July 22nd, 2014
10:36 PM ET

Zakaria: Why Europe isn't getting tougher on Russia

CNN speaks with Fareed Zakaria about Europe's response to the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. This is an edited version of the transcript.

The French continuing with the sale of an advanced warship to Russia. Where is the outrage? Because the responses so far, you're talking about incremental increases in sanctions, still negotiating access to the site – this doesn’t seem to match the enormity of this crime.

You’re right. We’ve seen pretty strong rhetoric coming out of U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power and President Obama. We've seen some of it coming out of the British prime minister, finally, and the Australian prime minister. Very little you notice out of continental Europe, the big powers – Germany, France, even the Dutch – have been remarkably restrained given the enormity of the tragedy here.

And I think that part of the problem here is that Europe has very deep economic ties, very deep energy dependence, on Russia. In the French case in particular, France has always prided itself in being a kind of bridge to Russia. They've always prided themselves on being a big military exporter. The way they think about it, if they didn't do this stuff, the Americans would be dominating the arms industry.

So, there are a lot of national interests that are coming in the way of what you rightly said should be a kind of international response. There should be a sense that the international community is acting, but instead what you're seeing is separate national interests – the French national interests, the German national interests – trumping what should be an international humanitarian interest.

There are national interests and there are national interests. On the one hand we talk about, for instance, Germany's dependency and many other countries dependency on natural gas. You need that to heat your homes, etc. But when you're talking about making profits in the case of the French on a major warship – that just seems almost too much to believe, particularly five days after this plane went down.

The French are remarkable because they are the heirs, of course, of the French Revolution – liberty, equality, fraternity, all that kind of thing. They're remarkably realpolitik in the way in which they approach the world. This was true even during the Cold War. They’ve always tried to pursue an independent often, what is called Gaullist foreign policy, which isn’t particularly interested in human rights and those kind of things, it follows France's national interests.

And what they would tell you is that thousands of jobs are on the line in France, because when you sell one of these warships you also sell service contracts. You sell maintenance, and so the there is a kind of continuing economic relationship. And it doesn't appear that France has done what I thought they might do, which was just delay all this for a few months. Just the appearance of it would seem to be almost unseemly, five days after this horrific tragedy.

The president is getting criticism for flying to fundraisers now rather than to Europe to finally rally European consensus on how to respond. Do you think the administration is open to fair criticism here?

I think that the administration in substantive terms often does about the right thing. You can't start a war over this. You've got to remember Russia has about a 30 to 1 advantage over Ukraine in terms of its defense budget, in terms of the size of the military.

So, the reality is Russia is very powerful on the ground. That's why it has been impossible to wrest control of the site. The Ukrainian government is in effect not in control of its own territory because these rebels get support from Russia. So there are limits to what you can do. But I think that the administration somehow seems to lack a sense of coherency and strategy and central purpose. The former National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was on my program last Sunday and he said, I agree with everything the administration was doing. I just wished they were more focused and energetic and purposeful about it.

I think there is that sense that there is an almost reluctance to take the leadership role here that naturally falls to the United States. And it's unfortunate because as I've said if you were to tick off the policies, there isn't much more you could do they weren't doing. Senator Lindsey Graham, when he was asked, famously said, well, they're not calling Putin a thug.

Well, you know, if that's the best alternate policy you have, a rhetorical flourish, there's not much there.

Post by:
Topics: Europe • Russia • Ukraine

soundoff (148 Responses)
  1. chri§§y

    Maybe @ Luca but they sure as hell should be asking questions! And if that loonnnnggggg Dutch funeral procession didnt bring tears to your eyes, then your heart is made of stone!

    July 23, 2014 at 9:08 pm |
  2. Hostory

    From a perspective of one European living in USA:

    I think Western Europe is reluctant in becoming more hostile to Russia not only for purely selfish economic reasons.
    Europeans are generally better educated people (better than Americans). And this includes politicians. Europeans have more information about natinalism in Ukraine (including cooperation with Nazi Germany). Europeans are better aware of the fact that natinalistic government runs the show in Kiev at present. Europeans are well aware that natinalism is countered by laws of Russian Federation. The americans, including politicians, and media (including Fareed Zakaria) are ignorant of all this. The americans, including politicians and media are largely ignorant of European history (including ignorance of Zakaria about Ukraine/Russian history). Goog luck America with solving world problem by being ignorant!

    July 23, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
    • Coley

      Since we are so ignorant, you'd probably pack up and head back to whatever trivial little euroslum you came from. After all, we wouldn't want to offend the intellectual sensibilities of a highly-educated european like yourself.

      July 23, 2014 at 11:11 pm |
      • Hostory

        I came from Moscow in 1989. I cannot afford the cost of life in this Euroslum at present, like most Americans. The facts that I stated are sad, but this is a way how US politicians operate at present. Their ignorance explains why anything they touched over last 15 years is destabilized and that is what we see: global destabilization. I will keep loading some specifics about Ukrain/Russian conflict. Your interest is appreciated.

        July 24, 2014 at 12:12 am |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      @ Hostory:
      Oh wow...well, I guess that we in the USA really must be very ignorant, because I had the impression that NAZI Germany was defeated in one of those big wars, way back around–1945? So let's see, you're telling us that they're still fighting Europe from Ukraine?
      Well, I'll be damned!

      July 23, 2014 at 11:14 pm |
    • Austin ZZR 1200

      @History. It is pretty obvious that you are one of Putin's trolls. Do your self a favor and spread your propaganda somewhere else.

      July 23, 2014 at 11:59 pm |
      • Oscar

        @Austin and others. It is the outspoken position of the Dutch government (and the Dutch people seem to agree overwhelmingly) that our first and foremost priority is to get those bodies back. Hardly anything else matters at this time. The only way to have any hopes of achieving that is to keep up a working relationship with all the parties involved. Whatever the pain and frustrations call for, that is what is begin done. I am convinced some form of Justice will happen, but that will all happen in due time. (How many years did it take to get Bin Laden?)

        July 24, 2014 at 2:19 am |
      • toye

        Americans! what sort of people are you that does not like or embrace constructive criticism ? are you so naive,illiterate and arrogant so much that anybody that write or say opposite to your views or opinions is a puppet or troll (paid writer by Putin or whoever) you have putted it even if is view is not bias ?

        July 24, 2014 at 2:46 am |
    • minnie mouse

      LMAO. Yes, Russians are not at all nationalistic. Except to the point of absurdity, where they have lost all moral compass and now actively excuse Land Theft (Crimea) and Invasion (East Ukraine.)

      July 24, 2014 at 2:08 am |
      • toye

        may be you should tell you murderous country of their atrocities in Hiroshima and Nagasaki ,Vietnam,Libya, Iraq,Afghanistan,in Somalia ,to mention but few.

        July 24, 2014 at 2:50 am |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

        And Pearl Harbor?

        July 24, 2014 at 8:55 am |
    • minnie mouse

      If the Europeans are "so superiorly educated", one would assume they would have remembered the pain, death, and suffering inflicted upon Europe by the Russians in the Cold War. There is an old saying: "NATURE IS EXTREMELY HARSH ON THOSE WHO DO NOT LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE."

      July 24, 2014 at 2:14 am |
      • toye

        what sort of pain... i beg to remind me.

        July 24, 2014 at 2:52 am |
    • Paul P. Valtos

      I don't believe that bring up on charges of probably 100,000 Ukrainians who joined the Nazis is reason to condemn the present Ukraine. At that time the choice was join the Russian Army at the point of a gun or death. That's the Russian point of negotiation for a Russian. They wanted a change of rule and thought that the Nazis (Germans) would provide it. Ukraine was and still under the influence of Communist think. They have been brainwashed where they just feel comfortable in the welfare state and leave the governing to the aparachnicks. They never were able to pick out who they were so it was a slam dunk for whomever the party puts up for election. They never had the opportunity to check on the background of any of them. Putin got elected because he promised to stabilize the country which he did but at the expense of political freedom. His aparachnicks circle him as the head of Gasprom , the mines, manufacturing, all stolen from the government. Those who refused to cooperate were imprisoned or murdered as the guy in England. In Ukraine, that one guy was poisoned by the Russians and totally disfigured after he recovered. These are the people you are dealing with and the system, endemic to Ukraine. Murder, poison, torture, deportation etc. Nice guys.

      July 24, 2014 at 9:35 am |
  3. Hostory

    Zbignew Brzezinski – a known hater of Russia and of all Russian. A good reliable source of advice for Fareed. America is proud of your choices of judgement.

    July 23, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
  4. chri§§y

    Then WHY are you living here? You obviously do not think very highly of Americans so i would think you would wanta be in Europe.

    July 23, 2014 at 10:13 pm |
  5. andreslobo

    fareed, restating the obvious once again I see. But what floored me is your statement that the Obama administration has for the most part gotten ukraine right. How much further do you have to get your head up his nether regions? Any further and you'll be able to see out of his eyes.

    July 23, 2014 at 10:14 pm |
  6. fk iran

    في ظل الانهيار الامني الدراماتيكي في عدد من محافظات العراق وهيمنة القوى العالمية والاقليمية واجنداتها المشبوهه والصراعات السياسية لاحزاب السلطة العميلة وعمليات السرقة والنهب والفساد لتحقيق المكاسب الشخصيه الضيقه ،وهيمنة المليشيات الطائفية المسلحه المجرمه على الشارع العراقي وجرائمها المستمرة ضد أبناء الشعب العراقي ، و بعد فتاوى الجهاد التي اعلنت لقتل شعب العراق ، تصاعدت العمليات الاجراميه ضد المواطنين الابرياء في مدن المحافظات المنتفضه ومدن العراق الاخرى ، حيث أتسعت عمليات الاعتقالات والقتل على الهويه والمداهمات العشوائيه والتي هي دليل واضح على اللعبه القذره التي ينفذها العملاء الصغار لصالح أسيادهم الفرس الحاقدين والتي تسعى لزرع الفتنه الطائفيه وتفتيت النسيج الاجتماعي . المترابط لأبناء الشعب العراقي

    ● أن ما يحدث في محافظة البصره من قتل للمدنيين الابرياء وتهجير قسري لمكون رئيسي وأصيل من أبناء المحافظه من قبل المليشيات المسلحه وبغطاء حكومي هدفه التطهير الطائفي ولافراغ المدن من سكانها الاصليين ولرسم خارطه جديده للمدن تخدم المشروع الفارسي الصفوي الحاقد

    ● ان الجريمه البشعه التي أرتكبت يوم الثلاثاء 22 تموز 2014 بحق المصلين العزل وهم يؤدون صلاة الفجر في جوامع مهيجران ، الهارثه ، المعقل والتي قتل فيها ثمانية من المصلين امام أنظار المواطنين وبدم بارد نفذتها مليشيات مسلحه مجرمه حاقده لها أرتباطاتها الخارجيه وبدعم حكومة المالكي العميله

    ● أن مجلس عشائر العراق العربيه في الجنوب يدين ويستنكر الجريمه النكراء التي نفذتها ميليشيات المالكي الصفويه وقتلها المصلين العزل في جوامع مهيجران والهارثه والمعقل ، كما يندد بشده الصمت العربي والدولي عن جرائم حكومه العميله وميليشياته المجرمه

    ويحمل المجلس حكومة المالكي العميله المسؤوليه الكامله عن هذه الجرائم

    ● ويطالب المجلس المجتمع الدولي ومنظمات حقوق الانسان والاتحاد العالمي لعلماء المسلمين ومنظمة المؤتمر الاسلامي وقادة وزعماء الدول العربيه للوقوف بوجه حكومة المالكي المجرمه ومنعها من ارتكاب المجازر والاباده الجماعيه بحق المكون السني الاصيل في محافظة البصرة .

    ويدعوا المجلس ابناء البصره الاصلاء الى التلاحم والتوحد ورص الصفوف للتصدي بقوة للعدو المجرم الحاقد ومنعه من تمرير مشروعه التوسعي المشبوه

    ( الذين قال لهم الناس أن الناس قد جمعوا لكم فاخشوهم فزادهم أيمانآ وقالوا حسبنا الله ونعم الوكيل )

    فصبرآ يا أهلنا في البصره الصامده الباسله فالنصر قريب جدآ أللهم نصرك ألذي وعدت به المؤمنين الصابرين
    ... اللهم ارحم شهدائنا برحمتك الواسعه واسكنهم فسيح جناتك مع النبيين والشهداء والصديقين والهم ذويهم الصبر والسلوان ، اللهم شافي جرحانا انك سميع مجيب

    . الشيخ احمد الغانم
    الامين العام لمجلس عشائر العراق العربيه في الجنوب
    في ٢٥ رمضان ١٤٣٥ الموافق ٢٣ تموز ٢٠١٤


    July 23, 2014 at 11:51 pm |
  7. ntm

    Here is info on intelligence obtained by the US satellites. http://consortiumnews.com/2014/07/22/the-mystery-of-a-ukrainian-army-defector/

    July 24, 2014 at 12:06 am |
  8. Hostory

    Star track-like time loop and will we get out of it? (In 5 PARTS)

    Part 1

    Hard to beleive that in 2014 after living 24 years in USA I am writing this.
    4/15/14 CNN news on Ukraine crisis (after 24 years of Ukraine independence). Yulia Marushevska, a young Ukraniane PhD student takes upon herself to represent all Ukrainian citizens. She states that only 6% of Estern Ukraine population is pro-Russian (based on Times magazine data), claims that Ukrainians is one people finally blessed by hope of freedom thanks to the latest revolution and pleas for USA to defend her country so that the lives of those fallen on Maidan for freedom are not sacrificed in vain. Than we see General Mark Kimmitt who threatens us by Putin's aggression and requests immediate deployment of US armed forces in Ukraine. Farid Zakaria on CNN web sites almost daily posts his views on the situation pretty much in line with the above and one of the commentators (using the name American) offers a promising solution:

    We would wipe Russia off the map in one fell swoop and the world would cheer. You stupid Russians always bluff, and the USA always underplays its hand. The whole world knows this. The only issue here is whether it's worth our time. And it just might be, Comrade, so keep talking.
    One of the Russian TV commentators in response to rhetoric similar to above could not keep himself from saying that Russia also can turn USA into radioactive ash.

    We must understand that if it comes to the worst and the matter escalates to a point of what the above individuals suggest, USA and Russia are at nuclear parity and should the worst happen due to clever political decisions we may experience some nukes landing in our backyards. Thus, be prepared to be somewhat bored, with a goal of becoming more aware of the sources and reality of present USA/Russia conflict.

    Essential historic episodes in Ukraine /Russia relationships:

    Russia traces its roots to Kiev (Kievan Rus) . Short citation from Wikepedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kievan_Rus'):
    Kievan Rus' (uniting the majority of East Slavic tribes) begins with the rule (882–912) of Prince Oleg, who extended his control from Novgorod south along the Dnieper river valley in order to protect trade from Khazar incursions from the east[3] and moved his capital to the more strategic Kiev. Sviatoslav I (died 972) achieved the first major expansion of Kievan Rus' territorial control, fighting a war of conquest against the Khazar Empire. Vladimir the Great (980–1015) introduced Christianity with his own baptism and, by decree, that of all the inhabitants of Kiev and beyond. Kievan Rus' reached its greatest extent under Yaroslav I (1019–1054); his sons assembled and issued its first written legal code, the Rus' Justice, shortly after his death.

    The territories loosely associated with Kievan Rus expanded and Moscow settlement was noted in the records dating to 1147.
    Wikepedia: Yuri Dolgorukiy (c. 1099 – 15 May 1157) was a Russian prince and founder of Moscow. He reigned as Grand Prince of Kiev from September 1149 to April 1151 and then again from March 1155 to May 1157. Yuri played a key role in the transition of political power from Kiev to Suzdal following the death of his elder brother Mstislav the Great.

    However, later the Moscow grew and subordinated number of other towns. Some areas that are identified with Ukraine were developing autonomously from Moscow-associated territories.

    Unification of Ukraine and Russia; citation from Encyclopaedia Brittanica; see: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/451403/Pereyaslav-Agreement

    Pereyaslav Agreement, Pereyaslav also spelled PerejasŁaw,  (Jan. 18 [Jan. 8, Old Style], 1654), act undertaken by the rada (council) of the Cossack army in Ukraine to submit Ukraine to Russian rule, and the acceptance of this act by emissaries of the Russian tsar Alexis; the agreement precipitated a war between Poland and Russia (1654–67).
    The hetman of the Zaporozhian Cossacks, Bohdan Khmelnytsky, had been leading a revolt against Polish rule in Ukraine since 1648. In 1651, in the face of a growing threat from Poland and forsaken by his Tatar allies, Khmelnytsky asked the tsar to incorporate Ukraine as an autonomous duchy under Russian protection. The Russians were reluctant to enter into such an agreement, and it was not until October 1653 that a Russian zemsky sobor (“assembly of the land”) approved the request and Alexis sent a delegation, headed by V.V. Buturlin, to the Cossacks. Only after the Cossacks had suffered a disastrous military defeat (December 1653), however, did the rada receive the Muscovite delegation at Pereyaslav and formally submit to “the tsar’s hand.” Two months later (March 1654), the details of the union were negotiated in Moscow. The Cossacks were granted a large degree of autonomy, and they, as well as other social groups in Ukraine, retained all the rights and privileges they had enjoyed under Polish rule. But the unification of Ukraine with Russia was unacceptable to Poland; a Russo-Polish war (Thirteen Years’ War) broke out and ended with the division of Ukraine between Poland and Russia.

    July 24, 2014 at 12:15 am |
  9. Hostory

    Part 2. One of the next major episodes in Russia-Ukraine relationship was Mazepa’s plot against Russia. In order to understand the similarity of the present situation to what happened please read this citation from Encyclopaedia Brittanica:

    Ivan Mazepa, in full Ivan Stepanovych Mazepa, Mazepa also spelled Mazeppa   (born about 1639, Mazepyntsi, near Bila Tserkva, Pol. [now Ukraine]—died Sept. 8 [Aug. 28, Old Style], 1709, Bendery, Moldavia [now Moldova]), hetman (leader) of Cossack-controlled Ukraine who turned against the Russians and joined the Swedes during the Second Northern War (1700–21). Having served as a page at the court of the Polish king John Casimir, Mazepa was educated in western Europe but returned to his native land and in 1663 entered the service of Petro Doroshenko, the Cossack hetman of Right Bank (western) Ukraine.
    During the 1660s and 1670s Mazepa’s transfer of loyalty between rival hetmans contributed to the complex and prolonged warfare (that continued into the 1680s) among the Turks, Russians, Poles, and various Cossack factions for control of the Ukraine. Mazepa subsequently succeeded the established hetman of the Ukraine (1687) and fought against the Crimean Tatars (1689). When Peter I the Great took power, Mazepa managed to win Peter’s favour and retain his position in the Ukraine.
    Peter, however, alienated Mazepa and the Cossacks, ordering them to perform uncustomary duties and allowing the Russian army to mistreat the Ukraine’s civilian population. Consequently, when the Second Northern War began (1700), Mazepa entered into secret negotiations with Charles XII of Sweden. When Charles led his forces into the Ukraine seeking supplies and reinforcements, Mazepa and 5,000 of his Cossacks joined the Swedes instead of going to the aid of the Russians (October 1708). Mazepa, however, was able neither to inspire the Ukrainian population to revolt against the Russians nor to supply the Swedes with enough Cossacks to prevent the Russians from inflicting a major defeat upon them at Poltava (June 1709). After that battle, Mazepa escaped with Charles into Turkish-controlled Moldavia, where he died.

    Forward to Soviet times (1917 Bolshevik Revolushion) and Soviet Union (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, USSR). Ukraine becomes part of USSR as one of the republics till the end of 1991.

    Transfer of large areas (present day Eastern Ukraine) from Russia to Ukraine in 1920’s. During early years of the USSR large territories (including Donetsk, Luhansk, Nikolaev and Odessa regions) were transferred from Russia to Ukraine (within USSR). Why this was done is not absolutely clear. But the result was that millions of Russians became part of Ukraine population.

    July 24, 2014 at 12:18 am |
  10. Hostory

    Part 4.

    Russia (after dissolution of USSR) : from 1990 to mid 1990’s economic and political situation deteriorated. The criminality was rampant. Conflict of Eltsin with parliament in 1994 destabilized political situation. Eltsin is known for his alcohol abuse and progressive inability to be a leader. Nevertheless, Russia-USA relationships could be described as very good. When Putin took over the lead, he slowly started to rebuild economy. There are many criticism directed to him; suppression of democracy (including freedom of speech, control of economy, and interference in judicial system, continuous corruption in all spheres of society, etc). However, over last 15 years the obvious improvements in all spheres are obvious and this is reflected by a very high Putin’s approval rate by citizen’s of Russian Federation. An anti-corruption agenda pushed by the government recently will gradually (and peacefully) facilitate positive developments. It is worth to remember that 24 years ago Russia was within USSR. The democracy during Eltsin times is better characterized as anarchy. The true democracy takes many decades to develop and progress Russia made is obvious: there are opposition TV and radio channels and, in fact, government finances channels that frequently show programs that are not necessarily in agreement with official position. One can subscribe to western programs as well. Certainly there is a long way to go. The presence of a middle class in modern Russia allows a basis for stability, which makes Russia reliable business partner for foreign trade and investors. It should be noted that during recent years corresponding to Russia’s economic and social progress the relationships with USA worsened (unfortunately).
    Criticism of Putin for anti-democratic and authoritarian way of leadership:
    When Eltsin was Russian president democracy in Russia blossomed in the opinion of the West and of many inside Russia. However, this apparent democracy in reality was a mix of chaotic of ideas, unrealistic political agendas, economic instability, poverty and criminality. During Putin’s time attention was given to stabilizing the country economically and politically. Many Russian TV programs and other media are subsidized by the government. However, although president has an influence, decisions are made by other bodies. Indeed, opposition media is not subsidized by the government. However, the well organized programs, which appeal to citizens, are able to raise funds from the population (in a form of donations) and are freely broadcasting (examples, channel Dozd and Echo of Moscow). I must add that by regularly watching various programs I see that even government-subsidized channels present plenty of critical information. The opinions may differ, but the fact is obvious: For a first time in modern history Russia experiences a period of peaceful positive developments in all spheres of life. This is an explanation as to why present government has about 80-85% approval rate from citizens of Rissian Federation.

    Ukraine (after dissolution of USSR):
    Over 24 years after establishing independence have past. We have seen multiple changes of government and two revolutions.
    The west provided huge financial aid (from taxpayer’s pockets) which did not to stabilize the country politically and economically. Western financial aid directed to support “Ukrainian Democracy” was ending up in the pockets of corrupt politicians. Much of it also ended up with ultra-radical nationalist movements training armed nationalists who helped to capture power in Western Ukraine and Kiev. Part of the reason is continuous corruption leading to absorption of the western money in the pockets of few.
    Intense political strife due to orientation of East/South Ukraine towards Russia and Western areas towards Europe and USA. The present leaders in Kiev used anti-Russian nationalists to usurp power. This was not a peaceful process. The footage of armed government buildings take over in Western Ukraine and Kiev back in February was shown by many new channels. This was called a revolution and received an approval by USA and Western Europe. At the same, the decision of the West to legitimize the present rulers in Kiev leads to referendum in Crimea and it’s re-unification with Russia. The two key factors are essential to understand:
    1. True will of the majority of Crimean population. If you have doubts, arrange a week of great summer vacation there for very affordable price and talk to people there.
    2. Crimea’s strategic position. During negotiations of West/East Germany unification Gorbachev had agreement with the West that NATO will not expand to Eastern Europe. It is possible that after USSR break up the West decided that those agreements are not to be followed. The result of last 20 years of NATO expansion is that European part of Russia is surrounded by NATO. Many times Russia raised concerns about it. Obviously, in present situation, the threat of Sevastopol (one of the key Russian navy bases) and Crimea at large becoming a province of NATO did not look too good.

    Present confrontation in the Eastern Ukraine:
    This is a major Russian-speaking region (see historic review above). Most recent Geneva agreement on disarmament does not seem to produce results because population is afraid to become defenseless against army positioned by Kiev administration there. Why would not Kiev pools back so called “anti-terrorist” special operation forces first, move international observers there second and then expect people of Eastern Ukraine to disarm?

    July 24, 2014 at 12:20 am |
    • menisino

      Are you finished?

      July 24, 2014 at 2:03 am |
    • minnie mouse

      FBI – Serious question: why is this anti-American allowed to live in the United States? We have people from all around the world wanting to come here yet we allow someone like this to remain here and use up our natural resources while criticizing us? Why .... how is this to our advantage? I've been struggling with this concept lately. I would never allow someone hostile to my family to live in my home. Why do we allow hostile anti-Americans into our nation? We have thousands of applicants from which to choose. Why would we make this oxymoronic choice?

      July 24, 2014 at 2:26 am |
    • JB

      You need to write a book. Then we will have the option to ignore you completely. If Mother Russia is so great why did you leave in the first place? Was it out of ignorance?

      July 24, 2014 at 8:27 am |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      Seeking validity in the works of @ Hostory, I have been able to agree that democracy allows the expression of differing opinions.

      July 24, 2014 at 8:40 am |
  11. Yuri Levchuk

    USA, I am disappointed in you

    July 24, 2014 at 12:51 am |
  12. minnie mouse

    The problem for Ukraine is that they have narcissists for alleged allies.

    July 24, 2014 at 2:00 am |
  13. minnie mouse

    I'm amazed that NATO even exists, given how self-absorbed individual European nations are.

    July 24, 2014 at 2:02 am |
  14. menisino

    Schroder not Merkel is still running Germany. She is like Medvedev in Russia....puppets/mannequins.

    July 24, 2014 at 2:09 am |
    • minnie mouse

      Did you happen to see the latest research about how people select acquaintances based on genetic similarities? Putin is a demonstrated and treacherous Invader by his genetic nature. Given Germany's not-so-distant horrible past, I'm a tad concerned about Merkel's apparent friendship with Putin. I fear a "Birds of a Feather" situation emerging.

      July 24, 2014 at 2:34 am |
      • sly

        ... by that analysis, Bush is one of Hitler's grandson's, RayGun was Napolean's kid, and Nixon's parents were Bonnie and Clyde.

        July 24, 2014 at 11:42 am |
  15. Brian

    Zakaria is incorrect in his assessment and wrong on the facts. The U.S. could have and still could supply Ukraine with defensive and non-military items, such as missile detection radar, body armor, medical supplies, boots and even sleeping bags for their troops. Zakaria gets the facts wrong in saying that the Administration has done everything correctly, because the U.S. promised the aforementioned basics (boots, sleeping bags, medical aid) and still has not delivered most of it. The Ukrainian military is still dependent upon donations of money and gear and medical supplies from their expat community around the world. The Obama Administration sees this and cannot even lift a finger, even to staunch the flow of bad publicity that they are bringing upon themselves for it. Epic fail.

    July 24, 2014 at 2:51 am |
    • toye

      Brian,sounds like u are having mental problems by suggesting that tax payers money should be wasting on crisis that does not threaten/affect united states national security in anyway. Ukraine is not at the backyard of united states neither their trading partner. whereas,united states need money to build economy,schools,road,hospital so that people can get back to work.thousands are homeless while millions are on food stamps...seriously you are the greatest enemy of united states.

      July 24, 2014 at 3:18 am |
    • sly


      Who the heck cares. 70% of Americans couldn't find Ukraine on a map. Simply put, average Americans know nothing about the world – 'Survivor' and 'American Idol' don't cover things like that.

      So there is a big ol' Civil War in Ukraine, and maybe a couple of people have been injured thus far. And no one cares who wins. Kinda like watching the World Cup (if they can ever figure out when the match ends).

      July 24, 2014 at 11:40 am |
      • Joseph McCarthy

        Well put, sly. How true that rings!

        July 24, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
  16. chri§§y

    Lololol @ sly and your 11:42 post! Now THAT was awesome!

    July 24, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
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