Zakaria: Russia move into Ukraine 'troubling'
November 13th, 2014
05:00 PM ET

Zakaria: Russia move into Ukraine 'troubling'

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

CNN speaks with Fareed about recent developments in Iraq and Russia. This is an edited version of the transcript.

Is the American public ready for what potentially could be many, many years of war in tackling the situations in Iraq and Syria?

I think if it's a very limited kind of assistance then perhaps they would. But otherwise, I don't think so because really what you have is this whole region, Iraq and Syria, have been unsettled by a Sunni revolt. A revolt of the Sunnis who don’t want to be ruled by what they see as two apostate regimes – a Shiite regime in Baghdad and the Alawite regime in Damascus.

Now, how you're going to solve that is a very complicated problem. You can bomb and degrade ISIS, but somebody then has to hold the territory and build a political order that includes both the Sunnis and the non-Sunnis. That's a very complicated act of, on the one hand, being able to create and hold political order, but also then build a real nation where everyone feels invested.

The United States, especially with limited military intervention, isn’t going to be able to do that. It has a strategy in Iraq where it has a partner, the Iraqi government, that it is pressing to be more inclusive. There’s an Iraqi army that can hold territory.

So, that piece I understand is very complicated and tough. The Iraqi government still hasn’t been particularly inclusive. But when you turn over to Syria, we're operating in the blind. We don’t have those forces that we can work with. And so, I would suspect, a limited military intervention, with an Iraq first strategy, has some possibility of doing some good. But it’s going to be a long-term process, almost remaking these two nations.

And looking at Russia. How worried should the U.S. be that all of a sudden Russian bombers are going to be not very far from North America?

I think that doesn't worry me as much, though, of course, one can't know what to make of it. But the move into Ukraine is very troubling because it appears to be an attempt to perhaps consolidate those pro-Russian Ukrainian towns into a kind of defensible or fortified zone that would allow them to assert their autonomy even more strongly. You know, at some level, Putin has what he wants, which is these towns are now essentially autonomous. The Ukrainian government doesn't have that much control over them. So it does make one wonder what exactly is he’s looking for now.

All of the indications we're getting are that Putin is still very, very popular inside Russia right now. In fact, if anything, what he's been doing along the border of Ukraine is elevating his stature, is that right?

Oh, absolutely. You know, Putin has created a kind of almost a new ideology of power that combines a certain kind of social conservatism. Notice the anti-gay stuff. There's a certain amount of hyper nationalism. The Crimea and the issues with eastern Ukraine. And a blatant anti-Americanism and anti-Westernism, which has always been a strain in Russia. So he’s using this very effectively.

His approval ratings, remember, were down around 60 percent. I know that doesn't sound low, but a few years ago, after elections, he wasn’t doing so well, relatively. Now, he’s up into the 80 percent range as far as we can tell. And the important thing to remember, I think, is that there's a fundamental asymmetry here, which is that it doesn't cost Putin a lot to destabilize Ukraine, but it costs the West an awful lot to stabilize it. So he can spend a few probably million or tens of millions of dollars and foment this kind of instability, whereas for the West to stabilize Ukraine, the bill is probably $15 billion this year.

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soundoff (118 Responses)
  1. Pomerantz

    OMG.... Just read these stupid comments. Indicative of a deranged person on the loose. I am outta here.

    November 14, 2014 at 1:43 am |
    • King Solomon

      Classic paranoid schizophreniac are you?

      November 14, 2014 at 5:50 am |
      • Pierre

        You should be ashamed of your self changing names and posting sickening comments. Go to Oregon and end your life. We will pay for it.

        November 14, 2014 at 6:49 am |
      • Paid Basher

        Yeah, Pomerantz. What Pierre said. Coward.

        November 14, 2014 at 10:55 am |
  2. Dumplings

    Some say...

    Hinddoous like to scratch their a ss and dig deep down. Probably because of anal inflammation due masala intake (from rear perhaps) and ensuing hemorrhoids. They like to do it in public and like a dog will also lift up a leg to enable enhanced scratching from a more pleasure able angle

    I say....

    Scratching their balls is second nature to Indian Hinddoous. They do it while bobbling their head side to side. They feel empowered during the scratching process and is akin to a dog taking a p iss against the street light post

    November 14, 2014 at 2:01 am |
    • Paid Basher

      I heard that Hindu men don't always wash their hands after going poop. And that their butts smell just as bad as butts of Christian men who don't wipe very good and so have muddy butt all day. Really.

      November 14, 2014 at 10:57 am |
  3. Thomas

    And who shot down the Malaysian airliner , Russia ?

    who cares anymore ,

    Blame Obama

    November 14, 2014 at 3:15 am |
    • King Saul

      I hear ya, Thomas. Nobody even cares that it was a 1939 BMW model J-38 flying saucer found crashed near Roswell, NM in 1947 either. People believe what they want to believe, and what they are told to believe every single day by news reports. People want to believe that aliens manufacture "UFOs". Uncle Sam gives them what they want just as a mother gives a crying baby a sugar teet.

      November 14, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
  4. Pierre

    These comments are so disgusting and disturbing. Signs of mental retardation from third world.

    November 14, 2014 at 6:47 am |
    • George patton

      Quite true Pierre, quite true indeed. These people never got past the 5th grade, if they ever went to school in the first place!!! These mindless Tea Partiers seem to have all but taken over this web page!

      November 14, 2014 at 7:46 am |
      • Paid Basher

        Scuze me, Jorge'? Tea pottyers weren't the only Americans fingered by the National Adult Literacy Survey. 1/4th of all US adults can no longer comprehend paragraphs of words without pictures to help them understand. (like found in childrens books). The average IVY LEAGUE GRAD STUDENT enters college at the 12th grade level, and 4 years later cannot pass an 8th grade final exam.
        Americans IN GENERAL are becoming more stupid. Not just the Tea Potty.

        November 14, 2014 at 11:00 am |
  5. Gustav

    Agreed, @Pierre. Most of these sickos are from India where 35% are jobless and a bunch of raipists.

    November 14, 2014 at 6:53 am |
    • George patton

      Wrong, Gustav. These people are the mindless, uncouth Tea Partiers who live right here in the good ol' U.S.A.!!! They cannot think for themselves so they parrot the right-wing thugs in Washington!!!

      November 14, 2014 at 7:49 am |
      • Gustav

        Yup that guy Modi from India is a chai wala .... tea partier from India. Lol

        November 14, 2014 at 9:11 am |
  6. George patton

    Russia's move into Ukraine "troubling", but "troubling" for whom? Not me!!!!!!!

    November 14, 2014 at 7:43 am |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      Me neither, George. The right-wing thugs in Washington are just trying to scare us as usual.

      November 14, 2014 at 10:31 am |
      • Left Wanger

        As if all democrat leaders are faithful, honest, full of virtue, love children and apple pie, and abstain from hording money.

        November 14, 2014 at 11:04 am |
  7. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    This idiot who keeps on ranting against India is the same person using different screen names. I only wish that CNN would block this idiot once and for all. He's spoiling it for the rest of us who have something to say.

    November 14, 2014 at 10:37 am |
    • Paid Basher

      Indians that raype and kill fellow Indians make different colored blood than Christians who raype and kill fellow Christians. Plus it's hard to carry carpet bombs on flying rugs.

      November 14, 2014 at 11:03 am |
  8. chri§§y

    I agree, cnn should ban him and they have the capability to do so...they obviously dont care enough to bother. Just another method to stifle the opinion of the masses....they will shut down this blog soon as theyve done the others! As IF that will stop We the People, from making our voices be heard...fat freakin chance!!!

    November 14, 2014 at 10:46 am |
    • Marine5484

      Thank you, chrissy. The reason I stopped posting here was because of this idiot. Then again there may be one or two others doing the same thing here. Allan Kinsmann stopped for the same reason I did. As for the Russians, they're doing the same thing in Ukraine as we did in Texas after the fall of the Alamo in 1836 but then again, I expect that a lot of people here don't know about it.

      November 14, 2014 at 11:04 am |
      • Philip

        "We", U.S. citizens, weren't even at The Alamo, Marine. Those were turncoats who abandoned the USA and joined with Mexicans. And then got all Texas proud and thought they could stop paying taxes to the Mexican government, and that if the Mexican Army were to attack the US Army would come to the rescue. They thought wrong, obviously.
        The Alamo had exactly nothing to do with U.S. It was turncoat Americans getting punished by Mexican authorities for breaking agreements and breaking laws.

        November 14, 2014 at 11:18 am |
  9. Philip

    If the Ukraine wasn't so packed full of pipelines, neither Russian nor American leaders would even be remotely interested in Ukraine. The same exact situation existed with Afghanistan's massive TAPI pipelines that today carry crude to China. Russian armies invaded Afghanistan, and a U.S. backed freedom fighter named Usama Bin Laden formed an army and drove the Russians out. After Afghanistans government outlawed poppy (heroin) production, and after refusing western oil corporations access to the TAPI, U.S. troops invaded and occupied Afghanistan. Men of the Bridas Corporation who had been LEGALLY operating the TAPI were all shot as suspected terrorists with about 600 survivors being thrown into GITMO military prison so that they could not tell you what really happened.
    Today, a group of businessmen that includes members of the Bush and Bin Laden families own the mineral rights to much of the Caspian Basin, and with Afghanistan conquered and occupied, use the TAPI to transport oil sold to China. Most have no clue that China and Afghanistan share borders, or have ever heard the truth about why certain Russian and American leaders have been lusting for Ukraine and Afghanistans pipelines for decades.

    November 14, 2014 at 11:26 am |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      Well put, Philip. As for Afghanistn, neither we nor the Russians had any right to be there.

      November 14, 2014 at 11:34 am |
      • Philip

        HAVE any legal right being there, rather.

        November 14, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
  10. chri§§y

    Whats "troubling" to me about Russia/Putins recent behavior is the collaberation with Iran on their joint operation of Nuclear arms! And that SHOULD trouble everyone!

    November 14, 2014 at 11:42 am |
  11. It's just an opinion

    It is always concerning when violence is used against innocents. However when we look to observe the world where are we?

    November 14, 2014 at 11:48 am |
    • Father Dowling

      We are the carpet bombers is where we are. The one's paying priests to sprinkle Holy Water on bombs. The fat ones.

      November 14, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      Yes. True, that @ it's only...opinion. Also disconcerting that so many millions of Americans think violence is somehow entertaining. Very strange people these days...Americans.

      November 14, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
  12. chri§§y

    Lol okie dokie king of we have DEAD people posting on this blog? Would you get real! Or are you one of those wierdos "huffing paint"?

    November 14, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
    • King Saul

      banasy is a made up name. Why don't you complain about that?

      November 14, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
      • banasy©

        I explained years ago about my username. If one is too stupid to remember that, it's the fault of the reader.

        November 14, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
      • banasy©

        And I seem to recall someone posting bull about my name not changing, and that it would be easier to steal my identity...and then this same poster went and posted his full name, DOB, and SSN.

        And yet, I'm the stupid one.


        November 14, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
  13. chri§§y

    I soooo agree @ concerned citizen! Not just physical violence either! They have to be as verbally violent as humanly possible! That and talking as filthy as they possibly can!

    November 14, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
  14. chri§§y

    Lol @ banasy! Guess in that persons mind he cannot differentiate the difference between "making up a user name and sticking to it" and STEALING someone elses user name!! Especially stealing someones user name to post filth and slander!

    November 14, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
  15. chri§§y

    Lmao @ Philip! A cpl months ago i told that ja ck a s s that STEALS names that even tho you and i dont agree alot, that i at least respect you BECAUSE you DONT steal names even though you make up some. I still stand by that post!

    November 14, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
  16. chri§§y

    However i do lose a little respect when you twist others user names to address them! Thats just rude, crude and socially unacceptable! Particularly if youre doing it to be demeaning.

    November 14, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
  17. chri§§y

    And NOW after the past hour of your evil twisted harrassment from you i have absolutely no respect for your hateful azz at all! You deserve all the misery you reap on every one else.

    November 14, 2014 at 10:39 pm |
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