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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.

Eliot

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.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0189%3Acard%3D800

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.

JerseyJeffersonian

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:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays

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.

fasteddiez

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.

Dubhaltach

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.

Dubhaltach

Florent

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?

Respectfully,
Florent

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.

bth

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.

LeaNder

are they? Well that would explain a lot.

LeaNder

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:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_sovereignty_referendum,_1991

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/.

turcopolier

LeAnder

Oh, come on -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

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...

LeaNder

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.
Regards,

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.

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