Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 13, 2015

Ukraine: Right Sector Breaks Ceasefire, Newsweek Smears Akhmetov

Serious fighting has again started in east Ukraine. The AP reports:

On Sunday alone, the OSCE recorded at least 1,166 explosions, caused mainly by artillery and mortar shell strikes in northern Donetsk as well as on its outskirts including the airport, now obliterated by fighting.

The OSCE also reported intense mortar fire outside the village of Shyrokyne, by the Azov Sea, but said its representatives were repeatedly barred from accessing the village on Sunday.

The AP report does not say who or what started these battles. It is dancing around the really important issue of who broke the ceasefire with this:

Col. Andriy Lishchynskyi, a Ukrainian representative for monitoring the cease-fire in the east, blamed the clashes on "a highly emotional state and personal animosity" between the fighters on both sides, according to the Interfax news agency.

Yeah, that is what a "Ukrainian representative" would probably say. What are the readers to assume from that?

The AP writers certainly read the relevant OSCE spot report. So why did they leave out this part?

Both the Ukrainian Armed Forces representative and the Russian Federation representative to the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) told the SMM that the Ukrainian side (assessed to be the Right Sector volunteer battalion) earlier had made an offensive push through the line of contact towards Zhabunki (“DPR”-controlled, 14km west-north-west of Donetsk), ...

The Nazis from the Right Sector Azov battalion attacked, broke the ceasefire and started the fighting.

But readers of just AP reports will not learn that.

There is a comparable issue with this smear piece by Newsweek. It is somewhat laudable in that it is the first one I see in the "western" media which reports on the issue of the eight political functionaries who were "suicided" in Ukraine by unknown perpetrators:

When Melnychuk’s body was found on 22 March, police initially told local journalists he had committed suicide. But it soon emerged that alarmed neighbours had called police on hearing of a late-night struggle. Pathologists found he had been badly beaten before the fall. Later the same day, Odessa prosecutors registered Melnychuk’s “suicide” as a murder, and arrested a former police officer they describe only as “citizen K”.

In reply to a legal request by Newsweek for information on investigations into the deaths of seven other former officials, all tied to Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions, the General Prosecutor’s Office responded that all the information about all the deaths was a state secret – a staggering claim to make about a series of apparently unrelated civilian deaths they told the press were suicides.

After an intervention by the Presidential Administration, the General Prosecutor’s Office disclosed that four of the seven deaths are being investigated as murders, with another investigation as yet unclassified. The two remaining cases had been closed with no evidence of a crime. No other information was provided.

That is all well and correct so far. But then the Newsweek piece by Maxim tucker weirs off into Lala-land.

Tucker claims that the most likely man behind these death is the the oligarch Rinat Akhmetov. Akhmetov is the billionaire financial backer of the Party of the Regions who has many business interests in east Ukraine. Tucker asserts that Akhmetov had those people killed because they had helped him when he acquired, through bribes and violence, companies that the state privatized. They knew too much according to Tucker.

But these people were involved in many privatizations and not all of those went to Akhmetov. They were all also loyal to Akhmetov, long time servants of him and there was no sign that they were changing sides or worked against him. He simply had no reason to kill them.

Other oligarchs like Ihor Kolomoisky, the man behind the current prime minister Yatsenyuk and the financier behind the Azoz Nazis, have just as much interest to cover the tracks of their illegal acquisitions. They also saw the deceased party functionaries as the opposition to their rule. In any neutral investigation their ownerships of various companies and holdings would be just as much in question as Akhmetov's. As witnesses with knowledge of all wild privatization the killed people were much more likely to accuse them than they were to accuse Akhmetov. These oligarchs are, in my view, much more likely to have ordered the killings.

The Newsweek smear piece does not even mention that as a possibility. It simply asserts, with zero evidence, that Akhmetov must have been the man behind the murderers.

It seems to be a rule for "western" reporting on Ukraine (and elsewhere) that anything that may show a negative light on "our" puppets will be left out or, if that is no longer possible, be blamed on the other side.

Posted by b on April 13, 2015 at 17:26 UTC | Permalink


your conclusion is so true b.. the western media is a laughing stock of many at this point as the avoidance of giving an impartial view, or giving data that would help illuminate for the reader is typically left out.. it is hard not to get the sense that an agenda is at work to maintain a 24/7 mantra on big bad russia and evil putin.. how the newsweek article leaves out koloimosky as a possible suspect speaks volumes on the lack of impartiality of the reporter..

as for the ceasefire being broken - it is the same story.. no will be blamed on the novo side in spite of azoz crew, right sektor and the rest of them having started it.. typical western media bullshit..

Posted by: james | Apr 13 2015 19:14 utc | 1

To be fair I thought the AP report was a lot more balanced than similar stuff written a few months ago. Likewise Newsweek is at least talking about Ukraine's oligarchs and corruption. Usually they just blame all the problems on Russia.

Posted by: dh | Apr 13 2015 20:04 utc | 2

Reuters is as bad. Reuters, AP, all the Western MSM are openly propagandizing for the US/EU and their NAZI puppets in the Ukraine. Reading their accounts is equivalent to watching the war itself unfold. Weaponized, the Western press is just another unit in the Western Privat Sektor.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 13 2015 23:09 utc | 3

Speaking of media failures, the Christain Science Monitor today posted a story about Ukraine banning popular political parties, rewriting its history and honoring Nazi collaborators under an image of fascists flying their bloody Banderist and Nazi-inspired flags under the tagline:

Do Ukraine's new nationalist laws justify Kremlin's criticism? and then starts its story with the words "Russian propagandists".

Along with banning the piano player in Canada, it is clear the West has lost its mind, has rejected the better parts of its World War 2 history, and is for all intents and purposes at war with Russia. Extremely dangerous.

This second Cold War puts makes a lie of every "reason" for the first.

"The Dangers of Communism"
"Preventing Totalitarianism"
"Saving free markets"
"Defending the Free World"

Every stated reason a lie. The real reason? Expand German, US, and Anglo influence over the East of Europe in a naked Imperialist gambit as transparent as the race for Africa in the late 1800s.

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 13 2015 23:47 utc | 4

@jfl - Absolutely. Reuters is the one playing the games in Tikrit - that fabricated little dog-and-pony show all meant to make it harder for the Iraqis to fight ISIS themselves, without US meddling.

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 13 2015 23:49 utc | 5

Forgot the link for @4:

"Nationalist" laws. "Kremlin" criticism.

I say right now that celebrating the Ukrainian Quisling's feat of spilling the blood of 100,000 civillians during the Second World War is far far far more than "nationalist".

And the disgust of people all over the world - especially those who took the brunt of fascism in the Second World War like China, Russia, Greece and those who faced fascism's bastard children in Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s - accounts for far more than "Kremlin" criticism.

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 13 2015 23:54 utc | 6

I doubt that any of the Ukrainian elites who made their deal with the devil to oust Ol' Yanuk care about what's happened to their country... But I can't imagine the average Ukrainian citizen imagined that in their attempt to change from a broke, corrupt Russian vassal oligarchy that they wanted a an impoverished, Nazi-infested American vassal in a bloody civil war. Nor can I imagine that more war is good for anyone. I suspect the economic situation in the Western part of the country is even more dire than they are letting on...

Seems as if the Germans and French are very displeased with this turn of events...

Posted by: Almand | Apr 14 2015 2:36 utc | 7

@3 jfl.. i like your word description for the western press -unit of western private sektor..

@4/6 guest77.. thanks for the christian science monitor article.. fascinating how info gets spun.. to quote from it below :

"Proponents of the laws argue that after a string of military defeats against Russian-backed rebels ended by a shaky ceasefire, an economic crisis that is starting to bite very deeply, and infighting within government ranks, Ukrainians need to glimpse a larger vision of what they're fighting for.

"People have been feeling disillusioned in the results of the revolution, some are starting to lose heart," says Alexei Kolomiyets, president of the independent Center of European and Transatlantic Studies in Kiev. "These laws make a clean break with the Soviet past. We should have done this long ago."

But other experts argue that at the very least, the effort to legislate a solution to long-standing historical disputes at a time when Ukraine is wracked by civil war is ham-handed and extremely untimely."

"""ukrainians need to glimpse a larger vision of what they are fighting for.."""
wow.. that line cracks me up.. i thought they wanted more of nulands cookies and they weren't as forthcoming as they had been prior to the maiden protests? seriously though, it is a frightful place most ukrainians probably find themselves in - those who actually give some pause to think about it, as opposed to maintaining a steady diet of cool-aid.. the drinkers will continue on with orders from political oligarchs who in turn pay attention to the orders from usa/nato/cia intel folks.. it is hard to watch the country be torn apart, but indeed this is just what is happening. the laws will only speed up the demise of what once was a country.. the financial situation will also hasten the same.. vulture culture is in full blossom in ukraine at present.. no wonder donetsk and the east want nothing to do with any of it.. these folks think changing a street name is going to make a big difference? wow..

ditto @7 almand..

Posted by: james | Apr 14 2015 3:35 utc | 8

News Weak

Posted by: Anunnaki | Apr 14 2015 4:07 utc | 9

04/13/2015 23:52

Russian Spring

The Ukrainian forces deployed at the site of settlement Opitnoye exact intense fire of all kinds of weapons at positions of Donetsk Republic army. This information was announced by the Ministry of Defense of Donetsk Republic.

“The Ukrainian forces continue to fire at our positions from all types of weapons. The heavy artillery is working as well. The fire comes from area of settlement Opitnoye, which is controlled by the Ukrainian forces”, was told in the Defense department.

The department did not confirm about combatants of Donetsk Republic army having been knocked off the settlement Peski and that the threat of breach exists.

Meantime, the cannonade is heard in many districts of Donetsk including the center of the city.

04/12/2015 14:00

Russian Spring

Famed combatant Aleksandr Zhuchkovskiy informs that the Ukrainian troops knocked combatants off the settlement Peski.

“From early morning on, Ukrainians waged a powerful attack supported by artillery and tanks.

Currently the Ukrainian forces pushed us out of Peski and regained full control of the settlement.

Clashes in area of Spartak are going on; the unit “Vostok” (commander Khodakovskiy ) has left positions here; the opponent is being deterred by the unit “Givi” (name of the commander). Giving the current trend, they too will have to retreat.

We incur heavy losses. Chances of breaching into Donetsk suburbs are high.

Posted by: Fete | Apr 14 2015 4:23 utc | 10

@james #8:

it is hard to watch the country be torn apart

Not for me, with my Russian perspective, according to which the sole reason for Ukraine's existence (as a state, as opposed to as a region, like America's Appalachia) is to be a sore in Russia's underbelly. What it is hard for me to see is fascists in control of a government and running wild in the middle of Europe.

offguardian: VIDEO: Destroying the Soviet past in Ukraine

Will Ukraine’s New Anti-Communist Law Usher in a Free Speech Dark Age?
The law, still to be signed by the president, is more about silencing the left than anything else.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 14 2015 4:33 utc | 11

What an asshole

Posted by: lol | Apr 14 2015 5:49 utc | 12

Just admit it , asshole, you enjoy the killing, it gets yer micropenis hard

Posted by: lol | Apr 14 2015 5:50 utc | 13


Sounds like they need a prayer in Donbass. Too bad the most outspoken religious here are all unbelievers.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 14 2015 6:53 utc | 14

@jfl #14

Too bad the most outspoken religious here are all unbelievers.

I don't understand what point you are trying to make. Are you a believer? By "here", I take it you mean MoA. What does it matter if we are believers or not? What matters is the determination of the soldiers who are doing the actual fighting. And what drives them is the idea of Russia, which overlaps with Russian Orthodox belief. That said, a Russian will defend his country even if he is not a believer.

I wouldn't worry about Donbass falling to the Nazis. There is a consensus in the Russian blogosphere that Russia will not let Novorossiya fall. Also, you have to keep in mind that who is behind the Ukrainian military is the US. When was the last time that a puppet propped up by the Empire won a war? All the US military can do now is destroy countries. It and its puppets can no longer win wars, which is something different.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 14 2015 7:27 utc | 15

German FM: Russia’s Return to G-8 Depends on Ukraine Ceasefire

Steinmeier insisted that the G-8 will remain the G-7, and Russia won’t be invited, for the foreseeable future until the Ukraine civil war is resolved. Russia continues to press Ukraine on a ceasefire there, and reported more progress today.

What a piece of shit Steinmeier is. He starts the war, stands watching Russia getting kicked out of the G-8 for not rolling over for the fascist West, and now that his NAZIs in Ukraine are shelling Donbass again he says the Russians cannot return until the 'ceasefire' is reinstated and Russia has rolled over.

The ceasefire has been destroyed by Steinmeier's NAZIs.

Russia will never roll over for Germany.

The G-7-minus-3, absent the Great Satans of North America and the Anglo-Homeland themselves, will all soon be begging to be allowed to join the Eurasian Economic Union. Russia will welcome then, despite their krypto-NAZI souls. In a generation, or three, they may finally be reformed.

In the meantime the NPR and LPR are going to have to destroy the Ukrainian Wehrmacht, with a little help from their friends. The only way to keep the NAZIs down is the same way the slavers in the USA had to be kept down. Crush them, then drive a stake through their hearts once they're down.

The leaders of the NPR and LGR saw this coming.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 14 2015 7:31 utc | 16

I just read Edward E Baptist's, The half has never been told which brought the visions of the American Civil War to mind while contemplating the Ukrainian Civil War. Their causes were certainly not the same ... with the poor Ukrainians killing each other on behalf of the US and the EU ... but fascism is as monstrous as slavery. Abraham Lincoln said, 41 days before he died ...

Second Inaugural Address - Saturday, March 4, 1865

Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

... a rabid slaver shot Lincoln on 14 April, 1865. He was finally given up the next morning.

I saw the second inaugural quote again at 150 years since the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, where they add chapter and verse from Karl Marx, as is their wont, on Abraham Lincoln ...

“They have now at last found out that he was a man, neither to be browbeaten by adversity, nor intoxicated by success, inflexibly pressing on to his great goal, never compromising it by blind haste, slowly maturing his steps, never retracing them, carried away by no surge of popular favour, disheartened by no slackening of the popular pulse, tempering stern acts by the gleams of a kind heart, illuminating scenes dark with passion by the smile of humour, doing his titanic work as humbly and homely as Heaven-born rulers do little things with the grandiloquence of pomp and state; in one word, one of the rare men who succeed in becoming great, without ceasing to be good. Such, indeed, was the modesty of this great and good man, that the world only discovered him a hero after he had fallen a martyr.”

It seems very sad that I have to look back 150 years to find a truly heroic American in the highest of places.

What followed Lincoln has led more or less straight to where we are today. I hope the Ukrainians have better 'luck' when the NAZIs are finally defeated, again, and they turn to come to terms amongst themselves, again.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 14 2015 9:03 utc | 17


When was the last time that a puppet propped up by the Empire won a war?

Pretty much every time no? Which cases are you thinking of giving evidence to your argument?

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 14 2015 11:47 utc | 18

jas @ 8, g77 @8 --

I'm glad to see someone else read the piece CSM piece. If you factor out all the propagandisitic misdirection, it's quite critical of the measure.

It's quotes the Kyiv Post as criticising the measure as providing "obvious opportunities to fuel resentment and anger are handed to them on a platter...." It's interesting that the quote concluding the piece (a civic activist, "It's as if our leaders want to keep the war going and deepen the divisions in the country....") echoes earlier sentiments from the leader of the Communist Party of the Ukraine, Pyotr Simonenko, who said the laws "only lead to a greater split in the society and continuation of war."

I would guess that DC is a little annoyed with the local management team.

Fete's report at 10 is disturbing. They don't need prayer, they need a counterattack. One would hope that they saw this coming and have a response.

Posted by: rufus magister | Apr 14 2015 12:01 utc | 19

@17 The antebellum South had outright feudal institutions at the local level especially the courts and required influxes of slave labor and support of the North to function. It could be a case of how a fascist state needs to shape itself to function much like the Arab dictatorships with royal families. Although the South committed treason on one hand, it was like another country in 1861 with various exceptions.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Apr 14 2015 13:02 utc | 20

@19 rufus.. ditto.. thanks @10 fete.. that is depressing..

this war is so obvious.. one side who don't live in eastern ukraine, making war on eastern ukraine.. all the rationale for doing this doesn't change any of side is determined to continue to make war, while the other is determined to not be destroyed.. thanks usa/nato/western msm - for being the bullshit artists i have gotten to know you as.. as for the puppet gov't in kiev run by oligarchs.. that is a real fucking change up my ass..

Posted by: james | Apr 14 2015 15:15 utc | 21

@Anonymous #18:

I guess the names "Vietnam" and "Afghanistan" don't mean anything to you.

BTW, you need to come up with a proper name for yourself and stop using your current trollish name. No need to worry. People will still recognize you with your new name, since I don't think there is anyone here who makes utterly defeatist and pessimistic comments as you do. (Vietnam Vet was another pessimist, who has apparently dropped out. But how he was distinctive was in dwelling upon the coming nuclear Armageddon.)

Posted by: Demian | Apr 14 2015 15:44 utc | 22


Vietnam nor Afghanistan doesnt mean anything yes, you were talking puppet states. Vietnam war? Afghanistan when? Afghanistan still have a president supporting the US.

My nick is as proper as any nick, including your - "Demian".
If you cant handle the "pessimistic" (whatever that means) world maybe internet isnt the place for you to be on.

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 14 2015 16:28 utc | 23

Banning communist symbols (in effect the Communist party, don’t know if that is actually signed at the level of ‘party’) and Nazi symbolism, support etc. etc. is … words fail.

The communist part is not political, it is anti-Russian (street and town names to be changed for ex.) The Nazi part is double pronged: a) to stop pictures of these coming out in the W media, squash associations with fascism, b) to re-write history so that OUN and so on and the past of part of Ukraine are ‘spun’ or ‘massaged’ to appear non-Nazi and merely glorious prideful Ukr. Nationalism.

Meanwhile the new ‘martial law’ package which was voted in is a dozy. (Not in effect: the law outlines what happens when it actioned.)

It includes internment of Russians, or really any ‘enemies’ of the State, forced labor (obligatory work paid with food cards), expropriation of anything, curfew, forced conscription, take over of any private biz, etc. Normally this would also mean complete control by the military but I guess as for all things in Ukraine the interpretation of martial law is fast and loose.

Poroshenko has been threatening to action martial law in the Donbas since early, mid 2014 — how could he manage that? And/or for the whole country at present, if “peace fails” - “diplomacy fails” - “war continues” etc. -> Google: Ukraine martial law.

Martial law would, in principle, have to be based on a a declaration of war, against Russia in this case.

Can’t find an English text of law right now, anyone? Russia Insider, some descriptions:

It looks like complete state.milit.control - outside of war declarations - is to be run in Ukr. to see how that pans out. An experiment! Monitored and analysed with eager wide-open eyes!

Alternatively, a sink pit of confusion and corruption, in total disarray, chaos covered up, economy destroyed, has no choice but to put on the jack boots, in a last ditch effort to retain control and - financing from foreign patrons.

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 14 2015 18:41 utc | 24


' Martial law would, in principle, have to be based on a a declaration of war ... '

In principle, maybe. The present Thai dictator declared martial law after his coup; tore up the previous, 2006, coup's constitution; appointed the usual academic stooges to 'write him a new one', containing Section 44

For the sake of the reforms in any field, the promotion of love and harmony amongst the people in the nation, or the prevention, abatement or suppression of any act detrimental to national order or security, royal throne, national economy or public administration, whether the act occurs inside or outside the Kingdom, the Leader of the National Council for Peace and Order, with the approval of the National Council for Peace and Order, may issue any order or direct any action to be done or not to be done, irrespective of whether the order or action would produce legislative, executive or judicial effect. Those orders or actions, as well as their observance, shall be deemed lawful, constitutional and final. After the exercise of such power, the President of the National Legislative Assembly and the Prime Minister shall be informed thereof without delay.

which has now replaced martial law. The Dictator personally appointed all the members of the NCPO and the NLA, and the NRC (National Reconciliation Commission) and CDC (Constitutional Drafting Committee). They're all just his 'extras'.

Dictators - and Poroshenko or whoever else may smash and grab power from him in Ukraine - is a dictator and can declare 'any order or direct any action to be done or not to be done, irrespective of whether the order or action would produce legislative, executive or judicial effect' to be 'lawful, constitutional and final'. They're ruling looking down the barrel of the gun pointed at the populace. 'Law' is literally whatever they say it is.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 14 2015 19:20 utc | 25

@ jfl 17

If you believe AL was a great man, you have swallowed the god like re-creation of Lincoln taught to hapless fools. Abe gave not a whit about African slaves. He, backed by eastern industrialist, mercantilist money bags, bristled at the potential loss of the south's raw materials and the taxes and tariffs the future Confederate States of America had been compelled to pay.

Hence, when no other country in the world ended slavery (which was only his oft repeated talking point) by killing between 650,000 and 850,000 of its own citizens, the land of the free and the home of the brave did so, with Honest Abe at the helm.

I suggest you spend a small part of your day learning the unvarnished truth about the president who presided over the shredding of the US Constitution, death, mayhem, rape and plundering of his own citizens.

@NotTimothyGeitner #20

Spoken like a true statist. Read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The United STATES of America was a voluntary association of the SEVERAL states. The south chose the prescribed solution to avoid being ruled and controlled further by the central state: Secession.

Secession is alive today as citizens of the SEVERAL states reject the central government's position on Marijuana and the citizens of Several States shutting down the armed actions of the Bureau of Land Management recently in Utah.

Want some real Education by a Phd other than the court historians who dishonestly lionize Lincoln? (It's a little long, but it's packed full the truth about AL)

These ideas could help bring both of you out of the Lincoln wilderness.

Posted by: Skip | Apr 14 2015 19:42 utc | 26

@26 "We the people"

You might try reading. Also, state conventions not state governments ratified the Constitution, so your argument makes no sense. Then again, the Confederate sympathizers argued for the freedom of slavery.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Apr 14 2015 20:26 utc | 27

@2 dh.. osce seems to be covering the violations, but it isn't getting coverage in the west..

Posted by: james | Apr 14 2015 20:26 utc | 28

@28 I noticed that. It must be very frustrating for honest reporters these days. I don't know how they live with themselves. Even the little bit that is covered gets controlled at the editorial level.

Posted by: dh | Apr 14 2015 21:33 utc | 29

Skip @ 26

I don't have time to sit through an hour of libertarian "philosophy," but I did Wiki the speaker.

Thomas DiLorenzo is a Ph.D. in economics, a gentleman of the Austrian school and an associate of von Mises Institute. Wiki reports that the Southern Poverty Law Center (you go, Morris Dees!) describes them as "Neo-Confederate."

DiLorenzo has made a cottage industry of his misinterpretation of the Civil War. Just because Lincoln did not intend racial equality to be the outcome, nor even necessarily the Emancipation Proclamation, does not mean that this was not the outcome. Certainly Radical Republicans like Thaddeus Stevens had little problem with it.

Here's Wikipedia's conclusion on DiLorenzo's work.

Reviews in The Washington Post and Publishers Weekly both stated that the book seemed directed at unnamed scholars who had praised Lincoln's contributions. Justin Ewers criticized DiLorenzo, saying this book "is more of a diatribe against a mostly unnamed group of Lincoln scholars than a real historical analysis. His wild assertions – for example, that Lincoln held 'lifelong white supremacist views' – don't help his argument." Publishers Weekly described this as a "screed," in which DiLorenzo "charges that most scholars of the Civil War are part of a 'Lincoln cult';" he particularly attacks scholar Eric Foner, characterizing him and other as "cover-up artists" and "propagandists."

"The south chose the prescribed solution to avoid being ruled and controlled further by the central state." Let's be clear. The slave-holding pseudo-aristocracy that ran the south did not want any interference by the central state in their supposed right to own other people.

The central state was not going to abolish slavery, but was going to use the power of the Federal Government to retard the growth of slavery (I had an undergrad research seminar on the period, a no. of years ago).

The South felt their control of the central state withering. No more would Federal officials return slaves to the brutality of chattel slavery. Under Lincoln, Postmasters would again start to deliver abolitionist materials in the South. That's why the Confederacy emerged; states rights to own other people.

You know the words, Barflies, sing along!

John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave,
John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave,
But his soul goes marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah,
Glory, glory, hallelujah,
His soul goes marching on.

Posted by: rufus magister | Apr 14 2015 23:26 utc | 30


I've heard the states' rights angle my whole life long, but Edward E Baptist points up Calhoun's 'substantive due process' argument : the slavers, and their supreme court, maintained that neither the federal government, nor any government, could constrain their transport of their self-replicating human 'property' without 'due process'; which amounted to their conviction on charges of the non-crime, in the states they controlled, of enslaving human beings.

The goal of the slavers was the spread of slavery to areas it did not yet control. It had worked with Mexico (Texas), they had slaves in California - Cuba was the immediate prize of all prizes.

The world is now the prize. This is just what is happening again today with the TPIP and TPP, with the modern slavers arguing that their right to 'the deal', and to profit, override the peoples rights' to govern themselves and the corporations sprung up among them.

The half has never been told is a very, very good book - in my opinion - in that it treats slavery as a basic and 'natural' capitalist excess, one faithfully mirrored in the neo-liberal onslaught of today.

Note, for instance, that the slavers political strength was enhanced by their 'representation' of 'their' slaves in the ratio of 3 to 5. Their slaves had no vote at all of course.

Note today the growth of the for-profit prison industry in the US, whereby 2.5 million - and counting - Americans have no vote at all as felons in prisons, whose right to vote often remains nullified even when they are finally released in many states - especially in traditional slave states, and whose labor is sold as cheaply as $0.16/hour. No strikes. No unions. And the keys to the 'company store' are worth as much as $30k/prisoner/year.

I do imagine that soon the US middle class will be using spiPhones assembled by American prisoners, to the greater profit of Apple, and that Android models will inevitably follow - to cite one industrial example - and that American corporations will thus beat the 'exorbitant' rates now dealt out to their Chinese slaver assembly factors.

And that is, perhaps, the reason for this DiLorenzo and others' renewed attacks today. I saw a front-page essay defending the 'Old South' at the libertarian Unz Review recently and thought ... WTF? Edward E Baptist provides the perspective.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 15 2015 0:33 utc | 31

Returning to the actual thread ...

UN Security Council Approves Arms Embargo on Yemen's Houthis

The United Nation’s Security Council approved a resolution Tuesday which imposes an arms embargo on Yemen's Houthi movement.

Russia was the only country to abstain from voting for the resolution UNSC 2216.

Moscow urged the council members to extend the arms embargo to all fighting factions in the country and not only the Houthis.

An arms embargo - 'sanctions' - against the side that is suffering under aggression.

And the Russians, China, and France fail to veto?

Venezuela, at least, fails even to abstain?

This world seems doomed at times like these. TINA. Someone say it ain't so.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 15 2015 0:52 utc | 32

@jfl #32:

I'm as horrified as you are. (But forget about France: it led the "humanitarian" intervention which destroyed Libya. It is unwilling to do away with its imperial heritage.)

The Saudi bombardment of Yemen clearly violates the UN charter and hence international law. It thus amounts to mass murder and crimes against humanity. To impose sanctions upon Yemenis fighting for their freedom is to legitimize war crimes. I really don't understand why Russia and China couldn't agree between themselves to veto this. That would have shown the world which way the wind is blowing.

And China actually voted yes, according to your quote? To be fair to Russia, I don't think we should expect Russia to veto something like this unless China backs it up.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 15 2015 1:32 utc | 33

jfl & demian, 32-33

Not that perplexing. The UN has been legitimizing warcrime since the Yugoslav Civil War (we loved the obliging Yeltsin), and really did it wholesale after 2001. It is renewing the sort of acquiescence to evil that the League of Nations pioneered between the wars.

Venezuela maybe gets a few brownie points from El Norte. China has its own Uighur fundamentalist problem, though it seems to contradict their usual opposition to interference in domestic affairs (their own and other peoples, in that priority). Russia is moderating its opposition; it won't go along, but it doesn't want to be needlessly labeled "obstructionist" for vetoing it.

As I read it, the House of Saud's is fairly legit under int'l. law. I'm not saying its a good and just act, just common practice. They have the approval, no, of what's left of the legitimate government? Failing that, they could invoke one of the various outs in the UN charter, citing imminent threat of disorder spilling over the frontier in the form of refugees. And finally, recognized states get a freer hand than domestic insurgents.

In any case, to judge from Fox New's brief account (no grief, please, search results came up first; text is presently embargoed at the Security Council website), plenty of loopholes for everyone.

The resolution imposes the weapons embargo on five men: Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, second-in-command Abdullah Yahya al Hakim, military commander Abd al-Khaliq al-Huthi, Saleh and his eldest son, Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh. The former president and his son are key supporters of the Houthi group.

The council called on all countries, especially Yemen's neighbors, to inspect cargo headed to Yemen if there are "reasonable grounds" to believe it contains weapons....

Churkin made it clear in his remarks that the arms embargo should also be applied to Hadi's government and that the Saudi-led air strikes on the country must stop.

So if other officials want to import arms, that would seem to me to be OK.

Fox's spin - it ends by saying, well, it's the Iranians behind it all, you know. They also note that the Russians hinted at a possible veto prior to the vote.

The Telesur article noted that the airstrikes are not presently approved. Fox noted the resolution says nothing about this at all. But it does urge folks to facilitate "humanitarian aid" and the evacuation of foreigners. And of course, those ops need security....

Posted by: rufus magister | Apr 15 2015 3:58 utc | 34


They rolled over.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 15 2015 4:13 utc | 35

04/14/2015 23:26

Russian Spring

Military correspondent “Step`” writes about embittered fight taking place to control settlement Peski.

The Ukrainian army attacks by means of self-propelled artillery, tanks and mortars.

The combatants fight back. The sides battle for settlements Spartak, Zhobun’ki and west fringes of Peski.

In past 24 hours Donetsk hospitals admitted 60 wounded combatants; this number had grown toward evening.

More than ten unmanned aircrafts hover over Donetsk and being shot by combatants.

Famed combatant Aleksandr Zhuchkovskiy emphasized important change in dynamics of battles.

“Having “truce” on background the yesterday’s battlefield activities were apparently geared to secure a foothold in Spartak-Peski to accumulate forces and facilitate advance on Donetsk”.

Posted by: Fete | Apr 15 2015 4:19 utc | 36

@rm #34:

Thank you very much for clearing up my mystification. I still think that China could have abstained, the way Russia did.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 15 2015 4:21 utc | 37

jfl @ 30 --

I read about it a no. of years ago, but there are apparently call centers and other white collar operations located in prisons, as well as other more traditional industries (like license plates). Absenteeism is not a problem, either.

My family, after a divorce, went from Catholic to Southern then to Independent Baptist. So I got a year of "Christian" school, and a straight shot of the reactionary racism and nativism first hand, as well as the Illuminati, communist, and UN conspiracies, and never cared for any of it.

Why is it that the loudest and worst Christians always fancy themselves the most pious and best ones? Same with our so-called "constitutionalists," who all to often really seem to mean "dominionists".

Posted by: rufus magister | Apr 15 2015 4:31 utc | 38

D @ 37 -- Glad I could oblige, at least on this occasion. China abstaining would have been a little more consistent with their usual policy, now that you mention it. Odds would be high that there was some backroom wheelin' and dealin' involved. On trade, I would guess.

jfl @ 35 -- Assuming you mean Russia on the abstention, I would not say "rolled." No doubt the weapons would continue flowing to the Saudis regardless of the resolution. So a veto would be pointless. If the Russians want to provide weapons, they could, just not to the folks noted in the resolution (does anyone know who drew up that list?).

Recognize the inevitable, avoid more needless bad PR, go on the record, work the weaknesses of the resolution; too distant and remote of a problem to spend too much political capital on. Who knows, though, maybe Moscow feels the precedent of "humanitarian" intervention in a disorderly neighbor might come in handy closer to home somewhere down the road.

I nearly forgot to mention -- right about the TPP at 31. "We have a right to lost profits, as determined by our Kangaroo Business Court." Right... OK! Thought experiment -- suppose burglary was legal. If society now changes its mind and makes burglary a crime, does the former thief have right to his future ill-gotten gains? Then what's the point of any law, they all impose certain costs.

Doesn't this really attempt to freeze present law and property relations permanently, globally? And railroaded through on so called "fast track" authority, which seems to me to be a constitutionally dubious exercise to begin with. Similar to "use of force" in lieu of "declare war."

Posted by: rufus magister | Apr 15 2015 5:12 utc | 39

@rm #39:

Who knows, though, maybe Moscow feels the precedent of "humanitarian" intervention in a disorderly neighbor might come in handy closer to home somewhere down the road.


Glad I could oblige, at least on this occasion.

Let's just avoid arguing about religion. On everything else, I think we're more or less on the same wavelength. But to get the last word in, I might as well mention that in the United States, when I go into a Roman Catholic church, I get the feeling that it is no more Christian than a Mormon temple. In Italy in contrast, going to a Catholic church, I feel the presence of the Holy Ghost.

Roman Catholicism is alien to north America in the same way that Russian Orthodoxy is. Russian Orthodox don't push their religion on Americans, but the R.C. church does. Why is that? Because Russian Orthodoxy is Christian, whereas Roman Catholicism is totalitarian.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 15 2015 6:03 utc | 40

Omfg what a moron you are

The actual numbers of RC in tbe US dwarf Orthodox

You really really are a moron amd should just shut up when it comes to religion because bad as you are with other subjects, when it comes to religion its like your brain immediately turns to shit

its rare to meet someone as genuinely moronic and at the same time as utterly ignorant as the idiot a Demian

Posted by: lol | Apr 15 2015 6:54 utc | 41

The US is totally totalitarian
The moron @40's prejudices notwithstanding, if the RC is totalitarian then it is perfectly suited to the US

And the moron @40 is decidedly totalitarian himself, so I don't see why he's so set agin it.

Posted by: lol | Apr 15 2015 7:38 utc | 42


I meant they all rolled over ... Russia, China, France, UK and the ten dwarves. Russia's roll just seems the most egregious, for they have been talking the talk the loudest. It is not completely unlike the case of Gunter Grass in the other thread. He whos been cating stones lives in a glass house, when it comes down to action, or inaction. Rationalizing their failure is lawyers' work. Casuists' work. At least they get paid for it, one way or another.

It may be that the weapons will still flow but Saudi/US are naked aggressors and none of these nation's called them on their aggression. The bucl stops with the UNSC. And it didn't in this case. So now aggression is OK at all levels of government, just as its been for the US for the past dozen years.

They've rolled over. Big Time.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 15 2015 11:18 utc | 43

D @ 40 -- Christianity and Hegelianism. I think Marx set him right, you may recall.

Well, we're a land of immigrants, and one of the original thirteen states was the Catholic colony of Maryland, so I don't see a mismatch myself. Come on in, tired huddled masses, bring your own "opiate of the masses" with you.

Of course, nowadays, opiates are the opiate of the masses. Probably fewer health risks than hardcore fundamentalism.

jfl @ 43 -- For my own benefit, I'm trying to figure out why. You can't counteract what you don't understand.

Given the high stakes, I myself have no problem with caution on Russia's part, along with their seeming desire to keep this Wash's problem, not theirs. Our enabling alliance with the absolutist theocracy of the House of Saud is of far greater worry, as I have said before.

Posted by: rufus magister | Apr 15 2015 11:37 utc | 44

jfl at 43 -- Just had a quick AM look at Russia Insider, the the Saker is not happy with Moscow. His comparison to Libya is a little over the top, no intervention yet authorized, I doubt if the Kremlin will sign off on that. Oh no! I could be "out of the mainstream" here on this, Barflies. Perish the thought!

Posted by: rufus magister | Apr 15 2015 11:43 utc | 45

UNSC vote on Yemen.

In 2003, when France and Germany opposed the Iraq invasion, the Americans woke up (or they had long term plans, whatever…) - remember old Europe and new Europe (the latter not a problem) and freedom fries?

F and D were on the side of the Axis of Resistance (Iraq, Russia, Iran…)! (Even if only by officially stating they would keep out.)

Great pains were taken to ensure the complete vassalisation of France and it worked better than expected, I reckon. (How that was done I know not.) France is more atlanticist than the USA! They are voting in their Patriot Act as I write…Germany remains a tad on the fence (maybe), or pretends to, simply because it has the most power and Merkel is .. Merkel. So a vote like this was entirely to be expected. (Pro -> US/isr, KSA..)

As for Russia abstaining, as far as I can make out from a few brief news reports and radio, it was the only possible position to take within UN etiquette. Russia tried to have the resolution be different, or amended, etc. to have an arms embargo on the whole lot (not that it would make much diff on the ground) but their pov, their proposals were refused / ignored. So, not disagreeing with an embargo on one party per se, casting a veto is difficult, and shows bad will. Then, one abstains, in the sense of: this resolution is not what we wanted, but we do not obstruct. This is in line with upholding international law, “working with our partners” and so on.

As for China, idk. Besides their problems with Uighurs, Tibet, etc.

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 15 2015 15:22 utc | 46

I guess Russia's abstention means it doesn't want to be a "true friend" to Yemen

aw shucks

Posted by: lol | Apr 15 2015 16:06 utc | 47


Well, etiquette. In the USA the term is 'civility'. Shouldn't call the murderers murderers. It's not nice.

Murder itself ... is 'understandable' ... given the 'complexities', the 'nuances', of the 'geopolitical' situation.

So the US/KSA get the nod to continue to murder the Yemenis, who are only the victims du jour. Sorry. I don't buy it.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 15 2015 21:53 utc | 48

jfl at 48 --

Thought experiment -- what concrete effect would the veto have had? "Well, oh my, if the UNSC doesn't approve, well, we'd best stop." We've repeatedly shown our contempt for law, foreign and domestic. It keeps the little people under control, but our grandees are "too big to jail."

No one anywhere has any rights that the MilGovSecEduOrg.Com is bound to respect, if I might paraphrase the notorious Justice Taney.

Meanwhile, to get back on to bedlam in Banderastan.

Russia Insider has a nice item from the Jerusalem Post, which reports that the Simon Wiesenthal Center Condemns Ukraine for honoring Nazi collaborators. It may be just a small drop, but a slow but steady trickle of reality will erode the hardest rock of denial and illusion. Let's hope it snowballs, if I could mix metaphors here.

Fort Russ has two long but rewarding items. Well, they look to be, I'm a little pressed for time.

Mikhail Delyagin considers The pillars and perils of American domination. It was written in 2001, which surprised me. The Russian blogosphere considers the Chronicles of collapse: info battles.

VE Day Warm-up, The Liberation of Crimea, via RI.

Posted by: rufus magister | Apr 15 2015 23:00 utc | 49

Noirette at 46 -- I liked what you had to say about the int'l. system, so I took a shot at simplifying it. The question you raise about shift from Gaulleist to Atlanticist probably says the most about the shift in power amongst "the Allies" than any single development in Europe post-Cold War. I'm too ill-informed about the details of French policy to speculate, but I'd guess Germany, money, and global competitiveness all come up. See Nokia buying Alcatel -- unlike other proposed mergers, greenlighted by Paris.

Posted by: rufus magister | Apr 15 2015 23:09 utc | 50

Another Ukrainian/Australian media smear campaign ahead of the WWII commemoration?

MH17 plane fragment to be displayed by Russian museum: reports

The newspaper article features a photo of a man holding a plane fragment with the Malaysia Airlines logo clearly visible.

Ekho Moskvy deputy editor Tanya Felgengauer tweeted that Dutch investigators, who have been gathering pieces of the wreckage in order to determine the cause of the crash, were shocked to hear that the wreckage had ended up in a Russian town.

Posted by: Oui | Apr 16 2015 0:59 utc | 51

Tanya Felgengauer @t_felg
Personal twitter with seals, whining and wacky news. Here I am not at work.

Posted by: Oui | Apr 16 2015 1:00 utc | 52

An unfortunate development: the blog, which pointed out instances of mendacity by the Guardian and was very pro-Russian, has been taken down by the owner of the domain. He accuses the editors of not observing standards of journalistic ethics, but gives no indication of what the offending piece was.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 16 2015 3:10 utc | 53

@53 Something to do with a republic in Odessa maybe?

Try this....

Posted by: dh | Apr 16 2015 3:26 utc | 54

Ah, thanks for that. Nice to know that the editors saved that blog.

Eric Zuesse is the most outspoken American journalist I know of when it comes to the Kiev justa. But off-guardian should have given the link to the original story.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 16 2015 3:53 utc | 55


At the time obstinate clashes around Donetsk airport, a couple of incidents were reported when the Ukrainian forces opened fire directed at “volunteer battalions” which Kiyev unable to control.

“Our reconnaissance detected that from positions of 93rd mechanized brigade of the Ukrainian forces, they constantly fire at positions of Ukrainian “volunteer units” deployed in outskirts of Dzerzhinsk and rejecting to merge with ranks of the Ukrainian military”.

In turn, these units of nationalists, lacking understanding of the situation, periodically fire toward outskirts of Gorlovka (combatants’)

Posted by: Fete | Apr 16 2015 4:25 utc | 56

@56 Looks like 'Clash of the Drones'.

Posted by: dh | Apr 16 2015 13:42 utc | 57

It will be interesting to see where the BBC goes with this one. They made a major issue out of Politkovskaya.

Posted by: dh | Apr 16 2015 13:59 utc | 58

04/16/2015 21:47

Russian Spring

In interview with “Bloomberg” the Head of Donetsk Republic Aleksandr Zakharchenko remarked that military operation will restart with 90% certainty; he added that nobody is going to return in Ukraine.

“Believe me, no one wants back to Ukraine in any kind. Personally, I can not dare to imagine such scenario”, said the leader of Donetsk Republic.

He added that the fundamental conflict between combatants an Kiyev has not disappear, but in contrary, “intensifies every passing day”.

The Head of Donetsk Republic estimated 90% chance that the military operation will resume.

“The opponent vehemently prepares an offensive, enforces hardware and its frontier positions”, he said.

Earlier in the interview, he asserted that the combatants are able to take Mariupol` without opponent’s serious resistance.

“Mariupol` is easy to circumvent; they (the Ukrainian occupant troops) will naturally surrender”, asserted Zakharchenko, “We can easy accomplish this avoiding shelling the city”.

“Do not forget, our moms and sisters live there. Do not make us up as bloodthirsty animals, who devour everything on their way”.

Posted by: Fete | Apr 17 2015 4:32 utc | 59

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