Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 07, 2014

Ukraine: The East Strikes Back

The people in the eastern industrial heart of the Ukraine had so far a mostly unsatisfactory life. After the catastrophic end of the Soviet Union the industries they were working in were either shut down or sold off for peanuts to some shady oligarchs. The economy fell, then stagnated and unlike in nearby Russia never recovered. They democratically elected a somewhat pro-Russian president Yanukovich but he was removed by an anti-democratic coup. Twice.

Now some alliance of fascists and oligarchs are ruling in Kiev. One of them, the pseudo blond gas-princess,  threatened to kill the Russian speaking people in eastern Ukraine. The coup government installed some Jewish Israeli-Ukrainian thieves as governors to rule over them. The announced austerity program will ruin what is left of the the eastern Ukrainian industry. So what are these people to do?

Of course they will not agree to calmly sit down and to let happen even more bad things to them. Instead they will follow the example the putschists and their U.S./EU supporters in Kiev laid out for them. They are occupying government buildings, proclaim self-established people's republics and ask their big neighbor Russia for help.

Supporting the moves in the East is the continued threat of the fascists in Kiev where the paramilitary Right Sector stormed the constitutional court to remove judges not in its favor.

The coup-government in Kiev has little it can do against this. It could send troops and police but would those follow its orders? Would Russia counter by sending troops to protect the people in the east? How would a possible loss of the eastern and southern Ukraine effect their plans?

The coup-rulers may soon find that the only way out is what Russia demanded all along, a far reaching federalization of the Ukraine. This only possible way out for them. The question then is if their "western" overlords will allow them to follow that path.

Posted by b on April 7, 2014 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

Comments
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Devin Ackles ‏@JournalMinimum 37m
Video of conflict between pro-Russian separatists / pro-Ukrainian locals in #Kharkiv. Separatists attack protesters. http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/45868397

Crimea&East ‏@IndependentKrym 27m
@JournalMinimum proUKr localslol.one group arrived with giant bus with black screens got out threw granades etc that's how it all kicked off


Bulgarian nationalist party threatens to topple gov't over Russia sanctions #Russianspring http://t.co/r8Gr5qwyqR

Антимайдан ‏@myrevolutionrus 13m
Сейчас в Харькове. Милиция встала между протестующими. #RussianSpring #Харьков #Донецк #Луганск #Украина #Антимайдан pic.twitter.com/Qv6zAeDyAw

Posted by: brian | Apr 7, 2014 11:30:45 AM | 1

Retweeted Crimea&East (@IndependentKrym):

#Donetsk live http://t.co/UXhy49Wwm0 setting the groundworkn for referendum. reportedly 15k of Police have defected to the People.

Retweeted Nina Byzantina (@NinaByzantina):

#Ukraine map, Apr 6: star=captured govt buildings; flag=oppose #Kiev govt; peace sign=blocked military. #РусскаяВесна http://t.co/RNZDJ6Y9As

Vladimir Ilin shared a link.
18 hours ago · Edited
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmkFxV5p6Y8
Viral video of young Crimeans supporting cities of Ukraine Southeastern uprising :
"Donetsk, we are proud of you" , "Dnepropetrovsk we are with you", "Zaporojie, everything is in your hands", "Harkov, we love you", "Your destiny is in your hands" etc.

Posted by: brian | Apr 7, 2014 11:32:16 AM | 2

Retweeted RT (@RT_com):

MORE: Donetsk Council proclaims itself only legitimate body until referendum, set to take place no later than May 11 http://t.co/YADZHFOMqO

Retweeted Anatoly Karlin (@akarlin88):

Turchinov threatens "anti-terrorist action" to "those who took up arms." http://t.co/GBOpHXO4IW I assume he's not talking of Right Sector…

Steiner ‏@Steiner1776 51m
#Ukraine #Kharkov Police leaves regional council building. Under full people control now http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcMUkDsVEV0 … via @StateOfUkraine

Posted by: brian | Apr 7, 2014 11:37:45 AM | 3

I wonder whether Kiev has enough forces even to suppress the rising in Donetsk. Is there enough to force Donetsk back into allegiance? subtracting of course the pro- Russian proportion of the UKrainian army.

The fact is, the Ukrainians have scarcely anything. I wonder whether Putin would even need to send in troops to defend the Eastern Ukrainians.

Posted by: Alexno | Apr 7, 2014 11:44:42 AM | 4

The putschist regime in Kiev seems fundamentally unstable. The combination of Orange Revolution Fatherland Party retreads and oligarch cronies with Right Sector neo-Nazis is a recipe for continued unrest because the fascists are not in favor of "business as usual."

Naturally the NYT sees Russian orchestration behind the seizure of government buildings yesterday. I am not so sure. It seems like Russia would be better served by waiting until after the presidential election in May to maximize leverage. Now, the puppet Yats can act rashly (whatever that entails) and it won't necessarily detract from the front runner, billionaire chocolate oligarch Poroshenko.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Apr 7, 2014 11:52:48 AM | 5

The situation in the east is highly vulnerable to agents provocateurs (bused in from the west) pretending to be "separatists", creating an impression of growing "militancy", sowing seeds of mistrust among anti-putsch populace, whether Ukrainian or Russian speaking, and carrying out a variety of f.f. ops.

Posted by: Brod | Apr 7, 2014 12:23:11 PM | 6

"The question then is if their "western" overlords will allow them to follow that path." not according to @5 mike maloneys comment on how the nyt is spinning it.

i think the instability of the putsch regime in kiev lends itself well to the warmongers/nato/banking cartel interests. any uprising in any other area will be propagandized as russian interference and be described as illegitimate. it is all moving towards a pretext for nato's presence in ukraine and ultimately any means of getting rid of putin for all the positive things he is doing that run contrary to the demands of the warmongers.. ukraine is the new playing field, or shithole thanks the powers that are not happy unless they are screwing up the whole planet.

Posted by: james | Apr 7, 2014 12:24:05 PM | 7

One of the reports speaks of weapons seized last night from a security service facility in Lugansk, with nine injuries. But the picture I see at RT shows that yesterday in daylight, it was proRussian demonstrators defending the building. Is it possible the raid was by neofascist forces? Naturally the official government would not admit this but blame its opposition.

The People's Republic of Donetsk is something of a post-dated check, isn't it? It's not supposed to take effect until after the referendum. It concedes it does not have the ability to withstand Kiev. Given this, it seems to be a real question whether this is not an adventure, possibly even a provocation.

Putin lost the mayoral election in Novosibirsk. If he perceives this to be partly due to a leftist surge in response to Ukrainian neofascism, he may be eager to quieten the situation, at any cost.

The massive Russian forces allegedly on the eastern border do not appear to be large enough, or of the right kind and are far too static to move into and promptly settle a chaotic eastern Ukraine. The east is far too large for bloodless infiltration tactics. Further Putin is not making domestic preparation for a military campaign. To me, it seems that Putin simply has no plans to do so.

Yet, Putin is not making any political effort to influence events in Ukraine. Yanukovych hangs around but there is no effort to use his withdrawal as a step in federalization or neutralization of Ukraine. Putin is not using economic pressures to force the oligarch wing to break with their neofascist cohorts in Kiev.

It seems to me that Putin, although he naturally emphasizes the neofascist role in the coup, does not take the neofascists seriously. The only explanation for his inaction is, he does not believe the neofascists are really a threat, and that the pressures of trade will force Kiev to come to an accommodation. He seemed to have perceived the only real card Kiev had was threatening Crimea and he seems to imagine he's preempted their play.

As near as I can make out, Putin is possessed of fatal illusions in the democratic commitment of bourgeois democracy and the pacific tendencies of international capitalism.

Posted by: stevenjohnson | Apr 7, 2014 12:28:10 PM | 8

Point of accuracy:

"The coup government installed some Jewish Israeli-Ukrainian thieves..."

Should read: The coup government installed some Israeli-Ukrainian thieves...

You have no idea if they really are Jewish. Check out Gilad Atzmon on the Russian 'jews' who fled the Soviet Union. And in any case it's time to stop conflating Israel with Jews. I'm Jewish but I have absolutely nothing to do with Israel.

Posted by: William Bowles | Apr 7, 2014 12:42:12 PM | 9

@9 william bowles - it would be nice if israel was to do the same, but it seems that israel is hell bent on defining israel and being jewish as one and the same..

Posted by: james | Apr 7, 2014 12:43:59 PM | 10

Victoria Nuland and John McCain will be along soon with some cakes.

Posted by: dh | Apr 7, 2014 12:47:28 PM | 11

On a more general note, I have a suspicion that the 'uprising' in SE Ukraine may be just what the Empire wants.

USUKNATO is not interested in the Ukraine, especially not the fate of its people. A move to breakaway the E Ukraine could drag Russia into a (very one-sided) war with the Ukraine which in turn could lead to the maniacs in USUKNATO deciding to do another 'humanitarian' intervention.

This is a very dangerous situation and I hope the hotheads in Donetsk aren't in actual fact, agents provocateurs.

Posted by: William Bowles | Apr 7, 2014 12:49:49 PM | 12

A further thought:

Why would they (whoever they are) want to split up the Ukraine. More Balkanisation? Surely not!

Posted by: William Bowles | Apr 7, 2014 12:57:26 PM | 13

What the Kiev bunch do next will be highly significant. The police are probably sympathetic to the protesters.....or at least not looking for a fight. So who do they send in?

Posted by: dh | Apr 7, 2014 12:57:48 PM | 14

To lump the Ukrainian oligarchs all together as Jewish-Israeli is the kind of over-generalisation I work hard to avoid, because I'm very aware of the way these over-generalisations can rebound. It's much easier to classify an over-generalisation about Jews as 'racist', which in a way it is. One has to respect the infinite complexity of events. As it happens, the oligarch who has been placed in charge of Kharkov is not Jewish, but maybe the others are. I have decided to boycott Ukrainian spelling, which is a wilful variation on Russian spelling and probably the by-product of their ersatz nationalism. So the three cities I'm watching are Kharkov, Donetzk and Lugansk. And anyone who calls himself Ihor can expect to be restored to Igor.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 7, 2014 1:21:41 PM | 15

@14 ("Who will they send in?")

If the Kiev bunch are crazy enough, how about mercenaries paid for (ultimately) by the U.S.?

Are the putschists that crazy?

Posted by: Cyril | Apr 7, 2014 1:34:28 PM | 16

@16 Cyril, that's what I'm afraid of.

There was video, immediately post-coup, of special forces in one or more of the Eastern cities. I don't know if anyone identified them. There were also reports of Blackwater/Academi related mercenaries, Greystone Limited, in Ukraine (I'm not sure where. I had earlier thought the reports were from eastern Ukraine, but now I'm not sure if I'm remembering correctly).

To me, it seems very likely that they would send in mercenaries. Personally, I don't think Yatsenyuk sounds very stable.

Posted by: gemini333 | Apr 7, 2014 1:47:52 PM | 17

Posted by: gemini333 | Apr 7, 2014 1:47:52 PM | 17

Russia is just across the border. No mercenary will start World War III.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 7, 2014 2:00:50 PM | 18

"The coup government installed some Jewish Israeli-Ukrainian thieves as governors to rule over them."

I think that is the first time I've seen the verboten "J word" in a MoA post. And used with a negative connotation, too. Very uncharacteristic of a blog which censors anti-zionists. Is "b" using this phrase sarcastically? I mean is he mocking some views he imagines Ukrainians in the east and south might have about Jews? Does he think these people harbor anti-semitic attitudes towards Jewish people?

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 7, 2014 2:00:56 PM | 19

Posted by: dh | Apr 7, 2014 12:47:28 PM | 11

"Victoria Nuland and John McCain will be along soon with some cakes."

Good one. :)

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 7, 2014 2:03:57 PM | 20

"The coup-government in Kiev has little it can do against this. It could send troops and police but would those follow its orders?"

One isn't likely to find any relevant answers to questions like this if one sticks to just reading the western media. Surprisingly the article references no Russian sources, not even the well known Russian English language media. VoR, RT and RIAN all have quite a bit of material on the eastern protests right now. And the material is infinitely better quality than the NYT-Yahoo BS sourced in the header article. There is also the Russian language media, they do have answers to questions posed above, BTW. Here is a couple articles that specifically address that question just from the front page of one site.

http://lifenews.ru/news/130763 В Донецк скрытно прибыл киевский спецназ

http://lifenews.ru/news/130772 Киев отправил на Восток отряды из бойцов "Правого сектора" и наемников

Google page translation is simple to use, I figured it out all by myself. ;)

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 7, 2014 2:27:50 PM | 21

Russia is backing?
18:01 GMT:

Russia, the US, the EU and the coup-imposed Kiev authorities will hold a crisis meeting on resolving the situation in Ukraine “within the next 10 days,” said the US State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki. The direct talks were agreed upon by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Also - Yes first time I see using the word jews negative like that. Not postive.

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 7, 2014 2:30:49 PM | 22

And a couple more from the front page of the same site:

http://lifenews.ru/news/130758 Аваков назначен командующим контртеррористической операцией

http://lifenews.ru/news/130754 Турчинов заявил о проведении антитеррористической спецоперации

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 7, 2014 2:32:14 PM | 23

This becomes boring.

Xinhua (to which I will refer from now on in ukrainian affairs!) pointedly reports of "local media reports", mocking both sides,
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2014-04/07/c_133244057.htm

and has the "remedy" at hand, the "remark" of Russias senior marketing CEO, Lavrov, growling beadle-like:
"Solutions to Ukraine crisis lie in constitutional reform, end of foreign interference".

While German radio puts it in a way, as if Putin organized some parish fair in Ukraine getting indecent, and within a "business as usual"- Putin bashing makes it cristal clear, who is in charge, and who has to do some homework in order to prevent the spectacle from getting boozy: Kiev.

I bet you will see Klitchko revive and waving around tomorrow or the day after, sputtering about "constitutional commission" or something like this, he is the ideal cast for "Mr. Constitution", because he wouldn#t have much to say.

Posted by: TomGard | Apr 7, 2014 2:52:13 PM | 24

"Shahak and Mezvinsky report that this aspect is often covered up in English-language discussions. Scholarly authors of books about Jewish mysticism and the Lurianic Cabbala, they write, have frequently “willfully omitted reference to such ideas.”

Shahak and Mezvinsky write that it is essential to understand these beliefs in order to understand the current situation in the West Bank, where many of the most militant West Bank settlers are motivated by religious ideologies in which every non-Jew is seen as “the earthly embodiment” of Satan, and according to the Halacha (Jewish law), the term ‘human beings’ refers solely to Jews.”"

Quite germane consideration in today's CounterPunch by Allison Weir http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/07/why-is-the-us-honoring-a-racist-rabbi/

Alright hasbara, have at it.

Posted by: Nora | Apr 7, 2014 2:56:15 PM | 25

Is Yatseniuk not Jewish?
Why is everyone tripping overthemselves because of this?
Yatseniuk, Nuland, Kagan & even John Kerry are all of Jewish background.
Should all Jews be castigated because of this HELL NO!
Are some Jews involved, yes.
Yes it is that simple, adios Lehaim!

Posted by: Fernando | Apr 7, 2014 3:05:31 PM | 26

Actually b. should reconsider his sentence.

the coup government installed some Jewish Israeli-Ukrainian thieves as governors to rule over them.

Does he mean religion - he does not know if they are religious.
Does he mean race - what does this tell about b.
Does he mean nationality - according to the article some of them say they are Russian.

The only valid decription in that sentence is "thieves". Everything else ...

Posted by: somebody | Apr 7, 2014 3:18:04 PM | 27

@Fernando - 26

There's a big difference between Jews and Zionists. Learn to distinguish...

Posted by: LXV | Apr 7, 2014 3:20:05 PM | 28

Nora | Apr 7, 2014 2:56:15 PM | 25

"While Chabad sometimes openly teaches that “the soul of the Jew is different than the soul of the non-Jew" (Allison Weir)

What a scandal. What an outrage!!
Isn't it, Nora?

Sincerely
Your Hasbara

Posted by: TomGard | Apr 7, 2014 3:20:07 PM | 29

Victoria Nuland’s intent is to destabilize Russia. The Kiev putsch wants to stay in power. Wall Street plutocrats need more debtors to exploit. Chevron and Exxon frack shale gas. Israel and the USA sell weapons and munitions.

In order to avoid a write off of bad debt since the 2008 financial crash, private debt has been made public. Austerity is being forced upon the peoples of Southern Europe. Western governments instead of creating jobs have embarked on a campaign of destabilization and exploitation against Syria, Iran and Russia.

I applaud MofA and the comments here in our attempt to discern reality in the midst of the propaganda. The one sure thing is that Ukraine is headed for more turmoil. Unless a settlement is reached, the violence will spill across the world; a replay of 1914 with nuclear weapons.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Apr 7, 2014 3:21:54 PM | 30

haha US are getting desperate now when the east ukraine want more freedom, blaming russia of course.

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 7, 2014 3:27:15 PM | 31

Isn't it all about the US Dollar?

Posted by: Crone | Apr 7, 2014 3:28:42 PM | 32

What is happening in the east of Ukraine is probably more than a provocation from Kiev. It looks like a US-funded and organized false flag operation. The aim of such an operation could well be to convince the EU to decide on far reaching economic sanctions against Russia. The final goal might be to destroy the development of relations between the EU and Russia and to make their future intensification impossible. “Fuck the EU”, as Mrs. Noland said, that is what US-policy seems to be looking for in Ukraine.
As the US intelligence services were and are able to use jihadists in the Middle East to achieve their goals we should not be astonished that they are in another theater of operations able to use Russian nationalists.

Posted by: alpino | Apr 7, 2014 3:44:06 PM | 33

alpino | Apr 7, 2014 3:44:06 PM | 33

" ... we should not be astonished ... "

Yeah, that describes it perfectly, everything is possible, as long as we are not asthonished.

Posted by: TomGard | Apr 7, 2014 3:51:04 PM | 34

alpino

russia have nothing to do what happens, rather eu/US should understand reality that not everyone wnat to be part of fascist kiev regime.

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 7, 2014 3:57:54 PM | 35

Kharkov has now declared independence. Lavrov told Ukraine's acting foreign minister, Andrey Deshchytsa:

"The need to respect the aspirations of the residents of southeastern Ukraine and the inadmissibility of the use of force to respond to legal demands [by protesters] to protect their language, culture and socioeconomic rights."

RT has an ongoing "timeline" of events occurring that are related to the Ukraine.

http://rt.com/news/kiev-clashes-rioters-police-571/

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 7, 2014 4:02:42 PM | 36

oh, well ...

Prior to the Ukraine crisis, there were many asking what purpose NATO would serve once the alliance's troops had withdrawn from Afghanistan. But now that Putin has taken over the Crimea -- leading countries on the alliance's eastern edge to feel threatened -- the mood in NATO's Brussels headquarters has changed dramatically. General Secretary Rasmussen, one NATO source said, has "positively blossomed." And the US, Britain and most Eastern European member states support him.

That explains it.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 7, 2014 4:29:10 PM | 37

@37

Its a shame that the media wont tell the public that the 'annexation' of Crimea is because of NATO provocations.

Posted by: Massinissa | Apr 7, 2014 4:49:37 PM | 38

@30 vietnam vet. true that and as others are pointing out, it seems like a perfect pretext to send in nato to ukraine in some way shape or form. whether this is being orchestrated from washington or not is anyone's guess, but it will be painted in propaganda land as all a result of russian meddling..

Posted by: james | Apr 7, 2014 4:49:47 PM | 39

@somebody #37:

Are you saying that the EU/NATO are pressuring the putsch regime in Kiev not to accede to the three main RF requirements: (1) federalism; (2) Russian as the second official language; (3) commitment to neutrality between NATO/EU and RF.

I have little doubt that what is happening in Donetsk and Kharkov is driven by the locals—as opposed to foreign interference—in response to Kiev intransigently ignoring the wishes of eastern Ukrainians.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 7, 2014 4:50:03 PM | 40

Posted by: Demian | Apr 7, 2014 4:50:03 PM | 40

I am saying that

1) the crisis in Ukraine was sparked and is maintained by well know neocon personnel - who are sales people for the arms industry,
2) there was a certain danger that the taxpayer expected relief after the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,
3) and NATO forces be reduced,
4) this seems to be have been averted just in time.

Eastern Ukraine never had separatist demonstrations for joining Ukraine since Ukraine's independence in 1991. They actually voted with Ukraine for independence from Russia then.

Of course Russia now is the only hope for Eastern Ukrainians to escape IMF austerity. Western Ukraine might soon remember that they speak Russian and are brothers, too.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 7, 2014 5:12:43 PM | 41

The coup-rulers may soon find that the only way out is what Russia demanded all along, a far reaching federalization of the Ukraine. This only possible way out for them. The question then is if their "western" overlords will allow them to follow that path.

If it happens, I say we all drink a toast to it.

Na Zdorovie (Nostrovia) – You Deserve A Break Today!

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Apr 7, 2014 5:18:32 PM | 42

"Ukraine’s leaders warned that their country was at risk of being torn apart as armed pro-Russian separatists occupied government buildings in three eastern Ukrainian cities, displaying a new level of force and ambition.

The protesters seized buildings in Kharkiv, Donetsk and Lugansk on Sunday. By Monday evening, they had been dislodged from the site in Kharkiv, with at least 10 people reportedly injured during clashes with pro-Ukrainian protesters.

Oleksandr Turchynov, Ukraine’s acting president, blamed Moscow for the unrest, calling it “a second wave of a special operation by the Russian Federation against Ukraine … with the aim of destabilising the situation in the country, overthrowing Ukraine’s government, sabotaging the [May 25 snap presidential] election and tearing our country apart”.

Russia, in turn, said the Ukrainian government was to blame, but Moscow politicians avoided suggesting that Russia intervene militarily or drawing parallels to the situation in Crimea.

The unrest in eastern Ukraine comes weeks after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula. Moscow has maintained tens of thousands of troops near the Ukrainian border, jangling nerves and prompting Nato commanders to warn about the possibility of an invasion.

US secretary of state John Kerry spoke on the phone on Monday with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. According to the State department, Mr Kerry “made clear that any further Russian effort to destabilize Ukraine will incur further costs for Russia”. The unrest in eastern Ukraine over the last 24 hours “did not appear to be spontaneous” and was of “great concern”.

Russia’s foreign ministry said the events were being “closely watched”, and argued they were proof of the need for a federation in Ukraine along lines proposed by Moscow but angrily rejected by Kiev.

“As the Russian side has noted time and again, without real constitutional reform in Ukraine, which would through federalisation ensure the interests of all regions of the country, maintain its neutral status and strengthen the special status of the Russian language, long-term stabilisation of the Ukrainian state can hardly be expected,” the ministry said.

As Ukrainian authorities moved to open negotiations with the separatists, they cut off water and electricity to the group that had seized the regional state security building in Lugansk. The strategy appeared to be one of wearing down the separatists over time rather than risking bloodshed that might invite reprisals from Moscow."

Source:
http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/04/does-proxy-war-loom-in-ukraine/

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4df09efe-be2b-11e3-961f-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz2yECAxMrv

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 7, 2014 5:55:00 PM | 44

I've noticed a ratcheting down of coverage in the MSM about Ukraine. I think some people in the permanent government are beginning to realize that a coup to seize Ukraine is like winning a bag of shit. The country is deep in debt, and the IMF impositions will just make life miserable for the folks in the western half. Crimea and any parts in the east that separate (either through secession or through a loose federation) will have their standards of living go up while those in the western half will see their SOL go down.

Also, imposing religious identifiers on people who worship money is unnecessary and will eventually confuse the issue.

Posted by: Bob In Portland | Apr 7, 2014 5:55:30 PM | 45

@Bob in Portland #45:

I hadn't noticed that, but you may be right. A reasonably neutral Daily Beast article is an example:

If a referendum were held instead, according to Markov’s numbers, Kharkov would have 75 percent of its population voting to become a part of Russia; Donetsk, 80 percent; Odessa, 85 percent; Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye and Kherson would have from 60 to 70 percent of pro-Russian votes. “There is still a big chance that the Kiev junta will kill people,” said Markov, “then the Russian army will have to defend the population.”

(I get the impression that the "Putin's gambit" bit was added by an editor, not by the author of the article. That's SOP for the "free press".)

Posted by: Demian | Apr 7, 2014 6:03:02 PM | 46

For German speakers

Interview with Willy Wimmer

parliamentarian defence official under Helmut Kohl

on the policy of tension versus the policy of cooperation "The United States want to draw Europe into war"

Posted by: somebody | Apr 7, 2014 6:12:15 PM | 47

imposing religious identifiers on people who worship money is unnecessary and will eventually confuse the issue.

beautifuly said

Posted by: citizen x | Apr 7, 2014 6:12:40 PM | 48

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_04_08/Russian-Foreign-Ministry-is-concerned-about-additional-army-forces-arriving-to-east-of-Ukraine-3105/ Russian Foreign Ministry is concerned about additional army forces arriving to east of Ukraine

"According to the Ministry, additional internal forces and the National Guard of Ukraine with the participation of the illegal armed militants "Praviy Sector" are arriving to the southeastern regions of Ukraine, including Donetsk.

According to the Foreign Ministry, they are designed to suppress protests of the inhabitants of southeast of the country against the policy of the Kiev authorities.

"The fact that there are about 150 American experts from the private military organization Greystone, disguised as soldiers unit Falcon brings additional concern," said in a statement.

Foreign Ministry also stressed that members of this provocation should take full responsibility for creating a huge threat to the rights, freedoms and lives of innocent citizens of Ukraine, for the stability of the Ukrainian state.

"We call for immediate cease of any military preparations, that could lead to unleashing the civil war" the statement adds."

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 7, 2014 6:22:28 PM | 49

There has already been a clash tonight in Kharkov. The protestors and the local cops had a truce in operation, but the bandera junta brought in their own cops from western Ukraine. These nazis attacked the protestors. Eventually the local cops persuaded the imported manure to leave and peace was restored.

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 7, 2014 6:28:19 PM | 50

As near as I can make out, Putin is possessed of fatal illusions in the democratic commitment of bourgeois democracy and the pacific tendencies of international capitalism.

Posted by: stevenjohnson | Apr 7, 2014 12:28:10 PM | 8


eh? fatal illusions? you may be projecting your ideas onto Putin

Posted by: brian | Apr 7, 2014 6:29:58 PM | 51

@Bob in Portland #45, citizen x #48:

imposing religious identifiers on people

I haven't seen even a suggestion of a religious dimension to the conflict between western Ukrainians and Russia-oriented Ukrainians from anyone but the Saker, who in my view holds bizarre and archaic Russian Orthodox views (and I am speaking as someone who was raised Russian Orthodox).

It is true that there is a religious dimension to the animosity between Russians and Poles, because to Russians, it is selbstverständlich that all Slavs must be Orthodox, so that Poles are in effect traitors to their own kind. Western Ukrainians who are Catholics in contrast, as far as I can tell, are Catholic in name only, since their liturgy resembles Russian Orthodox liturgy more than Roman Catholic liturgy. Also, as in Russia itself, religion was pretty much stamped out of the Ukrainian people during the Soviet period. Nothing of the kind happened in Poland: an essential component of the Poles' rabid nationalism is Roman Catholicism.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 7, 2014 6:37:21 PM | 52

'The unrest in eastern Ukraine comes weeks after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula. Moscow has maintained tens of thousands of troops near the Ukrainian border, jangling nerves and prompting Nato commanders to warn about the possibility of an invasion.'
@44

Moscow did not 'annex' crimea..crimeans voted to rejoin russia.
The illegal and illegitimate regime took power thru a destabiliseing gladio operation and depends on US EU and media support to ignore the facts while manufacturing support to crush real rebels

Posted by: brian | Apr 7, 2014 6:59:16 PM | 53

Really got to love the American exceptionalism.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/04/07/the-less-americans-know-about-ukraines-location-the-more-they-want-u-s-to-intervene/

The less Americans know about Ukraine’s location, the more they want U.S. to intervene

"Although two-thirds of Americans have reported following the situation at least “somewhat closely,” most Americans actually know very little about events on the ground — or even where the ground is."

Well, it's not like they have a news media that actually informs them with things like facts.

"We found that only one out of six Americans can find Ukraine on a map, and that this lack of knowledge is related to preferences: The farther their guesses were from Ukraine’s actual location, the more they wanted the U.S. to intervene with military force."

The really pathetic thing is Americans do have access to factual knowledge, they just prefer being stupid. Being stupid is "cool". The Americans' collective and individual drooling stupidity is a mostly self enforced phenomenon. Look at a lot of American icons, many were popular because they played the stupid act very well. It's literally a requirement among the "redneck"/"bubba" crowd.

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 7, 2014 7:00:37 PM | 54

Its a shame that the media wont tell the public that the 'annexation' of Crimea is because of NATO provocations.

Posted by: Massinissa | Apr 7, 2014 4:49:37 PM | 38


there was NO annexation of Crimea BY Russia...NADA why repeat this lie?
Crimeas held a REFERENDUM one of three kinds of direct democracy (thereby bypassing the power brokers) and CHOSE to rejoin russia...naturally USA neocons are outraged, and their EU servants now have very sore behinds

Posted by: brian | Apr 7, 2014 7:02:58 PM | 55

Posted by: brian | Apr 7, 2014 7:02:58 PM | 55

"and their EU servants now have very sore behinds"

Looking at the likes of Camaron, Merkel and Hollande, for example, I think they really prefer it that way. :)

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 7, 2014 7:08:34 PM | 56

@55

From Wikipedia:

"Annexation (Latin ad, to, and nexus, joining) is the permanent acquisition and incorporation of some territorial entity into another geo-political entity (either adjacent or non-contiguous).[1] Usually, it is implied that the territory and population being annexed is the smaller, more peripheral, and weaker of the two merging entities, barring physical size. It can also imply a certain measure of coercion, expansionism or unilateralism on the part of the stronger of the merging entities."

The word 'implies' coercion, but doesnt have to. The word is still correct.

Crimea was annexed, because they VOTED to be annexed. So theres no problem. An annexation is an annexation regardless of whether or not theres coercion.

Posted by: Massinissa | Apr 7, 2014 7:13:14 PM | 57

@Demian: Bob in Portland was most certainly referring to the tagging of certain oligarch-governors with the "Jewish" adjective, which didn't seem to serve any cogent point that was further developed, so as such it's inclusion is questionable especially given every non-Jewish politician doesn't have their religion (or ethnicity if you prefer) waved in the reader's face whenever mentioned.

The mention of dual Israeli citizenship is plausibly valid, although again he doesn't follow it up with WHY it is valid enough to mention: For one, it's technically illegal (if not enforced) for UKR government figures to have ANY dual citizenship, so one more reason why the Kiev regime and it's imposition of rule on the country is illegal. And secondly, there are other putsch politicians with foreign ties, namely Klitschko with Germany, yet that isn't appended to his name. Thus the appearance, if not irrefutably proved, of a disgusting sentiment motivating that language. Curiously, if the Zionist entity is being brought up here, Israel has interestingly NOT jumped on the bandwagon of denouncing Russia's actions, which certain sectors of NATO ideologues have been disappointed by, albeit not too loudly of course.

Posted by: mutantsushi | Apr 7, 2014 7:15:10 PM | 58

@scalawag #54:

The really pathetic thing is Americans do have access to factual knowledge, they just prefer being stupid. Being stupid is "cool". The Americans' collective and individual drooling stupidity is a mostly self enforced phenomenon.

I think it is related to Americans' viewing everything in terms of private possession. A typical American will view his beliefs as analogous to his private property; he thus has an absolute "right" to his beliefs, no matter what they are. There is absolutely no obligation on his part to come to his beliefs through some sort of rational process.

This became very vivid to me the first time I traveled in Germany after having learned German. Talking with an ordinary working class German on a train, we discussed something (I forget what), and I had the sense that we were involved in a shared, mutual project of getting at the truth. What he or I happened to believe did not matter. What mattered is that we both be unattached to our particular beliefs, and explore ideas through a collective process.

It is impossible to talk with the vast majority of Americans in this way. I think that the difference between Americans and Germans in this respect derives from their respective religions. Germans are Lutheran; the American "mentality" was formed by evangelicalism. Lutheranism is based on shared reason (in the sense of rationality). It is a trait of evangelicalism, in contrast, not to discuss theology with other evangelicals, because evangelicals had to form alliances with other evangelicals who came from different sects/denominations in order to engage in their collective projects (the abolition of slavery, the temperance movement, etc.). From this taboo on discussing theology comes the American idea that "everybody has a right to his opinion", no matter how stupid and wrong that opinion may be.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 7, 2014 7:16:25 PM | 59

Posted by: Demian | Apr 7, 2014 7:16:25 PM | 59

American vulnerability to religious extremism could be part of it. That usually results in a closed mind unwilling to investigate new things and ideas. But we may be intellectualizing this a bit too much. It could be something simple as their famous butt sex habits. All that ass pounding rattles their brains. ;)

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 7, 2014 7:26:50 PM | 60

Israel brags that it has many equally treated in all regards Arabs in tow, who call themselves "Arab Israelis."
I'm sure 'b' used his terminology to distinguish between the Jewish Israelis and the motley crew of Arab-Israeli Ukrainian oligarchs.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/04/07/rand-paul-in-09-cheney-pushed-iraq-war-to-benefit-halliburton/

There is hope for the bubbas if Rand Paul has the gonads to wrest them from the arms of the phony Anglo-Zionist soft imperialist Ted Cruz.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/rand-paul-dick-cheney-exploited-911-iraq-halliburton

Posted by: amspirnational | Apr 7, 2014 7:26:57 PM | 61

@mutantsushi #58:

Oh. Thanks for clearing that up.

I didn't get what Bob in Portland was referring to with "religious identifiers" because being Jewish is more complicated than simply belonging to a religion. (Not being Jewish myself, I defer to Gilad Atzmon on what constitutes Jewish identity.)

I too was puzzled by b's formulation "Jewish Israeli-Ukrainian" which seems to be a pleonasm, especially given that he banned two of the best posters here for dwelling on Zionism.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 7, 2014 7:30:08 PM | 62

I "like" the Daily Beast article: "Nobody in Moscow denied there was a scenario. "
So, Moscow press conference: "President Putin, is there a scenario?" "No comment". :-)

Honestly, the worst thing Russia has done has been from a PR perspective, while it may have been operationally justified for 2-3 days, beyond that there was just no real point in continuing to deny/obfuscate about the Russian troops in Crimea, certainly there WAS and IS also Crimean SDF forces, but there was no need to be unclear about the Russian troops being used, they should have returned to normal uniforms ASAP.

The obfuscation prevented Russia from making the point more clearly: The troops are authorized by treaty, and legal President Yanukovych requested they defend civilians against forces loyal to the putsch regime. When the Crimeans held a referendum, Russia recognized it because that is an internationally recognized right, and the normally counter-balancing rule of territorial integrity was no longer in force when the Ukraine's constitutional order is no longer in force, and there was no more legal government or constitutional court to legitimately rule against/prevent a separatist movement. Now I don't expect NATO to even acknowledge that line of reasoning any more than a host of other basic facts, but Russia's weird obfuscation (way beyond when it may have been operationally useful the first few days) just prevented it from coherently making it's case to ANYBODY in the world who wanted to listen. Likewise, at the UN vote, ONLY Ecuador made a coherent case for it's position, e.g. that the Kiev regime is illegitimate.

Now, what Russia says or doesn't say doesn't REALLY matter or change the facts of the situation, but clearly it does matter for what people think of the situation, including people not wholly in the sway of NATO. Obfuscating the situations meant that everybody just assumed ALL forces in Crimea were Russian military anyways, yet Russia was not giving a coherent rationale for those troops because it was sort-of denying they were it's own troops to begin with.

Posted by: mutantsushi | Apr 7, 2014 7:35:10 PM | 63

I remain convinced that Russia does not want to see Ukraine split down the middle. If the south and eastern provinces join with Russia that would leave the rump state of Ukraine dominated by the pro-western nationalisst (is that a contraction, or what?). They would clamor for admission into NATO. It would be very difficult for Russia to stop this without risking all out war. This would bring NATO to the Dniepr River. That has to be the last thing Russia wants. A federalized Ukrainian constitution with guarantees that NATO will stay out is in Russia's best interest. If Western leaders had any sense they should realize that it is their interests as well.

Having said that it seems pretty clear that Russia is not going to encourage events like what are happening in Kharkov, Donetz and Lugantz. If those spin out of control, Russia may end up, in spite of their opposition, to accept those provinces if they vote to join with Russia.

So what does Kerry decide is a higher priority right now? He is spending his time on the IP "peace" process and how to provide sufficient support for the jihadists in Syria to keep that war going.

Posted by: ToivoS | Apr 7, 2014 7:36:43 PM | 64

"Yats" must be scared shitless right about now, with the anti-austerity wave of true revolt against the puppet regime of the global finance mafia he may be having dreams of the masses gathering outside of his own window to hang his skinny chicken-necked ass at the end of a rope for selling out the Ukraine people.

The looters are already bitching about their taking possession without the billions of dollars in Crimea resource loot so his shelf time may be limited. The NeoNazis would be far better utilized by a psychopath like the Gas Princess.

Posted by: Donn Marten | Apr 7, 2014 7:48:34 PM | 65

Posted by: mutantsushi | Apr 7, 2014 7:35:10 PM | 63

The Russian PR was top notch throughout. The Russians correctly surmised that no matter how loud they screamed the honest truth of the situation, the western leaders would simply continue with their lying. And the western media would continue making up what the Russians said, anyway. So by not claiming the "polite armed men in green" were Russian troops, they gave the western liars club one less thing they could use to bang Russia over the head with.

It also caused quite a bit of confusion in the western media and fascist blogosphere, and decent amount confusion among the "experts" in the western regimes. All of which was great fun to watch.

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 7, 2014 7:49:55 PM | 66

... "Jewish Israeli-Ukrainian"

There are some non-Jewish Israelis, Arabs and others, are there not? Perhaps b was merely attempting to identify WHICH Israelis...

Why was it okay to tag Mitt Romney as that Mormon running for President, and okay to make jokes about Mormons all during the election (and before and after), and NOT okay to even mention the word "Jew" or "Jewish"?

And why is okay to refer to some Americans as African Americans, but not okay to refer to Jewish Israelis?

Nevermind - all rhetorical questions of course. Just get tired sometimes of comments that suggest any mention of the word Jewish is anti-Jewish (Arabs are Semites too, but they don't get the 'protection' afforded Jewish Semites)

If my comment gets me banned, so be it... namaste

Posted by: Crone | Apr 7, 2014 7:52:03 PM | 67

Posted by: William Bowles | Apr 7, 2014 12:49:49 PM | 12


wrong on this one...lets not entertain paranoid conspiracy theories when Occasm razor works best....the domino effect bean when snipes killed people in Kiev and the power vaccuum created by the murders was filled by neonazis whos first act was to ban russian... the russian speakers saw the writing on the wall and have been moving to respond to the US EU provocation

Posted by: brian | Apr 7, 2014 7:52:12 PM | 68

Re somebody @ 27
"Does he mean race -- what does this tell us about b?"
Strictly speaking there are no races. See http://.www.aaanet.org/stmts/racepp.htm

Posted by: Phantastron | Apr 7, 2014 8:00:30 PM | 69

@Donn: Yats' "shelf life" was recognized as limited from the very beginning, which was all the more useful to the coup backers because he can make unpopular decisions and the following government is let off the hook. He himself has called his regime a "kamikaze government".

I do think Russia's position has been consistent from the beginning, favoring a neutral federalized Ukraine with effective regional veto. Russia was ignored when stating that position (along with questioning the legality of the coup), so Crimea left. In certain circumstances, more of Ukraine can leave, if the coup regime doesn't come to terms with reality.

I like the black/red/blue Donestk-Krivy Rug flag, it would be a good one for all of Novo Rossiya, even though technically it wasn't previously used in Odessa (I believe). Independent Novo Rossiya seems more viable than actual accession to Russia for that region, it accomodates those who prefer a distinct identity from Russia, and it's industry and resources provides the bulk of Ukraine's value to Russia... So for Russia only needing to "aid" it with 1/2 the money (for 1/2 the population of UKR), they get 80% of the value of aiding Ukraine as a whole. Perhaps after a decade of normalization, Novo Rossiya might join Belorussia and Russia in a federal union state, but immediate accession seems un-necessarily expensive and wasting of the benefit a lower wage structure has (re: lowering costs in Russia due to trade with them). Crimea is small enough it doesn't matter for that, but Novo Rossiya is significant. With solid backing from Russia, it seems reasonable that Novo Rossiya can follow Russia in ending demographic decline, and achieve similar economic gains, the lack of oil keeping their currency low being an aid to manufacturing exports while keeping Russian inflation low.

I think concerns about West-Central Ukraine joining NATO are overblown. That certainly does threaten a "failed state" scenario, as Germany warned, but an even more Nazi-infested Galician-Kiev state would just not be accepted into NATO, IMHO, because Germany and others don't actually want conflict that such a state would be motivated to instigate... As they openly state NOW, with Yats stating that they will regain Crimea. The Oligarchs think they have a lid on things now, dealing with Right Sector brownshirts, etc, but when shit hits the fan and the economy collapses, there is just going to be alot of angry Ukrainians. NATO is not going to accept a "failed state" into NATO. What exactly happens there is unclear, I think Galicia-Kiev would still need to come to some accomodation with Russia, however prickly. I think EU and Germany are self-interested enough to realize that a neutral federal Ukraine is in their best interests as well, though.

Posted by: mutantsushi | Apr 7, 2014 8:08:06 PM | 70

@64 toivo - kerry is a bonehead of the first order.. i suppose he thinks he is making progress with the i/p issue too, lol. what a friggin moron and to think he has some sort of relevance is a huge joke for anyone paying attention to his inanity.

Posted by: james | Apr 7, 2014 8:13:08 PM | 71

i think folks are getting worked up about b's quote without taking the time to read the new york times article that b links to.. for anyone interested, here is a 2 paragraph quote from the new york times article b has linked to that relates very well to what b has said..

"“This is a signal to society,” Mr. Kolomoysky said. “If oligarchs are in power, feel at ease and view their future as being in Ukraine, then ordinary people will feel even more that they are not under threat.” He conceded, however, that average people “might not respect oligarchs or like them.”
Continue reading the main story

But after being bombarded with Russian claims that fascists had seized power, he said, people in the east were heartened to see a move into government by multimillionaires with no interest in extremist turmoil or a neo-Nazi revival, “particularly when they are of Jewish origin.”

fwiw - Kolomoysky has a dual Ukrainian-Israeli citizenship although dual citizenship is not recognized by Ukraine.- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ihor_Kolomoyskyi

Posted by: james | Apr 7, 2014 8:25:29 PM | 72

@72

Yes, the people of east Ukraine are SO reassured of having Jewish Oligarchs instead of Nazis that they are fleeing into Russias arms!

So very reassured.

Posted by: Massinissa | Apr 7, 2014 8:41:46 PM | 73

Chomsky has this bit where he says that "history rarely sets up controlled experiments" - but in this case, I think we have one.

We right now get to watch two competing powers operate in the same country using roughly similar tactics (I doubt Russia is craven enough to pull the "sniper" gambit) to achieve similar ends. The latest tactics of fourth generation war will be used, and this will be studied for years to come - assuming, of course, fourth generation war between two nuclear powers leaves "years to come" (I suppose that's an open question). But in the meantime, we get to savor the schadenfreude as we watch the West wail and moan about "coups" and foreign intervention and "Russian agents" when only two weeks ago, you'd have lost your job at TIME Magazine had you alluded to something similar about the Maidan.

But this is not to pull a DonkeyTale/Cold Handjob and try to claim that the Russia and the United States are two equals playing the same game for the same amoral ends. Not at all. The people in the videos I have seen of the Kharkov, Donetzk and Lugansk so far have the same proud and determined look in their eyes as the Venezuelan patriots who surrounded and forced the arrest of the putschists that briefly deposed Chavéz in 2002.

And this "look" of the people is what we all have to hope on if there is any hope at all for the future of humanity. The Empire can throw all kinds of Facebooks, CNNs, NSAs, fascist gangs, Blackwater mercenaries, and other techno-weaponry into the battle - in that, they can hardly be matched. But if the world can be saved from the soulless techno-warriors of FUKUSI, it will be saved by what lies behind this look in these people's eyes. The look of people all across the globe fighting for their families and their futures in Kharkov, Damascus, Caracas and beyond.

It goes without saying that it is long overdue for the people of the United States to get that "look" in our eyes too. And we'll need it to put an end to allowing the trillions of our dollars - coming from our looted pensions, foreclosed homes, usurious debts, and regressive taxation - to be used against the rest of the people of the world. And if we don't, I'm afraid we can look forward to the same future that the German people had to look forward to in the winter of 1942.

In any case, it is time for NATO to take their medicine. The idea that some of these Blackwater dipshits would stand a chance operating in the heart of the old Soviet Union is preposterous. Any local would see their wrap-around Oakleys, soul patches, blown out steroid shaped physiques, and phony tribal tattoos coming from a kilometer away. But if they're gonna try, one suggestion little ol' me: leave the wigs in Dallas, boys.
...

"General Secretary Rasmussen, one NATO source said, has 'positively blossomed.'"

Great. All I can imagine now is Rasmussen crying because he got his first period. Disgusting.

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 7, 2014 8:44:31 PM | 74

Jonathan Cook who has a piece up on Counterpunch about the IP issue has written President Barack Obama is reported to be worried that US diplomacy is starting to appear “desperate”.. This is a reference to the IP negotiations Kerry has been futilely pursuing but it applies as well to his diplomacy in general.

This is possibly a very dangerous situation. The Ukraine crisis is going to require some really cool heads since if the country descends into civil war any outcome is possible. Given Clauswitz's definition of "War is merely the continuation of policy by other means" and policy is being incompetently managed it might also mean that war might have to substitute for policy.

I don't think this is going to happen, but even if the chances are only 5% that Obama will blunder into war, they are much higher than need be. Especially since a possible solution has been so clearly laid out by the Russians. All Kerry has to do is show up, posture a bit that he is in control, and then sign on the dotted line. I hope pride does not prevent him and Obama from doing the sensible thing.

Posted by: ToivoS | Apr 7, 2014 8:49:04 PM | 75

Steiner ‏@Steiner1776 ·5 hrs
Urgent! #Kharkiv is under attack by #EU backed #fascist #SBU units. #Russia you have to step in. A massacre is happening! Expand Collapse 

Steiner ‏@Steiner1776 ·5 hrs
Apparently ukrainian "special forces" have started to attack citizens of #Kharkov probably committing a massacre. #Ukraine #Russia

Posted by: brian | Apr 7, 2014 8:59:43 PM | 76

All these losers from NATOMaidan now complain about "baseball bats" and "violent protests" when the tables are turned... how rich.

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 7, 2014 9:16:15 PM | 77

Russia can use these actions as pressure to protect the people in the East and South Ukraine against EU/IMF serfdom and also to secure its interest there.

It basically has the Kiev regime by the short hairs at this point. They know they are going to get no help from the miserable wretches in NATO - they'll have to fight tooth and nail to be getting the $15 Billion they were promised, do they really think they'll get troops and guns to slaughter civilians as well (on second thought...)?

I don't think Russia would care if the rump Ukraine joins NATO and names itself "The NAZO Republic of Banderastan". Russia will be whole again if it can reverse the give aways that occurred during the 1920s, it will have added to itself a state that has equal the population and 80% of the industry of the Bandera-stain. Meanwhile, the EU will have gained a basket case of an economy run by people that will make Hungary's Jobbik look like Liberal Democrats. NATO will have gained some cannon fodder, and a front line with a resurgent Russia in a rump state that Russia knows well and can operate in, intelligence-speaking, at will. It will take plenty of time for the CIA to provide wigs and Ukrainian language training for its operatives, I'm sure.

Anyway, this is a good thing for the people of the East and South of Ukraine and for Russia. Good luck to them.

PS: Watching that talking potato Oleksandr Turchynov is making me sick.

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 7, 2014 9:36:21 PM | 78

@ToivoS #74:

I don't think this is going to happen, but even if the chances are only 5% that Obama will blunder into war, they are much higher than need be.

Please remember that Obama is mostly a figurehead, so he would not really make the decision. Also, although I don't know any military people, my strong impression is that there is simply no way that the generals would let the US/NATO get into a shooting war with the Russians. I suspect that avoiding doing that is part of the American military DNA. (The Poles, in contrast, are crazy. As you may recall, it was Polish intransigence that triggered World War II.)

There are several possible turning points: (1) the present situation develops into a civil war; (2) Russia intervenes to protect Russian speakers from the Ukrainian fascists. Even if the latter happens, NATO will stay out. The West has sent clear signals to that effect, by repeating ad nauseum that if Russia "takes" any more of the geographical region known as the Ukraine, there will be further sanctions (i.e., no military response from NATO).

Posted by: Demian | Apr 7, 2014 9:42:39 PM | 79

#74

What 78 is saying. Obama will do what hes paid to do, like any other man who makes a wage while simultaneously not having a conscience.

If hes paid to create civil war in Ukraine, then by god hes going to create civil war in the Ukraine.

Posted by: Massinissa | Apr 7, 2014 10:14:41 PM | 80

Scalawag @ 54;

As I have mentioned elsewhere, I am tempted to give Americans a pass on not being able to find Ukraine on a map, and say stop picking on them, what difference does it make - except for something else highlighted by that same survey. Those who did not know where Ukraine was on the map were those arguing loudest that the USA should get in there and kick ass and take names. The puzzling thing about those who believed Ukraine was in Canada, Alaska, Australia or even the contiguous American states themselves is that the western news media has kept up a steady drumbeat every day - Putin is massing his forces on the Ukrainian border, and the border between Russia and Ukraine is stiff with tanks and artillery and infantry.

Obviously, it would be impossible for Putin to be on the Ukrainian border if Ukraine occupied the space on the globe which is actually Canada, Alaska or Australia, and this suggests that 5 of 6 Americans surveyed do not know where these countries are, or Russia either. Yet they are chomping at the bit for the U.S. Army to get in there and kick some ass. If I were an American military man, I would be praying none of those who took the survey were in charge of my logistics chain.

Posted by: Mark | Apr 7, 2014 10:23:58 PM | 81

Why EUtopia EUropa is Nowhere for EUkraine:
It's the old tale about the camel and the tent. On a cold night in the desert, a bedouin's camel nudged his nose inside the tent to keep it warm. It felt so good, he stuck his head in too, then his neck. Finally he rolled his whole body into the tent. Now where did the tent go? he wondered.
The EU started out as a country club of rich countries, metropoles of erstwhile colonial world powers. It was a lovely little club, with high subsidies for farming to keep cherished touristic landscapes as picturesque as ever. Then they started letting the camels in, large and small... probably to do NATO's work for the Americans. In any case, the club tent has cold comforts left to offer any new campers, camels or steppe-children.
In short, the EU was a rentiers club for retired empires. Not the place for younger, poorer, upwardly mobile nations trying to make their mark in the world. Theoretically a group of equal nations, but the old guard had to ensure their prerogatives over the arrivistes. One solution was hidden forms of internal protectionism, such as debt, restructuring, privatization, locking up markets and putting local industries out of business. Lacking a dynamic economic philosophy, the EU had no way to make a tent big enough to shelter everyone. Even the bedouins are shivering now.
The EU is now home to over half a billion people. It is a tall order to provide a high living standard to such a large population. Europe must import raw materials and energy, yet its high wages make it difficult to compete in manufacturing. Thus the core countries outsource work to the newer, poorer members. Countries like Poland supply components for German industry, while shutting down or selling off their own industry. It's a new form of colonialism within Europe. When recession hits, the sharecropping "colonies" are hit hardest, and are left without levers to try and build up their own economy.
http://progressivepress.com/blog-entry/dirty-war-ukraine

Posted by: brian | Apr 7, 2014 10:47:30 PM | 82

LEXUS, I have spent time in Israel, gone to Temple, learned hebrew and yada, yada, yada. I didn't say anything about any stinking Zionisim. I made my point before, you señor need to learn how to read. Enough with the whole "oooooooooh he said Jew, now he has the cooties" nonsense. It's silly and stupid.
So mazel tov and on with the discussion por favor.

Posted by: Fernando | Apr 7, 2014 11:20:58 PM | 83

Poland is vastly better off than it was under COMECON, and it has fared amongst the BEST of the EU when faced with global recession. Clearly there is a division of labor, intra EU and globally, but that was also the case in COMECON (or in ANY conceivable situation). Poland's growth has been better than Russia itself post-1991, with Poland also not suffering as much negative growth/stagnation as Russia did in the 90's, now being on-par with Russia in GDP per capita in PPP (and ahead in nominal terms) despite Russia's advantage in petrochemical resources.

Criticizing Poland's role in Ukraine and NATO expansionism is more than apt, as is remarking that the EU is not in a position to allow Ukraine to enter (which the EU itself is clear enough on ruling out), but pretty much nobody in Poland would now reject joining the EU or want to leave it at this point. Get real.

Posted by: mutantsushi | Apr 7, 2014 11:32:18 PM | 84

I'm sorry, ahead of Russia in both PPP and nominal GDP per capita.

Posted by: mutantsushi | Apr 7, 2014 11:34:13 PM | 85

I also have little doubt that what is happening in Donetsk and Kharkov is driven by local patriots. Given Ukraine’s well remembered history, "patriots" are de facto Russians violently opposed to the west, which is controlled by Goy-hating enemy aliens from humanity. But have the locals any LEADERSHIP emerging?

Posted by: Michaël | Apr 7, 2014 11:37:27 PM | 86

Another example of how the military are the only adults in the US foreign policy establishment. Or is the Pentagon just less infiltrated by neocons than the State Department is?

Mr. Kerry and United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power have advocated options that range from an American military intervention to weaken the regime of President Bashar al-Assad to using U.S. special operations forces to train and equip a large number of rebel fighters. Such moves would go far beyond the U.S.'s current engagement.

In recent White House meetings, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel have pushed back against military intervention, said senior officials.

They say the risk is high of being dragged into an open-ended foreign entanglement. […]

The disagreement between a hawkish State Department and a dovish Pentagon, the officials from both sides said, is the latest chapter in an agonizing three-year administration debate over Syria.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 8, 2014 12:16:35 AM | 87

@86

The Military is more dovish, because if State does more stupid shit like in 2001 and 2003, the Military is going to have to eat the results. State wont.

Ideology doesnt get in the way of self preservation, and the American Military knows the best way to preserve itself is to keep the HELL away from new foreign entanglements as possible.

Or at least non-covert foreign entanglements.

We may call them 'doves', but Pentagon is fine with war if it only involves Drones or covert Seal strikes. Low casualty stuff. Call them cowards if you will: Theyre more pragmatist in my regard.

Not that I approve of drone strikes by any means, mind you...

Posted by: Massinissa | Apr 8, 2014 12:40:54 AM | 88

Posted by: mutantsushi | Apr 7, 2014 11:34:13 PM | 83, 84

That's why most Poles one meets (assumed humanoid variety, not the inanimate cylindrical things) are ex-pats. Poland is leading the way, providing the very important "vater figure" for western Ukrainian "nationalist patriots" to pursue their similar bandera mentality futures. Let us be slaves, sell off our first borns, and cherish our craven servitude together. The Pope, and his Israeli banker handlers will be so pleased that we have seen the light.

Guawd...

Posted by: Michaël | Apr 7, 2014 11:37:27 PM | 85

"patriots" are de facto Russians violently opposed to the west, which is controlled by Goy-hating enemy aliens from humanity."

Nice try Israeli. No cookies, though. Try re-applying your reimbursement chit to the Nuland tranny thing. I'm sure there is some of that 5 billion left over in petty cash.

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 8, 2014 12:43:58 AM | 89

Yatsenyuk:

Any call toward federalisation is an attempt to destroy the Ukrainian state.

That is an insult to Germans, Russians, and Americans, all of whom live under a federated state.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 8, 2014 12:55:52 AM | 90

Posted by: Demian | Apr 8, 2014 12:16:35 AM | 86

The WSJ? State dept. hawks and Pentagon doves? Are you serious? This is theater, nothing more. None of the above have any credibility whatsoever. Doves=sanctions and covert war, hawks=absurd war strategies that are not on the table. None of these war criminals are hawks or doves, they are war criminals. It's a sick game to sell what decent people would consider mass murder.

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 8, 2014 12:56:46 AM | 91

Demian #86

I first noticed that the US military were the only grownups in the establishment a few years ago. In 2006-2007 there was a major push for the US to go to war against Iran. If I recall correctly that effort was opposed by Admiral Fallon, then head of centcom(?). It went against the then neocon dominated Bush admin. Then there the NIE report (including the CIA and military intelligence) that undermined the justification for war. Fallon had to retire without further advancement but he did some good.

Posted by: ToivoS | Apr 8, 2014 1:04:00 AM | 92

“There is still a big chance that the Kiev junta will kill people,” said Markov, “then the Russian army will have to defend the population.” That's a quote from, uh, Demian #46. And it seems to me, quite simply, that NATO has decided to start a war with Russia while it thinks it still has a QME.

I dunno what the hell Fernando is saying. He sits there on his pinnacle, "I have spent time in Israel, gone to Temple, learned hebrew and yada, yada, yada," but his point is quite unclear. I explained on another thread 2 or 3 days ago that 'Jews', meaning everyone who thinks of themselves as being Jewish, are implicated in the colonial exploits of Zionism whether they like it or not. They are in the front line of a global conflict that may quite possibly develop once more as it did a century ago, with a pre-emptive war of annihilation on the part of the non-Jews. In other words, certain non-Jews may get the idea that 'Jews' need to be stopped in toto before they succeed in imposing a bipolar tyranny on the entire planet, so to speak: a tyranny exercised at one end by the territorial Zionists in Palestine, and at the other end by ostensibly liberal Jews across the diaspora working from positions of effective control in finance, media, law, etc. I am not going to attach an 'if' to that prediction, because if I did I would be accused of threats and attempted blackmail. Rather, I would day, as long as people think of themselves as Jews, they implicate themselves, but they are free to stop thinking of themselves that way. This is why I find Phil Weiss so interesting, actually. He's non religious, he is married to a non-Jew, and I rather doubt that he is a member of any synagogue, even a secular one (in NY there are plenty of these, generally run by this outfit, which is affiliated to ha-Shomer ha-Tsair and Meretz) - Phil has no intrinsic reason to go on thinking of himself as Jewish. But he has an extrinsic reason, namely to protect an affluent and arguably hegemonic social group, that is, US 'Jews' as an organised and dominant force in US society & economy. And this he thinks should be immune from challenge.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 8, 2014 1:20:44 AM | 93

scalawag #90:

State dept. hawks and Pentagon doves? Are you serious? […] Doves=sanctions and covert war

I don't know. The military don't make policy; they implement it. As ToivoS just pointed out, there are officers who are not virulent imperialists: they just don't get promoted, or get fired by the civilian leadership.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 8, 2014 1:24:41 AM | 94

It's hard to make out what is going on within the US military in terms of the current command structures basic loyalties and orientations. There has been this little talked about quite extensive - purge? - of generals going on. Back in Kennedy's day it was top general demanding nuclear war. "Nuke them you cowardly sonofabitch". Kennedy resisted and died.

The trouble is shit happens.

An indispensable underpinning of the Empire project is the ability to finance it. Mercenaries are expensive, buying key politicians and other key officials on a global scale requires deep pockets; buying editors and journalists on a global scale adds up. And then there's the requisite pomp and ceremony and protection for the various entourages as they gather (the G whatever; the world tour of ....). Then there's supplying technology for destructive purposes and lunch money for saboteurs. And William Engdahl has made the point that when large scale financial/economic manipulation/warfare is waged by ... the usual suspects ... a prerequisite is access to unlimited credit. And then there's the cost of maintaining – Chalmers Johnson guesstimated 1000 US military bases outside the US a few years back – the Pentagon's military 'outreach program.'

The United States is said to be 'technically bankrupt' so what we have been witnessing is kind of financial miracle – a paper-money profligate, credit-unworthy Atlas, holding up the world.

50 million Americans on food stamps and a real unemployment rate in the 20% rate (John William) and a long list of other – glitches – at home means that the Empire project stands on increasingly rotten 'homeland' ground. Now Atlas is not without accomplishments: Atlas has for example managed to spy on pretty well everyone. But that's far from being a cure all for what ails him.

The BRICS and now notably China and Russia quiet attempt to undermine Atlas and escape his dominion was already in the works.

Now that the Empire has decided to fight a war by other means with Russia – the Canadian Government may even resort to sticking needles into Putin dolls – the Russian people will give support to political initiatives that create some degree of Russian firewall, and some Russian independence from/alternative to the Empire's underpinning : the hegemonic global financial scam System.

As we can see from comment sections in European media, the attempt to portray Russia and Putin as the villains in the piece is not working well. Meanwhile, Europe has its own problems festering away.

By creating turmoil in the Ukraine, the Empire has done Putin an enormous favour. He has been greatly strengthened within Russia, in popular support, and in terms of higher level sopport. This facilitates financial innovations that will weaken the underpinning of the Empire.

If the Empire was smart, it would act nice to Russia.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Apr 8, 2014 1:38:26 AM | 95

The people of Eastern Ukraine realize that staying with Kiev will be hell on earth. Their standard of living will be much higher. They will also not be forced to pay the jewish food taxes that Americans must pay to get the little label on 90% of the food sold in America. Maybe Nuland aka Nudelman made sure her cakes were kosher.

Posted by: Mary Jean | Apr 8, 2014 1:45:42 AM | 96

Remaining off-topic for one more comment, if I may: In my #92 I provided an extremely important part of the general Jewish jigsaw which I am prepared to bet none of the readers here (except perhaps Fernando) actually knew. It took me something like ten years to get to the bottom of this, because I simply had no conception that there could be any such thing as a 'secular synagogue'. The reason this is important is as follows: one says to oneself, well, out of these six million or so US Jews, maybe two million are religious and are members of orthodox, conservative, masorti, 'progressive' etc synagogues, but surely the majority, the other four million or so who are just completely non-religious, are not members of anything, they are just a leaderless mass that mills about? But this is not the case. In order to be recognised by other 'Jews' as a 'Jew', it is necessary to belong to something, right at the roots level, and the synagogue form is the obvious means of doing this. So these people I mention, basically you will find them all via IISHJ (sorry my link above was apparently malformed), created networks of secular synagogues. What do they actually do? Well, in order to remain a 'Jew', you need a simple set of life cycle events which glues the family into the community: birth, circumcision (yup), puberty, sometimes some education-related ceremonies, marriage, birth of children, death and burial. All of these have secular rituals to suit the occasion, which are humanist in philosophical orientation, completely non-theistic, but emphatically 'Jewish'. And this is the final irony: there seem to be quite a few 'Jews' who only join these things so that they can buy a slot in a Jewish cemetery. Even for atheists, somehow, the idea of being buried in a special, solely 'Jewish' place is the last thing to die. But anyway, they're organised. They have rabbis, secular rabbis. It sounds absurd, but it's true. And if you don't belong to one or another type of 'synagogue', then officially you're not a 'Jew'. And thus, the idea that the non-religious Jews are also non-organized, is absolutely wrong.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 8, 2014 1:52:23 AM | 97

Posted by: Demian | Apr 8, 2014 1:24:41 AM | 93

"there are officers who are not virulent imperialists: they just don't get promoted, or get fired by the civilian leadership"

Not just by the civilian leadership, Boykins (look the freak up) abound in the present day U.S. military. The Butlers, the Carrolls, these people are a thing of the past now in the U.S. military (probably all western military), the "weeding out process" instituted during the "raygun" regime made sure the "Boykins", rather than the "Carrolls" would achieve rank.

It is a serious mistake to assume any of the western military are acting out of intelligence, now. These people just take orders, look to who gives them their orders.

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 8, 2014 2:07:59 AM | 98

@Rowan Berkeley #96:

in order to remain a 'Jew', you need a simple set of life cycle events which glues the family into the community: birth, circumcision (yup), puberty…

That secular Jews get circumcised is very odd indeed. One of the most impressive PR jobs of all time was Jews convincing Westerners, especially Americans, that they too are Western and "modern", when body modification, which is what circumcision is, is a feature of tribal, preliterate cultures.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 8, 2014 2:12:18 AM | 99

@98

Im still trying to figure out how circumcision became a common practice in America.

Its pretty much the only country where circumcision is widespread that is not Muslim or Jewish.

Many whites in America including myself were, for 'health reasons' apparently. Right.

Europe, South America, and non-muslim Asia dont do circumcision, so it cant possibly be health related...

Posted by: Massinissa | Apr 8, 2014 2:19:20 AM | 100

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