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04 September 2014


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FB Ali

Col Lang,

Words fail me upon reading that speech. George W Bush could not have done better.

If it had been anyone else, I would have expected such a delusional person to be put into an institution - for their own good as much as others' safety. But this is much more serious, devastating even.

I had continued to hope that Obama might exercise some control and restraint on the wild-eyed crowd seeking to push US policy onto this crazy path. I must now abandon any such hope.

As a famous character once said, "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride". To God knows where.

cville reader

My understanding is that a lot of the contested area in current Ukraine was a separate unit of the Russian Empire until the revolution in 1917. Perhaps Obama is uncomfortable admitting that Communists were largely responsible for defining the borders of today's Ukraine. Why only mention the Tsars and not the Communists?


Amazing how a supposed intelligent person with a first class education can "read" a speech skewed with such drivel. I wonder who wrote that speech.....


And, Colonel, the people are fed drivel like this: https://www.vocativ.com/world/russia/oligarch-called-putin-shorty-gets-stripped-fortune/


Col: Sorry for the double post, but if you assume that our motives are always and everywhere pure...

Result: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/09/to-understand-putin-read-orwell-110551.html#.VAiqCSwg_q4

We suffer from an epidemic of not-asking.

The Twisted Genius


The separatists are calling for a 50km demilitarized buffer zone on the Ukrainian side of the Donetsk/Lugansk oblast borders as a condition for the ceasefire. The way things are progressing on the ground, Poroschenko ought to agree before it become a "fact on the ground." He should at least negotiate from that point before the Militia of Novorossiya gets to Odessa.

I've also seen a rumor of McCain being in Kiev. All this talk of sightings of the purple assed mandrill must have him apoplectic.


Dear Colonel,

I am impressed about how Russia and Putin has enabled facts on the ground. In contrast, the white house seems to prefer massaging the message.

I wonder, though, just what happened? As soon as the first cauldron was formed, it should have been obvious that the strategy of the Ukraine govt, presumably with US advisers, was problematic. Of course during this time period, the Ukrainian government was continuously declaring victory, but kept pushing more soldiers into new cauldrons and meat grinders.

So did the Ukrainian politicos ignore the US advise and push for an infeasible early victory? Or worse, did they believe their own propaganda? And did the US advisers follow the same pathway - certainly POTUS pronouncements followed the now revealed victory is imminent, Russia must yield storyline.

I would like to think a review is ongoing now of what happened; however, if so, there is a clear disconnect with the top. Does anyone know if CYA is more likely than a strategy review at the WH or DOD? POTUS statement suggests double down and CYA.


Who's lying?

Euronews 22/2/2014 Quote:

“We are members of Maidan self-defence,” said one protester who had climbed onto the stage in Kyiv’s Independence Square and taken the microphone, “and we want to tell you that we are simple people addressing our politicians who are standing behind me. We don’t want Yanukovych or any agreements with him, tomorrow by 10am he must be gone. And if you are not going to put forward a concrete demand that Yanukovych goes before 10am, we are going to storm his office using our weapons tomorrow. I swear.”



William R. Cumminh

Ah! The chicken and the egg!

Given that for the last 150 the major [GREAT?] powers have opposed independence for the Ukraine what has changed?

Does anyone believe the Ukraine is a de facto state or nation? See historian John Lukack's writings describing these two terms.


That’s quite a pained look on NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s face :)

NATO Welcomes Putin's Ukrainian Crisis Settlement Plan http://en.ria.ru/politics/20140904/192634767/NATO-Welcomes-Putins-Ukrainian-Crisis-Settlement-Plan.html

M K Bhadrakumar on the Obama's speech and more…

Obama’s West Berlin moment http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/2014/09/04/obamas-west-berlin-moment/
Putin again stumped Obama. Obama narrowly missed his West Berlin moment. Much of what Obama said by way of Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine has been rendered redundant. The probability seems high that the conflict in eastern Ukraine stands frozen for the present. An armistice line may take shape to the south and east of Donetsk and Luhansk. In the event, Obama’s strident rhetoric at Tallinn only sounded a jarring note…

The crux of the matter is that Obama cannot purge his obsession with the US’ exceptionalism, whereas his country simply lacks the capacity to impose its will on the world community. One is reminded of the Victorian poet Matthew Arnold’s immortal description of Percy Bysshe Shelley — “a beautiful and ineffectual angel beating in the void his luminous wings in vain.”

Perhaps, the former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger intentionally did some plain-speaking for Obama’s benefit. Writing in the Wall Street Journal on the eve of Obama’s departure for Europe, Kissinger had this to say about the contemporary world order… http://www.hoover.org/research/henry-kissinger-assembly-new-world-order-concept-has-underpinned-modern-geopolitical-era



Sources report that some highly colored specimens have been glimpsed in the company of rebel commanders. Walrus - these must be individuals from the wild rather than the slave colony at Front Royal, Virginia at the national zoo breeding farm. Who knows what the motives are of the "rebel" purple assed mandrills? Perhaps it is something like that of the Point Pleasant, West Virginia Mothman. pl

Andrey Subbotin

"reclaim lands lost in the 19th century"? The only land Russia lost in 19th century is, um, Alaska?

Piotr Poland

Putin: "NATO is a military organization. It is coming at Our borders. Why?"

I can answer this question very easy: because You, Russians are Imperialists. We Poles decided to go to NATO almost univocaly, because we're afraid of Russian Imperial policy could come back. And is back now, so we were right about you.
We were long enough under your regime during Soviet times and it gave us nothing more than poverty, weakness and suffering. |We were not interested in staying in Russian zone of influence anymore, where is big corruption and extensive economical model of developement. We needed intensive economical one which is used in Western Europe or USA.
Your cultural and economical model, based on Bysanthine ideas transponed on Russian reality(Russia as the 3rd Rome etc) is not aproppriate for us. We didn't want to hear from Moscow, who we have to like or dislike, we wanted to do it on our own. Do you understand it, Mr Putin?

Your, Americans on this blog problem is: seeing imperial drive of Neocons you can't believe contemporary Russia is based on Imperial Ideas too, as it was in the past.
You see this unilaterally as good Russians defended themselves and evil today US administration attacking. But Russia IS empire. They don't want to be global empire, like some Neocons see US, the Eurasiatic one is enough for them.
Ukrainian war is nothing more for me than clash of 2 Empires, and no one is the good one. Both have more or less "dirty hands".

Want an evidence of Russian Imperial policy against Poland? OK, I give you one, absolutely clear example
Do you remember the disaster of "Polish Airforce One" in Apr'of 2010 with Polish President and near 90 other people near Smolensk, Russia?
We (Polish govt) gave them all investigation in a gesture of good will and as a "new, friendly opening" between our nations. What a mistake!
What they did? Nothing. Their MAK (International Aviation Comitee - russian aircrashes investigator) gave us a fairy tale about stupid and risky pilot's behaving during landing, and beeing little drunk (sic!) Those pilots were very good soldiers in their duty!
The wreck of airplane lies under blue sky and rusts to this moment. Remains of dead bodies still can be found in ground near Smolensk North airport.
Some similarities to MH17 treatment of victims, isnt it?

After big diplomacy efforts they gave us only copy (COPY, not original!) of flight recorder tapes. Some polish experts say, those copied recordings were prepared, with few moments cut off. We asked Russia many times to give us back the wreck, they told us they can't because they didn't end the investigation. But they do nothing with the wreck since 2010! They even not pretending doing something with it!
What can we do with it? Declare war against Russia and send our troops to Smolensk for taking back the wreck? Seriously? Remember this airplane was "Polish Airforce One", not a typical passenger airplane.
What would US do when being treated this way? Can you see the difference?

Looks like wreck can't come back to Poland as long as as Putin stays in power in Kremlin.

So is it how "friendly and peacefull" country treats their neighoburs, or is it an imperial treatment? "We are The Great Russia, and you, small Poland just shut up! We are the Power here!", isn't it?
And Fins, Slovaks, Romanians, and yes, Ukrainians too!, can tell you more or less similar stories about Russian treatment of them.
Can you understand now, why Poland almost univocaly decided to go to NATO and fly away from Russian zone of influence? Why other East European countries decided the same? It's not the NATO came to Russia borders, as Putin wants it. We, Central and East Europeans, decided to escape from „Roosskiy Mir” („Russian World” as Moscow calls their zone of political and cultural influence) thats how it was! And America gave us a chance to do it.
America is not clean hands country, but we never experienced similar treatment from Wash. DC!

Bill Wade

I think McCain might be wise to hightail it to Berlin and that Poroschenko start looking for a home in Wales, their own army is headed to Kiev and they are mighty mad.

Bill Wade



McCain just landed in Kiev. Getting funnier each moment.....

A . Pols

"Now, these are the facts. They are provable. They’re not subject to dispute."

This is such classic school debate club talk, to state the same thing 3 times and to stake out the rhetorical high ground so that people will be fooled into thinking what you said is irrefutable...

Charles I

Cf Pat's comments about arresting hot blood above.

And although I am of Lithuanian descent, Nato's rapid rollup to the Russian was bonkers, unless one desired some more numbers of smaller bribe-able new states to enlist inn the empire/R2P stuff that worked so well in Libya.


@ FB Ali

Once down that road, can you envision a US president getting off, at least at this point in time?

I think that immediately after Bush 2, if Obama had wanted a different foreign policy, he could have had it.

But at this point, going on 14 yrs of BushObama and the neocon ideology, the sickness seems so embedded, institutionalized, and bipartisan that any shift in policy may be far, far more difficult than it was a few years ago.

Does the US public simply wait until there's a foreign policy catastrophe which ends the BushObama consensus, or is it possible that the end could come about electorally?


It appears The Grim Reaper has his own ideas about Russia.


FB Ali

Piotr Poland,

This is not a Russian blog. Your anti-Russian harangue would be better posted on one of those.

You may have noticed that this blog is a forum for discussion, not lengthy lectures on pet topics.


With all due respect, I disagree on your view of Dr. Kissinger's post. First, consider the venue, Second, consider his consultancy. Third, consider his belief in American exceptionalism. As a born, bred, and educated American, I have spent many years considering our exceptionalism. Our exceptionlism goes back little more than two plus centuries. So many countries, religions, and peoples can single out their exceptionlism in "their" view that the invocation of that term is rather meaningless in my view. I do know a fair bit about Greek, Portuguese, Spanish, and various religions' sentiments of exceptionalism not to mention others, that of Russia not mentioned.

I believe Dr. Kissinger is a product of his age and background and at present a pundit-for-hire for his consultancy and influence.


FB Ali

Should I ban him? pl

Charles I

Of course we understand why Poland cjose to "fly to frredom". But.

America just imposed extra-territorrial tax law on the planet, nations have no friends only interests and sadly for Eastern Europe Russian interests counter to yours and ours exist.

Canada doesn't have the economic, political or military power to stymy the tax law. The Polish Kingdom, and the Lithuanian one for that matter, used to cover massive swaths of Europe. Heavy on the used to. A while ago I posted a link here - or maybe i got it here - to a dynamic map of European states, principalities, countries borders morphing over a 1,000 year period. Not a friend in sight.

You need hard power or diplomacy to achieve your aims as friendship and morality are no substitute, because geography shows you did not in fact escape Rooskiy Mir. Crying over the spilt milk in no way avoids further spills - or tears.

Having joined Nato, yet Poland being what and where it is, your question is Lenin's: What is to be done.

Our problem on this blog is that we recognize, after patient tutelage, that ours are not the only empires and realities in Creation, and we ignore that fact at our peril, over and over again. The lesson is repeated until it is learned. Geography and human nature are part of your lesson, and North America's blessing.

Til then, everybody needs their BATNA damn handy, and you need to hope you never need to call on Article 5. Be interesting to see how tough the EU is once Winter comes, after a bit of ceasefire and withdrawal, er, retreat, and new borders and artillery positions are consolidated.

FB Ali

Col Lang,

It is up to you to decide. If he persists, it would be worth considering.

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