March 2nd, 2014
01:44 PM ET

How U.S. should respond to Russia

By Fareed Zakaria

In a strange act of historical coincidence, it is 60 years ago this week that Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev handed the Crimea over to the Ukraine. It might not have seemed a big deal in those days – everyone was part of one big, unhappy Soviet Union. But that act has created today’s geopolitical crisis.

Russia has now made its move. It has essentially detached Crimea from the Ukrainian government’s control. What remains unclear is what Vladimir Putin wants to do with it. Incorporate it into Russia? Use it as leverage to negotiate a deal with Ukraine? Both?

In any event, Washington’s response should be clear and forceful. Russia has violated all kinds of laws and norms, including most crucially, a treaty that it signed with Ukraine guaranteeing that country’s borders, in return for which Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons.

For Washington, for Americans, for people around the world, it would be a terrible precedent to allow issues like this to be resolved not through diplomacy, but by force. If Russia could detach parts of neighboring countries with impunity, won’t other great powers like China decide that they too can act in such ways?

So what can be done? Well, for starters President Obama should cancel entirely his attendenace at the G-8 summit to be held in Sochi in June. He should try to persuade the other major powers to follow suit. Russia’s membership in the G-8 should be suspended. Remember,  the G-8 was created to recognize that post-Soviet Russia was behaving like an honorable member of the international community, not a rogue state . If the behavior has changed, Russia’s status should also change.

Militarily there is less that can be done. After all, Russia’s military budget is about 18 times that of Ukraine. But NATO should restart talks on providing assurances to countries like Poland – including perhaps building the missile defense system that was abandoned.

In economic terms, Washington and the EU should consider the only sanctions that would be effective: ones targeted specifically at individuals who could be held responsible for these acts of aggression against Ukraine.

Washington cannot do much to stop Vladimir Putin as he creates facts on the ground in Crimea. But step back and consider what a strategic disaster this is for him. Ukraine has slipped out of his orbit and most of the population there is going to be hostile to Russia for generations. Countries like Poland that had eased up relations with Moscow will now view it with great suspicion. All European countries will put their relations with Russia under review. Even China will surely oppose the brazen violation of national sovereignty, something Beijing is always concerned about. Within Russia people have seen that Putin is terrified of a democracy movement and will brutally oppose it, not really the image he wants to present.

So Putin gets Crimea, which is only 60 percent Russian. Parts of it will be deeply hostile to this Russian takeover – including the population of Crimean Tartars, who are Muslim and getting radicalized. Remember, Crimea is in the Northern Caucasus, the area where Russia has been battling a ferocious Muslim insurgency.

So even as he lines up one more piece – or half piece – on his chessboard, Putin will find that the price he has paid for it will be quite high.

Post by:
Topics: Fareed's Take • Russia • Ukraine

soundoff (1,638 Responses)
  1. Ellen

    US should refrain from any action. The situation in Ukraine is not as straightforward as it seems. I grew up in Kharkov (on the border with Russia) and this city, along with all Eastern part of Ukraine will never site with Ukraine and will be seeking Russian protection. Ukraine should be divided without any foreign involvement, period.

    March 3, 2014 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  2. Ling

    Putin is out of his mind: if he still has any logical reasoning left, he would offer to buy out Crimea from Ukraine instead of storming their military facilities. Russians are against the military action, there was a poll today on independent news, and 70% voted against the war. If he starts shooting at Slavic soldiers, it will be the beginning of the end for Putin himself. NATO MUST send military units to Western Ukraine to prevent spreading of military actions across the country: Russians won't shoot at NATO, they will be locked in Crimea and forced to resolve the situation by diplomatic means (e.g. offer a payout to Ukraine of $100-150 bln. for the land grab). Unfortunately, Crimea is lost for Ukraine even in case of such diplomatic solution, but NATO still has chances to save the Western Ukraine for Europe.

    March 3, 2014 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  3. Seka Sekandi

    Force Russia out of the Soccer World Cup coming up in Brazil and secondly convince FIFA to take away the 2018 Soccer World Cup from Russia. These two things will isolate Russia and upset the people in Russia who love soccer.

    March 3, 2014 at 1:11 pm | Reply
  4. Bo

    cyrus==but you are forgetting. Obama is cuting our military to pre world war status. We can't put them on alert. That would make Hagel a hero

    March 3, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  5. Michael Ebrahim

    guys, CNN now supporting the bad guys. in the bad they were for REAL democracy and they believed Justice will prevail. Now, they support the anti different and encourage bad organizations like the Muslim brotherhood. See Egypt as an example. Fareed Zakaria plays the wise guy...telling governments how they should respond. America has no business in that part of the world. Enough mess! and by the way, Russia is not an arab country

    March 3, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Reply
  6. palintwit

    Not to worry everyone. Sarah Palin is on her way to meet with Putin at this very moment. She's wearing her high black boots and taking along a large platter of her famous s'mores. She'll diffuse this in no time.

    March 3, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Reply
    • John MCDoo

      By the way, Sarah Palin was the person who said, that after Georgia, Putin may decide to invade Crimea.She is not as dumb as you may think she is.

      March 3, 2014 at 3:29 pm | Reply
      • palintwit

        That talking point was given to Palin by McCain's people during their 2008 campaign. It was NOT her idea.

        March 3, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
  7. The Dead Critic

    "How the U.S. should respond"

    By NOT listening to you!

    March 3, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Reply
    • SunnyDee

      the US was not asked. they have no right to respond. they need to keep their nose out of it and mind their own business. there are things to worry about here at home.

      March 3, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Reply
      • Dennis

        That's what people said in the early 30s. How did that work out. History is just repeating itself. Are we smart enough to notice?

        March 3, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
      • Steve L

        Thinking that the Ukraine is not our business is the kind of thought process that has led most countries hostile to the US to think that we cannot and will not step in anywhere to help anyone. I doubt any of our allies trust we would come to their aid for anything right now. Russia has a lot of stragtegic interests in the Ukraine. In addition, much of Europe needs the oil, gas and agriculture coming from Ukraine. it shouldn't be surprising why Russia wants Crimea and probably all of Ukraine. Russis is also working on an alliance with China. What do you think that means? Do you think we should just ignore that too? Sticking our head in the sand and pretending none of the work matters are a cause for concern is a recipe for disaster. While we can't and shouldn't be the policeman of the world, we should also not withdraw from it to the point everyone thumbs their nose at us. You must remember that this world is one that has been and always will be ruled by the use of force. The U.S. reducing it's forces and not being forceful in the world tells all the despots in the world that we'll do absolutely nothing regardless of what they do i.e. Syria.

        March 3, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
      • MC

        We can't not respond, you sad little half-wit. Not responding is itself a response.

        March 3, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
    • Max21c

      Just more bloodthirsty warmongering from another Yale University vampire! These establishment types want to rekindle the Cold War so that London and Washington can ensure their hegemony and relevancy and rule over Western and Eastern Europe for decades and generations to come. Fareed Zakaria conveniently slips past a quarter of a century since the Cold War officially ended and the expansion eastwards of NATO accompanied by stoking up of anti-Russian racism, bigotry, prejudice and hate within Europe.
      The fact is Western Elites caused this problem with their stupid stunt of overthrowing the Ukrainian state and installing a puppet government backed by fascists, violent radicals, and zealots. Western Elites conveniently ignore that they are risking touching off another Bosnia-Hercegovina or Yugoslavia with all the religious hate, butchery and slaughter that such entails.
      Putin is a Russian moderate. He may not be that drunked buffoon Boris Yeltsen and thus since he's not weak and a fool for the west thus Elites from the west are unhappy.
      Putin's and Russian actions are perfectly consistent with protecting their Naval base in the Crimea against it being taken over by Kiev radicals and turned over to NATO. As well their future actions are dependent on whether they have to send tanks and troops into the 10 Eastern provinces to protect ethnic Russians from butchery and slaughter.
      Perhaps Western Elites consider the risk of another Yugoslavia or Bosnia-Hercegovina a small price to pay. But their stupid stunt in the Ukraine is preposterous.

      March 3, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Reply
      • Steve L

        Putin is hardly a moderate. He is KGB through and through. I never heard any KGB person called a moderate. If he's a moderate then Obama is a conservative.

        March 3, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
      • Joseph Stalin III

        Steve L. – KGB has been dissolved since 12/03/1991. Where have you been since then? Today, the Russian Federation utilizes the FSS (Federal Security Service).

        March 3, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
    • Eagle One

      First things on the agenda is for Congress to side step the President. I think the President's response sunk the morale of many Americans and Europeans. Showing weakness, the response could escalate Putin's agenda. We all know what happened, when the United States sat on the sideline during Hitler's annexations. Many Jewish people suffered and died. Are we to watch Ukrainian's suffer the same fate. Have we learned anything? Anyways, we should at least rally NATO and build a defensive line of troops running through Poland. We should tell the Ukrainian's to withdrawal their forces into Poland if the Russian's advance further into Ukraine. Position troops into first strike mode with Nukes be ready. Expel all foreign civilians out of the country to be with their loved one's, and recall American civilians back home. Prep for Nuke drills to public. Declare war in Russia doesn't leave Crimea, or make Russia buy Crimea. May god save us!

      March 3, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  8. palintwit

    Not to worry everyone. Sarah Palin is on her way to meet with Putin at this very moment. She's wearing her high black boots and taking along a large platter of her famous s'mores. She'll wink at Putin and diffuse this in no time.

    March 3, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Reply
    • Monarchs22

      Anyone at this point is better than Kerry/Clinton.

      March 3, 2014 at 1:50 pm | Reply
    • DaveNYUSA

      Good. At least SHE has a plan, which is more than Obama every had on any issue.

      March 3, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Reply
    • uwengalema

      If Sarah Palin gave Barack Obama one of her balls, Barak would have one and Sarah would still have two.....this would have never gotten to this point if she was in office.....Romney told us all Russia was our biggest geo-political foe.....roll the tape!!!......You voted for this clown now live with it.....Who says Poland, Belarus aren't next?

      March 3, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Reply
      • MC

        Wow, you are one remarkably STOOOOOPID individual. LMAO!

        March 3, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
      • Alex

        Your comment lacks clarity of thought. That is what my Econ professor would say if he read your comment. Palin, has no clue to what the word international policy means nor less how diplomacy comes prior to engaging into war. I'm sure if I gave her a world map and asked her to point where Ukraine was we would be there for a long, long, long time for her to point out.

        March 3, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
      • EEBP

        Are you serious??? Yeah, she is so close to Russia that she can see it from her back yard.....What part of DUH do you not understand? I got nuthin' on that.

        March 3, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
    • Steve L

      You, like all of the pointy head liberals who would be late to their own funeral, are obviously blinded by your own ideology. Palin was right but you can't admit that. The liberals of the current administration do nothing but talk, talk, talk and look at where it has gotten us. This is eerily familiar to the Jimmy Carter regime and we know where our country and our hostages were at during that time.

      March 3, 2014 at 2:57 pm | Reply
      • palintwit

        Sorry pal. That was a talking point McCain's people gave her to use during the 2008 campaign. Not her idea at all.

        March 3, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
      • MC

        Uh, right about what, half-wit?

        March 3, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
      • RealTime

        The opposite of Palin is not "Liberal". The opposite of Palin 's "Rational". The whole lib/con argument doesn't apply to wingnuts like Palin (on the right) or Pelosi (e.g., on the left). Too extreme to find common ground.

        March 3, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
  9. Rob Public Again

    "Begun the Drone War has"

    March 3, 2014 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  10. R E Martin

    Crimea is not, of course, in the north Caucasus nor it Muslim extremism of the sort you find there yet a major concern. C'mon, Fareed. These are silly, yet potent, mistakes.

    March 3, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Reply
    • Alexander

      Crimea is not in Norh Caucasus. It is probably ~500 miles away.. But other then that is very good article.
      By occupying Ukraine, Putin has decided to follow the Nazis footsteps and tactics. After international community finally wake up, Putin’s regime will end the same way.

      March 3, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Reply
      • Scott Johnston

        Indeed, Crimea is not in the North Caucasus. The Tatar Muslims will easily be tempted to be more radical if Putin and the Russian majority isolate the Tatars. Fareed, what you don't know is that the "Father of the Crimean tatars" is Mustafa Jemilev who spent, off-and-on, around 20 years in prison during the Tatar exile in Uzbekhistan after WW-2 as he tried peacefully and successfully to get the Russians to permit the Tatars to return to Crimes. They were forcibly expelled by Stalin in 1943 or 1944. Stalin then ordered Russian citizens to move to Crimea and occupy the former Tatar villages and homes. Jemilev is worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize!

        March 3, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
    • John MCDoo

      You are absolutely correct. Fareed Zakaria is a totally ignorant fool. He should have studied geography in school... Perhaps, he slept during these classes. For better or for worse, US has entered an agreement which was signed by former president Clinton in 1994 the agreement with Ukraine, Russia, and Great Britain, concerning removing nuclear weapons from Ukraine in exchange for guaranteeing that country's borders and support, political and MILITARY, in case Ukraine is attacked. Whether we want it, or we don't, WE ARE BOUND BY THE AGREEMENT. Tomorrow, Russia may decide to liberate Russian population in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria... until it rebuilds the Soviet Block and USSR over again. Don't be mistaken, Soviet Union never disappeared: it simply became a bit smaller and got renamed, but it is still headed by the former KGB agent and is being run by a bunch of murderous criminals, trying to present a picture of being soft and fuzzy, except for the times when the claws come out. If we don't stand with our friends and allies, with who we have signed agreements, there will be nobody to stand by our side, when someone decides to liberate Russian speaking population in Brighton Beach (NYC), or in Alaska.

      BTW, do me a favor, Fareed:stop writing any more stupid articles, especially, if you can't tell the difference between Crimean Tatars and Chechens... Oh, what an idiot..

      March 3, 2014 at 2:41 pm | Reply
    • Silver

      Why does CNN need to hire an Indian to tell the US what it should or should not do? As far as Palin goes, she is an ignorant bafoon. McCain could have easily been president had he not attached himself to anyone who openly admits that she doesn't read newspapers or magazine, doesn't even know the name of any. And millions of ignorant citizens have the same level of understanding of world events – none. A wink and a "Gotcha" and an "I can see Russia from my back porch" and a tight dress has them drooling. Oh wait – they were already drooling.

      March 3, 2014 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  11. Chi Bur

    Ukraine has no right to be sovereign since it murders unarmed civilians in Maidan Square.

    March 3, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Reply
    • John MCDoo

      Don't believe everything you see on Russian TV. If needed, Putin will get a couple of thousand people, make them wear swastika, make them march, film that and say that Ukraine is full of Fascists, ... and that is what he actually did. What's most regretful in this case is that mother Russia itself started from Ukraine's Novgorod. Basically, these people have deep-deep joint brotherly roots. From this point on, Russia will be hated more than Hitler in Ukraine for generations to come.

      March 3, 2014 at 2:52 pm | Reply
      • русская украинка

        Очень бы хотелось, чтобы Вы попали на Украину в руки тех людей, про которых обманывает российское телевидение. Сидите в кресле и умничаете, врать и переписывать историю- ваше любимое занятие! Поезжай и посмотри своими глазами, а еще очень желаю на своей шкуре испытать "мирное" отношение бандеровцев!

        March 4, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
  12. sean

    All right, we fear Russia and China spreading. But look at it from their point of view–they fear that the E.U. is spreading and invading their culture

    March 3, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Reply
    • MC

      Uh, no, not particularly. But thanks for playing.

      March 3, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  13. TransitDave

    The only way for Obama and Putin to avoid war and save face if for both countries to recognize the independent republic of Crimea. Russia will still have influence and military agreements, but Russia will not have Crimea and neither will Ukraine.

    And Crimea could become the Switzerland of Slavic Europe. There are advantages to this as well.

    March 3, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Reply
    • Alexander

      How about return back to Ukrain it's nuclear weapon?

      March 3, 2014 at 1:38 pm | Reply
    • Alexander

      Remember Munich Agreement, 1938. West OKed Hitler occupation of Czechoslovakia. What happened next?

      March 3, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  14. Ellis

    Encouraging Kiev protesters, many who are neo-Nazis, to overthrow a democratically elected government was a strategic blonder. Those that did so, apparently based their actions on static analysis, rather than dynamic analysis of potential outcomes. Had they done so, they could have predicted the Russian response. Now they are talking about sanctions and making Russia pay a cost. Here too, they are failing to consider Russian's responses and costs that it can inflict. We need cooler heads and an acknowledgement that deposing a democratically elected governments is wrong headed. And, we cannot claim, as Zakaria does, that the West opposes territorial grabs, it they did they would long ago sanctioned Israel for its grabs of Palestinian territories. Also, invaders cannot claim that invading other countries is wrong, such a claim is laughable, because they too invade (Panama, Grenada, Iraq, Afghanistan and so on). The best approach here is to work with Russia to stabilize Ukraine politically and financially and to ensure its territorial integrity. All this talk about cost and not attending the G8 in Russia will just make a bad situation worse.

    March 3, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Reply
    • John MCDoo

      Don't believe everything you see on Russian TV. If needed, Putin will get a couple of thousand people, make them wear swastika, make them march, film that and say that Ukraine is full of Fascists, ... and that is what he actually did. What's most regretful in this case is that mother Russia itself started from Ukraine's Novgorod. Basically, these people have deep-deep joint brotherly roots. From this point on, Russia will be hated more than Hitler in Ukraine for generations to come.

      March 3, 2014 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  15. Mark Causey

    Crimea is the home of the Russian Black Sea AND Mediterranean Navy fleet. Anybody that thinks they won't protect their Navy isn't thinking very clearly.

    March 3, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  16. Fk Russia

    Screw that, this is NOT our problem. If the UN wants it handled, then they can round up people from THEIR countries and take care of it. TAKE CARE OF OUR OWN FIRST, SCREW THE REST OF THE WORLD!

    March 3, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Reply
    • Alexander

      We already thought the Hitler is not our problem either... It is a wakeup call... We need to be too naive not to understand that...

      March 3, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Reply
      • James Trainor

        Most Crimeans wants to be with Russia and Crimea is the home of the Russian Black Sea and Mediterranean Navy fleet. Anybody that thinks they won't protect their Navy isn't thinking very clearly. RIght now there is nothing the USA cant to to Putin specially militarily. Nobody wants a WW3. A lot worse was when Bush and Cheney invaded Iraq based on lies and for not reason at all, no WMD, no ties to 911 or OBL and due to their debacle over 100,000 innocent Iraqi children, women and men were killed. Madla anywhere else that is War Crimes and straight to the Hague. So where is the outcry for that?

        March 3, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
    • John MCDoo

      I can envision a day when Russia may decide to liberate its Russian speaking population in Alaska, or China may want to protect its population in Washington state (pick another one of your choice) and every other country will stand aside and say: it's not my problem... SIGNED AGREEMENTS SHOULD BE HONORED! Period. Clinton signed it with Ukraine, great Britain and Russia in 1994 and guaranteed that the borders of Ukraine will be respected, and, if attacked, we will be helping economically and militarily to push back the aggressors. Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in exchange. If it didn't, Russia would have thought 10 times, before attacking Ukraine!

      March 3, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Reply
      • русская украинка

        Умник, о какой агрессии речь и о каком вторжении?

        March 4, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
    • sandalista

      Who cares that we sell 75% of our products to the rest of the world and that we import more than half of all consumer goods and natural resources we need? Who cares about political, financial and economic ramifications from Russia annexing parts of another country? You don't. Ignorance is truly bliss!

      March 3, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  17. Mick Verran

    For a more informed and nuanced view http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/03/ukrainian-hangovers/

    March 3, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Reply
    • Sean Michael

      Finally a reference to a valid article with a reasonable perspective

      March 3, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Reply
    • Art

      That article is "reasonable" only if you accept the fallacious premise that "Russia" – as in the state that has existed since 1991 – includes the Ukraine and Georgia, which have been separate states – recognized thus by Russia – since that time. The authors also state that "Bill Clinton" "moved" into the Baltic states. In what sense has that occurred? In no sense, that's how.

      March 3, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  18. obotma

    the disgrace obama invites all the oscar winners to a big party at the white house! he says that will scare russia! the three people still working in america to pay for it!!!!

    March 3, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Reply
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      All Presidents had big parties at the White House. You sad Repubs are going politically extinct in 2016, and like a drowning swimmer– you guys are reaching for any handhold you can find.

      March 3, 2014 at 1:44 pm | Reply
    • Jack Handy

      Right, as usual everything is Obama's fault. I'm sure you are blaming the horrible winter weather on Obama too. You people are pathetic.

      March 3, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Reply
    • A good Republican

      Yes, us Republicans really hate the Oscars, and in fact, all actors in Hollywood are communists.

      Same goes with music and the arts, and frankly, besides the Bible, all books should be burned – bunch of liberal trash.

      Only football teams (real men!) should be allowed to visit the White House – in fact, only Texas football teams.

      This country has gone to the dogs. We should Nuke Russia and China and Korea TODAY!

      And we should Nuke all of the latin america and africa also. And California.

      March 3, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Reply
    • jboh

      Get back on your meds.

      March 3, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  19. Fr33th1nk3r

    Let Russia have the Ukraine– then all the Muslim terrorists will be targetting Putin's house and Russian assets instead of ours.
    Win-win for America.

    March 3, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Reply
    • John MCDoo

      A sound thought... but there will be more than that. Ukranians are freedom-loving people. They look exactly like Russians. Russia hasn't seen real terror yet, until Ukranians start fighting from within.

      March 3, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  20. A Viswa

    I agree. With US invasion and occupation of so many countries, I don't see the moral platform to squawk at the Russians this way. They probably have a better rationale for military intervention than the US has had in a majority of its own transgressions. All this is hypocrisy and politics on the part of world powers, including USA, Russia, W. Europe, and so many other countries. It is ultimately the ordinary people/citizens of the affected countries that pay the price, not these "leaders," "visionaries," political pundits, and bloggers like us. Zakaria is a joke, mostly interested in looking good to western audiences, wearing false patriotism on his sleeve, and generally atoning for his plagiarism in the past. I think countries should generally focus on their internal affairs and intervene only in extreme cases where innocents are actually getting hurt significantly or national interests are truly threatened. Otherwise, world peace and harmony are threatened.

    March 3, 2014 at 1:44 pm | Reply
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      Russia specifically had a signed treaty with the Ukraine to forbid just this sort of thing.

      The U.S. was attacked on 911 (for those of you with short memories) by a hostile criminal organization and retaliated.

      Apples and oranges.

      March 3, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Reply
      • Canuckistani

        You are correct, the US has no moral high ground here. This is all about Russia and whether they can live up to treaties that they sign. The US seldom has either, but Ukrainians deserve better after a century of manipulation from the Ottomans to the Austro-Hungarians to the Bolsheviks and now the oligarchs. Crimea is Ukrainian, and Ukraine has a right to self-determination without threats.

        March 3, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
      • sly

        "The U.S. was attacked on 911 (for those of you with short memories) by a hostile criminal organization and retaliated."
        ======
        The US attacked Iran prior to 9/11 (for those of you with short memories), by a hostile military organization and retaliated.

        Apples and apples. We murdered 350 Iranian civilians on a United Air Lines flight (or maybe some other commercial flight), and Arab Freedom Fighters retaliated.

        Goes around, comes around. Leave Russia and the Ukraine alone, and negotiate a solution.

        March 3, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
      • James Trainor

        Historically, culturally, and with the same language Crimea has strong ties to Russia specially when over 60% are Russians, While Bush and Cheney invaded Iraq based on lies and for not reason at all. It was the wrong country. No WMD, no ties to 911 or OBL and due to their debacle over 100,000 innocent Iraqi children, women and men were killed. Anywhere else that is War Crimes and straight to the Hague. So where is the outcry for that?

        March 3, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
    • Liberals Are Pretty Brainless

      What angers me about people like you is that you so much love bad-talking the U.S. that whenever other countries do things like what Russia has done in the Crimea, you whine that we have no moral right to object. So what is your solution? Allow things like this to happen? Russia can invade the Crimea with impunity now? What about China? Now that Russia has shown them how to do it, can they invade Taiwan with the same impunity because you think the U.S. has no right to object or respond? And your assessment of Fareed Zakaria is pretty lame too.

      March 3, 2014 at 2:04 pm | Reply
    • pg

      History lessons are fast being forgotten here.. Read up about Sudetenland and Hitlers annexation of Czechoslovakia in 1938.. Read up about the Treaty of appeasement at Munich.. By ignoring Russia's actions, we will set up a bad precedent , and Russia may be encouraged to do and act more and more like a bully.. This will endanger peace and stability in Eastern Europe and more and more of Russia's neighbours will feel threatened and isolated if the West doesn't stand by them and give a stern message to Russia.. I understand two wrongs don't make a right, but at the same time cannot turn a blind eye to the plight of the Ukranians ..

      March 3, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Reply
      • русская украинка

        никто из соседей не чувствует себя в опасности рядом с Россией, реальная угроза- США, которые любят из себя строить "хорошего парня", сначала давить на эмоции, а потом провоцируют, сначала натворят пакостей, а потом весь мир втягивают. И ведь знают, что на Украине поддерживают банду неофашистов и революционеров-захватчиков, но хоть кого, лишь бы против России.

        March 4, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
  21. befair

    In 1974, Turkey (the second largest army in NATO) invaded Cyprus, its neighbor to the south. The excuse was that it had to protect the Turkish Cypriot minority on the island (sounds familiar?). Since then and up to this day, Turkey occupies almost half of Cyprus. How did the US respond? How did Europe respond?

    March 3, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Reply
    • Cheetahe

      I am at this point against using force to settle issues which if possibly can be solved by mediation and negotiations but the western hypocrisy and double standards as far as Cyprus is appalling. The forceful removal of 250 thousand Greek Cypriots from their historical homelands and their ethnic cleansing by Turkey went down by the west bestowing Turkey with military and economic aid and political support in the UN. The US is also actively trying to get the same Turkey which is still illegally occupying the Northern half of Cyprus to the EU.

      March 3, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  22. HenryMiller

    If a majority of the people of Crimea would rather be aligned with Russia than with the Ukraine, why not let Crimea and the Ukraine go their separate ways?

    Either way, though, it's none of our business.

    March 3, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  23. rolin

    Obama don't want war. Ukraine is Europe's problem not US. Why is America always taking the lead all the time? America is not rich any more. She can't promise everything to everybody anymore. Besides Obama loves to play with drones. Obama loves to play bully. let him bully putin.

    March 3, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  24. A good Republican

    Why are we even discussing Russia when we haven't even seen President Obama's Birth Certificate?

    This President only won because the polls were rigged – Romney carried almost 60% of the vote.

    Where is his Birth Certificate? Huh? Until I see it, He isn't President.

    That is the only important issue in the world, and this is why so many Americans love us Tea Party members.

    March 3, 2014 at 2:35 pm | Reply
    • jboh

      Get back on your meds.

      March 3, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • kstar

      Better known as a democrat who calls himself a "Good Republican" to satisfy his fix of insulting conservatives.

      March 3, 2014 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  25. I don't believeit

    Interesting to know why all of a sudden Victoria Nuland, Susan Rice, and Geoffrey Pyatt are no longer giving interviews. We would like to know their comments after they pushed for this situation.

    March 3, 2014 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  26. Mark Igolnikov

    US should do what it did in Tajikistan after 9/11. US has established a base there and had started supplying US and Afghan troops from there. Establishing a base in Western Ukraine (not in Crimea) with one support division from NATO and then supplying Ukrainian army with what it needs will not endanger US troops and will not oblige US to defend Ukraine (no NATO status-same as for Tajikistan), but it will send a military message to Mr. Putin.

    March 3, 2014 at 2:39 pm | Reply
    • I don't believeit

      That will mean the start of WWIII.

      March 3, 2014 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  27. Charlie

    tell the asxhole to go over there himself! what a jerk!!!

    March 3, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  28. palintwit

    ATTENTION !! All birthers, baggers, and teabillies !! Russia is the world's second largest producer of petroleum and one of the world's biggest suppliers of natural gas. And you'll be the first ones crying if gas hits $8 bucks a gallon. So let's start WW III like you want.

    March 3, 2014 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  29. palintwit

    From now on you have to be an employee of Chick-fil-A before you can run for president. And you'll be a shoe-in if you only have one tooth !

    March 3, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  30. Choir Loft

    America is itching to get involved in another war. As if more than twenty wars and shadow wars at present isn't enough.
    ***
    Russia once considered Ukraine to be part of its territory and is now reclaiming what it believes is theirs. Very similar to the US Federal government invading the seceeding states of the Southern Confederacy. Side issues aside, the King of the hill always fights to reclaim what he believes to be his own property.
    ***
    American hypocrisy is showing. With several countries invaded by us, we have no moral high ground to argue against Russian occupation of Ukraine. It's better to just shut up about it.

    and that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

    March 3, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • MC

      The only thing "showing" is your stupidity.

      March 3, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Reply
      • John MCDoo

        Ditto.

        March 3, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
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