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02 March 2014

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Ryan

Stephen Cohen has been making the rounds on the talking head shows lately. Last week he got on to Bill O'Reilly much too gently when Bill was foaming about Putin, but not noting the significance of the Nuland phone call comment to O'Reilly's claims of gross Russian interference while ignoring that of the USG and the EU.

Cohen was on one of Fox's cable shows last night. He considers this event in Ukraine to be a disaster because the US violated an agreement made between Bush Sr. and Gorbachev that NATO membership wouldn't extent east or to put it another way pushing a spere of influence into Russia's "near abroad". He's right. The worse thing would be for NATO to gain a long border with Russia, considering the nuts the west has as "leaders".

Cohen also brought out the fact that part of this deal with Ukraine and the EC called for standardization of the Ukrainian Armed forces' equipment with that of NATO. This is near term membership on top of making the arms industry a load of money. I hope he gets more exposure as his knowledge is desperately needed.

One other sane voice from last night was retired Col. David Hunt. He flat out said the US doesn't have a dog in this fight.

Fox News Sunday surprised me today. I fully expected Mike "Buck" Rogers to make an total fool out of himself. He sounded half way rational. Indeed, I was surprised not to see Krauthammer and Kristol on, but then again, there is that (A)IPAC propaganda spectacle coming up this week.

robt willmann

I still think as I did yesterday, that once Russia "secures" the province of Crimea in a way with which it is comfortable, it can then watch and wait and act in carefully designed ways to try to get the situation back to the earlier status quo if possible, to neutralize the Ukraine military by getting as many soldiers as possible to switch sides or to commit to not obey orders to attack Russians, and patiently work to consolidate its support in the friendly eastern and southern parts of Ukraine, mainly because the current puppet "interim government" in Kiev has a huge money problem.

It is estimated that Ukraine has less than a two-month supply of foreign currencies with which to buy imported goods. Its government is also otherwise insolvent, having big debt payments coming up on its large government debt and is behind on payments to Russia for gas, etc. Who is going to give Ukraine billions of dollars? No one. Who is going to loan Ukraine billions of dollars, especially with the open prospect that Russia could invade the rest of the country, or encourage and carry out the division of Ukraine into two countries? No one yet.

The Ukraine military will not be doing much fighting if it is not being paid and there is not enough money for more ammunition, spare parts, and so forth.

Russia appears to have options to accomplish its objectives in Ukraine without a military attack on the rest of the country all the way to Poland, with the complications and unforeseen problems always attendant to such a large operation.

Meanwhile, a somewhat tense Tom Donilon, former national security advisor to President Obama and now being paid as a "Distinguished Fellow" at the foundation called the Council on Foreign Relations, appeared on CNN today and repeated the same old absurd talking points. Then secretary of state John Kerry, using his technique of a slightly loud voice, was on the Meet the Press and Face the Nation television programs, saying that Putin is not operating from a position of strength and is inciting the opprobrium of the world, that there can be asset freezes and the isolation of Russia, and blah, blah blah.

Russia will not be idle, but will not launch a full-scale military attack on the rest of Ukraine in the near future.

One type of money and asset that the U.S. will not be able to "freeze" is Russia's gold, which it has not stupidly put into storage with the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and Swiss Bullion Banks, as some other countries and individuals have who are now finding out that "their gold" is no longer there (an intriguing story which the main stream media and Congress have so far managed to cover up).

The beaver

Defection:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26410431

The newly appointed head of Ukraine's navy has sworn allegiance to the Crimea region, in the presence of its unrecognised pro-Russian leader.

jonst

"2- it is unfortunate that the Ukrainians do not have tactical nuclear weapons". And that is what some in Iran think. And I can't say as I blame them. As an aside...

Lesly

"Palling aroung with (Syrian) terrorists" is the thing to do these days. Supporting Nazi wannabes can't be much worse.

Kerry had the nerve to rebuke Russia for invading a foreign country using phony pretexts. Unbelievable.

Thomas

Fox has surprised me too. On Friday night, Peter Brookes of Heritage Foundation was explaining the coherent reasons for Russia actions, caught the News lady off guard.

Thomas

Robt,

A Ukrainian Frigate already did according to the Saker. It is in the following paragraph:

"I am sure that you have heard that the Ukrainian military is now on maximal alert and is read to repel any Russian aggression. Guys, this is laughable. There IS NO UKRAINIAN MILITARY. There is a lot of old hardware lying around, there are a number of units with basically zero training and there are a few units of higher combat readiness. Do you know what that list is called in military terms? It's called *TARGETS*. I also suspect that if the western politicians and a few Ukie crackpots speak about the Ukrainian armed forces, the officers there, and even the soldiers, fully realize that they are just targets. Hence the wise decision of the flagship of the Ukrainian Navy, the Hetman Sahaidachny frigate, to quickly switch sides even before getting back home (it is in eastern the Mediterranean according to the latest reports). I suppose you all know that the notion of the Ukies developing their own nuclear weapons is laughable, so I will not bother dwelling on it now."

In this morning's paper, the article told that the Kiev Govt got its first look at the books and its needs were 15 billon, just what the Russians had offered.

Larry Kart

Born in 1938, Stephen F. Cohen is only (at least from where I sit it's "only") age 76.

georgeg

Fareed Zakaria's segment with Klitchko was an absolute embarrassment....Klitchko's responses were incoherent.....

JerseyJeffersonian

Robert Willmann,

Addressing the issue of gold reserves, and not having been dumb enough to let the BofE, or the Federal Reserve Bank of NY "safely" secure your nation's gold reserves is a fairly recent post from Paul Craig Roberts.

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/01/17/hows-whys-gold-price-manipulation/

When a while back, the Germans were making noises about wishing to repatriate their gold supposedly being held in safekeeping for them at the FRBofNY, only to be given the runaround about doing so, my first thought was that something very hinky was going on, and that that gold was likely no longer there in part, if not in whole. Mr. Roberts sets this possibility in a larger explanatory framework that seemed rational to me. The US fiat currency is all very nice, but not everybody has a lot of faith in its sustainability, so gold still occupies a spot in the contingency planning of individuals and nation states alike.

Anyway, this is offered up for your consideration.

P.S.: Among other reasons for hacking into the phone of Chancellor Merkel's Handi might be tracking her reaction to this supposed rehypothecization of her nation's gold to the deep state's purposes.

JerseyJeffersonian

All,

Here is a link to Professor Cohen's latest, an article from The Nation (March 3, 2014), entitled Distorting Russia:

http://www.thenation.com/article/178344/distorting-russia

(BTW, if a pop-up obscures the article, you can click off to the side of it, and the pop-up goes away.)

I recall Professor Cohen having been a regular guest on the "Old" McNeill/Lehrer News Hour on PBS. And then he seemed to have become a non-person, and no longer was asked to contribute. Jeez, I wonder why? Heh.

jonst

Along with Cohen's take on the situation, I found this short essay by Jack Matlock a reasonable, and all to rare these days, balance analysis. For those interested.

http://jackmatlock.com/2014/03/ukraine-the-price-of-internal-division/

Charles I

Cohen's been reading Russian tea leaves since I was an undergrad. Everything he's said has in effect been repeatedly said by Putin, Lavarov, by the Orthodox Patriarch, the Duma.

William R. Cumming

Agree with this comment and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts!

VietnamVet

Colonel,

Because of old age and being a little less naive, I am more scared today than I was as a college student during the Cuban Missile Crisis. First, our Elite are driven by greed not by helping others. They believe the propaganda that they deserve it all rather than being extraordinarily lucky so far. Second, none have seen war unlike Eisenhower or JFK. Finally, they are advised by sycophantic incompetents and true believers.

There are others here who could advise Barrack Obama much better than I but I will attempt it anyway. Today the USA has to try to prevent spearheads of Russian tanks driving west. It would be hell to pay to stop them.

1) Get Russia to stand down. Agree to new elections in Ukraine and partition of a province if voted for by a majority of the population. Agree to the Russian annexation of Crimea. Ditch the neo-nazis. Agree that West Ukraine if partitioned will not join NATO.

2) Forward position battle tanks on the Polish, Czech and Romanian borders. Fly air support squadrons to forward bases.

3) Indicate that NATO and American air support will contest any border incursions.

4) Insure all nuclear weapons are under the tightest security with working command and control systems.

5) Get a competent Secretary of State and fire Susan Rice, Victoria Nuland (Mrs. Robert Kagan), John Clapper and Samantha Powers.

turcopolier

VV

I am in favor of the personnel changes you mention but I would not move NATO forces up to the Polish border. That would be provocative and we should not take the risk of hostilities. Putin should be told that we will an attack on a NATO country will be treated as an attack on the US. pl

klutz

There are rumors that when Ukraine was denuclearized, they kept back some nuclear weapons. Presumably these would be the smaller tac nukes since the large stuff would have been countable. Comments?

jonst

VV,

I don't think it is possible, at the moment, to talk about the limits of NATO expansion, and at the same time, hope to have a viable chance at holding mid to high level positions in the national security realm. Pushing NATO has become the price of admission to the Ball. Sadly and dangerously. And ludicrously, in my opinion. But that is where the Elite and wanna be Elite are. As least as far as I can tell. If someone on the list can point to a name, and published article that disputes this contention of mine, I would be overjoyed to be shown the error of my ways

Babak Makkinejad

Rouhani says Iran will not acquire nuclear weapons ‘on principle’

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/01/rouhani-iran-nuclear-weapons-principle

georgeg

It is most unfortunate that sanity does not prevail with our mainstream media. People like Jack (and our Colonel Lang) should be the experts heard by our news junkies who are fed embarrassing lies on every newscast.....

turcopolier

georgeg

Colonel Jack Jacobs? Certainly. You should include Colonel Dr. Bacevich in that list. pl

georgeg

Should have been more precise - Jack Matlock (U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union back in the 90's). In agreement with Bacevich, Jack Jacobs is in the grasp for the most part.....

Tyler

VV,

First you've got to give the Russians guarantees about the NATO stuff. This is, the second or third time we've pinky promised not to expand NATO and what's the first thing we do?

Furthermore I don't think the psychology of our leadership is coherent towards guarantees. I think they will make a bunch of magnamonious talk at best and then point and sputter when the Russians ignore them for good reason. They've seen this movie before.

Bandolero

turcopolier

Forgive me, that I can't resist on a comment on these your words:

"...provoked by the overthrow of Yanuchenko's government..."

The word Yanuchenko I heard quite often in Ukraine. People said, Yushchenko, Yanukovich, let's just call them Yanuchenko, because as they're all the same bunch of oligarch puppets plundering us it won't make any difference anyway who of them is ruling us, and when we call them both Yanuchenko we as friends won't quarrel with each other about who of them we shall support.

But, of course, I'm sure, you didn't mean it this way.

Bobo

Putin has secured the Crimea and MAY or MAYNOT move further into east and west Ukraine presumably to protect Russia's historical territories(s) from rabble rousers provoked by western nations. Thus he has been poked and reacted to the West's surprise. Should he move further then he is open to the "once you break it, it is yours to fix" which will be very expensive to his Homeland in money and blood as oppressed people react as the Russians saw in Afghanistan.
The West (us) needs to calm down, sit back and clean our shop up as we own some of this and it is embarrassing. Let Putin live in the past and bring his nation to superiority via his symmetrical thinking. We know how that will end. Diplomacy is the only option we should utilize at this time and let the Chinaman go buy up the assets as he is our rightful concern.
Thoughts of an Amateur.

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