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. Philip

    Not a problem. Have Usama Bin Laden and his men kick Russia out of Ukraine. Is how freedom fighters defeated invading Russian armies in Afghanistan not too many years ago. Seemed to work out OK, I guess.

    November 13, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
    • Philip

      P.S. Keep it secret from Bin Laden's many wives or they might wish to speak to the media about what really happened.

      November 13, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
  2. 100% Ethio-Britain (American)

    The sanctions and its negative consequences, are troubling.

    Other means will be better.

    November 13, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
    • The Person Above Me

      Is 100% anti-Semitic.

      November 13, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
      • Philip

        As if Jesus Christ and his followers are pro-the men Jesus called Offspring of snake.

        November 13, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
      • The Person Above Me

        Doesn't know what anti-Semitic means. Jesus was Semitic. Ask your mommy what 'Semitic' means.

        November 13, 2014 at 8:00 pm |
      • Philip

        Jesus was raised by semetics, you mean. He went on to expose them. Even his own mother he exposed.

        November 13, 2014 at 8:03 pm |
      • The Person Above Me

        Doesn't know how to read and understand the written word.

        November 13, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
    • Philip

      33% Ethiopian, 33% Brit, and 33% U.S. citizen? I don't get it. Pls. explain. Trip citizenship? Wt?

      November 13, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
  3. chri§§y

    @ 100% What other means would you recomend? And wth is Usama @ Philip? lol. No such person you must mean Osama eh lmao!

    November 13, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
    • Philip

      Usama is his legal name, Chrissy. He was a CIA agent that went rogue just like in the movies. Bush and Blair ponied up 50 million bucks and gave it to Usama to go into Afghanistan and stop Russians from taking over Afghanistan's TAPI pipelines. Usama did just so, and then after being used up hit the FBI's most wanted list in 1998.
      He had a brother named Salem. Salem Bin Laden. A bright young man and party friend of pre-groomed George Dubya. When Dubya's dad refused to loan Dubya 5 million to start up Arbusto Energy, Salem loaned him the money. And then was killed in a freak plane crash near Houston.
      RIP Salem Bin Laden. And Margie Shoedinger.

      November 13, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
    • Maxwell Smart

      Chrissy. Are you familiar with what the Arabic phrase "Al Qaeda" translates as in English? Don't cheat and Google or Wikipedia. God will know. Really. What does "Al Qaeda" translate into English as, and what has this to do with "The Voice of Al Qaeda", Al Jazeera news agency, having their humble beginnings on a US AFB near Doha, Qatar. (pronounced "Doha Cutter" by jarheads and their cheering sections.

      November 13, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
    • Deepak Roopchand

      Usama lulla in your c hute

      November 13, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
  4. Hannah

    Ahhhhhh.... The crap on the forums when Mr. Blue Saffron is not around. Hopefully he will make his presence known soon and clean up this forum. The last one was very mainstream. This smacks of aliens smelling it up. Not interspatial aliens !! LOL

    November 13, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
    • Philip

      Exactly what crap are you referring to, Hannah.

      November 13, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
    • Blue Saffron

      Thank you Hannah for that compliment. I blog from the heart.
      Here is what I think:
      There are few things better in life than applying wh ip cream all over a woman's buttocks, then licking it off her flesh with your bare tongue.

      November 13, 2014 at 10:10 pm |
      • King Solomon

        The heart is treacherous. Who could know it.

        November 13, 2014 at 10:38 pm |
  5. Maxwell Smart

    Would you believe Hannah is familiar with Blue Saffron's tastes in music?

    November 13, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
  6. Maxwell Smart

    sheesh. miss the good old days of This Just In. Fareed fan base needs upgraded. Or at least expanded upon. Hire some layed off AOL workers from India, Fareed. Have them promote you like a bar of soap, I suggest.

    November 13, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
    • The Person Above Me

      Is talking into his shoe.

      November 13, 2014 at 8:03 pm |
      • Philip

        The person above me is ashamed of their birth name.

        November 13, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
      • Philip

        The name Donna rings a bell.

        November 13, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
      • The Person Above Me

        Doesn't understand the nature of the net and thinks everyone is stupid enough to post their name.

        November 13, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
      • Maxwell Smart

        Finally gets it's not a joke. Maybe.

        November 13, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
    • Maxwell Smart

      Oh! Holding my super hi-tech shoe phone againstme, eh? Would you believe Pac Man being played on a hand held device?

      November 13, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
      • The Person Above Me

        Finally gets that the joke of the show was that Maxwell Smart talked into his shoe.

        November 13, 2014 at 8:12 pm |
      • Adam

        Philip what is your address and phone number.

        November 13, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
      • Deepak Roopchand

        Gandoo saala

        November 13, 2014 at 9:55 pm |
    • Maxwell Smart

      Doesn't understand the CIA/NSA has been recording as data your name. Since Windows '98. Call yourself what you will, the NSA knows who you are. Hence, "Fear the true God and live". Change your s/n out of fear and die.

      November 13, 2014 at 8:21 pm |
      • Maxwell Smart

        ...lions only eat things that are afraid of them, btw.

        November 13, 2014 at 8:23 pm |
      • Maxwell Smart

        My name is Philip Eugene Douglas. And I am not afraid. My dob is 9/8/59. My ssn is 524-06-1460. What ya gonna do? Rob me before "they" do? Get real, people. There is nothing to fear but fear itself, said one famous man.

        November 13, 2014 at 8:25 pm |
      • The Person Above Me

        Is clearly a moron and deserves whatever he gets.

        November 13, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
      • What A Dumb Comment

        This is: 'Change your s/n out of fear and die.' from a person who changed his s/n from Philip to Maxwell "Smart".

        November 13, 2014 at 9:20 pm |
      • Concerned Citizen

        I don't change my s/n because I'm trying to hide. Hiding is impossible on the www anyway. Like, when I use my 15 yr. old s/n 'Ahkmed the Terror Guy', I do so to take on the character of an "invading Muslim terrorist" that easily walked into America disguised as an illegal Mexican and poisoned unguarded city water supplies with anthrax. Which a retarded 12 year old could do if he wanted to. To make fun of Americans always being afraid of nothing. Even afraid of "UFOs".
        My name is Philip Eugene Douglas. My ssn is 524-05-1460. My ph. # is 719.482.0341. My business address is 2220 E. Platte Ave, in America's most beautiful city. My home address is available, to the right babe. Lol 🙂

        November 14, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
      • Concerned Citizen

        oops. 524-06-1450. (not 05) My credit rating is maintained at zero. So, whatcha gonna steal homeboyz?

        November 14, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
      • Concerned Citizen

        dang it! One more time. 524-06-1460. Sheesh.

        November 14, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
  7. NIck

    Why would the US government exercise double standards throughout its foreign policies. It is ok for the American to have and Afro-American (I am not sure that he is Muslim or Christian) and deny that right in other nations in support the Saudi’s who present themselves as the defenders of the Sunni Muslims. How could you talk about a Shiite regime in Baghdad and Alawite regime in Damascus. Aren’t they Iraqi or Syrian citizen? Why not elect a Christian President in these countries? Saddam Housman “Sunni Muslim” ruled Iraq for almost 2 decades and we did not hear this kind of differentiation until he was removed by the US Armey. Syria was ranked 4th country in the world in terms of security and stability. It was achieving acceptable level of economical growth until Saudi Arabia and Qatar (supported by the free world) decided to get rid of Bashar Al-Assad using moderate fighter who would kill their victims in a soft way as compared to ISIS and Al-Nosrra, etc...
    How could Sunni dominated nations, such as Saudi, Qatar, Turkey, etc talk about democracy, human rights and freedom and at the same time deny other fellow citizens from holding high positions in the governments! And, why would the US support such countries?

    November 13, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
    • Maxwell Smart

      Good points there, Nick. Would you believe that unless Palestine becomes a State separate from Israel within the next 3 years, Muslims will become the majority in Israel and surely elect a Muslim Prime Minister. But, yeah. God forbid a Christian from leading Israel.

      November 13, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
      • Maxwell Smart

        Nice two cents worth, Nick. Care to stick around and make it worth a nickel?

        November 13, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
  8. chri§§y

    You dont say @ Philip...i did not know that. I knew of his link with GWB but not all of that. And @ Maxwell Smartazz i dont have too, nor do i wish to google Al Queada. I know all i care to know whenever i visit my sisters gravesite thanks.

    November 13, 2014 at 8:34 pm |
  9. chri§§y

    And dont be bashing Pac Man son lol. I built the circuit boards for those Atari games...oh..about a 100 years ago!

    November 13, 2014 at 8:39 pm |
    • Maxwell Smart

      Would you believe carpotunnel?

      November 13, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
  10. Maxwell Smart

    Al Qaeda translates as The Base, in English. The AFB near Doha, Qatar. See?

    November 13, 2014 at 8:47 pm |
  11. Philip

    And I could beat you at Pac-Man. And Astroids and Space Invaders. And pool/billiards and Texas Hold 'Em. And disco dancing and Texas Two Stepping, btw.

    November 13, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
  12. Philip

    There is nothing to learn about the origins of Al Qaeda on your sister's tombstone.

    November 13, 2014 at 8:51 pm |
  13. It's just an opinion

    When coercion is your forte seeing reality may be difficult. As in American Foreign Policy as it has failed over and over again. There are those who believe to win you must project force as we have done since WW2. You think the world knows about 700 bases and 250,000 service men on them in 140 countries. No wonder the pentgon needs a trillion dollars a year. The jury is not out. It met and said stop but the mic has the power because money talks and reason walks.

    November 13, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
  14. chri§§y

    Ok that was not cool @ Philip!!! My sister was my best friend and i loved her with all my heart! What i learned about Al Qaeda was pure hatred which is more than i cared to know. And if you dont get that then thats your problem! AND i would beat your a s s at pool for certain AND space invaders!

    November 13, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
  15. chri§§y

    Oh and yea @ Philip...i do would beat me at two steppin! Pun intended lmao.

    November 13, 2014 at 9:42 pm |
  16. Blue Saffron

    General George Patton warned us about Russia 70 years ago.

    November 13, 2014 at 9:46 pm |
  17. Deepak Roopchand

    Just landed in Liberia from India !!!!! THANK GOD !!!! Kissed the ground in Monrovia. Checking into a hospital for Ebola/HepA C/TB ERC.
    Never again will I go to India ever again. EVER!!!

    It is absolutely terrible there beyond words. I will publish my comments as we go along.
    Suffice to say that India is disintegrating. People are beyond belief neanderthals and sooooo many of them. Raiping everything that moves including but not limited to water buffaloes and camels, Spitting, coughing in your face, smelling and just pure unhygienic. No moral values. Womenbeaters. Filthy people. Smell like rotten onions. In fact.....pardon my french..., they smell like pig s hit on a hot Indian summer day.

    November 13, 2014 at 9:49 pm |
    • Philip

      Don't forget to check for AIDS. AIDS kills 1.7 million each year now. Ebola killed what? Less than 2000 this year. It's called priorities, sir.

      November 13, 2014 at 10:00 pm |
  18. Philip

    Am sitting here. And after reading Chrissy thinking she could beat me at anything more than breast feeding. Just sitting here, and turned my radio on. Am listening to Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman. And lately with a man named Juan. Years ago cub reporter Amy Goodman broadcast out of an old abandoned firehouse. Now she is an automaton.

    November 13, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
  19. chri§§y

    Ok NOW i get the diary comment banasy made to you @ Philip lmao!

    November 13, 2014 at 10:04 pm |
  20. chri§§y

    Oh and btw @ just might beat me at breast feeding lmao. My firstborn was born with 2 teeth so that notion was nixed after the 2nd try. And i went back to work in less than 2 weeks after my next 2 children so that wasnt a good option then either lmao.

    November 13, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
    • Philip

      Yet there are teet wrangling men with full sets of teeth. Are there not.

      November 13, 2014 at 10:14 pm |
  21. Philip

    On topic. Simply pay an army of Jihadists to go into the Ukraine and oust Russia. Is what US foreign policy did during the Bush-Clinton era concerning Russians trying to take over Afghanistan's pipelines. Ukraine has lots of pipelines at stake, btw.

    November 13, 2014 at 10:10 pm |
  22. Fairy'd Zacharia

    Dee West must pay more Rupee than d Rushka.
    What a maroon, Fuhreed. Get a crew.

    November 13, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
  23. Fairy'd Zacharia

    Firstly we must examine approval ratings. We must know what the average ignorant person knows before we can proceed. Democracy say so.

    November 13, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
    • Paid Basher

      I could have a Hey Day with this one. Fairy'd Zacharia. Focused on cash spent influencing Ukrainian leaders.. .cash Putin spends vs. Arch rival bribes paid.
      Did you know that Fareed came from a country that would allow him to marry his pillow if he wanted? And so Fareed moved to here. Where we are not so tolerant.

      November 13, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
  24. Deepak Roopchand

    A 10-year-old tribal girl was rayped by at least 10 members of a hindu kangaroo court in a Birbhum village, India on Monday night as punishment for having an affair with a youth from another community. She is in critical condition after the assault and is clinging to life in spite of the raypists stopping her from reaching a hospital.

    November 13, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      An 17 year old neighborhood boy was rayped by an openly gay catholic priest AND by an openly gay police officer. And not in India. In Colorado Springs, Colorado. "God's Country"

      November 14, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
  25. Danro

    On the topic of Ukraine, I actually think Putin and Russia will pay a huge price for annexing Crimea and eastern Ukriane. Putin has bombed eastern Ukraine into the ground through separatists and now will eventaully annex this land. He will then have to rebuild it somehow. In war this is called a scorched earth policy and opposing armies to it to each other. Putin is doing it to himself. I think the worst thing to do to him is to drag this out. Once he gets eastern Ukraine he will probably look to Odessa and Trans Nistra.

    November 13, 2014 at 10:35 pm |
    • King Solomon

      And then? And then? And then Russia will invade America? The Cold War is over. Excuses for building 60 trillion dollars worth of "UFO" manufacturing facilities built during the obviously false-flag cold war have already been given. And wholeheartedly received by a paranoid public.

      November 13, 2014 at 10:46 pm |
      • Ben Floyd

        OMG you're completely insane!!!!

        November 14, 2014 at 10:16 am |
  26. King Solomon

    You will see flying saucers shooting little blue beams of light at your automobiles. And the ones having 10% ethanol will explode.
    You heard it here first. So Stfu.

    November 13, 2014 at 10:53 pm |
  27. chri§§y

    Lmao @ Paid Basher there is no law in this country against marrying your pillow! In fact many females are married to their kitchens. It isnt advisable however because there are few, if any benefits to doing so. And of course you would have to know once you enter into that bond of holy stupidness, your chance of reproduction is over! Lmao

    November 13, 2014 at 11:20 pm |
  28. chri§§y

    Oh and do not count on your insignificant other for any spousal financial support either!

    November 13, 2014 at 11:22 pm |
  29. King Solomon

    You will see flying saucers shooting little blue beams of light at your automobiles. And the ones having 10% ethanol will explode.
    You heard it here first. So Stfu. Chrissy.

    November 13, 2014 at 11:26 pm |
    • Ben Floyd

      Some idiots will label that The Rapture. So stfu. Two men one solo cup boy.

      November 14, 2014 at 10:18 am |
      • King Solomon

        No they will NOT label it "Rapture" you idiot. Virtually all of you dummies will think invading terrorists from outer space are attacking. Just like most of you were scared out of your wits by a stupid radio show. (War of the Worlds) Some of you even killed yourselves you were so afraid of a radio broadcast.

        November 14, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
  30. chri§§y

    Aww @ king of crap...oops i mean solo man...just when i was beginning to think you didnt care lol.

    November 14, 2014 at 12:54 am |
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