Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 30, 2014

Open Thread 2014-25

(Busy with end-of-month deadline ...)

News & views ...

Posted by b on October 30, 2014 at 19:28 UTC | Permalink


I thought it was only Venezuela that was supposed to have problems like this?

Mexico: As the search for the 43 missing students drags on in Guerrero, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is finding his agenda completely dictated by the disappearances. Though more than a month has passed since the incident, his administration appears caught off guard by the public outrage to the case and seems unable to articulate a satisfactory response.

Posted by: Maracatu | Oct 30 2014 19:43 utc | 1

Good news! Soon we will read news in Russian media about attendees of an international conference in Moscow univocally agreed that Ukraine is fascist. Here's how it happened (source: Russians Re-write History to Slur Ukraine Over War):

“Our generation is facing the task to deter [the] revival of Fascism and Nazism,” a thinly veiled reference to Ukraine, the German delegates felt. “It has become clear that we have different views on what fascism means today,” Morre told the hall in nearly perfect Russian. “Your point of view is not mine. So I call for this part of the resolution to be removed,” he added. “I do not want to sign it, and I am not the only one. ”After some noisy debate, the delegates agreed to put the matter to a vote. Practically all of the foreign participants raised their hands in favor of deleting the reference to a “revival” of European fascism. All of the Russian participants, including a large group of high school students who had been herded into the auditorium about 15 minutes earlier, had the clear majority in voting to leave the text of the declaration unchanged. So the hosts of the conference won out—a small but telling victory for the cause of Russian revisionism.

What a perfect repetition of the early 30's when even social-democracy was univocally voted in Moscow to be a fascist movement as well...

Posted by: Ulster | Oct 30 2014 19:44 utc | 2


Since Time magazine - the source of your expose - still can't produce credible evidence of those thousands of invisible Russian soldiers and tanks who "invaded" the Ukraine - and after all this time - I would not rely too heavily on anything they say, or rather, are paid to say.

I'm not talking about "trust us, we have the evidence, we just can't show it to you" - or did you think it's been forgotten?

Posted by: rackstraw | Oct 30 2014 20:14 utc | 3

This is what the Egyptian army of junta leader Sisi is doing to people in Sinai:

Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 30 2014 20:21 utc | 4

what Sisi and the egyotian army also prevented:


The subject article covers one of the real reasons the Egyptian military deposed Mohammad Morsi. Morsi, who was actually under the thumb of the U.S. government, was planning to send the Egyptian military against Syria. Wisely, the military said no. They don’t have the money. They don’t have the blood. They don’t have the will.

To be sure, the millions in the streets of Egypt had other reasons to get rid of Morsi and that’s the point. Millions of Egyptians and much of the military agreed he had to go. Those involved in revolutions rarely are united in issues other than the removal of the current government. Our own revolution had great dissent on what kind of government the new United States should have. It took 4 years after the end of the war to ratify the Constitution. What they did agree on is, they had to go (The British).

Sadly, Egyptians are way ahead of Americans. They take to the streets by the millions. We go to football games by the millions. Their military says no to expensive, bloody and fraudulent wars. Our military obeys any order to go anywhere and kill anyone.

Morsi ousted to stop plan for sending Egypt military to attack Syria’s Assad


just sayin!

Posted by: brian | Oct 30 2014 20:40 utc | 5

Russia and Ukraine agree to gas deliveries until march 2015. Big news. I guess this means there will be no offensive in Novorussia.

Posted by: L'akratique | Oct 30 2014 20:53 utc | 6


Yes we know you are pro-sisi, everytime people bring up the pro-us, pro-israel, anti-iranian, anti-hezbollah Sisi you come forward and show support like a paid stooge.

One wonder how you manage to on the one hand defend Sisi on Syria when it comes to Sisi's view on everything else (Iran, Hezbollah, Israel, US).
Maybe you didnt thought about it all? Time to do that perhaps.

Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 30 2014 20:54 utc | 7

who is the aggressor?
so can china and north korea do the same when US planes fly NEAR their airspace?

FYI turks see no worries arming hosting etc islamic terrorists of ISIS, yet russia worries them?

Posted by: brian | Oct 30 2014 21:03 utc | 8

Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 30, 2014 4:54:28 PM | 7

no wonder your anonymous....people cant tell who you are...but your support for the war ON syria is clear

Posted by: brian | Oct 30 2014 21:04 utc | 9

i usually dont respond to anonymouses but your knowledge of egypt, the egyptian army , SISI etc is risible.

SISI hjas the support of secular syria...

MORSI being Muslim Brotherhood, whos goal in egypt and syria and everywhere is sharia sunni only caliphate, has what support?!

'Abu Hafs al Maqdisi, the leader of the Gaza-based Jaish al Ummah (Army of the Nation), today called on Egyptians to wage "jihad" against Egyptian army commander General Abdul Fattah el Sisi. Al Maqdisi, who was released from a Hamas prison in December, also called on Egyptians to overthrow "the tyrant" (el Sisi) and establish an Islamic state. In addition, al Maqdisi said he hoped that one of el Sisi's bodyguards would kill him.

Al Maqdisi further stated, according to press reports, that although Jaish al Ummah does not currently coordinate with any Salafist groups in Egypt, it is prepared to work with any Muslims who are prepared to implement sharia, or Islamic law.


Read more:

yes no surprise secular Sisi is attacked by islamic fundamentalists! who are also anti-iranian.

confusing no?

Posted by: brian | Oct 30 2014 21:16 utc | 10


Typical, using ad hominem instead of replying to my questions, could you do that?
Also brave guy please tell us your full name and adress since you are not anonymous, apparently?

Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 30 2014 21:20 utc | 11

why is it anons always support the bad guys? here islamic fundamentalists of the muslim brotherhood and Army of the Nation types?


and anon merely tells me youre from langley

Posted by: brian | Oct 30 2014 21:39 utc | 12

life of a jihadi female. Conversion to islam produces this sort:

'Over the past two years, hundreds of European women — roughly 10% of recruits from the West between the ages of 18 and 25 — have traveled to Syria or Iraq to join militant groups like Jabhat al-Nusra or IS. This number includes at least 70 French, 60 British, 40 German, 20 Belgian and 35 Dutch women. They traveled by themselves or with their husbands, and sometimes with children, female friends or close relatives.

Social media plays a crucial role in their recruitment. Jihadist girls who live in Syria offer advice, support and help with travel. “We need more women to take care of the women and children. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, with or without children, divorced or widowed. Women who are interested can contact me in private,” a Belgian jihadist who joined IS wrote on her account.

Female jihadists portray their life in “the caliphate” as a paradise for Muslims. Snapshots of sunsets, smiling militants with cats and dinners with their Muslim sisters — all taken in Bilad al-Sham. They portray a picture of a domestic Islamic life which includes taking care of their husbands — the “fighting lions” — and the household.

Their updates about sisterhood and marriage sound caring. However, when they talk about the kuffar [non-believers] in Europe and the United States, they sound furious. They think that the West is waging a "war against Islam."

Posted by: brian | Oct 30 2014 21:42 utc | 13

what Sisi prevented in egypt: salafi control and islamist chaos

Mary smiled, but her eyes looked sad. She cannot understand why her daughter lives in a country where bombings are part of daily life and where people are getting decapitated. The US-led air strikes on IS targets worry Mary, but Vanessa is not afraid. On the contrary: Dying as a martyr is her greatest wish, as she believes she will go straight to paradise.

Read more:'

Posted by: brian | Oct 30 2014 21:44 utc | 14

To Ulster at 2

I see lots of pissing and moaning about linking the openly fascist junta in Ukraine with the former paymasters of Bandera. But I don't see any actual history being re-written.

What exactly is your point about social fascism? Are the junta Social-Democrats? "Glory to to heroes..."

Posted by: rufus magister | Oct 30 2014 22:55 utc | 15

bottom line..... don't expect to get any direct answer from ulster... ain't gonna happen... skipping and evading others questions implies plenty! might make a good politician, lol...,

Posted by: james | Oct 30 2014 23:22 utc | 16


Why do you hate Russians so much? A Russian rebel leader recently said that "Russian is not a nationality: it is a state of the soul." Do you hate Russians because you do not have a soul, so that you envy Russians for having them?


I am addressing this to you specifically because IIRC, you are a fan of InformationClearingHouse. That Web site published this Russian fifth column nonsense, which the Saker has demolished. As far as I'm concerned, publishing that Russophobic rubbish has completely destroyed any credibility InformationClearingHouse may once have had.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 31 2014 0:09 utc | 17


Why do you hate Russians so much? A Russian rebel leader recently said that "Russian is not a nationality: it is a state of the soul." Do you hate Russians because you do not have a soul, so that you envy Russians for having them?


I am addressing this to you specifically because IIRC, you are a fan of InformationClearingHouse. That Web site published this Russian fifth column nonsense, which the Saker has demolished. (Again, I can't get a comment with a link to VotS to post.) As far as I'm concerned, publishing that Russophobic rubbish has completely destroyed any credibility InformationClearingHouse may once have had.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 31 2014 0:11 utc | 18

@17 Yes, I am a regular visitor.

He prints a lot of stuff for a lot of different reasons. He's been around from the very beginning. His daily collection - especially the second tier links - are often full of really good stuff from all over the world.

To be fair - ICH also immediately reprinted the Sakers response, and by Dimitry Orlov.

I don't think it can be considered an anti-Russian site, not by a long shot. IMHO.

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 31 2014 1:41 utc | 19

If our old MoA comrade Anna Missed is reading this, just letting you know that I miss your site and your postings. The website appears to be down or to have "lost its lease" now. Hope you are ok.

Posted by: Maxcrat | Oct 31 2014 2:02 utc | 20

@guest77 #18:

Thanks for clearing that up. I guess that since he immediately reprinted the Saker's response, I should retract my comment that ICH has lost its credibility. Obviously I am touchy about efforts by the fifth column to delegitimize Putin, but I can't expect Westerners to have a feel for this kind of thing.

I never meant to suggest that ICH is an anti-Russian site. Again, not all Westerners can be expected to understand that Russians who try to undermine Putin are anti-Russian.

Still, if Paul Craig Roberts understands that Putin is the leader of the world, why can't the guy who runs ICH do that?

Posted by: Demian | Oct 31 2014 2:32 utc | 21

ICH iS NOT anti russian
or itd not print the likes of Orlov or Saker

Posted by: brian | Oct 31 2014 2:37 utc | 22

Pedro Abreu ‏@pmsxa 50 mins50 minutes ago
This is why #Russia-ns want to tightly regulate foreign NGOs … #ukraine #OdessaMassacre .@hrw

The original photo:

Posted by: brian | Oct 31 2014 3:23 utc | 23

@brian #22:

I saw that at the Saker. Wow, so that photo was from the Trade Union Building massacre! This could go viral. Looks like HRW has a problem. It was bad enough to use a photo of Ukie police and claim they're Russians. But the Odessa Khatyn!

Posted by: Demian | Oct 31 2014 3:37 utc | 24

demian et al > 17 --

I'd be tempted to say our Black and Tan Troll sold his soul. Or maybe rented it out, that sort of short-term commitment seems to appeal to the young people.

I had a look at the article by Kagarlitsky and his associate Koltashov on "Putin's Head". Given the title and way he talked about it in his comments, when the Saker first posted it I didn't follow the link. But the discussion got me curious, and I was surprised to find that it was long-standing socialist dissident Boris Kagarlitsky who had been described as Russophobe.

Esp. after Ulster was kind enough to point me to the Manifesto of the People's Front for the Liberation of Ukraine, New Russia and Carpathian Rus. Kagarlitsky was leading participant in the meeting over the summer that drafted it (see a report from a participant)

They see Putin not as an autocrat, but as a broker, a balancer, writing that "his power is based on compromise, the balance of forces and the building of collective government of the country, for an oligarchic regime by its very nature is incompatible with personal power." They also point to the trouble that Putin in fully controlling the state bureaucracy.

Here I would have to disagree with the Saker when he says "Putin is the Russian authorities" in his comments. All leaders, even dictators, have to work through subordinates, and I would be surprised if all of them were totally loyal and perfectly obedient at all times.

"The West intends to play a power game in the long negotiations with Moscow [as] the USA and the EU understand that Russian liberals are now stronger and will stubbornly search for compromise. Dmitry Medvedev has already declared that a 'rebooting of relations'... , that is, to normal trade without sanctions. For the sake of that, the ruling class will go for anything.... If a resolution of the issue... requires the presenting of Putin’s head, that is how the issue will be resolved.

"But Russia is not a banana republic or a small East European country, where one can simply organize a color revolution, gathering several thousand activists of 'civil society' on one of the central squares. Only Putin himself can remove Putin’s head for the USA - and by no means only through carelessness."

I'm not sure what to make about the conclusion, where he evokes the Donbas and Gorbachev. But I do think they over-rate the possibility of coup, like Gorbachev faced. And it's clear they're critical of the continued dependence of the economy on raw material exports and the Russian establishment's keeping it that way.

They may well be over-estimating the extent of opposition to Putin. But clearly some Russian political figures share with the West the desire to weaken Putin and Russia's independence. "For the US and the EU, it is not only important to stop the process of post-Soviet integration that Moscow has initiated, or to block Russia’s territorial, commercial and industrial rebirth.... The regime in Russia must become more liberal and openly pro-western, and its economics firmly peripheral. Such is the plan of the liberal revolution."

Posted by: rufus magister | Oct 31 2014 3:56 utc | 25

there are tweets alwrweady putting the two photos side by side
@hrw. Image of 'repression in Russia' is grieving victim of #Odessa Massacre - in #Ukraine.

and here is HRW version

Posted by: brian | Oct 31 2014 3:58 utc | 26

NOTE this misuse of photos was used over and over to justify the war on libya and syria.atrocities in palestine or iraq or even mexico end up in articles on libya and syria

Posted by: brian | Oct 31 2014 4:00 utc | 27

Russian Spring


Summary from fronts by combatant Prokhorov

Since 6 a.m. clashes have been under way in Dzerzhinsk-Gorlovka area.

Skirmishes were registered in area of Debal`tsevo and in general in area of this half-caldron; in Maloorlovka, specifically (there, the Ukrainians scream terribly – well, this is guys for Kirovsk).

From afternoon, clashes resumed north of Debal`tsevo and south, Uglegorsk - the work of combatants of commander Bezler. From Gorlovka they work out at Uglegorsk (south) and Svetlodarsk (north of Debal`tsevo).

The Ukrainian intelligence takes seriously that the brigade of commander Mozgovoy, having covered its flank by the Severskiy Donets river, would cut the Debal`tsevo “ledge” and seize Artemovsk (north-west of Debal’tsevo). Giving that, they also expect a coordinated move by forces of commander Bezler. In short, a simultaneous attacks Pervomaysk-Artemovsk (Mozgovoy) and Gorlovka-Artemovsk (Bezler). Then, the caldron turned half-caldron would be neutralized by combatants’ detachments from Yenakievo. This is why Ukrainians are active toward Gorlova trying to forego such an attack.

Blasted at the Ukrainian outpost 31 (this is near settlement Smeloye, Lugansk’s north). In the air the Ukrainians scream for help again (their outpost 32 was recently similarly overthrown). Struck from mortars and added by AGSes (automatic grenade launchers) - destroyed some engineering and transportation equipment. The outpost’s personnel lost 2 “200th” (killed) – this is initial count. The shelling proceeded. This reminds me something…

In Donetsk airport the fire exchange continued. Ukrainian reserves and depots were hit in village Tonen`koye (farther north of Avdeevka) by “Grad”. There is also information of clashes in Avdeevka.

One more thing, a prosecution was launched against the National Guards and paratroopers of the outpost 32 who left behind military equipment.

Posted by: Fete | Oct 31 2014 4:37 utc | 28


I think the visual of Putin's head on a platter is what freaked out Saker and some of his followers. The actual essay was very informative about Russian power politics and seemed to me to be quite sympathetic to Putin and the challenges he faces even as it disagrees with some of his policies.

Saying that elections and public support are Putin's primary power base is simplistic and naive but this comes from someone who thinks Putin has some divine religous mandate to rule Russia.

One thing is certain that Russia is in a weakened position with falling oil prices, sanctions and a renewed arms race that remind me of the situation during the Reagan Star Wars era.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Oct 31 2014 4:39 utc | 29

Brian @5 Why on earth would you give credence to Infowars...? First of all, while Morsi did spout support for the Syrian rebels, there was no way Morsi had the wherewithal to 'invade Syria'...! It basically boils down to, Bibi, and the Zionists, freaking out over Morsi's outreach to the Gazans, and, Bibi utilized his well-groomed military connections to the Egytian military to topple him...!

Did you notice that Sisi had just evicted and demolished a bunch of homes in the Sinai that directly abutted the Gazan border...?

Posted by: CTuttle | Oct 31 2014 4:49 utc | 30

@Wayoutwest #28:

Two other things that freaked me out is that ICH is ugly, and that the article has no link to the op-ed in the original Russian. I don't like reading English translations of Russian texts.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 31 2014 4:52 utc | 31

Demian at 30

Boy, that was quick, here's the original at You're right about ICH being a bit drab, they're a little slicker.

Wayout @ 28

I agree, it's fairly sympathetic and not an unfair analysis of the nature of the opposition. Econ. is a minus for Putin, but he get's big pluses on the politics. He's more than secure enough now, but sure to face further pressure from Anglo- and Euro-friendly public figures.

Posted by: rufus magister | Oct 31 2014 5:53 utc | 32

Posted by: CTuttle | Oct 31, 2014 12:49:28 AM | 29

Morsi(Musliem Brotherhood) didnt have the wherewithal but the egyptian army(defends secuilar egypt) would have....thats one reason why he was removed: theb other is he was setting up an islamist state, where only islamist parties can take part 9n elections

and please, may not like Infowars...i do, and the article is correct.

syria is the issue not palestine

Posted by: brian | Oct 31 2014 6:46 utc | 33

'Saying that elections and public support are Putin's primary power base is simplistic and naive but this comes from someone who thinks Putin has some divine religous mandate to rule Russia.

One thing is certain that Russia is in a weakened position with falling oil prices, sanctions and a renewed arms race that remind me of the situation during the Reagan Star Wars era.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Oct 31, 2014 12:39:47 AM | 28'

you mean like Moses?

your 'certainty' is not certain...tho you may be rubbing your hands together at the thought of the fall of wont happen thru oil...

FYI falling prices means local economy benefits

Posted by: brian | Oct 31 2014 6:49 utc | 34

Sisi using Israel tactics, ethnic cleansing.

Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 31 2014 8:47 utc | 35

Falling oil prices mean serious revenue shortfalls for Russia. They still depend on oil for nearly 50% of their income. And The Ruble is as low as it was ever since they revalued it in the 90's.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Oct 31 2014 9:31 utc | 36

@17 Why do you hate Russia so much that you're enjoying its self-ordered slide into darkness of isolation, xenophobia and nationalism again? I have Russian origins, was born in USSR, I visit Russia frequently and I'm just scared with what is happening there right now. It feels like beginning of 30's again and it's not going to be good time for ordinary Russians.

Posted by: Ulster | Oct 31 2014 9:47 utc | 37

Russia win again! Ukraine really is a failed state.

Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 31 2014 9:57 utc | 38

@24 You don't understand one key thing when writing about "weakening Putin and Russia's independence". Nowadays Russia is not independent. Quite the opposite - it's extremely dependent on the prices of oil and gas. It's not banana republic, but it is a perfect example of "resource curse". The society structure is feudal - if you've got krysha, you're rich because you get the share of the stream of oil money. If you don't have krysha, those who do can do anything with you - they can can take your land, company, house, kill you, whatever. This lack of justice and stability will unevitably lead to another 1917, with or without external support. This is why I'm concerned about Russia, not because of some imaginary Russophobia which for you gentlemen is equivalent with any form of criticism of the Russian policy.

Posted by: Ulster | Oct 31 2014 10:06 utc | 39

@17 Why do you hate Russia so much that you're enjoying its self-ordered slide into darkness of isolation, xenophobia and nationalism again? I have Russian origins, was born in USSR, I visit Russia frequently and I'm just scared with what is happening there right now. It feels like beginning of 30's again and it's not going to be good time for ordinary Russians.

Posted by: Ulster | Oct 31, 2014 5:47:55 AM | 36


Posted by: brian | Oct 31 2014 10:35 utc | 40

@39 Critique of government policy is not equivalent to hatred of nation, as Demian tries to imply. Otherwise anyone criticising US policies should be called obsessed haters, which is obvious nonsense. Kremlin's paranoia and nationalism is bad for Russia. I am part Russian and I don't accept what the Russian administration is doing because I remember where these took us last time - what is difficult to understand here?

Posted by: Ulster | Oct 31 2014 12:48 utc | 41


The only paranoid boy are you, russian government have support for atleast 70% according to polls. You are a facist obviously, you cant accept that the people of Russia, support Russia.
As I have said before, you have been brainwashed by your elders, you dont know the facts, simple as that. Get a job and a life and stop worrying and get rid of your fascists views.

Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 31 2014 12:53 utc | 42

40;Well the Soviets took you from serfdom and impoverishment of the masses to a modern if somewhat consumer unfriendly state.And any Russian expatriate who believes Putin is the problem is probably infected with Zionism or pinkism,or both.
Brian;Why do you back the midget Sissy,and his golden braids over democracy?Islamism is just the end result of decades of Western intervention and will eventually moderate when its finally left to its own business,whenever that will be,And the caliphate scares not one bit,as it is not coming here,to America,so what do you care?

Posted by: dahoit | Oct 31 2014 13:03 utc | 43

Ulster @ 38 --

The problem of well-connected oligarchs being above the law is hardly unique to Russia.

And what exactly would be your solution to the problem? Since it's disaffected oligarchs that figure prominently amongst the "loyal opposition"?

Russia is not independent? Right... it's oh so compliant to "Washington consensus" on austerity and privatization. That's why Wash. wants a color revolution in Russia, 'cause it's so reliably subservient....

Posted by: rufus magister | Oct 31 2014 13:47 utc | 44

That HRW ad or whatever it is is being misinterpreted, it's actually even more insidious. It's directed at the segment of readers/viewers who know that those are Uk police and not Russians. It's showing that 'something' just happened that was obviously Putins fault, and they came to the rescue of this poor woman. It shows them as Ukrainian heroes, it shows the civilians in anguish...and of course, whatever the lady is wailing about, again, is definitely Putin's fault.

Of course the less informed will look at the pic and assume these are Russian shock troops or something. And that works too.

Posted by: L Bean | Oct 31 2014 14:02 utc | 45

From TRNN on: Why is Putin hanging on to Assad?

Posted by: ben | Oct 31 2014 14:14 utc | 46

@45 Why is the U.S. interested in ousting Assad?

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Oct 31 2014 14:30 utc | 47

@ 46: "Why is the U.S. interested in ousting Assad?"

IMO, because America is run by greedy assholes.

P.S. It's only a dicussuion.

Posted by: ben | Oct 31 2014 14:38 utc | 48

@47: Make that "discussion" :)

Posted by: ben | Oct 31 2014 14:42 utc | 49

@43 You ask about solution to the problem, but it depends whose problem you want to solve? As for now, this group seems to prefer solving problems of the current elites roofed by Putin. Their problem seems to be mainly internal and external criticism of corruption, theft and lack of rule of law, and they're solving it by the only means they know - cutting the criticism by force. The corruption and lack of rule of law on the other hand are problems of the society (and no, it's a magnitude that doesn't even closely compare to US or EU). If you want to solve these problems, there's no silver bullet - it's all about, well, applying the law. Russia in general has pretty good and modern laws, it's just that it's applied very selectively. It also has to reduce the hugely overgrown public sector and security forces, which are recruited mostly by family ties and are not very professional, which you can see in Russia all the time. Free speech and transparency of the public sector are also critical in disarming the social conflicts, including national, and there are plenty of them in Russia. Start that now and in 10 years Russia will be a modern country, ready to compete with China or US on both economical and social level. Now it's not and it will be getting worse with the current approach.

Posted by: Ulster | Oct 31 2014 14:49 utc | 50

From RT :

Posted by: ben | Oct 31 2014 14:49 utc | 51

L'akratique @ 6. (Gas deal Ukr-Russia, which is in fact a gas deal Ukr-W.)

What Ukraine won’t / can’t pay will be paid by the IMF and the EU. The IMF put off sending along their second tranche from soon to next year, as all this is really outside their mandate, or even illegal as in contrary to their statutes. (IMF is controlled de jure and de facto by the US.) I suppose that has been settled now. There was talk of a ‘bridging’ loan by the EU to close that gap, many weeks ago, but the EU at first refused. Somehow they have cobbled together some arrangement. I don’t have the numbers, I will hunt them up some time, too soon now.

The W is terrified of more Maidans / social explosions / crazed xyz actions in Ukraine, and see no alternative to shelling out. This was of course imho the threat that was brandished by Poro and Yats. Russia made some concessions.

The issue of repaying past debts is not really settled.

The deadline for Ukraine to repay the remaining gas debt is not stipulated in an interim deal reached between Moscow and Kiev, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller said on Friday. for more details:

This is really a last-ditch measure to keep the taps open. But it is very fragile, dicey.

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 31 2014 15:49 utc | 52

@52 noirette. thanks for that overview. much appreciated.

Posted by: james | Oct 31 2014 18:11 utc | 53

Ulster @ 50 --

As usual, very general pieties. Problems of corruption and violence stem from the break-up of the Soviet Union, which no doubt you approved of. Putin has brought the oligarchs under a degree of control.

Which party or politician would you say would do a better job than Putin, how might they come to gain the trust of the Russian people? Your guy Piotkovsky's delirious "proof" of Nororussiyan "fascism" appeared on Kasparov's web-site. I assume your one of his publiicists, from you slick PR-style evasions.

Here are the problems I'm interested in. The big one -- How do you create organs of mass mobilization that can create true political and economic democracy, throughout our shrinking, poisoned planet?

A little more focused -- by what means can Novorossiya best exercise it right to self-determination and resist an IMF-imposed and -financed fascist regime?

You don't really have anything to say on these questions, it seems to me.

Posted by: rufus magister | Oct 31 2014 19:03 utc | 54

@54 There are many ways the could exercise their right to self-determination, just like people did that in Scotland, debating and preparing for the referendum for a few years. How it was done in Ukraine - taking administration buildings by armed masked men and killing local politicians (Rybakov) - was definitely not the right way to do it. Ukrainian reaction at that moment was fully justified. The new Ukrainian government could do more to help stabilize Donbass before this happened, but arrogance is rather typical for this region. Just look how Russia reacts to slightest attempts to "exercise their right to self-determination", like proposed federalisation of Siberia or Kuban. They were immediately pacified by police - and the proponents merely wanted to create new subjects of the Russian Federation, fully compliant with their constitution, not separate from it. It's all about showing who's got bigger testicles, not finding compromise.

P.S. problem with corruption does not stem from break up of USSR; all these pathologies were endemic in USSR, and before USSR

Posted by: Ulster | Oct 31 2014 20:02 utc | 55

Is it just me or is Brian taking up half the space of the thread alone?

Posted by: Massinissa | Oct 31 2014 20:08 utc | 56

FIFA promo World Cup Football 2018
Nice! Russia promotes nation with Crimea included on map – see video at 18 sec.

Posted by: Oui | Oct 31 2014 20:19 utc | 57

Ulster at 55 --

Pardon me? You had the mafiya shooting people up under Brezhnev to gain control over the former collective property of the Soviet people? The insider dealing of the nomenklatura was chump change. The IMF-engineered cash privatization and destruction of the Soviet economy increased the existing pathologies by orders of magnitude.

How was done at Maidan? Shooting about a 100 from the Hotel Ukraine, roughing up the Rada, setting fire to the Odessa Profsoyuz bldg. and killing dozens. "Glory to the heroes...."

Posted by: rufus magister | Oct 31 2014 20:29 utc | 58

@rufus magister #32:

Thanks for the link, but that article has been deleted.

Can you tell me anything about I had never heard of it before. Looks like a sixth column Web site to me, and so better left ignored.

Posted by: Demian | Nov 1 2014 0:26 utc | 59

Demian @ 59 --

That's puzzling. I just tried the Rabkor homepage, different design from what I saw yesterday (beige vs. red). Could be a relaunch, lets hope so. It's clearly a leftist site from the name (a early Soviet abbreviation for rabochii korrespondent, worker-correspondent).

Posted by: rufus magister | Nov 1 2014 1:33 utc | 60

@Ulster just shut up - Putin isn't hitler and Russia isn't Nazi. Instead Nazis got their asses kicked by Novyrussians. Stay mad though, or whatever it is you're being.

Posted by: jisdj | Nov 1 2014 3:19 utc | 61

Russian Spring


Summary from fronts by combatant Prokhorov

Reported a combat in Donetsk airport; the Ukrainians strike from Avdeevka. A reciprocal strike from Kirovsk (Pervomaysk region) has gone to Gorskoye and Popasnaya

In area of Bakhmutka (river, highway – between Smeloye and Frunze, Lugansk) Ukrainian outpost 29 was struck by "Grad"; one rocket hit a fortified dugout (bunker) – meat inside, people first. Something more than scream is heard on the air – the real howl. On the air, outpost 31 reported 1 fallen and 2 wounded paratroopers from 80th brigade after a shelling.

A unit of 80th brigade of paratroopers was ambushed by combatants’ reconnaissance group in area of Severodonetsk (far rear, north-west of Pervomaysk). Confirmed so far are 1 fallen, 3 wounded and 1 destroyed APC.

Russian Spring


Situation overview from 1st Inter-Brigade of South-East:

Mariupol` - tension continues to build-up: the combatants and the punitive troops conduct reciprocal attacks. Ukrainian media relay a panicking commander of battalion “Azov” warning of combatants’ readiness to storm city Berdyansk, and that a new caldron is forming under Mariupol`.

Lugansk – confirmed by Ukraine, very tense situation is in Schast’ye. Over the night the combatants shelled holed in the electric power plant nazis 3 times by tanks and mortars. Encircling of the punitive troops from west and north-west also continues.

The vote in Novorossia scheduled after tomorrow. In the light of recent events in Lugansk of the really cruel neutralizing of outposts, and Ukraine sagging to Russia’s conditions on the natural gas issue, it is quite curious would the junta resolve to the offensive.


Civilians – 1/7
Punitive troops – 1/4 (Council of National Security and Defense’s version); 42/12 – per combatants’ data

Posted by: Fete | Nov 1 2014 4:53 utc | 62

HRW made to apologise for using grieving woman in odessa as eg of Putins repression

Sharmine Narwani ‏@snarwani 19h19 hours ago
Perhaps @hrw would like to explain this? @nadimhoury #Ukraine

Nadim Houry ‏@nadimhoury 15h15 hours ago
@snarwani Correction: HRW apologizes for mistaken use of Odessa, Ukraine photo

BUT wont apologise to Putin...

Posted by: brian | Nov 1 2014 6:04 utc | 63

@58 Corruption was very prevalent in pre-revolutionary Russia (remember Gogol's Revisor?) and in USSR (there was deficit of everything, so you had to pay bribes to get it). Everyone is wondering why Putin couldn't end the plague of corruption and theft with his authoritative rule, but I have already explained that he cannot because his rule is not really so strong. His power comes from the clans (oligarchs, administration, army, cops) and they are those who steal, so they are mutually dependent. And interestingly I have just found an article by Skobov who says pretty much the same.

Posted by: Ulster | Nov 1 2014 9:46 utc | 64

;The question is which side organized the snipers massacre. This paper is the first academic study of this crucial case of the mass killing. Analysis of a large amount of evidence in this study suggests that certain elements of the Maidan opposition, including its extremist far right wing, were involved in this massacre in order to seize power and that the government investigation was falsified for this reason.'

Posted by: brian | Nov 1 2014 11:16 utc | 65


The elites of the USSR were petty criminals compared to the masters of crime that came from the US and elsewhere to teach the Capitalist version of real oppulent corruption after the fall.

Our experts showed them how to skim billions behind the patina of Rule Of Law and the bankers were happy to invest their lucre in offshore accounts where Free Markeeters keep score of their games of pillage.

As long as Russia plays Capitalism it too will be corrupt, it's a feature not a flaw, as we see almost every week as some enterprise is caught, in the US, with it's hand in the till.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 1 2014 15:08 utc | 66

Ulster @ 64 --

Had you bothered to read my responses to you over on the Ukraine thread, you would find I already quoted Skorov to that effect from the interview in Russian Life. And you would see I agreed in part. Putin came to power with a weak base, and I believe Yeltsin's gang expected to use him as a front. But with the support of the power ministries (and subsequent public approval) he's taken a firmer degree of control over the apparat than Yeltsin enjoyed or he was expected to have.

Please do try to follow along, won't you, my Black and Tan friend?

And so at long last, then, you would agree -- one cannot necessarily blame Putin for everything that his subordinates do, that powerful enemies remain in responsible posts and can act on their own? And perhaps in contact with the civil opposition?

I know the play, known as "The Inspector General" in English. There's a wonderful Hollywood version with Danny Kaye (1949) as the street performer mistaken for a Tsarist official ca. 1820 by some corrupt provincial notables.

Gogol is great stuff. I read "Nos" ("The Nose") in grad. school, title character becomes a senior civil servant (yes, really; it blew my mind, too). And what's the name of the story about the low-level functionary who loses his prize coat and dies from semi-official neglect? I gotta read "Dead Souls."

to Wayout @ 66 --

I could not agree more with you on as the elite as formerly only "petty criminals" and "its not flaw its a feature" -- corruption everywhere is a sort of manual override to democracy.

Posted by: rufus magister | Nov 1 2014 16:13 utc | 67

The biggest column of Russian troops and warfare so far has just entered Lugansk and Donetsk.

Posted by: Ulster | Nov 1 2014 21:56 utc | 68

The biggest column of Russian troops and warfare so far has just entered Lugansk and Donetsk.

Posted by: Ulster | Nov 1, 2014 5:56:47 PM | 68

so is the western media reporting on this?

Posted by: brian | Nov 2 2014 0:19 utc | 69

Russians understand history:

Telegraph: Russia accuses Poland of starting Second World War

"Anyone who has been minded to study the history of the Second World War knows it started because of Poland's refusal to meet Germany's requests," the statement read. "The German demands were very modest. You could hardly call them unfounded."

Appearing to take Germany's demands at face value, the defence ministry insisted that the Nazis were interested only in building transport links across the Polish Corridor to East Prussia and assuming control of Gdansk, which had been designated as a free city at the time.

(h/t to DeepResource)

Posted by: Demian | Nov 2 2014 1:49 utc | 70

Russian Spring


Commentary: The Army of Donetsk Republic is amassing great number of combat units and armored hardware to forestall possible attack by junta forces. Volunteers-antifascists from neighboring states are streaming in Novorossia to defend sovereignty of the budding People Republics.

As the intelligence data suggested, the Military Force of Ukraine plans to storm Donetsk on elections day November 2. To defend the capital of Republic, hundreds units of combat hardware and volunteer personnel have arrived in the city. Donetsk is filled with forces.

Russian Spring


Commentary: Fist (former) Minister of Defense of Donetsk Republic Igor` Strelkov acknowledged emerged rumors about General-Major Igor` Bezler leaving his post as the commander of Gorlovka combatants’ forces.

“Confirm the retirement of Bezler” – informed the ex-Minister of Donetsk Republic.

He answered the question “of his (Bezler’s) destination”:

“So far he is “in reserve” on the peninsula”.

A Bezler’s associate assured he was not forced to retire – the “exit” was his decision. The associate did not name the reason for this decision, but remarked he did not want “entanglement in politics”

Posted by: Fete | Nov 2 2014 4:45 utc | 71


So... the Poles had it coming to them and WWII was not caused by German aggression but by Polish intransigence in the face of polite Nazi requests?

I guess you're just running it up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes? Maybe James ...

Posted by: jfl | Nov 2 2014 7:00 utc | 72

@71 Volunteers-antifascists from neighboring states are streaming in Novorossia - do you really believe that "volunteers" can bring a 3 km long column of military trucks and "Grads"?

@72 This news was from 2009 and, apart from being obvious nonsense, forgets to mention that Russia joined their allies two weeks later, entering from the east.

Posted by: Ulster | Nov 2 2014 8:32 utc | 73

Yeah, despite CIA/NATO support the West-Ukies are likely to get trounced by Novorossians with Russian support.
Any problem?

Posted by: acrimonious | Nov 2 2014 15:58 utc | 74

List of "international observers" on today's election in Novorossiya gives an interesting hint on the political preferences of its government. Looks like among various European political activists they could only recruit extreme far-right ones, as even the far-left was too disgusted to come (except for two stalinists from Greece).

Posted by: Ulster | Nov 2 2014 16:00 utc | 75


They are more than welcome, only a facist like yourself would deny observers.

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 2 2014 16:12 utc | 76

Ulster @ 75 --

If I might have yr. attn. for a moment, a question on your source, if you would, please.

Why is it called ,in the link you so kindly provided, a "List of Fake Monitors"? (

Posted by: rufus magister | Nov 2 2014 17:00 utc | 77

@77 I believe it's because Russian media have claimed for a while that OSCE is monitoring these elections. Thus the title on Interpreter Magazine.

Posted by: Ulster | Nov 2 2014 19:18 utc | 78

Incumbent PM Zakharchenko leads in Donetsk elections with over 80% – exit poll

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 2 2014 20:01 utc | 79

East Ukraine Holds Elections

' "The German government will not recognize these illegitimate elections," said a German official on Friday, after Chancellor Angela Merkel had a joint telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. '

The Germans seem to be the drive wheel in the locomotive bearing down on eastern Ukraine.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 2 2014 20:16 utc | 80

To Ulster at 77

Thanks for clearing that up -- a little more context for your list would have been nice, the url for the website's article would have been better than for the jpeg. It is apparently incomplete, and the error limited.

I found this on at on Self-proclaimed Donbass republics vote to elect leaders, MPs - "At least 70 observers from a number of countries, including France, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Israel, Great Britain and others are monitoring the elections. However, observers from the OSCE are not attending."

Posted by: rufus magister | Nov 2 2014 20:49 utc | 81

@jfl #72

I realize that it would be morally simpler if the Danzig Corridor issue were just some contrivance of the Nazis, but it wasn't. Poland had frustrated the efforts of the Weimar government to settle the issue under the terms of the Locarno Treaty. Of course, the Nazi annexation of Czechoslovakia entirely changed the context of the issue. WWII broke out as a conflict between Bad Guys and Worse Guys.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Nov 2 2014 22:56 utc | 82

Looks like the elections came off pretty smoothly, with Kiev accomplishing nothing more than a couple of busted infiltration attempts and another impotent hissy fit. It speaks well of NR's territorial control that Kiev wasn't even able to manage disruption behind the lines. The renewed squeals from Kiev about "Russian" forces seems to be a cover story for failure to launch an assault on Donetsk. But I suspect that the real reason has more to do with losing control on other sections of their front.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Nov 2 2014 23:12 utc | 83

Happy Halloween from the Most Violent Ruling Class in Human History

In George Jackson's seminal text and manifesto, Blood in my Eye, the revolutionary author rightfully explains that the US

"is a huge nation dominated by the most reactionary and violent ruling class in the history of the world, where the majority of the people just simply cannot understand that they are existing on the misery and discomfort of the world."

George Jackson's words have never been more real in the flesh in the 21st century. US imperialism's continued War on Terror has left millions dead in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Obama Administration is what Cornel West calls the drone presidency. It has killed thousands of people in the Middle East and Africa with unmanned, million dollar gadgets. Hundreds of thousands have lost their lives in the Administration's three-year imperialist-backed proxy war waged on Syria and Libya. In Ukraine, the US ruling class has fully backed a coup-regime responsible for the deaths of thousands of Ukrainians who refuse to allow their country to become a vassal state for the West.

May they continue to refuse to allow their country to become e vassal state for the West.

Saker has a video in which Strelkov solicits help for the Palestinians of Gaza ... I mean the people of east Ukraine.

Venezuela continues to deliver aid to Palestine ... itself nearly forgotten now, having been dealt it's 15 days+ of violent abuse by the Zionists, for the third time during the ailent reign of the Nobel Peace Prize President.

During the most recent Gazan holocaust the Palestinians were, of course, billed as 'terrorists' and now, of course, the people of east Uraine are billed as 'terrorists' as the US/German-backed Nazis in Kiev bombard them as mercilessly as the Zionists bombarded Gaza.

Who cannot be filled with revulsion now at the very thought of what our USA has become, or at the sound of the voice of Barack the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Obama?

Posted by: jfl | Nov 3 2014 0:18 utc | 84

@84 Great post. Venezuela - despite the media and bankster vultures ginning up a phony default - has never been more proud as it takes its seat on the Security Council having just stared down the latest pathetic US attempt at overthrowing their democratically elected government.

"In 2011, there was jubilation at Gaddafi's demise. Not any more: the aftermath of foreign intervention is calamitous and bloody"

Let me rewrite that for you, Mr. Cockburn: "In 2011, the world had many warnings that the fanatic-led, imperialist attack on Libya, and Gaddafi's subsequent murder, would be for the worst. We told you three years ago: the aftermath of foreign intervention WILL BE calamitous and bloody"

People who promoted the war in Libya should all be hanging their heads in shame. Africa's shining star has been reduced to another Somalia.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 3 2014 1:57 utc | 85

Great news: Brazil Builds Internet Cable To Portugal To Avoid NSA Surveillance

I don't suspect it will be entirely safe from US snooping, but it is a start. Soon the world will begin to connect itself organically, and move away from using the US-centric internet. And make no mistake: this is the result of the Snowden leaks.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 3 2014 1:59 utc | 86

Just to add to @85: Dozens of Libyans in eastern town pledge allegiance to ISIS leader

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 3 2014 2:03 utc | 87

Russian">">Russian Spring


Commentary: Prime-Minister of Donetsk Republic Aleksandr Zakharchenko refuted information that the prominent commander of combatants’ Gorlovka brigade General-Major Igor` Bezler has quitted:

- What happened to Bezler, has he retired? – the Prime-Minister was asked by journalists.

- This information is not true. Bezled has left for a business, - answered Zakharchenko.

Russian Spring


Situation overview from 1st Inter-Brigade of South-East:

… Also, reports arrive about combatants drew close to “suburbs of Mariupol`”, having shifted the front line to the very city, which is devoid of Ukrainians (where they vanished is not elaborated)…

… Overall, the election day, on which we were threatened of imaginable offence by Ukrainians, has passed relatively quiet (both in sense of provocations and in the part of combat situation)…

Civilians - 0/1
Punitive troops - 3/7

Posted by: Fete | Nov 3 2014 3:54 utc | 88

Israel Follows Egypt in Closing All Gaza Crossings
Gaza Strip Entirely Cut Off From World

The Israeli military has followed Egypt’s lead today and closed all of its border crossings with the Gaza Strip indefinitely. Between the two, there are no longer any crossings into Gaza.

[W]ith Egypt’s junta seemingly set for a permanent closure of Gaza, Israel will have dramatically more leverage in allowing humanitarian aid into the tiny Palestinian enclave. With pushes for reconstruction in the strip, expect Israel to try to dictate terms heavily on access.

The final solution is at hand. And from all of us in the 'civilized world' it's ... too bad, soo sad. Nothing can be done.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 3 2014 6:25 utc | 89

International Observers Surprised With Kiev’s Intention to Declare Them Persona Non Grata

DONETSK, November 2 (RIA Novosti) – The foreign observers, monitoring the elections in the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk people's republics in eastern Ukraine expressed concern over Kiev's intention to declare them persona non grata.

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 3 2014 6:43 utc | 90

Ребят, а здесь есть кто нибудь из Савушкина 55? Привет всем :)

Posted by: Саша | Nov 3 2014 11:20 utc | 91

I found an excellent book this morning at BTDigg - To Kill A Nation The Attack On Yugoslavia M Parenti 2000 - The US American Template for Ukraine - and tried to post a link to the page, but typepad didn't like it, apparently. You can just paste the book's title into the search at BTDigg ... it's an org. not a com ... and it'll come up on top.

I imagine that many people here have read it already. but with history repeating right before my eyes I find its prescience amazing. It's like a(n) (dis)assembly line ... Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine ... Civil war and devastation. How truly vile is the Empire and ... run by corporations ... how truly inhuman. Automatons to the top.

They used to talk about a 'neutron bomb' that would kill all the people but leave all their stuff. Now it's devastate each nation's infrastructure - most of all destroy any society that is making a go of it outside of the 'Washington consensus' - leaving all the resources. including the people, the 'labor force', devastated, destitute and desperate, with no means left them to protect themselves from the rapacious imperial machine, ready to be cheaply exploited.

Germany's role in the destruction of Yugoslavia was huge. Too. Of course they've 'been there done that', as Bush XLI was fond of saying, and all they had to do was sweep the dust off the jacket of the same old playbook and start in again.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 3 2014 11:31 utc | 92

Any german here could answer this question?

What are teh view on Russia/Ukraine among the political leaders?
Merkel is said to be somewhat objective, but what are the general views for the other political leaders?

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 3 2014 14:12 utc | 93

Michael Parenti, To Kill a Nation : the attack on Yugoslavia, Verso Press, London, 2000



Whatever the issue or policy at hand, it is the function of bourgeois intellectuals, academics among them, to deny that material interests are at stake. So with the NATO mission in the Balkans. While professing to having been discomforted by the aerial destruction of Yugoslavia, many liberals and progressives were convinced that “this time” the US national security state was really fighting the good fight.

“Yes, the bombings don’t work. The bombings are stupid!” they said at the time, "but we have to do something.”

In fact, the air campaign was worse than stupid: it was profoundly immoral. And in fact it did work, destroying much of what was left of Yugoslavia, moving it closer to becoming a more privatized, deindustrialized, recolonized, beggar-poor country of cheap labor and rich resources available at bargain prices, defenseless against capital penetration, so divided that it would never reunite, so battered that it would never rise again, not even as a viably competitive bourgeois country.

And so with Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine.

The rich … are led by an invisible hand to make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries of life, which would have been made, had the earth been divided into equal portions among all its inhabitants, and thus without intending it, without knowing it, advance the interest of the society, and afford means to the multiplication of the species.

-- Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759)

Posted by: jfl | Nov 4 2014 11:06 utc | 94

Henry Kissinger doesn't believe the words "Russian aggression".

Posted by: Willy2 | Nov 13 2014 17:36 utc | 95

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