Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 07, 2014

"Moral" Interventions In Syria And Ukraine

When one reads the incredibly vague ceasefire agreement for Ukraine (in Russian, various English versions) it is immediately clear that this can not and will not hold. Russia had pressed for the ceasefire, despite battle advantage of the Novorossiya forces it supports, to avoid a further round of sanctions from the EU and in the hope that some of the warmongers in the "west" might come to their senses and listen to sane people. The Ukrainian president needed the ceasefire because his forces were defeated and, without reorganisation, would not have been able to defend against any further onslaught.

As soon as the forces on both sides have reorganized the battle will continue beyond the small skirmishes that are already taking place today. Neither side has full control over the various groups involved in the fighting and any flare up can immediately escalate.

Meanwhile NATO continues a increase its forces in East Europe for "troop training" and in the black sea. Military people in Moscow will certainly interpret this NATO build up as the threat that it is meant to be.

It was the "west" that provoked the war in Ukraine by organizing a coup against the democratically elected government. It is also the "west" that created the civil war in Syria. There the "west" and its various Arab poodles feed the war in Syria through money, weapons and substantial propaganda for the cause of the Jihadis fighting the Syrian government. It now wants to fight the Syrian government as well as the head choppers of ISIS by supporting the FSA organ eaters who are allied with the 9/11 plane hijackers of Nusra and Al Qaeda. That is seen as morally good even though no "western" country has any case for an involvement in Syria except for some very vaguely defined "interests".

Russia has an very important security interest in Ukraine. It is its immediate neighbor and the cradle of the Rus civilization. Several large attacks on Russia, by Napoleon as well as Hitler, used the plains of Ukraine as their concentration area and for their marches on Moscow. Many of the forces of the Ukrainian government now fighting against their Russia affine compatriots in the east are outright Nazis. 70 years ago over 20 million Russian lost their life to defeat that ideology.

Why is it seen as morally wrong when Russia, with much more immediate interest, is helping forces in Ukraine when similar intervention by the "west", much less, if at all justified, is depicted as morally right?

The sole answer one can get to that question is that whatever "we" do, no matter what, is right and whatever those oppose to what "we" do do is automatically wrong. That position is the recipe for much bigger conflicts than the ones we currently sees.

Posted by b on September 7, 2014 at 17:04 UTC | Permalink

next page »

thanks b. i am leaning towards the ceasefire holding.. we'll see how this goes.

the poster 'really' shared a link that is pretty good ( thanks really) "Deliberate destabilisation, and 'do as I say, not as I do'" and which shares a similar viewpoint to yours.

Posted by: james | Sep 7 2014 17:19 utc | 1

Funny how nicely you switched from denying Russian troops presence in Ukraine to explaining why they have moral right to be there...

Posted by: BRest | Sep 7 2014 17:19 utc | 2

#2 It should be obvious that Russia wants a ceasefire, not a military presence in Ukraine.

Posted by: Colin Brace | Sep 7 2014 17:25 utc | 3

You need a copy editor.

Posted by: DMN | Sep 7 2014 17:42 utc | 4

As expected, the Kiev junta's using the ceasefire to regroup and rearm.. Rumors going round is that NATO's finally decided to arm Kiev with lethal weapons..

These fools never learn.. They've created an European version of the Syrian FSA which eventually culminated into ISIS/Al Nusrah...

Posted by: zico | Sep 7 2014 17:42 utc | 5


"As expected, the Kiev junta's using the ceasefire to regroup and rearm">
Yep and that militias didnt understand that will cost them alot I suspect.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 7 2014 17:50 utc | 6

NATO apparently believes that Russia is extremely weak and bound to capitulate under pressure. Some doves arguing that Russia is so weak that military efforts to contain it are unnecessary.

The idea that Russia is little more tha a third world country is an idea shared by many on both sides of hawk/dove divide.

Posted by: Vollin | Sep 7 2014 18:01 utc | 7

The USG non signatory status of the Rome Statute is shining example of 'do as we say, not as we do'. When I hear a USG official yapping about war crimes that someone allegedly commited or otherwise I cringe. The fact that the Bush Administration "nullified" Clinton's signature ratifying the US participation in the International Criminal Court back in 2002 is imo an admission to the future criminality that was going to be commited by the USG in Iraq and future arenas. Absolutely appalling and the height of hubris. The USG should never utter the words 'war crime' nor accuse another of a war crime until it is a real participant of the ICC. And the pimp the USG as a beacon and champion of freedom and democracy. Sure....

Posted by: really | Sep 7 2014 18:09 utc | 8

@6 The Novorussyans likely overextended or were close to over extending (supply lines are important, and scavenging can turn a population against freedom fighters), and the Kiev forces have lost a great deal of their core army. It isn't a simple matter of being rearmed. Uniforms don't turn a thug or dumb kid into a soldier.

Given the success of the NAF, the defeat of the old Ukrainian army, and the bodies and walking dead about to flood Kiev. Cripples at Christmas is particularly sad. The Ukes aren't going to relaunch an offensive. The NAF isn't wasting ammunition on a terror campaign, and the Uke airforce is done without NATO planes and pilots. The NAF can create artillery kill zones for the Ukes which they couldn't do before. The MIC won't risk a Soviet era weapon knocking down a NATO plane and a NATO pilot being a POW. Voters might ask questions.

The NAF has certainly grown, but they likely don't trust newer, younger fighters to carry out relatively complex operations until they have been tested. Losing a bunch of new guys on a rapid offensive would have harmed morale and unity for a five month old organization.

I think Europe should be worried the Uke nazi units will push a myth of betrayal and go West as terrorists after having lost in the East.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Sep 7 2014 18:16 utc | 9

'really' shared a link...

In a just and sane world Obama would preface any criticim of Russian actions in the Donbass with an acknowledgement that Ronald Reagan also violated international law with his actions against Nicarauga.

Good luck with that.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 7 2014 18:16 utc | 10

@6 Don't worry so much anonymouse. I'm sure they considered all the possibilities.

Posted by: dh | Sep 7 2014 18:27 utc | 11

I agree. This was just "round 1" in the (not so) "Cold War 2.0". Will it remain a "Cold War" or are we already in a new "Warm/Hot war". How deep are we already in a new "Hot war" ?

Posted by: Willy2 | Sep 7 2014 18:28 utc | 12

The sole answer one can get to that question is that whatever "we" do, no matter what, is right and whatever those oppose to what "we" do do is automatically wrong.

Nothing else needs to be said. This kind of thinking is embedded in human psychology and always has been. But it becomes exponentially more pronounced when the productive and destructive power of the world is concentrated in a tiny, interlinked group like the one centered in the Western world.

In addition to the dangers of the world's power being in the hands of a small group of egotistical psychopaths, we have technological advancements in both military and media power which have amplified the danger, again exponentially. We reached the point where there is not only a small group who wield the power to destroy all life on earth in pursuit of their narrow aims, but the rest of us can be convinced it may be worth it.

The danger of nuclear weapons are obvious and have been known since their invention and use on the people of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Bikini Atoll. The dangers of advancements in media are less obvious but equally as dangerous. People are today, more than ever, pulled away from their personal interests, their personal morality, and their social relations by the power of the media. We are now in an era where concerns have moved away from the family and the neighborhood into the largely fake world presented to them by the media. More than ever their hopes and dreams are less centered on those close to them and distorted by the selfish concerns of those oligarchs who own the world and control the media. And people can now be convinced - even if it flies in the face of their own interests - to follow the interests of those in the commanding heights of the media.

Destructive power that threatens all life on the globe (save the hearty cockroach) and media power that can convince people it is worth using it. This poisonous stew is the one in which we may all well be cooked. This is the "democratic deficit" at its most pronounced. This is the danger of militarism - where even the methods of communication have been subsumed to the power of the military (the invention of a centralized internet by DARPA and subjected to constant monitoring of the NSA and social engineering by concentrated private power being the most dangerous example of this). This is why, in truly democratic countries like Ecuador and Venezuela, there have been attempts to allow more people access to the media and increase the number of opinions heard there - in the west ridiculously derided as "limits to free speech". There are some bright spots - the availability of foreign news like TeleSur, RT, PressTV, et al, as well as blogs like this, the Saker, Penny's place, etc... but their reach is tiny compared to those voices of the elite even still.

We face a clear choice - fight to put the destructive and productive power into the hands of the whole society and limit its use to manipulate society to the will of a tiny elite, or meet our collective doom.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 7 2014 18:52 utc | 13

In a just and sane world Obama would preface any criticim of Russian actions in the Donbass with an acknowledgement that Ronald Reagan also violated international law with his actions against Nicarauga.

This is just... no. The US sponsored attack on Nicaragua was a crime (as determined by the Internation Court of Justice) by the in which some 80,000 were killed, largely civilians.

It was an attack on a defenseless country where the plan was precisely to attack its most vulnerable sectors - schools, hospitals, agricultural co-ops - in an unrivaled terror campaign of which the hallmarks were the literal butchering of fathers and mothers in front of children, children in front of fathers and mothers, the slashing off of breasts and genitals by a mercenary army based entirely on foreign soil and supported wholly from the United States. A gang of criminals and sadists Reagan had the chutzpah to call "the equivalent of our Founding Fathers".

There is no comparison between Reagan's vile actions in Central America and the limited Russian support for the people of the Donbas who are seeking their self determination. None at all.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 7 2014 19:02 utc | 14

Russia has an very important security interest in Ukraine. It is its immediate neighbor and the cradle of the Rus civilization. Several large attacks on Russia, by Napoleon as well as Hitler, used the plains of Ukraine as their concentration area and for their marches on Moscow. Many of the forces of the Ukrainian government now fighting against their Russia affine compatriots in the east are outright Nazis. 70 years ago over 20 million Russian lost their life to defeat that ideology.

This is pure Russian propaganda right out of the Kremlin playbook. The Soviet Union collapsed under its own corrupt weight in, or approximate to, 1990. It's done. Finis. Get over it. It's not coming back no matter how much Putin and his apologists pine for it.

And no, the Russian motivation wasn't to "defeat that ideology." The two ideologies, Communism and Nazism, were and are practically identical. They are twins, with Communism slaying its identical sibling so it could have the playpen all to itself.

The Soviet Story

Nazis & Communists: Ideological Bedfellows

Max Eastman, an early communist who later saw the light and rejected communism, wrote in his 1937 book The End of Socialism in Russia that the Soviet Union was “a totalitarian state not in essence different from that of Hitler and Mussolini.” Eastman later wrote in a subsequent book, Reflections on the Failure of Socialism (1955): “Stalin’s totalitarian police state is not an approximation to, of something like, or in some respects comparable with Hitler’s. It is the same thing, only more ruthless, more cold-blooded, more astute, more extreme in its economic policies, more explicitly committed to world conquest, and more dangerous to democracy and civilized morals.”

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 7 2014 19:08 utc | 15

In a just and sane world Obama would preface any criticim of Russian actions in the Donbass with an acknowledgement that Ronald Reagan also violated international law with his actions against Nicarauga.

Good luck with that.
Posted by: Anon | Sep 7, 2014 2:16:37 PM | 10

So let me get this straight. You concede that what Russia is doing in Ukraine is what America did in Nicaragua, so it's alright then?

You and your ilk are so bankrupt. I agree in only one respect. What Russia is doing in Ukraine is similar to what Reagan's America did in Nicaragua — only worse because Putin's Russia is devoting many more Russian soldiers to the cause. I agree both were/are wrong and are war crimes. People involved in both criminal acts should be apprehended and tried before the ICC. That includes Putin and his suck-ass friend Col. Pat Mustard who aided and abetted both criminal acts, imo.

So, what do you say big shot — lover of Freedom and Liberty? How about we get the ball rolling and start putting these war criminals behind bars — Col. Pat Mustard included? I'd personally be honored to roll the bars shut on that jackass for his life term and shut his ass up once and for all — and in the process have him remand his net worth gained at the expense of decent taxpaying Americans back to those very same taxpayers from who he stole it by operating under false pretenses.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 7 2014 19:20 utc | 16

Everything Holefield writes is pure American imperialist propaganda right out of the
Washington playbook.
True, he has to concede at times, unipolarity has its flaws-even a few bloody ones--but not so many as to allow geopolitical vitality in Eurasia.

Posted by: truthbetold | Sep 7 2014 19:23 utc | 17

Why does "B" allow Holefield to troll here?

"B" has banned others here for far less, imho, but somehow this one gets a free ride. Why is that???

Posted by: RC | Sep 7 2014 19:36 utc | 18

truthbetold #17:

James and I directed Cold to the recent Mearsheimer piece, which directly refutes the idea that the observation that Russia has legitimate national interests concerning the Ukraine is "pure Russian propaganda", but he never replied.

He just repeats the same drivel over and over.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 7 2014 19:36 utc | 19


b said he allowed Cole because he amused him or something like that..

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 7 2014 19:45 utc | 20

To suggest an equivalency between Ukraine and Nicaragua is quite wrong, but I believe the blogger was making a rhetorical point somewhat to the side of the actual on-the-ground facts of the two situations. (The sponsorship of terror groups in Syria is a more apt analogy). To suggest that alleged Russian activity in Ukraine is somehow worse than what occurred in Nicaragua is so flippin' off-the-charts demented that it frankly astonishes the mind that anyone could even set this forth as a proposition. First point of contention, of many: 1. The Contras travelled to the homes and villages of their victims so as to murder them. The rebels of Ukraine are defending their homes and villages from an outside force.

Posted by: jayc | Sep 7 2014 19:50 utc | 21

To CNH @ 15

To our distinguished correspondent --

A little something else for you to ignore, apropos of your bit from Max Eastman:

In his biography of Stalin, Deutscher begins his assessment by noting the similarities between Hitler and Stalin, which other commentators before and since have dwelt on. Both “suppressed opposition without mercy or scruple…. Each built up the machine of a totalitarian state and subjected the people to its constant, relentless pressure… But there the comparison ends….” Deutscher placed Stalin alongside Cromwell, Robespierre, and Napoleon, the other “great revolutionary despots…. Hitler was the leader of a sterile counterrevolution…” whose record consists “of absolute worthlessness and futility.” Hitler added nothing to the capabilities of the people, its culture or the economy and left its leadership in the hands of the Krupps, Thyssens, and Junkers, as he found it. Stalin had both lead and exploited “a tragic, self-contradictory but creative revolution” which turned a semi-feudal agrarian economy into an industrial powerhouse. That powerhouse defeated fascism at Stalingrad.

Isaac Deutscher, Stalin: A Political Biography (New York: Oxford University Press, 2nd. edition, 1966 [1981 reprint], pp. 566, 569-570

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, my friend.

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 7 2014 19:57 utc | 22

To RC @ 18

Please, let's not ban him. He's too great a foil. Like shooting fish in a barrel. And Cold1, it's just a figure of speech. Don't go Unabomber on me again.

To Demian @ 19

Not to brag (excessively), as you'll probably recall, I used a lot of electrons bulking up the earlier Ukraine thread. He never did address "annexation" or provide a bill of actual, actionable particulars for those he wanted to send to "Fletcher Memorial."

Though I did get him to back of from murderous war crimes to just "humane" ethnic cleansing. I consider that an accomplishment.

Agreed, "He just repeats the same drivel over and over." His crude insults are usually fresh, though.

If I can quote later King Crimson, from "Indiscipline" "I repeat myself when under stress/I repeat myself when under stress/I repeat myself when under stress/I repeat myself when under stress." I think he's under a little bit of it, trying to defend the indefensible and deflect the facts. I think he needs a drink. I got the next round, CDH, what you having?

BTW "Discipline," which it's on, is great album. Great Celtic knot cover design, black and silver on red. Saw them that tour, stayed awake for all of it.

For all of his blather about free thinking, he doesn't seem to do much of it.

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 7 2014 20:19 utc | 23

That powerhouse defeated fascism at Stalingrad.

No, it subsumed it, it didn't defeat it. But the author is correct, the Soviet Union succeeded, at least for a little while longer, where Nazi Germany left off. Stalin was a more effective tyrant and the totalitarianism of the Soviet Union was more effective and lasting than that of Nazi Germany. The fact the author lauds this merely reveals the author has a love affair with tyranny and totalitarianism and he's pissed Hitler failed in its name, and cheers Stalin for succeeding where Hitler fell short.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 7 2014 20:21 utc | 24

And Berlin was right to blackball Deutscher from teaching Soviet history at Sussex.

The Hedgehog and the Hedgehog: Isaiah Berlin and Isaac Deutscher

The faults, in Deutscher’s case, were massive, and they stemmed from his embrace of Communism at its most oppressive. Deutscher claimed to see a compassionate side in Bolshevism, but this led him into even worse moral confusion, seeing a humane side to totalitarian violence: notoriously, he said about Trotsky, “in his most ruthless deeds and most severe words there still glowed a warm humanity.” But even if their politics are repugnant, Deutscher’s books still remain enthralling. His acclaimed biographies of Stalin and Trotsky are masterful, gripping works: vividly written narratives by an author who spoke only a little English when he left Warsaw for Britain in 1939, at age 32. As Neal Ascherson writes, “the power and excitement of his prose knock the reader down”; Deutscher’s style, Ascherson adds, has a “majestic urgency” that sweeps all before it. Deutscher’s books were esteemed even by his political opponents, who saw them as definitive accounts of Soviet Russia (as Caute reveals, Deutscher was a surprisingly popular speaker at Tory gatherings; like Berlin, he was eminently clubbable). But Deutscher’s writings are also examples of ardent special pleading on behalf of the Soviet system; even when Deutscher criticizes Stalin he remains what Berlin called him, an “anti-Stalinist Stalinist.” He sees the brutal collectivization of the Soviet Union as a harsh but necessary effort to transform society for the better; he defends the Hitler-Stalin pact (as did Trotsky); he says that Stalin relied on anti-Semitism only because Soviet Jews were too pro-American. Worst of all, in his biography of Stalin he mentions the prison camp system that terrorized millions only in passing, as if it were a minor, though regrettable, detail of history. Deutscher was a dangerous, dyed in the wool anti-democrat. As Caute writes, he believed that:

Firm, even ruthless leadership is indispensable. [. . .] the Party must rule over the masses in a dire emergency (but there is always a dire emergency). Government must be top-down.

Deutscher only balked when Stalin directed his terror against the Party itself; he had no objections to terror as such.

Was Deutscher, as Berlin alleged, a “falsifier”? Caute hedges on this one. But Berlin’s allegation stands up. Deutscher certainly misrepresented the facts about Stalin’s rule, facts that he himself knew very well. On Berlin’s own principles of intellectual honesty, he was right to bar Deutscher from the teaching job at Sussex. As Berlin was careful to explain, he would have had no objection to Deutscher teaching Marxism; but Deutscher teaching Soviet history, which he had systematically falsified, could not be tolerated. There was a crucial difference, as Berlin saw it, between writing history and making propaganda for an enemy state, especially for the Soviet Union, the state that Berlin loathed beyond all others.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 7 2014 20:30 utc | 25

The Coalition of The Shrilling...

Posted by: really | Sep 7 2014 20:33 utc | 26

CDH @ 24 --

Bullshit, More shit, Piled high and deep.

You don't even know who Deutscher is, do you? And you don't give a rat's ass, clearly. I could rap about Eastman and his buddy James Burnham of the top of my head (I won't bore everyone with that), 'cause I'm not some young smartass still wet behind the ears. Take 30 secs. out of your busy day, and Google him OK.

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 7 2014 20:35 utc | 27

The ONLY true diplomat and leader the EU currently has besides Angela Merkel is Putin. The rest of Europe has been oppressed an occupied by the U.S. since 1945. NATO is not a military force to protect Europe from Russia it is a global American military force in which Europeans are required to participate and do Uncle Sam's bidding. Since the U.S. is now lowering its military budget it has now ordered the Europeans to spend more thus allowing NATO (America) to continue its warmongering around the globe at the expense of Europe, the rest they borrow from China and Japan. We have never won any wars but DO create deaths and destruction every were we've been....We bomb people for humanitarian reasons "for their own good" and wonder the world is angry at us. Afghanistan/Iraq/Libya/Syria.....courtesy of the Empire of Chaos.
The EU is not allowed to have its own foreign policy but is required to adopt whatever insane foreign policy and warmongering Uncle Sam engages in around the globe. While its governments might be stuck in this transatlantic merrygoround, its people recognize this insanity and they want NATO out....The sole reason Putin is vilified by the U.S. is because unlike the rest of Europe Putin does not accept the dictates of the U.S. Intelligent/rational Europeans understand that America is NOT their friend, and they would much rather deal with Putin. And like those Russians who lived under Soviet rule did not believe one word their media told them, so do the Europeans not believe one word their media/propaganda tells them - with the exception of the British....they're good at creating propaganda.
Putin's popularity amongst the Russian people is 79%. Amongst the oligarchs not so much. He has put more of them in jail than any of his predecessors or any western leaders have. Putin's popularity amongst Europeans too is very high, often higher than that of their very own leaders. Hmmm.....

Russia currently has statistically the second highest number of immigrants after the United States.
"hollowfield" hails from another univere.

Posted by: Gerry1211 | Sep 7 2014 20:43 utc | 28

Adding to the ridiculous "Russia and Ukraine are one nation" argument I would like to remind that in 1991 there was a referendum in Ukraine about leaving USSR and 90% Ukrainians voted for independence. They had full right to do so and it's none of Russia's business with revisionists stories about Novorossiya, an idea that actually came to life by end of 2013.

Russia may have its interests in Ukraine as any other country, but in civilised world these interests are done via diplomacy under international law and not with GRU units posing as local "self defense".

Inability to understand that by Russia is the main reason why it's now facing sanctions and is generally considered a rogue country. Even Lukashenko is now reconfiguring his border with Russia (order 433 from 4 Sep), probably to keep his neighbor's "little green men" away...

Posted by: BRest | Sep 7 2014 21:10 utc | 29

Well, being exposed to propaganda for an enemy state may well be a useful component of education (one learns to spot the weaknesses of the propaganda), at least as long as it's just one teacher or a few teachers who does/do so, whereas letting only those who toe the official line teach is obviously much more dangerous to education.

Posted by: lysias | Sep 7 2014 21:14 utc | 30

I remember being taught, during the Cold War, that totalitarianism was particularly dangerous, because it could only be overthrown by intervention from abroad, that it was too strong to be overthrown domestically. Well, the overthrow of Stalinism proved that that was not true.

Posted by: lysias | Sep 7 2014 21:16 utc | 31

to CDH @ 25 --

My apologies for the invective at 27. But let me freshen that drink, if you would. It's on me.

Well, well, you're quite the clever goose, in a devious sort of way. Quick too.

You realized you knew nothing about him, and found something pre-cooked & ideologically approved. I'm guessing you knew who Berlin was, and off you went. I see you didn't quote him, or Caute. But the reviewer of Caute's dual biography of Berlin and Deutscher is certainly your kind of guy.

Clearly you didn't read it thoroughly before you posted it, "Deutscher’s books were esteemed even by his political opponents."

Your reviewer asks "Was Deutscher, as Berlin alleged, a “falsifier”? Caute hedges on this one. But Berlin’s allegation stands up. Deutscher certainly misrepresented the facts about Stalin’s rule, facts that he himself knew very well." But apart from criticizing him for what he thinks is insufficient attention to the Gulag (which was the general prison system, not just political prisoners), he provides no details to back it up. Why would such a "falsifier" get the esteem of his foes? Or be a prominent journalist?

"...he had no objections to terror as such." Hmm, what is shooting and deporting people? You've advocated the same thing, saying it will save lives in the end? Terror seems to be the stock in trade of your Banderaists, you seem to have no problem with it. You've predicted mass carnage, and you seem to revel in it.

And again, it's really a personal attack against the late Deutscher, isn't it? It doesn't really address the issues, but it is a clever dodge.

Whatever their failings and whatever one thinks of the two, any objective measure has the Soviet's win hands down. Stalin did not industrialize death. He built, Hitler destroyed.

We live in (what used to be, anyway) a democracy. That's come about through trial and error, it has not been steady, effortless, bloodless progress.

And if we're to talk about needless death, what about our genocide of the Native Americans? What about slavery, Jim Crow? Our terror in Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador? Do you know about our concentrations camps in the Philippines after the Spanish American War? Or our complicity in Indonesia's reign of terror under Suharto? We gave him an initial list of 5K, he rounded up 500K, but you're probably cool with that 'cause they were all Reds.

You've agreed (oddly) that the Second Gulf War was a war crime, wasn't that and the bombing campaign that softened them up terror?

The Stalin's deeds perished with him, the blood is dry. The blood on our hands is wet, and sure to stay so.

Now, "Drink up Shriners," as my late father-in-law used to say.

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 7 2014 21:31 utc | 32

Well, the overthrow of Stalinism proved that that was not true.

It wasn't overthrown, it collapsed under the weight of its corruption and ineptitude. Not to worry, tyranny has a way of reconfiguring itself when it collapses in one of its many manifest forms. Putin's Russia is a fine example of that maxim.

It's also the problem with Cold Wars versus Hot Wars. With a Hot War you can accomplish something more akin to Total Defeat, but not so with Cold War — thus the rise of the megalomaniac Putin and Russian Oligarchs with nukes. There was no defeat let alone Total Defeat of the Soviet Union by The West as The West likes to allege and believe. Without that Total Defeat or semblance thereof, the Phoenix of Tyranny has flown from the collapsed lungs and failed hardened heart of the former Soviet Union and here we are — again.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 7 2014 21:31 utc | 33

There is a very valid reason I call it the Outlaw US Empire for it is the #1 outlaw nation on the planet--a sponsor of terrorism since 1945 an perpetrator of thousands of war crimes since too. Every president from FDR to Obama is a criminal, as are most of the executive officers. The ultimate blame rests with those known as the Founders--guilty of fomenting the coup that destroyed the Articles of Confederation and its government installing the 1787 constitution with its absolutely unregulated executive. But FDR was the president who took the most advantage of that lack of regulation and made certain there would be no more Neutrality Acts while laying the foundation for the National Security/Police State that now exists.

If you pay taxes to the US Government, you're a supporter of International Terrorism.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 7 2014 21:33 utc | 34

My apologies to you, Cold1, you posted your dodge @ 25 while I was writing. Will respond more fully soonest. It doesn't address the issue of false moral equivalency, though, it's just a big ad hominem vs. Deutscher, isn't it?

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 7 2014 21:34 utc | 35


We are now in an era where concerns have moved away from the family and the neighborhood into the largely fake world presented to them by the media.

This is the danger of militarism - where even the methods of communication have been subsumed to the power of the military (the invention of a centralized internet by DARPA and subjected to constant monitoring of the NSA and social engineering by concentrated private power being the most dangerous example of this).

I don't know if you've read the latest Edward Snowden release ...

... it's not hard to find.

It has several sections and each and every one is shocking and appalling.

But the most appalling thing is the report itself in its totality. These are at bottom just a criminal bunch of bureaucrats trying to grow their bureaucracy, their 'good' thing, and the consequences for humanity are just an "externality" ... they are, like any neoliberal gangster-racketeer, completely unconcerned.

This one is less technical than what's gone before, and it's been issued from higher up on the beanstalk, and that's probably why the overall orientation of their criminal operation seems so much more apparent, in all it's neo-liberal, nihilist 'splendor'. It's bone-chilling.

I made a copy of Brazil for a Thai friend. I don't know if he'll get it. But, man, that movie hits it right on the head ...


... and from 30 years ago. The reptilian banality of Lowry, Ling, Helpmann and company.

It may be a 'comedy' but it is not funny. It's futile fatalism ...

... if it were only the Martians.

Posted by: john francis lee | Sep 7 2014 21:44 utc | 36

Our resident troll seems unaware that Putin's government is more genuinely Christian than most of the governments currently ruling Western countries. Godless Communism, against which we fought the Cold War, is no more (at least in Russia).

Posted by: lysias | Sep 7 2014 22:06 utc | 37

FDR was the Augustus Caesar of the United States. Since then, it has been more and more clearly true that we preserve only democratic forms, whereas the reality is very different.

Posted by: lysias | Sep 7 2014 22:08 utc | 38

@29: ...." I would like to remind that in 1991 there was a referendum in Ukraine about leaving USSR and 90% Ukrainians voted for independence."....

Hmmmmm, so the logic appears to be this: if a smaller part of the larger whole votes to split off and go its own way then it is perfectly entitled to do so.

You do know what that means to the legitimacy of the citizens of the Crimea voting to secede from Ukraine, right?

You do realize that you have just legitimized the votes taken by the citizens of the eastern portion of Ukraine to spit away from Ukraine and form the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, correct?

Because you can't "remind" everyone that the Ukraine was entitled to do that without also conceding that what the Ukraine can do must also be capable of being done unto it by its own constituent parts.


Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 7 2014 22:11 utc | 39

On the issue of secession, governments seem perfectly capable of being inconsistent. The government of the United States, which had recently seceded from the British Empire, felt itself perfectly entitled to resist the secession of the Southern states, which loudly proclaimed they were just fighting a second War of Independence.

The UK, which promoted the secession of Pakistan from India and of Ulster from Ireland, had resisted the secession of Ireland from the UK, and until recently resisted the secession of Scotland from the UK. (It remains to be seen whether it will now permit the secession of Scotland.)

Posted by: lysias | Sep 7 2014 22:16 utc | 40

So according to the Hole, the founder of the first anti-Stalinist faction in the Polish Communist Party was a Stalin apologetist. Ho Hum.

On a more substantial level, would the Hole care to list the false claims, with supporting evidence, of Mr Deutscher? While I'm quite ignorant of the man, if the Hole attacks him, chances are he must have been a touch too honest.

Of course, it is standard issue USA party line that other countries, in distinction to the US conduct terror to enforce their rule. Presumably, mass rape (Haiti, both in the 30s and more recently), mass bombing and the like don't constitute terror. Much less, on a more deliberate and personal level, dropping a C4 bomb onto a neighbourhood from a police helicopter.

Perhaps, while the Hole is at it, he could also quote from one of those "genocidal" Milosevic speeches.

Posted by: Johan Meyer | Sep 7 2014 22:49 utc | 41

the ceasefire will not hold

the empire, mad as a meat axe wants war, wants it constantly

& what is not being said is that the empire's wars are all race wars, just as the nazi war was

resource & race are synthesized in worth value or as the nazi said 'life unworthy of life

the americans treat the slav in exactly the same way, they are less than nothing so america & its puppoets make the same mistake over & over again - overestimating themselves & underestimating the other

that strategy has failed fascist then & now

cold holder whoever he is wouldn't know deutscher from the warts on his prick

Posted by: remembererringgiap | Sep 7 2014 22:55 utc | 42

when will europeans organise their own maidans and march on brussels to shut down their regimes support for Kiev?

Posted by: brian | Sep 7 2014 23:16 utc | 43

@jfl, QICR

I like the "illustrative example" under Technology Aquisition by All Means. The author warns that Russia and India are developing high-temperature superconductivity. Therefore it is imperative that US students and professors in these countries be persuaded to rat out their colleagues so the US may possess these valuable technologies.

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 7 2014 23:16 utc | 44

'Posted by: lysias | Sep 7, 2014 6:06:10 PM | 36

youd love ISIS

Posted by: brian | Sep 7 2014 23:17 utc | 45

Cold and Hole in the head cant have a day job

Posted by: brian | Sep 7 2014 23:18 utc | 46

The US has been doing what it does, seize power by installing puppet corrupt elites in the name of Democracy, steal resources and murder/slaughter 'brown' people (Others) since it's inception, not just since FDR or 1945 ... Native American Genocides, Mexico, Phillipines (Civilize 'em with a Krag), Puerto Rico, Haiti, Texas, Mexican-American war, Cuba, South America, etc.

International Law and precedents mean only what the Empire wishes them to mean and only when convenient. Only from a detached legal perspective could there be any equivalence drawn between the horrors brought upon Nicaruaga, and EVERY other single country in South America for more than a century ... again and again and the plausably deniable assistance the Russian people and to a lesser extent the Russian government are giving their familial intermeshed centuries old historical brethren in Eastern Ukraine.

Rudolph Hearst and 'yellow Journalism' trumpeted the clarion calls for Empire in the 19th century with 'Remember the Maine' with fact-free jingoistic propaganda ... what we endure today is simply more 'sophisticated' (barf) co-ordinated on a global and governmental level and virtually all pervasive ...

The Empire will not risk open confrontation with a first world power such as Russia and certainly not on its doorstep/border against interior lines of communication ans supply. Not foreseeable. NATO is nothing more than a means to bully the EU countries and suborn their militaries, etc. Given the NATO summit effectively shunned Poroshenko and Ukraine, this is playing out quite similarly to the events in Georgia in 2008.

The Ukrainian Junta is on its own. No Joining NATO. No direct NATO involvement. Very limited financial and military support. Lots of rhetorical support from the likes of Biden and McCain and 'limited' sanctions support. Just like the Georgians, the Junta has to do it on its own. Given the Juntas situation they likely cant last more than a few months re materiel, finances, 'Gas', sufficient popular support, maybe less.

The Empire doesn't care if the Junta collapses and fails. You don't miss something that wasn't yours in the first place. The overall objective appears to be create and build upon a meme of events (many artificial) and sustained co-ordinated propaganda for a new Cold War 2.0. To hold the geopolitical barricades and attempt to revitalize and re-invigorate the Wests vassals, especially Europe/EU (against their own interests ?) in support of the Empires financial, political and military spheres against the evil Putler running the rogue Russia and 'ahem', the rise of the BRICS and the other 90% of the world.

From a holistic geopolitical strategic perspective, the Empire is not on the front foot, rather conducting a rear guard action. It is the West this time which wishes to cut itself off from Eurasia, with its own Iron Curtain/Westwall. Russia and China have demonstrated a few times recently that they have very 'Real' Red-lines, and on each occasion the Empire has blinked or looked the other way. This is encouraging and indicates only a truly exceptional event/miscalculation may risk armageddon, which is an 'all-lose' proposition.

The ordinary people of the East Ukraine are defending their homes and families and in the process clubbing the illegitimate proxies of the Empire. More power to them.

Peace. Salaam. Shalom.

Posted by: Outraged | Sep 7 2014 23:36 utc | 47

Arghh, that should be - Randolph Hearst.

Posted by: Outraged | Sep 7 2014 23:45 utc | 48

@ruralito #43:

Not surprised in the least by this. It's been my opinion from the beginning that the NSA Vacuum was 70% industrial espionage and 30% blackmail.

One example: Germany as a target? You bet! Siemens makes superconducting ship motors.

As my wife is oft heard to comment, the USA only makes guns and plastic forks.

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Sep 7 2014 23:47 utc | 49

to Johan Meyer @ 40

If you check the link CDH provides, you'll see his underlying source, a review of a recent book comparing Berlin & Deutscher, fails to provide particulars. Even what he's cut and pasted undercuts the reviewers standard-issue anti-communism.

"Deutscher’s books still remain enthralling. His acclaimed biographies of Stalin and Trotsky are masterful, gripping works... As Neal Ascherson writes, “the power and excitement of his prose knock the reader down”; Deutscher’s style, Ascherson adds, has a “majestic urgency” that sweeps all before it. Deutscher’s books were esteemed even by his political opponents...."

How does a fraud who "systematically falsified" well-known facts achieve such a status?

You've nailed Cold1's character: "...if the Hole [good nickname, it really fits] attacks him, chances are he must have been a touch too honest." You make an excellent pt. on Haiti, too.

As I posted earlier, a more complete reply to Our Distinguished Correspond, "the Hole", gotta run an errand.

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 7 2014 23:59 utc | 50

"completely reply later." I'll get the hang of this whole english lang. thing eventually.

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 8 2014 0:01 utc | 51

The author of the turcopolier piece's two main points

" In Syria the West supports a violent opposition against a vicious dictator and allows in volunteers to fight for the good cause - the West has the responsibility to protect the Syrians from their dastardly government.

Russia speaks of the responsibility to protect the people in the Donbass from attacks by neo-nazis, who are spearheading Kiev's military effort in volunteer battalions, and from indiscriminate shelling by Ukrainian forces."

There's no parallelism here. Assad is not a vicious dictator. The war against him is not a good cause. And why "dastardly"? Is he being sarcastic? Then that throws the first part into a cocked hat.

The author deploys the same illogic wrt Nicaragua. The contras were not rebels.

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 8 2014 0:02 utc | 52

Dr. Wellington Yueh | Sep 7, 2014 7:47:21 PM | 48

(C//REL) BRIC’s*Bust-Up:

As the United States struggles to maintain its world standing amidst competing and insular blocs, the IC is predominantly focused on economics and commercial science and technology (S&T) missions.

ref: qicr-final-report-2009.

Posted by: Outraged | Sep 8 2014 0:04 utc | 53

Rufus Magister: no point in trying to educate a Company man. Or worse, maybe "Bought and sold with US gold"

Posted by: Cortes | Sep 8 2014 0:08 utc | 54

cold holder whoever he is wouldn't know deutscher....

Posted by: remembererringgiap | Sep 7, 2014 6:55:22 PM | 41

Is there anything to know beyond his words? The fact he lauds Stalin with eloquent prose is enough to tell me the man was half-cocked or madly in love. Some consider both of those characterizations one and the same and I think they may be right.

Do you know Deutscher? What does that even mean? Did you sleep with him? Did you fantasize about sleeping with him? How else do you "know" Deutscher if you've never had the opportunity to know him intimately?

He's only his words, and from what little rueful quoted of Deutscher, it pretty much says it all. The man was delusional and an apologist for tyranny like many of you commenting here.

Anyway, I'll have a blog post up tomorrow entitled Putintown comparing and contrasting the Putin Cult to the Jim Jones Cult. There are striking similarities.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 8 2014 0:16 utc | 55


(S//REL) Data Exfiltration and Covert Communications.

Exfiltrating intelligence from non-permissive environments will be crucial. A critical enabler
would be covert communications with a negligible forward footprint. U.S. intelligence officers and sensitive sources will need to move data in an unattributable and undetected way, sometimes from within commercial entities possessing great technical prowess and robust cyber and electronic security protective procedures. Although the likely advent of transnational, high-bandwidth wireless communications services will offer an environment with “lots to hide behind,” it will also contain many highly competent, and potentially antagonistic, actors.

ref: qicr-final-report-2009.

Posted by: Outraged | Sep 8 2014 0:17 utc | 56


It's military, industrial, blackmail ... whatever pays. They've built themselves ... NSA/CIA/FBI/ETC ... what they regard as an invulnerable position within the bureaucratic fortress in the USA and they are literally lording it over everyone from there.

But their fortress is all air. Pull the plug and it'll come crashing down. The lords of the bits will bite the dust.

Al Capone thought he was untouchable too.

Then ... sometime ... the rest of us are just going to have to bend over and pick up the tools of self-government ourselves and literally reconstitute the USA, precinct by precinct. All 175,000 of them.

The topic of this thread was not only 'whatever I do is right, whatever you do is wrong', but also the 'ceasefire' ...

Current events report from the DPR Ministry of Defense

Ukraine Truce Falters

Posted by: john francis lee | Sep 8 2014 0:17 utc | 57

Well cold you should probably not comment on that which you do not know. And it is clear you have no idea who Isaac Deutscher is.

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 8 2014 0:24 utc | 58

While Kiev amasses what they can scrounge and import in neat impressive convoys in preparation for return to hostilities, they forget that they have lost air power. It also has not occurred to them that Russia aside from being very low key in support thus far has yet to use its air power against what would be sitting or waddling ducks of Uke heavy equipment.
As nonsense as the 12 points may be, Russia is a signatory to what will appear as a broken promise to ceasefire, which will then allow the participants to justify previously unexpected escalation. NATO does not come into it as they are just sabre rattling thinking it is some sort of a game of chicken. Their newly formed thing being more a counter insurgency type of force than one that would withstand full all out bombing from the air, and by the time they're deployed the war would be over.

For things to get that far assumes that Kiev will hold together in some politically viable form. If the capital goes into chaos the military will either turn the vehicles around or walk.

Posted by: YY | Sep 8 2014 0:30 utc | 59

Technology Acquisition by All Means

(S//REL) Direct Penetration.

In denied or more restrictive environments such as state-supported R&D centers, the IC would continue to apply human intelligence (HUMINT) tradecraft and employ HUMINT-enabled close access collection. This would include recruitment of sources and assets, and provision of appropriate technical means to acquire and exfiltrate sensitive information.

(S//REL) Cyber Operations.

The IC would sustain close-access collection, frequently by second and third parties, to non-public and/or covert centers of innovation by implanting applications (i.e., bots) that run automated tasks and sensors in software and hardware used by foreign researchers and
manufacturers, and by conducting computer-network exploitation of foreign R&D intranets. In
select instances, this could also involve development of long-term sources.

(S//REL) Scenario.
India and Russia are pursuing high temperature superconductivity, which would yield a significant economic advantage to the first adopter.

(S//REL) The IC makes separate clandestine approaches to India and Russia which are pursuing high-temperature superconductivity, which would yield a significant economic advantage to the
first adopter, to break up the partnership. It conducts cyber operations against research facilities in the two countries, as well as the intellectual “supply chain” supporting these facilities. Finally, it assesses whether and how its findings would be useful to U.S. industry.

ref: qicr-final-report-2009.

Posted by: Outraged | Sep 8 2014 0:32 utc | 60

Merkel has every reason to be a peacemaker here. Why isn't she pushing back against the US neo-cons? Does anyone on this site have any fact based information?

Posted by: simjam | Sep 8 2014 0:35 utc | 61

Well I happen to believe that the ceasefire in Ukraine is working. This is not denying that there has been a few violations over the past 24 hours. Also not denying that some the best fighters among the Donbas militias are opposed. This definitely has the potential to secure the gains that the Donbas people have made over the last six weeks. They will be going into negotiation with the Kiev regime from a position of strength and should be able to gain a degree of autonomy from the central government that was unimaginable a month ago. Politically, this is very significant. Once the people's of the surrounding oblasts see what is happening in these negotiations it will make it easier for them to demand the same terms. I suspect that two of the big casualties will be the financial empires of Ahkmetov and Kolomoisky -- the anger at all of those oligarchs is widespread and not just in eastern Ukraine.

This precludes a decisive military victory over the coup Kiev regime but it seems like a reasonable prospect that they will collapse once the Ukrainian people begin to realize what the neo-Nazis have wrought.

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 8 2014 0:39 utc | 62

Money Mastery

(S//REL) “White/Grey/Black” Literature Exploitation.

Overtly, the IC would monitor open markets in stocks, commodities, and currencies. To acquire
non-public but unprotected data such as proprietary business information, it would use two-way
information sharing with trusted and cooperative corporations and foreign governments. Clandestinely, the IC would use human and technical means, including sophisticated tracking software, to access closely held market, financial, and business data, be it inside corporations, foreign governments, or other institutions.

ref: qicr-final-report-2009.

Posted by: Outraged | Sep 8 2014 0:39 utc | 63

The fact that Putin's government is Christian makes it like ISIS? Talk about a lack of discrimination.

Posted by: lysias | Sep 8 2014 0:41 utc | 64

whoa ! what!?!
how dooers Putn become 'selfcentered'?
'The Dalai Lama, in an interview with a German newspaper, pointed out that Mr Putin had served as Russian president, then prime minister and then president again.
"That's a bit too much," he told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. "This is very self-centred." "His attitude is: 'I, I, I'," Tibet's exiled spiritual leader explained........
well lets think about this: how long has he been dalai Lama? supreme leader of tibet and tibetan buddhism? since 1950! > 60 years! thats a bit long!

Posted by: brian | Sep 8 2014 1:01 utc | 65

there are muslims in the russian govt...certainly in the Duma

Posted by: brian | Sep 8 2014 1:02 utc | 66

from poster Haralambos @ Sic Semper Tyrranis

"My country right or wrong," as a slogan comes to mind, but I think the origin is much misunderstood: Carl Shulz. It seems to be: "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right."

Posted by: Outraged | Sep 8 2014 1:04 utc | 67

re. Dalai Lama (#63)--spoken like a true CIA factotum

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Sep 8 2014 1:08 utc | 68

brian | Sep 7, 2014 9:01:16 PM | 63
An astounding insight fail and own goal from the Dalai Lama ... priceless. Thanks, needed the LOL.

Posted by: Outraged | Sep 8 2014 1:09 utc | 69

@ruralito #51:

Assad is not a vicious dictator.
Even Tom Engelhart writes of the murderous regime of Bashar al-Assad.

By the way, TomDispatch is ignoring the civil war in the Ukraine. I guess that that's not sufficiently geopolitically significant for them.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 8 2014 1:20 utc | 70

@brian #63:

During his appearance in front of social science students which I quoted from before, Lavrov was asked why Russia does not let the Dalai Lama enter Russia. Lavrov replied that the position of Russia is that the Lama should stay out of politics. (Not wanting to piss of China may also have something to do with it.)

Posted by: Demian | Sep 8 2014 1:26 utc | 71

@ 67 Correction, he doesn't write "of" it; he writes "Any bombing of that country will necessarily involve implicit, if not explicit, support for the murderous regime of Bashar al-Assad..." Tout court, as if it were an undeniable fact and we should all agree. Nothing "of" it at all.

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 8 2014 2:18 utc | 72

I happen to believe that al-Assad is one of the finest men alive. Standing tall against the politicization of religion. If he's a tyrant, he's the one Syria needs.

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 8 2014 2:32 utc | 73

@14 guest77.. ditto your comment - no comparison whatsoever.. folks just don't seem interested in history, especially americans of their own foreign policy affairs for the past 60 odd years.. nicaragua wasn't that far back either..

@29 BRest.. actually you are spouting a line similar to ukraine/usa propaganda in most of your post.. surely you don't think the usa is following 'international law' in it's many actions, so why this selective singling out of russia? i look forward to your response..

@33 karlof1.. that appears to be the case!

@38 johnboy.. i doubt BRest is going to go along with that..what you say will make too much sense, they won't be able to go along with it!

i would like to qualify my comment @1 - i think the ceasefire will hold.. i don't doubt we are now in cold war version 2 world and that while i think this ceasefire will hold for a period of time, at which point certain things will change, i also believe russia will remain in the cross hairs of our oligarch controlled world today.. the issue that many ukrainians would like to address, is an issue that many westerner's would like to address too - how to get rid of this sickening menace of oligarch rule and influence over institutions that are said to be democractic and can be bought off by those with deep pockets who have stooges like obama working overtime for them? in this sense i share something in common with many people in ukraine, east and west and of course i have a lot of admiration for putin taking out a few, even if he has to play by the same rules that have become a part of political life for any politician today..

you folks really know how to waste your time with the cold one.. that is a real waste of time as i see it!

Posted by: james | Sep 8 2014 2:49 utc | 74

Well cold you should probably not comment on that which you do not know. And it is clear you have no idea who Isaac Deutscher is.

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 7, 2014 8:24:15 PM | 57

Apparently a few of you don't know his history either, and you also don't understand irony since you're rather up to your chin in it.

He was kicked out of the Communist party in 1933 for being too harsh on Nazism and denouncing it. I find it hysterical roobus would quote from him as a rebuttal to what I had deposited about Communism and Nazism.

By the way, did you also know his biography of Stalin contains no footnotes? None. It was a polemic and not a historical accounting since none of it can be independently verified.

Many believe he was "light" on Stalin, although their "light" is what I consider treating Stalin graciously rather than as the monster he was, as an overcompensating effort to be fair and neutral considering he was kicked out of the Communist Party and the fact he obviously adored Trotsky, but I believe it is because of his hatred of The West and his love of Marxism that he wouldn't give The West the benefit of the doubt in treating Stalin with the harsh repudiation he so rightfully deserved.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 8 2014 2:50 utc | 75

the obvious comparison to be taken from the link i shared @1 is how many westerners think it's okay the usa to intervene on all levels in syria, but it's not okay for russia to do anything in any way similar for it's neighbours immediately next door.. this is another usa/obama double standard of epic proportions.. the usa is responsible in good part for ISIS as well, but you won't be hearing that from the msm or the local spokesperson for them at moa any time soon..

Posted by: james | Sep 8 2014 2:55 utc | 76

Mold E. Bullshit is the ultimate liar - he admits so on his blog.

Of course it wasn't the Soviet Union that subsumed Naziism - but the United States who brought in far more than its rocket scientists, but also its social scientists and its blood-soaked intelligence units.

And this - "What Russia is doing in Ukraine is similar to what Reagan's America did in Nicaragua — only worse because Putin's Russia is devoting many more Russian soldiers to the cause." This doesn't even pass the laugh test.

Come to think of it, neither does Cold Troll.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 8 2014 3:11 utc | 77

@brian - "'The Dalai Lama, in an interview with a German newspaper, pointed out that Mr Putin had served as Russian president, then prime minister and then president again."

LOL. He's been coming back as the Dalai Lama lifetime after lifetime! He's really one to talk!

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 8 2014 3:13 utc | 78


The 1991 referendum 70% of Ukrainians voted to PRESERVE THE SOVIET UNION.,_1991

Do you consider necessary the preservation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as a renewed federation of equal sovereign republics

@29: ...." I would like to remind that in 1991 there was a referendum in Ukraine about leaving USSR and 90% Ukrainians voted for independence."....

You dog, you absolute LYING DOG.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 8 2014 3:19 utc | 79

He's been coming back as the Dalai Lama lifetime after lifetime!


Posted by: Outraged | Sep 8 2014 3:20 utc | 80

@75 - hilarious and true too! good one guest77!!

Posted by: james | Sep 8 2014 3:26 utc | 81

That's the real travesty. The people of the USSR wanted to keep it together for the most part and even voted to do so - but that drunken sow Yeltsin broke it up anyway.

And it continues - the Ukraine polls have made it clear: Ukrainians DO NOT WANT NATO. They EU more prefer, but NATO even those who support the EU say no to NATO. Yet what are their leaders about to do anyway?

That's the real tragedy of the Soviet Union. The people largely were depoliticized having seen the revolution succeed. Had you told them that the fall of the Soviet Union would mean the disaster of the 1990s and that Russia and the Ukraine would someday be at war - they'd have revolted. Though I'm sure that they we're told this.

Note to that in 1993, there was a definite political revival in which Yeltsin butchered his own people - some 3,000 died while Clinton, that other foul dog, slapped him on the back and congratulated him. Disgusting.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 8 2014 3:28 utc | 82

Outraged @ 46: "The ordinary people of the East Ukraine are defending their homes and families and in the process clubbing the illegitimate proxies of the Empire. More power to them."

I'll second this comment.

Posted by: ben | Sep 8 2014 3:41 utc | 83

What Yeltsin did to Russia:

1990 GDP: −3.0%
1991 GDP: −5.0%
1992 GDP: −14.5%
1993 GDP: −8.7%
1994 GDP: −12.7%

And you can't blame that on the Soviet Union:

Just days after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Boris Yeltsin resolved to embark on a program of radical economic reform. Unlike Gorbachev's reforms, which sought to expand democracy in the socialist system, the new regime embarked to completely dismantle socialism and fully restore capitalism—converting the world's largest command economy into a free-market one. During early discussions of this transition, Yeltsin's advisers debated issues of speed and sequencing, with an apparent division between those favoring a rapid approach and those favoring a gradual or slower approach.

In late 1991, Yeltsin turned to the advice of Western economists, and Western institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the U.S. Treasury Department, who had developed a standard policy recipe for transition economies in the late 1980s. This policy recipe came to be known as the "Washington Consensus" or "shock therapy", a combination of measures intended to liberalize prices and stabilize the state's budget. Such measures had been attempted in Poland, and advocates of "shock therapy" thought that the same could be done in Russia. Some Russian policymakers were skeptical that this was the way to go, but the approach was favored by Yeltsin's deputy, Yegor Gaidar, a 35-year-old Russian economist inclined toward radical reform.[citation needed]

On 2 January 1992, Yeltsin, acting as his own prime minister, ordered the liberalization of foreign trade, prices, and currency. At the same time, Yeltsin followed a policy of 'macroeconomic stabilization,' a harsh austerity regime designed to control inflation. Under Yeltsin's stabilization program, interest rates were raised to extremely high levels to tighten money and restrict credit. To bring state spending and revenues into balance, Yeltsin raised new taxes heavily, cut back sharply on government subsidies to industry and construction, and made steep cuts to state welfare spending.

You have to wonder what had gotten into this man. Was he compromised by the CIA? Was he some sort of Manchurian Candidate? Was he just a weak, drunk louse? A greedy Poroshenko figure?

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 8 2014 3:54 utc | 84

Hey Cold1 @ 72 --

I've been busier that I thought, wife has me on a "honey do" list. That I should have such problems. So I've not delivered my promise to engage your post from David Mikics' review of Caute's "Isaac & Isaiah: The Covert Punishment of a Cold War Heretic." Let me just say, I checked up on your reviewer a bit, he seems like your kinda guy.

Anyway, I can see plenty of other folks have been trying to educate on Deutscher. I hope to be able to dissect your cut and paste job soon.

Ooooh, no footnotes! Where'd you lift that from? 'Cause I KNOW you didn't actually see the book. Let alone read it. I have my copy to hand, if you look at just p. 568, which I cited, he has a footnote and within it quotes Hjalmar Schacht "Absechnung mit Hitler," p. 41. Other footnotes all over the place. His bibliography is 6 pp. Plenty of info. to verify his sources.

So, where did you get your misinformation about Deutscher's scholarship from?

Your review notes, Berlin nixed him for his politics, not his sloppy scholarship. Would his critics admired him, if it were? You don't even pay close attention to what you're hacking up.

And apropos your crack at 54 to rememberinggiap -- get your mind out of the gutter. "Did you sleep with him." Let me explain -- have you seriously studied him, not just skimmed whatever you can google and then mindlessly regurgitate?

Finally, to james @ 71

I would disagree, not a waste of time. Cold1 aka the Hole, aka Our Resident Troll, serves a function. A post waaay back early in the last thread on the Ukaine pointed out, he coughs up the current line, so we stay informed. And "b" finds him amusing. I do, too; like a so-bad-its-good "B" movie.

Sometimes he'll see the light. Got him to back down from genocide to just ethnic cleansing on that last thread on the Ukraine. Sure, if he sees the light, it's only to illuminate the way to some even more novel contortion.

And if he doesn't see the light, perhaps others will be persuaded. It's good exercise, too. He's a clever little sod, keeps you on your toes.

And who doesn't like a nice clean game of whack-a-troll?

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 8 2014 4:01 utc | 85

Isn't this just the most idiotic sight?

Yeltsin didn't fiddle while Rome burned, he watched the man burning his country play the saxophone.

If the World War Two generation was "the greatest" then surely their children are "the worst". The Clintons. George W. Bush. Tony Blair. Hollande. What a bunch of lice.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 8 2014 4:02 utc | 86

@82 rm - we see it differently. multipolar world, lol..

Posted by: james | Sep 8 2014 4:03 utc | 87

Russian Spring



per results of consultations of the Trilateral contact group in regards to joint steps to implement the Peace plan of President of Ukraine P. Poroshenko and initiatives of President of Russia V. Putin

Having considered and discussed proposals introduced by participants of the Minsk consultation on September 1, 2014, the Trilateral contact group consisting of representatives of Ukraine, Russian Federation, and OSCE achieved understanding regarding the need of implementing following steps:

1. Ensure immediate bilateral halt of use of weapons.

2. Ensure monitoring and verification of the non-use weapons regimen by OSCE

3. Implement decentralization of the State authority, including by the way of passage of a Law of Ukraine “Interim arrangement for local self-governance in some districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions” (a Law of a special status).

4. Ensure continuous monitoring of the Ukrainian-Russian border and verification by OSCE, including creation of a security zone in areas adjacent to the border.

5. Urgently release all hostages and unlawfully detained individuals.

6. Adopt a law forbidding prosecution and punishment of individuals in connection with the events, which took place in some areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine.

7. Continue inclusive nation-wide dialog.

8. Adopt measures to ameliorate the humanitarian situation in Donbass.

9. Ensure carrying out of a lasting local election in accordance with “Interim arrangement for local self-governance in some districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions” (the Law of a special status).

10. Withdraw unlawful armed formations, military hardware, as well as gunmen and mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine.

11. Adopt a program of economic resurgence of Donbass and restoration of essential public services of the region.

12. Guarantee personal security of participants of the consultations.

Signatures of

Ambassador of OSCE Heidi Tagliavini

Second President of Ukraine L. D. Kuchma

Ambassador RF in Ukraine M. Y. Zurabov

A. V. Zakhrchenko

I. V. Plotnitskiy

P.S. “Hostages” in 5. sticks out.

Posted by: Fete | Sep 8 2014 4:04 utc | 88

Shout out to guest77 @ 74, 75 & 82 --

Mold E. Troll & Cold Troll -- pretty good, esp. the first.

"He's been coming back as the Dalai Lama lifetime after lifetime!"

Like outraged at 77 - RAOTFLMAO!

Finally, seriously, good stuff about Yeltsin. The Soviet Union did not fall, it was pushed. IMF, Aslund, other Western advisers sabotaged the econ. while Yeltsin fronted the political dirty work for DC.

Putin's "imperialism" seems boil down to, "He's not a slavish as Yeltsin." Frankly, when Yeltsin pulled up from the mid-ranks of Russian politics, I thought, "Well, Yeltsin's just put a puppet in charge." I'm sure that's what Yeltsin thought. But he broke those oligarchs who wouldn't come to heel, that made him popular with the street, and he's moved on from there.

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 8 2014 4:16 utc | 89

Gorbachev: "Many of you see the solution to your problems in resorting to market mechanisms in place of direct planning. Some of you look at the market as a lifesaver for your economies. But, comrades, you should not think about lifesavers but about the ship, and the ship is socialism."

The lifesavers all went to the oligarchs. The opinion polls in Eastern Europe suggest that many feel they've been left to bob about in the open seas of capitalism without any lifesavers at all. Look at the rise in poverty in places like Poland (despite the massive $350B in aid they received).

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 8 2014 4:19 utc | 90

oops, those damn refs again, sorry guest77 @ 81

and to james at, hold on, let me get this right, eighty four --

LOL -- "Let a hundred flowers bloom..." I'm no Maoist, but sometimes the guy had a way with words. What are the odds the Cold1 has a conniption about that quote.

And quickly, on the substance of yours at 71

I don't think the ceasefire will hold. (Gramsci, "Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.")with Washington's announced moves (rapid reaction, more bases, support for the Balts), we are in Cold War 2. Or is it Cold War 1.5? I don't think it will be quite as serious, there is no real, serious ideological antagonism. We can support dictators - IF that's what Putin is, that's another discussion - provided they do our bidding. See the post-coup regime in Honduras.

Issues domestically in the Ukraine are as you outline, oligarchs vs. real democracy. Not unique to the Ukraine, but worse there than many, probably most, places. And of course, what will Wash. deign to permit.

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 8 2014 4:30 utc | 91

To james @ 71 --

I just spotted this, even I have my limits. I ain't goin' nowhere near this one. I'll stick to taking the piss out of him on Deutscher. That's like, Z minus infinity bad movie.

Please folks, let's all agree, do NOT feed the troll on this one.

"Anyway, I'll have a blog post up tomorrow entitled Putintown comparing and contrasting the Putin Cult to the Jim Jones Cult. There are striking similarities.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 7, 2014 8:16:09 PM | 54"

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 8 2014 4:55 utc | 92

There's a particularly rosy reading of the Novorossian rebel's decision to enter into a ceasefire over at the Saker (Not by the Saker himself):

Novorussia - Surrender or victory?

the achievement of the ceasefire agreement between the junta and the representatives of Novorossia in Minsk is a major victory for Russia, because it didn’t allow the United States to sever relations between Russia and Europe and gave Europe the necessary arguments for the rejection and blocking both in Brussels and in Newport, of the decisions that the US was prepared to launch against Russia. It is a big joint victory for Russia and the EU today. …

after the bursting of the abscess in Kiev or another scenario the two regions of Novorossia will be joined by the other five that were handed over to Ukraine by the Bolsheviks. And that will be the end of Ukraine in its present form.

This essay is partly a response to Alexander Dugin's fear mongering to the effect that Putin has "given up" Novorossia. An example can be found here (in Russian).

Posted by: Demian | Sep 8 2014 5:15 utc | 93

@81 The Soviet system was a place for yes men during the Brezhnev years. Yeltsin was a product of the system. Once, he rose to power he didn't have anyone left to say "yes" to, so he looked to Clinton and the IMF. The man who at least had enough wits to publicize his use of public transit despite having a car and driver probably saw his country going to pot, but Yeltsin was just a lesser son of a society dominated by the replacements for post war purges*.

The Peter Principle exposed him. Shinseki would be a good recent example. Prior to taking over the VA, his accomplishments amounted to embarrassing Dubya during a Senate hearing and converting the army to black berets! Shinseki's reputation was he was easy to get along with.

When he had an independent authority (Obama and his cronies certainly didn't touch anything without a direct interest), Shinseki was a miserable failure and blamed his staff for lying.

*Putin has publicly mused about the lack of a polity, and I think the primary reason for the fall of the USSR was so much of the government at all levels of authority was in the hands of 60+ year olds. There simply weren't people with a direct stake in the state around.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Sep 8 2014 5:55 utc | 94

from, short article, highly recommend:
Inverted totalitarianism and managed democracy
Sheldon Wolin believes that the United States has been increasingly taking on totalitarian tendencies as a result of the transformations that it underwent during the military mobilization required to fight the Axis powers in the 1940s, and during the subsequent campaign to contain the Soviet Union during the Cold War:[2]

He refers to the U.S. using the proper noun "Superpower", to emphasize the current position of the United States as the only global superpower. While the versions of totalitarianism represented by Nazism and Fascism consolidated power by suppressing liberal political practices that had sunk only shallow cultural roots, Superpower represents a drive towards totality that draws from the setting where liberalism and democracy have been established for more than two centuries. It is Nazism turned upside-down, “inverted totalitarianism.” While it is a system that aspires to totality, it is driven by an ideology of the cost-effective rather than of a “master race” (Herrenvolk), by the material rather than the “ideal.”[6]

According to Wolin, there are three main ways in which inverted totalitarianism is the inverted form of classical totalitarianism.

Whereas in Nazi Germany the state dominated economic actors, in inverted totalitarianism, corporations through political contributions and lobbying, dominate the United States, with the government acting as the servant of large corporations. This is considered "normal" rather than corrupt.[7]
While the Nazi regime aimed at the constant political mobilization of the population, with its Nuremberg rallies, Hitler Youth, and so on, inverted totalitarianism aims for the mass of the population to be in a persistent state of political apathy. The only type of political activity expected or desired from the citizenry is voting. Low electoral turnouts are favorably received as an indication that the bulk of the population has given up hope that the government will ever help them.[8]
While the Nazis openly mocked democracy, the United States maintains the conceit that it is the model of democracy for the whole world.[9] Wolin writes:
Inverted totalitarianism reverses things. It is all politics all of the time but a politics largely untempered by the political. Party squabbles are occasionally on public display, and there is a frantic and continuous politics among factions of the party, interest groups, competing corporate powers, and rival media concerns. And there is, of course, the culminating moment of national elections when the attention of the nation is required to make a choice of personalities rather than a choice between alternatives. What is absent is the political, the commitment to finding where the common good lies amidst the welter of well-financed, highly organized, single-minded interests rabidly seeking governmental favors and overwhelming the practices of representative government and public administration by a sea of cash.[10]

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 8 2014 6:37 utc | 95

Yeltsin seemed to me to be a victim of a con, perpetrated by IMF under the direction from Jeffery Sachs. Sachs spent most of a year with Yeltsin and his economic advisors, devised the plan to destroy Russian economy as outlined by guest above, and it worked. We're talking about life-span being reduced by 8 YEARS, birth rates shot downward, average wages reduced by 15%, alcholism shot up, thousands froze to death in the winters. imo Yeltsin was worse for Russia than the dissolution of the USSR.

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 8 2014 6:54 utc | 96

The fall of the USSR was a counter revolt by Russian Party Elites who want it all. It ushered in the Era of the Oligarchs. It was privatization run amok. The American Empire is going through a similar counter revolt against the people and government privatization; only much more slowly and hidden by corporate media.

The future is not clear. But if follows the path of the last decade, our offspring will be debt slaves and/or cannon fodder for this or that group of Plutocrats struggling over dwindling energy resources. That is unless the Bourgeoisie take another go at the Aristocracy like their ancestors did in France and Russia before them. Or, perhaps warriors of the True God will impose his rule across the world. But, most likely, a losing group Oligarchs will fire their last working remnants of the nuclear arsenal at the other winning group of Plutocrats fulfilling the End of Times prophecy.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Sep 8 2014 6:58 utc | 97

@okie farmer #02:

That's a Wikipedia article. Why do you give a link to a stupid commercial Web site instead of Wikipedia?

@ #93:

Yeltsin was a power hungry asshole who didn't like having Gorbachev as his boss, so he illegally broke up the Soviet Union, together with his accomplices from other Soviet Republics. Of course, Gorbachev didn't even try to stop him, so Gorbachev's not much better.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 8 2014 7:16 utc | 98

@38 Referendums in Ukraine in 1991 and in 2014 were significantly different. The first one was organized in democratic way and with international observers. Those in Crimea and Donbass were parodies of referendums with Russian troops on the ground. There is enough evidence to suggest that the Donbass one was completely fake.

Posted by: BRest | Sep 8 2014 7:40 utc | 99

rufus magister | Sep 8, 2014 12:01:09 AM | 82
Thanks for that clarification of Deutscher's Stalin biography. I read that book in 1970. I was taken aback when Cold claimed it had no footnotes, at the time it was considered the best biography of Stalin up to that time. I don't have a copy anymore and began to question my memory. It looks like he just up a fabricated that story, probably figuring no one would be able to check his "facts". After being caught out in such a blatant lie it probably best to just ignore him.

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 8 2014 7:53 utc | 100

next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.