Who loses most in Ukraine?

By Ian Bremmer
March 13, 2014

 

As we march toward Sunday’s Crimean referendum, the result is predetermined. Crimea will vote Russia, and tensions will only escalate. At this juncture, it’s important to take a step back and ask who “lost” here. What could the United States have done differently? What about Russia? Was the outbreak of violence and explosive geopolitical confrontation inevitable? Where does it go from here?

If the United States’ primary goal has been to keep violence in Ukraine and tensions between outside powers to a minimum, it has made a series of significant missteps. The United States failed to offer real economic support to the Ukrainian government before events reached a crescendo. Former President Viktor Yanukovich didn’t want to just work with the Russians; he was looking to strike a balance between Russia and the EU while skirting economic collapse. Europe pushed too hard, and the IMF wasn’t going to step in in time. The lack of support from the West helped push Yanukovich far enough towards Russia that protests in Kiev reached a point of no return.

On February 21st, key Ukrainian opposition figures and President Yanukovich signed a deal along with a group of European foreign ministers, only for it to soon break down and Yanukovich to flee. The United States eagerly jumped ship with the new pro-West Kiev government. This was a mistake. Washington could have expressed its reservations and urged that the signed deal at least be respected as a factor in determining political processes moving forward. Showing public support for that position would have been an important acknowledgment to Russia that the United States respects Russia’s interests. In Syria six months ago, the United States was perfectly happy to pretend (as were the Russians) that the chemical weapons deal was a breakthrough that would address the underlying conflict, even though it was just a smokescreen for relieving Obama of his obligation to intervene militarily. The Americans could have offered the Russians a similar face-saving gesture here, but they chose not to.

The United States could also have strongly urged Ukraine’s new government to respect legitimate Russian interests in Ukraine, including the adequate inclusion and representation of ethnic Russians in government, and respect for the sanctity of Russia’s lease on its Crimean military base. Instead, the United States offered eager, blanket support for the new West-leaning government.

When it was clear that the Russians were about to go into Crimea, the Obama administration issued a host of largely empty threats, warning that there would be “costs for any military intervention in Ukraine” and that there was a “huge price to pay” if Russia pushed into Crimea. Of course, the United States has the military capacity to contest Russia’s move into Crimea, but Washington was never going to retaliate on such a level — the only response that could realistically stop Russian incursion. These kinds of unenforceable threats only serve to undermine U.S. credibility abroad. And like a red flag to a bull, these comments goaded Putin on; there was no credible “or else” from Washington that could come close to matching Putin’s resolve in Ukraine. Beyond his country’s borders, Putin’s single biggest priority is retaining influence in Ukraine.

But while the United States has clearly missed its chance to circumvent the escalating tensions that we see today, the stakes for Russia are exponentially higher, and Russia stands to lose vastly more over Ukraine.

Just look at the immediate costs of the Crimean invasion, which didn’t even make Putin blink. After the military incursion, the Russian ruble went into free fall, forcing Russia to implement a significant interest rate hike. The Russian stock market’s one-day losses exceeded the costs of the bloated Sochi Olympics.

Such actions will only hasten the slow, but steady economic decline that we see in Russia. It is an economy with a tremendous over-reliance on energy, and it has been using its natural resources as a crutch. In 2007, Russia needed a Brent oil price of $34 per barrel to balance its federal budget. By 2012, that target had climbed to $117. Last year, oil and gas accounted for more than two-thirds of Russia’s export revenue.

If a “win” for Putin means expanded influence in Ukraine, then his strategy has backfired royally. Just three months ago, he had the ear of a Russia-leaning Ukrainian government. Today, he has…Crimea. But by annexing Crimea, its 1.5 million pro-Russian voters would no longer be a part of the Ukrainian electorate. The remaining Ukrainian voters will remember images of Russian troops on their soil when they next take to the polls. All of this means that Ukrainian elections are more likely to turn pro-West, leading to the prospects of EU Customs Union integration and eventual European Union membership. That is, if we can get that far.

But this is an enormous if — and it reveals who will likely lose the most.

First of all, if Russia sends its forces into Eastern Ukraine — a distinct possibility — everybody loses. We could see the outbreak of a Ukrainian civil war, crippling market volatility, extreme geopolitical shock, and unforeseeable consequences. Events to date have brought us to a point where this is a frighteningly realistic outcome that cannot be ruled out.

But even if Russia doesn’t push further, there is no good outcome for the Ukrainian people for a long time to come. In the best case, they get cash for debt, but the Russians will no longer subsidize their gas. The economy will remain a wreck, and Ukraine’s new president will see a continued need to tack to Russia for economic reasons — but that strategy will become even more politically untenable. In short, Ukraine ends up back in the same stew — but it boils even hotter.

That scenario assumes ongoing economic and diplomatic support from the West. It wasn’t until the crisis truly erupted that the West began to open its pocketbook. What happens when the next global tension flares and the international media’s attention shifts? Will Western diplomatic efforts shift with it? Are the United States and Europe prepared to backstop a Ukrainian economy in free-fall when they have pressing economic concerns back home?

The Ukrainian people have lost the most, and have the most yet to lose. Discussions of America’s blunders should be framed in this context. Of course, it’s not inevitable: with tremendous, sustained outside support, there is a chance for a Ukrainian win over time. Unfortunately, that chance is far too slim.

PHOTOS: Photos of some of those killed in recent violence are seen at a makeshift memorial in Kiev’s Independence Square February 25, 2014. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (front C), accompanied by Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (front L), walks to watch military exercises upon his arrival at the Kirillovsky firing ground in the Leningrad region, March 3, 2014. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin 

33 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Who loses most? Yanukovich and Victoria Nuland/Kerry/Obama. Everybody East of Polan will refuse to abide by any sanctions against Russia and the Brics will surely stand firm against perceived US Imperialism. The current government in Kiev was chosen – not by the people in a free and fair election but – Victoria Nuland as the tapes show.

Posted by Bludde | Report as abusive

> America’s blunders
What planet are you on?
Ukrainian citizens demonstrated against Yanukovich’s corruption, and the EU deal failure was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Anybody who spoke to a Ukrainian or knows a Ukrainian can tell you that. This had ZERO to do with America. Nobody in Ukraine gives a F about America.
Now I’ll answer your question about who loses more in Ukraine. The answer of course is (ras)Putin and the Russian idiots who back his Narcissism.
Why?
Because Ukrainian partisans are going to destroy Putin’s gas pipeline. They are going to pay Russia back big time if this turns into a shooting war. There is a saying in Ukraine – Glory to the Heros. Death to the Occupiers.
That means tread on us at your extreme peril.
What is going to happen when Putin can’t sell his gas to anyone because his pipeline has been blown to a billion pieces by Ukrainian partisans? I’ll tell you what -> A Russia with no income is going to choke to death on it’s vile gangster propaganda. Russia without it’s gas money is a DEAD Russia. Putin has got no earthly clue that UKRAINE isn’t Georgia. There are 1 million armed partisans in Ukraine on Russia’s border willing and able to do IMMENSE damage to Russian infrastructure. RUSSIA IS CERTAIN TO LOSE A GUERRILLA WAR WITH UKRAINIAN SLAVS.

Posted by UScitizentoo | Report as abusive

It is remarkable how many western analysts manage to know the details, but fail to grasp the meaning. Putin is not going to move on W. Ukraine. It would result in a guerrilla war similar to that fought through much of the 20s-50s. By the election in May, the people in Kiev will be shooting at each other. His allies, the Party of Regions, just needs to lay low until people forget how much they contributed to the mess.

Putin also knows the attention span of the U.S. and EU is incredibly brief, and that the Ukrainians are not going anywhere. Poland still has grievances over UPA actions in the 40s and 50s, still thinks L’viv is actually L’vov, and is indifferent at best about Ukrainian nationalism. Polish polls consistently show the Poles think more highly of Russians than Ukrainians. The punch-line is the Poles are the Ukrainians’ best friends.

You also miss the point that the money that is going to Kiev is going to end up in Moscow. The U.S. State Department already admitted that much of the aid that goes to Ukraine is going to pay interest on loans held by the Russians. Had Yanukovich stayed in power, there would have been no interest payments, and Putin would have had to pony up $15B to keep his ally in power. Obama is going to finance the operations of the Russian army in Crimea. Why would Putin be upset about that.

Posted by ARJTurgot2 | Report as abusive

Nice Piece

Posted by bigturkey | Report as abusive

@ARJTurgot2
Well that’s a fine analysis except you now have Ukrainian soldiers held prisoner at the point of a Bayonet. That’s forcing the Ukrainians to understand that (ras)Putin is not their friend. Russians fail to grasp that a Ukrainian starring down the barrel of a Russian gun is a different person. He’s not just a slav. He’s a Ukrainian. Putin will not be allowed to keep Crimea. The Ukrainian soldiers aren’t going to leave their base. Are you deaf dumb and blind? THE UKRAINIANS ARE NOT GOING TO LEAVE THEIR BASE. What now? RUSSIAN RETREAT? No, my friend, that’s the start of the war. Russians don’t realize the war has already started with the Ukrainians.

Posted by UScitizentoo | Report as abusive

This analysis is right on the mark 100%.

Ukraine is a basket case and Putin knows it.
US will find it out in a few month once the bickering in Kyiv leads to a total economic and political paralysis.

Posted by 74LS08 | Report as abusive

Authors analysis is right on the mark.

Ukraine is a basket case and Putin knows it while 0Bama will find it out in a few month once the bickering in Kyiv leads to a total economic and political paralysis.

Posted by 74LS08 | Report as abusive

A mis-read by Bremmer.

Yanukovych was a kleptocratic puppet of Moscow from day one. That much is clear. They were appalled that EU was making inroads and ordered roadblocks. Yanukovych supplied them. He wasn’t trying to strike a balance so much as teetering over a chasm he created by his siphoning of money from treasury. Indeed, this crisis has already cost Russia so much they may seize the bank accounts they have access to. But his money in West is mostly frozen already.

The West, primarily the U.S., could have done more but Obama is the least deft foreign policy President of the U.S. in many generations. Putin understands force but Obama doesn’t know how to use it. He has been firing senior commanders so experience may be thin on top, too. But moving a carrier battle group into Black Sea opposite and within sight of Crimea would have sent a distinct message two weeks ago, or even now.

There are parallels. After JFK was beaten up by Krushchev at Vienna in 1961 the world teetered in Cold War nuclear crisis as the Soviet leader saw JFK as weak. In response, JFK went to Vietnam. Putin has seen Obama’s weakness throughout the Middle East — in Iran, Syria, Egypt and the attack on Benghazi which killed the American Ambassador. Had he been decisive and cohesive in his use of American military muscle Putin wouldn’t have moved on Ukraine. The question is whether Obama is bluffing now or unwilling to put tanks on the ground and planes in the sky. He needs to pull the trigger on a bank freeze-out of all Russians immediately. The IMF and EU have a rescue package ready for Ukraine. Will Obama turn lose his sluggers?

Posted by vocalmedia | Report as abusive

Mr. Brenner definitely has mastery of round sentences like: “The United States eagerly jumped ship with the new pro-West Kiev government”. That would sound gentlemanly if there would be no leaks from behind the curtain. Leaked phone calls from the US embassy in Kiev prove unequivocally that the US has not just “eagerly jumped ship”, US was first and foremost selecting the crew to ride the ship and was instructing where to steer it. One may of course be certain that there is more such material awaiting publishing and thus the narrative of Mr. Brenner is childish at best or cheating at worst.

Another point is signing in the choir of “Russian exports are based on raw materials and thus Russia is an extremely vulnerable house of cards” to which Mr. Brenner eagerly adds his voice sounding on the borders of propaganda. On closer look the thesis is hardly realistic, probability of Russia suffering because of the crash of raw energy material prices and/or western sanctions is low to very low. All this has to do with the emergence of Asia with its growing energy demands which look insatiable. China has now urgent and critical priority to limit coal burning since pollution became unbearable and population is getting mad about it. Besides its 13% growth of energy consumption per year is has to move to clean energy. Russia must become significant energy supplier to China and thus its reliance on the West will not be so critical in the long term.

The proof of all this and more will be shown in May when Putin will visit China (and then we might be at a time when estearn regions of of Ukraine have already joined Russia). What will happen then will be signing of first huge gas delivery contract from Russia to China with promises this is not the end. That of course will be a strong signal to the West that Russia is not as vulnerable as generally thought and Mr. Putin will not miss opportunity to broadcast this signal plain and loud.

Seein this in a broader perspective the cornerstone of the US global policy in the last four decades was to keep Russia and China at a distance. This has been very successful but now there is another opening in this game. Both Russia and China are much more assertive about their spheres of influence and with China becoming number one economy by size with huge ambitions of dominating in East Asia and with both Russia and China fed up with the real or perceived threat of the US meddling around/inside them they will be put on a path of converging interests not only in energy but in geostrategical aspiration of containig the US and the West in general. Such undermining of the cornerstone of the US policy would be a huge risk of getting into an endgame of the West becoming cornered. Strategists in Kremlin know this very well and thus see field wide open playing their game.
Countering this requires much more intelligent strategic approach than “American military muscle”.

Posted by wirk | Report as abusive

It is blindingly obvious that the Urkrainian citizens lose the most.

Posted by HENRYC | Report as abusive

You wrote that “the result in Crimea is predetermined”. Doest’it mean that the documents found at the Yanukovich’s house are useless? He was levying a big personnal fare on each container going in or out of Ukraine. The traffic doesn’t go through Crimea but through Odessa. How is it possible that the Odessa’s Harbour has not been blocked by Ukrainian and western forces send by the international justice to inquire into the Yanukovich’s robberies?

Posted by meleze | Report as abusive

The writer asserts: “Europe pushed too hard, and the IMF wasn’t going to step in in time.”

How was Europe ‘pushing’ hard. This idea that the West staged some kind of coup is really not well supported.

This appears to be more of an internal border dispute for the Former Soviet Union, not very different than Azerbaijan, Georgia, Chechnya, North Ossetia. All those places which were never really released all the way. Similar trouble is expected for the Caucasus and South Ossetia in coming. And no politician or ‘foreign policy expert’ has made a real case as to why I should care.

Russia’s gonna Russia, no? They can keep Chernobyl, who really wants it.

Posted by AlkalineState | Report as abusive

Good article. Few additional points: Back in the 90s the oligarchs ruled (robbed and pillaged) Ukraine. Orange revolution takes place in the aughts. Roughly same oligarchs continue to rule Ukraine. Yanukovich “wins” elections. Sames oligarchs continue to rule Ukraine. Yanukovich runs to Russia. Mostly same (minus 2) oligarchs rule Ukraine. In fact, few of them are installed in the Russian leaning East as governors.
Yanukovich wanted to be his own boss, in order to do that he HAD to balance EU vs. Russia. Russia was OK with playing along, EU has grown tired of his BS. Finally, they gave him an offer he should have refused, but that was not what Yanukovich wanted. He just did not read the agreement, because he wanted to keep playing. The rest is history…

Posted by SeeEyeDog | Report as abusive

Russia is not really doing anything THAT crazy here. They want a buffer zone, because they have been attacked multiple times by Europeans for centuries now.

In the Mexcian-American war, we invaded Mexico (sacking Mexico City) and took territory from them (All of current-day California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Etc) all because Mexico was arming up its own territory. This would be roughly like Canada bombing the U.S. capitol because we have an Air Force Base in North Dakota.

Our indignation over Russia’s actions in Ukraine is ignorant at best.

Posted by AlkalineState | Report as abusive

While a lot of what Mr Bremmer says is true, one would be very surprised if the Kremlin’s strategic planners had not anticipated a whole host of possible responses from both the US and the EU. A stable democratic Ukraine would be the current Kremlin’s worst nightmare, so they’ve had years to prepare for what is for them a very high priority scenario.

As an example, while Voice of Russia’s Russian language service wobbled a bit in the early days of the Maidan protests (with “eye witnesses” claiming the protesters all had Georgian accents), ever since they hit on the “Bandera” meme, it’s been a steady, and crude but well scripted crescendo – and one specific example was that a couple of days *before* Yanukovich fled, they had “experts” urging people in the Russian-speaking regions to set up “armed self-defence groups”. That shows pretty detailed planning and gaming.

As a second example, all those *Muscovite* Nashi activists raising flags over government buildings in Ukraine – it must have taken time to assemble them and bus them in, so again, it seems the planners were making provision for the situation where the indigenous population didn’t feel like rocking the boat.

As for who loses? All of us. With long-term sanctions imposed, I suspect it will be a very long time before the UN Security Council ever passes another resolution on anything.

Posted by Ian_Kemmish | Report as abusive

“A stable democratic Ukraine would be the current Kremlin’s worst nightmare”

Really? That’s Russia’s WORST nightmare? Not entanglement in Syria or continued off-shoring of Russian assets. Not the continued erosion of security in the Muslim-infiltrated areas of the empire? Not the rise of China and their hunger for western goods. Not the advent of fracking and its price-depressing effect on oil and natural gas….

No, the Kremlin’s worst nightmare is…. a peaceful Ukraine. And why is that again?

Posted by AlkalineState | Report as abusive

i find this article pretty weak if not devoid of facts and reason…although the conclusion that “Ukraine is a clear loser” i do agree with…for now.

First off Putin’s reaction has been completely contradictory: first he offers tens of billions…no strings attached!…and then wheels around an invades? Second Secretary of State Kerry never “excluded” anybody…he welcomed the Russian monies and saw the West’s insipid response for what it in fact was: insipid.

What has happened since has been rather odd…an ad hoc-ery of sorts…as the very idea of diplomacy has failed and everyone has just gone about “doing their own thing.” The only “change” that is both striking and apparent comes from Frau Merkel.

The Russians and President Putin have been pretty clear who they thought was behind all the trouble with Kiev…namely Europe. I actually agree with this view…the Europe was trying to “split” Ukraine in too…but the fail safe is to keep the Americans out of it, yes, yes?

Instead events have taken on a life of their own…where staring down not only a full scale Russian INTERVENTION into Crimea (under a totally false narrative of “aggrieved Russians”) PLUS what appears to be full scale Russian INVASION…for what purpose no rational person could understand.

Now Chancellor Merkel has changed her views 180 degrees and has gone along with a sanctions program…something which I think could be devastating for both Russia and Europe actually.

I believe a strong response…something not very complicated since the history here is so God-awful…is what is needed…not something clever.

Russia still has the second largest store of nuclear weapons in the world…and this article makes no mention of Nunn-Lugar which shows the authors ignorance of “how we’ve already move beyond NATO” here.

In other words we already have strong working relationships from within Russia itself that serve both the interests of the USA and Russia. Any “destabilization” (clearly the Russian people do not support Putin here) could have dramatic consequences within Russia itself.

In short “this is a very dangerous situation” i think is an understatement because if Putin believes he may have made a colossal blunder here…he might feel compelled to double down on that bet and go all in on a full scale invasion and occupation of Ukraine proper.

I find it very informative that before George W. Bush did anything vis a vis “post 9/11″ he got Russia’s support. I fail to see how President Putin is trying to do the same thing here.

And indeed…it may already too late.

Obviously many Americans might wake up and find themselves surprised that they are at war with Russia for the first time in History come say…Monday.

Posted by lkofenglish | Report as abusive

Had the new regime in Kiev been truly democratic they would have supported a referendum in the Crimea and the east instead of screaming rape. If, indeed, the areas of Ukraine that have Russian majorities want to secede , then they have the right to do so.
Clearly, the Ukraine will end up being the biggest loser and they will have no one to blame but themselves.

Posted by Biscayne | Report as abusive

Bremmer is part of the Hoover Institution for War and Profit. His group are responsible for pushing the unending, criminal Bush Wars, for which they have yet to PAY!

We got nothing from those conservatives but the World’s Biggest Bad Debt, the rape and ruin of our Armed Forces, the four trillion dollar cost, the thousands of lives lost, the 200,000 civilians killed, leaving us in the Bush Police State and the Great Republican Economic Meltdown, wherein we lost 40% of the value of America.

Instead of advice, this guy should be giving us an apology!

Posted by gkam | Report as abusive

This crisis will have repercussions. Some will only become evident with time, others can already be discerned:

1). With the annexation of Crimea Putin reiterates the lesson he taught the Bush Administration neocons during the Georgia war of 2008. That is, Russia will not tolerate Western political/territorial encroachment. Any attempt to nibble away at the Russian Federation will carry a hefty price tag.

2). The crisis will stoke Russian nationalism and deepen East-West suspicion and antagonism. Either or both will strengthen Putin and his block at home. Putin’s moves in Crimea are wildly popular among ordinary Russians.

3). The Western banking and business cartels, seeking to take ownership of East European resources (ultimately those of Russia) and to procure additional indentured economic serfs such as those they’ve acquired in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, will have to re-calibrate their strategy. Western imperialists have always dreamed of appropriating Russian resources. The long list of invasions, from Napoleon to Hitler attests to this simple fact. The Russians are keenly aware of this historical record, which explains to some extent their unambiguous response in Ukraine.

Posted by jrpardinas | Report as abusive

The delusion of the above comments is the notion that Russia has ever been a winner at anything. Lost Crimean war in 1800s. Lost WWI. Horrible revolution left Russian people straddled with oppressive inefficient government. Had their hat handed to them by Germany during WWII. Yes, USSR “won” the war, but at what cost? Warsaw Pact ultimately a big loser. Soviet Empire falls apart. Now Russia is hopelessly behind on the world military stage. Obsolete weapons systems. And now Putin has subscribed to more of the same. Lack of long-term vision. Chest-thumping. More Nationalism. How has that worked over the course of history? The biggest losers here are the Russian people.

Posted by Calvin2k | Report as abusive

ARJTurgot2: “Obama is going to finance the operations of the Russian army in Crimea. Why would Putin be upset about that.”

No the American tax paying citizens are going to pay for this via IMF channels, not Obama. This is beyond ridiculous, and I can see this as well. L.

lkofenglish: SPOT ON.

Ian Bremmer – Awesome as usual. L.

Posted by 2Borknot2B | Report as abusive

Nice article well written with great insight, there is one element missing in this whole global picture of “news”. After reading several blogs on many many sites there seems to be a great deal of resentment towards USA & EU, so that tells you that what we are seeing is through the eyes of the politicians and not the common citizens.

Posted by politicaljunkie | Report as abusive

It will take some time to see who loses the most out of this mess, but what we do know is the U.S. loses because we are stuck with the worst, most arrogant, ego driven, inept, WEAK, INCOMPETENT, Job Killing President in U.S. history. The mess Jimmy Carter made of U.S. foreign policy in the last 70s has been far surpassed by our pathetic President Obama. The entire world leadership hold him in complete contempt, and China, Russia, Syria, Iran and others have no problem giving him “THE FINGER” in public in front of the entire world. What’s crazy is that even as Obama’s weakness and incompetence have all of our adversaries on the move Obama is gutting our military to levels not see since the start of WWII, and he’s giving away U.S. control of the Internet to the worlds tyrants. How long folks will we have free use of the Internet after Obama gives control of it to Russian, China, N Korea, Iran, Syria, and the other nuts and tyrants of the world? Obama is a menace to our economy, our national security, and our FREEDOM.

Posted by valwayne | Report as abusive

It will take some time to see who loses the most out of this mess, but what we do know is the U.S. loses because we are stuck with the worst, most arrogant, ego driven, inept, WEAK, INCOMPETENT, Job Killing President in U.S. history. The mess Jimmy Carter made of U.S. foreign policy in the last 70s has been far surpassed by our pathetic President Obama. The entire world leadership hold him in complete contempt, and China, Russia, Syria, Iran and others have no problem giving him “THE FINGER” in public in front of the entire world. What’s crazy is that even as Obama’s weakness and incompetence have all of our adversaries on the move Obama is gutting our military to levels not see since the start of WWII, and he’s giving away U.S. control of the Internet to the worlds tyrants. How long folks will we have free use of the Internet after Obama gives control of it to Russian, China, N Korea, Iran, Syria, and the other nuts and tyrants of the world? Obama is a menace to our economy, our national security, and our FREEDOM.

Posted by valwayne | Report as abusive

It will take some time to see who loses the most out of this mess, but what we do know is the U.S. loses because we are stuck with the worst, most arrogant, ego driven, inept, WEAK, INCOMPETENT, Job Killing President in U.S. history. The mess Jimmy Carter made of U.S. foreign policy in the last 70s has been far surpassed by our pathetic President Obama. The entire world leadership hold him in complete contempt, and China, Russia, Syria, Iran and others have no problem giving him “THE FINGER” in public in front of the entire world. What’s crazy is that even as Obama’s weakness and incompetence have all of our adversaries on the move Obama is gutting our military to levels not see since the start of WWII, and he’s giving away U.S. control of the Internet to the worlds tyrants. How long folks will we have free use of the Internet after Obama gives control of it to Russian, China, N Korea, Iran, Syria, and the other nuts and tyrants of the world? Obama is a menace to our economy, our national security, and our FREEDOM.

Posted by valwayne | Report as abusive

It will take some time to see who loses the most out of this mess, but what we do know is the U.S. loses because we are stuck with the worst, most arrogant, ego driven, inept, WEAK, INCOMPETENT, Job Killing President in U.S. history. The mess Jimmy Carter made of U.S. foreign policy in the last 70s has been far surpassed by our pathetic President Obama. The entire world leadership hold him in complete contempt, and China, Russia, Syria, Iran and others have no problem giving him “THE FINGER” in public in front of the entire world. What’s crazy is that even as Obama’s weakness and incompetence have all of our adversaries on the move Obama is gutting our military to levels not see since the start of WWII, and he’s giving away U.S. control of the Internet to the worlds tyrants. How long folks will we have free use of the Internet after Obama gives control of it to Russian, China, N Korea, Iran, Syria, and the other nuts and tyrants of the world? Obama is a menace to our economy, our national security, and our FREEDOM.

Posted by valwayne | Report as abusive

It will take some time to see who loses the most out of this mess, but what we do know is the U.S. loses because we are stuck with the worst, most arrogant, ego driven, inept, WEAK, INCOMPETENT, Job Killing President in U.S. history. The mess Jimmy Carter made of U.S. foreign policy in the last 70s has been far surpassed by our pathetic President Obama. The entire world leadership hold him in complete contempt, and China, Russia, Syria, Iran and others have no problem giving him “THE FINGER” in public in front of the entire world. What’s crazy is that even as Obama’s weakness and incompetence have all of our adversaries on the move Obama is gutting our military to levels not see since the start of WWII, and he’s giving away U.S. control of the Internet to the worlds tyrants. How long folks will we have free use of the Internet after Obama gives control of it to Russian, China, N Korea, Iran, Syria, and the other nuts and tyrants of the world? Obama is a menace to our economy, our national security, and our FREEDOM.

Posted by valwayne | Report as abusive

It will take some time to see who loses the most out of this mess, but what we do know is the U.S. loses because we are stuck with the worst, most arrogant, ego driven, inept, WEAK, INCOMPETENT, Job Killing President in U.S. history. The mess Jimmy Carter made of U.S. foreign policy in the last 70s has been far surpassed by our pathetic President Obama. The entire world leadership hold him in complete contempt, and China, Russia, Syria, Iran and others have no problem giving him “THE FINGER” in public in front of the entire world. What’s crazy is that even as Obama’s weakness and incompetence have all of our adversaries on the move Obama is gutting our military to levels not see since the start of WWII, and he’s giving away U.S. control of the Internet to the worlds tyrants. How long folks will we have free use of the Internet after Obama gives control of it to Russian, China, N Korea, Iran, Syria, and the other nuts and tyrants of the world? Obama is a menace to our economy, our national security, and our FREEDOM.

Posted by valwayne | Report as abusive

The EU doesn’t want anything to do with the Ukraine. Kleptocratic oligarchs rule there as in Russia. Until that changes anything to do with financing Russia or the Ukraine is pure lunacy.

Posted by nickir | Report as abusive

The EU doesn’t want anything to do with the Ukraine. Kleptocratic oligarchs rule there as in Russia. Until that changes anything to do with financing Russia or the Ukraine is pure lunacy.

Posted by nickir | Report as abusive

Oh and all they can do is dig mines and drill for oil and gas!

Posted by nickir | Report as abusive

When reading the mainstream news, it’s handy to have a “Newspeak” dictionary to decipher what is really being said. For example, when reports reference a particular country, they really mean the natural resources of that country. When they talk about ‘the people’, they mean the wealthy ones. Poor people who are fed up with government and corporate looting of their wealth are termed “rebels” (if we like them) and ‘terrorists’ if we don’t. ‘Foreign interests’ typically mean corporate and banking interests from the UK, Israel, and USA. ‘Government’ is synonymous with those same interests. Referendums and other voting activity is only recognized when it aligns with aforementioned interests; otherwise it’s ‘lawlessness’. ‘Sanctions’ are punishment for being poor and politically unconnected. And war, as you already know, is “politics by other means.”

Posted by h5mind | Report as abusive