Title courtesy of the great James Taranto, of course.
Of course, Russian thugs don’t scare so easily when US warnings are accompanied by the sound of surf and struck golf balls.
Title courtesy of the great James Taranto, of course.
Of course, Russian thugs don’t scare so easily when US warnings are accompanied by the sound of surf and struck golf balls.
Stay a while, why don’t you?
Nine Ukrainian Jews injured by gunfire during fighting in Kiev were flown to Israel Friday afternoon to receive crucial medical treatment.
The wounded, who are said to be in serious condition, were taken to Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot.
The head of the World Forum of Russian Speaking Jewry, Alexander Levin, said that Kiev’s central synagogue functioned as an emergency triage center late into Thursday night, while efforts to transfer the wounded were being coordinated, according to Israel Radio.
Ukraine’s Jews have found themselves in a tense predicament since the ouster of president Viktor Yanukovych late last month. But the community, which numbers over 100,000, has been largely supportive of Ukrainian nationalists against a subsequent military invasion of Crimea by Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has attempted to cast Ukrainian nationalists as anti-Semites and neo-Nazis, in what has been described by many Ukrainian Jews as a disinformation campaign meant to turn world opinion against the country’s fledgling government.
An attack on a synagogue last week in Crimea has been used by Russia to back up its assertions, but Jewish leaders in Ukraine maintain that anti-Semitism is not on the rise.
Rather they say:
“Your certainty about the growth of anti-Semitism in Ukraine, which you expressed at your press conference, also does not correspond to the actual facts,” wrote the group. “Perhaps you got Ukraine confused with Russia, where Jewish organizations have noticed growth in anti-Semitic tendencies last year.”
Like I know what’s going on. I’m sure there’s antisemitism in Ukraine—there’s antisemitism in France, Britain, Ireland, and Greece (to name but a few), for crissakes, why should Ukraine be any different? But for Putin to say Russia had to intervene to save the Jews… stop it.
In remarks to reporters, Obama ridiculed Putin’s justification for any Russian military action in the Crimea region of southern Ukraine.
“I actually think that this has not been a sign of strength…”
No, sir. It certainly has not.
President Barack Obama is a “low-IQ US president,” whose threat to launch a military offensive should nuclear talks fail is an oft-cited punchline in the Islamic Republic, particularly among children, an Iranian general said on Tuesday.
“The low-IQ US president and his country’s Secretary of State John Kerry speak of the effectiveness of ‘the US options on the table’ on Iran while this phrase is mocked at and has become a joke among the Iranian nation, especially the children,” General Masoud Jazayeri said, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.
Jazayeri was responding to the US president’s interview in Bloomberg on Sunday, in which Obama maintained that the Iranian leadership should take his “all options on the table” stance — including the warning of a potential military strike — seriously.
“We have a high degree of confidence that when they look at 35,000 US military personnel in the region that are engaged in constant training exercises under the direction of a president who already has shown himself willing to take military action in the past, that they should take my statements seriously,” the president told Bloomberg.
Jazayeri called Obama’s statements regarding the deployment of US troops “completely inexpert remarks far from the reality, and these statements can be used as the joke of the year.”
The Iranian news agency Tuesday published a political cartoon mocking the US president, calling it: “All Options on Table.” This Time for Russia.” In a jab at US non-intervention in Ukraine, the cartoon portrays Obama peering forlornly into an empty paint can with the label “Red Line” while Russian President Vladimir Putin walks away saying, “I think you used it all on Syria.”
Here’s the cartoon:
This is from an English language (sort of) Farsi news site. Who knows what the government really thinks, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they laugh at Obama.
He’s not as witty as Mark Steyn or James Taranto, but Victor Davis Hanson can be just as withering with his critiques:
Obama, as is his wont, always had mellifluous and sophistic arguments for why we had to take every soldier out of Iraq after the successful surge; why we needed to drop missile defense with the Poles and Czechs; why we needed both a surge and simultaneous deadline to end the surge in Afghanistan; why we first issued serial deadlines to Iran to ask them to please stop proliferation, then just quit the sanctions altogether just as they started to work; why we needed to “lead from behind” in Libya; why the Muslim Brotherhood was largely secular and legitimate and then later not so much so; why we issued redlines and bragged about Putin’s “help” to eliminate WMD in Syria, and were going to bomb and then not bomb and then maybe bomb; why we kept pressuring Israel; why we cozied up to an increasingly dictatorial Turkey; why we reached out to Cuba and Venezuela; and why we sometimes embarrassed old allies like Britain, Canada, and Israel.
Amid both the deeds and the facts came the serial $1 trillion annual deficits, the surge in borrowing for redistributionist payouts, the monetary expansion and zero-interest rates, and finally the vast cuts in the military budget, all of which fleshed out the caricature of a newly isolationist and self-indulgent America, eager to talk, bluster, or threaten its way out of its traditional postwar leadership role.
Again, each incident in and of itself was of little import. None were the stuff of crises. But incrementally all these tiny tesserae began forming a mosaic, fairly or not, of the Obama administration as either weak or clueless or perhaps both.
It was kinda funny that Putin bit off Crimea only days after the Obama regime announced plans to cut the army down to pre-WWII levels.
Accordingly, Mr. Putin, in empirical fashion, after factoring in the rhetoric and the facts, has decided that it is time, in the fashion of 1979–80, to move with probable impunity. Others are, of course, watching what Obama derides as Cold War chess games. Should Iran now go full bore on its nuclear program? Should China test Japanese waters and airspace a bit more aggressively? Should North Korea try to gain new concessions from its nuclear lunacy? Should the failed Communists of Latin America try forcibly exporting their miseries to neighbors? And all are operating on the shared assumption that the American reaction will be another “outrageous,” “unacceptable,” “don’t cross this line,” or another solemn Kerry lecture about the existential threats of global warming.
For some, like the now furrow-browed Europeans who once giddily lapped up the Victory Column pabulum, there is irony. For the Baltic states, Georgians, the Persian Gulf sheikdoms, the Japanese, the Taiwanese, and the South Koreans, there is increased anxiety about regional strains of Putanism spreading to their own backyards. And among our allies such as the British, Israelis, Canadians, and Australians, there is still polite bewilderment.
This will probably end in either two ways : Either Barack Obama will have his 1980 Jimmy Carter revelatory moment as something like an “Obama Doctrine,” or we could see some pretty scary things in the next three years as regional thugs cash in their chips and begin readjusting the map in their areas of would-be influence.
As has been noted before, Obama’s inherent pusillanimity has made for some interesting alliances (see Israel and Saudi Arabia). Can’t wait to see that Georgian-Japanese-Canadian mutual security pact. While America works on healthcare.gov.
So, we’re all on board that Russia behaved very badly, right? There should be “costs” (per Obama) for this “act of aggression” (per Kerry), right?
The West organized the coup in Ukraine and they can make this very ugly, but there is no chance of Russia being able to back down, Danny Welch, blogger and anti-war activist, told RT.
Russia’s dispatch of a stabilization force in Crimea on official request from local authorities was harshly criticized by US Secretary of State John Kerry over weekend, threatening to isolate Russia economically and politically and warning of potential asset freezes and visa bans.
“You just don’t invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests,” John Kerry said during an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press. “This is an act of aggression that is completely trumped up in terms of its pretext. It’s really 19th-century behavior in the 21st century.”
Danny Welch: The harshness of his [Kerry’s] reaction is indicative of the weakness of his position. In the first place it is absolutely surreal for the Secretary of State of the US to state that a country doesn’t have a right to invade other countries without a pretext, when right at the moment his own government is involved in up to a dozen countries. And I think the whole world thinks it sounds crazy except for the Western press.
RT: Western countries back Kiev … are we seeing a self-appointed government receiving international recognition?
DW: I’m not sure that’s international recognition. The Western powers always use a term international community when they mean themselves and a few of their closest friends. I think what remains to be seen is Russia and China – they are the two strongest members of the UN Security Council. They’ll obviously withhold recognition. Turkey basically agrees with Russia on the Crimean issue.
The coup is unraveling. The Navy commander defected and swore his leniency to Crimea. It’s not a tenable position for anyone involved, I think [the West] will try and they have military muscle, if they really want to start a war they can. [The West] started the coup, they funded the coup, they organized the coup – they can make this very ugly. But there is no chance of Russia being able to back down, so I don’t think they can do much.
RT: Washington and Brussels appear to be ignoring the nationalists and extremists within the Kiev government. Why is that?
DW: Because it’s supremely embarrassing. I was in Kiev and in Moscow many years ago, and one of the things that you can see when you’re on the ground there, that you are never taught in American schools, is the overwhelming pride at having defeated the fascists, and having pushed back the Nazis, and at what an incredible sacrifice of tens of millions of people for the Soviet Union and how important that is to the national identity. And now to have these Western powers actually paying fascists, paying neo-Nazis, to seize power in a country on Russia’s border is simply too evil and too embarrassing to admit, and so they’ll just continue to deny it.
That’s more than enough, as I’m sure you’ll agree. But it’s what they’re telling themselves. Or at least what this Danny Welch (who he?) is telling us.
I stopped there because there’s one little hole in his story: to paraphrase John Kerry, the Soviet Union was for the Nazis before they were against them. And it does little good to defeat German fascists if all you’re going to do is impose Russian fascism for the next four decades.
But if this is how Russia sees Obama/Kerry bluster, Ukraine is in for a very, very, very long winter.
Obama was elected on Hope-n-Change. Every now and then, it is instructive to see where he has lead us.
Let’s begin with his foreign policy. Obama has adopted the foreign policy of Neville Chamberlain, with similar results. The Arab Spring has turned into chaos in Egypt and Syria, with reports of approximately 140,000 deaths in Syria alone. We don’t have a grim milestone watch for Egypt or Libya. The press seems a bit bored. And it seems that Iran will soon be a nuclear power. That should help.
As Sarah Palin predicted, Russia has invaded Ukraine and Obama stands holding his limp you-know-what. (Ms. Palin didnt put it that way, I did.) At least Bill Clinton was capable of doing two things at once.
Oh and there are problems in Latin America too, it seems.
That’s all so dreary. Let’s turn to domestic matters. We now have a shiny new health care system that costs much more than predicted and delivers much less. But we love it just the same. It’s called ObamaCare.
And the economy continues to play CandyLand. Did you ever play CandyLand? Nothing ever happens and it goes on and on forever. I think that ObamaCare is somehow related to the performance of the economy, but who knows?
And what else is there? What am I missing here? Oh yeah. We hired a stoner, apparently, to be the President. He recently gave a talk in which he said that he “got high a lot” instead of doing school work, but that he got many, many chances to improve. This confirms what I suspected. Obama went to an elite private school in Hawaii, and from there to an ok school in California, Occidental College. People who work very hard at those elite private schools usually end up going to elite colleges. I’m not trying to be snotty here; that’s just a fact. Obama somehow then managed to go to Columbia and then to Harvard Law. The public has never seen his transcripts so we don’t know what his grades were in High School or what he studied at either Occidental or Columbia. But we can guess. Those of you who have kids in high school, or had them in high school, just imagine your son or daughter getting the ride this man has gotten. We elected him, fair and square. We deserve this because elections have consequences. But it is shocking to consider the power in the hands of such an incompetent.
Putin rides to the rescue of defenseless Russians in Crimea…by surrounding three Ukrainian bases!
Ukraine’s new Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk warned Sunday his crisis-hit country was on the “brink of disaster,” accusing neighbor Russia of declaring war.
Ukraine’s shaky new government mobilized troops and called up military reservists Sunday, even as the defense minister said Kiev stood no chance against Russian troops in a rapidly escalating crisis that has raised fears of a conflict.
Amid signs of Russian military intervention in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, Russian generals led their troops to three bases in the region Sunday demanding Ukrainian forces surrender and hand over their weapons, Vladislav Seleznyov, spokesman for the Crimean Media Center of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, told CNN.
Speaking by phone, he said Russian troops had blocked access to the bases, but added “there is no open confrontation between Russian and Ukrainian military forces in Crimea” and that Ukrainian troops continue to protect and serve Ukraine.
“This is a red alert. This is actually a declaration of war in our country,” Yatsenyuk said.
Obama didn’t start this, but everyone knows America is the only hope of the Ukraine. The White House even released a picture of President Obama talking to Putin.
You may want to speak a little louder next time, Mr. President. I don’t think Vladimir can hear your threats.
This does give me the opportunity I never fail to pass up to play my favorite telephone call between an American and a Russian leader:
Yesterday, I linked to a profile of Joe Biden, in which he lamented being given “every sh*t job” by Obama. You know, like Afghanistan, Iraq, Congress, so that Obama could focus on… what again?
Pretty clear it wasn’t Ukraine. The situation changes by the minute, so I won’t try to pin it down, but the next few days will determine of Obama was paying attention. His statements to date are pathetic. If he’s got more up his sleeve, however, he’d better get moving before Crimea becomes de facto Russian territory. Just as Abkhazia and South Ossetia morphed from Georgian to Russian in the blink of an ICBM.
Putin wants to get the band back together. If there’s one good thing about fascists like him, it’s that they make posers like Obama look like the 98-pound weaklings they are.
Sarah Palin may be having a bragging rights moment.
In 2008, when she was the GOP vice presidential nominee, Palin questioned in a speech whether then-Sen. Barack Obama would have the foreign policy credentials to handle a scenario in which Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine.
“After the Russian army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence – the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next,” she said in Reno, Nevada on October 21, 2008.
The former Alaska governor was happy to highlight her prediction on Friday and scold those who criticized her 2008 comments.
“Yes, I could see this one from Alaska,” she said on Facebook. That remark was a reference to a 2008 interview in which Palin argued that Alaska’s proximity to Russia helped boost her foreign policy experience.
Saturday Night Live parodied her remarks in a now-famous sketch with Tina Fey, who played Palin on the show, saying “I can see Russia from my house.”
On Facebook, Palin continued to explain how she anticipated a growing crisis between Russia and Ukraine, where there has now been an uncontested arrival of Russian military forces by air at a Russian base in Ukraine’s Crimea region. They are believed to be Russian land forces, according to a U.S. assessment.
Political tension grows in Ukraine’s Crimea region
“I’m usually not one to Told-Ya-So, but I did, despite my accurate prediction being derided as ‘an extremely far-fetched scenario’ by the ‘high-brow’ Foreign Policy magazine.”
Democrats are so dumb.
Strange, I thought that appeasement would work… But it turns out that if you don’t show strength to bullies, you get bullied.
Armed men occupied two key airports in Ukraine’s restive pro-Russia region of Crimea on Friday, a move that Ukraine’s interior minister called an “armed invasion” by Russia.
Stirring already heightened tension between the country and its powerful neighbor, soldiers wearing camouflage and bearing automatic weapons took up positions at Belbek Airport in Sevastopol, home of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, and at the airport in Simferopol, the region’s capital, Arsen Avakov said.
Russia’s fleet denied soldiers from its base were involved in blocking the Sevastopol airport and the spokesman for the country’s Defense Ministry couldn’t immediately be reached. Avakov said the soldiers’ uniforms bore no identifying marks “but they don’t hide their affiliation with the Russian armed forces.”
Later, Ukraine’s National Security Council chief, Andriy Paruby, said the events in Crimea wasn’t the work of Crimeans themselves.
“This is either small extremist-separatist groups or military personnel from the Russian Black Sea Fleet,” he said.
I’ll use ObamaLanguage™: Let me be clear. I don’t care whether Russia takes Crimea or if the whole of Eastern Europe goes down the drain. Certainly don’t want an armed confrontation. But what’s true is that the policies of appeasement that this administration has employed since day 1 – the bowing, apologizing and self-criticizing had given other leaders the impression that we are weak and isolationist. This is probably not a mistake on the part of the leaders of other nations, friends and foes. Too bad they don’t teach that stuff in Community Organizing School.
Maybe stopped for a quick brewski?
A Russian warship was docked in Havana Wednesday, without explanation from Communist Cuba or its state media.
The Viktor Leonov CCB-175 boat, measuring 91.5 meters (300 feet) long and 14.5 meters wide, was docked at the port of Havana’s cruise ship area, near the Russian Orthodox Cathedral.
The Vishnya, or Meridian-class intelligence ship, which has a crew of around 200, went into service in the Black Sea in 1988 before it was transferred seven years later to the northern fleet, Russian media sources said.
Neither Cuban authorities nor state media have mentioned the ship’s visit, unlike on previous tours by Russian warships.
The former Soviet Union was Cuba’s sponsor state through three decades of Cold War. After a period of some distancing under former Russian president Boris Yeltsin, the countries renewed their political, economic and military cooperation.
The ship is reportedly armed with 30mm guns and anti-aircraft missiles.
Hmm. Perhaps Obama is the genius that Joe Biden told us he was. Maybe He is trying to disrupt the entire communist world. After all, there are problems in Venezuela and in Ukraine. Maybe the plan is to get them to tear themselves to pieces? Or maybe he is just the dolt that I think he is, and the world is simply much less safe than it was the day George W. Bush handed him the keys to the White House.