Just Wait a Friedman – Then You’ll See/New Comment Thread

Uncle Volodya says, "You can learn a lot from a fool. How much patience you have, for instance. "

Uncle Volodya says, “You can learn a lot from a fool. How much patience you have, for instance. “

Stuffy, pompous New York Times columnist forever Thomas Friedman begins his most recent offering – reprinted in the Kyiv Post, where I saw it – thus: “One thing I learned covering the Middle East for many years is that there is “the morning after” and there is “the morning after the morning after.” Never confuse the two.”

Generally speaking, if you are going to tell porkie pies (“lies”, in the rhyming cockney slang which lends its name to The Porkie Pies News Network, Kremlin Stooge slang for the mainstream media) in your opinion piece, doing so in the first four words of it is starting a little early. Typically, you want to soften up your audience a bit before you trot out the whoppers. So, make yourself comfortable – coffee? Tea, anyone? – while I demonstrate that in reality, Thomas Friedman has learned nothing at all.

Really, I would have been happy with just leaving a comment on “Putin and the Laws of Gravity“, but the New York Times cuts off commentary ridiculously early, so if you didn’t see the piece come out (it’s dated yesterday, or what was yesterday when I began this post) chances are good that comments will be closed before you get the chance to make your own opinion known. So, that’s why we’re going this route, which is all to the good because now I will get to hear your opinions as well.

Anyway, Thomas Friedman has the dubious honour of having a unit of time named after him - a “Friedman”, which represents six months. This unit got its name from his repeated assurances in his NYT columns that “the next six months” would surely see the United States turning the corner in Iraq; the occupation which ground on and on like an Yngwie Malmsteen guitar solo would at last bear fruit, the resistance and sectarian strife would subside and Iraq would settle down to becoming a prosperous, western-oriented market democracy.

Note: This is just a stub, to alleviate loading problems caused by too many comments; the actual post is the story immediately preceding.

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Just Wait a Friedman – Then You’ll See

Uncle Volodya says, "You can learn a lot from a fool. How much patience you have, for instance. "

Uncle Volodya says, “You can learn a lot from a fool. How much patience you have, for instance. “

Stuffy, pompous New York Times columnist forever Thomas Friedman begins his most recent offering – reprinted in the Kyiv Post, where I saw it – thus: “One thing I learned covering the Middle East for many years is that there is “the morning after” and there is “the morning after the morning after.” Never confuse the two.”

Generally speaking, if you are going to tell porkie pies (“lies”, in the rhyming cockney slang which lends its name to The Porkie Pies News Network, Kremlin Stooge slang for the mainstream media) in your opinion piece, doing so in the first four words of it is starting a little early. Typically, you want to soften up your audience a bit before you trot out the whoppers. So, make yourself comfortable – coffee? Tea, anyone? – while I demonstrate that in reality, Thomas Friedman has learned nothing at all.

Really, I would have been happy with just leaving a comment on “Putin and the Laws of Gravity“, but the New York Times cuts off commentary ridiculously early, so if you didn’t see the piece come out (it’s dated yesterday, or what was yesterday when I began this post) chances are good that comments will be closed before you get the chance to make your own opinion known. So, that’s why we’re going this route, which is all to the good because now I will get to hear your opinions as well.

Anyway, Thomas Friedman has the dubious honour of having a unit of time named after him - a “Friedman”, which represents six months. This unit got its name from his repeated assurances in his NYT columns that “the next six months” would surely see the United States turning the corner in Iraq; the occupation which ground on and on like an Yngwie Malmsteen guitar solo would at last bear fruit, the resistance and sectarian strife would subside and Iraq would settle down to becoming a prosperous, western-oriented market democracy.

Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Government, Investment, Law and Order, Politics, Rule of Law, Russia, Trade, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, Western Europe | Tagged , , , , , , | 1,013 Comments

A Good Servant, But A Bad Master: Follow The Money in Kiev

Uncle Volodya says, "If you've ever wondered what God thinks about money, take a look at some of the people he gives it to "

Uncle Volodya says, “If you’ve ever wondered what God thinks about money, take a look at some of the people he gives it to “

First, I just wanted to mention that this has been a great month for us here at The Kremlin Stooge; passing through 500,000 and 600,000 hits has been neatly bookended by Aussies, as Jen’s post on the Caucasus took us through 500,000, and next up is another guest post, this time by Ken M, just after we passed 600,000. March 2014 towered over all previous months like that amazing hotel in Dubai (the graphic on WordPress is a bar graph); there’s still a few days left of March, but we have already beaten our previous best month by 8,386 hits. You know what draws a lot of people? Guest posts, which represent fresh thinking, and comments by interesting people. We are blessed with both.

Anyway, yeah – Ken M. has put a considerable amount of effort into unraveling the money trail in Kiev, past and present, and the lucky man in the barrel today is none other than the current unelected weasel-in-a-drainpipe Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk – “Yats”, to those who know him well enough to choose his career path. Without further ado, Follow The Money, Part 1, by Ken M.

Ukraine – Follow the Money

While he tends to be overshadowed by his more colorful cohorts, the key figure in the group that have siezed power in Ukraine is Arseniy Yatsenyuk, first revealed to much of the world in Victoria Nuland’s now infamous ‘F*ck the EU’ tape as her man in Ukraine.

Operations such as what we have just seen in the overthrow of Ukraine’s government do not come from any one source these days – instead they come about when the vast array of western government linked NGO’s, think tanks, financial institutions, billionaire foundations & their various political action committees reach the necessary critical mass and an opportunity opens up for them to take advantage of (or is created).

The origin of the current seizing of power originally came from the attempt to salvage something from the ashes of the ‘Orange Revolution’ by some of its original backers. In 2007 Viktor Yushchenko, former IMF protege and hero of the Orange revolution, along with his government were in complete chaos, his popularity now in the single digits.

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Posted in Corruption, Economy, Government, Investment, Politics, Rule of Law, Strategy, Trade, Ukraine, Western Europe | Tagged , , , , , | 258 Comments

The Grating Over The Memory Hole: The Toppling of Viktor Yanukovich

Uncle Volodya says, "When one with honeyed words but evil mind persuades the mob, great woes befall the state. "

Uncle Volodya says, “When one with honeyed words but evil mind persuades the mob, great woes befall the state. “

Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.  The redirection of Ukraine is not going at all well; in fact, it probably now occurs to the architects of the bring-Ukraine-into-the-western-fold-and-snatch-it-from-Putin plan that it could hardly have gone worse. The country is stony broke and groaning under a mountain of debt, the government is broadly perceived as illegitimate and self-appointed despite the west’s loud shouting that it was established in the finest traditions of democratic struggle, an early and blindingly stupid decision to pander to the west-Ukraine base by altering the status of languages in Ukraine aroused fury across the Southeast, and so incensed the mostly-Russian Crimea that it threw down its hat on the floor and slammed out of the building forever; gonzo, off to join the Russian Federation by popular acclaim. Another earlier terrible decision – to recognize Kosovo – kicked the legs out from under western arguments that a unilateral declaration of independence is against international law. Now Ukraine has lost a good-sized chunk of its seacoast, not to mention its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), along with significant deposits of oil and gas, some of which already had exploration deals signed with the United States and Italy, now null and void. Routing the South Stream pipeline along a shallow shelf rather than through the deepest part of the Black Sea – as would have had to be done to avoid Ukrainian territorial waters which now belong to an independent Crimea – will save Gazprom $10 Billion right off the top. Sometimes the only thing that will make you feel better is to go off and have a good cry.

But how did we get here? Did events have to unfold the way they did? They certainly did not, but I’m glad you asked. Because modern man has a short memory, and things move so fast in our world that peddling an alternate narrative even a short time later is relatively easy. What really happens often goes down The Memory Hole. But I like to think of bloggers, along with being the last shred of journalism’s conscience, as a kind of grating over the memory hole, that prevent big stories from falling through and disappearing. Here to refresh everyone’s memory on events so recently transpired, is hoct. Those letters are short for Hero Of Crappy Town, from a quote by Firefly’s Hoban Washburne; “Let’s go to the crappy town where I’m a hero”. Advertising himself as “Anti-state, anti-empire, pro freedom”, hoct is comin’ at you live from Ljubljana, the capital of beautiful Slovenia. Take it away, hoct!

The Toppling of Viktor Yanukovich: Points to Remember

Few Ukrainians Will Mourn Yanukovich’s Departure

Polling from February 2014 indicated only 23% of Ukrainians supported the government of Yanukovich against the opposition and the protesters. The West-Center of Ukraine resented him his corruption, his authoritarianism and his failure to definitely orient economically towards Brussels and sided decisively against him. But equally so the South-East of Ukraine failed to rally behind him, in the way that West-Center had rallied behind the opposition. Indeed why would it have?

From the point of view of many in the South-East Yanukovich was corrupt, indecisive and had lied to them about where he was planning to take the country. For example, after Yanukovich was elected head of state in 2010, largely on the votes of the Russian-speaking South-East Ukraine, he and the people around him wasted no times in initiating trade talks with the European Union that led to the 2013 EU Association Agreement proposal, but only came around to making Russian a regional state language in 2012. That is, fully two years after taking power, but just in time for his party to receive a boost for the 2012 parliamentary elections.

As a consequence of his cynicism in ignoring the aspirations of the South-East, except immediately before elections, the segments of the population that had propelled him to power in 2010 withdrew support and he was left to fend for himself. Continue reading

Posted in Corruption, Economy, Government, Law and Order, Politics, Russia, Ukraine | Tagged , , , , | 824 Comments

Radoslaw Sikorski is a Handsome, Urbane, Well-Educated Twat – The Ignominious Collapse of British Journalism

Uncle Volodya says, "Your values will not always be the object of public admiration. In fact, the more you live by your beliefs, the more you will endure the censure of the world. "

Uncle Volodya says, “Your values will not always be the object of public admiration. In fact, the more you live by your beliefs, the more you will endure the censure of the world. “

The British press has a well-earned reputation for being preoccupied with sex, scandal and celebrities to the exclusion of reporting on anything worthwhile. When it reports on a supposed affront to Britain’s sovereignty – such as the passage of the Russian cargo transport carrying helicopters for Assad’s Syria which had been retrofitted in Russia – it struts and whoops and preens itself as if the days of The Raj and Empire were still in full swing, when Britain’s mailed fist made the earth tremble. It is reliably Russophobic, with only the occasional startling article by the likes of Simon Tisdall bobbing like a carrot in the creamy chowder of hatred. When it settles upon a foreign leader it admires, it is as mawkish and grating in its unabashed admiration as if it were a teenaged girl; my dears, he’s positively dench! But every once in awhile, the British press turns out an act of public fellatio so brazen, so sycophantic, so…so…slutty in its self-abasement that it inspires a sort of grudging admiration for such a complete public abandonment of principles.

Such is The Telegraph‘s gushing tongue bath of Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski (thanks for the link, Al).  Plainly, The Telegraph is smitten; Sikorski is Bond, Disraeli and Ryan Reynolds all rolled into a smart-but-sexy package that has Cristina Odone’s ovaries rattling a romantic cantata with the beating of her heart. Perhaps her husband should be alarmed – but not a bit of it; when you are red-hot Russophobe and hunk of British beefcake Edward Lucas, you need fear no innocent flirtation.

Given the Poles’ jovial support to the Maidan protests, where they had a tent set up and were dispensing Polish goodies and friendly advice on the joys of EuroAssociation, it is unsurprising that they would be furious over the Russian incursion into the Crimea, since – as someone pointed out earlier – it will cut down on Ukraine’s coastal frontage and consequently its Exclusive Economic Zone, plus leave the Russian Black Sea Fleet in place. Considering Sikorski’s marital alliance with Washington Post journalist and fellow Russophobe Anne Applebaum,  it is a given he would be personally apoplectic, and promise a powerful reckoning consequent to his upcoming meeting with British  Foreign Minister William Hague, himself yet another steaming Russophobe. Russia will have no friends at that table. Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Government, Law and Order, Politics, Rule of Law, Russia, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, Western Europe | Tagged , , , , , , | 574 Comments

The Business of Disinformation – The West Gets Ready to Roll the Bones: continued/new comment thread

 

Uncle Volodya says, "A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. "

 
It’s up to you how you wanna live: go out and have your fun
You don’t wanna be a fugitive from the things you never done;
Ain’t nobody gonna throw you a bone, to keep your hopes alive:
You got to walk like a big dog, baby, ’cause only the strong survive

Roll of the dice, put ‘em in motion
Where they stop, nobody knows
Just a roll of the dice – ain’t nothin’ for certain

But if you feel lucky….go ahead and roll them bones

This is a continuation of the previous post, added just to address the problem of slow loading due to the number of comments.

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The Business of Disinformation – The West Gets Ready to Roll the Bones

Uncle Volodya says, "A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. "

Uncle Volodya says, “A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. “

 

It’s up to you how you wanna live: go out and have your fun
You don’t wanna be a fugitive from the things you never done;
Ain’t nobody gonna throw you a bone, to keep your hopes alive:
You got to walk like a big dog, baby, ’cause only the strong survive

Roll of the dice, put ‘em in motion
Where they stop, nobody knows
Just a roll of the dice – ain’t nothin’ for certain

But if you feel lucky….go ahead and roll them bones

From “Roll of the Dice”, by The Fabulous Thunderbirds

The west plainly does not like its chances in the event that it confronts Russia militarily in the Crimea. So it is going to settle, for the moment, for making the presence of Russian troops look like a massive invasion that has left poor, decent Ukraine violated and sobbing with its skirts shredded around its thighs, just as democracy was about to flower. Don’t you believe it.

As a classic of disinformation, it’s hard to beat the work of professional obfuscators, and the BBC does not disappoint. Its maundering “Moscow’s Ukraine Gamble”  is a best-of-British effort to wrench things back on track to where the west dictates to Russia rather than the other way round. Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Government, Law and Order, Military, Politics, Russia, Strategy, Ukraine | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 819 Comments