Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 06, 2014

Ukraine: Yuck, I agree with Kissenger

As yesterday's thread keeps filling up here are some noteworthy items on the Ukraine to keep the discussion going.

McClatchy also covers my story about the fake Merkel "Putin is unhinged" quote which the White House distributed through the New York Times. McClatchy:

The problem with stories like the one unfolding in Ukraine is that it is so easy to become a megaphone for propaganda, from all sides.
The current example of this is the New York Times' report posted online Sunday and in its Page 1 lead story on Monday purporting to know what German Chancellor Angela Merkel told President Obama after her conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In that story, the Times quotes an identified Obama aide supposedly briefed on the conversation that Merkel described Putin as "in another world."
The quote was too good to ignore and became the reporting line for every talking head and commentator for the next several news cycles.

As McClatchy, like me, found out, the quote was incorrect and Merkel simply said that Putin had "a different view" than the U.S. president.

The BBC finally finds out (video) that the Neo-Nazis are a threat to Ukraine. Even the New York Times admits that these are dangerous people though it still plays down their numbers:

Among them, at least on the margins, are factions that many fellow Ukrainians regard as anti-Semitic and reactionary, including Right Sector, which commands Sotnya No. 23.

Artem Skoropadsky, the Right Sector’s press secretary, took pains to distinguish its members from the rest of the opposition. But he said they shared certain goals, including serving as a check against abuses or halfhearted overhauls by any new authorities.

“Now it is clear that we can influence the government and the government structures,” he said.

Yes, indeed. And that is extremely dangerous.

The new government already tried to prohibit the official use of the Russian language, to disband the communist party which in the last election had 13% of the votes (more than the Nazi Svoboda party) and it kicked the Russian language TV which most people watch off the cable networks. That is a culture war against half of the population of the Ukraine.

Make no mistake. The neo-nazis, now holding all major security relevant government posts, will not voluntarily allow unbiased elections that would likely kick them out again. Not ever.

The parliament of the Crimea has voted to apply for membership in the Russian Federation. A public vote about the issue is now planned for March 16. That is quite early, too early indeed, but puts more pressure on the illegitimate new government in Kiev to find a way to some compromise.

Cringe-worthy as it is, I agree with Henry Kissinger on how such a compromise should look:

Putin should come to realize that, whatever his grievances, a policy of military impositions would produce another Cold War. For its part, the United States needs to avoid treating Russia as an aberrant to be patiently taught rules of conduct established by Washington. Putin is a serious strategist — on the premises of Russian history. Understanding U.S. values and psychology are not his strong suits. Nor has understanding Russian history and psychology been a strong point of U.S. policymakers.

Leaders of all sides should return to examining outcomes, not compete in posturing. Here is my notion of an outcome compatible with the values and security interests of all sides:

1. Ukraine should have the right to choose freely its economic and political associations, including with Europe.

2. Ukraine should not join NATO, a position I took seven years ago, when it last came up.

3. Ukraine should be free to create any government compatible with the expressed will of its people. Wise Ukrainian leaders would then opt for a policy of reconciliation between the various parts of their country. Internationally, they should pursue a posture comparable to that of Finland. That nation leaves no doubt about its fierce independence and cooperates with the West in most fields but carefully avoids institutional hostility toward Russia.

Kissinger calls for the Crimea to stay with the Ukraine but with some autonomy and secured basing rights for the Russian Black Sea fleet.

That fleet continued its isolation of the Ukrainian navy by sinking an old cruiser at the entrance to an Ukrainian navy harbor area on the Crimean coast.

U.S. president Obama just declared the crisis in Ukraine to be a an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the U.S. which gives him additional powers to wage financial wars via sanctions. This is another escalation after yesterdays news that the U.S. air-force would station additional fighter jets into the Baltic states. This climbing escalation is one reason why some commentators believe that there will be war in Ukraine.

Posted by b on March 6, 2014 at 12:46 UTC | Permalink

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Vltchek asks this question:

Now, please, I am not trying to be funny and I am not trying to play with words: I am honestly wondering… I am humbly asking: “Are people in the West, particularly in Europe… are they pretending that they don’t know what is happening in Syria, Venezuela, Thailand and now, particularly, in Ukraine? Or have they simply turned into a cynical assembly of brainwashed degenerates?

It's good that Vltchek is finally understanding how truly bad it is but I think that he's using a secondary definition of cynical and "self-centered" would have been less confusing. From Google:


1. believing that people are motivated by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity.
"her cynical attitude"

2. concerned only with one's own interests and typically disregarding accepted or appropriate standards in order to achieve them.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Mar 7 2014 15:21 utc | 201

And from the WSWS:

As always—and as has been the case throughout this crisis—the statements of the US government are infused with hypocrisy. In 1992, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the United States pressed for the breakup of Yugoslavia. In 1999, it went to war against Serbia to secure the secession of the province of Kosovo. Washington’s position on one or another issue is never determined by the principles of international law, but rather by its calculation of US geopolitical and economic interests.

The question is now: how far is the US prepared to go in order to secure a victory over Russia in this confrontation? In a television interview, US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power repeated Washington’s ultimatum that Russia recognize the US-backed regime in Kiev, even as she warned that developments in Ukraine could “go south.”

So reckless is the warmongering of the US that even former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the most ruthless practitioner of imperialist power politics, is alarmed. He began an op-ed piece in Thursday’s Washington Post by writing: “Political discussion on Ukraine is all about confrontation. But do we know where we are going?”

Posted by: JSorrentine | Mar 7 2014 15:24 utc | 202

Sorry, lot of good reads and wonder if b would comment on his take of the German media/propaganda.

Again from the WSWS

So-called liberal German media outlets such as the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Zeit, which is close to the Social Democratic Party (SPD), and the Green Party-aligned TAZ have responded to the intensification of the crisis in Ukraine with a vehement campaign for war. As though they had received their training in Goebbels’ propaganda ministry, some commentators are openly defending fascist parties, hailing anti-Semitic militias as freedom fighters, and calling for a military strike against Russia.

On Monday, TAZ Russian correspondent Klaus-Helge Donath railed against “Berlin’s cuddly diplomats” in a lead article. He accused the German government of allowing Putin to lead them “around the arena by the nose.” On the title page, an oversized telephone receiver was featured, designed to show that Berlin’s policy was restricted to diplomatic efforts.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Mar 7 2014 15:28 utc | 203

criminals takingrefuge in the law! crimea vote very revealing of who stands where: the crimea vote has helped to show jus where if not nations their politicians stand! #litmus WorldAffairsCouncil ‏@WAC_DC 12m
#Ukraine crisis: #Crimea vote 'will not be recognised' only 3 grojus are affectd: urkaine russia and..... USA, yet the whole world has an opinion..why? whats it to brit or canadian regime politicians?...none of these are concnered at the COUP that took place, the sniping likely by the coup masters or the illegality of the take over...its all about crimeas free the end its about NATO and the effort to destroy russia.....but the idea that NEONAZIS can talk about the 'civilised world' is risible

Posted by: brian | Mar 7 2014 15:31 utc | 204

Interesting analysis from a MI5 whistleblower Ukraine was coup d'état by the CIA – David Shayler.
"...When I first saw this it was absolutely clear to me that this was not a popular revolution. Immediately you had people turning up with metal barricades, they were very organized, they were in masks and so on. Now I would say if I was pissed off with my government, now I’m going to demonstrate, where would I get a metal barricade from?.."

Good question.

Posted by: ProPeace | Mar 7 2014 15:41 utc | 205

Hey b another MOA shout-out in this great piece on Greenwald and Omidyar.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Mar 7 2014 15:42 utc | 206

Russia rallied support Friday for a Crimean bid to secede from Ukraine, with Russia’s top lawmaker assuring her Crimean counterpart that the region would be welcomed as “an absolutely equal subject of the Russian Federation.” Across Red Square, 65,000 people waved Russian flags, chanting “Crimea is Russia!”

The strategic peninsula in southern Ukraine has become the flashpoint in the battle for Ukraine, where three months of protests sent President Viktor Yanukovych fleeing to Russia. Russia calls the new Ukrainian government illegitimate, and has seized control of Crimea, where it has a major naval base on the Black Sea.

Posted by: brian | Mar 7 2014 15:46 utc | 207


Seriously stop defending stuff you know nothing about.
This is the last comment on this.
Go learn something here:

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 7 2014 15:55 utc | 208

So finally after two days PressTV picks up on the news of the leaked phone call between Ashton and Paet. I am a bit surprised, they are usually extremely fast on jumping on such news. I wonder what the reason for the delay was.

Posted by: pirouz_2 | Mar 7 2014 16:06 utc | 209

here is Harper matic: On Thursday, Harper said the government would not recognize the results of a referendum in Crimea on whether to join Russia because the region is "currently under illegal military occupation." .......hilarious and corrupt .....hes never been so principalled with US occupations!

Posted by: brian | Mar 7 2014 16:08 utc | 210

@pirouz_2 # 209

Re : presstv , good point !
They are way beyond the actual news reg Ukraine and I think they were caught by surprise. Actually they do not have good reporters in Europe and I think they are confused which stance to take .

Re: Omidyar , that pig is of Iranian origin , Omid means hope and Yar is friend , thus 'Friend of Hope' , probably he was chosen as the 'legitimate' replacement of Soros , the 'Ober-Pig'...

Posted by: Sufi | Mar 7 2014 16:27 utc | 211


Ashton is on a visit to Iran, probably trying to bribe the Iranian government to back the EU for gas supplies.

Posted by: hans | Mar 7 2014 16:29 utc | 212

@brian # 207

So if the WaPo says 65,000, can we multiply that by 2, 5 or 10? ;~)

@Sufi #211

Omidyar's parents emigrated to France, I believe. I wonder when, and why... I'm also wondering about Valerie Jarrett, Obama's personal advisor (i.e., handler?) since her parents were over there during the reign of the Shah.

Posted by: Nora | Mar 7 2014 16:34 utc | 213


this is the fascist meme popular in cartoons with Obama being shown as weak

Posted by: brian | Mar 7 2014 22:48 utc | 214

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