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04 February 2014


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Alba Etie

Do not believe in an election year These United States will be bombing Syria. We may see significant lethal aid to the rebels - But short of direct military action I do not think any amount of arms etc will keep the Assad Home Guard from winning .We shall see.

The beaver


I was on the money when I said that one of the two western diplomats who were spreading false news to Reuters is Fabius.

G. Hazeltine

Col. Lang - Regarding log rolling, perhaps not so off topic. I never believed I would see the day when I thought Henry Kissinger was the wisest man of political consequence in this country, but it seems clearly so:


But not consequential enough, the pity.

David Habakkuk

G. Hazeltine,

It’s not off topic at all. While Syria and Ukraine are vastly different, there are relevant similarities.

In both cases, one is dealing with deeply divided societies. In both cases, the West insists on imposing on this complex, bitter and dangerous reality a picture of a coherent ‘people’ or ‘nation’ being oppressed by an evil ruler. In both cases, the suggestion has been that if the evil ruler is toppled, sweetness and light will prevail. In neither case has there been any realistic appreciation of the potential downside, if our attempts at social engineering go wrong.

An article which has just appeared on the website of ‘The American Conservative’, under the title ‘How Russia Might Have Stopped World War I’ bears upon these issues.

(See http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-russia-might-have-stopped-world-war-i/ )

Its author, Professor Paul Robinson of the University of Ottawa, has an interesting background. Between an undergraduate degree at Oxford and further degrees at Toronto and Oxford, he spent the years between 1989 and 1994 serving in the British Army Intelligence Corps.

The article discusses the memorandum sent to the Tsar one hundred years ago this month by Peter Durnovo, who earlier had been the Interior Minister largely responsible for the brutal suppression of the 1905 revolution.

As Robinson brings out, Durnovo had no principled objections whatsoever to republican government. He thought that the world was changing in a manner that made it possible for certain happy peoples. But he also gave an incisive analysis of the divisions within Russia, which, he argued, meant that any attempt to introduce liberalism in that country could only produce catastrophic collapse.

Involvement in a war with Germany, Durnovo argued, must inevitably make a collapse he thought in any event all too likely absolutely inescapable – and he gave an extraordinarily prescient anticipation of the catastrophe which would unfold in 1917, and of the way in which the Russian liberals would be revealed as an utter irrelevance.

It may well be that in contrasting prudent conservatives, aware of the need to avoid going down routes which are liable to result in war, unless there is really no alternative, and gung-ho and incautious liberals, Professor Robinson is being oversimplistic. However he is clearly right in believing that, on the centenary of the outbreak of one of the most catastrophic wars in European history, Durnovo’s challenge to liberal conventional wisdoms merits reflection.

His article contains a link to a translation of the memorandum – it is well worth reading in full.

Charles I

So if the U.S is out, who would actually bomb?

Gordon Wilson

Col. Lang,

As Jim Wright pointed out on January 30th, the USS Cape Ray, tasked to destroy Syria's precursors didn't deploy until the 27th of January, which would make it impossible for Syria to comply with its obligation.


Yours, G. Wilson

The beaver

Oh Monsieur Hollande was ‘ready to punish’ those behind the use of chemical weapons in Syria. ( except that they will need help from the US, like in Libya)

Norbert M Salamon

The issue is not only political [e.g. US attempt for regime change in Ukraine - to weaken Russia], it has a far more important economic aspect, which is not covered by the MSM:
Were the Ukraine to sign onto the EU, the required modernisation of the economy -with the able assistance of the IMF [another USA controlled entity] will destroy Ukraine as the unification of Germany would have destroyed E. Germany without the trillions of West German Marks.

Neither the EU, nor the Eurozone, nor Uncle Sam has the funds for such an undertaking. All of these have difficulties to deal with their unemployed masses.

Russia on the other hand has the ability, at least now, to finance the 15 billion rollover of foreign debt, and to allow lower gas prices. Ukraine relies on the dated industry to supply Russia, which would all be priced out of existence by western industries, to the detriment of Ukrainian citizens.

Alba Etie

Charles 1 ,
Good question -if These United States are not intervening in Syria which country might go it alone ? Would the French Military be able to do the kind of damage on their own to topple Assad ? What would Leader Putin do if only a part NATO was intervening in Syria ?

Alba Etie

Yes lets be sure to meddle in Leader Putin's Near Abroad - what could possibly go wrong ?

David Habakkuk

Alba Etie,

Have a look at what appears to a leak of a conversation between Victoria Nuland and the U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt.

(See http://www.kyivpost.com/content/politics/fuck-the-eu-frustrated-nuland-says-to-pyatt-in-alleged-leaked-phone-call-336373.html )

Her 'fuck the EU' comment does not bother me all that much.

What is however seriously frightening is the confidence this pair clearly have that they can elbow their preferred 'technocratic' candidate -- Arseny Yatseniuk, whom Ms. Nuland refers to as 'Yats' -- into power.

At times the Gods protect the imbecilic. At other times, the rest of us have to pay for their imbecility.

Charles I

Putin did a lot of furious diplomacy the first time, seemed to greatly enjoy it. With the U.S. self declared out of the running, seems to follow he'd have an even easier time of it. I'm no expert, haven't looked it up yet but what with their African commitments would a solo French strike would be of any effect? Seems a dubious proposition given the target distribution etc. even in my ignorance of their resources.


Of course the US does blatantly meddle in the affairs of the Ukraine in this matter.

That, of all people, it's the Russians would leak such an intercept shouldn't surprise anybody.

There is no reason to believe the US don't also work at it next door in Russia. The Russians sure aren't so stupid as to delude themselves about that. The current US ambassador's activities and record strongly suggest that.

Nulan's call is for them the confirmation of what they knew about US policy towards Russia anyway - 'elbowing in Arseny Yatseniuk' - that's regime change, plain and simple.

As far as Nuland is concerned, the Ukrainians are probably in sore need of a(nother) colour coded revolution (Orange II?), and if it was up to them, so are the Russians.

And we Euros, well ...

Nuland appears to be more skilled in the art of making enemies than friends. With diplomats like that ... anyway, the US appear of late to have had a streak of bad luck in appointing ladies to high level diplomatic posts.

Nuland's performance, when explaining why the US had to cut aid to UNESCO, is simply unforgettable. Her ability to stay on message even in face of obvious and utter absurdity of her statements is remarkable, as is her sourly facial expression:




What's the profit margin on rebuilding Ukraine? Since one gets to wipe out the debt the same way the IMF forced the Greeks to do why won;t the Wall Street powers to be demand regime change in Ukraine - for freedom and democracy of course.

Alba Etie

David Habakkuk
Yes unfortunately in Our Global Village we all could pay for the R2P / neocon hubris.

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