The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results – 03/07/14

The Watcher’s Council

Back in the USSR…

Putin alleges Tea Partiers in Ukraine, wins over US media

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and we have the results for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

“A hungry wolf is stronger than a satisfied dog” – Old Ukrainian Proverb

““There’s not a lot of options on the table, candidly … Putin is playing chess and we are playing marbles.” – House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R., Mich.) on “Fox News Sunday”

“Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it, ignorance may deride it, malice may distort it, but there it is.” – Sir Winston Churchill, 1916

This week’s winner by a nose was Joshuapundit’s The Ukraine Folk Dance And What It Really Means, is my analysis of what’s happening in Ukraine, something several other Council members weighed in on in a number of excellent pieces that will reward your attention. Here’s a slice:

The Ukraine exploded this weekend, as Vladimir Putin got backing from the Russian Duma (parliament) to send the troops into Crimea. Russian forces seized the strategic peninsula over the weekend, surrounded a few small Ukrainian military outposts and demanded the Ukrainian troops inside surrender and disarm.

Meanwhile, the Crimea now has its own, pro-Russian government and the new Ukrainian prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, mobilized the Ukrainian military and said that that Kiev would request international intervention if the Russian military didn’t withdraw.

“This is actually a declaration of war to my country. We urge Putin to pull back his troops from this country and honor bilateral agreements,” he said. “If he wants to be the president who started the war between two neighboring and friendly countries, he has reached his target within a few inches.”

Except Ukraine will have to do without its 10 ship navy in any hostilities. Just a day after he had been appointed head of the Ukraine’s navy by interim president Oleksandr Turchynov, Admiral Denis Berezovsky let it be known he was switching sides to the pro-Russian authorities.

“I swear to execute the orders of the [pro-Russia] commander-in-chief of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea,” he said, speaking from the Crimean headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet at the Crimean port of Sebastopol.

In any event, it’s obvious that what passes for the Ukraine’s army is no match for the Russians in any stand up fight if it comes to that. So Turchynov is pretty much limited to hoping for international intervention, especially since Putin is also likely to go after the Eastern Ukraine as well, which is also predominantly native Russian.

President Obama, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the EU were apparently caught completely off guard by the events in Ukraine. Even the obvious Russian military buildup and the implications of the Russians saying openly that there was ‘no basis for dialog’ with the Ukraine rebels seems to have escaped them. President Obama skipped out on a scheduled National Security meeting with his team to attend a film festival, but attempted to play catchup with a phone call to Russian leader Vladimir Putin after the military incursion, while Secretary Kerry was reduced to threats of ‘maybe throwing Russia out of the G-8′. As for the EU, Lady Ashton, its foreign policy chief commented, “This is an unwarranted escalation of tensions. I therefore call upon the Russian Federation not to dispatch such troops, but to promote its views through peaceful means.”

I swear, I could almost hear the Russians laughing at these people from here.No wonder the Kremlin spokesperson replied ‘no comment at this time’ to bold statements like that!

Oddly enough, there was a certain former vice-presidential candidate who saw things clearly as far back as 2008:

Yes she was certainly mocked for that one,wasn’t she? ‘Ooh,I can see Russia from my howwwse’ said SNL’s Tina Fey, creating campaign fodder out of something Governor Palin never said but that was linked to her endlessly. Except the joke was on the country, because not only was Governor Palin the only person on either ticket with any executive experience, she was also the only one of the four with any experience actually negotiating anything with a foreign country. As usual, she was right about Russia as well as pretty much everything else, including President Obama and his behavior.

So where do we go from here?

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Allen West with Obama and Hagel have surrendered our military strength submitted by The Noisy Room, in which Col. West takes apart the Obama/Hagel proposed military budget that sharply downsizes our military.

Okay, here are this week’s full results…

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited special guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day with short takes and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!


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