"Fuck the EU."

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So, Nuland, the assistant secretary of state of the USA, has made a bit of a blunder when it came to the Ukraine-crisis. In a phone call to the ambassador Pyatt, she said "Fuck the EU." in response to UN- versus EU-efforts of solving the crisis. It seems they are banking more on the UN to resolve this, which is fine in itself, but no excuse.
It's currently unclear who tapped the phone and made all this public, although some are suspecting the Russian government because of the way it was published and translated and of course because of Russia's interest in the matter (i. e. which way will the Ukraine be moving, closer to the EU or to Russia).
Reactions have obviously not been fond of her or the impression this gives of the EU-USA relationship, not least of which in the light of the NSA spying affairs against allied countries, their politicians, corporations and citizens, further harming diplomatic connections.
What say you? Just a gaffe? A serious issue? Perhaps even indicative of something bigger?

And a few sources for good measure, including the entire transcript of the phone call and an article on Merkel's reaction.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26079957
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/07/angela-merkel-victoria-nuland-eu-unacceptable

Skeleon:
What say you? Just a gaffe? A serious issue? Perhaps even indicative of something bigger?

TBH, I doubt that this is going to significantly add to the revelations that the US has extensively bugged various European allies and heads of state, not to mention the scope of surveillance programs. A single dismissive phrase is rather insignificant when compared to the sheer scope of other contentious issues. It shows some contempt, but then we've known that the US govt is contemptuous of Europe for years if not decades.

It does seem plausible that the Russians were the ones who leaked it, which will probably detract from the level of outrage that can be brought to bear on the US. The EU going for a full-blown diplomatic meltdown would be transparently playing into the Kremlin's hands with regard to Ukraine - something that neither the EU or the US wants.

This'll probably cause a bit of ill-will and a few people will criticise it, there will be some embarrassment, Nuland might end up resigning or making some heartfelt apology or concessionary gesture or something - [edit: - if deemed necessary]. But I'll be surprised if it causes anything major.

I thought that what she said pretty much illustrates the US govt's FA. But maybe i'm being too harsh?

Skeleon:
It seems they are banking more on the UN to resolve this, which is fine in itself, but no excuse.

Which is funny, considering the usual US disposition towards the UN...

What say you? Just a gaffe? A serious issue? Perhaps even indicative of something bigger?

I say, this is going to be a long game of political chess. USA might have just left a pawn hanging, but no need to bring the rooks out for it before you have the position to utilize them. I doubt the EU members are going to recall their ambassadors and declare the US ambassadors over here persona non grata, but there will be diplomatic consequences in some way, sometime.

Skeleon:
So, Nuland, the assistant secretary of state of the USA, has made a bit of a blunder when it came to the Ukraine-crisis. In a phone call to the ambassador Pyatt, she said "Fuck the EU." in response to UN- versus EU-efforts of solving the crisis. It seems they are banking more on the UN to resolve this, which is fine in itself, but no excuse.

Given how effective the EU normally seems to be on foreign affairs, Nuland stated a sentiment I find hard to disagree with in many ways.

This of course is not surprising: the EU may function as a whole when negotiating trade deals with the rest of the world, but otherwise it's as cohesive as a herd of cats, and a lot less dynamic.

Vegosiux:

Skeleon:
It seems they are banking more on the UN to resolve this, which is fine in itself, but no excuse.

Which is funny, considering the usual US disposition towards the UN...

What say you? Just a gaffe? A serious issue? Perhaps even indicative of something bigger?

I say, this is going to be a long game of political chess. USA might have just left a pawn hanging, but no need to bring the rooks out for it before you have the position to utilize them. I doubt the EU members are going to recall their ambassadors and declare the US ambassadors over here persona non grata, but there will be diplomatic consequences in some way, sometime.

The Obama Administration loves the UN. It's conservatives that hate the UN (for good reason...)

im struggling understanding why the US in involving itself in Ukraine at all. It doesn't benefit us in any way. Hell, it makes more sense to secretly support Russia as this would help Russia become a powerful check to the EU which we can exploit (if we were to go full Machiavelli).

The only reason to back EU's play that I can see is either because UK/France put us up to it or we are trying to gain some goodwill with the EU. I mean, going on air and supporting the supporters would be one thing, going all cloak and dagger to help them in another.

Skeleon:
So, Nuland, the assistant secretary of state of the USA, has made a bit of a blunder when it came to the Ukraine-crisis. In a phone call to the ambassador Pyatt, she said "Fuck the EU." in response to UN- versus EU-efforts of solving the crisis. It seems they are banking more on the UN to resolve this, which is fine in itself, but no excuse.
It's currently unclear who tapped the phone and made all this public, although some are suspecting the Russian government because of the way it was published and translated and of course because of Russia's interest in the matter (i. e. which way will the Ukraine be moving, closer to the EU or to Russia).
Reactions have obviously not been fond of her or the impression this gives of the EU-USA relationship, not least of which in the light of the NSA spying affairs against allied countries, their politicians, corporations and citizens, further harming diplomatic connections.
What say you? Just a gaffe? A serious issue? Perhaps even indicative of something bigger?

While I might phrase it differently, I don't think she is completely wrong. Despite how the EU might like to think of itself, they are as human as anybody else. As such, they-like other organizations- are susceptible to having a bias, and I think the Ukraine situation is something that is best left to the UN because they are more likely to be fair and unbiased. Both Russia and the EU have something to gain from the decision that Ukraine makes, and as such, they both should refrain from interfering.

TL:DR Having the EU "manage" the Ukraine crisis is like having the fox watch the chicken coop. The same goes for Russia, they should also refrain from "managing" the Ukraine crisis.

Helmholtz Watson:
TL:DR Having the EU "manage" the Ukraine crisis is like having the fox watch the chicken coop. The same goes for Russia, they should also refrain from "managing" the Ukraine crisis.

Only problem with that logic is that the same problems pop up in the UN; Russia holds sway over some nations and the EU through the UK and France hold sway over other nations. All three also sit on the UN Security Council and have the almighty veto power, and are effectively able to screw up the other's motions.

Well, while obviously a phrasing unworthy of a diplomat, the sentiment itself is rather understandable.

While a significantly more powerful actor (in economic and military terms) on the global stage than the UN, it's no less marred by slow decision making and internal conflict. And considerably more vested in one particular regional interest, namely that of... the EU.

It's a bunch of markedly culturally and economically different first and second world countries, having to first balance their own internal interest against each other, then fight for their common interest against the rest of the world.

It seldom seem to be able to make it past step one when it comes to common foreign policy, making it about as vague and vapid as what the UN comes up with. If overall slightly less offensive to liberal western values.

***

There's nothing particularly unusual or damning in diplomats stating their honest opinion in internal conversation. The most embarrassing thing is that the US is unable to keep such a conversation between some of its most senior diplomats off YouTube.

So, are we at the point where we are assuming people are robotic professionals 100% of the time? Or are we going to admit that they're humans and emotions get expressed in supposedly private conversations that aren't couth for public expression? If she had used flowery language to express the same thing in a private communication and no one would have blinked an eye, then this means absolutely nothing. It's just another part of the empty political game and no one playing actually cares beyond scoring points with the pearl clutchers in the public.

Ryotknife:
im struggling understanding why the US in involving itself in Ukraine at all. It doesn't benefit us in any way. Hell, it makes more sense to secretly support Russia as this would help Russia become a powerful check to the EU which we can exploit (if we were to go full Machiavelli).

The only reason to back EU's play that I can see is either because UK/France put us up to it or we are trying to gain some goodwill with the EU. I mean, going on air and supporting the supporters would be one thing, going all cloak and dagger to help them in another.

I think you have the sides wrong, here the big conflict is "East Vs. West" basically our major concern is Russia and China who have some fairly friendly relations and both have been gaining power and making moves on Western interests for a while. Russia in particular loves to leverage Europe's fuel dependency on it. Every ally we have, and deny the Russians is in our favor and provides us with more options when the inevitable hostilities break out (I say when, not
if for a reason).

For the most part the USA's greatest allies are in the EU, The UK, Poland, etc.. are all nations that have generally had our back and we've been able to count on in a pinch despite our differences. Of course at the same time the EU as a whole has a lot of fair weather friends and countries I do not trust at all. For the most part however when it comes to this kind of thing Ukraine moving towards the EU benefits the US, we in no way gain from a stronger Russia, and really the odds of us ever working with Russia against the EU seem minimal under the circumstances.

As far as the sentiments "Fuck the EU" goes, I can pretty much agree with that, as a group the EU is pretty bloody stupid. Outside of anything but trade (where they are willing to screw us) it's difficult to get the EU to do anything or act cohesively. Back during the entire incident with Georgia we literally had Russia moving armies as close to the borders as hey could, looking like they might come across the black sea I believe, they cut off the fuel pipelines into the EU, and were threatening to attack Poland for hosting US missile interception bases that were keeping them penned in (making it difficult for Russia to threaten to fire missiles into the EU or across European territory). Something you don't hear much about, because it's not usually diplomatic, but the point was that the EU was totally indecisive, and pretty much quaking in it's boots. The powerful nations didn't stand up to Russia and demand they turn the gas back on, nobody started moving troops around on "training exercises" to potentially come to Poland's aid, pretty much everyone decided "well gee, we'll worry after they've already invaded, until then us powerful countries can ignore eastern Europe because after all, if worse comes to worse it will be a long time before they could ever get here...". The point of this reminder is not to upset people (or argue this, which I won't do since it would go well off topic) but to point out that as a group the EU has not shown itself as being able or willing to stand up to Russia. The EU for example would likely never decide to send troops into Ukraine to help push Russians out or defend it, even if they talked about it or implied it. The UN, which is also extremely ineffective, can at least slow things down with bureaucracy and try and make sure everything is handled within the rules. In theory if Russia does something while it's watching the UN could intervene, or more directly the US military could come in waving a UN flag to counter them and deal with the fallout later, especially seeing as the EU members on the UN would at least wind up backing it politically since it would wind up benefitting them without them actually having to do anything. The UN basically being a better tool for the job ironically, because when it comes to this kind of thing it sucks less than the EU does. The UN has stood up to Russia many times (with the US military behind it), the EU and it's militaries generally tend to talk smack until threatened and then nobody wants to actually do anything on behalf of the EU itself, only when each individual nation is directly threatened making the EU a complete joke of an alliance for anything other than trade.... I supposed I'll get some flak from this even if I won't argue it, but it's pretty close to what several other people have already said.

When it comes to the US spying on Europe, I have mixed opinions on the subject. For starters I very much doubt European nations don't spy on us. The big difference is that the US had a high profile traitor, combined with a president lacking the guts to silence him, so a bunch of intelligence stuff got leaked. It's really not surprising garbage like this is happening because the US is actually "new" to the intelligence game again, having had to pretty much re-build our intelligence agencies post 9/11 (which was a big deal for a while as people feared too much power being in one man's hands if we had a single agency, creating a "Spy Czar" of sorts). Pretty much every country fears something like this happening, and anyone who thinks that if a similar traitor leaked their nation's dirty laundry it wouldn't stink as bad to their allies is kidding themselves. For the most part as allies we all ignore each other's antics while we're on the same side and it maintains the peace. A degree of outrage has to be expressed to make the show, but at the end of the day I doubt many people really care, if anything people are laughing at how incompetent US intelligence has become that someone like Snowden got this information, released it, and is still breathing oxygen. What's more with manufacturing spread out so much the American and European military industrial complexes are so incestuous anyway that I'm not entirely sure what anyone expects to be spied on in this particular area anyway. When it comes to diplomatic traffic, crap happens. Wikileaks demonstrated the US has people spying on it as well. You look back at France's role in the whole "Oil For Food" scandal and how it influenced the early days of the "War On Terror" and you sort of understand why he US doesn't want to be blindsided again. Sure, we suck, we got outed. Big deal, it will be your turn next decade. This might seem kind of dismissive, but the thing is that I don't think anyone was na´ve enough to think that there aren't spies from every country in every other country nowadays. The simple existence of such shouldn't be inherently shocking. Sort of like my attitude on NSA suerveillence of civilian traffic, everyone else does it, it's not exactly highly secure, the NSA doing it shouldn't be a surprise, and really getting uptight about it just means your saying the NSA shouldn't be able to use the same information the bad guys are going to steal anyway when they need it in order to stop them.

Ahh well, that's rambletastic, but at the end of the day this is interesting stuff to talk about, but not very noteworthy overall, and not just because it's the USA that got burned. I'm sure plenty of world leaders are just as... colorful... when it comes to the US. If anything the part people should be laughing about is incompetent US security and intelligence, Snowden, Wikileaks, and these phones being tapped... in 2001 when we diplomatically dismantled our intelligence services down to the bare bones there was sort of an excuse, but it's been 13 bloody years, and not only can we not secure a phone properly, we actively fight over the NSA's right to do as much information gathering as a teenage hacker. Soon I imagine the US will probably pass a law that the NSA and CIA can't use information that hasn't already been publically divulged to the global community via CNN, and all government communication must take place via a 1960s style party line with full national access created just for the purpose. :)

I avoided the thread for a while and everything is much more pleasant that way, but I would like to say that alot of the comments here are becoming rather authoritarian/pragmatic/apathetic/whatever. If there isn't a double standard at work, since I thought I heard of a similar incident a while ago, but in the end it doesn't matter.

The statement from the diplomat is indicative of a souring of diplomatic relations between the US and European countries, but it's not something which will have a major impact. Or at least, it doesn't create rancor that wasn't already there.

OneCatch :
A single dismissive phrase is rather insignificant when compared to the sheer scope of other contentious issues. It shows some contempt, but then we've known that the US govt is contemptuous of Europe for years if not decades.

True, nothing big will come of it, I'd agree. It's kind of expected (and I'd not be surprised if a number of European politicians were similarly negative about the USA, for that matter), although she is a particularly high ranking and supposedly diplomatically excellent actor in this, which makes it worse that it came out, I suppose.

Vegosiux:
I doubt the EU members are going to recall their ambassadors and declare the US ambassadors over here persona non grata, but there will be diplomatic consequences in some way, sometime.

Do you have any ideas what that might look like?

Agema:
Given how effective the EU normally seems to be on foreign affairs, Nuland stated a sentiment I find hard to disagree with in many ways.

This of course is not surprising: the EU may function as a whole when negotiating trade deals with the rest of the world, but otherwise it's as cohesive as a herd of cats, and a lot less dynamic.

I guess it's more about the contemptuous phrasing and it happening right on the heels of other significant strains on the international relations - very bad timing - than it is about the sentiment behind it.

Helmholtz Watson:
TL:DR Having the EU "manage" the Ukraine crisis is like having the fox watch the chicken coop. The same goes for Russia, they should also refrain from "managing" the Ukraine crisis.

That's probably a fair point to make. Both parties have significant interests in the Ukraine-crisis. On the other hand, considering how the UN works and the role Russia plays in it, I wonder how fair that can possibly go, too. EDIT: Heck, Shaoken mentioned the other countries' veto power before me as well. I'm not sure what solution can come from that, either.

Shaoken:

Helmholtz Watson:
TL:DR Having the EU "manage" the Ukraine crisis is like having the fox watch the chicken coop. The same goes for Russia, they should also refrain from "managing" the Ukraine crisis.

Only problem with that logic is that the same problems pop up in the UN; Russia holds sway over some nations and the EU through the UK and France hold sway over other nations. All three also sit on the UN Security Council and have the almighty veto power, and are effectively able to screw up the other's motions.

Skeleon:

Helmholtz Watson:
TL:DR Having the EU "manage" the Ukraine crisis is like having the fox watch the chicken coop. The same goes for Russia, they should also refrain from "managing" the Ukraine crisis.

That's probably a fair point to make. Both parties have significant interests in the Ukraine-crisis. On the other hand, considering how the UN works and the role Russia plays in it, I wonder how fair that can possibly go, too. EDIT: Heck, Shaoken mentioned the other countries' veto power before me as well. I'm not sure what solution can come from that, either.

...damn, I completely forgot about that. Hmm...maybe this is a wake-up call to how unbalanced the UN security council is, and perhaps in need of reform so as to be more evenly balance. Personally I don't know why both France and England need a permanent seat.

Helmholtz Watson:

Shaoken:

Helmholtz Watson:
TL:DR Having the EU "manage" the Ukraine crisis is like having the fox watch the chicken coop. The same goes for Russia, they should also refrain from "managing" the Ukraine crisis.

Only problem with that logic is that the same problems pop up in the UN; Russia holds sway over some nations and the EU through the UK and France hold sway over other nations. All three also sit on the UN Security Council and have the almighty veto power, and are effectively able to screw up the other's motions.

Skeleon:

Helmholtz Watson:
TL:DR Having the EU "manage" the Ukraine crisis is like having the fox watch the chicken coop. The same goes for Russia, they should also refrain from "managing" the Ukraine crisis.

That's probably a fair point to make. Both parties have significant interests in the Ukraine-crisis. On the other hand, considering how the UN works and the role Russia plays in it, I wonder how fair that can possibly go, too. EDIT: Heck, Shaoken mentioned the other countries' veto power before me as well. I'm not sure what solution can come from that, either.

...damn, I completely forgot about that. Hmm...maybe this is a wake-up call to how unbalanced the UN security council is, and perhaps in need of reform so as to be more evenly balance. Personally I don't know why both France and England need a permanent seat.

Because at the end of World War II they were the strongest world leaders around and got to make the rules? And because all parties involved will do everything in their power to keep the status quo? And because if one of them loses their spot they will simply do what China is already doing and bribe another country that takes the role into always remembering what's best for them?

It's far from an ideal situation, but the UN is limited by the fact that the most powerful nations on earth want it limited and benefit from it.

Unprofessional, but not very surprising. Politicians are only human and are prone to expressing their frustrations like ordinary people. The amount of profanities that come out by politicians about other politicians and political organisations behind closed doors probably means that once in a while the public will get wind of this language.

I don't particularly disagree with his sentiments. The EU can be slow and indecisive on matters of foreign policy when it is controversial and indeed the UN is probably a better external organisation to intervene in Ukraine because it is a "neutral" party whilst the EU of course has a vested interest in the outcome of the crisis. That said, I don't particularly think the UN is any more effective on foreign policy than the EU is.

A word though on the EU's weaknesses on foreign policy. The EU is a club of 28 sovereign nations, each with their own opinions and attitude towards foreign policy- just compare France and Germany. Quite naturally, getting any sort of agreement on a foreign policy decision that is controversial is very difficult. Furthermore, the EU has only attempted any integration in the field of foreign policy following the break up of Yugoslavia, and only created the institutional capacity to behave as a cohesive foreign policy actor in 2009 after the Lisbon Treaty. The EU's arguably only been a functional foreign policy actor for around 5 years.

No one should expect the EU to act with the sort of assertiveness of a single nation state like the USA or Russia when the EU's attempts at foreign policy integration have only been so recent. It will take decades for EU nations to develop a general consensus about how to conduct foreign policy and military matters.

Big_Willie_Styles:

Vegosiux:

Skeleon:
It seems they are banking more on the UN to resolve this, which is fine in itself, but no excuse.

Which is funny, considering the usual US disposition towards the UN...

What say you? Just a gaffe? A serious issue? Perhaps even indicative of something bigger?

I say, this is going to be a long game of political chess. USA might have just left a pawn hanging, but no need to bring the rooks out for it before you have the position to utilize them. I doubt the EU members are going to recall their ambassadors and declare the US ambassadors over here persona non grata, but there will be diplomatic consequences in some way, sometime.

The Obama Administration loves the UN. It's conservatives that hate the UN (for good reason...)

And a concern I have: why the UN over the EU? Because, the USA is part of the UN. Does someone want to drag the USA into a foreign adventure?

One good thing about the promise of the EU is that maybe they can help the USA extract themselves from entanglements at least in Europe.

Skeleon:

Do you have any ideas what that might look like?

Not really, but I imagine something like less favorable conditions in a trade treaty here or there, or refusal to dedicate a lot of military effort to the next US escapade.

BREAKING NEWS: exasperated US official insults european union in private conversation

will the fallout of this incident destroy the seventy-year economic and military cooperation between the united states and europe, who continue to have overwhelmingly similar interests???

ONLY TIME WILL TELL

No but seriously the only actual fallout of this is that the CIA is gonna go disconnect some KGB FSB wiretaps.

Not a big surprise, I think the US is probably worried about the economic power the EU would wield if it stays together, the Euro with some stability would be a default currency for a lot of trade agreements, and being the default for trade agreements is part of what keeps the USD afloat.

Damn it. I might as well put this as a counterbalance.

Well since I've noticed that the forefront of the news is about Hollande and is partner or somesuch in the U.S news, and there isn't as much coverage in the U.S media (surprise surprise!), I'll just say why there's a problem.

The phone call that was tapped by the Russians is being used to ridicule their opposition in Ukraine as U.S puppets, and this has destabilized the situation even further.
The U.S is also practicing their brand of cold war era imperialism. The U.S should kindly get their claws off the situation, because their incompetence only made things worse.

Then there's the whole part about insulting their biggest trading partner, but that seems to be par of the course.

http://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2014/02/09/les-cinq-lecons-du-fuck-the-eu-d-une-diplomate-americaine_4363017_3214.html

Translation:
Five Lessons from the "Fuck the E.U" episode.
-Moscow used their old KGB tricks.
-There is no diplomatic secrets. There's a mention of the NSA episode and that Washington hasn't equipped their officials with encrypted cellphones.
- These words are a sign of a divergence in policy between the EU and the U.S on Ukraine.
- The incompetence and arrogance of Americans. Especially due to the familiarity the vice secretary spoke of the Ukrainian opposition and they way they made the situation sound like it would be entirely dependent on them.
- The German chancellor is becoming increasingly exasperated by the U.S. The other leaders so far are taking this with slightly more humor and are playing it off as a joke, or at least are not showing their anger.

Helmholtz Watson:

...damn, I completely forgot about that. Hmm...maybe this is a wake-up call to how unbalanced the UN security council is, and perhaps in need of reform so as to be more evenly balance. Personally I don't know why both France and England need a permanent seat.

They combine being amongst the top 7 world economies, top 5 militaries (depending on how you calculate it), and have nuclear weapons. They can credibly place above the most likely other options (probably Germany, Japan, and India).

It would certainly be reasonable to see them lose their seats as they become progressively less important. For them to use a merged seat (although that could be extremely tricky) or be replaced by the EU would be reasonable.

Agema:

It would certainly be reasonable to see them lose their seats as they become progressively less important. For them to use a merged seat (although that could be extremely tricky) or be replaced by the EU would be reasonable.

The EU? The same group that has people like herman van rompuy, Catherine Ashton, Martin Schulz, and JosÚ Manuel Barroso? No thanks, just save everybody some time and put Germany in the seat.

I only find it problematic that the phone was tapped. From what I gathered it was obviously just a simple term. Basically saying that the UN should fix this, regardless of what the EU does. I do not agree with this sentiment, but I do not find it problematic, and whatever langauge was used with a coleague discussing the issue is irrelevant.

Agema:

Skeleon:
So, Nuland, the assistant secretary of state of the USA, has made a bit of a blunder when it came to the Ukraine-crisis. In a phone call to the ambassador Pyatt, she said "Fuck the EU." in response to UN- versus EU-efforts of solving the crisis. It seems they are banking more on the UN to resolve this, which is fine in itself, but no excuse.

Given how effective the EU normally seems to be on foreign affairs, Nuland stated a sentiment I find hard to disagree with in many ways.

This of course is not surprising: the EU may function as a whole when negotiating trade deals with the rest of the world, but otherwise it's as cohesive as a herd of cats, and a lot less dynamic.

Compared to the glorious history of the US in foreign affairs, I think we're doing quite alright to be fair. At least most new member states have been met with a flourishing economy and new democratic perspectives.

Sure, foreign politics by the EU have been recognizable by a complete lack of backbone and a common voice. But playing the big powergame hasn't exactly worked in favour of the common man either hmm.

About the "Fuck the EU" statement. Well, it's not really diplomatic is it? But ah well, I doubt it will cause more than a few red cheeks here and there. I think everyone can agree with Putin here when he says that too many negotiating parties only work to make the process harder though. So, perhaps Ms. Nuland can... I dunno... Fuck off?

I think, considering the conversation, there's two ways to read the 'fuck the EU' statement'.

The first is 'Fuck them, they don't matter'. In this version she's saying 'Screw the EU, we don't need/want them involved'.

The second is "This will fuck the EU". As in by doing this, they are actively doing something that counteracts the EU's own machinations.

Could be a mix a both as well.

Also, does anyone truly think that this isn't happening all over the world all the time in private conversations between diplomatic workers, no matter their country of origin? Do you really think it's just the U.S. who speaks and acts like this?

And people say 'the U.S. should get their claws out of eastern Europe', but, here's the problem with that.

The Russians have no compunction about sinking their own claws in deep, for Russian interest. Not Ukraine interest, not Moldova or Belarus interest, Russian interest.

It's winter time. The Russian state is at the height of its power in the winter. The EU cannot stop or counter Russian interference in the former soviet block.

I think it sucks. People should be allowed to choose their own way of life. But in reality the U.S. 'backing out' would just mean the Russians would be free to do as they would, which also robs these people of their own free choice.

Fdzzaigl:

Compared to the glorious history of the US in foreign affairs, I think we're doing quite alright to be fair. At least most new member states have been met with a flourishing economy and new democratic perspectives.

Really? You really think (Western)Europe is in any position to claim their history of foreign affairs is better than the US? I'll grant you that we aren't perfect, but when it comes to history (Western)Europe is in a league of its own when you see how they have effected the Americas, Africa, and Asia.

Bentusi16:

I think it sucks. People should be allowed to choose their own way of life. But in reality the U.S. 'backing out' would just mean the Russians would be free to do as they would, which also robs these people of their own free choice.

Well one main criticism that the E.U newspapers have about this is that the U.S has made a delicate situation worse with their blunder, which leaves another assumption. Why is there an inherent assumption that the U.S has to be in charge of everything or that the world revolves around them? Another infuriating aspect of the phone call after all was that the vice secretary spoke of the situation as entirely dependent on them.

If blunders like this increase and the difference in policy is too great the U.S should withdraw, because their clumsiness and the infighting they cause would only be detrimental.

Helmholtz Watson:

Fdzzaigl:

Compared to the glorious history of the US in foreign affairs, I think we're doing quite alright to be fair. At least most new member states have been met with a flourishing economy and new democratic perspectives.

Really? You really think (Western)Europe is in any position to claim their history of foreign affairs is better than the US? I'll grant you that we aren't perfect, but when it comes to history (Western)Europe is in a league of its own when you see how they have effected the Americas, Africa, and Asia.

Blah blah blah, colonialism was horrible but the cold war is far closer to the present, blah blah blah, but that's doesn't change the magnitude of the events, because colonialism lasted longer and had bigger repercussions blah blah blah the U.S has set up enough dictators that the effects of their actions is better felt today and so on and so forth.

It's a road that has been tread several times. Arguing which country has a worse past in this case is a zero sum game. It's the pot calling the kettle black.

Frankly I understand Fdzz better because I did want to call out some of the perceived hypocrisy I saw in the thread, since this event is after all an example of american clumsiness and the fact that it somehow turned into something that bashed the E.U is annoying, but I used American Imperialism so it's not like I'm not biased.

Frankly in this case it's the Russians who come out looking like masters of diplomacy.

Frission:

Blah blah blah, colonialism was horrible but the cold war is far closer to the present, blah blah blah, but that's doesn't change the magnitude of the events, because colonialism lasted longer and had bigger repercussions blah blah blah the U.S has set up enough dictators that the effects of their actions is better felt today and so on and so forth.

It's a road that has been tread several times. Arguing which country has a worse past in this case is a zero sum game. It's the pot calling the kettle black.

You seem to be under some impression that I disagree with the criticisms of the US that you mentioned, which is hardly the case. Go back and look at the person I quoted, they were the one who brought up the history of the US and Europe and how the US was worse, not me.
As I said before, the US is far from perfect, but (Western) Europe claiming moral high ground is laughable considering how much of their history which other places in the world is composed of genocide, slavery, colonialism, massive rape, bigotry, war, drug abuse, violence,ect.

Frission:

Frankly I understand Fdzz better because I did want to call out some of the perceived hypocrisy I saw in the thread, since this event is after all an example of american clumsiness and the fact that it somehow turned into something that bashed the E.U is annoying, but I used American Imperialism so it's not like I'm not biased.

Right, because the criticism of the EU in this thread is completely unfounded.

Frission:

Bentusi16:

I think it sucks. People should be allowed to choose their own way of life. But in reality the U.S. 'backing out' would just mean the Russians would be free to do as they would, which also robs these people of their own free choice.

Well one main criticism that the E.U newspapers have about this is that the U.S has made a delicate situation worse with their blunder, which leaves another assumption. Why is there an inherent assumption that the U.S has to be in charge of everything or that the world revolves around them? Another infuriating aspect of the phone call after all was that the vice secretary spoke of the situation as entirely dependent on them.

If blunders like this increase and the difference in policy is too great the U.S should withdraw, because their clumsiness and the infighting they cause would only be detrimental.

Because I'm an american and I want to see american interest preserved in the world and not people who want to see my country undermined in some manner?

And, let's cut a line here. The U.S. didn't make the situation worse with their blunder. The russians made their situation better by making a blunder. Since all guesses are it was russia that leaked the phone call. The blunder on the U.S. part was not guarding their secure lines better.

Russia is not an ally of the EU, or the US. An increase in russian power is bad for both parties, from a realpolitik point of view. In a perfect (read: impossible) world, Ukraine would be handling this purely internally. A hundred and fifty years ago, they probably would have been handling this internally.

But since economics are so massively globalized now, the US is paying attention to a nation because it directly effects its bottom line, and the US and Ukraine have been fairly close economic partners since 1999 with the signing of the FSA. ( http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3211.htm ). We have a dog in this fight. So does Russia. So now, does the EU. So does the UN.

To me, we should only ask what the Ukranians want, and not influence them. If they want the US to help, they have to ask for it. If they want the Russians help, they have to ask for it. If they want the EU's help, they should ask for it. This whole thing seems to have been sparked off specifically because the leadership did something a good chunk of the people disagreed with.

Helmholtz Watson:

Frission:

Blah blah blah, colonialism was horrible but the cold war is far closer to the present, blah blah blah, but that's doesn't change the magnitude of the events, because colonialism lasted longer and had bigger repercussions blah blah blah the U.S has set up enough dictators that the effects of their actions is better felt today and so on and so forth.

It's a road that has been tread several times. Arguing which country has a worse past in this case is a zero sum game. It's the pot calling the kettle black.

You seem to be under some impression that I disagree with the criticisms of the US that you mentioned, which is hardly the case. Go back and look at the person I quoted, they were the one who brought up the history of the US and Europe and how the US was worse, not me.
As I said before, the US is far from perfect, but (Western) Europe claiming moral high ground is laughable considering how much of their history which other places in the world is composed of genocide, slavery, colonialism, massive rape, bigotry, war, drug abuse, violence,ect.

Frission:

Frankly I understand Fdzz better because I did want to call out some of the perceived hypocrisy I saw in the thread, since this event is after all an example of american clumsiness and the fact that it somehow turned into something that bashed the E.U is annoying, but I used American Imperialism so it's not like I'm not biased.

Right, because the criticism of the EU in this thread is completely unfounded.

Right because the U.S; a country which often tries to promote itself as a bastion of freedom is so much better. It wasn't about claiming moral standards, it was about the fact that the criticism sticks either way. I could make an obvious list too: genocide, slavery, neo-colonialism... oh wait.. it's the same.

In fact I read his original post and more than anything else he was replying against an allegation. You want someone who's directly being critical of the U.S quote me. His criticism about how many negotiating parties may make the situation more difficult is spot on. If anything he was popping the self righteous balloon of some people here.

No one said the critic of the EU was completely founded. It's not a win-lose I'm completely right or they're completely wrong situation. Damn it, that's the simplistic thinking that is actually criticized in "fuck the E.U".

Here's a direct comment I can say about incidents like these "Every country has dirty laundry, but don't act in a way that makes it obvious. Have some actual diplomatic skill and don't reinforce the stereotype of the gung ho American who smashes delicate situations". It's a criticism. Don't start verbally attacking other nations to hide your own blunders, because behavior like that isn't acceptable on the international stage.

Bentusi16:

Frission:

Bentusi16:

I think it sucks. People should be allowed to choose their own way of life. But in reality the U.S. 'backing out' would just mean the Russians would be free to do as they would, which also robs these people of their own free choice.

Well one main criticism that the E.U newspapers have about this is that the U.S has made a delicate situation worse with their blunder, which leaves another assumption. Why is there an inherent assumption that the U.S has to be in charge of everything or that the world revolves around them? Another infuriating aspect of the phone call after all was that the vice secretary spoke of the situation as entirely dependent on them.

If blunders like this increase and the difference in policy is too great the U.S should withdraw, because their clumsiness and the infighting they cause would only be detrimental.

Because I'm an american and I want to see american interest preserved in the world and not people who want to see my country undermined in some manner?

And, let's cut a line here. The U.S. didn't make the situation worse with their blunder. The russians made their situation better by making a blunder. Since all guesses are it was russia that leaked the phone call. The blunder on the U.S. part was not guarding their secure lines better.

Russia is not an ally of the EU, or the US. An increase in russian power is bad for both parties, from a realpolitik point of view. In a perfect (read: impossible) world, Ukraine would be handling this purely internally. A hundred and fifty years ago, they probably would have been handling this internally.

But since economics are so massively globalized now, the US is paying attention to a nation because it directly effects its bottom line, and the US and Ukraine have been fairly close economic partners since 1999 with the signing of the FSA. ( http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3211.htm ). We have a dog in this fight. So does Russia. So now, does the EU. So does the UN.

To me, we should only ask what the Ukranians want, and not influence them. If they want the US to help, they have to ask for it. If they want the Russians help, they have to ask for it. If they want the EU's help, they should ask for it. This whole thing seems to have been sparked off specifically because the leadership did something a good chunk of the people disagreed with.

I didn't say the U.S didn't have a dog in this fight. Having Russia gain power is bad for both the E.U and U.S. This is precisely why I say that if incidents like these are going to be common, then the U.S should withdraw.

The U.S is still a valuable partner in many respects, but shit like this keeps on happening and happening. Incidents like these happen in every country, but they are frighteningly common for the U.S. In a situation like this, where Russia is just biding their time, the difference in the policy between the U.S and the E.U is just making the U.S another obstacle to fight over for the E.U ( a view which is reciprocated as I can see in this thread).

In this instance that I the two powers can't work together, it should be the U.S which should mind it's business seeing the geographic difference, but that's just me.

Instead of blaming the E.U, try looking inwards first. There's a fault there that people try to automatically dismiss.

Frission:

Right because the U.S; a country which often tries to promote itself as a bastion of freedom is so much better. It wasn't about claiming moral standards, it was about the fact that the criticism sticks either way.

Hardly, they stated that the EU is somehow "better" than in the US in regards to foreign affairs, to which I rightly called bs on. If they had some other message, they didn't present it in that post.

Frission:
I could make an obvious list too: genocide, slavery, neo-colonialism... oh wait.. it's the same.

True, but nearly to the same degree as (western) Europe.

Frission:

Here's a direct comment I can say about incidents like these "Every country has dirty laundry, but don't act in a way that makes it obvious. Have some actual diplomatic skill and don't reinforce the stereotype of the gung ho American who smashes delicate situations". It's a criticism. Don't start verbally attacking other nations to hide your own blunders, because behavior like that isn't acceptable on the international stage.

Again, I don't mind criticism of the US. What I didn't care for was the assertion that somehow the US's history of foreign affairs is worse than the (western) Europe's long history of foreign affairs. Its nonsense, and inaccurate.

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