Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 28, 2015

Reuters Exclusive: Russian Troops Near Ukraine's Border

European Union sanctions against Russia are up for renewal. To prevent them from being lifted some additional NATO propaganda hyping the Russia threat and warning of an imminent invasion if Ukraine is necessary.

Reuters is always willing to be helpful with this. Consider its record of uncritical Exclusive News on the topic:

In none of the above stories have I seen any real reporting with a critical assessment of the veracity of such news.

Russia, like any normal state, always has some troops near its borders as well as training areas for larger unit exercises. Troops moving within the wider border area is simply normal.

Some 90% of the Canadian army is stationed less than a hundred miles from the U.S. border. When will Reuters finally manage to report that threat of an immediate invasion?

Posted by b on May 28, 2015 at 16:16 UTC | Permalink


regarding your last paragraph..... you will have to wait til little stevie harper decides that being a full time stooge for the exceptional nation is not his thing.. when that happens, he will be presented in the media for the complete sell out he is and not before..

Posted by: james | May 28 2015 16:46 utc | 1

Not to mention the repeated half-fact--perhaps lie--that Assad forces are "repeatedly" attacking civilians with chemical weapons... so sayeth the last episode of PBS' Frontline. Guess they have forgotten the dictum about waging war on two fronts...

Posted by: chuckvw | May 28 2015 16:47 utc | 2

Western mainstream media propaganda as usual.

Posted by: nmb | May 28 2015 16:48 utc | 3


Picked this up on another blog. FTA free-to-air TV. Apparently there are a couple hundred TV stations that one can watch at no co$t other than a minor investment in equipment. And the investment cost is affordable to almost anyone. Many of the stations are broadcast in native languages. But there are many English speaking channels available too. The channel listing almost makes this service seem like it was dreamt up by a 'western intelligence', oxymoron intended, service to entrap would be terr'ists and jihadis.

List of 282 available stations ...

Doing a 'FTA' online search will provide you with all the information you need.

Posted by: Alberto | May 28 2015 17:02 utc | 4

FTA TV list of 94 English FREE channels ...

Wonder who set up the Imam Hussein 3 channel? Heh!

It is FREE Dudes. I mean WTF! OVER!

Posted by: Alberto | May 28 2015 17:09 utc | 5

Here is where we need a Syriza-led Greece to step up and block the EU sanctions renewal. The recent round of inflammatory reports of Russian military penetration of Ukraine is proof that the U.S. is working to insure sanctions will not sunset.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | May 28 2015 17:19 utc | 6

Can't take these AmeriKan liars anymore, and I live in the bowels of Dumbfuckistan. They never met a conflict that didn't concern them that they couldn't hijack and make out to be worse than it is for their own benefit.
Fifteen fucking years of never-ending propaganda bullshit designed to show us as a victimized good guy, a reluctant warrior in an ever-hostile world, quite similar to the israeli eternal victim-kill tribe. Stumbling murderously across the world killing the weak, the poor, the least fortunate and think they will be loved for it. Seems to me a wholesale turning away from AmeriKa is coming, and only brute force will remain to prevent it.

Posted by: farflungstar | May 28 2015 17:52 utc | 7

@6 I think the sanctions are done, but Obama and friends probably need to justify their previous stance especially if Germany votes against sanctions.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | May 28 2015 17:54 utc | 8

ffs @ 7: " Seems to me a wholesale turning away from AmeriKa is coming"

From your thoughts, to the Universal ear, hopefully.

I will not, however, be holding my breath until anything changes.

Posted by: ben | May 28 2015 18:00 utc | 9

These folks are ratcheting up everything to keep the sanctions on.........

Posted by: notlurking | May 28 2015 18:28 utc | 10

farflunstar @ 7

Ever think about the British? We had to force them out at gunpoint. And apparently we are going to have to do this again.

At the end of WWII the Brits, in the process of being thrown out of India needed a new get out of jailfree base of operations. Israel is born, uh reborn? Ever notice the IDF sports British style uniforms?

Britain has been bankrupt since the 100 Years War. WWI = doubly bankrupt and WWII = triply bankrupt. With no natural resources to speak of and Scotland wanting to abandon ship the all the War that Fits Brit's have their backs up against the wall. I'm already seeing faux press reports of PM Cameron wanting to turn his back on the US. What a joke!

We all know who the bad actors are. Britain has a long long history of war, drug dealing, theft of natural resources with virtually nothing in return for the owners, mass murder, and an aversion to anyone who does not have porcelain white skin.

Here is a list of 22 countries that Britain has NOT invaded ...


Posted by: Alberto | May 28 2015 18:49 utc | 11


Do you know if the "equipment" has a backdoor?

Posted by: MRW | May 28 2015 19:33 utc | 12

Well, beyond the fact that it's routine for a country to station groups along its border, seems only logical to put more troops they're amen there's a war raging on the other side OF that border. But, I suppose propaganda is designed specifically to circumvent logical thinking, so, yeah. Typical, unsurprising, lame. Not that this post is without value, I can't bear to read msm myself anymore so this is how I know what official stories ate being pushed.

Posted by: Colinjames | May 28 2015 19:56 utc | 13

F*cking swype. TROOPS not "groups", and "When there's a war..." "are" not "ate"... Also maybe I shouldn't comment from my phone when I'm sitting out in the sun.

Posted by: Colinjames | May 28 2015 19:59 utc | 14

MRW @ 12

This is Amerika DUDE! Fascism Lite. The 4th Reich. What do you think?

PS - The 3rd had much cooler uniforms than the 4th,

Posted by: Alberto | May 28 2015 20:00 utc | 15

As long as a majority or enough people don't demand proof or evidence of obviously baseless lies ( not only of the propaganda lies of a Russian invasion of Ukraine but of political lies in general ), then any resistance of further sanctions and demonisation of Russia will come from leaders of nationstates who will play off Big nations against one another.

Posted by: tom | May 28 2015 20:28 utc | 16

This is Amerika DUDE! Fascism Lite

No, full-fledged fascism.

Posted by: okie farmer | May 28 2015 21:04 utc | 17

in re fascism.

An apple seed is not an apple tree. Bad analysis leads to incorrect and ergo ineffective action. Given the problems humanity faces, such errors are a luxury we can't afford, IMHO.

From Merriam-Webster Online: A Full Definition of Fascism

1: often capitalized: a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

2: a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

In neither the strong or weak sense of the word do we qualify. I would further note that a as an historic phenomena fascism is inexorbably bound up with the complete destruction of working class parties and unions. See the rise of Mussolini and Hitler, as summarized in the famous words of Niemoller, "First they came for the communists...."

On the level of practice, while drone strikes, renditions, "enhanced interrogation techniques," right-to-work-for-less laws, Jim Crow (Old and New), mass surveillance, militarized police, and oligarchic bankster capitalism are all repressive, brutal, and profoundly distasteful, they do not rise to the level the industrialization of death begun at Dachau and perfected at Auschwitz.

This is not to say that things cannot or will not proceed in that direction, should a sufficiently organized and militant challenge to finance capital and imperialism develop (see rising wage and unionization demands, resistance as in Baltimore).

For a very concrete example of what fascism looks like, Russia Insider has this convenient reminder today. Kiev Regime Represses Anti-Fascism in Odessa.

Kiev is not only engaged in an assault on political freedoms, but also a class war against the working class of Odessa and Ukraine generally. That the events leading up to the massacre took place at Kulikovo Field – a famous staging area for Soviet era demonstrations of working class politics – and the massacre itself took place in the adjacent Trade Unions House, there’s a symbolic resonance, the significance of which is not lost on the people of Odessa. It is the attempt to both erase the legacy of working class struggle and leftist politics, as well as the sacrifices of previous generations in a place where historical memory runs deep, and the scars of the past have yet to heel. - emphasis added, rm.

This analysis suggests that although they are certainly trying hard, the Banderists are not particularly good at being fascists. Glory Ukraine? The Kiev government are such losers they can’t even get fascism right. "The Kiev government is bad at just about everything. From diplomacy to history, economics, society and war. They are a complete disaster. They even fail as a nationalist, fascist regime."

For the curious, there is a well-known analysis that offers a much weaker variant. Bertram Gross's Friendly Fascism, published in 1980, overstates matters, it seems to me. But he did extrapolate a number of trends of our present oligarchy. One might find this review a useful introduction. "In seeking the gist of fascism Gross skips the optional extras: the single charismatic leader, the one-party dictatorship, rigid censorship, regimentation of industry/commerce/finance, etc. What remains is big government in alliance with big business: corporate authoritarianism that subverts constitutional democracy."

Personally, I think it's all standard equipment. We've had a corporate subversion of democracy since at least the Gilded Age. It's power ebbs and flows in the face of the tides of popular resistance. I hope the tide is coming in....

Posted by: rufus magister | May 29 2015 0:47 utc | 18

Your March 28 2015 link should actually be March 28 2014 and is the same as the May 28 2014 link. It was just an updated story.

Posted by: Sam | May 29 2015 3:22 utc | 19


I have to disagree with key points you make, concerning whether this country has reached the point of fascism.

The claim of exceptionalism is often heard, and is voiced habitually in our national leadership, under circumstances where yet another country is being threatened with destruction, its economy simultaneously attacked, while its sense of well being, its peace and sovereignty, is being assaulted and mutilated in the crudest way.

To talk about fascism in a superficial aspect that only reflects classic despotic control of one man, under a charismatic cult of personality of an exalted leader, could serve to define other brands of totalitarian power.

Fascism has been otherwise defined, by figures as different as FDR and Mussolini, as government in the hands of corporate power. President Roosevelt described it as power in private hands, government of the few.

The Miriam-Webster entry is incomplete as a definition; and doesn't take into consideration either the unbounded process of fascism, or the deep seated irrationality of what we call fascism. You say we do not qualify. You write as follows--quote--

"On the level of practice, while drone strikes, renditions, "enhanced interrogation techniques," right-to-work-for-less laws, Jim Crow (Old and New), mass surveillance, militarized police, and oligarchic bankster capitalism are all repressive, brutal, and profoundly distasteful, they do not rise to the level the industrialization of death begun at Dachau and perfected at Auschwitz."

And yet somewhere we can read "America ruins the world to rule it". An apt comment.

For it is one thing to depose a government, in imperial fashion, and make the venal arrangements necessary, to install an accommodating puppet. But it is quite another thing to kill hundreds of thousands, to drive whole nations, their societies, into political incoherence and anarchy, and endless misery. And like the fascism of the past, it is pathological and a serial crime; and a new victim is selected.

This also qualifies as an industrialization of death.

Big government is not allied with the corporate world; the corporate world and the oligarchs and weapons makers, and organized crime control government. Fascism is a vulture that feeds on the corpse of democracy.

Military Keynesianism, the institutionalizing of permanent war, is the broad highway that leads to fascism. The standing army that George Washington warned us against, will be staring down at our own people when it has finished terrorizing the wider world.

Posted by: Copeland | May 29 2015 5:16 utc | 20

let it be clear, Russia and Iran are the enemies
"The U.S. has shifted the goal post and now insists that the Additional Protocol providing for inspection of Iranian nuclear sites should also cover all (non-nuclear) military sites. The Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has refused to give in.

Why did the US introduce this potential “deal breaker”? France’s robust interjection suggests a Saudi hand in it. Could it be that Obama is simply negotiating harder and hopes to browbeat Iran to make more concessions, or, is it that he finds it expedient that negotiations continue into July and beyond so that the sanctions remain in place?"

Posted by: Mina | May 29 2015 8:40 utc | 21
Greek, Iranian diplomats eye closer ties, energy cooperation
Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Zavad Zarif on Thursday vowed to boost bilateral ties at the political level as well as trade relations, with a key focus on the energy sector.

Zarif also met with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who said Greece was determined to boost bilateral relations, while members of the delegation traveling with Zarif met with Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis and other officials.

Posted by: okie farmer | May 29 2015 11:34 utc | 22

Copeland at 20 --

You raise points of interest.

The aspects noted by Merriam's definition are not superficial. We have far more opportunities for dissent than opponents of the Third Reich.

Destruction of target societies and their domination by the metropolitan states is what colonialism and imperialism are all about. It has always been a means of war.

"America ruins the world to rule it". Comment in this piece on ZeroHedge suggests it dates from 2014. Cf. to Tacitus -- "They plunder, they slaughter, and they steal: this they falsely name Empire, and where they make a wasteland, they call it peace." Or "All this in their ignorance they called civilisation, when it was but a part of their servitude." I have his Annals, but I gotta read Agricola, the source for these.

All items of repression need to be manufactured, be they the simple whip of the slave-driver or the sophisticated drone of finance capital. Auschwitz was literally a death factory. Assembly line industrial death is probably more accurate. We have not gone that far, and I pray will not.

That corporations and their owners dominate the politics of capitalist states is the nature of capitalism. The state is always the tool of the elite in each mode of production. Corporatism is again a quite specific and historically conditioned term. Time does not permit presently closer definition.

Pathological serial crime -- slavery, "the winning of the West," etc. Nothing really new here.

To return to my seed/tree analogy. I agree, the standing army -- or better yet, Eisenhower's updated "military-industrial complex" -- along with the militarization of law enforcement are the seeds for fascism. That we are watering them is beyond doubt. We may even have a few seedlings, but they are far from maturity. Our ongoing promotion of assorted death squads is proving good fertilizer, sadly.

I read Gross back when it came out, it's buried on the shelves somewhere. Check the review if you've not already. While I don't agree with him, it does set one thinking, you might find it of interest.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 29 2015 12:18 utc | 23

23;For some reason to me,WW2 and all its tales of atrocities are less and less relevant to today,as we make Adolf look a role model,and every story of Nazi crimes is from serial liars,and victims,who are hardly able to be non biased.Not believing serial liars is a sign of intelligence to me.
Todays WAPO says;102 year old woman gets her degree!76 years after the Nazis stopped her schooling.I mean the propaganda never ends,and this Fifa scandal,the guy behind it is a Jewish canary,do you think he has an agenda?
Look at the hit piece in todays Graun,with posters(new?) overwhelmingly backing the US against Russia,manufacturing consent most definitely.

Posted by: dahoit | May 29 2015 13:44 utc | 24

Meanwhile in Sankt Petersburg:

More than 20 journalists from St Petersburg television channel 100TV have resigned from their posts, after head of the channel’s media holding, media mogul and Putin-ally Aram Gabrelyanov, implemented plans to rebrand the station in the image of pro-Kremlin tabloid LifeNews.

Posted by: Cirrus | May 29 2015 19:45 utc | 25

dahoit at 24 --

Only liars and victims? My most recent reading matter (last summer) on the Nazis was The SS: Alibi of a Nation. Published originally in 1957, Gerald Reitlinger undertook to document for his fellow Germans the extent of their responsibility. Amazon describes it as follows:

Germans in high places still use the SS as a standard excuse for the acts of murder, extortion, and genocide that were facts of daily life under the Nazis. Reitlinger explores the complex social machinery that allowed the SS to operate.... He shows how the SS was embedded in the basic government of the country during those years and how its members were not so much lunatic killers as loyal citizens doing the bidding of a country that had gone insane. Powerful, objective, and based on original German documents and interviews — including information from Himmler’s statistician — this book rejects the SS as an alibi for a nation’s responsibility in the most far-reaching racial massacre in history.

I object to the quarantine around fascism. It is nothing exotic, it is a form of radical conservatism. A modern iteration of conservative nationalism and xenophobia, which used the latest political techniques at the time of its origins to create a mass movement. Perhaps it is an outlier on the right spectrum, but if so, not by very much.

As I have argued on any number of occasions, the fascists were all about repressing the working class and its organizations. It was only the Nazis that parlayed the destruction of the communists, socialists, and trade unions into the mass murder of Jews, Slavs, hostages, and Resistance members.

And I have also commented on the use of this by the Israeli settler colony to manipulate Western public opinion into supporting their brutal and illegal occupation of Palestine (i.e., areas outside Israel's original boundaries). I owe much to Counterpunch's posting of the work of Gilad Atzmon on this point. See this most recent item, about his Lexicon.

I will charitably attribute your remarks to an excess of anti-Zionist zeal, as opposed to a variety of anti-semitism, or nostalgia for "the good old days."

Posted by: rufus magister | May 29 2015 23:02 utc | 26


thanks for your response @ 23. There is much to think about there. I'm behind on my reading list. One book of interest is Robert O. Paxton's The Five Stages of Fascism. The link is to a pdf; but my antique computer won't process it in a timely fashion. I may have to order a copy from the bookstore. I'm also interested in Tacitus, and also want to look into the sources you mentioned.

Posted by: Copeland | May 29 2015 23:02 utc | 27

Copeland@27- i found this article by Samir Amin at monthly review helpful in defining fascism:

Political movements that can rightly be called fascist were in the forefront and exercised power in a number of European countries, particularly during the 1930s up to 1945. These included Italy’s Benito Mussolini, Germany’s Adolf Hitler, Spain’s Francisco Franco, Portugal’s António de Oliveira Salazar, France’s Philippe Pétain, Hungary’s Miklós Horthy, Romania’s Ion Antonescu, and Croatia’s Ante Pavelic. The diversity of societies that were the victims of fascism—both major developed capitalist societies and minor dominated capitalist societies, some connected with a victorious war, others the product of defeat—should prevent us from lumping them all together. I shall thus specify the different effects that this diversity of structures and conjunctures produced in these societies.

Yet, beyond this diversity, all these fascist regimes had two characteristics in common:

(1) In the circumstances, they were all willing to manage the government and society in such a way as not to call the fundamental principles of capitalism into question, specifically private capitalist property, including that of modern monopoly capitalism. That is why I call these different forms of fascism particular ways of managing capitalism and not political forms that challenge the latter’s legitimacy, even if “capitalism” or “plutocracies” were subject to long diatribes in the rhetoric of fascist speeches. The lie that hides the true nature of these speeches appears as soon as one examines the “alternative” proposed by these various forms of fascism, which are always silent concerning the main point—private capitalist property. It remains the case that the fascist choice is not the only response to the challenges confronting the political management of a capitalist society. It is only in certain conjunctures of violent and deep crisis that the fascist solution appears to be the best one for dominant capital, or sometimes even the only possible one. The analysis must, then, focus on these crises.

(2) The fascist choice for managing a capitalist society in crisis is always based—by definition even—on the categorical rejection of “democracy.” Fascism always replaces the general principles on which the theories and practices of modern democracies are based—recognition of a diversity of opinions, recourse to electoral procedures to determine a majority, guarantee of the rights of the minority, etc.—with the opposed values of submission to the requirements of collective discipline and the authority of the supreme leader and his main agents. This reversal of values is then always accompanied by a return of backward-looking ideas, which are able to provide an apparent legitimacy to the procedures of submission that are implemented. The proclamation of the supposed necessity of returning to the (“medieval”) past, of submitting to the state religion or to some supposed characteristic of the “race” or the (ethnic) “nation” make up the panoply of ideological discourses deployed by the fascist powers.

Posted by: Nana2007 | May 30 2015 0:14 utc | 28

Copeland at 27 -- You are most welcome. Your presented a solid and reasoned prima facie case, so I tried to return the favor.

I brought up and then downloaded the Paxton article. He says annoying things about us Western Marxists early on, (it can be a manipulation by the elite and capitalism and a genuine mass response, I'd say) but seems to be making some interesting points. ANything serious I try to read on hardcopy, that might be a good work-around to your diffs.

I'm glad I'm not the only one running antiques. This machine is about 7 yrs. old, I could use a better graphics card but it does OK. The computer that I have MSWord95 and Quattropro on is easily 15 yrs. Mrs. M. has a slick ASUS tablet, about 6 mos. old, though.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 30 2015 0:19 utc | 29

Absolutely Key to Fascism is the collusion btw government and Big Business. That this most critical element in defining and understanding the venality of fascism is omitted; or given little mention in modern dictionaries should lend a clue to its fundamental importance.

They don't want you to know what Fascism is because you're soaking in it.

Posted by: fast freddy | May 30 2015 1:31 utc | 30

Rufus@18- just a thought but this bothers me re the Merriam definition- 1: often capitalized. Why would this be of primary importance? I detect a compromise between the writer and editor along the lines of what fast Freddy @30 suggests. At any rate I agree with your analysis and sense that full on fascism is locked and loaded should the need arise

Posted by: Nana2007 | May 30 2015 2:08 utc | 31

Nana2007 At 28 & 31 --

I read Amin's Eurocentrism back in the 80's and watched for his stuff at MR, very good if very dense (in a good way). He's right in emphasizing that it is a response to severe crisis -- and you don't get any more severe of a crisis than Europe after the Great War. And of course the element of relentless nostalgia for the pre-industrial world, be it medieval in the German case or Imperial Roman in that of Italy. Healthy robust peasant warriors -- on tanks and mechanized transport.

While they drain the institutions of any democratic content, they preserve the forms -- the plebiscite and the compliant Reichstag or other assembly provide a form of popular legitimacy, a live audience for bombastic speeches to the Volk.

The Merriam def. -- The bit about capitalization refers to usage. "Fascism" typically refers to the Italian or other parties formally named so, "fascism" for the generic political phenomenon. I went for something easily found, succinct and innocuous as a sort of baseline.

Fast Freddy makes a very good point at 30. That state/capital connection is always present in bourgeois democracy, but there is an added element in fascism. I emphasized the particular and especial object of that collaboration in fascism, the destruction of the labor movement.

Who in the elite today really wants to call attention to that collaboration? It's not oligarchy, it's "a public-private partnership" to develop "a good business climate." If you're too frank with the wage-helots, there goes your "respectability" and you're no longer "serious." Obama is trying to give Warren that treatment over TPP.

Fast Freddy -- while I don't think we're there yet (maybe after a good crisis, though), I caught your ref. to Madge. "Dishwashing liquid!?" Very droll. We actually use Palmolive here at home, the smell reminds me of my grandmother's kitchen and her dumplings. Mmmm, dumplings....

Posted by: rufus magister | May 30 2015 3:45 utc | 32

Rufus@32- thanks for the response, I appreciate you"re acuity-, I know you were just using what was best at hand-however I still find the the Merriam usage curious.

All good points though and I failed to catch the Palmolive reference- thanks fast Freddy.

Posted by: Nana2007 | May 30 2015 4:14 utc | 33

Nana2007 at 33 --

"Acuity" -- careful, such flattery will go to my head. I might really convince myself I am a know-it-all instead of just cultivating that air. But anyway, thanks!

I've been thinking off and on about the nature of fascism since Gross' book. Could be sharpness, could be persistence. Reading texts and making connections is what we do in the humanities, so I'm in my element.

You'll see over on the "Movie Recommendation" open thread, however, I'm having a tougher time with the science and math question. But I think David Suzuki and RationalWiki have my back, so I look to be holding my own.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 30 2015 4:51 utc | 34

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