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A Cornered Animal is a Dangerous Thing: Putin's Ukraine Meddling Begins Anew

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    You may have thought that the Ukraine conflict was winding down, but don't tell that to President Putin. Russian backed rebels have been wreaking havoc in the country and are putting Europe in the United States in the unenviable position of deciding what to do next. Will the West step in and help out the Ukrainian government or let them fend for themselves? How they respond will also determine what Putin does next.

    It should be of no surprise that Putin is doing what he's doing. A caged animal usually resorts to fighting for its life whenever it is cornered and that is exactly what is happening with Putin right now. His economy is in complete shambles, so waging a war to get your peoples minds off their current economic duress actually makes a lot of sense. What better way to get some pressure off of you than wage a war to drum up the support of your population? It's a tried and true method that many leaders have done before, so we should not be too surprised that Putin is doing what he's doing.

    The question is what the West will do. I can see both sides of the argument, but I am more of a realist when it comes to this issue. Arming the Ukrainian Government will only go so far. What would our end game be if we decide to help the Government of Ukraine more than we already do? Overthrow the Putin regime? Possibly ignite World War 3 over a former Soviet satellite state?

    This is not a sign of weakness on the West's part; it's a sign of realism. My main question is for those who disagree with me is what should we do other than play the long game and eventually watch Russia's economy crumble beneath their feet? Should we send American troops? Arm the Ukrainian Government with even more weapons? It's easy to criticize the West's response, but is a potential major conflict between the West and Russia over a former satellite state worth the investment of lives and treasure the West would have to make to push Russia back?
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    I've been hearing for a while that the US was considering providing arms to the Ukraine. Sounds crazy for such a bold move. Today I saw on the news that Poland was considering selling arms to the Ukraine......... I was surprised. Then I thought this is the US providing arms via Poland. If I were Poland I would keep an eye to the east as Russia would probably retaliate.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Tony Johnson Wrote: I've been hearing for a while that the US was considering providing arms to the Ukraine. Sounds crazy for such a bold move. Today I saw on the news that Poland was considering selling arms to the Ukraine......... I was surprised. Then I thought this is the US providing arms via Poland. If I were Poland I would keep an eye to the east as Russia would probably retaliate.
    I have a feeling you are thinking correctly. Poland doesn't have the type of military that could provide heavy arms to Ukraine, but America and many other countries in the West do. The only reason I can see Poland doing it is to show Russia that a former Soviet state will stick up for their brethren. It would provide powerful optics, but I don't think Russia would be fooled into thinking that Poland is the one providing all the arms.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    Tony Johnson Wrote: I've been hearing for a while that the US was considering providing arms to the Ukraine. Sounds crazy for such a bold move. Today I saw on the news that Poland was considering selling arms to the Ukraine......... I was surprised. Then I thought this is the US providing arms via Poland. If I were Poland I would keep an eye to the east as Russia would probably retaliate.
    I have a feeling you are thinking correctly. Poland doesn't have the type of military that could provide heavy arms to Ukraine, but America and many other countries in the West do. The only reason I can see Poland doing it is to show Russia that a former Soviet state will stick up for their brethren. It would provide powerful optics, but I don't think Russia would be fooled into thinking that Poland is the one providing all the arms.
    No, Europe including Poland will do such; the whole of east Europe is dependend of Russian energy; so they would like to maintain a "balance"; providing weapons via Poland is nuts; everyone knows what a US made weapon looks like; so they know the real sourse. Meddling in that region by us will be a disaster; haven't we learned nothing from all our other meddling in the world? We seldom know "history/backgrounds" of disputes let alone cultural/etnic borders and motivations. Iraq should have opened our eyes.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Dutch Wrote: No, Europe including Poland will do such; the whole of east Europe is dependend of Russian energy; so they would like to maintain a "balance"; providing weapons via Poland is nuts; everyone knows what a US made weapon looks like; so they know the real sourse.
    I'm not disagreeing with you that everyone knows what a US made weapon looks like. Mainly because most of them say 'Made in the USA' right on them. I vividly remember when the Egyptian government of Hosni Mubarak fired American made tear gas canisters on the peaceful protesters who eventually forced his ouster. The optics of that were terrible.

    I will disagree that 'the whole of East Europe' is dependent on Russian energy. Many Eastern European countries have major renewable and nuclear energy programs and they get a lot of oil and gas from sources other than Russia. PBS Newshour just did a great piece today about this very subject.

    Dutch Wrote:Meddling in that region by us will be a disaster; haven't we learned nothing from all our other meddling in the world? We seldom know "history/backgrounds" of disputes let alone cultural/etnic borders and motivations. Iraq should have opened our eyes.

    What do you mean when you say that US meddling in that region will be a disaster? We have been meddling in Europe for decades. America has dozens of military bases throughout Europe and currently has thousands of American soldiers stationed on all corners of the continent. We are deeply invested in Europe. You may not like it, but those government who are dependent on American protection aren't necessarily calling for us to leave their country.

    The PBS piece I provided a link to discusses how this is a chess match between Russia and the Western World. I may not be a huge fan of American imperialism, but I am an even lesser fan of President Putin. American involvement in Europe isn't going away anytime soon. It's a matter of what's worse--American meddling or Russian meddling. And we already saw what Russian meddling looks like during the Cold War.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Jared; I was talking about "east Europe" ( the countries who were once part of the old Soviet block) Western Europe is a total different story. So don't mix that up and generalize the whole of Europe. Sure in Western Europe there are US bases; which most countries do not like at all. In the Netherlands the US exposure is getting less and less; it used to have Soesterberg, Volkel etc as an airforce base but they are closing these for the US use. Of course in Germany Ramstein is a huge base. Most people do not like these bases, because the US is flying in everything they need, so the communities do not get much bussiness or benefit from these bases other than some army nuts who get drunk outside the base.
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    I am not an expert on these things, but I get a very uncomfortable feeling, about the US giving arms to the Ukraine or anyone else in the region, to be "used" to defeat Putin or Russian troops. Do we remember Iraq? We gave them tons of weapons & 10 yrs of training, & all they did was "cut and run" and left all the weapons behind, to be used by ISIS. Same could happen in this new situation: the people in Ukraine could cut & run, and give all the US weapons to Russia, who would be thrilled to either use them against us, or sell them to any other nation. Then make a Profit off them, at the US taxpayer expense. ---- Goodie!! We get to pay taxes to "arm" all our enemies overseas!! (Why does this all sound way too familiar?) -- I smell the faintest scent of napalm & the chessboard of the CIA.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    eternal flame Wrote: I am not an expert on these things, but I get a very uncomfortable feeling, about the US giving arms to the Ukraine or anyone else in the region, to be "used" to defeat Putin or Russian troops. Do we remember Iraq? We gave them tons of weapons & 10 yrs of training, & all they did was "cut and run" and left all the weapons behind, to be used by ISIS. Same could happen in this new situation: the people in Ukraine could cut & run, and give all the US weapons to Russia, who would be thrilled to either use them against us, or sell them to any other nation. Then make a Profit off them, at the US taxpayer expense. ---- Goodie!! We get to pay taxes to "arm" all our enemies overseas!! (Why does this all sound way too familiar?) -- I smell the faintest scent of napalm & the chessboard of the CIA.
    Eternal; I guess you get the picture; also over there are a lot of etnic groups; WWI and WWII changed the borders a few times; which indeed applies to Iraq as well thus a lot of simularities. It is time our politicians get history lessons.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Just on the Dutch news: McCain scolded Merkel by somehow stating that she acts like Hitler did before WWII, because she refuses that the US supplies weapons to the Ukraine. It is obvious what McCain wants ! He gets money from the war industry via our fantastic lobby system; he does not care if WWIII would start. He even claims that Merkel does not care that people get slaughtered in the Ukraine; while he does himself earns plenty of money over dead bodies all over the world.

    Merkels point is very clear; she does not want an escalation of that conflict. If we would supply wapons there; then Russia would see our meddling as an act of aggression by us at their borders, which will only increase tensions because we are then involved in a two country dispute. How is it possible that a sole stupid greedy senator can contact a foreign leader without the Presidents approval of what he is going to say or do. Is McCain running this country?
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Just a message to our readers; the news you see here in this country is in most cases censored; so most "island" Americans do not get the "real" news because that may put things into a different "light" on how we are acting in this world; we are always portrayed as the "good" "honest" nation in our news; forget it, I'm shaking my old head.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Dutch Wrote: Just a message to our readers; the news you see here in this country is in most cases censored; so most "island" Americans do not get the "real" news because that may put things into a different "light" on how we are acting in this world; we are always portrayed as the "good" "honest" nation in our news; forget it, I'm shaking my old head.
    I wouldn't say it is censored. Censored news is what America had in WWII. That was censored news, but we don't have that today.

    We are inundated with phenomenal news outlets in this country, but they aren't as mainstream as CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, et al. You really don't have to look that hard to get real news, either. I'm more of a fan of reading my news than watching it, so the internet is my main outlet to read news. The internet is also my main outlet to watch news, as well. 'Democracy Now!', 'Bill Moyers', 'The Real News Network', and countless other websites are freely available to navigate and enjoy. That is the exact antithesis of censorship.

    Now, you won't get an argument from me if you want to lament the fact that most Americans choose to spend more time watching 'America's Got Talent' than the nightly news, but that doesn't mean there's censorship in America. What that means is that American's care more about 'America's Got Talent' than what is going on in the world. That is a sad fact, but not censorship.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Back to the topic......... Why is Putin so obsessed with the Ukraine ? It's not that he needs more land........ Maybe it's a control issue. If he steals Ukraine back, will he next go for Georgia, and the Baltic states ? Perhaps he's pushing on this because Europe and the USA don't want him to and he won't be told what to do.
    I don't know.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Why is n't anyone reacting on what McCain did? Read my mail pls.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    Dutch Wrote: Just a message to our readers; the news you see here in this country is in most cases censored; so most "island" Americans do not get the "real" news because that may put things into a different "light" on how we are acting in this world; we are always portrayed as the "good" "honest" nation in our news; forget it, I'm shaking my old head.
    I wouldn't say it is censored. Censored news is what America had in WWII. That was censored news, but we don't have that today.

    We are inundated with phenomenal news outlets in this country, but they aren't as mainstream as CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, et al. You really don't have to look that hard to get real news, either. I'm more of a fan of reading my news than watching it, so the internet is my main outlet to read news. The internet is also my main outlet to watch news, as well. 'Democracy Now!', 'Bill Moyers', 'The Real News Network', and countless other websites are freely available to navigate and enjoy. That is the exact antithesis of censorship.

    Now, you won't get an argument from me if you want to lament the fact that most Americans choose to spend more time watching 'America's Got Talent' than the nightly news, but that doesn't mean there's censorship in America. What that means is that American's care more about 'America's Got Talent' than what is going on in the world. That is a sad fact, but not censorship.
    Jared, yes I understand, but it is still news generated here. If you want other news than US , then indeed get the direct news from Europe; I can compare things on how they look at it versus here for the same news. For instance my McCain story you don't see that here; it was an elaborate piece; too long for me to translate, but it shows things on how the US is doing things behind your back, which could have huge implications; while you are not aware of it. Afterwards the finger pointing starts but you have then no real background of the why and how, but only an American perspective point of view which is then twisted and portrayed rosy for us.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Tony Johnson Wrote: Back to the topic......... Why is Putin so obsessed with the Ukraine ? It's not that he needs more land........ Maybe it's a control issue. If he steals Ukraine back, will he next go for Georgia, and the Baltic states ? Perhaps he's pushing on this because Europe and the USA don't want him to and he won't be told what to do.
    I don't know. T
    Tony; it is correct that you said; I don't know, neither do I. However there is more to it than you mentioned. Again it is an issue of "border" and "etnic" issues as in Iraq.The borders were defined after the World Wars but seldom based on "etnic" borders. Also depending on a "status" money wise; Russia may offer more "communistic" benefits than the Ukraine does; so it is also a money/income/social security issue etc. So the combination of all of that and a different language ( Russian in that area versus Ukraine) creates friction etc. Russia got plenty of resources of its own; the whole of Siberia is full of it.