Why Europe is wary over Russia sanctions
July 24th, 2014
12:18 PM ET

Why Europe is wary over Russia sanctions

CNN speaks with Fareed Zakaria about the U.S. and European responses to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. This is an edited version of the transcript.

President Obama is facing pressure, from Democrats and Republicans, to really up the ante. But the United States can only do so much because it's not one of the main trading partners with Russia. Germany, as you know, is the biggest European trading partner with Russia – 36 percent of its natural gas and almost 40 percent of its oil comes from Russia. If you're German and you put tough sanctions on Russia and they retaliate, your people are going to be really upset this winter.

It’s not only Germany – that’s just one perfect example. So Germany, as you say, would literally not be able to heat its homes. Remember, Chancellor Angela Merkel just said no nuclear – after Fukushima, she said the country was going off nuclear. So that means an even greater dependence on natural gas.

The Netherlands is another major Russian trade partner – Rotterdam is a place that imports more Russian oil than any place else in the world. They import it, they refine it, and then they sell it. Shell, the big Dutch company – a kind of iconic company – has huge investments in Russia.

So the Europeans have over the last decade, as Russia has grown as an oil country, gotten themselves so intermeshed that it's very tough for them to do it.

There is also a lot of criticism being heaped on France, because France is going with a major warship sale. And Russia, obviously, is a huge arms exporter.

What happens is, the French and the Germans say, we want sanctions. Let's do financial sanctions, which would hit the City of London. London says, let's do energy sanctions, which would hit the Germans. There’s a British official quoted as saying the pain must be felt equally. In other words, we're not going to take the lead on sanctions.

And everybody picks on Europe, but Russia exports not just oil and gas, but of course its arms and weapons. So we looked up who are the biggest buyers of Russian weapons: India and China. I think it's safe to say, China is not going to have anything to do with any kind of sanctions. And what about India?

I think 80 percent of Indian arms come from Russia. Another country to look at that hasn't criticized or condemned Russia, very interestingly, is Israel. Remember, it has a Soviet-born foreign minister, Lieberman. The countries have been forging closer ties.

So if you notice, this is different from Iran and Syria. Russia is a big global power. It has a U.N. veto. It has its tentacles all over the world and lots of countries are putting their national interests over international or humanitarian interests.

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Topics: Europe • Russia

soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. chri§§y

    I agree @ Retired Military thats how it SHOULD be! But you know as well as i do....Obama didnt have a chance of that since day one!!! They said from the very start they were gonna make sure he failed! And they have done everything AND anything to make sure that happened! Matter of fact, thats ALL theyve done! Now you tell me, could you, or anyone you know....do an outstanding job with someone, or LOTS of someones doing everything to make you fail? If it were me, i woulda told em to f * * k o f f and i woulda been outta there! And thats another thing...theyve been so he!!bent on destroying him, that theyve totally s c r e w ed this country, and all of us, over!

    July 26, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
  2. chri§§y

    Lol @ Retired Military....how does one get "experienced" to be President? Lol teasin ya btw. But i do realise what youre saying. The biggest problem with Obama is he isnt used to running with a pack of vicious dogs! He is layed back, and entirely too trusting! And hes very honest so i think he doesnt recognise the under~handed things those that hes supposed to work with (congress) do on a regular basis. So yea i guess your naive thought would be accurate. I dont think hes a co-conspiritor in anything. Incompetant...maybe! As for the dire straights our country is in (youre not gonna like my opinion on this)...much of the blame for that falls on GWB and Cheney, imo! I know you dont wanta hear that and im sorry but....they harmed this country a great deal.

    July 26, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
    • Retired Military

      1/GWB + Cheney

      July 27, 2014 at 2:17 am |
    • Retired Military

      I just don't get the blame Bush brigade? It has been six years since he was President. And I am tired of him and his administration saying the same thing. This administration deflects and will not own up to is many failures and shortcomings. No CEO could continue to complain about the previous guy, Board would bounce him out on his can in short order. I don't recall other Presidents blaming their predecessor like it cool. In fact, President Lincoln never blamed James Buchanan for the country he "inherited". Of course, as much as our current President tries to link his Presidency to the greatness of Lincoln's, it just ain't work'n!

      July 27, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
  3. Retired Military

    "Him" in the first sentence should read "This President". My apologies.

    July 27, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
    • Igor

      I will keep repeating, may be some people get a bit more knowledgeable about present crisis as US government is dragging its own country into economic chaos and the whole world into major cataclysm:
      Before Malasyan plane was shot down there was a prolonged intermission by CNN/BBC in reporting on Ukraine civil war. The fact that plane was directed through region of war where several planes were already shot down just underscores the fact that international community was largely ignorant of what is going on in Ukraine and did not take it seriously. The civil strife in Ukraine is not new. Ukraine region of Kiev is a starting point of Russia back in early middle ages. At the times of Ukraine/Russia origin both regions were ruled by same knights. Separation took place when rulers settled more towards northern areas. Whatever was called Ukraine in 17-th century voluntarily incorporated itself into Russia. Conflicts within Ukrainian population about disagreements on whether to be separate or part of Russia were going on and off from the time Ukraine/Russia can trace its history. One of the more notable episodes was a war between Peter the Great and Ukranian insurgency at Poltava (early 18-th century, when Swedish king sided with insurgents). About 10 million ethnic Russians live in Ukraine now; about 3-4 million Ukrainians live in Russia. Uncountable (millions of people) families
      have both Ukrainian and Russian sides. Ukraine never had an experience in independent statehood until 1991, when Soviet Union broke up. After revolution in 1917, the Bolsheviks organized a republic of Ukraine as part of Soviet Union. In 1920’s large parts of land (present day Estern Ukraine where civil war is going on) were transferred administratively from Russian Federation to Ukraine. This resulted in major Russian population in Eastern Ukraine. In 1954 Crimea was transferred from Russian Federation to Ukraine.
      The present outburst of conflict was a result of many factors: 1. Malfunctioned state of Ukraine 2. An absence of agreement about degree of participation in European Union 3. Nationalistic riots 4. Concern of USA about Russia becoming stronger politically, economically and militarily
      over last 10 years, and therefore desire of US policy-makers to have leverages in the regions close to Russia. 5. Interference of the USA and support to Ukraine’s politicians who usurped the power in Kiev back in February 2014.
      What now? Airplane tragedy just provoked international attention. Thus, one should be aware that more than 1000 civilians were killed in Eastern Ukraine during this civil war by now. Ukrainian army continues firing on civil area in hope to intimidate and suppress resistance. The Ukrainian army sustains major casualties. There are protests in Kiev and Western Ukraine against sending soldiers to fight in the east. The economy is crumbling as Ukraine cannot sustain the costs of war on its own. Ukraine is asking USA for military and economic help. If this help comes Russia will upgrade its participation in defending revolting regions as Russia cannot afford to let Ukraine become a province of USA militarily and economically.
      The USA is trying to get Europe more tightly involved in economic sanctions. Interestingly, England who will suffer least (it does not import gas from Russia) is screaming the loudest
      tunes. Should US send military and financial help it will put enormous costs on US economy as Ukraine was collecting all sorts of help for last 25 years with most of it ending up in
      pockets of corrupt politicians. What can be done? First, do not assume that Putin is aggressor.
      So far, he responded to a situation as a leader who cares about national interests of his country. Crimea had referendum, and naturally Russian majority decided that it is time to have
      Crimea as part of Russia again. They live in peace now, unlike Russian-speaking
      population in Eastern Ukraine. The only way to end this conflict is for USA to start serious negotiations with Russia and Ukraine, and stop giving illusion to Ukraine’s politicians that USA and Western Europe will solve their problems.

      August 1, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
      • rwmcjazz

        You said: Interference of the USA and support to Ukraine’s politicians who usurped the power in Kiev back in February 2014.

        The Ukrainian protesters were in the Maidan for a very long time before the bullets started flying. Minds were already changed. US involvement tried to focus on the next best short term leader they felt would bring stability to the crisis.They ruled out any "Right Sector" member. They ruled out Wladimir Klitschko, as he didn't have the experience. Down the list they went (with Ukrainian advisors in the process) trying to find the best person for what they knew in advance would be a short term job. The EU it was decided – would take too long to decide who the next person should be. The US wanted a quick fix. Nothing more.

        Yatsenyuk is a Ukrainian politician, economist and lawyer with lots of political experience. They chose him. He didn't run to the EU and NATO. He did what was best for the country and nothing more. He had few long range plans. He wanted Ukraine to be free and open. PERIOD.

        August 3, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
  4. chri§§y

    Ok @ Retired Military...first of all im NOT Obama. So its NOT Obama blaming GWB its me ok. And 2nd i dont believe youre the kinda guy that puts your head in the sand when something isnt what you want it to be. Now 3rd remember them wars we got into while your buddy was POTUS? Well the cost of those wars was hidden and not ever put in the budget til Obama got elected and discovered that cost. Suddenly its visable to everyone and we're operating in the red. And have to borrow from China. Probably a big part of the reason that congress doesnt wanta work on immigration reform now as well. Because if they do THAT budget will be audited too, and who knows what will be discovered. When Bush was in office i wasnt fond of his procedures but i didnt dislike him either. Then i started learning all these things that started comming out. Spending tax dollars not where it was sposed to be spent and lying where it was spent.

    July 27, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
    • Retired Military

      Chrissy: The President does blame his predecessor as do people in his Administration. President Bush was not my buddy, so I am not sure what you are implying? I do not give accolades to President Bush, but I am tired of the Bull when it comes to passing the buck.

      Wars are generally off budget items. The cost of the wars were Not hidden. It was public knowledge that the wars were not in the budget. This President cannot even pass a budget. Who does that? Certainly not those who are responsible. This President has singularly put this country into more debt in his 6 years than all other former Presidents combined – staggering.

      Not sure where you are headed with the immigration comments?

      Lastly, I am not aware of the items you brought up regarding inappropriate expenditures of tax dollars and a cover up. Please expand on that issue.

      July 28, 2014 at 1:38 am |
    • thank you chrissy

      well said!

      July 30, 2014 at 1:09 am |
  5. chri§§y

    And @ Retired Military...if you doubt me look into Bush Jrs appointing a previously convicted felon named Robert J. Steine who was put in charge of an $82 million reconstruction program in the middle east in 2005~2006 timeframe. Im not certain the exact date but it shouldnt be hard to find. Anyway my loss of respect for GWB began then when i seriously realised he didnt have a clue what he was doing, and that it was really Cheney who was calling the shots.

    July 27, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
    • Retired Military

      Chrissy: if you lost faith in GWB, I have no earthly idea how you can have even a "smidgen" of faith in This President. He doesn't seem to have a clue either. I had faith in him in the beginning, but he has been a significant disappointment.

      July 28, 2014 at 1:47 am |
    • thank you chrissy

      Bush & Cheney belong in prison at The Hague........... where war criminals belong..........

      July 30, 2014 at 1:10 am |
  6. chri§§y

    Oh and fyi...i am not the grammer nor the spelling police, and i also am not perfect, so you dont have to apologise to me for spelling or grammer errors ok. Lol

    July 27, 2014 at 9:28 pm |
    • Retired Military

      That's nice of you, but my comments in this regard are a general acknowledgement of an error.

      July 28, 2014 at 1:49 am |
  7. chri§§y

    Ok @ Retired Military...one of the hidden costs was in the tune of $82 million TAX PAYERS MONEY that Bush/Cheney put in the hands of a known felon~Robert J. Steine for construction costs in Iraq. Of course much of it was stolen by him. He was convicted finally in Feb 2006 but the money wasnt recovered. Then theres the fact that Bush called the FBI off investigation of Osama's family upon taking office. He did run an oil business called Arbusto with Salem Bin Laden, Osama's brother.
    The attacks of 9/11...George Bush refused for 14 months to allow any inquiry into the events leading up to 9/11 (the worst attack on American soil in history) Finally allowed $3 mil to do investigation. In contrast $50 mil had been given to commission to investigate Columbia space shuttle crash. You can check to see these are FACTS that i just posted. Go to http://www.americanprogress.org/site/pp.asp?c=biJR80VF&b=124722

    July 28, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
    • Retired Military

      Chrissy: This is the stuff of conspiracy theories, of which I do not subscribe. Particularly the attempts of those who attempt to somehow tie President Bush to 911, pre and/or post actions. The website you directed me to is a progressive, liberal organization that is extremely politically motivated and run by many former Obama administration types – The Center for America Progress (CAP). This is a left leaning and partisan group. CAP also will not provide a list of its donors. We just will have to agree to disagree on this.

      July 29, 2014 at 12:52 am |
    • thank you chrissy

      Obama is 1000 times smarter and more capable than Bush........ he was sickeningly blocked by rich, racist, republicans............... throughout his entire tenure.............. because they just could not bear to see a black man succeed............ sickos!!!!!!!!!!!!

      July 30, 2014 at 1:12 am |
  8. chri§§y

    Now as to why i have more faith in Obama...first and foremost is because he CARES about people! Especially people less fortunate. Thats something he and i have in common. Unlike his predecessor who mainly cared about his bank account and his friends bank accounts. And i think the main reason congress refuses to do immigration reform is because if they do then certain finances will be made public. Like homeland security. And then we may notice more misappropriation of funds. I can think of no other reason they wouldnt want to.

    July 28, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
    • thank you chrissy

      yes, Obama cares about people............. and is more humane........... and thinks more about the detailed repercussions from bad decisions by government............ than most presidents.............. God Bless him...............

      July 30, 2014 at 1:14 am |
  9. chri§§y

    Yep. I did extensive research after i came out of mourning for my sister and my brother in law, both killed in the Pentagon on 9/11. There were numerous web sites i visited and they were mostly in agreement. And the information on Bush's business and his business partner are public record! So is the case of Robert Steine! And much more...too much for me to post here. Also as a rule, i dont buy into conspiracy theory crap either! But when specific things are written on numerous sites and all similarly written then its hard for me to deny!

    July 29, 2014 at 11:20 am |
    • thank you chrissy

      totally agree.......... and if you watch the PBS specials about the Iraq War............... and read the books written by Joe Stiglitz.............. you will be shocked beyond belief about the truth that has unfolded and slowly leaked out, about the Bush Admins gross ignorance, mismanagement, bungling and over-spending on the Iraq catastrophe..................

      July 30, 2014 at 1:17 am |
  10. chri§§y

    And here i thought all this time @ Retired Military...that YOU were advocating BIPARTISAN! Yet here you are posting partisan crap! For the record i have voted republican, democrat and independent at one time or another in my life. However i do have to say, because of the "inaction" of congressional republicans, its highly doubtful that i will vote republican any time soon!

    July 29, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
    • Retired Military

      Chrissy: I am all about bipartisanship. But, I am also about standards and burden of proof. If the things that you are alleging were ironclad, it simply would not stand and legal actions would have ensued. As much as the left disdains President Bush, this would have had traction and no stone would have been left unturned. I am not posting "craps", rather I am disagreeing with you. I too have voted both parties. It is about the person and what he/she stands for. Never put party and polictics before doing the right thing.

      I am truly sorry for your personal loss. That is a moment that touches all Americans in some way. Some, obviously more than others. A very close friend of mine grew up in Long Island. His father was a Battalion Fire Chief. This gentleman retired on Sep 10th 2001. The very next day, everyone in his former Battalion perished in the WTC collapse. To this very day his father suffers with the fact that somehow he survived.

      July 29, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
    • thank you chrissy

      if we can somehow grab Bush, by the scruff of his red neck, and deposit him on the steps of The Hague, along with Uncle Dick.............. they will provide the world with ample evidence why these 2 cronies belong behind bars............. sicko war criminals..............

      July 30, 2014 at 1:22 am |
      • Retired Military

        You really should be paying attention to the questionable actions of the current President instead of fantasizing about the previous President of 6 years ago. But of course your comments are designed to be that of an antagonist. Not compelling.

        July 30, 2014 at 2:45 am |
      • thank you chrissy

        and you think your comments are compelling? Yes indeed, you are retired military! you guys are taught to merely follow directions, and not to think for yourselves at all. No wonder you guys get used, as mere PEONS, in an awful game of' murder and destruction, which makes the CEO's and VP's within the US Military Industrial Complex very very rich indeed!
        Ever since WWII, the US has been involved in conflicts that it did not win, ended in a stalemate, and caused much harm and did no good. the ONLY winners were the CEO's and VP's within the US Military Industrial Complex, who became billionaires several times over. Talk about blood money! and what is really sickening is that there is no sense of wrong doing or remorse within the US MIC. Only celebration that they got richer!

        July 30, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
      • thank you chrissy

        Let's just take the example of the Vietnam War, to illustrate my point. From 1964-1975, the US dropped 2 million bombs on Vietnam, and murdered 1.7 million Vietnamese people. Who cares about the 58,000 US military PEONS that died in the bargain! The US Military Industrial Complex was billing the US government 4 times more than the going free-market rate, for each and every piece of military hardware that was used in the Vietnam war. You think that over-billing was awful? Now let's look at the Iraq crime. the US MIC billed the taxpayers 10 TIMES the going free-market rate for each and every piece of military hardware that was used in Iraq. This was the most expensive war in the history of mankind!!!!!!!!!!!! and what did the average American get out of it??? nothing. period. That's what happens when you have a Defense Secretary (Dick Cheney) in bed with the US MIC. Sickening beyond measure!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        July 30, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
      • Retired Military

        Wow, don't hold back. I think you should tell everyone how you really feel.

        And, yes, my comments are compelling indeed to those who are not diehard partisans like yourself.

        July 31, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
      • Retired Military

        Obviously, you have little to no regard for those who serve in the military. There are certainly no "peons". Instead, there are brave men and women who understand the meaning of honor, courage and commitment. These people are clearly capable of critical tough and analysis and know about the importance of applying integrity into decision-making. They are not simpletons, or even robots, as you have implied.

        July 31, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
      • thank you chrissy

        My dear Retired Military gentleman......... it must be so hard for you to be faced with this horrible truth. From pre-historic times, wars were fought so that the "King" could control his territory, his subjects, and his politics..... so that he could stay RICH......... it does not matter which nation's history we look at............ in the modern world, and especially with regard to America after WWII, every single war has been about the US Military Industrial Complex making a whole lot of money...... that is exactly where we Americans have lost our way............ the real "reason" for sending American GI's into battle has become MONEY......... prompted by rascals called lobbyists........... paid in the millions by the likes of Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Untied Technologies, Raytheon etc.......... you grunts on the ground have really and truly sunk to being mere PEONS............. used in the worst way imaginable.............. made to pay with your lives and limbs........... so that the CEO's and VP's of the US MIC can rake in billions............. at the financial ruination of the country and it people............ the US pentagon has long been the biggest taxpayer ripoff on Planet Earth........... spending more money than the next 10 nations combined spend on their military............. fact. Whether you like it or not.......... 🙁

        August 1, 2014 at 1:21 am |
      • thank you chrissy

        My dear Retired Military, since to seem like such a nice person, let me try to educate you about your unreal reality. Please watch the PBS shows: Iraq for sale, and No End in Sight. Also, please read the book on the Iraq war, the 3 trillion dollar mistake, written by Joe Stiglitz. You will learn a lot. You will be shocked about the truths hiding under the rug about the Iraq Crime. Dick Cheney and GW Bush are WAR CRIMINALS. No question about it. They should both be spending the rest of their lives in the ICJ prison in the Netherlands. You will learn about how the Iraq war was cleverly "privitized" by Dick Cheney, so that the 23 subsidiaries of Halliburton could bill the US government the maximum they possibly could. You will learn how the "Grunts" felt in Iraq, when they were served their 3 meals each day, by guys who worked for a subsidiary of Halliburton and had slept in the Embassy Suites Hotel each night, while the "grunts" had to sleep in canvas tents........ you will be stunned to read about the "out of control" billing and how Dick Cheney masterminded this ripoff of the American people. 5000 of your brothers lost their lives for this. 30,000 of your brothers have been maimed or have PTSD........... and what was achieved???????? NOTHING. PERIOD. But those CEO's and VP's of the US MIC.......... wow, they got stinking RICH........... on our tab, which is now near 18 trillion in debt............. sickening yes??????????????

        August 1, 2014 at 1:44 am |
      • Retired Military

        Absolutely not. You are just wrong. You paint in broad strokes and it is striking obvious that you have an agenda. It is ironic that you rail against the MIC, yet you support the out right hypocrisy of the current administration. The majority of people who legitimately take part in this forum see right through your game. In fact, you have insulted most Americans who understand the goodness of America and it's military.

        If you have a problem with the MIC, that's fine, take it up with them.

        August 1, 2014 at 2:02 am |
      • thank you chrissy

        and let's not even begin to talk about the 850,000 Iraqis that were murdered in cold blood, by US bombs yes???? and the 3.5 million Iraqis that have been rendered homeless, because they had to flee for their lives, to avoid US bombs yes???? and let's not even begin to talk about the reason that America told the world it was going into Iraq yes???? and let's not even dare to talk about the results of the Iraq war yes????????? My God man......... are you kidding me?????? Just remember this: in 1800, a clever runt of a man, named Napoleon, convince the entire French Army, that they were filled with courage, brilliance, strength, valor, bravery etc etc etc............ you know what happened to them????? 80% of them got slaughtered as they returned from Russia............ losers............ defeated because they were mere GRUNTS............. aka: PEONS.............. obeying the orders of madness.............. 🙁

        August 1, 2014 at 2:04 am |
      • Retired Military

        I appreciate your desire to "educate" or more appropriately stated "indoctrinate" me, but that will not be necessary. I served in Iraq and have first hand knowledge of what transpired there. This administration pulled out of Iraq flushing all of the gains achieved in blood and treasure in order to secure an election in 2012. If the administration wanted to remain in Iraq it would have secured the SOFA. The continued folly and feckless foreign policy has turned the near and middle east upside down. Terrorism is on the rise around the globe as a result of America's disengagement. But it is much Moe than that. America's southern boarders are being overwhelmed with the flow of illegal aliens and undoubtedly terrorists who intend us harm. This is happening as a result of the administration's urging. IRS scandals, ACA website that now costs the taxpayers over $800 million. Almost $1 Billion to make a functional website?? This is just scratching the surface. Things are out of control under this inept administration and that is the reality that you choose to ignore. This is happening in real time, not 6 to 10 years ago. And there is no doubt that Congress is not blameless in this disaster. As a nation we are in bad shape and need to get our house in order. And by the way, calling those who disagree with the President racist is laughable. Again, part of your playbook. Goodnight Ferhat.

        August 1, 2014 at 2:57 am |
      • there are none so blind as those who refuse to see the truth

        Retired Military, you are living in a weird, sick, false, bubble! We pity you, and your types. I bet you believe that you actually won the Iraq war! what a joke!

        August 1, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
      • Retired Military is just a scared little white boy

        Well of course he has to have this screwed up view. He actually helped to murder thousands of innocent Iraqis! Keep believing what you believe, Retired Military. While the rest of us laugh at you and feel sorry for the sad fact that in order to serve in the US Military nowadays, you almost HAVE to be a blindered ignorant peon.......... sad sad sad.............

        August 1, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
      • Retired Military is just a scared little white boy

        Do you know why Rome fell, ignorant peon Retired Military??? The Romans had been terrorizing all their neighbors for hundreds of years. They even marched into England, murdering as they went their merry way! Roman Emperor Hadrian even built a wall (just like the Israelis have done) in England, to keep the Scottish Hill Billies out! Well, the spending on "military campaigns" went so whacko out of control, that by 350 AD, the Romans were spending about 3 times what they were taking in, in taxation. And all this, so that they could dominate and control the world. Sound familiar? Then the Roman Senate raised taxes. This caused the people of Rome to be plunged into poverty and recession. All this to pay for wars!!!!!! All this to pay to be King of the Mountain!!!!!!! And when Rome finally collapsed in 476 AD, all the neighbors had their chance to get even. And get even they did!!!!!!!!!! The collapse of America is imminent. It is going to be fun to cook your goose, Retired Military............. Ha! Ha! Ha!

        August 1, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
      • Retired Military is just a scared little white boy

        And let's talk about your screwed up, scared little white boy views, regarding our AWESOME President Barack Obama. President Obama is at least 1000 times smarter than your sicko, uneducated, alcoholic, white boy Lackey, helped by his daddy, GW Bush. Got it??? America has badly needed to become a more peace loving nation that does not deal in bloody wars. Obama made that happen. America has long needed Health care reform. Obama made it happen. RRR = Rich Racist Republicans blocked it! In fact, ever since Obama has been in office, RRR's have been trying to block him and bring him down. If that is not racist, ignorant, crap, I don't know what is!!!!!!!!!! And all of us know it. Shame on you and your types, for blocking a man, that always had the good of America, deep within his heart, and was just trying to help all of us to win together. History will record your sick behavior. We will NEVER forget it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        August 1, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
      • Retired Military

        You have truly missed your calling as a standup comedian! In true fashion, you do not disappoint, by going directly to personal attacks and name calling – pulling the "race card". Typical pattern, Ye of no substance. You are so full of hate that you have lost your since of reason. Point in case, you claim to be omnipotent by knowing my race! Looks as though you have this all backwards regarding who is in need of help. I don't get ruffled by your foolishness and I expect nothing less from those of your ilk. Amazing just how brave people like you become hiding behind a computer and anonymity. Keep fantasizing as you will not be able to handle reality. Cheers!

        August 1, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
      • proud to be an ignorant peon murderer

        As for you, Retired Military, and you missed that bullet, with your name on it, while you were murdering innocent people in Iraq. You lucky son of a gun toting criminal........... you missed that IED, with your name on it, as you drove your HumVee right over it........... well you know what.............. ultimately, your murdering will catch up with you............... it is called PTSD............. may your dreams be filled with the dying screams of the innocent people you murdered........... may you have recurring incessant nightmares of Iraqis stabbing you a million times.............. may you die 1000 deaths while you live................. and may your children and grand children be sent to hell forever............... this is the curse of 10 million Iraqi people, upon you head...............

        August 1, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
      • Jafar Al Mussawi

        As an Iraqi, who now lives in America, I am shocked to read this exchange. I feel sickened by the way in which American soldiers have been brainwashed into believing that what they did to Iraq was totally ok. What did Iraq EVER do to you Americans? The worst thing Iraq did was that Saddam Hussein would stand on a podium and say negative words about America. Kuwait really was the 28th province of Iraq, before 1928, and before the Al Sabbah family took it over. So Saddam tried to get Kuwait back, and was defeated in his attempt. But it is what the US did from 2003 onwards that is the biggest crime of the 21st century thus far. 850,000 Iraqis did not deserve to get murdered. 3.5 million Iraqis displaced and homeless. And by far the biggest US crime: the entire nation of Iraq has been destroyed, for trumped up charges, there was no WMD. period. So America has completely destroyed my country FOR NO REASON whatsoever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This crime can never be forgotten. And, when we get our chance, we will take our revenge against America. Every dog has its day. One day, Retired Military's children or grand children will be forced to pay the ultimate price. Only then will they understand............... very sad.............. 17 of the 19 hijackers on 911 were Saudis, 1 Yemeni and 1 Egyptian.......... so why IRAQ has to pay the price for 911??????????

        August 1, 2014 at 8:56 pm |
      • Jafar Al Mussawi

        I like the answer of this German Scholar when he was asked about terrorism and Islam: He said:

        • Who started the First World War, which killed 37 million and injured 22,379,053 that includes 7 million civilians? Muslims?

        • Who started the Second World War, which killed over 60 million, which was over 2.5% of the world population? Muslims?

        • Who killed about 20 million of Aborigines in Australia? Muslims?

        • Who drop the nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which killed 166,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki? Muslims?

        • Who killed more than 100 million Red Indians in North America? Muslims?

        • Who killed more than 50 million Indian in South America? Muslims?

        • Who took about 180 million African people as slaves and when 88% of them died, threw them into the Atlantic Ocean? Muslims?


        They weren’t Muslims! They were people like YOU, retired military, your ancestors, people like YOU!!!!!!

        August 1, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
      • Retired Military

        You are way too funny. You must teach at one of the "elite" liberal bastions in the North Eastern region of America. No, that cannot be right. Even they wouldn't tolerate your rants and attacks on people who want to express their views appropriately in an open forum such as this.

        I sense that you are not an American citizen. If you are, that is a real head scratcher?? I would have to bet that you must not be a religious person either?? Certainly no one who believes in a legitimate religion would express themselves in such an unrepentant and tyrannical tone. My,oh my!!

        Here is one for you in a format even you can understand: May your internet connection and mobile device fail forevermore!!!!!

        August 1, 2014 at 9:15 pm |
      • Retired Military

        I was correct! Our last posts posted at virtually the same time. What astute powers of observation on my part. Especially for being such a peon! Who knew?!?

        August 1, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
      • Jafar Al Mussawi

        Keep on living in your false bubble, that is slowly eroding................. sicko............ 🙁

        August 1, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
      • Jafar Al Mussawi

        actually, life in USA is eroding rather rapidly..............

        August 1, 2014 at 11:14 pm |
      • Jafar Al Mussawi

        And you know, Retired Military, ignorant peon murderer, it is certainly not President Obama that is the major cause of you scared little white boy's downfall............ it is called the 5 D's: divorce, drugs, debt, decadence, deception......... as simple as that......... that is what has converted millions of your types into "white trash"............ just look around you.......... what do you see??? The white people in my neighborhood are wallowing in the 5 D's............ add that to the fact that your greedy white CEOs have given 50 million jobs to Asia, over the last 30 years, on a silver platter and with out even a fight (that's why everything is made in China!!!).............. and add to that the fact the the "white boys club" (RRR = rich, racist republicans) has not changed their thinking that America has to bomb the crap out of any country it feels like, in order to stay on "top".......... and of course we are going down the tubes, due to these 3 major mistakes. So yes, the next time you feel like blaming someone for America's downfall........... just look in the mirror!!!!!!!!!!!

        August 2, 2014 at 12:56 am |
      • Retired Military

        You think so highly of yourself, yet you are the antheisis of hypocrisy. If you are truly so above it all, why are you in this country?? Rember, It is so bad here and everyone who is white is racist and evil – not!

        If you are Iraqi, which is highly doubtful, you should be more concerned with helping the Sunnis and Shiites play nice. Of course you don't want to mention the thousands of deaths caused as a result of their inability to agree on religion. And certainly decapitation of non-believers or "infidels", as you affectionately call them, is all just really good stuff. Hey, it's the religion of peace – not so much.

        Yes, Iraq is a much better place for you to be. And, there are a lot less white people to put up with!

        August 2, 2014 at 2:49 am |
      • Retired Military, please smell your own stink

        Catholics and Protestants have been murdering each other, with impunity, since 1516 AD. Focus on that, white trash, instead of worrying about Shias and Sunnis, which is none of your business..............

        August 2, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
      • Retired Military, please smell your own stink

        In fact, since 1516 AD, at least 60 million people have been murdered due to the struggle between Catholics and Protestants! Anglicans in the UK have stolen 1000's of acres of land that was once owned by the Catholic Church. And Lutherans in Germany have "appropriated" over a million square miles of land in the Black Forest region of Bavaria and in Northern Germany, for farming etc., land that was once owned by the Catholic Church. Do you know what the IRA has been doing in Northern Ireland??? Bombing at railway stations and killing innocent people. All because England wants to rule over Ireland and will not let go........... sickening............

        August 2, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
      • Retired Military, please smell your own stink

        I love the saying: Retired Military, ignorant peon murderer,.............. you know why.............. because it has a certain "ring" to it............... it rings TRUE................... 🙁

        August 2, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
      • Retired Military

        Keep coming with the meaningless insults. They complement your meaningless rants and half truths about history so well.

        The Shia and sunni are not my business...and yet you ramble on about whatever you like?? I guess you don't believe in freedom of speech! That is really hard to believe from such an enlightened individual such as your lonesome.

        Funny that you would want to be in the US where we believe in freedoms for all. In Iraq Saddam Hussein believed in freedom of speech too. If you expressed an opinion counter to his fanatical regime, Saddam had the freedom to cut out your tongue. That was so progressive of him. Oh, and how did that work out for Ole Saddam in the long run?? I am bored with you and so it is time to move on. Try to enjoy life here in America where we even accept intolerents like you.

        August 2, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
  11. minnie mouse

    Okay, now that Fareed has explained why Russia is "too large and too important to the world" to sanction ... we should just buy some popcorn and watch Ukraine be murdered by the too-large-to-sanction Russians.

    July 29, 2014 at 7:15 pm |
    • mickey mouse world indeed

      You are so right minnie mouse! Just like that "too big to fail" claptrap we heard when Wall Street's cheating caused the financial collapse of 2008, and the US Auto Companies' mismanagement caused them to fall apart....... our politicians feel impelled to "bail out" the big guys........... at the expense of us taxpayers!!! But how about us??? Aren't we, all 330 million of us: TOO MANY TO FAIL??? TOO MANY TO BE DISREGARDED??? and "Too many to be shoved into poverty"??????????

      July 29, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
  12. Keegan Nunley

    Yeah really sad. If Russia can misbehave and murder airline passengers and get away with it because France and Germany cant economically afford it something has gone badly wrong. That is an unhealthy relationship. The way the current economic system works is so anti human. This is why there is international conflict. Economics interests trump real human conditions that have really been taking place for a really long time. Russia is just another symptom of a world completely divided by how we do things now. Its all GDP and very little attention to Gross National Well Being, and Gross National Happiness. Our species needs a more interdependent relationship for survival and development. I'm not against capitalism, but there is just something so barbaric about how it is now. Health and Well Being of our world, and our lives should be more important than weapons trade and Major Companies.

    July 30, 2014 at 6:46 am |
    • E- man

      I agree with most of your logic Keegan, however I fail to see and hear actual proof that the Russians shot down the airliner. besides think about this for a moment.... what does Russia have to gain by shooting the airliner? nothing at all. yes Russia has interest in Ukraine and the belief that they might be playing some sort of limited roll in aiding the rebels, is not far fetched. (pure speculation not proof)

      I have not yet heard the other side of the story reported in western media it has always be a one sided story, something I think any objective person would be able to seen once they set thier emotions aside. as we all know there is always three sides to a story. 2 lies and the actual truth. There is plenty of blame to go around and somewhere in all the back and forth rehtoric the truth resides. lets just hope reason prevails, but based on resent history the odds of a reasonable solution are dwindeling.

      July 30, 2014 at 8:11 am |
      • Jim

        Why do you assume that Russians purposely shot down MH17? Your entire response hinges on that highly unlikely assumption. Sure it was a mistake. Girkin claimed responsibility for it right away, until it became clear that it was a passenger plane. Then they put on a massive effort to confuse everyone and cast blame on anyone and everyone other than themselves.

        The question is, what are Russian citizens Girkin/Strelkov, Borodia, Antyufeyev, etc. doing giving orders in Ukraine, shooting down Ukrainian planes on Ukrainian soil? This is all so obviously wrong, that it boggles the mind how people get caught up in minutia instead of focusing on the blatant disregard for the rule of law by Russia.

        August 2, 2014 at 8:44 pm |
    • EU was always a joke

      superb comment. thank you.

      July 30, 2014 at 11:00 am |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    Everyone is self serving, and unprincipled. Especially Obama.

    August 2, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
  14. Jim

    Ukraine will not satisfy Russia. It is just the beginning of their aspirations. Check out what Alexander Dugin, Kremlin geo-political strategist, wrote:

    1. We aren’t going to limit ourselves by annexing Crimea. That’s for sure. [...]

    2. All the important is yet to come. We do not expect a quick victory. [...]

    3. Important: The power in Novorossiya (new pro-Russian State that is in process of being created just now in the South-East of ex-Ukraine [...]

    4. It’s time to think about what we will do in Kiev. [...]

    5. For the Right-Bank Ukraine, too, there is a need to prepare a political project. Chervonaya (Red) Rus. Western-Ukrainian Republic. Very attractive. [...]

    6. However, our revolution will not stop in Western Ukraine. It must go further in Europe. [...]

    7. [...] It is the goal of full Eurasianism – Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok. Great Eurasian Continental Empire. And we will build it.

    openrevolt*info/2014/03/07/alexander-dugin-crimea/ (* -> .)

    Ukraine is just the beginning for Putin's imperialist ambitions....

    August 2, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
  15. rwmcjazz

    You said: Interference of the USA and support to Ukraine’s politicians who usurped the power in Kiev back in February 2014.

    The Ukrainian protesters were in the Maidan for a very long time before the bullets started flying. Minds were already changed. US involvement tried to focus on the next best short term leader they felt would bring stability to the crisis.They ruled out any "Right Sector" member. They ruled out Wladimir Klitschko, as he didn't have the experience. Down the list they went (with Ukrainian advisors in the process) trying to find the best person for what they knew in advance would be a short term job. The EU it was decided – would take too long to decide who the next person should be. The US wanted a quick fix. Nothing more.

    Yatsenyuk is a Ukrainian politician, economist and lawyer with lots of political experience. They chose him. He didn't run to the EU and NATO. He did what was best for the country and nothing more. He had few long range plans. He wanted Ukraine to be free and open. PERIOD.

    August 3, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
  16. Bethel

    i don't think its a wise idea for EU to join in this sanction, for me its so unwise to please US and displease EU innocent citizens, US is not losing any thing here, they have already dominated Africa market both legally and illegally, so i don't think this Russian sanction has any real effect on them, on like EU countries, EU Economy is in serious on tight corner unless something is done quickly else it might trash which means more pain and suffering for EU citizen, now Russian Government have retaliated with their of bans and if that continue EU fragile economy will lose above $15 Billion on foods only, and with more Billions dollars to be lose on Energy and finance, who kills himself to please other? what happens if Russian Government initiate importation and exportation from countries south America and Asia ? if politic's is all about the betterment of one's people then EU leaders should come down from mountain olive and look into this sanction with the interest of innocent EU citizen at heart, they can't keep on with the sanction when it negative impact is hitting badly on EU economy which will still worsen if something is not done, EU leaders should stop pleasing US with this sanction, because its only a fool that please someone at his own detriment, this is an European World and not US,

    August 14, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
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