« Crocker tells CFR that US policy in Syria is a mistake | Main | Clapper's Edict »

04 May 2014

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

turcopolier

LeAnder

So,you are saying that you WERE up in arms at the time? Well, if so, you had been, IMO successfully propagandized into seeing a complex occurrence (the invasion) as a simple one. You like the simplicity of my remarks? I find that it is more effective to write for a wide audience than a small one. Since I was heavily involved it is easy for me to describe what actually happened. pl

D

CP, I would call the instances the Colonel recounts as examples of the death of American journalism. "Wishfulness" and "yesmanship" are just as fatal to journalism as they are to good analysis.

turcopolier

LeAnder

I forgot to address your other point. Yes, many, many people in this country believed the baloney leading to US intervention for that war as much as for the next one in 2003. With regard to the Kuwaiti babies left to die on the floor as Iraqi beasts wheeled away incubators to send them home, this was quite reminiscent of the British BS about German troops marching through Brussels with Belgian babies impaled on their bayonets. In both cases the emotionally unstable public bought into the nonsense. Tom Lantos, the white haired Hungarian Jewish immigrant then a congressman from California, threatened me with contempt of congress for telling him in testimony that the dead babies story was probably propaganda. He said I was a heartless man. To quote a couple of lines from "Miller's Crossing," "Look into your heart..." Tom's reply "What heart?" In the end it happened to be true that the hysterical girl witness was the Kuwaiti ambassador's daughter and Lantos had known that during the hearing. pl

ToreBear

Sorry to come to your house and disagree with you. But I believe Putin is behind this. And I'm not so sure the potential sanctions concern him that much. He already screwed up in Crimea. Europe is not going back to business as usual. His market share in Europe will be less and less in the future. And it's not certain sectoral sanctions on Gas will be applied. He might gamble that they are not going to be applied due to the differing interests within the EU.

Putin can get his population to handle the suffering. He has during this crisis strengthened his grip on information. His popularity goes sky high when he "defends" Russian speakers and takes back lost territory.

I'm expecting Russian "peace keepers" crossing the border at any time between now and the 25th.

If they don't, and we see a lot of "Russian speakers" dying, Putin will have serious problems maintaining his power.

Charles I

Gee, Jonathan Kay blames it on U.S. "withdrawalism" and failure to bomb the shite outta those red lines in lieu of being peacefully outfoxed by Mr. Putin, and our own petards.

"The scenes of chaos playing out in Ukraine and Syria are just a taste of what we can expect if the United States continues to shrink from its international role."

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/05/05/jonathan-kay-the-troubling-rise-of-american-withdrawalism/

Charles I

Here is some detailed country by country reporting of Euro/Russian economic ties, sanctioned people and entities, with analysis of potential obstacles and effectiveness.

http://business.financialpost.com/2014/05/05/how-russia-moves-billions-offshore-and-how-a-handful-of-tax-havens-may-hold-key-to-sanctions/

David Habakkuk

Fred,

The question of the loyalties of units which were part of the old Red Army is a critical. Involved with it, moreover, are the ghosts of the Second World War, or the ‘Great Patriotic War’, as the Russians call it.

From a report on Friday in the ‘Independent of a confrontation between members of the Ukrainian ‘National Guard’ and local people in Slavyansk:

‘A National Guardsman, Roman, 26, who was already under suspicion after saying he was from Lviv, from the nationalist west of the country, was asked: “Did your father fight against the Nazis?” He did, responded the guardsman: “But I have read some books which show it was the Soviet Union which started the war; a lot of Ukrainians died for nothing.”

‘Viktor Barasiniov spat into the ground: “This is the type of people they are sending here; how can there not be a fight?”’

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/ukraine-crisis-the-nationalist-attack-on-slovyansk-shatters-the-best-remaining-hope-for-peace-9318796.html?origin=internalSearch

It seems to me likely that the ‘some books which show it was the Soviet Union which started the war’ include the study ‘Icebreaker’ which the Soviet-era GRU defector ‘Viktor Suvorov’, real name Vladimir Rezun, first published in articles in Russian in the late ‘Eighties, and then in English in 1990.

This study was an attempt to rehabilitate Keitel’s claim that Hitler, in invading the Soviet Union, only preempted an attack that Stalin was planning. It also sought to rehabilitate the view, commonly held by the advocates of the ‘appeasement’ of Nazi Germany, that Stalin had a long-term strategy aimed at finessing Germany and the Western powers into war.

The attempt to rehabilitate Keitel’s claims provoked Colonel Lang’s fellow VMI alumnus Colonel David Glantz – certainly a, if not the, leading Western authority on the war in the East in 1941-5 – to publish his 1998 study ‘Stumbling Colossus’, a book length study which exposed Suvorov/Rezun as a charlatan.

Both this and the attempt to rehabilitate Neville Chamberlain’s view prompted detailed rebuttals by the Israeli historian Gabriel Gorodetsky, culminating in his 1999 study ‘Grand Delusion’. His study had the benefit both of its author's detailed familiarity with the British archives, and also much better access to Russian archives than had been given to any previous non-Russian scholar.

The report in the ‘Independent’ was in any case obtuse, in that if the member of the ‘National Guard’ was 26, it would have been his grandfathers – and perhaps grandmothers – who fought in the Second World War.

Back in December, when this crisis was blowing up, I wrote here that:

'Among Ukrainians, and Russians, you will find descendants of people who died with General Mikhail Kirponos in the Kiev salient, or in the defence of Sevastopol against Manstein. Likewise, among West Ukrainians, you will find descendants of people who have a vivid recollection of being occupied by the Red Army as a result of the Nazi-Soviet Pact – an unpleasant introduction to rule under Stalin’s terroristic paternalism – and who joined the SS Galicia Division with enthusiasm.

'If people in Brussels or Washington want to see this history in black and white terms, they are either fools, or knaves, or more probably both. The wounds of the past lie very close to the surface in the Ukraine, as in so many parts of the post-Soviet space. If Westerners are resolutely determined not to confront the complexities of Eastern European history, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that they could precipitate a civil war.'

If John Brennan did not grasp that the likely consequence of sending West Ukrainian nationalists to attempt to bring the East and South back under the control of Kiev was the kind of massacre which occurred in Odessa on Friday, he is not just a fool – he is a driveling idiot.

If he did grasp that this was the likely consequence, and had some inkling of the potential of events to spiral out of control, then he is very definitely a ‘knave’ – indeed, one might say that he has definitely gone over to the ‘dark side’.

Babak Makkinejad

Merkel will choose Obama.

There would be sanctions against Russia, eventually severing that country from EU commerce in a substantial manner.

Since that which does not kill one only makes one stronger; Russia would emerge stronger a decade or so later...

Going around making enemies is something that never made sense to me...

turcopolier

ToreBear

It is perfectly all right for you to disagree with me. I do not seek an echo chamber here so long as the discourse is civil.

I have no doubt that Russia has people on the ground in Ukraine but I do not think Putin caused this unrest nor does he have control over the insurgnts. pl

ToreBear

Thank you Colonel. I have always found it better to apologize one time to many than to few.

I have trouble thinking of a scenario where Putin is not the causal factor. As for control, well these are not his green men, these are the brown men. His control over them is more indirect, but they will subordinate themselves to the Green mens officers when they arrive. I'm hoping they wont arrive, but right now I have trouble seeing Putin backing down.

turcopolier

ToreBear

"I have trouble thinking of a scenario where Putin is not the causal factor." we started the process of Ukrainian disintegration, not he. pl

Fred

David,

My perception is that the coup government must escalate to obtain nato - i.e. US involvement, otherwise it faces an economic collapse if nothing else. It's own units, until they fully incorporate (rather than disarm as required by the Geneva agreement) their (Svoboda and Privat Sektor) militias into the 'new' national guard, is very likely to be unreliable for the very detailed reasons you point to. As to Brennan and company, I think what we are witnessing is an emotional attachment to an ideological belief system in action. Sadly the butcher's bill won't be paid by them unless they succeed - in unleashing nuclear war. Maybe they think Putin will surrender first. I can imagine the thought process - "We won the Cold War. Why won't these people act like we defeated them?" They seem stunned by the fact that others don't see things that way.

ToreBear

We as in the "west"(US/EU etc)? How? what did we do?

turcopolier

Fred

The attitude toward Russia is much like the attitude of Yankees towards the South. pl

turcopolier

ToreBear

The US Government spent 5 billion US government dollars in Ukraine in the last six years building Western oriented Ukrainian political and paramilitary groups. These groups challenged and defeated the constitutional Ukraine government. pl

kao_hsien_chih

Hans Oster famously gave the Dutch military attache in Berlin key details of the German offensive plans immediately before it was to begin, literally 74 years before today, plus/minus a few days, and other acts to undermine Nazi warmongering. While SD was not exactly "civilian" in the usual sense, one could see the same impulse behind its integration into the state intelligence apparatus in Germany, to build up a loyalist, "yes men" rival to another agency made up of professionals who could not be easily shoved aside, not unlike the politicization process elsewhere. Wouldn't our own politicos just love to create an intelligence arm staffed exclusively with their own lackeys, if they could?

Fred

Col,

That was exactly what I was thinking.

confusedponderer

"The US Government spent 5 billion US government dollars"

Nuland on tape bragging about it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2fYcHLouXY

Imagine the US reaction hat China or Russia invested only half of that in the occupy movement.

confusedponderer

Lets see, what else can one buy for 5 billion?

For instance, you can get two Virginia class SSN for that sum, since they cost 2.1 bn apiece.

And I haven't even started talking about what civilian items that money could have financed.

confusedponderer

Justin Raimondo made the following observation:

"In the beginning, I thought this whole Ukrainian regime change effort was just sheer stupidity on the part our clueless leaders in Washington, who had no idea what they were getting into or what dark forces they were unleashing. Over time, however, as the crisis escalated, and we actually had the State Department defending Svoboda – a major factor in the "interim" government – against fully justified charges that it is fascist, I began to wonder. Why would the US government act as a lawyer for a party that traces its ideological lineage back to Stepan Bandera, the WWII Nazi collaborator whose "insurgent army" slaughtered 6,000 Jews in Lvov? Why would they go out of their way to characterize the party as having "moderated" its views?

It’s always a mistake to underestimate Washington’s capacity for evil. In retrospect, it’s clear they always knew what and who they were unleashing. It’s not ignorance of the historically specific and – to most Americans – unimaginably virulent hatred given free rein by our machinations in Ukraine. Washington knows perfectly well what they’re doing – and they’re doing it anyway."

It's about the ever looming lure of regime change. For one reason or another, that is DC's preferred way of dealing with inconvenient realities.

Want to expand NATO? There's an obstacle in eastern Ukraine quite rationally fearing what US policy wants for them (economic ruin)? And the government expressing that scepticism has been elected into office only recently? Wait until the next elections is unacceptably long. What else can one do?

Easy, boldly change the game! One can do a lot of things with 5 bn dollars. Have the losers in the elections not accept their defeat. Declare the elected government illegitimate. Have street fighters trained in Poland. Have money shipped in from the Baltics. Rile the people up. Have US officials urge them not to back down.

Imagine US fulminations in face of a Chinese or Russian ambassador at occupy wall street having done the same thing.

Now that Nuland at Cie are done with toppling the insufficiently pro-US government there in a coup, the Ukrainians in the east can fear not only their economic ruin but in Svoboda a party that will ban their use of their native Russian, and the odd pogrom here and there. They can be expect to be treated as a hated minority in their own land, and should be expected to resent that. And then tere is history.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/to-see-what-ukraines-future-may-be-just-look-at-lvivs-shameful-past-9178968.html

I was told by Poles how relatives were murdered by Ukrainians in the war. That was common. The building of the house in Odessa, by Right Sector thugs and football Ultras should give the general idea that Cockburn's warnings are rather realistic. DC gives a damn, either because of delusions of being able to manage these thugs or because they just don't care as long as they can make life difficult for Putin.

In DC expansion, regime change is every bit as popular under Obama as it was under Bush.

The Obamaites just think they're smarter at it than those oafish Bush idiots who needed to invade countries for that. It's a difference of opinion over means applied, but a consensus on goals.

turcopolier

All

ToreBear wrote to correct my numbers. We openly spent 5 billion on these political projects since 1992 plus whatever was spent in the CIA covert budget. BTW he accuses me of not allowing dissent on SST. His position is that US actions in Ukraine have been blameless and in no way responsible for Ukrainian disintegration. I have given him a time out not for disagreeing with me but rather for nastiness. pl

Anna-Marina

Obama's administration has not had enough sense to study Ukraine's history and the ethnic/national balance. Instead for provoking the country into highly desirable (by the US) civil war a la Middle East sectarian disaster, the US is facing the strengthened call for federalization and the strengthened pro-Russian sentiments, even among the people that had no desire to join Putin regime. As for the exposure of direct meddling into the affairs of a large country on a border with Russia and with a sizable ethnic Russian population (such as the CIA Director Brennan's visit to Kiev on the eve of murderous actions in the name of Kiev "government"), the US empire made itself totally naked as an aggressor.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/05/ukraine-fatal-clashes-pro-russia-separatists-east#start-of-comments

David Habakkuk

Fred, Colonel Lang,

And perhaps has something in common with the attitude of the Israelis to Palestinian olive growers -- or indeed Shiite Lebanese sharecroppers?

Fred

I'm sure if you use Google you might be able to figure that out.

David Habakkuk

All,

Further to the detailed comment by 'Imagine' on the 'On Killing Killers' thread about the claims that a 'false flag' operation was involved, 'the Saker' has posted a video report together with translated transcript making precisely this claim.

(See http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/crucial-investigation-into-role-of.html )

I haven't had time to do more than skim through the material, so do no feel qualified to take a view on how cogent the claims are. If anyone here can spot clear problems with the evidence or argument, that would help take the discussion of what is clearly a watershed in the Ukraine crisis on.

Also of interest a memorandum to Obama from Ray McGovern and some of his Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity colleagues.

(See http://consortiumnews.com/2014/05/04/needed-obama-putin-summit-on-ukraine/ )

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28            
Blog powered by Typepad