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Putin had an 80% approval rating from Russians before this deal was planned. I wonder how popular he will be after it is signed.

Looks like not only that "might is right" but that money is mightier.

Being an authoritarian with tight control over the media is what is mightier...and also makes any claims of approval ratings worthless. But, I don't expect anything will damper your love for the thug.

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.... But, I don't expect anything will damper your love for the thug.

I understand that it is far easier to place people into self created pigeon holes so that a silly statement like "you love..." or "you support ..." or "you obviously ..." might make some sense to you. Posters are all individuals who have their own opinions based on their personal beliefs and experiences. When you focus on an issue then you have to deal with realities and nuances that you do not have to bother with when you go after the poster. It is a tactic used by many in an attempt to put another into a defensive position if they fall for that tactic - I am not one of those people - either in the pitching or catching end.

Oh, and as to the popularity of Putin in Russia, you might refer to those communist publications like The Independent and the Washington Post.

Please continue to read my posts and comment accordingly. Maybe there will be something of value that you might share with me that would change my position on the intricacies of the Ukraine crisis.

BTW my bride of 45 years was offended by your post. I had to reassure her that she was my one and only love. :P

Edited by Big Guy

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Who here is Pro-Putin? Let's call this 'Challenge #2'.

I've been calling for sanctions against Russia, China and other super-powers that diddle smaller weaker countries.for years.

If you've seen one diddler you've seen them all as far as I'm concerned and ditto if you're with one.

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I understand that it is far easier to place people into self created pigeon holes so that a silly statement like "you love..." or "you support ..." or "you obviously ..." might make some sense to you. Posters are all individuals who have their own opinions based on their personal beliefs and experiences. When you focus on an issue then you have to deal with realities and nuances that you do not have to bother with when you go after the poster. It is a tactic used by many in an attempt to put another into a defensive position if they fall for that tactic - I am not one of those people - either in the pitching or catching end.

Oh, and as to the popularity of Putin in Russia, you might refer to those communist publications like The Independent and the Washington Post.

Please continue to read my posts and comment accordingly. Maybe there will be something of value that you might share with me that would change my position on the intricacies of the Ukraine crisis.

BTW my bride of 45 years was offended by your post. I had to reassure her that she was my one and only love. :P

I have no illusions about your pretending to have a balanced position. The reality is that you look at anything that is printed about the one side with much more skepticism than you do anything printed about the other side. I do as well, but at least I have no problem admitting to it. As for your comment that newspapers like the Washington Post have printed Putin's popularity numbers, well duh, I was not claiming that polls were not showing those numbers. I was claiming that popularity numbers in a state where the government controls the media are completely meaningless. Western papers have long published the popularity numbers of Castro, Saddam, Stalin, North Korean dictators. But most people recognize what influences those statistics, and the power of state propaganda.

Finally, I have no interest in changing your mind. Countless studies have shown that attempting to do so is in almost all cases a complete waste of time.

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My take is that both Russia in the Ukraine and China off the coast of Vietnam are expanding their territories in direct response to the failed foreign policies of Obama and the vacuum his failed foreign policy has created.

Cool story bro! Of course... Russia did much worse in Georgia when Bush was president, and Bush did a lot less in response than Obama has done.

Here was Bush's response to the Russian BATTERING of Georgia.

Did Bush respond militarily? Did he lead the push to impose santions? Did he mine the black sea? He must have!!!

Oh wait! He made a speech with tepid weak condemnation and without even a threatening tone.

We hope Russia's leaders will recognize that a future of cooperation and peace will benefit all parties. The Cold War is over. The days of satellite states and spheres of influence are behind us. A contentious relationship with Russia is not in America's interests, and a contentious relationship with America is not in Russia's interests.

With its actions in recent days, Russia has damaged its credibility and its relations with the nations of the free world. Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century.

Only Russia can decide whether it will now put itself back on the path of responsible nations or continue to pursue a policy that promises only confrontation and isolation.

To begin to repair its relations with the United States and Europe and other nations and to begin restoring its place in the world, Russia must respect the freedom of its neighbors.

OH ya baby! He dropped the hammer on Putin! "We hope Russia will cooperate"!

Dont get me wrong... I dont think Obamas response has achieved anything of note either, but Obama did a hell of a lot more than Bush did over Georgia. And Georgia was a much more aggressive act on Russias part. They shelled the Georgian army and chased them right to the Capitol.

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...

Finally, I have no interest in changing your mind. Countless studies have shown that attempting to do so is in almost all cases a complete waste of time.

That is an interesting attitude to have. I post to update topics that I have started because I am interested in them and want to elicit other points of view. The intent is that I will get a feel of public opinion on that topic. Over the years I have learned much from participating on national and international opinion boards causing me to change my view at times. If I read an opinion that I feel is based on faulty facts or I can add to the clarification of an issue then I do respond as a courtesy to the poster.

If you have no interest in changing posters minds because attempting to do so is in almost all cases a complete waste of time - then why do you bother to post?

On this particular issue I see that many participants have pre-conceived views of the issue based on their good guys - bad guys differentiation of those in conflict. It is easy to dismiss any conflict with a good against evil rationalization which attempts to simplify a very complicated situation. Some people are comfortable with that approach - I am not.

Some members of this board view Putin as an evil entity with plans to take over the world. I see him as a leader of 150 million people - many of whom resent the dissolution of their previously great empire. Now that he is starting to flex Russian muscle following the hosting of the Olympic games he has rekindled a Russian nationalism that has been dormant for a few years. That is why his popularity is in the 80's.

To write off the rejuvenated nationalism of a nation with about 800,000 active military personnel and another 2,500,000 reserves is a major mistake.

As I have stated before, Harper does things that he thinks are good for Canada, Obama does things that he thinks are good for America and Putin does things that he thinks are good for Russia. Right now, Putin is looking like he is the most successful of the three.

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."

- Sun Tzu

Edited by Big Guy

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Dre you make a good point on Bush's lack of response in Georgia.

An argument can be made Obama's weak foreign policy is caused by Bush bankrupting the US and leaving it an economic mess.

Each President inherits the mistakes of earlier Presidents that may dictate what they can do. Of course.

However there is a direct co-relation between the emergence of external military might in China and in the case of Russia re-emergence of strong military might and the vacuum created by Obama's policies..

Putin's next step is going to be to re-create the Sino-Soviet alliance of the 60's.

Good luck getting into bed with China-they will get access to Soviet gas, oil, water and dirt cheap below market prices no different than what they did in Sudan, Mozambique, Angola, Iran. In return Putin will be given the illusion he has an alternative market. The Chinese will never pay what he would get from the EEC. He's going to bankrupt his nation no different then Iran did turning off the West and getting into bed with China.

I give Russia no more than a year before it has food riots.

I also predict as much as the US has avoided dealing with India it now has no choice but to try form an economic alliance with it to counter the Russian-Chinese one.

Edited by Rue

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I also predict as much as the US has avoided dealing with India it now has no choice but to try form an economic alliance with it to counter the Russian-Chinese one.

It may already be too late.

About 8 years ago representatives of Brazil, Russia, India and China got together. About 4 years ago South Africa joined the group forming BRICS. The idea was to cooperate with each other for mutual gain.

These 5 major emerging economies or newly indistrialized countries decided to take advantage of their size (3 billion people) and a combined GDP of US $16.039 trillion and am estimated US $4 trillion on combined foreign reserves.

Perhaps with the election of a new government in India they may decide to move towards the West. Perhaps not.

As to the food riots in Russia, what makes you feel that will happen?

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If you have no interest in changing posters minds because attempting to do so is in almost all cases a complete waste of time - then why do you bother to post?

I post for my own enjoyment.

Now that he is starting to flex Russian muscle following the hosting of the Olympic games he has rekindled a Russian nationalism that has been dormant for a few years. That is why his popularity is in the 80's.
Over the last 15 years Putin's popularity has always stayed above 60%. His popularity has gone above 80% often (In 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 etc). Generally those upticks coincide with the government's frequent and increasingly harsh crackdowns on the media. At present another severe crackdown started just days before the Olympics (when the Kremlin attacked the last independent TV station in Russia - Dozhd - followed by the attack on prominent independent news source Lenta.ru where the Kremlin forced out the editor, replaced him with a Kremlin stooge and the entire staff quit. In mid-March the Kremlin blocked internet access to most major non-government propaganda news sources. In a couple months non-government propaganda news sources went from slim to almost none. But, yeah I am sure that Putin's popularity has nothing to do with that and everything to do with the general population independently weighing the pros and cons of rekindled Russian nationalism.
To write off the rejuvenated nationalism of a nation with about 800,000 active military personnel and another 2,500,000 reserves is a major mistake.
As I have stated before, Harper does things that he thinks are good for Canada, Obama does things that he thinks are good for America and Putin does things that he thinks are good for Russia. Right now, Putin is looking like he is the most successful of the three.

I am not writing it off. I simply understand that the rekindled nationalism is due to a tightly controlled media common in authoritarian regimes. He is not doing what is best for Russia; he is doing what is best to keep his regime in control. There is a huge difference, but you fail to see it.

Edited by Wayward Son

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It may already be too late.

About 8 years ago representatives of Brazil, Russia, India and China got together. About 4 years ago South Africa joined the group forming BRICS. The idea was to cooperate with each other for mutual gain.

These 5 major emerging economies or newly indistrialized countries decided to take advantage of their size (3 billion people) and a combined GDP of US $16.039 trillion and am estimated US $4 trillion on combined foreign reserves.

Perhaps with the election of a new government in India they may decide to move towards the West. Perhaps not.

As to the food riots in Russia, what makes you feel that will happen?

Some believe Putin launched the Crimea display of bravado to dettract from food shortages.

Here is an interesting article for you referring to what I was referring to:

http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1117497.html

Here's another one on the precarious state of Russia's economy:

http://smarteconomy.typepad.com/smart_economy/2014/04/russian-imperial-expansion-or-economic-collapse.html

I concur with the above opinions.

.

Edited by Rue

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I post for my own enjoyment.

....

He is not doing what is best for Russia; he is doing what is best to keep his regime in control. There is a huge difference, but you fail to see it.

I hope that you enjoyed your post.

Thank you for your view.

I am still comfortable with what I deduct to be the reality on the ground and how I came to that opinion.

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Looks like there is a new player in the game - Rinat Akhmetov. A Ukrainian billionaire who employs about 300,000 people in his business has organized part of his work force into (what appears to me ) a private army.

Not really. He's the organizer of the Donetsk People Republic. In this way he tried to blackmail the Ukrainian central government to get some big privileges in the region. But his puppets established contacts and were overtaken by pro-Russian military group in Slavyansk/Kramatorsk. The guy started loosing control over the situation along with mounting business losses. Thus he has to act, he has to do something to save his empire. It may be too late. BTW, the central government did not allow him to have "an army", i.e. to have weapons.

Elections are due on May 25. It was hoped that the results would bring calm to the area but I cannot see how they can be considered as “valid” by anyone. Some population areas are held by pro-Russians, some by troops from Kiev, some by those loyal to Rinat. Kiev still considers Crimea to be part of Ukraine. Will the people in Crimea get a vote?

It is not clear why you have any doubt about validity of this presidential election in Ukraine? They will be OK. People from all 25 regions of Ukraine (Crimea included) will vote.

The elections will not bring calm. They will produce a president with full power. This will allow to conduct all necessary actions to fight terrorists in the East.

There does not appear to be a solution or the end to violence in the near future.

You are wrong. The end is visible.

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Putin's next step is going to be to re-create the Sino-Soviet alliance of the 60's.

And we know that this time China will dominate in this alliance.

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I post for my own enjoyment.

Over the last 15 years Putin's popularity has always stayed above 60%. His popularity has gone above 80% often (In 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 etc). Generally those upticks coincide with the government's frequent and increasingly harsh crackdowns on the media. At present another severe crackdown started just days before the Olympics (when the Kremlin attacked the last independent TV station in Russia - Dozhd - followed by the attack on prominent independent news source Lenta.ru where the Kremlin forced out the editor, replaced him with a Kremlin stooge and the entire staff quit. In mid-March the Kremlin blocked internet access to most major non-government propaganda news sources. In a couple months non-government propaganda news sources went from slim to almost none. But, yeah I am sure that Putin's popularity has nothing to do with that and everything to do with the general population independently weighing the pros and cons of rekindled Russian nationalism.

I am not writing it off. I simply understand that the rekindled nationalism is due to a tightly controlled media common in authoritarian regimes. He is not doing what is best for Russia; he is doing what is best to keep his regime in control. There is a huge difference, but you fail to see it.

If Putin wasn't doing what is best for Russia's interests the US wouldn't be demonizing him and hating him so much. The US/Nato's obvious problem is that Putin is tough and very savvy on US tactics that are intended to bring down Russia.

It won't happen and all the US/Nato will succeed in doing is dividing the world again into two factions intent on a cold war. Only this time the US has lost a lot of it's credibility and it will be less successful than it was the last time. No one needs to remind that China's economy is about to eclipse that of the US and with Russia aligned with China it's going to make it even more interesting.

The US will soon come to it's senses and start to understand that it has wasted a lot of money on useless military might. Even N. Korea is coming to be a force that it won't be able to push around. And Iran is unstoppable with China/Russia on their side.

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If Putin wasn't doing what is best for Russia's interests the US wouldn't be demonizing him and hating him so much.

Got it. So when the US says negative things about a leader like say Kim Jong-un, it actually means that he is doing what is best for his country.

I wonder how the US would be able to express themselves when a leader is actually not doing what is best for their own country's interests (I know that would have to be a hypothetical situation for the likes of BG, who believes that all leaders are doing what is best for their people....even say the previous leader of the Ukraine who spent his term stealing all the wealth out of the country for himself, his son, and his close associates)?

The US can't say bad things, because that would indicate that the leader in question was doing what is best for the country's interests...so I guess they would have to say good things. I would be embarrassed to have made such a ridiculous remark, but it is par for the course for the groupies of authoritarian leaders (and the demonizing of the west coming out of Russia has been orders of magnitude beyond the rather tame treatment of the west towards Putin - but that is fine, especially among those in the west who cheer authoritarian regimes, and chastise the west...something they enjoy the freedom to do, unlike in places like Russia).

Edited by Wayward Son

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Interesting. How do you see this ending?

I think it will end soon. Russia will end up annexing crimea, and possibly some pro-russian areas in the east but the rest of the Ukraine will be left alone and eventually things will die down.

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Got it. So when the US says negative things about a leader like say Kim Jong-un, it actually means that he is doing what is best for his country.

I wonder how the US would be able to express themselves when a leader is actually not doing what is best for their own country's interests (I know that would have to be a hypothetical situation for the likes of BG, who believes that all leaders are doing what is best for their people....even say the previous leader of the Ukraine who spent his term stealing all the wealth out of the country for himself, his son, and his close associates)?

The US can't say bad things, because that would indicate that the leader in question was doing what is best for the country's interests...so I guess they would have to say good things. I would be embarrassed to have made such a ridiculous remark, but it is par for the course for the groupies of authoritarian leaders (and the demonizing of the west coming out of Russia has been orders of magnitude beyond the rather tame treatment of the west towards Putin - but that is fine, especially among those in the west who cheer authoritarian regimes, and chastise the west...something they enjoy the freedom to do, unlike in places like Russia).

No, when the US says bad things about a country's leader, it tells us that the US demonizing with the intent on aggression against that country and eventually perhaps war. And it says to that country's leader that he must do everything in his power to obtain the great equalizer for his country's safety. Nuclear weapons of course, what all bullies fear the most.

Gone are the days when the US can claim legitimacy and the high road. Since Iraq and the glaring proof that the US is now the nation for all to fear, no other fabrications of the sort you try to hoist on us will do. Not to suggest that Iraq is the only example of outright aggression but just to say that Iraq provided the glaring proof.

And speaking specifically of the Ukraine, there is little doubt that the US/Nato was intent on ecncrochment on Russia with it's military and economic assistance of the Ukraine and that left Putin no choice but to ensre the people of the Crimea were represented by Russia in order to protect their interests. Now it's only a question of whether the US/Nato will take their lumps they've received so far and back off. Russia very obviously has no interests in taking the Ukraine and never did!

Edited by monty16

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No, when the US says bad things about a country's leader, it tells us that the US demonizing with the intent on aggression against that country and eventually perhaps war. And it says to that country's leader that he must do everything in his power to obtain the great equalizer for his country's safety. Nuclear weapons of course, what all bullies fear the most.

Gone are the days when the US can claim legitimacy and the high road. Since Iraq and the glaring proof that the US is now the nation for all to fear, no other fabrications of the sort you try to hoist on us will do. Not to suggest that Iraq is the only example of outright aggression but just to say that Iraq provided the glaring proof.

And speaking specifically of the Ukraine, there is little doubt that the US/Nato was intent on ecncrochment on Russia with it's military and economic assistance of the Ukraine and that left Putin no choice but to ensre the people of the Crimea were represented by Russia in order to protect their interests. Now it's only a question of whether the US/Nato will take their lumps they've received so far and back off. Russia very obviously has no interests in taking the Ukraine and never did!

Well I hope that GH and others who have claimed that there are no Putin apologists on here will recognize that they were wrong.

Because Putin had "no choice." Why? Because the Ukraine, being it's own sovereign country, felt that it should therefore have it's own foreign policy, and not the ones dictated to it by it's neighboring bully, who had controlled, bullied, starved and killed the Ukrainian people for decades. It is unfortunate that Georgia and Ukraine were not accepted into NATO in 2008 (when they both desperately wanted in, but NATO said no - something that puts a complete wrench into your claim that this is about US/NATO encrochment on Russia, when in reality it about sovereign countries not wanted Russia to encroach on them). At that time in April of 2008 Putin said that Russia would annex Crimea and Eastern Ukraine if they joined NATO. Of course Ukraine has not joined NATO, but Russia went ahead anyways, along with annexing large parts of Georgia in 2008.

I opposed the war in Iraq, but after participating in a couple protests I stopped, as I found that while most people there opposed to war in general, a whole lot of others were simply on the other side. That is where you are, on the side of the thugs, tyrants, dictators and authoritarians.

Edited by Wayward Son

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Well I hope that GH and others who have claimed that there are no Putin apologists on here will recognize that they were wrong.

Because Putin had "no choice." Why? Because the Ukraine, being it's own sovereign country, felt that it should therefore have it's own foreign policy, and not the ones dictated to it by it's neighboring bully, who had controlled, bullied, starved and killed the Ukrainian people for decades. It is unfortunate that Georgia and Ukraine were not accepted into NATO in 2008 (when they both desperately wanted in, but NATO said no - something that puts a complete wrench into your claim that this is about US/NATO encrochment on Russia, when in reality it about sovereign countries not wanted Russia to encroach on them). At that time in April of 2008 Putin said that Russia would annex Crimea and Eastern Ukraine if they joined NATO. Of course Ukraine has not joined NATO, but Russia went ahead anyways, along with annexing large parts of Georgia in 2008.

I opposed the war in Iraq, but after participating in a couple protests I stopped, as I found that while most people there opposed to war in general, a whole lot of others were simply on the other side. That is where you are, on the side of the thugs, tyrants, dictators and authoritarians.

I'm not an apologist for Putin because that's not necessary. I side with Putin on the side of right. Because of the US going backon it's word to not encroach further on Russia, Putin understood that he needed to give the people of the Crimea their free choice of aligning with Russia. Had there been no interference by the US/Nato in the Ukriane's politics then the people of the Ukriane would have decided by free and fair election to keep or replace it's democratically elected government. No action would ever have been necessary to take in the Crimea. As it's patently obvious that no action is needed in the rest of the Ukraine to stop Russia. Russia doesn't need to be stopped from anything!

If protesters were opposed to the Iraq war, the obvious conclusion I would form from that is that they knew that the other side was the side of right. In retrospect there is little doubt that was true. If you can't understand people taking the side of right against their own government then that's your problem to deal with.

You are dead right that I sided with Iraq right from the beginning of the phony first Gulf war because I detected the lies that were being sold to the people by the ilk of Hill and Knowlton. And I have gained what I consider complete vincication because both wars were obviously for the same false reasons.

You need to rethink your position on the Iraq wars, if only for the benefit of your own conscience.

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I'm not an apologist for Putin because that's not necessary. I side with Putin on the side of right. Because of the US going backon it's word to not encroach further on Russia, Putin understood that he needed to give the people of the Crimea their free choice of aligning with Russia. Had there been no interference by the US/Nato in the Ukriane's politics then the people of the Ukriane would have decided by free and fair election to keep or replace it's democratically elected government. No action would ever have been necessary to take in the Crimea. As it's patently obvious that no action is needed in the rest of the Ukraine to stop Russia. Russia doesn't need to be stopped from anything!

If protesters were opposed to the Iraq war, the obvious conclusion I would form from that is that they knew that the other side was the side of right. In retrospect there is little doubt that was true. If you can't understand people taking the side of right against their own government then that's your problem to deal with.

You are dead right that I sided with Iraq right from the beginning of the phony first Gulf war because I detected the lies that were being sold to the people by the ilk of Hill and Knowlton. And I have gained what I consider complete vincication because both wars were obviously for the same false reasons.

You need to rethink your position on the Iraq wars, if only for the benefit of your own conscience.

Still using a non-existent agreement between the US and USSR as an excuse for Putin's aggression and interference with another sovereign country? Pathetic. Even more pathetic is that you think it is fine for two superpowers to unilaterally make deals about what smaller sovereign countries are allowed to do with their own foreign policy.

I do not need to rethink my position on the Iraq wars for my own conscience. I opposed and continue to have opposed the second. However, I did not side with a murderous dictator who was the complete scum of the earth like you did and do. I opposed it because I felt that the US was not intent on removing Saddam for supportable reasons. If I had felt that the US' motives were primarily to remove a psychopathic dictator (whose two sons were just as bad) and to bring freedom and democracy to the people of Iraq who had been the victims of this monster I would have whole-heartedly supported it. Just I would support the west removing the psychopaths from control of North Korea. That you supported a murderous dictator, who tortured, raped and killed the family members of dissenters, gassed his own people, and led of regime of terror for decades only shows how completely morally bankrupt you are. It is disgusting.

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No two super powers made any agreements on what the Ukraine could do with their own foreign policy. Nobody ever suggested that. What I'm suggesting is that the US/Nato was in the Ukraine causing the unrest for the express reason of encroaching further on Russia's borders.

And so consequently, the people of the Crimea were allowed to express their free choice through a referendum. There was obviously never a need for them to even do that unless there was the threat of US/Nato aggression. It presented a problem for Russia for that reason alone.

It didn't take a war, it was a bloodless expression of the people's resolve and it was never in doubt wich side they would choose. Now it's settled and there is little chance that the US/Nato is going to have the upper hand morally to change that. It's lost to Russia strictly because it's the people's free choice. Nothing more.

I completely disagree with your idea that Saddam was the complete scum of the earth. In fact, I now know that he was on the side of right and the US was on the side of wrong. Saddam acted against factions within his country who were intent on power. The same factions that the US and it's propaganda victimized people would condemn. It's the very nature of some Arab ME countries that are in turmoil because of a power struggle. Syria. When the US doesn't meddle in the said country's internal affairs then peace is maintained, as Saddam had indeed succeeded in doing for the large part.

Indeed, Saddam had succeeded in making his country the most prosperous and modern country of the ME Arab countries. All religious persuasions were tolerated if they acted peacefully. Women were acknowledged as equals and worked alongside of men in pre-US-war Iraq.

I have little doubt that you would support a war with North Korea. I only have to question your humanitarian motives because your motives have been made visible to all through your comments on Iraq.

On gassing people. Even if you are unable to rise above the demonization of some country's leaders because of their use or supposed use of gas, I can. I understand fully that the term WMD was only coined by the US for purposes of demonizing leaders in countries that didn't have access to the real WMD's. Those weapons being weapons that are truly capable of "MASS DESTRUCTION". A partial list of such would include, Nuclear weapons, huge US bombs of the type that were dropped on Iraq's people, Fuel/Air weapons, cluster bombs, etc. To illustrate my point, you need only look for mass destruction throughout the world today. Where has a gas attack caused such destruction or even such massive loss of human life? Where do the smoking ruins of US bombing from 30,000' provide such evidence?

Now we're going to have to deal with reality and hopefully you won't start to accuse me of supporting the killing of people with WMD's. The only party that stands guilty of doing that in this 21st. century is the US.

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It's my understanding that airplanes have been referred to as WMD's. Can it ever become so patently obvious that weapons employed against the US that prove effective are only conveniently termed WMD's. And now we need to ask ourselves why?

Is anyone under the illusion that nuclear weapons used on Iran would be termed as WMD's?

And now American friends, what's wrong with this picture?

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