Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 27, 2014

Ukraine: Anatol Lieven On The Larger Picture

A lecture (video) by and with Anatol Lieven, of King's College London held on May 14. As usual Lieven, who knows East Europe well, gives a sane realist perspective and accordingly damns the foolish "western" policies with regard to Ukraine and Russia. With about 100 minutes the talk and Q&A is quite long but worth your time.

Aside from Ukraine there is an important point Liven makes during the Q&A not with regard to Russia but to China. At 1:25h Lieven talks about false "security guarantees" given by the U.S. and UK, how no one is willing -in the end- to stick to such. This well known fact in general weakens such "guarantees".

With that in mind he expands to China (1:27:40):

I think the Americans have been profoundly foolish in that regard. It does weaken their credibility in alliances elsewhere. [...] If the United States extends to China the kind of attitudes and the kind of policies that it has to Russia over the past generation, then, ladies and gentlemen, we will find ourselves in another major international war which will bring the world economy down in ruins and with it, probably, many democracies around the world including our own. I hope that the fact that an American policy which did this would deserve the results it got will be a comfort to our descendants.

Such fear is not without reasoning. U.S. "security guarantees" already inflame the situation as the new Cold War Heats Up in Asia in the same moment that a devastating financial and cyber war with Russia is shaping up. Foolish U.S. policies on Ukraine have pushed Russia and China (and Iran) into an (informal) strategic alliance which is giving U.S. strategic planers more than a light headache. Can a seapower prevail against a strong, self sufficient landpower alliance?

As the Carnegie Moscow Center remarks:

Whether in the Euro-Atlantic or the Asia-Pacific, great-power relations are becoming more contentious, with a loose Eurasian coalition emerging to reduce the U.S. domination of global politics. This is nothing like the Sino-Soviet alliance of the 1950s, but the consolidation of Russia's pivot to Asia is an important result of the first phase of the Ukraine crisis, which will continue to reshape the global strategic landscape.

The U.S. has no other than Victoria Nuland, and Hillary Clinton who installed her as Deputy Secretary of State for Europe, to thank for this foolish mess.

Posted by b on May 27, 2014 at 7:23 UTC | Permalink


failure and failure, look at this:

nuland scores again, unfortunately.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 27 2014 8:10 utc | 1

"The U.S. has no other than Victoria Nuland, and Hillary Clinton who installed her as Deputy Secretary of State for Europe, to thank for this foolish mess."

That sounds like one of those obfuscating simplifications western media for "liberal intellectuals" (IE: college educated management class) engage in when things don't look so rosy for the western fascists.

Neither Nuland or Clinton decide the policies they front for, the people who place them in the positions they occupy decide these. At most, Nuland-Clinton get to manage those who work out how to implement the policies for western plutocracy. Though I suspect in Clinton's case, she is more of a "name brand" telemarketing scheme than anything else.

Posted by: scalawag | May 27 2014 8:16 utc | 2

RT: China to be the most important country in XXI century - Jim Rogers, investment specialist

Intresting debate.

Posted by: Paty Kerry | May 27 2014 8:37 utc | 3

Socialist prospects in south-eastern Ukraine

By Viktor Shapinov, translated by Renfrey Clarke
From the Ukrainian site Liva (“Left”),

The people’s mayor of Slavyansk Vyacheslav Ponomarev has declared that the city’s industries will be nationalised.

“So that no-one should be under any illusions, I want to say that all the industry in the city will be nationalised,” Ponomarev stated. “We can’t leave the city’s industrial potential in the hands of crooked businessmen.”

There is nothing surprising about this anti-capitalist trend which has appeared, to a large extent spontaneously, among the activists of the anti-Maidan who were among the founders of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. ...

Needless to say, the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk will not be socialist. Sectors of large and middle business will most likely retain their positions. Russian corporations too will try to grab what they can. But the founding of popular republics “from below”, and the experience of anti-fascist, anti-imperialist and anti-oligarchic struggle that is gained by the masses, will undoubtedly move not only south-eastern Ukraine but also the entire post-Soviet space in a leftward direction.

Posted by: fairleft | May 27 2014 8:57 utc | 4

Over 100 killed now!

EU, US got blood on their hands!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 27 2014 9:40 utc | 5

Scalawag makes a good point but I would posit there's a little bit more of a symbiosis between the plutocrat/oligarchs and the neocon think tank world, rather than Nuland and Clinton being just pure lap dogs. That said, I'm sure there is something of a higher power they answer too, basically. But we can still thank them for their roles in this mess, that's for sure.

Posted by: Colinjames | May 27 2014 9:41 utc | 6, one of the major polish portals, apparently "changed sides" a few weeks ago, becoming close to an objective source regarding Ukraine. Since then it's very hard to find pro-putschist propaganda, by hasbara, other paid agents or "useful idiots", that would be among the top comments, as it would be a month ago, usually with pro-Western vitriol. Recently the discussions are dominated by the pro-Russian commenters, something unthinkable only a few months ago.

Donietsk: Polish student supporting Russian separatists

As it turns out, in Poland there are people who support the activities of pro-Russian separatists in Crimea. Reporter Martin snatched Onet spoke in Donetsk with Bartosz Bekier, Polish student of political science, who wrote in the portal - We are trying to create a narrative absent in the Polish media. There is an asymmetry in the transmission on Ukraine, we are trying to distort - says Bekier. - We talk about the fact that the financing of the opposition is assisted by external centers. This whole conflict is largely a projection of foreign, western centers - explains. See Martin snatched material directly from Donetsk in crisis. (JSch)

BTW Poroshenko's first visit abroad is to be in Poland.

Posted by: ProPeace | May 27 2014 10:25 utc | 7

of course "snatched" is auto-translated, I should've corrected that.

That interview is very clear signum temporis, real "wind of change" can be felt in EU.

Posted by: ProPeace | May 27 2014 10:27 utc | 8

Scalawag @2

Pray tell how this string-pulling you speak of is supposed concretely to work? Is there a secret handshake that allows the true managers to communicate to their underlings, or are you simply speaking metaphorically? What would constitute proof of the assertion that Hillary and Vicki are simply executing the orders of some unnamed and unknown others? It's no secret that there are powerful interests engaged in and by American foreign policy, but most of them are focused on the narrow band of decisions that directly affect their net worth.

I thnk the stupidity and destructiveness of American foreign policy has intellectual roots going back to the 1890s (1840s if you include the war against Mexico). American hegemony is in the American DNA. As many here have pointed out, it is embedded in the liberal American mindset, never questioned because it is no natural and seemingly self-evident. It is obvious enough that if this mindset were to produce actions contrary to important and nfluential business interests, there would be efforts to arrest them. But I don't think one can reduce the influence to a matter of control. We are dealing with policies that are supported by 85 to 90 percent of the American elite independently of their particular economic interest. The same was true of the German elite's support for German bellicosity in the years leading up to 1914 (1939 is not a test case because by that date Germany was a totalitarian dictatorship).

Posted by: Knut | May 27 2014 12:17 utc | 9

"Neither Nuland or Clinton decide the policies they front for, the people who place them in the positions they occupy decide these."

And who are these people?

The idea that there is a disconnect between the ruling class and those who rule, is not very useful.

Of course Nuland is not the ruling class, merely the face and voice of it. Of course she did not invent ruling class policies any more than she did its interests. But she shapes and develops policies intended to promote those interests.

And that is, surely, the point that b is making: not that Clinton or Nuland (or Obama or Bill Kristol or McCain) determine policies arbitrarily but that they are often mistaken in the belief that the policies they promote serve the interests of the class of which they are part and which employs them.

Nor is this a picayune quibble because this propensity of the ruling class to employ deluded, incompetent and ignorant agents is a characteristic of a class in decline, a class losing its way, confused by the complexity of the situations in which it finds itself.

Is there "a higher power" as Colinjames @6 argues?

The answer is both yes and no. Yes, in the sense that the ruling class has real interests and an optimal course to pursue them. But No, in the sense, that there are no mysterious distant conclaves, all powerful figures or secret authorities capable of imposing their will.

There is the military and intelligence, the secret police and enormous latent power, but there is no evidence to believe either that they are wiser than their political fronts or regard themselves as being so.

What we are seeing in the USA is the fruits of a system of government which has ceased to serve its purpose. It is no longer 'democratic' enough to carry the masses, consensually, with it and it is, by the same token, dominated by oligarchies chosen not for their wisdom or popularity but on the basis of their ability to game the media and the impunity they enjoy by doing so.

There are no consequences for incompetence, there is no competition winnowing out the idiotic and deluded. Indeed the contrary is the case: the process at work is one in which the "least fit" survive. Hence the steady stream of foolish people (many of them, for obvious enough reasons, being women) who rise from obscurity to the highest offices in the State Department and White House.
Hence, the increasingly alarming folly of US policy, a folly particularly characterised by its reliance on brawn-raw military threats and CIA thuggery. Both of which are in evidence in Ukraine.

Posted by: bevin | May 27 2014 12:42 utc | 10

Anatol Lieven might "know" East Europe well but he's another idiot that doesn't know the difference between a "Republic" or a "Constitutional Monarchy" and a "Democracy".

Posted by: par4 | May 27 2014 12:55 utc | 11

Not a nice picture but must be showed to the sick west that support the massacres:

Posted by: Anonymous | May 27 2014 13:43 utc | 12

My antivirus alert in 8/10 times when going into a ukrainian website. Of course it could be false positives but still, annyoing.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 27 2014 14:14 utc | 13

like scalawag,

I used to pardon Hillary as being a spineless SoS of Obama, but then I saw the video tape of the schoolgirl giggling over Gaddafi's being anally raped to death with a stake.

After that, it's pretty hard to see her as anything but what she is;

Hillary Clinton is one sick psycho.

Posted by: S Brennan | May 27 2014 14:26 utc | 14

Notice that as soon as Russia backed off from the conflict some weeks ago, the war started by kiev regime and now they have killed some 300 people since.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 27 2014 14:37 utc | 15

Toria Nuland was more than a spokesperson for neocon policy under VP Cheney for two years from July 2003. As a career diplomat she was present in the Clinton administration and as CFR fellow member of a task force on “Russia, its Neighbors and an Expanding NATO.” The think-tanks are important in setting US foreign policy, that's why there is little effective change from one administration to the next.

Posted by: Oui | May 27 2014 14:46 utc | 16

Under VP Cheney Nuland was heavily involved in the first Orange Revolution in 2004, all leading players finished the job in 2014. Toria Nuland has grandfather's roots in a part of Ukraine called Bessarabia. He emigrated to the US in 1907 after several progroms against the Jewish community.

New Atlantic Initiative Founded by Neocons

Posted by: Oui | May 27 2014 14:47 utc | 17

Wouldnt surprise if its nato military commanders that are in head of ukraine military now, they have had some real luck past 4-5 days or so compared to the earlier assaults in april early may.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 27 2014 14:49 utc | 18


"(many of them, for obvious enough reasons, being women)"

What are these "obvious enough reasons"? Because female puppets present friendlier figureheads than male puppets? If thats not it then its not obvious.

Posted by: Massinissa | May 27 2014 15:21 utc | 19

@19 I suspect bevin meant affirmative action.

Posted by: Grim Deadman | May 27 2014 15:25 utc | 20

@14 I dont remember the anal rape, I only remember him being beheaded. Did they really do that? Either way, giggling about a mans death the way she did was pathetic. Not too removed from how George Bush the Lesser reportedly blew up small animals with dynamite in his youth.

Anyway, the point you make is important: They may be puppets of higher masters, but they are ideologically the same as their masters. Which is why theyre chosen.

If Hillary Clinton was not as deranged as the ruling elite, they would have picked a different puppet. The elites select puppets who reflect them and their beliefs. In general the puppets dont deserve much sympathy because they usually do what their masters tell them and believe what their masters tell them WILLINGLY.

Usually. There may be exceptions who are coerced. But Clinton is a True Believer.

Posted by: Massinissa | May 27 2014 15:26 utc | 21

@20 Pretty sure theres no affirmative action for women, only racial minorities.

Posted by: Massinissa | May 27 2014 15:29 utc | 22

@22 Perhaps normally no, but I would not be surprised if there was in the government, seeing how women comprise an obvious minority among senior public servants. You know, I would suspect it to become a thing after all that noise during the Clinton presidency.

Posted by: Grim Deadman | May 27 2014 15:32 utc | 23

Qaddaffi was sodomized with a foot-long hunting knife by his captors. The video preceded her chucklefest, of course she'd seen it. This particular apotheosis of brutality is but one of the things helping these monsters sleep at night. White man's burden and all. They need their snuff films.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 27 2014 15:56 utc | 24

Surely, Nuland is part of the political class! She may or may not, contribute tactics or even strategy but so what?

Debates about the role individuals play in the construction of state policy are not very useful if they centre on one person no matter how 'evil' or psychotic they may be. As someone else here said, Nuland may not make policy (tho this is debatable given her central role in Dept of State and married to another certified sociopath).

Perhaps it's the fact that she's female that has produced these reactions? Had she been a man, I am sure she would have not been singled out so (not that I'm defending her!). But for a woman to succeed in a man's world she generally has to be a bigger (or 'better') bastard than her male counterparts.

Posted by: William Bowles | May 27 2014 16:11 utc | 25

Posted by: Massinissa | May 27, 2014 11:26:48 AM | 21

Gaddafi was raped with some kind of implement that tore him up.

Posted by: William Bowles | May 27 2014 16:12 utc | 26

@Oui "The think-tanks are important in setting US foreign policy, that's why there is little effective change from one administration to the next."

No kidding. Ever read "Tragedy and Hope" by Quigely?

Posted by: ProPeace | May 27 2014 16:15 utc | 27

@ Posted by: Massinissa | May 27, 2014 11:26:48 AM | 21

He was sodomised repeatedly with a dagger. There are a number of videos on YouTube showing him being tortured - including the anal stabbings before being killed by his captors.


Posted by: Dubhaltach | May 27 2014 16:16 utc | 28

@Sb Oh, please. Never heard of "Clinton body count"?

Posted by: ProPeace | May 27 2014 16:18 utc | 29

@28 BEFORE death?!! I thought this was something they did to the body afterwards!

Jesus lord sweet mercy and mary mother of god. I wouldnt have even smiled if someone did that to Hitler or whoever I terribly hated, much less giggled like a twit.

Posted by: Massinissa | May 27 2014 16:19 utc | 30

Posted by: Colinjames | May 27, 2014 5:41:52 AM | 6

The west is pretty much run like a corporation, which is to be expected since it is a capitalist plutocracy, corporatocracy or polygarchy. This informative article list the more important players and shows some of the ways these are connected to each other.

Naming Names: Your Real Government

There are others, and other associations, so this is a partial list. The people listed can be considered in the top echelon of the western corporatocracy/plutocracy. The members of the board. They make the decisions about policies the west pursues. Below them is "upper" management. These are the people tasked to implement those policies. There is a grey area between these two upper layers with some people being effectively part of both. Call them junior oligarchs or supra management (perhaps Cheney being one example of this?). ;) People like Nuland are upper management. So is Kissinger, so are the Clintons. They work pretty much like management teams in corporations do, working out how to implement the policies.

This is what I meant by pointing out the Nulands and Clintons don't decide the policies, they implement the policies their "employers" have decided on. So in the case of the western attack on the Ukraine, Nuland is part of implementing the attack, but the attack was decided by the group listed in the article above. They picked Nuland and the others working this attack the way a corporate board of directors will select management teams to implement their various corporate policies. That Nuland's wasn't the only "management team", and that different teams don't always agree on how to implement policy, can be seen from her "F... the EU" comment. What those differences are open to speculation, but it's clear there is rivalry among those implementing policy.

Often, what the west intends for their attack victims can be guessed at by looking at who are chosen by the hierarchy to implement its policy decisions. The neocon types tend to wreck the countries attacked, and keep them destabilized. The choice of neocons to carry out the Ukraine attack, in my opinion, probably means the west is more interested in an Afghan/Iraq/Libya/Yugoslav scenario for the Ukraine, than they are one of the Baltics/Czech/Poland type.

Posted by: scalawag | May 27 2014 16:42 utc | 31


Too many names, the elites are more focused. Pushing forward to seal the next deal ...

Bilderberg and Transatlantic Trade: a Lobbying Scandal Waiting to Happen
TTIP: EU and US Prepare to Enhance Global Corporatocracy With Free Trade Deal

Posted by: Oui | May 27 2014 16:50 utc | 32


I just want to point out that although theyre not making the decisions, the 'upper management' are still liable for the crimes committed in their names. So H. Clinton, as example, is still culpable for her misdeeds. She could always retire or some shit. God knows Bill would give her more than enough to do it with.

Just as Adolf Eichmann was deemed responsible for carrying out his orders during the holocaust, so too are people like Hillary also responsible for their actions even if they call none of the shots.

Posted by: Massinissa | May 27 2014 16:56 utc | 33

Posted by: Massinissa | May 27, 2014 12:56:00 PM | 33

"I just want to point out that although theyre not making the decisions, the 'upper management' are still liable for the crimes committed in their names."

I agree. In fact, I think liability goes all the way down the line, to even web spammers promoting the crimes on the web. All, from the top decision makers, to the lowest troll should be prosecuted according to the level they are involved in these war crimes.

Posted by: scalawag | May 27 2014 18:54 utc | 34

I see the informal alliance bringing together Russia-China and Iran as overtly against Wahhabi Sunni takfiris and their sponsors. I see it as covertly anti Saudi-US Petrodollar. It is a natural reaction against a Sea lanes based hegemon and thus these troika turns inwards to the Eurasian landmass for development of energy trade routes.

With the elections in the Ukraine and Europe, I see that a figure head oligarch won who is a sympathizer of New Europe (Poland and the Baltics). But I also see surging support in Old Europe for an anti-EU and possibly anti-NATO stance. But the loaded purse is in Old Europe not in New Europe.

So the Ukrainian oligarch figurehead's first trip is to New Europe (Poland) but the purse isn't there.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | May 27 2014 19:03 utc | 35

First Ukraine now color revolution in Abchazia?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 27 2014 19:32 utc | 36

The Western Plutocrats simple will not tolerate the rise of a socialist enclave that threatens to nationalize businesses even if they are owned by Ukrainian Oligarchs. It takes a lot of time and winnowing before rookie conscripts become an army and right sector goons the SS. Before summer is over, NATO troops will be fighting in Ukraine. Russia has to intervene to protect its fellow Russians. If not, the Russian ultra-nationalists will seize power and drive NATO out of Eastern Ukraine.

By refusing to negotiate a Ukraine settlement now, the West is hell bent on starting World War III.

Posted by: VietnamVet | May 27 2014 19:52 utc | 37

I think it's fair to say that Anatol Lieven is a whore, given that he said that Russian media "lies", without giving any examples. What else can one expect from a a senior fellow of the New America Foundation in Washington DC?

The main thing I got out of Lieven's talk, and he said this most clearly in an answer to a question, is that the EU has contracted out its Ukraine policy to Poland, and to a lesser extent, Sweden. That explains something I had been puzzled by: that the EU presented the Ukraine with an either/or choice between the EU and Russia last autumn.

Lieven also observes that Germany wasn't paying any attention to what Poland was doing doing, driving the EU to take an insanely anti-Russia position.

That Germany allowed Poland to enter the EU makes as clear as anything else that the FRG is USG's bitch.

Posted by: Demian | May 27 2014 19:58 utc | 38

Tsarev warned Poroshenko about the "quick ATO"

"The election leading to the desire of the President of Ukraine billionaire Peter Poroshenko to quickly conduct a "special operation" in the East of the country will lead to massive civilian casualties, said the leader of the movement "South-East" Oleg Tsarev.

"Petro Poroshenko, winning at rigged and lawless elections of the President of Ukraine, stated that the Ukrainian army should better equip. And that the ATO will be quick and effective, it will not take days, but only hours. I would like to meet him in a few points. First, if he applies at least to the minimum legality, you should know that before the inauguration of the President has no authority. And yet before the results of this vote counted," said Tsarev in Facebook.

According to him, "if Poroshenko is so sure of his victory, it makes you wonder about large-scale fraud, "guaranteeing" this victory".

"Secondly, the expanding armed forces in conditions of actual default of Ukraine, when there is no money for salaries to state employees, neither retired nor for medicine for the sick is a crime before people. Mr. Poroshenko is going to further transform Ukraine into Northern Somalia," said Tsarev.

"And thirdly, "fast ATO" means huge civilian casualties, noncombatants (in violation of all international conventions). And it is a humanitarian catastrophe and a crime against humanity," he said.

"If Mr. Poroshenko wants his presidency to be bloody, inglorious and short - let him hurry, let's allow kindling the fire of war," said Tsarev.

The extraordinary elections of the President of Ukraine were held on Sunday. Without waiting for the announcement of the official election results, Poroshenko on Sunday announced about their victory and made a number of warlike statements: promised to return the Crimea and to complete the "special operation" in the East "in hours".

Fixed the translation some so it made more sense. Hopefully my "fixes" are not too far off. Original:

Царев предостерег Порошенко от «быстрой АТО»

Posted by: scalawag | May 27 2014 20:08 utc | 39

China Terror Attack Mars Historic Gas Deal

"US-backed Terrorism Mars Deal Today, Threatens its Expansion Tomorrow

The attacks aimed at diminishing the immediate political fallout for the West regarding the Russian-Chinese natural gas deal are also to remind the world that it will not move out from beneath Wall Street, London, and Brussel’s unipolar hegemonic international order without a fight. The terror campaigns being carried out in northwestern China, across the Caucasus region in Russia, and throughout the Middle East and North Africa have all been tied to Western geopolitical ambitions and used both as a pretext to militarily intervene and as proxy forces to destabilize and upturn political orders in targeted nations obstructing the expansion of Western corporate-financier interests.

With the Russian-Chinese gas deal undermining current Western ambitions from America’s “pivot” toward Asia, NATO’s meddling in Ukraine, and overall confidence among various stakeholders invested in the West’s current global order, the West seeks to immediately reciprocate by undermining confidence in Russia and China’s ability to implement the deal.

It should be noted as well that the Russian-Chinese natural gas deal, while initially using the ‘Power of Siberia’ pipeline running into northeast China, may expand through the use of the Altai pipeline that will run through Xinjiang province. US-backed Xinjiang separatism would clearly stand to obstruct such plans and the mutual benefits they would grant both Russia and China.

Beijing in the coming days, weeks, and months ahead will need to focus on strategies to defeat terrorism in Xinjiang, but it must do so with both its and the Chinese public’s full understanding of the very source of the ongoing conflict. With support for the violence coming from abroad, Beijing’s attempts to address the symptoms rather than the cause may only compound and expand the conflict.

By exposing US-backing of separatism in Xinjiang, public opinion can be turned decisively against both the resulting terror and the US networks supporting it, while bolstering support for security operations aimed at stemming it."

Posted by: scalawag | May 27 2014 20:25 utc | 40

@Anonymous #36:

First Ukraine now color revolution in Abchazia?

Apparently, yes.

By the way, if you are going to post links, please do so properly, as explained right above the space in which you type comments you are about to post.

Posted by: Demian | May 27 2014 21:41 utc | 41

Speaking of Hillary, a worthwhile post, but you can bet the progs will fall in line when push comes to shove or Jeb Bush comes to shove.

Posted by: truthbetold | May 27 2014 22:24 utc | 42

Victoria Nuland is married to Kagan, the 'father' of 'Clean Break' - PNAC's plan for Israel.

So far, USG has followed Kagan's 'suggestions' -

Posted by: crone | May 27 2014 22:55 utc | 43

"The think-tanks are important in setting US foreign policy, that's why there is little effective change from one administration to the next."

No kidding. Ever read "Tragedy and Hope" by Quigely?

Quigley was the official historian of the Rhodes–Milner conspiracy for global empire (see Quigley's "the Anglo-American Establishment). The CFR is the public face of that conspiracy in America. Quigley supported its objectives. Moreover, Quigley was Clinton's history mentor at Georgetown U., and was presumably instrumental in Clinton receiving a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, the intellectual heart of the conspiracy, according to Quigley.

And although the Clinton's and Newland's and Blair's may only be puppets of the plutocratic oligarchy, they are motivated by money as much as their master and by serving their masters well, they accumulate a hell of a lot of dough. The Clinton Foundation, for example, expending tens of millions on travel expenses alone, i.e., Clinton life-style expenses. And Blair, it has been said, is already worth in excess of 100 million pounds.

Posted by: CanSpeccy | May 28 2014 0:23 utc | 44

@scalawag - My take: I don't think of the set up as a corporation (though corporations do play enormous roles) so much at the top. I think at the higher levels (including senators and more powerful congresspeople, cabinet secretaries and possibly some of their more high-powered deputies) it functions more in terms of social power and prestige. I don't think there is any doubt that Hillary Clinton (to chose one example) possesses a tremendous amount of power and, having risen to her position, secures and maintains power through her own machinations. Which is not to suggest she is an independent actor and couldn't b Her star rises and falls, just as Obama's does. And of course this is a key aspect that one attains these positions by proving their "effectiveness" and loyalty to the goals of those who hold power.

I feel it is less like a corporation in the sense that orders are given, and more like a club - those who have managed to enter it now are free to achieve their own ends by scheming and politicking. Of course they must always follow club rules and never make the fight into something that could bring down the whole club (see Bush v Gore) and of course if one member gets out of line, the rest of the club may use all their power to get rid of the others (either by character assassination like John Edwards or simple assassination like John Kennedy) but I think all in all they don't take orders from each other so much as - when some "seminal" article comes out or a "teachable moment" occurs, they all form a consensus and agree or disagree just like any gross bunch of socialite nitwits who play games of prestige and power do.

I would here extend again my idea that the new duchies of the new royalty are these high powered think tank, academic, and government positions, with power bases being formed around political parties, corporations, power marriages, and secret and not-so-secret societies and social clubs. And such as it is, everyone is free to scheme, but all must pay their respects to the king and do their best to survive against the machinations of all the others.

And not that they follow my pet theory described above, I do think the ideas of C. Wright Mills, especially his book The Power Elite are very instructive on this topic. Another excellent theorist is Bill Domhoff - you can watch him talk here for two hours, on Alternative Views TV, as he lays out the US power structure on both the national and local levels (he examines Kissenger's position a lot).

Though a bit dated now, Alt Views TV put together a nice synopsis from all their shows, including the Domhoff talk, on the American Power Structure. In two parts.

@Demian - IMHO there is nothing wrong with posting short links. It's the long ones such as brian and Puppet Master have been known to post that cause tremendous problems.

Posted by: guest77 | May 28 2014 1:20 utc | 45

I got a little messed up there at the end of paragraph one:

Which is not to suggest she is an independent actor and couldn't be reigned in if she got out of line. Her star rises and falls, just as Obama's does.

Posted by: guest77 | May 28 2014 1:21 utc | 46

@guest77 #45:

I'm just grouchy because people are getting murdered in Donetsk with impunity.

(I still think bare links are ugly, no matter how short they are. If you're going to post on internet forums, not knowing the most minimal html is just a form of illiteracy.)

Posted by: Demian | May 28 2014 1:34 utc | 47

"(... If you're going to post on internet forums, not knowing the most minimal html is just a form of illiteracy.)

We live in a world full of illiterates. In HTML terms I am one of them.

And we illiterates are the equals of you who are "literate." Some of us are better read too. And billions of us, including many of the victims of fascism in Donetsk live closer to the realities of life under imperialism, than the computer cognoscenti.

Posted by: bevin | May 28 2014 1:54 utc | 48

Talking about fascism:

Israel asks Interpol not to carry out Gaza flotilla court ruling – report

"Israel has appealed to Interpol not to implement a Monday ruling of a Turkish court that issued arrest warrants for four former Israeli military commanders on trial in absentia over the 2010 killing of nine Turks, Hebrew-language daily newspaper Ma’ariv reported. The Turks were killed in an Israeli commando raid on Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ship that challenged Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. However, Israel branded the Turkish court’s ruling as “tainted by political motives,” asking Interpol not to honor it, the daily reported. An Istanbul court requested an Interpol Red Notice for the arrest of four senior Israeli military chiefs days after the tenth Turkish citizen who was seriously injured in the 2010 raid died after four years in a coma."

Posted by: scalawag | May 28 2014 2:32 utc | 49

Slaviansk. Strelkov : Since morning – lull. Night skirmish at Semenovka. We hit back, by mortars, their position at the turn to “Red Liman”. Just a routine. We are kept to anticipate an attack just every moment. Unfazed, when adversaries are ready, we will know. This night sent an enforcement to Donetsk as fight centers there. No info on downed helicopters. Got 2 lightly wounded from yesterday. Verified civilians casualties – 2 killed, 5 wounded as result of city bombing.

Posted by: Fete | May 28 2014 2:42 utc | 50

Russian Spring

Posted by: Fete | May 28 2014 2:44 utc | 51

@scalawag #49:

Talking about fascism
Israel respects Ukrainians’ election choice

Israeli hospitals have treated dozens of Ukrainians flown to Israel after sustaining injuries in fighting surrounding the revolution.

They're still calling it a revolution…

Posted by: Demian | May 28 2014 3:39 utc | 52

Posted by: Demian | May 27, 2014 3:58:01 PM | 38

Believe me, the Germans knew what was going on. You would have to be deaf and blind not to notice what Rasmussen was saying about the planned NATO membership of Georgia and Ukraine.

It was Merkel who toughened conditions on reforms and pressured for Tymoshenko's release, a contradiction in itself as it would have meant Yanukovich overriding the jurisdiction in his country. It is ok to ask for legal reforms, but not ok to ask for the release of one person, that is selective justice in itself.

The tensions with Russia in the run up to the association deal were perfectly clear.

And it was Merkel's then foreign minister Westerwelle who went to Maidan.

It was also intentional not to talk to Russia about it on the principle that "Russia should have no veto about independent countries joining treaties". And obvious that this principle would then be used for NATO.

The EU neighbourhood policy countries for association are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

Azerbaijan! Which European country borders Azerbaijan! Or Armenia, Georgia ... (yes, they border Russia, yes we are now in Nulandistan)

What did they expect Russia to do?

That is the train wreck we see now.

I am for the sacking of German politicians for not doing their job. We do not pay them to run us into this type of conflict.

Posted by: somebody | May 28 2014 3:54 utc | 53

@somebody #53:

Thank you for correcting me.

So much for Lieven's credibility as an expert. He clearly said in his talk that Germany wasn't paying attention, and just let Poland and Sweden determine EU policy on the Ukraine.

Posted by: Demian | May 28 2014 4:05 utc | 54

Posted by: Demian | May 28, 2014 12:05:56 AM | 54

Actually it is possible that Merkel raised the stakes intentionally so not to have to do the deal with Yanukovich but bolster - then released - Tymoshenko and Klitschko allied to her party.

That is what EU (Social Democrat, so not really objective) Günther Verheugen accuses her of.

According to him, the deal had been agreed by Russia, and against the warnings of Poland, Merkel added conditions (including the release of Tymoshenko).

Posted by: somebody | May 28 2014 4:46 utc | 55

Actually, Verheugen is correct.

President of Poland Bronisław Komorowski supports signing of EU-Ukraine Association Agreement without release...

President of Poland Bronisław Komorowski supports signing of EU-Ukraine Association Agreement without release of ex Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko, because it will allow to solve her issue in future, and she also calls to implement this variant.

According to an UNIAN correspondent, B. Komorowski said this in an interview to Polish radio station RMF FM.

“I support Tymoshenko’s manner of thought, who says: firstly to sign Association Agreement and then it will produce an effect, in particular solving her problems”, he said.

Posted by: somebody | May 28 2014 5:49 utc | 56

I watched the Anatol Lieven piece. He made many valid points. However I strongly disagree with him one this point.

If the United States extends to China the kind of attitudes and the kind of policies that it has to Russia over the past generation, then, ladies and gentlemen, we will find ourselves in another major international war

There is no "IF". They are already doing it. They only pretend that it is against North Korea, and China pretend to be fooled. The major international war will come when they stop pretending.

Posted by: PuppetMaster | May 28 2014 7:00 utc | 57

More Poland - they badly wanted the - historic - Ukraine integration. They would have given Yanukovich anything to proceed.

It is possible that Merkel intentionally drove it against a wall.

Now there - officially is this - Polish and Lithuanian military cooperation with Ukraine - Nato by stealth.

They should make the "Polish split" of Ukraine official and be done with it.

Posted by: somebody | May 28 2014 7:27 utc | 58

somebody 58

Also, I read on a russian news site that the german Bild have an interview with poroshenko saying he want US/EU protection/assurance.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28 2014 9:13 utc | 59

He is saying this

Wollen Sie einen Nato-Beitritt?

Poroschenko: „Im Land gibt es momentan keine Mehrheit für einen Nato-Beitritt. Generell brauchen wir ein neues Sicherheitsbündnis mit den USA und Europa, um die Ukraine auch militärisch zu schützen. Ich werde als Präsident für dieses Bündnis kämpfen und sofort die Gespräche aufnehmen. Wir haben einst auf Atomwaffen verzichtet und dafür russische Sicherheitsgarantien bekommen. Aber wir sehen jetzt, dass diese Sicherheitsgarantien nichts wert sind und deshalb brauchen wir ein neues Bündnis.“

Translation: At present there is no majority in the country to join NATO. Generally we need a new security alliance with the USA and Europe, to protect Ukraine militarily ... We relinquished nuclear weapons and got Russian security guarantees for it. We now see, that these guarantees are not worth anything, therefor we need a new alliance.

NATO is dead. There will be new "security alliances". Germany/Merkel/Schäuble have come out with "Germany will not spend more on security." So who will pay? The US?

Posted by: somebody | May 28 2014 9:43 utc | 60

oh well

Almost one-third of the members who will sit in the Brussels-based parliament until the end of this decade come from parties hostile to the European Union and EU expansion. In many cases, they are full of praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Carnegie Moscow Center analyst Maria Lipman predicts these Euroskeptics and right-wingers will try to block financial aid to Ukraine. “The result of the European election is not good for Ukraine. It presages more difficult decisions, having to do with aid to Ukraine. The European Union already has serious burdens. It is not in excellent shape economically. To assume yet another burden that Ukraine is, and to allocate, actually, huge funds to Ukraine, is a difficult decision,” said Lipman.

Posted by: somebody | May 28 2014 9:53 utc | 61

somebody 61

As usual the anti-russian carneige doesnt know what they are talking about, european parliament is not filled with russian lovers at all. It would be great if it were though so the warmongering west could shut it.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28 2014 10:58 utc | 62

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28, 2014 6:58:47 AM | 62

It is true. Front nationale, UKIP and FPÖ. Even German NPD, which used to be friendly with Ukrainian Swoboda.

It is a post modern alliance of nationalists against globalization. They somehow have forgot that they are supposed to fight each other.

Posted by: somebody | May 28 2014 11:17 utc | 63


No its not its not true, you wanna bet that the parliament will block aid to ukraine?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28 2014 11:28 utc | 64

This from the NATO summit in Bucharest in 2008 "NATO welcomes Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. We agreed today that these countries will become members of NATO".Putin has had plenty of notice of Russia being surrounded, similarly, Obama's pivot to Asia, has given China notice of the Empires intentions, with Iran surrounded with US bases is it any wonder those three seek economic and military alliances,the alternatives are to do as the master say's, or, have some self respect and when sanctioned, hit back hard, and often.

Posted by: harry law | May 28 2014 11:28 utc | 65

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28, 2014 7:28:40 AM | 64

The problem very much lies for conservative parties at home, because the populist right takes votes mainly from them.

So if they can be seen to spend money on Ukraine with austerity at home they will lose in the polls to social democrats. It has already happened in local elections to British conservatives. AfD is the first successful conservative right wing split where Angela Merkel does not manage to cover the votership. She took some very right wing populist stands (no social security to EU immigrants) shortly before the election to prevent it.

French President François Hollande, weakened by his Socialist party’s crushing defeat by the far-right National Front (FN) on Sunday, joined Cameron’s call for the EU to step back from citizens’ lives.

“Europe has to listen to what happened in France,” he said. If the bloc were unable to revive growth and help create jobs for the unemployed, there would be even bigger votes against the EU in the years to come, he said.

Leaders agreed the next Commission would concentrate on boosting the competitiveness of EU economies while furthering development of Europe’s monetary union, a common energy and climate policy and a common foreign policy, Merkel said.

While Cameron is adamant that more powers should be returned to national capitals and wants the phrase “ever closer union” dropped from the EU’s treaty, treaty change is very unlikely.

Costly EU enlargement is not on the agenda for now.

I don't know what Merkel means by common foreign and energy policy - she just killed it.

Posted by: somebody | May 28 2014 12:10 utc | 66

More German Ukrainian Russian language madness

Short translation:
Surzhyk in its position between Ukrainian and Russian is of specific linguo-sociological importance, explains Mr. Henschel who managed several projects on Belorus and Ukraine, projects supported by the Volkswagen Foundation and the German Research Society DFG. „The most important question: Does Surzhyk have a potential of identification for certain parts of the population? Is its use expression of a subnational or subethnic identity?
Western European perception of Ukraine – the „Russian“ South and East, versus the „Ukrainian“ West – is too simple. „This does not represent the situation in the country.“ Only the most Eastern part, the so called Donbas area, is exclusively oriented towards Russia. And only the most Western part, the area around Lviv, exclusively Ukrainian. „The very big area between those extremse is not clearly distinct“

The average citizen in the large center of the country speaks in everyday life and in spoken communication very often Surzhyk.“

Great. So Lviv back to Poland, central Ukraine to Prussia, Donbass to Russia? Where is Austria-Hungary?

Posted by: somebody | May 28 2014 17:26 utc | 67

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