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14 September 2014

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William R. Cumminh

A great post IMO! What few understand is oligarchs rule world wide, even in the USA as the Pew Foundation has reported.

G. I. Hazeltine

One begins to feel that Ukraine in itself is irrelevant to the 'West', except as means to reach the real goal.

It is said that this man is close to Strelkov.

http://slavyangrad.org/2014/09/13/the-new-round-of-sanctions-the-pre-war-period/

Piotr, Poland

How not to laugh on this text? Help me please to read it seriously, because I can't.

"Putin leading the global fight against the new bourgeoisie? "

Are you joking? Man with 100000USD watch on his hand?

In the country, where people, who earn 350USD/month are happy? (Don't tell me about earnings in Moscow - Moscow is another, strange planet in Russian Universe)

Man, who owns 3 big yachts?
And who are his close friends?
Who is Gennady Timchenko? Who is Andrey Kostin? Who is Vladimir Yakunin? Who they are, if not oligarchs?

"In his essay, he opines that Strelkov is going from fighting the junta in Kiev to taking on the Atlantic Integrationist Fifth Column"

"Fifth column" is very popular invective in Russia given to everyone, who thinking not in harmony with official political line.

This is an example of it:
https://twitter.com/B_Cichocki/status/454715115229966337

This banner hung on the well known bookstore in Moscow
The banner says: "Fifth column. Strangers between us".
Men from this banner, well known in Russia, were guilty of thinking not the Kremlin way, nothing more:
1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuri_Shevchuk
2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrey_Makarevich

Are the best known among them. Isn't it a kind of Witch Hunting?

And here's another example of "Fifth columnists" and "national traitors" in Russia.
This is the letter from the member of Russian Libertarian Party to his Western Libertarian colleagues. He is very surprised the level of admiration to Putin by them :

http://pc.blogspot.in/2014/08/putins-libertarians.html

I don't know why I still try to show you this. It's probably futile work.
The only bad guys in town are neocons, of course. Putin is fair and just sheriff in your film. Sorry, but not in Russian reality.

Cee

TTG,

Strelkov is going from fighting the junta in Kiev to taking on the Atlantic Integrationist Fifth Column whose “main political goal is to fully integrate Russia into the AngloZionist international system on a financial, political, economic and cultural levels.” Saker concludes that “the struggle for Russia is really a struggle for the future of the planet.”

So true!

More views on the situation

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-fateful-triangle-russia-ukraine-and-the-jews/5386602

http://consortiumnews.com/2014/04/27/why-neocons-seek-to-destabilize-russia/


VietnamVet

TTG

Your post is getting to the heart of the question of “what the hell is going on?” The Middle East can be explained for decades as preserving the petrodollar and milking the system for war profits. But, Ukraine is completely crazy. A sentient human being knows better than baiting a nuclear armed bear. I actually feel relief that the Ukraine cease fire is holding since it means one more day alive.

Due to corporate propaganda and censorship we are feeling around trying to make sense of the new world order. I think Russian media is closer to the truth.

First, the neo-conservative and right to protect cults with a Presidential OK have instituted a regime change against Russia to take down Vladimir Putin. Second, Wall Street, City of London and Frankfurt financiers have controlled western governments and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) almost forever. But, none were jailed after the 2008 economic crash. This has freed them to do anything that want; legal or not. They grabbed for Ukraine’s resources but came up a little bit short. But, the continued chaos is right up their alley. Russia still beckons.

Bourgeoisie is French for middle class. It is the same as “Main Street” in the USA. American seniors are being forced into poverty because their Social Security payments are being garnished to pay for student loan debt. As the middle class shrinks can propaganda and surveillance keep the lid on? Or will a new generation fight once more for liberty, equality and fraternity against a rotten aristocracy?

FB Ali

TTG,

Thank you for this informative post.

I have thought over the Saker's thesis (also propounded by Mozgovoi, Strelkov, and Bazov in GI Hazeltine's link above). I do not know enough about the internal Russian situation to assess how accurate it is. However, I am puzzled by their advancing as proof Russia's actions in Ukraine; I believe all these can make sense without postulating conspiracies around Putin that are misleading/pressuring him, as the thesis does.

Putin's primary aim is to preserve and enhance Russia's internal and external wellbeing and security. All his actions in Ukraine can be explained by such a motivation.

Russia needs Ukraine as a buffer between it and the West. Friendly if possible, but at least neutral. It does not want to annex or become responsible for Ukraine or any part of it since it would have to economically support it at considerable cost, while facing much distraction in pursuing its own path by having to deal with internal Ukrainian politics and problems. Such an outcome would put it in a direct collision with the West, a much more serious problem.

That is why Putin did not initially provide military support to the Donbass separatists, though he did allow Russian volunteers to join them and perhaps gave them some old military equipment. Instead he tried to get a neutral government in Kiev by accepting Poroshenko's election, probably based on assurances he received from some oligarchs, possibly Poroshenko himself.

When he found himself double-crossed, and instead the West almost triumphing in Ukraine with the imminent military defeat of the separatists, he moved decisively to bolster them with enough Russian troops to tilt the balance. To prepare for such an eventuality, he had already had Strelkov and others who favoured maximalist aims replaced by more pliable persons. That enabled him to get the rebels to accept a ceasefire that held the promise of ultimate autonomy for the Donbass within Ukraine.

The ceasefire (with the implicit threat of a resumption of hostilities) opens up the possibility of an acceptable (for Russia) political solution. As well as the ending of Western sanctions.

Where Strelkov, Bazov, etc go wrong is in assuming that an independent Donbass allied to (and supported by) Russia is in the latter's interest. Putin doesn't seem to think so. His actions can be explained by this, and do not have to be ascribed to conspiracies in the Kremlin.

turcopolier

VV

"The Middle East can be explained for decades as preserving the petrodollar and milking the system for war profits." Yes, but the neocons motives were not so crudely economic determinist. Nor were those of the locals. pl

Anonymous

"Piranhas and Sharks"

In the spirit of the zoological approach on foreign policy, here follows a summary on the risky behavior of european politicians under neocon spell. It was written long ago by Apsley Cherry-Garrard, the polar explorer and writer, who disguised it as a colorful commentary on the bathing ways of adélie penguins. Spot the role of the weak minded ukie junta penguin and the cunning bear wearing a sea-leopard costume:

"Some fifty or sixty agitated birds are gathered upon the ice-foot, peering over the edge [of nuclear war], telling one another how nice it will be, and what a good dinner they are going to have. But this is all swank: they are really worried by a horrid suspicion that a sea-leopard is waiting to eat the first to dive... What they really do is to try and persuade a companion of weaker mind to plunge: failing this, they hastily pass a conscription act and push him over. And then—bang, helter-skelter, in go all the rest."

Junta penguin meets fate:
http://abcnews.go.com/images/US/ld_seal_penguin_mi_130125_wblog.jpg

The suicidal atlanticist penguins will follow.

dilbert dogbert

I remember the saying that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Or that actions can sometimes be better explained by stupidity and ignorance rather than conspiracy or evil intent. You folks may have much better sources than I so I do think about your comments.

Fred

VV,

"American seniors are being forced into poverty because their Social Security payments are being garnished to pay for student loan debt."

Just how many seniors are being forced into poverty for this reason? Whose's student loans are these?

Fred

TTG,

The chocolate tycoon, Poroshenko, ,..."

I find it interesting that the press implies he became a billionaire as a simple chocolate shop owner yet leave out the TV station, shipyard, and a variety of privatized state industries. He's certainly a master of the sweetheart deal.

VietnamVet

Fred,

From the Huffington Post Article:

At least 22,000 Americans aged 65 and older had a part of their Social Security benefits garnished last year to the point that their monthly benefits were below federal poverty thresholds, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Education Department-initiated collections on defaulted federal student loans left at least another 83,000 Americans aged 64 and younger with poverty-level Social Security payments, GAO data show.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/11/seniors-education-department-student-debt_n_5807820.html
http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665709.pdf

Middle-Aged Drowning in Student Debt

http://www.the-american-interest.com/blog/2012/07/18/middle-aged-drowning-in-student-debt/

Fred

VV,

22,000 of 41,445,880 retirees and dependents.
http://www.ssa.gov/oact/progdata/icpGraph.html
They were not forced by the government to take out loans. Your second link highlights that quite clearly. Instead of telling everyone in America they need a college degree the politicians should change their dogma. However doing so would burst the very bloated college and university administration employment bubble.

kao_hsien_chih

TTG,

While I am not as Russophobic as Piotr in Poland, I have to confess I have troubling liking people like Strelkov. They remind me of Various Romantic nationalists, people who would irresponsibly spark off dangerous military adventures with potential to become major conflagrations beyond anyone's control. Russian history seems to be full of such types. In 19th century, they meddled in the Balkans and their adventures eventually led to World War I. 21st century Ukraine seems rather more dangerous given its linkages to Russia.

If people like Strelkov face opposition in Russia, I imagine it is from "serious" realists, possibly including Putin himself, not just Atlanticists. Even if I were the Russian leader who wanted to "win" in Ukraine, doing it Strelkov's way would raise the future costs far too much.

VietnamVet

Fred,

I disagree. I don’t blame the individual for their unwise decisions forced on them by a bad system.

Over a 100,000 Americans are living in poverty their Social Security payments garnished to pay off their student debt. From 2005 to 2013 student loan debt for borrowers 65 and older rose from 2.8 billion to 18.2 billion dollars.

The western economic elite’s land grab for Ukraine’s resources is part and parcel of the con pulled on the middle aged unemployed to go back to school for more training with a student loan or the twenty eight year old who is in $70,000 debt to get a Master Degree but the only job available is waiting tables. This is stealing from the poor to give to the rich. Their debt will never be paid off. Teeth will rot. If and when they retire, they will live on reduced social security benefits until they die.

The 21st century’s chaos is due to greed by the ruling elite and the failure of government to enforce the law and care for its citizens.

rkka

"In the country, where people, who earn 350USD/month are happy?"

15 years ago, according to The Economist, Russians earned $20/month, though many worked for months on end without being paid. The 'Seven Bankers' then running Russia had other priorities, like offshoring collossal sums. This was after Western-oriented FreeMarketReformers had been running Russia for eight years. Deaths were exceeding births by almost a million a year.

In 2013, births in Russia exceeded deaths for the first time since 1991. Yes, Russians are now far happier and have far more confidence in the future, than they did before Putin.

"Putin is fair and just sheriff in your film. Sorry, but not in Russian reality."

There are people here who have understood Russia's reality for quite a long time, and can see that the present Russian government is the most honest, effective, and most concerned for the well-being of Russians of any of their governments in about 40 years.

This Russian government is also the least concerned of any of the Russian governments of the past 40 years with what the Anglosphere thinks of them.

Funny, that.

jld

What of this "nutty marxist" view?
http://syncreticstudies.com/2014/09/15/pravy-sektor-coup-as-isis-scenario-nato-to-feign-a-unilaterial-alliance-with-russia/
He is heavily conspirationist but may have a few points right (unlike the Alex Jones types...)

Patrick Bahzad

You still in Toronto ? Thought you had finally decided to go and do something about the "Russian Bear" who's threatening Western civilization in general and your mother country in particular ...
but I agree with you, it's useless to try and show us anything, because "we" (unlike you) are people who don't talk the talk unless we're willing the walk the walk !
So feel free to stop trying to teach us anything, because cowards like you have nothing to teach and preach to most people here ! yours sincerely, Patrick (veteran from Lebanon, Gulf War 1, Bosnia, and Afghanistan operations)

ex-PFC Chuck

It's quite common for parents to be required to co-sign for their childrens' student debt. I know I did. Fortunately my kids, whose ages now cluster around 40, have been gainfully employed and been able to pay off their own. But many of the Millennials (25-35) and younger are unable to find work at salaries that enable them to both eat and pay their student debts. Not to mention whether they can find jobs at all or move out of their parents' basements.

Patrick Bahzad

Would like to take more time to reply to TTG article, but can't right now, so just a few comments, as a side note.
Quoting the Saker is interesting indeed if it means analysing how one of the Russian nationalist groups views the conflict in Ukraine, or the US' attitude in this or even the "decadent" policies of the EU and the West in general. But IMO, it would be a mistake to "over-estimate" the validity of some of the Saker's points, which are flawed by factual errors and a misrepresentation/misinterpretation of what's going on on the ground and in the current negociations. Some of his forecasts have actually proven quite wrong, so one should tread carefully when quoting his blog.
Regarding the Strelkov debate, for example, I think there is a tendency to vastly over-estimate the importance of this character: describing the press conference he gave as a historic event should suffice to prove sharing Strelkov's views, can lead to having one's thought process totally clouded. Also, saying that "the struggle for Russia is really a struggle for the future of the planet" hints at one thing, a thing called hubris, which is usually not a good sign.
This brings me to second point raised by TTG. Endorsing the economic rationale for explaining current events and conflicts, like in a sort of neo-marxist way, where all of history is explainable by the economic power balance and struggle, is again too one-dimensional and flawed. It leaves other elements out of the picture that can be just as important (cultural, political, psychological, religious, historic, etc.).
So without going too much into detail (apologies for not developping my input in more detail), I would say that the issue here has too many ins and outs, too many players involved, too many causes and roots, and too many interests at stake, to be treated in just a few lines. Now I understand that the idea is to get the bigger picture, but I'm afraid, mixing up a couple of half-assed ideas (The Saker's) with some crypto-economic explanations and conspiracy type theories (about world oligarchs and "anglo-zionists") is not enough the "fight the fog" (of war).

ex-PFC Chuck

TTG:
Thanks for the great post. I've been reading the Saker's blog for several months and, in spite of his passionate bias toward Russia (he is after all an expatriate), he does seem to be able to look at things with relative objectivity.

I think the key sentence in your essay is: "The ever tightening sanctions meant to beat Russia back into submission are being used by Putin in a judo move to hasten the creation of an alternate international economic coalition." He is finding receptive ears in the other BRICS countries, and the results of this are going to blow back big time on those inside the Obama bubble of groupthink.

As for your professed lack of expertise in the political and economic aspects of the situation, I suspect you're being overly modest. As for the internal political factors, I'm inclined to lean more to the Saker's view as opposed to that, with all due respect, expressed by General Ale in a previous comment for two reasons. First, among what little I know about Russian history is the fact that tension between Eastern and Western (aka Eurasian and Atlanticist in current usage) orientation goes back to at least the reign of Peter the Great, who himself was firmly in the latter camp. Literary critics even see the conflict playing out in the two great Russian novelists of the late 19th century, Dostoyevsky (Eastern) and Tolstoy (Western). Also, it's logical to infer that the Saker, being a native of Russia and quite apparently still having extensive contacts within the society and government, has his ear to the ground on an ongoing basis.

With regard to the economic aspects of the Ukraine situation I refer you to this post at Naked Capitalism a few weeks ago by Michael Hudson.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/09/michael-hudson-losing-credibility-imfs-new-cold-war-loan-ukraine.html

Hudson is one of a handful of "Rebel Economists" who have a good handle on what is really going down in that sphere.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Hudson_%28economist%29

Ishmael Zechariah

TTG,

The last post today in MoonofAlabama(http://www.moonofalabama.org/ ) titled "Syria: The Southern Attack On Damascus" may have some relevance to how Ukraine and Syria are linked.

To paraphrase your sergeant "the sxxt may be on"...

Ishmael Zechariah

SamuelBurke

Great article, thanks for bringing it here for discussion. I always enjoy finding new ideas presented here and actually started reading The Saker after seeing the Col mention it in a prior post.

I look at what is going on in Ukraine through some of the events that it has produced and their validity. Two of the most telling to me have been the Victoria Nuland intercepted phone call to J Pyatt which seems to implicate the U.S in a regime change operation and the second one which also seems to point to a very nefarious production by some group is the MH-!7 OSCE investigator who speaks of bullet holes in the cockpit.

http://my.firedoglake.com/operationmindcrime/2014/08/02/osce-monitor-tells-cbc-canada-that-mh-17-cockpit-has-holes-made-by-heavy-machine-gun-fire/

Those two pieces of evidence are the breadcrumbs that the birds have not been able to eat and lead us to hansel and gretels home.

Below i will post a youtube interview of Andrei Fursov who is best i can tell is a Russian historian nevertheless he spins quite the tale in a long interview in Russian with subtitles.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZxfWYBhD50
Russian historian Andrei Fursov put it another way
Andrei Fursov
“[I]n all honesty, a lot of work considered as ‘conspiracy theory’ has been written by unscrupulous authors who are simply pursuing sensationalism or money. However, at the same time, there is still a lot of research done on these so-called conspiracies… that are written specifically as serious attempts to [develop] a deep understanding of the mechanisms of [the clandestine forces that drive] history, politics and economics. [Conversely, some works are even written as deliberate red herrings] in order to neutralize and marginalize the impact that legitimate research on conspiracies [could have to enlighten and inform the public].
“Of course, at the core, [social and political] crises and revolutions are driven by objective, rather than systemic and subjective, causes. No one has discounted [the role of] mass processes. But the universe is not [guided by] quantitative changes, but by qualitative ones, as Einstein used to say. In the world today, it is indeed the case that a small, but well-organized group [does] possess huge amounts of money (both [in the form of] property and finance), power, and control over information and [how it is disseminated through] the media. It thus weighs much more than the masses of people. It even weighs more than a whole nation …”


robt willmann

ex-pfc Chuck,

Here is the economist Michael Hudson's website--

http://michael-hudson.com/

I think he is very good at analyzing the substance, structure, and procedures involving national and international debt, who benefits and makes money and who does not and who pays back the debt, and the effects of debt on a country's economy. He also knows a lot about the history of national economic policies, finance, and taxation. I do not agree with his apparently favorable view of the horror that is central banking and central banks printing money, and deficit spending by governments.

LJ

"Where Strelkov, Bazov, etc go wrong is in assuming that an independent Donbass allied to (and supported by) Russia is in the latter's interest. Putin doesn't seem to think so. His actions can be explained by this, and do not have to be ascribed to conspiracies in the Kremlin."

From Col. Cassad:

"The speaker of the parliament of the Donetsk People's Republic, Boris Litvinov, made an announcement in which he points to the DPR and the LPR not being a party in Minsk talks and only served as observers. Also it was announced that it is not possible to implement the 12 points of Minsk agreements. In essence, running into mass rejection of the accords by the militia commanders and fighters, the leadership of the people's republics ended up between two fires: Moscow is pressuring them on one side and authoritative armed people pressure them on the other side. The situation is not enviable, so the leadership is trying to maneuver in order not to spoil the relationship with the truce lobbyists in Moscow and also to preserve the loyalty of field commanders. All of this leads to publicly denouncing the Minsk declarations, which simply smell too bad for openly supporting them." http://cassad-eng.livejournal.com/94617.html

Remember, that when the accords were announced, the DPR was sending GRAD condolence cards to the junta forces in town. With this statement that the RF was pushing hard to get the accords signed, they did not want any more advances. In fact, they knew that way would open for re-enforcements and re-supply would take place. How's that for Puting-the-Savior of the Donbass?

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