Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 16, 2014

Ukraine: U.S. Takes Off-Ramp, Agrees To Russian Demands

There was another phone call today between Secretary of State Kerry and the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov. The call came after a strategy meeting on Ukraine in the White House. During the call Kerry agreed to Russian demands for a federalization of the Ukraine in which the federal states will have a strong autonomy against a central government in a finlandized Ukraine. Putin had offered this "off-ramp" from the escalation and Obama has taken it.

The Russian announcement:

Lavrov, Kerry agree to work on constitutional reform in Ukraine: Russian ministry

(Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry agreed on Sunday to seek a solution to crisis in Ukraine by pushing for constitutional reforms there, the Russian foreign ministry said.

It did not go into details on the kind of reforms needed except to say they should come "in a generally acceptable form and while taking into the account the interests of all regions of Ukraine".
...
"Sergei Viktorovich Lavrov and John Kerry agreed to continue work to find a resolution on Ukraine through a speedy launch of constitutional reform with the support of international community," the ministry said in a statement.

The idea of "constitutional reform" and the "interests of all regions" is from the Russians as documented in this Russian" non-paper".

The non-paper describes the process of getting to a new Ukrainian constitution and sets some parameters for it. Russian will be again official language next to Ukraine, the regions will have high autonomy, there will be no interferences in church affairs and the Ukraine will stay politically and militarily neutral. Any autonomy decision by the Crimea would be accepted. This all would be guaranteed by a "Support Group for Ukraine" consisting of the US, EU and Russia and would be cemented in an UN Security Council resolution.

It seems that Kerry and Obama have largely accepted these parameters. They are now, of course, selling this solution as their own which is, as the "non-paper" proves, inconsistent with the reality.

Here is Kerry now suddenly "urging Russia" to accept the conditions Russia had demanded and which Kerry never mentioned before:

Secretary of State John Kerry called on Moscow to return its troops in Crimea to their bases, pull back forces from the Ukraine border, halt incitement in eastern Ukraine and support the political reforms in Ukraine that would protect ethnic Russians, Russian speakers and others in the former Soviet Republic that Russia says it is concerned about.

In a phone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, their second since unsuccessful face-to-face talks on Friday in London, Kerry urged Russia "to support efforts by Ukrainians across the spectrum to address power sharing and decentralization through a constitutional reform process that is broadly inclusive and protects the rights of minorities," the State Department said.

Obama has given up. His empty threats had now worked and he now has largely accepted the Russian conditions for the way out of the crisis.

The U.S. plot to snatch the Ukraine from Russia and to integrate it into NATO and the EU seems to have failed. Russia taking Crimea and having 93% of the voters there agree to join Russia has made the main objective of the U.S. plans, to kick the Russians out of Sevastopol and thereby out of the Middle East, impossible.

The Russian (non public) threat to also immediately take the eastern and southern provinces from the Ukraine has pushed the U.S. into agreeing to the Russian conditions mentioned above. The only alternative to that would be a military confrontation which the U.S. and Europeans are not willing to risk. Despite the anti-Russian campaign in the media a majority of U.S. people as well as EU folks are against any such confrontation. In the end the U.S. never held the cards it needed to win this game.

Should all go well and a new Ukrainian constitution fit the Russian conditions the "west" may in the future well be allowed to pay for the monthly bills Gazprom will keep sending to Kiev.

It will take some time to implement all of this. What dirty tricks will the neocons in Washington now try to prevent this peaceful outcome?

Posted by b on March 16, 2014 at 02:34 PM | Permalink

Comments
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It is diplomacy by photo essay now. Same as the Power/Churkin photo in the last post.

There is nothing to say. They disagree. But they are talking to each other :-))

Posted by: somebody | Mar 16, 2014 2:49:33 PM | 1

93%
=
1 - 0 to Russia vs US

What happens now is whats going to be interesting though.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 16, 2014 2:54:57 PM | 2

Breaking News: Crimeans vote on union with Russia as tensions rise …

Vladimir Putin must be holed up in a bunker under the Kremlin, studying military options with his National Security team. What's he doing? Attending closing ceremonies of Paralympics in Sochi!

Posted by: Oui | Mar 16, 2014 3:04:12 PM | 3

@ 2 Anonymous

Another way of stating the results of the referendum:

1 - 0 Freedom vs fascism

Meanwhile, the BBC has helpfully noted that the residents in Crimea were never allowed a third choice, specifically to decide if they wanted things to remain the same. 93% approval of joining Russia and 85% voter participation!

You really have to admire the British sense of humour. I'm surprised they didn't talk about manmade global warming as another possible cause of this "surprising" turnout.

Posted by: TicoTiger | Mar 16, 2014 3:11:54 PM | 4

Maybe that meeting in Washington last week with Yats and his controllers did some good after all. The meeting seemed to good for only one of two reasons; either providing Yats with international legitimacy or to convince him that since the West would not go to war in Ukraine he would have to accept some compromise that the Americans would decide with the Russians. If the latter, as indicated by the Reuter's report, this has to be good news.

The next question will be if the opposition leaders can regain control of the streets of Kiev and the other western Ukrainian cities so this deal can be implemented. If the various federalized states will have greater autonomy over the central government then this would mean they would keep more of the tax monies at the expense of the center. I wonder if the different states will be able to negotiate their own energy deals with Russia. All in all, this is looking like a very good solution.

Posted by: ToivoS | Mar 16, 2014 3:15:56 PM | 5

@4 On the one hand, its a sad day when Russia represents 'Freedom', but on the other hand, it will be an even sadder day when freedom has no representative, so I guess this is better than nothing. Certainly better than the EuroFascist Union and the United States of Imperialism.

Posted by: Massinissa | Mar 16, 2014 3:16:31 PM | 6

I think being so belligerent after Russia made its move in the Crimea was one of Obama's biggest mistakes. The US could have simply ignored the Ukraine and treated the whole matter as something to be settled by the regional actors. Instead, USG took a stand, and so has now lost face. Obama, along with Bush the Son, who started two wars that he lost, will be seen as a significant contributor to American decline as a world power.

Posted by: Demian | Mar 16, 2014 3:17:12 PM | 7

I was on an older thread, so I'll repost:

Actually, voter turnout in Crimea was 85%.

Here's the U.S. response:

poop-poop-poop

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/16/white-house-not-recognise-crimea-referendum-us

Euphoria in Crimea!

http://www.gettyimages.ca/detail/news-photo/people-celebrate-in-lenin-square-after-a-day-of-voting-on-news-photo/479119239?Language=en-GB

Crimea Exit polls: 93% for accession to Russia out of 85% turn-out.

Oh and the Paralympics closed today and were hailed internationally and by the IPC as record-breaking and spectacular. Russia wins 30 gold medals and a total of 80 medals topping the list.

Eat that! Party-pooping U.S.

Posted by: kalithea | Mar 16, 2014 3:23:52 PM | 8

#6
Well said

Posted by: jo6pac | Mar 16, 2014 3:25:21 PM | 9

@9

Not really. Reads more like sour grapes.

Posted by: kalithea | Mar 16, 2014 3:37:22 PM | 10

@9...perhaps, but they got it worked out correctly in the end

Posted by: Solerso | Mar 16, 2014 3:50:08 PM | 11

b,

I hope you are correct that agreement for a federation for Ukraine was reached. A war in the Ukraine between two nuclear powers could easily escalate out of control. On the plus side you are usually correct. On the negative side are all the true believers who will try to scuttle any agreement that won’t place NATO on Russia’s border.

The tragedy is that the resulting “Who lost Syria and Ukraine” propaganda will divert attention away from austerity programs that are screwing us economically and the NGO and Corporate privatization of transportation, education, security and diplomacy.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Mar 16, 2014 3:51:41 PM | 12

War was the only option.. General Zignut must be very unhappy, im sure he will be on TV all week whining about it, and "Anerican weakness" @ 11 wait till you see THOSE sour grapes

Posted by: Solerso | Mar 16, 2014 3:52:09 PM | 13

Excellent scoop, Moon!! Considering the appetite of the memory hole these days, this might well be the only history that ever records What Really Happened; instead, there will be a lot of high-fiving around Washington - along about election time - over serious chops in International Diplomacy. It says reams about the issue of political maturity that one side keeps blustering and strutting while the other quietly offers sensible outs and does not make an issue of it later. I suppose the official story now will be that Russia blinked because it so feared sanctions. But thanks to you, a few will know the truth. Great reporting, way ahead of the curve.

Posted by: Mark | Mar 16, 2014 3:54:03 PM | 14

Beautiful pictures of Sochi Paralympics closing:

http://en.ria.ru/sochi2014/20140316/188493162/Best-Winter-Paralympics-Ever-Close-in-Sochi.html

Congrats to Russia!

Posted by: kalithea | Mar 16, 2014 3:54:46 PM | 15

Wow 85% and 93% for Russia?
Suck on that "democratic" EU/US.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 16, 2014 4:01:43 PM | 16

My predictions, if this gets confirmed:

1) People all over Novorossiya in the south will start hanging Russian flags from lampposts.
2) People all over Galicia in the west will start hanging Russians from lampposts.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 16, 2014 4:06:07 PM | 17

U.S.-instigated aggression and Imperialist, anti-Democratic provocation, including now, murder-by-sniper continues in Venezuela

Posted by: Solerso | Mar 16, 2014 4:07:14 PM | 18

This vote isnt necessary something final.
But its as #4 said, Russia 1 Facism 0.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 16, 2014 4:18:35 PM | 19

One cannot help but notice the irony here. A supposed "democratic" EU is now threatening to punish the people of Crimea for practicing their basic democratic right by taking part in a referendum.

I thought the EU stood for freedom/democracy etc etc...The joke's definitely on us..And these sanctions they're threatening, if Russia retaliates in kind and the effects begin to affect the ordinary EU citizen, how will they explain it to their people? That they're suffering because Crimeans exercised their democratic rights?

Can someone say CHECKMATE?

Posted by: Zico | Mar 16, 2014 4:19:01 PM | 20

When historians study this crisis 50 years from now, 95% of the blame for it will be placed on the US and its cronies in the "international community." Everything we've done, including the sanctions, has been based on miscalculation, provocation and escalation. I also imagine that historians will credit Russia’s incursion into Crimea as possibly having saved lives. The US is completely in the wrong here.

Posted by: Cynthia | Mar 16, 2014 4:19:41 PM | 21

Solution would be good, if the other side would be trustworthy. We all know it isnt.

"Ukraine will stay politically and militarily neutral."

This was already in signed documents before, how did that worked out?

"Higher autonomy of Crimea"?

Been there, done that, didnt last either.

Granted after Russia showed it will poke its bear nose if the other side misbehaves or breaks the agreement, but zionists and their puppets with die-hard neonazis in Kiev wont rest either. They'll use the time to consolidate the power and along with oligarchs they'll work 24/7/365 to undermine Russia and push their masters interests, I can bet on that.

Instead of real solution, this agreement will keep the pot boiling just on a smaller flame. Misinterpretation of the agreement and search for loopholes will be rampant. Remember Geneva 1 and power-sharing idea for Syria? How did that worked?

IMHO the best solution would be for Crimea with East/South regions to declare independence as a new state, closely alied with Russia, while West Ukraine can play nazi games all they want.

Posted by: Harry | Mar 16, 2014 4:20:03 PM | 22

Pro-Russian Demonstrators Burn Books, Storm Buildings

Reuters – Pro-Russian demonstrators in eastern Ukraine smashed their way into public buildings and burned Ukrainian-language books on Sunday in further protests following two deadly clashes in the region last week. [...]

In Kharkiv, Reuters Television footage showed pro-Russian activists breaking into the headquarters of a Ukrainian cultural center, removing Ukrainian-language books and setting them alight in small bonfires in the street.

Do the people who write this stuff expect anyone to take it seriously? And have they ever heard of the psychological concept of projection?

Posted by: Demian | Mar 16, 2014 4:23:19 PM | 23

Demian

They are pissed now, I mean 93% and 85% on top of that lol Obama is in fetal position now on the floor :)

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 16, 2014 4:31:25 PM | 24

Demian #23 "Do the people who write this stuff expect anyone to take it seriously? And have they ever heard of the psychological concept of projection?" Yes, most Americans certainly will; and no, bc most of the people writing this trash are either True Believers or too stoopid to know much of anything except stenography and pleasing their bosses.

While everything b has reported is beyond delightful, the proof will still be in the pudding, including how the putch-meisters actually behave in the east (if experience is any guide, they'll just keep trying), and how the people throughout non-Crimean Ukraine respond to the increased chaos and austerity which lie ahead.

So the US got a good drubbing, the EU ..., the Crimeans should feel somewhat more secure, and the rest, pardon my cynicism, feels good to read but let's see what happens. But still, it sure does feel good, doesn't it! ;~)

Posted by: Nora | Mar 16, 2014 4:44:07 PM | 25

Oh, and Venezia had a vote today too: any idea of the results?

Posted by: Nora | Mar 16, 2014 4:46:56 PM | 26

Update: 95%
People want it obviously but where Crimea goes all depends on Ukraine, Russia, US now.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 16, 2014 4:53:19 PM | 27

This doesn't look good for "Our Man Yats", or if your prefer "Their man Yuk"

Posted by: Solerso | Mar 16, 2014 5:00:38 PM | 28

How, really, do you control a bunch of angry skin-head hooligans, all armed to the teeth, when they've just been made part of your "national security" apparatus? I mean, even if Kiev really wanted to, how exactly would they -- and at what cost to themselves and, you know, the rest of the country?

Posted by: Nora | Mar 16, 2014 5:07:23 PM | 29

I don't think the US is going to have much of a say in the matter. As b put it, the US didn't have a good hand of cards to begin with.

I think the situation we see today is a revisiting of the breakup of the USSR, in the same way that World War II revisited the issue of World War I, Germany's rise as a continental power. So there are major, geopolitical stakes involved.

The USG talks about "isolating" Russia. I think that this is just one more indication that the US foreign policy apparatus is rotten to the core. Russia has plenty of experience with isolation. The concept of "autarky" was developed when Western countries did not want to accept the Bolshevik regime after the Revolution. People in the State Department should know this. How do you "isolate" a country that spans two continents? It is the United States that is isolated, because its industry is hollowed out, and the two main manufacturing centers of the world are located across two oceans.

As far as I know, Russia doesn't have much of a manufacturing industry now aside from armaments. But this isn't an issue in the medium term, because the world's factory, China, is its neighbor. I am pretty sure that Chinese elites are coming to the conclusion that the USG is behaving in an increasingly desperate, irrational, and dangerous fashion, so China is not going to participate in any "sanctions" against Russia.

When you add to those economic factors that the Ukraine borders on Russia, whereas it is on the other side of an ocean from the US, and that the US has drawn down its military presence in Europe, given its two wars against Muslims and the planned pivot against China, and also that as a nuclear power, Russia equals the US, I think you will find that the US doesn't have much bargaining power here.

I don't think in matters very much whether Crimea becomes formally integrated into Russia. The main question now is whether the Ukraine is going to break apart.

Posted by: Demian | Mar 16, 2014 5:18:50 PM | 30

Sorry: my comment #30 was a reply to #27.

Posted by: Demian | Mar 16, 2014 5:20:46 PM | 31

guess whats trendnig on twitter:

Trends · Change
Ukraine Stevie G Vidic Rosicky United Sturridge Suarez Tottenham Red Bull Vettel

Posted by: brian | Mar 16, 2014 5:25:13 PM | 32

Higher autonomy of Crimea"?

Been there, done that, didnt last either

1991///was dissolved a few years later...do NOT trust Kiev

Posted by: brian | Mar 16, 2014 5:26:40 PM | 33

b post here appearing without attribution elsewhere many many times. where i can i demand the you be attributed

Posted by: remembererringgiap | Mar 16, 2014 5:30:54 PM | 34

I hope b will write something on the role that Merkel played in all this. It seemed lately that, in a negation of earlier expectations, she had fallen totally in line with the US.

Is it possible that, in reality, she played a different role?

Posted by: FB Ali | Mar 16, 2014 5:31:08 PM | 35

Posted by: kalithea | Mar 16, 2014 3:23:52 PM | 8

what could have been disastrous for russia: sochi olympics going belly up and ukraine going NATO has turned into a twin triumph! High 5!

the coincidence of succsss is interesting, as is the danger of forgetting the unrepealable law of unintended consequences.
Have to wait now to see if Russia does let Crimea in(aka the media meme of 'annexation')

Posted by: brian | Mar 16, 2014 5:37:33 PM | 36

Demian

Well there are always sanctions including military, after all , eu and u.s. plus nato have shown to be complete nuts about this crisis.
Well see how this turn out, if Crimea stays or if it goes to Russia et.c

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 16, 2014 5:55:56 PM | 37

Any autonomy decision by the Crimea would be accepted.

Hello! Crimeans didn't overwhelming turn out and choose autonomy in a potential landslide; they chose accession to Russia.

The big turnout in Crimea and overwhelming potential landslide according to exit polls is a game-changer, and all parties should accept it as such.

Not only does this present a golden opportunity for rectifying the past; Khrushchev's huge short-sighted blunder, and the illegitimacy of the manner in which Crimea was transferred to Ukraine in 1954, but this represents the solid acquisition of a warm water port that Russia has been yearning for forever; and shouldn't pass on.

Crimeans did not select greater autonomy; they selected accession to Russia and Putin cannot ignore their enthusiastic decision to embrace the motherland and sell them down the river for the other option they rejected overwhelmingly. If he didn't have the intention to annex Crimea; he would have done everything in his power to change the equation on that ballot so that it reflected a choice between the status quo and greater autonomy. The result of this referendum is not a game; it's a game...changer.

If in fact Lavrov gave the U.S. an off-ramp, it better consist of giving Eastern Ukraine more autonomy and annexing Crimea. The die has been cast with this vote; the Rubicon is crossed with this vote and both Russia, Ukraine and the U.S. have to respect it in their negotiations. You just don't toss aside the will of a million and a half or more people like that because the resentment it would create would come back to haunt Putin on the issue of the port.

No-no, I doubt that off-ramp includes selling out this vote; it would be ludicrous to ignore this huge development that represents a major setback for the U.S. and a major gain for Russia.

Posted by: kalithea | Mar 16, 2014 6:07:00 PM | 38

*only first sentence is a quote from b; the rest is my response; forget to shut of italics*

Posted by: kalithea | Mar 16, 2014 6:08:56 PM | 39

about this time McCain the Pain should be hitting his hed against some weary walls

Posted by: brian | Mar 16, 2014 6:21:37 PM | 40

@38 kalithea

My thoughts exactly. I have been pondering what might be the next steps as far as the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine are concerned. Putin (through Lavrov) has given Obama another face-saving opportunity. This one will cost the west a lot more than the Syrian face saving one did. I now feel that Ukraine will ultimately be split into east and west, with Crimea officially joining Russian once again. I suspect the east will form some kinds of a Federation, rather than choosing to formally join Russia.

For anyone interested, here is an interview that Solzhenitsyn gave in 1994. Note the map included in the interview:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/14/an-interview-with-aleksandr-solzhenitsyn-on-ukraine/

Posted by: TicoTiger | Mar 16, 2014 6:24:41 PM | 41

i'm puzzled by b's optimism, read ap story in link and sounds like same ol'shoit...happy 'bout krim tho',democracy in action!

Posted by: bfrakes | Mar 16, 2014 6:29:20 PM | 42

Sour grapes, really? I like Russia, but its hardly a paragon of justice and freedom.

The USA is just the greatest threat to world peace since the nazis, so the Russian Federation looks good in comparison. The same way Hitler made the Soviets look good (No, im not intentionally comparing Putin to Stalin).

Posted by: Massinissa | Mar 16, 2014 6:36:54 PM | 43

Massinissa -- honest question. What country would you say truly does embody justice and freedom? My best defense of Putin is that, unlike here and most every EU country I can think of, he actually does seem to care about the welfare of his country as a whole, which does ultimately benefit the people. But justice and freedom? For all people and now just a select (upper-crust) few? I used to believe in them deeply, but I'm not sure they've ever really existed, except perhaps the Iroquois Nations prior to the Seven Years War.

Posted by: Nora | Mar 16, 2014 6:46:08 PM | 44

@43

Why did I perceive sour grapes?:

On the one hand, its a sad day when Russia represents 'Freedom',... so I guess this is better than nothing.

Well, for one thing, you could have waited a couple of days to say you're sad; it kinda sounds uh, somewhat "debbie-downer" on this occasion.

And you honestly think it's a "sad day"? Aye! Tell me, what has this event in Crimea or this day to do with your cynical perception of Russia and its future?

You guess? So people voting for what they want and checking unrestrained U.S. power, doesn't satisfy you? Boy, you're hard to please!

Personally, it makes me very...giddy!

Posted by: kalithea | Mar 16, 2014 7:07:24 PM | 45

Voice Of Russia is reporting

Lugansk residents block train carrying military hardware to Ukrainian-Russian border

"Some three hundred men barricaded the railway with metal junk and formed a live shield to prevent the train from moving further eastward in a vehement show of defiance against the policy pursued by the new government in Kiev.

The Ukrainian authorities rushed trainloads of military hardware towards the Russian border on Sunday as Crimea votes on its future status. The referendum was called after the anti-government coup in Kiev.

LiveNews has obtained footage of one such train crossing the Lugansk region, which borders on Russia’s Belgorod and Voronezh in the east and Rostov region in the south..."

Posted by: brb | Mar 16, 2014 7:15:49 PM | 46

Hmmmm, Cargill and Monsanto and DuPont, oh my!

http://consortiumnews.com/2014/03/16/corporate-interests-behind-ukraine-putsch/

And Monsanto even claims its seed will be non-GMO. Perhaps the entire list, if we can ever get it, will also help answer the question, Why Now?

Posted by: Nora | Mar 16, 2014 7:16:22 PM | 47

Right Sector leader: Kiev should be ready to sabotage Russian pipelines in Ukraine

"...“We cannot allow the enemy to carry out a blitzkrieg attack on Ukrainian territory. We mustn’t forget that Russia makes money sending its oil through our pipelines to the West. We will destroy these pipelines and deprive our enemy of its source of income,” Yarosh said.

Continuing the bellicose rhetoric, Yarosh appealed to his followers, urging them to take up arms against Russia, if a diplomatic solution cannot be reached."

66% of all Russian Gas exports flow through Ukrainian pipelines

Posted by: brb | Mar 16, 2014 7:26:49 PM | 48

via вот так in a Saker comments

video of the Lugansk train blocking action:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns1jvsTbLq8

Posted by: brb | Mar 16, 2014 7:34:24 PM | 49

Strangely enough, in ITALY there is a poll as important as in Crimea; however, mass media has decided or been instructed to totally ignore it.

Four million Venetians will go to the polls and vote on whether Veneto, one of Italy’s three wealthiest regions, should secede from Italy and become an “independent and sovereign federal republic.”

They also vote on leaving the EU with their new republic, leaving NATO, leaving the EURO.

This must scare the EU leaders so much that they decided not to have it covered in the news, to not cause ideas in other regions as well.

So far only very little coverage in the media:

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/465108/How-a-vote-in-Venice-could-change-the-face-of-Italy

H/T: ZeroHedge

Posted by: Cynthia | Mar 16, 2014 7:49:24 PM | 50

Here's why US backed down:
[Examiner - 1st article]
[Guardian - 2nd article]

Russia Touches U.S. Achilles Heel: Petrogold instead of Petrodollar

16.03.2014 | 23:59

The US government feels the need to intervene in the Russian issue with Ukraine. If it wasn’t for an economic reason, nobody could come up with a valid argument explaining what the US has to do with a former USSR geopolitical issue. Is it really true that US policy makers leverage these “opportunities” as they desperately seek for GDP growth which they can’t find elsewhere?

Today’s Russia is not governed by an alcohol addict named Jeltsin. Putin, with his roots in the KGB, clearly does not feel any intimidation by the US cabal. By contrast, his answer to the US warnings goes straight to the Achilles heel of the US: the US Dollar based global oil system, also known as “Petrodollar.”

From Examiner.com (source):

However, like with the Syrian crisis of last September, Russia is quickly retaliating with their own economic threats, and one major action that they could undertake as a response is to discard the Petro-Dollar and demand physical gold as payment for energy purchases in both oil and natural gas.

Along the same lines on Goldcore.com (source):

Russian government officials and businessmen are bracing for sanctions resembling those applied to Iran according to Bloomberg. Should Russian foreign exchange reserves and bank assets be frozen as is being suggested, then Russia would likely respond by wholesale dumping of their dollar reserves and bonds.

In retaliation, Russia could opt to only accept gold bullion for payment for their gas, oil and other commodity exports. This would likely lead to a sharp fall in the dollar and a surge in gold prices.

Indeed, no country is immune to the global currency war. It is a farce to say there is no currency war, like Goldman Sachs want us to believe (see here) or our political leaders as represented in the G20 (see here).

Russia, just like China, has been piling up their gold reserves for several years now. They did so for a reason. Russia has been positioning itself for the nasty effects of the currency war which has been in the making for several years now. That’s in sharp contrast with countries like the US who have shown a preference for unlimited easy money.

How this will end, nodoby knows. What seems to be proven once again, is that gold equals strength. The petrodollar system is based on one, and only one, thing: trust. As soon as trust fades, the whole system collapses. That is the unspoken Achilles heel of the US. Unexpectedly, Russia is now in the position to touch this Achilles heel. Is this the trigger that will lead to a collapse of trust in the US dollar?

Markets fear Russia has cut US treasury bill holding over Ukraine crisis
16.03.2014 | 14:23


Financial markets were on high alert last night over the Ukraine crisis amid speculation that the Kremlin had pulled its vast US treasury bill holdings out of New York.


News that more than $100bn had been shifted out of the US in the past week – at least three times more than at any time since the financial crisis – prompted fears that Russia is preparing for a western backlash in the form of sanctions and is moving its funds to safe havens beyond US influence.

The bills were transferred out of the US central bank's deposit vaults last week, as the Obama administration increased the threat of sanctions in response to the growing crisis in east Ukraine. Last year the most moved in a week was $32bn. Analysts said that if the switch can be credited to Russia, it represents about 80% of the country's holdings in US Treasury bonds.

The Russian central bank is likely to be behind the move, though wealthy Russian business figures are also expected to be concerned that Washington-imposed sanctions will freeze funds they have parked with the US central bank. Alexei Miller, the boss of energy firm Gazprom, and Igor Sechin, who runs oil company Rosneft, are likely to be among the many senior figures in Moscow adversely affected by any targeted sanctions imposed on Russia.

The switch came to light after the US central bank reported that its weekly custody holdings of Treasury bonds – investments it keeps on behalf of outside investors – dropped $105bn for the week ending 12 March to $2.85tn from $2.96tn.



Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 16, 2014 7:57:17 PM | 51

From the nice folks at RT, a legal opinion that U.S. financial aid to Ukraine's puppet government would actually violate its own laws. Yes, in accordance with the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and amendments thereto, it is forbidden to transfer financial aid to "the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree."

http://rt.com/news/us-aid-ukraine-illegal-202/

It's true this was not, properly speaking, a military coup d'etat, but I believe the intent of the law is clear and that it prohibits financial aid to any government which is unelected and has come to power through violent deposition of the prior leader.

Posted by: Mark | Mar 16, 2014 8:38:57 PM | 52

Slightly off topic, but as an American, I was kind of embarrassed vis-à-vis Europeans that Americans allow themselves to be hoodwinked by their government, at least since Reagan. But having fascists overthrow a government on Europe's doorstep, and then having all European governments come out in support of the coup, seems to be an emperor has no clothes moment for Europeans.

The whole context of the idea of the EU, as I understood it, was that after the experience with Nazism and the total war that it led to, now Europeans would live in peace and harmony. Can there be a more blatant contradiction of that idea than the EU siding with the US government instead of Russia on what has happened in the Ukraine?

And if a large country sending troops to a smaller country is such a bad thing, why aren't European leaders complaining about all the troops that the US has spread across Europe? When was the last time the Germans, Italians, or British were asked in a poll if they want American bases in their countries, after the fall of Communism?

Posted by: Demian | Mar 16, 2014 8:47:49 PM | 53

"The tragedy is that the resulting “Who lost Syria and Ukraine” propaganda will divert attention away from austerity programs that are screwing us economically and the NGO and Corporate privatization of transportation, education, security and diplomacy."
Vietnam Vet@ 12

I agree.
If b's information is correct it completely confirms the suggestion he made a few days ago that Putin was involved in Judoka tactics.

Russia not only ensures that, without having to lift a military finger, it regains Crimea de jure and de facto, but that, in any future Ukraine wide vote the anti-neo-con/fascist side will have a strong bloc of votes including Crimea.

In fact it now looks very likely that, provided that the NAZI tactics of the Right Sector are not tolerated and the vote is reasonably fair, the tendency preferring Russia to Poland/US could win handily.

After all, opinion polls have shown consistently that Ukrainians do not want to join NATO and have no time for Svoboda/Right Sector politics. Add to this the avowed programme of the Kiev cabal- to cut pensions and attack working class living standards and it seems clear that the only way the US side could win an election is by frightening off opponents, banning political parties and stuffing the ballots.
Under any federal form of government it is likely not only that Crimea and other Russian oriented regions will cast their votes but that they will do so in provinces controlling their own security, policing the voting stations and capable of expelling Kiev's mercenaries and thugs.

Inevitably, as Vietnam Vet suggests, this will play out in the US as another indication of Obama's "weakness", and reason for electing a blowhard warmonger in 2016. Given that the Democrats are likely to run an unelectable candidate, such as Hillary, this would take us back to where we started.
On the other hand the real problems of the economy, inequality and the corruption of Congress and the entire political caste are such that nothing is going to distract people from the real issues, not even a re-run of the Who Lost China nonsense.

Finally, the news that the fascists are threatening to blow up the gas pipelines which not only heat Ukraine's homes and fuel its industries (at prices much lower than those available to British or US consumers) but keep Germany going too, is exquisitely heartening. It must be tempting to opponents of the Kiev cabal to borrow fascist gear and try some false flag work for themselves. Talk of a fascist cutting off his nose to spite his face..

Posted by: bevin | Mar 16, 2014 9:35:32 PM | 54

Kalithea @ 45: "Personally, it makes me very...giddy!"

Yup, I too fall into that category. Hopefully Putin, unlike the US, will not throw the workers of the Crimea under the bus at some future date, to satisfy Russia's Oligarchs.

Posted by: ben | Mar 16, 2014 9:52:18 PM | 55

bevin @ 54: "On the other hand the real problems of the economy, inequality and the corruption of Congress and the entire political caste are such that nothing is going to distract people from the real issues, not even a re-run of the Who Lost China nonsense."

From your lips, to the people's ears. Don't hold your breath til' that happens, but, hope springs eternal:).

Posted by: ben | Mar 16, 2014 10:10:28 PM | 56

@45 Kalithea, I wasnt specifically referring to Crimea. I support this whole heartedly. I apologize but I feel theres a miscommunication between us.

I wasnt specifically referring to today or to crimea. I was saying that its sad that Oligarchic Russia, of all things, flawed as it is, is the best we can hope for as a defender of the worlds freedom.

I have no fault with Russia for what theyre doing in Crimea: I support this wholeheartedly. Either I was unclear or you misunderstood me or both.

Posted by: Massinissa | Mar 16, 2014 10:54:13 PM | 57

"Yet there was no denying a general feeling here that the West has treaded too lightly with Moscow and that the Europeans in particular have erred to much on the side of protecting their lucrative economic relationships with Russia."

“The Russians are very aggressive,” said Vladimir Lebedev, a 32-year-old father of two who works for a Kiev advertising firm.
“The only thing they understand is a strong response,” Lebedev continued. “And so far, we haven’t seen one.”


From WaP:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/as-kiev-braces-to-lose-crimea-many-also-disappointed-in-the-west/2014/03/16/86fe05be-ad29-11e3-b8b3-44b1d1cd4c1f_story.html

Ha, but as I noted before, your "leaders" and a couple of crazy old US senators misled you. How long before the general populace begins to sense that their leaders are naked and that the Americans and much less EU aren't coming, and it was all about getting Tymoshenko out of jail, so that she can enjoy her life in EU on the money that she stole from the people.

Posted by: CC | Mar 16, 2014 11:01:55 PM | 58

@ Massinissa #57:

According to the CIA, the Gini index of the US is higher than that of Russia, which means that oligarchy is more of an American problem than it is a Russian problem. (And the American people are now going through the shock treatment, with cuts to Food Stamps and Social Security, that Russia went through after the collapse of the USSR.)

Posted by: Demian | Mar 16, 2014 11:07:42 PM | 59

Like they say in America: a sucker is born every day. So true for people, so true for nations, so true even for fascists..

Posted by: CC | Mar 16, 2014 11:12:17 PM | 60

Behold, this is the "simple" adobe of one Vasil' Pisniy. He is apparently the head of the department for fighting economic corruption in the junta. The article notes that the house near Lviv in the West Ukraine and is a part of much larger complex...

http://images.unian.net/photos/2014_03/1395022928-4681-dom-pisnogo.jpg

http://www.unian.ua/politics/897163-u-mereji-pokazali-budinok-novogo-nachalnika-departamentu-borotbi-z-ekonomichnoyu-zlochinnistyu-mvs.html

Posted by: CC | Mar 16, 2014 11:22:32 PM | 61

After the preliminary results were announced in Simferopol, Sergei Aksyonov said to the cheering crowd gathered in Lenin Square, "We're going home".

Posted by: scalawag | Mar 16, 2014 11:41:40 PM | 62

This is a statement from one Yarosh, who is the leader of Right Sector. He calls to prepare for a Russia invasion.

One item on the very bottom calls for blowing up the gas pipelines that pass from Russia to EU.... that would be interesting... EU punished by their own...


http://espreso.tv/new/2014/03/16/yarosh_proponuye_znyschyty_hazovu_trubu_yakscho_rosiya_ne_zupynytsya

McCain apparently said that Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country. He wishes his country was one. By the time fracking runs its course the whole of US would be liberated of potable water and arable land :http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2014/01/fracking-and-house-prices

Posted by: CC | Mar 16, 2014 11:47:45 PM | 63

@CC #63
The threat to blow up the gas pipelines that pass from Russia to EU did not come from "one Yarosh," or from some "right wing group", as RT called it.

Dmitri Yarosh, the leader of the Right Sector is the Deputy Head of the National Security and Defense Council. A fellow Nazi, Andrei Parubiy of the Social-National Party of Ukraine hold the top post. (Parubiy is now generally believed to be the organizer of the February 20th false-flag sniper massacre.)

See The Saker: Don't listen to what they say - look at what they do

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 17, 2014 12:03:58 AM | 64

@64
Don't want to give him too much legitimacy...

Posted by: CC | Mar 17, 2014 12:09:55 AM | 65

Regulatory filings by the top four U.S. commercial banks - Citigroup, Bank of America Corp, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo - show they have around $24 billion in exposure to Russia.

For most of them it is tiny compared to the much heavier exposure of European banks. Some of the debt is traded on the secondary market so can be held by institutions ranging from hedge and insurance to mutual and pension funds.

"Europe is in a tough spot since its economy is so interlinked with the Russian economy," said oil consultancy Petromatrix.

Russia gets over half its budget revenues from energy exports, the world's largest. It supplies Europe with a quarter of its oil and almost a third of its gas. Russia is also the largest exporter of metals and a significant supplier of wheat.

But the country is also a fifth largest consumer market in the world, falling just behind Germany. Last year, it imported almost $350 billion worth of consumer goods, food, medicines and machinery. About half came from the European Union.

oh well.

Couldn't they have thought of that before.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 17, 2014 1:41:09 AM | 66

Nora47, thanks for that link. We sometimes forget the top ag outfits are part of the deep state.
ARTICLE:
Oxfam recently put out a new report on the world's largest grain traders, the so-called ABCD firms (Arch Daniel Midlands, Bunge, Cargil and Louis Dreyfus). The report provides a detailed overview of the activities of these companies and their emerging competitors and offers some insights into the directions where these companies are heading.

Cereal secrets: The world's largest grain traders and global agriculture

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 17, 2014 2:56:32 AM | 67

okie farmer: since this is a Web site, could you please give links to the Web articles you quote from?

Posted by: Demian | Mar 17, 2014 3:45:11 AM | 68

I suspect that Merkel played a big role in US climb down. Despite her public statements, she probably was not willing to go with US, which led US onto the "off ramp". Undoubtedly the trolls in Congress, McCain chief among them, put her off - she saw absolutely no reason to risk armed conflict over Ukraine. And plenty of reasons to make a deal.

If US upholds their side of the off ramp deal (of which I'm suspicious they won't) it will be the second outright Russian victory over US imperialism within the last year. But not imho as important as Russia stopping US bombing Syria. Stopping that potential bombing has enabled the SAA to strike deep and hard against the takfiris. As b pointed out in the article from SWOOP, inside the beltway opinion is Syria has won.

I think Russia leading the resistance axis has been nothing short of brilliant.

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 17, 2014 3:53:48 AM | 69

Demian, sorry, that was supposed to be link at the bottom. Don't know how I messed it up.

http://www.grain.org/fr/bulletin_board/entries/4570-cereal-secrets-the-world-s-largest-grain-traders-and-global-agriculture

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 17, 2014 4:01:08 AM | 70

Hallo Bernhard,

interessant zu lesen dass Sie ausdrücklich betonen, dass SIE es sind, der über die publizierten Inhalte auf MoA entscheidet. Das ist natürlich klar, weil Sie der Betreiber des Blogs sind, andererseits hat es mich schon sehr gewundert, in welch ziemlich feindseliger und mit Sanktionen drohender Art Sie das gegenüber jemanden betonen, der sich gegen den antisemitischen Müll auf Ihrem Blog ausspricht.

Ich habe Ihren Blog nun seit über sieben Jahren verfolgt und ab und zu, wenn ich dachte, es mache Sinn, auch Kommentare abgegeben. Ich war in den ersten Jahren ziemlich begeistert von den Diskussionen, die dort stattfanden. Leider muss ich jetzt feststellen, wie viele Teilnehmer vor mir schon, die den Blog auch verlassen haben, dass er zu einem Sammelbecken von neurotischen, authoritätsgläubigen Verschwörungstheoretikern geworden ist; schlimmer noch, viele dort Kommentierende haben anscheinend die Protokolle der Weisen von Zion aufgesogen und machen aus ihrer antisemitischen und Holocaust-leugnenden Grundhaltung und ihrem eliminatorischen Vernichtungswillen keinen Hehl.

Dazu kommt ein unsäglicher persönlicher Stil vieler Kommentatoren unter dem Schutz der Anonymität mit Beleidigungen übelster Art, gegen die Sie nicht einschreiten. Offensichtlich billigen Sie das ebenso wie den anderen Müll.

Sie lassen zu, dass Menschen mit anderer Meinung unterschiedslos als Troll o.ä. verunglimpft werden. Zumindest in meinem Fall müssten Sie einschreiten. Sie kennen mich, ich kenne Sie. Deshalb wird es jetzt einen Auseinandersetzung zwischen zwei ganz realen Personen werden. Ich werde nicht zulassen, dass das künstlerische und politische, antifaschistische Erbe von Kurt Weill, Bert Brecht, aber auch von Gruppen wie "The Doors" unter dem Namen "Moon of Alabama" in den Dreck gezogen wird. Der Name gehört nicht Ihnen, sondern der gesamten Menschheit.

Es gibt genügend rechtsradikale, faschistische und verschwörungstheoretische Blogs weltweit. Moon of Alabama wird nicht dazugehören.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen!

Thomas

Posted by: thomas | Mar 17, 2014 4:02:16 AM | 71

Demian 63

Nice written there, problem is that european leaders but also alot of europeans themselves fanatically love america so when america try to start a war they get all support by the media/politicians (compared to this situation where Russia get all smeared) to name on example. Basically europe is the 51:th american state. Many of these european leaders love obama more than anything else.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 17, 2014 4:04:32 AM | 72

Oh my, Thomas. Talk about sour grapes! Moon of Alabama is a left leaning blog, anti-fascist, and the most informative and important resistance blog on the internet. Although you're right about sometimes being a little conspiratorial. Your wrong on every point in your post, which can only mean you don't understand what's going on in the world, particularly geopolitics.

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 17, 2014 4:23:25 AM | 73

"Left" politics is something totally different from what is mainly discussed here. Left means emancipatory politics; emancipation of the individual, the class, the nation etc. from personal, economical,social, cultural dependencies. Not promoting to leave the one dependency (on the fascist junta in Kiev) to join the next - Putins authoritarian Russia.

Posted by: thomas | Mar 17, 2014 4:42:03 AM | 74

I'm still careful.

Sure, a 85%+ turnout and a 95%+ vote is a clear success for Crimea.
But as I said, that doesn't mean Crimea is Russian as per next weak. According to first (positive and hopeful) statements (by Crimea) it will take about a year to implement it.

I personally consider the current situation as premature and quite open. After all, what has *really* and realiter been achieved is hardly more than an expected anyway Crimea ref. result and the impression of a certain reluctance on zusas side to stupidly go ahead on a path that has shown multiple times fruitless.

There are stll major stones to move and more or less acute problems. To name some:
- Currently, nobody seems to (be able to) control the de facto power of the nazis. I do not think it's as simple as saying zusa payed them, zusa stops them. In fact, I think that one major factor in zusas recent reluctance is exactly that; they unleashed those dogs but they by no means control them. Actually the problems starts with the "them". There is no "them", they are factioned groups without a central leadership.

- both zusa and zeu had very big snouts and will certainly not simply change to constructive and friendly mode, if alone to not look as foolish and the losers they actually are. One can't threaten with sanctions and then suddenly drop that line.
One important question will be whether - and if so, which - ways zusa and zeu find to tone their screaming down and to create some sanctions that can save their face somewhat yet dont seriously piss off Russia.

- Someone will have to clean up ukraine and pay the bill. I'm expecting *no* party to be eager taking that job. Actually I think that major parts of the "neutral observers" ideas floating around are actually polit-lingo for ukraines regime not having any real power and nobody wanting to clean up. From Russias side it looks simple; "neutral observers" means weztern forces dressed in a neutral groups uniform and Russian observers observing those weztern "neutral observers".
Whoever does what, in the end the current ukraine is not a viable state capable to even survive. So some parties must take care of that and Russia certainly won't pay for zusas/zeus shit operations.

- ukraine being neutral politically (forget it) and militarily.
Funny, that, exactly that (not to happen), was the very fucking reason for the whole mess to be ignited by zusa/zeu. Even funnier, there *already exist* agreements that ukraine must stay neutral and not become a zato member. Well, Russia certainly learned about the worth of a zusa signature.
Yet Russia demands it again. Sure, Putin isn't stupidly believing in the power of a second worthless signature.
So, why does he demand it? Interesting question with lots of TNT trouble for the wezt in it.

- sanctions, vol. 2. Before anything whatsoever moves Russia will have a very close look at how zusa/zeu solve the sanctions problems they blurringly created. Every fucking $ of damage created in or against Russia will be found to be a nice little grenade under zusas/zeus asses.

- Military. zato has "excercises" coming up with ukraine. Will zusa bow and cancel those? If not there is no table for Russia to negotiate at.

- autonomy. What Putin actually means is something similar to what Crimea had but for every southern/eastern region. Of course, looking from the wezt that means no less than give Russia the keys to half of ukraine and the means to take those regions away whenever it so pleases Russia. Even more it also means that kiev and the central government will be basically degraded to a service station without much power.
On the other hand, that probably looks still more attractive to zusa/zeu than losing the economic core of ukraine (along with acess to the sea) right away.

Plus some "nice" little bombs floating around such as a no-hostilities until march 21. agreement with ukraine which already broke it and still brakes it by moving heavy mil. equipment around toward the Russian border.

I think Putins position is pretty clear. It basically comes down to "You started the mess and you pay it and clean it up. Additionally shift your fucking sanctions up your ass and you find a way to convince me that ukraine will never be nato and that your guarantee has any worth. If you don't like that, I'll break free the complete sounthern/eastern ukraine and leave you idiots with the worthless rest. And now, fuck off and begin working on a solution, or else ..."

For the weztern side it's not that easy. For one, sure enough zusa and zeu will try to shift as much of the shit packet to each other. Furthermore the understanding of what's the right way to go, what's worth how much and who's interested most and in what is, I guess, very different between zusa and zeu and even within zeu.
The only real common interest is to not look even worse and to not create even more damage for themselves.

merkel is in a particularly bad position. After all, Germany being Russias favourite partner - and certainly very much in need of Russian gas and business orders placed - Putin quite justifiably is extremely pissed off by merkel having had her hands at the match that lit up ukraine and still and up to the last minute showing her ugly, perfidious, criminal face and attitude. Internally merkel has pretty much every industry and business against herself who did not at all like her to risk Germanies business future.

Does any of that mean that Putin lied to or played with Crimea? Certainly not. Crimea will either become part of Russia or - preferably - the core of a new state with the southern/eastern region around itself, and a state, one might add, that would basically be part of Russia in all but formal name.
Or, if one needs a hint, a state ("country" for zamericans) that is an eastern version of Puerto Rico, albeit with a humane, positive, and constructive attitude by the large partner (Russia) rather than merely being a colony to be used and abused at will (zusa).

Oh and btw.: That whole thingy might explode right into yaz, merkels and obamas face if another ethnic Russian is killed by the ukrainian thugs.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 17, 2014 4:44:07 AM | 75

thomas

Kindly repeat that in english. After all, it wasn't a purely personal letter, was it? Because if you had a basis for a personal letter you would doubtlessly have b's private email. If, however, it wasn't a personal letter - and we have to assume it wasn't - you should have the politeness to write your posts in english. After all, you aren't a Nazi who communicates only in german, are you.

I'm sure everyone here would love to know what you said in the above post.


@b

Thank you for MoA and your consistent engagement, not at least for freedom of speech!
Should you ever be in trouble you would certainly not be alone.

Thank you!


Ceterum censeo israel vehementer delendum esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 17, 2014 4:53:01 AM | 76

74) That's a consistent problem - not just on this blog. People just aren't capable of describing one side as bad without perceiving the other side as good.

But if you are honest - that also was the problem of the Augsburg guy with the Austrian citizenship who lent the name of his poem to this blog.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 17, 2014 5:02:34 AM | 77

Excellent post Mr. P. But, I would contest your opinion of Merkel. Yes, she's in a "bad position", but she's done serious back-channel negotiations to get US to the "off ramp", imo without any doubt.

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 17, 2014 5:06:11 AM | 78

just use the high translation technics developed by people from "zusa":

Hello Bernhard ,

interesting to read that you emphasize that it is YOU who decides on the content published on MoA. This is obvious , because you are the operator of the blog , on the other hand I was very surprised at the pretty hostile and sanctions threatened way you emphasized to someone who speaks out against the anti-Semitic garbage on your blog.

I have followed your blog now for over seven years and from time to time when I thought it made ​​sense , also issued comments . I was pretty excited about the discussions that took place here in the early years . Unfortunately, I must now say like many participants before me already , who also left the blog that it has become a melting pot of neurotic , compulsive charakters and conspiracy theorists ; worse, many have absorbed the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and make no secret of their anti- Semitic and Holocaust -denying attitude and their genocidal destruction will.

Added to that comes a unspeakable personal style of many commentators under the protection of anonymity here with insults of the worst kind , against which you do not intervene . Obviously you approve it as well as the other garbage.

You allow that people who disagree with a different opinion are denigrated as a troll. At least in my case, you would have to intervene. You know me, I know you. Therefore, it is now a battle between two very real people are. I will not allow that the artistic and political, anti-fascist heritage of Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht , but also of groups like "The Doors" is drawn into the dirt under the name "Moon of Alabama". The name does not belong to you , but to all of mankind.

There are plenty of right-wing , fascist and conspiratorial blogs worldwide. Moon of Alabama will not be a part of them.

Posted by: thomas | Mar 17, 2014 5:10:03 AM | 79

guest, I give you Thomas as an example of an un-paid troll (well, possibly by the Zionist entity), but he differs from the other trolls on this blog by his use of language. Sure, he uses the anti-Semite meme in his posts, but he can't recognize 'left' at all. He defines it with pie-in-the-sky tropes that exclude most of the posters on this blog.

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 17, 2014 5:20:16 AM | 80

thomas

Thanks for the english version.

Unfortunately I can't but notice that not only are you questioning b's right to decide about his blog but you actually arrogate to define what's right and acceptable and what's wrong and inacceptable on *his* blog.

Even worse you top that by overtly threatening b.

Besides the fact that your arrogance and attitude are ridiculous at first glance there is another component an a shocking one.
Like the Nazis then, who arrogated the judgement position to decide over art and literature, you are arrogating a disgustingly similar Nazi position by declaring publicly that you feel it's at you to decide which statements and views are acceptable and which are not.

Obviously by going along that Nazi route you more than sufficiently demonstrated that your goal, or, more precisely, your holy war isn't about justice, human values, or the right version of being "left" - but simply about enforcing, no matter the way or the means, zionist interests and the zionist agenda.
In other words, your credibility is reduced to that of an israeli shooting and killing a palestinian school girl while blabbering that human values must be held high and cruelty against humans must "never again" occur.

You just lost what little standing or credibility you might have had around here. Thanks for your public suicide which is indeed commendable and a contribution to a better world.

Ceterum censeo israel vehementer delendum esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 17, 2014 5:53:51 AM | 81

okie farmer (78)

You might be right there; I had similar thoughts at times.

In the end, however, merkels unnecessary escalations ("massive sanctions") lead me to believe that she wasn't about cooling off zusa but rather was mistaken to believe the wezt had Russia cornered and she could show her real attitude.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 17, 2014 5:56:45 AM | 82

80) There is no way you can keep "left" clean from antisemitism and nationalism.

It is part of the human condition.

It would be a good job though to remember how foolish it is.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 17, 2014 6:08:01 AM | 83

There is no way you can keep "left" clean from antisemitism and nationalism.

It is part of the human condition.

Plus: "anti-semitism" is for the vast part a purely virtual problem created, defined, and controlled by zionists/izrael.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 17, 2014 6:13:15 AM | 84

84) there are too many graves for that, but yes, it is just one of many racisms.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 17, 2014 6:20:31 AM | 85

@81: your talk is an inflated bubble, one stitch with a needle and everything is gone. If you would blog under the name "united idiots of the world" nobody would intervene; but the name "Moon of Alabama" doesn't belong to b, it's mankind cultural heritage. And if antio-semitic garbage is being spread under this name at least I will intervene

you are the perfect Maximilian Aue - the will for genocidal annihilation under an academic cover

Posted by: thomas | Mar 17, 2014 6:38:46 AM | 86

Hallo, Thomas.

Ihr Kommentar Nr. 71 ist unverschämt, diffamierend und schrammt gefährlich nahe an gerichtlich verwertbaren Aussagen vorbei, die den Straftatbestand der Bedrohung(§ 241 StGB) und der Verleumdung(§ 187 StGB) erfüllen.

Sie sollten sich ganz genau überlegen, ob "b" oder "Bernhard" in der Tat für die Meinungsäusserungen Dritter verantwortlich zu machen ist, falls die Webseite nicht innerhalb der deutschen Gerichtsbarkeit angesiedelt ist und die Kommentatoren aus Ländern kommen, in denen eine abweichende Meinung zum Holocaust ausserhalb des Diskurses der Geschichtswissenschaften nicht strafbar ist.

Sollten sowohl Sie als auch "b" sich in Deutschland aufhalten, könnte "b" ihren Beitrag, mithilfe eines guten Anwalts, gerichtlich verwertbar machen. Mit allen für Sie negativen Konsequenzen, wohlgemerkt.

Mindestens ebenso bedeutsam ist, dass Sie sich erdreisten "b" vorzuschreiben was auf *seinem* Blog für Inhalte und Kommentare zu erscheinen hätten.

Ihr Verhalten ist absolut inakzeptabel und menschlich unter aller Sau.

Wenn Sie mit Kommentatoren, über Themen denen sie offensichtlich emotional grosse Bedeutung zumessen, unterschiedlicher Meinung sind, dann vertreten Sie Ihren Standpunkt mit Fakten und Argumenten.

Eine, für mich, klar erkennbar ausgesprochene und persönlich werdende Bedrohung stellt eine Kapitulation Ihrerseits dar und entzieht Ihnen und Ihrer Position jegliche Legitimität.

HnH

Posted by: HnH | Mar 17, 2014 6:38:50 AM | 87

sind Sie völlig von allen guten geistern verlassen? seit wann ist die ankündigung einer öffentlichen auseinandersetzung über politische und ideologische positionen eine "bedrohung" oder "verleumdung"?

allerdings ist b verantwortlich für alle positionen, die auf seiner website geäußert werden und von denen er sich nicht ausdrücklich distanziert....

Posted by: thomas | Mar 17, 2014 6:43:15 AM | 88

thomas @79: You're in a classic internet dilemma. I think b has decided to allow the comments to be a free-for-all. You can either participate in that on the side of 'good' or you can leave. If you see a specific instance of anti-semitism or Holocaust denial, point it out and call the promoter an a-hole. And then move on.

And, as for people calling you a troll, you're just gonna have to suck it up. It's the way of these free-for-all spaces. If this space is unimportant, and it may be, don't waste your time here unless you're having a good time (and you don't seem to be having one). But if you think this comment space is important, stay and fight but try to have a thick skin and a sense of humor.

Posted by: fairleft | Mar 17, 2014 6:43:46 AM | 89

fairleft - it's only about the name: Moon of Alabama. my personal history and that of many many comrades i have deserve that we protect the name of one of the most famous musicals, songs, poems and those of the artists who wrote and sung it

Posted by: thomas | Mar 17, 2014 6:54:11 AM | 90

@ thomas, 88.

Ich zitiere: " Sie kennen mich, ich kenne Sie. Deshalb wird es jetzt einen Auseinandersetzung zwischen zwei ganz realen Personen werden."

Hier ist keine Rede von einer "öffentlichen Auseinandersetzung". Ihre Interpretation Ihres Kommentares ist sekundär. Entscheidend ist die Interpretation von "b" in Bezug auf Ihre Intentionen. Ich würde mich ganz klar bedroht fühlen. Sie schaffen es noch nicht einmal in Ihrer Antwort den Begriff "Auseinandersetzung" zu entschärfen.

Ich denke, dass Sie in Ihrem Kommentar 71 den Rubikon überschritten haben, bei dem Sie von allen guten Geistern verlassen wurden.

So etwas darf einfach nicht passieren.

Posted by: HnH | Mar 17, 2014 6:54:56 AM | 91

Thomas74, "..."Left" politics is something totally different from what is mainly discussed here. Left means emancipatory politics; emancipation of the individual, the class, the nation etc. from personal, economical,social, cultural dependencies..."

So you're a libertarian. I get that, but, when you scratch the surface of a libertarian there's always a fascist underneath.

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 17, 2014 6:55:20 AM | 92

thomas (86)

your talk is an inflated bubble, one stitch with a needle and everything is gone.

Blabla. You chose not to. For a reason.

but the name "Moon of Alabama" doesn't belong to b, it's mankind cultural heritage.

a) looking at it like that your very name "thomas" isn't yours neither. How about "lone idiot".

b) and it's *you* to decide how mankind makes use of that heritage? Certainly not.

c) So would shut up if the blog was named differently? Yeah right, and Saint Nikolai comes to every house. Sure.


The truth is simple. You are a little zionist whore rat and you would spread your "anti-semitism" bullshit no matter the name of this blog and no matter anything else.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Mar 17, 2014 6:56:28 AM | 93

Unfortunately I can't but notice that not only are you questioning b's right to decide about his blog but you actually arrogate to define what's right and acceptable and what's wrong and inacceptable on *his* blog.

Mr. Pragma: I'm just learning about you, so hadn't realized how in love you are with b's private property rights! You seem to be attacking thomas for disagreeing with b and telling him how to run things around here. I don't understand what's wrong with that, unless you believe in absolute private property rights for blog owners.

Here's a proper left perspective: even though it is *his* blog, that doesn't mean b has the 'right' to decide everything about it. In fact, the comment section should be a free speech zone, thomas should feel free criticizing b in any way he wants, and *he* should not have a right to censor free speech.

Posted by: fairleft | Mar 17, 2014 7:01:45 AM | 94

An explanation for non-German speakers: I told thomas in uncertain terms that his comment nr. 71 could very easily be interpreted as a chargeable offense under German law.

It is beyond acceptable discourse that thomas perceives the necessity to switch to German on an English blog to threaten "b".

That is testament to his seeming inability to defend his positions by argument, fact and rational thought.

Posted by: HnH | Mar 17, 2014 7:05:36 AM | 95

Man! Thomas has gotten under my skin, and many others obviously. He's diverted this whole thread from meaningful discussion. I'm guilty of feeding this troll - ignoring my injunction to ignore them. Sorry for that.

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 17, 2014 7:11:13 AM | 96

Pic that sums up the hypocrisy
https://twitter.com/russian_market/status/445469027624689664

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 17, 2014 7:15:12 AM | 97

Mr. P 82, I'm open minded you may be right about Merkel, but I think we need to wait and see what sanctions she will allow before we jump to conclusions whether she's on the sanctions band wagon. We'll know in the next day or two.

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 17, 2014 7:16:50 AM | 98

A bit late but AP is now catching up on what the Russians want:

Russia calls on Ukraine to be a federal state

Russia's foreign ministry is calling on Ukraine to become a federal state and call fresh elections.

In a statement posted on Monday the ministry urged Ukraine's parliament to call a constitutional assembly which could draft a new constitution to make the country federal, handing more power to its regions.

The foreign ministry said the proposals are part of its efforts to ease the tensions in Ukraine by diplomatic means.

Moscow insisted that Ukrainian regions should get broader autonomy and that the country should adopt a "neutral political and military status."

Posted by: b | Mar 17, 2014 7:31:14 AM | 99

b,99 that fits perfectly with your "off ramp" scenario, although it ratchets up the pressure on the West. Russia has seen their opening and they're jumping right into it.

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 17, 2014 7:39:37 AM | 100

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