Special Report: How the U.S. made its Putin problem worse

Comments (77)
UScitizentoo wrote:

> How the U.S. made its Putin problem worse
By listening to anything coming out of his mouth.
RasPutin is a chess player, a liar, a narcissist, and the head of the most powerful gang in the world, the KGB. Nothing rasPutin says is real, everything is an illusion bent to make sure he achieves his aims.
The only way to control rasPutin is to stop the flow of energy to Russia’s gas customers, and thereby the flow of money to fuel his SOVIET UNION II abortion. When you talk to rasPutin you might as well be watching his hair blow in the wind because nothing he says has a shred of reality. Choke off his financial lifeblood and you will have revolution in Moscow in August.

Apr 18, 2014 3:28pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Lithographer wrote:

Fantastic article. Finally truth comes out.

Apr 18, 2014 3:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Randy549 wrote:

Good article.

Apr 18, 2014 3:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
icedawg wrote:

Most Americans don’t have a clue as to how the rest of the world sees them, and they don’t really care. Sadly, US foreign policy (like much of its domestic policy) has been counterproductive in building good relationships. The US comes across as the bully, invading sovereign countries on pretence. Blackmail is the game. It’s assumption that the rest of the world wants its style of “democracy” and “capitalism”‘ is flawed. This article is critical but in a constructive way. It points out that politically the US has not been as savvy as it thinks it has.

Apr 18, 2014 3:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
roymeddock wrote:

Washington wants to dominate the world it is as simple as that. American democracy is not based on equality, but on a simple principle if you disagree with Washington you are evil,
The Obama administration uses drones for extra-judicial killings, tortures prisoners, and has such intrusive spynetwork that American have lost privacy. The spynetwork is even used to spy on economic interests like Petrobras in Brazil.
The sad part is that Washington does not realize it is a multipolar world, Russia, China and…. However, Washington wants the world to do whatever it desires.
If USA provides anti-tank milliles to Syrian rebels it is OK. If Russia di the same in Ukraine, hell would break loose.
If Washington’s standard for democracy is only nations that echo its goals, they need more friends like Pakistan who will be happy to take American money and shelter Osama bin laden.
Washington believes that anything bad for Russia is good for USA. god example giving political asylum to Chechens. That backfired with the Boston bombing.
If Ronald Reagan invades Grenada it is OK. If Russia goes to Crimea it draws comparisons to Hitler. Double standards and hypocrisy is what Washington is all about.

Apr 18, 2014 4:03pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Dhirajkunar wrote:

Whatever westerners may say, deriding Russia, we neutral people from India feel there HAS to be a check to western countries. In the form of Russia. And vice versa. Else either one will gobble up smaller countries rich in resources. Iran would have been invaded and annexed by America and Israel by now had Russia was not powerful as it is now.

Apr 18, 2014 4:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Dhirajkunar wrote:

While all this Ukraine drama is being played out, the evil few senators of America who used to draft one bill after another to sanction Iran, now no where to be seen. Very likely they are biting their nails how to reverse gear the entire process. Because gas supply from Russia to Europe is getting more high handed, its Iran who may have to be invited to bridge the gap. Iran will. Only after it is compensated for loss of business, reputation. And the amount will be so huge that Russian gas will be cheaper.

Apr 18, 2014 4:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
wirk wrote:

While this article is far from the endless propaganda of “aggressive Russia” it is still seems to promote a view that Russians just wrongly “perceive” that USA/NATO is trying to squeeze them while in fact this is not true. So is this just a wrong perception or not?

Let’s just refer to the current case of Ukraine. When Ms. Victoria Nuland tells that US spent 5 billion dollars over 20 ys to “promote” democracy in the Ukraine it already raises hairs if one looks at the state of democracy there:where exactly this monies went?. Then, during the coup in Kiev there is her telephone call with the US ambassador in which they are deciding who should be the prime minister, one has then impression of mincing the democracy in the kitchen. The crown in this call is the famous “F*ck the EU”. By the way, one has to be fully clear what really this F*ck means: it means EU/NATO partners’ intelligence and political circles were advising cautious and gradual approach to shift the Ukraine into the western sphere of influence and the US decided to do it fast. Why doing so then? Russians must obviously have tons of intelligence materials on this but even just by browsing public material in speeches, reports of neocon think tanks, policy institutes and so on one can find lots about strategic visions how Russian federation could be broken into parts by enticing internal ethnic and political conflicts with the endgame result in federation breaking and Russia becoming a mid-size state in Europe. One can find then that two absolutely strategic positions for achieving this goal are Georgia and Ukraine. No wonder then so much effort was pushed into “promoting democracy” in these countries. Now, is this all only a ‘wrong perception’ of Russia of waht US/NATO really have in mind? It definitely looks it is not, then it is absolutely clear why Russians behave like a big Russian bear: do not come close to my den or I will become biting hard.

Apr 18, 2014 4:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AnnonReuters wrote:

Great article. The one thing that I don’t get is that Putin seems extremely concerned about a missile DEFENSE network. It’s not like NATO is building missile silos. His overreaction is a significant contributing factor to Russia’s hostility that cannot be overlooked.

Apr 18, 2014 4:29pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

Makes one also wonder how badly the United States, and by extension Nato, are miscalculating the Chinese political and economic psyche, and how that will result in BRIC nations, led by China and increasingly suspicious India an Brazil, result in a new International monetary order that will replace the American dollar much like the US dollar replaced Sterling (the British pound) as the planet’s reserve currency. This has already begun and will no doubt become a full reality by mid-century — a mere 36 years from now.

Apr 18, 2014 4:44pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
lysergic wrote:

ANOTHER NEOCON FAILURE. WHEN PUTIN TOLD BUSH ‘ IF IRAQ IS YOUR IDEA OF DEMOCRACY, WE DON’T WANT IT’ BUSH REPLIES ” WAIT AND SEE ” WHO WOULD WANT WHAT BUSH/CHENEY DID TO IRAQ TO HAPPEN TO YOUR COUNTRY? HELL,I HATE WHAT THEY DID TO OUR COUNTRY!

Apr 18, 2014 4:54pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Leatherrope wrote:

Putin has nothing but contempt for Obama. And that’s not likely to get any better.

Apr 18, 2014 4:56pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Macedonian wrote:

Current polls show Mr. Putin is the most respected president around the world. If Obama continues listening to McCain war machinery and Zbigniev both relics of cold war then all he will get is slap in the face by Putin.

Apr 18, 2014 5:01pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
carlmartel wrote:

The US defeats itself because it never considers the goals of other countries when foreign affairs is always about OTHER countries. The US deserves its defeats. Many US idiots mention a “possible” Russian alliance with China, but the Shanghai Cooperation Organization or SCO is a military, economic, and political alliance that was founded in 2001, 13 years ago. Americans think that ignorance is a virtue.

The SCO includes Russia, China, and four central Asian lands. In 2011, the SCO agreed to watch Afghanistan after the US and NATO leave. They have conducted joint police and military exercises to prepare. China has built roads, railroads, and airports for better logistics and has invested in businesses to give muslims a better alternative to violence. China fights muslim rebels in Xinjiang; Russia fights them in the southern Caucasus; and the Taliban wants to create a central Asian caliphate that will include all seven “stans.” Russia’s enemies in Chechnya include the same people who helped kill 3 and wound 264 Americans in the Boston Marathon Bombings last year.

The Obama regime seeks to stay in Afghanistan despite the extremely difficult and excessively costly logistics for the US and NATO. This is one reason that the US has been going bankrupt and must cut its defense budget. The US should focus on north Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Middle East without massive interventions. Al Qaeda’s current leader has been moving his forces within striking distance of the oil and gas infrastructure because the US and NATO have mechanized militaries. The West’s mechanized economies need oil and gas to develop and pay for the military’s technological tools. The West’s need for oil and gas is another reason to develop good relations with Russia to provide the West with alternatives to islamic oil and gas.

Finally, democracy is America’s least exportable commodity. We can’t give the people in other countries the 150 years of US colonial history with the disputes between royal governors and the Virginia House of Burgesses that shaped men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and Patrick Henry. Other countries must live and shape their historical development. We can’t do that for them despite the stupidity and treason of current US foreign policy fairy tales.

Apr 18, 2014 5:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Sinbad1 wrote:

Putin has rebuilt Russia, and the standard of living of the Russian people continues to rise. A truly great man.

Apr 18, 2014 5:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
boreal wrote:

In Mr. Obama’s position no man could carry it all alone. He must have tons of advisors, experts of all stripes surrounding him. Just wonder, how many of those advisors have direct or circumstantial link to AIPAC.

Apr 18, 2014 5:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ptiffany wrote:

#IceDawg:
Have to agree with you. It’s interesting that some Americans still attack Putin – a despicable character – not understanding that we should look at our own selves in helping to explain why we are poor stewards of our position as supreme world leader. Romney may be a spoiled rich brat when it comes to understanding the 99.9% of Americans, but he’s not wrong about Russia still being an adversary with which we should trifle.

Apr 18, 2014 6:01pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

Russian operatives have been all over the internet with their lies. The author of this article has bitten.America is at fault for a lying, mafia fking dictator.

Apr 18, 2014 6:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ptiffany wrote:

Oops! “…with which we should NOT trifle.”

Apr 18, 2014 6:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
WJL wrote:

Mr Putin has too many times been betrayed by USA and is wise not to trust the Great Hypocrite.

Apr 18, 2014 6:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
WJL wrote:

Mr Putin has too many times been betrayed by USA and is wise not to trust the Great Hypocrite any more.

Apr 18, 2014 6:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
WJL wrote:

Mr Putin has too many times been betrayed by USA and is wise not to trust the Great Hypocrite any more.

Apr 18, 2014 6:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
carlmartel wrote:

With regard to US sanctions, Russia and China, SCO allies are expanding petrochemical refining to compete against US and EU refineries. The US imports greater volumes of crude but exports greater dollar amounts of refined petrochemicals that gives the appearance of US energy self-sufficiency. If the US and EU impose sanctions on Russia, both will compete with lower costs and lower prices to force the closure of US and EU refineries and raise the unemployment of US and EU petrochemical workers. Russia already has the oil, and it has shorter tanker distances and costs to markets for refined petrochemicals.

Apr 18, 2014 6:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Carth wrote:

This is a very good article. This is why I choose to go to Reuters now than the other crap sources like CNN or FOX. However, yes that line “Matlock, the former U.S. ambassador, said it was vital for Washington and Moscow to end a destructive pattern of careless American action followed by Russian overreaction.”, is spot on in summarizing the relations between the US and Russia

Apr 18, 2014 7:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
YesNoMaybeSo wrote:

Good article, I remember all the bragging certain US leaders and newspapers did about how “Reagan brought down the Soviet Union”. This is just an untrue pipe dream of some. Putin is indeed worried about being surrounded, not unlike we worried about missiles in Cuba. That being said, Putin is still in the wrong by annexing surrounding countries. His actions are over the top for a world leader today, it’s not 1933…or is it?

Apr 18, 2014 7:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Calfri wrote:

This school of thought leaves out democracy as something real, or at least elevates Putin’s view that democracy is a conspiracy against him. To the extent that Putin is an autocrat who simply doesn’t relate to democracy, I suppose it’s true. But then the question is, so what?

Apr 18, 2014 7:37pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
M.CH wrote:

Whatever the US does or says, Russia wants its former USSR glory back. This is through no fault of the US.

Apr 18, 2014 7:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
delta5297 wrote:

So basically Putin is angry over Bush-era slights, and because Obama shares in the horrible belief that mass murdering dictators like Assad and Gadhafi don’t deserve to remain in power?

Apr 18, 2014 8:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
oxen wrote:

NATO greed has no limits. They wish to devour Russia at all costs, and that includes chaos in Ukraine. Today Rice was making some threats too demanding that Russia makes Ukraine citizens obey orders? The same people asking Russia to tell Ukraine people what to do, are the same people saying Russia should stay out? Obama team is just a wreck. The small step Kerry made with Lavrov is now trash once you let people like Rice give orders and try to threaten Moscow! With a Libya , Syria style chaos in Ukraine, no one among NATO leaders seems satisfied yet!

Apr 18, 2014 8:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
xcanada2 wrote:

We no longer have a functioning democracy, and the system that President Putin and the Russian government represents is by far more acceptable to Russians, then our system is to Americans.

We have a corporate- and special interest-dominated government, pretending to be a democracy. Our elected government people can say what they want to get elected, and then do the bidding of the people who pay for them to get elected. That is our system. Can anybody argue much with that?

A particular problem with this system is that the most unscrupulous people rise to the top in our ruling corporations. That’s how they get there. These leaders couldn’t give a hoot about the 99%, or whether you are American or not: for example, shipping American jobs and manufacturing overseas, and even being righteous about it; banks gambling with our money and requiring multi-thousand-billion dollar bailouts with public money; trumped up wars; universal snooping; an extra $1.5 trillion dollars per year for medical; and much more. Government leaders are just faces of the corporations and special interests.

In the mean time, the 99% are manipulated by the full glory of Madison Ave, Hollyood, and the bought-out main-stream media— something the Russian government can’t even come close to.

Despite all the lies and propaganda the 99% are subjected to, Americans approval of Obama is 41 percent (and Congress much less), whereas Russians approval of Putin is 80 percent, and hasn’t been much different for the last six years. Middle class Russians may not be at the level of consumption we are at, but at least there is realistic hope for improvement. Not so here. And, Putin does really appear to have their back.

Is it any wonder why the world, in particular Russia and the Ukraine, is rejecting Western “democracy”?

Look, Prime Minister Yanukovitch of Ukraine was kicked out in the US sponsored coup. Five billion of our bucks does something. There were snipers paid for from the West (where else could the money have come from?), who were called in to push the gullible Western Ukrainians over the edge.

Not to discuss the advance of NATO up to the boundaries of Russia. No wonder they are nervous about US/NATO. In their position, who wouldn’t be?

Apr 18, 2014 10:37pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Neurochuck wrote:

Time for another round of “Battlefield Europe”. Make the nations slaughter each other, and London, Paris, Berlin and Moscow burn.
The winner is ***U*S*A***

Apr 18, 2014 11:26pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Denouncer wrote:

UScitizentoo: you are again writing nonsense.

Apr 18, 2014 11:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Laster wrote:

Trying to relate the psyche of Putin or the Russian peoples it might be germane to the discussion to understand where it is they come from and some of their real life experiences, and namely what they endured during and since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Some of us are old enough to remember the horror stories but didn’t actually live this as the Russian people did.

We had a small taste of this during the ’08 financial crisis as friends, relatives, co-workers were losing their jobs and their homes being foreclosed on, facing an uncertain future.

The Russian people endured this scenario on orders of magnitude while their homeland collapsed around them.
Party members and Apparatchik were able to confiscate and privatize whatever it was they could get their hands on, people were forced from their apartments into the cold winter streets when thugs wanted their residence, the East German military disappeared overnight to the highest bidder. The situation at the time became so dire Senators Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar flew to the former Soviet states in a bid to halt the smuggling and export of nuclear stockpiles insisting that then president-elect clinton not wait to assume office to address the issue.

Andreeva Bay and a once mighty, now rusting and sunken, Northern Fleet that faced funding and maintenance issues resulting in nuclear subs melting down with crews lost.

The basic social safety nets and charities we take for granted was basically non-existent, their best and brightest migrated for opportunities abroad while young women were lured by promises of employment in the middle east, ultimately entering human trafficking rings and forced into prostitution.

These are some of their experiences.

Apr 18, 2014 11:50pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Minor1 wrote:

Putin lies – he lied about the role of Russian troops and infiltrators in Crimea and now in eastern Ukraine. Putin wants what Putin wants. This is not a fault of the US.

Apr 18, 2014 11:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Laster wrote:

David Rohde is a columnist for Reuters, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a former reporter for The New York Times.

Thank you for this story and it’s good to read you in Reuters again.

Apr 18, 2014 11:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
leslie21 wrote:

The U.S. betrayed Russia and now they will face the storm. Our military is built for crushing 3rd world countries. Russia has 2040 more nukes than we do and Putin is clearly annoyed and ALL OPTIONS ARE DEFINITELY ON THE TABLE. 92% of Russians support him and are willing to go all the way.

Apr 18, 2014 12:16am EDT  --  Report as abuse
SanPa wrote:

This ultimately comes down to Putin’s reflection on GW’s oil on canvass portrayal. Vladimir was downright offended that GW chose to portray a soulless being, rather than the ardent Russian patriot.

In his eyes, GW’s painting was simply the last straw … and insult after being pummelled with a string of insults.

Apr 18, 2014 12:24am EDT  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:

Invading Iraq was perhaps the worst decision ever made in the history of the U.S. It was senseless and it made the world a more dangerous place. The U.S. attacked a sovereign country that posed absolutely zero threat to us based on misinformation and out right lies. Russia and the Ukraine. Is it really that hard not to see a parallel with how the U.S. reacted to a soviet presence in Cuba? Obama didn’t help last week when he said Russia didn’t want to get into a fight with the U.S. Because our military capabilities are far superior to Russia’s. While that is true, it serves no purpose to rub Putin’s face in it. Putin already knows this. Alternatively, Russia has nuclear capabilities that I don’t think we would want to test.

Apr 18, 2014 12:30am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JackHerer wrote:

@xcanada2 – I agree with much of your sentiment. Democracy in the West is most definitely broken. In most cases politicians only want, and know, one thing; gaining power. Doing the best thing for the people, and the world, once they gain power, seems sadly lacking however; be that through incompetence, cowardice, corruption (albeit often not overt), or whatever.

The bit I disagree strongly with you is when you assert that Russia is somehow better. It isn’t. It is far worse.

80% approval rating for Putin in Russia comes at a terrible price. That price is a state controlled media, under which corruption can run amok, and the average man on the street gets shafted, silenced, and manipulated.

More than that, the state controlled media of Russia needs to fester hatred and division to give Putin his 80% approval; and it clearly doesn’t care if it uses untruths and ridiculous, fantastical conspiracy theories to achieve it. This is making the world in general a terrible place to live. You only need to read your own comments with regard to the Ukraine, with your fantastical conspiracy theories, to see that.

Russia is one of the few countries in the world where there middle class is decreasing. That’s a fact which you clearly weren’t aware of. You seem aware of the detrimental consequences it has for that country though. A middle class decreasing is a sign of ignorance growing. Not good at all.

Putin does not have the back of the middle class in Russia. They are by far his biggest threat, so why would he?

You might think that the West is damned for its reliance on capitalism and the power of its subsequent corporations, but it is in Russia where you will find the biggest disparity between rich and poor. That speaks volumes.

We need to fix things in the West – no question – but that will be far easier than fixing things in Russia.

Apr 19, 2014 2:32am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JackHerer wrote:

One thing I agree wholeheartedly with on this Reuters article is Iraq.

Iraq was, and is, a terrible stain on the West; an horrifically badly managed war, and aftermath, fought for lies.

Iraq is the reason that dictators the world over can stamp and crush democracy and dissent; even annex neighbors.

Syria is currently the worst human catastrophe since WWII because our hands are tied and stained by the West’s actions in Iraq.

It will take a generation, at least, to see the terrible effects of Iraq wear off.

Apr 19, 2014 2:39am EDT  --  Report as abuse
pyanitsa wrote:

JackHerer wrote: ” …80% approval rating for Putin in Russia comes at a terrible price. ..”

You are so full of it. Can you read a word of Russian?

Apr 19, 2014 3:03am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JackHerer wrote:

@pyanitsa – lol, were my points too valid to debate with, so you had to resort to a blanket claim that I’m “full of it,” without providing any evidence that I am?

Whether you like it or not, the 80% approval rating for Putin in Russia does come at a terrible price. For exactly the reasons I outlined.

Apr 19, 2014 4:02am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Ivan1111 wrote:

The State Department should leave Ukrainian people alone and let their ultra-nazi puppets stop annexing the Ukrainian territory. America is now started a new war. Now in Ukraine.

Apr 19, 2014 4:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse

This Putin apologetic attributing Russian transgressions to US provocation is simply wrong. Putin was never a democrat, never open to reconciliation with the west, and was always bent on restoration of the Russian Empire. NATO expansion only prevented him from moving earlier, and he moved when he perceived that the west was too weak to counter him.

Apr 19, 2014 5:24am EDT  --  Report as abuse

OBAMA is the worst. He is no leader. He’s not even a good liar. He spends more time defending communists from Latin America pretending to be immigrants than helping US citizens he has sworn to protect against them.

Apr 19, 2014 6:21am EDT  --  Report as abuse
gongdew wrote:

This pro Putin attitude coming from the American Right, the vortex of which lies in Ark Park, is just another sign of the level of cognitive dissonance amongst conservatives here. The spectacle of the South fawning all over what is just another Russian dictator, with his cheap, made in China flags, his cheap, made in China patriotic bunting, his cheap, made in China St. George’s (who ?)medals and his ugly, 3rd rate country is just disgusting.

Apr 19, 2014 6:34am EDT  --  Report as abuse
GeorgeBMac wrote:

This is a very good analysis of the long running failures — and imperialism — of both Europe and the U.S. directed at Russia…

Imperialism is the only reason why we have maintained a double standard towards Russia and its neighbors…

For instance: How would the U.S. react if Russia were to turn Mexico or Canada into another Cuba? We would not tolerate it. But yet we expect Putin to tolerate and support our efforts to do the same with his neighbors — and we become petulant when we doesn’t go along with us.

Apr 19, 2014 6:59am EDT  --  Report as abuse
GeorgeBMac wrote:

This is a very good analysis of the long running failures — and imperialism — of both Europe and the U.S. directed at Russia…

Imperialism is the only reason why we have maintained a double standard towards Russia and its neighbors…

For instance: How would the U.S. react if Russia were to turn Mexico or Canada into another Cuba? We would not tolerate it. But yet we expect Putin to tolerate and support our efforts to do the same with his neighbors — and we become petulant when we doesn’t go along with us.

Apr 19, 2014 6:59am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Krystya wrote:

I agree this is a good article. Backing Ukraine into a corner where it has to “choose” between Russia and the West is what started this mess.

Apr 19, 2014 7:09am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Krystya wrote:

Putin’s policy towards Ukraine is the same as Hamas towards Israel. He doesn’t think they should exist and that the disintegration of the Soviet Union was a “tragedy.”

Apr 19, 2014 7:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Krystya wrote:

Putin’s policy towards Ukraine is the same as Hamas towards Israel. He doesn’t think they should exist and that the disintegration of the Soviet Union was a “tragedy.”

Apr 19, 2014 7:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse

It seems that it is the United States who reneged on their words with Russia. And how could us, the US, said that foreign policy with Russia is a dead-end when we are ‘hellbent’ on doing things our way too? Eventhough, Putin is not all that good but he has always been consistent with his supports and firm with his decisions until he thinks he has been played out. Just like how he has always back Iran, China, Syria etc. besides, when our very own long-time ally is the exporter of terrorism(besides the chem gas supplier to Syria) Saudi Arabia, aren’t we really just calling pot kettle black here? Putin overreacting? More like Washington is shock and now overreacting from their failure to recognize Russia as en equal powerhouse on the political front.

Apr 19, 2014 7:35am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Bludde wrote:

Even the Liberal’s darling Gorbachev assumed that the collapse of the Soviet Union would remove the need – the raison d’etre – of a NATO. Instead its grown and grown and hemmed in Russia alarming even Gorbachev who a month ago called on Putin to annex Eastern Ukraine. Russia very simply wants a buffer to NATO and Ukraine, even its Eastern sector, could be that buffer. They will fight to achieve that. It remains to be seen if the Poles want to fight and die if push comes to shove. It is very easy to sabre rattle with mere words as a McCain and Cheney do BUT when Cheney was faced with the prospect of a real shooting war with Russia over Georgia – brinkmanship that he covertly encouraged – the “mighty straw” Cheney backed down. www.houseofshah.com

Apr 19, 2014 8:03am EDT  --  Report as abuse
weather3014 wrote:

It is interesting that you see this as a pattern of the US does something provocative first and then Russia responds. You are giving Putin a pass. The Rose and Orange revolutions were democratic movements whether or not you think they were pushed from the inside by the US and your interpretation that this was a provocative inside move in Putin’s backyard dismisses the local peoples’ wish to govern themselves. The problem has been the last five years of the Obama “reset” policy thinking that Putin just needed a friendly hand.

Apr 19, 2014 8:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse
RBinNC wrote:

Wow – a news site like Reuters putting up an opinion piece as it’s lead story on a NEWS site. This piece on what the author thinks belongs in the opinion section, it isn’t even analysis. No more options as where to go for just factual news these days.

Apr 19, 2014 8:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse

The following comment will be contrary to your understanding of reality. The book The Black Swan posits that history is a series of unlike events, understood by a false narration making sense of unrelated developments. My contribution is that consensus reality (group think) can be understood as neural passages formed in the brains of people.

This means that the US and Russian leadership are comprehending reality through the lens of faulty intellectual constructs, which lead to dysfunction, and even dream-like concepts of reality. Of course those in charge think they are accurately comprehending real time, and act in uncompromising ways because of their certainty, when instead they are so far wrong as to be hilarious.

It is a wonder that the semi-blind/dumb/retarded leaders haven’t gotten us into a third world war yet. If they were to get a glimpse of the way things really were, it might just drive them insane, since there is such a large schism between their world view, and actuality.

Apr 19, 2014 8:16am EDT  --  Report as abuse

The following comment will be contrary to your understanding of reality. The book The Black Swan posits that history is a series of unlike events, understood by a false narration making sense of unrelated developments. My contribution is that consensus reality (group think) can be understood as neural passages formed in the brains of people.

This means that the US and Russian leadership are comprehending reality through the lens of faulty intellectual constructs, which lead to dysfunction, and even dream-like concepts of reality. Of course those in charge think they are accurately comprehending real time, and act in uncompromising ways because of their certainty, when instead they are so far wrong as to be hilarious.

It is a wonder that the semi-blind/dumb/retarded leaders haven’t gotten us into a third world war yet. If they were to get a glimpse of the way things really were, it might just drive them insane, since there is such a large schism between their world view, and actuality.

Apr 19, 2014 8:16am EDT  --  Report as abuse
RBinNC wrote:

An opinion piece as the lead article on a news site? This opinion of the author is set up to look like an actual, factual news story. The Foxafication of the rest of the media world continues it’s ugly march towards our pretend democracy. Long live plutocracy!

Apr 19, 2014 8:19am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Blamer wrote:

Well check out little ole Blamer trying to play grownup with President Putin. Awwwhhhh!.

Apr 19, 2014 8:39am EDT  --  Report as abuse
CanRus wrote:

@xcanada2
I 100% agree with you about how Western democracy is terminally ill… except the bit about Putin being a good leader because his approval rating is high. That’s irrelevant. I actually consider it suspicious. I’m sure Saddam Hussein’s “approval rating” was high too. And North Korea’s leader is even more “popular” with his people.

@JackHerer
Your assessment of Russia’s problems are spot on. Putin “earned” his “appoval” rating though repression, propaganda and often outright poll rigging. It’s no longer a democracy, and the situation is getting worse every year. Anyone who says otherwise is either a Putinbot or has never lived there. Strong leader ≠ good leader.

All in all, a good balanced article. Definitely agree that US foreign policy since the end of WWII has been a mostly negative force in the world, causing more problems than it’s solved. And the invasion of Iraq was the mother of all foreign policy disasters. The US (and UK) lost all credibility in 2003. It’s going to be a long difficult road to earn it back. What the US has done since then hasn’t helped much. Nobody has any reason to trust or like them. There’s a glimmer of hope since Obama took over, but just a glimmer. He’s made some good moves about the Ukrainain crisis, and some really stupid ones too. I’m on the fence about him. But compared to Bush Jr., who was a complete idiot, anything is an improvement. We’d probably be deep into WWIII if he was still in charge.

Putin is obviously a terrible leader. He’s done more harm than good to his country, it’s population, and everyone unfortunate enough to live near Russia. Things are going to become a lot worse for Russians before they get any better under his autocratic rule. But nobody can blame him for all his reactions. They’re not all motivated by megalomania, ego and nostalgia. Those who claim that the US is not leading a long-term campaign to try to contain the Russian Federation, and maybe even dismantle it into a harmless local power, are either delusional or just plain lying. It’s obvious to anybody who can read a map and recent history. If Putin tried cornering the US the way Washington has been pushing towards Moscow for the past 50 years, they would have declared war on Russia by now. There are no “good guys” in this whole mess. Just power-hungry politicians and money-hungry corporations (they’re called oligarchs in the East).

Apr 19, 2014 8:59am EDT  --  Report as abuse
sabrefencer wrote:

Plain and simple..Putin outfoxed. both of our presidents. When they looked into his eyes, they must have had their eyes closed…as they never saw, the narcissi, clever, plotting, dangerous man, underneath it all…

Apr 19, 2014 10:18am EDT  --  Report as abuse
chyron wrote:

@weather3014
exactly way of thinking that people who forget that revolutions really is tend to adapt.
“Revolutions are started by visioners, done by fanatics – and then used by scoundrels”.

Without US money ‘Rose revolution’ would be of no consequence, but USA was arrogant to degree that most of georgian officials and law enforcement were receiving their salaries directly from USA (and States sponsored their military build-up too) – and this lead to illusion that third-rate country can ignore real-world economics and begin feud with neighbor and largest trade partner(of course if we follow official line and not popular theory that 8/8/8 began ‘just as planned’ by sponsors).
As for scoundrels.. Saakashvili himself now is wanted criminal in Georgia due to corruption charges and as person of interest in political assasinations, some of his buddies too.

Similar traits were shown during ‘orange revolt’ – but Ukraine is too large and expensive for even US to maintain and in fit of creativity US decided that Russia must continue to pay ukrainian’s bills. Well, that’s how first ‘gas war’ began. After crushing economical and political ‘peremogas’ (ukr. word for victory now used in russian in ‘defeat declared victory’ sense) orange gov’t was ousted. Too bad it was ousted by oligarchic clans – too narrow-minded to not rob country blind.
BTW when western journalists call Yanukovivch ‘pro-russian’ it’s kinda strange to our ears -in best ukrainian political tradition he didn’t kept most of promises he gave to both his voters and Russia(russian as state language too, some federalization, real neutrality of country). It’s just that he was more sane and trustworthy than previous government – that says very little about him and more about Yuschenko who acted outright suicidal just to hurt Russia a bit.

Apr 19, 2014 10:41am EDT  --  Report as abuse
cautious123 wrote:

The U.S. can never be trusted to uphold its treaties or agreements–just look at our history with Native Americans. Sooner or later, we will stab our allies in the back and make temporary friends with our enemies.

Apr 19, 2014 10:43am EDT  --  Report as abuse
DavidLogan wrote:

WOW!! 6 years later and still blaming Bush. Let’s see..during Bush’s presidency was the only time in recent history that Russian airspace was open to the US..and Obama was the first US president to cancel a meeting with a Russian president in 50 years (Bush had nothing to do with that decision)but, somehow, Putin’s disdain for Obama is Bush’s fault..LMAO. Maybe..just maybe, Putin is a racist..and, if so, exactly who is going to call him out on it?..and what good would it do? The race card works like a charm over here, but is worthless in global policy

Apr 19, 2014 10:51am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Laster wrote:

@pyanitsa wrote:

You are so full of it. Can you read a word of Russian?

Thanks! My day just became much sunnier : )

Apr 19, 2014 10:59am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Toro21 wrote:

Because US only cares about it’s own problems, and sometimes about friends. Ukraine is not NATO or even EU member. Dont’ touch my allies and friends, and i dont’ care about others – thats’ all

Apr 19, 2014 12:37pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Neo-4 wrote:

One item we don’t see mentioned in this story is a failure of the Clinton administration and the United Nations and their conjoined dysfunctional Kosovo/Serbia strategy. Does anyone even remember Madeleine Albright?

Apr 19, 2014 3:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Cassiopian wrote:

I think the central argument is mistaken, it assumes that if only NATO had not expanded into the former captive states of the Soviet Union that Putin would not have invaded Ukraine and sliced off part of it. What is driving Putin is the desire to reestablish a facsimile of the former empire. Does anyone seriously think that Putin would have held off from this golden opportunity in the Ukraine if only the U.S. had been more congenial and compliant with Russia’s demands? That strikes me as remarkable naive. It is America’s weakness – under a feckless and weak leader – that is facilitating this opportunity for Putin. The journey of Russia under Putin is one of increasing autocracy, corruption, violation of human rights, and imperialism. The roots of this imperialism are somewhat timeless and long standing within Russian culture.
One should also keep in mind that no NATO bases have been established in the former Soviet controlled states, the U.S. defense budget has been hammered in the past two years, and the German army is now primarily expeditionary in character and geared towards out of area threats, not oriented towards Russia. So where is this looming threat to Russia? Again, weakness in the West is advancing Putin’s agenda, just ask the Poles.

Apr 19, 2014 3:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
17plusOne wrote:

~ AN EAGLE NEEDS TWO WINGS TO FLY ~
America needs two political parties for balance.
The world needs two major powers for security.
An eagle needs two wings to fly.
A single nation ruling the world gets hijacked by tyrants. Remember Rome? How about America? We can remember America still because it is no longer the world’s ruler.
Don’t compete against Russia. Compete WITH Russia. Let the two Nations uplift each other through good sportsmanship.

Apr 19, 2014 3:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
skos wrote:

Guys I have been living almost half of my life in socialist country in Czechoslovakia and the second half in the free democratic Czechoslovakia (now Czech republic/Slovakia). I have to say just few words about that problem – US has nothing, absolutely nothing to blame itself for. Clearely this is just a problem of the thinking – Russia is still living in 19th-20th cenury menatally – the fact that NATO is not any enemy for Russia is just in the head of Russia’s leaders. The fact that russian/soviet system sucked and collapsed economically is just a simple fact – which only people like Putin probably did not noticed (as KGB agents abroad perhaps lived well). The fact that millions of Russians are living abroad in the western countries and not vice versa is also signal that something is wrong with Russia/Soviet system. Simply – I am not telling that everyting is good in US/EU, however I am absolutely sure that it is 1000% better in every aspect of human life to live in EU/US than to USSR/Russia. So from my point of view US is doing the right think and it represents to me values, which are worth and milion times better than what Russia/USSR ever has been in it’s mostly miserable history.

Apr 19, 2014 4:24pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
desertares wrote:

Tens of thousands of State Dept, DIA, CIA, NSA employees and “we weren’t really paying attention’ says a US Ambassador to Russia.” Mind boggling. Disgraceful. Unfathomable. Neither the Bush or Obama administrations never noticed that Russia was rearming, still threatening the Baltic states over boundary disputes, a rogue Russian controlled state operating in Moldova, invading Georgia, vetoing any General Assembly resolution on any world issue that even China abstained. Allowing their minions in Iran, Lebanon and the government of Syria to annihilate it’s own people. And “we weren’t really paying attention”? The incompetency of our pusillanimous foreign policy is terrifying and depressing.

Apr 19, 2014 6:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
lightbrigade wrote:

Sanctions = no buying or selling.
Those with the mark of the beast shall not buy or sell.
Looks like the modern day Sodom and Gomorrah is the beast in Revelations

Apr 19, 2014 10:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JamVee wrote:

In the past 10 years, we’ve made nothing but mistakes dealing with Russia. Now we are making another big mistake. We need to be strong, but we need to acknowledge that Russia is now, and will in the future play a very large role in World politics. We also need to acknowledge (and understand) that Putin is doing, what he sees, as the best for Russia. Expecting him to do what is best for the USA is just plain STUPID . . . , why should he? Ignoring Putin is like not noticing a 600 lb gorilla in the room.

Apr 20, 2014 8:17am EDT  --  Report as abuse
wpgger wrote:

Like it or not, our inability to empathize coupled with our super power and the desire to maintain world dominance have made us arguably the most difficult and dangerous member of the global community.
I hope Reuters will further explore the two paradigms in governance: in the West we have individual rights reign supreme and form the basis for collective rights, whereas in ancient civilizations, notably in the East, collective rights take precedence and define individual rights.
It is time for us to show respect and acceptance to those who think differently than ourselves, and make true contributions to a peaceful and harmonious world. Let us stop acting like insecure bullies who only know how to carry their weight around.

Apr 20, 2014 10:13am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Serge99 wrote:

Good analysis. What’s the next from Obama? Putin poppet, who was recently appointed by Vladimir to lead the Crimea, wrote in his Facebook how much he wants to see Obama … do not want to repeat his extremely racial and offensive slur though. He, for sure, has consulted his bosses in a Kremlin before publishing this stuff. So, the things are going to get nastier…

Apr 21, 2014 3:53am EDT  --  Report as abuse
kiers wrote:

Could you imagine Australia’s reaction to an American Injunction on coal and iron ore sales to China? I’d imagine they’d be pretty miffed. After all China is an economic lifeline for the Australian Mining Economy.

But America and Australia are too like minded to allow that to happen.

Thus, this article misses Pres “Peace Prize” Obama’s shining contribution to offending Russia: The shale gas developments planned there by Chevron and Shell.

On Nov 13, 2013 Chevron and Shell signed agreements to explore two HUGE shale fields in Ukraine with the VERY SAME Yanukovich, who has been at the center of the maidan coup! (Imagine! If shale proves as disruptive in Ukraine as it has in the US and Canada, it would mean not ONLY that Russia could kiss it’s sole source of dollar earnings [ie. Gas exports to the EU] goodbye, but those earnings would then accrue to Chevron, the American Corporation!)

The key to realizing the ROI on those investments would be an EU Free Trade Agreement with Ukraine! Yanukovich thought he would neatly plunder the shale agreement by signing a FTA with Russia instead! That would render any shale utterly useless. You are not going to make money selling gas to Russia just as you can’t sell the proverbial coal to Newcastle!

AS soon as Yanukovich signed his choice of FTA, his fate was sealed and the maidan coup followed.

These are extremely recent events not covered by Media AT ALL.

If you want war, then ignore this post. Have a nice day.

Apr 21, 2014 3:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
kiers wrote:

Sorry for the follow on post, but Obama has LOST this round for USA.
USA has a written pact in which it is RESPONSIBLE for Ukraine’s territorial integrity in return for which Ukraine RETURNED all it’s nukes to RUssia way back in 1994!

USA is already in BREACH of this treaty with respect to Crimea crime.

IF The US is in NO MOOD FOR WAR, then Showbama has misplayed this game completely. And it’s obvious a war with Russia is NOT on the menu, not even with Neocons.

SO WHY THE PROVOCATIONS YOU IDIOTS?

But when I look at the kinds of people the State Department hires (Nuland et al) I am NOT SURPRISED. VAPID IDIOCY which threatens war. Let Nuland send her family to war. We will eat popcorn and cheer.

Apr 22, 2014 2:37am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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