everyone knows that your face's weakness is fists. HAHAHA, I win."?


The Wimp-Lo strategy.

/
 
2014-03-19 11:13:03 AM

QuesoDelicioso: KAVORKA: How is he losing?

Maybe read the article? Short answer: NATO and the EU have whittled down his sphere of influence to the point that he has no choice but to undertake this conflict. While he does retain a goodly amount of residual strength, he is not acting from a position of strength.


If Ukraine still had nukes, would they still have Crimea?  Would we let Russia take Crimea if they didn't have nuclear weapons?   Having nuclear weapons matter.  That is the realpolitik lesson in all this.  Would be nuclear states like Iran and Best Korea are taking note I'm sure.
 
2014-03-19 11:13:23 AM
The Russian stock market dropping isn't necessarily bad for Putin.  He could have easily anticipated it (since he instigated it) and sold off most of his stock and emptied his rivals pockets.  The ill will he would gain from a faltering economy could be offset by the nationalist furor over Crimea.
 
2014-03-19 11:13:25 AM

TheZorker: QuesoDelicioso: KAVORKA: How is he losing?

Maybe read the article? Short answer: NATO and the EU have whittled down his sphere of influence to the point that he has no choice but to undertake this conflict. While he does retain a goodly amount of residual strength, he is not acting from a position of strength.

Russia's economy is taking a beating

No. In fact, what's the opposite?

It's *Surging* on the fact that EU and the US are basically conducting business as normal.

Putin basically said "Your move, West," and we apparently decided to pass.


Surging?
Surging?
Surging?
Surging?
 
2014-03-19 11:13:55 AM

plcow: LordJiro: brandent: JK47: LordJiro:

Russia's economy cannot handle serious sanctions from the EU/US, let alone a world war. Why should Obama do anything while Putin throws money down a hole just to wave his dick around? Never interrupt your enemy while he's making a mistake.


Yeah, comprehensive trade sanctions against Russia would flatten their economy.  Natural Gas exports alone comprise nearly half of the Russian GDP.

Yes yes. By all means Europe should threaten to stop buying gas. I wonder why Europe hasn't already fixed this obvious oversight. They should get right on it. I mean really. You would think they would have already done such a simple thing.

Yes. Russia is the only exporter of oil/gas on the planet.

As far as Europe is concerned, it's them and Norway.  They don't have the import facilities to accept gas from anywhere else.

Oil can sort of be found elsewhere.  It's not actually fungible like everyone thinks it is.  And Russia is a MAJOR exporter of oil (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_oil_exports) good luck absorbing that supply shortage with prices alone.  They will go through the roof.

Refusing to purchase Russia's Oil & Gas would be so devastating as to not even really consider it an option.  Energy is their Queen.  Not Crimea like the article would like people to believe.  They have most of Europe, and especially Ukraine by the nut sack.  Ukraine has almost no production of their own and for the last couple of years keeps boycotting anyone who tries to drill on their bland wasteland.


Ukraine doesn't 'need' oil production.  They're one of the top producers and suppliers of agricultural goods in the world.  Just behind Canada and the US.

And Russia is still a net importer of food stuffs.  And no, Russia does not have Europe by the short and curlies.  The winter is ending and they're already arranged for alternate fuel supplies by way of Norway's oil and Germany's nuclear reactors.

Meanwhile, in America, we're frantically arranging legislation that will allow the US to sell LNG to Europe, while simultaneously arranging for experts to begin drafting plans for a LNG pipeline across the Atlantic.

Russia has farked itself well and proper this time, and for 'nothing.'
 
2014-03-19 11:14:08 AM

Gunny Highway: TheZorker: QuesoDelicioso: KAVORKA: How is he losing?

Maybe read the article? Short answer: NATO and the EU have whittled down his sphere of influence to the point that he has no choice but to undertake this conflict. While he does retain a goodly amount of residual strength, he is not acting from a position of strength.

Russia's economy is taking a beating

No. In fact, what's the opposite?

It's *Surging* on the fact that EU and the US are basically conducting business as normal.

Putin basically said "Your move, West," and we apparently decided to pass.

Taking a beating?  Surging?

How is it possible that two people look at the same information and one comes up with "taking a beating" and the other "surging?"


At least one of them is deluded/trolling.
 
2014-03-19 11:16:02 AM
i1.ytimg.com
 
2014-03-19 11:16:37 AM

TedDalton: If Ukraine still had nukes, would they still have Crimea? Would we let Russia take Crimea if they didn't have nuclear weapons? Having nuclear weapons matter. That is the realpolitik lesson in all this. Would be nuclear states like Iran and Best Korea are taking note I'm sure.


Do you guys really believe that the situation would be better if a small, corrupt nation who just overthrew their President and was on the verge of a civil war had access to 20 year old nukes?
 
2014-03-19 11:17:23 AM

Plant Rights Activist: The Russian stock market dropping isn't necessarily bad for Putin.  He could have easily anticipated it (since he instigated it) and sold off most of his stock and emptied his rivals pockets.  The ill will he would gain from a faltering economy could be offset by the nationalist furor over Crimea.


There are Russians protesting against the Crimean invasion in Moscow.  There's 'some' enthusiasm for the invasion, but it's far from unanimous, even in Russia's heartland.
 
2014-03-19 11:17:47 AM
As Rachel Maddow pointed out, Putin is going to have a much harder time getting pro-Russia politicians to win in Ukraine without Crimea.  It would be roughly equivalent to how the US political landscape would change if Illinois left.
 
2014-03-19 11:18:05 AM

Vitamin Pb: TheManMythLegend: Peter von Nostrand: He has legions of Republicans as fans, so he always has that going for him. Hell, I'm surprised he didn't win the last cpac straw poll


I thought it was republicans who said that Russia was the greatest geopolitical threat during the debates?

Shush. Russia is our good friend. We pushed the big red "Reset" button on our relationship when Obama sent Hillary to Putin. With a literal big red button to pretend push.

That was how Obama told Putin that we were his good buddy now. Cause we're friends, and we trust him


Its like staring into his soul but tackier because of the added prop comedy.
 
2014-03-19 11:18:06 AM

cirby: Peter von Nostrand:
He has legions of Republicans as fans,

...according to leftist Democrats, who can't ever seem to find any actual legions...


There's no need to find them. They write at many right wing sites, etc
 
2014-03-19 11:18:37 AM
We lost the instant we decided not to nuke Finland.
 
2014-03-19 11:19:11 AM
Also, you blog sucks and sounds super butthurt.
 
2014-03-19 11:19:43 AM

Mentat: TedDalton: If Ukraine still had nukes, would they still have Crimea? Would we let Russia take Crimea if they didn't have nuclear weapons? Having nuclear weapons matter. That is the realpolitik lesson in all this. Would be nuclear states like Iran and Best Korea are taking note I'm sure.

Do you guys really believe that the situation would be better if a small, corrupt nation who just overthrew their President and was on the verge of a civil war had access to 20 year old nukes?


Change 'small' to 'huge' and you'd be describing the collapse of the USSR.
 
2014-03-19 11:19:59 AM

Peter von Nostrand: He has legions of Republicans as fans, so he always has that going for him. Hell, I'm surprised he didn't win the last cpac straw poll


Huh?

/mutters into a microphone "after the election, I will have more flexibility"
 
2014-03-19 11:21:33 AM
Does anybody really think Russia can afford to stop gas exports?  That's pretty much the only revenue source they have going at this point.

A lot of people are saying that if large-scale hostilities break out, we can cripple Russia without firing a shot by releasing a small amount of our strategic oil reserves to disrupt the energy market.
 
2014-03-19 11:21:45 AM

ikanreed: No one watches Fox News unless they wish to become dumber.


Its good for comedy. Also it is important to see where your republican friends are getting their talking points.
 
2014-03-19 11:22:01 AM

TedDalton: QuesoDelicioso: KAVORKA: How is he losing?

Maybe read the article? Short answer: NATO and the EU have whittled down his sphere of influence to the point that he has no choice but to undertake this conflict. While he does retain a goodly amount of residual strength, he is not acting from a position of strength.

If Ukraine still had nukes, would they still have Crimea?  Would we let Russia take Crimea if they didn't have nuclear weapons?   Having nuclear weapons matter.  That is the realpolitik lesson in all this.  Would be nuclear states like Iran and Best Korea are taking note I'm sure.


Dan Carlin argued that giving those former Soviet bloc countries may be the best solution. So like Poland and Ukraine have a handful of nukes - that they can't set off without the consent of the other and not enough to cause nuclear winter - with the understanding that if one country is invaded, the other will be up next. He argued that a few million dead Russians to grab something like Crimea would give pause to anybody.
 
2014-03-19 11:22:45 AM

Dr Dreidel: Laobaojun: Even if we "win", the US and NATO looks ineffective and like a poor choice as an ally because Ukraine was "invaded" in the first place.

This is silly.

"I punched you, and even though I need a doctor now, everyone knows that your face's weakness is fists. HAHAHA, I win."?


Tactical success =/= strategic success.

Hypothetically, we park a carrier strike group in the Black Sea (despite the practical issues there) and the Russian Federation forces return to the numbers under the treaty or even a complete withdrawal.   The ethnic Russians in Crimea go full court on the oppression allegations against the Ukrainians, and in a few years we look like asshats for supporting thugs.  Again.
Putin still ends up with a measure of success.  But since he is not leaving, NATO is still dithering, and the UN hasn't really given a rat's rear end, this is all trivia next to the simple truth that Putin out thought us, and the US is the victim of its own failure to think past the next election or next Fox news cast.
 
2014-03-19 11:24:36 AM
The thing is, as badly as he wants to be militarily relevant, that's not Russia's role any more. It's an oil/natural gas economic powerhouse, but when it comes to Ukraine, they're losing much of their economic powerhouse status because they're gonna get the crap sanctioned out of them, and they'll end up losing more than they could possibly gain by controlling it. Even the Russian people don't want to deal with this, for what it's worth, peace has been profitable for most Russians, a return to Cold War alliances cuts off some of their largest buyers.

That said, I don't think this will be a long term problem. Everyone thinks Russia is a dictatorship (Putin), but it isn't. Not too dissimilar to the US, it is the money-men who make the decisions, and fwiw, Putin has power because the wealthy allow him to have it. If he starts wading into misadventures that cost them billions, I wouldn't expect him to be around much longer.
 
2014-03-19 11:25:35 AM
It really amuses me no end that the hyper-patriot numbnuts who cheered everything Bush did now clutch their pearls and run down a sitting president when America! is in danger. I thought we were supposed to rally 'round the flag when evildoers were at our doorstep?

Have a bowl of dicks on the house, you deserve it.
 
2014-03-19 11:26:17 AM

Anayalator: KAVORKA: How is he losing?

He's plaing Czechers


cdn.pastemagazine.com
 
2014-03-19 11:26:23 AM

Slaves2Darkness: KAVORKA: How is he losing?

Bilions of dollars lost in the Russian economy and sanctions have not even started. A faltering NATO suddenly finds some spine. a reason to exist.

 
2014-03-19 11:26:47 AM

tommyl66: Dr Dreidel: Laobaojun: Even if we "win", the US and NATO looks ineffective and like a poor choice as an ally because Ukraine was "invaded" in the first place.

This is silly.

"I punched you, and even though I need a doctor now, everyone knows that your face's weakness is fists. HAHAHA, I win."?

The Wimp-Lo strategy.

/


Im glad I'm not the only one that had that pop into my head when I read that.

/he just left
//with nuts
 
2014-03-19 11:27:45 AM

svanmeter: Obama fiddled while the Ukraine burned.


Obama is the leader of the Ukraine?
 
2014-03-19 11:27:50 AM

theorellior: It really amuses me no end that the hyper-patriot numbnuts who cheered everything Bush did now clutch their pearls and run down a sitting president when America! is in danger. I thought we were supposed to rally 'round the flag when evildoers were at our doorstep?

Have a bowl of dicks on the house, you deserve it.


Bush was not a big government pussy, Obama is.

Bowl of dicks prolly part of Obamacare plan requirements?
 
2014-03-19 11:28:00 AM

tommyl66: Dr Dreidel: Laobaojun: Even if we "win", the US and NATO looks ineffective and like a poor choice as an ally because Ukraine was "invaded" in the first place.

This is silly.

"I punched you, and even though I need a doctor now, everyone knows that your face's weakness is fists. HAHAHA, I win."?

The Wimp-Lo strategy.

/


Again with the squeaky shoes!
 
2014-03-19 11:29:43 AM

Laobaojun: Livinglush: Rapmaster2000: Once Putin takes over all of Europe

You obviously have no understanding of the history of the USSR and Russia for the last 25 years.

You need to go back a lot more than 25 years to really get this one.  If you don't appreciate the goals of Пётр Алексеевич, you don't understand what Putin is after.


Peter would be a refreshing change from Putin.
 
2014-03-19 11:30:38 AM

LordJiro: way south: [dl.dropboxusercontent.com image 768x543]

"Putin's desperate, losing move will ultimately be overcome by the tides of history."

Translation: We're losing now, but someday it will look like we won.
History tends to not work that way.

/I want to see Putin go down in flames and I have no objection to Obama being the man who does it.
/But until we get a few W's up on the board I'm not convinced Obama can do it.

Russia's economy cannot handle serious sanctions from the EU/US, let alone a world war. Why should Obama do anything while Putin throws money down a hole just to wave his dick around? Never interrupt your enemy while he's making a mistake.




He hasn't made a serious mistake yet, tho.
The sanctions are a joke and there is no threat of war. So Putin can stay in place and starve out the Ukrainians until his authority is accepted as fact.

Maybe someday Russia falls again. But if it outlasts both Obama and Putins presidencies, history won't record it as being the fault of either man.
 
2014-03-19 11:30:59 AM

Thunderpipes: Bush was not a big government pussy, Obama is.


This is what the GOP actually believes! The guy that turned a surplus into a deficit, started two wars that took 12 years to resolve, created the Patriot act and NSA spying programs IS NOT a big government "pussy"?

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
 
2014-03-19 11:32:04 AM

way south: He hasn't made a serious mistake yet, tho.
The sanctions are a joke and there is no threat of war


Yay, bare assertions.
 
2014-03-19 11:32:16 AM

cameroncrazy1984: Thunderpipes: Bush was not a big government pussy, Obama is.

This is what the GOP actually believes! The guy that turned a surplus into a deficit, started two wars that took 12 years to resolve, created the Patriot act and NSA spying programs IS NOT a big government "pussy"?

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!


He also created the largest bureaucracy in history. Then again you aren't responding to someone who is in touch with reality
 
2014-03-19 11:32:33 AM

QuesoDelicioso: KAVORKA: How is he losing?

Maybe read the article? Short answer: NATO and the EU have whittled down his sphere of influence to the point that he has no choice but to undertake this conflict. While he does retain a goodly amount of residual strength, he is not acting from a position of strength.


Well, that's not entirely true. There are other choices, ones that would be welcome by the majority of Europe, but he doesn't want to make them.

I see a lot of parallels between Russian foreign policy and the GOP's political strategy, essentially both are based around the concept of nullification - the long slow backwards retreat. Neither can change direction, or offer something new, both are tied to their past to a point where it's crippling their ability to survive. The world has changed and they haven't changed with it - both are likely cold war and cultural dinosaurs.

And we all know what happened to the dinosaurs.
 
2014-03-19 11:32:36 AM

thesubliminalman: You are incorrect, their stock market has lost BILLIONS, which his government has had to pump into his failing economy, and the sanctions haven't even hit yet.

Hey this reminds me of someplace, hmmmm.


I'm sure you aren't talking about the US economy, which is stronger than it has been since the Clinton years, and has record stock market pushes monthly.  Surely you must be thinking of somewhere else.
 
2014-03-19 11:33:17 AM

Hector Remarkable: Putin's playing Rock, Scissors, Paper; we're playing Tiddly-WInks.
No, Putin's playing Bocci Ball, We're playing Scrabble.
Wait, no, PUTIN's playing Parcheesi , we're playing with our genitals.


THIS IS AMERICA SON! THE ONLY THING WE PLAY WITH IS OUR GUNS!
 
2014-03-19 11:33:52 AM

Vitamin Pb: Rwa2play: netcentric: Rwa2play: netcentric: A former Marine's Marine Core blog....

Nothing better than the Core's view of Foreign Policy.

So it's "a former Marine's blog" when it doesn't suit your worldview?


A meme isn't as funny if I have to highlight it or point it out to you.

I can see that; I can also see that meme should've been retired years ago.

It's the Marine Corpse. Get it right.


Yes well the only good marine is a corpse of a marnie.
 
2014-03-19 11:34:00 AM

Laobaojun: Hypothetically, we park a carrier strike group in the Black Sea (despite the practical issues there) and the Russian Federation forces return to the numbers under the treaty or even a complete withdrawal. The ethnic Russians in Crimea go full court on the oppression allegations against the Ukrainians, and in a few years we look like asshats for supporting thugs. Again.
Putin still ends up with a measure of success. But since he is not leaving, NATO is still dithering, and the UN hasn't really given a rat's rear end, this is all trivia next to the simple truth that Putin out thought us, and the US is the victim of its own failure to think past the next election or next Fox news cast.


Uh, isn't Turkey (a NATO ally) already in the Black Sea? (Granted, it's not a carrier group, but Turkey plus the rest of NATO in Europe can easily draw Russia to a stalemate - at worst - for the week or less it'd take for a US response team to get there.)

IF the ethnic Russians in Crimea press the oppression allegations (which is a pretty big 'if'), it changes very little. IF (an even bigger one this time) those allegations turn out to be true - if the Ukranian government was oppressing ethnic Russians - then the US has already lost by setting up an "us vs Putin" conflict 2 weeks ago. (I'd also argue that Putin repeatedly stomped on his own dick if that was the case. Unilaterally invading a country, even for the "right reasons", without consulting anyone else, shows more brazen disregard for "international law" than Bush did with the Iraq Adventures.)

The initial actor in a conflict always has a strategic advantage - by definition, Putin is playing offense while Ukraine, the US, Poland, etc are playing defense. As soon as the military ducks are in their rows, Putin either turns tail to staunch his own economic bleeding, or NATO does it for him.

Or it goes nuclear. Which could also be fun.

// I live in DC - I'll be a whiff of hydrogen and ozone before my optic nerve can send the picture of the flash to my brain
 
2014-03-19 11:34:46 AM

ikanreed: FLMountainMan: Be honest, how much Fox News have you watched since the Crimean invasion? And why?

No one watches Fox News unless they wish to become dumber.


You would think.  My exposure is incidental - it seems to be playing in every single small business I ever go to.  But I'm amazed at how many liberals on Fark seem watch it religiously.
 
2014-03-19 11:35:14 AM

Gunny Highway: Just because

[i.kinja-img.com image 636x948]


I don't know what that is, but it's awesome.
 
2014-03-19 11:35:27 AM
www.tzona.org
Chessmate, Libbos
 
2014-03-19 11:36:24 AM

Peter von Nostrand: cameroncrazy1984: Thunderpipes: Bush was not a big government pussy, Obama is.

This is what the GOP actually believes! The guy that turned a surplus into a deficit, started two wars that took 12 years to resolve, created the Patriot act and NSA spying programs IS NOT a big government "pussy"?

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

He also created the largest bureaucracy in history. Then again you aren't responding to someone who is in touch with reality


Fair point.
 
2014-03-19 11:36:28 AM

Laobaojun: Tactical success =/= strategic success.

Hypothetically, we park a carrier strike group in the Black Sea (despite the practical issues there) and the Russian Federation forces return to the numbers under the treaty or even a complete withdrawal. The ethnic Russians in Crimea go full court on the oppression allegations against the Ukrainians, and in a few years we look like asshats for supporting thugs. Again.
Putin still ends up with a measure of success. But since he is not leaving, NATO is still dithering, and the UN hasn't really given a rat's rear end, this is all trivia next to the simple truth that Putin out thought us, and the US is the victim of its own failure to think past the next election or next Fox news cast.


How did Russia out-think you?

It seems to me that Russia used to have all the influence it wanted over the Ukraine, including full use of the port at Sevastopol.  Now it needs to use military force just to maintain that, and is taking an economical and political beating for it.  What advantage has Russia gained out of all this?
 
2014-03-19 11:36:29 AM

Dr Dreidel: LordJiro: Russia's economy cannot handle serious sanctions from the EU/US, let alone a world war. Why should Obama do anything while Putin throws money down a hole just to wave his dick around? Never interrupt your enemy while he's making a mistake.

Slaves2Darkness: Yes. The whole reason he invaded Crimea is that Russia can't have NATO so dam close. Essentially the same reason that the US has punished Cuba for 60 years is the reason that Russia is invading Crimea. Secondly Russia's economy is taking a beating. If the US turns up the economic pressure on Russia all it will take is time before Putin folds or is replaced.

Isn't the monkeywrench in all that the fact that Putin/Russia basically control the European continent's natural gas supply?

So we can sanction Russia, and risk them either jacking up the price on or simply stopping the NG supply altogether. It's my understanding (admittedly thin) that it'd take the US several weeks to a month at least to make up that lost supply.


The problem Russia has with stopping the NG supply is once you do it there is no going back. Your European customers have to find some other source of heating fuel and while it may cost more they will never trust Russia to supply them again. Stopping the NG also will increase the economic loss as people who are not receiving product don't tend to pay for said product.
 
2014-03-19 11:37:00 AM
King me!
 
2014-03-19 11:37:00 AM

FLMountainMan: ikanreed: FLMountainMan: Be honest, how much Fox News have you watched since the Crimean invasion? And why?

No one watches Fox News unless they wish to become dumber.

You would think.  My exposure is incidental - it seems to be playing in every single small business I ever go to.  But I'm amazed at how many liberals on Fark seem watch it religiously.


How many? I think most of us liberals just watch Jon Stewart make fun of it.
 
2014-03-19 11:37:18 AM

theorellior: It really amuses me no end that the hyper-patriot numbnuts who cheered everything Bush did now clutch their pearls and run down a sitting president when America! is in danger. I thought we were supposed to rally 'round the flag when evildoers were at our doorstep?

Have a bowl of dicks on the house, you deserve it.


The politics of war in the US are tricky. You've got Republicans who beat their chests and demand ACTION! all the time but in practice only support wars started by other Republicans and you've got Democrats who beat the bongos of peacenickery but in practice can be reliably counted on to get behind any war anyone would care to start.

Us hippies just have to hope for cripplingly large Republican minorities I guess.
 
2014-03-19 11:37:44 AM

way south: LordJiro: way south: [dl.dropboxusercontent.com image 768x543]

"Putin's desperate, losing move will ultimately be overcome by the tides of history."

Translation: We're losing now, but someday it will look like we won.
History tends to not work that way.

/I want to see Putin go down in flames and I have no objection to Obama being the man who does it.
/But until we get a few W's up on the board I'm not convinced Obama can do it.

Russia's economy cannot handle serious sanctions from the EU/US, let alone a world war. Why should Obama do anything while Putin throws money down a hole just to wave his dick around? Never interrupt your enemy while he's making a mistake.

He hasn't made a serious mistake yet, tho.
The sanctions are a joke and there is no threat of war. So Putin can stay in place and starve out the Ukrainians until his authority is accepted as fact.

Maybe someday Russia falls again. But if it outlasts both Obama and Putins presidencies, history won't record it as being the fault of either man.


The mere possibility of sanctions have forced Russian businesses to withdraw their money from foreign banks and markets.  This pretty much ensures that the Russian economy is going to shrink and contract, no matter what else happens after this point.

In short, the fear of sanctions accomplished what the sanctions were intended to do and we haven't even laid any down yet.

You seem to believe that sanctions will be a 'joke', but the Russian oligarchs are taking those sanctions seriously enough to basically take a lot of their money and burn it in a barrel out behind their house rather than risk having their assets in foreign markets once seizures and sanctions are put in place.

So, they're taking sanctions pretty seriously.  Plus, you're a faceless poster on the internet.  I guess the whole 'joke' thing is ironic in hindsight, hm?
 
2014-03-19 11:37:45 AM

Livinglush: Laobaojun: Livinglush: Rapmaster2000: Once Putin takes over all of Europe

You obviously have no understanding of the history of the USSR and Russia for the last 25 years.

You need to go back a lot more than 25 years to really get this one.  If you don't appreciate the goals of Пётр Алексеевич, you don't understand what Putin is after.

Peter would be a refreshing change from Putin.


Read what Russians say about Putin, and look at Putin objectively, not with the standard American "that gotdamned Russki bastich" mindset.  He sees himself as the steward of a Russian renaissance,  like Peter the Great.  Deal with the guy like he's Ivan the Terrible, and he's played you hard.
 
2014-03-19 11:38:02 AM

Livinglush: I'm sure you aren't talking about the US economy, which is stronger than it has been since the Clinton years, and has record stock market pushes monthly.  Surely you must be thinking of somewhere else.


Yes, surging stock markets, huge bonuses for Wall Street, and high unemployment, record numbers on Food Stamps, and ever-increasing income inequality, especially in blue states.

Seriously, the Obama Administration has been an oligarch's wet dream.  But I know it's all the fault of those damned House Rethuglikkkans and the Koch Bros.!
 
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