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15 April 2014

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Fred

TTG,

"We just have to keep them away from the nuclear weapons."

Who, the neocons? Certainly the ideal setting for a false flag operation somewhere. Imagine just what that will unleash with the R2P crowd in D.C. calling the shots.

David Habakkuk

TTG,

“I'd bet that Brennan told the coup leaders to put Krutov in charge of their anti-terrorist center after instructing Krutov to use the Pravy Sektor and Svoboda units to crush the uprising in the East.”

If he did anything of the kind, then he really is a moron. For years it has been obvious to anyone with half a brain that the key to the stability of Ukraine lay in the fact that Russophones in the South and East – outside the Crimea – in general were quite happy to be ruled from Kiev and had no desire to be incorporated in Russia.

If there was one thing that could change that, it was empowering ‘Banderistas’ in Kiev. How anyone could have been so stupid as to do this I simply cannot understand. To compound the stupidity by sending the most hard-core ‘Banderistas’ to suppress the East really would be unbelievable idiocy.

But then, perhaps someone might suggest that some competent expert -- perhaps Colonel David Glantz might fit the bill -- could be employed to instruct the State Department on the significance of the St. George's ribbon.

David Habakkuk

Fred,

Yes, but the NYT is – like its counterparts in the U.K. – quite palpably losing the trust of its readers. The technologies which have made it possible for readers to comment on articles over the past few years are of revolutionary significance.

So, for example, the NYT has just published an editorial entitled ‘Mr. Putin’s Power Play’. It opens:

“When President Vladimir Putin of Russia talks about what is happening in Ukraine these days, it is as if he’s looking into a mirror. He says fascists and nationalists are running amok in Kiev, even as Crimea is annexed in the name of Great Russia; he says Russians are threatened in eastern Ukraine, even as Russia directs secessionists there to seize administrative buildings and arms; he calls on President Obama to use his influence to prevent the use of force in Ukraine, even as he puts a major military force on the Ukrainian border.

“This ploy was a fixture of Soviet propaganda, and when other sources of information are silenced, it can fool people for a while. But nobody outside Russia is buying it.”

(See http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/16/opinion/mr-putins-power-play.html?hp&rref=opinion )

The bizarre element of the situation is that the NYT appears to believe that everybody in the West agrees with them, when the comments on their editorial demonstrate conclusively that this is not the case. The one currently with most recommendations reads:

‘This Editorial is very disappointing. It is unbalanced, like the propaganda spewed before the Iraq War, not least spewed on the pages of this paper.

‘The NYT owes us a better job of this, especially because it failed us so badly before Iraq.’

Fourth in the list, by number of recommendations, is a comment which accurately pinpoints the ‘soft totalitarian’ nature of today’s NYT.

‘That is very typical of NYT editorial board to present its own opinion as a universally held and solely acceptable one. It is not enough for them to express an opinion, they must also claim than everyone else thinks similarly. In this particular case they are simply wrong. As a simple inspection of NYT readers' comments following Ukraine-related OpEds would reveal plenty of people outside Russia are “buying” or at least finding a measure of sympathy with Russia's position. In fact, it instead seems that majority of commenters are not buying the official US government line. One cannot but draw a parallel between NYT coverage of events in Ukraine and its so-called “journalism” during the run up to the invasion of Iraq. One wonders if consequences of such uncritical warmongering by the paper of record will not also be similarly dismal.’

William Herschel

"Andrew Higgins has worked in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, Russia and China as a foreign correspondent. Born in Britain and raised in Chicago, he attended Cambridge University, Shandong University and Middlebury College. He speaks fluent French, Russian and Chinese and some Arabic. Before joining the Post in 2009, Higgins worked at The Wall Street Journal, The Independent and Reuters news agency. He co-authored a book on China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. His awards include a Pulitzer Prize, the Oversea Press Club’s Hal Boyle award for best foreign coverage and the German Marshall Fund’s Peter R. Weitz Prize for reporting on Europe."

He couldn't possibly be working for the CIA, could he?

David Habakkuk

Poul,

So far, the goal they have repeatedly put forward is regionalisation.

There are plenty of reasons why this may be a better outcome for them then the incorporation of parts of the South and East in the Russian Federation.

Among them 1. many people there do not want to be back under the control of Moscow, 2. the East European oligarchs do not want to be under the control of Moscow – but might well like more autonomy from Kiev, 3. Putin wants to avoid permanent rifts with European powers, in particular Germany, and if possible the U.S. 4. Russia may have more influence on the South and East, and be less committed to large expenditures, if it is nominally in Ukraine rather than part of Russia, 5. there might be better prospects of enticing central Ukraine – in particular Kiev – into closer relations with Moscow, if what is at issue is not incorporation in the RF.

That said, contrary to what Western politicians and the Western MSM want to suggest, the ability of Putin to manipulate what is happening is limited. If people in the South and East do not want to be part of Russia, he cannot make them. By the same token, if they do not want to stay part of Ukraine, he cannot easily make them.

The Twisted Genius

David Habakkuk,

I agree that empowering the hard core "Banderistas" is an incredibly stupid act. However, I feel the ice is heavily tilted towards Brenner being stupid enough to do just that. I watched the mantra of "capture-kill" take over a large part of the CIA like a religious awakening. I've also dealt with their Central Eurasia Division. They remain an imperious lot, even through the height of the GWOT period. The State Department has their own equally fervent R2Pers. Perhaps, as you say, someone like David Glantz could help enlighten both the State Department and the CIA, and exorcize the demons from the BHO Administration.

walrus

More unbalanced trash from the Daily Mail. It seems the Presstitutes have been given instructions to make a case for NATO intervention.

"Vladimir Putin is striking at the heart of the West.

His target is our inability to work with allies in defence against common threats. The profoundly depressing fact is that the events of the past few months, as Russia has annexed the Crimea and ­suppressed opposition in Ukraine, have shown the West to be divided, humiliated and powerless in the face of these land grabs.

We are soon to face a bleak choice. We can chose to surrender any responsibility we have to protect Ukraine and the Baltic states — almost certainly Putin’s next target — from further Russian incursion. Or we can mount a last-ditch attempt to deter Russia from furthering its imperial ambitions."

Hysterical counterfactual blather.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2605578/Edward-Lucas-I-hope-Im-wrong-historians-look-say-start-World-War-III.html

walrus

After reading the latest from the Saker, I have to ask what are the chances of a military coup in Kiev?

I think Yulia Timoshenko on Ukranian TV, may have just triggered one and a tidy end to this crisis:

"We have to form a new military, a parallel army of volunteers which will beat them back. Then we will negotiate with Putin from a position of force. Our new military will never allow the occupants to get to Kiev. We will engage in a pubic advertisement campaign to ask for volunteer contributions to pay for it. We have to be strong!!"

If I was an Army Officer I wouldn't like this idea one bit, shades of the Sturmabteilung and Ernst Rohm!

A military coup followed by a new constitution and internationally supervised elections seems like the best way out of this mess to me.

What influence does Washington have on the Ukranian army?

smoke

One reads the NYT in these times specifically to track the official story and spot its shifts, no?

Sometimes after the Jump, or in the inside pages/non-featured web stories, there is some real reporting and good information to be discovered.

zanzibar

David

Yes. We are "ruled" by idiots! Not just on strategic matters but even the mundane.

Why couldn't Brennan accomplish whatever he wanted on the phone? Now BHO can't deny that he is not meddling in the affairs of Ukraine.

I suppose we deserve the leadership we elect.

zanzibar

All

This is an interesting story by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in the Telegraph.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/10771069/US-financial-showdown-with-Russia-is-more-dangerous-than-it-looks-for-both-sides.html

If the "idiots" running the US government continue down this path, it will only be a matter of time when some creditors refuse to accept US paper for real goods & services.

Bandolero

bth

See yesterday's speech of General Krutov in front of the air field in Kramatorsk explaining the people there that he and his man came to their town to liberate the people of the region with an anti terrorist operation:

http://youtu.be/2zgMXjE8Uog

His speech was essentially over when a woman yelled at him loudly: "Who of us here you call a terrorist?"

William R. Cumming

CRF! IMO power is taken not given and Putin won't resign any time soon. For right or wrong he also has star power in Russia now!

William R. Cumming

Russian-American friends and Ukrainian-American friends continue to tell me phone lines to the USA from and to the Ukraine remain completely open and not disrupted. Does NSA know? YES!

Bandolero

David

The authorities in Dontsk have today decided that on May 11 there will be a referendum in the Donetsk region where the people shall answer two questions:

1. Do you agree that a so-called the Donetsk independent republic shall be created?

2. Do you agree that the Donetsk shall become pat of the Russian federation?

http://www.tvc.ru/news/show/id/37347

I think the result of the referendum is quite open, but I see that the new Kiev power did not do a good job at making friends with the people of Donetsk and the successes of the "Donetsk people's republic" forces create a bandwagon effect for Russia.

Whatever the result I expect that Putin will try to achieve the solution for Donetsk that the referendum result shows is wanted by the people of Donetsk.

And then, of course, I expect the result of the Donetsk referendum to have a huge influence on what will happen in other regions of Ukraine. I think, first, Lugasnk will follow Donetsk, then Kharkov and Odessa will be a bandwagon effect, and there will be a ripple effect through Ukraine. I would not wonder if we would see in the coming months, say next winter, a referendum in Kiev where the poeple decide that Kiev will join Russia.

Karel Dolejsi

In my humble opinion, general Krutov would be much better(=rational) leader than Timoshenko, at least for now. - But influence of GRU on the Ukrainian army is probably much bigger than Washington's influence, it seems to me. (However, Krutov is former SBU officer, i.e. intelligence specialist.)

Ikonoklast

All:

This recruiting commercial is possible indicator of the likely state of the Ukrainian armed forces:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cH_E6YSQqTo

(Apologies if this has been posted here previously)

Bandolero

walrus

"A military coup followed by a new constitution and internationally supervised elections seems like the best way out of this mess to me."

I agree. But there is one more important tasks in the interests of the Ukrainian people: the Ukrainian people shall and wnats to get rid of the supremacy of the traitor oligarchs, those billionaires who really ruled the country in the last two decades, live on the backs of the people and sell the country and the people at every possibility when they see a penny for themselves by doing so.

"What influence does Washington have on the Ukranian army?"

Not much. The US has a post-coup puppet installed a head of SBU, but US military ties are much deeper with Russia. So, if someone can help the Ukrainian "Siloviki" take power in the interest of the Ukrainian people, it's Putin.

And if I understand Putin right, he's just running the kind of scenario you propose, albeit not centralized from out of Kiev as you suggest, but beginning from out of the eastern and southern periphery closing in to the center later.

What the US can do to help Putin and the Ukrainian army to do it as unbloody as possible is doing and promising nothing, at least not in a military sense.

robt willmann

Up next is a meeting tomorrow on Thursday, 17 April, in Geneva, Switzerland (beautiful place), with people from Ukraine, the U.S., Russia, and the "European Union" there to talk about Ukraine. Traveling with Kerry is none other than Victoria Nuland, she of the recorded phone call revealing U.S. participation in the coup in Ukraine and with her epithet directed at the EU; in the schedule she is called "Toria"--

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/appt/2014/04/224876.htm

Secretary of State John Kerry has now landed in Geneva and is striking a "thoughtful" pose with his hand around his chin for the publicity photo--

https://twitter.com/StateDept/status/456538134654627841/photo/1

The EU people don't have the guts to do it, but they should take Victoria Nuland down a notch or two at this meeting, including a public statement about her.

different clue

Whatever influence Washington has is devoted to the pursuit of IMF/EU austerity for Ukraine and total privatization of every asset worth taking over. Would Washington want a Ukrainian Army coup which would jeopardize the EU/IMF/NATO agenda? If not, the Army would have to mount a coup in defiance of Washington's wishes.

Fred

Zanzibar,

Just how much money will US pension funds, both municipal and corporate, lose when this financial neutron bomb goes off?

The latest news from Detroit is that general pension fund retirees are being forced into a permanent end to cost of living adjustments and an immediate 4% plus cut. Of course our very own billionaire oligarch Mr. Illych does gain $186,000,000 in tax money for his hockey arena, because that deal got done first. Joy.

On another note why does anyone in D.C. think Ukrainians are worth screwing our own citizens over for, or that all those citizens are just going to take getting screwed like this the same way the Occupy WallStreet crowd did?

Fred

America should defend Ukraine with the last drop of Edward Lucas' blood, but not a single drop of an American's; and be sure to spend his money too, not mine.

Tyler

ALCON,

Do you think that the Ukrainian government actually believes that there are Spetznatz on the ground, or are they just waving a bloody shirt while telling the soldiers going to fight the "anti-terrorists" that they are just fighting Russian backed thugs?

In other words, is Kiev sending fighters out east to go show the flag and little else, or are they sending conscripts to go get carved up, knowingly or unknowingly, by the polite green men?

William Herschel

Ukraine certainly has proved to be a litmus test. Here is the king of the bleeding hearts at the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof echoing John McCain:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/17/opinion/in-ukraine-seeking-us-aid.html

This guy is actually in Kiev. Talking to either Right Sector or Right Sector wannabe's who are asking him for guns. And he is writing a column in the Times pleading with the American people to give them guns.

Kristof starts his column talking about Russians, quite literally as if they were animals deserving to be hunted down and killed:

"For decades, Ukrainians have been starved, oppressed and bullied by Russians, and, with Russia now inciting instability that could lead to an invasion and dismemberment of eastern Ukraine, plenty of brave Ukrainians here say they’ve had it and are ready to go bear-hunting."

But before the column is half over, his real target emerges:

"It’s crucial that Putin pay a price for aggression so that he doesn’t benefit from bellicosity."

Putin, Putin, Putin. I am convinced this is all about regime change in Russia. The neo-cons, and I had not the slightest idea how many neo-cons there were hiding behind liberal masks, do not like him. Ukraine is a pretext to bring down Putin.

So Russia will be turned into Iran. Best of luck with that project, CIA on the Hudson.

William Herschel

Anyone wishing to balance the views of the Saker's blog should read this blog:

http://www.kyivpost.com/content/author/dmitry-tymchuk/

The ground that the two blogs cover seems to overlap to a great extent.

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