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Obama’s “Catastrophic Defeat” in Ukraine
Washington's "Pivot" hits a Brick Wall
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“We are currently witnessing an epic and historic event. The Ukrainian regular army and the punitive battalions are suffering a catastrophic defeat to the south of Donetsk…..It still is not quite clear how the Junta intends to avoid a complete defeat here…. By squandering the most combat-capable brigades in systematic offensive operations, the Junta sustained enormous losses and at the same time suffered a crushing, purely military defeat. The southern front has collapsed.” – The Southern Front Catastrophe– August 27, 2014″, Colonel Cassad, Military Briefing, Novorossiya, Ukraine

“The reports out of Novorussia (New Russia) are nothing short of incredible… sources are reporting that Novorussian forces have bypassed Mariupol from the north and have entered the Zaporozhie region!” – News from the Front, Vineyard of the Saker

Barack Obama has pushed Ukraine to the brink of political, economic and social collapse. Now he wants to blame Russia for the damage he’s done. It’s absurd. Moscow is in no way responsible for Ukraine’s descent into anarchy. That’s all Washington’s doing, just as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now Syria were Washington’s doing. If you want to blame someone, blame Obama.

Ukraine’s troubles began when the US State Department toppled the elected president in February and replaced him with a compliant stooge who agreed to follow Washington’s directives. The new “junta” government quickly launched a full-blown war against Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the east which split the civilian population and drove the country to ruin. The plan “pacify” the East was concocted in Washington, not Kiev and certainly not Moscow.

Moscow has repeatedly called for an end to the violence and a resumption of negotiations, but each request has been rebuffed by Obama’s puppet in Kiev leading to another round of hostilities. Washington doesn’t want peace. Washington wants the same solution it imposed on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, that is, a chaotic failed state where ethnic and sectarian animosities are kept at a boiling point so forward-operating bases can be established without resistance, so resources can be extracted at will, and so a formally-independent nation can be reduced to a “permanent state of colonial dependency.” (Chomsky) That’s the basic gameplan wherever Washington goes. The same rule applies to Ukraine. The only choice the people have is to arm themselves and fight back. Which is what they’ve done.

Donetsk and Lugansk have formed militias and taken the war to the enemy. They’ve engaged Obama’s proxy-army on the battlefield and pounded it into mincemeat. That’s why Obama deployed his propagandists to lie about the fictitious “Russian invasion”. The administration needs a diversion because the Novorussia forces (aka-the “pro Russia separatists”) are kicking the holy crap out of Obama’s legions. That’s why Washington and Kiev are in full panic-mode, because none of this was supposed to happen. Obama figured the army would put down the insurrection, crush the resistance, and move him one step closer to his goal of establishing NATO bases and missile defense systems on Russia’s western flank.

Well, guess what? It’s not playing out that way and it probably never will. The Novorussia fighters are too tough, too smart and too motivated to be one-upped by Obama’s feckless troopers. (Check out this short video and you’ll see why the rebels are winning: Vineyard of the Saker)

Putin hasn’t sent tanks and artillery into Ukraine. He doesn’t need to. The militias are loaded with battle-hardened veterans who know how to fight and who are quite good at it. Just ask Poroshenko whose army has been taking it in the shorts for the last couple of weeks. Check out this blurb in Thursday’s Itar Tass:

“Over the week of August 16-23, the self-defense fighters of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics seized 14 T-64 tanks, 25 infantry fighting vehicles, 18 armored personnel carriers, one armored reconnaissance and patrol vehicle, one Uragan multiple launch rocket system, two Gvozdika self-propelled artillery guns, four D-30 howitzers, four mortars, one ZU-23-2 air defense system and 33 vehicles.” (East Ukraine militias seize large amount of Ukrainian armor, Itar Tass)

Get the picture? The Ukrainian army is getting beaten to a pulp, which means that Obama’s glorious “pivot strategy” just slammed into a brick wall.

Bottom line: Russia has not invaded Ukraine. The propagandists in the media are just trying to hide the fact that the Novorussia Army Forces (NAF; aka-the pro Russia separatists) are kicking ass and taking names. That’s what’s really going on. That’s why Obama and his gaggle of miscreant neocons are in a furor. It’s because they don’t know what to do next, so they’ve returned to their default position on every issue; lie like hell until they settle on a plan.

Naturally, they’re going to blame Putin for the mess they’re in. What else can they do? They’re getting their heads handed to them by a superior army. How do you explain that to the folks at home? Check out this excerpt from the New York Times Number One fiction writer, Michael “aluminum tubes” Gordon (who, not surprisingly, co-authored pieces with infamous Judy Miller in the lead up to the Iraq War):

“Determined to preserve the pro-Russian revolt in eastern Ukraine, Russia reinforced what Western and Ukrainian officials described as a stealth invasion on Wednesday, sending armored troops across the border as it expanded the conflict to a new section of Ukrainian territory.

The latest incursion, which Ukraine’s military said included five armored personnel carriers, was at least the third movement of troops and weapons from Russia across the southeast part of the border this week, further blunting the momentum Ukrainian forces have made in weakening the insurgents in their redoubts of Donetsk and Luhansk farther north. Evidence of a possible turn was seen in the panicky retreat of Ukrainian soldiers on Tuesday from a force they said had come over the Russian border.” (Ukraine Reports Russian Invasion on a New Front, New York Times)

“Stealth invasion”? In other words, Gordon has settled on a substitute for WMD. What a surprise.

This isn’t even good fiction; it’s more like Grimm’s Fairy Tales. And where are the photos? If you have evidence, Gordon, let’s see it. But, please, make sure it’s better than the last time, you know, those fake photos of Russian soldiers that were supposedly operating in Ukraine. That was another deceit, wasn’t it? (See: Another NYT-Michael Gordon Special?, Robert Parry, Consortium News)

This is like the Malaysia airlines crash, isn’t it? Remember how Kerry went on a five-TV-talk-show blitz the day after the crash, making all kinds of spurious accusations, about surface-to-air missiles and phantom Russian convoys, without a shred of evidence, and then— the very next day– Russian military experts calmly produced hard evidence, from radar and satellite data, that a Ukrainian fighter plane was seen closing in on MH17 just moments before it was downed. (BBC also interviewed eyewitnesses who saw the SU 25 approaching the passenger plane.)

So, who do you believe; Kerry or the facts? And who are you going to believe this time; “Aluminum tubes” Gordie or Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) monitor Andrey Kelin who said yesterday:

“We have said that no Russian involvement has been spotted, there are no soldiers or equipment present.”

“Accusations relating to convoys of armored personnel carriers have been heard during the past week and the week before that. All of them were proven false back then, and are being proven false again now.” (RT)

Repeat: “No Russian involvement”. All the accusations “were proven false.” “False” as in fake, phony, propaganda, bunkum, lies which, by the way, appears to be Gordon’s area of expertise.

Anyone who has been following the conflict knows that the Washington-backed junta in Kiev has waged a war against its own people in the East, and that they’ve been bombing hospitals, schools, libraries, apartments, public buildings, residential areas, etc, all in an effort to drag Putin into a war that will sabotage EU-Moscow economic integration and further US interests in the area. It’s all geopolitics, every bit of it. Remember the pivot to Asia? This is what it looks like in real time. A lot of people get butchered so the big money guys in Washington can maintain their grip on global power for another century or so.

Well, you can put that pipedream to rest now, mainly because a group of scrappy ex-military types in east Ukraine gathered themselves into an effective and lethal militia which has turned things around pronto. If you follow developments on blogs that chronicle the daily events, you’ll know that what I’m saying is true. The disorganized and demoralized rabble they call the Ukrainian Army has been routed in nearly every dust up they have with the Novorussia militia. Here’s how blogger Moon of Alabama summed it up on a post on Thursday:

“Their moral is bad, their equipment old, ammunition is low and the entire aim of their campaign is dubious. Now even a few weak counterattacks, the “counteroffensive”, have them on the run.”

The only thing he could’ve added to the litany is the fact that they are led by the biggest moron to ever hold high office, Petro Poroshenko, the overstuffed buffoon who thinks he’s Heinz Guderian deploying his Panzers through the Ardennes and on to Paris. What a joke!

The Times even admits that the Ukrainian army is badly demoralized. Take a look at this:

“Some of the Ukrainian soldiers appeared unwilling to fight. The commander of their unit, part of the Ninth Brigade from Vinnytsia, in western Ukraine, barked at the men to turn around, to no effect. “All right,” the commander said. “Anybody who refuses to fight, sit apart from the others.” Eleven men did, while the others returned to the city.

Some troops were in full retreat: A city busload of them careened past on the highway headed west, and purple curtains flapped through windows shot out by gunfire.” (New York Times)

Have you ever heard of a commanding officer asking his men whether they want to fight or not? It’s ludicrous. This is a defeated army, that much is clear. And it’s easy to understand how the average grunt feels, too. The average working guy doesn’t have the stomach for killing his own people. That’s not something he’s going to feel good about. He just wants to see the war end and go home, which is why they’re getting whooped so bad. It’s because their hearts aren’t in it. In contrast, the farmers, shopkeepers and miners who make up the militia are highly-motivated, after all, this isn’t some geopolitical game for them. Most of these people have lived in these cities their entire lives. Now they’re watching neighbors get gunned down in the streets or pulling friends out of the wreckage of bombed out buildings. For these people, the war is real and it’s personal. They’re defending their towns, their families, and their way of life. That tends to build resolve and focus the mind. Here’s more from the NY Times:

“The United States has photographs that show the Russian artillery moved into Ukraine, American officials say. One photo dated last Thursday, shown to a New York Times reporter, shows Russian military units moving self-propelled artillery into Ukraine. Another photo, dated Saturday, shows the artillery in firing positions in Ukraine.

Advanced air defenses, including systems not known to be in the Ukrainian arsenal, have also been used to blunt the Ukrainian military’s air power, American officials say. In addition, they said, the Russian military routinely flies drones over Ukraine and shares the intelligence with the separatists.” (Ukraine Reports Russian Invasion on a New Front, New York Times)

Photos? What photos? Gordon doesn’t have any photos. Ah, but he has heard about a New York Times reporter who saw a photo.

This is ridiculous, but, then again, isn’t that what you’d expect from a journalist who helped craft the pretext for invading Iraq?

Here’s how Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov responded to the claims of a Russian invasion. He said:

“It’s not the first time we’ve heard wild guesses, though, so far, the facts have never been presented…

There have been reports about satellite imagery exposing Russian troop movements. They turned out to be images from videogames. The latest accusations happen to be much the same quality…

We’ll react by persisting in our effort to reduce the bloodshed and to support negotiations about the future of Ukraine, with participation of all Ukrainian regions and political forces, something that was agreed upon back in April in Geneva, but which is now being deliberately avoided by our Western partners.” (RT)

There you have it; there is no Russian invasion anymore than there were WMD, mobile weapons labs, aluminum tubes, Sarin gas etc, etc, etc. It’s all BS concocted by a servile media pursuing the agenda of a warmongering political establishment that wants to escalate the conflagration in east Ukraine at all cost. Even if it leads to a Third World War.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at [email protected].

(Republished from Counterpunch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Media, Russia, Ukraine 
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  1. Mike, the only thing you forgot was the Ukrainian responsibility for downing MH17. Or did Obama order that too? Incredible that an unmitigated channel of Russian propaganda flows through under the guise of conservatism.

    • Replies: @Tom Not Terrific
    , @22pp22
  2. Kiza says:

    In terms of sources of news, I find the two blogs which Mike mentions priceless. The Western media are so horribly discredited that they do not deserve a millisecond of my time any more. The truth content in them has been trending towards absolute zero for a long time, but on Ukraine the loss of confidence has reached an apex. Constant total fabrications without a shred of proof (“trust us”) and only traces of reporting is the standard fair of the Western media. Their “news” are now fit only for the gullible masses and for the regime employees. I find even RT to be far behind the bloggers. Therefore, I recommend the two which Mike mentions: Colonel Cassad and Moon of Alabama.

  3. So appalling that all sides believe that killing and violence are redemptive. It seems like a sleepwalk to World War III, with, incredibly, many I hear looking forward to it, believing such an all-out war will be brief and result in their own total victory. It is ironic but entirely consistent with humanity’s thirst for violent conflict that the Nobel prize is named after a munitions magnate. All end up fighting on the same side, that of death and destruction.

  4. VincentT says:

    And the reason for all of this is because Nuland and the neocons sought to undermine Russia because Russia thwarted the neocon goals of aiding ISIS to take out Assad.
    During the early stages of the Iraq war, the NYT allowed Judith Miller’s totally bogus article about WMDs being transported into Syria a front-page, top-of-the-fold spot. The neocons didn’t get their wish of attacking and taking out Assad a decade ago so the neocons simply changed their tactics with the new administration. We saw the Dublin-born Irish wash-woman, third-wife of Cass Sunstein, Samantha Power, take the bait and champion the Arab spring and regime change. Pathetic.

  5. Don Nash says: • Website

    Well done Mr. Whitney. I can imagine that the Euros are more then a little skittish at the present. Should el Presidenté Obama keep poking at Vlad Putin, Europe will be toast. To bad for Europe. They picked a loser to take orders from.

  6. SteveM says:

    Agree with Fran Macadam. There are no “Good Guys” in this catastrophe. Rancid war from all sides.

    Where is Dorothy Day when you need her?

  7. Hunsdon says:

    One thing Whitney didn’t mention is that Vladimir Putin has continually called for cease fires, and that he asked the NAF to allow “humanitarian corridors” into Russia for Ukrainian forces trapped in the cauldrons.

    Someone will doubtless now point out that I have a homoerotic fixation on the Russian president, or that I am being paid to say this.

    I never thought I would see the day when a “former KGB thug” would be displaying humanity, compassion, and a reluctance to use force. (Oh, the Russians invaded with FIVE armored personnel carriers? Sell me a bridge.)

    This is a fight we’ve been picking, and Putin’s not even fighting back; he’s deflecting our attacks.

  8. @FirkinRidiculous

    Since when is the of reporting facts propaganda? (propaganda = lies)

    Why is all this HAPPENING in Ukraine? Everything was fine until those mad Strangelovian hegedemonic “killers” around WashDC decided that Monsanto and Exxon needed to control Eastern Ukraine.

    This is America’s fault. (If it were Russia’s fault, it should be called Russia’s fault. But it ain’t.)

    • Replies: @CCR
  9. Chiron says:

    Isn’t was the neocons still inside the USG who wanted a confrontation and weakening of Russia?

    Victoria Nuland and the Kagans are happy with the situation.

  10. KA says:

    It is the defeat of the Dnipiro Battalion ,European Jewish Parliament,and of the dual citizen oligarchs.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/17/ukraine-war-spreads-across-russian-border/

    By Renee Parsons s staffer in the U.S. House of Representatives and a lobbyist on nuclear energy issues with Friends of the Earth. in 2005, she was elected to the Durango City Council and served as Councilor and Mayor. Currently, she is a member of the Treasure Coast ACLU Board.

  11. conatus says:

    Aren’t we the original bad faith actors in this drama? Didn’t Clinton dishonor a ‘gentleman’s agreement” with Gorbachev, crafted during the reuniting of Germany. At the time the Russians were negotiating from a position of strength, they had 350,000 troops in Europe. Yet they agreed to let Germany reunite if we agreed NOT TO EXPAND NATO!
    How well have we honored our end of this bargain? I think there are ten more NATO members, all of whom bear a historical brief against the Russians.
    Talk about Janus-faced Capitalistas!

    Why did the US whine about the Monroe doctrine if there is no need of buffer states? I know Kerry declared it dead but we were squealing as late as the 90s. Does anyone seriously think we would let Al Qaeda take over Cuba?
    It is easy to make moral pronouncements when you have two huge oceans between you and everyone else, not so easy if they are right across some little river.

    Isn’t there a double standard going on here? We invoke the Monroe doctrine to keep Russian missiles from our borders but we can get so close via NATO, the Russian bear’s hairs tickle our nose?

    Remember the Monroe doctrine which Kennedy cited in 1962 over the Cuban Missile Crisis? Look at it from Putin’s point of view, this noose of NATO is tightening around Mother Russia, when Gorbachev had an implicit guarantee it wouldn’t.

    From a 2009 NYT article, by Mary Elise Sarotte, Enlarging Nato, Expanding Confusion, discussing the ‘gentleman’s agreement’ that Gorbachev understood as meaning no NATO expansion, applying to his agreeing to German reunification.

    NYT says “Did the United States betray Russia at the dawn of the post-cold war era? The short answer is no. Nothing legally binding emerged from the negotiations over German unification. In fact, in September 1990, an embattled Mr. Gorbachev signed the accords that allowed NATO to extend itself over the former East Germany in exchange for financial assistance from Bonn to Moscow. A longer answer, however, shows that there were mixed messages and diplomatic ambiguities.

    By acknowledging that there might be some substance to Russian grievances, the Obama administration would strengthen our relations with Moscow. Given that NATO enlargement has already taken place and efforts for further expansion are stalled, little would be lost with such an acknowledgment but much could be gained.” Unquote

    We, in the West, are the original bad faith actors, we come from a dishonorable world…and we act accordingly.

  12. Kiza says:

    One day when ISIS or some other revengeful mob starts bombing the US and starts killing your friends, family and the loved ones like the US&EU backed Nazis are doing in Ukraine now, then someone will “smartly” write: “All sides are the same”, “Rancid war from all sides” and I will add lyrical passages about the human nature and savage thirst for violent conflict by both sides. BTW, did you read that ISIS is assembling an air-force inside NE Syria? It may not be so far fetched and it definitely would be deserved. What goes around has a tendency to come around.

  13. Exactly if Ukraine wasn’t so damn insistent on protecting the sovereignty of its territory Russia wouldn’t have to invade. Moreover if the Ukraine didn’t want to get invaded it wouldn’t have shared a border with russia. It’s not like you can expect Russia not to invade its neighbors. Ukraine just sits there with its tight dress on the subway how’s a virile man with no use for shirts or marital fidelity supposed to act.

    Macho man like Putin with only one kid to show for all his machoness of course he’s going to invade. It’s like who does Romney with his five kids think he is. He’s not five times the man Putin is no way. How many shirtless pics of Romney does Hundson have as his screen saver. None that’s how many. I mean Romney probably rides a horse with his shirt on. Only queers like Ronald Reagan do that.

    It’s not homoerotic Hundson. You just have a school girl crush you’ll get over once he asks someone else to prom.

    • Replies: @Hunsdon
  14. Hunsdon says:
    @Sam Haysom

    And when you have no evidence to support your assertions, impugn your opponent. Of your three paragraphs, two are ad hominem attacks on me, and one is mixed sputter and bizarre assertions.

    If you’d care to go over the timeline of events, I’d be more than happy to do so with you.

  15. Svigor says:

    It is ironic but entirely consistent with humanity’s thirst for violent conflict that the Nobel prize is named after a munitions magnate. All end up fighting on the same side, that of death and destruction.

    It’s ironic but entirely consistent that some people think that dynamite is best summed up as “munitions.” Ever tried to build a railroad through mountainous terrain without high explosives? Highway? How about building a dam without them?

    Agree with Fran Macadam. There are no “Good Guys” in this catastrophe. Rancid war from all sides.

    Where is Dorothy Day when you need her?

    I’ll take the separatists. Separatism could use a few victories.

  16. Unit472 says:

    Its remarkable how Moscow always has an international brigade of useful idiots, fellow travelers, pinkos and front groups. Back in the days of the USSR it was the left who spread Soviet agit-prop and conducted disinformation campaigns on behalf of a foreign government. Now it is a combination of Libertarians and hard right/racists who do Moscow’s bidding. Astonishing really.

    Why does Moscow attract traitors? Well back in the day communism was truly an international movement headquartered in and funded by Moscow but thought to be the vanguard of economic and political organization and a lot of people bought into that even as Soviet communism morphed into an especially brutal version of the 19th Century’s “Great Game” of empire building. But what do Libertarians, UKippers and American hard right see in V. Putin that I am missing? Putin is a man right out of the 1930’s leading an ultranationalist government. He’s eschewed the North Korean style theatrics but seems to have adopted their political philosophy of ‘Juche’ wherein the citizen is subordinate to the state and economic self sufficiency is more important than economic prosperity.

    Certainly not the stuff one would think Libertarians would find appealing. Guys like Pat Buchanan seem to think Putin is a social conservative or a Russian Ronald Reagan. Yeah, he’s macho and, like Reagan, rides a horse ( or is at least photographed on one) and he’s not going to be found wearing any pink or rainbow ribbons but Putin’s love of big government and aversion to private enterprise would put him to the left of Nancy Pelosi. I just don’t get the fascination and support such a brutal and atavistic dictator is getting in American and British political circles.

  17. rod1963 says:

    The bad actor in this has been the U.S. not Russia. We are the ones who spent $5 billion dollars on the orange revolutions to destabilize Ukraine, who sent in government and senate controlled NGO’s whose purpose is to topple governments and did so, who supported a bunch of Neo-Nazi thugs and help install a puppet as the Ukrainian leader.

    You think Putin would stand by and do nothing? Only a fool would. He took back the Crimea in short order(here’s a hint U.S. when you over throw a government, don’t expect the foreign military forces stationed on that territory to do as you say). Which sent our government and so-called conservatives into a blind rage. Next thing you know we get a bunch of retired military poodles(officers) and pasty faced chickenhawks demanding that we ship weapons and trainers to Ukraine so as to punish the Russians for taking back the Crimea, etc. Throughout this the Neo-Cons have been pounding the war drums from Kristol to Krauthammer to the Kagans. A literal yeshiva Jewish intellectual hacks that still dictate foreign policy for the U.S.

    Of course their track record is nothing short of a train wreck, but what do you expect out a bunch of delusional little men who owe their position to nepotism and who perpetually confuse ideology with a working strategy based on the real world.

    End result in Ukraine. Putin is slowly carving up our oligarchic puppet into kosher meat products. But this is what happens when you screw with a man who is grounded in the real world as opposed to the fantasy world our lawyer-politicians inhabit where they believe that bu**s**t is reality and that their lies work on everybody.

  18. VincentT says:

    @Sam Haysom

    I think you might have the wrong forum. Shouldn’t you be on Free Republic with FR (#1 above) posting under the handle MarineCorpsMom or similar, updating FReepers about news on the Likud party?

    This issue is about Nuland, neocons, NATO who sought to undermine Russia because Russia thwarted them in their attempt to remove Assad a year ago. No mulligans in chess, Mr. President. It’s the touch-move rule.

  19. KA says:

    http://articles.latimes.com/1997/jul/07/local/me-10464

    “Policy: Enlargement could weaken unity within the alliance. Denials of the potential threat to Russia are delusory.

    Why have so many knowledgeable and responsible authorities, in addition to the letter’s signatories, raised powerful objections to NATO expansion? Diplomat-historian George F. Kennan perhaps said it most clearly when he wrote earlier this year in a newspaper commentary: “Expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the post cold-war era. Such a decision may be expected . . . to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking.”

    This picture also reveals that, at its heart, NATO expansion is aimed at Russia. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright confirmed this in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee on April 23: “On the off-chance that in fact Russia doesn’t work out the way that we are hoping it will . . . NATO is there.”

    Overbearing U.S. insistence on expanding NATO strictly on our terms also could weaken unity within the alliance. Serious complaints are being leveled by some members concerning the autocratic tactics we have employed to control the expansion program. It will be ironic if our attempts to strengthen U.S. military leadership in Europe result in weakening U.S. political influence there.”

  20. VincentT says:

    Unit472 said:

    Its remarkable how Moscow always has an international brigade of useful idiots, fellow travelers, pinkos and front groups…

    You mean like Col. Patrick Lang, former U.S. Army Special Forces and top officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency? Col. Lang has written a lot on this subject, here’s part of a recent entry dealing with Samantha Power’s speech before the Security Council:

    “[Samantha Power] and the rest of the Obama crew are filled with the belief that the old world of national interests has passed away and that now “The Peaceable Kingdom” actually exists in a world order supervised by male and female super-nannies, most of whom happen to be American as she is (recently). The possession by Russia of far more than the megatonnage needed to reduce the US to cinders means nothing to her because she is certain she will prevail for her heart is pure.

    And then we have Josh Earnest, another Child Crusader, manfully (or maybe metrosexually) trying to defend Obama’s chilly devotion to forthright speech (always a difficut thing in a “politician”).

    IMO both of these young people have been appointed to positions in which a precocious publishing life has been misinterpreted as somethng more than a skill in self-promotion and apparent adoration of the mighty.

    That would be amusing were it not true that their post-adolescent group-think now imperils the civilized world.

    Add Rhode, Rice and a few more of their band of brothers and sisters and you have a recipe for a blunder that leads to World War Three.”!

    http://www.turcopolier.typepad.com

  21. “Its remarkable how Moscow always has an international brigade of useful idiots, fellow travelers, pinkos and front groups.”

    How about actually supporting your argument with some sort of analysis rather than shotgun a mass-ad hominem?

    The reason that Putin is so popular with Russians (and he was popular even before the Ukraine issue hit the boil) is that he is associated with the stabilization of the Russian state, a growth in prosperity, and even seemingly the start of a demographic rebound.

    Not sure what you find so hard to grasp. Most of those you imagine to be “pro-Putin” are not so much that, although many respect his laser-like focus on bringing Russia back from the brink, as disgusted with the patently and consistently mendacious and hypocritical approach to Russia that has become characteristic of our press.

    Take the gay rights in Russia obsession that our press has adopted. We conduct business and have close strategic and economic alliances with many countries that are truly brutal with gays. In Russia, it’s a question of a law that has a rather narrow restrictive effect on some aspects of gay rights. And yet the media does nothing but go after Russia on this issue and many others.

    Bottom line: The neoconservatives are obsessed with eliminating Russia as a significant global force, and many do not agree with either the moral/philosophical OR the strategic premise of that obsession. It’s a good rule of thumb that if the neocons are FOR something, then it’s best to be AGAINST it.

    Also, don’t know what support you are talking about “in American and British political circles.” Most establishment operatives who may seem to support Putin are really only using the Ukraine issue (and any other that comes to hand) to attack Obama.

  22. SteveM says:

    Re: Matthew Arnold “Take the gay rights in Russia obsession that our press has adopted. We conduct business and have close strategic and economic alliances with many countries that are truly brutal with gays.”

    Absolutely. Apart from Ukraine, U.S. Elites (Obama and the FP cabal) sententiously lecture Putin/the Russians about Pussy Riot while greasing a $60 Billion weapons deal with “our friends the Saudis”. (Supplied by the American Merchants of Death of course.)

    The same retrograde, kleptocratic Saudis who beheaded at least 19 people this August alone:

    http://tinyurl.com/Saudi-Beheadings

    The U.S. has no credibility because the U.S. (regime) is no longer credible.

  23. iSteveFan says:

    I don’t enjoy reading that the Ukrainians are getting their asses kicked. I don’t enjoy reading that Russians in east Ukraine are being indiscriminately killed. I don’t want to see any more Euro-on-Euro killing. We have had way too much, especially in the 20th century. Europeans are on track to make up less than 10 percent of the world’s population by 2060, after having been 28 percent in 1950. Enough is enough.

    Therefore, I take a dim view of American policy for fomenting this war. And as an American and Europhile, I am more concerned with our own leaders actions towards us than I am about Putin. The muslim rape-gangs, prostitute-grooming ring in the UK involving at least 1400 English girls was absolutely disgusting. I ask any of the commenters here who are attacking those of us who do not wish to fight Russia which is worse, Russia trying to exercise undue control over Ukraine, or third world hordes being brought into the West to abuse young Western women? I just don’t get the point in picking a fight so far away when our own nations are being devoured from within.

    Can any of you war hawks try to convince me that I need to worry more about Putin than about domestic demographics? I just don’t see the point. And if someone writes back that there is nothing we can do about immigration, then doesn’t that mean it is already over?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  24. NATO bureaucrats and the Pentagon insist that the Cold War has returned and demand billions more in military spending. Most Americans can’t find Ukraine on a map and don’t give a damn what Russia does there. The issue are two provinces in eastern Ukraine that are inhabited mostly by Russians who recently voted in favor of rejoining Russia. Ukraine wants to keep the provinces but has trouble dealing with unrest because its soldiers have mostly refused to fight in this political squabble. There is a myth that Russia invaded Ukraine but common sense tell us otherwise, as Paul Craig Roberts explains:

    “The latest Washington lie, this one coming from NATO, is that Russia has invaded Ukraine with 1,000 troops and self-propelled artillery. How do we know that this is a lie? Is it because we have heard nothing but lies about Russia from NATO, from US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, from assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland, from Obama and his entire regime of pathological liars, and from the British, German, and French governments along with the BBC and the entirety of the Western media.

    This, of course, is a good reason for knowing that the latest Western propaganda is a lie. Those who are pathological liars don’t suddenly start telling the truth. But there are even better reasons for understanding that Russia has not invaded Ukraine with 1,000 troops. One reason is that Putin has invested heavily in diplomacy backed by unprovocative behavior. He would not risk his bet on diplomacy by sending in troops too few in number to have a decisive effect on the outcome.Another reason is that if Putin decides he has no alternative to sending the Russian military to protect the Russian residents in eastern and southern Ukraine, Putin will send in enough troops to do the job quickly as he did in Georgia when the American and Israeli trained Georgian army invaded South Ossetia and was destroyed in a few hours by the Russian response. If you hear that 100,000 Russian troops accompanied by air cover have invaded Ukraine, it would be a more believable claim.

    A third reason is that the Russian military does not need to send troops into Ukraine in order to stop the bombing and artillery shelling of the Russian populations by Washington’s puppet government in Kiev. The Russian air force can easily and quickly destroy the Ukrainian air force and artillery and, thereby, stop the Ukrainian attack on the secessionist provinces.”

  25. 22pp22 says:
    @FirkinRidiculous

    So you think we had nothing to do with events in Kiev, or that WMD’s weren’t a lie? You are not a conservative.

  26. Kiza says:

    On one of the websites, I watched a video of a family in Easter Ukraine, a random victim of Poroshenko’s shelling. The father, who looked like a factory worker, was away from home so he was the only one who was unhurt. Two women have been killed and one wounded: the wife and the 16-year old daughter were killed, a grandma was wounded. The shrapnel lobbed of wife’s brain, only her bloodless face remained. The mobile phone video was totally amateurish, definitely did not look like a typical staged US propaganda. Next it showed the daughter’s bedroom which was also her study room. She was a good student and she wanted to go to some university, the neighbour taking this video said. This is as much as I could understand because I speak neither Russian nor Ukrainian. Poroshenko’s shelling appears totally random, for the sole purpose of terrorising the civilian population and taking revenge for the defeats on the battlefield.

    This is what the Eastern Ukrainians are fighting against, they are fighting for their homes and for the survival of their families against Western aggression. Eastern Ukraine is a place where US and EU are killing Russian civilians daily and, in a typical Western fashion, re-focusing discourse away from this reality and towards a totally fabricated Russian “aggression” against Ukrainian Holy Borders (the borders are holy only when the US interest says so). I hope Putin eventually finds the guts to respond appropriately to the fat Chocolate Killer King and his Western Nazi masters, and manages to convince the oligarchs that it is worth sacrificing wealth for the national defence against the West.

  27. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @iSteveFan

    If its any consolation to you, by 2060, America won’t be around.

  28. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Mike, I’ve been reading you stuff for half a year now. I’ve not seen any of it come to fruition. You’re clueless and a real mess.

  29. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Russia has also not invaded or annexed Crimea? Crimea is still part of Ukraine?

    • Replies: @Hunsdon
    , @Bill
  30. CCR says:
    @Tom Not Terrific

    Just for the record, propaganda doesn’t necessarily entail lying. Often it is one-sided truths.

  31. Hunsdon says:
    @Anonymous

    Jaan: There are two, or perhaps, three, ways to answer your question.

    The first would be to point out that Crimea was a long-standing part of the Russian Empire, separate from Ukraine, and transferred administratively within the context of the Soviet Union by (Ukrainian) Khruschev.

    The second would be to point out that Sevastopol, on the Crimean peninsula, is the home of the Russian Black Sea fleet and Russia’s only warm water port.

    The third would be to point out that great powers have spheres of influence, and small powers must walk small in their relations with great powers.

    All of which answer your question “Russia has also not invaded or annexed Crimea?” by saying, “Yes, but . . . .”

  32. KA says:

    “And speaking of hoaxes, here’s a biggie: they’re telling us that the long-awaited Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine has finally arrived! Yay! You can almost hear the sigh of relief all the way from Washington. The War Party’s journalistic camarilla – which has been telling us for the past six months or so that Putin’s move was “imminent” – yelped “we told you so!” in unison. Neocon hysteric Anne Applebaum screeched that this proved that we have to prepare for “total war” with nuclear-armed Russia – which, she claims, is planning to “use nuclear weapons to bomb Poland and the Baltic countries.”…
    http://www.antiwar.com

    But the interesting part and newest addition to the vocabulary of obfuscation is this section of the conspiracy theory – well captured by Justin Raimondo –

    ” it’s a “new” kind of invasion – a “stealth invasion.” Which just goes to show that words can be twisted to mean their exact opposite.”
    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2014/08/31/hoaxes-hype-and-hysteria/

    Try the next set of clothes in the unisex fitting room if the desired size does not fit. Try even together in the same room with Hilary and McCain watching the efforts with the sagacity of the double vision – nothing will go wrong . There is no moral hazard . By the time the aftermath hits home,next round of war will be on the horizon in 24/7 lying cycle spread by the corporate control media .

  33. KA says:

    “Furthermore, we have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population…In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security…To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives…We should dispense with the aspiration to “be liked” or to be regarded as the repository of a high-minded international altruism…We should cease to talk about vague…unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better. “http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/10/23/envy-and-resentment/
    George Kennan Long Telegram while warning of the future direction of Stalin’s Soviet also painted the reality for the West . It was and isstill a war for resources

  34. KA says:

    “”Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.”

    Michael Ledeen, rightist, neocon, and promoter of war with Iran, in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute in the early 1990s, as quoted in National Review Online”

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2007/04/16/it-didn-t-start-with-the-neo-cons/
    Ledeen was overestimating the length of the time and underestimating the size of the country and completely forgot to measure the depth of the disaster .

    • Replies: @Bill
  35. Bill says:
    @Anonymous

    Russia did not invade Crimea. Its treaty with the Ukraine permitted it to have up to 25,000 troops there. It did not exceed this limit pior to the referendum. That the residents of Crimea wanted to rejoin Russia is not in reasonable dispute. Polls before any of this started indicated as much. Furthermore, Russia’s historical claim to Crimea is strong. To get Russia to have done something wrong with respect to Crimea, you’ve got a hard row to hoe, argument-wise. Is it never OK to change borders? What, then, about Yugoslavia and Kosovo? And about the coming partition of Iraq?

    What’s noticeable is that on this sub-issue, as on all the other Ukraine issues, the neocon/neoliberal side is very short on actual arguments and very long on childish ad hominems.

    • Replies: @HA
  36. Bill says:
    @KA

    “”Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.”

    Michael Ledeen, rightist, neocon, and promoter of war with Iran, in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute in the early 1990s, as quoted in National Review Online”

    Micheal Ledeen is the furthest thing from a rightist. Vile, little, Trotskyite POS. He is wonderfully representative of the lunatic scum running the US right now, though.

  37. HA says:
    @Bill

    Russia did not invade Crimea.

    But it was a party to the Budapest Memorandum. Unlike the ghostly alleged Western violations regarding NATO, which was supposedly promised to have been halted forever even though no one has yet found me any shred of documentation indicating as much, the Budapest Memorandum is far more explicit, making Russia’s breach all the more egregious.

    • Replies: @KA
    , @Bill
  38. Unit472 says:

    The United States, having signed onto the international prohibition on the use of land mines, should transfer its stocks to the Ukrainian government. There American surplus anti tank and anti personnel mines could be deployed to secure its territory, reduce the height of the average Russian soldier and allow Putin to look his troops in the eye. They might then see the same psychotic I am looking at.

  39. Heath says:

    @HA

    the Budapest Agreement declared that the major powers would refrain from directly interfering In Ukrainian affairs. Since the DC won’t stand by their promises, why should Moscow?

    • Replies: @HA
  40. KA says:
    @HA

    “In February, 1990, US Secretary of State James Baker (1989-1992), representing President George HW Bush, traveled to Moscow to meet with Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev regarding the possible reunification of Germany and the removal of 300,000 Soviet troops. There is little serious dispute that as the Berlin Wall teetered, Baker promised Gorbachev “there would be no extension of NATO’s jurisdiction for forces of NATO one inch to the east.” Gorbachev is reported to have taken the US at its word and responded “any extension of the zone of NATO is unacceptable.” “I agree,” replied Baker.”

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/11/us-state-departmentnato-enlargement-project/

    http://www.swp-berlin.org/fileadmin/contents/products/arbeitspapiere/Consent_to_Nato_ks.pdf

    “What the US secretary of state said on Feb. 9, 1990 in the magnificent St. Catherine’s Hall at the Kremlin is beyond dispute. There would be, in Baker’s words, “no extension of NATO’s jurisdiction for forces of NATO one inch to the east,” provided the Soviets agreed to the NATO membership of a unified Germany. Moscow would think about it, Gorbachev said, but added: “any extension of the zone of NATO is unacceptable.”

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/nato-s-eastward-expansion-did-the-west-break-its-promise-to-moscow-a-663315-2.html

    • Replies: @HA
  41. Svigor says:

    I think we should transfer our stocks to the Palestinians. There American surplus anti-tank and anti-personnel mines could be deployed to secure Palestinian territory, ameliorate the Jewish Reich’s slaughter of innocent women and children, support the oppressed underdog, and of course, further reduce the height of the average Jewish soldier/butcher.

  42. You’ll know when Russia invades, within 24 hours the Fascist Oligarchs of Kiev will find it’s imperative to visit London to spend more time with their bankers.

  43. HA says:
    @Heath

    “the Budapest Agreement declared that the major powers would refrain from directly interfering In Ukrainian affairs

    Whose interpretation is that? From the op. cit.: “The memorandum included security assurances against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine…Refrain from using economic pressure on Ukraine in order to influence its politics.”

    So you tell me where Nuland or anyone else made any threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine. Obviously, Putin put the squeeze on Yanukovich to get him to back out of the EU agreement, which was plenty violation enough, but exactly which part of Nuland’s money or pastries or taped conversations constitute threats or even something that constitutes economic pressure? And please, do try not to cook up passages from thin air as you just did. That, too, is cheating.

    Here’s another tip to help you along the way: inducements or bribes are not quite the same thing as pressure. If you doubt me, ask someone who isn’t one of Putin’s trained monkeys, and they’ll back me up.

  44. HA says:
    @KA

    From that Spiegel article you cited:

    “But were such assurances intended to be valid indefinitely? Apparently not. When the two colleagues discussed Poland, Genscher said[to Baker], according to the British records, that if Poland ever left the Warsaw Pact, Moscow would need the certainty that Warsaw would ‘not join NATO the next day.’ However, Genscher did not seem to rule out accession at a later date….”

    If Gorbachev wanted a permanent NATO freeze, what was he doing talking to only Baker and Genscher, neither of whom were NATO officials, and neither of whom were expected to be around after one or two more election cycles, as he certainly knew? How exactly was this agreement supposed to be enforced in perpetuity without the inclusion of the other NATO members or a single NATO official?

    And by the way, when NATO was expanded, did Gorbachev sign off on it, or was it done secretly, and if so, what did he get in return?

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    , @KA
  45. KA says:

    Putin told the successor to Baker that the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine was not meant to be permanent . He was drunk and was not fit to make that decision. He also did not take the will of the Crimean citizen in account.
    Second he gave it under the prevailing consensus as was written in the constitution that Ukraine would always remain a republic Soviet under broader Soviet republic.
    BTW if he hasn’t yet, Putin’s aide should call and inform Baker’s successor .

    • Replies: @HA
  46. @HA

    And the prevarication and nit picking from the warmongering filth continues.

    • Replies: @HA
  47. HA says:
    @KA

    “He was drunk and was not fit to make that decision. “

    I’m just let that one sink in without too much comment. Kind of speaks for itself as to what Putin’s side has going for it.

    • Replies: @KA
  48. KA says:
    @HA

    Sorry . I was not explicit enough. But the comment about Putin was meant to be a reply to your futile attempts to deny the validity and the legality of the promises made to Gorbachev.

    • Replies: @HA
  49. HA says:
    @KA

    Yes, these surreptitious promises that despite plain evidence to the contrary, were supposed to forever carve up Europe into Soviet and Western spheres (or whatever you want to pretend they were about), all behind the backs of the other members of NATO or the countries in between and without a shred of documentation to show for it.

    Kind of reminds me of those other “gentleman’s agreements” that Molotov/Ribbentrop and those fellows at Yalta came up with (though they at least signed stuff). Yeah, that was real gentlemanly of the Russians. No wonder they didn’t want anything written down. Explains a lot.

  50. KA says:
    @HA

    Putin has no side. That moron still believes that west has somewhere a good nice side he can side with. That moron hasn’t learnt from Saddam,Ghaddafi,Arisitide, Noregia, and a few other from S E Asia ,Central and S America,and Africa. Some were seen by Clinton to die and some were seen to disappear and some simply never heard again by her . She is current placeholder . She comes and she sees. She sure wants to come and see Putin.

  51. KA says:

    “In seeming response to these hysterics, Putin told Euro-commisar Jose Manuel Barroso “If I want to, I could take Kiev in two weeks,” which caused blabbermouth Barroso to go wailing to the international media that Putin is on the march. The key words here, of course, are “If I want to” – because he clearly can, and just as clearly doesn’t want to. Indeed, the Russian leader has steadfastly refused to recognize the self-proclaimed “Donetsk Peoples Republic” and has publicly urged them to negotiate with Kiev. The rebels, for their part, have taken Putin up on this, dropping their previous demand for complete independence and asking now, instead, for autonomy.”-http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2014/09/02/our-cold-war-with-russia-could-turn-hot/

    Putin understands that he is being lured and he will get trapped. Only if Brezhnev understood that in 1978 before responding to the request by Afghan government that he ( Soviet) was being set up for some nasty outcome and the world for a new kind of war managed by psychopaths using the poor human resources of the third world countries under the guise of the sacred and secular: religion and nationalism.,the world stretching from Mali to Hondurus would have stayed better preserved .

  52. HA says:

    ”Putin has no side.”

    Again, why argue with comedy gold like this? I’ll just let the reader supply his own punchline to that one.

    ”Putin…That moron hasn’t learnt from Saddam,Ghaddafi,Arisitide, Noregia.”

    And statements like that, KA, demonstrate why useful idiots are far less useful than the paid Putin trolls from which they take their cues. The paid Putin trolls know that it’s better simply to repeatedly sputter some combination of “Obama bad! — Obama weak! — Neocons! — Warmongers! — Kiev junta! — Fascists! — Jews!” whenever they’re caught on the losing side of an argument. Just like Bill Jones did.

    Sure, anyone beyond 2nd grade realizes they’re basically admitting they have no argument aside from name-calling. But that’s still better than the useful idiots who try to be clever and deviate from the script, and end up basically admitting that Putin is the Russian version of Saddam/Ghaddafi/Noriega.

    • Replies: @schmenz
    , @KA
  53. schmenz says:
    @HA

    “Sure, anyone beyond 2nd grade realizes they’re basically admitting they have no argument aside from name-calling. But that’s still better than the useful idiots…”

    Apparently, HA has no sense of irony.

    • Replies: @HA
  54. HA says:
    @schmenz

    Oh, I have plenty left to say other than name-calling, and when KA offered me something to work with, I went for it. But Bill Jones knows better than to do that, given how little his side has to work with, and there’s not much for me to do with “warmongering filth” accusations except to call them out for what they are, and so I did that, too.

    Same goes for those who have nothing to bring to a comment other than to label someone else irony-deprived, but maybe you’ll get some props for trying, anyway.

    • Replies: @KA
  55. KA says:
    @HA

    Saddam ,Ghaddafi,Noregia were friends or they made peace with the West before the violent or disgraceful ends or both brought to them by the west. I am not taking any moral position .
    It shows that meeting the most of the demands of the west won’t ensure the safety of the leaders . Putin can’t bend backward .It won’t do him any good .

    It seems you take a moral position though. To you Saddam,Ghadafi,Noregia ,Aristide are no good . It seems that Obama,Cameron,or Bush or Netanyhu come across as very good to you. To me they are leaders chosen by citizen and it is up to them if they would support or defeat these leaders or any leader . It is up to Americans and up-to Israeli if they chose to elect second or third times a blood thirsty murderer as leader again. Citizen bear moral responsibilities and who knows in future some legal blowback .But overall differences among these leaders are slim . Ghaddafi was not just successful enough like Sharon or Shamir been or Netanyhu or future Bennett or Lieberman are in the areas of propaganda and killings. Some who stopped thinking at age 8 or around the second grade ,believes Saddam is bad since he did not dress and talk like Netanhyu or Bush did .

    BTW the neocons are now calling Obama weak. Before that the neocons were calling him anti Israeli for not attacking Syria and Iran.

  56. HA says:

    “To you Saddam,Ghadafi,Noregia ,… are no good . “

    More or less. Lockerbie, the rape camps, etc. Aristide is a separate case, given his somewhat nobler intentions, but once your people are reduced to literally eating meal made from mud, something’s gotta give.

    “It seems that Obama,Cameron,or Bush or Netanyhu come across as very good to you.”

    No, you totally lost me there. I don’t recall mentioning any of these names in favorable terms (except to point out that calling someone “neo-con” and repeating “Obama bad” over and over is not a persuasive means of discourse, and just makes your side look silly). Do I agree with the steps taken to remove Saddam or Ghadafi? That’s also going too far.

    But all these men and the policies they pursued were ultimately catastrophic failures, and even though linking them to Putin is perhaps a slip of the tongue (or keyboard) on your part, it makes a lot more sense than what I’ve read from those pretending to speak in favor of Russia. That’s probably the closest you and I will come to agreeing on anything, even though it can hardly be called agreement, so I will leave it at that.

    • Replies: @KA
  57. KA says:
    @HA

    Yes I called Putin moron .( re – your reply to schmenz). Not you .

  58. KA says:
    @HA

    I can’t help if you felt lost:
    ” And statements like that, KA, demonstrate why useful idiots are far less useful than the paid Putin trolls from which they take their cues. The paid Putin trolls know that it’s better simply to repeatedly sputter some combination of “Obama bad! — Obama weak! — Neocons! — Warmongers! — Kiev junta! — Fascists! — Jews!” whenever they’re caught on the losing side of an argument. Just like Bill Jones did.”

    You mentioned Jews and neocons and you reported that Putin trolls were calling Obama weak , Obama bad !

    The combination of lying and stupidity ( or not so useful idiocy) are lying exposed . Yes , Its time for you to leave .

  59. JJC says:

    The “sovereign” integrity of Ukraine was violated by the coup which was initiated by the radical nationalist militias assembled in the Maidan on February 22. The change of government, highlighted by physical intimidation and threats to legislators, did not follow constitutional procedure and was therefore illegal and continues to be illegal. Respect for Ukraine’s sovereign integrity includes the rule of law, i.e. Ukraine’s constitution. In that context, the hasty declarations by the U.S., Britain, and Canada that the coup government was “legitimate” and would be recognized as such by them, was a partisan intervention in Ukraine’s political arena.

    What many people do not know is that the coup itself was a response to an agreement reached the previous day by most of the political groups of the Maidan and the sitting Yanukovych government. This agreement had been achieved through the mediation of Germany, France, and Poland, and would allow for constitutional changes requested by the opposition and early elections. This peaceful and democratic way out of the tensions associated with the Maidan protests and potential association agreements was scotched by the following day’s coup, led by activists who explicitly said the mediated agreement was unacceptable to them. By this view of events, it was the acceptance of the coup government as somehow “legitimate” which triggered the destabilization which followed.

  60. HA says:

    The “sovereign” integrity of Ukraine was violated by the coup which was initiated by the radical nationalist militias assembled in the Maidan on February 22.

    I see — so if Poland or the US or Germany had decided to immediately invade and conquer Ukraine whole, after those demonstrations. it would have been no violation of the Budapest Memorandum. Putin just beat them to it. Yeah, sure, that makes sense.

  61. HA says:

    “You mentioned Jews and neocons and you reported that Putin trolls were calling Obama weak , Obama bad ! The combination of lying and stupidity ( or not so useful idiocy) are lying exposed .”

    I’m no stranger to typos myself, but it’s a little difficult to answer something that garbled without a translator. I’m guessing English isn’t your first language, but yeah, if that’s your best shot, we’ll have to leave it at that.

    • Replies: @KA
    , @KA
  62. KA says:
    @HA

    English is not native to me . Neither is low IQ nor intellectual dishonesty . And I don’t disown my own quotes . My suggestion to you : don’t do it .

  63. KA says:
    @HA

    This is you ;” .And statements like that, KA, demonstrate why useful idiots are far less useful than the paid Putin trolls from which they take their cues. The paid Putin trolls know that it’s better simply to repeatedly sputter some combination of “Obama bad! — Obama weak! — Neocons! — Warmongers! — Kiev junta! — Fascists! — Jews!” whenever they’re caught on the losing side of an argument. Just like Bill Jones did.”

    Don’t disown your native quote .

    Your raw nerve got frayed a little more after you were provided with the historical evidences of Russian and American mutual and explicit understanding regarding the expansion of NATO.

    Then you started throwing :Jews,Fascist,neocons,and Obama this or that! Its only relevance lies in supplying you again with an escape route .

    • Replies: @HA
    , @KA
  64. Bill says:
    @HA

    But it was a party to the Budapest Memorandum.

    So what? Are you trying to say that the Budapest Memorandum contemplated the citizens of Crimea succeeding from the Ukraine? That it forbade that? Russia did not threaten Crimea or use force against it.

    Obviously, Putin put the squeeze on Yanukovich to get him to back out of the EU agreement, which was plenty violation enough, but exactly which part of Nuland’s money or pastries or taped conversations constitute threats or even something that constitutes economic pressure?

    Putin offered Yanukovich a better deal than did the EU. Yanukovich did the sensible thing in response. Describing this as a use of force by Putin is deranged. Furthermore, Yanukovich did not back out of any agreement. There was no agreement. He chose not to sign it.

    We don’t know enough about the details of Maidan to be absolutely certain that the US violated the Budapest Memorandum, nor are we likely to for decades. The most likely interpretation of those events, however, is that the US used force to overthrow Yanukovich. The muscle that did the overthrowing were the West Ukrainian Nazis. They have been CIA assets since WWII. Do we have access to documents demonstrating conclusively that the CIA ordered the Nazis to do the deed? No, but it’s the way to bet. Furthermore, Victoria Nuland’s crowing about having executed the coup and her ability to dictate the leadership of the Ukraine in the aftermath of the coup are more than a little indicative that the US was driving events.

    Furthermore, Yanukovich’s strange failure to resist the coup also demands explanation. One possible explanation is that he was being threatened by the US with some show trial in the Hague and that he was such an idiot or coward that he found these threats persuasive. The question of why Yanukovich did not clear Maidan is among the most interesting things we can hope for history to clear up, though.

    Either of these would be violations of the Budapest Memorandum, it seems to me.

    I don’t see any argument that Russia is somehow in the wrong in the Ukraine. It’s one of those odd circumstances where there are clear good guys and bad guys.

  65. HA says:
    @KA

    I stand by my quotes, though I have no idea what point you’re trying to make with them, so let me recap.

    As for “historical evidences of Russian and American mutual and explicit understanding regarding the expansion of NATO” I actually bothered to read the article you were sourcing and found evidence that neither Baker nor Genscher had any idea that the NATO freeze was anything other than a temporary matter — presumably the Soviets’ didn’t want some massive destabiling influx of new members into NATO, or to have a situation in which it appeared that the West was rubbing the Soviets’ nose in the expansion, but the rationale is a guess.

    If you have any evidence that the NATO freeze was supposed to be permanent — i.e. outlasting the Soviet Union itself — produce it. Otherwise, you can go ahead and pretend you’ve won the argument, or that I’m trying to evade it, but there’s no point in trying to convince the useful idiots already devoted to Putin and those in his payroll (or those, like you, who feel he has no side and is just too naive and trusting towards the West). As for anyone else who reads this, I guess we’ll see.

    People here are all over supposed holes in the “usual story” when it comes to airliners being shot down, but when it comes to questioning the Russian script of how Germany, the US and the Soviets were supposed to stop NATO permanently, without consulting any other of its members, without involving a single NATO official, and without so much as a single document or signature to specify the exact terms, there’s not a hint of suspicion on anyone’s part. Nothing suspicious at all. We’re just supposed to take Gorbachev’s word on the matter despite British records on what Baker and Genscher both understood. That’s some remarkably selective credulousness.

    Couple this with the fact that when NATO did expand, they not only involved Gorbachev, and got his signature, paid him handsomely to assure the Soviets that they wanted everyone to be on board, and this notion that the West somehow stabbed the Russians in the back falls apart at the seams. And yet people still want to compare this to Putin’s behavior regarding Ukraine?

    No one really said anything afterwards that I can see except stuff about “warmongering filth”, and there’s not much one can do about that except to point out the usual Putin-bot tactics, but others have noted those as well, as evidenced the articles I cited pointed out. The stuff about Ukraine somehow voiding its own sovereignty and thereby giving anyone who wants to carve them up carte blanche is not very convincing to me, and doesn’t warrant more of a response than I gave it, but again, the Putin fan-girls can be fairly credulous when they want to be.

    If you want to argue further, try and find a native speaker of English to parse your comments first so that I can actually understand what you’re getting at.

    • Replies: @KA
  66. KA says:
    @KA

    “Paid Putin trolls” don’t envy the unpaid American trolls
    “Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty‑five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services—from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go‑betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without‑portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring‑do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full‑time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.”
    http://www.carlbernstein.com/magazine_cia_and_media.php

    Was Judith Miller paid enough?
    What ‘s happening to the overdue payment to AP’s Zahan for posting the famous equation on Iranisn nuke?
    Was the group paid enough by State Department for the services it provided in creating news within Cuba recently?
    Did NY Times get paid for painting the humanitarian trucks from Russia as ” incursion and invasion” http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/25/nato-new-york-times-convoy-fabrications/

    Did NY Times try to bring the honest reporter back and did it promise not to toe official line -http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/07/06/the-nyt-reporter-who-quit-in-disgust/

    “Covering the Balkans for The New York Times consisted of monitoring whether The Serbs had agreed they were Bad Guys,” he writes. -http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/07/06/the-nyt-reporter-who-quit-in-disgust/

    Switch The Serbs with the Russian ; and the picture looks as fresh it did some 20 yrs ago.

    • Replies: @HA
  67. KA says:
    @HA

    May be you should not post those citations, those references are about Putin paying to have some body write nice things about him . Those citations don’t prove anything about NATO expansion.
    If you are confident that somewhere in those articles NATO was addressed ,then please block quote the section.

    • Replies: @HA
  68. HA says:
    @KA

    I already did that.

    If you have any information that backs up your claim that this “not one inch to the East” stoppage was supposed to be permanent — i.e. was supposed to outlast even the Soviet Union itself — produce it.

    And while you’re at it, explain how it is that no NATO officials (or NATO members aside from the US and Germany) were apparently ever involved in these talks. Did someone forget to invite them? Did they forget to show up, or come to the wrong building? Maybe they overslept that day?

    I have no problem believing that Baker and Genscher could and did commit themselves to stopping NATO for a while, and that they could get away with that without anyone else in NATO complaining, but to claim that they bound themselves or even discussed anything permanent is ridiculous, given the parameters and the lack of evidence.

  69. HA says:
    @KA

    …Alsop….CIA…Judith Miller…Serbs….

    Yeah, that’s all earth-shattering news. The CIA has spies throughout Easter Europe? I’m shocked, shocked to hear that.

    But alas, it has no bearing on the current issue, unless you can provide some other wire-tap which proves that Alsop or Judith Miller or the CIA attempted to threaten Ukraine into shifting its politics around — you know, in the way Putin did once Yanokovich signed that EU agreement.

    Otherwise, for Putin to violate Russia’s commitments under the Budapest Memordandum in that way, and then subsequently to accuse the Ukrainians for violating their own sovereignty and voiding that memorandum because they kicked out the President who caved in to Putin’s threats — which is what JJC is alleging — is beyond ridiculous.

    • Replies: @KA
  70. KA says:
    @HA

    Those names and the references are for your current and future needs in case you keep on getting all worked up snd all shook up about the depth of Russian propaganda.
    BYW where is the block quote ? Don’t provide your inferences or conclusion

  71. JJC says:

    There is no evidence or indication that Putin “threatened” Yanukovych over the EU association deal. According to Yanukovych, he was presented last autumn with the fine print of the attached IMF loans, which required a harsh austerity program, floating Ukraine’s currency, ending energy subsidies for the population at large, opening Ukraine’s economy to multi-national corporate concerns, and so on. He stated at the time that it would be impossible to impose such a program on the public and stay in power in face of an anticipated backlash. From what can be determined, at least in the public record, Putin responded to Yanukovych’s sudden reluctance with the offer of a better deal.

    Many of the Maidan protesters – sincere and committed citizens – were largely unaware of the details of the austerity program, and were also under the erroneous impression that the EU association deal would provide them with EU passports which would allow them to seek new opportunities in the West. In the aftermath of the coup, installed Prime Minister Yatsenyuk immediately started to impose some of the IMF conditions, publicly acknowledging that these would be unpopular and that he was leading a “suicide government” that would never be reelected in face of a public backlash – just as Yanukovych predicted. Full details of the program were deliberately withheld until after the May Presidential “election” – ensuring that a public debate and the ability to choose representatives based in part on a candidate’s position on these issues was denied to the Ukraine population.

    Not to mention that the coup government came to power via unconstitutional means and is therefore illegal. HA’s mistake is assuming the polity known as “Ukraine” is fully represented by the regime in Kiev, when it is not. The “Ukrainians” did not “kick out” the elected President – a rump group of neo-fascist nationalists exclusively from the western regions attacked the parliament and expelled politicians from the south eastern regions, and a self-appointed new government of technocrats beholden to the IMF programs took over.

    • Replies: @HA
  72. HA says:
    @JJC

    There is no evidence or indication that Putin “threatened” Yanukovych over the EU association deal.

    And the comedy just keeps on happening.

    “Thousands of people have staged fresh protests in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, at President Viktor Yanukovych’s refusal to sign an EU association agreement…Mr Yanukovych, who attended an EU summit in Lithuania on Friday cited pressure from Russia for his decision…”

    “Also during the summit, President Yanukovych stated that Ukraine still wanted to sign the Association Agreement but that it needed substantial financial aid to compensate it for the threatened response from Russia,…

    Some other sources indicate that there were indeed other reasons for Yanukovich to have mixed feelings about the agreement: he was also reluctant to release Tymoshenko, (which is understandable, given that she is a crook, though it’s also fairly clear his selective prosecution of her thievery – as opposed to that of his cronies – is politically tainted, and anyway, she offered to remove the section in the agreement freeing her if that were the primary stumbling block.) He was indeed also worried about the “dislocation costs” to Ukrainian industry that the EU agreement would entail and asked for softer measures as a way of sweetening the deal to help him get over pressure from Putin. But again, the overriding factor is just that: pressure from Putin. Anyone who claims there is “no evidence” of Putin’s threats is kidding himself.

    As to the hoodlums and rabble that helped topple Yanukovich — never was a fan of those guys, myself — everyone understood that at some point, new elections representing the entire country would be necessary, and that is what ultimately happened. If you want to compare the results of those elections with the ones in the “independent” regions – you know, the ones where the only choices were “should we split off from Ukraine now, or should we do it later?”, then again, there’s nothing to talk about.

    • Replies: @JJC
  73. JJC says:
    @HA

    The question is whether “threats” from Putin led Yanukovych to back away from the EU association deal, or whether it was the austerity program attached to the deal. Yanukovych said clearly that it was the latter, and nothing in the links provided challenges that opinion. Yanukovych cites “pressure” from Russia, but that is in the context of meeting with EU representatives and trying to negotiate a better deal. There is a “threatened response”, but again in context, this refers to economic measures (i.e. gas which was heavily subsidized), and is cited in the midst of a negotiation whereby Yanukovych is trying to achieve better terms. Is Putin “threatening” because he wants to restore the USSR, or is he expressing national interests in trade matters with a neighbour which has longstanding economic and cultural ties – ties which the EU deal is meant to sever. There is always “pressure” in negotiation. The EU was offering one deal – with harsh austerity programs attached – and Russia offered a different deal with better terms. International trade negotiations are subject to “pressure” and “threats” all the time.

    “As to the hoodlums and rabble that helped topple Yanukovich … everyone understood that at some point, new elections representing the entire country would be necessary”.

    But an agreement leading to those new elections was on the table and signed off, and then the “hoodlums and rabble” overthrew the government and were handed cabinet positions in the new coup government – including military and internal security – and began making actual threats (i.e. bodily harm) against the Russian speaking population of the country. Several serious and nasty episodes occurred. The notion that everything was normal, and the population should have just waited for new elections trusting the “new” government to do the right thing when the bad faith by which it assumed power was so evident – that is crazy.

  74. HA says:

    “The notion that everything was normal, and the population should have just waited for new elections trusting the “new” government to do the right thing…

    Like the saying say, there is none so blind. All I ask for is that the same microscopic circumspection and cynicism that people reading these articles apply to anything coming from the West be applied in an equal manner to a state run by an ex-KGB disinformation operative, and those cheering him on. That’s obviously not going to happen fro you or from anyone else who only bends over when Putin says the word. The rest can read through the links and make up their own minds.

    As far as those actual threats go, I’m going to need some evidence for that that doesn’t come from RT (or from The Nation or from the SPLC), though perhaps you’re referring to the leader of Right Sector, whom the Ukrainian government had killed. If anyone needs to cry about bodily harm, it’s his supporters (though I admit I’m not shedding too many tears for him). And whatever you may find lacking in the Ukrainian elections, you obviously have no problem with the so-called independence referenda and their do-what-we-want-immediately-or-a-little-later, and that proves to me, at least, you’re not someone anyone needs to bother having a serious discussion with.

  75. JJC says:

    Actual threats? Dozens of people burned to death in Odessa while a neo-Nazi mob surrounded the burning building and sang taunting songs, while “new” government officials tweeted their delight over the carnage. How about the national guard militia units stocked entirely with Right Sector fanatics, sent to the east to engage in smaller death squad operations in Mairupol and other places. This stuff happened early in May, before the referendum. Written about everywhere.

    Main point: elected president deposed by a radical neo-nazi element who are then brought into the coup government and given cabinet positions. First time openly fascist persons hold office in Europe since 1945. A better deal was on the table, an inclusive democratic solution – scotched by the coup and then scotched again by U.S – UK – Canada deciding that the coup government is somehow “legitimate”.
    In face of that, tongue-clucking over Crimea’s referendum seems a misguided pursuit.

    • Replies: @HA
  76. HA says:
    @JJC

    “Written about everywhere…”

    A simple Google search reveals that your definition of “everywhere” needs to be qualified to “everywhere the RT and similar publications are regarded as reliable sources”. Check the wikipedia source for an alternate take that puts a somewhat different spin on the events Back to the drawing board, Boris.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2_May_2014_Odessa_clashes

  77. JJC says:

    Oh wait – I remember you HA. You’re the “weapons of mass destruction” guy from 12 years ago.

    good one.

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