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15 April 2014

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robt willmann

Another big news item of 15 April, and somewhat related to Ukraine, especially as to the natural gas pipeline intrigue, is that Bandar "Bush" bin Sultan was relieved of his post as Chief of General Saudi Intelligence "upon his request". He is being replaced by Yousif bin Ali Al-Idreesi. The Saudi Press Agency makes it official--

http://www.spa.gov.sa/English/details.php?id=1221189

Bandar "voluntarily" resigning that good job is like former U.S. Representative Tom DeLay suddenly deciding to leave the U.S. House at the height of his power (he was caught up in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal).

Bandar's involvement in the Saudi - U.S. - British - Israeli false flag operation with the chemical weapons in Syria that backfired, plus his allegedly going to Russia and in the same breath trying to bribe (with military equipment purchases) and threaten (we control the Chechens) the Russian government into changing its position in Syria, certainly generated enough blowback for someone to whisper in his ear that it was time for him to leave.

Now the question is what relationship, if any, does Yousif bin Ali Al-Idreesi have with the U.S.A.?

Tyler

Some more thoughts on a war with Russia:

I think we will see the destruction/capture of a major maneuver element.

Possible coup when someone decides to "nuke the bastards" and someone more sensible says no.

The Left has spent the last fifty years declaring we are hyphenated Americans. Look for propaganda in the vein of asking why the US can find an army to fight in Ukraine but can't find the troops to secure the borders. The fault lines are there - all someone needs is a hammer.

crf

It's premature to say that some diplomatic understanding will not be found. There are still talks scheduled, and the Ukrainian government had its chance today to try to use force to put down the insurrection, but few of its actors had any heart in the role.

I don't think the military people on the ground (on both sides) are willing to truly fight and their resolve isn't likely to increase. Probably the civilians (Russian-leaning and Ukrainian-leaning or neutral) want to resolve this without fighting, and would be willing to compromise to make the threat of armed conflict go away. The proposals for a decentralized government with more regional autonomy would not likely to be seen as horrible by Ukrainian citizens, in particular if, in exchange for more regional autonomy, Russia made a promise not to meddle.

The main obstacle to compromise appears to the United States, and whatever (now obviously weak) tentacles it has inserted into the Ukraine government: they see (perhaps rightly) the imposition of this kind of deal as very coercive and unfair (such is life). But the US has really nothing concrete at stake, except nebulous concepts of being a world wide hegemon made to look weak: and with nothing at stake, it can afford to be petty and difficult. Especially since looking weak means the Democrats may lose Senate seats! (Yes, risking war with Russia vs Losing Senate seats: what path will Obama take?)

Perhaps there is something Russia can do to have the US save face, while still having the Russian federal "deal" imposed on Ukraine? Let the Swiss or Germany take the lead in negotiations, so the US doesn't have to appear to compromise? Have Russia pay a lot of money or gas to Ukraine? Have Russia pay for Crimea? Even have Putin resign?

Putin can afford to resign. Everyone knows that a Russian/China alliance would allow those countries to counter the US/Canada/Euro alliance in access to resources and industrial know-how. Absent such an alliance, both countries have a very clear picture of what the US strategy will be, since it has been played out in Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania and now Ukraine. the US strategy will be to welcome all the countries surrounding Russia or China into US-alliances, and foment endless disputes within Russia or China, between them and the countries bordering them. Eventually, the US will seek to topple the heads of China and Russia, shatter those countries into pieces, take each of them over with puppets, ensure they remain in a depressed state of development, and plunder their resources to keep the populations of the US/EU/Canada placated.

William Herschel

Eloquent and true.

William Herschel

The hysterical Russia bashing in all, repeat all, the Western press means to me that they are reading blogs such as this and The Vineyard of the Saker and they are scared that the truth is too near the surface, much too near.

It's really, really hard to make the Right Sector look good, but that has not prevented the lead Ukraine correspondent of the New York Times from doing so:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/12/world/europe/mystery-surrounds-death-of-fiery-ukrainian-activist.html

This guy was an "activist" and coal miners in Eastern Ukraine are "terrorists". George Orwell is writing this script.

Fred

Steve,

You need only look at local police forces to see military presence. Watch any TV news program about virtually any police department raid and you'll see military equipment on display.

Poul

There has been a lot of talk about Bear-baiting, but it seems that the Russians are engaged in Chihuahua-baiting.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/16/us-ukraine-crisis-slaviansk-apcs-idUSBREA3F0K420140416

Are they pushing the West-Ukrainians in Kiev until they get a violent response or are there other goals?

Fred

President Obama was just in Ann Arbor Michigan. Ukraine was worth zero words the audience. A call to service? Naw. The students? They were all just a face in the crowd who hit 'like' on Facebook and cheered at the charismatic politicians words - about how wages just above poverty level were what America needs now. That is their first full measure of devotion to their duty to the Republic. Of course they support Ukraine, the same way they support(ed) Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. Just Monday NPR had Samantha Power on regurgitating our guilt over Rawanda and how America has an obligation to protect – in the Central African Republic. It appears the only people on Earth America has no obligation to is right here in the United States.

David Habakkuk

F.B. Ali,

Certainly, I am not counting my chickens on this, but some interesting indications that ‘the Saker’ may be right about the reluctance of the Ukrainian military to shoot civilians have been coming in.

Reports of soldiers in Kramatorsk abandoning their vehicles and/or switching sides have been making headlines. If RT is to be believed:

‘The soldiers and civilians started fraternizing very quickly and soon were joking about “coming for a visit without weapons next time.” Many of the soldiers put on St. George’s ribbons, the traditional Russian emblem used to commemorate the Soviet Union’s fight against Nazism in World War II.’

(Se http://rt.com/news/ukrainian-tanks-kramatorsk-civilians-840/ )

I particularly enjoyed a video reproduced by the BBC, under the title ‘Ukraine crisis: Russian Lada “chases tank in Sloviansk”.

(See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27042646 )

What really surprised me was to see the ‘Guardian’, whose Russia coverage is commonly tendentious, producing a really very interesting report from the birthplace of Yanukovich. It points the dilemma which both the Kiev authorities, and John Brennan, may now be facing:

‘Anti-government protesters now occupy municipal buildings and police stations in a string of eastern cities. The west says that behind the scenes Russia has co-ordinated these actions. The problem for Kiev's beleaguered government is how to wrest the buildings back without endangering the civilians now occupying them. There is no easy answer.

‘In Yenakiyevo, the birthplace of Ukraine's fugitive president Viktor Yanukovych, local police have sided with the protesters. They have even lent them flak-jackets. On Tuesday the mayor chatted calmly with activists outside his occupied building. A banner read: “No to Nato.” Residents stuffed donations into a large plastic bottle. The black-blue-red flag of the Donetsk republic flew from the roof.’

(See http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/15/ukraine-resentment-birthplace-president-yanukovych )

Joe100

The best line from the paratroops switching sides is: "They haven't fed us for three days on our base. They're feeding us here. Who do you think we are going to fight for?, he said."

If Saker's take on available forces and the status of events is even close, it is not clear that Kiev has any forces that could put down the widespread protests.

David Habakkuk

Poul,

Why should the Russians want a violent response?

Ukrainian army soldiers fraternising with civilians, putting on the orange and black St George’s ribbons … Much more of this, and Turchinov, Parubiy and Brennan are snookered. They wouldn't have a play on the board.

The Russian play is clearly for referendums on a region-by-region basis. Their best outcome would probably be for regions officially to stay in Ukraine, but settle critical policies – in particularly economic policy – on a regional basis.

Karel Dolejsi

bth: Yes, sorry, shame on me. It`s new commander, but old speech. And now it`s already clear, that Krutov probably cannot acomplish too much with his demotivated troops.

David Habakkuk

Joe100,

The comic element is getting stronger.

The Kiev authorities are attempting to claim that the fact that their APC was seen entering Kramatorsk flying a Russian flag was a ruse to penetrate the town.

According to the acting major of Slavyansk, a column with four armoured vehicles, a self-propelled gun and communications vehicles is sitting facing his town hall:

‘“We’ve let them through. The only condition is that the servicemen unclip their magazines through they retain the ammunition load. Our activists are bringing dinner shortly: we’ll offer them a meal and then let them decide if they remain on our side or leave,” Ponomaryov said.

‘The military has a choice: join the Donbass self-defense units or leave their weapons and military equipment and withdraw, he added.’

(See http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_04_16/Ukrainian-troops-fly-Russian-flags-to-deceive-protesters-in-order-to-penetrate-Kramatorsk-Batkivshchyna-party-leader-0039/ )

Obviously things could still go terribly wrong. But at the moment, the momentum seems to be against the ‘putschists’ in Kiev.

Tyler

I'm wondering if the Russians have a plan to export "democracy" to our shores in the US manner.

Poul

Karel:
I agree it's all bark and no bite.

General Krutov got chase off by locals at Kramatorsk yesterday.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/ukraine-leader-announces-anti-terror-move-in-east/2014/04/15/cc297dfa-c47e-11e3-9ee7-02c1e10a03f0_story.html

Quote:
"In an attempt to defuse the situation, Gen. Krutov came out to speak to the angry protesters but was attacked by them. After a tussle in which his hat was knocked to the ground, he managed to take refuge in the airport."

YT

"Lassen Sie alle kehren vor der eigenen Tür, und die ganze Welt wird sauber sein."

"Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Poul

Habakkuk:

In case they wanted a casus belli.

But I agree the end goal for the Russian government is what will decide the course of events.

The Twisted Genius

Dismayed,

I wouldn't be surprised to learn the CIA was paying SBU salaries for quite some time. I remember the video footage of at least one pallet of cash being picked up by US Embassy personnel from the airport in Kiev prior to the coup.

William R. Cumming

The importance of this handoff cannot be minimized but ends decades of Prince Bandar influence in SA and the USA!

He was one of the principle corruptors of the Bush family IMO!

Charles

Russian media also reported that that a lot of gunfire was loosed during the attack and that there were deaths. Last night on PBS World News at 11.30, on camera interviews were held outside the base with locals who stated there was no gunfire, no battle.

Fog of war and propaganda IMHO we can't be sure of the Pravy Sektor and Svoboda elements' role as either participants or props.

Charles

Thank someone's gods this is over there and not here.

The Twisted Genius

The Russians are probably the only ones who have a clear picture of events in Eastern Ukraine if, as I contend, Spetznaz GRU and FSB operatives are roaming the area. If they see the "anti-terrorist campaign" fizzling out as it appears to be doing, they can afford to sit back and wait. No Russian tanks rolling in. No new EU economic sanctions. Putin may just get his federalized Ukraine and the opportunity to quietly castrate Pravy Sektor on his own schedule. The neocons and R2P cabal will be left screaming and hurling feces like a pack of howler monkeys. (Didn't I paint that picture before?) We just have to keep them away from the nuclear weapons.

Fred

Of course they do, it's called protecting native Spanish speakers. First up Texas, California and Florida. Because who needs to learn to speak English. Oh, wait our own politicians have been pandering that way for years. First up, no seperate protection for Non-Engish speakers. That's sure to gain the hispanic vote in this fall's election.

jon

Seems like a reprise of the Sudetenland. And the Ukraine is not showing much capability.

Fred

I was wondering who Andrew Higgins might be, since he explains in paragraph 6 that oh so troubling question 'Who fired the bullets' he asks in paragraph three. Of course this guy has an opinion on Andrew Higgins:

http://work949.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/andrew-higgins-of-the-new-york-times-is-a-two-dollar-whore-for-islams-savages/

He's certainly no Judith Miller. Thank goodness for the NYT.

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