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22 June 2014


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I do not know what to say. I am waiting with disquiet for the next shoe to fall. It probably has fallen but is not being reported by the Western Press.

I would not be surprised if Iran and the House of Saud say the hell to USA, Israel and ISIS and join Russia and China and price oil and gas in Renminbi.

If the collapse of the Soviet Union is a guide, the first thing to be the eliminated after the collapse of the American hegemony will be government pensions; that is if we avoid WWIII.

Margaret Steinfels

All: Meanwhile back in Ukraine. This curious story from Lviv about the schism in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. A stalwart of Ukrainian nationalism, the Church has seen a faction move to support Putin and pro-Russian sentiments. The mastermind is said to be a Czech formerly of the Soviet intelligences services. Somehow The Saker came to mind.

"Even before mysterious pro-Russian gunmen began hacking away at Ukraine’s sovereignty in the Crimea and now in eastern Ukraine, a well-planned and curiously well-funded assault was already underway in the west of the country on the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, an institution that has sustained Ukraine spiritually for generations and helped keep alive belief in the possibility of a separate, independent Ukrainian state.

"[It] was allowed to resurface by Mikhail Gorbachev in the late 1980s and, continuing its traditional role as a bastion of resistance to domination by Russia, helped rally support for the establishment of an independent Ukrainian state in 1991.

"In recent years, however, it has confronted an obscure pro-Moscow revolt from within its own ranks. Claiming to represent the church’s true spiritual purpose, a clutch of fundamentalist priests with political views closely aligned to those of Russia formed its own rival hierarchy and recruited people like Father Andriy, a former factory worker, to spread their message about Europe’s satanic ills."

More details: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/22/world/europe/ukrainian-church-faces-obscure-pro-russia-revolt-in-its-own-ranks.html?ref=world

Paul Escobar

Ms. Steinfels,

What is "curious" about it?

The Russian government is promoting Christian social values & norms to its population. They are dismissing & mocking their rich, perverted, & Godless foreign critics.

It is no surprise that any number of Christians would admire (even envy) such courage & action. As a result, they would naturally view Russia's opponents in the EU with great suspicion.

There is certainly nothing "curious" about the regions political actors decrying "Europe's satanic ills".

Just look at Poland, where the anti-Russian & nationalist opposition (who recently-governed & polls indicate may govern again) say the same about the EU...and worse!

IMO - your curiosity is mis-focused,
Paul Escobar

cville reader

M Steinfels-- From what I understand, there are some conservative Roman Catholics in the US who are also quite supportive of Putin's views about the current state of Western culture. It isn't surprising to me at all that Putin's message would also appeal to some Ukrainians.

Jim Ticehurst

Iranian Intervention..Finally...Now Chalibi Can Drink His Own Koolaid...with His Iranian Handlers..All He had to do to suck the Neo Cons In was send the younger brother of One of His top Aids...Rafid Alwan al-Janabi (CURVEBALL) to German with a frabricated story of Iraqs WMDS and Suck those NeoCon suckers In..Get the Americans to do the Dirty Work..Get Rid of Saddam..and the Sunni Military ..Set up Maliki and the Shias..and suck everything they could out of The Suckers doing it.. Amazing what those LIARS CLUBS can accomplish while BSing the Naïve and Gullible People in the World...The American VOTER..


In regards to my earlier question, about the support for the ISIL by decision makers in DC, having been called moronic ME conspiratorial chatter:
Denying key information or providing wrong assessment to one's "ally" in Iraq ( http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/06/22/368171/us-denied-iraq-with-key-info-on-isil/ ), while supporting one's enemy in Syria with "non-lethal" aid (including non-lethal AT-rockets, ammunition, intelligence, communications gear…) would certainly help in them overrunning garrisons, ammunition depots, cities and maybe even the country. It sounds like those supporting the ISIL in Syria and Iraq are fed from the same nipple or to put it differently, "breath together" or Con Spirare. As I had said before, it is better to be the "enemy" of the States than it's "friend".
It also sound like Chalabi and the Washington Neo-Con/Lib are Con Spirare.

Or to translate a Flemish proverb "when there is smoke, there must be fire close by".



Can this be true? Quote:

"... the CIA had lost many of its sources inside the government in Baghdad, which is now firmly in Shiite hands. Since assuming power in 2006, Iraq’s Shiite Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, gradually purged most Sunnis from senior government positions, thus shutting down the CIA’s eyes and ears in Baghdad. ..."



That would explain to me why the US wants Maliki out of power in Iraq.


TThe Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is actually a minority faith of the religious population, being a distant second to the majority Eastern Orthodox faith in Ukraine. But there had long been a schism in the majority Orthodox faith. There is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate and then the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. Currently, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church predominates in three western oblasts of Ukraine, including about half the population of Lviv, but constitutes a small minority elsewhere in the country. The Russians may try to exploit differences there, but the western part of Ukriane is already more inclined to be anti-Russian. It is the schisms in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that Moscow would try to exploit.


I found this information on the Iraqi Army OOB. It is quite detailed, showing force locations and in some cases, how they are equipped.



The referenced article's last sentence is a laugh, "But a current US intelligence official told Stein that, although the Sunni insurgency took the CIA by surprise, “Washington had a clear picture” of the situation in the country and that its intelligence “capabilities are intact”." .... I'm pretty sure better intel is available on web searchable local newspapers and Google. Locals have been saying the place will blow for months.

Margaret Steinfels

Mr. Escobar: Curious because it is the first mention I've seen from NYTimes reporters on the role of religious groups in Ukraine. In fairly stereotypical Times style the story begins with parishioners disagreeing with their priest and then moves on to the larger point. But also curious because the reporter identifies the man said to be behind the schism (a Czech) as Mr. (i.e., no ecclesiastical title). What exactly is his function in the splintered church. The Eastern orthodox tend to give lay people roles in church governance, is that the case with Mr. Dohnal? Probably there are more curiosities that I've missed.

Margaret Steinfels

CR: Perhaps. But such conservatives are hardly taking their cues from Mr. Putin. Some of them were certainly part of the anti-communist crusades of the Cold War years. I doubt they've changed their mind about Russian leaders.


Maybe you should explain what you have against Russian leaders...

They have managed to move away from a one-party totalitarian structure to a functioning democracy and a mixed economy. They have also managed to dismantle the oligarchic state imposed under Yeltsin by western financial organizations.

I am unclear how much you understand about contemporary Russia, or if your point is to simply echo the talking points of the NYT – hardly a reliable source of information.


My office cleaning lady's son was in one of those Afghani outposts three months ago. He walked out of the hut one night, leaving five of his buddies inside. He heard a rustling behind him and saw someone throw a bag through the window. Everyone inside died. He was thrown. but the debris fell on him. He waited hours for the trauma helicopter, and only lapsed into unconsciousness when they got him on the chopper. He lost his right leg and left arm. No one will tell her where her son is, and her English is poor. She works three jobs. She is desperate to talk to him. Her other son found out they were airlifting him from San Diego to Walter Reed. Then she was let go because the building was cutting back on daily janitorial services.

Margaret Steinfels

You jest! functioning democracy? mixed economy? No democracy is perfect. No economy is perfect. Not ours. Not theirs, but just more imperfect than many.


Not jesting at all, and I am, frankly, surprised by your insistence. Does your position reflect personal experience and concerted questioning, or simply English mass media?

Anyhow, if you want to see Putin's answers to (perhaps) your own questions: start at 24.30 in the following interviews, and do watch it to the end: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gvbS09gN80

I appreciate your acknowledgement that no government is the ideal.

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