Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 25, 2014

Ukraine: Economy Declines, Merkel Sues For Peace

Recent statistics show that the already decaying Ukrainian economy is further turning towards depression. New money from IMF loans, if granted, will solely go into military costs. The European Union will not bail out Ukraine and Germany, hurt by Russian counter-sanctions, is suing for peace with Russia.

Nulandistan's wheels are falling off and no one one will help to repair it.

According to the Ukrainian government statistics production in July 2014 decrease compared to July 2013 (both ex-Crimea). Mining of coal and lignite was only 71% of its former numbers. Manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products was 84% of its 2013 value. Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products 77% and natural gas production and distribution was 78% of its 2013 number. As the government's fight  against the people in Ukraine's industrial heartland continues these numbers will continue to go down.

Ukraine's standard of living did not, unlike in Russia, significantly increase over the last 20 years. Since the beginning of the year inflation increased to 19% and the Ukrainian central bank had to raise interest rates from 6.5% at the beginning of 2014 to 17.5% now. This to support the value of the Ukrainian currency as the hryvnya has fallen 40% since early 2014. The banking system is coming apart:

The ratio of banks’ non-performing loans will reach 30 percent this year as credit costs rise, Moody’s Investors Service predicted in a May report.
...
Ukraine’s lenders are already in a precarious position, according to the IMF, which estimates that the nation’s biggest 22 banks would require fresh capital of as much as 5 percent of gross domestic product if the hryvnia averages 12.5 per dollar this year.

The Ukraine is now requesting a third and fourth tranche of an IMF loan but the $2.2 billion it expects to receive is about as much as it plans to additionally spend for military operations. Under the conditions of the new IMF loans Ukraine's standard of living will decrease further and poverty will rise.

Some delusional minds in Kiev may hope that the EU will hand them some money. That is not going to happen. EU economies ex Germany are in serious trouble and Germany is not eager to help either:

There is precious little enthusiasm among the German public for bailout of other Eurozone members. The idea that Germany will consent to spending tens of billions of dollars rebuilding Eastern Ukraine is completely and totally divorced from political reality. Can anyone seriously imagine Angela Merkel, whose country recently had its 2014 growth estimate downgraded to a mere 1.5%, going in front of the German public to demand a substantial outlay for Ukrainian infrastructure? It would be political suicide, and Merkel is clearly a clever enough politician to understand this.

The German government had to cut is GDP forecast because of the insecurity the sanction back and forth with Russia introduced into businesses. The issue will clearly hurt her in the polls. That is likely why she is sending peace signals to Russia:

[Merkel] mentioned Ukrainian “decentralisation”, a deal on gas prices, and Ukraine’s “trade relations” with Russia as elements that could bring about an accord [between Ukraine and Russia].
...
"I want to find a way, as many others do, which does not damage Russia. We [Germany] want to have good trade relations with Russia as well. We want reasonable relations with Russia. We are depending on one another and there are so many other conflicts in the world where we should work together, so I hope we can make progress”.

This also from an interview Merkel gave to public German TV yesterday:

A solution must be found to the Ukraine crisis that does not hurt Russia and which the Ukrainian people must choose for themselves, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday.
...
"There must be dialogue. There can only be a political solution. There won't be a military solution to this conflict," she said.
...
On Saturday, her vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel had suggested that establishing a federal Ukraine was the only viable solution to the crisis pitting Kiev against pro-Russian separatists.

Merkel said that if Ukraine opted to rejoin the Eurasian Union with Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, then Europe would not make "a huge conflict" out of it.

Especially the last point is clearly a big step back from the earlier all out "Ukraine is EU" position.

Additionally to the economic side, pressure on Merkel also grows because there is more and more doubt, even in German mainstream media, about the veracity of the Ukrainian propaganda and about the destruction of flight MH17. Why is there is no news about it? Is there a coverup (in German)?

The wheels are coming off in Victoria "Fuck the EU" Nuland's new Ukraine. Her project of capturing Ukraine from Russia while letting the EU pay for it is not going as planned. The likely result of Nuland's coup in Kiev will be a destroyed Ukrainian economy and no winner at all.

Posted by b on August 25, 2014 at 01:30 PM | Permalink

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And to say nothing of the human suffering and untold deaths whose numbers must be laid at the feet of those who ride astride the great American hegemon.

Posted by: Samuelburke | Aug 25, 2014 1:52:47 PM | 1

F#ck the EU, indeed.

Posted by: Lin | Aug 25, 2014 1:56:22 PM | 2

Germany is not the driver in the Ukraine affair. Perhaps at some point they thought they were but they were wrong. I'm not sure if they understand how little influence they have, other than steer clear of the US faction in the mostly defunct EU (aka suicide pact for neoliberalism in Europe). Unlike given that an important segment of the German ruling class is part of the US faction. Of course that becomes self-destructing similar to how all late French policies are self-destructing for France, but not the US faction.

BTW, the 'cover up' link is not working.

Posted by: ThePaper | Aug 25, 2014 2:09:09 PM | 3

I'd say this is good news ... but my opinion is likely skewed by having read Anne Applebaum this morning over at Slate, all about how Obama ... "" Obama Should Lead a New NATO -- It’s the best way for him to leave a meaningful foreign policy legacy."" i.e. his "meaningful legacy" should be a re-vamped NATO which struck me as wishful neocon thinking considering how things are going so far wrt the Ukraine ...

Applebaum is one of those columnists whose writings I tend to suspect not only contain the ultra "reasonable" pulitzer-prizewinner neocon-views-for-the-masses, but also contains some neocon trial balloons ... hopes and fears, etc.

The press lately has been filled with all kinds of folks insisting on the necessity of -- for instance -- wiping out ISIS with no realistic plan (or no more realistic than Bush/Cheny invading Iraq), mostly just shrill criticism of what had already been demonstrated to not.be.working. as if.

See also to some degree with all the sympathetic press wrt Ferguson which cannot bring itself, apparently, to deal with the reality that Officer Wilson really will not be arrested until charges are filed ... and at least according to current plan ... and charges will be filed after the grand jury has finished hearing all the evidence ... meaning no matter how upset everyone gets, the process has to lumber along.

I suspect that Obama doesn't really pay much attention to Merkel (afterall she "forgot" about all that spying, didn't she, he did) believing she'll fall into line in the end ... I hope he comes to regret that deeply. She's handing him alternative exits from this crisi ...

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 25, 2014 2:12:32 PM | 4

As a member of the feline-american community, for weeks I have been wondering when the junta would run out of ammunition.

Now I wonder whether that is the cause of the rout of the last few days.

Posted by: sid_finster | Aug 25, 2014 2:13:45 PM | 5

But after all the wanton death and destruction, will Novorussiya ever accept being a part of a federal Ukraine? They really need to have a say in this, not be subjected to a deal cooked up by Putin, Merkel, and Porky.

Posted by: Colin Brace | Aug 25, 2014 2:16:26 PM | 6

thanks b.. a few things.

i thought money from the imf was not allowed to be directed to war activities?

i can't imagine merkel trying to appease russia and the usa at the same time.. i thought she sided with the usa and it's sanctimonious, or should i say sanctions approach? i doubt that has changed, although she might be recognizing how it doesn't play well to the home crowd in germany. i doubt the mh17 issue has much to do with it. i would imagine german intel knows what happened here too, which is why no one is saying..

as for nuland. i would say he can proudly pronounce 'mission accomplished' for turning the ukraine into a type of failed state reliant on imf funding with all the sign offs allowing big corp into ukraine, not to mention all the money flowing into the military business.. she will be rewarded for all this, even if she is indirectly responsible for the murder and mayhem she helped put into motion.. what a sad situation for all those concerned.. people like nuland ought to be made to live in donetsk, as opposed to some friggin ivory tower in the usa removed from all the pain and suffering.

Posted by: james | Aug 25, 2014 2:22:52 PM | 7

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 25, 2014 2:12:32 PM | 4

Here you go

Applebaum married Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski in 1992. They have two sons: Aleksander and Tadeusz.[30]
Applebaum became a Polish citizen in 2013

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Applebaum


Thanks b I sure hope Germany can over come it's slave master Amerika.
The linky thingy doesn't work

Posted by: jo6pac | Aug 25, 2014 2:25:32 PM | 8

You know that Merkel promised to give Ukie junta close to 600 million dollars just past week? Merkel dont seek peace.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 25, 2014 2:25:56 PM | 9

#9 -- no I missed that 600 million still -- I'm for anyone offering Obama (and Putin) alternatives that they can reject or be seen considering ... All this utter rejectionism makes me craaazy.
I keep running into people who insist that Putin and Russia are "our enemy" ... which means all the brainwashing has done its work and the cross-hair targets are multiplying ... the hysteria when anyone suggests working -- be it ever so minimally -- with Syria and Assad to target ISIS is also disheartening (all historical and current evidence that it's a bit more complicated -- simply waved away -- Apparently Assad deserves the gallows -- without bothering with the "trial" Saddam was afforded).

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 25, 2014 2:34:20 PM | 10

@ThePaper 3 - thx, link fixed

@Anonymous 9 - those 600 million will come, typically German, with lots of conditions and controls attached - no obvious loot and will be paid only after the war died down

Posted by: b | Aug 25, 2014 2:57:23 PM | 11

@9 and 10 it seems not to be clear what these 500mil € are about - some say Germany is only vouching/guaranteeing a loan for the Ukraine. Not sure if these are correct English terms.

@6 I had the same thougths that after all the blood shed and destruction it might be to late for federalisation. So maybe a new independent state of Novorossia might be in the future. However, that would cause problems with the WMF, as if I remember correctly, the 17 billion are only if the entire Ukraine stays together.

Posted by: Fran | Aug 25, 2014 3:02:27 PM | 12

Fran -- I don't know ... would they be willing to cede Novorossia if it became a stinking albatross of a money-pit? Is that Putin's gambit perhaps?

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 25, 2014 3:09:04 PM | 13

Very soon Germany will have to decide whether to let Europe suffer from a Russian gas cutoff (inflicted by Ukraine) or to begin actual peace talks and dismantle the Ukrainian/American war effort. France is tottering under continued EU mandates.

Posted by: Bob In Portland | Aug 25, 2014 3:09:47 PM | 14

Merkel and all. Right. What about the ppl?

In the Donbass, State salaries, docs, teachers, police, sewage guys, have not been paid since (?) May. - From my reading and contacts, so?

These ppl have been working to ‘save’ neighbors, repair plumbing (central water works, not just a dripping tap), and in hospitals operating with cleaners acting as nurses, with allegedly some med supplies coming in from Russia. Big-wigs, and many others, those who could, in the Donbass, fled in Feb-May, many thouands, to West Ukr., or to Russia and elsewhere.

Electric infrascture is really tough, one central station destroyed, it takes an ‘army’ of competent professionals to get that back on track. With few ppl - unpaid - hungry - to do it, hard.

All the biz. in the Donbass in utterly destroyed, by material smashing, lack of personnel to continue in ruined conditions, or to re-build, repair. Maybe there is one worker out of ten or so (guessing?) left. And those aren’t paid, and have families to feed, or are deathly scared as a ‘remainder’ wthout the kids who are in tents in Russia or camping with relatives …

Will the schools open after the summer? NO. Not possible. And no point anyway. Will the rebels manage some kind of state, with security, taxes, public services, even if minimal, guaranteed? Or just some solidarity communal thing? Not for now.

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 25, 2014 3:10:54 PM | 15

@11 $600 million is chump change in the grand scheme of the Ukraine. It's a face saving amount, probably to keep Poroshenko from lashing out at Merkel and the EU. As greater Kiev fails, the hotter heads will move to greener pastures which means the EU. Whether the migrants come looking for opportunity or revenge matters to Merkel.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Aug 25, 2014 3:17:24 PM | 16

@ Whether the migrants come looking for opportunity or revenge matters to Merkel.

Yes, good point. That's a scenario that's utterly foreign to the United States. I think the dust bowl was the last time the U.S. had mass migration of poor people looking for a future ... (all that home ownership with people unable to afford to decamp along with no job prospects made most folks stay put this time)

It's good when real consequences -- and our indifference to them -- is highlighted ...

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 25, 2014 3:24:29 PM | 17

Poroshenko wants a new vote...it will be interesting to see how they do that in Donbass...

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28931054

Posted by: dh | Aug 25, 2014 3:31:18 PM | 18

Well I have to say that unlike Merkel I do expect a military solution to Ukraine, and it will be driven by Novorossiya. Politics will follow along behind the barrel of a gun, whence it arises.

The only real question is if the troops on the ground will retain their force of vision over the coming months or be undercut by local political compromises. Will they go to Kiev and thrown down the tyranny and liberate all of Ukraine, or will they choose their own dividing lines (including Odessa and perhaps TransCarpathia and even, who knows Transnistria), and stay behind them? Maybe there will be a federation, but it'll be led from the boundaries, not the center.

In the end they'll do what makes most sense I believe. All that Ukrainian Black Sea coast belongs to Novorossiya, and they have begun the process now of taking it. Meanwhile the Ukrainian army itself may just turn around and point its guns at Kiev. These things are very much spoken of out loud, clearly in the air, even now.

So many of the tools of evil have been blunted in this campaign - even false flags will probably no longer work. The US doesn't have the ass or stomach for a real fight in Ukraine, IMO, and only wants to asset-strip the country in favor of big-agriculture and big-energy. But even those humble soldiers in the Novorossiya Armed Forces understand this plan, and probably could not be stopped now, even if someone wanted it, from killing all the oligarchs and denying the richest parts of Ukraine to the West.

Some collateral for the current status: Miltary briefing Aug 22

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 25, 2014 3:48:52 PM | 19

Susan@13 - I don't know what Putin's gambit is/was. I never had the impression that he wanted part of the Ukraine as such - Crimea is different. I think what was clear for him was no NATO in the Ukraine. I thought his idea to be that the Ukraine is a bridge between the EU and Russia and Ukraine would trade with both. The deal killer was NATO.

As far as I know Russia has always supported the Ukraine with money and special deals on gas. This was also confirmed in April by Lagarde from the IMF:

Russia Helped Ukraine, But Now Ukraine Needs More, IMF's Lagarde Says

Russia wasn’t all bad for Ukraine.  A 45% reduction in the price of natural gas and what was supposed to be an additional $15 billion in aid was a necessary “lifeline”, the International Monetary Fund’s Christine Lagarde said on Wednesday.

Speaking to PBS News Hour on April 2, IMF's IMF's Managing Director Lagarde said, “The economy of Ukraine was against the wall and heading for disaster. It’s an economy that needed reforms, that needed profound transformation of its fiscal policy, monetary policy and on its policy on energy to mention just the key ones. Without the lifeline it was getting from Russia a few months ago, Ukraine was heading nowhere.”

At the moment I think everything is open. I don't think Russia wants this Albatross - it has enough challenges with the Crimea and the people in the Eastern Ukraine might not want to live with a group of people who considers them subhuman, parasites, dirt and so on. However, with winter coming on, thing have to move forward.

Posted by: Fran | Aug 25, 2014 3:56:25 PM | 20

Posted by: Fran | Aug 25, 2014 3:02:27 PM | 12

Germany offered 500 Mio credit guarantees for the reconstruction of Eastern Ukraine. The interesting part will be the conditions of these guarantees.

I suppose Germany insures the risk for its businessess if Ukraine ends up not paying for the infrastructure they build.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 25, 2014 3:58:52 PM | 21

Now all of a sudden poroshenko is breaking up the parliament.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 25, 2014 4:00:09 PM | 22

re: the Applebaum/Sikorski coupling.

"Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski is reported to have allegedly said in a secretly recorded conversation with former finance minister Jacek Rostowski: “The Polish-American alliance is worthless, even harmful, as it gives Poland a false sense of security. It's bullshit.”

Posted by: marc b. | Aug 25, 2014 4:01:47 PM | 23

Germany not making a fuss about Ukraine joining the eurasian union... I'm absolutely sure she's just saying that because she knows it will not happen with the western backed "government", in whatever shape that should exist, in power. Maybe it's just me, but meanwhile I find it hard to even read the hints from official german politicians press statements. It all sounds like utter bullshit and goes in one ear and out the other.

Posted by: radiator | Aug 25, 2014 4:15:34 PM | 24

@Fran -- Whether Putin "wanted" Novorossia or not (and I don't know why he would and have read not only why he would not but why he has said he does not) -- he has had to declare that he did not want it and could/would not come to the rescue largely because "we" have insisted this was his nefarious scheme/plot "all along" ... insert Snidley whiplash laugh ... he has had to sit on his hands and wait for the next chess move to avoid fulfilling our hysterical shrieks wrt his "aggression" -- who knows

Wow that plane crash has vanished from the news, hasn't it. Like those 200, 300 or 500 Yazhidi women ... although two new gruesome massacres (of hundred) are being reported ... For anyone interested Newsweek has a summation artile "post-seige" which again raises questions about how many actually died (or rather how the hell did so many survive?)
http://www.newsweek.com/death-mountain-yazidis-faced-desperate-struggle-265470

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 25, 2014 4:27:59 PM | 25

Merkel, kneedeep involved in the creation of this mess (Klitsch, now Mayor of the ss-snakepit in Kiev, Konrad Adenauer-Stiftung) also said in that interview that the territorial integrity of Ukr is mandatory (she called the secession of Crimea an "annexation"). The peace SHE means is not the peace I mean. Yes, radiator, it sounds like utter horseshit in my ears too. StateDep-whore!

Posted by: slirs | Aug 25, 2014 4:36:23 PM | 26

Yeah merkel backing the ukie junta doesnt mean peace, you see Germany giving 600 millions to Assad? Nope.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 25, 2014 4:41:18 PM | 27

Dmitry Orlov has been saying repeatedly, lately, that the only thing the Beltway Bozos [my term, not his] can bring themselves to do is to spread chaos and disaster in all the states they touch; and these fiascos always blow back destructively onto the US, and even onto most of the Bozos' real owners amongst the one-percenters.

Also, he's been saying since just after the coup that what Russia is doing is what he would do too: leave Ukraine to stew until the meat just falls off the bone. Just a few days ago he returned to this idea, and opined that it's working pretty well as he - and the Russian rulers - expected. Dmitry reads and speaks both Russian and Ukrainian, is well aware of Ukraine's history, has plenty of contacts in both countries, and understands the intricacies better than most Westerners, even amongst the talking-head 'experts'. Like Saker, he's aware that the immediate prospects for Ukraine are grim, but that the Chocitpot junta, and the alleged state forces which it barely controls, have no chance of over-running and defeating the Novorossiyans, and are being ground down to a total wreck, with continuing massive losses of both men and materiel, by the eastern militias' defence against them. Many in the junta seem to want to ditch the nazi formations; the nazis are threatening a march on Kiev, to oust the politicians they don't like. And Winter's almost here...

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwilym | Aug 25, 2014 4:46:34 PM | 28

I forgot to add: I see no sign that the US or any of its underling states have any stomach, nor the sinews of war, to go to war against Russia; just ever more papery paper tigers, bloviating. Fogh of War is both a criminal and a joke.

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwilym | Aug 25, 2014 4:49:02 PM | 29

@slirs #26:

also said in that interview that the territorial integrity of Ukr is mandatory

The territorial integrity of the Ukraine no longer exists.

The German government would help restore its dignity if it openly said this, ahead of the US.

But that is not to be expected, given that Germany supported its friends from Nazi times, Croatia, before the US did. Old habits die hard. The artificial state known as the Ukraine was largely a German project.

By supporting the junta, Germany has lost a lot of the good will that Russians used to have towards it. That was so reckless.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 25, 2014 4:52:39 PM | 30

I hope you're right....the masterminds in the state department must be getting desperate.

Posted by: Nana2007 | Aug 25, 2014 4:55:28 PM | 31

Wow that plane crash has vanished from the news, hasn't it.

Like everything else. Within a week, no more than two, Ferguson will be almost entirely out of the news but for a few minor updates here and there. In otherwords, it's not in the news not because of a conspiracy, but rather a ever-quickening news cycle.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Aug 25, 2014 5:24:23 PM | 32

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwilym | Aug 25, 2014 4:46:34 PM | 28

One has to wonder, why is Dmitry still in America if it's so terrible and ready to collapse at any moment? Get back to Russia now Dmitry before it's too late — if you believe your tripe, which of course he doesn't. Dmitry's job is to demoralize and radicalize American discontents and spread that malaise as Russia tries to build itself. You're failing Dmitry — it's time Putin called you back like he did Strelkov.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Aug 25, 2014 5:29:15 PM | 33

@Rhisiart Gwilym #28:

Dmitry Orlov has been saying repeatedly, lately, that the only thing the Beltway Bozos [my term, not his] can bring themselves to do is to spread chaos and disaster in all the states they touch

Dmitry Orlov on Collapse

Dmitry makes a compelling case that the US empire will suffer the same fate as its most hated rival, the Soviet empire, for many of the same reasons:

Posted by: Demian | Aug 25, 2014 5:37:24 PM | 34

Yes, well Brennan, spying on congress and the torture report have also vanished from the news as well ... The sad thing is that in some instances the public is being "played" -- even largely unwittingly -- if it bleeds, it leads ... never gets old. Strange though the stories that gets ecclipsed -- there's another random pedestrian shooter in Los Angeles ... and that Northern California earthquake is getting much less attention and concern than it might -- startling number of dead and wounded.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 25, 2014 5:37:46 PM | 35

"...Ukraine's standard of living did not, unlike in Russia, significantly increase over the last 20 years."


Ukraine is an importer of Gas and oil, not an exporter.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Aug 25, 2014 5:39:17 PM | 36

Ukraine is an importer of Gas and oil, not an exporter.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Aug 25, 2014 5:39:17 PM | 36

What? You mean it wasn't good 'ol Russian ingenuity and creativity that raised Russia's standard of living?

Get outside Moscow and St. Leningrad and that standard of living drops precipitously. Putin robs the provinces blind and loads them up with debt to keep it off the Kremlin Balance Sheet.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Aug 25, 2014 5:49:52 PM | 37

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Aug 25, 2014 5:49:52 PM | 37


You know that how? Do you travel to Russia for business?

Posted by: jo6pac | Aug 25, 2014 5:59:26 PM | 38

There is going to be a second Russian humanitarian aid convoy to Novorossiya:

Anna News roundup (video with English subs)

Russians will never lose their fondness for bleached blondes, I'm afraid.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 25, 2014 5:59:27 PM | 39

'The wheels are coming off in Victoria "Fuck the EU" Nuland's new Ukraine. Her project of capturing Ukraine from Russia while letting the EU pay for it is not going as planned. The likely result of Nuland's coup in Kiev will be a destroyed Ukrainian economy and no winner at all.'

standard neocon outcome...lucky the goyim are too foolish not to realise this...they believe they are doing something good.

Posted by: brian | Aug 25, 2014 6:11:23 PM | 40

Wow that plane crash has vanished from the news, hasn't it. ....
Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 25, 2014 4:27:59 PM | 25

which tells us who didnt do it

Posted by: brian | Aug 25, 2014 6:15:19 PM | 41

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 25, 2014 4:27:59 PM | 25

itd help if people stopped talking abuot Putin thid and Putin that...it makse him sound like an autocrat

Posted by: brian | Aug 25, 2014 6:19:48 PM | 42

@32 In other words, it's (MH17) not in the news not because of a conspiracy, but rather a ever-quickening news cycle.

It's not in the news because it has already served its purpose. It allowed the US to quickly vilify the Russian backed separatists as the culprit and use it as a pretext for sanctions. Nothing to come out of any legitimate investigation would be supportive of the false narrative, that's why it's been dropped from the news coverage.

Posted by: skoalbrother | Aug 25, 2014 6:25:03 PM | 43

It's not in the news because it has already served its purpose. It allowed the US to quickly vilify the Russian backed separatists as the culprit and use it as a pretext for sanctions.

Are you joking? The West didn't need Malaysian Flight 17 as pretext for further sanctions. Russia's given it (The West) a multitude of reasons for further sanctions — Malaysian Flight 17 was just one reason on a rather long laundry list.

Malaysian Flight 17 also served its purpose in the Russian media, didn't it, since Russian media did pretty much the same thing except it was much more outlandishly conspiratorial about it? Russian media seems content to be tabloid as compared to Western media. Both lie, but Russian media is ridiculously trashy and amateurish about it.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Aug 25, 2014 6:37:58 PM | 44

@Cold N. Holefield (Aug 25, 2014 5:24:23 PM | 32):

In otherwords, it's not in the news not because of a conspiracy, but rather a ever-quickening news cycle.

Of course, if the spinmeisters in Washington could actually come up with some evidence that the Donbass rebels downed the plane, rather than, say, Kiev, that would surely make the news.

Posted by: Seamus Padraig | Aug 25, 2014 6:42:28 PM | 45

Posted by: brian | Aug 25, 2014 6:19:48 PM | 42

"" itd help if people stopped talking abuot Putin thid and Putin that...it makse him sound like an autocrat""

You do understand that that is the intended impression -- It's intentional and it's not just him -- Saddam was Iraq, Assad is Syria, Obama is the USA, Merkel is Germany .... the people don't matter, Putin's popularity is due to propaganda and nationalism ... and quaint nostalgic peasants.... much as Obama's low popularity is due to racism and Fox News (pretty much, nothing more, nothing less -- except he's the victim of unrealistic expectations and is -- we are assured -- beloved abroad, like America and America, except where we are inexplicably hated by the bad guys but really and truly loved by regular people, who still love and envy us Americans -- we're so lucky.

Amazing article yesterday in the NYT on the Afghan voter fraud that "exposes" thing that must have been known months ago and -- as a result -- reads like ground floor laying propaganda for the collapse of the "compromise" (which is what it probably is I think). If the article is an accurate representation of the situation, then situation is utterly hopeless (even a re-vote would be unlikely to help) and Democracy is a fool's errand in Afghanistan --

Two Western analysts independently studying the numbers gave even higher estimates: as many as 2.2 million fraudulent ballots favoring Mr. Ghani and 800,000 favoring Mr. Abdullah. If these votes were excluded, Mr. Abdullah would emerge the winner.

Mr. Ghani’s team has not produced figures, but a senior politician who has supported Mr. Ghani said that fraud, once eliminated, would not change the preliminary results by much — Mr. Ghani would still win.

Some other Western officials have hewed closer to that view, putting their estimates of fraud far lower than their colleagues’ and expressing confidence that the most blatant fraud could be weeded out without using broad percentage filters.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 25, 2014 6:54:40 PM | 46

@45

Russia and China must have the satellite intel. These kiev/nato are not saying a peep about MH17 investigation ...which is quite telling after the msm's and kiev/nato's category 5 bloviating the day of the incident accusing Russia/rebel responsibility.

Posted by: really | Aug 25, 2014 6:59:38 PM | 47

@44
How were they possibly be much more conspiratorial? How do they lie more trashily?

Posted by: Nana2007 | Aug 25, 2014 7:00:09 PM | 48

@Cold N. Holefield #44:

The West didn't need Malaysian Flight 17 as pretext for further sanctions.

You don't do your credibility any good by making that claim. Just before the downing of MH17, even Western media were reporting that a split had arisen between USG and the EU with regards to sanctions. The NY Times had a story that the US was imposing new sanctions unilaterally, i.e., without European participation.

After the downing of MH17, EU countries, within a matter of days, imposed a new round of sanctions on Russia, to their eternal shame. By that time, it was clear to anyone with a brain that the downing of MH17 was a Ukie false flag op. (It was not yet clear that it was a botched false flag.) By thus using the murder of the passengers of MH17 as a pretext for further sanctions, European countries showed the world that they have no regard for human life, even that of their own citizens.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 25, 2014 7:04:14 PM | 49

- It's an admission of failure by Germany/EU.
- Don't think the US/Nuland will going to admit defeat. I presume she/the US will double down.

Posted by: Willy2 | Aug 25, 2014 7:06:47 PM | 50

I would say, now I've heard everything, but I'm sure there is more stupid to come... State Department spokeskiddie Harf says that the West can't cooperate with Assad to fight ISIS because he is "to blame" for ISIS. We are governed by profoundly stupid people...

Posted by: chuckvw | Aug 25, 2014 7:07:22 PM | 51

@Susan Sunflower #46:

If the article is an accurate representation of the situation, then situation is utterly hopeless (even a re-vote would be unlikely to help) and Democracy is a fool's errand in Afghanistan

The fundamental problem is that the Kabul "government" doesn't control most of the territory of Afghanistan. It was reported that few polling stations opened in rural areas. You can't hold legitimate elections in a country torn by civil war. That is true of the former Ukraine, and it is true of Afghanistan.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 25, 2014 7:14:06 PM | 52

@ Demian -- but, of course, we needed an election so we could get a status of forces type agreement from the new Not-Karzai guy. The amount of Kabuki involved in the fraud that this election even merited a recount (if the article is correct) is shocking. I don't trust Abdullah Abdullah because of that last election where he was obviously Holbrooke's not-Karzai candidate and the whole "mission" in Afghanistan seems riven with personality conflicts and rivalries ... The USG has to come up with someone/thing to blame if it all falls apart ... and, at this point, with no end in sight and November looming ... we're likely clearing the game board so we can re-write the rules.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 25, 2014 7:32:42 PM | 53

@51

Where is head state department spokesperson Psaki? Has she lost her ability and/or stomach to pour the propaganda swill down the mental gullets of Americans? I am tired of junior state dept. propagandist Harf, she is a bore.

Posted by: really | Aug 25, 2014 7:32:50 PM | 54

@51

Stupid, yet not stupid in that it catapults the propaganda, feeds the narrative...

It has been made perfectly legal for members of Congress to engage in insider trading.

It has been made perfectly legal for the USG to promote propaganda on the tv radio, internet tubes, etc.

Posted by: Fast Freddy | Aug 25, 2014 7:52:24 PM | 55

@55

You are correct. The USG propaganda megaphone is blaring across America from sea to shining sea. When the USG has the legal freedom to make up narrative out of thin air, it indicates that democracy is dead fast fred. Freedom of the govt. to lie to the public with no check on it by a responsible msm means the govt. could basically set of a suitcase nuke in America, blame it on a terrorist and it would not be questioned. Now that is what controlling the message via propaganda is all about. Freedom to spew propaganda by a govt. means the govt. has total control. Look how they 'found' jihad johnny so quick. Easy to do when you can make up a story knowing the msm will recite it word for word over the airwaves, online and in the papers. Currently democracy is dead fast fred.

Posted by: really | Aug 25, 2014 8:12:15 PM | 56

@15 @28 @40

Just like Obama/Netanyahu's devastation in Gaza, just like US/Israeli/KSA (ISIS) devastation in Syria/Iraq, ...

A guy named Garry Leech had a good piece at counterpoint on the beheading of James Foley which I followed up and discovered his MA dissertation entitled capitalism as structural genocide and the socialist alternative.

He turned it into a book which is probably more readable, but the dissertation is available over the wire.

We have to get serious about an alternative, no matter what it's called.

Posted by: john francis lee | Aug 25, 2014 8:14:26 PM | 57

i thought we were talking ukraine on this thread instead of isis?

Posted by: james | Aug 25, 2014 8:23:50 PM | 58

@58

My bad. ;)

Posted by: really | Aug 25, 2014 8:29:34 PM | 59

Novorossiya Military Briefing – Situation as of August 22, 2014


The Junta is facing serious problems. It is necessary to stop the offensive to replenish depleted units, move up the reserves, concentrate armor, and resume the attacks in the new operational environment. ...

The balance of power is steadily getting better, and we can no longer say that the Junta has an unequivocal numerical superiority. ...

... proposals to launch the fourth wave of mobilization and the transition to replenishing depleted units with vehicles from the 60-70s are all characteristic signs that not only has the offensive failed, but that the Junta’s forces have been seriously exsanguinated and forced to maintain their combat capability through recruits of dubious quality and obsolete equipment. ...

... political reasons related to the Ukrainian Independence Day holiday on August 24th, as well as the upcoming talks in Minsk, are pushing the Junta into overextending itself militarily ...

... a humanitarian convoy that passed into the territory of Ukraine without his permission, and simply drove into the “surrounded and almost taken Lugansk,” shows how “in control” Poroshenko really is, and does so better than any words could. ...

... Overall, unless there is some sort of political conspiracy, the war will continue in September with the same ferocity, and its significance will gradually move away from the question of “Will Novorossiya survive or not” to the question of “What will the borders of Novorossiya be after the war”. ...


It's kind of dated and I have no way of verifying it ... but Merkel's, France's, and Porky's actions seem to do so.

Posted by: john francis lee | Aug 25, 2014 8:36:37 PM | 60

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk seems chief among the parliamentarians Porky has cited as “allies of the militant-separatists”.

Apparently he has directions from Obama/Brennan to devastate the Ukraine just as Obama/Netanyahu are devastating Gaza and US/Israel/KSA (ISIS) are devastating Syria/Iraq.

Porky is a grillionaire and will not be personally affected by the devastation of the Ukraine.

Posted by: john francis lee | Aug 25, 2014 8:50:01 PM | 61

Just before the downing of MH17, even Western media were reporting that a split had arisen between USG and the EU with regards to sanctions. The NY Times had a story that the US was imposing new sanctions unilaterally, i.e., without European participation.

The NYT has a lot of stories, many times they compete and conflict with one another. I don't believe for a second the EU wouldn't have ultimately sided with America in regards to the feckless sanctions. Perhaps they had to make it look good for posterity — a little resistance to pretend they all weren't on the same page all along.

We could make a similar argument that Putin had motive to bring down Flight 17. His approval ratings at home are even stronger now that the Russian people are convinced Kiev, aided and abetted by The West, brought down Flight 17.

For me, as I've said, the jury is still out until the investigation is complete if a proper investigation can be done at this point. If it shows Western media and Western public officials lied, I won't be surprised. It wouldn't be the first time. If it shows what they purported all along, I also won't be surprised.

As tragic as it was, the downing of Flight 17 isn't that revelatory. It was to be expected, but good luck proving it was a false flag. All you have is amateurish internet sleuthing and a bucket full of conjecture and innuendo.

Maybe MUFON can lend a hand and move things along.

So, I stand by my original statement. It's an ever-quickening news cycle and you need to keep up. There are still some people arguing 9/11 as if someone cares. If you stop too long on one news item or another, you quickly become irrelevant. Santa Clausewitz won't be able to help you with that one. The war is now about information more so than bullets and bombs.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Aug 25, 2014 8:52:51 PM | 62

That's a hoot regarding mh17 disappearing from the news because of "ever quickening news cycles," given that we all had to contemplate that other Malasian misshap for what now seems like months. Can't recall it anymore. . .due to ever quickening news cycles. There's always some inconvenient fact that messes up what fun could be to be a total hypocrite!

Posted by: geoff29 | Aug 25, 2014 8:54:57 PM | 63

@61 Sounds like Arseny Yatseniuk might be buckling under the strain. He needs a re-education session in the woodshed with McCain and Nuland.

Posted by: dh | Aug 25, 2014 9:07:36 PM | 64

@62

News Cycle. Bicycle.

Media Consolidation put big media in the hands of a handful of war profiteers.

They play whatever they want for as long as they want and they supply the script.

Who you tryin' to fool?

Posted by: Fast Freddy | Aug 25, 2014 9:14:49 PM | 65

The NSA USA has some career-destroying audio video on Merkle.

She's a player.

Posted by: Fast Freddy | Aug 25, 2014 9:16:37 PM | 66

@geoff29 #63:

we all had to contemplate that other Malasian misshap for what now seems like months.

Yeah, for months there were stories about how MH370's black boxes were just about to be found, whereas in the case of MH17, the black boxes were found almost immediately, however we are told that all the information they contain will not be publicly released. Appropriately, the black boxes were examined by the land of Orwell, Airstrip One.

After the crash, there were several days of conflicting reports about whether the freedom fighters had found the black boxes or not. (Rebels said things like, "We are not experts, so we don't know what the black boxes look like.") So there is a kind of "conspiracy theory" that the rebels might have given the black boxes to Russia, before handing them over to Holland, which betrayed its people by handing them over to the duplicitous UK.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 25, 2014 9:24:16 PM | 67

@62
"...As tragic as it was, the downing of Flight 17 isn't that revelatory. It was to be expected, but good luck proving it was a false flag. All you have is amateurish internet sleuthing and a bucket full of conjecture and innuendo.

Maybe MUFON can lend a hand and move things along.

So, I stand by my original statement. It's an ever-quickening news cycle and you need to keep up. There are still some people arguing 9/11 as if someone cares. If you stop too long on one news item or another, you quickly become irrelevant. Santa Clausewitz won't be able to help you with that one. The war is now about information more so than bullets and bombs.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Aug 25, 2014 8:52:51 PM | 62

Thanks for letting us all know how much you care about the innocent poor souls on Mh17 and those innocent soul that died in the 9/11 attack. Ever quickening news cycle huh? Cold indeed....

Posted by: really | Aug 25, 2014 9:32:34 PM | 68

Sometimes I wonder about the Cold N Holefield types, and what they are doing here.

In his case, his posts and his blog are so pathetic, that perhaps rather than just being a nasty little piece of shit, he really doesn't know any better.

Of course, it doesn't reflect all that well on the rest of us here either, conversing with someone who writes this:-

"There are still some people arguing 9/11 as if someone cares."

Well, Mr Holefield, you should be aware by now that a lot of people do care, and those who think that they are the Masters of the Universe, who believe they can create reality, and will never be called to task, are in for a bit of a shock.

“When i tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do.”
― William Blake

Posted by: DM | Aug 25, 2014 10:34:37 PM | 69

Forbes: The European Union Isn't Going To Bail Out Ukraine

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who is well known for his extensive use of social media and for his support of Ukraine’s integration into European institutions, hasn’t gotten the message though. The other day he tweeted the following:
Important that Germany Chancellor Merkel now raises the issue of EU help in rebuilding of Donbass region. Will be needed. And expensive.

To the extent that Bildt convinces anyone in Ukraine that the EU will ride to the rescue he is being cruel. There is no other word for it. The EU is not going t help rebuild the Donbass. Full stop. Even if the EU (read: Germany) had sufficient funds at its disposal for this sort of effort, which is increasingly doubtful, the recent election made clear that popular enthusiasm for the EU project is evaporating almost in real time. There is precious little enthusiasm among the German public for bailout of other Eurozone members. The idea that Germany will consent to spending tens of billions of dollars rebuilding Eastern Ukraine is completely and totally divorced from political reality.

I have to say that I am sick and tired of Anglophone commentators saying that there is such a thing as "Easters Ukraine". What they are referring to is Novorossiya, which is an independent country. People who still think that the Ukraine will maintain its post-USSR breakup borders are "divorced from political reality".

(h/t to Russian Spring. Unlike socialist blogs, Novorossiyan Web sites gives links to articles they refer to.)

Posted by: Demian | Aug 25, 2014 10:48:55 PM | 70

MOSCOW (AFP) – Russia complained Monday of a failure to release details of the investigation into the Malaysian jet that crashed in Ukraine in July, accusing international investigators of lack of transparency.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov queried why the recordings from the plane’s black boxes had not been released publicly and said he had the impression that “everyone else has lost interest in the investigation.”

Posted by: DM | Aug 25, 2014 11:02:54 PM | 71

Who could have predicted this? Not Nuland and Biden at least.

Posted by: Edward Qubain | Aug 25, 2014 11:12:13 PM | 72

@Marc 23

Continuing your post about Sikorski's recorded conversation:

"It is downright harmful, because it Creates a false sense of security ... Complete bullshit. We'll get in conflict with the Germans, Russians and we'll think que everything is super, because we gave the Americans a blow job. Losers. Complete losers. "

Posted by: Scan | Aug 25, 2014 11:21:55 PM | 73

Let the purge begin!


Ukraine's president dissolves parliament... Poroshenko says many deputies are "direct sponsors or accomplices" of pro-Russia separatists as he calls early vote.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2014/08/ukraine-president-dissolves-parliament-201482519244297142.html

Posted by: chuckvw | Aug 25, 2014 11:55:05 PM | 74

Really, there's no point feeding the troll: Cold N Holefield.

Just ignore. That's the best way to handle one. No counterattack, no acknowledgement, no anger, no sorrow, no laughter (at least in a written comment).

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 26, 2014 12:07:39 AM | 75

Russian Spring

08/24/2014-00:09

Summary for 25 of August - based on information from Ministry of Defense of Donetsk Republic:

Donetsk.

In the course of offensive (toward city Mariupol`, Azov Sea), the combatant forces entirely destroyed an Ukarainian military base in city Sedov, crashed all punitive troops’ block-posts around Sedov and NovoAzovsk. The cities are being cleaned from punitive forces. Taking Novoazovsk opens route to Mariupol`, which is planned to be next stop in short time.

By the morning of August 25, an offensive group of opponent, third one, was fully encircled in area of settlements Stepanovka, Amvrosiyevka and Stepano-Krinka (between Saur-Mogila and the border). Through the night the combatant forces applied efforts to tighten circles around two blocked Ukrainian groups, one - Kuteynikovo, Blagodatnoye, Uspenka, Ul`yanovskoye, the other – Olenovka (Elenovka). According to reconnaissance data, more than 40 tanks, about 100 APCs, nearly 50 rocket launch systems “Grad” and “Uragan”, more than 60 artillery units and up to two thousand Bandera troops are encircled.

The combatants were advancing on large city Debal`tsevo, east of Donetsk, from city Uglegorsk, east of Gorlovka. The advancement was long welcome. It may create another caldron in Donetsk area.

The combatants amass significant forces toward Lisichansk.

Lugansk.

Eliminating the fascist horde under Lugansk is en route. The armored Ukrainian tentacle, once attempted to encircle Lugansk from the south, lacks of supply and is severed in three parts.

At the same time, the front is pushed north of Lugansk. Offensive toward Schast`ye is gaining momentum. In near future, the combatants will free settlement Privetnoye.


Posted by: Fete | Aug 26, 2014 12:08:36 AM | 76

"Nulandistan's wheels are falling off and no one will help to repair it."

I wish that was true, but I don't think it is.
Look, things are not going well for the US in Ukraine, but I don't see any sign that Obama's gaggle of neocons are giving up anytime soon.
True, Merkel seems to have gone off the reservation, but Merkel has always been a slippery politico able to play both sides of the fence at the same time. When the time comes, she'll throw her lot with Uncle Sam. That's for sure.

This thing is going to drag on for a long time whether Ukraine becomes a failed state or not, because the white house doesn't care how many people die or suffer anyway.

I still think there's a chance that the military could launch a mutiny and we could see the rise of a Hugo Chavez. At least, that's what I'm hoping for.

Posted by: plantman | Aug 26, 2014 12:37:20 AM | 77

"In otherwords, it's not in the news not because of a conspiracy, but rather a ever-quickening news cycle."

Hhhhmmmm...iirc MH370 was a leading news item for 3 months. I'm quite sure if the evidence was solid that Russia was connected, we would never hear the end of it. Each and every Dutch relative would be paraded on TV till Christmas.

Posted by: Lysander | Aug 26, 2014 12:38:57 AM | 78

German Breakthrough Over Ukraine
Discussion on how the coming change of government could effect politics. Does this make sense those with some understanding of Germany here?

And then there was this from May -- sort of a neo-liberal foundational piece -- which sounds pretty grim and hopeless if one is looking for fundamental change.
How the revival of German militarism was prepared

Posted by: Malooga | Aug 26, 2014 1:27:56 AM | 79

Novorossiyan propaganda is good. (Sorry, brian, for using the word in its positive sense lol.)

Interview with Spanish anti-fascists

This is in Spanish with a non-Russian interpreter translating into Russian. No English subs. I'm bringing this video up for Spanish speakers. These Spanish men helped with the humanitarian efforts; they are not military mercenaries.

If Hemingway were alive today, he would help the cause of Novorossiya.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 26, 2014 1:29:30 AM | 80

With regard to MH17 the strangest thing I find is the difference between the behavior of the grieving relatives for the MH370 and those for MH17. The Chinese passenger relatives for the former were absolutely insistent on information, laying siege to every Malasian spokesperson, with a few (the partner of the American passenger, forgot her name now) being especially voocal about the lack of transparency. In due course, the passenger manifests, a redacted version of cargo and Cockpit recordings with the ATC were released as was some information from military radar. Then came the search fiasco (I say fiasco because I doubt the plane is in the South Indian ocean, but that's another story), and again, the relatives - Chinese, australian especially kept demanding to be kept in the loop.

Now look at the strangely subdued behavior of the MH17 relatives. Are Dutch less emotional than Chinese? did the Chinese government somehow encourage their own countrymen to aggressively demand answers where the Dutch doesn't? what of the other passengers? the malaysians for example? so quiet out there, that the noise is deafening. Ask yourself, would you be able to stay so quiet if you were one of the hapless relatives? wouldn't you be screaming to high heaven demanding information?

What is really going on behind the scenes that hardly a peep=-squeak is coming through? may be there is more going on in the Netherlands but we just don't hear about it, but still, something would have to be picked up. Makes me wonder whether all the relatives are detained somewhere, or something.

Posted by: Merlin2 | Aug 26, 2014 2:19:02 AM | 81

Posted by: Malooga | Aug 26, 2014 1:27:56 AM | 79

Well it is certainly post post modern to praise SPD Gabriel and NF Marine Le Pen at the same time.

Part of the Greens are very transatlanticist and their Heinrich Böll Stiftung was just as bad (blue eyed naive pro color revolution) as the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. There are CDU and Green coalitions on the local level and though most of Green voters don't mix well with conservatives some of them do.

And parts of the SPD member/votership will consider a coalition with Die Linke as a pact with the devil.

So Gabriel has options but they are not that simple. That he came out so strongly against Merkel's emphasis on the "territorial integrity of Ukraine" and in favor of federalization and Russian Crimea could mean there is a solid German majority for it - as far as people care. Ukraine has disappeared from German MSM front pages. However - see below - he does not seem to have this German majority though of course these surveys depend on how questions are put and some of the questions are definitively put in a strange way.

It might also mean there is a German Russian agreement and Gabriel is testing the public mood which Merkel as official German representative cannot do, at the same time giving Merkel an excuse of having to bridge the gap with her coalition partner. I would say Gabriel and Merkel are playing good cop bad cop as the next federal elections are in 2017 ie it is too early to look for a wedge issue and maybe break the coalition.

The author of any article pretending there is a serious attempt at the remilitarization of Germany does not know what he/she is talking about.

As is, the German government's plan to deliver weapons to the Kurds is resented by 2/3 of German voters.

From the above German language link
- the majority of Germans believe that Russia will annex more regions of Ukraine (64%)
- 69% are worried about Putin's policies

Another August survey
- 80 percent of Germans blame Russia for the escalation in Eastern Ukraine
- 62 percent think the EU should act more decisively
- 40 percent can understand that Russia feels threatened by the West, 58 percent cannot
Despite above numbers
- 58 percent don't believe that there will be a long term disruption of Russian-European partnership

Before you say Germans are brainwashed by anti Putin propaganda - do you really believe Novorussia is just Donbass?

Posted by: somebody | Aug 26, 2014 2:20:35 AM | 82

@somebody #82:

do you really believe Novorussia is just Donbass?

What does it matter? The Ukraine is a nonviable, failed state. And Germany, in its various incarnations, had a big hand in creating it, as part of its Drang nach Osten.

Anybody who cares about the welfare of human beings will want as much of the former Ukraine to go into Novorossia, as opposed to rump Banderastan, as possible. A certain portion of the former Ukraine needs to be preserved as a rump, so that it can fail absolutely. I don't see any other means of eradicating the new fascism from Europe, other than Russia invading the former Ukraine and dealing with the fascists in the same way Russia dealt with the Nazis. But 21st century war is different from 20th century war, so that is not going to happen.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 26, 2014 2:51:40 AM | 83

I still do not think that the economic collapse of Ukraine will cause the west to abandon this project. The economic problems were completely predictable at the beginning of this crisis. The costs to the US would be no more than 30 or so billion per year while the crisis goes on. Let us not forget that the US was willing to spend 100 billion per year during the Iraq war. Ukraine certainly has greater strategic importance to the US than Iraq ever did. Politically it would not be possible for congress to appropriate this amount of money but by responding to a series of mini crises this kind of money could be raised.

The decision to continue the current war will be based on other factors: Basically the US will have to decide how badly they want Ukraine in NATO. The costs are not just monetary but also the risk alienating Germany and the risk of a major war.

Posted by: ToivoS | Aug 26, 2014 2:59:11 AM | 84

Posted by: Demian | Aug 26, 2014 2:51:40 AM | 83

Fascism like Islamist Fundamentalism is an idea not people. Trying to kill it by eradicating people is futile. The real problem are "our" Western politicians using /promoting ideologies for the sake of geopolitics.

The interesting part about the weapons to Kurds is

a) will Germany insist on a UN resolution to do that
b) will Germany insist on an agreement with the Iraqi government
c) will the US seek an UN resolution

If c) The US will have to get an agreement with Russia.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 26, 2014 4:20:44 AM | 85

@somebody:

Thank you. That was very helpful.
I certainly smiled at your opening line -- which was my suspicion. There is so much information out on the web -- most of it bad.
The August survey does not appear very heartening if one is hoping for an easy solution.
"- 62 percent think the EU should act more decisively" -- to do what exactly, initiate WWIII?
The question also arises whether Germans act rationally in their self-interests, as opposed to USA'ans, where most of the middle and lower classes work against their self-interest, in favor of being swayed by emotionally hijacking"wedge” issues. Furthermore, having last spent time in Germany before unification, it is clear to me how much larger their internal vision of their rightful “sphere of influence” has grown. I hope that observation doesn’t make me any enemies, but that is my opinion.

As far as Novrussia is concerned, first let me say that I feel really bad for the Ukraine and Ukrainians. The 23rd birthday celebration had all the joy of a death watch for a young adult with terminal cancer. The Ukraine is a beautiful country in its own way: those vast fields of yellow sunflowers ripening in the late-summer orange sunsets are breathakingly haunting. (And I also really like their flag from a design point of view.) And one can see in videos of the simple Donbass country people, being shelled and killed for the crime of being too poor to flee, a deep humility and humanity. The video of the Donbass victims is heartbreaking; I could not watch it without crying throughout much of it. Despite years of hate propaganda, the fascists represent a small part of the population. For the most part, the so-called silent majority, they are victims, quiet suffering victims, and have been for decades now. For they didn't get their "Putin" to forge a grand bargain between the working classes and the various elite factions. And because of that, they got fucked by their oligarchs -- mafia dons would be a charitable description -- who represent bare-fanged capitalism in all its psychopathic and priapic glory. And the task in the Ukraine of achieving some sort of true independence would have been infinitely harder than in Russia, due to its smaller size and more centrally contested location. That’s why it’s name means “borderlands,” after all. In many ways, Central Europe, particularly the Ukraine, is to Russia and Germany what Haiti was to France, Cuba to Spain, Brazil to Portugal, and Jamaica/Barbados was to England: An immense source of wealth and power. People who say the country is a wreck, and that no one should want it, do not understand colonialism. It is an impoverished wreck, not because there are no resources -- it is simply overflowing with vast mineral, agricultural, and human resources -- but precisely for the opposite reason: because, like the other great colonies I reference above, the wealth and lucre has been systematically looted and drained into the coffers of their hegemonic neighbors for years on end. Ukraine is suffering from colonialism as much as it is from neo-liberalism. What does anyone think this destruction/IMF loan cycle is about, if not the latest instance of disaster looting?

That being said, Noirette’s list of competing/interacting narratives at play, on the last thread, was really quite insightful. I came up with two or three more while thinking about it. It’s a mess. So, the US, in the role of sorcerer’s apprentice, has really opened Pandora’s box, while the two guard dogs stand watch and slaver over the spoils. (There, did I mix enough metaphors in one sentence for you?) Put another way, while you might have to break a few eggs to make an omelette, in this case, unless one is very skillful, one will simply end up with a case of broken eggs at one’s feet and an empty smoking pan on the burner, while 40 million starving people wait for dinner. Solomon himself would have a tough time sorting through and attempting to balance the competing agendas in search of any semblance of relative justice. Worse than either a two-way, or a three-way fight. you have a malformed 2 1/2 way fight on your hands here. Its a bloody botched abortion.

Initially, before blood had been spilled, I was in favor of federalization in trade relations and enforced neutrality. Now I lean more towards a complete partition -- perhaps the standard map of Novorussia and rump Ukraine -- although if Russia chooses to go all the way, and overthrow the Junta, and preserve the country, albeit under their sphere of influence, and integrated into their trade block -- well, that might be a little rocky initially, but in the long term it might lead to a better local and more stable geopolitical outcome. Although the Lembergers might suffer from terminal jock itch.

Sadly, I have no better solution than that.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

Until the King himself takes the fall, I fear we will see an increasing number of Humpty Dumptys around the world.

Posted by: Malooga | Aug 26, 2014 4:43:04 AM | 86

Colonel Cassad has a brief but powerful post about the "Donbass Prisoner March," pictures of which knocked Porky's Party off the front page of every paper around the world. An absolute block-buster propaganda coup -- completely changing the framing of the conflict -- which the West works so hard to control.

The idea was so profound, bold, and successful in execution -- that one is forced to ask a most cheeky question. What if the men we saw paraded before us weren't prisoners of war, but only Donbass men dressed as prisoners of war, acting the part. Would that not have been simply audacious?

I have no evidence, of course, but my heart hopes that it is true -- and that it will be selectively leaked later on -- throwing western propaganda tactics back in their face. After all, do we have any evidence, and proof, beyond mere assertion, that those men really were prisoners of war. What theater!

Posted by: Malooga | Aug 26, 2014 5:04:21 AM | 87

Malooga = Cold N. Holefield Jr.

Posted by: Seamus Padraig | Aug 26, 2014 6:12:36 AM | 88

@Malooga #87:

do we have any evidence, and proof, beyond mere assertion, that those men really were prisoners of war.

There are plenty of videos on the internet of Ukrainian prisoners. Novorossiya has plenty of Ukie prisoners; there is no need for it to use actors to show them.

Russia is not postmodern; it is just getting used to being modern. (Bolshevism was nothing more than a juvenile attempt to avoid that challenge.) So trust me, Russians care about truth. (And I am saying that even though I am not fond of the Russian national religion, Orthodoxy.) Russian, as opposed to Western, propaganda does not make things up or use actors. When you are on the side of truth, you can create propaganda out of reality.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 26, 2014 6:15:07 AM | 89

I still do not think that the economic collapse of Ukraine will cause the west to abandon this project.

Unless the project is the destabilization of Ukraine to prepare it for Balkanization. If so, and I think it may be, then The West and Putin's Russia are tag-teaming the poor exploited people of Ukraine, so taking sides in this faux conflict is a fool's errand.

Think about it. I've proven at my blog several times now that The West is not really helping Kiev in any tangible, lasting way, despite the heated rhetoric by public officials.

The West is feeding the people of Ukraine to the Russian bear. It remains to be seen what The West ultimately gets out of this deal besides further justification for artificially high energy prices.

When Ukraine finally gets carved up, will The West get its share of de facto vassal mafia statelets like it has in the former Yugoslavia? I think so, except this time Putin's taken the lead as the aggressor in the Balkanization process.

Afterall, he took the lead in bombing his own people as pretext for a military adventure into Chechnya and The West soon followed with their own incarnations of that same method. It's called sharing Best Practices.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Aug 26, 2014 6:56:48 AM | 90

So trust me, Russians care about truth.

Trust you? No, I don't think I will. I'll trust my own eyes, thank you very much.

The truth is relative no matter how zealously you believe your truth to be absolute. Those who claim they have sought the truth and now possess it are terrible liars for all the wrong reasons. Anyone who emphatically tells you they are telling the truth and are truthful — run the other way, because in very short order and notice these very same vampires will be sucking your soul dry.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Aug 26, 2014 7:01:38 AM | 91

Who cares about a parade? Whats so horrific about it compared to what really going on in the eastern ukraine now?

Posted by: Anoynmous | Aug 26, 2014 7:46:50 AM | 92

ToivoS | Aug 26, 2014 2:59:11 AM | 84
The costs to the US would be no more than 30 or so billion per year while the crisis goes on. Let us not forget that the US was willing to spend 100 billion per year during the Iraq war.

I wonder why they're not pumping in more money and have all the IMF and "debt" talk postponed. If the "west" would pretend for only one year that the maidan coup does actually benefit the common ukrainian, I guess there would not be much sympathy for the "peoples republics" near the russian border. The way this coup is done now, most ukrainians will look enviously toward crimea and come to the conclusion that crimeans are the ones who came off best from all of this.

Posted by: radiator | Aug 26, 2014 8:23:09 AM | 93

Let us not forget that the US was willing to spend 100 billion per year during the Iraq war.

Spend? That "spend" was revenue and profit for the Military Industrial Complex so in that sense it was a resounding success.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Aug 26, 2014 9:04:25 AM | 94

Care about 9-11?Well,I notice Zionists want no discussion of 9-11,and wish it sacrosanct,their bogus narrative,the same bogus narrative applied to the enemies of those who want it all.
It's 20 20 vision to me,to them it's cataracts,or is it shekels over their eyes and minds.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 26, 2014 9:29:34 AM | 95

Posted by: radiator | Aug 26, 2014 8:23:09 AM | 93

It is the dysfunction of US foreign policy, geopolitical strategy. Are they 1) the lone superpower dictating the world and do their imperial work themselves or 2) do they outsource the heavy lifting to clients or 3) do they depend on alliances.

If 1) they can go against Russia and China, if 2) they have to deliver to their clients or lose them, if 3) they need Russia or China.

In the case of Ukraine the US started with 2, found the will of their clients (Europe) lacking as they could not deliver alternative resources (gas) and reverted to 1) to find that should 3) be true they just forged a resource alliance between Russia and China with far reaching consequence.

US actions in the Middle East (Syria, Libya, Iraq, Iran) have basically blocked any realistic alternative cheap resource supply (oil, gas) to Europe. So the US as European patron cannot deliver.

It does not make sense for the US now to throw money on a bad bet. All they can and do try is making Europe afraid of Russian expansionism so they spend more on NATO. I don't see British, French or German voters accepting this. Poland, Lithuania and Latvia do not have much money to spend.

By the way, is it just me or are Poroshenko and Catherine Ashton just in an Eurasian Union meeting in Minsk with the next meeting agreed to take place in Astana?

Posted by: somebody | Aug 26, 2014 9:45:40 AM | 96

Well, Mr Holefield, you should be aware by now that a lot of people do care, and those who think that they are the Masters of the Universe, who believe they can create reality, and will never be called to task, are in for a bit of a shock.

What are all three of you going to do? Hoist your flag over the White House like IS has threatened after you paint it black?

No one cares anymore, even if they say they do. Too much time has passed and too much has happened since. If your clock stopped on 9/11, I'm sorry, you've been Left Behind and just don't know it yet.

Besides, haven't you heard? Putin's Russia did 9/11. This comes from certain Russian ex-pats who were high up on the food chain.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Aug 26, 2014 10:00:37 AM | 97

@Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Aug 25, 2014 6:37:58 PM | 44

"Media" is plural.

Posted by: Snake Arbusto | Aug 26, 2014 10:04:42 AM | 98

Foreign Affairs analyst at RT:

"I am pretty certain that the Europeans would really like to resolve this one because it is a minus-sum game for all concerned, certainly for both the Germans and the Russians. The problem is that Washington has been up to no good, Washington has been playing the game of geopolitical encirclement of Russia which cannot be in the European interest and which in a long term can only result in the kind of civilizational catastrophe that we have seen exactly a hundred years ago in 1914."

http://rt.com/op-edge/182828-russia-ukraine-meeting-politics/

The question always seems to remain: what is the U.S. holding over the heads of European politicians? Whatever it is--blackmail, bribes, or threat of U.S.-managed coups--couldn't possibly be as bad as what is going to happen to Europe this winter and beyond. Then again, maybe one should never underestimate the cowardice of politicians nor their inability to think long term.

Posted by: madisolation | Aug 26, 2014 10:07:43 AM | 99

@99: The foreign affairs analyst I quoted is Srdja Trifkovic.

Posted by: madisolation | Aug 26, 2014 10:09:08 AM | 100

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