Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 24, 2015

Wondering About Today's Mariupol Attack

Today some barrage of Grad rockets was fired on an eastern suburb of Mariupol, a city in the south east of Ukraine and in the hands of the Ukrainian government. The 400,000 strong population of the city is believed to be in favor of the federalists fighting against the Ukrainian coup government. Last year it overwhelmingly voted (vid) to leave Ukraine. Some 30 people, all civilians, died in today's attack. There was no military target nearby. Whodunnit?

In September 2014 Hromadske TV, a new Ukrainian TV station financed by George Soros and the U.S. government, interviewed (vid) a former Ukrainian general Colonel General Vladimir Ruban. According to the provided translation he lauds the Ukrainian artillery which at that time shelled Donetsk from the airport but says that this just welds the people in Donetsk together. "They understand they are being shot at. It's one thing if attack groups or any mobile mortar troops drive through the city and shoot because you could say that this is just a sort of provocation by a third party. But if the artillery units fired from the airport then no one can claim that the separatists shoot themselves."

Two days ago a mortar attack on a bus in federalist held Donetsk which killed 13 people was likely done from within the federalists held city. While the Ukrainian government claimed that the federalists had themselves shelled the city they hold this seems quite unlikely to me. The Russia supported federalist later claimed that ten groups of Ukrainian partisans had infiltrated the city and that eight of those had been caught. This would fit the operational design earlier laid out by the former general.

Today's attack on Mariupol has no discernible military purpose. It makes absolutely no sense for the federalists to shell civilians in a city that is believed to be favorable to them. There is no clear evidence from where the shells were coming. The Ukrainian government claims the federalists did it while the federalists said they have no artillery nearby that could have reached the city and blame the coup government for the attack.

Today's attack is already used by hardliners to call for more European sanctions against Russia. Such sanctions would have no effect on Russia's position and are to the disadvantage of Europe. Only the U.S. and other hardliners who want a wider conflict with Russia would benefit form these.

In light of the mindset demonstrated by the former general and after the attack in Donetsk I tend to believe that this attack was a planned provocation by the Ukrainian side.

Posted by b on January 24, 2015 at 18:45 UTC | Permalink

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@99 Hmm, has Russia tried to stop supplies to the mercenaries and start complying with the Minsk Agreements? This is the simplest solution I can think of, and it didn't change since masked and armed men captured governmental offices back in April.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 26 2015 14:51 utc | 101

Every day brings more Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine. Now 2000 additional Russian troops have crossed the border.

Anton Shekhovtsov

2000 now? Wasnit it 8000 last week haha?

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 26 2015 15:01 utc | 102

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Jan 26, 2015 5:10:33 AM | 90

That's it - Holoscan. The name escaped me. ICH used the same comment system and switched to the one imposed on Xymphora soon after. I also switched to Niqnaq but when RB's micro-management became too irritating, I came here, Xymph having regularly cited b's perspectives. I still lurk at X but rarely comment.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 26 2015 15:03 utc | 103

@100 dh. yea, i am a student of psychology and can't figure out those who suffer from deep denial. it mystifies me!

@102 hw... i made the mistake of going to niqnaq thinking rowan was relatively sane, only to find that i was mistaken or he was a bad drunk every time i posted based on him banning me, but not before he got the last drunken word in, lol.. sorta glad b got tired of him, in spite of him having something relevant to say every so often..

Posted by: ..james | Jan 26 2015 15:15 utc | 104

@47 No way he's American. Aussie or Kiwi or British.

Posted by: Snake Arbusto | Jan 26 2015 15:18 utc | 105

@99 Well, there's a simple solution for Russia: start complying with Minsk Agreements and stop supplies to the mercenaries in Donbass.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 26 2015 15:33 utc | 106

@105 ulcer. thanks.. wake me up when you realize the world isn't any longer flat too! it's all russias fault...wahhh, and my name is ulcer and i am a big crybaby because russia spilt my milk and stole my cookie too... mommy, er usa/nato - help me get my ukraine back, and don't forget to throw a little pork my way too.. thanks ulcer. i knew i could count on ya...

Posted by: ..james | Jan 26 2015 16:04 utc | 107

@106 Politically it's responsibility of both Ukraine and Russia. Because Ukraine might have done more to support the Russian minority and avoid the protests in the beginning of the last year. But it was Russia who sent masked, armed men to cities in Donbass who moved from the "people's protests" to an "armed rebellion" phase. And it's still Russia who is supplying the rebels with arms and mercenaries to fight on territory that belongs to Ukraine.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 26 2015 16:12 utc | 108

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 26, 2015 11:12:31 AM | 107

And Russia will continue to do that as long as Kyiv offers real estate for NATO bases.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 26 2015 16:40 utc | 109

@108 Ukraine is an independent state and has a right to host Martians if it decides so. It's their territory and it's none of Russia's business.

Actually, with each tank sent to Ukraine by Russia, the Ukraine gets yet another good reason to apply for NATO membership.

And I don't think Russia can support this war economically for much longer. Especially that it doesn't have any economic or political sense, other than satisfying ambitions and paranoias of a group of die-hard nationalists in Russia.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 26 2015 17:03 utc | 110

@#92 The OSCE "was able to count 19 rocket strikes and is certain there are more." There is nothing in the report saying all 19 strikes were the subject of analysis. Their spot report was released literally hours after the incident. There is no evidence that they did an analysis of a representative sample. There is no mention of the duds, which were definitely present. It is clear that their analysis was hasty and incomplete. It only takes one strike from the west to disprove the narrative that they were all from the east or northeast. There is no mention of the strikes on the north walls of apartment buildings, indicating fire from the direction of Sartana, where UAF are known to have MLRS. Evidence of those strikes is being posted by Mariupol residents in social media.

The OSCE report mentions Uragan strikes. Nowhere in the various videos posted by the pro-Kiev side is there a crater that looks like these.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jan 26 2015 19:54 utc | 111

@#110 NAF reports are commenting on the virginal tanks that are being abandoned without a fight by UAF. NAF also comments that the shortage is not of tanks, but trained tank operators. The UAF solution is to put conscripts into tanks without adequate training. If you were an untrained tanker watching your comrades get owned, what would you do?

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jan 26 2015 20:11 utc | 112

Hello folks. This is my first post even though I have read MOA for months. It seems obvious to me that the poster calling themselves "Ulster" is a troll. Why do you people respond to him/her? The main purpose of a troll is to bog you down in pointless, often off topic drivel. Wouldn't simply ignoring the paid idiot be far more effective? After all...the one thing a blow hard can't stand is being ignored. It defeats their reason for existing. If you stay on topic and proceed as if he/she doesn't exist you will have a more intelligent dialogue and make whoever it is irrelevant. It's just a thought. And if they aren't a troll...they are a misguided no-nothing. I suppose it's the same thing?

Posted by: Scott | Jan 26 2015 21:12 utc | 113

@113 scott. thanks scott. good point. i swing both ways, and see your point..

Posted by: ..james | Jan 27 2015 1:09 utc | 114

Scott at 113 -- A noble sentiment. You don't want them to mislead anyone, but you don't want to pay too much attention. Facts refute them, but you don't want to get bogged down in details.

"Hi, my name is Rufus M. (Hi Rufus!) It's been at least a week since I last baited a troll. I'd like to open tonight's meeting of Trollbaiters Anonymous. The bar is open!"

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 27 2015 2:38 utc | 115

Ulster -- when Pravyi Sektor manhandled the Rada and deposed Yanukovich, we were already at armed rebellion. Having created the provocation of the "Maidan 100" to justify it, the victors went on ban Russian (retracted under pressure of their paymasters).

The people in Donbas, and their friends and families across the artificial border, declined to submit to the thugs in the employ of Kiev. See Hobbes and Locke on the social contract.

And we see plenty of how they continued to use violence to retain power, against foes foreign and domestic. They're banning communism and trade unions officially now. You, however, haven't problem with that, I know.

Since NATO explicitly pledged not to expand eastward, but did so, I think it might be Russia's business. We thought it ours in Cuba.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 27 2015 3:05 utc | 116

Posted by: Scott | Jan 26, 2015 4:12:54 PM | 113


Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 27 2015 3:18 utc | 117

Hello Rufus. Honored to meet you.I agree that facts refute them. However, it won't deter them or dissuade them. WE know the facts. THEY are paid to disrupt us and bog us down. I noticed no one responded to knuckleheads palaver at 116. Good atart. If we keep it up he/she will get paid for doing nothing and having no effect. Methinks that is apropos for a gummint shill no? Let US debate the facts and let THEM be the irrelevant cockroaches they are. Stay on point folks. If a troll can get us off course we are in trouble. I say IGNORE THE TROLLS. Debate is what they want.

Posted by: Scott | Jan 27 2015 3:21 utc | 118

Ummmm....start. I meant start. Good START. I really need to proofread. So much for dazzling anyone with my brilliance.

Posted by: Scott | Jan 27 2015 3:24 utc | 119

Posted by: Scott | Jan 26, 2015 10:21:43 PM | 118

Amen ... again.
Do some people have such fragile little egos that they're incapable of deducing that "proving" that they're smarter than someone who's obviously not very bright is, at best, a pointless and hollow victory?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 27 2015 3:42 utc | 120

@120 hw and scott. people do different things for different reasons. of course one can imput their own rationale, but that is all that is..

Posted by: ..james | Jan 27 2015 3:50 utc | 121


Ukrainian nationalists not welcome at Mariupol memorial service

Just like in the summer, the second Kiev offensive,
everyone expected them to get crushed.

No surprises here.


" strong anti-Ukrainian statements and gestures from relatives and friends of the victims.

A few people tried to get to the memorial service with Ukrainian flags, when the audience began to shout at them "Shame!" "

Posted by: TRUTH | Jan 27 2015 4:23 utc | 122

in re 122 --

Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set ye free. I think that first link is very suggestive of who the locals see as responsible. Tx!

hw @ 130 -- Perhaps yes, but sometimes, it's the little things in life that matter moost. I usually try and restrain myself to matters I would discuss in any case. Coldn is occasionally right, Ulster (infrequently) bird-dogs interesting material.

I personally don't buy the ignore-them-and-then-they-go-away strategy. A favorite of liberals and "pwogwessives," IMHO. Since they're pd. (sometimes, at least), they'll be here anyway, they make handy foils.

Ignore them until they whine that you're ignoring them -- and good and loud, not just a little mumbling -- and then as economically as possible respond. I think 122 is very well done in that regard.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 27 2015 5:16 utc | 123

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 26, 2015 12:03:32 PM | 110

Has it ever occured to you that it is strange that the Ukrainian government, to defend their right to host NATO bases, are shelling their own infrastructure and killing their own citizens? Would you think a government acting in the interest of its citizens would act in this way?

Especially when the outcome is clear. US/Europe will not go to war with Russia and they will not cut all business ties but their hawks will endlessly cheer on Ukrainians to die.

A government is supposed to act rationally in the interest of its people. Does the Ukrainian government comply with this criteria?

And yes, quite likely, Russian elites have been educated in the history of the military threat to Russia that walks from Europe through Ukraine. (And no, contrary to presently propagated myth the usual direction was towards Russia, and Russia usually marched through - and stayed - fighting back).

In the history of Ukraine, wouldn't it be in the interest of Ukrainians to stop being a country that is marched through in the direction of Russia first, only to get the backlash of Russia marching the opposite direction.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 27 2015 7:56 utc | 124

@116 Oh come on Rufus. It's a long way from "banning communist ideology" to "banning trade unions" and you perfectly know that. Trade unions are organisations that defend worker's rights. Communism is an ideology that calls for a violent revolution to remove private property. And, unlike in the West, communism in former USSR countries isn't just an intellectual exercise - it's a very real experience that most of the nation holds in memory, as they or their relatives have physically experienced the horrors of bolshevism. So banning communist propaganda is just like denazification in post-war Germany, and it has nothing to do with banning trade unions.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 27 2015 12:03 utc | 125

Ulster at 125 --

You'll need to convince the leftists of Liva of that. Capitalism has millions of victims, too, btw, and it is still creating them.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 27 2015 12:28 utc | 126

@126 Capitalism is an open idea. It's being constantly modified and improved - compare the capitalism in USA, Russia, UK and Sweden. I've never been to the US, but from what you guys write it sucks totally. I've lived in Russia and it sucks even worse. I've been to UK and Sweden and it's pretty good.

So these all capitalisms are are all completely different, some work better, some worse, but all are flexible and evolve. Communism on the other hand is a closed, prescriptive ideology, that denies any evolution and instead puts everything into pseudo-religious tracks of historical materialism and dialectical materialism.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 27 2015 12:49 utc | 127

geez ulster, you're wasting your time here. Whatever logic you're going to use, they believe everything that RT and b on here tells them

Posted by: Another Jeff | Jan 27 2015 13:09 utc | 128

@Ulster #125:

banning communist propaganda is just like denazification in post-war Germany
No it isn't.
[There is an] ongoing bitter debate between Russia and post-Communist Eastern Europe over the history of World War II and the Holocaust.

Ever since the admission of the Baltics and many other East European countries to the EU and NATO, we have witnessed a systematic campaign being waged to undermine the uniqueness of the Holocaust and promote the canard of equivalency between Nazi and Communist crimes.

So not only are you a Russophobe. You are very close to being a Holocaust denier, and hence an antisemite.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 27 2015 13:09 utc | 129

@129 The link between condemning atrocities of communist regimes and "undermining the uniqueness of the Holocaust" sounds like quite an intellectual challenge, can you elaborate?

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 27 2015 13:15 utc | 130

@124 "the usual direction was towards Russia" - well, except for 1920, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1977, 1978 and 1979.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 27 2015 13:20 utc | 131

Andrey Kolesnikov writes:

Our country can present as many "human faces" of the contemporary politics as we wish, but it takes just one phrase of DNR head Alexander Zakharchenko and one rocket salvo on Mariupol to make the West rethink the idea of removing Russia from SWIFT again. And doesn't really matter the confusing logic of these apparently simple soldiers: first they gave command to attack Mariupol, then the command wasn't to really take the city, then just to circle it. If we ignore the TV nonsense, the picture is quite simple: a group of armed (out of nowhere, apparently God sent them the arms and ammo) people, taken from Isac Baabel's "Red Cavalry", decided to shell a peaceful city, located on a territory of an independent state".

This was just published in Russian on one of the biggest Russian news sites

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 27 2015 13:53 utc | 132

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 27, 2015 8:20:57 AM | 131

You seem to be historically challenged or without sense of direction.

Map of the Russian empire in 1914

Which, incidentally, is the map of 1795 to 1914.

And yes, Germany started a war against Russia in two World Wars, and guess what, supported Ukrainian nationalists/fascists against Russia/the Soviet Union in two World Wars.

Something around 20 million Soviet people died in World War II. Stalingrad/Wolgograd where the Germans were decisively beaten is just across the border of Donetsk.

Of course, Ukraine is a security issue for Russia.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 27 2015 13:59 utc | 133

@133 I see that these dates don't ring any bell. 1920 - USSR attacked Poland. 1922 - USSR stared arming Germany, bypassing international treaties. 1939 - USSR becomes an ally with Germany. 1939 - USSR invades Ukraine, Baltics, Poland and Finland. 1941 - Germany invades USSR that suddenly becomes antifascist and fights back. Very defensive politics, I must admit.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 27 2015 14:18 utc | 134

@Ulster #129:

What part of "the canard of equivalency between Nazi and Communist crimes" don't you understand? If you can't understand simple English, I can't help you. You wrote that "banning communist propaganda is just like denazification in post-war Germany", which is a claim that Nazi and Communist crimes were equivalent.

Besides the Holocaust, another way in which the Soviet Union was not equivalent to Nazi Germany is that the Soviet Union abandoned its ideology by its own internal national development, whereas Nazi Germany had to be forced by foreign powers to abandon its ideology by losing a war.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 27 2015 14:23 utc | 135

LoL. You folks are letting him do it to you again. Instead of debating issues and exchanging information among're letting a troll distract you and get you to waste your time in a tit for tat game of one-upsmanship. IGNORE him. If "b" has a post on the identity of the specop/merc filmed in Mariupol...are you going to allow this troll to get you into an endless circular debate on nationality? Why? Can't we just agree the merc isn't a Ukie and therefore it shows a new phase in the situation? Does it really matter WHERE he was born? are unfolding rapidly in our world. And we need to keep up with them and help each other to stay informed. The time to debate trolls and paid shills is over. Let US stick together and let HIM play his game alone and ignored. You people are too smart to fall for his crap...or are you?

Posted by: Scott | Jan 27 2015 14:36 utc | 136

@136 scott. seems like a relatively reasonable discussion to me. labeling others as trolls only goes so far.

i do agree with a poster who has said it would be nice to read the name of the poster at the top of the posts rather then the bottom so that one could skip a poster more easily if they wanted to..

alternatively if one doesn't like a traffic jam, they can opt to skip going out in traffic..

or, if someone seems to have stalled, one can always drive are und them.. many options in life and message boards.

Posted by: ..james | Jan 27 2015 14:52 utc | 137

@Scott #136:

Haha, you got me. I just couldn't resist raising the false equivalency point though, after I ran across a piece by "the chief Nazi-hunter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and director of its Israel Office" coming out firmly on the side of Russia against the Russophobic position of Poland and the Baltic statelets.

Speaking of (concern) trolling, Igor Strelkov and the "No Fly Zone" blogger are saying that the rebels are not making significant advances and that they don't have the capacity to do so. (No disrespect to Strelkov intended.) There are pretty conflicting takes right now in the Russian blogosphere as to how the Ukraine civil war is going. One interesting thing about the NAF is that how large their army is is not publicly known, which suggests that they have pretty good operational security.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 27 2015 15:03 utc | 138

I think we should all try to understand Ulster's position. All he wants is for Russia to stop helping the people of Donbass so that the Ukies can go in there and get things back to normal. Pravyi Sektor for instance are reasonable people. I'm sure there won't be any killing and looting.

Posted by: dh | Jan 27 2015 15:27 utc | 139

Hi James at 137. Are you attempting to get me to debate trolls? No thanks. I've noticed you tend to defend Ulster. Birds of a feather? I hope not. This will be the ONLY time I respond to anyone defending him. Reasonable discussion? I disagree. It's an endless debate designed to distract and I see you can be helpful in accomplishing that. This is a case in point. I am wasting my time debating him rather than learning/sharing with others. We don't have time arguing semantics. Focus on big picture and agree to disagree on details. Hi Demian at 138. I would say the conflicting reports are due to a very fluid and fast changing reality on the ground. All we can do is try to keep up and not get caught up in rumors or propaganda. Let's try to share what we know...and not so much what we hear or believe. Remember, a belief is just a firmly held position despite the lack of evidence. We ALL believed in Santa didn't make him real.

Posted by: Scott | Jan 27 2015 15:35 utc | 140

Bloomberg nails it - this is what people in Ukraine are dying for

The West could respond to Putin in two ways. It could pressure Poroshenko into accepting a conditional surrender, a compromise that would keep Ukraine out of NATO, though not out of the European Union, and force it to reintegrate the eastern regions more or less on Russian terms. Alternatively, it could offer direct military aid to Ukraine, in the form of both weapons and troops. The first path -- the only one that has a chance of ending the bloodshed -- is unacceptable for reasons of vanity, and the second one means a war with Russia -- a prospect voters in Europe and the U.S. don't relish.

So the West is choosing not to address the problem at all.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 27 2015 16:33 utc | 141


Nails it? Hardly.
Its not Russia but Ukraine that attacking its people, west can do everything to stop that, they arent.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 27 2015 16:38 utc | 142

Gotta love how Ulster thinks he can reinvent history by a process of selective omission.

1919 (not 1920) - the new Polish state wages a war of eastward expansion, first against the Ukrainian state, then against Russia. Nearly defeated in 1920 until an infusion of military aid, including armor and aircraft, from France and Britain allowed Poland to advance eastward again. Treaty of Riga (1921) leaves Poland in control of western Belarus and the western Ukraine.

1921 - Ukrainian SSR created with boundaries including the Donbass and the Black Sea coast to win the loyalty of Ukrainian warlords to the Soviet Union. Unitary Ukraine was a Bolshevik creation!

1922 - Treaty of Rapallo initiates training of the Red Army by Germany in exchange for economic aid to Germany during the collapse of the German economy. Mass starvation in Germany avoided as a result. Concessions to Germany under the 1925 Treaty of Locarno used to draw Germany back to the west.

1936 - USSR proposes "Anti-Fascist Front" in Europe in response to the Spanish Civil War. European powers say no dice because they think they can train the Nazis to be nice in the west and do their bidding against the USSR.

1938 - Munich agreement negates security treaty between the USSR and Czechoslovakia and strengthens Germany in the direction of the USSR. USSR sees no prospect of alliance with Britain and France, leading to.....

1939 - The Molotov Von Ribbentrop Pact, which staves off the prospect of war between Germany and allows the USSR to reclaim portions of Belarus and the Ukraine occupied by Poland. USSR occupies territory after the Polish government flees Warsaw. Eastern boundary of Poland ratified at the 1945 Yalta conference in exchange for transfer of German territory to Poland.

1939 - 1940 - The "phony war" takes place as Britain and France hedge their plans for war against Germany against the prospect of Germany going to war against the USSR in the immediate future. They lost their bet when Germany attacked France first.

1941 - Britain grudgingly accepts war alliance with the USSR after the USSR is invaded by Germany. Status of British-sponsored Polish Government In Exile complicates the relationship.

1943 - Casablanca conference adopts Britain's Mediterranean/Balkan strategy that was strategically fatuous but favored for the prospect of seizing territory in eastern Europe to create a new Cordon Sanitaire. Strategy founders as the Italian offensive bogs down simultaneously with the collapse of the Wehrmacht in the Ukraine.

1945 - Operation Unthinkable study by British High Command concludes that western allies had insufficient forces for a surprise attack against the Red Army to be successful. No prospect for overturning the Yalta agreement, much to the consternation of Winston Churchill.

1978 - First project under the Brzezinski Doctrine, arming Jihadis in Afghanistan to overthrow a government not sufficiently aligned with the west.

1998- NATO pursues policy of eastward expansion and intervenes on behalf of Islamic fundamentalists in Kosovo. Relations with Russia deteriorate.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jan 27 2015 21:19 utc | 143

Nothing better than lies!
Today, the Nazis of Kiev lost 6 battles.

Posted by: Leonny K Lys | Jan 27 2015 21:39 utc | 144

Scott, you must realize that the position that Ulster takes is the majority position especially among the Ruling Class and much of the populace. His rants may be annoying but they do contain some truths that are based in fact. Russia/USSR has a checkered history and just because we support their position today is no reason to try to discredit the facts of their past transgressions, this leads to blind admiration and groupthink.

I think comments such as those from Ulster are an opportunity to sharpen critical thinking and to realize that support for Russia is not without complications.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Jan 27 2015 22:43 utc | 145

@Wayoutwest #145:

It's not just the ruling class (article by Israel Shamir in Russian). In 1945, 57% of French thought that WW II was won primarily by the Russians; 20% thought it was by the Americans. In 2004, 20% thought it was Russia and 58% the US. I never would have thought that the French could be made to be so ignorant. I hope the Germans are better informed.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 27 2015 23:40 utc | 146

To Ulster at 93

The point is that your claim about the majority of those fighting in the Donbas being locals is invalid if, as you seem to now recognize, minority of recruits are locals and majority are from Russia.

I'm unclear what I said that signaled agreement, I'll be sure to be more careful.

I was asking you for evidence, not agreeing with you. Why would I agree with a point for which you have produced no evidence?

I asked for the source of your info. on NAF’s Order of Battle, which would allow you to state the no. of local vs. international combatants. I’m still waiting.

America has an all-volunteer army. They all get paid.

Of course, you haven't addressed any of my substantive questions, e.g. at 126. The left thinks it's going to make trade union work illegal. Why wouldn't they? But them was some right purty words you was a-saying 'bout capitalism.

To be fair though, I don't think you've responded to the questions of anyone else, either.

I'd composed most of that this a.m., but couldn't post it. All I can do at this pt. is shout out some props. Overall, a fair discussion, some amt. of enlightenment, maybe a little overkill here and there, but who am I to complain?

Wayout at 145 -- well said, foil, sparing partner, punching bag, the ripest of the right straight from the horse. Ulster is almost crazy enough for Faux News.

james, somebody, demian, dh, Thirdeye -- keep up the good work, but straight time, no o.t., ok? I'm (almost) off the clock now myself, won't kibbitz.

Scott at 140 -- Fine debut to date, you will quickly find jas. is no friend of folks like ulster. As I said, noble sentiments, which Demian, I would say largely shares.

But as an observer of human behavior, I'm willing to bet, someday someone will get under your skin or up in your face, and like in any good street-fight, someone else will have to step in to separate the sides. D. has scolded me (and sometimes rightly so) about being a bit too agressive, but there you've got him on the record above, copping to it himself.

Remember, Barflies, just say no! Friends don't let friends bait trolls!

Said I was almost off the clock, let me punch out with a date. Thirdeye at 143 -- a pretty impressive list, beat me to it. Permit me to add one.

May 2, 1935, Franco-Soviet Pact. Along with a similar treaty w/Czechoslovakia, they were pledged to mutual aid; it was designed to curb the Nazi threat. The Soviets were prepared to defend the Prague in 1938, but Paris refused to pressure its Polish allies to allow overflights; Warsaw was negotiating itself with Germany at that pt. Despite its alliance with Czechoslovakia, Moscow had no say at Munich, and hence, the result.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 28 2015 1:39 utc | 147

clarification -- a little too forward in dealing with trolls, "aggressive" is too vague. My bad.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 28 2015 1:41 utc | 148

Hi rufus@148. Yes, I agree about james. I reread what he said. I think I mistook his reasonable observation as defense of the indefensible. LoL. My only excuse is I'm Irish. Quick to temper, quick to forgive or admit wrong. My apology james. I must admit rufus, your troll-baiting has been refined to a high art. If I have one mild critique it would be you tend pit wits with people who are only half-way armed. (grin). I'll tell you destroy them and I will try to ignore them. With luck we will both succeed. Cheers.

Posted by: Scott | Jan 28 2015 2:16 utc | 149

Ulster is desperate for anyone to agree with him. He can't understand that the people there do not want to be a part of the "new" - fascist controlled - Ukraine.

It is obvious that the people there support this effort. Like every sort of Empire-backing knuckle dragger, Ulster is busy trying to push for the victory of the fascists over a group of people who are clearly resisting.

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 28 2015 2:38 utc | 150

Another trap that I see people continue to fall into is viewing comments such as those from Ulster as being solely coming from Neo-Cons when in fact much of the Liberal-Center believe the same and they are in control of our government today, George Soros is one of their biggest Liberal supporters. The WOT has as much and possibly more support from the Liberal Democrats as from the Republicans.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Jan 28 2015 4:10 utc | 151

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 27, 2015 11:38:49 AM | 142

Look, the Western fantasy/demand is for Russia to close the border to Ukraine, so Kyiv can defeat the Donetsk/Luhansk uprising.

Of course, Russia is not doing that but supporting, helping, training, paying for the Donetsk and Luhansk uprising as long as Kyiv is NATO and hostile to Russia.

From a legal position you can take all kind of views, but Russia accepted the Kyiv government after Poroshenko's election. So the uprising is illegal even in Russia's terms. RT calls Donetsk and Luhansk fighters "militia" and Russia has not recognized the republics.

There is no way to tell Kyiv to stop fighting and let the rebels take the whole of Donetsk and Luhansk over and possibly more.

Russia works with plausible deniability, very much the same way the West supports fighters in Syria - no official war is declared, everyone pretends its a civil war, but there is proactive subversion and support of fighters.

Of course Western politicians/Merkel argue from a green table fantasy land. The border between Ukraine and Russia is fictitious, families stretch across it, and Russia is the only open border for Ukrainians to flee - for safety and from the draft. Russia closing the border would also mean a complete humanitarian desaster in Donetsk and Luhansk as Kyiv openly cuts off supplies from their side - without being called out for it by Europe.

So the only sensible course for the West would be to tell Kyiv to make peace with Russia. But obviously that is what they do not want to do. Or maybe what the US does not want to do.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 28 2015 7:27 utc | 152

@ wayoutwest #151

One of the weird things about these times is how the old markers of "liberal" and "conservative" have become meaningless. Or maybe they have been meaningless since the Left moved away from the deeper structural issues in society and became obsessed with frivolities expressed as "political correctness." Now we have "liberals" advocating cultural imperialism, abdicating issues such as economic self-determination and community interest to an ascendant tendency on the far right - some of the most visible opponents of the Atlantic-imperial agenda.

@ rufus #147

That's an interesting one. What it means to me is that there was a brief overture towards dealing with the common threat between France and the USSR in 1935, but it was discredited by France's stance on the Spanish Civil War then the Munich agreement. No wonder Stalin saw Hitler as a negotiating partner more credible than either Deladier or Chamberlain.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jan 28 2015 7:55 utc | 153

somebody 152

That I agree with 100%, btw you should get a blog, you have a lot of interesting analysis.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 28 2015 8:58 utc | 154

Anonymous | Jan 28, 2015 3:58:56 AM | 154


Posted by: rjj | Jan 28 2015 11:37 utc | 155

Scott at 146 --

A dirty job, but someone has to do it. At least for Novorossiya.

Sounds like a plan! I have an Irish temper myself, different sort. I'm slow to anger, but once I do, I get really pissed off and stay good and pissed off for a while.

Thirdeye at 133 --

Glad you liked my addition. There was a slogan on right around the Popular Front gov't. in the 30's -- "Better Hitler than Blum." Munich and Spain were the final stages of a long process. All that usually get disappeared in the mainstream narrative.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 28 2015 12:41 utc | 156

@rufus #156: Who was Blum?

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jan 28 2015 16:38 utc | 157

@143 Ever heard of battle of Warsaw in 1920 as part of bolshevik plan to spread world revolution?

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 28 2015 17:04 utc | 158

@143 The Soviet "anti-fascist" plan of 1936 was purely a PR stunt because since 1922 Soviet Union was sending millions of tons of wood, steel and ores to Germany as well as allowing them train their army in Russia, bypassing earlier treaties. Building your worst enemy's army sounds like a bit of weird way to weaken them, right?

Also mentioning 1939 you obviously forgot Finland invaded by USSR in November.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 28 2015 17:09 utc | 159

@143 Commenting on the 1939-1940 period you forgot to mention that during these two years Soviet Union and Third Reich cooperated very closely - up to NKVD and Gestapo cooperatively hunting for partisans in the former Baltic/Poland/Ukraine/Belarussia territories. And, obviously, USSR continued to enthusiastically support Third Reich with steel, wood, food etc.

P.S. there's a very inspiring book by Margarete Buber-Neumann, a German communist (!) who visited USSR in 30's as Komintern representative and was arrested during the worst purges period for, well, being a German communist, then ended up in a Soviet concentration camp in Kazakhstan, where she almost died. Then, as part of the viruous cooperation between the two security bodies she was sent back to Germany in 1940, handed over to Gestapo... and she ended up in Nazi concentration camp in Ravensbruck.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 28 2015 17:17 utc | 160

"His rants may be annoying but they do contain some truths that are based in fact."

1/2 truths are lies.

Posted by: ruralito | Jan 28 2015 17:35 utc | 161

@140 scott.. scott quote "Hi James at 137. Are you attempting to get me to debate trolls? No thanks. I've noticed you tend to defend Ulster. Birds of a feather? I hope not. This will be the ONLY time I respond to anyone defending him."

you are incapable of recognizing the difference between defending the concept to discuss on message boards and what you refer to as my defense of ulster. either you are a bigger idiot then i give you credit for, or you are incapable of reading the many exchanges i have had with ulster... hopefully the later, as the other implies you are really ignorant... cheers james

Posted by: james | Jan 28 2015 20:08 utc | 162

Hi james. Please see my exchange with rufus 147 and 149. And PLEASE don't ask my kids as to my idiocy. I apologized there and do so again. Are we square?

Posted by: Scott | Jan 28 2015 20:40 utc | 163

thanks scott.. i missed that as i was too busy being outraged at your comment. cheers james

Posted by: james | Jan 28 2015 20:43 utc | 164

It's quite all right james. I glad I'm not the only one who can be quick to anger...and doesn't read all posts before I type. (grin). Remember...we ARE on the same side. We can agree to disagree, but let's work together.

Posted by: Scott | Jan 28 2015 20:49 utc | 165

@james #162:

The problem with Ulster is that he is not here to engage in debate or to share information, but to knowingly defend genocide. Most of the Web follows the Western corporate media and is strongly anti-Russian. This Web site is an exception, and that infuriates Ulster, so he decided to do something about that, and to troll the pro-Nazi view. Every single post he makes expresses blind hatred of Russia, and he is obviously very happy about the fascist junta committing genocide against the people of Donbass. It is impossible not to know that what is going on in Donbass is the genocide of people who identify as Russian by Banderite fascists, so by constantly expressing his hatred of Russia, Ulster is just celebrating genocide.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 28 2015 21:01 utc | 166


158 - Yes, I've heard your propaganda before. It doesn't change the fact that Poland launched their expansionist war in 1919, first against the Ukrainian state that was not affiliated with the Bolsheviks. That fact alone blows your narrative out of the water. As a reward, Poland had a bitter occupation of Volyn and Galicia for nearly 20 years.

159 - Was Germany fascist in 1922? Was the German army training in the Soviet Union after 1933? Learn some basic logic. No, I haven't forgotten about the Winter War or the Soviet Union's actions in the Baltic States in 1940. They were a continuation of the civil war that had been in remission. Learn something about the intentions of Karl von Mannerheim and Nazi agitation in the Baltic States prior to 1939. It was ugly, but it made strategic sense with the expansion of German power eastward.

160 - Stalin in 1940-41 was appeasing Hitler just like Chamberlain and Deladier were before the war.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jan 28 2015 21:05 utc | 167

@167 Hm, there's just one small thing that is wrong about your 1919 argument: it was Red Army was beaten near Warsaw, not the other way around. Last time I checked, Warsaw was in the center of Poland.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 28 2015 21:21 utc | 168

@Ulster 168 That's like saying, "If Germany was the aggressor, what was the Red Army doing in Berlin in 1945." There was a lot more to that war than the battle of Warsaw, you know.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jan 28 2015 21:35 utc | 169

@167 Soviets delivered 1m t of oil, 140k t of manganese ore, 1.6m t of grain etc after 1940, based on commercial agreement signed in 1939. Difficult to defend this as "appeasing".

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 28 2015 21:41 utc | 170

@169 Did you ever hear about Soviet westward offensive of 1918–19 when Red Army attacked Estonia, and only then Poland (which was only created in 1918)?

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 28 2015 21:46 utc | 171

@166 Denazification was the process of removing former national socialist criminals from the administration of post-war Germany. Decommunisation was the process of removing former communist criminals from the administration of post-communist countries. Obviously, only a very dumb person would twist comparison of these processes into "antisemitism".

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 28 2015 21:48 utc | 172

@Demian #166:

I forgot to add a qualification to what I wrote there. The last sentence was meant to read: "If one regularly makes posts on this blog, it is impossible not to know that what is going on in Donbass is the genocide of people who identify as Russian by Banderite fascists, so by constantly expressing his hatred of Russia, Ulster is just celebrating genocide."

Posted by: Demian | Jan 28 2015 21:50 utc | 173

@166 And if you want to play a nazi hunter then go and start from your nazi heroes from Russia. Like Alexander Dugin, who was just recently posing with Ku-Klux-Klan's antisemite David Duke.

Also, for the whole week you haven't even once contributed to discussion that everyone here is having, just repeatedly accusing others of "not engaging in debate" which actually seems to be exactly what you're doing.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 28 2015 21:55 utc | 174

@Ulster #174:

I didn't say that you're a Nazi. I said you celebrate the genocide of Russians, and you haven't denied that. Not just Nazis are thrilled by the genocide of Russians.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 28 2015 22:03 utc | 175

Demian. With all due respect. Look how far off topic that half-wit has gotten us. The topic is Mariupol and that numb-nuts has you arguing about the Soviet Union? The Soviet Union hasn't existed in almost thirty years. If he wishes to drink juice boxes in mommys basement and revel in his "importance"...let him. He is either a paid shill or delusional. I won't waste my time on him. Wait...actually I am. Shame on me. If he wishes to exalt Nazism...let him. Perhaps every tenth post should read...Caution Ulster is a shill. Perhaps that would do it? And if he/she would like to articulate their idea of a just and good society...I'm sure we would love to hear it. Otherwise, it just plays the contrarian. Actually...I find Ulsters posts humorous. I knew kids with the same worldview in sixth grade. Some of us grew up. Some didn't.

Posted by: Scott | Jan 28 2015 22:23 utc | 176

@Ulster 171

That was a civil war between Bolshevik and Czarist states within the old Russian empire. Poland's war was a war of conquest. You still have no answer for the fact that western Ukraine was the first target of Polish expansionism, then Russian territories once Poland had what they wanted from Ukraine.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jan 28 2015 22:25 utc | 177

Thirdeye at 157 --

Léon Blum was the Premier of the Popular Front government in France in 1936, and again later during the Spanish Civil War. His government co-operated with Britain in enforcing the arms embargo on the Republic that the Germans and Italians ignored in order to aid Franco. Stalin is buying time to prepare in 1940, not appeasing.

Ulster at -- whatever

I'll confine myself to citing the Wikipedia on the Franco-Soviet Treaty.

The effectiveness of this pact was undermined even further by the French government's insistent refusal to accept a military convention stipulating the way in which the two armies would coordinate actions in the event of war with Germany.

When in response to this, Hitler re-militarized the Rhineland in violation of Versailles, France did nothing. German rearmament was not yet complete, and the General Staff feared defeat should France act. Best chance to stop the Nazis, lost. How might the Kremlin take that, Spain, fascists in Ethiopia?

On Poland, again, just this from the Wikipedia.

The Polish–Soviet war likely happened more by accident than design, as it seems unlikely that anyone in Soviet Russia or in the new Second Republic of Poland would have deliberately planned a major foreign war.

Bottom line on fascism Westerners Have Forgotten USSR Played the Central Role in Nazi End

The Soviet Union was the only unequivocally indispensable party in the defeat of Nazi Germany (and, incidentally, bringing an end to the Holocaust).

Scott at 176 --

You're wrong, actually, he's got us all the way back to the end of "The Great War", WWI. All well and good, but for the open thread, perhaps?

If I may, a tip -- this is the time you step in to try to get things back on thread with a killer link. Anything Mariupol, something good anywhere in the Donbas in pinch. If I may, I think this round is on you....

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 29 2015 1:16 utc | 178

Geez rufus....nothing like pressure. LoL. First of're right. He did get us back to 1919. What's next? Napoleon and 1812? a pinch... I came up with... I sure hope you can do better. But at the least it gets us back on topic?

Posted by: Scott | Jan 29 2015 1:30 utc | 179

@165 scott... well we share some irish ancestry then and can attribute some of our lightening flash response to that, lol.. apparently my dad's family going back to the potato famine in ireland, moved to the highlands of scotland for the next few hundred years before making it to quebec city, canada on the ship macdonald in 1798..

@166 demian.. i agree with you.. doesn't look like anything sinks in with ulster. he has his mind fixated a particular way that is resistant to any flexibility or imagination.. at least, that is my impression. i spite of that, i do sometimes say something to him!! - mostly for effect, as opposed to thinking anything will sink in.

Posted by: james | Jan 29 2015 1:35 utc | 180

Ok rufus@178 I have three more. And And It's the best I can do on short notice. But it does get us back on point? Man I hope so..

Posted by: Scott | Jan 29 2015 1:38 utc | 181

Scott at 181 -- Well done, it just might work. I posted the "One More Push" item on the open thread myself. Someone else will have to put you wise to html, gotta get them links lookin' good.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 29 2015 1:52 utc | 182

rufus@182. I try...but apparently I AM as dumb as my kids like to tell people. I am open to lessons. Prior to 2013 I didn't even know how to turn a computer on. Have patience. I will learn. And james@180 All us Irish boys know anger. And forgiveness. I am certain we will get along fine. Any lessons as per my pathetic attempts to post sites would be appreciated and gratefully accepted.

Posted by: Scott | Jan 29 2015 2:04 utc | 183

hi scott, for posting links copy and paste the data that looks like this on the right side of the page under - Remember personal info:
Link to ACLU

insert your link specific link instead of the above :

put your description for it in the area where it says Link to ACLU

that will give you a direct link to a site. here is my doing it with the kremlin stooge website.

kremlin stooge website

Posted by: james | Jan 29 2015 2:15 utc | 184

actually that didn't work as i forgot pasting all of the bottom line beginning with < and ending with > will give you just this! - Link to ACLU → Link to ACLU

Posted by: james | Jan 29 2015 2:17 utc | 185

Scott @ 183 -- Not to worry. I had the damnedest time with block quotes.

Always preview before you post. If you don't get the title or snappy catch phrase underlined, or you get the entire paragraph as your link, you've botched it. I usually find I've missed a "/" somewhere.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 29 2015 3:02 utc | 186

Hi james@185. I will try it. Just bear with me. You too rufus...I'm trying. OK boys and girls, back on point. As far as the attack on Mariupol. It seems evident it's just another false flag to paint the Freedom Fighters...not "militia...not..."separatists"...and certainly not "rebels" as the aggressors. You cannot be the aggressor when you are defending your home, family and loved ones from danger and perhaps death. Would any of us do any less? It also appears that the Kiev regime has, possibly for some time now, been employing mercs and also likely foreign spec-ops. I fear more and deadlier false flags in the near future as the Kiev regime grows even more desperate. As far as the over all situation? I see the Freedom Fighters having the tactical advantage and the initiative. Both are vital to victory. They also have the superior morale. I have little doubt they receive assistance from Russia just our shame...the U.S. government as well as the E.U. and no doubt israel assist the regime in Kiev. I could go on...but this is a start. Folks...take it from there. And Ulster...don't forget this is ENTIRELY Russias fault dating all the way back to 814A.D. Cheers folks.

Posted by: Scott | Jan 29 2015 3:03 utc | 187

"Donbass Battles. The Decision Approaches." intimates that Novorossiyan artillery superiority is forcing the Kiev junta forces to attack--suicidal, but politically more acceptable and allowing them to inflict at least some losses on the NAF, which is in much less of a position to sustain them. To do so, however, they must expend their reserves, which are on the verge of exhaustion; afterwards they face disaster when the NAF can resume their own counteroffensive: "Mariupol can become the main prize of the winter battles."

Apparently the junta is even throwing troops trained and equipped for duty guarding checkpoints and police patrols into the front lines--this should provide increased opportunities for NAF sabotage recon groups and for partisans deeper behind the lines in junta-controlled Ukraine.

I've also been reading in different reports that the junta is using Right Sector as "barrier troops"--I first heard of these from my Italian grandfather, who told me that the Nazis in North Africa used to position SS behind Italian troops, shooting any who attempted to retreat. This caused several mass surrenders of Italians to the British. It is apparently having the same effect today, with mass surrenders of UAF to the NAF.

Posted by: Vintage Red | Jan 29 2015 6:59 utc | 188

Technical check-in @ several comments above:

When I first started posting here last last year I soon got the HTML Tags down and all seemed fine. Then recently, and to me inexplicably as I was doing nothing different, I started experiencing "weirdness" with some of them. Links are still working fine, but trying to italicize a word or phrase leads to the entire rest of the text being italicized (as is now evident, at least in my preview of this message... thus I've started using alternatives to italics).

Blockquoting a passage also leads to the entire rest of the post being blockquoted (once I even achieved "double blockquoting" which got painfully small to read--I undid it by removing the second < BLOCKQUOTE > from the intended passage--???).

Anyone have similar experiences, or otherwise know what may be going on?

Posted by: Vintage Red | Jan 29 2015 7:12 utc | 189

@Vintage Red #189:

I've never heard of that type of problem. Either you're doing something wrong or there's a bug somewhere. The only problem, which is very annoying, that I have with making posts on occasion is that they get blocked on account of a link that I give.

What browser, browser version, and operating system are you using? You don't need to capitalize "blockquote" btw, or any of those other html tags for that matter.

rufus magister makes a good point when he says that you should preview before you post, if your post uses any html anyway.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 29 2015 10:11 utc | 190

@188 You surely meant NKVD barrier troops as they were used as early as in 1918.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 29 2015 11:47 utc | 191

@178 Back in 1918, it wasn't only Poland that Soviets have attacked.

On 3 March 1918 Trotsky unilaterally cancelled the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which guaranteed borders of these countries. He did that on .

Soviets first attacked Estonia, who was at the same time fighting with German army (what an interesting parallel with 1939 by the way). Then they attacked Lithuania and Ukraine. Just to remind you, that

Then in 1919 they started attacking eastern borders of Poland, in 1920 attemping the siege of Warsaw.

To remind you the broader context of these events: it was just after 1917 revolution, when bolsheviks still believed in worldwide revolution. Which did not happen. So they decided the revolutions in Europe need some "external support", and this support was going to be provided by Red Army moving westward.

They got their ass kicked both in all these countries, fortunately, and were forced to sign a peace treaties with them.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 29 2015 12:03 utc | 192

Ulster at 192 --

World revolution did occur, in Germany, e.g.. Had the Social Democrats not used the Freikorps, (many would late become stormtroopers), to suppress the Communists, it would have succeeded. Fascism also came to power in Italy in reaction to growing militancy.

Poland wasn't the only nation to intervene. Allied intervention forestalled the spread, but did not snuff the revolution in its cradle.

Any more misdirection about the Civil War or WWII you will need to post on the open thread, should you wish there to a chance of taking you seriously.

and at 191 -- no, we're not confusing WWII with today, nor does it change the looming defeat at Debaltsevo.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 29 2015 12:34 utc | 193

@Demian, 190:

I'm on a Mac running OS X 10.9.5, browsing on Firefox 35.0.1. The glitches happen regardless of whether I cut-and-paste the HTML tags from the "Post a comment" field or hand type them in, upper or lower case. I always preview and proofread before posting; learned that a long time ago.

I don't bold or underline much, and can limp along using *asterisks* in place of italics, but the real annoyance is not being able to blockquote sizable quotes except at the end of posts.

I consulted with my Mac Whisperer, who said to try previewing some test posts on Safari with all plug ins disabled--no luck, all the above still happens. If you or anyone else has any ideas on what this is about and how to resolve it, I'm all ears; failing that, is there any site tech support I can go to? I can't seem to find any.

Posted by: Vintage Red | Jan 30 2015 14:57 utc | 194

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