The pot is calling the kettle, black

By Ted Belman (Feb 26/22)

After the fall of the USSR, the US invaded Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq , and Libya. She overthrew Mubarak, the long standing ruler of Egypt and installed its own regime and attempted to do the same with Syria. She expanded NATO eastward after promising not to do so.. She handcuffed Israel, thereby violating its sovereignty, and demanded she cease settlement construction and back the two state solution.

She  subverted democracy in its own country beginning with the Obama presidency, continuing through the Trump years and now in the Biden/Obama term. Obama pledged to transform America and he did, for the worse.

He did this by subverting the constitution, corrupting the deep state, in particular, the FBI,  DOJ, DOD, CIA, Judiciary and IRS to name most of them. Obama and his coterie did their utmost to prevent Trump from getting elected in 2016. They failed.

Rather than accept the results, they began a campaign to undermine Trump’s presidency with the use of lies, defamation, illegal prosecutions and hoaxes. They were aided and abetted in this by the Main Stream Media, Social Media Giants, Hollywood, cancel culture and a fake pandemic.

They also created their own brown shirts and black shirts, namely Antifa and Black Lives Matter,  like Hitler and Mussolini did, in order to have a lawless para-military force to wreak havoc, fear and despair. They chose not to prosecute members of these organizations who committed crimes and destruction. On the other hand, they attacked MAGA supporters as being insurrectionists and terrorists.

Then the ultimate corruption was their destruction of the election system, with the introduction of  fake ballots and fake ballot counting, the use of manipulative machines and Zukerberg money. I even believe they killed Seth Rich and perhaps others, to further their ends.

Finally, Ukraine is rated as the most corrupt country in Europe.  Clinton and Biden took advantage of that corruption to add to their coffers.

And we are supposed to believe that Russia is the bad guy.  I don’t thinks so.

January 18, 2023 | 38 Comments »

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  1. ‘”Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense. We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security alone more than the net income of all United States corporations.

    Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence—economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.

    In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.[1]

    ‘…Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

    In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

    The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocation, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

    Yet in holding scientific discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.[1]”

    Wikipedia “Eisenhower’s Farewell Address”

  2. Seems some Frenchman went off script with Kerry and actually addressed just one of the many elephants in the room while Kerry was condemning Russia’s presence in Ukraine:

    “Was it not a crime of aggression to enter into Iraq on the basis of a lie?”

    “No, no, no,” Kerry said. “Well, we didn’t know it was a lie at the time. You know the evidence that was produced, people didn’t know that it was a lie. So no, again, I think, you’re stretching something. That’s not a constructive way —”

    “But he lied,” Rochebin said of Bush. “He lied. He lied.”

    John Kerry Skewered By French TV Host After Condemning Putin Invasion: “Why Isn’t Bush Judged In The Same Way?”
    Glen Greenwald responds:

    “The complete lack of self-awareness on the part of the US establishment sometimes shocks me, despite the contempt I harbor for them.”

    The arrogance with which the US disregards its aggression’s, past and present, does not shield it from the scrutiny of the world. Indeed, it is the very fact which explains, at least in part, why more than half the people of the world still side with Russia against the belligerence and betrayal being committed in Ukraine against them by the US and her allies.

  3. Also: the Obama administration wasn’t the start of America being a baddie. Who killed JFK? Who enabled China’s rise. The rot started a very long time ago, some of the worst people pretended to be patriotic Republicans.

  4. The US Deep State is certainly a baddie, but now we need to hear about the things Russia has done, otherwise it’s unbalanced. I still don’t get the Putin cheerleading. In this case, the enemy of our enemy is not our friend. Ditto China.

  5. I am former citizen of USSR and live in Canada for 42 years. I came as the Jew refugee. Now following what is going on between Russia and Ukraine, I believe that Putin doing right thing to fight against Nazi in Ukraine. I am sorry for death of innocent people and believe this is on hands of those who supports Ukraine in this horrible fight. Those money would be useful to help Ukraine to reestablish and go on with their lifes.

  6. “White House: Biden didn’t know classified documents were in think tank or his home
    White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre says US President was unaware of the presence of classified documents or what is in them.”

    chttps://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/365844

  7. I am reminded of an amusing photo and caption of Biden, thinking about Ukraine. In the photo Biden is shown with a fierce scowl on his face. The caption read something like, “The face you make when someone invades the country that launders all your money.” How true it was. Now the Dems are in a huge rush to send billions to the laundromat before the Republicans take control of the House. Perhaps we can hope for a little while that the grift will slow down.

  8. @Bear
    Regarding Col. Kemps comments on the Baltic states, this would mean, once again, that the US allowed Russia to act out their most desired fantasy, but again, only because the US allowed them to do so, would they, or could they, do so.

  9. @Bear

    so it is okay with you that Putin is killing Ukrainians and taking over their country?

    I am not on Putin’s “side”. I am not Ukrainian, nor Russian, nor even European, and I thank G_d for the truth of this statement. If I were, I would have a side, a chosen victor that I would support no matter their actions, and no matter their crimes. Given my lack of involvement, I can see that Russia has both a strategic interest and an ethnic obligation to prevent the continuation of the Ukrainian Civil War from continuing and murdering the population in Donbass and Laganz, just as the US never had any strategic or ethnic, moral or responsible reason for their instituted civil war in Ukraine. The unfortunate reality is that Super Power Nations and Regional Power Nations enforce their will upon lesser nations without any regard for the repercussions, as do lesser nations that have the ability to enforce their will upon their neighbors. Russia is in Ukraine, but they are only their because the US allowed them to act out their desires, just as they were not there in 2014 when the US did not allow them to act out their desires. It is intellectually dishonest to state this differently.

  10. Ukraine is a divided, segmented and fractured nation. It is not a democracy, it is a plutocracy based upon a feudal type system of power and the govt does not have the power to control the factions within it. When the US artificially chose to support the ultra nationalists, ie aka nazis, aka neo-nazis, aka anti-Russian, aka anti Eastern Ukrainian, they upset the natural balance within the nation and significantly empowered their chosen puppet, to which there was a backlash in the form of a civil war, where Russia supported the Dumbass and Laganz and the US/EU have supported the nationalists in the west. In their manipulations of Ukraine, the US has cost well over 10,000 Ukrainian lives, and the reforms that were claimed to be the pursuit of Zelensky could never have been instituted because of the loss of any balance in the country and this was clear for anyone to recognize. He could not put down the Nationalist Power Barons in the remnant of Ukraine that he controlled because the other side did not recognize his authority or support his control over them. Consequently, the Russian Ukrainians had no way to aid Zelensky in pursuing his reforms and hence, the “incomplete” reforms cited in the Economist article, only the incomplete tone simply references that the reforms could never be completed. It would be similar to the situation in the US Civil War, once the South seceded, they had no way to influence the actions taken against them from within the North – the consequence of Civil Wars. Zelensky signed the Treaty of Minsk but lacked the power to enforce it upon the nationalists, and this is the cause of his failure and was always the problem he faced. Either the Civil War in Ukraine would continue or an intervention was needed. The US gave Putin the green light to invade and so he did. If Putin cared to wipe out the population of Kiev, he could easily be doing so. This is clearly not in his interest, regardless of your concerns for the Ukrainians, something that was not in the interests or concerns of the US, or yourself I take it, when the US installed their own puppet regime.

  11. No ruler is powerful enough to do whatever he wants and that includes Putin.

    History is not a fight between heads of states.

    You have to take a bird’s eye view of things and view them in context (or try seeing the whole forest rather than just trees – whichever metaphor feels more suitable).

    The Russian government felt threatened enough by the West to make the decision to attack Ukraine to prevent it from joining NATO and/or acquiring nuclear weapons (which Zelensky stupidly threatened as a possibility).

    This decision of theirs is a gold mine to the West and, in particular, to the US.

    The idea is that no one must dare to compete with the US, if they do, they deserve to be destroyed, at least economically.

    The reason Russia is always painted as the Devil is because it has a relatively small population (150 – 250 million people – depending on how you count) on the area practically the size of the whole continent.

    The West wants to take the land (preferably without the people) which explains all the wars there for the last 300 years.

    If you don’t believe me, read up on the Heartland doctrine or anything by Zbigniew Brzezinski.

  12. Colonel Kemp (former UK officer and friend of Israel) has been quoted in an article which I suggest everyone read. Here is a partial quote.

    “Putin wants to be the man who restores Russian glory and superpower status by re-creating a new form of the Soviet Union, with an unchallenged Russian sphere of influence in the neighboring countries,” he explained.

    Russia’s current military objectives and how the current conflict could expand beyond Ukraine: “I believe Putin intends to bring down Ukraine’s government and install a Russian puppet in its place. He probably wants to effectively annex eastern Ukraine, perhaps splitting the country in half along the River Dnieper, with the west given “neutral” status. In that scenario he would maintain Russian bases and military ports in eastern Ukraine.”

    “If he remains in power, Putin is unlikely to stop at Ukraine. He also has his eyes on the Baltic states which, like Ukraine, he sees as illegitimate. He is likely to send in “peacekeepers” to the Baltics, whether in weeks, months or years. He may calculate that, despite treaty obligations, Western NATO countries would not fight for the Baltic states and he could be right.

    https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/322976

  13. Different than the Putin viewpoint presented by one of the commentators here is the Economists view.

    JUST ABOUT any self-respecting modern protest movement will claim to be a revolution. What happened in Ukraine in 2014 is one of the few worthy of the label. It ushered in a transformation of Ukraine’s society and state that is both deeply ambitious and tragically incomplete. It is a national project that continues to this day, and though its imperfections leave many Ukrainians disillusioned, its successes frighten Vladimir Putin. As the Russian president ponders an invasion, he threatens the gains made by Ukraine over the past eight years. What are those, exactly?

    The first victory came when protesters at Maidan square in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, ousted a thuggish Russian-backed president, Viktor Yanukovych. In four years Mr Yanukovych and his friends looted around $100bn from a country with an economy the size of Nebraska’s. Leaned on by Mr Putin, in 2013 Mr Yanukovych abandoned Ukraine’s Association Agreement with the EU—a framework for closer economic ties—and moved to join its Russian-led rival.

    https://www.economist.com/the-economist-explains/2022/02/16/what-did-ukraines-revolution-in-2014-achieve

  14. @Peloni so it is okay with you that Putin is killing Ukrainians and taking over their country? You are on the side of Putin correct me if I am wrong, please.

  15. @Bear

    the Ukrainians got rid of a Russian servant of Putin who was their President. Ukrainians have a right to choose their own leaders.

    You are far too well informed to not be aware of the US role in the overthrow of the Ukrainian Yanukovych govt, Putin’s puppet as you characterize him. He was in fact not Putin’s puppet at all. He was investigating entry into the EU and found that it would break the Ukrainian economy to the tune of $160 million. Russia offered him financial subsidies that the IMF and the EU would not match. Puppets don’t shop around for the best outcome of their own economy, they simply do as they are told. For his treachery at moving towards a better financial benefit for Ukraine, Victoria Nuland coordinated a coup on the Yanukovych govt. Her conversation regarding the replacement of Yanukovych took place prior to the Yanukovych coup and was recorded and released to the public. The importance of Ukraine likely evolved around many things, but among these was the issue of Ukrainain shale deposits for which there was a great deal of US interests in exploring. Following the US led coup, the Ukrainian public were forced to pay a standardized rate for energy, even though the costs for their gas was quite minimal. The resulting massive profits came to a contest between the gas company and Poroshenko (the ultimate Clinton puppet installed in Ukraine) as to who would receive the bulk of the gas profits. Poroshenko began investigations into the gas company and the children of influential US power players such as Biden, Pelosi and Romney were installed on the boards of the energy companies in exchange for the elimination of the ongoing investigations by the Ukrainian prosecutor, and just like that, “son of a bitch the prosecutor got fired”. So the Ukrainian people suffered the burden of the policy of a EU member state in paying exorbitant energy costs that filled the pockets of US political families. It also allowed the US to use the mafia state of Ukraine to act as a money laundering vehicle thru which massive funds were funneled. Furthermore, USAID “lost” over $3 billion US taxpayer dollars in Ukraine and they were instructed not to bother pursuing the matter by VP Biden, personally. For these reasons and likely others, Poroshenko was installed as president, not because the Ukrainians had a right to choose their leaders, but because the US had the choice of eliminating their legitimately chosen leader and replacing him with the Clinton allied Poroshenko, who truly was a puppet, but not of Russia.

  16. @Peloni, the Ukrainians got rid of a Russian servant of Putin who was their President. Ukrainians have a right to choose their own leaders. If you side with Putin that is your right.

    Russian’s and Ukrainians are two separate countries in spite of Putin’s claims. Putin does not have a right to pick their leaders and their allies.

    Zelenskyy is their current elected President. Putin is the current dictator of Russia until he is deposed or killed!

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  17. @Bear

    US or Ukraine imperfections do NOT justify this!

    Is this how you describe the Maidan massacre or are you referencing something else? I did notice in ally your comments you have yet to specifically comment on the American coup of 2014 unless this references it.

  18. Putin wants to recreate the power and size of the Soviet Union in the Russian Federation. That is why he is attacking Ukraine and trying to take it over!!!

    This IS NOT a defensive war. That some sympathize with Putin and buy into his propaganda which tries to justify his naked aggression is their complete error.

    If he next attacks in the Baltic’s such as Lithuania it will just be an extension of his power and land grab. US or Ukraine imperfections do NOT justify this!!

  19. @Bear
    I have never removed any comment let alone yours. I welcome your opinions because they are yours. You have your take on things which counters mine sometimes.. .I have no problem with disagreements

  20. Ted, you removed my comment while typing? Do not like opinions about how brutal Putin is? Peloni I tired to respond to your comment but like Putin censoring Russians I appear to have been censored!

    Peloni, you are correct only about one thing in my view. Putin likely would not have tried this folly war into Ukraine if Trump was POTUS.

    Dead Russians will make this war less popular in Russia.

    Ukraine is NOT Russian property. Putin is in error and so is anyone who writes like he can treat it that way!!

  21. @Peloni I think you are buying into the Russian propaganda. Inserted Russian troops into the east of Ukraine. Even many Russians see the bullshit of Putin’s propaganda, sorry that you get it confused with the truth.

    Yes if Trump was POTUS it is likely that Putin would not have attacked Ukraine. Biden is a 100% idiot! US energy policies under him have made this brutal dictator stronger.

    Ukraine was not and is not Putin’s (Russian’s) property as he claims and you seem to buy into.

  22. @Bear

    That he feels a threat from NATO maybe due to his paranoia.

    Do you seriously discount the overthrow of the pro-Russia regime as significant in a plutocratic nation which is split between violently pro-Russian and violently anti-Russian enclaves as demonstrating a threat to Russia? Surely you don’t consider the Orange Revolution as an organic Ukrainian revolt? Serious questions, if you have an interest to answer.

    In all fairness to all sides, the truth is plain that Putin is not simply acting like a paranoid dictator without reason or provocation as you suggest. The reality is that the Ukrainian civil war in which Russia is now openly participating resulted from this American sponsored coup which had no defensive basis and which was not even in America’s strategic interest beyond specifically threatening Russia and displacing her authority in a neighboring long term client state. In doing so, the US not only displaced a Russia friendly allied govt, it displaced a govt that acted to protect the Russian Ukrainians from their anti-Russian Ukrainian neighbors, in so far as the govt might be positioned to influence events. Given any opportunity to correct this violation of the status quo, Russia would not hesitate to act accordingly. Of course Putin would never have tested Trump’s resolve, but now Obama’s crew of American rogues are back in power, the same one’s who so recklessly and boldly acted to strike down the pro-Russian govt in Kiev, only now Obama’s crew are acting as if they have absolutely no restraints preventing them from acting out their most exotic political fantasies. Additionally, the US clearly signaled to Putin that there would be no military opposition to him retaking control of Ukraine. To eliminate any doubt of a potential threat from the West, Zelensky mindlessly suggested he would accept nuclear weapons in Ukraine – whoever wrote that line for him, single-handedly transformed any possible Russian suspicions into a very substantial threat, making Putin’s current actions both vital and unavoidable.

    As you have suggested, Putin does not have the popular support for a war in Ukraine, but neither does the current US administration. Neither wants war, and neither will pursue war. Once Putin has resolved the situation in Ukraine, he will claim to have stood up to NATO aggression, albeit 8yrs late, and he will have the significant prize of Eastern Ukraine to show for very little, and his desires of rebuilding the block of nations formerly comprising the Soviet Union will be one more state firmly in his grasp completely due to American weakness and/or largess towards Russia.

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  23. I agree with this article 100 percent. But Ted Belman forgot to mention other innocent victims of the perfidy of Obama et alia: Syria. The Kurds. IRAN — those poor Iranians suffering under the most despicable brutal regime – why do they deserve any less of our compassion than the Ukranians?.
    But then, the betrayal of innocents has a long history in the west. The betrayal of Hungary in 1955. The betrayal of Czechoslovakia in 1968. The cheering on of Stalin (and the hiding of his atrocities) by western “elites” and The New York Times. Oh! And never forget the betrayal of the Jews in the WWII. So yes, Putin is by FAR not the only bad guy. And certainly not the worst.

  24. @Raphael Putin has said more than one time the greatest crime of the 20th century was the breakup of the Soviet Union. He has stated more than once it his goal to bring it back. That he feels a threat from NATO maybe due to his paranoia. All dictators are paranoid. Just because they are paranoid does not provide them the right to destroy a sovereign country and rewrite history to justify his desire of a greater Russia the size and scope of the old Soviet Union.

    Ukraine voted in 1991 to become independent and Russia by treaty agreed to this. Putin has not been attacked by NATO which is a defensive organization.

    Putin is a thug and hopefully he will be deposed for causing needless misery to the Ukraine and needless deaths to Russian soldiers in a war of choice and not defense.

  25. @Bear Klein
    I don’t think Putin is going after Ukraine just to reinstate the old Soviet Union. That’s probably low on his list of reasons. Yes, Ukraine may have desirable natural resources. That IS a bonus. The major reason for Putin’s invasion has got to be preventing Ukraine from joining NATO, and becoming a part of the European sphere of influence, not Russia’s. Add to that the unfortunate conflict in the Donbass, for which Ukraine bears a sizeable share of the responsibility, and for just being a general pain in the ass to Russia, by not having a cooperative leader running the country. You might also take a look at the Global Research article on Ukrainian Nazism referenced by @Reader, below. That was quite an eye-opener. Yes, from our point of view, Putin’s invasion seems impulsive and unnecessary, but given all of the factors that I have mentioned, (and others), Putin’s move are understandable, if not predictable.

  26. @Reader

    How true, and how well documented, is the Global Research article you referenced on “Understanding Ukrainian Nazism”? If true, it adds a lot of context for Putin’s invasion.

  27. In 1994 Ukraine gave up to 2000 Nukes to the Russians and other weapons in exchange for a treaty that guaranteed their independence signed by Russia. The USA had told Ukraine that it would guarantee it’s security, in the event the Russians reneged on this treaty!

    Both the Russians and Americans lied. Ukraine is being over run by Russian Troops because Putin wants it to restore a virtual Soviet Union. He is doing this country by country. Ukraine gives it vast grain fields (some of the biggest in the world). A Special gas that is used in 90% of the semi-conductor manufacturer in the world.

    Putin by military raw and ruthless power is in the process of wrongly and with pure evil killing another people plus taking over an other country. Yes he is the not the only dictator ever to do this! That does not make correct, smart nor justify it in the least. Siding with Putin on his power play is wrong!! Conflating what the leftists have done wrong in the USA or elsewhere simply is an error.

  28. Ted Belman hits the nail squarely on the head. It’s amazing how many of the Left’s sins he was able to mention in just a few paragraphs. One thing I would add to the list is the Jan 6th “insurrection”. It was a Democratic put-up job, to further punish Trump and to justify expansion of the police-state. Those few patriots who got caught up in it, and were arrested, have received no due process, but have received 3rd world treatment while imprisoned. In a “civilized” country, this should not be. The Left’s list of corruption and dirty tricks goes on and on. Others can add to it, I’m sure. Would anyone care to comment on the 100+ suspicious deaths associated with the Clintons? Assassination is alive and well in the USA.

  29. Goering, I think, had a close relative who was Jewish, should he have gotten extra points for it at Nuremberg?

    Read my post Understanding Ukrainian Nazism.

    If they didn’t want Russia to attack Ukraine, they shouldn’t have threatened it with nukes and they shouldn’t have refused to negotiate with the self-proclaimed republics.

  30. Putin wants to conquer Ukraine, ( A country Russia by treaty agreed to leave in peace).

    But to what larger purpose? The extreme and even bizarre terms used by the Russian president – ‘demilitarization’ and ‘denazification’, no less, of a country with a Jewish president many of whose family members perished in the Holocaust – confirm the far reaching dimensions and objectives of what is taking place.

    ‘They want to destroy the state of Ukraine. Putin wants to crush it, so that it no longer exists,’ is the unambiguous verdict of Mykola, a 35 year old Kiev based journalist, regarding Moscow’s goals. Mykola is an old friend and colleague of mine from the days when we covered the protests at the Maidan Nezalezhnosti together, in 2014. He spoke to me this morning from his apartmentv n the city.

    https://jonathanspyer.com/2022/02/25/ukraine-invasion-opens-a-new-era/?fbclid=IwAR2E8yXkhMyppSly7MI1mknjcLzl2Fz5ueyeEqofWzhe_KgBCDTqxn4WDuY

  31. It (this cycle) all started nearly 30 years ago after the Clintons got to Arkansas and from there to the WH.
    Bho took advantage of what Hillary had “created in W DC” in the hope of becoming the first woman president.

  32. It is extremely advantageous to the West that Russia started a military campaign in Ukraine in which it was given no choice, especially after Zelensky threatened to make Ukraine a nuclear state.

    It will be even better for the West if Russia gets bogged down in this conflict.

    And Russia WILL get bogged down in it unless it gets rid of the Western Ukraine with its “capital” in Lviv because the culture there is vastly different and has always supported Ukrainian nationalism and German Nazism.

    If it were up to me, I would hand the Western Ukraine over in pieces to those countries who those pieces used to belong to: Hungary, Romania, Poland, and Austria.

    Let’s see them do a Maidan in the center of Vienna.

  33. Excellent article, Ted. Yet the msm in the UK and Europe, as well as in the USA, insist on blaming Putin for everything. This concentration on CRT, Antifa, BLM and so on, has made the West very weak, and Putin knows this. I shall just keep praying neither side launches World War 3.

  34. Very. Well. Described.

    Is it not ironic that a regime, having installed itself over the World’s greatest Superpower, sits back and objects to Russia solidifying its control over Ukraine, a nation that has been a part of the Russian sphere of influence til just a short time ago when the US imposed a regime change only to displace Russia’s influence. The Western Democracies have lost all right of moral indignation to object to Putin’s actions as they broke their moral compass when they not only accepted the self-installation of the American puppet govt, but instead celebrated it as a return to “normal” even as it has moved daily to install a state of siege upon the liberties of the American people, themselves.

    Regarding the situation in Ukraine, he reality remains today as it did after the Orange Revolution took place, that Russia did not accept the US actions to displace a pro-Russian govt with a pro-US govt. The Russians waited until they felt confident in acting to correct this imbalance of history, and yet their confidence was not some wager of consequences. They were given a clear statement of US resolve to not act militarily should they pursue their objectives in Ukraine, and so they acted to solidify their strategic position without any clear opposition to do so.