Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 31, 2014

Do Svidanya 2014

The most moving event to me in 2014 was the closing ceremony (vid, best parts of opening start here) of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Today we know that the stupid denigration of the Sochi Olympics in "western" propaganda media was part of the plan for the coup in Ukraine.

That illegal regime change was itself part of a bigger plan to restart a cold war, which will allow the U.S. to assert even more control over Europe, and eventually for regime change in Russia.

I am confident that in 2015 the non-poodle parts of Europe and Russia itself will assert themselves and block and counter the neo-imperial U.S. moves. As my Do Svidanya Sochi piece said:

The Russians will be very proud of these games. They will be grateful to their government and president for having delivered them. The internal and external message is understood: Russia has again found itself and it is stronger than ever.

The U.S. is ill informed about and underestimating Russia. Therein lies the possibility of serious miscalculations.

My hope for 2015 is that any miscalculations will be avoided and that peace will mostly prevail.

My very best wishes to all of you for a happy year 2015.

Posted by b on December 31, 2014 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

Comments

thanks b! peace to you and everyone here at moa as well..

Posted by: james | Dec 31, 2014 12:41:52 PM | 1

Happy new year to you too.

On what you say: 'Today we know that the stupid denigration of the Sochi Olympics in "western" propaganda media was part of the plan for the coup in Ukraine.' This strikes me as placing too much emphasis on design as opposed to miscalculation, or perhaps, as this blogpost suggests, a lack of 'strategic empathy': http://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2014/12/31/the-need-for-strategic-empathy/

Posted by: KMF | Dec 31, 2014 12:50:24 PM | 2

2015 will be much like any other year — no more or less eventful despite all the wishes for it to be otherwise. Life plods along and the mainstream media tries to portray it as something more exciting than paint drying, when for most it's akin to that and not much more.

The Olympics are a joke regardless of which "country" hosts it. It's relevance has long since passed, and it's now been usurped by the Neoliberalism so many of you incessantly decry 24/7.

Maybe Putin's smarter than I originally thought. When the going gets tough in Russia, the Vodka gets flowing.

Putin's "you have to destroy the village to save it" logic:

Putin orders vodka price cap as Russia's economic crisis escalates

Dec 24 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his government on Wednesday to rein in rising vodka prices, as he battles to preserve his popularity amid an aggravating economic crisis.

Putin told a meeting with government officials and regional governors that expensive vodka prices encourage the production of bootleg spirits, which carry greater risks to people's health than legally produced alcohol.

Russia is facing its worst economic crisis since 1998, when the country devalued the rouble and defaulted on its debt. Putin's popularity is partly based on his reputation for providing prosperity and stability.

"The overshoot of vodka prices leads only to increasing consumption of bootleg (spirits)," said Putin, who is known for promoting a healthy lifestyle. "I think the relevant structures (government bodies) should think of that," he added.

I can't satirize that which is inherently satirical. The above is too funny without even trying.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Dec 31, 2014 1:05:48 PM | 3

Thank you so much, b! I didn't have a chance to watch the closing ceremony - that will be my treat this evening.

Happy New Year to you and all who visit this site!

Posted by: juliania | Dec 31, 2014 1:23:32 PM | 4

I will be lifting a glass to you tonight, b. Thanks for another year of incredibly prolific and substantive reporting and commentary - truly appreciated. All the best in 2015 to you and the rest of the barflies.

Posted by: Maxcrat | Dec 31, 2014 1:26:55 PM | 5

Best to you and thanks for running a great blog!
Born in Krym, I came to the US critical of USSR, but was astounded at the viciousness (and lies) of anti-Soviet propaganda. Nothing prepared me for that. After the fall, there seemed to be a short respite - but now it's full speed ahead - see if we can replicate the worst of the Cold War. Simply heart-breaking... how much better the planet would be if the two countries cooperated. Combining Russian knowledge and creativity with American ingenuity and entrepreneurship... - yes, one can only dream. All we have now is an unstoppable desire to dominate and a complete failure of imagination. But nothing lasts forever... so let's hope for a brighter and more honest future.

Posted by: GoraDiva | Dec 31, 2014 1:33:23 PM | 6

Great stuff!

Oliver Stone on the narrative USA In Ukraine.
Always love those comments, 2,473 and counting.

Links to Pepe Escobar’s analysis “The new European ‘arc of instability,’” which indicates growing turbulence in 2015, as the US cannot tolerate the idea of any rival economic entity.

Posted by: Oui | Dec 31, 2014 3:19:45 PM | 7

"Russia's back" as you said, b. True, except for the dictator/cult of personality stuff, collapsing currency, and kleptocratic funhouse.

Do yourself a favor and buy one of these Putin butt-plugs.

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 31, 2014 4:52:56 PM | 8

OK. Here it is

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 31, 2014 5:03:49 PM | 9

"kleptocratic funhouse"

Speaking of Wall Street mrs. slothrop?

Posted by: Oui | Dec 31, 2014 5:14:19 PM | 10

@9, this poster would be an equally nice belated Christmas gift, doncha think?

My, What Beautiful Nipples You Have

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Dec 31, 2014 5:21:13 PM | 11

funny how the folks who want to put putin on some sort of messianic level are the same ones who want to nail him to a cross, lol... joseph campbell had something with that cult of the hero which has been a constant theme in the west.. one is either a hero - john wayne type, or turned into the opposite hitler type.. there is no grey area - reminds me of what is missing in the same folks space between their ears, lol...

Posted by: james | Dec 31, 2014 5:40:18 PM | 12

Does anybody know where an English version DVD of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi can be purchased?

I'm interested in the opening and closing ceremonies and the men and women ice hockey medal rounds.

Posted by: PokeTheTruth | Dec 31, 2014 6:05:55 PM | 13

I really don't understand why this blog became a living monument to Putin. At times, I think that b's hatred of the US has something to do with the gutless murder of civilian Hamburgers by allied bombers. On the other hand, the Red Army raped and murdered countless thousands of German civilians. And rather unlike the Russians, the American occupation was colossally more favorable to Hamburgers that was to anyone living in the Soviet bloc.

"There is no gray area." Some more gray than other darker shades of the same color.

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 31, 2014 6:08:50 PM | 14

Happy New Year to all the posters here, and to b especially whose daily efforts keeps this blog interesting, focused, and smart.

2014 has definitely been a peak year for western propagandizing. Let's hope 2015 sees a change in that. Even better if it is one that we all survive - though I suppose that is in the hands of those in far-right Christian fundamentalists pushing the dangerous Gog and Magog fairy tales (no doubt some in the US military - especially the Air Force - among them).

Oui, thanks for the Oliver Stone piece, very interesting. Like it or not, in our mainstream media-saturated world, it does take someone such as him, with relative fame, to get the word out and expose people to the truth.

Slothrowup is showing us the level of the US side of this debate: "Hurr durr Putin buttplug." Really Brilliant. Combined with the actions of that racist traitor Navalny and Pussy Riot shaking hands with members of the US Congress (all credibility - punk or otherwise - now zero) its hard to believe you all haven't reached your aim of forcing the Russian people back into their 1990s misery yet.

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 31, 2014 6:09:45 PM | 15

@guest77 #15:

Thank you for your holiday wishes, and warm thanks to b, yourself, somebody, and Oui, and to all the other commentators who make this place what it is. And special thanks to james, for giving this blog a deviantly sane, non-ideological Anglo-Saxon voice (guest77 is sane, but one cannot say that he is non-ideological ;-)), and for maintaining continuity in threads, by taking care to respond to other people's comments. I only discovered this blog this year, after the Ukraine crisis broke out, and I believe it is special in the balance it has between the posts of the actual blogger and the comments made by users.

Happy New Year! Hail Putin!

Posted by: Demian | Dec 31, 2014 6:50:52 PM | 16

hey sloth.. for me personally, discussing and seeking ideas an alternatives to the financial oligarchy hiding underneath the us$ is worth it.. it has nothing to do with putin, or only in so far as he represents an alternative - something that western countries are not offering.. i

live in canada and when i see the country being raped by corps that have only as much concern for the environment as our politicians will demand, i get discouraged. these same politicians don't represent me or ordinary canucks, but these same corps wanting to take the resources while giving few jobs in return.. it might not be any different in russia, but the financial demons that are pushing for global domination via the us$ are no friends of mine or of the planet..they will switch to another whore when the us$ is no more.. this isn't about hero worship.. it's about recognizing how we in the west are being conned and lied to by financial interests who own the press and have nothing to do with my best interests.. no hero worship on my part.

you saying folks put putin on a pedestal is your own wishful thinking bullshit.

Posted by: james | Dec 31, 2014 6:56:35 PM | 17

BBC World Service this morning said Moscow's riot police had dispersed Navalny's demonstrators keeping them off the sidewalks etc. I watched a live feed of the demonstration for hours, I counted about 80 demonstrators and about 20 police. Actually the demonstration was in a small plaza and no one was "dispersed". The police, however, were on the sidewalks watching the demonstrators in the plaza, which BBC turned on it's head for propaganda purposes.

Posted by: okie farmer | Dec 31, 2014 7:05:26 PM | 18

@16 demian - a special new years wish to you personally for being so kind. thanks! i am rough around the edges like everyone else and am a little too attached to my opinions too, but i work to be a bit more impartial and think everyone has a voice worth being listened to. i am going to be away most of january. happy new year to you.

Posted by: james | Dec 31, 2014 7:15:49 PM | 19

Thanks, b, and Oui - for the Arc of Instability. We live in interesting times. Happy New Year to all.


2014 "End of Year" report and a look into what 2015 might bring

The Outlook for the New Year

Posted by: jfl | Dec 31, 2014 7:48:31 PM | 20

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Dec 31, 2014 1:05:48 PM | 3

That was a bizarre subject for a habitually disorientated alcoholic to highlight.
Sour grapes, or something less meaningful?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 31, 2014 8:22:21 PM | 21

more peace. yes

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 31, 2014 8:35:51 PM | 22

2015 is likely to be a dangerous year because the Empire is going for broke, as unpleasantly as possible. But the bloodiness of its intentions is now amplified by economic war; and cutthroat oil devaluation may backfire, leaving them to stumble down unpredictable paths; and it is obvious that the ruling class is exposed by its desperation , with a more fragile hold of the reins than they realize. Their confidence is just as puffed up as their hubris.

I go into the New Year cheering b, our host at this bar. And I feel so much respect for those among us who resist, who constantly refuse to capitulate to the Forces of Darkness; and so I believe the spirit that sustains us will be here in abundance, in 2015: solidarity, imagination and ingenuity, indignation and revolt, love and catharsis, all strength of character to encourage, and yes, an ample measure of good luck.

May we live to see a better year.

Posted by: Copeland | Dec 31, 2014 8:43:40 PM | 23

Yes #23. Many kudo's to our host. And to those who choose good. May the New Year bear fruit and substance and resilience and redemption. And to express gratitude for Truth, wherever it leads.

Posted by: giddy | Dec 31, 2014 9:27:22 PM | 24

At 23,

Yes, we the fighting typists are giving it our all to set the world right.

Posted by: fast freddy | Dec 31, 2014 10:10:12 PM | 25

To address the matter of the Sochi Olympics. I had wondered about what the performances were like, and since I don't have a TV, b's linking to a video of the highlights was the first opportunity I had to see what the Russians had done in an apparent effort to represent Russia as a solid part of Europe. (This is what reports said was the purpose of putting so much effort into these Olympics. Warning: I am not into ballet.)

I believe that using a given Olympics as a platform to advertise one's country to the world is utterly futile, because no Olympics are ever even going to come close to the 1936 Summer Olympics, because of how Leni Riefenstahl filmed them in Olympia. Rammstein have kindly selected the highlights of Riefenstahl's brilliant film and used them in the video of their cover of Depeche Mode's Stripped. This is some of the best film making I have ever seen. Every single scene in the Rammstein video is mind blowing. Particularly notable are the sequence with the girls swinging their arms in tandem and the women and men diving into water. As far as I know, there is nothing like that elsewhere in cinema. It is a war crime that with cinematography and editing like that, Riefenstahl wasn't permitted by the occupying powers to continue making films.

It should be noted that at the climax of the video – a throng of women gymnasts gleefully and ecstatically swinging their arms in perfect synchrony – the video cuts to a flying American flag taking up the whole screen. This is the only footage that is in the Rammstein video that was not taken from Riefenstahl's film. The message is clear: America has replaced Germany as the seat of fascism.

Compared to Olympia, what the Russians did with the Sochi Olympics is nothing but Kitsch.

Posted by: Demian | Dec 31, 2014 10:18:13 PM | 26

And in addition to Saker himself and Paul Craig, there is the WHITE PAPER posted by the former and alluded to by the latter : The DOUBLE HELIX: CHINA-RUSSIA. Seems very solid.

And towards the end, the Larchmonter makes some interesting observations on North Korea, and so, obliquely on the 'Lost U.S. Credibility On Cyber Claims'.

Posted by: jfl | Jan 1, 2015 12:23:07 AM | 27

@B: Agree. I have seen on TV too much anti Russia propaganda in 2013 and before to not notice the anti russian "bias" in the media (radio & TV). It simply became too obvious. And that anti russian propaganda only became worse during 2014.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 1, 2015 1:00:40 AM | 28

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 31, 2014 6:08:50 PM | 14

I don't see b or this blog in that way, but blind worship of anything or anyone capitalist and representing the ruling classes is something to be skeptical and distrustful of. The ruling class is mostly capitalists and populism is a tool for such folks and not typically a core belief.

But Putin's actions show he _is_ a real Russian nationalist, and he has a real-world, non-imperialist understanding of what Russian nationalism covers and doesn't cover.

Anyway, I say so far so good. I love Putin for his 2014 actions in Syria or Ukraine, which blocked Western imperial wins and saved many innocent lives. I just wish he (and China) had woken up sooner, in 2013, and maybe the rape of Libya could've been prevented. So, Putin is a major actor in world affairs, he's on the anti-imperial side of history, and as far as I can tell he is on the side of all who fight the Western financial borg's world dominance and austerity crusade.

However, the next twenty years is about China and what it decides to do and who it decides ultimately to ally with. Maybe Putin fever can be cured a bit if we imagine him checking his every major move with Xi Jinping. Quiet Xi is the real man going forward. Not as much fun at parties, not as animated facial expressions, not as direct or as artful in expression as Putin, but he (and what he represents) is the real power.

And, if Xi and Putin remain allied, this may really turn out to be the Chinese century. Hope no feelings are hurt but I don't guess it will be known as the Eurasian Century.

That said, the only thing I remember from Sochi are Yu Na and the other beautiful Asian figure skaters.

Happy New Year everyone!

Posted by: fairleft | Jan 1, 2015 6:29:10 AM | 29

Westinghouse Significantly Expands Fuel Supply in Ukraine

The Czech Republic refused nuclear fuel rods from Westinghouse for safety reasons, after unsealed fuel elements were found at NPP Temelin. As for Ukraine, Russian experts are convinced that a special commission of the IAEA should evaluate possible threats before Westinghouse could start shipments. [Pravda.ru]

Posted by: Oui | Jan 1, 2015 9:07:50 AM | 30

@ 23: "May we live to see a better year."

So, instead of the usual "Happy New year", wishing all a "better" New Year.

Especially the BRICS alliance, on opposing the Empire.

Thanks b.

Posted by: ben | Jan 1, 2015 10:28:28 AM | 31

b, and all other true appreciators of b's work and this site,

This blog site is so important to so many of us that it is sad and pathetic that it could be disrupted and defiled by those who know only how to hate and so then can only try to denigrate.

Perhaps we could all glean something from Soren Kierkegaard:

"There is a form of envy of which I frequently have seen examples, in which an individual tries to obtain something by bullying."

and

"Showing that they don’t care about me, or caring that I should know they don’t care about me, still denotes dependence… They show me respect precisely by showing me that they don’t respect me (my bold)."

Warm wishes to all in 2015, even the bullies so desperately seeking approval and respect, and a special thank you to b.

Posted by: juannie | Jan 1, 2015 12:15:47 PM | 32

Looks like the US is already playing its games in Cuba.

Here is an event presented in the New York Times: a "sweeping roundup of dissidents":

[A performance artist] was detained at her mother’s home hours before the event and released Wednesday afternoon, along with several others.

That's a "sweeping roundup of dissidents" - briefly questioning someone at their mother's home.

Of course the job of the New York Times is to blow things out of proportion. How else to can the NYTimes present the enforcement of mundane laws in Cuba (laws which all countries have) to the American people, who see their police forces daily murder people? The NYTimes has a job to do (as does any propagandist): they have to convince the home population that they are living under the best conditions possible while giving the impression that life anywhere else is a dystopian nightmare. Truth be told - for a significant sector of the US population, as events in NYC and Ferguson have recently shown - the reality is exactly reversed!

Consider too, what she was briefly detained for - seeking to assemble without a permit - and ask yourself: what happens in the United States when people attempt to assemble without a permit in some of the most heavily trafficked areas of the US largest cities? What would occur, should, say, the New Black Panther Party attempted to set up a rally in Times Square unannounced? What happened, indeed, when the Obama Administration had enough of the Occupy Movement? The tear gassing, the pepper spraying, the ejection of people from a park where they had a right to be.

Face the facts. The US allows no public displays of dissent without the approval of the authorities. Yet what is presented in the US as "public order" is, in Cuba, portrayed as some sort of totalitarian repression. This is sheer hypocrisy from those who have an interest in smashing an independent government in Cuba, and convincing the American people that we live in a "free" society.

It sort of says it all that she chose the location of the memorial to the sunken Maine Battleship - the incident that brought the most recent wave of US Imperialism to Cuba.

"She then announced a news conference and public gathering on the Malecón, ...at the memorial to the Maine, the American battleship that sank in Havana Harbor in 1898."

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 1, 2015 2:37:36 PM | 33

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. Matthew 7:5

There is no statement more appropriate to present to those sitting in the US, smug in their conviction that their country is the righteous one, and that Russia and "evil" Putin are the aggressors.

The fact is, there is little in Russian behavior - at home or internationally - which one can point at negatively in which the United States doesn't out do them by a long stretch. From the military sphere, to the way it treats its smaller partners and neighbors, to the way it provides for its people at home.

May 2015 be the year hypocrisy faces consequences.

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 1, 2015 2:53:39 PM | 34

juannie at 32 --

Well said. You get respect by giving it. "Do unto others...." Always wise.

fairleft at 29 --

Very good thinking on Putin. "Not as much fun at parties...." I hear Xi Jinping really cuts loose at the summit cast parties afterward -- "Party line conga line, comrades!"

Hope your New Year has begun well, everyone.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 1, 2015 2:55:53 PM | 35

to g77 --

And yet, don't our leaders uniformly profess their adherence to the teachings of the Nazarene? The incoming Congress would think itself most godly. I fear we're in for more Old Testament style smiting rather than New Testament charity and good will.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 1, 2015 3:07:44 PM | 36

@ Oui @ 7

Yes that's great stuff. Cant say I enjoy reading the comments but over and over it becomes clear that the pro-US, pro NATO, pro IMF rah rah fools have NOTHING. The most they can manage is "Putin lover" or "why don't you marry Putin if you love him so much"...etc., some turn it around and say instead "why don't you move to Russia if you hate America so much"..LOL. The few Ukie/NATO trolls that habituate themselves here say the same things over and over. Its amazing to see how many ways they can find to say "Putin lover" over and over again in the same paragraph, and literally nothing else. When they do attempt to argue the extant facts they merely invert them and mimic the arguments of we anti imperialists, standing reality on its head. These are classic, textbook reactionary rhetorical "styles"...They cant argue facts because any facts they are willing to admit to almost never support their opinions. In the end they often achieve their goal because when your shilling for a lie, muddying the waters is as good as a win. The best way to deal with these trolls and shills ? Don't engage them directly at all, but address their nonsense obliquely and restate the true facts clearly and repeatedly .

Posted by: nomas | Jan 1, 2015 4:02:32 PM | 37

fairleft@29- Watching the 2008 Chinese Olympics opening ceremony I remember being bowled over by the precision and artistry. I remember thinking we in the US are truly screwed. With Sochi not so much- kitschy as you would expect. However I think Russia's actions in 2014 were duly impressive. Your post made me think of Putin re Knut Rockne's quote: “One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than a hundred teaching it.”

It 's funny I know next to nothing of Xi Jingping- I'll have to remedy that this year.

Happy new year everybody.

Posted by: Nana2007 | Jan 1, 2015 4:25:30 PM | 38

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 31, 2014 6:08:50 PM | 14

I agree, it is not rational. But would you really say causing something like this is Putin's fault?

From the Washington Post

But now several of these units, especially those linked to oligarchs or the far right, are revealing a dark side. In recent months, they have threatened and kidnapped government officials, boasted that they will take power if Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko fails to defeat Russia, and they served as armed muscle in illegal attempts to take over businesses or seize local governments.

In August, members of the Dnepr-1 battalion kidnapped the head of Ukraine’s state land fund to prevent him replacing an official deemed inimical to business interests. On Dec. 15, these volunteer units interdicted a humanitarian convoy destined for the Russia-controlled Donbas, where a major emergency is emerging.

On Dec. 23, the Azov brigade announced that it was taking control of order in the eastern port city of Mariupol, without official approval from local or national officials.

Government prosecutors have opened 38 criminal cases against members of the Aidar battalion alone.

A pattern of blatant disregard for the chain of command, lawlessness and racketeering is posing a growing threat to Ukraine’s stability at a critical juncture. Concern about volunteer groupings is widely shared in the Poroshenko administration, which reportedly raised the question of dealing with these dangers at a meeting in November of his National Security and Defense Council.

Most alarming, however, is the role of Ukraine’s interior minister, Arsen Avakov. Instead of reining in these fighters, conducting background checks on their records and reassigning those who pass muster, he instead has offered them new heavy weapons, including tanks and armored personnel carriers, and given them enhanced brigade status. Amazingly, in September he even named a leader of the neo-Nazi Azov brigade to head the police in the Kiev region.

Equally worrying is the activity of Ihor Kolomoyskyy, the governor of Dnipropetrovsk oblast. Kolomoyskyy, who played a crucial and widely respected role in stabilizing his East Ukrainian region, is now flouting central authority by interdicting aid convoys headed to the Donbas and permitting brigades he finances to engage in activities that contravene the law.

What can be done? Poroshenko clearly wants this problem resolved but has been reluctant or unable to act. For him to succeed will likely require coordination with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who has also been slow to address the threat, possibly because Avakov is one of his key political allies.

Now, we all know that Yatseniuk is Victoria Nuland's guy - so the US support war lordism in Ukraine?

It is not a bug, it is a feature - in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Libya ....

Posted by: somebody | Jan 1, 2015 4:58:24 PM | 39

@somebody #39:

haha, here is how the author is described in that op-ed:

Adrian Karatnycky is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, where he co-directs the “Ukraine in Europe” initiative.
The author complains about "warlordism" in Ukraine, but it is the "Ukraine in Europe" "initiative" which has produced the warlordism. You really have to wonder how these people can live with themselves and keep on producing such pieces which studiously ignore the obvious.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 1, 2015 5:33:31 PM | 40

“One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than a hundred teaching it.”

we have something similar in France courtesy of Michel Audiard in 'Un taxi pour Tobrouk' :
"Deux intellectuels assis vont moins loin qu'une brute qui marche." :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9u2GCJAS_8

Posted by: zingaro | Jan 1, 2015 5:34:34 PM | 41

Today in Kiev, a torchlight parade honoring Ukrainian Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMZPV1MmrLo

Posted by: brian | Jan 1, 2015 5:45:35 PM | 42

somebody at 39 --

While the battalion commanders are pushing for war, here's what Poroshenko is saying. Note the slick justification for keeping his business interests. From the Kyiv Post, Poroshenko: Despite Minsk agreements, martial law is still an option

The Ukrainian leader stressed that there is no military solution to the situation in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts as Russian army is among the strongest in Europe, while Ukraine lacks military power, especially for the offensive actions....

Poroshenko, whose fortune Dragon Capital investment house estimates at $816 million, seemed to be prepared to answer questions about why he didn't sell either Roshen, a chocolate maker, and 5 Channel, a television station. Ukrainian legislation doesn't allow a public servant to run any businesses.

However, running a business and owning it are two different options. Poroshenko explained that he is not involved in managing Roshen. He had several meetings with potential buyers, but all of them are waiting for the war to come to an end.

Fete's recent postings on operations in Novorossiya are more consistent with "local initiative" let us say, than authorities attempting to bring a lasting peace, IMHO.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 1, 2015 8:13:33 PM | 43

Posted by: GoraDiva | Dec 31, 2014 1:33:23 PM | @6

I couldn't agree with you more, GoraDiva. But you have to understand how badly educated we Americans are. Furthermore, the majority don't give a shit about history, other countries, or their history. And, literally, no Americans know how well-educated Russians are who went to university under the USSR system; they have no idea of the rigor. None. No one. They think Putin is some KGB agent who studied at the equivalent of a Police Academy, and managed to get lucky and win a few elections, and view him as someone similar to a Brooklyn mafia don. They don't know about Putin's Master's and PhD degrees, or what they were in. They don't know that Lavrov can run rings around Kerry intellectually, and speaks, what? Five or six languages fluently?

They regurgitate what the former house-painter Sean Hannity thinks of Putin, who regurgitates what he heard growing up on the streets of New York. These guys don't read.

Posted by: MRW | Jan 1, 2015 8:27:59 PM | 44

Posted by: slothrop | Dec 31, 2014 6:08:50 PM | @14

I really don't understand why this blog became a living monument to Putin. At times, I think that b's hatred of the US has something to do with the gutless murder of civilian Hamburgers by allied bombers. On the other hand, the Red Army raped and murdered countless thousands of German civilians. And rather unlike the Russians, the American occupation was colossally more favorable to Hamburgers that was to anyone living in the Soviet bloc.

Maybe reading some history will help.

A Serious Case of Mistaken Identity by Benjamin Schwarz, LA Times
http://articles.latimes.com/2000/jun/22/local/me-43656

But the biggy is what Eisenhower did to German POWs just after the war. He killed a million, dumped lye on them, and ground them into the dirt. Story in Saturday Night, 1989. Make sure you scroll down to see the photos. Eisenhower made them live in hole in the ground.
Eisenhower's Death Camps—The Last Dirty Secret of World War Two by historian James Basque
http://www.whale.to/b/bacque1.html

Posted by: MRW | Jan 1, 2015 11:43:57 PM | 45

Posted by: MRW | Jan 1, 2015 8:27:59 PM | 44

It's not simply about the uneducated masses, the leaders are uniformly educated at conformist, grade-inflated Ivy League or Ivy League equivalent institutions where anyone, even George Bush Jr., can graduate with a B- average. And then the magic of connections and just doing what you're told can push an unqualified, uninterested dolt all the way to the top or near top. Looking at Obama/Biden, Bush/Cheney, the only one who seemed smart and who knew and cared about what he was doing was the sociopath Cheney. Obama is disengaged, an affirmative action actor/spokesmodel who'd rather be smoking a joint at his Hawaii beach house. Biden and Bush are similar, but also morons.

A Presidential candidate who is engaged, very smart and well-informed sticks out like a sore thumb and has a hard time earning the trust of the powers that be. Hillary Clinton in 2008 is a good example. (She's done a lot (of horrible things) since then to earn the PTB's trust, though.) For the reason that being smart, engaged and well-read means you are potentially independent-minded in a sudden crisis. What if, for example, a sudden huge economic/mortgage crisis occurs and the extremely obvious thing to do is help homeowners directly, let the foolish banks who bankrupted themselves suffer the consequences, and pour money into public works and workers' pockets? In such a crisis, the PTB wants a bored, conformist, "don't give a shit" President who'll do exactly what Goldman Sachs tells him to do, not a smart, engaged, well-informed and potentially independent thinker/decider.

So the U.S. will continue to have an intellectual deficit at the top, and Russia will continue to win diplomatic and other battles with the U.S. even in situations where it's significantly 'outweighed'. Brains are too untrustworthy, they make the Wall Street boys nervous.

Posted by: fairleft | Jan 1, 2015 11:53:29 PM | 46

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 1, 2015 8:13:33 PM | 43

You have the same problem as b. The world is shades of grey not good and bad.

The "novorussian" side is fighting in the areas where Ukrainian/Russian oligarchs have interests who lost when Yanukovich was ousted. By withdrawing his own Russian nationalist fanatics Putin left the field to them. The non destruction and shake down of Mariupol is a good case study of what is going on. Kolomoisky (Dnepopetrovsk) is in a take over fight with Akhmetov (Donbass).
There seems to be an agreement between Putin, Poroshenko and the EU (devolution and Donbass remaining part of Ukraine), just Poroshenko has not got the power (the security/military apparatus is in the hands of the Yatseniuk/Avakov/Kolomoisky faction backed by Victoria Nuland) to deal. Poroshenko's statements are devoid of any logic as he tries to cover the divide in his political coalition. At the same time obviously, he is in it for himself. On the other hand there is the issue of the funding of the Novorussian side. A lot of that will be a shake down of the oligarchs, too, and the genie probably has come out of the bottle there, too.

There is something intriguing about the Dniepopetrovsk private civilian and military airport run by Kolomoisky's airline. And there is a gap in the conspiracy theories of the usual Russian linked, Western left media outlets. Indian media is full of it, just google it.

According to reports in the media, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to take off at 1 PM from Frankfurt on his way back to India from Brazil where he had gone for a meeting of the leaders of the BRICS countries. His flight eventually took off at 1:22 PM. Had Modi’s flight taken off at 1 PM as the earlier reports had indicated, it would have been in the vicinity of the shooting within six minutes of the Malaysian Airlines flight being shot down. ... What makes the claim that MH 17 was mistaken for an Ukrainian military plane a highly questionable one is that the plane was just 20 miles from the Russian border and the Ukrainian government would not dare provoke Russia by sending military planes to cross over into Russian airspace. It is unlikely that the anyone could have mistaken a plane headed for Russia as an Ukrainian military aircraft. ... Modi’s election in May as the Indian Prime Minister caused a huge geopolitical earthquake, and any harm to him will have great ramifications around the world.

Actually, Modi was on his return from Brazil where BRICS had just voted on the founding of a BRICS development bank.

Now, this is a very good conspiracy theory with all the necessary ingredients. How come this has been restricted to India?

Posted by: somebody | Jan 2, 2015 12:02:10 AM | 47

happy 2015 all you white men.

Posted by: anon | Jan 2, 2015 12:31:21 AM | 48

Well happy bad new year, the Western media works harder to whitewash fascist/Nazi Bandera. An absolutely brilliant comment by 'Jack' below the AFP puff piece:

This US imperialist propaganda piece must be written by one of the staff comedians! Bandera is Che Guevara! Chocolate king Poroshenko fought on the barricades!

Notice the backhanded support to these n@zis? Our propaganda machine wants you to think that only "Moscow" says Bandera fought on the side of Hitler and the N@zis. Notice how the article tries to justify Bandera's fighting with the n@zis by blaming the 1930s famine -- but not mentioning the famine affected the whole USSR and was made worse by US economic embargo (just like today!)

These are the n@zis on whom our US government of hypocrites spent 5 billion of our tax dollars to bring to power and overthrow an elected government. These n@zis have attacked all media and parties in Ukraine that oppose the US puppet junta.

The people of the east are overwhelmingly Russian speaking working class people, miners and factory workers, who refused their appointed oligarch governors and declared their independence of the junta.

Our US government wants to turn Ukraine into a low wage colony and establish first-strike nuclear missile bases in Ukraine directed against Russia. The restoration of capitalism in Ukraine has brought disaster.

No surprise that some US politicians mingle with N@zis in Louisiana!

Posted by: fairleft | Jan 2, 2015 12:46:21 AM | 49

@anon #48:

And a happy new year to you too. But fairleft is a white girl.

Happy New Year, fairleft!

Posted by: Demian | Jan 2, 2015 1:02:08 AM | 50

Posted by: fairleft | Jan 1, 2015 11:53:29 PM | @46

That, too. ;-)

Posted by: MRW | Jan 2, 2015 1:29:34 AM | 51

the nonpoodle parts of europe willhavee to be aware of sedition from its own peoples as with the various arab springs and Ukraines Maidan, where locals serve to agitate for a foreign power while talking about 'freedom and democracy'

Posted by: brian | Jan 2, 2015 2:08:01 AM | 52

Fascism in Ukraine
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/9/119309/World/International/Thousands-of-Ukraine-nationalists-march-in-Kiev.aspx

And happy new year to all here!

Posted by: Mina | Jan 2, 2015 2:25:14 AM | 53

Sergey Lavrov said on 15 Dec 2014: "We have overestimated the independence of the European Union [from the US]." http://itar-tass.com/en/russia/767282 . Lavrov made that comment in contemplation of the trade sanctions imposed by the EU on Russia last summer & autumn including particularly the manner in which the sanctions were discussed and debated and not debated by EU political society.

It is clear to me that 'b' overestimates the numerical strength and political power of the "non-poodle" components of Europe. 'b' makes a bold declaration in his above post that "I am confident that in 2015 the non-poodle parts of Europe and Russia itself will assert themselves and block and counter the neo-imperial U.S. moves." It is clear to me that Germany in particular is a "poodle", as the saying goes, and in other words German political society is committed to being in alignment with the USA for good and for ill, for better and for worse. I repeat, the "non-poodle parts of Europe" have no teeth in Europe. You've seen that consistently in recent years, and you've no intelligent basis for supposing you're not going to be seeing it in 2015.

Posted by: Ghubar Shabih | Jan 2, 2015 3:20:03 PM | 54

Is this the vindication of Larchmonter's prediction concerning North Korea and the 'Double Helix' ?

North Korean Leader Willing to Improve Relations with S. Korea


North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, announced in his televised New Year's speech that he was ready to hold a meeting with the South Korean president, claiming he was open to make a “big shift” in the animosity between the neighboring countries.

During the 30-minute speech, Kim expressed a desire for better relations on the Korean Peninsula.

“If South Korean authorities sincerely want to improve relations between North and South Korea through talks, we can resume stalled high-level meetings,” he said.

The message, broadcast on state television, declared that he wished to meet with the president of South Korea.

“Depending on the mood and circumstances to be created, we have no reason not to hold the highest-level talks,” he said.

Posted by: jfl | Jan 2, 2015 7:56:59 PM | 55

s'body @ 47 --

I'm sorry that I did not make my intent clear. I've been posting about the dangers posed by the militias and the rivalry btw. Poroshenko and Kolomoisky for a bit (good to see the WaPo has caught up, as you advise in 39 -- NYT is my MSM paper-of-record of choice, so I don't see the Post, thanks). I offered it as evidence of growing discord amongst the junta, not praise for Poroshenko's virtue. I expect him to remain a figurehead, but I expect the militias to continue to assert themselves. We'll see what comes of the prosecutions, that will be a tell.

I see the junta as shades of black -- midnight, charcoal, jet, ebony, etc. The Opposition Bloc is grey.

More grist for the mill -- nice pc. from Fort Russ, Is Poroshenko Preparing for Peace or War?. The whole pc. is worth reading, thorough consideration of Poroshenko's position, but here's the bottom line.

"It is therefore quite possible that Poroshenko is simply seeking to gain time and work on preparing the country for an all-out war, even though it is clear that people on all sides will suffer as a result. Or at the very least that he will be unable to stop the war drums even if he wishes to."

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 2, 2015 9:12:58 PM | 56

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