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Ukraine is Burning, but Don't be Surprised if You Haven't Heard

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Ukraine is on the brink of descending into chaos after months of boiling tensions between the pro-Russian puppet government and pro-Western opposition that strive for closer ties with the European Union and a stronger voice in the way their country conducts its business. They started their protest nearly two months ago to rail against Ukraine's about face from signing a trade agreement with the EU and instead taking a bailout from Russia that guarantees the Kremlin will retain massive influence in the small eastern European country. The protests have only grown as time has progressed and today marks the first day that government forces opened fire and killed two of her own citizens.

    The politics behind this conflict are glaring and impossible to ignore, especially if you have a general understanding of the former USSR. Russia is clearly trying to keep its domination over the country and you need to only dust off your world map to understand why. Ukraine is one of the few satellite states that was under the USSR's control during the reign of the Soviet Union that Russia still has considerable influence over and they want to keep it that way. Russia's official statements on the escalating crisis shows that they have zero intention of letting Ukraine out of its grasp without a fight. How much they are willing to do for their puppet country is yet to be determined.

    What leaves me speechless is the way the American press has been covering these ongoing protests. One would think that peaceful protesters fighting against "the evil empire" would be front page news throughout the country. Why wouldn't we stand up for the small guy trying to break free from Russia after decades of domination? It truly boggles the mind if you sit back and think about it. I guess "Teen Mom" and "The Bachelor" are just too important to our misinformed population.

    Is it of any surprise that our electorate behaves the way that they do if our press willfully ignores this and countless other conflicts throughout the world? I sometimes ask myself what happened first--the complete and total meltdown of an intelligent press or the complete and total disengagement of national and world events by the electorate. I guess it's like asking if the chicken or the egg came first.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    I pretty much think you are correct but what is the US to do? Start WWIII? There's not much that Obama can or would do even if he were able. We need to stay the hell out of it.

    Putin already thinks he is much stronger than Obama and I'm afraid that he's right. Review the Syrian situation of this past summer when Obama and Kerry were determined to bomb Syria, and came out the big losers, while Putin came out stronger than ever.

    The thing about Putin is he doesn't worry about what people think if he decides to use his strong arm tactics to crush security threats, small countries (Remember Georgia?), rebellions, protests...etc. He does not have any reservations at all. He's a ruthless dictator, but he also has the security forces and military to use at will, and he won't hesitate.

    It is not even close..."reality" TV is far more important than world affairs for the vast majority. Al least 20 to 1, maybe 50 to 1 TV wins.

    I feel sorry for the people of Ukraine but what could we possibly do?
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Jared -- Yes it seems that the media has gone absent on several current conflicts...Egypt, Central African Republic, Thailand, and Ukraine, not to mention Syria.

    Jamesn -- It's funny how you and I view things differently. Did the United States invade Syria? No. They used the threat of heavy military engagement to get Putin to do what Obama wanted...stoppage and removal of the Syrian chemical weapons. I consider that a win for Obama. And if he didn't make that threat? Business as usual.

    Of course, the bigger problem is not yet resolved in Syria although the chemical weapon threat has been removed. It continues to require quiet diplomacy with the threat of America's military machine if the actors don't conform.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    Schmidt yes we see things differently. Obama and Kerry wanted desperately to bomb Syria, and Obama was surprised that he got so much opposition from America and especially his own party. ..."Did the United States invade Syria?"... No, that was never the threat. We were going to bomb them with cruise missiles.

    Kerry misspoke and that was the biggest positive contribution to the entire process.

    I hope you are not naive enough to believe that the ..."chemical threat has been removed"... There were reports last week that they may have been used again. Do you really think that Assad was going to give up all of his chemical weapons, or that anyone really knows where they all are? I hope so but I believe actions, not words.

    Most important point of all is that we didn't bomb them. And that is much more important than who "won or lost". Obama "lost" and that is OK because war was averted.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    This has gone on for a while now. I know in the past Russia invaded the Ukraine and many were killed. Russia is always flexing their muscle to intimidate the Ukraine. Ukraine has become very independent and want very much to entertain joining the EU. They would love to grow closer the US as they don't want any relations with Russia. They realize their hands are tied. I believe Russia will remain very stubborn on this topic. It will be very interesting to see if a win/win solution can be found.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    Schmidt you may want to look at Huffington Post where the activists claim that the Syrian Army used chemical weapons again on a Damascus suburb earlier this month and killed 3 and injured 13 article dated 1-13-14 updated 1-22-14. Don't know how accurate this report is but it doesn't sound to me as if ..."the chemical threat has been removed"...

    I'd love to think so, but I'm just not the trusting type when it comes to middle eastern dictators, especially those in the middle of a desperate civil war.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    I guess people forget how big the USSR (now russia) used to be; so it boils down to if Texas leaves us what are we going to do?
    Anyway I fully agree with Jamesn; about Syria; I'm still kind of pee'd off on this Kerry guy who used "dead kid's" as his selling point; while in Vietnam the US committed much worse crimes with chemicals. Also on the news; instead of the chemicals they found; horrible torture tactics were practised; so what is the difference? Again the US approaches things the wrong way; let the middle east countries together decide anything at all; the US should stay out of it. Also the US should not dictate or peddle its arrogant leadership(?) in the world, because I guarantee they will bet on the wrong horse (read religeous group), like they did in Iraq. Sorry to say the whole muslim world is a big mess right now, our interference will only make it a bigger mess ,as well create more hate against us including more and more terror groups get formed. Love those drones; they create exactly the opposite effect, but our uneducated leaders still think military actions solves all the problems of this world. Forget it!!!
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Dutch Wrote: I guess people forget how big the USSR (now russia) used to be; so it boils down to if Texas leaves us what are we going to do?
    I would have to disagree with this analogy. Ukraine is an independent country, in theory, that relies heavily on Moscow for financial and energy assistance. Your analogy would work if the South won the Civil War and seceded from the Union, but then relied heavily on the North for energy and monetary assistance.

    However, I do agree that Russia wants to retain its domination over Ukraine. All you have to do is look back at what Russia did to retain their influence in Georgia back in 2008 (thanks for pointing this out Jamesn) and know that they have no problem intervening in countries they share a border with. I don't know if Russia will invade Ukraine if more chaos ensues, but I would not be surprised if they stop at nothing to keep the puppet government of Ukraine afloat.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    jamesn Wrote: I pretty much think you are correct but what is the US to do? Start WWIII? There's not much that Obama can or would do even if he were able. We need to stay the hell out of it.
    I fully agree that we need to stay out of it militarily and I have no doubt that we will. I don't see any scenario where we would intervene on behalf of the Ukrainian people outside of Russia or the Ukrainian government committing serious war crimes against civilians. That still does not mean our press should be ignoring this and instead blanket the airwaves "reporting" on Justin Bieber's DUI arrest.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    Our press reports on what they think will get the highest ratings. Interest, and ratings for the Bieber arrest will far exceed those of the problems in Ukraine.

    Ratings equals MONEY so which do you think the media will concentrate on?
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    I don't disagree one bit. I'm just lamenting how our press has become beholden to the almighty dollar and forgot what their job was in the first place.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Ed Asner the news editor on the Mary Tyler Moore show was when we had integrity in the news business. Early 70's maybe. Before cable TV and ratings were important. Lou Grant I believe may have been the character.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    Dutch Wrote: I guess people forget how big the USSR (now russia) used to be; so it boils down to if Texas leaves us what are we going to do?
    I would have to disagree with this analogy. Ukraine is an independent country, in theory, that relies heavily on Moscow for financial and energy assistance. Your analogy would work if the South won the Civil War and seceded from the Union, but then relied heavily on the North for energy and monetary assistance.

    However, I do agree that Russia wants to retain its domination over Ukraine. All you have to do is look back at what Russia did to retain their influence in Georgia back in 2008 (thanks for pointing this out Jamesn) and know that they have no problem intervening in countries they share a border with. I don't know if Russia will invade Ukraine if more chaos ensues, but I would not be surprised if they stop at nothing to keep the puppet government of Ukraine afloat.
    Read my thread again; I said the "old" USSR ; at that time the Ukraine was part of it.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Dutch Wrote:
    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    Dutch Wrote: I guess people forget how big the USSR (now russia) used to be; so it boils down to if Texas leaves us what are we going to do?
    I would have to disagree with this analogy. Ukraine is an independent country, in theory, that relies heavily on Moscow for financial and energy assistance. Your analogy would work if the South won the Civil War and seceded from the Union, but then relied heavily on the North for energy and monetary assistance.

    However, I do agree that Russia wants to retain its domination over Ukraine. All you have to do is look back at what Russia did to retain their influence in Georgia back in 2008 (thanks for pointing this out Jamesn) and know that they have no problem intervening in countries they share a border with. I don't know if Russia will invade Ukraine if more chaos ensues, but I would not be surprised if they stop at nothing to keep the puppet government of Ukraine afloat.
    Read my thread again; I said the "old" USSR ; at that time the Ukraine was part of it.
    Also on the news today: Boehner called Putin a "thug"; I just wonder if he would be in Putin's place what would he do?
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    Putin can't be a "thug", he's white.

    In "Political Correct Land" only black people can be called thugs.

    I guess Boehner didn't get the memo.