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04 September 2014


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Medicine Man

"When Kosovo declared independence on 17 February, 2008, the US, UK and France recognised Kosovo as an independent country a day later; it took Germany three days."

Apparently it is so, so different when the shoe is on the other foot.


What was the line...

"We have not lost anything that we did not gamble away, long ago."

- Eliot

Peter Brownlee

These infantile playground games of good guys and bad guys and the squealing of those with their snouts in the security industry troughs seem (incredibly) to be getting worse.

Kreon's warning in Oedipus Coloneus still holds -- "Do not order those things which you cannot enforce" -- μὴ 'πίτασσ᾽ ἃ μὴ κρατεῖς.


I have just heard the Australian Foreign Minister (of all people -- and who is supposed to be doing a splendid job, according to our local buffoons) at the NATO meeting (!) in Wales (!) lecturing Russia on troop withdrawal "or else!".

Do these people have any idea of the potential consequences of this sort of wimps-trying-to-be-tough-guys talk?

ex-PFC Chuck

Paging Joseph Goebbels! Please pick up the white courtesy phone.


ex-PFC Chuck,

Goebbels may have pride of place in more recent Western history, but for us Murkins, it's Edward Bernays and his followers who have the more direct resonance. Note his pioneering work in support of the nascent "Bringing Democracy To the World" line peddled by Wilson, the direct lineal ancestor of the R2P adherents:


Also, the sense that we rude stock don't know what is good for us, and need to be persuaded to right thinking by whatever means necessary by our betters. In service of this, lies, misdirections, and subterfuges may serve far better than sound argumentation, particularly when the desired end state may not truly serve the interests of the nation, but rather those of an elite.

Under the "Techniques" section of the Wikipedia article, it is pointed out that Bernays was influential in formulating the notion for the business community that control of the news narrative (!) might be better for their businesses than advertising, at least advertising in isolation. And there are more highly provocative ideas from Bernays delineated in that "Techniques" section that were abidingly influential in channelizing the public discourse.

There is certainly much food for thought concerning the impact of his notions of propaganda. Observe particularly his horrified reaction when he learned that the aforementioned Goebbels was using methods delineated in his book Crystallizing Public Opinion in his campaign against the Jews. Obviously, information operations can serve nefarious purposes quite well.


If Kreon were to borrow H.G Wells' time machine to visit the present era, he would, to Neoconjobia, profer "Don't Let Your Mouth Write A Check That Your Ass Can't Cash!'

SAC Brat

Should the US give up Texas? I keep waiting for Putin to throw down that card. Maybe Russia has the same rights to the Ukraine as Israel has to Palestine.

History is so much fun, and damn those that airbrush and white-wash it.

William R. Cumminh

This post by CP seems to be on target IMO!

Again ALL: Given the major powers opposing the label of an independent state or nation for over two hundred years why now change in support of a new status for the Ukraine?

I think NATO is a largely defunct alliance and its existence only is to allow US meddling!

William R. Cumminh

Existing evidence shows Woodrow Wilson agreeing to oppose an independent Ukraine. My source British historian Margaret McMillian.

Peter Brownlee

Looking forward to those Russian and Chinese peace-keepers on the Canadian and Mexican borders.


In reply to William R. Cumminh 05 September 2014 at 12:11 AM

"I think NATO is a largely defunct alliance and its existence only is to allow US meddling!"

Worse it allows them to warmonger and to drag others into their wars.

Worse yet it allows them to dominate the continent in such a way as to prevent European energy independence.

Worst of all it gives European policy makers the perfect excuse not to develop and pay for effective armed forces of their own. Thereby ensuring that even in European affairs when push comes to shove - originally a military expression that I choose advisedly, it will be the Americans who decide.

Nobody could describe me as Anti-American but American behaviour in the last few decades has become increasingly deranged and dangerous. I believe that matters have reached the point where an American retreat into splendid isolation would be advantageous for all of us - particularly Americans.



dear CP,
thank you for this very clear analysis. However, your entire argument hangs on one point "Was the Crimea referendum free and fair?"
Your proof of that is very weak (the link to a "report" which is not available from a group of "observers" who have no training, no procedure to follow, etc)
For another take on it read, for instance, this article: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/17/crimea-referendum-sham-display-democracy-ukraine
(Note that this is a rather moderate article where the author does think that a free and fair referendum would have produced the same answer but with a less extreme result than 97%)
We cannot decide such a question just by quoting this or that article on the web. There are international standards for free and fair elections. The issue of media access and media balance is crucial to them. How much of it was respected in Crimea?

I do not think it is possible to apply your way of reasoned thinking on such a disputed issue without going really to the bottom of the matter. For us who care about coherence and really universal standards this would be a slippery slope.

If Crimea was not annexed then what next? Western Sahara was not annexed? And East-Jerusalem?


William R. Cumminh

Apparently the USA pays 75% of total NATO annual costs!

Seamus Padraig

I once read somewhere that Goebbels was an admirer of Bernays, and confessed to stealing some of his ideas.


Confused, you forgot to mention the part where the Russian navy entrapped the Ukrainian navy in port and the role of the 'little green men' and Russian intelligence operatives that then shifted to other regions to organize rebellion. Its pretty clear that it was an organized military operation. The 'Goblin' has he is called there was going to win the vote because it was the counters and not the voters that made this decision.

Russia could have offered to purchase Crimea for oil and gas concessions and financial support of the Ukraine. The US purchased Alaska from the Russians not that long ago for example.

There is more here than a group of men deciding to create a new gentlemen's club as George Pickett described the civil war. Pickett was said to '... have a talent for trivializin' the momentous and complicatin' the obvious'

SAC Brat

Youch, that could get touchy as we have invaded all four of those countries in the past. Rather unseemly of Canada to be celebrating the bicentennial of defeating the US forces.


are they? Well that would explain a lot.


william, if I may. I'll add:

It would explain my puzzlement about some comments on what some call the "Venus" versus Mars. But yes, that is only the surface of where I encountered American compaints about "deficiant" European spending in military spending, or whatever would be the appropriate term.

No strings attached with this generous US spending volume? E.g. in Ukraine?

Babak Makkinejad

You are quite right; the so-called "International Law" and "Regulations" that were supposed to underlie the post World War II peace have been destroyed; by US, USSR/Russia, EU, China, India, Israel and many other states.

This war over Ukraine is the last instance - this time by Russia.

It seems to me that "Diplomacy" has become the tool for getting off the war ramp rather than the art of not entering the war ramp in the first place.

Seamus Padraig

I agree with pretty much everything in confusedponder's post here. I only want to add one important point that he neglects to mention: Crimea had already held a referendum way back in 1991, when the USSR was about to come apart. Here's a quick primer from WikiPedia:


Guess what the yes-vote was? 94 percent!

This point has to be raised because the western MSM have been totally silent on it.

Incidentally, Jack Matlock, our last ambassador to the USSR, is also a good source on the subject: http://jackmatlock.com/.



Oh, come on -


US Expenditures 2.5% of GDP
German expenditures 1.4 % of GDP

Lordy, Lordy as the old lady from South Carolina would say, how you DO suffah...

As you know, I think NATO is simply an amusement for people over here who still mourn the loss of the Phillipines and the Canal Zone. we should dump the whole thing and let you and the Canadians deal with your own problems. pl

The beaver

@ SAC Brat,

Please please please, don't compare every single Canuck to Stevie Harper and his two yes men, Baird and MacKay.

Harper wants to be everything, a royalist - hoping to get something from the Queen, Nobel Peace price thanks for his pro-israel, no matter what instances , une grande gueule at the G7,G20, Commonwealth, Francophonie or NATO when he can't even treat the military , vet and current forces with respect, let alone put some money where his mouth is.

That's why the UNGA and NASA have told Canadians where to go...


Pat, I had no idea how much we spend, or sell for that matter, in relation to our GDP.

"how you DO suffah"

No, not really. Just visiting, since occasionally I seem to miss you. Especially in contexts of war and/or the threat thereof.

But yes in a way William seemed to.

Returning to IT forensics, complex matters: THUS sometimes one has to look at the world out there. ;)

Charles Dekle

ex-PFC Chuck,
Thank you. That made me laugh out load.

scott s.

SAC Bart:

I can see a number of parallels of Texas and Crimea, and the US did unilaterally declare "annexation" (without force, as also in the latter case of Hawaii). However, whatever the case of the "annexation" of Tejas, it would seem the issue was finessed by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which simply "established" a boundary line without regard to a "cession", "annexation" or other means of acquisition. The US did agree to compensation of $15 million "in consideration of the extension acquired" though this didn't distinguish in any way the situation of Tejas as contrasted to Alta California or Sante Fe de Nuevo Mejico. Again without respect to location within the US side of the new border, citizens of Mexico were allowed to retain their citizenship or opt for US citizenship. Not sure what the case is in Crimea.

Christopher Dale Rogers


It is very difficult for anyone in their right mind to take the UK's Guardian newspaper and its international online service seriously any longer, and this has been the case since the newspapers management abolished the Scott Trust, which guaranteed the newspapers independence as a valuable source of unbiased and critical reportage.

Further, honest posters on CIF, among them myself, have been banned or moderated to hell when trying to uphold the traditions of a once proud newspaper by invoking CIF's masthead quote by the newspapers famous Editor, CP Scott, "that facts are sacred." Regrettably facts are no longer "sacred" or upheld, and this has been the case for the past 10 years.

As a long time reader of the Guardian, if you compare and contrasts the newspapers reportage on the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the late 80s and early 90s, its opposition to both the first and second Gulf Wars and a myriad of other news coverage with its reportage on the Ukraine presently, you'll notice a huge gulf and this decline has everything to do with money and a desire by the Guardian's management to focus on its international websites to generate cash. Hence, it is but now a propaganda organ for US-interests, for this is where the money is.

Further, and having been banned once more a few weeks ago whilst posting under my real name, this time for questioning the newspapers biased reportage on the Gaza Crisis, one has noticed a huge increase in comment from persons who have joined CIF within the past 6-8 weeks on the Ukrainian crisis, many of whom are highly critical of Russia, but remain silent on the actual illegitimate government now ensconced in Kiev. And one enabled by neofascist supporters who corrupted the Maidan protests.

One could go on, but please do not rely on the Guardian and CIF as a reliable source of unbiased information, whilst until 2003 this was indeed the case, since the emergence of its online presence the paper has taken a turn for the worse, which has shocked this onetime loyal reader of a once proud left-of-centre news organ.


Dear Christopher,
I cited this article as it was one of the rather less biased ones denying that the referendum was free and fair. A quick search would reveal many others, in many languages.

My point is that the freedom and fairness of the secession referendum is highly in doubt, and writing a whole essay on the fact that no annexation took place (in the sense of international law) without giving any solid proof of this crucial and disputed fact is not acceptable.

Because it opens the way to the complete negation of international law in all cases of annexation around the world (without any illusion about int'l law).

As for the Guardian I yield to your superior knowledge.


Mike Whitney on Russian stance re Ukraine
“A new world order based on a polycentric model”? What a great idea. You mean, a world in which other sovereign nations get a say-so in the way the world is run? You mean, a world in which the economic, political, and military decision-making does not emerge from one center of power that is dominated by privately-owned banks, transnational corporations and voracious western elites? You mean, a world in which international law can be applied evenly so that one country cannot unilaterally create off-shore gulags, or incite color coded revolutions, or carry out extra-legal abductions and killings, or order drone attacks on wedding parties or conduct any of the other heinous violations of human rights which imperial Washington engages in without batting an eye?"



Reuters has this update worth you while reading in full:

(Reuters) - A senior aide to Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said on Sunday that Kiev had agreed at the NATO summit in Wales on the provision of weapons and military advisers from five NATO member states, but four of the five swiftly denied any such deal had been reached.

NATO officials have previously said the alliance will not send arms to non-member Ukraine, but have also said individual allies may do so if they wish. A NATO official contacted by Reuters on Sunday on the Lytsenko comment reiterated this policy.

"At the NATO summit agreements were reached on the provision of military advisers and supplies of modern armaments from the United States, France, Italy, Poland and Norway," Poroshenko aide Yuri Lytsenko said on his Facebook page.

Full report on Reuters' site here:


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