In Russia and beyond, Obama administration must take foreign threats seriously

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  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2014 8:00 p.m.

    Your only serious if you start the next world war?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 20, 2014 8:05 a.m.

    2bits, "He painted himself into a corner by joining the anti-Bush rhetoric during his campaign. Now if he does anything militarily... he's at risk of looking like a Bush clone."

    If you read a little further you would see the agreement was specifically structured by both G HB and Clinton as a political agreement, not an international treaty, to purposefully take military action off the table.

    They knew that any kind of a military conflict with Russia was potentially opening a death spiral. Apparently that lesson has been forgotten.

    Also if you read your Google again you can refresh your memory that the Cuban missile crisis was de-escalated by giving in to Russia's demand that we dismantle our missiles in Italy and Turkey.
    Be very, very careful when you start talking about military confrontations with Russia. We don't know how they will react. Fortunately America to this point on more than one occasion has been smart enough to walk away from such a fight.

    However, the American right seems to believe that everything America has done in the past 60 years is wrong so maybe we should just let them continue to confront Putin..?

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    March 20, 2014 7:00 a.m.


    Look up the 110th Congress. Remember Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi? They took over control of Congress in 2007. The invasion of Georgia happened in 2008. And to think you got EIGHT people to agree with you on your misinformation. Everything I said was factual except maybe the actual popularity of GW. I know he was very low, but maybe not at 33%. And all of your crowd is now trying to blame Bush and draw a comparison to Obama. OK, both Presidents were weak. But, Bush only had a few months left not a few years left. We have to now have a very weak man in the White House for another 3 years. Not good for America, not good for the world. I don't defend a lot of what Bush did. Why do you and yours defend Obama at all costs?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 19, 2014 9:52 p.m.

    Truth: I'm sure Ukraine and Georgia would disagree with me. And so they should. However, I'm looking at it from the perspective of President Obama not being leader of those places, what threat it represents to us, and how we should or even can reasonably respond.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    March 19, 2014 9:19 p.m.

    What is some of the Russian Ships in the Russian fleet in Sevastopol just happened to sink? The U.S. isn't the only country that could cause this. In fact, maybe the ships just happened to have simultaneous explosions from something within the ships.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 19, 2014 7:26 p.m.

    ‘In Russia and beyond, Obama administration must take foreign threats seriously’

    . . . as if it doesn't already.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    March 19, 2014 6:08 p.m.


    I believe Ukraine and Georgia would disagree with you.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 19, 2014 5:38 p.m.

    Taking foreign threats seriously is what may actually be going on. And just how is this Russian exercise in an historically and ethnically Russian piece of the world a 'foreigh threat'?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 19, 2014 5:33 p.m.

    Oh seriously patriot? Just what would that mean? nationalizing the banks..oh wait that was GHWB, nationalizing the energy industry..oh no, that's all those who say we solve all of energy problems by drilling more oil here.

    Oh yea nationalizing health care..oh wait my insurance comes through Altius.

    That rant of Obama intends to destroy America or intends to turn it socialist is way beyond the pale. I'll bet you could even find it in some psychiatric manuals.

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    March 19, 2014 5:32 p.m.

    Ok, so what are the options on the table? Platitudes about appeasement, Obama's weaknesses, etc need not apply. Seriously, what precise measures do you propose?

    And don't just suggest actions, wargame the ramifications and any countermoves Russia would take. What responses does Russia have, what would their impacts be, and are we ready for them?

    Are we ready for cyberattacks on US infrastructure? Dumping Russia's supply of US T-bills? Cutting off the natural gas of our European allies? Increasing the risk that Russia will reclaim the rest of Ukraine or the Baltics? An elevated Russian nuclear posture? A return to Russian 'fraternal support' of regimes deeply opposed to US interests like Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, etc? A formal military alliance with China?

    What are the risks? What is the price? What are the objectives in the short and long term?

    I guarantee that smart people are wargaming scenarios like these right now. And the lack of a coherent policy response to Russia's Crimean annexation suggests that the answers they're coming up with aren't very favorable for us.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 19, 2014 4:31 p.m.

    "In Russia and beyond, Obama administration must take foreign threats seriously"


    Problem is from the time of Vietnam until now, our country has a history of getting into wars it doesn't need to, putting us further an further into debt, and destroying peoples lives that serve in the military. Its as though the soldier and the taxpayers are their chess pieces.

    How much of a threat is it, if the Crimea part of Ukraine votes to succeed from Ukraine and join with Russia and then Russia allows this? This really is no threat to us or anyone else really.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 19, 2014 3:48 p.m.

    Esquire 11:19 a.m.,
    Let me see if I get the logic of your argument right...

    1. If you didn't blame Bush for Georgia back then... you can't critique Obama today.
    2. And if you refrained from blaming Bush back then... you can just ignore Ukraine and feel good about everything.

    Kinda a you had to pay back then to play now... kinda thing?


    So this whole Ukraine thing is just a Republican thing in your mind?

    I don't think so. There are LOTS of Democrats who think we should do something. I think Obama is one of them...


    The left used to say it was their DUTY to question Bush on everything back then... but now if you question Obama on ANYTHING... you are a traitor...

    Seems like the shoe is just on the other foot, and Obama fans can't handle it.

    I think we needed to question Bush on what he was doing back then, and we need to question Obama on what he is doing (or not doing) today.

    It's a tradition in America to question our leaders (including the great Obama).

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    March 19, 2014 3:34 p.m.

    "The coalition is already built, it is called NATO."
    Ukraine is not a member of NATO. Curious what you expect NATO to do... military strike?

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    March 19, 2014 2:20 p.m.

    The coalition is already built, it is called NATO.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    March 19, 2014 12:54 p.m.

    Barack Obama and his progressive army are ONLY concerned about one thing and that is SOCIALISM. That's right folks - how to move the country to a socialist model. That's why Obamacare was rammed down our throats as a FIRST priority of Obama from the time the man took office. Everything else...the economy, foreign policy are all down the priortiy chain. Everything this man does is centered around Socialism and how to implement that model here in America. Gutting our miliary meant that now that money could be used for free-bie handouts and food stamps and all the other free goodies that chain folks to government dependence. Don't be fooled - this man has a mission to perform and it isn't to be commander and chief.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 19, 2014 11:41 a.m.

    I think he takes them seriously. I don't think Obama is laughing about ANY of this. Not Russia and Ukraine, not what happened in Libya, not Syria and the citizens who have died at the hands of their government there. Not Iran and their desire to wipe Israel off the map. Not North Korea and their obsession with Nuclear Weapons. I don't think any of this if "Funny" to the President. He just doesn't know what to do (and who would).

    He painted himself into a corner by joining the anti-Bush rhetoric during his campaign. Now if he does anything militarily... he's at risk of looking like a Bush clone.

    So his options are VERY limited.

    He can talk to the media, and he can send community organizers over there... but he can't really do anything, or get a coalition going (when he attacked our coalition members for joining us in the past.

    I hope he finds a way to solve these problems. I'm just afraid of what will happen IF he finds himself at the end of his rope, and a serious violation of one of his red-lines actually happens.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 19, 2014 11:19 a.m.

    @ SCfan, the Senate was controlled by the Republicans in the period of time you refer to. YOu are making things up. The fact remains, the events leading up to Russia invading Georgia and the invasion itself happened on Bush's watch. Here's the deal. I didn't blame Bush, and I don't think Obama should be blamed for Crimea. But that's all the GOP is doing, putting their partisanship over everything else.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    March 19, 2014 10:59 a.m.

    Wow. This looks like a replay of Health Care. Conservatives complain about what Obama is doing, but do not provide an alternative.

    Despite warnings that they need to expand the party in order to survive, the Republicans continue to huff and puff and rile up the base. They dare not venture into the middle, because the middle expects more reasoned and intelligent arguments.

    Nothing will change for the Republicans. Expect another night of election coverage with Karl Rove incredulous that Fox News is calling victories for Democrats, and Megyn Kelly venturing into the newsroom dungeon to ask Fox pollsters "how did this happen"?

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    March 19, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    First of all Russia should have just said their intelligence agencies had irrefutable proof that Crimea had WMD's. Then Romney would be 100% behind them.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 19, 2014 10:44 a.m.

    Marxist: The Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances signed by Russia, the US, England and Ukraine under the 1994 agreement, Ukraine promised to remove all Soviet-era nuclear weapons from its territory, send them to disarmament facilities in Russia, and sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Ukraine kept these promises. In return, Russia and the Western signatory countries essentially consecrated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine as an independent state. Apparently, this wasn't worth the paper it was written on! And you defend Russia?

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    March 19, 2014 10:43 a.m.

    Obama should take the Bush approach. Russia invades Crimea, the US should invade New Zealand!
    That'll show em'.

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    March 19, 2014 10:32 a.m.

    Paraphrased, "we must not react in a reactive way." Do you hear yourselves?

    So Obama should have invaded Crimea just to make sure Russia didn't?

    Is the official DN international policy to use the Bush doctrine and preemptively attack any country that COULD possibly be a threat to the US?

    So Mitt and the DN would have us in a WW3 about 6 years ago?

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    March 19, 2014 10:11 a.m.

    OK, just for fun, if no one has thought of it yet, maybe Russia shot down that Malaysian airliner just to take the invasion of Crimea off the front pages. If so, it seems to have worked pretty well. At least here in America.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    March 19, 2014 9:57 a.m.

    Roland Kayser

    Yes, Georgia was invaded under Bush, but he had about 3 months left in office, and was so lame duck, he had no feathers. The Democrats totally controlled Congress, and Bush was at about 33% popularity. This, by the way was similar to when President Clinton was in the last few weeks of his term and the USS Cole was blown up. He did nothing either, even though he said he was going to. And, if I remember, Clinton has much better popularity than Bush.

    Now, as for "stopping Russia". What can we do, except sanctions? We certainly are not going to try anything military with a nuclear super power as our advasary. That's why Iran wants nukes, by the way. The only way Russia could be militarily stopped is if they invaded a NATO country, and, (this is a BIG and) all of NATO declared military intent against Russia if they didn't stop. Still, with the threat of a nuclear war, many, if not most would rather let the Russians have what they want, rather than risk nuclear war. So comparisons to stopping Hitler don't really apply in the nuclear world. To dangerous.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    March 19, 2014 9:53 a.m.


    "....Seems we pick and choose our battles...."

    None of America’s nine cold war Presidents would have responded to Russia’s move on Crimea with what was then called swift retaliation. For Russia, this is a backyard skirmish to reclaim territory in their geopolitical sphere of influence. Putin’s ill-advised method of sneak attack has sparked world outrage and brought condemnation that may cost Russia far more than it gained. For Obama to have responded with force that could escalate a tense situation would have been utterly foolish.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 19, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    Doug10 Roosevelt, UT
    Says, "USA has no skin in this game"....

    Google "Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances"...

    The United States of America, Russia, and the United Kingdom signed the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, pledging to respect Ukraine territorial integrity, in exchange for Ukraine giving it's nuclear arsenal to Russia (they had the world's 3rd largest nuclear arsenal in 1994).

    So we DO have skin in this game. We signed an agreement addressing exactly what is happening now, and promised that the USA would have our skin in it.

    You don't sign agreements like this, and then when the situation the agreement was written for occurs... just say "We don't have any skin in this game". And expect any of your allies to trust you ever again.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 19, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    Our past three or maybe more presidents were all domestic minded people with little foreign travel or experience. I will grant the incumbent credit for his teen age years in Indonesia, but none of them were up to speed as diplomats or creative thinkers.

    My opinion is that the recent occupants of the White Hose have been rather self absorbed with meeting their needs and the perks of the office rather than some communicable vision for the country.

    Mr. Putin appears to be a man to be reckoned with, not talked down to as if he were the outsider in a pick-up ball game.

    Mr. Obama is outclassed and outgunned on this battle and if he doesn't know it, the rest of the western world certainly does.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    March 19, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    There is an analogy to this situation. Texas declared independence from Mexico in 1836, and became The Republic of Texas. Within ten years, it joined The United States of America, which promptly engaged in a successful war with Mexico. This fulfilled the U.S. objective of "Manifest Destiny."

    Now Crimea has declared independence from Ukraine, and it has been received by Russia. This fulfills Putin's objective of a form of "Manifest Destiny."

    Must war inevitably follow?

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    March 19, 2014 9:10 a.m.

    Maybe we should give Ukraine weapons, then "advisors" and then........

  • Doug10 Roosevelt, UT
    March 19, 2014 9:02 a.m.

    USA has no skin in this game. It would be ultra foolish to have our country do an Iraq II. Did we not learn anything?

    Someone in the world somewhere rattles a saber and USA with all its war debt shows up on scene again. It only makes sense to warmongers.

    Is it our right or intention to force our thoughts and laws upon the whole world? How many lives have been lost in this uprising? In actual fact there have been fewer lives lost in Crimea than in the city of Chicago due to lack of healthcare since the beginning of this year.

    It is always easier to point our finger far off and say what we would do rather than fix our own issues and problems.

    Why isn't the US involved in Angola where over 1,000 people are killed each month in an ongoing war?

    Seems we pick and choose our battles that have very little to do with the reason we are told they are so important.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 19, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    Thanks for the history lesson, but past history or the language spoken by the majority do not justify taking over the country.

    Would you also support Mexico invading California? The majority of Californians are Spanish speaking, and parts of it were once part of Mexico... right?

    So should America just say OK, if they invade and said they want it back and send their troops to overseeing a referendum to determine California's fate?

    No... old borders don't matter now. And the language spoken by the people doesn't determine the border. Same in Crimea. Just because they are Russian speaking doesn't make it part of Russia. And just because Ukraine was once part of the USSR doesn't make the invasion OK.

    If it does... Russia has a claim to take over all of Eastern Europe...

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    March 19, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    "....What’s disconcerting in this entire episode is that the Obama administration seems to have been caught off guard by Putin’s aggression...."

    Oh, come now, Deseret News. Did you really expect the Administration to see this coming? Even the nations of Europe and the immediate region was taken by surprise, including Ukraine.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 19, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    "Wouldn't it make more sense to undo concessions that this administration has made earlier to appease Putin - like taking the missiles out of Poland and cutting missile defense system development in Eastern Europe."


    NATO on his front door is exactly why Putin is doing this. The test does come when ethnic Russians rise up in eastern Ukraine and what if any thing Putin does in support. The world was never going to bring the hammer down over Crimea, but further incursions, maybe.

    One little neglected fact here in the supposed invasion of Crimea is that apparently Russia has always had a treaty with Crimea to have 25,000 Russian troops stationed there, and at no time was that number exceeded. So the idea that Russia just rolled troops across the boarder and took over is not accurate at all.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    March 19, 2014 7:56 a.m.

    The words spoke by our Dear Leader ring loud. "Tell Vladimir that after the election I will have more flexibility". mmmmm

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 19, 2014 7:36 a.m.

    Mitt Romney warned Obama during the debate that Putin and Russia were our most formidable geopolitical foes. Obama mocked Mitt for months. Now we see Romney was right and Obama was wrong, again! America made a huge mistake by electing the wrong man and now the entire world is paying for our mistake! Obama, as he has his entire life, offers nothing more than effusive rhetoric and obfuscation, period! That may impress his fellow liberals but Putin can see right through him like the empty glass he is!

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    March 19, 2014 7:32 a.m.

    In Russia and beyond...

    "...According to the Kyiv Post, however, the only two choices offered to voters were to either join Russia immediately or to declare independence and then join Russia. Maintaining the status quo was not an option...".

    In Utah and beyond...

    According to the Republican Party in Utah, the only two choices offered to voters are/were/will be to either join the Republican Party or to repudiate independent critical thinking skills and then join the Republican Party. Maintaining the status quo is/was/will not be an option.

  • Bob K portland, OR
    March 19, 2014 4:53 a.m.

    "Words of warning should always be preceded by building a coalition of nations prepared to act in defending America’s — and the West’s — values, including freedom of speech, freedom of religion, free markets and democratic self-determination."

    Hey, Crimea was historically part of Russia!

    Is this our business?

    Of course, if Putin tried to take over the rest of Ukraine, which is not populated by Russians, it would be different.

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    March 19, 2014 1:15 a.m.

    Obama's threats are meaningless because he intends for them to be meaningless. Remember the message - after the election he would have more flexibility. The flexibility comes in the form of letting anyone who desires to spit in the face of the country that this President despises and desires to fundamentally change.

    Wouldn't it make more sense to undo concessions that this administration has made earlier to appease Putin - like taking the missiles out of Poland and cutting missile defense system development in Eastern Europe. Supporting American allies against the reconstruction of the Soviet Union and fighting against radical Islamic tyranny are contrary to the fundamental changes intended by this President.

  • The Hammer lehi, utah
    March 19, 2014 12:41 a.m.

    Look who is late to the party again. I mean Obama can't even have a plan B because he doesn't even have a plan A. Where was he when the protests started? Where is he ever on this stuff?

    All I ever see of him is when he is golfing or campaigning on another failed socialist plan.

    He is proving he is just a guy with a pleasant demeanor that has no experience doing anything in his life.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 19, 2014 12:41 a.m.

    I've forgotten, but is this what you said when Russia invaded Georgia during Bush's presidency and we did nothing?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 19, 2014 12:37 a.m.

    The Deseret News has a very narrow view of history in the Crimea. First, Crimea is Russian by ethnicity and their population wants to be part of Russia. Second, Crimea was part of Russia until Nikita Khrushchev gave it to Ukraine in modern times. Third, the referendum appears to be legitimate. Fourth, Russia is historically very afraid of vulnerability in this area. This was the area where the United States invaded Russia after World War I. And finally fifth, Russia is even more afraid now with the rise of Ukrainian fascism.

    Is Russia paranoid? Perhaps, and perhaps with good reason.