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(Written by an American expat living in the European Union)

Did you know that the headquarters of Russia's warm water fleet in the Black Sea is located at Sevastopel (with various other Russian naval facilities located elsewhere in the Black Sea area) in the Ukraine. Are you aware of the strategic and economic importance that this warm water port has to Russia? Are you aware of what the loss of this port would mean for Russia and why. Additionally you may not be aware of what a warm water port is, which essentially means a port that has year round access to water without being ice locked, in a clear case where most of Russia's ports are in fact ice locked a fact that is especially exacerbated by winter. Therefore it becomes axiomatically clear that the loss of this port would have devastating effects for Russia militarily and economically. (Interestingly enough Russia is the largest country in the world in terms of geography). Additionally are you aware, in terms of the sea lanes how the Russian Black Sea Fleet connects to the Mediterranean and beyond, and that American warships now are in the Black Sea area. If these facts are of interest to you then please feel invited to read on....  


The Pentagon announced the deployment of United States warships in the Black Sea which borders on the Crimea where Russia’s warships are assigned to Crimea at Sevastopel. The American military community newspaper the European edition of the Stars and Stripes (based in Darmstadt, Germany) reports these are scheduled navy exercises.  Axiomatically speaking it becomes clear that if Russia loses its warm water ports in Crimea, which offer year around maritime access (which means essentially they are never ice-locked). It becomes clear that in the future if Ukraine joins the European Union and quite possibly thereafter NATO, Russia’s warm water naval access to its bases in Crimea may well come into doubt .

This substantially under-reported fact must be seen with some concern, as our plutocrat owned media seems to be shying away from giving the voters access to information that makes the very exercise of democracy possible.
In doing so, we see the Pentagon has announced the insertion of two United States warships into the Black Sea area which connects directly to the Mediterranean and beyond. There’s the USS Truxtun with a crew compliment of 300 sailors, this type of warship is an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer. The USS Truxtun will be joining the USS Taylor which is a guided-missile frigate presently moored in the Black Sea port in Samsun, Turkey.
The USS Taylor recently ran aground and its present operational status hasn’t been reported further in reliable sources.

Ivan Watson reporting for CNN on the Bosphorus Strait, Turkey,
8th March 2014

"Russia's traditional claim for more than a century as a vital and strategic warm water port with a country where much of its coastline is frozen in by ice especially during the winter months. Part of why it's so valuable to Russia to have the Crimea Peninsula as a place where its Navy can move in and out of."
http://edition.cnn.com/...

The next closest pseudo-warm water port is located in excess of over 2,000 miles away in the Baltic Sea HQ's at St. Petersburg; Kaliningrad and various other area ports. It becomes therein axiomatically clear to see that the loss of the warm water port for Russia will have substantial economic and military consequences, both now and in the long term future, in a clear case where these matters have been essentially under-reported in commercial US media sources for whatever reasons. Interestingly enough the Budapest Memorandum's validity under UK law has been under-reported in US media sources, so as to constitute a de facto form of censorship at a time when concurrently the US media accuses Russia of media censorship.

Additionally the European US military community's Stars and Stripes reports on substantial naval maneuvers which have been previously scheduled taking place in the Mediterranean, which includes movements of a Marine expeditionary unit. The clear advantage in troop movements on the high seas in international waters is that under maritime law permission generally must not be secured from any nation state on a one off basis or pursuant to any status of forces agreement (SOFA). The free movement of troops in this area therefore must be seen to fall under international law, save military movements through the Bosphorus Strait, which by treaty must be approved by Turkey for non-Black Sea nations. This is a thought which certainly must give Russia further cause for contemplation, as to its future position. In aggregate the position is a complicated one and I therefore ask and urge readers as voters in the democratic exercise to keep themselves well informed.

U.S. Military community news paper
      Stars and Stripes March 7 2014
Destroyer USS Truxtun heads for Black Sea amid heightened tensions over Crimea
“ NAPLES, Italy — A U.S. guided-missile destroyer is bound for the Black Sea in what the Navy calls a routine visit unrelated to events in Ukraine………The spokesman, Lt. Shawn Eklund, said the visit is unrelated to Russia’s recent incursion into Ukraine. “Truxtun’s operations in the Black Sea were scheduled well in advance of her departure from the U.S.,” he said. Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is at the center of the country’s operations in Ukraine, where Russian soldiers continue to surround Ukrainian military bases. Other U.S. warships remain in the region on scheduled deployments. A group of amphibious ships with an embarked Marine expeditionary unit also recently entered European waters. The Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, which counts roughly 4,000 sailors and Marines, is training with regional navies before continuing to the Middle East.”

http://www.stripes.com/...

What is the truth here? As ordinary citizens we don't really know, but what we do know is that there are so many continuously regularly scheduled military maneuvers at various ports of call throughout the world, as well as on the high seas, that any time a crisis forms anywhere in the world, it can be pretty much relied on that a claim may be made that current presence of military or naval forces are not due to any developing crisis, but rather are merely a part of previously scheduled and approved military maneuvers. The fact that these maneuvers however are allowed to continue even at a time of crisis, has traditionally been referred to as saber rattling or gunboat diplomacy, so as to give added weight and bargaining chips at the negotiating table. There is however a traditional danger associated with gunboat diplomacy at a time of heightened tensions, is the risk of escalation, which if history is a guide, in the past this led to war. In a clear case where those who can't learn from history seem to be doomed to repeat it.  
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Comment Preferences

  •  Boycotting petroleum products will be the only way (18+ / 0-)

    to stop this.

    Anyone at this point in time that thinks different has not been paying attention. Our politicians don't listen to us. Nothing is louder than the petrodollars.

  •  It would be foolish to contest this port (20+ / 0-)

    And back Russia into a corner, but current US military and political policy in Asia and now Europe seems to be a throwback to the Cold War, something that, realistically, the US cannot afford.

    T+R for raising this issue.

    No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

    by koNko on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:03:03 AM PST

  •  Gunboat diplomacy. Oh boy. Is it 1890? (11+ / 0-)

    All this reminds me of a recent article by Chris Hedges, who's reported on more than a few wars.

    Most institutions have a propensity to promote mediocrities, those whose primary strengths are knowing where power lies, being subservient and obsequious to the centers of power and never letting morality get in the way of one’s career. The military is the worst in this respect. In the military, whether at the Parris Island boot camp or West Point, you are trained not to think but to obey. What amazes me about the military is how stupid and bovine its senior officers are. Those with brains and the willingness to use them seem to be pushed out long before they can rise to the senior-officer ranks. The many Army generals I met over the years not only lacked the most rudimentary creativity and independence of thought but nearly always saw the press, as well as an informed public, as impinging on their love of order, regimentation, unwavering obedience to authority and single-minded use of force to solve complex problems.
    http://www.truthdig.com/...

    And we'd need to add to that the fools at CIA and State who get us embroiled in these messes because they think they're one step ahead of the "other side," when in fact, they're three steps behind.

    I think the only solution is to cut the Imperialism Budget to zero for a few decades.  It would do this country and the rest of the world a lot of good.

    •  Umm... the bolded text is contrary to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      serendipityisabitch, Sky Net

      most folks experience. Senior military may be amoral, but they aren't stupid. They've advanced through a fairly rigorous system, they're usually fairly well educated.

      It makes a lot of sense that Hedges thinks they're stupid- He thinks that anybody who doesn't agree with him is stupid. Regrettably, that deeply colors his work.

      I don't think the " many army generals" that he's met have anything against the press- I think they find Chris Hedges to be a pain in the ass who will only see what he wants to see, and therefore is not worth working with.

  •  Sorry, but one of the main premises of this (27+ / 0-)

    diary is just plain wrong:

    The next closest pseudo-warm water port is located in excess of over 2,000 miles away in the Baltic Sea HQ's at St. Petersburg; Kaliningrad and various other area ports. It becomes therein axiomatically clear to see that the loss of the warm water port for Russia will have substantial economic and military consequences, both now and in the long term future, in a clear case where these matters have been essentially under-reported in commercial US media sources for whatever reasons.
    Russia has nearby warm water Black Sea Ports in both Novorossiysk and Sochi. One can discern this easily just from looking at the map in your diary. Novorossiysk, which is not that far from Sevastapol, even has a navy base.

    Russia doesn't need Crimea to have warm water access.  That's just a bullshit excuse.

    You should research these things better before making them a main premise of a diary.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:12:41 AM PST

    •  To Lawr- you are just a liar. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paleo, corvo, bobdevo, divineorder

      The diary is clear that it's only the HQ of the Black Sea Fleet that's located in Sevastapol. In fact it's you who hasn't researched anything or posted any sources. If you can do a better job, please feel invited to write your own diary.  

      You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:21:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Horace you are right to point out... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Egalitare, PinHole

        the long naval history of Sevastopel. This is something that most Americans are not aware of. Personally I always liked reading about history. Although today most news story don't go into the history at all. I think it implies a loss of culture and frankly I think our society is poorer for it. Thanks for the post, Horace.

        You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

        by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:27:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And Putin could just as easily base Russia's (16+ / 0-)

        Black Sea Fleet at Novorossiysk.

        In fact, he was preparing to do just that, in case the extension of the lease in Sevastopol was denied by Ukraine.  From my link in the comment above:

        In 2003, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree setting up a naval base for the Black Sea Fleet in Novorossiysk. Russia has allocated 12.3 billion rubles (about $480 million) for the construction of the new base between 2007 and 2012. The construction of other facilities and infrastructure at the base, including units for coastal troops, aviation and logistics, will continue beyond 2012.
        Russia has warm water access without Crimea.  Period.

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:34:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are insulting my intelligence (4+ / 0-)

          And my near encyclopedic knowledge of Naval operations.

          •  Alrighty then... (14+ / 0-)

            From a Ukrainian source:

            Novorossiysk has some advantages for the Russian Black Sea Fleet that could make it its major home base even if Russia wishes to retain a presence in Sevastopol. Novorossiysk’s primary advantage is its location on Russian soil, which provides Russia with some leverage against Ukraine’s Western leanings, but also reduces Russia’s logistics and supply costs”, - writes an expert of the Jamestown Foundation.

            The advantage of Novorossiysk is that ships will be allowed to carry guided missiles armed with nuclear warheads there - which is forbidden at Sevastopol.

            “Even though Sevastopol continues to serve as the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s home base, its rationale is largely political—as a means to maintain Russia’s Eurasian posture,” Bugriy claims.

            http://ukrainianweek.com/...

            From a Russian source:

            Submarine brigade to be set up at Russian Black Sea Fleet base in Novorossiysk

            13:34 November 28, 2013 Interfax

            The Russian Black Sea Fleet will restore a submarine unit with the commissioning of six new submarines built by Admiralty Shipyards, Russian Navy Deputy Commander Viktor Bursuk told Interfax-AVN on Thursday.
            "Infrastructure for new submarines is being created in Novorossiysk. A brigade of submarine forces will be set up there as well," Bursuk said in reply to a question from Interfax-AVN.

            http://rbth.co.uk/...

            And this, from the mouth of the Russian military, itself:

            New ships of the Black Sea fleet will enter only Novorossiysk

            14:03 20.05.2013    0 Comments    Читать на русском    Russia

            The renewal of the Russian Black Sea fleet will concern only the Novorossiysk naval base.
            According to the representative of the Russian defense agency, for some time the main Black Sea fleet base in Sevastopol will have the same out-of-date vessel structure and arms.

            The new patrol boat «Admiral Grigorovich» (11356) and submarines «Novorossiysk» and «Rostov-on-Don» (636) will come to Novorossiysk, and the construction of two berths for them is currently in progress, seabreeze.org.ua reports.
            According to the representative of the agency, the Russian Black Sea fleet group in Sevastopol will yield considerably to the eastern one on the quality of the vessel structure and arms.

            http://www.blackseanews.net/...

            You might want to update your "near encyclopedic knowledge of Naval operations".

            It is pretty clear that Russia already was in the process of making Novorossiysk its main base in the Black Sea.

            Novorossiysk also is Russia's largest commercial port, btw.

            "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

            by Lawrence on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 05:16:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

              •  St. Petersburg is the current name for the (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                brooklynbadboy, bear83, jayden

                city that was called Leningrad for a while.

                Stalingrad is now called Wolgograd.

                I'm not sure what your point is here, since neither of those cities are located by the Black Sea...

                "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

                by Lawrence on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 05:37:44 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  My point us you are failing to take Russian (0+ / 0-)

                  culture into account.

                •  To Lawrence - Why aren't you getting this (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  corvo

                  Present day, the nearest major naval fleet headquarters is over 2,000 miles away if they lose Sevastopol. Now the new fictitious headquarters that you want to build in Novorossiysk is further than 2,000 miles away. In fact it's years away and BILLIONS away and that is IF it is doable at all, which is another hypothetical. In the meantime the loss of Sevastopol for years would force operations to be conducted out of St. Petersburg for the Black Sea area. It would be a logistical nightmare.

                  In fact big wars have been started over far less. You're investing a lot of energy in trying to split hairs for no good reason and to no good effect. Further I note your apparent support of gunboat diplomacy in dispatched US warships in the area is frankly dangerous because this is how historically BIG wars get started through saber-rattling. We need cooler heads to prevail who can speak the language of diplomacy compromised and reason. Because these people have the second biggest arsenal of nukes on the planet.  

                  This is therefore stupid. In fact it is an unnecessary stupid risk that isn't worth your support.

                  You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

                  by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 06:01:28 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  More to the point (0+ / 0-)

                    It's not what Russia would like to have, so much as what Russia would prefer Ukraine not have -- ability to block the Strait of Kerch.

                    Ten of Russia's twenty largest cities are on the Volga river, which is connected through the Volga-Don canal to the Sea of Azov, which is connected to the Black Sea via the Strait of Kerch.  So naturally Russia feels paranoid beyond its usual paranoia about being bottled up.

                    It's not so bad if Ukraine is a client state or close ally. But if Ukraine is allied with the EU, Russia would prefer Ukraine not have control of the western shore of the strait. And even if it could wave a magic wand and have Novorossiysk all ready to go, Russia would prefer a hostile state not have a naval base three hours away from the mouth of the strait.

                    At present, money is not as big a problem for the Russian Navy as it was ten years ago.  Putin is spending Russia's energy windfall on rebuilding the Russian Navy, so I think it'd be rational to provoke an international crisis  over the cost of a new base at Novorossiysk.  

                    I've lost my faith in nihilism

                    by grumpynerd on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 01:56:31 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  asdf (7+ / 0-)

                St.  Petersburg used to be called Leningrad (actually, its a bit more muddled....it was originally St Petersburg and had it's name changed as a honorific for V.I. Lenin after his death.)  It is located along the Baltic Coast north of the Baltic States.

                Like Leningrad, Stalingrad doesn't exist anymore (named for....you guessed it, Joe Stalin) and is now called Volgograd.

                Volgograd is located in the south east of European Russia a bit north of the Caucus region

                This space for rent -- Cheap!

                by jds1978 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 05:38:58 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  OK... So Russia should just walk away (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paleo, corvo, bobdevo, dallasdunlap, dfarrah

      from their base/port in Sevastopel, just because that is what the armchair warriors in congress and the Obama administration want them to do?

      NOPE.

      please name ONE major U.S.. base/port the Pentagon has similarly walked away from in the last 25 years.

      Subic Bay in the Phillipines? when was that? 1960?

      I more or less despise the Putin regime; but the notion he doesn't have the right to keep this base, protect it-- is just a massive joke.. massive hypocrisy.

      "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

      by Superpole on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:33:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The U.S. gave up Subic Bay in 1991, because the (15+ / 0-)

        democratically-elected government of the Philippines wanted the U.S. out at the time.

        Russia just extended the lease in Sevastopol another 25 years, so it wasn't even under threat.

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:36:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for Clarification (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo

          "it wasn't even under threat"..

          according to you that is.

          A lease, a piece of paper is irrelevant if a military force decides to attack and take over an opposing force's base.

          I doubt that's what Ukrainians intend-- but the fact is Putin may believe that is their intent and so of course he is going to take actions to protect that base.

          again, the notion he does not have that right is massively hypocritical.

          "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

          by Superpole on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:42:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There's an alternative interpretation. (9+ / 0-)
            I doubt that's what Ukrainians intend-- but the fact is Putin may believe that is their intent and so of course he is going to take actions to protect that base.
            Alternatively, Putin can claim that he believes that overrunning Sevastapol is the Ukrainians' intent, and then use that supposed concern as a pretext for taking what might otherwise be considered aggressive military action in Crimea.

            It feels to me like a geopolitical version of invoking the "Stand Your Ground" law.

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

            by JamesGG on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 06:37:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  To Lawr yes maybe or maybe not ............. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Superpole

          We really don't know but what we do know is that judging from their actions it seems unclear. It also seems that the parties may and I do emphasize may be feeling insecure about the points you raise. Also agreements under certain circumstances may be nullified. It is just not known what effect for example, Ukraine possibly joining Nato would have on the legal viability of such a lease. There's too many unknowns here for anyone to have a secure clear vision in their crystal ball version of the future.  

          You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

          by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:43:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Should We Be SURPRISED Putin is Paranoid? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo, Democrats Ramshield, dfarrah

            a bit of (not discussed much by progressives in Bloggo world) history is useful here:

            what happened not long after the end of WW II? the U.S. more or less surrounded Russia with bases, missiles pointed at them in order to "contain and stop the spread of communism".

            Russia then pointed  bunch of missiles at us... in other words the cold war.

            "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

            by Superpole on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 05:27:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  To Superpole - Well said (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo

              You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

              by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 05:53:32 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks, and Further (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                corvo, dfarrah

                I have to question again where is the difference in major policy between the democrats and repugs-- when the Obama administration insists on sticking their thumbs in the eye of Putin (conducting military exercises in Poland and sending warships to the general area)-- just the same as the Neoclowns??

                Where is the difference?

                "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

                by Superpole on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 06:13:03 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  there is none. that's the point. n/t (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Superpole

                  Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                  by corvo on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 06:22:34 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  BEENGO! (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    corvo

                    when it comes to policies involving the Empire, the M.I.C. there is NO difference between the dems and the repugs.

                    "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

                    by Superpole on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 12:57:39 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  What happened after WWII? (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bear83, Rashaverak, sviscusi, Lawrence

              The USSR did not allow free and fair democratic elections in the countries they controlled. They installed puppet governments loyal to Moscow, despite the wishes of the people in those countries. They went against well established international law that came from WWI and self determination. Only after that occurred, did we start surrounding the USSR and pointing missiles at them. They became a threat and we responded.  

              "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

              by Texas Lefty on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 07:48:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hmm, OK, and We Did Not Do That? (0+ / 0-)

                in Iran?

                our support of Egypt's Mubarek with billions in "military aid"? how many free and fair elections during his thirty year reign?

                Latin American nations where the CIA interfered on behalf of U.S. corporations?

                "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

                by Superpole on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 12:59:50 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The topic at hand is Europe and the USSR (0+ / 0-)

                  Any wrong we committed in the past does not negate  the wrongs USSR did in Europe after WWII or what Russia is doing now.  

                  "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

                  by Texas Lefty on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:39:06 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Weak, Very Weak (0+ / 0-)

                    Sorry, history can't be negated, or "moved on from" just because it's convenient to do so in order to pursue an agenda.

                    "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

                    by Superpole on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:11:05 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  You don't have to go back that far. The end of the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dfarrah

              Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union were followed by a period of economic collapse, helped along by western economists who advocated "shock treatment," which brought incredible hardship and death to Russia. And the West continued supporting the bizarre regime of Boris Yeltsin, even as he massacred his own parliament.
                By the time of Putin's ascension, much of Russiannational wealth had been "privatized" by oligarchs who squirrelled it away overseas.
                 And, even as Russia dismantled its nuclear weapons and sold the fissionable cores to the US utility industry, NATO was expanding eastward to bring military menace to a supposedly friendly Russia.
                Sometimes you can be paranoid when they really are out to get you.

              •  A military coworker of (0+ / 0-)

                mine used to say, "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you."

                The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

                by dfarrah on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 11:16:25 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  NATO Military Menace? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lawrence
                NATO was expanding eastward to bring military menace to a supposedly friendly Russia.
                The people of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, and the Czech Republic would say that NATO brought them freedom from the Russian military menace that occupied them from 1945-1990.

                Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

                by bear83 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 12:54:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, But NATO Appears to Be a Bit of (0+ / 0-)

                  a joke now. You may recall they ran out of ammo during the recent Libyan regime change/fiasco-- the U.S. military had to prop them up.

                  "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

                  by Superpole on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 01:01:52 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The US Military is part of NATO (0+ / 0-)

                    Your claim holds no water. There are no 'NATO' troops. They are American, German, British, French, Italian, etc - all under a unified NATO command. Each nation has it's own capabilities.

                    Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

                    by bear83 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 01:16:37 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  IF NATO is Indeed Credible, Then Why (0+ / 0-)

                      did former secretary of defense Robert Gates smack them down prior to his leaving office?

                      Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates rebuked some of America’s staunchest allies Friday, saying the United States has a “dwindling appetite” to serve as the heavyweight partner in the military order that has underpinned the U.S. relationship with Europe since the end of World War II.

                      In an unusually stinging speech, made on his valedictory visit to Europe before he retires at the end of the month, Gates condemned European defense cuts and said the United States is tired of engaging in combat missions for those who “don’t want to share the risks and the costs.”

                      The fact is EU nations are NOT going to waste their money on "defense" any longer when there's no real existential threat-- only the U.S. is dumb enough to keep on doing it.

                      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

                      "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

                      by Superpole on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 02:34:41 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

        •  You're equating a US port 12,000 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Subterranean

          miles away from the US with a Russian port virtually ON ITS BORDERS?

          Hmmm . . . perhaps another such port - say in Guantanamo Bay, would be a better analogy.

          We didn't give up Gitmo in 1991, now, did we?

          Since 1959 the Cuban government has consistently protested against the US presence on Cuban soil and called it illegal under modern international law, since the military base was imposed on Cuba by force. At the UN Human Rights Council in 2013, Cuba's Foreign Minister has demanded the US return the base and the "usurped territory" occupied since the US invasion of Cuba at the turn of the 20th century

          Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

          by bobdevo on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 07:33:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I thought the US gave up Subic Bay (0+ / 0-)

          because it was so heavily damaged during the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.

      •  Yes (6+ / 0-)

        according to the neocons, and their liberal interventionist allies, Russia is just supposed to surrender to NATO and accept U.S. domination in its part of the world.

        "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

        by Paleo on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 05:13:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  hell, we won't even give Gitmo back n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dfarrah

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 05:46:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Panama Canal Zone (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pescadero Bill

        and many bases in that area.

        Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

        by bear83 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 07:50:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Subic Bay was in 1992... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bear83, Sky Net

        Clark AB, Philippines, 1991.
        Torrejon AB, Spain, 1992.
        Holy Loch, Scotland (nuclear submarine base), 1992.
        FT Davis, Panama, 1994.
        FT Sherman, Panama, 1999. (*)
        FT Amador, Panama, 1999.

        (*) Closing FT Sherman meant closing the Jungle Warfare School as well.

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 10:18:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  A seaport is more than land next to water (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, CenPhx, annieli

      I am certain that the Russian Navy has infrastructure in Sevastopol that would take considerable time (a decade? more?) to replicate in some "alternative" port on the Black Sea.

      Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 05:24:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They were already in the process of doing so. (7+ / 0-)

        A little known fact about Sevastopol is that it is basically a naval base shared by Ukraine and Russia.

        Ukraine was not threatening Russia's presence there, yet Russian ships have now blockaded the Ukrainian ships and put their land bases under siege.

        It's pretty damn clear who the aggressor is there.

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 05:47:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They've been working on Novorossisk... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bear83, Lawrence

        ...for a decade.  To be precise, they've been working on adding explicitly military facilities there for a decade; Novorossisk is already a fully-functional civilian port.

        The Russian navy already has some ships, including submarines, based at Novorossisk. In fact, their newest submarine (the Novorossiysk) is slated to be based in Novorossisk - NOT Sevastopol.

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 09:53:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  To wesmorgan1 - Your post is misinformed (0+ / 0-)

          and exaggerated. Honestly I think you're just making this up for reasons I don't really understand. But the simple fact is that replacing this port will cost BILLIONS and it will take YEARS and it will create an economic and military security NIGHTMARE for Russia.

          I honestly think your post is completely misleading and unfair, but if you're going to a regular poster on all of my diaries then please let me invite you to today's diary http://www.dailykos.com/...

          You know I appreciate you don't agree with me, but that's ok. Also I don't have to agree with you. I can have a different opinion and if you think my diary isn't good enough, please let me invite you to write a better one. Send me a link and I'll be glad to visit it.

          You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

          by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 05:12:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Misinformed? "Making this up"? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            serendipityisabitch

            You'll need to talk to both Stars and Stripes:

            Although Russia continues to construct a navy base in its own territory in Novorossisk, near Sochi, analysts agree that Sevastopol remains the navy’s preferred base in the Black Sea region because of its size, location and infrastructure.
            and Financial Times:
            Moscow is already building naval infrastructure at Novorossiysk, including a deep sea terminal. But while the Russian navy has started using the port for smaller naval vessels and a supply point, this is arguably still at an embryonic stage. [...] One key indicator of Russia’s thinking will be where its navy decides to deploy its new ships and submarines. The Black Sea fleet is scheduled over the coming years to receive six new frigates, a number of patrol boats and expand its number of submarines from one to six. The first of the new submarines, tellingly named Novorossiysk, was completed in St Petersburg late last year and is expected to be commissioned in July. Last week, Russian media quoted navy commander Viktor Chirkov as saying it would be heading to Novorossiysk.
            i've already provided this information and linked sources in this diary - but you didn't see fit to respond there, even though you did respond to someone who replied to my comment - instead, you came here to accuse me of "making stuff up."

            I ever-so-anxiously await your explanation of how Stars and Stripes, Financial Times, and the Russian media who quoted a named Russian Navy source are "misinformed" and "making stuff up."

            I'll even give you another source, just for fun:

            On May 18, Interfax quoted a representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense confirming that because of the lack of Kyiv’s consent, all new ships and aircraft, including a “Mistral”-class helicopter carriers built in France and named “Sevastopol” would be based in Novorossiysk (http://www.newsru.com/...).
            [...]
            In his May 12 interview with RIA Novosti, Admiral Chirkov admitted Novorossiysk’s current stage of construction was focused on port infrastructure, while the rest of the construction is earmarked for future stages, including building the Headquarters and personnel housing, utilities and communications. However, Novorossiysk should be able to accept the first new ships in 2014. Unlike at Sevastopol, Novorossiysk is planned to also host training facilities, thus bestowing a more senior status on this military base.
            By all means, tell us how Admiral Chirkov and spokesmen for the Russian Ministry of Defence are "misinformed" and "making stuff up."

            You stated:

            I can have a different opinion
            Absolutely - but you don't get your own facts.

            The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

            by wesmorgan1 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 07:16:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Lawrence - You have completely misread this diary (0+ / 0-)

      The ports first of all that you are referring to in Novorossiysk and Sochi are tiny compared to Sevastopel, which would be a HUGE loss for Russia. It would take YEARS to replace and it would COST BILLIONS. This assumes it could be replaced at all.

      In the meantime the Russians would be faced with a military security NIGHTMARE without the port in Sevastopel and additionally this would cause further billions in economic damages that Russia can ill afford. Really big wars have been started over far less.

      I think you have really misread this diary completely.

      You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 05:07:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just like the launch-testing of an ICBM by Russia (14+ / 0-)

    a few days back, the movement of USS Tuxun into the Black Sea represents no more than a long-since prescheduled exercise, and would have taken place quite independently of present goings on in Crimea and Ukraine.

    There is no need to be alarmist about this.

    Indeed, it would be far more alarming if USS Tuxun's long-since prescheduled movement into the Black Sea had been cancelled...

    No matter how much we might find it disappointing not to be able to sit on our couches and watch a big blow up on CNN, there will be no shooting war between the US and Russia.

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:24:50 AM PST

  •  Just one small point, (9+ / 0-)

    from the Black Sea, through the Bosphorus, then the Sea of Marmara, then through the Dardanelles, and on to the Aegean Sea.

    And traffic through the straits, especially warships, is regulated by the 1936 Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits.

    Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

    by InAntalya on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:33:29 AM PST

  •  I don't think Americans understand (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, dfarrah

    Putin will not back down. He is constutionally incapable of surrender in any form.

    If you look at a global map of US Bases you will understand why I say this is going to be really, really bad. Putin is going to show us the Big Bear is strong too.

    And I doubt our first exchange of shots will be in that region. More likely an exchange involving aircraft in a less tense environment.

  •  The problem as I see it... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whizdom, LordMike

    When I read this diary's opening paragraph to my wife over breakfast, she gave a one word answer: posturing. I replied, Beyond a doubt ( the U.S. presence, that is ) but it's often the case that posturing is when critical miscalculations take place. Oops, we just sunk a Russian ship, or oops, we just ran into one of their mines. Too many potential oopses to make me comfortable.

    To the hungry, God is a loaf of bread. - Gandhi

    by bisleybum on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:58:48 AM PST

    •  Remember the Maine? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, LordMike

      Nt

      •  Ah, yes, the Maine. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LordMike, protectspice, dfarrah

        Either an accident or a false flag -- we'll never know for sure -- whipped up into a frenzy by a pro-corporate jingoistic press.

        Now why does that sound familiar?

        Next thing you know, Pooty-Poot will be turning off some incubators in some Crimean hospital.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 05:49:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maine an accident (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          serendipityisabitch

          Coal fired ships were vulnerable to coal fires in their bunkers and coal gas explosions. Damp coal will spontaneously ignite.

          The RMS Olympic, sister to the Titanic, sailed to NY with a coal bunker on fire, the answer was to use use that bunker first and then they cleaned up and wiped to bulkheads with oil so inspectors in port would not become too suspicious and inspect for structural damage; delaying the return voyage. One can only love the corporate culture of greed. White Star line was a JP Morgan company.

          A US Navy collier went missing in the notorious Bermuda triangle, home ward bound to Norfolk I think. Sister ship was found to have gussets in the cargo holds completely corroded away from action of coal and moisture. That ship could have cracked in half in a heavy sea.

          So there is strong argument that the Maine either had a coal gas, methane, explosion and sunk because of structural weakness from corrosion.

    •  To bisleybum - Your wife is spot on (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, LordMike

      Posturing and gun boat diplomacy is dangerous business. This is exactly how big wars get started. We should not do anything to escalate the matter. We should instead be showing goodwill and speaking the international language of diplomacy, reason and commonsense. Thank you for the thoughtful post and thanks for the support.

       

      You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 05:31:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ah, but this (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Subterranean, bisleybum
        showing goodwill and speaking the international language of diplomacy, reason and commonsense
        is even less characteristic of Democratic administrations than Republican ones.  Nixon can go to China, but Democrats seem to always have to prove that they they're just as manly-man as the Republicans.  And more often than not, it seems, by putting Republicans in positions of authority in their own administrations . . . which somehow doesn't achieve the desired effect.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 05:51:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  USS Liberty incident comes to mind . . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dfarrah

      of course, in that incident it was our ally Israel, who sank the US ship and killed US personnel.

      Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

      by bobdevo on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 07:34:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Or shoot down (0+ / 0-)

      a plane.

      The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

      by dfarrah on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 11:19:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As far as I can tell, most Russian shipments of (9+ / 0-)

    oil and grain currently go out from Novorossiysk, rather than Sevastopel, so I'm not at all sure that "devastating economic effects" are a major consideration here.

    I only found about 200 recent Google references (last two weeks) to the Truxton's deployment into the Black Sea, including from Reuters and NBCNews, so you're right - nobody, in or out of the US, is making much of a deal about it so far. I wouldn't call it any kind of censorship though.

    I find the second half of your title slightly misleading - there's 168,500 sq mi of water there - are you sure the Truxton is headed straight for the Crimea?

    You're right, it's good to know something about the region and the traffic through it, and I learned quite a bit checking further on the points in your diary. What I don't understand is why you seem to have felt the need to call for such concern (though you've toned that down considerably since I began writing this comment - thanks).

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 05:15:23 AM PST

    •  It's what he does. (6+ / 0-)

      He's "just asking the question", as does Glenn Beck.

      Observe how he treats those who present information that contradicts his assertions. There's a good example in this very diary.

      If you'd like another, consider that if you correct him often, you become a "troll".

      I'd point you to several of the other diaries he's written about Ukraine, but I don't have permission to view this one and this one seems to have been deleted.

      Make of that what you will...

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 06:40:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They all seem to get deleted (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Just Bob, brooklynbadboy, doc2

        Which is very odd.

        •  To ExpatGirl - Why are you being mean? (0+ / 0-)

          Honestly. This is the internet and it's the Kos on the internet. You can't possibly be taking this stuff seriously. Look, I haven't deleted any diaries. I have unpublished them to work on them to fix them, ie write a better diary and publish it. That is nothing "weird" about that. I call it improving my writing. I don't know why you're trying to it make it sound like I'm doing something weird by unpublishing my diary and republishing it later. All of that has nothing to do with the subject matter of today's diary. I appreciate you feel you can write a better diary than I have, that is fine. I invite you to do it. Send me the link and I'll read it. But I've been here too long to take this Kos writing police seriously. Everybody has a process they go through in writing, so mine is different than yours but that doesn't make it weird.

          By the way I see you don't live in US. Like myself, do you also live in Germany or where are you at? Also what is the media in the country you're in saying about the Ukraine crisis that is different from what the US media is saying.

          You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

          by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:53:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not trying to be mean. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            serendipityisabitch

            The writing process takes places prior to publishing, not after. Once you have published, leave it be.

            Africa is the land I chose to make my home. Media on the continent doesn't give two figs about what is happening in the Ukraine ;)

          •  Why not get your ducks in a row before you (0+ / 0-)

            publish a diary? I don't do writing police, though I do check for graphics copyright now and again. I should mention that it would be nice, (and much more within the site rules) if you included attribution for the map and photo you used. They are available under a common license from Wikipedia, with the caveat that you link to the original source - which you haven't done.

            But back to the subject of your complaint to ExpatGirl. If I cannot see one of your previous diaries, given a link to it, then you have deleted it. If you republish it in the original space, it will not be the diary that commenters were replying to, and thus the comment stream, which I see as an integral part of most diaries, will be invalid.

            Secondly, it is common practice, although admittedly not mandatory, that major additions and updates to a diary are added in addition to the original text, so that a later reader can see the development of the diary as the commenters originally did. The threads make much more sense that way.

            At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

            by serendipityisabitch on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 12:32:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  They're both deleted. That's what "you don't have (0+ / 0-)

        permission to view" means (one of the things I hope will be corrected in DK5, but am not holding my breath about).

        Otoh, this is the first map I've seen that points out the real problems any ship has to go through to get from the Baltic to the Mediterranean, though I may have missed other diaries that had them. It went a long way to ease any concerns I may have had about any international naval warfare in the area, once I realized what the geography looked like. So it was a net positive for me, whatever the diarist might do with my comment.

        And yes, I did read the rest of the thread. Interesting, but not very subtle.

        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

        by serendipityisabitch on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 07:55:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The evolution of this diary series (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          serendipityisabitch, Lepanto, Sky Net

          has been interesting.

          First diary decried the toothless nature of the US because our military has been hollowed out (later amended to mean our physical military presence in Europe).

          Second diary said that the Budapest Memorandum is a defense treaty (it isn't) and that we are technically in a state of war...or the UK is making us as well because of NATO. When the errors were pointed out the response was that treaties that could drag countries into war are written in such complicated legalese that none but top legal analysts can understand them (sooooo not true - imagine how dangerous that would be!). It apparently didn't matter anyway, though, because the US didn't honor treaties with the Native Americans so Ukraine is screwed.

          Now this diary is saying that Gunboat Diplomacy is going full swing and our own democracy is being undermined because we being kept in the dark about history being repeated something something plutocratic media.

          I'm actually looking forward to the next installment ;)

      •  To wesmorgan1 - Why do i have to agree with you? (0+ / 0-)

        Why can't I have my own opinion? Isn't that the American way. The idea that I don't have to agree with you because you obviously think you're right. Therefore you must be right! Why can't you have some tolerance for my intellectual freedom, what's wrong with that.

        Let's be clear. I do not delete my diaries. If I think I can improve a diary, I sometimes unpublish it and rewrite the diary. That is what I did with this diary. Now, not that's any of your business as to what process I go through in improving my writing, but it's my process and you shouldn't be making fun of it. In fact, I don't know why it would be interest you. Now all of this has nothing to do with the subject matter of the diary. But let me say this, if you feel you can write a better diary please feel invited to write one. By the way, if you're going to be a regular on all of my diaries which you seem to be, let me invite you to read the library diary that I wrote today. Here's the link, feel free to comment if you're interested in adult and children's literacy issues in America.

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

        by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:59:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ukraine Will NEVER Be Allowed into the EU (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, bobdevo, Laurence Lewis

    Or NATO.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 05:20:14 AM PST

    •  Might be the best thing for them (6+ / 0-)

      to stay out of both EU and Putin's Eurasian Union.

      Only problem is that Ukraine is right now an economic black hole, and it needs money.  $11 billion of the $15 billion the EU just promised consists of, wouldn't you know, loans.  Ukraine: Can you spell G-r-e-e-c-e?

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 05:53:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Allowed? By whom? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Just Bob, serendipityisabitch, bear83

      Ukraine was specifically invited into NATO, so there wasn't opposition on that side of the question. (They explicity rejected full membership, but have been engaged with NATO in several areas.)

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 06:42:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just yesterday several European countries (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sviscusi, bear83

      including Germany supported eventual Ukrainian EU membership. Of course, it will take years for Ukraine to become eligible and things could change but chances of Ukrainian EU and NATO membership went up considerably since Russian incursion.

      •  I'm not so sure about NATO. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FG

        The country is unstable and I have serious doubts Poland wants to see any further rush of refugees across its border, either political or economic. Poland can veto Ukrainian membership and most likely would do so. Romania and Bulgaria too most likely. None of these countries wants to go to war with Russia because Ukraine can't get their shit together.

        The door has been always open to Ukraine joining NATO. But Ukraine continues to be the biggest obstacle, not Russia.

        As for the EU, I suspect Merkel is going to want some Greek style austerity first. And probably does not want to be on the hook for Ukraine's unpaid gas bills owed to Russia.

        So I think we would need to see a lot more stability in Ukraine first. Internal stability and a settled peace with Russia. Until we see that, I doubt highly there will be NATO membership. EU membership would need to come first and Ukraine is a long way off from even that.

        •  Both NATO and EU memberships will take years. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          brooklynbadboy

          Maybe a decade or so. Of course, the situation with Russia needs to be settled for the membership to happen but it's likely to be settled one way or another by then.

          Most countries in the former Soviet bloc joined NATO many years before they joined EU. The same thing may happen in Ukraine.

          Ukrainians were against NATO membership. A poll in early 2013 showed 80/20 split against. But after recent events it's likely to change although it's not clear by how much. The opinion on EU membership was pretty evenly split.

        •  bb - That's not what I am seeing in the Euro media (0+ / 0-)

          German TV's ARD and ZDF are regularly reporting on this issue. I think Merkel will be under a lot of pressure from the SPD left party to do exactly that. That is as quickly as possible, if at all possible that is, bring the Ukraine into the EU. So this issue as you raise it is not without a dichotomy , although I appreciate the English speaking media's coverage on this issue is going to be far less expansive when it comes to Ms Merkel's government then it is here in Germany.  

          You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

          by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:34:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  So Turkey Is Russia's Too (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, bear83

    Russia needs access to the Mediterranean. But across the Black Sea it must pass through the Bosporus, which is Turkey. Does Russia have as much right to a military takeover of Turkey as it does to Crimea?

    Does the US have the right to sieze back Panama because we need the Canal?

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 06:05:43 AM PST

    •  to answer your questions: (3+ / 0-)

      (1) no; (2) assuming we ever had to, ask a certain Mr. Noriega what we think of his country's sovereignty.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 06:23:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Suez Canal Strait of Malacca Strait of Gibraltar?? (0+ / 0-)

        Mess with these and Panama, the passage into the Baltic, and of course the Bosporus, the Strait of Hormuz and there will be a major international repercussions.

        Insurance, energy supplies etc.

      •  Your Diary (0+ / 0-)

        And you're not saying that Russia has the right to take over Crimea, when its favorable government is removed by its parliament, rightfully to protect its Crimea foreign bases. Right?

        Because that's what this diary is implying.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 02:39:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Pres is weak so can't be true. solved! (0+ / 0-)

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 06:51:22 AM PST

  •  A little too late to be effective... (0+ / 0-)

    ...Those assets should have been in place during the Olympics when the whole revolution was happening.

    "I know you cannot force people to care. Ukraine is far away for many, all have own problems. But even if cynical, realize problem will grow. It isn't only people like me, raised in a dictatorship, who don't want it to happen to others"-Gary Kasparov

    by LordMike on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 06:58:48 AM PST

    •  To do what? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lepanto

      Couldn't have stopped Russia even if they had been there.

      •  bb - I politely disagree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LordMike

        Lots of people over here in Europe think the Obama administration showed weakness by not doing anything ahead of time, when it was clear that in the Ukraine things were spiraling out of control.

        So now we're playing expos facto, gunboat diplomacy. As they say a stitch in time saves 9.

        You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

        by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:38:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who gives a shit what lots of Europeans think? (0+ / 0-)

          If they wanted to intervene they should send their own navies. Fuck them.

          •  To BBB - we'd better care when Wall St tanks! (0+ / 0-)

            It is a global village and we're connected to the Europeans through Wall Street and through the dollar. Come on BBB you work on Wall St, you know this. Bottom line is we've got to work it out. That's just my 2 cents worth.

            You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

            by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 12:50:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're missing the point. (0+ / 0-)

              The commenter said 'Obama should have sent forces to the Crimean Sea' sooner, I suppose as soon as Ukraine began having unrest. How would that have stopped Russia from invading Crimea with land forces? Does the commenter really believe that the United States would have fired on Russian forces? Or even fired a few warning missiles? Ridiculous. Nobody believes this. That would be completely provocative and with a guy like Putin in charge almost certain to cause a massive war. Nobody in American government is that stupid.

              You responded 'Europeans think Obama is weak' and I replied who gives shit? Putin doesn't and neither should we. If they want to prove how tough they are, they should go deal with Putin themselves and stop running to us like little bitches.

              The American People, god bless em, are sick of this shit. Were sick and tired of other people's problems, other people's bad luck, and especially other people's wars. You want to fuck your country up? Go right ahead. Someone else doing it? Too bad for you. America has retired from the police force and now its time to dote on the grandchildren.

              As kos said, 'not our problem to solve.'

              •  BBB - thanks for putting your comments in context (0+ / 0-)

                Like other people I hadn't read far enough up thread, but yeah basically I agree with the position that you and Kos put out. It is not our fight and the American people are sick of playing world policeman, let there be no doubt about that. But BBB you and I both know, the halls of Congress right now are full of guess what, lobbyists for the defense contracting industry. These guys/gals are salivating at the mouth at the idea of a possible protracted return of the Cold War, and are seeing dollar signs from here to the horizon. Those folks are the type who would sell their mother for that recreational waterfront property.

                The problem with being a world cop as in war be it hot or cold, is humanity has never figured out a way to date to take the profit out of it. Until they do, looks to me like America will continue to be the world's 911. For what it's worth I hope I'm wrong on that score. But BBB I fear I am right.

                You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

                by Democrats Ramshield on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 08:37:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Is this correct? I thought that the 1920s treaty (0+ / 0-)

    between Turkey and the old Soviet Union allowed Soviet and Turkish access to the Black Sea through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles but limited other countries warships access to the Black Sea?

    To write a Republican Party talking point on a policy issue, any policy issue, all you need is: a noun, a verb, and 'Obamacare'.

    by MARTinNJ on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 07:07:18 AM PST

  •  Under the 1935 treaty, non-Black Sea Country (0+ / 0-)

    warships are forbidden to use the Straits.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/....    Not sure is this story above is true.

    To write a Republican Party talking point on a policy issue, any policy issue, all you need is: a noun, a verb, and 'Obamacare'.

    by MARTinNJ on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 07:14:55 AM PST

  •  My error. This was a 1935 treaty. (0+ / 0-)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/....   No foreign, non-Black Sea nations may send military ships through the straits.

    To write a Republican Party talking point on a policy issue, any policy issue, all you need is: a noun, a verb, and 'Obamacare'.

    by MARTinNJ on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 07:16:48 AM PST

  •  Sevastopol is NOT Russia's only warm-water port. (8+ / 0-)

    The diarist states:

    The next closest pseudo-warm water port is located in excess of over 2,000 miles away in the Baltic Sea HQ's at St. Petersburg; Kaliningrad and various other area ports. It becomes therein axiomatically clear to see that the loss of the warm water port for Russia will have substantial economic and military consequences, both now and in the long term future, in a clear case where these matters have been essentially under-reported in commercial US media sources for whatever reasons.
    As has already been pointed out, Russia has another port on the Black Sea, on its own territory, and is buiding a naval base there; Stars & Stripes reported:
    Although Russia continues to construct a navy base in its own territory in Novorossisk, near Sochi, analysts agree that Sevastopol remains the navy’s preferred base in the Black Sea region because of its size, location and infrastructure.
    and Financial Times tells us:
    Moscow is already building naval infrastructure at Novorossiysk, including a deep sea terminal. But while the Russian navy has started using the port for smaller naval vessels and a supply point, this is arguably still at an embryonic stage. [...] One key indicator of Russia’s thinking will be where its navy decides to deploy its new ships and submarines. The Black Sea fleet is scheduled over the coming years to receive six new frigates, a number of patrol boats and expand its number of submarines from one to six. The first of the new submarines, tellingly named Novorossiysk, was completed in St Petersburg late last year and is expected to be commissioned in July. Last week, Russian media quoted navy commander Viktor Chirkov as saying it would be heading to Novorossiysk.
    So, while Sevastopol is the current HQ of the Black Sea Fleet and certainly holds symbolic significance, it is both inaccurate and disingenuous to suggest that it is Russia's only warm water port, or that the "next closest pseudo-warm water port" is 2000 miles from Sevastopol. Russia is already stationing some existing ships in Novorossisk, and is stationing new vessels there as well. Sevastopol's port facilities might be better, but to repeat - Sevastopol is NOT Russia's only warm-water port, and portions of the Black Sea Fleet are already based in Russia's OTHER warm-water port in the Black Sea.

    This comment is also rather less than it appears:

    Interestingly enough the Budapest Memorandum's validity under UK law has been under-reported in US media sources, so as to constitute a de facto form of censorship at a time when concurrently the US media accuses Russia of media censorship.
    Boy, you're really trying hard to keep this one alive, aren't you? As we dicussed in an earlier diary, the alleged legal validity of the Budapest Memorandum as triggering a "state of war" in the UK has no bearing on the US in terms of our treaty obligations. The suggestion that the Memorandum might do so in the UK has not been made by anyone in a position of authority; as far as I've seen, it was only suggested by one retired UK ambassador in a press interview. "Under-reported"? I'd say "insignificant."

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 07:17:04 AM PST

    •  Once all the facts clear up the misleading (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ExpatGirl, dougymi, doc2, bear83

      and rather shockingly uninformed statements of this diary, I'm pretty sure its headed for the delete column. Like the others.

      •  To bb - Keep it classic (0+ / 0-)

        Why should I delete my diary when it did as well as your diaries. I mean...whats up with that. By the way, perhaps as a former leatherneck would you care to comment about the task force with a MEU in the Med saber-rattling. What's that all about? If not gunboat diplomacy. uhh...by the way, if nothing is going on why do we need gunboat diplomacy and F15s doing fly overs out of RAF Lakenheath. Remember, you don't live in Europe. I do. So I'm seeing the non-English speaking media over here that you're not and they have a different spin on things.

        You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

        by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 04:26:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  about the USS Taylor (6+ / 0-)

    Another little problem with your diary.

    http://www.stripes.com/...

    A Navy frigate moored in Turkey since running aground in the Black Sea last month is being towed to Crete for repairs.

    The USS Taylor will have its propeller hub and blades replaced at the Navy base in Souda Bay, a process expected to take several weeks, a spokesman for U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa said. The ship will then finish its deployment in European and Middle East waters.

    A contracted tug boat began moving the ship on Friday.

    It hard to tell if you're simply uninformed or if you have a hidden motive. These uninformed, hair-on-fire diaries do nothing to enhance your reputation.

    I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

    by Just Bob on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 07:24:25 AM PST

    •  To Bob - Please read my diary. (0+ / 0-)

      Yes I did read the source, I did post it after all. Glad to see you read the source I posted (the stars and stripes). Sorry though that you seem to have misread my diary...again.

      Please go back and actually read the diary this time. Reliable sources are generally referred to as Pentagon spokesman action. There are conflicting reports and controversy over the disposition of its crew and the relief of its commander. But the accident of the ship running aground has nothing to do with the primary thesis of this diary other than to account briefly for the presence of the Taylor and why it was moored and not therefore able to be employed in an active duty mission.

      You ran into a hardcore progressive whos just another working stiff with an MBA degree & vociferous labor union supporter

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 07:47:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No dry dock (0+ / 0-)

      At our NATO allies ports?

    •  I don't think this blog is going (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wesmorgan1, sviscusi, bear83, Just Bob

      to start WWIII but this diarist seems to be bent on trying everything to do just that. Why exaggerrating the level of tension is pleasurable to some I have no idea. But the mentality behind these multiple "war is coming" diaries should be studied by scientists.

  •  Warm water port is a red herring (6+ / 0-)

    In anything but a regional conflict the Black Sea fleet is useless.  Putting a major naval base there is akin to the U.S. basing its Atlantic fleet in Cleveland.  It's a trap, Jed, and the NATO navies know it.  The only reason for the Russian navy in the Black Sea is to keep NATO out of it so as protect their southwestern flank.

  •  We tend to think that the high seas mean much (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Democrats Ramshield

    less today than in earlier conflicts; however, your diary makes it clear that our Navies are still important.

    This region--despite whether it is the only ice-free port or not--has historically been extremely important and will remain so as long as the physical geography exists.

    We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

    by occupystephanie on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 07:54:11 AM PST

  •  Why no mention of the treaty with Ukraine? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brooklynbadboy, dougymi, sviscusi, bear83

    Russia has a treaty with Ukraine securing the Sevastopol base for decades to come so if Russia loses that because Ukraine becomes unwilling to host Russia forces on its soils after this invasion Russia will have only itself to blame

    Also you neglect to mention that Russia has a lot of Black Sea coast to the east of the Ukraine where a warm water port could be developed so there is zero need for Russia to annex Crimea

    Also it is critical to know where in the Black Sea these ships are.  It is a very large body of water

    Finally you also neglect to mention that that southern shore is Turkey, our NATO ally so scheduled exercises with Turkey are incredibly common. So, was it regularly scheduled?  Russia just held similar exercises near Crimea and then went back to barracks also. Did you point that out?

    All in all I am disappointed to see you joining in the scaremongering based in half truths.  This community is seriously losing its grip on reality.

  •  Didn't one of our ships run a ground? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83

    In the Black Sea during the Olympics?

    Not that I even understand why it was there, with 2 Blackhawk choppers .... how was that going to help in a terrorist incident evacuation of US personnel?

    Wasn't a helicopter carrier a better choice for what to assign the security detail to?

    Point being, we seem to have bad charts, lets not get a bunch of ships damaged trying to play in Putin's bathtub, mmmmkay?

  •  that's not a good sign (0+ / 0-)
    Auf der Krim verschärft sich die Sicherheitslage derweil erheblich. Berichte über Einschüchterungen und Übergriffe, auch auf Journalisten, nehmen zu. Ukrainische Fernsehkanäle sind abgeschaltet. In der Nähe der Krim-Hauptstadt Simferopol werden derzeit prorussische "Selbstverteidigungstruppen" vereidigt.
    ...Ukrainian TV channels have been shut down in the Crimea area. Near Simferopol pro-Russian "self-defense troops" are enlisted and sworn in.

    Powder Keg. Horrible.

    •  and this is neither (0+ / 0-)
      Russia independent media reports of Russian forces laying minefields blocking access from other parts of Ukraine to Crimea.
      Members of the OECD have been rejected access to the Crimea area as well.
  •  Why haven't there (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wolf10

    been any diaries about HRC comparing Putin to Hitler?

    And supposedly, the faction that booted the president was behind the sniper shootings into crowds.

    ???

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 11:27:05 AM PST

  •  Sure looks to me like just "showing the flag" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wolf10

    A  P.R. stunt as opposed to anything actually beneficial to anyone involved.

    Ironic that we're burning tons of fossil-fuel in order to have a pretend face-off with an "Oiligarch."

    Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies, We were roaring drunk on petroleum -Kurt Vonnegut

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 12:28:47 PM PST

  •  One note it's their only warm water Atlantic port (0+ / 0-)

    They have a Pacific warm water port located at Vladivostok.

    But your points are well taken.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

    by dopper0189 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 02:26:49 PM PST

    •  Actually, Russia has a second Black Sea port. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dopper0189

      See my earlier comment re: Novorossisk.

      Yes, it's smaller (for now), but they've been working on port improvements/construction for quite some time, already base part of their Black Sea Fleet there, and have already announced that several new vessels (including submarines and helicopter carriers) will be home-ported in Novorossisk.

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 07:59:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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