Monday, March 17, 2014

Top. Men.

Reader ScottJ asked, not unreasonably, in comments:
"Ok, I'm feeling a bit dense on this. Why does the Crimeans voting (foolishly IMO) to rejoin mother Russia equal a return to the thermonuclear war fears from our youth?"
The validity of the election, its legality, whether it was rigged or not, and all the rest of that crap don't mean a fart in a windstorm against the fact that The Smartest Administration Ever is doing a half-assed job of flexing what's left of our war-weary military power in the face of Putin as though he's some sort of third-rate comic opera dictator like Ahmadinejad or Hussein were and not the guy in charge of almost half the strategic intercontinental nuclear warheads on the planet.

This isn't some guy you casually bully between fundraising tours for Congressional candidates and kiddie fitness photo-ops at the White House; we **** up with this guy and what's left of the human race is glowing in the dark and beating each other over the head with axes made of radioactive traffic signs. You don't put the junior varsity in against the Strategic Rocket Forces.


Beaumont said...

Yep, one of the worst characteristics of a weak leader is that, should he feel that his prestige (or "legacy") is sufficiently threatened, he may do something incredibly stupid.

global village idiot said...

My first enlistment was in 1987 and we were squared off against the Russians then.

I'd almost allowed myself to believe those days were behind us.

Now here we are, and the only measurable difference is the competence of the guy I'm working for.



Hollowpoint1938 said...

Under Obama/Progressive leadership's cutbacks in strategic arms preparedness, the old "Mutually Assured Destruction" (MAD) has much less meaning for the new Russian Tsar.

Uno Mas (SASS #80082) said...

It's frightening that our Office Engineer of State will be playing ketchup with a master of realpolitik.

NotClauswitz said...

Damn Euros and EastEuros gotta stop trying to unify themselves, or each other. Putin is just following
Atilla's lead.
It's interesting to note that a hundred-odd years ago Russia was a big supporter of the Pan-Slavist movement and the underground wack-job cells to which some Serbaian Nationalists belonged - and they got the dominoes to fall against their Austro-Hungarian power-rivals with unintended world-wide consequences - oops!! Including facilitating the rise of Russian Bolshevism that ended the Monarchy, but which kept "Russianism" central to local political ambitions under the Soviets.
And now Russian charges in with a Light Brigade of Ballot-stuffing in the Crimea which is as the Left is wont to say, "Democracy in Action."

George P. Burdell said...

To quote 1Sgt Carwood Lipton's character in Band of Brothers when they are fighting the Battle of the Bulge:

"Lt. Dyke wasn't a bad leader because he made bad decisions. He was a bad leader because he made no decisions."

As Exhibit A to the meaning of that statement, I give you Barack Obama.

Scott J said...

If you add the perspective that we won't "stop touching it Cletis" on a geopolitical scale I can see the worry.

I was hoping (vainly most likely) that we'd just leave well enough alone since there was an election that seems at least a bit more legitimate than those which kept re-electing Saddam.

Backwoods Engineer said...

"...what's left of the human race is glowing in the dark and beating each other over the head with axes made of radioactive traffic signs."

Best one-sentence post-nuke TEOTWAWKI word-picture ever. I can totally see it right now in my head. And Putin is Lord Humungus.

tailwind said...

My thoughts are that Putin is not dumb nor desperate enough to be the first to use nuclear weapons.

Obama, I'm not so sure.

dustydog said...

I pray that someone competent is in charge of the US nuclear stockpile, and Obama has to go through an intermediary to launch an attack.

My fear is that he'll YOLO and send a few intercontinental ballistic thermonuclear warheads to Moscow.

Russia will nuke us, France will nuke Israel, China will nuke Japan, North Korea will nuke North Korea, Pakistan and India will nuke each other, and Iran will beg for somebody to nuke it.

The worst part will be the NYTimes articles about how great radiation is for the US economy, and how Cap and Trade is more imporant than ever.

hillbilly said...

Methinks the young'un who asked the question would do well to read a bit about the KGB, and realize that Putin used to be one of the higher-ups of the organization.

hillbilly said...

And look no farther than Yahoo News for the answer.

Anonymous said...

meanwhile, the impresarios in DC relinquished control of the internet. Fekin' eejits!

Armed Texan said...

But I'm certain that Putin knows that if he launches his ICBMs that our wondrous leader will take no hesitation in launching our own in retaliation. After all, Obambi was quick on the draw* with the bin Laden raid by all reports.

* You know within hours or, at least, less than a full day. ICBMs take a week to reach us right?

Keith said...

I think part of the issue is that there would be no crisis if our student council had half a clue. Instead our guy blisters and threatens instead of going in realpolitik mode and looking for actual solutions.

Scott J said...

Thanks for calling me young, hillbilly. At 45 I haven't felt young in awhile.

I get that Putin is scum (dangerous scum) but if the Crimeans want to cozy up to him I just don't see it to be any of our business.

When it seemed he was sending troops in uninvited I could see it being a matter we might have to get involved in. But once parliament started the independence to annexation ball rolling it ceased to be our concern unless he starts threatening nations that don't wish to be annexed.

mac said...

...what's left of the human race is glowing in the dark and beating each other over the head with axes made of radioactive traffic signs

Gamma World!

bluesun said...

I'd like to think that it's just coincidental, but I just reinstalled Fallout 3 and and have been having a great practice run at nuclear wasteland survival.

Anonymous said...

/ rant on
Our great and glorious leader is only good at one thing....campaigning.

He isn't even little league. He has no stones, and he is in waaay over his head. He has no use for the military and has done his best to gut it and what is left of our strategic nuclear forces.

Putin is absolutely hard core. He came from the friking KGB for crissakes. Stalin would respect him.

It would be lovely if the world out there was all love and fuzzy bunnies, but magical thinking is no substitute for a hard grip on reality, and a chilled steel resolve.

three years can't go by quickly enough. these bums have got to go. Gawd what maroons.


/rant off

wheelgun said...

In case you want to build that backyard shelter...

Includes tested shelters from back in the day (before the Test Ban Treaty). And although they are "expedient" - think DIY - they are NOT quick to build. Especially if you have to build a blast-shelter and not just a fallout shelter. (Blast wave effects can blind you, deafen you, or rupture you lungs depending on how close you are to ground zero.)

And you don't need to live forever in your shelter. Fallout only lasts 28 days in the worst cases, but if you can bug out after a few days - with proper precautions, that might be good enough.

And Russia isn't the rusted-tiger is was a few years ago. They are spending quite a bit on military these days. Including nukes.

A few years back - not that long ago really - Ukraine gave up its nuclear arsenal. (They inherited some from the USSR.) The general assumption was that the West would protect them. Shows what happens when you assume.

Kind a of sticking point when you recall - if you ever knew - that the last time Russia invaded the Ukraine, it ended with several million dead Ukrainians. Hard to be precise because Stalin's Russia didn't keep track, but it was between 2 million and 7.5 million dead.

Kristophr said...


Crimea consists of mostly ethnic Russians, and about 14% Tatars. The results of the plebiscite there were probably not rigged in the slightest ... no need to.

Russians do not like Ukrainians, and vice versa.

Kristophr said...


The only solution here is to leave the Russian Near Abroad the fuck alone.

Princess Obama is involved in the Ukraine because he is butthurt over the diplomatic drubbing he got in Syria.

Suddenly, he is no longer intent on dismantling nukes and being buddies with the Russians anymore. What a retard.

Matt said...

Answer is simple. Crimea goes back to Russia whence they came. Ukraine then leaves the Russians the hell alone. Ovambi goes back to the golf course.

FDR said...

I think that most Americans couldn't even find Sevastopol on a map, much less care about the rest of the Crimean region. America will never get involved in a war over this region, as long as Stalin (cough, cough) Putin can avoid any massacres or anything else that upsets the delicate feelings or sensitivities of the New York Times.

markm said...

global village idiot: In 1987, Reagan was probably showing signs of alzheimers - but was still more competent than De One.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Ah, remember when Austria voted with similar margins to let Germany annex them and thus join the Greater Reich? Good times, good times. Nothing bad came of that.

Lewis said...

We've gotten used to being able to push the Russians around. We've had a twenty year run of it; it's become a habit.

Remember how, when the Soviets sent tanks into Budapest in '56, we bombed them? And how, when the Soviets sent tanks into Prague in '68, we bombed them some more? Yeah? Me neither. We didn't bomb them because, in the end, Budapest wasn't worth a glow-in-the-dark America. If you ask me (and no one is!), same thing goes for Crimea.

Of course, it's not like we have entirely clean hands in Ukraine . . . .

Anonymous said...

End of the day, everyone knows the golfer in chief isn't going to do a thing. He'll rant and posture and plead and whine, but he won't launch a missile or send a jet.

There is not much BHO could do about the Ukraine, but when Russia creeps back into Belarus, Latvia, Estonia or Lithuania the EU and NATO better have a real plan.


OldTexan said...

I think the folks in the Crimea have been fed up with the crooks running the Ukraine and they just voted for some good old Russian Hope & Change with Comrade Putin because, of course he could not be any worse than what they had. (Same old song, different country.)

Meanwhile, Obama who does not understand or like his own military is trying to stay ahead of good PR and soundbites from his supporting media. To Obama's crew in DC perception is everything until it hits the wall of reality and then the situation is Bush's fault.

Yep logical conclusion Bush did it, whatever it is, end of story.

Pakkinpoppa said...

"...what's left of the human race is glowing in the dark and beating each other over the head with axes made of radioactive traffic signs.", wait...

That's why I stop by here.

Tam can make even thermonuclear warfare worth a giggle, so let's just hope it doesn't come to that.

Noah D said...

...and to the surprise of no-one, Russia and Crimea just signed a treaty making the latter a part of the former.

Waiting for the ban on the import of Russian ammo...

Goober said...

NJT - the comparisons to the Sudetenland and Anchluss and the Nazis in general are getting worn out.

That isn't what is happening here. If it was, it might be worth risking war over it, but it isn't.

The history of Putin has been "don't mess with Russian ex-pats in the near abroad, or we'll come in and straighten you out."

It's been proven time and again. it's what happened in Georgia,a nd it is all that is happening here.

This is not worth risking war over. It isn't even worth getting boned up over. I'd be happy as a clam in mud if Obama went back to the golf course and shut his noisehole about this situation entirely. It will resolve itself in a way that will effect America a grand total of "fuck-all" and the only people who will be unhappy will be the remaining Ukrainians who won't be able to boss around the Russian majority in Crimea anymore.

Bet money Russia doesn't even care to annex, and Crimea becomes a semi-self-determinate country, just like SOuth Ossetia.

Windy Wilson said...

Goober, it is like Anschluss because of the element of irredentism. Austria, the Sudetenland and the Danzig Corridor were all ethnically and historically German. After the Treaty of Versailles many in Austria wanted annexation to Germany, being only a bit of an upstairs hallway remnant of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Putin is, as evidenced by his action in the Caucasus, interested in the reassembly of the Russian empire. He's even been quoted as saying the biggest tragedy of the 20th Century is the collapse of the USSR (not the Holocaust, not the Ukraine famine-genocide, not the millions murdered by the Red Chinese after the Chinese Civil War, not the WW1 dead which meant the death of a generation in Europe, not even the dead from Spanish Influenza.
We complain about Obama now, not because there is anything that can be done now, but because there was a 5 year period in which, like Lt. Dike, he made no decisions, preferring to lead from the second row of the chorus.

NotClauswitz said...

Thanks Kristophr! Where can we go and take-over a nub of a county on an electoral whim? Cancun at Spring Break?

Kristophr said...


And the US has a history of invading countries in the Western Hemisphere for merely annoying United Fruit, or putting socialists in charge.

Yes, it is bad when Russia does it, and it is bad when we do it.

But ... is this worth WWIII?

Goober said...


I'm quite aware of all of that - the history lesson is quite unnecessary.

Despite a quick review of Anchluss and the Sudetenland, I stand by my analysis that it still doesn't compare, because, as I said, the INTENT is different.

Hitler used protection of ethnic Germans as an excuse to invade and conquer and incorporate those areas into the Reich. It was his EXCUSE for doing the things he did.

Putin is actually doing what Hitler only SAID he was doing. This is not an excuse in his case, for justifying further bad action. It is the REASON that he's doing what he did, and that's that.

So the comparisons fall flat. Putin isn't using this as an excuse for further world domination. He's actually doing exactly what he says he's doing, and history bears that out.

So I don't need the history lesson. I'm well aware that Hitler SAID that's what he's doing. The point I'm making is that Putin isn't paying lip service to shield a greater menacing plan - he's doing exactly what he says he's doing.

Goober said...

Windy - if Putin really wanted to re-create the Soviet Union, why isn't South Ossetia part of Russia now?

'Nuff said.

amcz said...

That wasn't Hitler's excuse. That was what Hitler actually believed in. He was a nationalist. Hence, National Socialism (as opposed to the Christian Social party of the Austro-Fascists). He loved German folk music, history, and culture and hated anything he felt opposed it. He believed the Germans in those lands (who hadn't been assimilated) were oppressed by Slavs, Jews, Italians (South Tyrol), and whatnot. His entire foreign policy was to bring as many of them into a Greater Germany as a whole. Sometimes that involved moving Germans out of those areas (German-Soviet population exchange; Italian-German South Tyrol agreement) and sometimes that involved invasion/takeover (Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland). He probably expected to take the ethnic German Polish regions without a fight (given that Poland had taken ethnic Polish territory during Munich), but the whole thing blew up rather suddenly.

There are large minorities of unassimilated Russians in the Ukraine, Baltic States, and other areas of the former Russian and Soviet Empires. If he took those areas dominated by Russians, he would be doing what Hitler did. Hillary Clinton's comparison was most apt.