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.

But let’s get back to The Adoration Of Radek. Right away, we learn that his Oxford English is perfect and his tone is decisive – if Vladimir Putin could be immolated on the spot by pure tone alone, so that all that was left was his pointy little cloven-hoof slippers, smoking, Radek would be the man for the job. As if that were not enough, he proceeds to reduce Ms. Ordone to moist trembling with his casual segue into German. It’s only one word, but still; the dazzling cosmopolitanity of it just takes one’s breath away. Not for the clod Putin such heady pursuits, natürlich, the subtle beauty of Beethoven’s  language wasted on his pedestrian doziness.

Except that Vladimir Putin speaks fluent German, and could probably expand quite a bit on “Verboten”. But let’s not let facts get in the way of a good story.

Europe is all about overcoming borders, says Mr. Sikorski; not redrawing them. Quite so, and now Europe wants to overcome the borders of Ukraine so it can lie right up cheek by jowl against Russia. Mr. Sikorski’s loathing for Russia, sadly, is typical of Europe, all of which is dependent on Russian gas but hates itself for this weakness, and longs for the day when it can smash Russia into little statelets that will either be easily gobbled up or can be set to warring with one another. Until the dawning of that happy, happy day, Russia must be repeatedly put in its place until it understands its unfitness to pretenses of civilization.

So Mr. Sikorski and Mr. Hague are going to put together a package of sanctions that will really put the fear of God into Putin. I can’t wait. Poland’s government speaks brightly of Poland weathering any sort of economic storm Russia might unleash against it with a potential loss of 1% of GDP – but probably not even that, easy-peasy, we could take it standing on our heads. If Russia turned off the energy tap, it might hurt a little; but they won’t do that. Poland gets around 8% of its natural gas from Russia, and a bit higher percentage of oil. But if they lost that, so what? Even if Russia might do it, which they won’t.

Europe has been deadly accurate at predicting what Russia will do over the last 5 years or so, you notice. I’m being sarcastic. Besides that, somebody in the Polish government is secretly working for the Porkie Pies News Network (PPN), because Poland actually imports two-thirds of its gas and Russia supplies about 80% of that. Better get out the sunscreen, because the government is blowing a lot of sunshine up the people’s asses. Russia supplied 9 Billion cm of the 16.6 cm of natural gas Poland consumed in 2012: more than half. If Poland’s energy minister has managed to get that down to 8% in 2014, that’s one hell of an accomplishment. Additionally, Poland has been one of the most energetic – to say nothing of optimistic – proponents of shale gas fracking in Europe, which was supposed to bring an ocean of gas which would enable Poland to give Russia the finger. And look how that turned out. Since that report, ENI and Marathon pulled out.

Oooo…there’s a Radek tidbit I didn’t know – Mr. Sikorski “fought the Red Army” in Afghanistan – as a photojournalist. There’s no telling how many among the Russian infantry were evacuated to the rear with flash burns or double exposure thanks to his reckless gallantry.

And then off he goes into a meandering narrative which highlights how misinformed he is if he believes he has his thumb on the pulse of the problem – Russia is frightening people, he says, with bogey tales of Europe’s licentiousness, its penchant for gay marriage and its loose morals. In fact, Russia argued that the EU Association agreement was a bad deal for Ukraine on purely financial terms, and it was and it is. Ukraine will get locked into an IMF pay-to-play loop driven by austerity and reforms that children who are still learning to walk right now will be paying for.

“This crisis was all about Europe” he tells his breathless audience; “The Ukrainian opposition wanted to join Europe, which to them doesn’t necessarily mean full membership, but rather becoming part of a community which is democratic, free of corruption, less monopolistic, less oligarchical.”

That’s very interesting, Mr. Sikorski – where did you say that Europe was located, again? Because I might write to Mr. Harper, ask him if he’s interested in joining it, too. It sounds like a fabulous place, not at all like the Europe the rest of us know in which corruption is rampant and costs 120 Billion Euros a year.

But never mind that; Sikorski cuts quite a figure; handsome, simply dreamy on a motorcycle, dollinks, an updated Lord Flashheart. Poland, although a little piece of Eden, is too small to hold such a tearaway, and Sikorski is rumoured to be Brussels-bound. Let that be a warning to you, Putin, you grotesque little stink-doll. When Sikorski comes to town, some heads are gonna roll, and the first one in the basket will be your little ovoid troll turnip.

Completely absent from this stirring call to arms and passionate entreaty to the po-faced Brits is any specific mention of Crimea’s lunge for self-determination – or, more to the point, what Sikorski’s take on it might be. It’s all just a bunch of amorphous threats against Putin, who is apparently “getting away” with something, and if he does it will be all the fault of perfidious Albion, which seems to have been dozing when the squadron tannoy squawked, “tally ho, chaps – enemy in sight!!!”

Are you curious why Crimea was not mentioned in the hazy summation of Putin’s crimes? Perhaps it has something to do with the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo, which was greeted by the west with the sort of indulgent enthusiasm normally reserved for infant violin prodigies. And because the government advisory position on the international legality of its declaration – upon which turned its recognition by Poland, first of the Slavic countries to welcome it, was written by…Radoslaw Sikorski.

Poland, we hear, “viewed the Declaration of Independence [of Kosovo] of 17 February 2008 as an act that has not conflicted with any norm of international law.” International law, saith Mr. Sikorski, does not contain norms that would apply to the question of declaring independence; a state (pay attention, this is important) is commonly defined as a community which consists of a territory and a population subject to an organized political authority; that such a state is characterized by sovereignty…the existence of the state is a question of fact, the effects of recognition by other states are purely declaratory. You’ll want to keep that last phrase in your back pocket for when the west and its cronies uniformly refuse to recognize Crimea as a state. A declaration of independence, it is Poland’s official position, is merely an act that confirms these factual circumstances, and it may be difficult to assess such an act in purely legal terms.

For those who don’t recognize it, that is a defense of unilateral declarations of independence that squirms around the question of whether they violate international law, implying “No” because everybody on the Good Guyz side wanted Kosovo to be independent.

There’s much more – of course, it was written by a politician, and when have you ever known a politician to use ten words when ten thousand will do as well – but Poland relies heavily on the “unique status” of Kosovo, which, while subordinated to the Republic of Serbia and being represented in the Federation’s presidency, enjoyed full status of self-governance appertaining to the Republic, including even their own central banks.

The “strive” of Kosovars, we hear (that’s a little deviation from perfect Oxford English, Mr. Oxford graduate, into the realm of the purely made-up, it should have been “striving” or “struggle”) manifested itself through massive protests that were repressed by central authorities of Yugoslavia. The unilateral declaration of independence by the Crimea is about to manifest itself in a powerful referendum majority which will reflect the will of the people, and it has been repressed in advance by the unelected central government of Ukraine by an order to dissolve the Crimean parliament and preordainment that the results of any referendum instigated by that body will be irrelevant and ignored.

Mr. Sikorski, handsome piece of motorcycle candy though he may be, his fellow western political bobbleheads and the free world they represent are hoist by their own petard.

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

  1. robert says:

    Nick Cohen banging the drum in today’s Observer

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/15/ukraine-crimea-sanctions-russian-investment-london

    Note how he refers to Crimea rejoining Russia as an “anschluss”

  2. Fern says:

    ‘Moon of Alabama’ is reporting that Sergey Lavrov may have pulled off the diplomatic coup of the century – it looks as though the US is prepared to accept and support the Russian proposals to defuse the Ukrainian crisis as long as the US can claim them as its own.

    “”Sergei Viktorovich Lavrov and John Kerry agreed to continue work to find a resolution on Ukraine through a speedy launch of constitutional reform with the support of international community,” the ministry said in a statement.

    The idea of “constitutional reform” and the “interests of all regions” is from the Russians as documented in this Russian” non-paper”.

    The non-paper describes the process of getting to a new Ukrainian constitution and sets some parameters for it. Russian will be again official language next to Ukraine, the regions will have high autonomy, there will be no interferences in church affairs and the Ukraine will stay politically and militarily neutral. Any autonomy decision by the Crimea would be accepted. This all would be guaranteed by a “Support Group for Ukraine” consisting of the US, EU and Russia and would be cemented in an UN Security Council resolution.

    It seems that Kerry and Obama have largely accepted these parameters. They are now, of course, selling this solution as their own which is, as the “non-paper” proves, inconsistent with the reality.”

    If this is true, it’s the first sensible thing the US has done and, yet again, Russia will have saved the US and EU from the consequences of their own folly.

    • yalensis says:

      Here’s that Moon of Alabama piece that Fern alluded to.
      This is most startling indeed!

      Kerry agreed to FEDERALIZATION of the Ukraine? Wow! Did swine suddenly become airborne?
      (Although, who knows, maybe Americans shit their pants when they saw what happening in Luhansk and Donetsk?)

      If true, then big slap in the puss for Yats.
      Will he be demoted to Operating Thetan Level 5?

      • marknesop says:

        That is indeed an amazing story, and if it is true it represents a chance to head off sanctions without further damage, although it is already bad enough. No less obvious (to insiders who do not have to get their news from the mainstream media, where the story will be that an adroit double-axle by John Kerry turned the tables at the eleventh hour) will be that the Putin government, with no small thanks to the Lavrov/Churkin team, has owned the Obama administration yet again. Literally, unbelievable.

        Totally unrelated, but also posted at that Moon thread, the closing ceremonies at Sochi of the Paralymic Games were hailed as the best of their kind ever, and Russia topped the podium with 80 medals, more than any other country in history. Bravo.

      • Al says:

        Hopefully. I’m off to the fridge right now. Mmmm!

        It would be a win for the Ukraine. No dominance and threat by a single group and whoever is in government has to do it for the good of all citizens, not just the fan club. I hope that the stupid east-west politico-economic pingo-pong practiced by by various Presidents it over and they will get on and reform themselves at a pace that doesn’t bleed them dry. No shock therapy, but a measured and strictly controlled reforms (cuts, innit?) but allowing their citizens to set up small businesses with the maximum of ease (like Sarko’s ‘Autopreneur’ scheme) and plenty of time for existing Ukranian businesses to adapt and reform. Otherwise it will all be for nout.

      • Hunter says:

        Assuming that Kerry doesn’t manage to twist the meaning of constitutional reform in the interest of all regions into further centralization then it means the Russian government might have given up on trying to work with a central government in Kiev as it is now eminently apparent that any central government in Kiev elected on the back of the south and east of Ukraine will not be allowed to function normally by the losing side that draws its support from western and central Ukraine. Hence trying to woo Ukraine as a whole into the Eurasian Union (even if Ukraine as a whole did want to have an EU association agreement as well) is now off the table and instead Russia has taken out the Crimean insurance policy:

        – Crimea now presents any future Ukrainian government with a catch-22. It can either recognize Crimea’s separation and thus enable it to join NATO or it can keep claiming Crimea but find that at least some NATO members are not willing to allow NATO to invite Ukraine to join the organization. This is on top of the public opinion insurance policy Russia had before where she could rely on the fact that support for NATO membership (at least up until February 2014) was low. So even if the Ukrainian public eventually favours joining NATO then Ukraine will still have trouble joining UNLESS it gives up its claims to Crimea (which nationalist Ukrainian parties are unlikely to stomach).

        – Crimea’s situation now means that Russia would no longer have to pay any kind of rent in any form for leasing the naval facilities at Sevastopol. Ukraine might still demand them, but if Russia recognizes Crimea’s secession and admits it into the Russian Federation, then Russia won’t pay it. Russia will thus have effective control over its Sevastopol naval facilities without having to negotiate rental in the future with any Ukrainian government

        – Crimea’s situation also effectively cuts off Kiev from accessing the resources or using a large section of it’s current exclusive economic zone and territorial waters, even if non-recognition of Crimea’s separation and possible accession to Russia means that Russia won’t be able to effectively utilize those waters either when it comes to international contracts between companies etc.

        – Crimea could serve as an extreme example to the rest of the Ukrainian south and east as to what changes they can expect outside of the control of any western Ukrainian based government in Kiev.

        In addition to the Crimean insurance policy, a move towards decentralization (or full federalization) will allow those regions in the east and south which prefer closer cooperation to Russia to be able to do so within the limits of whatever federal constitution is worked out. Provided that the federal arrangemen allows each region a lot of latitude it will in essence allow Russia to cooperate with the southern and eastern Ukrainian regional governments on varying levels (so cooperation might be greater with some rather than others) and to totally ignore the other 17 oblasts or cooperate with them to a far lesser degree (I would imagine that there would be some cooperation with Transcarpathia and Poltava and that the three Galician oblasts will probably be totally ignored). A federal Ukraine will also allow the 8 southern and eastern oblasts to be able to cooperate among themselves and to possibly mitigate or reverse the provisions of the EU Association Agreement and IMF loan stipulations locally. As a region, these 8 southern and eastern oblasts have a parallel infrastructure network with road and rails and also with oil and gas pipelines (look at a map of the pipelines running across Ukraine, note that of the 3 major ones that run across Ukraine from Russia to the EU, one of them is located entirely or almost entirely within the 8 southern and eastern oblasts where it exits Ukraine via Romania). The 8 southern and eastern regions will also contain most of Ukraine’s wealth, most of Ukraine’s most productive oblasts (those with higher productivity per capita), access to all of Ukraine’s maritime ports and its territorial waters and (remaining) exclusive economic zone, access to Transnistria as well as a lot of Ukraine mineral wealth and its potential oil and gas wealth (in eastern Ukraine very close to the border with Russia).

        Depending on the federal structure adopted (if it is) Russia may also be lucky enough to have the various oblasts be given some amount of power over energy policy which in the future could allow Gazprom to strike deals with private companies and oblast-operated companies in the 8 southern and eastern oblasts whereby Gazprom provides them gas at the $268 per 1,000 cubic metres in exchange for stakes in those companies and their infrastructure within the oblast ONLY (so there will probably have to be some kind of stipulation that the companies concerned can only have operations in that oblast and not nationally) while the state run Ukrainian companies and private companies operating across Ukraine and oblast-run companies in the rest of Ukraine would have to pay the normal market rate for gas ($400 per 1,000 cubic metres). This would ensure that Russia does not end up subsidizing the more Russophobic regions of Ukraine while at the same time offering the potentially neutral oblasts of central Ukraine the example of what can really occur with genuine cooperation with Russia. If residents in the eastern and southern oblasts can potentially pay for gas at a 33% discount, then Ukrainians in Kiev and other regions might begin to contrast with the fact that thanks to the EU and IMF they have to pay 33% more to heat their home while EU membership itself continues to be a long way off and potentially never a genuine possibility.

        This also brings up the fact that Russia’s government has probably decided to let Ukrainians experience what life will really be like under the EU Association Agreement and the IMF aid package rather than simply telling them what is likely to happen. Experience usually has a way of having a greater impact on people than simply telling them about it. And based off what I have seen so far with the IMF aid package conditions (cutting pensions by 50%, introducing a 20% tax on cinema tickets and an agitation to end the gas subsidy in Ukraine which will see the price home owners pay for gas quadrupling eventually….) it will not surprise me if within a year or three we see news reports from Kiev of “anti-government riots in response to the harsh austerity conditions imposed by the IMF and EU”. By then of course the EU Association Agreement will have been fully implemented but Ukraine is unlikely to be much further along on the road to EU membership and any government in power at the time that gas prices start to increase for home owners is likely to face an electoral backlash.

        And if this British lecturer in western Ukraine (http://uauk.wordpress.com/) is correct then the electoral backlash will probably not be against a Svoboda/Right Sector government but against a more moderate pro-EU government (possibly Poroshenko + Fatherland and UDAR) as it seems that Right Sector has a larger presence in the regional capitals and Kiev but that the more rural parts of west Ukraine tend to adhere to the original ideals of the euromaidan protests (signing the EU Association Agreement and drawing closer to the EU).. Will that means these people change their vote towards pro-Russian parties? Unlikley, but more likely we see more electoral apathy as witnessed by Graham Phillips (Brit in Ukraine blog) as more and more people become idisillusioned with the politicians and the political process. So one may get electoral situations like Greece had for a little while where no particular party or political ideology gains a clear majority or even a convincing plurality to claim leadership and Ukraine continues to drift.

        • marknesop says:

          I can see the IMF having a problem with federalization, because it wants to tie its aid to reforms and it is not going to be able to apply austerity equally in a federalized system, only through a central government. The IMF does not really want to help Ukraine so much as it wants to get it hooked into a relationship of western dependency, which is going to be devilishly hard to implement if half the country is relatively affluent under energy agreements with Russia, and refuses debt responsibility. I cannot see the EU and USA accepting a deal which would result in federalization, because they will deal away all their potential advantages if they do and be left with responsibility for administering the Galician oblasts on top of that.

          The west is going crazy looking for Putin’s weakness, so that it can attack him through it, but so far it does not seem to be panning out very well. Meanwhile, the more they condemn the vote in Crimea as illegal while defending and promoting an illegal government which is not even eligible under U.S. law to receive U.S. funding, the worse and more hypocritical they look.

    • hoct says:

      That is the interpretation by the MoA. We should be cautious, however, since “constitutional reform in the interest of all regions” does not have to mean anything. Obviously the regions would benefit from federalization but the US can easily play dumb and insist it is actually centralization that is in the common interest of everyone, just as it does in Bosnia & Herzegovina for example where according to the US a separate Bosnian Serb administrative entity of Republic of Srpska is a cause of retrograde nationalism and a unitarist state is needed to heal ethnic divisions.

      • marknesop says:

        True enough, although if they are singing from the same song sheet and it is one which originated in Russia, we are more than halfway to a diplomatic solution because the U.S. usually insists on their rules. However, I note that all the talk is still, “Oh, you are so going to get it this coming week”.

        • marknesop says:

          According to this, it’s shaking out so far just like MOA suggested – the USA seizing the initiative and reporting it as if Russia is starting to crack already, although they stress Putin is in a very strong position with his electorate. This report suggests also, however, that to satisfy this alternative Russia would have to talk directly with the Ukrainian puppet government, which would imply recognition of it, and the last I heard they were not prepared to do that.

  3. yalensis says:

    This is funny. Moon posted this photo of Samantha Powers and Vitaly Churkin, and asked his readers to submit funny captions.

    My personal favorites:

    (1)
    Samantha Power: For the children! For the children! How dare you Russia supporting Crim?
    Vitaly: Oh you mean like your support for al qaead in Syria? You mean your support for israeli occupation? You mean your support Bahrain and Saudiarabia, or why not your support for Kosovo?
    Samantha Power: Now in tears, but…its not the same thing, [crying]
    Audience: Laughing at satanmantha power in the background
    Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 16, 2014 10:27:22 AM | 3

    (2)
    Samantha : Vitali don’t you know our deep sense for history , can’t you understand that we are the ‘EXCEPTIONAL’, look at my face and feel the pureness of the ‘CHOSEN’ ones .
    Vitali : Don’t babble BS Samantha and what pureness is concerned Samantha you look even uglier than Ashton….
    Posted by: Sufi | Mar 16, 2014 10:41:06 AM | 6

    (3)
    Samantha Power: I can’t believe Putin…. his balls must be this big
    Vitaly: Yeah… he uses a wheelbarrow to carry them around. Come back to me when Obama gets his back from Michelle.
    Posted by: Colm O’ Toole | Mar 16, 2014 10:43:25 AM | 7

    (4)
    Samantha: Cockroach!
    Vitaly: I’m no Tutsi, much less a Boyar, much less a 1959 Tutsi aristocrat refugee-turned-terrorist!
    [See Lemarchand's 1970 book, Rwanda and Burundi, then read the 'genocide radio' transcripts, and laugh/weep; the rest of this will play on that theme:

    http://migs.concordia.ca/links/RwandaRadioTranscripts.htm

    JM]
    Samantha: You Crimean Inyenzi who call yourselves Inkotanyi!
    [Utterly unfair to Hutus---see e.g. Robin Philpot's book, then Michael Hourigan's interviews; at least the Hutu minister who spoke these words on the 'genocide radio,' followed them up with conciliatory words to Tutsi civilians... JM]
    Vitaly: We took down one of your drones—we didn’t shoot down Yatseniuks plane! And if you continue in that fashion, a representative of the government seated to your left might well assassinate you.
    Samantha: This cockroach threatened me with assassination!

    (5)
    Vitaly: Look Samantha, I have other plans tonight, I can’t meet you for drinks in your hotel room.
    Samantha: Are you kidding me? Are you really turning this down?!?
    Vitaly: Yes, and I can clearly see your adam’s apple from here.
    Posted by: Nick in Burlington | Mar 16, 2014 11:45:55 AM | 11

    (6)
    Power to Churkin, ” If you were my husband I would put poison in your tea” Churkin to Power, ” If you were my wife I would drink it”. Churchill to Lady Astor.
    Posted by: harrylaw | Mar 16, 2014 1:00:52 PM | 19

    (7)
    Samantha Power: “Churkin, you are drunk, and what’s more you are disgustingly drunk.”
    Churkin: “Samantha, my dear, you are ugly, and what’s more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow
    I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly.” Winston Churchill to Bessie Braddock in House of Commons.
    Posted by: harrylaw | Mar 16, 2014 1:07:17 PM | 20

    and… my personal favorite:
    (8)
    Powers: You want some of this pre-op, schoolmarm ass, old man?
    Vitaly: (looking incredulous) Security! Get me something sharp so I can gouge my eyes out!
    Posted by: Prey4 Justice | Mar 16, 2014 1:10:34 PM | 21

    • Al says:

      How about a slight addition to one of the ones already posted?

      Samantha: I’ve got the power!
      Sergei: I’ve got x².

    • patient observer says:

      How can you say no? It would the a threesome! Hilary and me! Barrack loved it! You can push the kill button on the drone! Come on! It will be fun!

      • yalensis says:

        Ha ha! Who are those chuckle-heads behind them, laughing their heads off?

      • marknesop says:

        Well, she has two children, so I suppose it’s conceivable. Interesting family; she is married to Cass Sunstein, Harvard Law and University of Chicago Law. I’m not quite sure what to make of him, but he has been in charge of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs since 2009, and is known to have theorized that the Internet weakens democracy because it “allows citizens to isolate themselves within groups that share their own views and experiences, and thus cut themselves off from any information that might challenge their beliefs, a phenomenon known as cyberbalkanization”. Like my ambivalence about him, I’m not sure what to make of that, either, because I am sure many of us would agree the right-wingers are nutjobs who get all their news from FOX, just like he says. But they doubtless think the same of us, and it is true that I get little of my news from the mainstream media any more because they simply cannot be trusted to tell the truth. However, right-wing do-gooders would laugh off the notion that the Ukrainian opposition would actually arrange to have some of their own people shot in order to marshal outrage and fury that would spur people into a coup, whilst they would be all teary-eyed over that “I Am Ukrainian” video which plays to the democratizer’s heart and softens regime change to an operation that can be excused regardless the broken eggs because it is doing the people a favour by providing a shortcut to justice.

        All I know for certain is that it has never been harder to get at the truth, because it is often deliberately hidden, not simply omitted.

  4. marknesop says:

    On cue, here’s “Jukebox John” blatting that Ukraine needs a long-term military assistance programme from the United States. What a great idea! Got to sell those unwanted F-35’s to someone – why not get the U.S. taxpayer to buy them for Ukraine with foreign aid?

  5. Al says:

    Just caught an interview with John Mearsheimer from the University of Chicago by Dutch NOS tv about the Crimea. I’m still in shock. He laid it home that Russia made it strictly clear to the West that NATO on its border is a no no. Before Georgia. After Georgia where they were offered NATO MAP along with the Ukraine. He then said Russia is prepared to take the pain because this is a fundamental strategic concern of Russia and nothing will dissuade them. If I can find the link to the vid (broadcast earlier today), I’ll post it .

    Has anyone heard of John Mearsheimer? It’s a first for me.

    • reggietcs says:

      Yes.

      He’s a professor wrote a very controversial (and very accurate, imho) report with Stephan Walt on the influence of the Israeli lobby in US politics. it caused a big brouhaha in the US – especially since it was coming from a respected academic.

      Justin Raimondo of antiwar.com has been one of Mearasheimer’s biggest supporters.

      I like him.

      • marknesop says:

        Yeah, that’s right! That’s where I heard his name – he and Walt wrote “The Israel Lobby”, which was a sort of response to Perle and Feith’s “A Clean Break”.

    • marknesop says:

      I’ve heard the name before, but couldn’t tell you who he is or in what context I heard it. But I agree with him that this is a line in the sand for Russia, and what’s more, if it subsides this time it will bubble up again somewhere else, because if NATO on Russia’s border is a no-no for Russia, it is a must-have for the United States, and they will continue to push and pressure and inveigle. But the economic sanctions thing might well come down to the electorate, and if it does it is clear who will lose. One country has substantial reserves and will spend them all before it goes under, while the other has a massive debt in a shaky economy. One country has a popular leader and a weak to non-existent opposition. The other has a leader who has probably never been less popular and a powerful oppposition that is laying for him and hates his guts.

    • Jen says:

      Mearsheimer is an excellent writer and political analyst best known for his work with Stephen Walt on the pro-Israeli lobby and its influence on US politics and foreign policy. He is probably even better than Noam Chomsky and Ed Herman (who wrote “Manufacturing Consent”) on the role of misinformation in influencing public opinion and policy:

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

  6. Al says:

    MoA comment about STRATFOR report: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2014/03/counterpunch-quotes-moa-open-thread.html#c6a00d8341c640e53ef01a51186cd15970c

    “…Financial markets were on high alert last night over the Ukraine crisis amid speculation that the Kremlin had pulled its vast US treasury bill holdings out of New York.

    News that more than $100bn had been shifted out of the US in the past week – at least three times more than at any time since the financial crisis – prompted fears that Russia is preparing for a western backlash in the form of sanctions and is moving its funds to safe havens beyond US influence..”

    • patient observer says:

      If true, a dagger thrust at the heart of the vampire?

      • yalensis says:

        On the other hand, didn’t Obama just spirit 40 tons of Ukrainian gold out of Ukraine and into Fort Knox?

        • patient observer says:

          About $1.6 billion. Add in 144 tons looted from Libya at about $6 billion brings the total swag to $7.6 billion. The gold will certainly not be used to pay off the national debt so I wonder who gets the spoils?

          • kirill says:

            But when the fiat money implodes that gold will be the only thing that has value. So its current monetary value is misleading. But you are right, they will not pay off any of the current debts with this gold.

            • patient observer says:

              The gold could be used to finance all sorts of nefariousness; contrived revolutions, hits of all sorts, all off-book of course.

              • marknesop says:

                Or regime-change videos. Like this one, which – as the current parlance goes – “went viral”. Thanks to Oriental Review, we know that video was produced by – surprise!!! – the PR team of Larry Diamond, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a regime-change specialist.

                • patient observer says:

                  She should have shed a few tears and then a camera pan to her young handicapped child full of fear but hope for the happiness awaiting her in the EU. The comments were much more interesting – the vast majority calling it stupid propaganda.

                  Has anyone (or everyone) seen “Wag the Dog”?

                • marknesop says:

                  The piece also mentions the Anderson-Cooper hyped video of “Syrian Danny”, which was used to woo support for bombing Syria with a fake Syrian dissident using prop explosions and manufactured panic. The earliest incident I can recall of a deliberately-faked video being used to turn the tide of public support in favour of war was the now-legendary tearful Kuwaiti “nurse” who wept on camera about Iraqi soldiers raiding the hospital, tearing the babies out of their incubators and leaving them on the cold floor to die. She turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the U.S., not a nurse at all and coached through her performance by the American PR firm Hill & Knowlton.

                  It’s all spin, now. You can’t be sure that what you read, what you hear or what you see is reality any more because special interests have so much invested in “shaping the narrative” with propaganda and deliberate fabrication designed to push you to adopting a desired viewpoint and opinion. Nobody deals in facts any more, because the public “can’t handle the truth”.

                • Ilya says:

                  Whenever I hear that mephitic phrase “gone viral”, I am reminded of that maxim of Schopenhauer’s which states, indeed, he who writes for fools always finds a large public.

                • marknesop says:

                  Ha, ha!! That’s exactly right – there are certain overused phrases, and that one, along with “boots on the ground”, just turns my teeth sideways. Brian Whitmore’s column for RFE/RL used to be a serial offender; everything Navalny ever said “went viral”, according to him. He might still be doing it, but it’s been months since I read it so I wouldn’t know.

                • Al says:

                  Ilya says:
                  March 16, 2014 at 7:02 pm

                  Whenever I hear that mephitic phrase “gone viral”,

                  It makes me worry if there is enough penicillin in government reserves. I won’t mention iodine pills…

              • Jen says:

                Some of that bullion could even be “used” to help Ukraine recover some of the $70 billion squandered in the past 3 years. With Tatyana Chornovol in charge of that recovery effort, together with the FBI and US Treasury officials, we’re going to see some very creative accounting cookery.

                http://www.voanews.com/content/washington-react-fbi-helps-ukraine-recover-billions-stolen-by-former-regime/1868097.html

                Also Germany and the Netherlands want some of their gold back and soon too.

                http://www.moneymorning.com.au/20130130/why-germany-wants-its-gold-back.html

                • Fern says:

                  I can’t help feeling that flooding Kiev with financial G-men is as much about fixing the narrative as it is about trying to recover money that belongs in the state coffers from private bank accounts. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read that “the previous government left the Treasury bare”. No doubt Yanukovich ran a corrupt government but what about the previous Orange one? No fingers in the tills there which have contributed to Ukraine’s present position?

                  Bearing in mind the US’s total failure to account for supposed reconstruction monies in post-invasion Iraq (even keeping a reasonably accurate Excel spreadsheet of monies in and out seemed to be beyond them) and given that the Pentagon never seems to be ‘audit ready’ and you have to wonder what lessons of good financial governance the US is in a position to teach.

                • marknesop says:

                  A great guest post coming up from hoct, probably to be published tomorrow, and it will deal in some detail with the subject of the mostly-unlamented Viktor Yanukovych. I think you’ll like it, I’m quite excited about it.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Not to quibble or anything, but it would actually be up to 50,000 boots. Assuming, you know, each man had two.

                  Surely there must be at least one peg-legged sea-dog aboard the piratical Russian Black Sea fleet?

                • marknesop says:

                  I daresay there is; that’s why I say “up to” 50,000. It is a measure of the high regard in which your precision is held that everyone wants to assail it; you will notice the pup Yalensis took a run at it as well, although he was napping and consequently late to the fray.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                “…there are certain overused phrases, and that one, along with “boots on the ground”, just turns my teeth sideways…

                Dear Mark, prepare to set your teeth sideways …

                Western-backed PM pushes with ‘Russian tanks in Ukraine’ fear-mongering, MSM looks away

                Having Russian boots on the ground and Russian tanks is unacceptable in the 21st century. And who knows the limits, tell me?” – Yatsenyuk.

                One out and out lying bastard!

                He knew full well when he said those words that up 25,000 Russian boots on Crimean ground were fully acceptable – and profitable – to the Ukraine government. Furthermore, I have not seen one bit of evidence of there being one Russian tank in the Crimea – armoured cars and troop transporters, yes – but no tanks. Perhaps Yatsenyuk doesn’t know the difference?

                The 21st century term is, of course, straight of John Kerry’s phrase book.

                Bear in mind, Kerry had nothing against putting boots on the ground in other countries during the last century, when he had his own plates of meat in a pair of boots on Vietnamese ground, where “his brief tenure in Vietnam and Cambodia was notable both for acts of casual savagery and his striking lack of contrition for his own participation in atrocities that in a rational society might easily be classified as war crimes“.

                See: The Blood-Soaked Resumé of a Peace Broker: What John Kerry Really Did in Vietnam

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Here’s Gung-Ho John in his gunboat days.

                • marknesop says:

                  I’m sorry to say I would probably dislike Yatsenyuk even if we were on the same side, just based on his appearance – he looks like a weasel peeking out of a drainpipe. But he must have been quite the pillar of drama class. He’s certainly making the most of his usurped and hopefully short role in Ukraine’s history. It’s no wonder they have to resort to a PR blitz to sell this stinking government.

                  Not to quibble or anything, but it would actually be up to 50,000 boots. Assuming, you know, each man had two.

                • yalensis says:

                  “He knew full well when he said those words that up 25,000 Russian boots on Crimean ground were fully acceptable…”

                  Correction: If 25,000 soldiers were acceptable, then that would come to 50,000 boots.

                • yalensis says:

                  Arggg! you beat me to it.
                  (noticing Exile’s faulty math..)

                • yalensis says:

                  And yes, there might be some peg-legs in the Sevastaopol fleet. But then they wouldn’t be boots (or pegs) “on the ground” either, they would be boots/pegs on the DECK.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  And yes, there might be some peg-legs in the Sevastaopol fleet. But then they wouldn’t be boots (or pegs) “on the ground” either, they would be boots/pegs on the DECK.

                  And what about when they a-carousing in Sevastopol? Or do they bring out the working girls to them in bumboats, as they did in Nelson’s navy so as to prevent the scurvy dogs from deserting?

                • Jen says:

                  Maybe there’s a three-legged man in that Sevastopol fleet: he could be a distant relative of Jake the Peg.

                • patient observer says:

                  “he looks like a weasel peeking out of a drainpipe” – inspired! Its right on so many levels.

        • marknesop says:

          Ooooooo….I had forgotten about that. Yeah, that was the rumour.

  7. yalensis says:

    Some patriotic music:

  8. kirill says:

    http://hinter-der-fichte.blogspot.fr/2014/03/ukraine-die-kernluge-von-der-legitimen.html

    The above has screen-grabs showing what the kangaroo Rada looks like today. The regime has seized voter ID cards from the forcefully removed legislators and you can see regime monkeys voting as if the original legislators were still there.

    Do we have any information about the condition of these legislators? Perhaps most of them have been murdered. The western media pretends everything in normal in Kiev.

    • marknesop says:

      Explosive. And they certainly can’t say, oh, that’s just technicians checking the system to be sure it is functioning correctly, because they are hardly so short of technicians that they must use the “Prime Minister” in that capacity.

    • cartman says:

      Even Yats is voting multiple times, so he’s using stolen ID cards.

  9. marknesop says:

    Ha, ha!! From the nice folks at RT, a legal opinion that American financial aid to Ukraine’s puppet government actually violates its own laws. Uh huh; a provision of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act forbids the transfer of financial aid to “the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree.”

    The U.S. will probably argue that it was not a military coup, it was a grassroots civilian uprising, but if they do they will be relying on the letter of the law rather than the spirit, and it is plain the regulation is designed to prevent the transfer of funds to governments who have violently seized power. Embarrassing.

    • Ilya says:

      As someone born and raised in Canada, I can state with confidence that Canada’s principles don’t extend far beyond its wallet. Comfort breeds presumption. These “protesters” tweeted about the fracas on their smartphones, sipping beer, while watching the NHL’s afternoon schedule.

  10. marknesop says:

    Here’s an interesting item which suggests Cargill and Monsanto were heavily invested in the new Ukraine, and want it as an Agribusiness base for shipping food to Europe. Monsanto allegedly pledged not to use GM seeds, but their word is not to be trusted when there are dollars lying around to be picked up.

    There are a couple of things about that; one, it might not be such a bad thing. Not everything the USA does is evil, and not even everything corporate America does is evil, although it is of course motivated by profit. That’s just a condition of business, and you won’t find too many who say they sell shoes out of love, or they run a bank but don’t expect to ever make any money out of it. It might be a good source of jobs for Ukrainians; I’m not sure what Agribusiness pays, but I bet it’s better than being unemployed.

    However. I’m not sure Agribusiness targeted toward Europe would take off – aren’t most of Europe’s food-growing markets heavily subsidized to protect local growers and farmers, and keep out the poor folk who could do it cheaper? Also, if Cargill’s and Monsanto’s ambitions were not a secret – and manifestly they are not, you just needed to know where to look – you would think China would have been a little more supportive of Russia in the UN vote. China has similar ambitions for Ukraine, only they want to grow food for themselves in Ukraine’s rich black earth, and they have big plans for Ukrainian land as well.

  11. Southerncross says:


    Yarosh threatens to go full retard
    .

    Kiev reacts by sending the fox to guard the henhouse.

    “00:19 GMT:

    In response to Dmitry Yarosh threat to sabotage the infrastructure that transits Russian gas through the territory of Ukraine, the newly formed Ukrainian National Guard and security forces have reportedly secured control over the infrastructure.”

    • marknesop says:

      What’s with the Jihadi Twins who accompany him everywhere; is their job just to blow menacing steam for atmosphere?

    • Jen says:

      Sooner rather than later the Ukrainian National Guard and others will be sabotaging Yarosh if only because they’ll be exasperated with one side of his face contradicting the other side. One thing we can count on is these putschers will turn on themselves and eat their own.

      • yalensis says:

        Ukrainian army facing the same thing, having these retarded neo-nazis foisted on them as “Commissars”. For example, those incidents in East Ukraine where local pro-Russian villagers stopped armoured convoys from moving toward the Russian border…
        In those cases, the local folks did not have much difficulty convincing the career military officers to turn their convoy back. (Their hearts were not into invading Russia, anyhow.)

        However, the Pravy Sektor Commissars were there, jumping up and down and “ordering” the career officers to continue with their mission to invade Russia.
        Apparently, in these particular incidents, these neo-nazi “commissars” were not heeded, but in the future things could get ugly.

        For example, If I were a seasoned, grizzled military officer in Ukrainian army, maybe I even came up in the ranks in Soviet army, now I’m a Colonel, and I have this 25-year-old neo-nazi punk dressed like a skateboarder, hanging on my back like a monkey and telling me what to do, and belaying my orders… Well, I imagine I would be sorely tempted to turn around and just calmly put a bullet through his skull… just to shut him up…

        • Moscow Exile says:

          That thought had crossed my mind as well. There’s sure to be a showdown between these Pravy Sektor shits and the military. In fact, I can well imagine the military turfing the “government” out and establishing a junta until an election is held.

        • Southerncross says:


          An incident where local people in Lugansk prevented a Ukrainian military train being unloaded
          .

          Most of the troops sought to avoid any violence, but seven “young people” in uniform screamed blue murder and bloody treason and demanded the people by cleared away by force. Pravy enforcers perhaps? What the devil were they doing with silencers on their guns?

          This bodes ill. Thank God for Putin’s stand, because without him it would be Operation Storm all over again.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Yes, I noticed their weapons: rocket launcher/bazooka contraption and automatics and one weapon with a silencer – but no insignia.

            They looked on.

            Who were they?

            Compare how the Western media reacts to uniformed men in the Crimea without insignia.

            • Southerncross says:

              Prostitutes with press cards, every one of them. If you derived your knowledge of Ukrainian events from the New Zealand media, you would have no idea why the people of Crimea want no part of the new Ukraine. The TV news and the papers comment on matters as though there were no such person as Dimitro Yarosh or Igor Mosiychuk.

              A noted television personality here just spent around 10 minutes talking about a Vladimir Putin novelty anal plug he ordered off the internet. Spengler’s decline of the west on display.

          • marknesop says:

            I noticed this item on the same site. What about that famous open letter signed by all the Rabbis of Kiev, saying they were not suffering any persecution, that it was all tosh and they and Pravy Sektor were just as cozy and fraternal together as it was possible to imagine? What about the denunciation of those who complained as being in bed with the Kremlin?

            I bet I know. Those beating up Jews and spraying swastikas and threatening slogans on synagogues are Titushki, waging a campaign of disinformation to make Svoboda and Pravy Sektor look intolerant.

            • yalensis says:

              Nazis attacking Jews? That is astonishing! Who ever heard of such a thing?

              • yalensis says:

                Once upon a time, a scorpion asked a frog if he could hitch a ride across the pond, by riding on the frog’s back.
                The frog initially refused: “If I let you on my back, you’ll sting me.”
                “No I won’t,” the scorpion replied. “For, if I were to sting you, then you would drown, and I would drown along with you. Am I not too reasonable to harm myself in such a manner?”

                That sounded logical to the good-natured frog. So he agreed, and started to carry the scorpion across the pond.

                And the scorpion stung him almost immediately.
                The frog started to sink, and the scorpion sank, and they were both going to drown.

                “Idiot!” croacked the frog, with his dying breath. “Now we are both going to die. Why would you do that?”

                The scorpion replied, also with his last, gurgling breath: “I couldn’t help myself. I’m a scorpion.”

  12. Moscow Exile says:

    US Plastic-Paddies not able to get arse-holed on Guinness today because of the actions of arse-holes!

    As a 37.5% Irishman, may I say I am bloody disgusted and it’s a crying shame that ye can’t knock back a pint o’ porter on St. Paddy’s Day!

    Anyway, I can always drink Murphy’s Stout from Cork, where me Irish grandma came from. (The other touch of Irish in me is from one of my great-grandfathers, who came from County Waterford.)

    • marknesop says:

      The Irish PM is right – the parade is about being Irish, not about being gay. Does gay people’s sexuality define them as a person to the point that it eclipses all other aspects of their personality and existence – until they are gay before they are black, gay before they are French, or whatever? If gay is the overriding trait about their makeup, then it should be crystal-clear to them that they are a tiny minority, and they were far better off when they wanted to be seen as just people. And people who are just people would have agreed to march in a St Pat’s Day parade under a green banner rather than the bloody rainbow. Good God, is there any need?

  13. yalensis says:

    Crimea is switching currency to Russian ruble , effective April 1, 2014.
    However, the Ukrainian hryvna will also continue to be an official currency until January 1, 2016.
    This will give people and institutions plenty of time to switch over.

    Meanwhile, Sevastopol has secured itself a special status within the Russian Federation. Sevastopol will not enter Russia as a routine run-of-the-mill Crimean city. It will enter as a special city with Federal Significance. Recall that Sevastopol already has status and medals as “Hero-City” from WWII times.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Why not? That’s what the Germans did with Hamburg, which is a Federal German State in its own right, officially known as Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg[ (Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg).

  14. Moscow Exile says:

    So “Gosh” Ashton in Brussels now refers to the “so-called referendum” in the Crimea, yet in the same breath calls upon Russia to enter negations with “Ukrainian leaders”:

    Speaking in Brussels, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the ‘so-called referendum’ was ‘illegal under the constitution of Ukraine and under international law’.

    ‘I call upon Russia yet again to meet with Ukrainian leaders and to start a dialogue with them, and to try to move to de-escalation, please, as quickly as possible. We’ve seen no evidence of that’, she told reporters.

    She said the EU ‘can’t simply sit back and say this situation can be allowed to happen’, but that ministers needed to think carefully about what their response should be.

    See: Crimean parliament formally applies to join Russia

    And get this (from the above linked article):

    Crimean Tatars say they want the peninsula to stay with Ukraine, fearing further deportations

    Many Tatars said they were refusing to take part in the poll, which did not give the option of maintaining the status quo

    Really?

    How many then?

    Anyone count?

    What’s this I detect – another minority demanding protection because of its fears over its human rights under the rule of those foul, barbaric, racist and homophobic Russians?

    And further deportations – since when?

    Well, since 1944 as a matter of fact – that’s 70 years ago.

    Note: no mention whatsoever about why they were deported and there is never ever any mention of why the Crimean Tatars attracted the interest of those wicked Russians in the first place over 200 years ago:

    Slave trade
    Until the beginning of the 18th century, Crimean Tatars were known for frequent, at some periods almost annual, devastating raids into Ukraine and Russia. For a long time, until the early 18th century, the Crimean Khanate maintained a massive slave trade with the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East which was the most important basis of its economy. One of the most important trading ports and slave markets was Kefe. Some researchers estimate that altogether more than 3 million people, predominantly Ukrainians but also Russians, Belarusians and Poles, were captured and enslaved during the time of the Crimean Khanate in what was called “the harvest of the steppe”. On the other hand, lands of Crimean Tatars were also being raided by Cossacks, armed Slavic horsemen, who often savagely attacked and plundered the land of Crimean Tatars.[citation needed] The Don and Zaporozhian Cossacks, and Kalmyk Mongols, also managed to raid Crimean Tatars’ land. The last recorded major Crimean raid, before those in the Russo-Turkish War (1768–74) took place during the reign of Peter the Great (1682–1725) However, Cossack raids continued after that time; Ottoman Grand Vizier complained to the Russian consul about raids to Crimea and Özi in 1761.

    (Source: Wiki.)

    Interesting, that, for some 20 years after the Russian Empire annexed the Crimea in order to finally put an end to the menace of the Crimean Khanate, none other than the United States itself waged war against the Barbary States (Tunis, Algiers, and Tripoli), which, like the Crimea Khanate, were de jure Ottoman Empire possessions, but were de facto independent.

    There were, in fact, two such Barbary Wars – and the reason why the USA attacked the Barbary States? – piracy and slavery undertaken by Berbers:

    The main purpose of their attacks was to capture Christian slaves for the Arab slave market in North Africa and the Middle East.” (Wiki)

    Of course, Tunis, Algiers, and Tripoli were not annexed by the USA as the Crimea was by the Russian Empire, but I should think that this very likely would have happened if those Berber States had been in, say, what is now Florida.

    More from the impartial BBC:

    The BBC correspondent in Simferopol says:

    I think we’re going to have to analyse these results, aren’t we, because we do know that a huge number of the people in the minority populations – the Tatars and the Ukrainians – abstained from that vote: they boycotted the vote…

    Who are “we” may I ask – or should that be “may we ask”?

    And how do “we” know “that a huge number of the people in the minority populations – the Tatars and the Ukrainians – abstained from that vote: they boycotted the vote”?

    Any evidence for this?

    Any idea of how huge the “number” was?

    Or is it just a gut feeling that “we” have?

    Or is it simply because some Simferopol Tatar whom the BBC crew bought shayrma off told “us” that?

    See: Ukraine crisis: Do Crimea referendum figures add up?

    • Sam says:

      The turnout to the referendum was 81.3 %, so even if we consider that all who didn’t vote were in fact for the “staying with Ukraine” option, that’s 78.6% of Crimeans who voted to join Russia.

      The 2001 census put the “minority populations” at about 40% of Crimea’s composition. If we assume that all ethnic Russians voted to join Russia, that would mean that around 54% of the minorities “voted” to stay with Ukraine while 46% voted to join Russia. That’s not as huge as the BBC wants us to think.

    • marknesop says:

      But you knew they were going to take that route – that’s why the place was stiff with foreign journalists despite the prejudgment of their capitals that the result of the referendum would be ignored. Despite the numerous articles prior to the vote which acknowledged it was a foregone conclusion that the vote could go only one way. All that notwithstanding, they feel they have to smear the vote as a cheat, illegitimate.

      There were previous reports that the turnout among Tatars was particularly high. But that will all be forgotten now as the pack goes baying after the BBC narrative that it was all rigged.

      If “Gosh” has so much time on her hands, she can get busy investigating the sniper attacks in Kiev.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Yep! Right on cue the Human Rights brigade swings into action: ‘Bias, double standards’: Moscow bewildered by UN aide’s remarks on Ukraine

      On Friday [UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan] Simonovic announced the immediate deployment of a UN monitoring team throughout crisis-torn Ukraine to help establish the facts surrounding alleged human rights violations, including in Crimea. Assessing the situation on the peninsula he said his team had access to ‘several reliable sources and extensive one-on-one discussions with individuals who are in and from Crimea’.

      If they look hard enough, they’ll find an LGBT Tatar, I’m sure.

      • marknesop says:

        I guess they’re not too busy in Kiev, because there were no human-rights violations there. Sniping your fellow citizens from the rooftops in order to inspire an angry rush for the seat of government is just sport, it seems. Nothing to see here.

        Not going to make any difference, lads. Crimea is gone.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        From today’s Grauniad:

        Officials in Washington suggested results showing 96.8% of those voting in favour of joining Russia and a 83.1% turnout were implausibly high, especially when an estimated 99% of Crimean Tatars refused to take part …

        … White House sources also claimed it was suspicious that there was not a single complaint to election authorities …

        See: US rejects criticism of ‘toothless’ sanctions following Crimea referendum

        “In January 2004, Mr Saakashvili was elected president of his country with 96% of the vote, at the tender age of 37.”

        See: Profile: President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia

        The parallel vote tabulation (PVT) results, conducted by the election observer NGO International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy, show that Mikheil Saakashvili received 96,41% of votes in Sunday’s snap presidential polls.

        See: Parallel Vote Tabulation Suggests 96% of Votes for Saakashvili

        “,i>Presidential elections were held in January 2004. Saakashvili was elected with 96% of the vote. The OSCE noted ‘frequent but not systematic irregularities’.”

        See: U.S. Online Training on OSCE

  15. Al says:

    Just found an opinion piece by John Mearshiemer in the NYT, 13 March:

    Getting Ukraine Wrong

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/14/opinion/getting-ukraine-wrong.html

    “…The taproot of the current crisis is NATO expansion and Washington’s commitment to move Ukraine out of Moscow’s orbit and integrate it into the West. The Russians have intensely disliked but tolerated substantial NATO expansion, including the accession of Poland and the Baltic countries. But when NATO announced in 2008 that Georgia and Ukraine “will become members of NATO,” Russia drew a line in the sand. Georgia and Ukraine are not just states in Russia’s neighborhood; they are on its doorstep. Indeed, Russia’s forceful response in its August 2008 war with Georgia was driven in large part by Moscow’s desire to prevent Georgia from joining NATO and integrating into the West…”

    It is essentially the same as he said on dutch NOS tv news channel yesterday (repost lnk here):

    Here’s the video (see from 14:12)

    http://nieuwsuur.nl/video/624246-de-uitzending-van-nieuwsuur-van-zondag-16-maart-2014.html

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Soldiers everywhere, propaganda everywhere, says the Dutch correspondent, and the Tatar grandma in the sticks is, off course, au fait with the legalities of the procedure and the Ukraine Constitution (she might well be, of course – a retired advocate or whatever) and says that she doesn’t want Putin.

      I wonder what’s she got against Putin? And I wonder if she realizes that when Tyahnibok and chums shout “Ukraine for Ukrainians!”, by “Ukrainians” they don’t mean “Ukrainian citizens”, one of which she is at the moment, but Ukrainian nationals, namely “ethnic” Ukrainians – and Christians to boot? (I noticed how many of the Maidan peaceful protesters equipped with baseball bats, shields, masks, helmets and assorted skateboarder/hockey-player safety gear very often sported rosary beads – Greek-Uniate, I presume – as part of their accoutrements.)

      She clearly speaks Russian as well as the local Tatar language; I wonder if she speaks Ukrainian?

  16. Moscow Exile says:

    The Empire strikes back!

  17. Moscow Exile says:

    Кацапскую пятую колонну расстрелять!” [Shoot damned Russian fifth-columnists!] posted a commenter to this clip showing Donbas citizens failing in their attempt to halt a column of Ukrainian army armoured vehicles:

  18. Moscow Exile says:

    Announced already:

    The Evil Ones

    Vladislav Surkov, a Putin aide

    Sergey Glazyev, a Putin adviser

    Leonid Slutsky, a state Duma deputy

    Andrei Klishas, member of the Federation Council (the upper house of the Federal Assembly of Russia)

    Valentina Matviyenko, head of the Federation Council

    Dmitry Rogozin, deputy prime minister

    Yelena Mizulina, a state Duma deputy

    Barry has named names and they shall be punished!!!!

    • Moscow Exile says:

      “There has been broad speculation and some concrete evidence that ballots that arrived in Crimea for the referendum had been pre-marked in many cities”, said a senior US administration official. “There are massive anomalies in the vote, even as it is recorded, including the fact that, based on census in Sevastopol city, 123% of the Sevastopol population would have had to have voted yes for the referendum.”

      As regards the sanctions imposed on certain individuals by the gods on high:

      “No US business can do business with them – that will have impact on some or all of these individuals. If they want to transact in dollars, for example, they will be unable to do so and will tend to have difficulty in accessing financial services in Europe, the Middle East or Asia.”

      Another US official said the list included the “key architects and ideologues responsible for [the Crimea] policy” but they were also responsible for human rights abuses in Russia.

      Thus spake the gods!

      See: EU and US impose sanctions on Russian and Ukrainian officials

      • marknesop says:

        Oooooo…..очень страшно!! As well as the following miscreants; from Crimea:

        Sergei Aksyonov, the newly-declared Prime Minister, and Vladimir Konstantinov, the newly-declared Parliamentary speaker,

        and, from Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovich, the Ukrainian President, and Viktor Medvedchuk, head of a pro-Russian civil society group, Ukrainian Choice. Apparently now just running a pro-Russian NGO is enough to get you sanctioned – the USA wants to build civil society in Ukraine, but it must be the right kind of civil society. And, naturally, if Russia starts kicking NGO’s out of Russia just because they are perceived to be pro-American, that will be “savage and barbaric”.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/18/world/europe/us-imposes-new-sanctions-on-russian-officials.html

        Fatally, the Times piece closes with “The world is with us”. We will see about that. Maybe this will be the push Russia needs to dump the dollar, although most on “The List” so far have mocked the action, saying it offers them no hardship and that they have no assets outside Russia.

        No move toward economic sanctions yet, and the puff and blow about how devastating these new sanctions will be suggests they are wary to take it into the economic sphere. Hopefully Russia will come back hard.

        • Al says:

          The World is with us?

          From the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang yesterday at the UN:

          “The vote on the draft resolution by the Security Council at this juncture will only result in confrontation and further complicate the situation, which is not in conformity with the common interests of both the people of Ukraine and those of the international community,”

          I would hazard a guess that Mr Gang has a better grasp of the english language (as many foreigners do through proper study) than the NYT blowhards.

  19. Fern says:

    Putin will address the Federal Assembly tomorrow (Tuesday) at 3.00 pm Moscow time about the Crimean vote and the subsequent application of Crimea to join the Russian Federation. It will, no doubt, be as instructive as ever to compare what he actually says with the way it’s reported in the western media.

  20. Moscow Exile says:

    A small thought just crossed my mind:

    If – or when – the Crimea becomes a part of Russia in whatever shape or form and, therefore, Sevastopol is secure for the Russian Black Sea fleet and Russia no longer pays the Ukraine for the use of the city and naval base that Sevastopol has always been …

    what’s going to happen to the glorious Ukraine Black Sea Fleet?

    I mean, where’s it going to be based?

    In Sevastopol?

    I should;d hardly think so, and if it were, then the Ukrainians should have to pay what Russia had to pay them – fair’s fair.

    But how can the bankrupt Ukraine pay for the use of Sevastopol even if it wanted to?

    So where else with the fleet?

    Odessa?

    Hardly.

    Odessa is as Russian a city as is Sevastopol. Furthermore, I don’t think Odessians would relish the idea of a hostile government’s fleet – the Ukraine Black sea Fleet under orders off those Kiev shitehawks – bobbing around at anchor in the Odessa Roads, its flagship, ironically, being regarded somewhat like a latter-day Battleship Potemkin, its weaponry trained upon a rebellious populace.

    So whither the Ukrainian Black Sea Fleet?

    Turkey perhaps?

    Yatsenyuk seems to be pally with the Turks. Perhaps the Ukraine Fleet could drop anchor in the Bosphorus?

    Maybe Yats could flog the fleet off to someone – like Russia?

    • marknesop says:

      I read in one of those references dealing with the referendum – I think it’s still posted here in one of the comments, probably by Yalensis – that Ukrainian servicemen in the Crimea would be offered the chance to join the Russian armed forces. But that would not settle the question of Ukrainian ships and equipment, which are the property of the Ukrainian state and cannot be simply confiscated. It sounds crazy that Yats could sell them to Russia, but if Ukraine is going to lack a friendly seaport he might want to consider such an offer carefully.

    • hoct says:

      Apparently Russians make up 72% of the population of Sevastopol and 29% of Odessa. It would seem their ‘Russianess’ isn’t necessarily completely equal.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        I never heard a word of Russian spoken when I was last in Odessa. I spent three weeks there. A woman whom I work with is a Russian-speaking Odessan in her forties. She tells me she never knew anyone who spoke Ukrainian when she lived in her home city, where she lived until she moved to Moscow to study when she was 18.

        Both cities are classed as “Russian-speaking” but I think the Russian speakers in Sevastopol consider themselves to be Russian, whereas the majority of Russian-speakers in Odessa consider themselves to be Ukrainian.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          The Canadian “Globe and Mail” line on Odessa: Globe in Ukraine: Odessa fears getting caught in the crossfire

          A few hours’ drive from Crimea – and deeply divided over what’s happening there – Odessa worries it will be the next front line. Either in a peaceful struggle, as pro-Russian provocateurs move here after their success in Crimea, or in a violent one if fighting breaks out after the referendum.

          Note the reference to “pro-Russian provocateurs” who may move to Odessa following their success in the Crimea, which suggests that the Crimeans really didn’t want to leave the Glorious Ukraine but were provoked into doing so. Also note the speaker’s belief that the city is deeply divided over this question of secession from the Ukraine:

          “Odessa is divided half against half, and that’s a problem”. said Yuriy Tkachev, the editor of Timer, a pro-Russian website based in Odessa. “In [pro-Russian] Crimea or [pro-revolution cities] Lviv or Kiev, there is a stronger side and a weaker side. In Odessa, it’s very difficult to say which side is stronger. That’s why Odessa is one of the most sensitive points in Ukraine.”

          • yalensis says:

            “In a reminder of how close conflict is, the flagship of Ukraine’s tiny navy, the frigate Hetman Sahaidachny, is now anchored in Odessa. It was at sea when more than half of Ukraine’s 25 warships were blockaded in their Crimean harbours by Russia’s much larger Black Sea Fleet.”

            There’s your answer. The Ukrainian fleet will have to move to Odessa.

          • Jen says:

            What’s required of a city to host a naval base? If a naval base requires a harbour to shelter ships under repair, refuelling or at rest, wouldn’t Kherson or Mikolayiv fit the bill better than Odessa? I’ve looked at a map of Kherson on Google Maps and the city is at the head of an estuary (for the Dnepr River).

            You could argue that Odessa, as a seaport already, is best suited to headquarter the Ukrainian Black Sea fleet. In a war though, serving as both main seaport and naval base might make Odessa too much of a target for enemy missiles.

            • marknesop says:

              Usually a town grows up around the naval dockyard, which was there first; you need deep water all the way in (available from hydrographic charts of the area), dredging can accomplish that but it is ideal if the harbour is naturally deep so that ships can get alongside. Ideally you should have about 10 m water depth alongside or more; using the SLAVA Class Guided Missile Cruiser as a benchmark, she draws 8.4 m, and sometimes warships have underwater protuberances like sonar domes which make them deeper still and are easily damaged. You need solid ground right up to the edge of the water, rather than mudbanks, because you will want to seat your jetties in solid earth or mixed earth and rock, and the banks will have to take heavy lifting appliances like cranes. Ideally the harbour would be oval or irregular in shape so that it is sheltered somewhat from storms, and have a narrower seaward end which can be effectively closed or patrolled. That’s a quick shopping list, without having looked at what Odessa has to offer. Missiles targeted against it are of little concern; that is going to happen regardless where it is located so you are best off to build good defenses. However, natural shape is a factor (controlled entrance) so the whole enemy fleet cannot get in all at once, and it should be defensible from shoreward as well so it is not easy to overrun by a land force.

              Halifax Harbour, in Nova Scotia, is rated one of the finest natural harbours in the world; have a look at its features. It has the added bonus of Bedford Basin, a large, deep anchorage right at the end of the harbour which enjoys excellent protection from weather, and an enemy would have to get past the entire fleet alongside to reach it, or if airborne, fly over CFB Shearwater at the harbour mouth. It was a convoy massing site during the war for the transatlantic run.

        • marknesop says:

          We have a friend who comes from Odessa. It was she who posted the link to the Facebook post by Angelika Labunskaya which screamed that a mob of some 50 Titushki and government militia had disabled all the ambulances at a major Kiev hospital, something that never happened. This crisis has brought out a streak of anti-Russian extremism in her.

  21. Al says:

    Dear Lord,
    Please forgive me for posting and article from the Moscow Times:

    European Investors Say Pleas Against Sanctions on Russia Ignored

    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article.php?id=496238

    …”It is like a husband who castrates himself to spite his unfaithful wife,” a businessman told the meeting….

    ..”Sending a Lithuanian envoy to Moscow is like sending an Israeli envoy to Iran,” said one participant. ..

    • marknesop says:

      The Italian reaction plays perfectly to my prediction that if economic sanctions are implemented, it will cause a rift between the EU and the USA that might take a decade to repair, if the EU even has that long. The USA will get richer selling LNG to Europe – which they cannot possibly offer at a lower price than Russian gas considering there are no LNG terminals yet, and rushed construction is damn-the-costs construction – while those who do 10 times the business with Russia the United States does will suffer for American pride. Not a good recipe for a friendship. And sanctions will do absolutely nothing to calm the unrest in the Southeast of Ukraine, since they drag the Hryvna down along with the ruble, while Ukraine has no reserves left to cushion the fall.

      Yanukovych to Ukraine – “Miss me yet?”

  22. Moscow Exile says:

    Klitchko address the Crimeans and receives a reply:

    LOVE IT!

  23. marknesop says:

    Speaking of Odessa reminds me we have an asset there, in the British businessman who runs “Odessa Blog” (in the blogroll, for those who are interested in following). And he has a very interesting new post, which features what are said to be scans of “interlocutors’ notes” for the Foreign Ministers’ Support Group for Ukraine. According to the narrative, these notes represent the Russian offer for de-escalation, which is federalization much as Moon of Alabama described it a couple of days ago.

    http://odessablog.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/an-opening-gambit-the-russian-solution-to-ukraine/

    It is worth mentioning that the author is also a member of Chatham House, and probably as a consequence has a better eye and ear for international politics than most. Anyway, he speculates that the Russian negotiation – this is just their unnegotiated demands, according to him – might consist of Russia’s giving the Crimeans a “polite refusal” in exchange for guarantees of Russian Black Sea Fleet rights in Sevastopol until 2042, and tacit agreements for greater Crimean autonomy to soften the blow for the secessionists.

    I would say that ain’t going to happen, and it has just been made increasingly unlikely by Putin’s signing of the decree recognizing Crimea as an independent state.

    http://news.yahoo.com/putin-signs-decree-recognising-crimea-independent-state-184044088.html

  24. Al says:

    Anyone going to see Muppets Most Wanted? There’s an evil russian twin of Kermit called Constantine and Tina Fey is hot a cliched Russian gulag boss (she’s hot anyway)! Ricky Gervais is Dominic Badguy who plans with Constantine to steal the Crown Jewels!

    • kirill says:

      I don’t mind parody, but gulags in Russia? Seriously, what a load of BS. I have noted this pattern since the 1970s and my arrival in the west. It was routine for TV shows and movies to inject the politically correct cold war propaganda du jour in contexts where it was never called for. In the last few years an episode of NCIS claimed Russians used poison gas during the Nord Ost hostage incident. I know this is supposed to be fiction, but it really isn’t since it reinforces stereotypes. The problem during the Nord Ost incident is that they did not resuscitate from the anesthetic fast enough and could not control the does everyone in the theater got (too much stops breathing).

      • Al says:

        I think it is great. It is a living testament to how Hollywood has whored itself willingly at the hip with the US view of itself, regardless of any accuracy in actual fact. Sure, it is a lazy caricature but at least now Russians aren’t simply ‘over there’ or underneath a bell jar, but bloody everywhere. It certainly goes to show how even talented people will also go for the lowest fruit. Not so long ago it was a spate of serbophobic films and tv shows, who funnily enough the popular evil guy often playing the Serbs (and also Russians) is a Slovenian by birth (of croatian descent) – Željko Ivanek who played evil serb terrorist Andre Drazen in ’24’ from 2001.

        Hollyweird is fundamental to selling the ‘American Dream’ in some form, but that was quite some time ago but it was only one side of the coin (how great it is and how anyone can be a millionaire – a good way to guarantee future cheap labor) whilst the other side of the coin was to peddle cliched, over exaggerated parodies of the other. They’re trapped in their own delusion. Most of the rest of the World has moved on and are forced to deal with reality.

        If the US was a person (fictional), I think it would be Frank ‘n’ Furter from the Rock Horror Picture Show. It’s just lost it which is a shame because they’ve (the people) have done amazing things and their leaders are just fiddling like Nero whilst everything goes to hell, to afraid to do anything and to tied up in their own interests. Ames wrote about his thesis (and I paraphrase here) that the increasing level of mass shootings in the US was due to social, political and economic factors, not simply lunatics and this is an obvious symptom of the disease. I think his book was called Going Postal. There really is nothing to celebrate. It’s much easier to attack people abroad/enemy groups to try and recreate some sort of unity at home (an age old political trick). It’s grotesque and very sad. I would expect the US will pull through but how bad does it have to get before the fundamentals are faced?

        • Ilya says:

          Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014).

          Jack Ryan, as a young covert CIA analyst, uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy with a terrorist attack.

        • yalensis says:

          Dear Al:
          Why do you think America is like Dr. Frank ‘n’ Furter?

          I don’t get that…. (?)

          • yalensis says:

            “Come up to the lab, and see what’s on the slab!” – LOL

          • Al says:

            Watch the film. At the beginning we are fascinated by the character who has all the moves, is a little bit creepy and takes use quite close to uncomfortable land. Essentially, what ever he was before (leader of an interplanetary mission of research to earth – or something), he’s gone off the rails and is on his own personal mission, creates his own boyfriend (Rocky) and parties all the time whilst everything around him goes to hell. He is so sure of himself and dismisses lightly any critical questions but is ultimately stabbed in the back by his allies. The last bit hasn’t happened so overtly yet in the real world.

            Why look at the mess right now when you can wallow in past glories of greatness?


            Let’s do the Time Warp again!

  25. marknesop says:

    This might be the thin edge of the wedge:

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-03-17/billionaire-usmanov-turns-to-china-after-selling-apple-facebook

    Alisher Usmanov sells off his Apple and Facebook stock and puts his money in Alibaba Holding Group, a Chinese eCommerce venture.

    http://news.alibaba.com/specials/aboutalibaba/aligroup/index.html

  26. marknesop says:

    According to Market Watch, Europe urged Ukraine a little too eagerly down the road to western association last year, and in so doing, ignored Kohl’s Law – always have an exit plan.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/after-courting-ukraine-europe-has-no-plan-for-russia-2014-03-17?link=mw_story_kiosk

    Suddenly, everyone has known all along that the west’s bizarre overreaction to Yanukovych’s sudden reversal would come due in pain and sorrow. Funny, when it looked like it was going to work, you couldn’t get anyone to say that. Proving the old adage, I guess, that success has many fathers while failure is an orphan.

    • kirill says:

      At least some acknowledgement of the EU’s recklessness, but as usual couched in all the standard BS designed to make the west feel good about its moral superiority. It is not Putin the west needs to deal with. It is Russia. And if Russia protecting at least 10 million of its own in Ukraine from patent neo-nazi vermin is striving for “greater Russia” then WTF was Kosovo? Sorry, but the west and its mouthpieces cannot just pretend that the Kiev regime is all about western values and so everything is just hunky dory. The west looks the other way as Latvia abuses the rights of its over 30% ethnic Russian minority. It is self-evident they will do exactly this as well in the case of the Kiev regime imposing its Ukraine for Ukrainians crap on parts of Ukraine that do not want to obey. The west and its media actually paint the Yanukovich government as some sort of tyranny and support a putsch which violates all the values that the west claims to hold. Russia needs to make sure it puts the west in its place. No accommodation for such gross hypocrisy and support for neo-Nazis who call for Rwandan style slaughters.

  27. Al says:

    Where is De Nile?

    Between US and Europe.

  28. Moscow Exile says:

    From a Grauniad commenter:

    UKRAINE: What You Need To Know

  29. Moscow Exile says:

    That arsewipe of a “newspaper” is pulling out all the stops now:

    “…There is a puppet government in Crimea that seized power at the point of a gun and is run by a party that won 4% of the vote at the last election. The streets are filled with menacing militia given arms but no training, supported by a variety of lethal-looking paramilitary groups and thousands of Russian soldiers who can be seen even on rooftops. Meanwhile events are dictated quite blatantly by Moscow; visitors to the Crimean prime minister’s office say even his private secretary and press aide are from Russia, along with other advisers telling him what to do…

    …we have witnessed a facade of democracy over the fascistic takeover of a slice of Europe, met with the usual tough words backed by the mildest of deeds from the west’s weak leaders. The Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski has talked emotively about an “anschluss”. Watching from the ground, it is certainly shocking to observe all these people rush to rubber-stamp Putin’s putsch in Crimea…

    Crimea’s referendum was a sham display of democracy

    Huff-puff-blow-blow-democracy-fascists-Putin-Anschluss-huff-puff-blow-blow….

    • kirill says:

      When facts get in the way, all there is left to do is lie, lie, and lie some more. I missed the part about the local Crimean legislature being installed after the Russian patchless intervention. This blowhard ignores the fact that Kiev appointed local governors and obviously some Kiev appointee was not going to be left in place to enforce the will of the unelected putsch regime.

      • marknesop says:

        “The West might have scored a major victory in this latest round of goepolitical fight. But things turned out otherwise.

        Shortly afterwards, Russia struck back. Now, with Russian military personnel deployed in eastern Ukraine to protect Russia’s legitimate interests and pro-Russian regions clamoring for a secession from Kiev, Ukraine is teetering on the brink of total chaos and disintegration.

        The West’s strategy for installing a so-called democratic and pro-Western Ukrainian government did not get anywhere at all. On the contrary, they have created a mess they do not have the capacity or wisdom to clean.

        Their ill-fated plan was fundamentally flawed from the very beginning. First of all, they were destined to shoot their own feet when they, under the cliche pretense of supporting democracy, interfered in Ukrainian domestic affairs by engaging in biased mediation.

        Second, they underestimated Russia’s will to protect its core interests in Ukraine. Russia may no longer be interested in competing for global preeminence with the West, but when it comes to cleaning a mess the West created in the country’s backyard, Russian leaders once again proved their credibility and shrewdness in planning and executing effective counter moves.

        Last but not least, Western leaders were delusional when they believed they, with dented moral authority and shrinking financial coffers, could still take up such a grand task of nation-building.”

        Uh huh. China is really in the west’s corner.

        http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2014-03/07/c_133168143.htm

    • marknesop says:

      I’m going to go out on a limb here, and suggest he really, really doesn’t like the results of the Crimean referendum. A menacing militia given arms but no training? Snap – Kiev and Western Ukraine’s rowdies given the status of regular military units. Events dictated quite blatantly by Moscow? Snap – Nudelman and Pyatt and Fuck the EU, and John McCain the United States stands with you and fresh-out-of-the-joint Yulia Tymoshenko saying do not disperse, stay here on the Maidan.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        I’m going to go out on a limb here, and suggest he really, really doesn’t like the results of the Crimean referendum.

        Sort of:

        The people have spoken – the bastards!

        (Failed 1966 Democratic Party candidate Dick Tuck [aka Dick Fuck] for the California Senate on hearing the election results.)

        • marknesop says:

          I normally try to stay away from Larouche, since he has the reputation of being a bit of a squirrel, although that may well be contrived because the major media doesn’t like what he says. But this seems quite reasonable, and contains the fascinating detail that the west is seeking a debt restructuring “bail-in” in Ukraine which would give bondholders a Cypriot-style “haircut”…because it is aware of the protections on the $3 Billion Russia has already invested in Ukraine and is trying to find a way around them. A straight-out IMF loan would mean Russia’s money would have to be repaid. A “bail in” would not.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Just found out that Ian Birrell, the author of the above linked Grauniad “Comment Is Free” piece: “Crimea’s referendum was a sham display of democracy”, is “a former deputy editor of the Independent and worked as a speechwriter for David Cameron during the 2010 election campaign”.

          Figures.

          The Grauniad has quite quickly closed the comments on that article probably because of the scathing comments therein, such as:

          It is the establishment view – referendums do not count if people don’t vote the right way.

          The EU is famous for this – it has made countries vote till they get the answer they want.

          And in response to Birrell’s line:

          But it is astonishing to see how many people outside the region have been transfixed by these smokescreens from Moscow – or, less charitably, simply cannot escape the prisms of their own prejudices…

          a certain sashasmirnoff counters:

          “…‘or, less charitably, simply cannot escape the prisms of their own prejudices’.

          Yet another revealing glimpse into the mindset of the Guardian mouth-frothers – absolutely zero self-awareness!

          To speak of “prisms of prejudice” while alluding to vodka bottles strewn around a square, and best of all “a puppet government in Crimea” reveals the absolute insanity of this paper’s position.

          There is a puppet government in Crimea that seized power at the point of a gun and is run by a party that won 4% of the vote at the last election…‘.

          … and the Nazi puppet government in Kiev that garnered even less support at the polls last time, and actually did come to power at the point of a gun? That’s fine, is it, you dolt?

          ‘The streets are filled with menacing militia given arms but no training, supported by a variety of lethal-looking paramilitary groups…’

          Is that Kiev you’re describing? Sounds just like it!

          …the intimidation of opposition activists…

          No – that was in Kiev too, where the deputies were beaten, threatened with death (along with their families) if they didn’t support the putsch! The Governor forced to his knees in front of a mob, the police forced to their knees and made to sing the anthem… it’s all good!

          ‘…this sham display of democracy…’

          A fuck of a lot better than a pack of armed Nazis rioting their way to power with the aid of the stinking USA, I would say.

          ‘…the fascistic takeover of a slice of Europe…

          At least you got that right – and thank God Crimea escaped that Hell.

          The Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski has talked emotively about an “anschluss”…’

          Yes, he should know as he was instrumental in precipitating the Nazi coup.

          This has to be by far the most poisonous filth the Guardian has vomited, but let’s see what tomorrow brings!”

  30. A pole abroad says:

    Wow. just found this blog. I am really glad people like you lot only get to vent in the depths on the internet. How deluded you all are. Having lived in the 1984 style fiction created by your beloved Russia, and which thankfully ended in 1989 where i am from, it saddens me that people that can clearly string a sentence together still find reasons to defend this yoke. You are supporting a system where the people are there to serve the strongmen – at least the west tries its best to turn that around. I hope your nonsensical pseudo-erudite tosh doesn’t find appeal, and your drivel doesn’t somehow help the oppression of that corrupt gangster state from the east to seep west. But maybe your hoping to get a shot at that $300m dacha for your troubles?
    So why don’t you lot all move to Moscow? Oh, because they might persecute (like, shoot you?) for posting on the web? Because work is difficult to find as the economy is a one trick pony run by a few burly dudes? Because everything you want requires a bribe? Because if you want good, independent education for your kids you need to send them back to the west? Or simply because you like to speak your mind without worry of being taken ‘away’?
    Wordpress.com wouldn’t even exist in Russia, let alone allow you to post without oversight. You lot are a sad joke.

    • marknesop says:

      Yawn. The usual “if you like it so much why don’t you move there”. Tiresome. I’d run out of money pretty fast if I moved every place that I spoke of approvingly. But by all means carry on believing Russia is a grimy, sad place where the people shuffle in long lines just to pay too much for a loaf of bread. Oh, and thanks for that bit about getting shot for posting on the internet; it made my day. Can you give any examples of someone being shot in Russia for posting on the internet? How about Yulia Latynina, who lives in Moscow somewhere and calls the President everything but a white man day in, day out in the pages of Novaya Gazeta and The Moscow Times without getting shot?

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Dear pole abroad,

      Thanks for the advice that I move to Moscow, but it’s somewhat wasted on me as I have already lived in the Russian capital for over 20 years.

      Another thing, during those 20 plus years that I have spent here in the Evil Empire, I have never once paid a bribe nor been asked to do so.

      I have also, unfortunately, been hospitalized three times whilst resident in “the Former Soviet Union” – twice as a result of accidents and once through illness – and suffered no dire consequences as a result of this experience. My hospital treatment was free, by the way, as I am a British citizen: there is some long standing agreement between the UK and Russia as regards the hospital treatment of the citizens of those respective countries.

      I have also never suffered any persecution for posting on the web. In fact, I have never suffered any kind of persecution in Russia whatsoever.

      I have never been unemployed in Russia either; far from work being difficult to find, I frequently have to turn job offers down.

      As regards the quality of education and social services in the Evil Empire: my three children, aged 14, 13 and 5, were all born in Russian state hospitals and are all in good health; the two eldest go to a local state school and the youngest to a state kindergarten situated next to my block, which is located in the Taganka district of the Moscow central administrative region.

      Your proposition that WordPress.com would not be able to exist in Moscow reveals, in my opinion, your total ignorance of the Russia – that’s Russia, not the USSR – that you apparently find so nightmarish a place.

      In view of the fact that you are a Pole, albeit that your use of “wow” and “like” (as in “like, shoot you”) suggests to me that you either live in the USA or dearly wish to use colloquial US English, and, furthermore, a Pole that seems to claim that he/she has experienced in Poland the “1984 style fiction” of the Soviet Union, then I should imagine that you have somewhat more than a scant knowledge of the Russian language. I therefore suggest that you peruse the following blogs for your delight and delectation:

      Оппозиция

      Блоги: Оппозиционные акции, сайты и проекты

      There are plenty more where they came from. If you should wish to find more similar blogs, try looking here.

      As I hope you can see, those blogs linked above are critical of the “regime” here. I cannot imagine that the organizers of and contributors to those blogs and other such similar ones live in mortal fear of their lives.

      Большой привет из Москвы!

      PS My obvious affection for my adopted country notwithstanding, I do hope that it is evident to you that it is entirely within my capabilities to string a sentence together.

  31. Pingback: Relevo en la política exterior europea - Estudios de Politica Exterior

  32. Suarez says:

    Sikorski’s wife is a Jewess, AN AMERICAN JEWESS. He’s a traitor to the Poles.

  33. Pingback: Relevo en la política exterior europea

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