HomeUncategorizedUN Chief: Only Urgent Diplomacy Can Prevent ‘Disastrous’ War Over Ukraine and OT 2/16 & 17
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orlbucfan

T and R x 2, pb4!!☮️😊👍 I am thoroughly disgusted with the MICC. Who knows who is telling what truth with this bullsh1t kept craporate media here?!? It may not end up in war. Europe needs Russian fuel. What are the MICC and their warlust political goons gonna do? Bomb Germany over Nord Stream 2? No. These yahoos have NEVER represented Americans like me and you. We’ve got an epidemic and climate chaos staring us right between the eyes cos of these stupid, backwards jerks. Grrrrrrrrrrr!🤬💩🤮🤬💩🤮

Benny

Bernie Sanders’s Smart Take on NATO, Ukraine, and Diplomatic Options

Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) did something last week few members of the Biden administration and Congress have done in their public comments about the Ukraine crisis: offered a global perspective that goes beyond a simple recitation of State Department talking points.

The Senate Budget Committee chairman and former presidential candidate has long been a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s interference in the political affairs of other nations and assaults on Russian dissidents, such as Alexei Navalny. And he remains so.

Speaking on the floor of the US Senate on Thursday, Sanders expressed deep concern about the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. He warned that the United States “must unequivocally support the sovereignty of Ukraine and make clear that the international community will impose severe consequences on Putin and his fellow oligarchs if he does not change course.”

Yet Sanders also steadily warned against abandoning hope for a diplomatic solution. He argued that, as part of a necessary focus on diplomacy, US officials must recognize the role that Russian fears about NATO expansion play in the crisis. This recognition could yet play a critical role in dialing down tensions and averting war.

“A simplistic refusal to recognize the complex roots of the tensions in the region undermines the ability of negotiators to reach a peaceful resolution,” Sanders told the Senate, in remarks that were all too rare for a chamber where too many members of both parties are rushing to hike defense spending and impose indiscriminate sanctions.

“I know it is not very popular in Washington to consider the perspectives of our adversaries, but I think it is important in formulating good policy,” Sanders said.

To that end, the senator explained:

One of the precipitating factors of this crisis, at least from Russia’s perspective, is the prospect of an enhanced security relationship between Ukraine and the United States and Western Europe, including what Russia sees as the threat of Ukraine joining the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO), a military alliance originally created in 1949 to confront the Soviet Union.

It is good to know some history. When Ukraine became independent after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Russian leaders made clear their concerns about the prospect of former Soviet states becoming part of NATO and positioning hostile military forc
es along Russia’s border. U.S. officials recognized these concerns as legitimate at the time.
Sanders quoted former defense secretary William Perry, who in a 2016 interview said, “In the last few years, most of the blame can be pointed at the actions that Putin has taken. But in the early years I have to say that the United States deserves much of the blame. Our first action that really set us off in a bad direction was when NATO started to expand, bringing in eastern European nations, some of them bordering Russia.” He also quoted current CIA head William Burns, a former diplomat, who in a 2008 memo to then–Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wrote:

Ukrainian entry into NATO is the brightest of all redlines for the Russian elite (not just Putin). In more than two and a half years of conversations with key Russian players, from knuckle-draggers in the dark recesses of the Kremlin to Putin’s sharpest liberal critics, I have yet to find anyone who views Ukraine in NATO as anything other than a direct challenge to Russian interests.

With this in mind, Sanders told his colleagues,

Clearly, invasion by Russia is not an answer; neither is intransigence by NATO. It is important to recognize, for example, that Finland, one of the most developed and democratic countries in the world, borders Russia and has chosen not to be a member of NATO. Sweden and Austria are other examples of extremely prosperous and democratic countries that have made the same choice.

US officials rarely note in debates about possible solutions to the Ukraine crisis the fact that key European nations remain outside the NATO tent. But Russian diplomats have made opposition to NATO expansion central to their position in negotiations over how to avert a war. US diplomats have been just as rigid in arguing that Ukraine’s right to join NATO must be maintained.

Sanders pointed out in his remarks that the United States has long accepted the idea that superpowers are concerned with maintaining “spheres of influence” in their regions.

For the last 200 years, our country has operated under the Monroe Doctrine, embracing the premise that as the dominant power in the Western Hemisphere, the United States has the right to intervene against any country that might threaten our alleged interests. Under this doctrine we have undermined and overthrown at least a dozen governments. In 1962 we came to the brink of nuclear war with the Soviet Union in response to the placement of Soviet missiles in Cuba, 90 miles from our shore, which the Kennedy Administration saw as an unacceptable threat to our national security.

And the Monroe Doctrine is not ancient history. As recently as 2018 Donald Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, called the Monroe Doctrine ‘as relevant today as it was the day it was written.…
To put it simply, even if Russia was not ruled by a corrupt authoritarian leader like Vladimir Putin, Russia, like the United States, would still have an interest in the security policies of its neighbors. Does anyone really believe that the United States would not have something to say if, for example, Mexico was to form a military alliance with a U.S. adversary?

Countries should be free to make their own foreign policy choices, but making those choices wisely requires a serious consideration of the costs and benefits. The fact is that the U.S. and Ukraine entering into a deeper security relationship is likely to have some very serious costs—for both countries.

Recognizing the role that NATO expansion plays in Russia’s thinking about the Ukraine conflict is not, Sanders argued, a sign of weakness. It is an understanding, Sanders explained, that could yet play a part in achieving “a realistic and mutually agreeable resolution—one that is acceptable to Ukraine, Russia, the United States, and our European allies—and that prevents what could be the worst European war in over 75 years.”

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

orlbucfan

Aint…, you and I are no longer spring chicks, but this garbage keeps repeating itself. Over and over with the same, and now, very bad results. Will it ever end?? 🙁

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

This sh#t is so sickening I could scream. Having a really bad day today. Btw obf, I’ve been waiting for your update on the progress of your telescope tracking.

orlbucfan

Hope today is much better, dear fellow Progressive! 🙂 This is the bookmarked James Webb link I’ve been following:
https://www.jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html
I have to say checking the site has helped keep my spirits up. 🙂

eve
eve

Ray McGovern and Scott Ritter and Larry Wilkerson have been covering UKRAINE on various venues and seem to me to have a more complete understanding than anyone in Congress or the Administration and they’ve been interesting to listen to.
e.g.
TODAY
https://original.antiwar.com/mcgovern/2022/02/15/ukraine-invasion-scheduled-for-wednesday-canceled/
2/14/22:

2/11/22 Podcast with RayMcGovern and Scott Ritter:
https://raymcgovern.com/2022/02/11/scott-ritter-todays-comments-on-ukraine/
2/3/22 Lawrence Wilkerson

Lawrence Wilkerson Medea Benjamin CODEPINK 1/25/22

jcitybone

jcitybone

orlbucfan

They’re pushing the dumbing down and stupidity angles cos they’ve been wildly successful with it over the last 40+ years. Shoutout to LD: where are you? TX has some very interesting primaries coming up! 🙂

jcitybone

orlbucfan

It’s also on full display in the United Kingdom. Brexit has been a disaster. You would think as old as those nations are, they would have learned about a certain malignant mindset. You would be proven wrong. Go figure??!

wi66

Imagine the response if it were POC protesting, it would of been a bloodbath

jcitybone

An escalation in Republican obstruction of executive branch nominees potentially threatens the ability to get any of the Biden administration’s vacant positions filled, unless Democrats mount a drive to change Senate rules or recess-appoint the nominees.

The tactic involves Republicans boycotting committee markups, a typically routine procedure in which legislative action gets voted on and nominations get advanced. Because of complicated Senate rules, this makes it effectively impossible to get nominees a vote on the Senate floor, even if the nominee has the 50 Senate votes necessary to be confirmed.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) announced on Tuesday that his party would boycott a scheduled markup for five Federal Reserve Board of Governors nominees, including the chair Jerome Powell, who has been renominated for a second term, and the new vice chair Lael Brainard, who currently sits on the Board. Sandra Thompson, who has been nominated for the chair of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, was also scheduled for a vote at the markup.

Powell, Brainard, and Thompson are not the targets of the maneuver. Toomey and the Republicans want to block Sarah Bloom Raskin, the wife of Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and someone who is seen as a strong financial regulator, from becoming the Fed’s vice chair for financial supervision, the chief regulatory-policy position at the central bank.

Raskin has been confirmed twice in the Senate before, including to a previous role as a Federal Reserve governor, with unanimous support. “Instead of showing up to work to do their job, Republicans have walked out on the American people,” Senate Banking Committee chair Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said in furious opening remarks at the markup, where all the Republicans’ chairs were empty.

The ostensible reason for the boycott is Republican claims that they have not received full information from Raskin, particularly about her alleged role in helping a fintech company lobby a regional Federal Reserve bank for access to the central bank’s payment system. Brown rebutted this, noting that Raskin had answered 180 questions from the committee’s Republicans in writing, and that her responses were sufficient.

“Ms. Bloom Raskin has been the subject of an unrelenting smear campaign” of “malicious character assassination and innuendo, without offering a shred of evidence,” Brown said.

The committee held an unofficial roll call vote on the nominees. All 12 Democrats, including Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who sits on the committee, voted the nominees to be approved for a full Senate vote (save for one dissenting vote on Powell from Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts). But the vote was unofficial because, without any Republicans present, the committee did not have a quorum to move into executive session. Committee rules in general require that at least one member of the opposition party be present to provide a quorum.

We have seen several instances during the power-sharing agreement in a 50-50 Senate when nominees have come out of committee with a tie. In that case, the Senate can vote to discharge that nominee from committee by a majority vote. However, under the Senate standing rules, a majority of the committee must be physically present to vote on pending nominations in order for them to get a vote on the floor. So the discharge process is not available; as long as the standing rules require a majority present, nominees would remain stuck.

“In today’s 50-50 Senate, Democrats are boxed in by the GOP boycott,” said Sarah Binder, a professor at George Washington University and an expert on Senate rules.

polarbear4
polarbear4

We shall see if the Democrats make hay out of this. The Republicans certainly would

Torabs
Torabs

A party committed to preserve democracy would change the rules immediately and confirm away. But let’s see what the Establishment does.

wi66

No kidding the Dems need to grow a pair or find a pickup truck with them hanging on the hitch and use them.

orlbucfan

This is why we have got to get more of our folks elected! These so-called “Democrats” are anything but. They’re GOPukes.

jcitybone

jcitybone
orlbucfan

Same here with Stephanie Murphy. god only knows what weirdos will crawl out in the primaries for her seat.

Benny

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