Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 22, 2014

Open Thread 2014-28

News & views ...

Posted by b on November 22, 2014 at 19:03 UTC | Permalink

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SST: "A quarter century ago the Department of Defense clearly documented that Israel had a clandestine nuclear weapons program. Under the Symington and Glenn Amendments to the US Foreign Aid Act, at that very moment the United States was obligated by law to cut off all foreign aid to Israel.Instead, another $82 billion in foreign aid was provided to Israel by unwitting U.S. taxpayers."

Posted by: Maracatu | Nov 22 2014 19:14 utc | 1

Arrests are already starting in Ferguson and the grand jury has not even revealed whether it is going to indict Darren Wilson, the police who gunned down a weaponless teenager, Michael Brown, in broad daylight.

It strikes me that Ferguson is a significant, radical mobilizing platform, something not seen in the U.S. since Occupy fell the fall of 2011; and then, before that, the anti-Bush/anti-war movement 2002-2004.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Nov 22 2014 19:17 utc | 2

And from Ferguson to Mexico:

The Guardian: Thousands gathered in Mexico City on Thursday ahead of what was expected to be the largest demonstration so far over the students’ forced disappearance by municipal police in collusion with a local drug gang in the southern city of Iguala.
WSJ: U.S. Justice Department personnel are disguising themselves as Mexican Marines to take part in armed raids against drug suspects in Mexico, according to people familiar with the matter, an escalation of American involvement in battling drug cartels that carries significant risk to U.S. personnel.

Posted by: Maracatu | Nov 22 2014 19:37 utc | 3


..and it will likely grow if US keep shooting black unarmed people.

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 22 2014 19:58 utc | 4

When will this end?
how can west support these sick nazis?

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 22 2014 20:21 utc | 5

Policeman. Self-evidently.

Posted by: Petra | Nov 22 2014 20:57 utc | 6

@5 this photo is from 2010 miners protest in Mezhdurechinsk

Posted by: Eugen | Nov 22 2014 21:09 utc | 7

Ukraine, the USA and Canada rejected the resolution of grappling with Nazism in the UNO

The USA, Ukraine and Canada were the only states which voted against suggested resolution in the grapple with glorification of the Nazism. The resolution was put to the vote in the third Committee by the General Assembly of the UNO.

Just who is isolating whom? Canada and Ukraine join the others of the US' floating island 'nations' of the bellicose Pacific.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 22 2014 21:24 utc | 8


"Eugen" what is your usual nick at Moa?

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 22 2014 21:37 utc | 9

HRW: Ukraine regime use illegal arms


Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 22 2014 21:40 utc | 10

Cluster munition rockets were fired at eastern Ukrainian city of #Donetsk during official ceasefire - hrw

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 22 2014 21:42 utc | 11

Arrests before the Ferguson grand jury decision make the outcome pretty clear--as always, the white cop will get off.

Presumably, if Ferguson cops know what the outcome is, then sharing such knowledge is probably standard operating procedure, given the tight relationship between cops and prosecutors. And they probably also know the name, address, and details about the personal life of every grand juror (the DA's office probably tells them.) Grand jurors probably receive subtle hints about what their lives will be like if they cross the cops and the DA.

Serving on a grand jury is about the last thing you could wish on a decent citizen...

Posted by: JohnH | Nov 22 2014 21:45 utc | 12

Posted by: jfl | Nov 22, 2014 4:24:50 PM | 8

Ukraine and everone else in Europe except Belorus abstained.

The three no's are the US, Canada and the Marshall Islands.

The whole of the Middle East including Israel, Iran and Saudi Arabia (and Turkey) voted yes.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 22 2014 22:11 utc | 13

plus 12 - this here is the reason given by the EU for abstention

"The representative of Lithuania, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said she had abstained. The bloc remained committed to the global fight against the glorification of Nazism and other forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. It also welcomed a number of improvements to the text, including a change of title and an operative paragraph recognizing the role of media. However, some operative paragraphs contained language restricting the freedoms of expression, assembly and association, she noted."

This here seems to be the text

"4. Expresses deep concern about the glorification of the Nazi movement and former members of the Waffen SS organization, including by erecting monuments and memorials and holding public demonstrations in the name of the glorification of the Nazi past, the Nazi movement and neoNazism, as well as by declaring or attempting to declare such members and those who fought against the anti-Hitler coalition and collaborated with the Nazi movement participants in national liberation movements;

"5. Expresses concern at recurring attempts to desecrate or demolish monuments erected in remembrance of those who fought against Nazism during the Second World War, as well as to unlawfully exhume or remove the remains of such persons, and in this regard urges States to fully comply with their relevant obligations, inter alia, under article 34 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949;

Russia, Serbia and Belarus are the only European "Yes" states.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 22 2014 22:31 utc | 14

What You Need to Know About Michael Brown Ferguson Grand Jury Investigation Process

Posted by: Tom Murphy | Nov 22 2014 22:37 utc | 15

Somebody / 13

Dont be naive read the full text it has nothing to do with that reason you posted.

Posted by: Anonymous2 | Nov 22 2014 23:07 utc | 16

@somebody #13:

There's a discrepancy. The UN document you linked to says that the countries who voted against were the United States, Canada, and Palau, whereas Russian media are saying that the third country was Ukraine. I hope this isn't another screw up by the Russian foreign ministry, like when Lavrov talked about "hundreds" of bodies found in mass graves in Donbas.

Posted by: Demian | Nov 22 2014 23:15 utc | 17


Also you are wrong on another issue.
ukraine voted no, just check the record.

Posted by: Anonymous2 | Nov 22 2014 23:27 utc | 18

@Demian #16:

The vote is here (pdf). Palau voted yes and Ukraine voted no. So the UN report that somebody quoted at #13 lied. That is what things have come to. I found the link to the pdf file here.

Germany abstaining is pretty rich. There are no depths it will not reach to demonstrate its abject servility to the Empire.

Posted by: Demian | Nov 22 2014 23:34 utc | 19

Murphy @14--A very pro cop video that asserts that many witnesses said X, but also said that these witnesses would not not come forward and make public statements. Yet Murphy is somehow able to cite their testimony! How do we know that these statements weren't planted by police?

Wilson's statement fails to reconcile Wilson's statement that although he wrestled with Brown in the police car, he shot him because he feared for his life when Brown moved toward him! Can Wilson get his facts straight?

Finally, since when does moving toward a cop with no evidence of being armed constitute grounds for shooting to kill? Since when have warning shots and shots to disable been removed from a cops toolkit?

Posted by: JohnH | Nov 23 2014 0:58 utc | 20

19 Evidence is that there was Brown's blood in the cop's truck so it does support what he said. I am ready publicly available info.
Plus we can hear this guy saying Brown KEPT COMING TOWARD the cop:
and a witness said this: Brown staggered toward Wilson despite commands to stop.

Posted by: Tom Murphy | Nov 23 2014 2:06 utc | 21

Probably Brown went at Wilson, who had a right to respond, but the bigger issue is the facility with which cops use mortal force to kill young black men. There are reasonable alternatives to killing people in this day and age, many alternatives which might incapacitate w/o killing. Being dead is forever, they say.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 23 2014 2:52 utc | 22

Murphy--so Brown wrestled with Wilson in the cops car, left some blood, then went away 25', then turned around and staggered toward Wilson, at which point Wilson shot him dead? Yeah, right...

And what about the imperative to shoot to disable, not shoot to kill? Oh, I know, Wilson felt threatened by Brown, so he had to kill him, not disable or warn him. The same, lame alibi used by all cops who kill unarmed Blacks these days.

Posted by: JohnH | Nov 23 2014 3:05 utc | 23

Russian Spring


Operative summary from combatant Prokhorov

Following Peski seizure the war shifts toward Avdeevka (shells were pouring it over today) and Mar`inka (“Grad” had worked at it just a while ago) (Peski is north, Mar`inka – west of Donetsk).

Had worked at Karlovka and Krasnogorovka (a bit north of Mar`inka).

But in area of Debal`tsevo is reverse – Ukranians have become active; bombard Nikishino and Petropavlovka (south of Debal`tsevo bulge/half-caldron). The combatants worked at Chernukhino (just east of Debal`tsevo) in return.

Towards Mariupol`, Ukrainian outposts near Chemalik and Nikolayevka were bombarded.

In Lugansk direction, Ukrainians, dug in Thermal Power Plant, also occurred under “the dispensing” again.

Russian Spring


Short operative summary from combatant Prokhorov

Clashes in Stanitsa Luganskaya do not abate. Bakhmutka is being worked at.

Clashes continue near Dzerzhinsk (against combatants’ Gorlovka).

Yesterday, in Donetsk airport, attempting to enter its territory, 2 APCs of 95th brigade were liquidated (data from Ukrainians)

Russian Spring


Summary from fronts by combatant Prokhorov

Well, let's wait for renewed women’s mutinies.

From Media:
“To respond to existing threats, there are plans to increase Ukrainian Military Force. And not just by number of personnel, but also by technological level, amount of weaponry and hardware - Minister of Defense Stepan Poltorak declared”.

The 4th wave of mobilization is under way.

Civilians – 3/4
Combatants ?/2
Punitive troops 4/10

Posted by: Fete | Nov 23 2014 3:07 utc | 24


Rappaport views Furgeson as a 'honeypot' for attracting, identifying and disappearing populist leaders, and as a racist distraction of the country in the face of an almost certain Corporates United takeover in 2015 following the Republican victory at the polls, much the same way as Afghanistan became a 'honeypot' for capturing terrorist leaders, so that their terrorist movements could be sculpted by Pentagon puppets into a 'Surge-Then-Retaken' perpetual war-profiteering Kabuki theater, now presided over by a coalition of an IMF banker and a CIA operative.

Not only will Neo-Trotskyists under McCain be freed by All-Republican Congress to fully 'revolutionize' Covert-War-All-The-Time by funding both al-Nusra and The Caliph to open the way to Damascus, but McCain can better control theater ops to hide the efforts of 'NATO Security Forces' in the post-Assad-overthrow effort, as they deliberately disable and deactivate Syria's advanced air defense systems.

Once the radars go out, Bibi is free to launch Israel's Operation Dark Alley surgical attack on Iran, using nuclear bunker busters provided by SecDef Panetta, after his sale of in-flight refueling tankers and radar jamming gear, together with Boeing upgrades on Israel's fighter-bombers to nuclear launch-rail capacity (as WSJ reported in 2012), and as we reported here on MoA more than a year ago.

Panetta 'lost track of' $1,000,000,000,000 at the Pentagon in his brief four year stint. Surely a sizable portion of that $1T went to Israel, and to MENA Dark Ops within the Pentagon for McCain's Perpetual Warfare.

So that's the 'given' in today's news, and I'd like to advance one step into the unknown of what AfriCom is doing in Africa, with over 50 US bases, depots and FOBs already in place, and in some countries, more than 50% of the arable farmlands aggregated by their tin-pot dictators, and leased away to EU corporate agribusiness, as example, the massive flower-growing operation run out of Kenya, while indigent farmers are stripped of their lands and forced into grim jobless urban ghettos to starve and die as the world's 100 millions of 'disappeared' artisans.

That's what 'Drug War' is about ... the Doles, Del Montes and Chiquitas.

So that's the 'known unknown' for what comes after Syria. And since it's an open mike, let's advance one step further to 'unknown unknown'.

Where I live, we are seeing totally new and disturbing agricultural viruses. One is stripping broad-leaved crops like a comb of razors, leaving them curled in tight ribbons. Another broad leaf crop turns spotted, pale green, then begins to twist and curl up, until the leaves are shrunken into gnarled arthritic hands, ...then the upper stem rots.

These are important agricultural crops, where losses are devastating.

Is it possible the Neo Trotskyist Dark Ops extend even to destroying with *engineered* viruses 10,000s of agricultural varietals developed over 10,000 years of artisanal agriculture, to make way for already-developed Monsanto immune versions, so they can shove aside the GMO Refusniks and be Salvation Army to farmers, even if it's a patented monocrop, and one that promises only poisons-and-seeds-debt-slavery?

Their trope-de-juere as a psychosocial screed about "plant diseases are spreading because of 'Global Warming'" is just so damned convenient, so plausibly Dark Ops written! "Oh, it's the Global Warming! And it's all your fault!! You must trust Science! You must pay USA a Global Carbon Tithe, so we can more effectively complete the Indigent Lands Takeover."

(I offer this because our artisanal 40-acre homestead was taken over by a multinational corporation, after a virus destroyed our pea crop, so it's not like it's Hunger Games fiction, ...this happened 20 years ago.)

Then, is it possible that Ebola is the Fourth Reich's Final Solution?
All the Pentagon biowarfare labs that were outsourced to Africa are in the very countries that are seeing ebola outbreaks now. And are we sure that the so-called "imam" who infected Mali after getting an 'all clear test', wasn't actually sent on his way as a deniable Typhoid Mary?

Ebola could be as big a money-maker as Bush-Cheney's $4T Holy Oil Wars.

I mean, with global trade collapsing, and QEn tapped out, you don't honestly expect the UberMenschen to just sit and drink schnapps, neh?

Posted by: ChipNikh | Nov 23 2014 4:23 utc | 25

The United Nation on Friday voted a resolution for combatting the glorification of nazism.
Only three Countries voted NO. US, Canada and Ukraine.

Posted by: Umberto Z | Nov 23 2014 4:59 utc | 26

Just another day in Cleveland Ohio-

... shooting comes amid a 24-hour span where seven people were slain by gunfire, including a 17-year-old girl and a newborn child. A 10-year-old girl was also shot.

Posted by: Black Jack | Nov 23 2014 5:13 utc | 27

Posted by: Demian | Nov 22, 2014 6:15:56 PM | 16

Hey, that is interesting. The vote I linked to is dated 2012. Do they vote on this ritually every year? And what happened to the Marshall Islands? We know what happened to Ukraine.

Europe's and Germany's position are bad but no surprise, see Bitburg controversy.

There has been the conscious use of old Eastern European Fascist networks ever since the start of the cold war. You can trace it to Radio Free Europe, you can trace it to Genscher and Croatia, you can trace it to the grand children of Ukrainian expats now active in Ukraine.

And yes, it has always been done under the cover of "freedom".

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2014 5:41 utc | 28

From the past 1996, German position on Slovenia and Croatia

Brief translation: "We should not oppose categorically any changes in the borders of Eastern Europe"

How things change ...

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2014 5:47 utc | 29

Two Innocent, Black Men Absolved after 40 Years in US Jail
'So sorry'. Better 'luck' with the rest of your life.

NY Police Kill Unarmed, Black Father in 'Accident'
'So sorry'. Better 'luck' to your son. He'll surely need it.

'Nobody at fault'. Just 'accidents'. The kind that seem to happen only to Black Americans at the hand of White America.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 23 2014 7:55 utc | 30

@somebody #26:

Yeah, I read somewhere that they vote on it every year. But it looks like every other year, since the number of the document you linked to and the number of the document I linked to differ by 1, even though the votes were two years apart. The Marshall Islands didn't vote (didn't show up for the vote?), same as some other countries, like Iran, for example.

The vote from 2012 is interesting, because it shows that the US and Canada voted against this even before the February Kiev coup. So the Saker was jumping to conclusions when he wrote that the US and Canada voted against in order to support Ukraine. It seems to come down to a general compulsion not to be on the same page as Russia on anything, even when it comes to being against fascism and racism.

I think the short name for what you are talking about is Operation Gladio.

@ #27:

Germany was the first country to recognize Croatia (before even the US), so the Merkel government's hypocrisy on Ukraine is as bad as anyone's.

Posted by: Demian | Nov 23 2014 8:01 utc | 31

In my opinion, the term ”rat” must relate to the press because it is the press’s primary job to find out the truth. That entails ratting on those responsible for any transgressions against individual or society as a whole. But these days it appears that the “rats” have all gone underground and now the mainstream press is made up of the blackmailed, coerced, sycophants, scions and propagandists. All the independent media journalists and truth seekers are given the the moniker “rat”, “extremist”, “whistle blower” and/or “subversive”. Well the indy news media is doing what the fourth estate was designed to do which is to give credit to public officials and private individuals for their actions whether positive or negative. The mainstream version of the fourth estate is seriously compromised by media consolidation, government coercion and big money. Freedom of the mainstream press to report the truth has to be reinstated in order for a functional democracy to be realized.

Posted by: really | Nov 23 2014 8:12 utc | 32


They vote no because of russia and baltic relation with nazism.

Posted by: Anonymous2 | Nov 23 2014 8:32 utc | 33

Posted by: Demian | Nov 23, 2014 3:01:48 AM | 29

Operation Gladio is the undercover part, there used to be / is a lot of over cover like exile groups, independence/freedom movements etc.

This "hybrid warfare" is not a Russian invention.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2014 9:02 utc | 34

Umberto Z

Really sick, shows that west and especially ukraine government have no problem with nazism.

Lithuania and EU didn‘t support Russia's resolution at UN which attempts to manipulate history

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 23 2014 9:10 utc | 35

Black civil rights leader and former Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Berry has died at 78. Entrapped by white law enforcement on spurious drug charges, Berry never gave up the good fight and served his community with sound political insight and street credibility that comes through first hand knowledge of the forces raging against Black Nationalism.

Posted by: Bruce Leroy | Nov 23 2014 9:57 utc | 36

33) from your link

The Russian Federation has been repeatedly submitting the Resolution on Combating Glorification of Nazism and Other Contemporary Forms of Racism to the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly annually since 2006. EU Member States traditionally abstained in the vote for the resolution. Third Committee of the General Assembly addresses human rights issues, humanitarian, social and cultural affairs.

The EU should put up their own version. The Waffen-SS issue has been fudged in Germany since Adenauer in 1952, creating the myth of "honorable German soldiers".
The longer people lie in their graves the easier it should be to discuss history and the way the Nazis tried to colonize the East - they used a lot of the classical playing the locals off each other. Germany and Russia should open their archives and get to work.
I don't hold my breath - Germany is into a new kind of nationalism as is Russia.
The Green Party Heinrich Böll foundation has somehow woken up to Ukrainian (un-)democratic realities it has not made their way to Green politics, yet, it seems.

Diese Wahlen im Zeichen des Krieges können allerdings nur bedingt als frei bezeichnet werden. Niemand kann derzeit in der Ukraine Kandidaten, die nicht im patriotischen Mainstream schwimmen, freie Bewegung und eine freie Kampagne garantieren. Die radikalisierten und zum Teil bewaffneten Teile der ukrainischen Gesellschaft gehen gewaltsam gegen Vertreter anderer Meinungen vor. Diffamierungen als „Agent des Kremls“, „Separatist“, „Kollaborateur“ oder „Vaterlandsverräter“ und darauffolgende Selbstjustiz sind angesichts des fehlenden Vertrauens in die Rechtsorgane an der Tagesordnung. Eine Teilschuld hierfür liegt bei der Postmaidan-Regierung, die außer Ankündigungen nichts für eine Reform der Justiz oder der Miliz unternommen hat - dabei immer wahlweise auf die nichtkooperative Rada, den Krieg oder „Vertreter des alten Regimes“ verweisend. Vor dem Hintergrund von Durchsuchungen durch den Geheimdienst SBU bei der Tageszeitung Westi und der Druckerei (!) und öffentlichen Drohungen gegen den Journalisten kann nur schwer von einer freien Meinungsäußerung im Land die Rede sein. Das dabei erzeugte Klima der Angst dürfte eher radikalen Kräften nutzen, da ein Teil der Ukrainer aus Mangel an Alternativen erst gar nicht zur Wahl gehen könnte.
Brief translation: No one can guarantee candidates outside of the patriotic mainstream free movement and a free campaign. Opponents are violently suppressed by armed groups.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2014 10:04 utc | 37

@somebody #35:

From that same Lithuanian link:

The EU statement also highlighted that illegal actions of Russia and its violations of international law in Ukraine under the pretext of fighting Nazism are unacceptable. The statement goes on to refute the myth of the so-called liberation of Europe after the Second World War.
What is one to make of this? The only way I can read this is that the claim is being made that the USSR did not really liberate Europe from Nazism, because after the War, the USSR "occupied" Eastern Europe, and the Soviet system was no better than the Nazi system. So as far as I can tell, the Lithuanian government is an unapologetic bunch of Nazi sympathizers.

As for the Green Party Heinrich Boll foundation statement: I'm a bit surprised. I thought the Green Party had become as Russophobic as the Christian Democrats.

Your talk about Russia being "into a new kind of nationalism" is tiresome. I have tried to explain to you that it is not nationalism, but defending European civilization. Lavrov gave a speech today. (It hasn't been translated yet.) There was nothing nationalistic about it. This is about not allowing the US to rule the world, following its neoliberal and neocon fantasies, not Russian nationalism.

Posted by: Demian | Nov 23 2014 10:43 utc | 38

21 JohnH It is possible that what Brown did was something like what the guy in this video did:
Look, I gave you plenty of info that should give you reasons to reexamine what you assume:

Did you watch what Brown did in the store to the clerk? Why do you find it so hard to believe that a guy
who we can see being aggressive just 15 minutes before he encountered the cop, was aggressive with the cop?
Brown and his buddy REFUSED to get out of the street when the cop told them to, does that sound like reasonable people to you?

Posted by: Tom Murphy | Nov 23 2014 11:00 utc | 39

Posted by: Demian | Nov 23, 2014 5:43:06 AM | 36

Oh come on, the policies of great powers are the same all over the world. Says who? Putin, it seems.

Like described here

Putin said two days ago he saw nothing wrong with the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact that the Soviet Union signed with Germany in 1939, carving up eastern Europe. “Serious research would show those were the methods of foreign policy then,” he said at a meeting with historians.

“The Soviet Union signed a non-aggression agreement with Germany. They say, ‘Oh, how bad,’” Putin said during a meeting of academics. “But what is so bad about it, if the Soviet Union did not want to fight? What is so bad?”

Did he really say this?

Problem is, the Soviet Union did not just not want to fight, but moved their borders, and in the course of that move, they had to fight, but against a very weak resistance (except Finland). A resistance that later morphed into the Waffen SS.

And whose heritage is still being used against Russia, today. I am not sure what Germany has been up to (I guess they are cash strapped), but Russia for sure intends to reorganize its backyard.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2014 11:26 utc | 40


You mean Russia shouldnt have made a deal with Germany, is that what you are saying?

And what do you specifially mean by this?
Russia for sure intends to reorganize its backyard..

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 23 2014 11:51 utc | 41

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 23, 2014 6:51:00 AM | 39

It is near impossible to discuss changes in historic decisions in retrospect. The tragedy goes back to the first world war, the Russian revolution and beyond.

The Bolsheviks had pro ethnic nationalist policies.

Stalin more or less nixed that. I guess, that was the main error.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2014 12:15 utc | 42


Not sure that answered my question, but I guess Demian will deal with that anyway.

However my second question was:
"Russia for sure intends to reorganize its backyard.."

What do you mean by that?

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 23 2014 12:18 utc | 43

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 23, 2014 7:18:26 AM | 43

Russia works with puppets just like any empire ....

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2014 13:07 utc | 44

Anyway, Germany won't make it. Social Democrats seem to have decided to stamp their foot down.

Steinmeier against Ukraine's Nato membership

There is more ...

Auch eine EU-Mitgliedschaft der Ukraine hält der deutsche Außenminister auf lange Sicht nicht für realistisch. Die wirtschaftliche und politische Modernisierung der Ukraine sei "ein Generationenprojekt". "Es macht deshalb heute wenig Sinn, über eine Mitgliedschaft der Ukraine in der EU in ferner Zukunft zu spekulieren", so Steinmeier. Der Außenminister mahnte die ukrainische Regierung, die notwendigen Reformen im Land endlich auf den Weg zu bringen. "Mehr als 20 Jahre nach der staatlichen Unabhängigkeit haben es die Menschen in der Ukraine verdient, dass ihre Regierung endlich mit aller Entschlossenheit Korruption und Misswirtschaft bekämpft und wirklich Reformen an Haupt und Gliedern anpackt", so Steinmeier. Es gebe jetzt keine Zeit zu verlieren.

Brief translation: Ukraine's EU membership is unrealistic even in the long run. Economic and political modernization of Ukraine would be a project for generations.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2014 13:14 utc | 45

Bruce [email protected]
Marion Berry was smoking crack back when I was smoking crack, only we called it rock back then. He was also reelected after the arrest.

Posted by: Jim T | Nov 23 2014 13:28 utc | 46


Empire? Puppets? Who is the puppets you are talking about showing that Russia want to "reorganize its backyard"?

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 23 2014 13:43 utc | 47

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 23, 2014 8:43:45 AM | 47

What I mean is that Russia is not going to be indifferent towards any EU orientation in their periphery. It is in the interest of all these states to keep their distance from all blocks and get the best deal for themselves - like Janukovich tried in Ukraine and failed because neither side allowed any sitting on the fence. Either the EU/NATO find an accommodation with Russia or Eastern Europe will heat up. If Russia does herself any favour by using too much pressure is doubtful. Same applies to the EU.

I guess the place to watch is Bulgaria.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2014 14:13 utc | 48

@40: What you forgot to mention are the Hitler-Chamberlain Pact and the Hitler-Daladier Pact before that, the pressure that was applied on Chechoslovakia and Poland by London and Paris not to join a coalition with the Soviet Union against Hitler and the negotiations about a European Anti-Hitler Coalition, that were blocked by London and Paris. They even had the chutzpe to go to Leningrad by ship, not by airplane. They arrived shortly before the meeting with Rippentrop and declared not to be authorized to do anything at all. What did it look like? Like a coalition of the West against the USSR. So, they acted accordingly.

Posted by: g_h | Nov 23 2014 15:19 utc | 49

Greeting fellow Barflies.

I just saw this over at Russia Insider, it was originally reported earlier this month by AFP. More leading indicators of rightist violence. Ukraine Soldiers Threaten Kiev with Coup Unless Things Improve.

Amid Ukraine's increasingly feverish patriotism, Putin is seen as bordering on the diabolical.... "Putin is mad, a schizophrenic," Bereza said. "If we don't stop them here, Russian tanks will go all the way to Berlin."

But among the volunteer battalions there is almost equal hatred for the corrupt bureaucrats running their country and the military top brass responsible for bloody fiascos like the massacre of troops retreating from Ilovaisk in August.

Which is why if the government doesn't act quickly on those promises to rebuild Ukraine, today's battle might move to the capital, where the revolution began.

"The people who were in the war won't accept any sliding back," Oliynyk [a deputy to Kolomoisky] says.

Slutskovska's [one of the vounteers] eyes shone with anger in Right Sector's dingy Dnipropetrosk office, when asked how she would react to failure of reforms.

"We'll just go straight there with weapons," she said. "There'll be a coup."

Also on Russia Insider, Peter Lavelle has nice short essay summing up the situation in the Ukraine. The Kiev Coup Was the Spark That Lit the Powder Keg. Now Ukraine Has Nothing.

The West’s culpability in Kiev’s “Original Sin” of illegal regime change is undeniable and irrefutable. Will the West now pay for the mess that it has created in Ukraine? And how long will the West whitewash Kiev’s most odious neo-fascist elements? In the meantime, get used to hearing the term “Novorossia.”

He also compares the Crimean referendum and the elections in Novorossiya favorably to the junta's. He points out that the recent Rada elections effectively disenfranchised the 40 pct. of the pop. that voted for the Communist Party of the Ukraine and the former Party of Regions. "How the current parliament can be deemed the result of a democratic process is difficult to fathom." He sees the partition of the country as inevitable.

Posted by: rufus magister | Nov 23 2014 15:33 utc | 50

somebody, and comments on somebody.

The problem with the UN resolution on the glorification of Nazism is that it has a longish history.

It has been proposed several times, as a draft resolution, *at least* 2-3 times, probably more, and only / most often / by Russia, iirc once by Russia with some partner(s.) There may have been amendments to the text along the way. And many official comments… Below is the vote from 2012, where only the US, Canada and the Marshall islands voted against. Ukraine abstained along with the entire ex-Soviet space (maybe 1/2 exceptions) plus all European countries, and others. Last night, I tried to find the latest (Friday) vote, but there was nothing on the UN (3rd committee) site, and under resolutions from the present there was in second place the doc below.

PDF UN doc

Murky. I don’t feel like checking it again for now. See Demian at 19 for the vote.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 23 2014 15:56 utc | 51

@someboobie, the R-M Pact was brilliant statecraft on the part of the USSR. Stalin knew better than most what the Nazis were up to. He knew the West would not help. The invasion by the Whites had proved that.

In Mein Kampf Hitler openly states that the future of Germany "has to lie in the acquisition of land in the East at the expense of Russia." -wikipedia. Sound familiar?

Russia needed more time, and got it.

Posted by: ruralito | Nov 23 2014 16:51 utc | 52

On the vote sponsored by Russia regarding--
"Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."
--the results were 115 Yes, 3 No, 55 Abstain.
--Yes included Russia (sponsor), most of Asia -- China, India, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, all of Latin America except Panama, most of Africa, Philippines
--No were US, Canada, Ukraine
--Abstain included Australia, Japan,-- Europe including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Latvia, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 23 2014 16:51 utc | 53

Ukraine's EU membership is unrealistic even in the long run. - quoted by somebody at 45.

All the annoucements from Kiev about the EU-Ukr. agreement (an association agreement) are total BS.

What is *significant* however is that the EU never denies the Ukr. posturing. In public, or as reported by MSM, it merely makes soothing, friendly, noises and lets Ukr. get away with it. No doubt coerced by the US.

1) The Ukr. assoc. agreement comprises many parts (texts are out there somewhere) and not all parts have even been signed by the parties who ‘agree’, including Ukraine itself. This is so murky I wouldn’t know where to begin.

2) The agreement is suspended till 2015, partly (or only? - see 4) because of these signing of the parts deal (as far as I understand it?) In short it is a plan, or road map for the future, and there is NO real signed agreement in force whatsoever. Which btw, means that Ukr. can say what it likes and do what it likes, it is not bound by anything re. the EU. (That might be part of the point!)

3) Ukr. is not a candidate for EU membership. The candidates for membership are various (and many of them will never be accepted or don’t even want to be accepted), see for ex. Iceland, Turkey, Macedonia. Brief descr.

4) For the Association Agreement with Ukr. to be accepted, all member states must agree, vote yay. So far, the only ones who have ratified it are Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine itself, and the EU parliament. Estonia (?) Germany and France, afaik, have not moved forward one inch.

goog: European Union Association Agreement (could not get a precise link to work)

5) Officially, Ukr. is only a part of the EU neighborhood circle (for it the ‘Eastern partnership’) a vague thing, which overall includes countries like Algeria, Morocco, Palestine, Belarus, and so on.

All these EU dealings are horrifically obscure and opaque. On purpose. So if this description is not the best, erroneous in part, or lacking etc. my apologies.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 23 2014 17:03 utc | 54

@38 defending European civilization - can you plese elaborate how beating and killing of journalists, silencing press, censoring Internet and putting protesters into forced labour camps represents "European civilization"?

Posted by: Ulster | Nov 23 2014 17:50 utc | 55

...What is one to make of this? The only way I can read this is that the claim is being made that the USSR did not really liberate Europe from Nazism, because after the War, the USSR "occupied" Eastern Europe, and the Soviet system was no better than the Nazi system.
Posted by: Demian | Nov 23, 2014 5:43:06 AM | 38

The problem is much more contemporary than WWII. Putin complained during the long interview linked below that the Yankee interpretation of "international law" changes with the wind. i.e. When Kosovo declared independence after a parliamentary vote, the Yankees recognised it as democratic. But when the people of Crimea voted for and declared, independence, the Yankees refused to recognise that (more democratic process than Kosovo's) as democratic.

The above transcript is the {1} link at the foot of Pepe's recent article Washington Plays Russian Roulette. It's very long but the relevant comment by Vlad can be found by searching the text for 'international law'.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 23 2014 17:58 utc | 56


And there's 6) - prior to becoming member of EU any candidate country - including Ukraine - has to comply with a number of economic, legal and human-rights related baselines. This was the case with every country now in EU, especially the Eastern Europe new joiners. But perhaps the most important thing from Ukraine's point of view this process is even more important than actual membership, because it's when they have to transfrom their governance, justice, police or even public procurement from the Soviet model into European model. And this is exactly when quality of life and rule of law has risen dramatically in countries like Romania, Poland over the last 10 years or so.

Posted by: Ulster | Nov 23 2014 19:07 utc | 57

@52 Stalin did not start cooperation with Third Reich at the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact. It started much earlier in Rapallo. It was USSR who supplied Germany with arms and allowed to train Wehrmaht on Russian territory, bypassing the international treaties. It was actually USSR that built Germany's military power over 30's and R-M pact was just written confirmation of the bipolar idea of the new Europe. Stalin believed in Hitler's gratitude till the very end. Russia had not build any defensive systems against possible Germany's aggression because Stalin did not believe it will ever happen - Hitler was his closest ally after all. Stalin also deliberately ignored any intelligence about Operation Barbarossa, which was the very reason for such a quick advances of Wehrmaht in 1941.

Posted by: Ulster | Nov 23 2014 19:16 utc | 58

Ulster @ 57 --

It's clear from Stalin's remarks and activities he saw Nazi invasion as inevitable. So drop the "closest ally" nonsense, if you would, please.

Cooperation with Weimar (lead by Social Democrats for many of the years before 1933) was beneficial for both, as they were considered to be losers at Versailles (Soviet Russia by her exclusion from the conf.).

The Soviets before Ribbentrop-Molotov sought to create a collective security arrangement with England and France. But they preferred appeasement, not only in Munich but Spain as well.

When Hitler sought to (temporarily) secure his Eastern Front, he offered the pact. He wanted to secure his west and obtain men and material for his great anti-Bolshevik campaign be subjugating it first.

Stalin accepted; he feared the Red Army needed the time to prepare for the attack from the Nazis that the Soviets knew was only a matter of time. He erred in thinking Hitler would abide by it for the stated duration. While this mistake seems out of character, Stalin thought that Fr. & Brit. intelligence were trying to trick him (despite what his own people told him).

The years of cooperation served the Soviets well. They knew of the capabilities and tactics of the Wehrmacht, and had developed tactics and equipment to counter them. Thanks to the valor and sacrifices of the heroic Soviet people, Stalin had the time to deploy the industrial might that Soviet planning had developed in the Urals.

I, for one, am grateful they did. Stalingrad was the beginning of the end for the German fascists. I'm hoping Donetsk Airport does it today for Ukrainian fascism.

You might want to stay away from historical analogies and examples and stick to YouTube videos without context or verification.

Posted by: rufus magister | Nov 23 2014 20:01 utc | 59

'There's a discrepancy. The UN document you linked to says that the countries who voted against were the United States, Canada, and Palau, whereas Russian media are saying that the third country was Ukraine. I hope this isn't another screw up by the Russian foreign ministry, like when Lavrov talked about "hundreds" of bodies found in mass graves in Donbas.

Posted by: Demian | Nov 22, 2014 6:15:56 PM | 17

so Russian media are right

Posted by: brian | Nov 23 2014 21:39 utc | 60

And whose heritage is still being used against Russia, today. I am not sure what Germany has been up to (I guess they are cash strapped), but Russia for sure intends to reorganize its backyard.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23, 2014 6:26:33 AM | 40

so you never reorganise your backyard?

Posted by: brian | Nov 23 2014 21:41 utc | 61

What is one to make of this? The only way I can read this is that the claim is being made that the USSR did not really liberate Europe from Nazism, because after the War, the USSR "occupied" Eastern Europe, and the Soviet system was no better than the Nazi system. So as far as I can tell, the Lithuanian government is an unapologetic bunch of Nazi sympathizers.

As for the Green Party Heinrich Boll foundation statement: I'm a bit surprised. I thought the Green Party had become as Russophobic as the Christian Democrats.

Your talk about Russia being "into a new kind of nationalism" is tiresome. I have tried to explain to you that it is not nationalism, but defending European civilization. Lavrov gave a speech today. (It hasn't been translated yet.) There was nothing nationalistic about it. This is about not allowing the US to rule the world, following its neoliberal and neocon fantasies, not Russian nationalism.

Posted by: Demian | Nov 23, 2014 5:43:06 AM | 38

its a standard rewriting of history .. 1984 style.

funny/hypocritical for europeans with their empires and overseas colonies complaining about the soviets!

Posted by: brian | Nov 23 2014 21:44 utc | 62

@58 Stalin's remarks and activities - yes, especially killing most of the military command in 30's purges and then building up offensive forces instead of defensive on the western borders of USSR.

he saw Nazi invasion as inevitable - yes, and he saw it so well that on 22 June 1941 he was taken by complete surprise and panicked.

The years of cooperation served the Soviets well - yes, very well; between 1940 and 1941 USSR sent over 2 million tons of metal ores, 2m tons of fuel, 1.5m tons of cereals (with their own people starving) and millions of tons of other supplies to Germany; in return they got some specialists and consultants who collected intelligence for future invasion.

They knew of the capabilities and tactics of the Wehrmacht - yes, they knew them so well that in the first weeks after 1941 invasion they lost almost all of their airforce bombed on the ground by Luftwaffe and large part of their industrial processing power was taken

valor and sacrifices of the heroic Soviet people - this is the only true piece in your comment; Soviet people indeed were heroic and it was them who saved USSR from falling to Hitler in spite of stupidity of Stalin and the rest of bolsheviks; unfortunately, this stupidity was also the sole reason why USSR suffered such an enormous losses during WW2

Posted by: Ulster | Nov 23 2014 21:47 utc | 63

A deconstruction of Russia's supposed information war against the West:

Posted by: KMF | Nov 23 2014 21:49 utc | 64

@63 kmf - quote from the article - substituted the proper country for better clarity..

"The report’s primary thesis is that "the USA" is using information not as propaganda, but rather as a ‘weapon’ in a campaign of ‘aggression’ against Russia, in order to ‘confuse, blackmail, demoralize, subvert and paralyze’. ‘The border between “fact” and “fiction” has become utterly blurred in the western media and public discourse’, claim Weiss and Pomerantsev, ‘the notion of “journalism” in the sense of reporting the “facts” or “truth”, has been virtually wiped out.’"

that about sums it up, LOLOL!

Posted by: james | Nov 23 2014 22:41 utc | 65

Ulster @ 62 --

I see you don't really go into any detailed analysis of the troublesome years between the wars, so my guess is you can't. Oh, sorry, you're too important to take the time. Just more snark about well-known facts. You don't so much refute it as try to undermine it with wisecracks. Good luck with that.

Stalin is hardly the only leader to err in the 20's & 30's. That the Soviets were able to overcome their errors and defeat the fascists seems to annoy you. Probably due to you being a fascist.

Anything to say of relevance on today's news, like the fascist threats I report up at 50?

Posted by: rufus magister | Nov 24 2014 0:15 utc | 66

It is always interesting to see how various people treat the Eastern European countries which became part of the Soviet Union after Germany surrendered.
On the one hand, there's no question that it was at least some form of occupation.
On the other hand, over 350K troops fighting under the German flag were from these nations. This is something like 1/10th of the standing strength on the Eastern Front.
Is it really that surprising that the Soviet Union, after suffering 20 or 30 million losses in World War II - in part due to these Wehrmacht etrangere battalions - wanted to be quite sure there wouldn't be more problems?

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 24 2014 0:32 utc | 67

Posted by: Ulster | Nov 23, 2014 4:47:38 PM | 62

You are correct on history. If Stalin had realized that Germany would attack the Soviet Union in the end, he should not have stretched his army to meet them creating resistance along the way. He should have let the Germans overcome local resistance to wait for them on the then Russian borders.

Stalin however was hardly the only one to support the German war on France and Britain.

As head of the BIS, headquartered in Basel, from 1940 to 1946, McKittrick played a crucial role in abetting Hitler’s war—and, at the same time, in revealing details about his Nazi colleagues to his friends in Washington, D.C. On McKittrick’s watch, the BIS willingly accepted looted Nazi gold, carried out foreign exchange deals for the Reichsbank, and recognized the Nazi invasion and annexation of conquered countries. By doing so, it also legitimized the role of the national banks in the occupied countries in appropriating Jewish-owned assets. Indeed, the BIS was so indispensable to the overall Nazi project that the vice-president of the Reichsbank, Emil Puhl—who was later tried for war crimes—once referred to the BIS as the Reichsbank’s only “foreign branch.” In the closing months of the war, as American GIs fought their way across Europe, McKittrick was arranging deals with Nazi industrialists to guarantee their profits after the Allied victory.

But McKittrick was also a key contact between the Allies and the Nazis, passing information back and forth from Washington to Berlin. His relationship with the Third Reich was encouraged both by factions within the State Department and by the leadership of the Office for Strategic Services, the predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency. He also served as a back-channel between anti-Nazi German business interests and the United States—and ultimately served to help preserve the power of German industry after the war, over the opposition of no less a figure than Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 23, 2014 7:32:39 PM | 66
You know Russia's relations with Eastern Europe did not start with Germany's 2nd declaration of war against Russia.

Posted by: Ulster | Nov 23, 2014 2:07:24 PM | 56
The good life in Romania and Poland is news to me. As is one in four Poles are willing to emigrate. What pro Europe people on the Maidan were fighting for is free travel in the EU and access to the EU job market.

That the EU got rid of corruption in Romania is also news to me. Nor does Poland seem to be able to get rid of corruption.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 24 2014 1:40 utc | 68

Ulcers says "Hitler was his closest ally after all. Stalin also deliberately ignored any intelligence about Operation Barbarossa"

Whoa, slow down Sparky. I'm gonna need to see some corroborating evidence. And wikipedia don't count.

Posted by: ruralito | Nov 24 2014 2:12 utc | 69

@somebody #67:

A genuine, naive question: has the standard of living improved for citizens of any former Soviet bloc country after the collapse of the Soviet Union? East Germany doesn't count, since that is a special case. As far as I can tell, Poles are worse off now than they were under Soviet power, since they have to go to western Europe to get a job.

Thanks to Putin, Russians have benefited from the collapse of the USSR, since they don't have to live under a lie anymore, but it seems to me that other people from the former Soviet block are net loosers, since they just exchanged being subjugated by one power to being subjugated by another power, without getting anything tangible in return.

Posted by: Demian | Nov 24 2014 2:23 utc | 70

"You are correct[sic] on history. If Stalin had realized that Germany would attack the Soviet Union in the end, he should not have stretched his army to meet them creating resistance along the way."

Lawl, according to Ulcerous they were practically pals, except for that whole, Stalingrad thing.

Posted by: ruralito | Nov 24 2014 2:25 utc | 71

@69 demian quote which sums it up how i see it too. " seems to me that other people from the former Soviet block are net losers, since they exchanged being subjugated by one power to being subjugated by another without getting anything in return." sure as hell didn't get freedom.. freedumb maybe, lol..

Posted by: james | Nov 24 2014 4:40 utc | 72

Russian Spring


Operative summary from combatant Prokhorov:

Shooting in Bakhmutka (north-west of Lugansk) – near Krimskoye and Borovskoye.

Ukrainians bombarded fringes of Lugansk short while ago.

Dense work is carried on at Ukrainian positions in Debal`tsevo. Ukrainians inform of bombardments of their positions in Krasnogorovka, Avdeevka, Tonen`koye, Opitnoye, Veseloye, Nevel`skoye (all west suburbs of Donetsk).

From Debal`tsevo Ukrainians are flogging Vergulevka and Lomovatka (north-east of Debal`tsevo).

Artillery skirmishes are between Yenakiyevo (combatants) and Uglegorsk (Ukrainians).

In the aftermath of storming combatants’ positions in Peski about 10 Ukrainians died (2 of them were gunmen of “Praviy Sector”).

Someone’s remark:

“In Nikishino (south of Debal`tsevo) lately, a unit of Ukrainian armored equipment is destroyed per day. With enviable persistence, Ukrainians put under fire new ones.”

Posted by: Fete | Nov 24 2014 4:53 utc | 73

Demian @69

This might interesst you:

Mit Steuergeldern erkauft: Die Illusion des Aufschwungs in Osteuropa | DEUTSCHE WIRTSCHAFTS NACHRICHTEN

Die EU hat 864 Milliarden Euro zur Förderung der Wirtschaft umverteilt. Ein signifikanter Teil ging in die neuen EU-Länder in Osteuropa. Doch die kaum kontrollierten Fördermittel haben nicht dazu geführt, dass die nationalen Volkswirtschaften nachhaltig gestärkt wurden. Das Konzept der Umverteilung in der EU ist gescheitert.

and this too:

Polen hat die meisten „modernen Sklaven“ in der EU | DEUTSCHE WIRTSCHAFTS NACHRICHTEN

In der gesamten Welt gibt es über 30 Millionen moderne Arbeits-Sklaven. Innerhalb der EU ist Polen das Land mit den meisten Arbeits-Sklaven. Darauf folgen Ungarn und Rumänien. Doch die weltweite Liste führt Indien mit über 14 Millionen Arbeits-Sklaven an.

So much for the EU and those highla acclaimed western values.

Posted by: Fran | Nov 24 2014 5:21 utc | 74

@67 As for situation in Poland and Romania, you don't understand probably that the situation was much worse before they joined EU. The main reason for emigration is that they now can emigrate freely to work legally in most EU countries. You can see the progress from 2004 to 2014 e.g. in rankings like Doing Business and Corruption Perception Index. In the latter, Poland has rank #38. Now compare that to Russia that has #127 - out of 175 countries.

Posted by: Ulster | Nov 24 2014 8:06 utc | 75

@65 What annoys me is that my former country lost 26 million really brave people because of its government's stupidity and its leader's paranoia. Stalin was so desperate after Germany's attack that he released millions of the prisoners he placed in the Gulags just before the war, including thousands of talented and hard working workers, engineers, clerks, soldiers etc. The question is why has he placed them there in the the first place, thus practically destroying Soviet army and industry during 30's purges?

@70 If you didn't notice, Stalingrad was after 1941. Before that - yes, they were pals. Stalin was supplying millions of tons of resources to Germany while it conquered the western Europe. NKVD and Gestapo closely cooperated in destoying resistance in occupied countries like Baltics or Poland, exchanging prisoners etc. These are not marks of "tactical peace" but rather a fully engaged cooperation.

@50 Your usage of the word "fascism" makes any commenting pointless. Second reason is that you have predictes so many "inevitable" events in Ukraine but they never happened (collapse of the Maidan, collapse of army, collapse of everything, massive pogroms, rise of nationalist parties etc).

Posted by: Ulster | Nov 24 2014 8:26 utc | 76

@69 Demian, you sound like someone who lived very, very far from the Soviet bloc. Before 1990 people had difficulties to buy basic food here, because there was none in the shops. Or soap. Or washing powder. Or washing machines. Or hot water. Or electricity. After 1990 all that suddently appeared on the market, because people could freely import that and sell it. Most private trading (not to mention imports) was forbidden as "speculation" before 1990 and you could go to jail for that. You're discussing rather dumb geopolitics and other rich man's problems but do not understand that before 1990 the citizens of the Soviet bloc were effectively property of the state, struggling to the even most basic human needs on daily basis.

Posted by: Ulster | Nov 24 2014 9:16 utc | 77

Kremlin's way of opposing fascism in Europe: fund French National Front.

Posted by: Ulster | Nov 24 2014 9:18 utc | 78


So first you in post condemn using the word fascism @75
then you use it yourself in @77?

Funny how you again using the links of Anton.

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 24 2014 9:42 utc | 79

One off my earliest memories was riding home in Chicago on my bicycle with a friend after school on the wide empty sidewalk because riding in the street is suicide, still 8000 Americans a year get ground to hamburger as roadkill.

Anyway, here comes two of Chicagos Finest, Toodie and Muldoon, and jack us up with billyclubs over some obscure pedestrian law, then it started to rain, they said, dont move, were calling you in. Then they sat in their patrol car laughing as we got soaked to the bone, so we flipped them off, and they gave chase, it was pretty exciting what you can do on a bike on adrenaline, but after my buddy made it home, I crashed and took off on foot running, sailing over a low fence, just as the cop grabbed me. He went down, I made it home, then my mother gave that cop a tongue lashing about calling the alderman, and he left.

They stomped my bike and slashed the tires, a real class act.

Posted by: Chip Nihk | Nov 24 2014 12:32 utc | 80

somebody @68
You said: "You know Russia's relations with Eastern Europe did not start with Germany's 2nd declaration of war against Russia."
Quite true - but there is no "good" or "bad" guy; Russia was once militarily governed by Lithuania+Poland.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 24 2014 15:55 utc | 81

do you know where your mayors are tonight?

Posted by: denk | Nov 24 2014 17:14 utc | 82

Posted by: Ulster | Nov 24, 2014 4:16:05 AM | 77

Don't know which place in Eastern Europe you are talking about, but where I went this was not true.

Communists - and some of them believed what they said and had gone through hell for it - were adamant that everybody had enough food to live, had free health care, had free education, had a job, and had a roof over their head. I remember them apologizing for the fact that the management earned three times the rate of a worker.

The problem started when people aspired for more than basic survival, wanted a certain life style and questioned the quality of goods. Or wanted self-employment, a car, a house, a television set, exotic fruit and blue jeans.

When the socialist economy stopped, it was great for some people but by far not all people. Quite a few countries did the change to capitalism without any social net. Story from Russia was that people boiled potatoes in the morning and took them with them to eat all day because there was nothing else to be had. But that was after the fall of "communism" not before 1960's, 1970's, 1980's. Have a look at Russian life expectancy and the sharp drop in the 1990's.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 24 2014 18:57 utc | 83

@83 You are simply wrong. Everyone had right to accomodation or health care, just as they right to free speech, but all that was on paper - none of these were really delivered because of the deficiencies of central planning. People were protesting against these deficts from the very beginning. Only looking at the biggest country-wide protests there were ones in Hungary, Romania and Poland in 1956, Poland 1957, Poland 1960, Czechoslovakia and Poland 1968, Poland 1970, Poland 1976, Poland 1980, Poland 1981. And the protesters were hard-working labourers asking not for some refined political freedoms, but for very basic things like salaries, food and accomodation (I don't have to mention all of them were drowned in blood). There's also interesting evidence by two communist intellectuals from Poland - Modezleski and Kuron - who in 60's wrote an open letter to the communist party documenting gruesome conditions in which the workers were living: 1% of families had running hot water, 46% had fresh water at all, 25% families had toilets, 34% families could afford minimum consumption of meat and 65% of workers were chronically ill with work-related diseases. Is this "aspiring for more than basic survival"?

Posted by: Ulster | Nov 24 2014 19:37 utc | 84

"NKVD and Gestapo closely cooperated in destoying resistance in occupied countries like Baltics or Poland, exchanging prisoners etc"

Huh?! Exchanging prisoners? You just got done saying they were marching arm and arm towards a bright Sovo-Nazi future. Lawl, get your story straight, bozo.

Posted by: ruralito | Nov 24 2014 19:51 utc | 85

@83 And I absolutely support you using the objective indicators like life expectancy in this discussion. It indeed dropped significanlty in Russia. I'm using Google Public Data Explorer and don't know how to copy a link here, but just go and compare that to other countries - like Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland etc. The life expectancy has actually significantly increased there after 1990, so it was not evil capitalism, it was about poor governance in capitalist Russia.

Posted by: Ulster | Nov 24 2014 19:52 utc | 86

@85 Yes, NKVD and Gestapo were exchanging political prisoners until June 1941. Here's one example: Margaret Buber-Neumann was a German communist who worked at Komintern in Moscow and arrested by NKVD during 30's purges. She was sent to concentraton camp in Kazakhstan and spent a few years there. Then in 1940 she was sent back to Germany as part of German-Russian prisoner exchange program. Gestapo placed her in Ravensbruck concentration camp. She survived and wrote a book. You should really read it - it's first hand record of USSR and Third Reich, written by a communist, a real eye opener.

Posted by: Ulster | Nov 24 2014 20:02 utc | 87

Somebody had to say this

‘American beer is just filthy water’ - Czech President

The Czech president Milos Zeman eulogized his country’s trademark beverage, while insulting US beer as “filthy water” during a presidential business summit in the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan.

Posted by: papa | Nov 24 2014 20:18 utc | 88

sounding like the wilson decision will be made public tonight - biz & school texts coming in on cancelled evening programs

Posted by: b real | Nov 24 2014 21:38 utc | 89

To Ulster @ 76 --

"Your usage of the word "fascism" makes any commenting pointless."


Another dodge, the threats by the fascist paramilitaries don't accord with the "European Choice" fiction that the junta drapes over its brutality and that you like to retail here. So you brush it off. As usual.

From what little we know about your politics the description fits (I made election predictions, adding I liked the CPUkr; you declined to even say who you would have voted for). Anti-communist, conservative, supportive of the Banderaists in Kiev. If it looks like a duck....

As to your specifics -- "collapse of the Maidan, collapse of army, collapse of everything, massive pogroms, rise of nationalist parties etc." Let's review then those topics on which I reported favorably the predictions of others closer to events.

I don't recall reporting anyone predicting the collapse of the Maidan, whatever that would mean. Fall of the junta? It would be a nice gift for the holidays, I'd grant you, but I don't expect it under my tree.

I did report before the elections that a no. of sources felt that the new Rada would be more conservative and nationalist, and it has become so. While the Radicals did not do as well as polling indicated they would, they still made it into the Rada. Some of the less savory parties, like Pravyi Sektor, did not make the 5% list cut off, but they elected members either in local districts or on other party lists, esp. National Front. Something like a doz. "volunteer battalion commanders" made it into the new Rada. "Glory to the heroes...."

If you've read any of the post-election analyses I've linked to, you'll know many observers say that Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk co-opted the message of the far right, which accounts for why the less savory brownshirts did not make it into the new Rada.

I did not report any predictions of massive pogroms, but I did expect their ongoing brutality to continue, and it has. And I don't recall reporting it, but given the parlous state of the Banderstan econ., everything may well collapse this winter. The possibility has been widely discussed.

On the threats made by Bereza and others to topple the government -- they keep making them, and I take them at their word. And as you might have seen in one of my links, the Kiev prosecutor is worried about the flood of "volunteer" gunmen, given their penchant for violence, and their availability for a coup.

I can only presume that they have not acted yet because so far Poroshenko is taking measures to placate them. Or maybe Nuland has told Yats to tell the Pravyi Sektor boys he has in his government that this would be inconvenient for Washington.

Again, any comment on this point? Why are these threats being made? Do you think they are serious? What do you think Poroshenko can/will/might/should do in response?

The attack by the junta that a number of observers feared did not materialize. But this is thought to be largely due to the robust dispositions that Novorossiya made in response. So the front did not collapse, yet.

Well, I've expended a lot of electrons on this. So don't feel hurt, my Black and Tan friend, if I'm quiet for a bit.

Posted by: rufus magister | Nov 24 2014 23:56 utc | 90

Economically, NF are better socialists than most of the French socialist parties.

Posted by: truthbetold | Nov 25 2014 1:26 utc | 91

in response to a query during the q&a,the prosecuting attorney says 'take away a witness or two and it would have been a different story' - nobody follows up on that

Posted by: b real | Nov 25 2014 3:17 utc | 93

Russian Spring


Summary from fronts by combatant Prokhorov:

Indirectly Ukrainians admit loss of hamlet Opitnoye (little north of Donetsk airport) saying that artillery of 95th airmobile was suppressing there a combatants’ battery.
Is it that Ukrainians opened an analogue of combatants “military market (retail shop)”? A message arrived of Lithuania having officially agreed to supply Ukraine with weapons.

Of course, Lithuanians are just a middleman; the rubbish will flood from stockpiles of Eastern Europe. Army of Lithuania is a junk yard of NATO countries, Finland and Sweden. Lithuanians themselves would not offer anything serious (a couple of APCs BTR-60 - may be).

Indeed interesting are clashes in proximities of Artemovsk. Though, what was really meant (in a summary by Council of National Security of Ukraine) was Vrubovka (?).

A Ukrainian battery was hit near Stepnoye (south of Donetsk Republic, near Volnovakha).

By request from OSCE, the silence was obeyed from Toshkovka to Trekhizbenka (Bakhmutka place) – to restore natural gas and electricity lines (go through settlement Krimskoye). Meantime, scam Ukrainians shelled city Stakhanov (way south of Bakhmutka, combatants’ rear) by “Grads”.

Battles carry on near Debal`tsevo; Ukrainians were hit straight in the city.

Battles are all around Donetsk: Peski, Krasnogorovka, Avdeevka and so on.

Posted by: Fete | Nov 25 2014 4:29 utc | 94

About Hagel:

Bob Woodward: Why Obama picked Hagel for defense secretary - The Washington Post

Posted by: Fran | Nov 25 2014 4:50 utc | 96

@94 fete.. thank you for the overview.

@95 really. thanks for the link to pcroberts..

@96 fran.. if you believe woodward, what do you think has changed?

Posted by: james | Nov 25 2014 6:09 utc | 97

interesting video on russias central bank and the role it plays as part of the 5th column that often gets discussed in regards the opposition to putin and the general well being of russia... Evgeny Fedorov is a very knowledgeable fellow.. i can't make out how much he is fear mongering and how much of it is true, but it sounds more truth then not..

Posted by: james | Nov 25 2014 6:43 utc | 98

here is an article out today in line with the video i have shared @98, but from a different angle..

Posted by: james | Nov 25 2014 6:55 utc | 99

@95 continued:

The 1%’er financial charlatans, thieves, beaters, hacks, thugs and propagandists of the world are at it again. They have bloated their coffers with Quantitative Easing fiat currency and now plan to turn that worthless paper into gold, other metals and precious stones. They want to screw the little guy yet again. Their playbook is tired and I for one is sick of it. If I were running a pension plan I would be very diligent in these trying financial times. Watch the metals markets very closely and diversify your portfolios. If pensions miss the boat this time it may surely be the end of retirement benefits for those who busted their asses year after year toiling for the ptb, who are at it again, trying to rob the 99’er of their well earned retirement money.

P.S. I am aware that not everyone in the financial industry fits the description above, responsible and fair play people in the finance industry are not the target of my comments.

Posted by: really | Nov 25 2014 7:01 utc | 100

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