Basically since Yalta we’ve had an assumption that borders are basically going to be borders and once that comes into question if in Ukraine or in Crimea or anywhere else, then all over the world all bets are off. And let’s face it, Obama, whether deservedly or not, does have...a manhood problem in the Middle East. Is he tough enough to stand up to somebody like Assad or somebody like Putin? I think a lot of the rap is unfair but certainly in the Middle East there is an assumption that he’s not tough enough. — NY Times columnist David Brooks

I think ultimately, the situation between Putin and Obama over the Ukraine is more illustrative of what Brooks is talking about. Putin does a bald-faced land grab and all Obama does it grumble about sanctions. Clearly, Putin thinks that if all that's going to happen is some sanctions, that's a risk he's willing to take. Whatever those sanctions may be (I have no idea, frankly) they clearly do not have Putin shitting his pants.

If you were Obama, what would you have done.

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Weeeeeell.. It's not exactly historically uncommon for countries to switch their allegiances (see: Italy). Nor is it that uncommon to renege on treaty obligations. After all, if the US kept all it's promises, how much further than the original 13 would it extend..?

The war nor the sanctions have not even started yet. This thing could turn into a nightmare guerilla type war for Russia at any moment if the anti separatist Ukrainians decide to fight it out.

If you think US/NATO economic sanctions are a joke, go ask the Iranians or the Cubans. Business are already divesting in the region. It's too bad Russia and the US didn't work harder to come together starting back when the USSR dissolved. I think Putin is preying on the pride of the Russian people and has warped visions of a new Russian empire.

I believe a Russian invasion of Poland would certainly invoke a measured military counter response from NATO at Poland's request.

"I believe a Russian invasion of Poland would certainly invoke a measured military counter response from NATO at Poland's request."

Presuming you are American, you would die for Poland? If you have children, would you sacrifice them for the cause of Poland..?

After all, this is what an alliance is built upon. Unless you can answer both in the affirmative unquestionably, what is the value of an alliance?

I would not. But it's not my choice. You see, young people die so that the wealthy can guarantee their way of life. That is what it is and has always been about.

Essentially, you are assuming that the American people will vote in politicians which wouldn't follow your advice. You would let every nation on earth fall to it's enemy, wouldn't you?

Some Russians are already reneging the Alaska purchase, but, then again, Alaska is far away. I hear there's a lot of Russians in Brighton Beach, they may one day be in need of "protection" too...

So I guess your on your way to Ukraine right now? Because if you are not, well there you have it. My father took a bullet for South Korea. He went to the US MASH, not the NorMASH, the one contribution of your country.

Obviously, Europeans hate each other, yet the quality of life is so good right? Education, medicine. Here, people are lining on the side of road begging for food and money. How many aircraft carriers are you paying for? Your nationalism is just a religion.

Hardly the question I was asking. I have spent a year as a conscript, and am currently on the rolls of Norway, so I'm fully aware that I may be called in if it comes to combat. My grandfather was a concentration camp prisoner, with the majority of his family being killed before him, but I hardly see how it matters. 

I don't really think Europeans hate each other, and even if they did, it wouldn't be pertinent to the question I asked. Norway doesn't have aircraft carriers, very few nations do. And I don't see where nationalism figures in; Indeed, my question is about the polar opposite, namely internationalism. 

War is a fools game. We really need to learn how to grow up and stop punching each other. Do you personally hate the Russians you would be shooting at? How could you, without nationalism? You don't know them. Look at the title of this post. "Balls" -what does that tell you about the intellect of all of this?

Money talks. It's what drive the powerful. If a nation insists on illegal invasions, we should all just stop the trade. ALL of us. If we make this cost Russia and Putin dearly, it will stop. Europe can't cave in and buy Russia's cheap energy. But you will. So yeah lets send in Americans to die again. We have plenty of guys hobbling around here with no legs already. Like we need some more. Lets stop trading with Russia.

The dollar is getting stronger against the ruble already

 

Nationalism is the religion the powerful use to get us to fight their wars. And then people end up in concentration camps.

Robert, as long as there are nations and borders and different languages, there will be war. And actually, to tell you the truth, more wars have been fought between groups speaking different languages than groups worshipping different gods. 

The reason sanctions are an imperfect solution to aggression is that one can make adjustments or weigh the consequences of them and decide that, looking in the long term, the pain will be worth it.

Brooks' comment wasn't an accusation. It was an assessment of a perception of Obama in the Middle East as I recall. I would expect the conservatives to pick up on it.

Brown Jeebus can never do nahthin' wrong! 'Murica! Murica!! MURRICAAAA!!!!

It should be noted that criticisms aren't only on the hard right. To be realistic, there's barely daylight between neocons and liberals (liberal interventionist, specifically) on foreign policy. Even Clinton, unwisely, drew parallels between Putin and Hitler.

However, that's not the question Unseen posed, and, if you didn't go into reflexive defense of every Obama decision position, you might have caught that. 

Has Obama fulfilled any of his original campaign promises?

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