RUSH: We're gonna get to the Ukraine business, it's gonna be the focus here. That happens to be the soap opera story. Actually, it's not the soap opera story. This is Putin running rings around us. There's no question what's going on here. Vladimir Putin's reassembling the Soviet Union. And this is something -- I've got the sound bite -- I predicted this back in 2008. And all the smart money in Washington, inside the Beltway -- we've got these sound bites, too -- they're shocked that Putin is trying to reassemble the Soviet Union. They can't believe it.
Even Lurch -- this guy, John Kerry, is shocked that Putin is actually conducting a ground war. Listen to this. Grab number 17. Let's just get this out of the way 'cause I think it's hilarious and it is indicative of how just outclassed we are. We're clueless. This generation of leaders is literally clueless about our enemies. Remember something you were taught early on in this program. The purpose of any military is to kill people and break things. It's not to advance anybody's social agenda. It's not a laboratory for the left's social ideas or playgrounds. It is to kill people and break things, and the second rule is that the aggressor in any conflict sets the rules. And if they violate an existing rule book, then so be it. The aggressor sets the rules, and right now, Putin is setting the rules.
I went back and did some research. In 1979 when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, '79, '80, they did it at Christmastime, when we were all distracted. Putin goes into Ukraine, after, by the way, colonizing Georgia. They got Georgia back now. Remember Shalikashvili and South Ossetia? Well, they got Georgia back and they're marching now. And when did Putin do it? He sent the troops in during the Olympics that he hosted, that NBC televised and the world was watching. And then after that he continued this buildup last night during the Oscars. That is strategy. What it means to me is, in just that regard, if Putin actually made strategic decisions based on the American people being distracted it tells me that Putin believes that American public opinion still matters, in terms of impacting American leadership.
This is no small thing, folks. Now, Putin could be very wrong about the degree to which the American public impacts the Regime, for example, in its own strategy, but he nevertheless is cognizant of it, just like any politician would be. In fact, Putin -- ready for this? -- postponed the Oscar telecast last night.
He didn't want his own population distracted. He wanted his own population knowing full well what he was doing, and he wanted them celebrating him. They weren't distracted. We were. And so now there's breaking news today: "Russia Has Reportedly Set a Surrender Deadline for Ukrainian Forces." If they don't get out of the Crimea by tomorrow, Russia is gonna run in there and take it and kick their butts.
Now, interestingly, do you remember -- and I'm sorry to be all over the ballpark here, but this a stream of consciousness thing, folks. Do you remember in one of our early skirmishes with Saddam Hussein -- and, by the way, another little sidebar, George H. W. Bush always pronounced it "Saddam" because in that language "Saddam" means dirty shoe shiner. You know, those people have a thing about shoes. You throw shoes at somebody, it's a profound insult. It's actually pronounced "Saddam Hussein," but he pronounced it "Saddam" because that means dirty, irrelevant, low, slime ball shoe shiner over there. Just a little sidebar. But remember, in one of our earliest skirmishes with Saddam, remember what governor Mario Cuomo suggested?
Come on, Snerdley. You remember this. Cuomo said (paraphrasing), "Come on, let's just give him a few islands. Just give him a few islands, let him have what he wants, and we can avoid war." Well, I have it right here in The Politico, ladies and gentlemen, the same thing. The Politico story is suggesting let Putin have Crimea. Well, yeah, among other things, but just let him have Crimea. Let him have it. Don't oppose him. Don't send Kerry over there.
It doesn't matter. Putin's gonna go in by tomorrow and take Crimea anyway. He needs a warm water port, but more importantly there's another aspect to this that I don't know that you may have considered, and that is with the uptick in fracking taking place in America, that means that there is vast new production of oil, oil and oil wells and fossil fuels. Now, what does that mean to Putin? Well, that's competition. Putin needs Ukraine because there's something like seven or eight Russian natural gas pipelines go through there on the way to selling the stuff to Western Europe. So in all of this there's so many elements here. There's economics, there's money, and there is always that. And then there is the KGB, which never went away, and it's now coming back to life in a reassembling of the Soviet Union.
We also have the ChiComs and the Japanese on the verge of a massive military conflict as well. I mean, folks, things are blowing up like nutcases over there, and we just do not have the personnel in the State Department or at the Department of Defense or in the White House to adequately deal with this, because we don't have people that really think any of this matters. All that matters to people like Obama is fixing what he thinks is wrong with this country when it comes to social justice and racial discrimination and illegal immigration and amnesty and health care and all that, that's all that matters is fixing what's wrong with this country.
Now, grab sound bite number seven. This is Lurch. He was on with Stephanopoulos yesterday. Stephanopoulos said to Senator Kerry -- well, secretary of state. It's a laugher. Stephanopoulos said, "Look, we got these reports now, Russian forces surrounding Ukrainian military basis in the Crimea. Ukraine's prime minister says we're on the brink of a disaster. Is he right?"
KERRY: What has already happened is a brazen act of aggression in violation of international law, in violation of the UN charter, in violation of the Helsinki Final Act, in violation of 1997 Ukraine-Russia basing agreement. Russia has engaged in a military act of aggression against another country, and it has huge risks, George. It's a Nineteenth Century act in the Twenty-First Century.
RUSH: Yeah. And then when he went over to Face the Nation. (interruption) Which one did you watch, face the Nation or...? (interruption) Oh. Was he on there, too? (interruption) Well, when he went over to Face the Nation, he said, "You just don't, in the Twenty-First Century, behave in Nineteenth Century fashion by invading another country on a completely trumped-up pretext."
Hey, Lurch? Putin just did. He's there! So while Putin is invading, using Nineteenth Century tactics, John Kerry is on American television saying, "You don't do that," and he's citing all of these agreements: The UN Charter, international law, the Helsinki Final Act. You know what all that stuff is worth to those people? You know what Putin thinks of that stuff? (tearing paper) He doesn't care. These are old Soviet communists.
Putin has been salivating over reassembling the Soviet Union, and if it weren't so serious, it would be laughably pathetic. Because, as I remind you: In any conflict... I don't care if it's a bully on the schoolyard. I don't care if it's the National Football League, Major League Baseball, or anywhere. The aggressor sets the rules. Whatever the aggressor does are the rules, and you throw the rule book out.
But we're sitting there saying, "We're offended! Why, he can't do this. Why, it's violating the Helsinki Final Act. Why, he's in violation of the 1997 Ukraine-Russia Basing Agreement!" Yeah? Big whoop. So he's out there condemning. Ah, that's really big. That's what we always do. We condemn and we deplore, and then we start shouting at the United Nations. "An incredible act of aggression!"
Kerry brandished the threat of economic sanctions. "You just don't, in the Twenty-First Century, behave in Nineteenth Century fashion by invading another country on a completely trumped-up pretext." Well, Mr. Secretary, Putin just did -- reminiscent, by the way, of "Jen-jiss" Khan, with whom Kerry apparently is intimately familiar. "Jen-jiss" Khan. This is reminiscent of Germany, Neville Chamberlain, you name it.
It's reminiscent of the Soviet Union in the Twentieth Century, reminiscent of world history. You can look it up in the Undeniable Truths of Life, written by me in 1987. One of the 25 Undeniable Rules of Life is: "Ours is a world governed by the aggressive use of force." It always has been, and it always will be. No matter how you analyze that. If you want to look at the current conflict between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, A, who's setting the rules?
They're the aggressors, right?
Wouldn't you also say that politics here is the aggressive use of force? Democrats use force. It's nonmilitary in this case, but they use force. They are pushing and pushing, and what are we doing? Letting 'em have what they want (i.e., the Crimea) hoping they'll go away. So now in The Politico says (summarized), "Go ahead and let Putin have the Crimea! He'll be happy with that, and this will all be over."
So Obama yuks it up, whatever he's doing, drawing lines. Kerry's out there expressing shock and dismay that in the Twenty-First Century somebody would actually invade with ground forces. I mean, it's just pathetic, folks. It really is dangerous at the same time. Sound bite 18. Stephanopoulos. After Lurch talked about how he just doesn't dig this, this Nineteenth Century tactic in the Twenty-First Century...
By the way, you notice also that Putin does this just days after we happily announce our intention to downsize our boots-on-the-ground military to pre-World War II levels. Why? 'Cause this kind of stuff isn't gonna happen anymore. The Obama Regime is gonna propose in their budget coming up that we get the military back down -- our boots on the ground, ground force commitment capability -- to pre-World War II levels.
Just days after we announce that, here goes Putin -- and why are we doing it? Well, because this kind of stuff isn't gonna happen anymore! Not with lasers and outer space drones and the NSA and all of our abilities that we have to sneak and listen and spy on people. These conventional infantry wars, they're not gonna happen anymore. So we don't need to have that kind of military force.
"We need more food stamps, and we need more unemployment compensation extensions. We don't need that kind of army." So shortly thereafter, there goes Vlad -- and let's not forget Obama telling Dmitry Medvedev, "Just tell Putin to hang in there be and be tough when it comes to us getting rid of our nukes, because I'll have more flexibility after I win reelection. Yeah, we'll stop doing missile defense.
"We're gonna tear that down. We're gonna reduce our nuclear warhead stockpile just to show the world that we're good guys, nice people and so forth, and that we don't intend anybody any harm, admitting in the process that we have been the problem all along. The United States is the destabilizing agent."
That's what Obama believes. The US and its military has always been that.
That's what the left believes, what the Democrat Party today believes. The US is the destabilizing agent of the world, so we gotta show the world we no longer want to destabilize it. So, "Hey, Vlad? You want Crimea? Take it!" Stephanopoulos and Kerry continue to talk, and I just want to listen to this 'cause I want to hear what other inanities come out of Lurch's mouth.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you have any indication at all that President Putin is taking heed of what President Obama's saying?
KERRY: Well, they just had the conversation yesterday, and the president invited him to engage with the government. The most important thing to remember here is this is not -- or should not be -- East-West, Russia-United States, Russia versus Europe. This is about the people of Ukraine. We ought to be able to work this out through the diplomatic process. If Russia chooses not to, there will be serious repercussions.
RUSH: Yeah, like what? Sanctions?
RUSH: You want to know how tough we're getting on this? Breaking news here from Reuters. Ready for this? Dadelut dadelut dadelut dadelut dadelut! Breaking news from the Obama Regime: "The White House says the United States will no longer..." We're not gonna do it. We're not gonna "send a presidential delegation to the upcoming Paralympic Games in Sochi to protest the Ukraine situation." So the gloves are off, folks. No presidential delegation to the Paralympic Games in Sochi.
Well, did you hear that the White House put out a photo of Obama talking on the phone with Vlad, and Obama's sleeves were rolled up? That was done to make it look like Obama was really working hard -- I mean, really taking it seriously. His sleeves were rolled up while on the phone with Putin! Putin probably had his shirt off practicing Tai-Chi while he was talking to Obama.
Here's more Lurch. Try this, folks. This is David Gregory on Meet the Press. "Is 'the reset' with Russia dead?"
KERRY: Well, I -- I -- I -- I don't know what you mean by "the reset." Long ago --
GREGORY: The "reset" in relations that --
KERRY: No, no, no, no.
GREGORY: -- this administration called for.
KERRY: I know, but long ago we've entered into a different phase with Russia. Uh, I don't think this is a moment to be proclaiming one thing or the other.
RUSH: (laughing) You know what that was about? You know, Hillary went over there when she became secretary of state with this giant plastic red "reset" button. Reset relations with the Russians. Kerry said, "I don't know anything about that. What do you mean, 'reset'? No, no, that was long ago. We've entered a different phase now!" Kerry totally caught off guard. He had no clue what he was answering.
RUSH: I need to ask all of you a question. It's an important point. Let me review this. As I went back, I don't know why, something just struck me. Leonid Brezhnev ("the eyebrows guy," for those of you low-information people) was an old Soviet boss in the seventies. He's the guy that ran rings around Jimmy Carter. Anyway, Brezhnev, when they invaded Afghanistan in 1980 -- which didn't end well, but that's another story.
When they did it, they did it at Christmas thinking that nobody would be paying attention, and that nobody would care even if they did all of a sudden pay attention. "It's Christmas. It's Afghanistan. Who cares? It's the Soviets." But not long after people did care, and Putin then used the Olympics and the Oscars as a distraction, not of Obama and Kerry, but of the American people.
Now, that tells me that Putin still thinks, or at least is taking into consideration that public opinion still impacts American leadership. I think if you're an old KGB boss, that would constitute your formative thinking of the seventies and eighties. In the height of the Cold War, public opinion was always anti-Soviet, and that public opinion elected Ronald Reagan, who brought about the end of Soviet communism and the Berlin Wall.
So somebody like Putin, because of formative experiences when he was rising to power, would be very much aware of the power of American public opinion. So he times his invasion of Ukraine to correspond with the Olympics, and he took another big step last night, yesterday, while everybody here is focused on the Oscars and the Academy Awards. The Russian invasion of Afghanistan was also in response to a pro-Russian puppet government having been toppled.
Now, I don't know that American public opinion has anywhere near as powerful an impact on American leadership. In fact, American public opinion is opposed to every Obama policy, and yet every Obama policy is being implemented and is growing, despite American public opinion. You and I are probably of the belief that American public opinion, when it comes to anything to do with foreign policy, is asleep.
What do you think the odds are that -- I don't know -- half or more of the people that watched the Olympic last night don't care about what's going on in Ukraine anyway? And especially in terms of how it might affect them or the United States? How many Americans do you really think care? How many Americans do you think have any consideration for what this means for us? And let me go further.
How many Americans -- 'cause I can assure you that back in the seventies and eighties, the American public was at fever pitch. The American public was highly tuned in to Soviet-sponsored communism. You know, all through the eighties with what went on in Nicaragua and the Contra revolution and the Boland Amendment, it was vicious, and the American public was on board with Reagan throughout much of this (other than, you know, the Iran-Contra thing hit later the second term).
But my point is, the American public was much concerned, they were very informed, and they had definite awareness of what Soviet expansionism meant -- and they knew that it wasn't good. They knew it had to be stopped. They supported it every time a president wanted it to be stopped, including in Vietnam at the outset. Now, contrast it to today. I'm just asking because of the open that I did in the previous half hour of this program. I wonder how many people heard it who might not have been looking at this in any way.
Not you, folks. When I say, "People heard it," I always separate you from the low-information crowd. I always know that people listen to this program who are not fans, people listen to this program who don't like me, people listen to this program who don't like me and want reasons every day to keep disliking me -- and it's to those people I'm talking. How many of those people, how many people in general think this is no big deal?
How many Americans really are not aware that we have almost total incompetence at the highest levels of our foreign policy establishment now within the Regime? There might be some bright people at DOD. There might be some bright people State Department. I'm talking about Obama Regime personnel and leaders. The answer to the question scares me. Do you realize, folks, how absolutely literally idiotic it is for the American Secretary of State to start whining about, "They can't do that!
"You can't fight a Twenty-First Century war with a Nineteenth Century tactic! You can't do that! You can't violate pieces of paper!" Do you understand the absolute childish naivete that must exist for that worldview? This is our secretary of state, and this one is no better than the previous one, Mrs. Clinton. She was totally unqualified for that job, and Kerry is totally unqualified. He's got the gig because he wanted it, it's payback time, and he's always fashioned himself as somebody who ought to run the State Department.
'Cause he can speak French, he thinks he's a man of the world. He's clueless. All of these people are clueless! I don't think they're willing to even admit to themselves that what Putin is really trying to do is reconstitute the Soviet Union. How many of these people are living in their delusional fantasy world that Obama is still The Messiah of 2008, loved, adored, and respected by the people of the world and world leaders who used to be our enemies when these dangerous, reckless, cowboy Republicans were in office?
These are scary, scary times -- and one of these days, Putin is gonna figure out that American public opinion does not have the same impact today that it had back in the seventies and eighties. He's gonna figure out, if he doesn't already know, that American public opinion has been dumbed down and refocused. America's now focused on, "Should we be penalizing players 15 yards or kick 'em out of the game for using the N-word in the NFL?" The American people are focused on, "Can gay couples buy a cake from a non-gay baker or not?"
In fact, you probably have heard this by now. Sarah Palin, back in 2008, predicted and warned that Russia was gonna take Ukraine. She was laughed at. She was mocked and made fun of because, of course, that was the narrative. Sarah Palin never said was she an expert on the Soviet Union 'cause she could see it from her backyard. Tina Fey said that in a comedy sketch. Palin never said it, yet it was attributed to her.
Romney, I remember this in a presidential debate like it was yesterday. Probably the second debate, Romney is warning of Russia as our number one geopolitical enemy, and Obama is sitting there and mocking him and laughing at him and making fun of him like he can't believe what he just heard and everybody knows it's Al-Qaeda. And look at what's happening here. All the people who've been insulted as dumb and stupid and idiotic and don't know what they're talking about are being borne out. There were people -- I'll leave myself out of this -- there were people eight years ago warning that Putin existed to rebuild the Soviet Union. The Washington establishment hemmed and hawed and huffed and puffed and laughed, said nothing could be further from the truth. The best and the brightest had no clue.
Now, by the way, Russia and the ChiComs are aligning. They have discovered geopolitical interests that meld together and one of those geopolitical interests is opposition to us. Then you've got the ChiComs and the Japanese on the verge of a major conflict. I don't think too many people are aware of that. So these are heavyweight times, and we've got a lot of people dazed and confused and just, in addition to dazed and confused, entirely misinformed. They happen to be our leaders at the moment.