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Offline lovelylilT

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #225 on: April 16, 2014, 10:54:43 AM »
Putin is old school Soviet. Easter means nothing. For him it even means this is good time for striking, maybe.

Offline Qt

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #226 on: April 16, 2014, 04:56:47 PM »
I initially just wanted to leave this thread, after all the Crimea stuff had already happened, and there seems to be very few people that actually want look at this without bias.

For the current eastern Ukraine issue, I really don't know what's going to happen. The best outcome would be for people to sit down and talk. But that seems very unlikely. The protests that were happening there I doubt was peaceful with them taking over government building... but this is exactly the same thing that the Maidan did, though of course the western media says otherwise.

The thing is... there is definitely US involvement in this, the US is acting out in it's own interest, so it has every reason to antagonize Russia, it didn't matter that the current Ukrainian government is not democratically elected, in fact it's the result of a coup. The US doesn't care about democracy, Saudi Arabia is a good example, as long as the government has good relations with the US government, they don't care if it is a democracy or not.

The US is talking of supplying arms to Ukraine right now to deal with the "terrorists" in eastern Ukraine. I just don't see the US having a positive effect on this. As for what Russia does, it'll not be what the US wants, but hey, the two have very different agendas.

Offline kylie

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #227 on: April 17, 2014, 06:42:26 AM »
I initially just wanted to leave this thread, after all the Crimea stuff had already happened, and there seems to be very few people that actually want look at this without bias.
        Meh.  Who isn't biased.  But tell me what you're looking for exactly.  To me, it started out basically, "Is this an invasion or what?"  That's pretty easy to answer.  What else to make of it, perhaps not so easy.  But then people would have to agree what the question or goal of the analysis is.

Quote
The protests that were happening there I doubt was peaceful with them taking over government building... but this is exactly the same thing that the Maidan did, though of course the western media says otherwise.
        The square in Kiev was first occupied, I believe, back in November.  We could look more closely at how many people were involved in those protests over time.  How long have the government buildings in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine been occupied for?  Has it been months of massive public protest and negotiation, with reporters able to watch, before they stormed the place?  I don't think so.  For that matter...  Was the square in Kiev taken by a masked force bearing American guns and sometimes saying they belonged to American military units? 

        It was probably not so "constitutional" in Kiev, but who was controlling what was considered legal at the time -- were they widely considered Russian stooges anyway?  Do you suppose Yanukovich was actually popular and more importantly, the sort of leader to allow smooth and procedurally clean change? 

Quote
The thing is... there is definitely US involvement in this, the US is acting out in it's own interest, so it has every reason to antagonize Russia,
        Could you say a little more about what you mean by that ("reason" and "antagonize")?  The State Department said during the Olympics that the US does not have a reason to antagonize Russia -- no matter, for example, how much private individuals and certain groups tried to draw attention to certain complaints about the budget and preparations.  What exactly do you think the US agenda would be there?  I might even agree with it, but I just don't know what you mean.

         Or define what you mean by "US involvement" exactly?  It's a little odd for Russia to be criticizing the US for offering Ukraine economic aid and loans, unless one assumes that only Russia should be allowed to do much the same thing?  Or do you have pictures of Blackwater guys with covered license plates from the US taking over Kiev?  Or what -- seriously though.  I'd like some specifics one can look up.

Quote
it didn't matter that the current Ukrainian government is not democratically elected, in fact it's the result of a coup. The US doesn't care about democracy, Saudi Arabia is a good example, as long as the government has good relations with the US government, they don't care if it is a democracy or not.
        Sure, historically there is something to this...  But I think you will have a hard time convincing me that Crimea (or even worse, now Eastern Ukraine) are seceding completely on their own and that the thing hasn't been engineered from Moscow.  I haven't even heard a good argument on exactly why, if in fact secession is so popular in these regions, they would need to be part of Russia rather than perhaps going it alone or perhaps negotiating with Kiev as dissenting regional entities within Ukraine. 

         Some of the people who support Putin's actions seem very happy to point out that some parts of the Ukrainian army have defected or refused to operate against certain elements of the secession (though I'm not sure how many are unarmed protestors and how many aren't) -- but if that is all true, then it could also be part of an argument that Russia does not need to be directly involved.  If Kiev is really that disliked and even that incapable of responding, then you don't need 40,000 troops on the border and special operatives running around to make sure Russian flags pop up all over

         Or are they in fact all murderous Nazis 'running everything' in Kiev who would just as soon enslave eastern Ukraine, with a huge army that would actually be following them, but they act like cowards only because the Big Bear has already put troops everywhere?  The pro-Putin rhetoric seems to have turned into effectively, "Either they [meaning Ukraine, at least Crimea and the East by now] will be under Russian control, or they will be under Nazi control."  Yet some say there are more Nazi-esque legislators in the Russian Duma than in Kiev.  I also keep hearing Putin supporters claiming this is the first time in Europe any small fraction of a government has had a few sympathies with neo-Nazis, but that is patently false:  I believe you can go look at Austria a few years back, yet we hardly expect France to invade them to protect the minorities or restrain them from attacking their neighbors --- such as Putin's more hyperactive online supporters say must be necessary in Ukraine.  So I'm rather skeptical.

Quote
The US is talking of supplying arms to Ukraine right now to deal with the "terrorists" in eastern Ukraine. I just don't see the US having a positive effect on this. As for what Russia does, it'll not be what the US wants, but hey, the two have very different agendas.
        Last I read, they are not willing to send anything in the way of weapons.  It's more like "humanitarian aid," maybe some medicine or fuel I suppose.  I bet they'd be lucky to even get communications gear in there.

         But again, basically...  What do you think the Russian agenda is, exactly?  I get the impression you seem to think it's more positive than what the US is doing, though you haven't said clearly what either one is in your eyes.  Is this supposed to be "peacekeeping" by annexation of Crimea and setting up embattled protectorates?  Sorry if that sounds unfair, but that is pretty much how it looks to me.  What do you think?
« Last Edit: April 17, 2014, 06:54:55 AM by kylie »

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #228 on: April 17, 2014, 12:45:49 PM »
Jews being ordered to register in east Ukraine

This is bone chilling and disturbing.

Offline IberiaSloane

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #229 on: April 17, 2014, 03:09:24 PM »
Jews being ordered to register in east Ukraine

This is bone chilling and disturbing.

I first thought this was a hoax at first, but then more and more started to filter out about it and I was like "Shit." Also, seconding the bone chilling and disturbing comment, also I find it grotesque that thoughts like this still exist. It never leads to anything good, the rounding up and registering of people. This is looking more similar to the start of the pogroms of old, but reeks of the start of shoah-like actions

Offline BlytheTopic starter

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #230 on: April 17, 2014, 04:20:38 PM »
Jews being ordered to register in east Ukraine

This is bone chilling and disturbing.

Whoa. I did a double-take at this. I think this comment from the article sums up my initial reaction to it:

""We don't know if these notifications were distributed by pro-Russian activists or someone else, but it's serious that it exists," she said. "The text reminds of the fascists in 1941," she said referring to the Nazis who occupied Ukraine during World War II."

I might try to see if I can look up any more about this; this is exceedingly disturbing.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #231 on: April 17, 2014, 04:27:43 PM »
The text reminds of the fascists in 1941," she said referring to the Nazis who occupied Ukraine during World War II

I do like that little bit of clarification, I was racking my brains to think of some fascists who asked Jews to register in 1941.   

Offline Qt

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #232 on: April 17, 2014, 06:12:33 PM »
Could you say a little more about what you mean by that ("reason" and "antagonize")?  The State Department said during the Olympics that the US does not have a reason to antagonize Russia -- no matter, for example, how much private individuals and certain groups tried to draw attention to certain complaints about the budget and preparations.  What exactly do you think the US agenda would be there?  I might even agree with it, but I just don't know what you mean.

         Or define what you mean by "US involvement" exactly?  It's a little odd for Russia to be criticizing the US for offering Ukraine economic aid and loans, unless one assumes that only Russia should be allowed to do much the same thing?  Or do you have pictures of Blackwater guys with covered license plates from the US taking over Kiev?  Or what -- seriously though.  I'd like some specifics one can look up.

Going to just answer this question, because this is the fundamental issue. If you believe the NATO encirclement of Russia is not real, then I suggest you look up the history of NATO for a bit. Just what is NATO protecting its member's from if it isn't Russia? Ukraine is the next step of NATO expansion. Now you ask what interest does the US have in Ukraine in particular. I think that Crimea is definitely one of them. That's where the Black Sea Fleet is based upon, and it is very strategically important for Russia.

The truth is Russia doesn't act out in the US interest and that means the US will antagonize Russia. Look, the US is not a peaceful country, it's an aggressive and exceptional country in that it can invade other countries and still label itself as doing good. The US spends the most on its military more than the next ten countries combined, it's invaded the most countries after World War 2, the only country to have used nuclear weapons out of any country in the world. If you're still siding with the US knowing all this, I guess that's just a case of American exceptionism.

As for evidence of US involvement, I suggest you do a bit of a search outside of the US propaganda circles because the major US sources for news on this is on the same level as Russia.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #233 on: April 17, 2014, 06:38:00 PM »
Going to just answer this question, because this is the fundamental issue. If you believe the NATO encirclement of Russia is not real, then I suggest you look up the history of NATO for a bit. Just what is NATO protecting its member's from if it isn't Russia? Ukraine is the next step of NATO expansion. Now you ask what interest does the US have in Ukraine in particular. I think that Crimea is definitely one of them. That's where the Black Sea Fleet is based upon, and it is very strategically important for Russia.

The truth is Russia doesn't act out in the US interest and that means the US will antagonize Russia. Look, the US is not a peaceful country, it's an aggressive and exceptional country in that it can invade other countries and still label itself as doing good. The US spends the most on its military more than the next ten countries combined, it's invaded the most countries after World War 2, the only country to have used nuclear weapons out of any country in the world. If you're still siding with the US knowing all this, I guess that's just a case of American exceptionism.

As for evidence of US involvement, I suggest you do a bit of a search outside of the US propaganda circles because the major US sources for news on this is on the same level as Russia.

 Given the history of the US and Russia in the last Century (from 1900 to now), I know which country I would prefer to have backing me. The US. And I'm not saying this just because I am a citizen of it. Russia has ALWAYS been expansionist, and bluntly so. Russia, either as Tzarist Russia, or the Soviet Union or the federated Russia (whatever the modern term is) has been far worse in how it treats its allies and its own citizens.

Offline Valthazar

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Offline Iniquitous

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #235 on: April 17, 2014, 08:31:06 PM »
So USA Today printed a fake news report?

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #236 on: April 17, 2014, 08:50:42 PM »
I just think USA Today and CNN (among other media outlets) jumped the gun a bit, and should have researched the authenticity of the document before publishing their stories.

Here's an article from Time, which explains how the media got into a frenzy about this.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #237 on: April 17, 2014, 10:28:12 PM »
The compromise deal they crafted at Geneva last night looks anything but solid. The militants/activists who occupied public buildings in Donetsk and other cities in the east are to be ordered to leave all of those buildings, and forced out if they don't comply, but no one will be prosecuted except (probably?) persons among them who engaged in deadly violence. Now how awesome is that? How are the Ukrainian police or military forces going to establish who among all those people (most of them masked) were responsible if these forces have absolutely no leverage with the wider circle of occupants? How are they going to stop or discourage further occupations and rallies pushing for, let's say, a local free "Soviet republic of Donetsk"? Or just plain riots out of despair over food, gas and wages? - the country is effing broke and brewing with discontent. And how are they going to keep up border control towards Russia with such a volatile local population?

So far, Putin has barely even recognized the legality of Yanukovych's ousting, he hasn't shown any understanding of what drove the street unrest and revolution in Kiev, while he's shown great skill at using non-uniformed troops and local bands to do his bidding. What kind of guarantees are there that he would honour the meagre obligations that last night's deal put on him?  >:(

Offline consortium11

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #238 on: April 18, 2014, 12:08:19 AM »
I suspect this may end up following the above mentioned "OMG they're rounding up the Jews!" story in turning out to basically be fake, but Ukrainian oligarch and recently appointed governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region is apparently offering a "bounty" for the capture of any Russian ($10,000), their weapons (between $1,000-2,000) or the recapture of government buildings ($200,000). I should note that in the linked story the word "saboteurs" is used but the original statements use the term "moskali"... a derogatory word for ethnic Russians.

As above, I'm not exactly convinced this is legitimate; already reports are coming out saying it's fake and the bank the oligarch in question owns is denying it (or at least denying that a billboard showing the offer is legitimate). There's a facebook page for Igor Kolomoisky which has the offer (and was the first source of it) but I'm in no position to argue whether the page is legitimate or not.

That said, assuming for the moment it is real (and that is only an assumption), this is heavily troubling. The most obvious issue is simple... as the farce in Afghanistan showed paying bounties for people just leads to pretty much anyone being handed over. What makes this more troubling is also the timing. The recently agreed joint statement included:

Quote
"All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions."

Having an officially appointed governor put up (and maintain) a bounty for ethnic Russians at pretty much the exact same time is pretty damn provocative and intimidating. It will be interesting to see, not just in this specific case but in general, whether Kiev can reign in and keep control over their oligarchs considering the relatively flimsy state of their government. With Kolomoisky unofficially privatizing parts of the army (he personally funded new batteries for almost all of the Ukrainian military vehicles) I'm not entirely optimistic.

Offline Orval Wintermute

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #239 on: April 18, 2014, 06:41:10 AM »

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #240 on: April 18, 2014, 06:59:47 AM »
*nods at that pic* Uh-huh. Russia is nearly the size of South America in land area, even just the European part makes up 38% of Europe. And it's not as if there's a lot of confidence and good faith between Kiev and Moscow at this point.

Offline kylie

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #241 on: April 18, 2014, 10:26:05 AM »
Going to just answer this question, because this is the fundamental issue. If you believe the NATO encirclement of Russia is not real, then I suggest you look up the history of NATO for a bit. Just what is NATO protecting its member's from if it isn't Russia? Ukraine is the next step of NATO expansion. Now you ask what interest does the US have in Ukraine in particular. I think that Crimea is definitely one of them. That's where the Black Sea Fleet is based upon, and it is very strategically important for Russia.
         It depends what you mean by "encirclement."  In this situation, I do understand Putin may have felt a little threatened.  But I don't know of any evidence that Nato has unreasonably manipulated Ukraine to kick Russia out of those bases.  I have heard that the opposition in Kiev was not very happy that Russia was given a lease extension of what was it, something like 40 years?  I forget the exact number.  Some very long time to hold onto them.  I'm not clear about whether they wanted to make the lease shorter, raise the fees, or do away with it entirely -- or what.  But in a just world, that would be up to Ukraine to decide for themselves.  Do you imagine that because Russia feels threatened by Nato, it would have a natural right to invade Crimea?  If that is true, then maybe China has a right to invade Siberia and take whatever it needs too.  On and on.   

         I don't know of any serious Nato goal to base troops in Ukraine.  (We could probably find "plans" somewhere, but then everyone has plans.  We used to all plan for nuclear war, but we don't do it.)  In fact, I don't believe Nato has even based a whole lot in the Baltics which have been admitted to the alliance.  I'm not even sure there is all that much in Poland.  (I might say this could be partly because they're all difficult to actually defend, but anyway.)  It seems like Russia is upset even at the very idea that the West might not allow it -- Russia -- to be the big threatening power in the region and tell all the smaller countries what to do.  That doesn't mean the US is perfect or always just.  But that seems to be part of the underlying logic, too.

Quote
The truth is Russia doesn't act out in the US interest and that means the US will antagonize Russia. Look, the US is not a peaceful country, it's an aggressive and exceptional country in that it can invade other countries and still label itself as doing good. The US spends the most on its military more than the next ten countries combined, it's invaded the most countries after World War 2, the only country to have used nuclear weapons out of any country in the world. If you're still siding with the US knowing all this, I guess that's just a case of American exceptionism.
       I don't dispute a lot of that actually.  It's not so much that I'm trying to side with the US on everything it does everywhere.  I'm just not siding with Russia invading/ annexing Crimea and destabilizing Eastern Ukraine in this particular case.  They went and invaded the place.  That wasn't necessary in my view.  And it makes people uncomfortable.  We may start to ask, "Hmm, what else will they decide is in their interest?  Just how much does Russia need to feel safe, now?  Who do they have to take over on any given day, exactly?"  If the US bombing and invading isn't good, why do you expect others to accept Russia doing the same? 

       For that matter, why is it okay for Russia to manipulate the Ukrainian government by insisting that Yanukovich and his hated police are the only acceptable rulers, in the face of a massive popular revolt?  Funny how they just happen to want only the foreign policy (and police state powers) that Putin thinks Ukraine should use.  Or is it, in fact, Putin's policy to keep Ukraine weak, corrupt and divided one way or another?  Where did all these "oligarchs" people are worried about come from anyway?  A political system that Putin supported for managing Ukraine.  No?  Whether the IMF and the Western system are ideal, or even just -- that is a fair question too.  But it should be a separate question. 

       Supporting Assad in Syria for so long hasn't helped either.  Nor did snipping off parts of Georgia to hold onto indefinitely.  I do understand that the Russian leadership may do hard-nosed things to try to improve its position.  I even understand that they're partly defensive moves.  Still, it isn't fair to Ukraine.  As some Ukrainians wrote in editorial pages, it was a "particularly low blow" just when a popular revolt has said they don't want Russia's proxy making a mess of their government and they were trying to get back on their feet.  That is their choice.  (Nor I would say, is how Russia has played fair to those people who ended up bombed and gassed by Assad in Syria.  But anyway.)   

Quote
As for evidence of US involvement, I suggest you do a bit of a search outside of the US propaganda circles because the major US sources for news on this is on the same level as Russia.
        That isn't quite grammatically clear to me, but...  Tell me who you trust that seems to have more objective reporting. 

         In Georgia, I could actually catch Russia Today on cable TV and some of their reporting was interesting...  Now, sometimes they would rant on in ways that I could just logically, or on general principle, say were leading to silly conclusions.  But they did also have some serious concern for human rights and an interest in issues the US press has stopped covering in recent years.  I appreciated them trying, just for that part.  I would listen to someone like Abby Martin, just to wait for the few parts that she got partly or almost right, a little burst of insight you wouldn't hear somewhere else.  And I wish maybe a few more people would or could have.  But in this case, you can see even some of RT's English-speaking staff have outright quit in protest at Russia's actions and Putin's media manipulations.  That kind of suggests to me, there is probably a whole lot of manipulation across the Russian press and maybe its sympathizers elsewhere.  I think to myself:  If even these people are giving up, who is honest and reasonably thorough over there?

       I like the Guardian to some extent, because among the Western press that actually goes and gathers some facts I can consider, they tend to have relatively balanced reporting (heck, they even gave Lavrov a space to talk, among certain editorials I found a bit silly myself -- but it was there to read).  But that thing about worrying about fabrications?   It swings both ways.  When I see pro-Putin people in the Guardian comments often saying there are no Russian troops operating aggressively in Crimea in the face of what seem like reports with a bit more detail in the West that there are -- and by now, when everyone thinks he's won that, even Putin is saying there have been -- then I tend to suspect some Russian news sources are not so reliable.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2014, 07:34:54 PM by kylie »

Offline Cassandra LeMay

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #242 on: April 19, 2014, 09:53:32 AM »
It depends what you mean by "encirclement."  In this situation, I do understand Putin may have felt a little threatened.
During the so-called "Two plus Four Talks" that paved the way for German reunification, Russia was given guarantees by western politicians that NATO would not expand eastward. That was in 1990. In 1999 the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary. In 2004 seven more countries followed. (Details of who joined when here) In essence, the Russians were lied to, or some countries just forgot about the guarantees they had given the Russians. Take your pick what would be worse. I don't think it's all that much about feeling threatened, but a lot about feeling deceived and being sidelined, because you only tell someone something to their face and then do the opposite if you think you can get away with it. And you only think you can get away with it if you think the other side is too weak to do anything about it.

Something that I think is often overlooked in situations like this is that political actors are just people. And sometimes people do things for reasons that may not be entirely logical, or are based on emotional logic. And they all see things through their own lense. Sometimes they act more for the "home audience" than one might think when looking at a conflict like this from th outside. A lot of what Putin says or does is addressed at Russians, just as a lot of what Western politicians say and do is formulated in a certain way to send a message to their own nationals. Just ascribing the actions of one politician or another to a single reason is easy, but I think it might sometimes miss the mark.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #243 on: April 19, 2014, 12:15:40 PM »
One of the problems with that guarantee is that the 'Western politicians' made decisions for those countries - which they weren't actually a part of.  What was NATO supposed to say when Poland (for example) came to them and said 'We want to join.'  Were they supposed to say 'Sorry, we can't let you in?'

Offline BlytheTopic starter

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #244 on: April 19, 2014, 12:18:13 PM »
It would be disturbing if it was real, but it looks like it is just a fake, false-flag type of action.

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117415/relax-ukraine-not-ordering-its-jews-register
http://mashable.com/2014/04/17/pamphlets-jews-register-ukraine/
http://www.dailydot.com/politics/ukraine-jewish-registry-fake/

I just think USA Today and CNN (among other media outlets) jumped the gun a bit, and should have researched the authenticity of the document before publishing their stories.

Here's an article from Time, which explains how the media got into a frenzy about this.

Thank you for those links, Valthazar--those were informative and pretty helpful; I've actually never been so relieved that a story turned out to be a hoax. ^^;

Offline Cassandra LeMay

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #245 on: April 19, 2014, 12:41:32 PM »
What was NATO supposed to say when Poland (for example) came to them and said 'We want to join.'  Were they supposed to say 'Sorry, we can't let you in?'
And why not? You can be friends with someone without formalizing it as an agreement.

If I promise a girl not to have affairs while I am in a relationship with her, what am I supposed to say when another girl approaches me? I'm supposed to say "no" and stand by my original promise.

Offline consortium11

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #246 on: April 19, 2014, 02:01:39 PM »
One of the problems with that guarantee is that the 'Western politicians' made decisions for those countries - which they weren't actually a part of.  What was NATO supposed to say when Poland (for example) came to them and said 'We want to join.'  Were they supposed to say 'Sorry, we can't let you in?'

NATO's turned down members before... Macedonia is probably the most high profile recent one.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #247 on: April 19, 2014, 07:20:44 PM »
One of the problems with that guarantee is that the 'Western politicians' made decisions for those countries - which they weren't actually a part of.  What was NATO supposed to say when Poland (for example) came to them and said 'We want to join.'  Were they supposed to say 'Sorry, we can't let you in?'

Good chance NATO will say that to Scotland if they don't change their stance on Trident (and, obviously, become independent)

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Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #248 on: April 19, 2014, 08:36:29 PM »
NATO's turned down members before... Macedonia is probably the most high profile recent one.

But isn't that because of disagreements with the applying country's internal policies?

Offline Zakharra

Re: Russia Invades Crimea?
« Reply #249 on: April 19, 2014, 08:45:45 PM »
And why not? You can be friends with someone without formalizing it as an agreement.

If I promise a girl not to have affairs while I am in a relationship with her, what am I supposed to say when another girl approaches me? I'm supposed to say "no" and stand by my original promise.

 One of the things that comes with being in NATO is a guarantee of military protection if an outsider (in this case, Russia) tries  something untoward. That's most likely why those nations petitioned to join NATO. So they would be protected against military aggression by nations like Russia. Protection they obviously need. It would be foolish to have told them no.